Pioneer Editorial: Horner can bridge the party divide
Minnesota has suffered a partisan divide for too long. The DFL-controlled Legislature has proffered its agenda with little input from the Republican minority, setting up the ongoing confrontation with the Republican governor. On the other hand, Gov.
Minnesota has suffered a partisan divide for too long.
The DFL-controlled Legislature has proffered its agenda with little input from the Republican minority, setting up the ongoing confrontation with the Republican governor. On the other hand, Gov. Tim Pawlenty has far exceeded his authority in approving the Legislature's spending bills and then vetoing the bill to pay for the spending, choosing unallot his way to a balanced budget. That was found unconstitutional by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
What Minnesota needs is a governor who will lead from the center, think outside the partisan box and engage Minnesotans in finding solutions they want. We believe Independence Party candidate Tom Horner will fit the bill.
Never before as a decision been so clear for voters. Republican Tom Emmer represents the far right wing and is a darling of the Tea Party. His ability to get anything done in a DFL-led Legislature is nil. Democrat Mark Dayton has a fine record of public service, but it is a 30-year track record of supporting the most liberal positions.
Solving the $6 billion state budget deficit needs innovative thinking. Minnesota can't tax itself out of it, as Sen. Dayton would believe. Nor can Minnesota stick its head in the sand and ignore the problem, hoping for jobs to appear out of nowhere to grow the economy, as Rep. Emmer would have you believe.
Mr. Horner's approach is balanced, calling for a tax plan that is progressive and not onerous to any class. Expanding the state sales tax and lowering it at the same time will provide a stable revenue source, more so than recession-hit income taxes. Mr. Horner would also provide a low-income tax credit for those affected by extending the sales tax to clothing.
We also believe that Mr. Horner has the best policies for rural Minnesota, and plans to use his running mate, former Association of Minnesota Counties head Jim Mulder to act as a liaison with local governments in an effort to reform state government in an outcome-based, service-oriented government.
Plans by both candidates Dayton and Emmer, especially Rep. Emmer, would drastically affect rural health care. Rep. Emmer's health and human services cuts could close a third of rural hospitals and nursing homes.
Most important, Mr. Horner has a background in government as former chief of staff to Sen. David Durenberger and as a private entrepreneur. He will be able to bring both Democrats and Republicans to the table to iron out compromises to move Minnesota forward. He promises to be engaged with the Legislature, not distant, as the current governor.
The time is right to elect an independent to break the partisan gridlock in St. Paul.