In today’s StarTribune, Kurt Zellers — Maple Grove Republican and Minnesota State Speaker of the House, that guy — is quoted saying he is not “a rail fan.” Kurt would rather spend money expanding freeways in his district and adding a dedicated bus route to the freeway. He explains that people like their cars too much. “We like our independence and having our own car,” he says, “to drive where we want and when we want.”
But wait a minute…that bus rapid transit is working just fine, according to Kurt, and he wants to expand it. Bus? Car? Whenever I take the bus, I go where the bus goes. I move on its schedule.
Moreover, for a lot of people, rapid transit IS a means of independence. It allows them to go places because they don’t have a car, for example. Some people might want to be freed from the burden of traffic and parking. Others might enjoy the more environmentally and economically friendly alternative that smart mass transit offers. Am I wrong?
And you would think that a fiscally responsible and economically wise Republican — yes, I nearly puked, too — would see the wisdom in upgrading to modern technology at 10 cents on the dollar. Not Kurt Zellers. Not Republicans. They’d rather pave another lane here and there — in their districts — than invest in smart growth.
Republicans prove once again that today when dealing in politics, if you see an “R” designation or one of those silly elephants, you’re dealing with nonsense. Look to the future, don’t cling to the past. Be smart, invest in the common good, and please, Kurt Zellers, get a better haircut.
- Senate GOP leader floats special stadium session (mysanantonio.com)