The 2021 Lawyer Extraordinaire “Legislator Extraordinaire” Awards, Justice & Drew, 7.7.21
On Wednesday morning’s edition of Justice & Drew, I sat in to debut the inaugural Lawyer Extraordinaire “Legislator Extraordinaire” Awards. What started out as a joke grew into my own personal “Profiles in Courage”, with certain Minnesota Representatives being recognized for particular bold, “extraordinary” acts.
After a quick segment in Hour 2 discussing the recent Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s ballot harvesting ban and some setup of what was to come, we spent the 8 am hour of the show announcing the winners. A few Representatives even called in to accept their award – a red baseball cap in the style of my famous (infamous?) “Lawyer Extraordinaire” cap – and talk about the issue that earned them the honor.
Here’s the full list of winners and the act(s) that earned them the honor:
Rep. Shane Mekeland: a longtime friend and client (I can say that I knew him before he was a bigwig in St. Paul), Rep. Mekeland has twice introduced legislation to expand Minnesota’s inverse condemnation laws to compensate business owners whose businesses are shut down during a peacetime emergency.
Rep. Eric Lucero: my State Representative, Rep. Lucero refuses to back down from a fight with the majority party in the House, especially House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, whom I have dubbed the Jar Jar Binks of the Minnesota Legislature.
Rep. Jeremy Munson: Rep. Munson introduced a bold piece of legislation which would have allowed Minnesota counties to vote to become part of South Dakota, a state which, unlike Minnesota, did not resort to draconian lockdown measures during the recent COVID pandemic (and whose economy is humming as the result thereof).
Rep. Joe McDonald: my former State Representative (prior to the last redistricting) and Drew Lee’s current State Representative, Rep. McDonald, a longtime advocate of conservative principles in St. Paul, won as a result of his representation of the “Drew de Sac”, Drew’s cul de sac/autonomous zone in Wright County.
Rep. Jim Nash: There is no stronger advocate for Minnesota’s craft breweries, distilleries, cideries, meaderies and wineries than Rep. Nash. Session after Session, he stands up to powerful special interests in an effort to reform long outdated liquor laws and take the restrictor plates off of our manufacturers.
Rep. Pat Garofalo: Rep. Garofalo has been an outspoken advocate of legalized sports betting in Minnesota, and has signaled support for recreational cannabis legalization. In so doing, he has put the emphasis on using the increased tax revenues to replace Minnesota’s high income taxes, not add to the State’s already overstuffed coffers.
Rep. Mary Franson: From the beginning of Governor Walz’ heavy-handed COVID “mitigation efforts”, Rep. Franson has been an outspoken skeptic of his administration’s approach and the data it was using to justify its actions. As time goes by, Rep. Franson’s critics become quieter and quieter as she is proven right. NOTE: Rep. Franson was given the award prior to her giving what will go down as one of the most memorable floor speeches in the history of the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Rep. Kurt Daudt: The House Minority Leader outed Governor Walz for bailing on his own fishing opener in “Rocks and Cows” country by blowing Walz’ cover about alleged “budget negotiations” which necessitated the Governor’s immediate return to St. Paul (in truth, there were no negotiations that day).
As for the Minnesota Senate, while some Senators came close to earning the title of “Senator Extraordinaire”, none of them publicly called for hearings on Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, the architect of the State’s flawed plan to house sick COVID patients in long-term care facilities, to purchase a morgue that has yet to be used 16 months after its purchase, and the propagator of flawed data used to justify harmful lockdowns. As I said on the show, I could not in good conscience give out a “Senator Extraordinaire” award so long as Commissioner Malcolm remained employed.
To listen to my past appearances on Justice & Drew, head over to the show page on this site.