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IN THE MAIL: Jesse jolted a complacent state

PEMBINA, N.D. -- Regarding the Herald's July 10 editorial, "Ventura should keep out of U.S. Senate race" (Page A4): I fully agree that where Ventura's effects upon Minnesota, its image and its government are concerned, his tenure as governor won'...

PEMBINA, N.D. -- Regarding the Herald's July 10 editorial, "Ventura should keep out of U.S. Senate race" (Page A4):

I fully agree that where Ventura's effects upon Minnesota, its image and its government are concerned, his tenure as governor won't be noted in history as particularly exemplary. I also agree that there have been many other elected representatives from Minnesota who cast the state in a far better light.

Yet, despite all of Ventura's "warts and blemishes," he performed a valuable service for the people of Minnesota: He put the political system on notice that the citizenry were disenchanted with an ethos of "politics as usual" and that established and embedded office- holders should beware.

If anything, Ventura's tenure as governor shook many of Minnesota's elected officials out of their complacency and energized the political process. While his style of leadership certainly leaves much to be desired, it was very satisfying to watch career politicians come to the realization that election is not a lifetime guarantee.

In the final analysis, I forgive Ventura for his inconsistency in interviews. He certainly did say he was leaving in one breath, only to say he'd run on a write-in basis in the next. That said, his change of tack wasn't terribly different from the shifting of many other elected officials. The difference lies in the fact that he didn't shroud his waffling in rhetoric as artfully as other, more politically-minded persons have.

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I look forward to seeing if my Minnesota neighbors think it's time for another shakeup of the status quo.

Russell Whaley

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