November 26, 2022

The Minnesota Primary Election will be held on August 10, 2010. For Republican, DFL and Independence Party members, this will be the election to decide which candidates will go on to the General Election this November.

Asian American Press sent out questionnaires to the candidates and printed one last week from Independence Party candidate Phil Ratte. This week, we have replies from DFL candidates Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Mark Dayton, along with Independence Party candidate Linda Eno and Grassroots Party candidate Chris Wright.

Republican candidates Tom Emmer, Ole’ Savior, and Leslie Davis’ Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidates Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Mark Dayton, Matt Entenza, and Peter Idusogie; Green Party candidate Farheem Hakeem;  Independence Party candidates, Rob Hahn, Tom Horner, Phil Ratte, John T. Uldrich, and Rahn V. Workcuff; Ecology Democracy Party candidate Ken Pentel; Resource Party candidate Linda S. Eno; and Grassroots Party Chris Wright.

Name:

Margaret Anderson Kelliher

Party Affiliation:

I am a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), and the DFL-endorsed candidate for Governor.

TAXES

Balancing the State budget is a topic of most candidates. What is a realistic approach to balancing government obligations and services with fiscal responsibilities? What do you consider the responsibilities of the state, county and city municipalities and where should the tax burden be shifted?

In the last eight years, under the Pawlenty Administration Minnesota’s tax system has become more regressive. The Pawlenty Administration has made Minnesota’s tax system more regressive – forcing low-and middle-income families to pay more of their income in taxes, while the state’s wealthiest pay less. That’s wrong.

As Governor I will fight for fairer and more progressive tax structure. I will make Minnesota’s wealthiest – those earning over $250,000 a year – pay more income taxes. And I will fight to decrease the property tax burden on working families, senior citizens, and small businesses.

ASIAN COMMUNITY

The Asian Pacific Cultural Center has been approved by the legislature and line-item vetoed by both Governor Ventura and Governor Pawlenty. What is your position on the APCC? Please describe scenarios in which you would sign to pass a bill to fund the project, and a scenario where you would put down the bill including the use of the line-item veto?

I have consistently supported bonding dollars for the Asian Pacific Cultural Center, but Tim Pawlenty has repeatedly vetoed funding for the project. As Governor, I will work to include funding for this project in the next bonding bill, and sign the bill to make it happen.

All Minnesotans should know the contribution of the Asian American community to our state. Your contribution to our state has made Minnesota better, and our economy stronger.

APCC would help all Minnesotans better understand the rich cultural diversity that makes our state a great place to live for all Minnesotans. It would also serve as an important resource for business development, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

What would be the Governor’s policy regarding establishing selection committees and its criteria that may or may not present bias against minorities or new Americans – be they for judicial appointments, state advisory boards and committees, etc?

Both my transition team and administration will be inclusive and diverse. I will reach out to and include leaders from the Asian-American community to advise me in all appointments.

Do you value the role of the State Councils of Color, support their funding, and how would you utilize Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans and determining who would serve as its community and legislative appointees?

The Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans, and all other State Councils of Color, will have an important role in my administration. As Governor, I will personally meet with the State Councils of Color and the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans.

I will support funding for SCC and CAPM and seek their advice in crafting fair and responsive legislation for all Minnesotans. I understand the importance of giving all Minnesota communities and cultures a seat at the table as we work together to make Minnesota an even better place to live. It is important to me that the voices of all of Minnesota’s communities are actively engaged in designing and implementing state policies.

WELFARE

Please state your position on ESL/ELL and job training programs for new immigrants, and if you feel they are an important element to immigrant and refugee families wanting to be independent face challenges of irregular employment that affects their status with the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), and the Diversionary Work program.

I believe immigrant integration is a dynamic process in which all people must work together to build secure, vibrant and cohesive communities. As Governor, just as I did as Speaker of the House, I will defend programs that support New Americans in overcoming language barriers, in navigating the pathway to citizenship and that invest in economic and workforce development. I will work to build a state government in which immigrant and refugee concerns are considered and addressed at all levels of government.

LABOR/JOBS

Collective bargaining has divided leaders and the community and what is in the workers and public’s best interest. What is the state’s obligation with public workers rights in contract disputes and of their long term security such as bridging the shortfalls in the State and teachers’ pensions, and the state’s role in the private sector where public good is at interest such as the health workers strikes and other workers wage and benefits issues?

How does the office of governor influence the state contracting process with developers and what can be done to ensure that minority hiring and contracting standards are met and that the state does not award contracts to firms that have not made progress?

As the Chief Executive, it is the Governor’s responsibility to ensure Minnesota is meeting its minority hiring and contracting goals. I will be a strong advocate for minority and disadvantaged businesses in Minnesota. I will ensure programs like the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), are meeting state and federal goals by first calling for a comprehensive evaluation of performance, and second, hold government departments and agents accountable for meeting these goals. I will also invest in workforce development programs that effectively grow the talent and diversity of Minnesota workers. I will also look to community leaders like state Sen. Mee Moua to help connect all Minnesota communities with jobs and economic opportunity.

BUSINESS

What would you do to create a better climate for minority owned businesses, entrepreneurs? Such as meeting with minority business organizations to create opportunities, remove procurement barriers, property tax relief, protection from progress (LRT construction, big box development, etc?)

Small businesses are the backbone of Minnesota’s economy. As Governor, I will fight for small businesses and entrepreneurs in every community. By freeing up needed capital, reining in skyrocketing property taxes and lowering health care costs, we can help small businesses grow and hire more workers. Here’s how I will do it:

• Cover all Minnesotans with Health Care by 2014 – The ballooning cost of health care is hurting small businesses. Those businesses that can’t afford to provide health insurance for their workers are at a competitive disadvantage. Eliminating this cost will put all businesses on a level playing field.

• Stop Skyrocketing Property Taxes – Under Tim Pawlenty’s leadership, property taxes have increased $3 billionA recent survey of 1,000 small business owners by the bipartisan Small Business Caucus identified property taxes as the number one concern for small business owners. As Governor, I will fight for fair, progressive taxation that relies less on regressive property taxes.

• Itasca Investment Small Business Pilot Loan Program – Provide low-interest loans for high growth potential small businesses between 10-99 employees. Businesses will be able to obtain up to $250,000 in low-cost financing for capital purchases and expansion.

• Minnesota Micro-Loan Pilot Program – Increase matching micro-loan financing opportunities for small businesses administered through hometown non-profit organizations. This program will provide a match to qualified micro-loans (up to $25,000) to start or expand a business.

• Develop Micro and Small Business Virtual Toolkit – Link business owners to information on business incentives, financing, informational services, consulting services, including information on markets, consumers and competitors, and search engine marketing.

• Streamline the Process of Creating and Permitting a Business as identified by the bipartisan House Small Business Caucus.

• Aggressive Focus on Expanding and Growing Small Businesses – There are 135,000 small businesses in Minnesota. If 7% of Minnesota’s small businesses grew by just one employee per year, 14,175 jobs would be created in 18 months and 37,800 jobs over 4 years.

What benefit do you see for official state trade missions to other countries? If you feel they are beneficial then would your administration consider delegations to Asian and Pacific Island countries, and why?

As Governor, I will go everywhere and do everything it takes to create jobs in Minnesota – from supporting homegrown Minnesota businesses to partnering with business leaders throughout the country and the world. Building constructive partnerships with other countries is essential to the success of our state’s businesses and job creation in Minnesota.

We have done that well with our Indian partners at Suzlon Wind Energy. Working together, we are growing Minnesota’s clean energy economy, expanding our manufacturing industry, and creating good-paying jobs for Minnesotans.

One of my DFL opponents has proposed eliminating the Minnesota Trade Office. I think that is the wrong thing to do. As Governor, I will support a strong Minnesota Trade Office that promotes international trade by providing trade information, trade education and training, and one-on-one counseling for Minnesota companies that wish to trade manufactured goods and services in the international marketplace. I am ready and willing to personally travel to every corner of the globe to bring jobs and opportunity to Minnesota.

EDUCATION

In selecting your Education Commissioner what are the priorities to ensure that improvements continue for minorities in Minnesota?

My commissioner of education will have significant professional experience in classrooms and managing people. The commissioner must have a strong demonstrated track record of working with minority communities.

In schools across Minnesota, I will work to improve student achievement by focusing on shared leadership, professional development, parent engagement, and applying continuous improvement strategies.

I am passionate about ensuring all Minnesotan students have the opportunity to succeed. That’s why as your Governor, I will ensure that every child comes to Kindergarten ready to learn. I will invest in early childhood education and all day every day Kindergarten – those efforts will help significantly narrow Minnesota’s achievement gap.

I will also invest in English Language Learning programs and cultural competency training to help students from diverse cultures and backgrounds achieve success in public schools.

In 2007, I supported measures to boost student achievement, including after school learning grants and literacy promotion efforts. As your Governor, I will ensure every commissioner is able to manage employees effectively and reach out to all Minnesota communities.

What would your administration do to improve pre-school environments for children of immigrants?

I will also ensure that every Minnesota child, including new Minnesotans, have the opportunity to take part in quality early learning.  Supporting a young child’s learning and language development lays a crucial foundation for the child’s social, emotional and cognitive growth. Engaging families as partners in these programs is important to our children’s success.

Unfortunately, almost 50 percent of Minnesota children are not fully prepared when they start Kindergarten. Quality early childhood programs can provide young children with learning environments that will prepare them for Kindergarten and for life beyond the classroom. That’s why I am committed to investing in our children, to ensure that every child in Minnesota is ready for Kindergarten by the year 2020.

What is the Governor’s role in working with postsecondary educational institutions to ensure that state cuts and school budgeting does not unduly burden the students and their families with an undue amount of tuition and fees that outpaces grants and requires loans that are out of balance with the outcome of their schooling?

A great education is the foundation of a strong economy. As Governor, I will protect funding for higher education aid programs so that all qualified students, regardless of personal financial circumstances or immigration status, have an opportunity to affordably pursue a higher education.

Programs like the Power of You at St. Paul College and Minneapolis Community and Technical College will continue to be a priority for me as Governor – to increase the number of minority students going on to higher education and increase the number of first generation college students.

As Governor, I will support, promote and expand mentoring programs like Learning Works and Admission Possible that help improve student achievement and support young people transitioning to college.

HEALTH

How important are disparities issues and equal and affordable access to culturally competent health in your administration and what would you look for in a Health Commissioner in creating and enforcing these policies?

As Governor, I will ensure that health care professionals receive training that equips them to deliver culturally competent care.

Minnesota has a proud tradition of investing in public health and we have one of the best health departments in the country.  Despite this, Minnesota ranks near the bottom in attracting federal dollars for public health.

As Governor, I will maintain a strong public health system, promote healthy communities, work to eliminate health disparities, and help all people get quality health services.

As Governor, I will ensure that all Minnesotans have health care by the end of my first term. I will work tirelessly to achieve universal, affordable, quality health care for every Minnesotan through the federal health care reform and common sense reforms here in Minnesota.

I will appoint a health commissioner who shares my values and goals for improving the health of all Minnesotans.

OUTDOORS

The governor is a very visible symbol for hunting and fishing in Minnesota. What would you do to support the DNR’s efforts to ease tensions and improve relations and make outdoor experiences more accessible and more enjoyable for minorities?

I grew up hunting and fishing, and I still fish today. That’s why I want Minnesota’s next DNR commissioner to share my commitment to responsible conservation. The commissioner should care deeply about improving wildlife habitat and preserving our natural resources for generations to come.

Minnesota’s next DNR commissioner should be someone who can bring people together – someone who will work with hunters, fishermen, farmers, Minnesota employers and industries, local leaders, and legislators to address the challenges facing our lakes, streams, forests, and prairies.

Most importantly, the commissioner must be a qualified manager of people and resources with experience in areas governed by the DNR.

Name:

Mark Dayton

Party affiliation:

DFL Candidate for Governor

TAXES

Balancing the State budget is a topic of most candidates. What is a realistic approach to balancing government obligations and services with fiscal responsibilities? What do you consider the responsibilities of the state, county and city municipalities and where should the tax burden be shifted?

I have proposed a 17 point plan for balancing the budget (available on my website, www.MarkDayton.org) which would raise revenues from the richest Minnesotans paying their fair share of taxes, closing loopholes, and making spending reductions.

The projected $5.8 billion deficit for the coming biennium represents 16% of the state’s overall spending.  93% of the state’s budget is devoted to education, health and human services, property tax relief, aids to local governments, and public safety.  Another 3% goes toward debt service.

In other words, more cuts would mean more deep cuts to education, health care, and other essential public services.  The budget is about more than just dollars and cents; it’s also about values and priorities.  Rather than destroy Minnesota’s essential public services, I will make the rich pay their fair share and invest in our state’s priorities.

ASIAN COMMUNITY

The Asian Pacific Cultural Center has been approved by the legislature and line-item vetoed by both Governor Venture and Governor Pawlenty. What is your position on the APCC? Please describe scenarios in which you would sign to pass a bill to fund the project, and a scenario where you would put down the bill including the use of the line-item veto?

Governor Pawlenty’s line-item vetoes of important projects, like the Asian Pacific Cultural Center, were wrong.  I will propose a major bonding bill next year that will give priority to the projects vetoed this year.

What would be the Governor’s policy regarding establishing selection committees and its criteria that may or may not present bias against minorities or new Americans – be they for judicial appointments, state advisory boards and committees, etc?

I promise that my office, cabinet, and other appointments will be representative of all Minnesotans.

Do you value the role of the State Councils of Color, support their funding, and how would you utilize Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans and determining who would serve as its community and legislative appointees?

Yes, the State Councils of Color are vital to representing Minnesota’s important communities, including Asian Pacific Minnesotans.  I strongly support continued funding for State Councils of Color, and I would consult closely with groups and leaders within the Asian Pacific community before making any of the 19 appointments to the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans.

WELFARE

Please state your position on ESL/ELL and job training programs for new immigrants, and if you feel they are an important element to immigrant and refugee families wanting to be independent face challenges of irregular employment that affects their status with the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), and the Diversionary Work program.

Immigrants now comprise more than 7% of Minnesota.  I will do whatever I can as Governor to support immigrants in their pursuit of “the American Dream.”

That’s why I support ESL/ELL programs.  They are essential to ensuring that new Americans are able to excel in Minnesota, and I will strongly support them as Governor.

LABOR/JOBS

Collective bargaining has divided leaders and the community and what is in the workers and public’s best interest. What is the state’s obligation with public workers rights in contract disputes and of their long term security such as bridging the shortfalls in the State and teachers’ pensions, and the state’s role in the private sector where public good is at interest such as the health workers strikes and other workers wage and benefits issues?

How does the office of governor influence the state contracting process with developers and what can be done to ensure that minority hiring and contracting standards are met and that the state does not award contracts to firms that have not made progress?

I strongly believe that the well-being of working Minnesotans, in the public and private sectors, is in our state’s best interest.  I support the rights of all workers, and certainly public employees, to bargain collectively.  Pension security is also very important to providing retirement security to public employees for their years of dedicated public service.

I disapprove of the Pawlenty Administration’s failures to meet legal requirements for participation by minority contractors. That’s why one of the key components of my ten point jobs plan is to not only honor the 6% preference that is used in evaluating state contract awards to women and minority-owned businesses, but also to expand existing state outreach to those businesses.

BUSINESS

What would you do to create a better climate for minority owned businesses, entrepreneurs? Such as meeting with minority business organizations to create opportunities, remove procurement barriers, property tax relief, protection from progress (LRT construction, big box development, etc?)

As I mentioned above, a key component of my jobs plan is to honor and expand the existing 6% preference for awarding state contracts to minority-owned businesses.  And, just as I did when I was Commissioner of Economic Development, I will travel around the state meeting with business leaders—including minority business leaders and entrepreneurs—and ask them what they need to expand their business and create jobs.  I will go anywhere, anytime to create jobs in Minnesota.

What benefit do you see for official state trade missions to other countries? If you feel they are beneficial then would your administration consider delegations to Asian and Pacific Island countries, and why?

Trade missions can be effective at developing mutually beneficial partnerships between Minnesotans and foreign markets.  I believe that the work of the Minnesota Trade Office could be more cost-effectively performed within the Governor’s Office.  Having been to China seven times, I would certainly give priority to trade missions there and to other Asian and Pacific Island countries.

EDUCATION

In selecting your Education Commissioner what are the priorities to ensure that improvements continue for minorities in Minnesota?

What would your administration do to improve pre-school environments for children of immigrants?

What is the Governor’s role in working with postsecondary educational institutions to ensure that state cuts and school budgeting does not unduly burden the students and their families with an undue amount of tuition and fees that outpaces grants and requires loans that are out of balance with the outcome of their schooling?

Minnesota’s education system has been badly underfunded by Governor Pawlenty and the legislature.  In inflation-adjusted dollars, the state has cut about $1,300 in per student funding since Governor Pawlenty took office. That’s why I have committed to increasing funding for public schools in Minnesota in real, after-inflation dollars every year I’m Governor.  No exceptions, no excuses.

Those investments will allow us to finally address Minnesota’s terrible achievement gap in four key ways.  First, by reducing class sizes and providing more individualized instruction to help different learners.  Second, by providing teachers with fair salaries so that we can attract and retain the best educators in Minnesota.  Third, by reforming testing so that tests are used as diagnostic tools to identify students who need extra help, not to blame teachers and punish schools as they are now.  And fourth, by investing in early childhood education and providing all-day kindergarten, so that students arrive at elementary school ready to learn by closing the achievement gap before it opens.

HEALTH

How important are disparities issues and equal and affordable access to culturally competent health in your administration and what would you look for in a Health Commissioner in creating and enforcing these policies?

I applaud the efforts of the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans in working to reduce unjust health disparities that result in worse outcomes for Asian Pacific Minnesotans.  In terms of access, I strongly support a national single-payer health plan that puts people before profits and provides care to everyone at lower cost than the existing private insurance system.  I will work to bring single-payer health care to Minnesota, so that everyone is covered regardless of ability to afford the excessive cost of private health insurance.

Additionally, cultural competency (and translators) are important to ensure that once access for all is achieved, the care is as effective as possible.

OUTDOORS

The governor is a very visible symbol for hunting and fishing in Minnesota. What would you do to support the DNR’s efforts to ease tensions and improve relations and make outdoor experiences more accessible and more enjoyable for minorities?

The DNR’s Strategic Vision in place for 2006-2011 notes that minorities are underrepresented in outdoors activities, particularly at state parks.  The new outdoors funding provided by the 2008 Legacy Amendment, can help ensure that those expanded opportunities are shared by all Minnesotans.

Name:

Chris Wright

Party Affiliation:

Grassroots Party

TAXES

Balancing the State budget is a topic of most candidates. What is a realistic approach to balancing government obligations and services with fiscal responsibilities? What do you consider the responsibilities of the state, county and city municipalities and where should the tax burden be shifted?

I would impose a progressive tax on those making $200,000 or more and dramatically cut spending.

Let’s legalize marijuana and hemp for all its purposes.  Let’s end the drug war, raise some revenue and balance the budget.  To regulate distribution through prohibition would require 60-80% interdiction to stop gangster terrorism of our neighborhoods.  For those who support the safe regulated distribution of liquor, yet insist on murder and assault by firearms through gangster distribution, Shame on you!  When will narcotics prohibition regulate distribution and make our streets safe?  The answer is, never. How long will we insist on destructive gangster distribution before we regulate safely, just like liquor?  Prohibitionists are stupid and make me sick.

I oppose shifting the tax burden to local governments.

ASIAN COMMUNITY

The Asian Pacific Cultural Center has been approved by the legislature and line-item vetoed by both Governor Ventura and Governor Pawlenty. What is your position on the APCC? Please describe scenarios in which you would sign to pass a bill to fund the project, and a scenario where you would put down the bill including the use of the line-item veto?

I need more information.  I don’t see how an Asian Pacific Cultural Center, costing $5 million dollars, benefits the state or the taxpayer.  It is a function of political corruption for government to confer corporate welfare upon corporations or private organizations.  The purpose of government is to promote and protect the public health, safety and provide for the general welfare.  I don’t see how an Asian Pacific Cultural Center accomplishes any of these functions of government.

What would be the Governor’s policy regarding establishing selection committees and its criteria that may or may not present bias against minorities or new Americans – be they for judicial appointments, state advisory boards and committees, etc?

It will be the duty of the advisory committee to select men and women of reason, integrity and professionalism.  I want individuals who will serve the public interests and taxpayer’s interests with frugality, effectiveness, dignity, respect and honor.  From these worthy candidates I will choose a cross-section that reflects Minnesota’s diversity.

Do you value the role of the State Councils of Color, support their funding, and how would you utilize Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans and determining who would serve as its community and legislative appointees?

I do value the legislative role the Indian, Chicano-Latino, Black, and Asian-Pacific Councils of Color play in advising the legislature and governor on issues confronting their peoples and access to benefits and services.  I look forward to hearing recommendations regarding the Asian work force and way to improve economic conditions.  I’ll use my appointment power to install qualified individuals to the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans.

WELFARE

Please state your position on ESL/ELL and job training programs for new immigrants, and if you feel they are an important element to immigrant and refugee families wanting to be independent face challenges of irregular employment that affects their status with the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), and the Diversionary Work program.

Through the MN Dept of Education and Minnesota Adult Basic Education (ABE) we can provide for work readiness programs designed for new immigrants like English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner (ELL) that help people move from welfare (MFIP) to work.

LABOR/JOBS

Collective bargaining has divided leaders and the community and what is in the workers and public’s best interest. What is the state’s obligation with public workers rights in contract disputes and of their long term security such as bridging the shortfalls in the State and teachers’ pensions, and the state’s role in the private sector where public good is at interest such as the health workers strikes and other workers wage and benefits issues?

I support strong labor unions and frankly they have sided in the public interest more than the corporate interests.  Under the state statute 179A Public Employment Labor Relations, it points out the state’s obligation to public worker rights in contract disputes.  The public has an obligation to make up for shortfalls in pensions or change the rules of compensation.  In statue 179.07 Labor Dispute Affecting Pubic Interests; Procedure – If a private sector dispute “would endanger the life, safety, health, or well-being of a substantial number of people of any community, the provisions of section 179.06 shall apply” and both parties would be forced into collective bargaining.

How does the office of governor influence the state contracting process with developers and what can be done to ensure that minority hiring and contracting standards are met and that the state does not award contracts to firms that have not made progress?

The Department of Administration through the Material Management Division (MMD) operates a program for Targeted Group and Economically Disadvantaged small businesses. Targeted Groups certified by the Commissioner of Administration are eligible to participate in state-funded programs operated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) and several Metropolitan Agencies.  As governor I intend to appoint a Commissioner of Administration who will institute data collection for the reporting of contracts awarded to minority-owned businesses.  Through the State Councils of Color we can seek ways to increase access to capital for minority owned businesses as well as small businesses in general.

BUSINESS

What would you do to create a better climate for minority owned businesses, entrepreneurs? Such as meeting with minority business organizations to create opportunities, remove procurement barriers, property tax relief, protection from progress (LRT construction, big box development, etc?)

As I stated above I would be happy to work with State Councils of Color to assist in meeting with minority businesses with Targeted Group Eligibility for state contracts and seek ways to acquire access to business capital.

Regarding “protection from progress” such as big box retailers, many states passed laws that taxed out-of-state or multi-national businesses at a higher rate than local entrepreneurs, to discourage the distant and encourage the local.  We could accomplish if we end corporate personhood. But this was overturned in 1935 by Lane Drug Stores v. Lee, in the Supreme Court, claiming illegal discrimination under the Fourteenth Amendment for a state to give preferential treatment to a person in that state but not to a person from out of state.  The Fourteenth Amendment says, “No state shall…deprive any person…the equal protection of the laws.”  But under the law they were artificial persons and not the freed slaves the amendment was designed for.  Corporations are not humans.  They don’t vote.  They don’t bear children.  They don’t die for their country. But they managed to get unalienable rights to free speech and equal protection allowing them to contribute unlimited funds to campaigns because of free speech.  Now they buy, sell, and rent sell-out politicians. Instead of “We the People” we’ve become “We the Corporation.” Instead of being our servants, corporations are now our masters. Let’s end corporate personhood. Check out my website www.votewright.org.

What benefit do you see for official state trade missions to other countries? If you feel they are beneficial then would your administration consider delegations to Asian and Pacific Island countries, and why?

I see very little benefit except to the politician who gets a free vacation on the backs of the taxpayers. For example, what benefit came from Governor Ventura and Governor Pawlenty’s trip to China?  Answer – NONE!

EDUCATION

In selecting your Education Commissioner what are the priorities to ensure that improvements continue for minorities in Minnesota?

Our Education Commissioner will have a commitment to Early Childhood Education, Adult Basic Education (ABE), and to cost containment for K-12 and colleges.

What would your administration do to improve pre-school environments for children of immigrants?

I propose Early Childhood Education and Daycare legislation creating organized daycare for all children under school age through local municipalities or give parents the option of receiving a private care allowance for arranging private daycare for their children.  Daycares must combine daycare and early childhood education. Daycare staff should be required to have secondary vocational qualifications specifically for this task.  Fees for daycare should be charged on a percentage basis, based on the size and income of the family.  The lowest income families should be exempt from fees. Before and after school care must be provided until age 10.

What is the Governor’s role in working with postsecondary educational institutions to ensure that state cuts and school budgeting does not unduly burden the students and their families with an undue amount of tuition and fees that outpaces grants and requires loans that are out of balance with the outcome of their schooling?

On my website www.votewright.org you can find my position on a guaranteed right to education cradle to college changing the MN Constitution to read as follows:

“Any person shall have a right to primary education free of charge.  Provisions on compulsory education shall be prescribed by the legislature.

In a manner more precisely prescribed by the legislature, public authorities shall secure for everyone an equal opportunity to obtain education other than primary education which accords with their abilities and special needs and to develop themselves without hindrance due to lack of means.

The freedom of science, the arts and higher education shall be guaranteed.”

However, without this change in the Constitution, I propose a Governor’s Commission on Education asking the help of the State Auditor to completely audit every school district and college in Minnesota to determine where savings and efficiencies can be made.

HEALTH

How important are disparities issues and equal and affordable access to culturally competent health in your administration and what would you look for in a Health Commissioner in creating and enforcing these policies?

I support The Minnesota Health Act, SF 118/HF 135, a private delivery, free choice of hospital, dental care and doctor, public health insurance system.

This bill would cut the cost healthcare in half.

Our pay-or-die mercenary medical insurance system places profits above people.

Corporatized Medicine has produced healthcare rationing, higher prices, diminished choices and more bureaucracy. This system is a bureaucratic nightmare with close to a third of all health care spending having nothing to do with health care—overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments, huge profits and exorbitant executive pay; not to mention the billions wasted and spent on computerized billing fraud and abuse.

After witnessing the multi-million dollar corporate lobbying assault on Congress and public brainwashing through TV ads in the debate over universal healthcare underlines my urgent argument for ending corporate personhood.

I want a Health Commissioner who will see this legislation through and deal effectively with health matters in the aftermath if it doesn’t pass.

OUTDOORS

The governor is a very visible symbol for hunting and fishing in Minnesota. What would you do to support the DNR’s efforts to ease tensions and improve relations and make outdoor experiences more accessible and more enjoyable for minorities?

I think the DNR does a pretty good job in making fishing and hunting regulations available in different languages.  The DNR seems to be neutral when it comes to ethnic minorities and I would like that to continue.  Perhaps, we can make the outdoor experience more accessible and enjoyable to minorities if they make me governor and take me on the fishing opener so I can catch JAWS.

Name:

Linda Eno

Candidate for Governor of the State of Minnesota.

Party Affiliation:

The Resource Party

Balancing the State budget is a topic of most candidates. What is a realistic approach to balancing government obligations and services with fiscal responsibilities? What do you consider the responsibilities of the state, county and city municipalities and where should the tax burden be shifted?

Budgets and taxes are managed the same as at home. Hold your expenses in line with your income. Eliminate wasteful spending and replace with accountability and efficiencies. We cannot mortgage our future to spend freely and feel good today. Taxes are dollars, not percentages. Small business is the route to more tax dollars. Small business creates payroll which creates spending. There are no free lunches. All lunches have to be paid for by someone. Hopefully it will not all be heaped on our children. I would increase our income by passing Sate run Casinos to spend toward education, natural resources and community needs.

The Asian Pacific Cultural Center has been approved by the legislature and line-item vetoed by both Governor Venture and Governor Pawlenty. What is your position on the APCC? Please describe scenarios in which you would sign to pass a bill to fund the project, and a scenario where you would put down the bill including the use of the line-item veto?

The Asian community is strong, smart, and resourceful.  Start smaller with expansion plans for the future. If you feel you need it build the APCC just get going. The economy and tax surpluses needed for this to become a priority may well be in the future. Venture had a surplus and it did not make it to the top of the priority list. How many of the cultural centers around Minnesota were built with tax dollars? Ask them how they did it.

Please state your position on ESL/ELL and job training programs for new immigrants, and if you feel they are an important element to immigrant and refugee families wanting to be independent face challenges of irregular employment that affects their status with the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), and the Diversionary Work program.

Welfare needs to become what it was originally meant to be. Help for people that truly cannot help themselves in their situation. Welfare abuse must be stopped. We must promote and teach our children personal responsibility.

Collective bargaining has divided leaders and the community and what is in the workers and public’s best interest. What is the state’s obligation with public workers rights in contract disputes and of their long term security such as bridging the shortfalls in the State and teachers’ pensions, and the state’s role in the private sector where public good is at interest such as the health workers strikes and other workers wage and benefits issues?

Public workers must give good value to the tax payer. If the overall results of public workers compensation costs are far more than the same or better results by private small businesses, then the tax payer is owed the best for less.

How does the office of governor influence the state contracting process with developers and what can be done to ensure that minority hiring and contracting standards are met and that the state does not award contracts to firms that have not made progress?

What would you do to create a better climate for minority owned businesses, entrepreneurs? Such as meeting with minority business organizations to create opportunities, remove procurement barriers, property tax relief, protection from progress (LRT construction, big box development, etc?)

What benefit do you see for official state trade missions to other countries? If you feel they are beneficial then would your administration consider delegations to Asian and Pacific Island countries, and why?

Business would have to look at any trade missions on a case by case basis. If you want to be an entrepreneur than be one. If you think you can’t be an entrepreneur it will become a self fulfilling prophesy.

In selecting your Education Commissioner what are the priorities to ensure that improvements continue for minorities in Minnesota?

In the selection of an education Commissioner I would expect improvements for all students. I would look for someone who is results oriented and not necessarily from the world of education. We need to manage our public education system. We need someone who will buck the status quot and put the power back to the districts and the parents for the benefits of the students.

How important are disparities issues and equal and affordable access to culturally competent health in your administration and what would you look for in a Health Commissioner in creating and enforcing these policies?

A health Commissioner should avail equal and affordable access to everyone who needs attention. Again, personal responsibility for you and your family is the key.

The governor is a very visible symbol for hunting and fishing in Minnesota. What would you do to support the DNR’s efforts to ease tensions and improve relations and make outdoor experiences more accessible and more enjoyable for minorities?

Hunting and fishing is what I am all about. I have worked hard in my family resort for 17 years. There should be equal right for all citizens of Minnesota. There should not be any gill netting in any public waters. An Asian citizen should have the same rites as any Minnesota citizen including the Indians. To give special rights because of heritage is not in the constitution anywhere. By giving special right to one race is taking rights from the others. This political maneuver is un-American at the least.

Questions not asked; but views I have are the following:

• Mandatory term limits.

• Respect and follow the laws regarding immigration.

• Protect gun owners rights and support the “Castile Doctrine”.

• Regain confidence and integrity in the voting system requiring voter ID.

• Bring all illegal agreements by State Agencies back into court to stand the pure test of the law.

• Agree or disagree: but get to know me online at theresourceparty.org

NAME:

Peter Idusogie

Party Affiliation:

DFL Candidate for Governor of Minnesota

TAXES

Balancing the State budget is a topic of most candidates. What is a realistic approach to balancing government obligations and services with fiscal responsibilities? What do you consider the responsibilities of the state, county and city municipalities and where should the tax burden be shifted?

The law in Minnesota is that we should always balance the budget before ending each session in the corridors of power in St. Paul. Unfortunately, party ideology and campaign promises by all manner of politicians, has stood in the way and greatly undermined our financial stability and economic security. The net result is the shifting of payments and delaying the funding of key programs to the next fiscal year.

Secondly, we lost our triple AAA credit rating. My Lt Governor and I are determined to restore our State back to its high credit rating. I believe the State must do whatever it takes to balance the budget at all times. We must never shift the problems of today to the children of tomorrow. Instead, we must be innovative and dynamic in our approach in terms of setting priorities and drawing a line in the sand on what stays in the budget and what goes. I will use some of the proceeds of the Lottery to wipe out the budget deficit.

I will introduce the greatest efficiency and curbing of waste in the way government delivers services to the people of the state. I will restore every shortfall local governments have with the State government once we have wiped out the deficit. We must cut our coat according to our size.

The local governments are going to have to do the same too. The local government should from now onwards view aid or revenue given to them from the State as the icing on the cake and not the cake itself.

In a nutshell, local governments must strive for self sufficiency, and improve their delivery of services to their people by deploying advanced technology and make themselves more attractive to new investment in their community. At the end of the day, we need major tax reform that is progressive, fair and offers a modicum of stability to future investors.

ASIAN COMMUNITY

The Asian Pacific Cultural Center has been approved by the legislature and line-item vetoed by both Governor Venture and Governor Pawlenty. What is your position on the APCC? Please describe scenarios in which you would sign to pass a bill to fund the project, and a scenario where you would put down the bill including the use of the line-item veto?

I am not sure as to why Governor Venture and Governor Pawlenty would line-item veto the proposal. I would have to look into it and find out why? I believe that this proposed cultural center has many positive attributes including helping in a significant way to enrich all Minnesotans, employ Minnesotans and above all, help us learn more about our Asian American community.

As long as the business partners of the proposed Asian Pacific Cultural Center are willing to partner with the State in terms of completing a project of this magnitude, the State will show itself to be very business friendly in return. When I become the next governor of Minnesota, I will be open to revisiting the project again.

What would be the Governor’s policy regarding establishing selection committees and its criteria that may or may not present bias against minorities or new Americans – be they for judicial appointments, state advisory boards and committees, etc?

My goal as the next governor is to subscribe to the highest form of ethics and integrity when it comes to making key appointments or establishing selection committees. I will always look for the best people to fill key positions regardless of race, color, or gender.

On the other hand, as the next governor, I will be mindful of the changing demographics of our state and the need to reflect the new realities of our state in terms of  the growing population of immigrants in our state and people of color.

Do you value the role of the State Councils of Color, support their funding, and how would you utilize Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans and determining who would serve as its community and legislative appointees?

Yes I do, and I would support the continued funding of these advisory entities within the limits of the State budget. Likewise, I will utilize the Council on Asian Pacific in a similar way, reaching out to the growing Asian Americans resident in Minnesota. I will confer with the leaders in the Asian Pacific communities in making sure the appointees are qualified and are best suited to represent to the legislature and the governor.

WELFARE

Please state your position on ESL/ELL and job training programs for new immigrants, and if you feel they are an important element to immigrant and refugee families wanting to be independent face challenges of irregular employment that affects their status with the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), and the Diversionary Work program.

I strongly support the ESL/ELL programs and consider them as one of many important tools of integrating newly arriving immigrants quickly into the Minnesota work force as well as understanding the Minnesota culture. I am willing to review and improve upon existing programs affecting new immigrants in Minnesota. Secondly, I will do so in consultation with community leaders in order to allow these immigrants to reach out to the best of their God giving potential and enrich the lives of others.

LABOR/JOBS

Collective bargaining has divided leaders and the community and what is in the workers and public’s best interest. What is the state’s obligation with public workers rights in contract disputes and of their long term security such as bridging the shortfalls in the State and teachers’ pensions, and the state’s role in the private sector where public good is at interest such as the health workers strikes and other workers wage and benefits issues?

When I ran for congress in 2004, there was an ongoing bus strike. Then, I suggested the best way to end that strike was to recognize the importance of keeping our bus drivers content and not undermining their moral by shortchanging them on their benefits.

My campaign is about people and people not machines are everything. When you lift up the Minnesota people, you lift up Minnesota. Thus, every major decision that I will make in the corridors of power in St. Paul should I become your next governor will always based on one question, what is best for the people? The answer will always be tied to the improvement of the quality of life of the Minnesota people.

I believe in Collective bargaining but equally important. I believe in shared sacrifice. If a company is hurting and you have to cut the benefits of the hourly wage workers; then the bonuses of the CFO and CEO must also be cut since they are likely most responsible for running the company down.

With regards to the shortfalls in the State and teachers pension; it is no secret that there is a major crises brewing here. According to the Pew Center for States, there is a trillion dollar shortfall in the obligations of the states to their pensioners and what is in the ‘pot’ to meet those obligations.

As the next governor of Minnesota, I will not short change the greatest generation. We owe so much to our senior citizens who have contributed so much to the social economic development of Minnesota and the United States. I am prepared to work with the legislators on both sides of the aisle to fix Minnesota’s shortfall in our pension plans and work to curb the out of control spending in the plans. I will work with the nurses or health workers to come up with a nurses bill of rights that will ensure that the state will do its part to maintain the high quality of healthcare in Minnesota by addressing the key concerns of Minnesota nurses.

How does the office of governor influence the state contracting process with developers and what can be done to ensure that minority hiring and contracting standards are met and that the state does not award contracts to firms that have not made progress?

I do not believe the office of the governor should be directly involved in influencing the contracting process nor is it prudent for him or her to do so. On the other hand, it is indeed the duty of the governor to ensure that their administration has a process in place that allows for an orderly distribution of these contracts, and recognizes its obligations to minority contractors ensuring they have their fair share in biding for state building projects based on merit and a proven track record of success.

In a nutshell, a percentage of all state contracts must be set aside for minorities. This is how my administration will approach it for minority contractors who have been part of the process already. New contractors will obviously not go through the same process. Nevertheless, they will be thoroughly vetted so as to protect the interest of the state with regards to these projects. At the end of the day, the peoples money must be expended wisely.

BUSINESS

What would you do to create a better climate for minority owned businesses, entrepreneurs? Such as meeting with minority business organizations to create opportunities, remove procurement barriers, property tax relief, protection from progress (LRT construction, big box development, etc?)

The desires of most minority owned businesses and entrepreneurs are the same with the rest of Minnesota business community. They want to stay in business, grow in business and make money in business.

As a Small Business Director and Account Executive with ABC (America’s Best Company), I have helped businesses have an internet presence by capturing commerce via the internet. Today 34 percent of business commerce is established via the Internet.

At the end of the day we all desire the same thing in terms of creating new opportunities, and removing barriers to free trade. Yet, the greatest way in my own opinion to advance the interest of minority owned businesses is to sit down with them, listen to them and hear from them as to what is best for them and how the State can forge a strategic partnership with them that will be mutually beneficial to the entire state.

I am open to setting up a fully funded institution that will educate the minority business owner on how to take advantage of state projects and meet the requirements. I will also encourage minority businesses or immigrants to open up new trade routes with state backing with their native countries so as to help achieve my economic plan of making Minnesota the ‘China’ of America in terms of exporting our goods and services to emerging markets and the untouched markets of the world.

What benefit do you see for official state trade missions to other countries? If you feel they are beneficial then would your administration consider delegations to Asian and Pacific Island countries, and why?

Yes, I will go to Asia but not immediately. I believe it is important for the State of Minnesota to observe and to do what the Asian Pacific Countries are doing. They are going to Africa and South America and the untouched markets of the world. Thus, we must compete with our former friends who have now become our economic rivals today. My first trip will be to Africa and then to South America, where China made $50 billion dollars from fiscal 2008-2009.

EDUCATION

In selecting your Education Commissioner what are the priorities to ensure that improvements continue for minorities in Minnesota?

I will work to close the digital divide and the literacy rate between the minority communities and the rest of Minnesota’s population. I will ascertain from the Asian community what works so well for them that can be applied to the rest of Minnesota in particularly the African American community.

I am making reference to the ability of their students to stay in school and graduate from high school. The immigrant population has a lot to offer Minnesota. I will continue to support early childhood education, Head Start and most important will fully fund pre-kindergarten level education.

According to the Minnesota Learning Center the greatest brain development occurs between ages 0 and 5 years, where about 80 percent of what we know is usually developed between that period.

I will set up a blue ribbon panel to find out why college tuition is rising at sometimes twice the rate of inflation. We need to find out why and not just accept it?

My Lieutenant Governor and I are open to establishing new trade schools and apprenticeships that reflect a 21st century economy. I am open to establishing school uniforms in public school as an important first step in establishing a uniform code of conduct and discipline through out our public schools.

What would your administration do to improve pre-school environments for children of immigrants?

Encourage their parents to recognize immediately the importance of education in determining the endless possibilities that awaits their child in Minnesota. In summary, instill the values of early childhood education and pre-kindergarten education.

Secondly, I will ensure they are factored in and sometimes consulted in every major decision that pertains to improving the quality of education in Minnesota. The state liaison with the immigrant population must understand from the beginning that education is a priority of my administration should I become your next governor.

I will also support lifetime adult education because it is important for parents to be able to support their children while they go to school. How can a parents support their children’s education if they are illiterate?

What is the Governor’s role in working with postsecondary educational institutions to ensure that state cuts and school budgeting does not unduly burden the students and their families with an undue amount of tuition and fees that outpaces grants and requires loans that are out of balance with the outcome of their schooling?

I am committed to restoring the funding that was shifted to other areas in past years as part of the efforts of the outgoing incumbent, Governor Tim Pawlenty in his plan to balance the budget. I believe that President Barack Obama reformed the student loan program that reduces this burden from impoverishing our newly graduates by allowing for a percentage of their income going to repaying these loans. Likewise the state is open to setting up a State Bank like it is done in North Dakota and 12 other states are considering to help with situations like this.

HEALTH

How important are disparities issues and equal and affordable access to culturally competent health in your administration and what would you look for in a Health Commissioner in creating and enforcing these policies?

There is some discrimination in the way healthcare is administered to non Caucasian members of our population, not just in Minnesota, but all around the country. Access to affordable healthcare is still a luxury to some minorities. My future administration will be committed to ensuring affordable healthcare is available to all Minnesotans. In addition, language interpretation will always be available for those who are not literate in English. We will also be sensitive to cultural issues as long as it does not impede progress and violate Minnesota laws.

My health commissioner will be one who understands the variance and diversity of the Minnesota population and the need to ensure that immigrants and the rest of Minnesotans are treated with respect and dignity when they visit our hospitals and medical institutions.

OUTDOORS

The governor is a very visible symbol for hunting and fishing in Minnesota. What would you do to support the DNR’s efforts to ease tensions and improve relations and make outdoor experiences more accessible and more enjoyable for minorities?

It is not rocket Science. The role of the governor here is to make it crystal clear that Minnesota’s wild life is for all to enjoy as long as it does not violate our treaty obligations with the Native Americans. I will continue to support and fully fund the excellent work carried out for years by the DNR. I will celebrate the hunting and fishing opening seasons as past governors have done.

Name:

Tom Emmer

Party Affiliation?

Republican Party of Minnesota

TAXES

Balancing the State budget is a topic of most candidates. What is a realistic approach to balancing government obligations and services with fiscal responsibilities? What do you consider the responsibilities of the state, county and city municipalities and where should the tax burden be shifted?

A healthier fiscal future demands that we get our spending under control now. The elimination of wasteful government spending starts with the elected officials who are the watchdogs of the state taxpayer dollar.

As governor, I will stop the spend-and-tax cycle by calling first and foremost for a balancing of the budget. I will not accept a spending bill until the deficit no longer exists. I will not support tax increases that place the burden for excessive spending on taxpayers. I will drastically reduce the size of government through elimination of duplicative programs and services within state agencies, and the employees who provide them.

Instead of looking at our residents as a huge ATM machine, to be withdrawn from when needed, government must see them as the industrious, wealth creating folks they are by allowing them to keep more of what they earn through their hard work.

High tax rates ultimately harm those they are intended to help by driving prosperous businesses and individuals away. Raising taxes only perpetuates this problem and drives the illusion that even higher taxes will fix the problem. We cannot spend our way to prosperity.

ASIAN COMMUNITY

The Asian Pacific Cultural Center has been approved by the legislature and line-item vetoed by both Governor Venture and Governor Pawlenty. What is your position on the APCC? Please describe scenarios in which you would sign to pass a bill to fund the project, and a scenario where you would put down the bill including the use of the line-item veto? What would be the Governor’s policy regarding establishing selection committees and its criteria that may or may not present bias against minorities or new Americans – be they for judicial appointments, state advisory boards and committees, etc? Do you value the role of the State Councils of Color, support their funding, and how would you utilize Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans and determining who would serve as its community and legislative appointees?

I believe that we should value all Minnesota’s residents regardless of color. The United States is a nation of immigrants, and should be proud of the fact that millions of people around the world continue to believe in and seek out the promise of the American dream. Our past, present, and future vitality as a nation and as an economy depends on the continued orderly flow of legal immigrants into the country. They bring new talent, drive, and entrepreneurial spirit to our state.

WELFARE

Please state your position on ESL/ELL and job training programs for new immigrants, and if you feel they are an important element to immigrant and refugee families wanting to be independent face challenges of irregular employment that affects their status with the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), and the Diversionary Work program.

LABOR/JOBS

Collective bargaining has divided leaders and the community and what is in the workers and in the public interest. What is the state’s obligation with public workers rights in contract disputes and of their long term security such as bridging the shortfalls in the State and teachers’ pensions, and the state’s role in the private sector where public good is at interest such as the health workers strikes and other workers wage and benefits issues? How does the office of governor influence the state contracting process with developers and what can be done to ensure that minority hiring and contracting standards are met and that the state does not award contracts to firms that have not made progress?

I remember a Minnesota when 3M, Honeywell, and IBM were the top employers and our college graduates stayed here to live, work, and raise their families. At that time, our state was a place that welcomed and encouraged entrepreneurship, individuality, and responsibility.

Today, an expansive and expensive state government has crippled our business environments and lost our greatest resource – our people. The state’s largest employers are now the State of Minnesota, our public university systems, and the federal government.

As a small business owner for the past 13 years, I understand the challenges, frustrations and fear Minnesotans are feeling during this challenging economic time because I have experienced them first hand. Rising taxes, decreasing value, and more business mandates and regulations have killed the entrepreneurial spirit that has been the hallmark of our state for so many decades.

I think our next Governor should have firsthand knowledge of what it is like to get up every day in this state to get your teeth kicked in trying to make a living. I think the next Governor should understand firsthand what it means to have to make payroll. I think the next Governor should understand from personal experience how difficult it is to pay for not only your family’s health care insurance, but also your employees’.

We need reform to encourage a strong business economy and create jobs. This reform needs to reach every corner of our state, into every industry and every business large and small so that we can achieve a technological, industrial, and agricultural business renaissance here in Minnesota.

Higher taxes and more government spending do not lead to a better economic climate. Proposals to raise taxes and fees or eliminate tax incentives for businesses are not restoring our competitive advantage for business development. A reputation as the highest taxed state in the nation will not encourage economic growth but only drive it away.

Our state’s future relies on a blueprint for economic development built on private initiative and the entrepreneurial spirit. Strengthening our economy through business retention, relocation, and development in the private sector must be our priority. We must help create jobs by supporting tax incentives, streamlining permitting, and reducing mandates.

BUSINESS

What would you do to create a better climate for minority owned businesses, entrepreneurs?

Such as meeting with minority business organizations to create opportunities, remove procurement barriers, property tax relief, protection from progress (LRT construction, big box development, etc?)

What benefit do you see for official state trade missions to other countries? If you feel they are beneficial then would your administration consider delegations to Asian and Pacific Island countries, and why?

See above.

EDUCATION

In selecting your Education Commissioner what are the priorities to ensure that improvements continue for minorities in Minnesota?

What would your administration do to improve pre-school environments for children of immigrants?

What is the Governor’s role in working with postsecondary educational institutions to ensure that state cuts and school budgeting does not unduly burden the students and their families with an undue amount of tuition and fees that outpaces grants and requires loans that are out of balance with the outcome of their schooling?

The classic public education model upon which this country was built works best when every student and every need is the same. But, our students walk into our schools with a rich diversity of gifts and challenges.

We need to get creative about school days and school years, about teaching and teachers, about resources and funding. We need to think radically about fundamentally changing the way we educate and how it all gets paid for.

Since the pivotal 1983 release of A Nation at Risk, we have known that America’s schools are falling behind those of other industrialized countries. Now, more than ever, we find ourselves part of a truly global economy with workforce needs changing and businesses facing employee shortages in critical areas such as engineering, science, and health care.

We need to give everyone a seat at the table. All voices and ideas are welcome:

• School Choice Public schools, private schools, charter schools, home schooling.

• Affordability Grants, scholarships, internships, public/private partnerships.

• Teacher Training Traditional teacher licensure and fast-track licensure programs for teaching-inclined professionals in some of our most innovative and needed fields.

• Compensation The world turns on incentive and teachers are no different; pay structures should be in place to reward strong and innovative work as in every other field.

• Funding Strides should be made to make per-pupil funding more equitable.

• Lessen Bureaucratic Morass Well-intentioned policies such as No Child Left Behind often leave our teachers and administrators overburdened with paperwork, little to no additional funding, and less time to teach our children; there must be a better way.

HEALTH

How important are disparities issues and equal and affordable access to culturally competent health in your administration and what would you look for in a Health Commissioner in creating and enforcing these policies?

The one thing missing in the debate on health care reform is reform. Current proposals fail to address the most important problem: cost.

Attempts to restrain the rising cost of care through artificial cost reductions, restricted access and government-dictated standards is not a solution. In reality, it will destroy the greatest health care services in the world. Remember, Saudi sheiks fly here to go to Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Real health care reform must put the people first – not government bureaucracies, elected officials or special interest groups.

I have advanced the Health Care Freedom Act to preserve our right to make our own health care and health insurance choices. I believe that with the advice of our doctors, we as individuals make better health care decisions for ourselves and our families.

The Health Care Freedom Act is a citizen-centered proposal. It will encourage and catalyze appropriate health care reform by giving tax deductions to individuals to purchase their health care, eliminate costly insurance coverage mandates, and allow Minnesotans to purchase health insurance products across state lines.

Through increased information, innovation and market competition, consumers can demand – and the market will provide – accessible, affordable health care of the highest quality.

I recognize your voice is the most important in this debate. I have proposed the Health Care Freedom Act as a constitutional amendment, which will allow you to have direct say in health care reform.

This is just one part of a solution. There are many proposals honing in on free market reform, competition, privacy and security that have been brought forward and then ignored. Three such examples:

• Tax incentives for individuals,

• Eliminating mandates, and

• Allowing the purchase of health insurance products across state lines

• It is time to change the focus of health care reform from what government wants to what our people need.

OUTDOORS

The governor is a very visible symbol for hunting and fishing in Minnesota. What would you do to support the DNRs efforts to ease tensions and improve relations and make outdoor experiences more accessible and more enjoyable for minorities?

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