Dave Lislegard

Dave Lislegard poses at the site of PolyMet in 2015, with the former LTV plant in the background.

Many of us remember the “Schoolhouse Rock” cartoon “I’m Just a Bill” from our childhoods, which explains the basic process by which an idea gets offered, introduced as legislation, passed by the legislative branch, and either signed into law or vetoed. It’s rudimentary “Politics 101,” but it does a good job of explaining how our government framework is fundamentally intended to work.

The reality of how lawmaking occurs, both in Washington and Saint Paul, is much more involved than that. When you add executive authority – currently exercised during a once-in-a-century pandemic – the system becomes so complex that certain individuals and groups are allowed to exploit the general lack of understanding in the most negative fashion, with no truth or substance backing them up. We don’t have a cartoon or cleverly composed song, but a “Politics 201” would benefit Minnesotans as they read or hear about what is happening – or more accurately, what appears to be happening – at the State Capitol.

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