The editorial in today’s Albert Lea Tribune is anything but subtle: It declares that the next governor, no matter of which party, should come from Greater Minnesota, not the metro area.
“It has been since Jan. 7, 1991, when Rudy Perpich of Hibbing left office, that the governor Minnesota was from outside of the metro. That was 18 years ago, and, if an outstate man or woman wins, it will have been 20 years ago by the time a new governor takes the oath of office on Jan. 4, 2011.
“Being from Greater Minnesota gives a governor a better idea of the struggles that cities, counties and schools in the outstate have gone through and a better idea of the whether those residents are getting back the taxes they are paying to the state. And it gives an idea of the increased property taxes they have had to pay because of lacking state returns to local governments. (“Returns” seems to be a better term than local government “aid.”)
“Here’s another political reality: The legislators in the metro area find ways to come together for the good of the metro; whereas the outstate legislators tow party lines even to the disadvantage of the outstate. In other words, it is easy for the metro area to divide the outstate lawmakers with ideology.
“Having a governor from Greater Minnesota offsets this metro advantage.
“Plus, outstate legislators seem to favor a strong Twin Cities, thinking it is good for all Minnesotans; whereas metro legislators tend to complain about any outstate advantages.
“Being from Greater Minnesota thus gives a governor a better understanding of being a regional center — such as Albert Lea or Bemidji — and having to battle against the political and economic advantages of the Twin Cities area.”