Thursday, April 22, 2010


Next up on this series of DFL gubernatorial candidates speaking on MPR MIDDAY is Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak. Again, I'll show what he said in bold print, then put my comments in normal print.

R. T. Rybak

Question #1: Why are you running for governor?

I'm R. T. Rybak. I'm the Mayor of Minneapolis. I came into office in the wake of a crisis. Right after 9-11, Minneapolis was in trouble. We brought people together; we got results. We lowered crime; we created thousands of jobs; we made the city work. That's the kind of executive leadership I've shown and that we need at the Capitol. Right now the Capitol's in trouble. This state is in trouble. We need to put people back to work. I've done that. We need to make government get results for people. I've done that. But more importantly, I've been a mayor who has been out in the community, I've been in schools. I've been in businesses. I've talked with people who are unemployed. I've talked with people who are victims of crime. I have got into the business of being not only a hands-on chief executive, but a hands-on leader out in the community, I think we need a new leader in Minnesota and I've shown I can get results.

All that R. T. Rybak says in response to this first question is true. As Mayor of Minneapolis, Rybak has done all of that and so much more. Whenever there was a crisis in Minneapolis, Mayor Rybak was there. He was there when the bridge fell. He was there when the fire occurred. He's always there in good times and bad. He will be there for Minnesota. He won't just walk away and quit after one term. He has shown us that he's dependable and responsible. He's the kind of politician I would be proud to call Governor. He's the only candidate who has executive experience. R. T. Rybak is an excellent communicator. He knows what issues Minnesota faces. He knows what the problems are and how to fix them. I can't think of a better candidate to be the next governor of Minnesota.

Question #2:  Should a candidate going directly to the Primary without going through the endorsement process matter to DFL voters?

I believe right now that this state has been deeply divided. The first thing we have to do is unite the Democratic party that has lost elections for a generation. My kids are in college and have never known a DFL governor. It's time to come together. We keep losing this governor's race, so what I've tried to do is to say I've got a winning record, I've got executive experience, and I want to unify the party. I think the best way to do that is to run for the endorsement, win the primary and win the general. I believe we have to do all three.

R. T. makes a very good point. I've heard all the arguments about going for the endorsement and not going for the endorsement. At first I thought, yes, it's more democratic to let all the voters decide at the Primary. Then it was pointed out to me that this is a representative government and the endorsement is a part of that. I now think that the endorsement process would work just fine if we didn't have upstarts who jump in and try to do it without the endorsement. I don't have a problem with someone who at least tried for it, but for the two candidates who are trying to win the primary without even attempting to win the endorsement are unfathomable and are going against their own party. R. T. Rybak is playing by the rules of the Democratic party. He has always been a fair and just person; this is just one more example of it. He has promised to abide by the endorsement. We know we can take him at his word. That's the kind of governor we want.

Question #3:  Do you have someone you're looking at to be your lt. governor? Who will be your running mate?

I think that the lt. governor should be doing the work. I think Governor Pawlenty got it right by trying to have a lt. governor do the work. I disagree with the choice he made with Carol Molnau running the Department of Transportation, certainly. I think more important, what I want, is someone to be there in the governor's office who can help me make decisions and broaden my experience. I realize that out of the governor's office, and I know this from having been a chief executive, that the job there is also to connect the dots, to move beyond just government, and bring communities together. For instance, when we were addressing youth violence in Minneapolis, one of the reasons we were able to drive violence down 40% is because we brought government together with nonprofits and citizens. That's the kind of work the lt. governor can do. When we had an acheivement gap, when we wanted to make sure we got kids into college, we put through ten thousand kids into summer jobs and college access programs and career centers. That was a city wide work. We need a statewide leader working with me who can say, I'm going to go out and help build those partnerships. A governor has to be a lot of different places. A lt. governor can help double the work.

R. T. Rybak knows what an executive position entails and he knows how to get the work done. He has already shown his expertise as an executive leader by the work he has done in Minneapolis. He has been very much involved in the community as well as in the inner workings of the government of a very large city. He's also got good ideas for what he wants the function of the lt. governor to be. Rybak points out that he's been an executive in business, he's been a journalist, and he's been in government. He has excelled in all of these. I think the journalism background gives him an edge and a different perspective than any of the other candidates have. He knows how to look at things to understand and assimilate the inner workings of any situation. R. T. Rybak will make an excellent and a viable governor.

Question #4:  Why would you be a better governor than Marty Seifert or Tom Emmer?

First, I have executive experience. There's a reason why they call one the legislative branch and the other the executive branch. I've been a chief executive. I'll come in with that experience. Second, I believe that I have experience outside the capitol. I've


No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments on my blogs are welcome.