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Our View: Defending Jesse's gridiron gig

Some Minnesotans think Gov. Jesse Ventura has gone over the line by taking a job moonlighting as a color commentator on the new pro football league that will begin play in February. Some have even suggested that the governor is using the governor...

Some Minnesotans think Gov. Jesse Ventura has gone over the line by taking a job moonlighting as a color commentator on the new pro football league that will begin play in February. Some have even suggested that the governor is using the governorship to jump-start his entertainment career.
Those critics have it backward. Two years ago, the governor used his entertainment career to jump-start his entry into politics.
Since then, he has been involved in a number of ventures in the entertainment industry, and he refuses to tell the electorate how much money he made on any of them.
We would be more disturbed if the governor had signed a contract as executive vice president of a road construction firm or a charter school business. If we thought the governor were directing state dollars to the gigs he has been playing, we would rightly think the governor was taking our tax dollars illegally, immorally and unethically. But none of the governor's extracurricular efforts have been like that.
The truth of the matter is that Ventura has more marketable skills than many of our politicians.
If the unthinkable happens, however, like when the administration screwed up and sent tax rebates to ineligible people and then tried to retrieve them, or the education department erred in scoring the state grad tests so some students failed to graduate, we would better understand the critics' concerns. Those kinds of mistakes suggest this administration needs to pay more attention to details.
However, since the state coffers remain full, and as long as Ventura keeps the Democrats and Republicans from doing too much partisan bickering, most Minnesotans don't begrudge the governor a little fun at a football game each weekend.
It will only be when the economy sours or when another example of administrative ineptitude is revealed that Minnesotans will begin asking where the governor has been.

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