Minnesota Analyst Discusses the Future of Politics

By KBJR News 1

Minnesota Analyst Discusses the Future of Politics

December 7, 2010 Updated Dec 7, 2010 at 4:32 PM CDT

The political landscape will look quite different in a matter of weeks, with a large number of Republicans taking over formerly Democratic seats.

Political analyst Wy Spano says the overwhelming rhetoric in this campaign was to stop spending.

"Real reductions are going to have to happen if we don't raise taxes. It's pretty simple," says Spano.

Spano says human services will likely be the first to go because they have the lowest political support.

He adds that you can also plan on saying "goodbye" to local government aid, and "hello" to new forms of raising revenue.

"Now fee creating is like the new deal in Minnesota because everyone needs to keep adding fees to make up for this stuff," says Spano.

When it comes to changes in Washington, Spano says the loss of Congressman Jim Oberstar in office will affect both the Northland and the country.

He says the change in that seat delivers the biggest blow to projects like the Northern Lights Express High Speed Rail Line.

"If Congressman Cravaack is not convinced that the Northern Lights Express is hugely important to Duluth then I suspect he won't start it and it won't get started," says Spano.

As for Minnesota's Democratic gubernatorial front-runner Mark Dayton, Spano says he may have a tough time in office compared to Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty.

"His predecessor was in a position of wanting to stop things and that's fairly easy for a governor to do. But this governor seems to be in a position of wanting to start things and that is very difficult for a governor to do," says Spano.

Particularly, says Spano, a Democratic Governor with a Republican majority in the both the House and Senate.

Political analyst Wy Spano is currently serving as the Director of the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership Program at UMD.

He is also the co-author of the textbook Minnesota Politics and Government.