Just as Spot was leaving town a week ago, he read Lori Sturdevant's Sunday opinion piece entitled Stepping up and swatting down the partisan divide. Here's the lede:
As frittering over the state's response to flood and bridge failure proceeded last week, a thought occurred: A bipartisan bunch of forward-looking, problem-solving legislators -- say, a "rump group" -- might be useful just now.
That's why I hung out Thursday with 13 members of the Legislature's 2020 Caucus in Rochester.
Spot hopes that you at least went to a nice place for lunch that day, Lori. Lori goes on to say:
Officially, after Thursday's Mayo session, the caucus remains mum. The session produced no official pronouncement from the group.
Of course it remains mum, Lori; the 2020 Caucus has never taken a political stand on anything since its formation a few years ago. It's a political prop. Members of this so-called caucus do not actually caucus, take positions and vote accordingly. It is meaningless showmanship, organized in part by one of the most meaningless showmen in the Legislature: Geoff Michel. Lori has given Michel so much ink over this entirely useless prop that Spot thinks Lori has a crush on Michel. She did it again in this most recent piece:
"There are a lot of ways to get things done across party lines, and I don't think an exchange of letters [referring to the governor and legislative leaders in advance of the recent special session] is one of them," sighed Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, a 2020 Caucus founder.
Pawlenty said at a news conference Friday that the latest snag was over transit funding, not over a gas-tax increase.
Here's where the 2020 crowd -- particularly Republicans like Michel -- might put their understanding of this state's demographic future to good use. They can make an argument for more transit throughout the whole state, not just the metro area, to maximize elder mobility.
Michel voted with the Republican caucus—the one he really belongs to—and against a gas tax increase every time it has come up. He signed the "No New Taxes" pledge before he and others came up with the gimmick of the "2020 Caucus." There is no daylight between Geoff Michel and Governor Pepsodent.
The idea of Geoff Michel "sighing" over a lack of bipartisanship undoubtedly provoked a gag reflex over a lot of breakfast tables in Senate 41 last Sunday.
For those of you who are interested, Spot recommends his posts about Geoff Michel as The Great Pretender. Spot also recommends them to Lori Sturdevant.