98 thoughts on “LIVE: Hearing Out Horner

  1. Dave Christians says:

    Mr. Horner,

    Governor Pawlenty presented a lot of solutions for balancing the state budget, which of Pawlenty’s solutions would you mirror as MN governor?

    -Dave

    1. If you don’t try new things, Austin…one never grows. And if nothing else, I’m finding that running for office is a great growth opportunity!

  2. Keith Swisher says:

    Tom- You say you must raise taxes to balance the budget. Will these tax increases be for businesses or individuals?

    1. What I’ve said, Keith, is that we need tax reform. We need to reduce taxes on job creation (corporate income tax, for example) and encourage more investment capital (reduce capital gains, provide incentives for small business by exempting some flow-through, encourage risk capital, etc.). On the revenue side, my preference would be to do three things:

      Lower the rate on the sales tax, broaden the base and put in protections for low-income to guard against regressivity. The sales tax enhances fairness — the wealthy buy more and can’t avoid the tax — and is less volatile than income tax.

      Increase the tobacco tax. That’s good health and tax policy.

      Look at the $11 billion in tax expenditures — the breaks, credits, deductions, etc., that some taxpayers subsidize for other taxpayers

      1. Dave Christians says:

        Mr. Horner,

        On your issues section in your campaign site, you say we must expand the sales tax, rather then lowering the sales tax to create revenue for the state. Explain, please.

        -Dave

      2. Dave — I think we should have as a goal to keep all taxes out of the top 10 nationally. Right now, MN’s sales tax produces revenue that is in the lower half of all states. Instead, we rely on individual income tax that is highly volatile and is being avoided by the wealthy. A more fair tax is to lower the rate of the state sales taxx, broaden the base to cover the types of things other states tax, and provide exemptions or credits to protect the low-income from the regressive impact of the sales tax.

  3. Thank you, Dave. There are some areas where I think Gov Pawlenty had a good start — some health care transformation (but not the GAMC issue) is a good example. In the last few years, though, the focus has been almost exclusively on pushing budget issues down the road (nearly $2.3 billion of the 2010 $3 billion budget-balancing bill were deferrals or cuts to LGA). I think we need an entirely new approach.

  4. Luke Hellier says:

    Mr. Horner,

    It’s been well over a week since citizens and the Star Tribune have asked you to release your client list.

    In fact, yesterday you said to the Pioneer Press that some of your previous work may cause a conflict of interest in the future.

    When will you release your client list to the public?

    Thank you.

  5. Brad Canham says:

    Tom-While the MN unemployment rate may not have risen to the national average, it remains high for MN. Also, the unemployed are staying unemployed for a longer period of time than in previous periods of high unemployment.
    Are there specific approaches MN can take to help keep people at work or help get people back to work?

    1. Brad: Job growth in MN has lagged the nation for most of the last decade, not just during the recession. We need to do several things:

      First, tax reform (see my response above).
      Second, we need to transfer some public sector jobs to the private sector. Should road maintenance be a government task, or can we get greater efficiency from the private sector/
      Third, we need to create new opportunities. I’ve proposed funding research at the U of M as a separate line item in the state budget — leverage the intellectual capital, create the tax and investment environment, and bring innovation to market in MN.
      Fourth, we need to innovate. MN should allow bonding for technology, not just bricks and mortar. We need to make sure that all MN has access to ultra-high-speed broadband — for education, health care and economic development.

      Those are some highlights.

      1. Brad Canham says:

        Discussions re: new approaches to private/public investments and restructured tax system invariably raises some discussion of the Minnesota Miracle of 1971 (and the changes is brought about)….

        but, more specifically, how might your style of leadership drive a re-surgence of a more forward-looking Minnesota?

      2. Brad — I think I drive innovation by bringing in a cabinet focused on grreat ideas, not political gain; by being open to the best thinking, not a narrow ideology; and, by making the commitment to provide the political cover for anyone — Democrat, Republican or independent — who is willing to step up and take the tough votes. But I also think the unique skill I bring is the ability to engage the broad swath of Minnesotans who have been forced to the sidelines by the vitriol of our politican environment. Get them engaged, impose consensus on the political process, and great and innovative things can get done. Minnesota doesn’t suffer from a lcak of innovaton; we suffer from a lack of political will.

  6. Good to see you, Luke. You are misquoting me once again, but I suspect you know that. The question put to me in the Pioneer Press was NOT whether I would have conflicts, but whether my former firm would have conflicts — the exact citation:

    Horner were elected, would Himle Horner have conflicts of interest in representing government agencies? “There might be,” he replied. “We’ll have to discuss that.”

    I think Himle Horner might have conflicts, I would discuss that with them to preclude these conflicts.

    On the broader issue, I have released my entire current client list. Now, the question is, are you willing to hold other candidates to the same standard?

    1. Luke Hellier says:

      Thanks for dodging the question. You know full well the Star Tribune editorial meant your previous work with Himle Horner.

      I’m glad you believe in transparency.

      1. Luke, I would commend to you the very excellent piece posted today by a person well known and well respected by those on this site, Charlie Quimby. It raises the altogether excellent point of why the GOP seems to believe that only professional politicians now are qualified to run for office. But, since you seem to want to drag this issue out, will we be seeing any disclosure from Mr. Emmer on the industries he represents while voting for or against their interests? Or, more importantly, any disclosure of his issues?

        http://greatdivide.typepad.com/across_the_great_divide/2010/06/tony-sutton-tom-horner-and-transparencys-underbelly.html

      2. Luke Hellier says:

        That’s great Mr. Horner.

        But last I checked, that was Charlie Quimby’s take and not your campaign disclosing your previous client work.

  7. Daniel Wolter says:

    Tom —

    Very tough question here on which I will base my selection for governor: iPhone or Droid?

      1. Daniel Wolter says:

        Well there’d be no sense in asking Pujols or Mauer because everyone knows the answer is Pujols!

  8. Dave Christians says:

    Mr. Horner,

    In order to make government work better you say that we must reduce government spending and cut programs that haven’t demonstrated their value. How will you determine a government program’s value? What current programs do you identify as not meeting their value and can be cut to reduce our government spending?

    -Dave

    1. Dave — The governor needs to demand that every program manager have specific outcomes and that they are being held accountable to those outcomes. I like the New Jersey approach of posting these benchmarks on a website for all taxpayers to see.

      A good example — the fastest increasing part of the budget is older adult services, most of it driven by nursing home costs. Healthy Seniors of Steele County coordinates non-profits to keep more than 1,000 seniors in their homes. Last year, they averted 775 months of nursing home care — that’s about $4 million, two-thirds of which would have been paid by public dollars. Seniors get higher quality care, taxpayers save money. That’s TRUE redesign.

      1. Dave — there are overlapping programs. For example, Big Stone County now uses Kandiyohi County for its emergency dispatch service even though they aren’t contiguous. It’s working great — saves Big Stone dollars and creates extra revenue for Kandiyohi. Most counties have adoption services, even though very few adoptions occur in most counties. These could be consolidated into a handful of regional centers. There are several examples like this.

  9. Stephanie Fenner says:

    Do you not think it an insult to your former employer and party to disavow them and criticize them on the campaign trail? How can you claim to be an independent when your entire record in political service, including work as a PR representative, is for the Republican party? Will you switch to the Democratic party when it becomes politically expedient?

    1. Stephanie, again, you are misquoting me. I have great admiration for my former firm and colleagues. Whether my clients were GOP or DFL or Minnesota, you be the judge — as has been widely reported, the firm worked for Northstar Corridor, Heading Home MN, Project 515 and others, all of which have been publicly disclosed.

  10. Mr Horner – You seem to be practicing a sort of anti-politics in which you present a pox on both Democrats and Republicans, without saying exactly how you would make the difficult guns vs. butter choices. Mark Dayton says the state is in trouble, financially, and he is presenting a way out.

    It seems to me the state has been facing difficult choices for the past eight years: Long term decline versus taxing for an modern civilization. How do you plan to preserve the quality of life in Minnesota without raising taxes? And if you plan to raise taxes, how would you do it?

    1. Rob, I don’t say a pox on both their houses. Quite the contrary, I think we need an independent thining governor to take the best ideas from left and right and make them better. As noted in a previous answer, I think we need tax reform — not just tax increases or tax cuts. It’s worth noting that when the Star Tribune — which the GOP now seems to favor in regard to my candidacy — asked candidates for their budget plans, it said of me that I weighed in “thoughtfully” and gave the detail voters need. Mr. Emmer? His response “reads like a campaign plan, full of vague metaphors.” Issue disclosure would be a good thing for the GOP to focus on.

      1. That’s what I call a non-answer. Are taxes too low? Too high? Who pays too much? Who pays too little? If we ask too much of government – where? Politics is about choices and distribution of resources and power. You seem to be saying it is technocratic. I’m not buying it.

    1. Rob, I am not working against the nurses. I am working to make sure the community understands how the labor issues affect what is happening at hospitals. On other labor issues, I don’t recall any beyond previous work with the hospitals.

    2. Rob —

      Taxes on job creation are too high.
      Taxes on consumption are too low.
      Taxes on tobacco are too low.
      Taxes on individual income shouldn’t be raised.

      Other issues?

      1. Rob, we are repeating ourselves — as noted elsewhere, i would reduce corporate income tax, lower the rate on the sales tax and broaden the base, increase incentives for investment, provide a 10% exemption on small busines flow-through, reduce capital gains, increase the tobacco tax,

  11. Daniel Wolter says:

    Actually a more substantive question: Although this is not a state issue, Gov. Pawlenty sent a letter to congressional leadership urging them to continue the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military, something that keeps the United States in the same league as such human rights icons as Iran and North Korea. What is your view on the current effort to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” and allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. Armed Forces?

  12. Bob Moffitt says:

    This question is for your running mate, Jim Mulder:

    “What is E85?”

    But seriously, Tom, what are your views on Minnesota’s alternative energy efforts? Biofuels, wind, solar, nukes, you name it.

    1. Bob — isn’t E85 a Delmon Young to Nick Punto error?
      I spoke to the renewable energy conference earlier this week. I support renewables and investment in them, but told them three things:

      First, we need to set priorities — not just in renewable energy but in all spending. We won’t fix a $6 billion hole and take advantage of these opportunities like renewables if everything is a priority.

      Second, we need transparency in our investments. What are taxpayers getting in return, over what period, etc.?

      Third, we need a comprehensive energy policy that incldues conservation, new technologies and how to use existing sources most efficiently and with regard to our environment and public health.

  13. Tom: Thanks for agreeing to take part in this. My (first) question is this: While Minnesotans have demonstrated an unusual fondness for third party candidates, only one, an aberration carried in on a fat and happy economic tide, has ever won. The rest, including most conspicuously, Peter Hutchinson, a serious-minded, thoughtful fellow like yourself really only served the interests of the Republican candidate on the ballot, Republicans being the party whom I think its fair to say you’ve been most closely identified most of your career. Other than “offering voters a third path”, what do you honestly see as the outcome to so quixotic an adventure?

    1. Brian — I wouldn’t be in this if I didn’t think from the beginning that I would win. 2010 isn’t 2006 when Peter had to run against an incumbent and a very skilled DFL politician. This is more like 1998 when Ventura won NOT because wore a boa, but because he had the opportunity when the DFL campaign failed to gain traction and ended at 28%. Here’s the reality this year:
      Emmer can’t hold on to his own base and is losing the 1/3 of GOP who are moderates to me. You need no more evidence of that than the attacks on me coming from the right wing. If Dayton is the DFL nominee, there will be at least 1/3 of Dems who are disaffected. That puts the race into the hands of the one-fourth of MN voters who are small “i” independents. If that’s the case, I win. My challenge, honestly, isn’t whether the votes are there — it’s whether I can raise the $2.5 million needed to let voters frustrated and angry at the status quo know I’m here.

  14. Keith Swisher says:

    As much as the yuppies in the Metro area don’t want to admit to it, Minnesota is a rural state. I live close to Fargo and don’t even get a phone book that has Minnesota in it. I don’t get cell phone coverage, have high speed internet and couldn’t tell you much about Minnesota politics. I can tell you a lot about North Dakota because that is our newspaper and our TV stations. What can be done to help out residents like us? No statewide candidates come to our area and many times we feel more as North Dakota residents than Minnesotans! I’ve seen many residents move to ND because they feel Minnesota is not “home”.

    1. Keith — it is exactly for this reason that I selected Jim Mulder as my running mate. Jim is the state’s expert in figuring out how we can revitalize MN’s communities. He hasn’t just made a single trip to all 87 counties, but has been to each multiple times and understands their challenges. We won’t solve the state’s problems if we don’t have healthy communities. A few things —

      Ultra high speed broadband, as noted in another answer.

      Stop forcing school districts in rural MN to go to four-day weeks.

      Invest in the tools local communities need to create private sector jobs.

      True government redesign, creating efficiencies and new opportunites.

      1. Keith Swisher says:

        Please post on Twitter or Facebook when you or him will be in counties. It is very helpful for us “rural” individuals to meet our state leaders. I don’t beleive any candidate for Governor has been within a 100 miles of my hometown. If they were they didn’t tell anyone!

  15. bruce benidt says:

    Tom, wouldn’t you have advised a client to deal with the “release your client list” issue sooner and more openly? Surely you thought about the issue and anticipated the question. It seems you were slow and defensive about it. I know you said in the Strib that this is a culmination of a process of leaving HH — but shouldn’t you have been more pro-active (I’m ashamed to use that buzzword, but it seems apt here).
    Did you learn anything from this little brouhaha over your client list?

    1. Bruce — I’ve learned that there are some people who spend way too much time on Twitter driving non-issues. As you know, Bruce, running a business isn’t just about one person — I had obligations to my clients and my partners. I’m not defensive about it at all — but I do think that integrity and ethics shouldn’t be compromised because a couple of partisans are making an issue of one thing. I was proactive in declaring that I would take a leave of absence and in declaring that when elected I would divest all interest in the firm. As my partners and I discussed the options, completing the transition begun in 2008 made most sense. That took more time, and certainly more time than I would have liked. Would I have done some things differently were I acting on my own? Probably. Do I regret completing my obligations to clients and my colleagues? Not for a minute.

  16. Mr. Horner: Welcome to our Rowdy Crowd. Thanks for joining us.

    I have two questions, both having to do with issues of personal liberty.

    First, would you support legislation or a constitutional amendment at the state level granting homosexual adults the right to be married?

    Second: where do you stand on the issue of abortion and a woman’s right to choose?

    Thank you.

    1. Ellen:

      Yes. In the meantime, I’ve been working to eliminate the statutory discrimination against same-sex partners.

      My commitment as governor is to reduce abortions. The state should lead in promoting responsible sex education, accessible and affordable health care for women (including access to contraception) and dealing with the underlying drivers, including poverty and rape. Too often, we see abortion used as a wedge issue for political purposes and I won’t do that.

      1. Dave Christians says:

        Tom,

        You want to reduce abortions, okay. Regardless of promoting responsible sex education and working to address underlying factors, will you work to keep abortions safe and affordable for all women in Minnesota?

        -Dave

    2. I’d like to suggest that everyone take a deep breath and let our guest catch his. We’re having a good conversation and appreciate it very much, Tom. (But I really do hope you answer my questions. There is more to life than taxes.)

    1. Newt — I think that’s the wrong question. it’s not whether we should be spending more or less, it’s whether we are getting the state most Minnesotans want. I think the answer to that question is NO. We need to realign spending, cutting some programs and investing in others.

  17. Tom:

    OK, here’s another. My DFL sources tell me that monied interests are beginning to move to Dayton because they understand and accept that the only credible pool of money to shore up basic government services (not “excesses”) is by creating the much-derided new upper tier bracket, and that Dayton’s self-funding wealth allows him to press that idea with relative impunity. Given the need for large amounts of money with which to mount a gubernatorial campaign, a good chunk of which would have to come from the well-connected/affluent, isn’t it fair for us to be suspicious of any candidate who tip-toes around the clear and present logic of applying true progressivity to the tax code by requiring the most successful to pay more? Campaign advisors may call it “career suicide”, but the informed and responsible MIGHT very likely see it as extraordinary bravery.

    1. Brian — Mark’s proposal would nearly double the top rate of the income tax and apply it to households earning as little as $120,000. I don’t think that’s good policy. I haven’t tip-toed around the need for tax reform. I have very clearly articulated a better policy.

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      MDE: On what date can we look forward to putting any questions we like to your GOP candidate, Mr. Emmer, on MDE, to which we will get (for the first time in the campaign) thoughtful and specific answers?

      Let everyone know, MDE. Until then, butt out.

  18. Dave Christians says:

    Mr. Horner,

    In order to limit the reach of the federal government in MN resident’s lives, do you support opting out of early Medicaid expansion for our state?

    -Dave

    1. No, Dave. I would opt into the Medicaid option. Federal health reform isn’t going away. The opportunity for MN is to use federal health reform to continuing driving toward a lower-cost, higher-quality health care system. Providing broader coverage for MN is key. When we don’t cover people, we don’t save costs — we just transfer those costs to employers providing insurance for workers, to health care providers and to society in general.

  19. Mr Horner: Minnesota is the birthplace of charter schools. We’ve had the experiment for 20 years, and, frankly it has been a failure. A study from Stanford showed that charter schools do worse than regular public schools in Minnesota. The U of M showed that students of color and in poverty do particularly bad in charters. New numbers from the MN Department of Education show charter schools seven times more likely to be failing than regular public schools.

    What is your position on charter schools and school choice in general? Do you think, like the Star Tribune, that teachers’ unions are the bane of public education?

    1. Rob — The study actually shows that Charter schools succeed for the same reasons all schools succeed — when they have good teachers, involved parents and adequate funding. That’s my policy, and I strongly support public education and choice. it is that combination that has produced the finest system of higher education in the world. I do think Education MN needs to broaden its agenda beyond job security, and start working with those who are invested in true education reform to produce better outcomes. When high school graduation rates for some populations are 60% and falling, it’s ridiculous for anyone to claim success.

      1. So the history of charter and choice failure don’t bother you? Charters are failing precisely BECAUSE they don’t have the protective bureaucracy and accountability of regular public schools.

      2. Rob — that’s not the history of charters. Those with funding, good teachers, and parental involvement are doing well. St. Croix Prep is a good example. Public schools with the same assets do well. Should there be more accountability and tranasparency of charters? Yes. Are they all failing? Hardly.

  20. Thanks for doing this today, Mr. Horner. We appreciate it.

    What are your thoughts on instant run-off voting? Might making that a statewide method be a good idea? Might it make the voting process more efficient? Helpful for third-party candidates?

    1. Mike — I support instant run-off voting, although I’ve always added the caveat that it shouldn’t be implemented before the technology is available and in place to make sure that returns are reported as quickly as they are in the current system. Having to wait for two or three weeks to get initial results would undermine confidence in the electoral process. IRV would be as efficient (probably not more) as the current system and it would help a broad range of candidates bringing diverse perspectives.

    2. Dennis Lang says:

      And my appreciation to the Crowd for arranging and contributing to an exciting and wonderfully informative dialogue. Excellent! Already anticipating future guests in same format. Hope so.

  21. Tom: It may be a personal peeve, but I don’t understand why the so-called “Six Months and a Day” tax dodge is allowed to stand. (This would be the one where Minnesotans can declare residency for tax purposes in low tax havens like Arizona by commuting south a day short of six months up here.) Would you at least support closing that funky residency loop hole?

    1. Brian — I don’t understand the rationale for that, either. Unless someone can justify it to me on a policy basis, i would be open to shutting it down.

  22. We’re at the halfway point in our presser and speaking for the “management,” I’d like to commend the participants for the lively and thoughtful discussion.

    Thanks, too, to those who have helped spread the word about this virtual event. Based on my eyeballing of our page view stats, we’re running substantially better than double our normal traffic for this time of day.

    All hail the power of the Internet.

    Continue….

  23. Tom: Do you see any practical way — tax incentives, whatever — to commence an aggressive upgrade of the rural Minnesota electrical grid? I’m constantly struck by new technology for light(er) weight wind machinery that could power family farms AND provide an income stream IF the creaky grid were updated to handle it. More to the point, individual entrepreneurs might likely pop up all over the place if there were a straightforward way to sell juice back. Or is this ONLY a massive Federal project/pipedream?

    1. Brian — I agree with your concept, but it’s a tough problem and frnakly I don’t have an answer. Here’s the challenge that gets overlooked. Subsidizing consumers who buy/sell wind (directly or through development of transmission grids), for example, is great if you live in SW MN, not so good if you are in Warroad. In addition, while the small-capacity generators are terrific, what is the impact on the development of larger scale systems – -by the investor-owned utilities, co-ops, others — that have to buy the excess regardless of need? Does that inhibit their investment ability? don’t know the answers, but do agree that it has to be a priority, including transmission issues.

  24. Sam Boeser says:

    Hi Tom,

    As a young voter, I’m concerned that many of the answers given to questions about a candidates intent while in office are short-term. I often hear about creating jobs, raising/lowering taxes, etc. Things a governor will do right away if elected. These are necessary parts of the debate. But as a young voter, I’d like to know how my next governor can help to improve my standard of living in Minnesota over the long-term. Things look bleak, Tom, and I need some hope that our next gov is not just pandering to the loudest group (probably using vuvuzelas) at a given point, but rather intent on improving the long-term standard of living in our state. A long and vague question, but you worked in PR, I’d like to hear what thoughts you bring to the table as governor that would make my life in MN as high quality as it can be.

    Thanks

    1. Sam — great question. First, go back to my response to the renewables issue — what I told the conference of advocates this week is that we need to set priorities because we need to fix the $6 billion state budget hole honestly. And, you’re right, MN’s standard of living — the increase in personal wealth — has been lagging the nation for much of this decade. A couple of things beyond honest budget solutions —

      Invest as a separate line item in the state budget in research at the U. We need to invest in the innovation that creates new opportunities for people like Sam.

      Start now to move away from government subsidies and toward personal repsonsibility. An example — we need to reduce people’s dependence on government-provided care for older adults. We should create the incentives that make it possible for people to save and insure for their own long-term care needs. While government has an obligation to help people at times in their lives when they are vulnerable, we need to be thoughtful.

      We need a smart jobs policy that looks to the long-term. The future isn’t in creating more public sector jobs — it’s in building an economy that creates well-paying private sector jobs.

      But with all this, we also need to keep MN a state in which people like Sam want to live — a healthy environment, protection of our land and water heritage, investments in recretation, etc.

  25. bruce benidt says:

    Tom, you’re a prince for doing this — thanks. Kinda fun to see the back and forth.

    Have you had any real humans — not just us communications folks or bloggers or journalists — comment to you about your PR background? Has anyone challenged you on your background not being good prep for government? Anyone said the reverse, that a communications background is good prep for government? (I know you have experience with government, but lately you’ve been a communications guy like us).

  26. Tom: I have to run to an appointment., But, again, I appreciate you taking the time to do this. I’m sure Mr. Emmer will be equally obliging. One last question though: Local television stations in particular look upon elections as regularly scheduled blizzards of free money. With so much talk about the deleterious effects of money on politics I’m surprised that the discussion rarely includes the pass-through that this is influence-machine directly benefits broadcasters operating on public airwaves. Might a bold-thinking, independent candidate such as yourself consider something like a surcharge/windfall profits tax on these broadcasters (operating on PUBLIC AIRWAVES, have I mentioned that?) to recoup some of that money into a fund that might … could … possibly … benefit candidates incapable of writing million dollar checks to themselves, or who are resistant to making unpalatable promises to big money “bundlers” etc.?

    And thanks again.

    1. Thank you, Brian — I am putting together a package of election and government reform. don’t know if we can do a windfall profits tax, but I’ll throw it into the mix.

  27. Joe Wenker says:

    Hello Mr. Horner.

    Thanks for taking questions. This is great! Gov. Pawlenty increasingly invokes his religious beliefs when speaking in public. I’m a man of faith, but I cringe whenever public officials state (an by extention endorse) a particular faith. Given that, what are your views about the separation of Church and State. And do you think it’s appropriate to allow personal faith to shape public policy initiatives?

    1. Joe — I do worry that the separation of church and state is eroding for political gain. I don’t think a person can separate his values from his/her positions — we are the composite of all that has infuenced us. But I do think elected officials need to act first and foremost in the interest of the public.

  28. Bruce — How about Harry Truman’s insight: “All the president is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing, and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway. ”

    What people have said specifically about the PR background is that perhaps I can use my communications skills to engage Miinnesotans in their government once again. Talk all we want about compromise and innovation, if we leave the debate to the fringe on the right and left, we will have gridlock. If the next governor isn’t able to engage the majority of Minnesotans in issues and solutions, we will keep spinning our wheels.

  29. While we await other questions, here’s an interesting news bulletin — the AFL-CIO announced a bit ago that it was endorsing Speaker Kelliher. Odd, given that my interview with them isn’t until 1 p.m. today. Not that I was expecting the endorsement — lots of areas of disagreement on the pre-screen questionnaire — but couldn’t we all pretend until 1:30?

    1. Newt — I don’t know that I can answer that fully in a blog, but here’s a shot. We recognize government’s appropriate role by defining priorities and core principles, then holding it accountable to measures. Some principles:

      Government should assure that the state and communities have the infrastructure required for a healthy economy — transportation systems, etc.

      As a rule, government is a better guarantor of rights than a provider of services.

      Government should help people at times in their lives when they are vulnerable.

      Government should assure a healthy environment and protection of our natural assets.

      Government should assure that all citizens have access to a minimum level of excellence in core public services — public safety, etc. — and education without regard to geography or social, race and ethnic differences.

      Government should assure equal rights and equal treatment.

      that’s a start…no doubt there are some others…

  30. Okay…in the remaining few minutes, let me pose a question to you…..How do you people see the race shaping up? What are the issues that aren’t getting talked about in the campaign?

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