1. On a scale of (0) very negative, to (5) neutral, to (10) very
positive, what is your view on the Governor's decision not to raise
taxes, to borrow money, and use some accounting deferrals to help
reconcile the budget shortfall?
2. On a scale of (0) very negative, to (5) neutral, to (10) very
positive, what is your view on the role of federal earmarks in
3. On a scale of
0) very negative, to (5) neutral, to (10) very positive, do you
believe changes are needed in transportation to produce greater
overall leadership at the state level?
4. On a scale of 0) very negative, to (5) neutral, to (10) very
positive, do you think that school districts should be allowed to
create new and autonomous schools similar to the charter sector?
Broden (3) (0) (10) (7)
Question 1: The governor's proposal is short sighted. While tax
increases may seem out of order in a time with economic problems, this
is a time of opportunity to address a long term re-look at the
government structure and how it is funded. By keeping taxes in the
"same" format and structure there is no movement or action to
establish the long term stability of revenue and concurrently provide
for government which more effectively delivers services and is focused
on a long term vision. As the session progresses it will be
important that the governor and the legislature become responsive to
the long term needs of Minnesota and rethink their objectives.
Maintaining the status quo as the governor plans does is not
responsible leadership. We need a strong and effective vision that is
communicated and "owned by all of Minnesota"
Question 2: Earmarks are a basic failure of the legislative and
administrative bodies at all levels to do their job and often displace
the more critical needs. What is needed is an effective plan for
transportation that will set the priorities within the state. There
remains the important role for consideration of interstate commerce
where some links across states and federal planning must be addressed
but not as earmarks but as an overall transportation plan for the
region or nation.
Question 3: There appears to be no strong leadership nor is there a
well established plan that links the whole state as well as moving
both people and goods/services. To make this happen there needs to be
a link between jobs and transportation as well as consideration of the
products that must move. Leadership must begin with a strong
vision--thru a state planning agency--and then articulated by the
governor's endorsement and action to make it happen.
Question 4: The concept seems on track to offer options
and opportunity. The approach to the new and autonomous schools and
how they will operate must be well outlined to ensure public
understanding and get public acceptance before moving ahead.
Concurrently I continue to believe that "integrating change into
the current system must remain a major thrust"--too many different
ideas will water everything down and produce no benefits. Thus
let's do some pilot work on the new and autonomous while strongly
moving to adjust the existing.
Sluss (1) (5) (8) (0)
Slocum (5) (5) (10) (8)
All options ought to be on the table as both the governor and the
lawmakers build the next budget over the next 12 weeks.
Generally oppose earmarks and desire decision-making responsibility at
the lowest level; need more info here.
Brazelton (2) (5) (8) (_)
Question 1: While
all available funds need to be tapped when running a deficit, all
spending proposals need to be regularly reviewed for effectiveness to
avoid waste. In addition, the tax cuts for the highest income earners
dating back to the Ventura administration have left a legacy of under
funding our ongoing needs. It has been estimated by conservatives
that $300 million additional tax revenue per year would be
realized by bringing the state tax rates of the top 10% in line with
the other 90%. Over time, that would start shoring up the holes in
our revenue streams. Obviously, this is only one part of the
solution. Wise, effective investments in preventative action is also
important to keep future spending needs down.
Question 2: While the federal government, as any other agency, wants
to make sure its goals are being met with dollars invested, earmarks
can and do result in politically motivated, inefficient expenditures.
Think "the bridge to nowhere".
Question 4: Need more information on how this would be structured,
Anderson (2) (_) (8) (_)
Dennis L. Johnson (9) (0) (5) (10)
Jennings (1) (3) (9) (9)
Miller (0) (8) (10) (5)
Prest (0 (10) (10) (10)
Carolyn Ring (8) (5) (9) (3)
Question 4: In a
mobile society you need a strong sense of consistency as students move
from one school to another.
Charles Lutz (0) (6) (9) (9)
Fraser (0) (5) (9) (9)
Bright Dornblaser (0) (7) (10) (8)
Sandbo (9) (2.5) (7.5) (8)
Government needs to run like a business. If there is not enough
revenue they need to cut spending. The hard part is knowing the
limit of taxation. To not raise taxes helps to point that out much
better than to raise taxes and not make elected officials look for
failed systems and programs.
sure I understand them that well but we must be skeptical of any funds
from the Federal Government, because they do not understand
Minnesota's issues as well as we do. When it is a hard fact that
federal funds are needed to support national programs (defense,
foreign relations) then we can be less skeptical. This is not always
easy to determine, however it is why we pay people to serve in local,
state and federal gov. positions.
Change is always needed - what that change is hard to tell. Cut down
on the need for individuals to drive (either by raising gas prices,
better mass transport, support
for more fuel
Question 4: Yes,
but some oversight is needed by a state education system.
Bill Kuisle (6) (1) (3) (9)
Bob White (0) (5) (8) (5)
Donald H. Anderson (0) (5) (6) (0)
The only way
government can operate is through public funding and that includes
taxes, in part, based on an individual's ability to pay. In times of
depression this means those who have the most must pay a fair share.
Dick Conklin (4) (10) (5) (4)
Vici Oshiro (0) (5) (5) (5)
Question 1: Yes,
I favor changes in our tax structure. Any income tax increase should
be applied first to those who, according to tax incidence study, pay
smaller portion of their income than the rest of us. In other areas
the devil is in the details.
Earmarks: If this is carefully defined to those projects inserted
into bill without vetting process my answer would be 0, but many
people use the term loosely.
Transportation: I think Margaret's metaphor of connecting the silos
is a good one.
Schools can create new schools if they wish and can afford it. As for
autonomous, where is your balance between autonomous and
accountability? I've learned about many successful charter schools.
Many if not most seem to rely on 24/7 demands upon teachers. They
need to be allowed to have a life too!
George Pillsbury (0) (0) (10) (5)
Spano (0) (10) (3) (3)
Schmitz (2) (8) (10) (0)
Question 1: The
premises seems to be that there is a pot of gold at the end of
the black cloud, what makes him think so.
Question 2: Is it really worse for a rep/senator to designate a
priority project in their district than for the federal administration
to play favorites for political gain, I don't think so. The real
issue is benefit, a bridge to nowhere from a powerful senator is bad,
what is the system that would prevent that?
Question 3: Obviously the current system is not working so something
has to be better.
Question 4: I wonder if the local school board concept is viable
today, the overhead and trauma of each district budgeting,
administrating, and prioritizing no longer seems to be producing
anything. Someone recently noted that we formerly had one
superintendent for each county, I don't think that was totally true,
my recollection is that it only covered the rural schools and larger
districts were still independent, but it would seem to make some sense
to have regional administrations. I appreciate the loyalty to local
schools, but there does not seem to be a willingness to fund them, at
least the possibility of eliminating the local admin expenses would
make sense, why have all the HR, and other overhead. The idea of the
districts creating some miracle school seems unlikely since they have
had the opportunity to do so for years.
Pierson (6) (4) (8) (6)
Shuck ((2) (2) (4) (1)
I do hope that the
Speaker of the House and Governor Pawlenty can work effectively
together. It seems clear, though, that Minnesota's economic situation
will never improve with so many people employed by the State while
being supported by a dwindling number of actively employed citizens in
the private sector. The situation we face is arithmetic rather than
political. Minnesota will ultimately be required, either willingly or
unwillingly, to greatly reduce state employment and raise the
retirement age for public employees to at least the age of 70. Within
the framework of this arithmetic requirement to bring into balance
public and private employment, no new taxes are in order except
perhaps the gasoline tax to encourage conservation.
Robert J. Brown (2) (0) (_) (8)
Senn (4) (0) (10) (10)
Hennessey (1) (0) (0) (10)
like Minnesota's problems are not much different from California's.
But at least here we have law that requires 2/3 majority to raise
taxes. Consequently we also have a permanent budget crisis because, in
spite of shameless gerrymandering, there are still just enough
Republicans in the legislature to derail a lot of stupid ideas.
Question 1. Sure,
it is a bad idea in an economy like this to raise taxes. But borrowing
just kicks the can down the road, and accounting tricks are just that,
tricks, no substance. What is Minnesota doing to cut expenses?
Question 2. All
money comes from the same pockets; mine and yours. Push the decision
making down to the local level as much as possible. Obey the
Constitution and cut the federal government back to its original size,
so it won't suck up all the revenue.
Question 3. A
hundred years ago there was little government involvement in
transportation or most other aspects of our lives. We had commuter
rail systems radiating from city centers to the suburbs, and station
wagons (horse drawn or motorized) to take the commuters to the
stations. We had competing light rail lines within our cities, with
great service and cheap fares. Then Big Business and Big Government
colluded to rip up most rail and subsidize roads instead. The
explosion of unplanned suburbs guaranteed that no transportation
system will be financially viable and convenient ever again. My son
has a friend living about 10 miles away, 10-15 minutes by car door to
door. It takes him over 90 minutes by bus on a good day, if he is
lucky to make the connections at the right times. Even as recently as
the early 1970s, SF had private vans running around our densely
populated neighborhoods that took you around for a quarter. The City's
municipal rail and bus monopoly finally managed to drive them out of
business, and fares are a buck and a half for drastically reduced
service. In SF this was the last victim of the stupid legal theory of
"natural monopoly" which drove out business competing water, electric,
gas, telephone, cable, commuter train, light rail, bus, taxi, garbage
and similar companies. No, the proper role of government, if any, is
to get out of the way.
Question 4. Again,
push the decision making down to the local level as much as
possible; the proper role of government, if any, is to get out of the
I was in
Pennsylvania when the feds started to blackmail local schools into
accepting federal rules and regulations under the threat of losing
federal funds they started getting just a couple of years before. The
first one of these was the requirement that schools provide lunch.
Now, in this small town, schools are close enough so you can walk home
for lunch, and every kid did just that, or we brown-bagged it and hung
out with friends. We still had full-time mothers back then, and it
made no sense to anybody why we should have to build and staff a
school cafeteria. The school board ended up spending more on that than
the money we got from the feds. But that was just step one down a long
slippery slope over the last 40+ years.
We have stepped
off the cliff and we are in a free fall into the abyss. USA 1776-2008
Hamm (6) (5) (3) (1)
Some of us
understood that if the constitutional amendment passed legislators
would again try to put the sales tax on food and clothing making it
even more regressive than it is. The argument is that rich people buy
bigger ticket items and while that may be true the richer you are the
smaller percentage of your income goes to these items. The poorest
would then basically pay a second income tax on their entire income.
As for simplifying
participation to meet the requirements of modern laziness, I
respectfully disagree. The value and usefulness of information
gathered through such processes needs to be evaluated for its content,
effectiveness, and validity.
Question 1 It's a
politically safe move that really shows no courage or long range
Question 2 I
support the creation of a statewide group of locally elected officials
rather than metro councils to oversee the distribution and outlay of
I am more worried about accountability and fairness than creation of
Question 4. No. If
the school districts are allowed to control the process no real change
will occur. Even worse any positive results are likely to be buried in
support of the system in place now. We need an explanation of
independent schools that bring competition back to education.
Stone (8) (0) (8) (6)
stability for Minnesota will occur when the size of government and the
expectations of governance are reduced to sustainable and socially
tenable levels that are more suitable to a Capitalist (as opposed to
Socialist) system. This seems to be the subtext of conservative state
budget solutions; although there seems to be a political reluctance to
just spit it out and say it.
The steadfast dedication to living within
the Stateís means by not raising taxes is good governance. This idea
gets a 10. The tax policy gets more weight than the other two
components of this question because it is policy and relates to
the shape of State Government. The other two components of the
question are one-time (albeit, poor) decisions.
from the tobacco settlement is unsustainable finance and gets a 0.
deferrals are not sustainable finance and consequently get a 0
Iím assuming that
the question refers to the effect of earmarks on State
transportation spending. Earmarks are bad governance and ultimately
buy enough votes to keep the politicians of the world in power.
Earmarks are sporadic and uncoordinated transportation spending. This
is how we get freeway extensions in Northern Minnesota with tunnels
under them for the passage of Canadian Lynx (L. canadensis).
Iím assuming that
the question refers to Minnesota taking a transportation leadership
position among states. The Trans-Texas Multimodal Supercorridor is an
example of a state taking transportation leadership with private
sector money and strong leadership by Governor Perry. This Corridor,
incidentally, is the concept that hatched a thousand conspiracy myths
including the NAFTA Superhighway, the North American Union and the
Amero. The NAFTA Superhighway may be the only myth to have had its own
Congressional hearings; the result of so many constituent complaints
about the myth.
H. Hauge (2) (5) (10) (5)
Mansky (5) (4) (10) (10)
Cox (8) (0) (8) (5)
Sheila Kiscaden (0) (6) (7) (5)
Eklund (2) (2) (8) (8)
Prest (0) (5) (7) (10)
These are very different ways of managing. I prefer raising taxes to
borrowing and shifts.
I am not opposed to them if the distribution process in futuristic,
green and needs based as opposed to pork determined by a partisan
In the current system we need not only someone that
can influence federal funds but also someone that can envision, lead,
and inspire in the direction current and future resources require that
Yes, it is indefensible that we provide the opportunity to employ
creative options to everyone but those most well prepared to measure
community commitment, manage resources and plan curriculum and
instruction and deflect resources from the majority of our learners in
Schluter (3) (4) (4) (7)
Districts have before and I think it would be a good idea to see
what a individual school could do if it were to make some of its own
decisions and have to live with its results. It would put more
responsibility on the teacher and the administrator for that
Harlan Finney (0) (10) (10) (0)
Halstead (0) (0) (_) (5)
Robert Jacobs (0) (5) (5) (0)
Swain (3) (5) (9) (9)
Pundt (7.5) (0) (10) (0)
quick look at the exponential growth of the public sector and state
government should bring anyone to the conclusion that it's out of
control. Cutting taxes, absolutely. Borrowing money, probably not.
Rather than accounting deferrals, how about putting competition and
good sound free market principles in place as much as possible
Question 2: So
who's running this state anyway? Did we elect members of Congress to
fill in for the Governor and Legislature? Did I miss that election?
We've elected local and state leaders and they should be in charge of
Question 3: Get
the feds out of the game would be a good start.
Question 4: I
think school districts should have direct competition from private
charter schools and let parents decide where their kid should get
ready for the rest of his life.
Jim Keller (8) (3) (10) (2)