As others see it: We need more than photo opsincluding right here in Steele County, became evident and the images of the flood’s breadth made national news, they started to come out of the woodwork. Politicians.
By: Owantonna People's Press, Worthington Daily Globe
As the devastation of last week’s flooding in southern Minnesota, including right here in Steele County, became evident and the images of the flood’s breadth made national news, they started to come out of the woodwork.
One of the first was the Tom Horner for Governor campaign, which issued a statement saying that “this week’s heavy rains illustrate the need for a state disaster-relief fund” and then touting a plan that “would ensure communities have immediate access to money for relief efforts.”
Shortly thereafter, Gov. Tim Pawlenty arrived for an abbreviated visit to the city that included a flyover of the flooded areas and a press conference at the airport. And, nearly on the heels of the governor, Rep. Tim Walz came to town to tour some of the flood-ravaged areas.
Then ... it was U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s turn to see what the floods had done to Steele County ... and Sen. Amy Klobuchar came to town.
Whenever a natural disaster strikes a community, you can be assured that elected officials from both sides of the political aisle are bound to be there, promising their support in getting federal aid, and, of course, informing the media about when they’re coming to town.
Don’t get us wrong. We appreciate any aid that can come our way in helping the community recover from the devastation wrought by Mother Nature. But we can’t help but wonder where these politicians are at other times — times that aren’t quite so dramatic, that don’t grab national headlines, but times when communities need help every bit as much. Where were these politicians when the economy turned south, businesses in Greater Minnesota suffered and people lost their jobs?
If we were cynical — and we can’t help but be just a little bit — we would say that it’s easy for elected officials and those running for office to show up when there’s a great photo opportunity and a chance for a sound bite. But what we truly need are elected officials who work to serve the people every day and not just in times of disasters.
Owatonna People’s Press