Keith Downey - posterized legislative bio photo
by Steve Timmer
Oct 31, 2012, 10:00 AM

“I’m willing to be the bad guy . . .”

Said Keith Downey cheerfully

And he said it to the editorial board of the Star Tribune. And then the board gave its endorsement to Melisa Franzen. Here are the opening grafs of the Strib’s editorial doing that:

State Rep. Keith Downey represents a hard right turn from Edina’s tradition of sending moderate Republicans to St. Paul. Through four years in office, he has been among the House GOP’s most outspoken conservatives.

His heavyhanded proposals to shrink the state workforce and limit the scope of collective bargaining have earned him the enmity of public employee unions. He might have more to show for those largely futile efforts had he chosen to collaborate with unions rather than clash with them to achieve his goals.

Downey, 51, now seeks to succeed Edina GOP Sen. Geoff Michel in the Senate. He seems unlikely to change his ways. “I’m willing to be the bad guy,” he told us.

The Strib didn’t even mention Downey’s fervent support for the marriage discrimination amendment (now mumbling that it’s really up to the voters; he didn’t have anything to do with it), the voter discrimination amendment, the shoot first legislation vetoed by the governor, his opposition to state-wide anti-bullying protection for gay and lesbian students, and to top it all off, his cheerleading and steering the campaign of Kurt Bills, the senate candidate who, at last count, trailed Amy Klobuchar 65 to 22 percent.

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