It’s that time of year again. Yes, my office may be in Northfield, and most everyone I know in Northfield knew Wellstone, but I arrived in town in 1997 and didn’t know Wellstone personally. I only dealt with him directly once, when I tracked him down in a hallway at St. Thomas and handed him a draft of radiation victims legislation being promoted by an attorney cohort in Florida, and just a few days later he was visibly working on it. I was impressed that he was paying attention. On the other hand, I have kept the Red Wing Republican Eagle front page from the fall of 2002, not long before Wellstone’s death, where he and NSP Sen. Steve Murphy were yucking it up and the headline read something on the order of “Keep the plant open” and the focus was on Wellstone’s remarks about keeping Prairie Island nuclear plant open, something that appalled me.

It’s also popular to connect publicly with Wellstone and try to ride on his coat-tails — but that his its limits. I was at the Northfield Library and watched Ray Cox try to explain his support of an amendment to prohibit gay marriage, where Ray misused a quote from Wellstone in which he supported the “Defense of Marriage” bill, and Ray did not disclose Wellstone’s very public heartfelt, humble and horrified recant of his support of that bill after the death of Matthew Shepherd. Thankfully Chuck Von Ruden was there to point out Wellstone’s position and Ray’s misuse of Wellstone.

And of course, Casper (“Lost in Washington“) and Wellstone’s “Powerline” is a holy book to me (Mike Casper has a lot to do with my energy philosophy — I had many great hours with the Caspers going up to Chisago on that transmission project, or going to this or that presentation or workshop or dinner on my deck, ranting and raving about energy issues and doing what we can about it all). If you haven’t read Powerline, there are 13 copies at abebooks.com right now! Drop everything and order it. You’ll see that, as we say in transmission, “It’s all connected.” And sadly, not much has changed, except the bankrolls of a few “players.”

That said, have you seen this article in today’s STrib?

Nonfiction review: ‘Paul Wellstone: The Life of a Passionate Progressive’ and ‘Politics the Wellstone Way

Here’s a quote, a “question” from the reporter:

One theme is the biography is maturation — how Wellstone went from bomb-thrower to a fairly effective legislator. Can you talk more about that?

I don’t recall Wellstone being a “bomb-thrower” of other than the benign verbal variety and I’m wondering… did I miss something? I’ve asked the reporter for substantiation, IF THERE IS ANY. I sent the STrib’s Readers Representative a similar missive. If that’s a metaphor for his firey speech or passionate attitude, words like that ought to be in quotes.

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