GOP candidate for governor introduces the ‘Honour System’ to Bemidji
BEMIDJI — One of the GOP candidates for governor headed north Tuesday to introduce himself to the voters of Bemidji.
Fridley native Scott Honour said he’s entering politics directly from the private sector, having given up his spot as a partner in a technology company to run for governor. He said Minnesota’s government policy is driving away businesses to Republican-controlled border states.
"I think the state’s underachieving its potential," he said. "That kind of got me fired up."
Honour’s campaign literature calls his ideas for improving Minnesota "the Honour System." Along with tax and regulatory reform, he said Tuesday he wants Minnesota to be a "right-to-work" state. Right-to-work laws prohibit contracts between companies and unions that compel the workers affected by the contract to be part of the union.
"We need to be competitive, we need to allow for worker rights in a way that’s going to let us attract business here," he said. "Continue to give workers the ability to join a union, but don’t force that upon a group of workers and don’t force that upon a business if there’s a path that lets them build and have higher wages and better job opportunity in a non-union environment."
Honour also has plans for education reform.
"There’s obvious things to do," he said. "It’s giving schools the abilities to pay teachers based on performance, not just on tenure. It’s making sure schools have the flexibility to hire good teachers … we have ridiculously restrictive rules about licensing requirements for teachers in the state."
Honour told of how a charter school he visited in Minneapolis the day before was prevented under state law from hiring a teacher from Colorado who had a Master’s degree in a field other than education. It made "no sense at all", he said.
"There’s a whole slew of proven, effective policies that other, Republican-governor states have implemented," he said. "They’ve been tried elsewhere in the country effectively, and we ought to be putting those policies in place here, and we ought to get away from the rhetoric of ‘dollars are the answer,’ because that’s not the case."
Regarding social issues, Honour said he’s not interested in imposing his beliefs on others and he agrees with the saying "you can’t legislate morality."
"I live my life in a conservative manner," he said. "I want to be a good role model when it comes to … a social perspective of things, but I want to do it in an exemplary way, not one that comes from the perspective of dictating my own personal, moral beliefs on everyone else."
Honour said he didn’t feel deterred by a straw poll conducted last week at a Republican event in Blaine. The results of the poll had him placing last; behind four other announced candidates and former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert as a write-in, according to the Star Tribune.
Honour said since his campaign didn’t invest any time or money on an effort to do well in the poll, the results don’t really mean much to him.
"Because I’m a political outsider, I have to take the time for people to get to know to me," he said. "To me, the straw poll wasn’t relevant at all — it doesn’t faze me."