I'm here to achieve great things... all by myself! (hometownsource.com).
by Ben Stupendous
Jul 13, 2012, 12:00 PM

Ted Lillie waxes poetic

Ted Lillie is a freshman Senator from somewhere out in the eastern Minnesota suburbs. I say somewhere, because he is one of the very few who decided that as a result of redistricting, he would actually move to a new residence in order to run for office again.

Truly, this is a man who believes in service to his community above all else. In an effort to better serve his community, Senator Lillie has bequeathed his constituents almost 700 of his very best words, in a submission to the Woodbury Bulletin.

With that introduction out of the way, let’s now move to an examination, by me, of Senator Lillie’s wordsmithery.

Summer has arrived in full swing and for Minnesotans the return of longer days and lakeshore weather assures us of a few things. One, there is no shame in taking some time away from our hectic schedules to recover from the affliction known as “six months of winter.”

If it’s going to be that kind of prose I better go fetch my vomit sack so as not to stain my freshly pressed garments.

Two, if you can map out a route to work that avoids road construction sites you’ve performed a feat rivaling Kirby Puckett’s 11th inning homer to force Game 7 in ’91.

In one masterfully crafted sentence Senator Lillie manages to invoke two of Minnesota’s most iconic themes, road construction and Kirby Puckett. Bravo Senator, but perhaps you should have just stopped here.

Three, if it is an election year, political candidates will be getting their workout via parades and door-knocking as they stride further down the campaign trail; and it’s a workout we can use in body, mind and spirit.

And he follows up the previous sentence, a line that would make Faulkner jealous, with this diversion down the prose back alleys, where he seemingly stumbles into a transcendental meditation center.

I have always enjoyed campaigning in the district

(the district you just moved to, but carry on)

because of the contrast it provides. During the legislative session you come to my office and we sit and discuss what we can do to improve Minnesota’s future. There is talk of taxes, and budgets and business. But during these summer months when the Legislature is out, I am able to come to you at our parades, picnics and even directly to your door and the talk lightens.

That is an excellent point though by Senator Lillie, no other Senate district in the entire state provides this contrast of meeting constituents in your office during the session, and knocking on their doors in the summer. Only Senate district 53 provides this yearly dichotomy.

Yes, there will always be discussions about Minnesota’s finances and the state’s business climate, but when I’m traveling the district during the summer the focus narrows to the individuals I meet. I get to know you and your family.

So from what the Senator is saying, the only things that his constituents care about are taxes and budgets and business. And during the summer they care about their family too, but also money and business.

The notion that people have the ability to achieve great and incredible things is why I decided to run for office in 2010 and this continues to be the reason I am running for a second term.

Politicians don’t usually wear their ambition on their sleeves like this, saying they ran for office to achieve great and incredible things, but Ted Lillie is a unique and beautiful snowflake in this regard.

As private business owners, my wife Lynne and I learned through our struggles and successes that private citizens are the catalysts of achievement. Not government or the programs it creates.

And thank god for all those wonderful business owners and private citizens, like the Lillies, who banded together to create the fantastic organization that lead our path into space, NASA!

Oh wait…

Come to think of it, let’s thank of all of the generous leaders of industry and intellectual titans who joined forces to assemble the very thing that you are now reading this blog post on, the series of tubes known as, the internet!


If I keep thinking I’m bound to come up with a proper example. Any time now…

Private citizens can build loving and supportive families who become the cornerstone of a healthy community. Private citizens can begin a business that, if fostered and cared for, grows into a worldwide recognized leader such as 3M, which was founded by five visionary northern Minnesotans.

Would that be the very same 3M that just a few weeks ago got a $24 million dollar grant for capitol improvements to a Columbia, Missouri Solar facility?

And where did that grant come from? From private citizens pooling their resources together in order to achieve greater things than they could alone? Yep, it’s called the government!

In this particular case, the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

But, in order to achieve these successes people must be granted a little bit of faith, inspiration and space. That concept of space is an important factor to the success of private citizens. A person cannot be tied down by regulations and constraining laws that hinder their ability to pursue their goals.

What exactly is this very important concept of “space” to which the not so humble Senator is referring?

It sounds to me like what he’s saying is this; if I’m a corporation, then I shouldn’t have to worry about such silly things like regulations and laws from allowing me to maximize my profits (which is of course the goal of every corporation).

That is why I ran for office and why I am running again; because I have seen firsthand that Minnesota’s government has grown too big and too burdensome on the citizens of our state.

So we now have two reasons for Ted Lillie wanting to be re-elected a state Senator, 1) he wants to achieve great things, and B) he wants corporations to be able to ignore laws and regulations.

“Ted Lillie, standing up for corporations, and himself.”

Government cannot be everything to everyone, but that is what it has been trying to do here and because of that it has grown out of control. During my first term in office we successfully blocked a $4.1 billion tax increase that would have crippled middle class families.

And by “crippled middle class families,” he of course means “been a minor inconvenience to the ultra wealthy.”

There are some who believe that in order to help Minnesotans, we in government have to somehow save Minnesotans from themselves by regulating what they can and cannot do. They believe they can do this by taxing Minnesotans and then spending those dollars on the very people they just took the money from; as if they know how to spend your own money better than you.

Well Ted, it’s your party that’s trying to regulate who can and who can’t get married and who can and who can’t vote, as if you know what’s best for everyone. But I guess that’s totally beside the point right?

How about this? How much money do you spend on roads each year? How about Police and Fire protection? And if the government wasn’t taking everybody’s money to pay for these things, would you pony up for them yourself?

It’s like you’ve never taken a civics 101 class Ted. Yes, the government takes money from people and than spends that money on things that those very same people use in their everyday lives.

OMG! Socialism!

I do not subscribe to this method of thinking. I believe that if you give people freedom by reducing the size of government, encouragement by listening and finding common sense solutions, and space without burdensome regulations, that Minnesotans can and will prosper.

There was this thing that happened in Minnesota called the Minnesota Miracle, perhaps you’ve heard of it. If not, you should look it up, you might be surprised what you find.

That is how we’ve grown our business. That is how many friends and neighbors have been able to write the stories of their own successes without government addendums. And that is how I believe future Minnesotans will be able to author their own achievements.

But how did you grow your business Ted? I mean with such a bloated and out of control government always telling you what to do how could you possibly make it as a businessman? I mean, in a governmental climate that’s so overtly hostile to business people?

Somehow though, Ted Lillie, and Ted Lillie alone, was able to shake off the shackles of big government encroachment on his life and business and against all odds, achieve great things, like creating a suburban newspaper chain and becoming a state Senator.

And he’s not done authoring his achievements yet!

I am excited about the upcoming months. There is no better time to get to know you, your family and your story than right now. Thank you for the honor it is to serve this district. I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail.

Because as we all know, once the election is over, Senator Lillie won’t talk with you about your family from his St. Paul perch, only taxes, and budgets and business.

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