Entenza launches campaign in Worthington
WORTHINGTON -- Saying he intends to be a "consumer watchdog" for Minnesota families, House Minority Leader Matt En-tenza, DFL-St. Paul, chose his childhood home of Worthington to announce his candidacy for attorney general Wednesday morning.
At 8 a.m., as the school day began at Worthington High School, Entenza surrounded himself with his wife, Lois, and sons Ben, Will and Steve in the WHS media center. Also at his side were local teachers, including former Worthington educator and 1996 Na-tional Teacher of the Year Mary Beth Blegen.
"I wanted to start this campaign in Worthington because of what this town means to me. This is a hard-working town," Entenza said, adding that as attorney general his goal will be "to make sure that we are protecting people who know how to play by the rules."
Entenza, who has represented St. Paul since 1995, is a 1979 WHS graduate. After studying law at England's Oxford University and graduating with honors from the University of Minnesota Law School, he clerked for U.S. District Judge Harry McLaughlin before serving as an assistant attorney general in the Charities Division. He also taught law at St. Mary's University and later joined the Hennepin County Attorney's Office and prosecuted white-collar crime.
Fellow DFLer and current Attorney General Mike Hatch announced this week he will seek the governorship. Plymouth Republi-can Jeff Johnson earlier announced his candidacy for attorney general.
With teachers at his side, Entenza told his Worthington audience Wednesday that he will work alongside the attorney general's office in Connecticut to eliminate the national No Child Left Behind Law (NCLB), which he said forces an unreasonable burden on public schools. Minnesota is already developing an additional accountability system that is preferable to federal mandates, he said.
"I want to make sure our teachers are teaching and not just teaching for tests," he said.
Entenza also stressed his desire to aggressively combat methamphetamine use and to protect Minnesotans from the release of "hundreds" of potential sexual predators.
When asked what he considers the most pressing issue should his candidacy become successful, he answered, "We have a plague of telemarketers that are going after citizens, particularly our senior citizens. And we are going to declare war on telemarketers and drive them out of Minnesota."