Duluth News Tribune

January 8, 2003

Noisy Administration

Just when you think the digs at outgoing Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura had subsided, along comes another one.

This one comes from Noise Free America, a group based in New Orleans that has awarded Ventura its January “Noisy Dozen” award.

“The man has a noisy lifestyle,” said Mark Huber, Noise Free America’s communication director. “He loves to crank it up.”

The group notes that on New Year’s Eve, Ventura parked his $50,000 2003 Hummer in his Capitol parking spot and cranked up Led Zeppelin on his 10-speaker sound system, saying, “It’ll knock your socks off!”

In his autobiography, Ventura writes of blasting down the highway as a member of motorcycle gangs, of vacations filled with “generators and stereos and tons of fireworks,” the group notes. And at his inaugural ball, Ventura arrived with an entourage of motorcycles.

Ventura spent years as a wrestler exposed to pyrotechnics and deafening sound systems. He made thunderous action movies and loves motorcycles and loud car stereos, the group says.

“Jesse Ventura seems to love making noise,” said Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director and a Minnesota native. “He opposes any restrictions on snowmobiles, Jet Skis or ATVs. He seems to place the highest priority on his own right to pump up the volume — with little regard for anyone else.”

The group points to studies showing noise causes hearing loss and impedes children’s development and learning. They say that as governor, Ventura set a poor example for youth.

“He did little or nothing to make Minnesota a quieter place,” Rueter said. “Our nation’s political leaders should be taking steps to reduce noise, not celebrating it.”

Previous winners of the “Noisy Dozen” award include Viper car alarms, Flowmaster, Circuit City and the Massachusetts Department of Education.