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Tom Rukavina jokes and stories abound at his legislative retirement roast

Retiring state Rep. Tom Rukavina’s goodbye roast in Mountain Iron Monday night sounds like a raucous and touching affair.

More than 400 ate brats and Polish sausage to honor Rukavina, said the Duluth News Tribune.

Some of the good lines:

  • Gov. Mark Dayton: “My mother always told me that if you can’t say something nice about someone, you shouldn’t say anything at all.” Then he walked off the stage. (He returned with plaudits for Ruk.)
  • Sen. Al Franken: “Tommy Rukavina knows the Range. Tommy Rukavina speaks for the Range. Tommy Rukavina is the Range. I begin my remarks with those three quotes from Tommy Rukavina.”
  • Daughter Ida Rukavina: Jokingly accused her dad, a big labor union supporter, of  child labor law violations for making her split wood and weed the garden. Still, she said, he’d give anyone the shirt off his back. “It just wouldn’t fit most people.” (Quip’s about Rukavina’s short stature were common.)
  • State Rep. Carly Melin: “He’s gotten a little conservative in his old age. He’s a socialist now.”

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