Policast for Feb. 25, 2013:
Former Republican House Minority Leader Marty Seifert now says it was “dumb” to discipline Republicans who helped override the veto of the transportation bill in 2008.
The six Republican House lawmakers who joined DFLers to override former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto were stripped of their leadership positions. Some of them also lost their party endorsement, and one even joined the DFL. Only two of the six Republican House members who voted for the override are still in office as Republicans.
At the time, Seifert was unapologetic about the decision to remove the lawmakers from their positions.
“These are leadership positions where we expect other Republicans to follow along,” Seifert told MPR News in 2008.
But Seifert told Cathy Wurzer during a Policast interview Monday that disciplining the so-called “Override Six” was a mistake.
“I, on a personal level, think it was dumb for me when we had the gas tax override to do anything in regard to the members that were involved in that. I’ve since then called all of them personally and told them that.
When we took some titles away from them or whatever it was. I should have just told my caucus, you know what, if you want to bounce me as a leader, just do it, but people are going to vote their district and their conscience and that’s just the way it is.”
Seifert said he now believes that both parties should allow individual members to vote their conscience on contentious issues at the Capitol.
Policast is a daily roundup of Minnesota political news. The entire interview with former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert and former House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher can be heard in the Monday, Feb. 25 episode.