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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Debate Minnesota Schedule

Peter Hutchinson got his, but he seems to be doing nothing to help some other IP candidates, specifically Robert Fitzgerald, John Binkowski and Tammy Lee.

Tim Pawlenty (R)

Mike Hatch (D)

Peter Hutchinson (I)
Wednesday, September 27, 7:00 p.m.
Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 Fourth St. S.
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Tim Pawlenty should be asked about the stadium swindle.... Mike Hatch said on Almanac that he would have signed the bill that sentenced Hennepin County Residents to a 30 year stadium tax.

I also think all three candidates should be asked whether they support restoring the sales tax exemption for local units of government. If this was restored, Minneapolis could afford more cops, and not having our libraries closed. Hennepin County could afford to much more with their social service role.

They should also be asked whether they would sign or veto a bill allowing municipalities to decide on their own benefit structures, so that cities like the City of Minneapolis and St Paul, and Counties like Hennepin County can offer Domestic Partner benefits. This becomes an economic competitiveness issue. The University of Wisconsin just lost a top notch guy with 3.4 million dollars in grants since 2000 to Penn over this issue.

Madison, Wis. - The recent decision by a young researcher to leave the University of Wisconsin-Madison has exposed some of the financial consequences of the same-sex union debate in Wisconsin.

Rob Carpick, an associate engineering physics professor and nanotechnology researcher, has won $3.4 million in grants since coming to Madison in 2000. At the end of the year, he will take his knowledge and research with him to the University of Pennsylvania, where he says he will be treated fairly.

Carpick calls a state law preventing the university from providing health insurance benefits to his domestic partner discriminatory. His decision follows a lawsuit filed in 2005 by the American Civil Liberties Union and six lesbian couples asking the court to strike down the law as an unconstitutional violation of the state's equal protection guarantees.

"I'm going to Penn so I can get domestic partner benefits and be at an institution that has an unfettered commitment to doing top-quality research without the interference of backward-thinking legislators," Carpick said.

I think there are backward-thinking legislators all over the country. Never the less, this is part of the cost of putting these types of amendments on the ballot.

Since Mike Hatch has never gone on the record pro or con on this amendment, I'd be interested in getting him on the record here at this debate. We do know he supports the current DOMA statute. Would Hatch sign or veto AFSCME contracts that included negotiated Domestic Partner benefits? In fact, is AFSCME going to be attempting to negotiate Domestic Partner benefits into the state contract? (The model to use would be the University of Minnesota model).

From the comments by IP Senate candidate Robert Fitzgerald:

Correction: Peter and Team MN have said they will do everything apart from not attending the debate to help get Binkowski included. Lots of phone calls and arm bending thanks to their effort. It looks promising. Thanks for pushing the netroots to get active. Your efforts have been amazing - thank-you.

I have forwarded two poll results to Debate Minnesota showing that I have met the arbitrary 5% rule. The fact that there hasn't been a poll in the sixth is grounds to either cancel the entire debate or, better yet, open it up to all candidates.