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Commentary: Tim Penny relates to people, not politicians

In some circles Tim Penny could be classified as an enigma, someone who baffles, perplexes or mystifies the status quo in the game called Minnesota politics. He certainly reflects a refreshing independence all right, but he also has a very visibl...

In some circles Tim Penny could be classified as an enigma, someone who baffles, perplexes or mystifies the status quo in the game called Minnesota politics. He certainly reflects a refreshing independence all right, but he also has a very visible and unique characteristic that is hard to find these days in political circles -- a willingness to be honest, forthright, cheerful and bright. He is a futurist, gaining broad-based support to become a candidate for the U.S. Senate this fall. He respectfully declined in a statement released last Monday, Feb. 28. Republican Senator Rod Gram can render a sigh of relief. This writer is disappointed, but we respect his personal decision to pass this time around.
Penny is a DFLer and proud of it. He is a whole lot more, and that's what made the kingmakers in DFL circles more than a little nervous with the prospects of his candidacy.
Tim Penny grew up on a farm; he was a former state senator and served six terms in the United States Congress through 1994. He decided then to take a break from all that and return to his roots in southern Minnesota, settling in Waseca.
But recently there was a stir among his many friends to pick up the gauntlet once again and go after Republican Rod Grams this fall.
Penny had filed with the Federal Elections Commission, was developing a war chest, and the race was about to start. Now, however, the speculation has come to an abrupt end, but the image and forthright goals of Tim Penny may be a principle part of the upcoming campaign without the star performer at the helm of the boat.
Here's what we know and like about Tim Penny, and yes, we would certainly consider voting for him as a DFL United States Senator or future governor of the great state of Minnesota.
To our knowledge, there are six or seven DFLers who will be seeking endorsement for the senate race. Penny would have won easily in spite of the name-calling, manipulations of his past record and turncoat tactics that would have been used against him during the campaign. Most of the DFL candidates are party regulars, dedicated to the dogma rendered by leadership that is way out of touch with reality. Republican tactics aren't any better.
Look at some of his objectives. He supports a unicameral legislature, and this has brought the wrath of God down on him from both DFL and Republican kingmakers. Penny is a realist and a futurist, and he knows change begets change. Hurrah for him. Penny says there is a need to privatize Social Security in the years ahead. Again, DFLers have twisted his words to scare everyone, especially senior citizens. Penny contends Social Security as it is being managed today is a "fiscal train wreck waiting to happen." He's not kidding!
Penny supports campaign finance reform, and again, the wrath of God by politicians who depend on the use of deep pockets from select constituencies has clouded the intent of Penny's concerns.
What we are saying here is Penny is truly a political ally of the common folk, and because of his strong ethical positions and his honesty and his announced plan to take the high road along the campaign trail, his fellow DFLers were prepared to crucify and throw him to the dogs for telling it like it is.
Does anyone out there agree with me? My e-mail is rpalmer341@aol.com . Drop me a note, good or bad. I really would like to know how you feel.

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