Walz brings a different kind of date to the SOTU

Walz reacts to the State of the Union from tommy scheck on Vimeo.

WASHINGTON – While most of the members of Congress were busy worrying about which member of Congress they planned to sit with, DFL Rep. Tim Walz decided to invite a Republican from his congressional district. Walz invited GOP state Sen. Julie Rosen to attend tonight’s State of the Union in an effort to show bipartisanship.

“We represent the same people,” Walz said. “I think it’s important for us that this isn’t, just as the President said, sitting together tonight but an effort to keep working and move forward on that.”

Rosen said she felt that there was a firm commitment from both Republicans and Democrats to work together. Something she hopes will also occur on the state level.

“I walked away feeling much better about the cooperation and collaboration and communication that I felt in that room,” Rosen said. “Hopefully tomorrow and the next two weeks and two years will show results in that manner.”

Rosen’s hope could be put to the test later this week. Her committee, the Senate Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee, will vote on a bill that lifts the moratorium on building new nuclear power plants in Minnesota. Walz took the rare move of stepping into state politics by announcing he backed the move.

  • Ron Wacks

    I like the bi-partisan gestures made last night at the SOTU. It is a baby step toward getting to the goal line of public policy in the public interest. I also like Congressman Walz’s effort to think outside the box by inviting MN Senator Rosen for similar reasons but on a different level.

    Let’s be clear though about the true core of the bi-partisan cooperation issue or the lack thereof. True, some differences stem from differences in ideology, priorities or approach. And I believe that common ground can be found in each of those areas. The cornerstone issue in interest — who’s interest is being served…or not in any particular issue or policy discussion.

    As long as the interests of a few are most often considered and legislated over the needs of the many – the vast majority of the American people and their interests, will be a distant second priority and therefore maintaining the immovable object. It’s about money and control and whose interest is being served.

    Until broad, authentic and effective campaign finance and lobbying reform are in place, the parties will be adversarial as they serve different constituencies. It has been said that the most important legislative priority above all others is this type of campaign and lobbying reform as ‘this is the bill that allows you to pass all the other bills’.

    Until Republicans and Democrats serve a common constituency and their best interests, we are condemned to have this polarization, negativity and baby step incremental change — particularly doing and then undoing.