I always liked Jesse. I didn't agree with about half of his policies, but I did not have the automated lefty knee jerk reaction against him that almost everyone I know had. Hey, he did after all, beat Norm Coleman in that governor's race!
Of course, he also beat my candidate, Humphrey. But in so doing Ventura demonstrated what happens when we Democratic Farm Laborers in Minnesota get together to put up a candidate for governor: We screw it up. Humphrey was not the candidate for that election. So we got Ventura. Hatch was not the candidate for the last election. So we got Pawlenty.
I also recall that governor's election quite well, as it was my first election here in Minnesota. Ventura was well ahead at the end of the night, but it took FOREVER for both Humphrey and Coleman to concede. They were struck with such utter disbelief that they could not admit that Ventura, a third party candidate who, only a couple of weeks before the election was thought to have no chance of winning, had indeed beaten the mainstream candidates.
I also remember that evening that Tom Brokaw of NBC news called Ventura and totally dissed him. He did not call him "Governor Elect" or ask about policy. He called him something slightly derogatory and asked him about wrestling. He called our newly elected governor and made fun of him on national TV. Brokaw's professionalism suffered greatly that day.
Anyway, Jesse was interviewed by Larry King, and the interview of the now-mulletted ex governor is reported in the Strib. Here's a bit of it:
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura told the nation that Norm Coleman is a hypocrite who has lost the election for U.S. senator and should give up his fight against Al Franken for a second term.
In a wide-ranging interview Monday night on CNN with Larry King and in his trademark blunt style, Ventura also called former Vice President Dick Cheney a coward for avoiding service during the Vietnam War and made a pitch for himself to be appointed ambassador to Cuba.
"Coleman's always been a hypocrite," said Ventura, who "shocked the world" when as an Independence Party candidate he defeated Coleman and Democrat Skip Humphrey for the open governor's seat in 1998.
"He never does what he says," Ventura added. "He said on Election Night [in 2008], when he won, that Franken should drop out and he should be the senator. Well, the same should hold true after the recount."
Jesse also had some comments about Dick Cheney. Ventura, who himself has been waterboarded (we're pretty tough on our elected officials here in Minnesota) said, "I'll put it to you this way: You give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders."
Always liked him, huh? I've always despised his anti-intellectual, "answers are simple" pandering. In fact, the letter to the editor I wrote on the topic the night he got elected was my first experience with national syndication.
And while I appreciate that he signed a pro-atheist proclamation while in office, I don't forget that he paid so little attention to what he was signing most of the time that he signed a pro-Christian proclamation just a few days later without knowing it. I also think of him every time I look out my office window at the brown smudge on the horizon. After all, we don't really need any vehicle inspections. Rather than reforming the process, it's really for the best that it was eliminated. I'll find some other air to breathe.
Well, to repeat, I disagreed with half his policies.
I did not disagree with the vehicle inspection change. That is happening everywhere. Vehicles are built differently now. It is no longer true that a reasonably new vehicle runs better when it belches out crap, with inspection being a way of making people have to work extra hard (by like five minutes) to keep their vehicle running the way they want it rather than the clean way. With very few old vehicles on the road it makes no sense for every single person to show up at a service station every year (or two, depending on the state).
The best way to reduce smog caused by cars is probably to walk and take public transit. The best way to make that happen is dense mixed use housing in urban zones and public transit. I don't recally Ventura's position on either issue, but I do not recall a lot happening on those fronts (from the State) whil ehe was in power. Or since.
Hey, when was the last time this state had a Democrat as a governor anyway???????? When?
My perspective may be somewhat warped by spending a lot of time very close to those older cars.
Perpich. He went somewhat insane. Might have made people slightly gunshy.
The inspection rules have changed recently in Nova Scotia as well, following suit of Ontario. We now have to get them inspected every second year, first inspection after new car sale being three years in; and if you fail one inspection, you can now get a second opinion. I agree with these rules, mostly because of the number of shysters that would fail inspections and prescribe costly operations to ignorant rubes (such as myself).
As for Brokaw, I've never really liked him. Legend and all, but boy did he handle the presidential debates with anything but impartiality. And Ventura, I haven't had a lot of exposure to, ever. Not even as a wrestler. He seems like a "straight-shooter", which can be good, but not when coupled with a lack of intellectual curiosity.