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 Response Page - Jane Leonard  Interview -      

These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Jane Leondard Interview of

The Questions:

1._Average 7.0______On a scale of (1) not willing at all, (5) probably interested, and (10) very willing, how do you think the non-governmental leaders in Minnesota would feel about becoming engaged in the development of ideas and proposals for public affairs in the state?

2. _Average 4.3 ______On a scale of (1) not willing at all, (5) probably interested, and (10), very willing, how open do you think the next governor may be to proposals for action from outside his/her party? 

Pat Litchy (7) (2)

I believe non-government leaders are considerably more willing and able than elected officials to consider alternative proposals for state and political issues.

Don Anderson (6) (2)

I'm not very optimistic about any change until we can get rid of the campaign funding problem of partisanship to one party, candidate or the other.

Chuck Lutz (8) (6)

Al Quie (10) (5)

The legislature is broken. The best cure must be taken by the legislature. Consolidate Committees and appoint each member to one committee. Rarely two. Then Members would develop expertise and respect. They would then spend more time with non-governmental leaders developing ideas for the good of the state. What is going on now is a disgrace.

David Broden (10) (5)

Question 1: I may be a bit in the minority but I strongly belief that the real  "stakeholder' leaders—and I mean those that do the work that makes the economy and education of Minnesota work—not the various foundations, academics, etc, but those who work daily to support the economy, their families, the community, state, and nation—are an untapped resource. If these folks are asked in a professional way they will participate and give some real impacting proposals for Minnesota’s future. The candidate or organization that successfully reaches to and uses this resource will be the winner in 2010 election. If the other go with the wise political and foundations ideas they will miss the boat.

QUESTION 2: On this one I think the candidates really don't get it. Most if not all of the candidates are so either metro oriented or listen to the political system and foundations, think tanks etc.—when they turn to listen to the real people all the candidates will have to scramble to reset their thinking. Bottom up vs. talking down will be the key. Leading  by listening and responding will be the best. 

Glenn Dorfman (5) (5)

Question 1: The fact that people are interested bears no relationship to  the political gauntlet their collective ideas and suggestions must penetrate. I have participated in the “Minneosta-study-an-issue-to death” process more times than I care to admit, attending hundreds meetings on the reformation of Minnesota's tax system starting with the Latimer Tax Study Commission in 1985. Very few of the ideas from these esteemed groups have ever been adopted. I do not mean to sound like it is hopeless but it appears to me that we have reached a position in societal development where knowledge matters little when juxtaposed with politics and the ego needs of individuals.

Question 2: Prior to getting elected, all candidates will think this is a great idea. That, I am afraid, will change once elected. A look at the hsitory of Presidential and Gubenatorial commitments and statements prior to election and then their respective actions after election will bear this out.

Ward Ring (5) (5)

Fred Zimmerman (7) (2)

Question 1: Non-government leaders would be very willing if they thought they were welcomed. Over the years, I have been invited to quite a few similar events. My own experience has been that government officials are not really interested in new ideas or new information. Most of them seem more interested in reinforcement of what they said in their last speech. I've heard other notable influential people make similar statements.

Comments: The public is clearly tired of strident partisianship. But, I am not so sure the nominating conventions are similarly tired.  There seems to a tragic flaw in our system. In order to get endorsed, strident adherence to presupposed ideologies seems to me required. Therefore, good government and party designations are in danger of becoming mutually exclusive.

Dave Durenberger (10) (1)

Focus on getting someone through the primary who isn't endorsed by either party.  She'll have difficulty with the party legislative leaders, but the citizens will welcome leadership.  Elmer L, Rudy P, and Jesse V come to mind.

Bert Press (3) (5)

Kent Eklund (5) (9)

Question 1: Persons in the non-governmental sector are right now focusing on their own survival and have less time for broader interests. That will change with a recovery, but the recovery will take time.

Kathleen Anderson (5) (5)

At least at the Federal level, it's pretty much about raising money.  At this level, party approval is a big asset.

Sandy Rummel (9) (5)

Question 1: If they are leaders, I’ve got to believe they are interested.

Question 2: Depends on who is elected. If we get someone from the outside of the party big shots, the chances are better. I worry that money will be a big factor.

Christine Brazelton (8) (  )

Question 1: Some would be willing out of a sense of civic mindedness, to leave a legacy by improving the future of the state. Others would be willing if they saw some individual or corporate/institutional gain.

Question 2: The answer completely depends on who the next governor is. I would hope that their answer to this question is a criteria for the voters in the election.

Bob White (10) (3)

Ray Ayotte (5) (5)

Jan Hively (8) (  )

Question 1: They would be very interested IF they were assured that their ideas would be heard and considered by those with the power and authority to follow through and IF the process were staffed by people who listen well and report accurately.

Question 2: There is no way to make judgments in response to this question. I don't think that the party matters as much as you suggest. What matters is the personality of the governor.

Bill Hamm (8) (2)

Question 1: I don't believe there is any shortage of people willing to participate, rather there is a shortage of State wide goals to aim for. As the take over of legislative control by the metro area has evolved we in rural areas see our metro area legislators and action groups undermining our economy. This creates real division not unity.

Question 2: Very unlikely as none of this present group will have anything but the party platform to stand on, and none have the courage to challenge their respective parties for the good of all.

Larry Schluter (7) (3)

Question 2: There is no incentive to work on proposals from outside their party.  Their caucus does not want them to. 

Scott Halstead (3) (3)

Comments: The parties and a few leaders control the action and unless a very dynamic leader, not closely aligned to the 2 parties becomes governor, we will get more of the same poor government.


The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Core participants include persons of varying political persuasions, reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

   Verne C. Johnson, chair;  David Broden, Charles Clay, Marianne Curry, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  Marina Lyon, Joe Mansky, John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  and Wayne Popham 

The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
8301 Creekside Circle #920,   Bloomington, MN 55437.
Verne C. Johnson, chair, 952-835-4549,       Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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