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TPT to air documentary highlighting ‘Minnesota’s progressive GOP tradition’

A television documentary on Minnesota’s progressive Republican tradition will air Dec.

A television documentary on Minnesota’s progressive Republican tradition will air Dec. 20 on TPT-Channel 17.

It’s obviously a history project.

You wouldn’t lump the current state Republican administration into the progressive camp, so they’re talking more about the likes of former Govs. Al Quie and Arne Carlson, as well as retiring Congressman Jim Ramstad.

The show, called “Minnesota’s Progressive Republicans,” was co-produced by Growth & Justice — the economic policy group headed by former Strib and Pioneer Press reporter Dane Smith (and founded by Minnpost Editor and CEO Joel Kramer). Twin Cities Public Television is the other producer.

In a press release, Smith says: “Minnesota’s high quality of life can be attributed to a number of complex and interconnected historical factors – including the influence of political parties in the state. While many of Minnesota’s best-known political figures have been liberal champions, such as vice presidents Hubert H. Humphrey and Walter Mondale, the state also has a strong progressive Republican tradition that has contributed to our success.”

The show airs at 8 p.m. Dec. 20 on TPT-Channel 17 on broadcast and cable and satellite systems, or channel 13 on Comcast in Minneapolis.

The timing — just before the deficit-facing legislative session — can’t be coincidental.

“Both Govs. Quie and Carlson described themselves as fiscal conservatives but they increased taxes to address budget crises and to get the state back on track,” Smith said. “In light of the state’s projected budget deficit and Minnesota’s drop in numerous rankings that represent our quality of life, I hope current Republican leaders will look to leaders of years past for guidance during this difficult time.”