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Monday, October 16, 2006

Continuing Education for Brad Finstad's Constituents

In response to this letter to the editor in the New Ulm Journal....

Finstad took the first step

TO THE EDITOR: There has been a noticeable drop in and around New Ulm since this spring and I assumed the high cost of fuel to be the reason, but now I’m told the Hennepin County residents boycott of New Ulm and Brown County may be the real reason.

It is a fact that the Metropolitan area has far more individuals with high educational degrees per capita than the “outstate” area, but believe me we’re not stupid. The letter writers may be disappointed with the State Legislature but if they give Rep. Finstad credit for convincing the majority to vote for the stadium bill they are giving him more credit than he deserves.

Any person that has ever served on a governing board of an organization knows that someone has to take that first step in order to move on. I congratulate Rep. Finstad for taking that first step, be it right or wrong, rather than have the issue linger, thereby saving time for many other issues that affect Minnesota.

My idea of a perfect solution would be like other private enterprises, employee owned, the better you perform the larger your piece of the pie. The origin and frequency of the letters give me a hint of a little local “back door” campaigning.

This whole situation reminds me of a very colorful city council member who served New Ulm some 50 years ago. Alfred “Patty” Baltrusch regularly would make a motion to bring an issue to the table, and then be the first to vote against it.

ELMER ROLLOFF



I wrote a second letter, which the newspaper published.

TO THE EDITOR: In response to Elmer Rolloff’s letter to the editor:

Funding capital projects for private enterprises is not part of the government’s role. Hennepin County and the state of Minnesota were under no obligation to levy taxes to fund a stadium project for a privately owned sports team. Giving Rep. Finstad a clap on the back for “taking that first step” presumes a government responsibility that doesn’t exist.

Rep. Finstad had an op-ed published in my own hometown newspaper, the Grant County Herald, before the 2006 legislative session convened. He was urging out-state voters to contact their own legislators and urge them to support this 30 year sentence for Hennepin County taxpayers. Mr. Rolloff’s suggestion that Rep. Finstad deserves no credit for persuading other lawmakers to support the stadium is not true. He held firm during the conference committee meetings at the end of the session to make sure the final bill met all of the Pohlad family’s requirements.

And as for suggesting that Mr. Skillings had a role in my making comments about Rep. Finstad, that isn’t true. I speak for myself.

Look at the facts, consider the ethics of all of Rep. Finstad’s work, and vote accordingly on Nov. 7.

MARK HANSON


I'm like the David Brooks of New Ulm.

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