State of Minnesota Archives: on Government Reform

Tina Liebling: Require disclosure of state legislature perks

We must promote high ethical standards and transparency for all who have the honor to serve the public.

Our laws permit public officials to take trips--junkets--that are paid for by foundations or other organizations (but not by lobbyists). These organizations include ALEC, an organization of large corporations that writes corporate-friendly legislation for legislators (almost always Republicans) to introduce in their states. My amendment to require disclosure of these trips by members of the Minnesota House was voted down by Republicans.

Not all sponsored trips are bad, but the recipient should be required to disclose these perks to the public. We must make sure that the wealthy and well connected play by the same rules as everyone else.

Public money should be invested only where the public--not billionaire owners or another special interest group--will reap the benefits commensurate with the investment. This is why I voted "no" on the Vikings and Twins stadium deals.

Source: 2018 Minnesota governor campaign website May 2, 2017

Heather Johnson: Term limits for Congress, local officials, and judges

Source: 2014 Minnesota Senate campaign website, "Platform" Jul 31, 2014

Jim Abeler: Photo ID for voting

Question topic: People should be able to vote without photo identification.

Abeler: Strongly Disagree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Minnesota Senate race Jul 2, 2014

Mike McFadden: Effective but limited government, stressing "limited"

He laid out few hard and fast policy positions. Instead, he said he repeatedly that he will concentrate on a message of "effective but limited government" stressing the later part of that equation. "We've done a really good job of talking about the limited government as Republicans. We now need to focus on the effective piece. Government needs to work better," said McFadden, who has a resume that is long on business credentials and short on political ones.

Asked how limited government should be--drowned in bathtub? Slightly smaller than current? Would he close federal departments? -- McFadden demurred, "my focus is going to be on making things more effective."

"Politics is the art of the possible not the art of the pure," he said. "And I think what's happened in Washington is we've had too much purity on both ends of the spectrum."

Source: Star-Tribune on 2014 Minnesota Senate race Oct 28, 2013

Mark Dayton: Make even-years "The Unsession", to eliminate laws & rules

Back in 1998, when I first ran for Governor, a campaign that most people have forgotten and I would like to, there was a TV commercial for the soft-drink 7-Up. Contrasting itself to Coke & Pepsi, it proudly called itself the "un-cola."

In my campaign, I proposed making an even-year legislative session "The Unsession." Except for responding to a fiscal or other emergency and passing a bonding bill, the session would be devoted to eliminating unnecessary or redundant laws, rules, and regulations; reducing the verbiage in those that remain; shortening the timelines for developing and implementing them; and undoing anything else, which makes government nearly impossible to understand, operate, or support.

I suggest making next year's legislative session the first "Unsession." After this session is concluded, I will ask my agency heads and legislative staff to begin making lists, and working with any legislators, other public officials, and citizens, who wish to spearhead these reforms.

Source: 2013 State of the State speech to Minnesota Legislature Feb 6, 2013

Jim Abeler: Require photo ID to vote

Jim Abeler voted Yea in a Conference Report Vote on HF 2738.

Legislative title:Requires Photo Identification to Vote

Legislative summary: Vote to adopt a conference report that submits a constitutional amendment to the voters that requires voters to present photo identification prior to voting.Highlights:

Source: Minnesota House voting records (Votesmart synopses) Apr 3, 2012

Tim Pawlenty: Proposed 2-term limit for governor & 12 years for Congress

Pawlenty made good on his promise to pursue term limits, though to no avail. His proposal would have imposed 10-year limits on the Legislature, 12-year limits on Congress, & a 2-term limit on governors. He argued that by imposing such limits, "there woul be less focus on re-election and more on policy." The bill went to a House subcommittee on election law, where it failed to pass with a 5-5 vote. Had it passed the Legislature, the proposal would have gone to popular vote in the 1996 general election.
Source: Sam`s Club Republican, p.15, Minnesota Voting Records HF2186 May 10, 2010

Tom Emmer: Limit PAC contributions, but all others ok

Q: Do you support limiting the number of terms for Minnesota governors, state senators and representatives?

A: No.

Q: Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates... Individual?

A: No.


A: Yes.

Q: Corporate?

A: No.

Q: Political Parties?

A: No.

Q: Do you support requiring disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state-level political campaigns?

A: Yes.

Source: Minnesota Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Norm Coleman: Frivolous lawsuits raise consumer prices

[On eliminating frivolous lawsuits] Coleman said he supported what he called a common sense approach. Coleman made the point that unnecessary lawsuits are a major expense for business. “The cost of litigation I think doubles the price of a football helmets, it adds about $500 to the price of a car and about $3,000 for a pacemaker, ” said Coleman.
Source: Minnesota Public Radio, Senatorial debates Oct 21, 2002

Mark Dayton: No PAC money, no soft money

I agree that the exposing of soft money contributions has gravely threatened the quality of our political environment. For my part I have promised not to take any Political Action Committee (PAC) funds, nor will I accept any soft money from the Democratic National Committee. I support most of the provisions of the McCain-Feingold legislation and I support campaign contribution limits and complete disclosure of all amounts and sources of every campaign contribution. I would also propose forming a bi-partisan commission that includes broad-based citizen organizations and whose sole mandate would be to design a campaign financing system that best preserves and enhances democracy and advances interests of all American citizens. I believe that Congress should accept the report of this public Commission and vote on the resulting legislation without changes or amendments. This will be the only way we will get comprehensive campaign finance reform.
Source: Minnesota Newspaper Association Election Questionnaire Jul 2, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Minnesota Politicians: Archives.
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