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BEST NON-ISSUE Minneapolis 2001 -

Last November, when Gov. Jesse Ventura announced that he'd be doing color commentary for the footballesque venture cooked up by World Wrestling Federation impresario Vince McMahon and NBC, conflict-of-interest questions swirled anew around the man who, since taking office, has uncorked two ghostwritten books, played referee for a WWF circus, and cut a deal with a Broadway producer for a musical based on his life. While political opponents and good-government advocates questioned the propriety of it all, the press polled the public. Although it remains to be seen whether the gube can continue finding new ways to cheapen the office, the XFL stunt quickly became moot. In its second week on the air, the league's ratings dropped like a lead balloon. It's just like Ventura has always maintained: It doesn't matter what the politicians and media think of you, it's the public that really counts.

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