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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Brainerd Dispatch Letters Go After Paul Gazelka and Koering Opponent Kevin Goedker

Yes, one of them was written by yours truly.

Whining won't change result

In reading the "No Regrets" letter from Kevin Goedker, it appears he is a very bitter and homophobic young man. He says he is undecided if he is going to run in the primary, but by reading his letter it is very clear this is the first shot, so to speak, in his campaign. It reads as a page out of the play book of any left wing Democratic candidate that wants to start a very nasty campaign, especially with the code words "moral values," and "socially conservative."

Face up to it Mr. Goedker, you lost. Whining is not going to change that, so give it up and get on with life.

Jerry Johnson

Gazelka is no fiscal conservative

Rep. Paul Gazelka writes a letter to the editor in the Brainerd Dispatch to defend breaking his pledge to the Taxpayer League and the taxpayers in his district. When Gazelka ran for office, he pledged to vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes. With his vote to increase the Hennepin County local option tax without a referendum, he has broken his pledge and should be held accountable for that.

Many of us who live in Hennepin County vacation in the Brainerd area and contribute to the economy up there. As a Hennepin County resident I find it offensive that Paul Gazelka wants to stick it to the Hennepin County taxpayers to pay for something he wants (the Twins), so he can go home to his district and say "I didn't raise your taxes."

In Minneapolis we are having parks, libraries and police service cut. My local branch library is open three days a week. Having good police service, parks that are kept up, and libraries that are open more than three days a week are things that I would benefit from much more than having a new stadium for the Twins. In my opinion the Dome is just fine for the large sports events.

Legislators like Paul Gazelka are perfectly happy to vote to increase my taxes. If the Twins are an important resource for the state of Minnesota, then Rep. Gazelka should introduce a bill to make this tax increase statewide to "keep the Minnesota Twins." That's only fair.

Paul Gazelka has criticized Paul Koering for not being fiscally conservative enough. Any legislator who votes for the Hennepin County local option sales tax increase without the required referendum is no fiscal conservative.

Eva Young

Koering never lost any votes

Even though Kevin Goedker congratulated Sen. Paul Koering on winning the Senate District 12 endorsement recently, he still had to comment he "lasted seven rounds." Yes, the endorsement may have taken seven ballots, but Sen. Koering never lost votes, he gained them. It was Goedker who lost votes.

Despite the fact that Goedker had decided he would challenge Sen. Koering in a primary election, he still had to complain about his legislative work in St. Paul. He is especially enamored with the Taxpayers League of Minnesota and their ratings of legislators' spending votes and uses that to attack Sen. Koering as a big spender.

Sen. Koering has voted for spending to clean up the Hennepin Paper site on the Mississippi River in Little Falls, to dedicate $2.4 million for the Paul Bunyan Trail, a 4.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment for Minnesota's nursing home workers, an additional $1.5 million for the Department of Veterans Affairs, $3.2 million to improve the economy of rural Minnesota, $4 million in grants to community organizations that assist pregnant women with services needed to carry their babies to term and many more local projects.

Every one of these projects affect the people of Senate District 12. Should Sen. Koering have checked with the Taxpayers League to get their permission to vote for these projects or should he have done what was best for the people of his district? Goedker seems to think the League should have the last word.

As for the Defense of Marriage Act: Senator Koering has voted twice this session to bring the bill out of committee and to the floor of the Senate for a vote. He has said he will vote to place it on the ballot so we can vote on it this November. That is good enough for me.

Paul Duncan

This thing isn't going to get to the floor, so Paul Koering won't have that opportunity.