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Friday, February 24, 2006

Rural Dem Blog Pollytick Challenges Entenza's Lack of Leadership on Bachmann Amendment


As the 2006 legislative session draws ever closer (begins March 1), the fundamentalist right wingers in this state are all worked up over the Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment bill sitting quietly in a state Senate committee. Fingers are routinely pointed at Sen. Dean Johnson (D-Willmar) by these homophoebes as the roadblock to the bill's passage.

But, what about the House Leader, Rep. Matt Entenza (D-St. Paul)? What should be his role in all of this?

Speaker Steve Sviggum (R-Kenyon)has hinted that he may bring the bill up for yet another vote in the State House in order to apply pressure on the Senate Democrats. While everyone knows that this type of move would be seen as 'pure political crap,' the House Dems still need to be prepared.

The question is, why isn't Entenza taking some of the heat off of Johnson on this issue? If there is a vote, will he lead his caucus against the bill?

Consider this for a moment...if all 66 Democrats in the MN House voted no to the bill, it is unlikely that it would pass. Moderate Republicans like Ron Erhardt (R-Edina) and Ron Abrams (R-Minnetonka) are unlikely to vote with the rest of their caucus and the bill would be dead. Will Entenza insist this happens?

A second notion would be for the House Dems to filibuster the bill to death (as we saw Rep. Karen Clark try to do a couple of years ago) or move a number of procedural motions until the bill was pulled from consideration. Will Entenza lead in this direction?

Either way, with strong leadership, the House DFL could send a signal to Minnesota citizens that this type of hate filled legislation will not take the forefront in the upcoming session.

But alas, Matt Entenza has been surprisingly silent on this issue. Sure, he talks about his 'personal' views and how he is against the bill. However, as the House leader he needs to go much further. He needs to be out front in the media (as Dean Johnson has been) and explain over and over the reason this is not needed. He also needs to lead his House troops in the right direction.

Or, has his ambition for higher office clouded his ability to lead on this and other issues?

Time will tell.

Excellent point. Why has OutFront Minnesota never sent out an alert asking people to contact Entenza? What about Stonewall DFL? Have they leaned on Entenza to do the right thing?

A commenter adds:

Entenza's ambition has clouded his ability to lead on everything for the past several years since he has lusted after the governor's office and AG's office. The only leadership he's ever been interested in is whatever leads Matt Entenza to a higher office. That the House DFL picked up 13 seats in 2004 was dumb luck and due to the quality of DFL candidates vs. GOP candidates. It had nothing to do with Entenza.

Entenza has admitted to letting his caucus "vote their district" on this issue rather than their conscience or DFL core principles. Look where it got Rebecca Otto. That's not leadership--that's political pandering to a vocal minority.

If Matt Entenza is the future of the DFL, the DFL is in serious trouble. Entenza is the best reason for supporting "Anybody But Hatch" for governor--to keep Hatch in the AG office and squeeze Entenza out of that race AND be rid of him as House minority "leader."

Email Matt Entenza at Demand that he take some of the heat off of Dean Johnson on this issue.