Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dille wil be missed

An op-ed in the West Central News Tribune

Sen. Steve Dille announced earlier this week that he would not seek re-election in 2010. The veteran Republican senator will serve during the 2010 Minnesota legislative session.

Dille will be missed in the Legislature.

A veterinarian and farmer from Dassel, Dille has served diligently and well — first in the House for six years and then for 17 years in the Senate. He has a good temperament that has served his constituents, his district and his party well.

Unfortunately, Dille is a moderate in a district where some in the Republican Party are moving farther to the right. This moderate senator was facing opposition within his district from party activists, who were not very tolerant of some of his moderate stands.

It is unfortunate when intolerance runs anyone out of either major political party.

Dille was brave and he was right for taking a stand for outstate Minnesota when he voted to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto of the transportation bill, which included a gas tax. All of Minnesota needed this investment in our infrastructure.

Dille authored the Freedom to Breathe Act, supported and signed by Pawlenty, that banned smoking in bars and restaurants. This was the right move for Minnesota.

Overall, Dille has been supportive of the Republican caucus for the majority of the time. Senate Minority Leader David Senjem of Rochester released a statement commending Dille for both his service and temperament.

However, Dille is 64 and has others things he wants to pursue in life. We understand that.

We are glad Dille will still serve through another session in the Legislature. Moreover, we wish him well in his new pursuits in life.


eric zaetsch said...

His authoring the smoking ban legislation is interesting because other things got the local really extreme people anxious, but I recall Craig Westover being obsessed with the smoking ban thing and never understood why.

Or am I wrong, was that also a local extremeist lightning rod?

To me it was overdue, better late than never. Having never smoked tobacco beyond an occasional cigar, I can recall college in St. Louis, in the mid-1960's going to Blues games, with the smoke haze strong halfway into the opening period, and my hair and clothing stinking on the drive home. Just because other people had developed a habit that impinged on others who share the air. Not as much the health dimension, more the nuisance dimension.

Blue man said...

There were a lot of right wing folks out here ticked at Senator Dille for that legislation as well. The gas tax really got them going, but the smoking ban was the icing on top for many of them.

eric zaetsch said...

Thanks. Sharing the air cleanly among us all is easy to see, as sharing the road, and at least the idealogues don't want to head northwest on both sides of Highway 10.


The district force structure you've described reminds me of Bachmann engineering the ouster of Laidig.

Exchanging shrill for capable and accommodating.

That's why I always have to question and temper my dislike of Joe Lieberman. Despite Joe being Joe.

I don't want to be like "them" but only on the other side of the spectrum.

It's why I see both Clark and Reed as moderates, or clear centrists; with each being more capable than Michele Bachmann AND more accommodating to other views.

Clark looks to have the endorsement lead and already appears likely to be endorsed.

With the big focus and uncertainty on governor in the caucus process this cycle, Clark's position is solid since the disagreement will be on another race.

What do you suppose Bachmann will be doing, presuming she is voted out?

My bet is pushing for a run at governor on the chance of maximizing the State pension to go with whatever vested position she's so far attained federally. I see her primary focus that way, noise yes, but primarily what's in it for Michele.

She surely has burned through staff people. I bet Dille has not.