1. _4.9 average_____On a scale of (0)
most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is
your view on whether Minnesota's Governor and Legislature should seek
additional federal stimulus money if a serious state budgetary
shortfall is likely for the next biennium?
2. _8.3 average_____On a scale of (0)
most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is
your view on whether the Governor should make more use of special
commissions to develop new ideas for addressing state problems?
3. Any matters missing in this summary that you wish would have been
addressed? see responses below
Great minutes; thanks.
Bert Press (10) (10)
Al Quie (0) (10)
David Dillon (0) (10)
Question 1: This is no small public policy proposal and deserves some
sort of explanation as to how this could possible work. The obvious
questions are: Will the other 49 states get $5 billion too? And, what
of the already enormous, rapidly growing and vastly understated
federal debt? The Governor hit it right on the head when he instructed
our political leaders to: “Get used to living on less, and bring the
Bill Frenzel (0) (10)
Question 1: Nice try, but NO sale! The Federal Gov’t is in
substantially worse shape than MN. It has spent its birthright; eaten
its seed corn; and is about to devour its children. All MN can get
from the Feds is silly earmarks like High Speed Rail Lines to nowhere;
useless ethanol subsidies; or more unfunded mandates.
Question 2: Guv should do, and use, anything & everything that he/she
thinks will help.
Kent Eklund (9) (9)
Question 3: Just impressed by how many leaders talk about the need to
reattach the middle to the process -- the less passionate but
Donald H. Anderson (7) (7)
Question 3: I especially liked his comment on public funding of
campaigns, instead of the present special interests funding.
Rick Krueger (10) (10)
Question 1: By any reasonable assessment of our state budget,
(including formal testimony from Pawlenty Administration Commissioners
and the State Economist) the federal stimulus bailed the state out.
Pawlenty does the public a disservice by dismissing this fact.
Question 2: More important that creating the commissions is avidly
promoting key recommendations; in many cases the governors have me
missing in action when it comes to actually promoting the changes that
the commissions advocated.
Question 3: The most vexing issue of all is how do we create an
political environment where candidates actually rely more on public
policy concerns than campaign slogans.
Dane Smith (5) (7)
Question 2: Commissions are fine, there needs to be a commitment when
they are established to follow through on their recommendations.
Pawlenty sets them up and utterly ignores their verdicts, because the
prescriptions are never fundamentally conservative enough.
John DeSantis, Jr. (8) (7)
Charles Lutz (10) (8)
David Alden (7) (9)
John Milton (10) (10)
Dick McGuire (5) (10)
Question 1: It’s not free money just because it’s fed money.
Question 3: Arne’s mind set is badly needed again.
Ray Schmitz (5) (8)
Question 1: Only if it is paired with real reforms.
Question 2: Again the goal must be real reform, for example the school
closings in Anoka Hennepin, at least as far as is reported, are
occurring in a vacuum, there could be a need in the adjacent districts
for space but that is not part of the discussion. We should be
changing boundaries to maximize efficiency, not to adhere to
traditional lines that have become obsolete with changes in
population. Cities and counties are the same.
Steven B. Hardie (10) (7.5)
Question 3: If the extremist in both (all) political parties is such a
roadblock to progress in dealing with MN problems, how can we begin to
marginalize the influence of party endorsements in elections? The
population as a whole seems to recognize parties as part of the
problem rather than part of the solution.
Paul H. Hauge (5) (10)
Question 3: Governor Arne works well as an independent non partisan
advocate but we cannot continue to rely on the feds to bail the states
Don Fraser (9) (9)
Fred Senn (0) (10)
Question 3: Great interview. Arne has a lot of solid ideas on how to
get us back on the right track.
Vici Oshiro (5) (10)
Question 2: Yes, consider. But consider does not equal form a
commission or adopt their recommendations. If the parties who need to
adopt the policy are unlikely to use the work of the commission there
is no reason to convene one.
Peter Hennessey (0) (5)
I am sure this is one Republican that you can like. Unfortunately, he
is the kind of Republican that is part of the problem, not the
solution, for the simple fact that he is seeking solutions , "things
that work," without having a standard by which to measure success or
failure. It is not clear if he has learned anything from Ronald
Reagan, that you start from principle, and you propose solutions
derived from principle. In this case as in all cases if you start with
the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, that principle
if the free market and absolutely minimum interference in the free
market by any level of government. That is not dogmatic, it is simply
Question 1: There is nothing good that comes from any "help" from the
Feds, because they are not interested in helping, they always seek
control. There are always onerous strings attached to federal money.
Question 2: Commissions have a spotty record for generating ideas,
good ideas, or ideas that are actually accepted and implemented. Ideas
generated by commissions are also greatly dependent on the
participants on those commissions, and to the extent that a certain
political fringe makes a virtue of hogging membership on commissions,
you get a lop-sided set of recommendations in the guise of "expert" or
"broad based" advice.
It always amazes me that any problem is always oh so complicated, and
the solutions are oh so expensive, if you listen to the bureaucrats
and experts, yet so simple when you listen to the common folk. If our
leaders really have no ideas and need input, (1) why don't they hold
public hearings and town hall meetings, and (2) why do they even stay
In the American system of government, holders of public office are not
rulers, they are servants elected (hired) to perform a necessary
function of governance. If they can't do the job, they should step
aside and let someone else try. Servants are not supposed to hang onto
their office for the sheer pleasure of exercising power for power's
sake, or get drunk on the illusion that they are doing some "good."
Government does "good" when it protects the people from foreign
enemies and domestic criminals. Everything else they do harms some
citizens in the name of helping some others. Public servants are
supposed to minimize the harm and maximize the good, and they do that
by interfering the least in the business of the common folk, which is
the free market.
Robert J. Brown (3) (3)
Question 1: If it appears that there is no other alternative in order
to balance the budget I suppose this might be done. However, this is
another of those short term fixes (like the shifting of payments of
school aids) that just postpones the inevitable problems. It creates
the same kind of problem that does the local government aid at the
state level – the separation of the responsibility of raising the
money from the authority to spend the money. States would then
continue to cry to the feds for more bailouts in the future once the
dependency is established.
Question 2: It might be a good idea if the Governor would get creative
people on the commission and then follow up on their recommendations.
For example, there were some excellent ideas in the Brandl-Weber
group, but I recall that the Governor never fought for the
recommendations even after they were toned done in the final
presentation. More recently I served on education groups appointed by
Governor Ventura and Governor Pawlenty and found the results
disappointed because the special interest groups representing the
education establishment dominated the task forces and prevented the
majority report from proposing any real change.
Bill Kuisle (0) (5)
Question 1: We cannot ask our children to pay more to get us out of
Question 2: Most of these reports sit on a shelf and collect dust.
Joe Mansky (5) (5)
Question 1: Using additional stimulus money for one-time situations,
like unemployment insurance payments, may be ok, but it’s not a long
Rick Bishop (8) (10)
Great discussion, especially the points about starting anew versus
trying to remodel a worn out model. Also, I believe in utilizing the
brain power of the citizens including commissions (though not sitting
Question 3: Conversations about leadership as opposed to blaming those
for getting things done as put forth by the late Bob Terry, a dear
mentor of mine!
David Broden (0) (10)
Question 1: Another stimulus package will only shift the
responsibility and increase the overall deficit. It is time for each
state to make the reshaping decisions that will reflect the changes
that will bring government in line with the overall economy. Passing
the responsibility is the easy way out and does not lead to more
accountability at all levels of government. If the national economy
continues to be in a recessionary mode or have other problems then the
national government must act at that level but not in a role to bail
out the states. A state shortfall can only be resolved by a rethinking
of how we do various services, who pays for what, etc. We should be
able to work this without lowering our standard of living or quality
of life--some innovative approaches will have to be done in how we do
things and we need to be more aggressive in building a sustainable
economy in the state.
Question 2: A level of 10 for this is perhaps not what I really
mean--there needs to be more innovation from across the state and from
all components of the diverse population and segments of the Mn
economy. Ideas via commissions set up by the governor is one
approach--I would like to see that groups of individuals and
businesses--communities etc. move out without being lead by a
government decree. Let's encourage new ideas from the bottom up. We
need a mechanism that will encourage the formation of idea generating
groups across the state without someone saying that a commission will
be appointed and then we just get the same old hacks generating the
same old ideas. A ranking of 10 is for special groups however they
occur with the governor and legislature committed to listen to the
ideas from all groups.
Question 3: I would like ask for ideas of how ideas for government
change and the future of Mn can be stimulated from across the state
without the need for a governor or legislative or other government
focused group pushing. How can the individualist Mn mind be release to
explore the ideas needed?? I am convinced that there are ideas and
resources--let's turn them loose.
Ellen Brown (0) (10)
Question 1: object to pushing the problem up...or down with further
LGA cuts. The Legislature needs to quit passing the buck.
Question 2: If they can be created without the heavy involvement of
the well funded groups whose interests constitute the problem.
Question 3: Not missed, but just a seconding of the need for public
financing of campaigns to be on the agenda, whether the League's or
some other group....maybe a special commission. I am not clear what
the recent Supreme Court decision means on this issue for Minnesota.
Bob White (1) (10)
Question 1: Not an awful idea, but probably futile.
Question 2: On this one, two ratings. For current governor, 5 --
because commissions couldn't report in time for him to act on them,
and I doubt if he would pay much attention anyway. The important
rating - 10 - is for future governors, who should certainly make more
use of special commissions than has been the case in recent years.
Phil Herwig (0) (10)
Roger Heegaard (6) (6)
Bill Jungbauer (0) (5)
Question 2: As to your question on commissions, the first thing that
came to mind was a quote, "Once a bureau is created, its staff becomes
a tenacious political interest group, well placed to defend its budget
and to make a case for expanding its activities." Robert Higgs
I do not mind commissions of any sort as long as they are disbanded
once their purpose is fulfilled and they must have a well defined and
reasonable purpose. The taxpayers should get plenty of bang for their
I must disagree with the comment "Dems wanting to tax—you could
confiscate everything from the above-$500k crowd and still be unable
to reconcile our budget gaps—and Republicans who want to ignore the
seriousness of the problem." Concerning the budget deficit facing our
state. Nothing could be further from the truth. Governor Pawlenty as
well as Republican legislators in both the house and senate are very
concerned about this issue.
The majority of the Republicans see the need for lower taxes on
businesses in Minnesota. They recognize that we are losing businesses
to other states. Take for example a proposed ethanol plant in southern
Minnesota. Permit fees totaled roughly $30,000 in Minnesota. Across
the border in Iowa, it was less than $400. Guess where the Ethanol
plant was built.
Also, look at the comparison between Minnesota and the surrounding
states in construction jobs lost over the past year,
Whereas in the Dakotas, where taxes are lower on businesses, things
are looking better,
North Dakota 900
South Dakota +600
Yes, South Dakota saw a rise in construction jobs.
I would also like to add that if we are losing businesses, we are
losing leaders in the business community. Something that the former
governor stated is no longer present in current debate on state
Shari Prest (5) (8)
Question 1: Seek it but don't depend on it , recognizing that whatever
we get from the Federal gov. increases the National debt.
Question 2: Only as long as they are not political appointees all
carrying the same partisan objectives. They must be free thinkers and
a few policy wonks. They should come from all layers of society. It
will be more difficult to generate "new thinking" when we go to the
Question 3: I believe Governor Carlson's statesmanship has grown since
he was in office. I support Governor Carlson's suggestion to focus on
the big plan. We have been missing that in Minnesota through several
administrations. We need a vision and we need it to be so well
developed, publicly supported, and comprehensive that it will not die
with elections. This can not be over-emphasized. Whether it relates to
schools, health care, campaign regulation, markets. We are one state
with many parts. We need a clear and compelling vision and a
sustainable direction and a consistent drive.
Chris Wright (5) (5)
A non-partisan budget commission allowed to make budgetary
recommendations from Independents and not just major party
appointments might put some innovative ideas on the table before they
are dismissed without consideration.
For instance, if you could regulate narcotics through prohibition it
would be unprofitable to distribute, yet gangsters have been selling
it for 100-years since prohibition began. Why not regulate the
distribution of narcotics just like liquor instead of insisting on
gangster distribution. Insisting on gangster distribution is not only
reprehensible, since it subsidizes and bankrolls criminals, but it
destoys public safety. Our state could raise necessary revenues, cut
crime, and lower taxes on prisons and law enforcement. But I doubt the
major parties would allow END THE DRUG WAR to be on the table. Of
course, the reason alcohol prohibition was ended was because of the
depression and the lack of government revenue. Perhaps our state could
do the same.
It's obvious that a combination of austerity measures and revenue
increases will have to be considered. Leadership requires making these
tough decisions and the governor and legislature will have to work
We should put our economic house in order before asking any money from
the federal government. Other states will have to do the same.
Besides, last I heard the Fed is broke.
Jim Olson (10) (10)
Bill Hamm (4) (6)
Question 1: I fail to see how shifting the pain to the Federal
Government is anything more than a temporary solution that pushes the
debt off on our children and children's children. It does nothing to
get our state government to live within its means. We would be far
better off eliminating or at least suspending the mandates behind much
of this debt as well as shifting many of these costs back to local
decision making. I am particularly speaking of education and Social
Question 2: I feel lukewarm on this issue because it all depends on
the ability of a partisan elected official to be non partisan, a
concept I have little faith in under the present situation.
Even the Civic organizations you cite have become increasingly more
partisan making their input of increasingly less value. Yes we need
more inclusive public input. The answer we are looking for is how do
Minnesotans achieve this again?
George Pillsbury (5) (8)
Bright Dornblaser (10) (10)
Question 1: Yes, if the government placed conditions such with GMoters
eg strutural reforms
Question 3: What could draw the business community back into
involvement, eg. participation in a meaningful commission with up or
down vote on recommendations to increase likelihood of accomplishing
Ray Ayotte (0) (10)
Larry Schluter (8) (9)