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MPR Fantasy Legislature Team Page: Quorum of Six

Minnesota Public Radio

Quorum of Six
Maroon League

: Pat Smith
Bio: Hailing from Stillwater, I am currently a third-year student at the University of Minnesota. I follow politics closely, and hope to become more informed about state government through this experiment.
Strategy: My basic draft strategy was to look at the legislators' "stats" from last session ('05-'06), and to try to choose legislators who have produced in the past. Lacking the time and willpower to calculate what legislators' exact scores under league rules would have been, I used two benchmarks to rank the legislators: the total amount of bills they authored, and the amount of bills they managed to get signed by the governor. Though it is not a perfect system, I believe that it gives a good picture of what can be expected from a particular legislator.

However, with a DFL-controlled House this session, the dynamics could be totally different. Thus, in order to make my final rankings, I had to do some prognostication. I figured that House Republicans who produced well in '05-'06 would see their production drop off a bit, and dropped them in rankings accordingly, while I bumped up a few House DFLers who wrote many bills but didn't necessarily see them passed last session.

Other factors I took into consideration were caucus leadership positions and committee chairmanships. From my limited data analysis, I would say that those legislators in leadership positions tend not to "produce" (in fantasy terms) as much as one might expect, but many committee chairmen and -women seem to be very effective at getting their bills passed.

The wild card here are the freshmen legislators. Quite frankly, I had no idea how to predict a freshman legislator's fantasy production, so I largely left them off my list.

My draft strategy resulted in my obtaining my top three picks, all DFL Senators: Jim Vickerman, Linda Scheid, and Steve Murphy. My starting team is rounded out by two more senators, Thomas Bakk (DFL) and Dennis Frederickson (R). I only have one House member, Bruce Anderson (R). Overall, I am satisfied with my starting lineup and I think it will be a strong team. I am a little concerned about the solidness of my GOP contingent. I also worry about my Senate-heavy roster--will this be an asset or a liability? I will be watching the trade market and the waiver wire closely, and you may witness some roster changes before the season is over.

Rep. Tom Hackbarth
Sen. Tom Bakk
Sen. Dennis Frederickson
Sen. Steve Murphy

Sen. Linda Scheid

Sen. Jim Vickerman