Short Takes

Moving on from the convention

SIDEWAYS THUMBS:

We weren’t at last weekend’s GOP State Convention, so we won’t pile on in the aftermath of what happened when gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert released his delegates to the furor of the convention crowd. All we’ll say is we’re not a big fan of what he did, mostly because of the negative ruckus it stirred in a party that really doesn’t need a negative ruckus. The crowd wasn’t happy with him, and the press took him to task. But this we know: He can take it – he knows if one can’t take the heat, the kitchen is not the place to be. Well, he’s in the kitchen now. We believe Seifert would do things differently if given another chance, but in the end, he will have to live with a decision that could haunt him at the Aug. 12 primary. Will voters remember what went down in Rochester last weekend? Perhaps, but it would be nice if his competitors would steer clear of casting stones at him (in the same vein, it would behoove Seifert to do the same – he has said he will run a clean campaign, and we hope he stays true to that). As a whole, the Republican Party has been doing damage control for some time now, and the remaining candidates have a chance to move the party forward – given they can get out of each other’s way and sell themselves as opposed to raking muck within the party. In the end, one candidate will be left standing, and for the sake of the party, the other candidates and all Republicans in Minnesota would be wise to fully get behind whomever wins in August, because the party at the state level needs unity, not more divisiveness. We hope Seifert can steer himself out of this fishtail he’s in right now and remain a viable competitor in the race. We still maintain that having a rural person running the show at the Capitol will be good for Greater Minnesota – and southwest Minnesota; how can anyone in this region or any other rural area argue that? In that respect, we wish Seifert the best of luck going forward.

Is this the answer to global warming we were waiting for?

SIDEWAYS THUMBS:

Some say states with a significant concentration of manufacturing jobs are going to take hit because of the new emissions standards President Barack Obama rolled out this week in true save-the-world manner. But if we want a cleaner world for future generations, there are going to have to be some hits absorbed. The proposed rule cuts CO2 output nationally by 20 percent in six years and by 30 percent in 16 years. Is this the best solution our federal government can come up with? We have no choice but to believe it is. What bothers us is how this issue has morphed into a political battle – one side saying, “Look, we’re doing something to help our planet,” the other saying, “What you’re doing isn’t right and it will kill our jobs.” Wouldn’t it be nice if both sides of the political spectrum could’ve worked together on what is literally a global issue instead of one side making a call and the other chiding them? No one wants the nation’s job force to be cut (if indeed that’s a result of Obama’s emissions mandate), but if that’s the price to pay in the name of helping the planet so future generations have something left to enjoy, than that’s the price we have no choice but to pay.

$15 an hour? Too much too quickly

THUMBS DOWN:

Let’s not kid ourselves, we’re told the recession is history, but this nation is still mired in an economic struggle, and job-killing measures won’t help matters. Speaking of which, in Seattle, someone tell us how small businesses are supposed to keep up with a minimum wage that will balloon to $15 per hour by 2017 – the highest wage in any city in the U.S. The good news is current employees will be bringing home some more cash. The bad news is small businesses (which will have a bit longer to phase in the increase) are going to have to forgo new hires – something they can do by simply piling more work on their current overworked staff. We support an increase in the minimum wage, but as we’ve said before, $15 is ludicrous.

Semi driver owns up

THUMBS UP:

The semi driver who nearly hit a youngster about to get on a school bus in Hawick recently did the right thing by contacting the Minnesota State Patrol a few days afterwards. The driver broke the law – the driver of the bus had its lights flashing and stop arm extended at the time – but the semi driver is lucky this didn’t turn out worse. The incident was caught on tape thanks to a camera on the bus, proving these days it’s hard to get away with just about anything. And that’s a good thing. The semi driver, who undoubtedly saw the video on YouTube like everyone else, knew he wouldn’t get away with his horrible decision and correctly came forward.