Readers’ Views

People got scammed

To the Editor:

The People of Minnesota sure got scammed. Remember when we were young and the school bullies “pantsed” some unfortunate soul on the school playground? I sit here feeling pantsed after the slick piece of work accomplished by the Legislature with the people as the victims.

Don’t get me wrong, the Legislature has not had a salary increase since 1999, and I think most reasonable Minnesotans had no problem with a salary increase for the members of the Minnesota House and Senate after that lengthy time. Why, had it not occurred sooner, you ask? Lawmakers were in charge of giving themselves raises and they were far too timid to do so, fearing a backlash. So they sneakily decided that what worked in other states could work here — take the salary increasing away from themselves, make the people “think” they now had the power to do it, and then appoint members to the council that were not as timid as they, but were not subject to backlash, and WOW! — a 45 percent salary increase for them.

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you — a 45 percent salary increase. They went from one of the lowest-compensated Legislatures in the country to now one of the highest, and the trick was they didn’t give themselves the increase, the so-called “citizens” council did it.

In slick politicians words — it was a win-win for them. For the people though, willing to allow a reasonable increase all along, what a way to get scammed and the backlash they feared, they should now get. Anyone with common sense should know that they were taken advantage of by the Legislature, by both political parties, and when the legislators point to it being the citizens panel that did it, slap it right back into their faces for their slick piece of work.

Jack H. Hansen