Date: March 29, 2004
Subject: Anti-Yecke folks have no case

Rep. Jeff Johnson (R-Plymouth) authored a commentary in yesterday's Strib that makes some interesting points about the opposition to Cheri Pierson Yecke's confirmation as commissioner of the MDE:
A recent letter to the editor in the Star Tribune hit the nail on the head. The writer was disparaging Yecke (along with other female appointees of Gov. Tim Pawlenty) as incompetent, but she strayed from the DFL script in the end and admitted that the real problem was not competence, but that Pawlenty “has appointed women who share his political agenda, and many of us don’t share it.”
Amen, sister! That’s the bottom line. DFLers don’t have a case against the commissioner’s competence, and they aren’t attacking her because of the social studies standards, the Student Survey, the state quarter or her secret plot with the president to “destroy public schools.” They simply despise the thought of a strong, articulate woman who shares the governor’s conservative philosophy leading our state’s education establishment, which has been dominated by liberals for years.
The point is that confirmation hearings are about qualifications and competence, they are not a partisan litmus test (or at least shouldn't be). It's a Republican administration, so of course its appointees will reflect the party line. A DFL administration would appoint commissioners whose agenda I would not share (as did the previous, third party administration). Commissioner Yecke is well-qualified and should be confirmed.