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Opinion Column
For the week of March 7 through 13, 2001

Ventura returns to celebrity roots

Commentary by Pat Murphy

Grunt-and-groan wrestler Jesse Ventura began his political career as Minnesota governor as a dedicated champion bucking the Establishment and daring to try novel approaches to governing.

But not long into his duties, Ventura began seeing himself not as a public servant leading a crusade for change, but a celebrity icon to be revered and deserving of privileged conduct.

He also revealed a thin hide over that bulky torso, unable to endure mockery or criticism.

Now the governor’s job has become a pedestal for his theatrics.

When critics questioned his moonlighting as a wrestling referee and now as a regular commentator on the road for XFL football, Ventura simply snapped that what he does "on his own time" is his business.

"His own time"?

Being governor is not an 8-to-5 job, no more than the president of the United States could declare time out to moonlight at other jobs, or members of Congress or any other such public official.

Maybe the Minnesota Legislature could cure Ventura’s smugness: It could enact a special law charging Ventura for use of the governor’s mansion during nighttime hours that he presumably considers "his own time." The mansion, incidentally, is undergoing a $4 million facelift.

A rate of about $200 per night for Ventura and his wife would be fair for digs this large and exclusive.

At 365 nights a year, Ventura’s use of the governor’s mansion "on his own time" would cost him $73,000 a year, and perhaps even cost him some of the populist following.



What’s in a name?

Over the past several months, two articles have appeared in The New York Times Sunday Magazine under the by-line of Amy Spindler.

Jeepers, I thought: one of the Idaho Mountain Express’ onetime young reporters, Amy Spindler, had made it big with one of the world’s most respected newspapers.

Alas, while hiking Adams Gulch the other day, I encountered Amy’s sister, Stephanie, who informed me with a robust laugh that the Amy Spindler by-lined in The New York Times is the newspaper’s fashion editor and no relation to the Express’ Amy, who now is working for a company.



Those who share a profound love affair with dogs¾ which in so many ways are far superior in their loyalty, affection, friendship and companionship and good humor¾ look forward to Saturday with relish.

Saturday’s annual Paw ‘n’ Pole ski and snowshoe event at the Sun Valley Gun Club is not only a major fund-raiser for the Animal Shelter, but the year’s biggest fun day for dogs and their owners and spectators.

This year art is the theme. Owners and dogs will dress in costumes of artists, an unforgettable sight that’ll leave entrants and sideline spectators amused by the good humor of our town’s mutts.



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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.