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Friday, May 26, 2006

More Stupidity from the Legislature

Now the Chamber of Commerce is trying to put lipstick on this pig.

Constitution amendment needs spin, supporters say
A coalition of 700 groups begins a campaign to explain the ballot measure.
Laurie Blake, Star Tribune

Last update: May 24, 2006 - 10:09 PM

A statewide effort to motivate Minnesotans to change the state Constitution started Wednesday with a big handicap: the wording of the proposed change confuses people.

In the November election, voters will have the chance to guarantee that roads and transit get every cent of the money collected from the state's existing motor vehicle sales tax. It will happen if voters approve a proposed constitutional amendment to dedicate those funds.

By 2011, the change would channel an extra $300 million a year to roads, bridges, buses and rail transit -- without raising taxes.

But the ballot question voters will see is worded with such complexity that "a lot of people look at it and assume it's a tax increase," said John Himle, a public relations expert working on the campaign.

On Wednesday, a group of 700 businesses and organizations known as Minnesotans for Better Roads and Transit started a $4 million media campaign to erase that misconception and win votes for what it is calling "Minnesota's Transportation Amendment."

The pro-amendment campaign, starting with billboards and radio ads, has been joined by a long list of supporters, including: automobile clubs, truck associations, road builders, businesses big and small, environmental groups and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

I'll be voting against this nonsense. Using the Minnesota constitution to dedicate funds is a stupid idea. Linda Berglin's health care amendment to the constitution is another stupid idea. Michele Bachmann's amendment to ban legal recognition of gay relationships is another stupid idea.

The same legislators that want to stick the cost of the Stadium boondoggle to Hennepin County without a referendum, want to shirk their responsibilities and pass this one along to the voters.