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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Educating Brad Finstad's New Ulm constituents

Eva and I both had LTE's published in the New Ulm Journal

From Eva:

TO THE EDITOR: Jane Peichel’s letter to the editor discussed “protecting our area taxpayers from paying for stadiums.” Protecting New Ulm taxpayers is done at the expense of the Hennepin County Taxpayers. I called Brad Finstad last spring, and told him I take it personally when he wants to increase my taxes to pay for something he wants. I live in Minneapolis. Our local libraries are open three days a week. Many of our roads are in horrible shape. Traffic lights frequently don’t work. The schools are in crisis. We are known throughout the state for being high crime. These are all quality of life issues that should be bigger priorities than giving corporate welfare to a billionaire.

We have voted to increase our taxes for schools and libraries. We voted to increase our taxes for a new central library. We have voted to limit taxpayer funding for professional sports stadiums.

Rep. Brad Finstad pushed legislation for a 30 year, 1.1 billion dollar tax increase to pay for a stadium, and to stop Hennepin County residents (from)having a say in this through a referendum as required by state law. We will be paying the stadium tax longer than the stadium will last. Does anyone buy a car with a 30 year mortgage?

Brad Finstad’s sole priority during the last legislative session has been sticking Hennepin County Residents with the stadium tax. His leadership on that issue has been noticed, and many Hennepin County residents will take it personally should he be reelected. New Ulm is a popular tourist destination. Brad Finstad’s leadership and visibility on this issue has made New Ulm a visible boycott target for angry Hennepin County residents should Finstad get reelected. A Hennepin County resident boycott of New Ulm will be harmful to the economy of New Ulm.

Brad Finstad is making New Ulm known for being deadbeats. Deadbeats charge items to other people’s credit cards. That’s exactly what Brad Finstad’s stadium legislation did — it charged his project — the stadium — to the unwilling Hennepin County Taxpayer credit card (our sales tax). Finstad started an economic war with his single minded insistance that Hennepin County — and only Hennepin County — bear the costs of the Twins Stadium.

Please vote to defeat Brad Finstad on November 7.


And from me:

TO THE EDITOR: In his July 2006 press release announcing a run for re-election, Rep. Brad Finstad said the following: “My goal is to continue working hard on traditional family value issues while protecting the pocketbooks of state taxpayers.”

Well, I’m a state taxpayer and Rep. Finstad worked hard to make sure I was denied the right to vote on a local option sales tax in Hennepin County. One-fourth of the state’s population is facing a 30-year added tax burden to subsidize private investors. As it is a tax on purchases, it is highly regressive.

How cynical does a guy have to be to work on passing a bill that includes an exception to the referendum requirement? The only reason a referendum wasn’t part of the Twins stadium legislation is that the supporters knew very well that the voters would not approve it. Instead, “No New Taxes” Governor Pawlenty and a bunch of fake conservative out-state legislators endorsed the idea that four (out of seven) Hennepin County commissioners are much smarter than the voters. I can’t even totally boycott paying these taxes without moving, as it will apply to utility bills.

We all know what Rep. Finstad means when he refers to “traditional family values.” but how about asking our elected officials to demonstrate their high moral character in every vote they take? So far, Rep. Finstad appears to be a good imitator of the “I’ve got mine” ethic that has run rampant through the Tom DeLay-engineered US House of Representatives.

Kick this guy out of office. Situational ethics have no place in the Legislature. Your representative should work for the best interest of all Minnesotans. Vote for Bob Skillings on Nov. 7.