Following yesterday’s joint session of the legislature to pick 4 U of M regents, the DFL was fuming, essentially because they’re spoiled brats, whining about how political the process was. At the heart of the matter was Rep. Laura Brod, who garnered more votes than Steven Hunter, the DFL’s choice for the at-large position. Hunter is the Secretary-Treasurer of the MN AFL-CIO.

The choice of Brod, who replaced sitting Regent Steven Hunter, the board’s only labor representative, also drew Democrat’s ire.

Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL lead on the Senate Higher Education Committee, said seniority and experience are important components for success governing the university. She called Hunter the “workforce of the board.”

Long-time labor supporter Rep. Tom Rukavina pleaded with Republicans on the House floor to “give us one, just one,” speaking of Hunter, an AFL-CIO leader.

“Don’t turn back a tradition that has been around for over 75 years,” he said. “Don’t slap working people in the face.”

Tradition is overrated, especially when you consider the fact that students experienced major tuition increases during Hunter’s time in office. If Hunter and the other regents aren’t holding the administration accountable, then it’s right to fire them, Hunter included.

This shouldn’t be an honorary position. What the AFL-CIO and Hunter and his supporters in the Legislature haven’t done yet is explain in any detail is what the importance of having a union member as a regent. Who cares if it’s tradition? Based on tuition increases, there’s no proof that Hunter stood
for Minnesota’s working families during his time in office.

I’ve seen Rep. Brod in action. If there’s anything I can say about her, it’s that I can’t picture her settling for the status quo. I can picture her doing is fighting for the parents and students who are attending or who’d like to attend the U of M.

Based on what Hunter’s history and what’s likely to happen with Rep. Brod, I’ll be surprised if things don’t improve for students and their parents. If that’s what happens, then Main Street Minnesota will be happy.

To those fighting for tradition, I’ll just say this: It’s about the accomplishments, stupid.

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3 Responses to “DFL Fuming Because Rep. Brod Most Qualified”

  • Chad Quigley says:

    Don’t slap working people in the face?!!!! Is that not what public employee unions have been doing to working people for years?

  • Sam says:

    What does a Union Representative have to do with providing the best education.
    As the Superintendent of a major urban school district said when asked about how his decision would effect teachers jobs, his answer: My duty is to educate students, not run a jobs program.

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