I read the front page story of the Star Tribune today titled “Stadium Plans Thrown Into Limbo”. When I got to the part of the story stating Speaker Zellers had “repeatedly told Dayton he opposed a special session and felt the issue could wait until next year” and then to read Gov Dayton’s response that he was “very surprised” by those comments, my first thought, “What’s up with these two?
There was a disconnect here of some kind, either of them not listening to each other, maybe talking in a low low tone, maybe hearing problems, who knows. But when you have the #1 and #2 most powerful people in Minnesota not understanding each others position it allows for the public to be concerned and to ask questions.
Many political people would rate this as inside baseball and of no consequence. It may remind them of the scene in the movie “Casablanca” when Rick’s Place is shut down by Captain Renault, played by Claude Rains who knows gambling takes place there all the time and says: “I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”
But to the public it is a different matter.
If the Governor and Speaker have unplugged communication on simple matters on what each thought of a special session to be held later this month, Will they be able to tackle the big issues facing Minnesota and communicate in the future?
What also complicates their rapport is the penchant of secrecy that surrounds the stadium issue and which also was a characteristic of the budget shutdown. Each side making comments about what they said or did, then others saying that’s not entirely correct or totally false. When the public does not know who to believe, it is not good government.
Simple solution would be to have their conversations recorded at their meetings, just like many public bodies do such as the school board or city council. Simple, yes, but more than likely will never happen. So what’s the solution.
How about reading, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Seriously, just how many people know the facts about the politics and policy issues as it relates to the stadium discussions, only a handful. The Governor and Speaker are a part of the handful which the public looks to for leadership and direct communication as to what’s up with the stadium, not the miscommunication that two people may have.