Monday, January 30, 2012

Anderson Gets Molnaued

Back in 2008, as a state senator, Ellen Anderson voted to oust Carol Molnau from her position as head of MnDOT. The vote then was a party line 44-22 vote, in which every member of the DFL majority sent Molnau from office. Today, Ellen Anderson got Molnaued:
Minnesota Republicans took the rare step on Monday of voting to remove an appointee of DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

By a 37-29 party-line vote, Republicans voted against confirming Ellen Anderson, a former longtime member of the Senate, as Dayton's appointee to chair the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
Back in 2008, then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty had to swallow hard and deal with the decision. Dayton took a different tack:

The vote means Anderson must leave the post. Dayton, angry at the vote and calling Republicans "too extreme to lead,'' immediately hired Anderson as an energy advisor on his staff. He must now search for a new chair of the PUC.

Now, I'm of two minds about this. First, I fully suspect that whomever Dayton selects will be just as much of a problem child as Anderson was in this position. Second, elections do have consequences and Mark Dayton is the governor and should, barring anything extraordinary, be able to appoint lieutenants of his choosing.

Having said that, I have no sympathy for the outrageously outraged Dayton or any of his colleagues in the DFL. The vote against Molnau was shameful and an exercise in raw political power, mostly done for the hell of it as far as anyone could tell. The pretext was that the 35W bridge had collapsed during Molnau's tenure at MnDOT, but as was later demonstrated, that collapse was the result of a faulty bridge design that took place some 30 years before.

Republicans have been all too willing to play by Marquess of Queensbury rules -- the primary reason that Mark Dayton is in the governor's chair is that the Republican Party, at Tom Emmer's direction, didn't unload on Dayton's very troublesome history, while Dayton's hired goons had no hesitation in running dozens of scurrilous ads that scored Emmer.

The only way Republicans are ever going to be praised in this state is if they lose, graciously and perpetually. Perhaps the Republicans in Minnesota are finally learning that hearing the praise of your enemies is far less enjoyable than hearing their lamentations and vows of revenge.


Anonymous said...

To put Anderson and Molnau in the same category is absurd. Molnau's qualifications for anything other than small farmer were nonexistent. These sort of comparisons reflect a lack of discernment so serious as to be incapable of resolution. Read: your thinking is hopelessly flawed. Have a nice day in your strange neighborhood!

Mr. D said...

Anyone who disparages the work of a "small farmer" really ought not be so critical of another's discernment. Running a "small farm" involves a lot more than I suspect you understand, brave yet dismissive anonymous commenter.

Pops said...

Hey anonymous..take your ball and go home cry baby...Next time you walk through the neighborhood, pick up after yourself....

First Ringer said...

Um, actually the comparisons are extremely apt - if we're talking about qualifications.

Both of them were nominated as former legislators (a bare distinction since Anderson resigned the Senate to take the job and Molnau was the Lt Gov). And both had served on legislative committees that referenced their appointments - Molnau on the Transportation Committee, Anderson on the Energy & Utilities committees.

Both entered the legislature in 1993 and while that means Anderson has had more time in St. Paul, Molnau had served on the Chaska City Council since the late 80s - so both had put in years of elective experience.

The only difference in "qualifications" is that Molnau farmed and Anderson was a lawyer. Pardon me, but how the heck does litigating somehow make Anderson's qualifications so much superior to Molnau to make a comparision "absurd"? Anderson was a generic defense attorney - that's essential for monitoring statewide utilities?

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Well yeah, everyone knows that anyone serving in government has to be a lawyer. It's in the Constitution.

Gino said...

i've watched my dad run a small farm in Georgia.
you wouldnt believe the work involved.
and why i adore/worship the memory my grandfather and great grandfather, who both ran a large farm in southern Italy.