State Rep. Marty Seifert was booked for the Sunday morning news show on WCCO-TV, with Esme Murphy, so his whole family — wife Traci, Brittany, almost 7, and Braxton, 4, — got up early and made the trip to downtown Minneapolis from Marshall.
The kids didn’t seem overly impressed to be in the big-city television newsroom, which was actually pretty quiet just before 10 a.m. on a Sunday. They did get to meet Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who was waiting to appear later on the show. Their dad is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, and Rybak is considered a possible candidate for the DFL nomination, so maybe they’ll be seeing lots of each other in the coming 15 months.
The kids were quiet and attentive when dad — the 37-year-old, seventh-term state rep who has stepped down as House minority leader to make a run for governor — sat on the set next to Murphy, under the bright lights with the cameras pointing at him.
During the interview, Seifert said Gov. Tim Pawlenty is doing a wonderful job — the obligatory Republican line, it would seem — but said he’d be more active in welfare reform. He’s worried about welfare debit cards being used in other states and sold on the black market.
He said the state needs to reform its budget system by spending even less. Even after unallotment, the state is spending 96.3 percent of what it did the previous year, he said. But he said he knows businesses and working people who are getting by on 60, 70 or 80 percent of what they used to live on.
None of this did much for the kids, who sat with Mom near the edge of the television set. Braxton cuddled on Traci’s lap and Brittany watched the director point and gesture. They’d been with Dad in a big parade in Marshall the day before and seem to be getting used to the candidate family life.