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 Response Page - Penny  Interview -      


These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Tim Penny Interview of
06-25-2011.
 

Overview:  Tim Penny, former state senator, former member of Congress, and currently president, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation contends that the Governor and Legislature shouldn't feel they are violating mandates from voters if they choose compromise on the budget. He thinks they should consider a new proposal from Jim Mulder on settling the budget for the biennium and that a blue ribbon commission should be created to tackle redesign of major state services. He believes a decline in political party participation is a major reason for the greater intransigence evidenced today by competing lawmakers.

For the complete interview summary see: http://bit.ly/q8gTwa

Response Summary:  Readers have been asked to rate, on a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, the following points discussed by Penny. Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

1. Mandates. (8.2 average response)  If they choose to compromise their respective positions on the state budget, the Governor and Legislature should not feel they are violating mandates from their voters.

2. Mulder plan. (7.3 average response) The Governor and Legislature should enact a plan advanced by Jim Mulder in the Star Tribune that would limit the increase in state spending to three percent, along with ending selective tax loopholes and tax breaks.

3. Blue ribbon commission. (8.4 average response) The Governor and Legislature should create a blue ribbon commission for longer term redesign of major state services such as education and health care.

4. Political parties. (7.5 average response) A decline in political party participation is a significant reason for greater intransigence today between opposing lawmakers than was present many years ago. 

 

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Mandates

9%

5%

2%

21%

63%

43

2. Mulder plan

5%

7%

7%

56%

26%

43

3. Blue ribbon commission

2%

5%

7%

35%

51%

43

4. Political parties

2%

2%

14%

56%

26%

43

Individual Responses:

Ray Ayotte  (7.5)  (7.5)  (10)  (7.5)

Robert Freeman  (10)  (5)  (5)  (7.5)

3. Blue ribbon commission.  Study away, but if the parties don't like the results they just ignore them.

R. C. Angevine  (7.5)  (2.5)  (7.5)  (7.5)

1. Mandates.  I have trouble with the word "mandate" because I feel that neither side has a real mandate.  In many cases the current legislators were elected only because the voters did not want to re-elect the incumbent.

2. Mulder plan. Seems like another simple plan with no real basis in reality.  Let's figure out what needs to be done for the betterment of all of Minnesota, define the costs for that, and then budget accordingly.  If that means tax hikes or tax cuts then so be it.  I'm tired of solutions that say we should do something like "reduce the size of government" or tax the "top 2%" without any real connection to what is best for all of us.

3. Blue ribbon commission. While I have only limited faith in committees it seems clear that the governor and the legislature will never get the job done on their own.

W. D. (Bill) Hamm  (2.5)  (7.5)  (2.5)  (7.5)

1. Mandates. First of all only the legislature had any mandate, as Dayton was 6 points from a simple majority of voters. While good governors are in a position that requires this kind of thinking, legislators must be the enforcers of the public will, as that is what they are elected for. Having worked with Mr. Penny in the Independence Party, I have in the past found it hard to find much I could agree with in his words. Yet his progressive spin is less obvious than usual.

2. Mulder plan. The principle of this is an effective give-and-take that Minnesotans could get their arms around. The big question is, which loopholes? Who wins this loophole war rather than really fixing the tax system? Sidestep and punt.

3. Blue ribbon commission. (Bypass) the legislature; this is clearly a Governor’s job. This is leadership and could matter of factly undermine the people’s will. The problem is we have a Governor so committed to special interests that he would never appoint an honest commission.

4. Political parties. The problem with Tim's progressive views is that he still has trouble being honest about the DFL purges that pushed so many pro-life and religious DFLers into the ranks of the Republican Party. Both parties have been negatively affected by these aggressive attack strategies of the ruling elements of Minnesota’s DFL. The present illegitimate leadership of the DFL needs to die or disappear so the Party can be remade.

Pat Melvin  (10)  (7.5)  (10)  (7.5)

John Crosby  (10)  (10)  (10)  (7.5)

Paul Ritter  (0)  (0)  (5)  (7.5)

3. Blue ribbon commission. As long as they are not all government employees or union affiliated.

John R. Klinger  (7.5)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (2.5)

1. Mandates. The legislators were elected to study the issues and based upon their findings, vote as best suits their constituents.   The average voter does not know enough of the issues, in depth, to make an informed decision.

2. Mulder plan. They should not be limited to 3% but base the percentage upon the current situation whether it be economical or societal.   Setting a limit, or lack thereof, does not allow one to consider the current situation at hand.   It’s very much like the "no new tax pledge."   Loopholes are looked for and found, making the law or pledge ridiculous.

3. Blue ribbon commission. If the blue ribbon commission were staffed by ultra conservative legislators, unwilling to compromise, then I would be against it.

4. Political parties. I believe money is the root of the intransigence we see today.   We have bought and paid for what we have and the media has a vested interest in keeping our "ire" up.   Considering the recent supreme court decision considering corporations as people, I think we are in for even more intransigence than we see today.

Ray Schmitz  (10)  (10)  (10)  (7.5)

1. Mandates. Seems as if the definition of mandate needs to change; as Tim says the electorate is bigger than your voters, and this is particularly (true) when the percentage win is close.

2. Mulder plan. Good ideas.

3. Blue ribbon commission. Of course, Pawlenty did it, and it is gathering dust.

4. Political parties. Interesting idea; he is right about the decline but is that the cause of the decline?

Bruce A. Lundeen  (7.5)  (10)  (7.5)  (5)

1. Mandates. In view of the exigency of the situation, exercising representational government prerogatives is not unreasonable - and I think many voters would understand.

2. Mulder plan. Because Tim Penny said so.

3. Blue ribbon commission. It is not only education and health care that deserve "redesign", and it is sad education and health care so spiral out of control.  The demographics that drive education and health care are real.    I believe that in any State government direction in which you look, redesign is possible.  There are many, many "small knobs to turn".  I wish most that the overpowering influence of the State labor unions be lessened.

Peter Hennessey  (0)  (2.5)  (7.5)  (5)

1. Mandates. The biggest problem with politics is that politicians feel (1) they can say anything on the campaign trail to get elected, and (2) they can do anything they want after they are elected, the dumb rabble be damned. Then they wonder why voters are apathetic and cynical. Apparently the voters of the great state of MN had the good sense to elect a divided government. At least a government fighting with itself will do little additional harm. But real reforms will have to wait until you get the big government types out of office at all levels.

2. Mulder plan. I wonder if this Mulder also has a sultry sidekick named Scully. What he is proposing sounds like business as usual. Just give us what we want, even if a bit less than what we want. Tinker with the tax code to increase revenues -- then spend that, too.    Why cap the increase in spending at 3%? Why not 5 or 10? Or zero, or minus 10 or 20? Why not end all the social engineering via tinkering with the tax code? In state after state the solution is not to increase the budget but to decrease the spending, to cut the oppressive and expensive bureaucratic overhead so you'll have money for the essentials. In state after state the status quo crowd is dedicated to keeping the failed policies going no matter what. We want to keep living high on the hog (and) let future generations pay for it.

3. Blue ribbon commission. I hope this means reexamining the fundamentals, reevaluating everything the state does -- what, why, how and at what cost -- and to look for every opportunity to privatize government operations. There is no reason why government should run schools and colleges, hospitals and clinics, utilities and civil engineering projects, charities, pensions, etc. Government is supposed to serve; that is, provide politically neutral services such as security, justice and safekeeping of important records. Just about everything else can and should be contracted out by competitive bidding.

4. Political parties. The decline in participation is the result of apathy. Apathy is the result of being told one thing during the campaign and seeing something else done in the legislative session; an insulting slap in the face that our self-anointed political class considers us to be no more than morons and peons who exist only to serve them. How long can anyone stay motivated to participate in political parties under these conditions?    The "intransigence" is the result of the realization that (1) you can't act without guiding principles or "ideology," and (2) you can't compromise between diametrically opposed ideologies. We tried the "mixed economy" which for a while used to mean a free market with some government participation as safeguards against some more or less accurately perceived shortcomings. And we've seen it degenerate into "crony capitalism" with government control of the minutest details of our lives, which is just a polite word for fascism and socialism. But you can't have a healthy political, economic, social, cultural system based on contradictory principles; a house divided against itself cannot stand. Fortunately, we have also seen in country after country that a system built on socialism also cannot stand. This leaves as the only possible solution the system that our Founders gave us and enshrined for us in the Constitution: a severely limited government with few specifically enumerated powers, and maximum liberty for the individual citizen. Unfortunately we have one establishment political party whose ideology is based on fervently ignoring, dismissing and subverting the Constitution; another establishment party whose leadership is dedicated to going along but at a slower pace; and an establishment media who relish ridiculing, smearing and maligning anyone who dares speak up for the original intent of our Constitution. But a decline in participation in the establishment parties is not the same as apathy for politics. Has Mr. Penny not heard (that) there was a Tea Party revolt in November 2010? Several hundred legislative seats across the nation have changed hands. Let the establishment continue in its arrogant ways, "compromising" with themselves to the detriment of the people, and the revolution will continue in 2012.

David Dillon  (0)  (10)  (10)  (10)

4. Political parties. This is precisely the catch 22 that is at the bottom of both this standoff and the reason more able and accomplished individuals, who refuse to pander to the extremes of either side, decline to participate in the process.  Such a pity the independent approach is pointless.  Now we watch as the wing nuts hold court.

John Branstad  (10)  (7.5)  (10)  (7.5)

1. Mandates. I agree strongly that the word "mandate" is terribly overused, often by people that either don't understand what it means, or mistakenly believe they actually have a mandate. With divided government, compromise is essential. Unfortunately, the commitment to compromise is coming primarily from the Governor while the Republican Legislature gives only lip service to the idea and their party leaders explicitly speak against compromise.

2. Mulder plan. That plan is a reasonable starting point, but I don't believe cuts to education are a wise long-term approach.

3. Blue ribbon commission. Definitely a good idea, but can be easily rendered moot as when our previous Governor completely ignored his own blue ribbon commissions when their solutions weren't in a position to advance his political ambitions.

4. Political parties. There's a bit of a chicken-and-egg question here: did lower participation lead to greater intransigence, or did highly divisive politics drive people away from participating? Either way, we need to find a way to break that cycle.

Don Anderson  (10)  (5)  (7.5)  (7.5)

1. Mandates. They may be violating the "mandates" of their party, but not the "mandates" of the total voting public who I feel want compromise at this time.

2. Mulder plan. It may have merit, but is it necessarily three percent and who would pick the selective tax loopholes and breaks?

4. Political parties. Why participate in caucuses when the money that controls the outcome comes from out-of-state sources?

Jason Just  (10)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (7.5)

3. Blue ribbon commission. Agree that we should have a new method of funding K-12, including dealing with inequity via different local levy funds. The state constitution guarantees education; fund it.

Debby Frenzel  (10)  (10)  (7.5)  (10)

Grant Abbott  (7.5)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (10)

1. Mandates. There is a very important difference between a rigid principled position and principled pragmatism. I don't think the majority in any of the major political parties voted for candidates they hoped would be ideologues. They voted for people of principle who would do their best for a Minnesota with difficult problems that is seriously divided over political philosophy. In order to do the best for Minnesota in this situation they have to be able to work out a compromise. I don't think most Minnesotans would reject their legislators and the governor, if they felt both sides were making compromises. (Even though I am outraged that the Republican party would balance the budget by taking more away from the poor and holding the rich harmless.)

2. Mulder plan. In the abstract I like Mr. Mulder's ideas. However, I think the right place to start is get agreement on where Minnesota needs to be to compete very successfully in the technologically-driven, increasingly dynamic global economy and on the constraints that have to accepted and those that need to be overcome. Then, we need to strive for consensus on the government's role in getting us there within the resources Minnesotans are willing and wise to provide for the operation of government.

3. Blue ribbon commission. I am skeptical of efforts to create seeming efficiencies that too often turn out not be effective. So, I hope for more effective education and health care systems.

4. Political parties. As Alvin Toffler pointed out in Future Shock in the 1970's, information was becoming much more diversified, as the magazine rack demonstrated. Now, with the internet, it is even more fragmented. I don't think it's a great leap to suggest that similar fragmentation is happening in politics. We may be headed the way of Europe with multiple parties and the need to organize coalitions to be able to govern. Look at the fissures in the current national Republican Party or our own state Republican Party that ostracizes two of its former governors. They are looking more like the Democrats everyday.

Dennis L. Johnson  (2.5)  (7.5)  (2.5)  (0)

1. Mandates. Elected officials should know more than ever before about what their voters think thanks to mail, e-mail, Facebook, etc. Minnesota voters continue to be strongly divided (and) tell their political officials, and they are in turn divided.

2. Mulder plan. This makes sense if nothing else can be agreed on.

3. Blue ribbon commission. Blue Ribbon commissions take a lot of time, cost quite a bit of money, and their conclusions are seldom enacted as policy. Keep a cap on expenses and let the politicians with the administrators figure out how to be more efficient. That is what they are already paid for.

4. Political parties. I do not think there is any decline in political party participation. The media and communications are more pervasive than ever, resulting in many divided and varying opinions. Overwhelming media bias in favor of progressivism clouds the capacity of many to think clearly and hold principled opinions, but people do let their opinions be known more than ever to their politicians.

Dave Broden  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)

1. Mandates. Mandates are most often not good government. Good government comes from dialogue, discussion, debate and compromise--perhaps the word compromise needs to change to negotiated legislation or some other term.  In this age of special interest control compromise sounds like one or more sides lost-- we need a term that addresses the results of good government by negotiation.

2. Mulder plan. The Mulder plan has many strong points and certainly should be a solid base for resolution. One problem with the plan is this: is there time to sort out the loopholes and breaks or is this for the future?

3. Blue ribbon commission. This approach is only valid if the general public from across the state are included and there are some new thought leaders—a blue ribbon commission with the same cast of foundation and study group participants would be (a) rehash of many topics. There must be a solid balance of experienced and new and professionals and general public to get this to be an effective body and one that the public will listen to and support.

4. Political parties. The statement is far too simplistic. The decline is coupled with rise of special interest groups that have very strong positions. Many people who might have previously participated either went to the special interest groups or dropped out because the parties are themselves now a special interest group. The real problem is that special interests including the parties themselves have so much single topic interest that they cannot move on the good government process. There needs to be a strong way to separate the special interests including parties from the working of the legislature without limiting freedom of expression. For example no party official should serve on the staff of the legislature.

Will Shapira  (7.5)  (5)  (0)  (10)

1. Mandates. Their first job is to keep the machinery running for state government to continue.

2. Mulder plan. Too deep for me.

3. Blue ribbon commission. No, this is their job, what we pay them to do; let them do it and take the consequences from voters.

4. Political parties. No one trusts political parties any more because they often have their own agendas and (not) those of us taxpayers.

Wayne Jennings  (10)  (8)  (10)  (8)

Chuck Slocum  (10)  (7)  (10)  (8)

I enjoy learning more of Tim Penny’s always-thoughtful perspective.  Politics and policymaking is all about compromise. Jim Mulder’s 3% solution suggestions are specific and very helpful. The Commission idea is sound, if not new; key is the selection of members and the leadership of policymakers asked to implement the recommendations.
These are difficult and very important times.

Jackie Underferth  (10)  (10)  (10)  (6)

Chuck Lutz  (10)  (9)  (9)  (7)

George Pillsbury  (10)  (10)  (10)  (5)

Daniel Schultz  (10)  (8)  (10)  (9)

The opposing sides need to get an agreement before the deadline to protect vulnerable citizens who are helped through Health and Human Services.

Alan Miller  (8)  (7)  (9)  (8)

Tom Spitznagle  (5)  (7)  (10)  (6)

Rick Bishop  (10)  (8)  (10)  (8)

Malcolm McDonald  (10)  (8)  (10)  (10)

I very much agree with Tim Penney's comments - agree on each point that you reported he made.  In particular I believe that Governor Dayton should appoint a blue ribbon commission on governmental reform - both at the state level and at the county level into which so much state money flows for various uses.  I also recommend that Governor Dayton appoint a separate blue ribbon commission to make recommendations on state dollars that flow into each level of education from pre-K through university level, to look at how those receiving state dollars actually spend their time, (make) recommendations on having a higher value from time spent, (a higher) return on time spent more productively, where productivity concentrates on the student's development of the life the student wants to have for her or himself in terms of becoming a productive member of society. Yes, this is a long-standing subject, whose time has come.  We are short on qualified workers at all levels in all skills, especially in the trades.  We need each child to be part of the work force in what ever is the child's special interest, particularly in creativity and innovation.

John Adams  (9)  (10)  (8)  (10)

Mike Germain  (na)  (na)  (na)  (na) 

Tim Penny is one of the most self-serving, if self-effacing, political figures in our state.  He comes out of the closet to pontificate on matters he is not involved in, (and) then goes back to his consulting business.  I would put more stock in what he has to say if he would have made more of an effort while he actually held elective office.  There is one reason and one reason only our state is in a financial mess: Tim Pawlenty and the Republican Party wanted a budget crisis.  This (is) entirely about corporatization of our government and our society.  When self-serving individuals like Tim Penny use the tired old canard of blaming both sides, it does nothing to help the situation.

Unless or until the Civic Caucus can figure out (that) our budget situation is the result of intentional financial mismanagement on the part of an ambitious, narcissistic political hack and a power hungry and fascistic political party (the GOP), it will be irrelevant.

Amy Wilde  (10)  (9)  (9)  (10)

Robert J. Brown  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)

The rising power and money of single-issue groups has undermined the role of political parties as broad based organizations that are tolerant of diverse ideas.

Bert Press  (10)  (10)  (10)  (5)

Ruth Hauge  (10)  (7)  (8)  (7)

Jim Mulder's plan seems to generally make sense but should have come earlier in the session.

Carolyn Ring  (10)  (4)  (8)  (8)

Both items 2. and 3. need more specifics. In the 30+ years I was involved in politics we always talked of closing loopholes and eliminating some tax breaks, but until those are identified, it is just talk.  In item 3, who is going to define the Blue Ribbon Committee and it's goal? Is this just a "cop out" for the governor and legislature?

Ted Kolderie  (na)  (na)  (na)  (na)

I continue to think the "blue-ribbon commission" is not nearly as good at getting solutions as the broad community participated in by a number of standing organizations. The 'blue-ribbon commission' dies; has no follow-through. Think back to what worked on the question of metropolitan organization.

Larry Schluter  (9)  (8)  (9)  (8)

A blue ribbon commission would be a good idea but if the same as at the federal level, the legislature or congress will ignore it. 

Al Quie  (10)  (7)  (10)  (10)

1. Mandates. Governor and legislators must face the fact that what they perceive as a mandate from the voters who supported them in 2010 may not be the best decision in this crisis. Nobody anticipated that the Governor would resort to a shut down of state government to get his way. Now they must think of what is needed for education, infrastructure, safety, and people in dire need of continued help from government till they get back in session again. Governor needs to give up his tax-the-rich idea and legislature needs to look favorably at some "revenue enhancement" without the easy out of "sin" taxes.

Terry Stone  (0)  (0)  (5)  (10)

When revisionist Penny says that Dayton has “the support of a strong plurality of Minnesotans that wanted him to be in the governor's office” he is flatly disingenuous or irretrievably inattentive. The recorded truth is that our governor won a squeaker by 8,770 votes after a protracted recount, a margin of less than 1%--and a bit short of a strong plurality.

It’s useful to remember that the DFL endorsed Kelliher, not Dayton, and only settled for Dayton as a concession to political reality after the primary of 2010. He is hardly (beholden) to the DFL out of any loyalty.

Finally, I observed no grassroots wave that supported Dayton for Governor. Instead, I saw Dayton dynasty money coupled to big special interest money; and campaign finance records confirm this observation of a largely purchased governorship.
The governor’s tenuous victory is hardly the governance mandate equivalent of the national GOP populist wave, of which the Minnesota legislature is an artifact, as Penny improperly implies.

Penny’s statement that one of the nation’s biggest legislative sweeps is a mandate “only in part and in a very nuanced way” simply defies sensible interpretation.
Penny’s statement that the budget problem “in part is driven by demographics” is grossly misleading. Demographics are responsible for a 57% increase, of the 7200% increase in Dayton’s $36 billion plan, over the 1960 biennial budget. Inflation accounts for another 737% increase. To be clear, over the past 50 years, corrected for population (57%) and inflation (737%), Minnesota government has bulked up 600% for no reason related to demographics.

While mentioning the need for Minnesota to deal with structural deficit problems, Penny passes up the opportunity to mention our greatest structural problem; government on autopilot in the form of dedicated funding than consumes nearly half the total budget. A good deal of politically unpalatable, financially unsustainable, poorly accounted and currently unfashionable spending slips by enabled by Minnesota’s dedicated funding schemes. These schemes need to fall victim to short-cycle sunset provisions of reform legislation.

Penny makes an extraordinary comment based upon his dangerous indulgence in an intellectual fallacy. He opines that, (for) the Republicans, they say we're going to hold spending to no more than what's coming in the door.  But this belies the fact that because of increases in demographics we cannot do that either; since the programs are tied to demographics and we are tied in to federal programs, spending cannot simply be cut to some arbitrary figure. "So both sides are essentially lying to us."
Since, by definition, demographics cannot increase (only shift in character), while population can and does increase; one must conclude that Penny is using demographics as an academic euphemism for population.

When the demographic of population increases, every one of Minnesota’s 37 taxes renders more revenue through increased earnings, business activity and consumption. This automatically increases the state budget in a directly proportional, but non-linear, manner. The increase in revenue does not track population in an exactly linear manner due to the economies of scale, i.e., twice as many people do not need twice as many governors—or any other government service.

Tim Penny’s claim that new revenue sources must be found to service a population increase is flatly incorrect and a formula for government bloat. Likewise, inflation need not be serviced by new revenue because taxes are based upon a percentage of the inflated biennium.

Penny’s postulate regarding the Republican budget that spending cannot simply be cut to some arbitrary figure, suffers two problems. First, the budget is not a cut; it’s the largest budget in state history. Second, that $34 billion budget number isn’t arbitrary; it’s all the money we have and all that we are projected to collect for the next two years—while leaving the state without a dime of reserve funds.

Penny alleges that the GOP legislative leadership is under the spell of an “intransigent caucus that is not willing to compromise.” Were that the case, the budget would be $30 billion, the first $4 billion in surplus would fund a 90-day state reserve fund and subsequent surplus revenue would be returned directly to the income tax payers who actually paid them.

Penny seems to completely miss that this impasse is as much about size of government and freedom from nanny-state nonsense as it is an accounting problem. We arrived at this juncture through excesses in governance. These excesses include environmental standards and spending. Environmental policy has an effectively undefined policy intent and open-ended funding; the environmental lobby simply grabs as much as it can—and argues about how to spend the windfall.

The stated policy intent of the environmental lobby is to return the environment to the “reference condition” (little or no anthropogenic perturbation). This unrealistic goal leaves the question, “How much is enough?” completely unanswered. Environmental excess is now costing us jobs and impairing competitiveness.

Likewise, policies regarding public employees beg to benefit from answering, “How much is enough?” Accrued unfunded pension liabilities for public employees are estimated to now have reached between $25 billion and $55 billion.

An entire poverty industry has arisen with open-ended goals and a wholly undefined policy intent. Each money grab establishes a new baseline from which biennial increases are the expected norm. The Minnesota poverty industry is a demonstrated enabler of poverty, with no evidence of reducing the number of poor.

The intrusions of state government have a synergistic effect when combined with burgeoning federal intrusion into our day-to-day lives. Ever eager to please, legislators seek government problems to things that are well outside the scope and authority of state government.

Nothing exceeds like excess, and the antics of state government out of control simply had to eventually stop.

That conservative tsunami that stranded dozens of Republicans upon the shores of Lake Legislature is one for which Penny has palpable disdain.

Penny mentions a larval idea with great potential: “campaign spending reform that gets us collecting money only from voters that are from our state”. If this idea includes races for both houses of Congress, the change would be welcome. Since PACs are not voters, they would ostensibly be banned (which would be) another welcome improvement. Penny needs to add that both parties have house and senate caucuses with a conflict of interest. These caucuses can and do contaminate local legislative elections to the detriment of local voters.

Senator John Carlson (Sen. 4) won his seat in 2010 by accepting only money from individuals, only from his district and never more than $100 per individual. His self-engineered and self-imposed campaign restrictions are a model of election reform.
While Penny has a number of good ideas, picking them out of the DFL talking points leaves a bitter aftertaste.

Fred Senn  (10)  (7)  (10)  (6)

Tom Swain  (10)  (8)  (10)  (9)

Ellen T Brown  (10)  (6)  (10)  (8)

1. Mandates.  I feel the Governor has already compromised far more than the Republicans. I also agree with Tim that there will be no real change in outcomes until we change the system in terms of campaign financing, ranked voting, redistricting.

Steve O'Neil  (10)  (8)  (10)  (5)

    

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Core participants include persons of varying political persuasions, reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

   Verne C. Johnson, chair;  David Broden, Charles Clay, Marianne Curry, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  Marina Lyon, Joe Mansky, John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  and Wayne Popham 


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The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
8301 Creekside Circle #920,   Bloomington, MN 55437.  civiccaucus@comcast.net
Verne C. Johnson, chair, 952-835-4549,       Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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