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From David’s Desk

David Schectman and Jesse Ventura

On Sunday, Susan and I went to see the Minnesota Twins play the San Diego Padres.  We sat in the executive boxes, behind home plate.  We sat next to former governor, Jesse Ventura.  For those of you who don’t live in Minnesota, you probably don’t know too much about Jesse, but in 2000, he shocked the entire nation by wining the election as an Independent.  The young voters in our state were so fed up with the Democrats and Republicans that they came out in great numbers and they elected a high school graduate, ex Navy Seal and professional wrestler to run the State.   Jesse was a breath of fresh air.  He despised the majority of politicians that he worked with and had even less use for the media.

We chatted during the game.  Jesse is very approachable and down to earth.  Our state is facing a government shutdown in less than two weeks if they cannot agree on a budget.  We are dealing with a $5 billion dollar deficit and I asked Jesse if he thought a shutdown could be avoided.  He said this whole problem is the result of mistakes made by our politicians in 2003.  Jesse pushed for a balanced budget then and vetoed the deficit spending bills sent to his desk twice, but his veto was over-ridden.  In fact, the politicians gave the voters a rebate, in a politically motivated move to oust Jesse from office in 2004.  “But I fooled them,” he said.  “I didn’t run for a second term.”

He said he wouldn’t vote for either a Republican or a Democrat in the upcoming election.  He said there is no difference between the two parties.  “Obama promised change, and there is no change.  We are still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gitmo is still there and the economy is still in the dumps,” he said.  “Where is the change?”

I asked him if he would consider running for President.  He chuckled and said, “Absolutely not!  I love my life now, out of politics.  I spend half the year in Mexico and I am free.  When you are in politics you are never free, in fact it is like being in a prison.  Your every move is scrutinized by the press.”

I asked him if he thought we could fix the problems in this country and he said, “Only if the voters figure out that the two major parties do not offer any solutions.”  I said by that time it will be too late.  He agreed.  It will be too late.

Then he said, “If you ever see me with short hair (it is shoulder-length now) then you will know that I changed my mind about running for office.”  He laughed and we went back to enjoying the ballgame, which by the way, the Twins won in the bottom of the ninth for their seventh win in a row, and 14th win in the last 16 games. 

Jesse always was a breath of fresh air.  I voted for him in 2000 and would have voted for him again in 2004, had he run for office.  Yes, a high school educated, Navy seal and former pro-wrestler has more common sense than virtually any candidate you will have a chance to vote for.  We need you Jesse, please reconsider, cut your hair and come on back!

Some of you probably saw Jesse interview LeMetropole Café’s Bill Murphy on his TV show Conspiracy Theory.  It was an interesting segment. 

Sincerely, 

David Schectman
Miles Franklin