In January 1999 a friend since childhood came to Atlanta for a Little League Baseball Coach’s convention. Jim Peck was a pharmacist in the real world, but in his dream world Jim coached Babe Ruth and American Legion Baseball in Minneapolis. He’s in the Minnesota Hall of Fame for his more than 50 years of coaching and mentoring young men. Lynne and I invited Jim for dinner. Professional wrestler Jesse Ventura had just been elected governor of Minnesota and I couldn’t wait to ask Jim whom he voted for. He grinned a bit sheepishly and said that he voted for the “rassler.”

Prior to that election Minnesota had a Republican governor and a Democrat legislature. They bickered and fought and then ended the gridlock by increasing taxes and spending. Ventura ran on the Reform Party platform. He promised to reduce the size and scope of government, to reduce class sizes in schools and he supported public debate on legalized prostitution. Ventura’s two opponents spent nearly $5 million between them. Ventura spent $250,000, but his celebrity gave him unusual media attention and he had huge crowds at his rallies. Ventura was elected with 37 percent of the vote. READ MORE