A weekly radio show hosted by Minnesota's governor has been a staple of the state's airwaves since the days of Jesse Ventura. Now, the state Senate's Republican leadership has decided to get into the act.
The show, dubbed "Inside the Senate," will launch at 10 a.m.Friday on talk station KOWZ AM-1170 in Owatonna -- slightly outside the Twin Cities media market.
It will be hosted by Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, who was quoted in a press release by the chamber's caucus as saying: “I look forward to this opportunity to communicate with the public through a weekly radio program. With massive budget and jobs deficits, it’s more important now than ever that we create a constructive dialogue with people as we seek the best solutions to move Minnesota forward. ‘Inside the Senate’ gives people with busy lives and busy schedules a consistent, focused update on the news of the legislature.”
It was not immediately clear exactly how the show will be paid for; when a response comes from the caucus, it will be posted here. UPDATE: Caucus spokesman Christopher Van Guilder said no money is changing hands to broadcast the show, that "we are providing content that they are choosing to air." "We are not campaigning" on the show, he said.
Ventura, a onetime talk radio host, spent four years behind the mike at WCCO and Gov. Tim Pawlenty followed suit during his eight years in office. DFLers in the Legislature occasionally whined that Pawlenty's show was nothing more than a megaphone for his political agenda and asked for equal time -- which he declined to give them.
Four radio stations and a news website earlier this month placed bids with Gov. Mark Dayton's office to air his weekly radio show. His office hasn't announced the winning bid, a spokeswoman said.