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Saturday, April 22, 2006 

Extremist "Tough Talker" Tom Emmer

"Straight talk" in politics only goes so far and can cut either way. On one hand, it's something we pray for from our elected officials and love on the relatively rare occasions that we get it. On the other, a lot of politicians are so out there that it makes us cringe to hear what they actually think. As an example of the first situation, John McCain, despite being quite conservative, got a lot of praise from both sides for being honest, at least before he became a tool of the Bush Administration. As an example of the second, Alan Keyes, who as you may remember was Barack Obama's opponent in Illinois in 2004, said that abortion was a "genocide" of African-Americans, that Obama had taken the "slaveholder's position" in regard to the issue, that voting for Obama would be a "mortal sin", and that he opposed the 17th Amendment to the Constitution (direct election of U.S. Senators). Needless to say, he lost to Obama in a landslide.

Today, there's an article on MPR about freshman State Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Delano) which heaps praise on him for his "hard-charging style" and "getting straight to the point". I don't know how his constituents in Delano feel about him these days, (they elected him in 2004 with 60% of the vote) but to me being hard-charging and direct is a bit of a mixed blessing when you believe in forced castration, allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill any prescription without conditions, a total ban on gambling, and no assistance with prenatal care for some pregnant women.

It deeply worries me that people who believe in this kind of stuff feel able to speak out directly about those beliefs. It worries me even more that someone so extreme, rather than being criticized for his positions, is held up as an honest example for other politicians to follow. How do people like this get elected?

Doing wrong-headed things in a direct fashion isn't any better than doing wrong-headed things indirectly; in fact, it's worse. If Tom Emmer were doing great things, he would certainly be a model for other politicians, but being open about wanting to castrate people and take away benefits for pregnant women isn't good, it's just scary. I don't know if Emmer is a racist or hate-filled, as it says in the article, and I'm pretty sure that he's not a fascist. He is, however, an extreme right-winger who got checked too hard too many times during his hockey days. I can't believe that he represents the mainstream of district 19B, and we can only hope that the DFL can find someone who does to challenge him this year.

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Please also note that Mr. Emmer wrote an Opinion piece for the Star Tribune today indicating that the current budget deficit is due to the tax hikes which have not even taken effect yet. He's a political hack, clearly more interested in playing games than solving problems.

this is an old article, but Mr. Emmer is at it again. Trying to get sex offenders to have lime green license plates on their vehicles. Now, outwardly, this may seem like a good idea. However, considering the atmosphere on our roadways right now, this is the dumbest idea I have ever heard. Believe it or not, former offenders have wives and children who ride with them in these vehicles. Can anyone figure out where this is going? Innocent people will be injured by being run off roads or worse yet, shot and killed right on our roadways. This man must be up for re-election. Come Delano, get smart about this guy.

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