Last update: Get a question in to former Gov. Ventura over at Gather.com. Click here.
You can listen to the program here.
UPDATE (12:51): Signings of book “Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me” at the Mall of America tongiht and Barnes and Noble in Maple Grove tomorrow.
UPDATE (12:50): Ventura on damage to his official portrait. “It’s a shame that vandalism like that can happen. But I don’t want the Capitol to become like East Berlin.”
UPDATE (12:49): Eichten: Do you miss public life? Ventura: “I enjoy sniping. I enjoy sitting out here and causing trouble and then going back to Mexico when I’m done.”
UPDATE (12:47): Ventura: Somebody bugged my phone and home as governor. “I was an independent, and somebody wanted to know what I was doing. All I know is that when I got out office and the phone company guys went into the basement of my private house, they said, ‘We’ve never seen anything like this before.'”
UPDATE (12:44): Will Dean Barkley run for U.S. Senate? Ventura: “We’ll talk… one of us will decide to run.”
UPDATE (12:42): Ventura on global warming: ” You have a problem in this country between religion and science. Religious people don’t always believe science… I’m a believer in global warming, because I have seen it.”
UPDATE (12:40): Eichten: You’ve been down in Mexico a lot, what’s you’re thinking on NAFTA? Ventura: “I’m not frightened of the brown-skinned people, and live among them… The problems don’t lie with them… If you’re going to stop illegal aliens, you have to stop them with the people that hire them, not put fences at the border.”
UPDATE (12:38): For someone who is as “anti-gay as our president,” asks Ventura, “what looks more gay than when he comes out of a meeting with a bunch of Saudis holding hands…Looks pretty gay to me… I say that tongue in cheek.”
UPDATE (12:36): Ventura questions the sequence of the collapse of buildings in Manhattan during the 2001 terror attacks. “All I’m saying is that I’m asking questions, and I have a right to ask them… You get good government when you question government.”
UPDATE (12:34): Draft should be implemented as soon as Congress approves a war declaration. “We need to feel pain at war,” Ventura says. Suggests members of Congress should volunteer a family member to fight.
UPDATE (12:33): Question from David. “I’m one of those voters who voted for Gov. Ventura.” Some research says two parties aren’t the best for democracy. What would governor do in Senate to open up two party system? “One thing I would love to do is abolish the income tax… Mike Huckabee is for the national sales tax. I agree with that. One’s wealth is not defined by what you make. It’s defined by what you spend.”
UPDATE (12:28): Eichten: Did your entertainment career boost your political prospects? Ventura: I don’t think so. The timing was right then, just like it is today.
UPDATE (12:27): Jenzie (sp?) with a question:” I couldn’t agree more with you that we need more third party politics.” What did you learn at Harvard about making them more viable? Ventura: Media is at fault. “It’s in bed with the two party system. Clearly you see that coming out of this White House… You had the government paying off reporters.”
UPDATE: (12:24): Jim with an online question: any regrets? Ventura says no, he doesn’t believe in reincarnation and feels he’s only got one chance to live. His legacies? School tax changes. Light rail: “I look like a genius today.”
UPDATE (12:20): Rick from Randall with two questions: “It’s interesting that you stonewalled the media, and now you have a book to hawk and a possible race for the Senate, and now you’re out talking. Why? Does the cigarette, marijuana butts found in the governor’s mansion have anything to do with why you didn’t run?”
Ventura on marijuana: “That is a lie.” On media: “I turned down the Star Tribune for an interview. I don’t talk to any of the local television stations because they attacked my son. The only media I am doing is Minnesota Public Radio and public television.”
UPDATE: (12:19): Ventura says he rolled out a transportation plan, “Moving Minnesota” in 1999, and no one is paying any attention to it in the wake of the 35W bridge collapse.
UPDATE (12:18) Ventura on a presidential run: “If I could get ballot access in all 50 states, I’d think about it.”
UPDATE (12:16): Some quick jabs already: Franken is a “carpet bagger” and Norm Coleman is a “chicken hawk.” Ventura says even as a pro wrestler he knew he’d have to pay income taxes in multiple states. “What a message we in Minnesota could send again, if we elected a senator… that could truly vote his conscience and not be beholden to these two parties.”
UPDATE: (12:11): Ventura on a U.S. Senate race: “I’m thinking about it… I have until July to decide, and I may run on a new platform called ideas.”
UPDATE (12:09):Ventura: “I’m still a citizen of Minnesota, and have been all my life. I don’t think Al Franken can say that… I just choose to live in the winter down in Mexico, because like all native Minnesotans, I find after 30 years, it’s hard to take.”
UPDATE (12:02): Ventura’s walked in and sat down in the studio with Gary Eichten. Looks like we’re good to go.
UPDATE (11:59): The folks at Gather.com say they’re going to host a Q&A with Ventura today. You can participate here.
UPDATE (11:48): Gov. Ventura is looking tanned, rested and ready to go in the MPR green room. (He declined a photo, though. “I’ll be changing my appearance by next week anyway,” he told me when I asked. “It won’t do you any good.”)
First post (10:25 AM) Former Governor Jesse Ventura is today’s scheduled guest on the noon hour of Midday.
Fans (and non-fans, too) may recall his possibly most famous radio moment on June 18, 2002, when he broke the news to Gary Eichten and MPR listeners that he wasn’t running for a second term.
Or, rather “Its time to go back to the private sector,” as Ventura put it.
With his former opponent, Norm Coleman, running for re-election to the U.S. Senate, there’s new attention to the former governor and what his plans might be. I’ll be live-blogging the appearance here at MPR HQ.
Click back any time.