Grassroots nonprofit Foundation for Minnesota’s Future has launched a statewide billboard campaign criticizing Gov. Tim Walz for apparently planning to avoid public appearances at an event that often draws hundreds of thousands.
The 2022 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener will begin on May 14 to coincide with the state’s walleye, sauger, and northern pike opener. The event typically brings significant revenue to vendors, restaurants, and shops in the Minnesota town lucky enough to host it, but this year its various events are scattered across multiple locations.
Furthermore, as reported by The Star Tribune, Gov. Walz’s “exact whereabouts” at the event might not be “pre-disclosed,” aside from his participation in a May 13 press conference and fishing on the Leech Lake Reservation with Faron Jackson Sr., chairman of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, on the 14th.
The “Where’s Walzo?” campaign does not just accuse Walz of avoiding the event, but also avoiding the public and the issues that matter most to them.
“During a time when Minnesota’s tourism industry is in dire need of a boost, the Governor is skipping over and ignoring what is an economic boom for local vendors, restaurants, and bait shops in order to hide from the pubic,” Minnesota’s Future interim chair Kelly Fenton said in a statement. “From skyrocketing crime rates, rising inflation, and increased taxes on businesses, this is emblematic of his entire governorship and quite simply unacceptable.”
The 2020 fishing opener was canceled due to the COVID pandemic, and 2021’s event saw Walz skip the opening ceremony on May 15, citing “legislative negotiations” to attend to. He had been met by a throng of protesters attacking his pandemic record that day.
“We can’t really be surprised that the Governor will be absent from public view,” continued Fenton. “He has a long history of ducking the tough issues and refusing to address anything that isn’t approved by his press team.”