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October 19, 2016     Winthrop News
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October 19, 2016
 

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l Winthrop News Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2o16 Page 6 Scott Newman 1] Why are you running for office? I have the time. Unfortu- nately for Minnesota, many good young legislators cannot serve because they need to support their families. I am a fiscal conservative and be- lieve that political philosophy fits well with the people of this district. I have the per- sonal passion to serve my constituents and protect our democracy. 2) What are the most im- portant issues facing the State and how would you address them? Health Insurance is most important issue in the next session: Rising costs have now put health insurance out of reach for many. MNSure is the culprit. Not a single Re- publican voted for it while Dayton and the DFL Senate refuse to even admit it's a problem. Every suggestion, idea and amendment by the GOP has been rejected out of hand by Dayton and the De- mocrat majority in the Sen- ate. Tax deductions and credits on health premiums, HAS accounts, seek a federal waiver, allow involvement in MNSure by insurance agents, allow the purchase of health insurance approved in other states, allow private market involvement and allow the creation of new groups to inn offer insurance to their mem- bers. These ideas and more have all been rejected by those who created this crisis. Resolution of health care costs will be up to the voters by sending legislators to St Paul who will fix it. Transportation: South- west Light Rail (SWLR) from MPLS to Eden Prairie at $100M/mile is the keystone. Resolve it and money for transportation will follow. Hearings to determine the cost of maintenance, opera- tion, ridership, future subsi- dies and possible alternatives to SWLR are the solution. As the new chairman or existing minority lead on the Senate Transportation Committee, I will insist we hold those hear- ings. I would continue the current funding scheme that consists mainly of a gas tax, sales tax on vehicle sales and license tab fees. The state should increase the amount of money from the bonding bill to be used for transportation funding which in the last bonding bill was a paltry 4.3% of the total bonding bill. Existing sales tax on the sale of car rentals and auto parts should be redirected to be spent on transportation. Im- pose a fee or tax in lieu of the current gas tax on the increas- ingly popular electric cars which use our roads but do not pay a gas tax. 3) Qualifications. Education: Bachelor of Science degree Minnesota State University. Juris Doctor degree William Mitchell Col- lege of Law. Work experience: Hen- nepin County Deputy Sheriff, Legal Department in a large Metropolitan insurance com- pany, Felony Public De- fender, Private practice of law as a civil trial specialist, Ad- ministrative Law Judge with Office of Administrative Hearings, Representative, Minnesota House of Repre- sentatives 2004-2006 and Senator, Minnesota Senate 2011 to present. 4) What do you hope to accomplish if elected to of- rice? Continue to represent all residents of Senate District 18 (Sibley, McLeod, Meeker and part of Wright Counties). I currently serve on the fol- lowing committees: Judici- ary, Bonding, Rules, Finance and Transportation. Because almost all legislation eventu- ally comes through one of those committees, I am in a position to review and have an impact on the outcome of most legislation. 5) Personal background. I am from Hutchinson and currently live in rural Hutchinson Twp. Married to Ginny for 42 years, 3 adult children and six grandchil- dren. 6) Closing comments. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of ad- dressing the Health insurance crisis. It is no longer just about money. People's lives are being jeopardized because they are not or cannot seek the medical care they need. This situation is an absolute travesty created by Governor Dayton and the Legislature. You have a right to be angry and a right to expect the next legislature will fix it. Amy Wilde 1) Why are you running for office? We need a senator who is familiar with rural needs and will represent us effectively in St. Paul. I would use my exten- sive background in local gov- ernments and rural health care delivery to bring greater sus- tainability to Sibley, McLeod and Meeker counties. 2) What are the most impor- tant issues facing the State and how would you address them? A) Sustainable funding for transportation, public education, local government functions, public safety and public health. Our Legislature has not dealt re- sponsibly with several of these needs. Revenue should not rely on cost shifting, gimmicks or occasional surpluses. Stagnant formulas and tax policies need updating. For years the legisla- ture has kicked the can down the road on transportation, leav- ing counties, cities and town- ships with flat funding that has not kept pace with inflation. More revenue is needed to meet the higher cost of asphalt, gravel, and concrete. Using one-time money or borrowing may fix a few intersections, but the general formula needs up- dating to cover basic mainte- nance. As a county commissioner for 14 years, I helped manage a transportation budget and believe that slight increases in revenue, such as a few cents more on the gas tax or a sales tax on auto inputs, could jumpstart backlogged projects, agriculture, local business and Schools are still recovering public safety). Meeker- from the state withholding McLeod-Sibley Community money from them to balance its Health Board, 14 years, 3 years budget several years ago; I as chair. Minnesota RiverArea pledge not to do that again. We Agency on Aging, current treas- should adequately fund educa- urer. Pioneerland Regional Li- tion now that the state's econ- brary System, 16 years, 3 years omy is better and funds are as chair. PrimeWest Health available. Local governments, Board of Directors, 12 years. too, need a sustainable flow to Meeker Memorial Hospital keep delivering services that the trustee, 8 years. Dassel Area state requires. About 10 years Chamber of Commerce, former ago, property taxes rose consid- secretary and festival chair. As- erably due to state cuts in fund- sociation of Minnesota Coun- ing it had promised to cities and ties Health Policy Committee counties. Fully restoring that chair, 3 years money would help keep prop- 4) What do you hope to ac- erty levies down. complish if elected to off~ce? B) The cost of health care A) Developing more sus- has been out of control for tainable funding streams for decades. The Affordable Care rural schools, cities, counties Act and MnSure, while helping and transportation thousands of uninsured Min- B) Strengthening rural nesotans obtain coverage, did health care delivery, more corn- not deal adequately with major munity-based care for our cost drivers, such as phanna- growing number of senior citi- ceuticals, greedy corporate zens, and leveling off the med- medicine culture, and the non- ical cost drivers competitive impact of clinic C) Every resident of District mergers and takeovers. Those 18 having access to affordable issues could be addressed by al- high-speed Internet. lowing states and public health 5) Personal background. plans to negotiate better prices Small business owner with and through more nimble man- husband, Robert (Wilde Stu- aged care using Best Practices. dios). Community reporter for As a former county hospital three District 18newspapers, 16 trustee and as a founder of years (covered school boards, PrimeWest Health, one of Min- city councils, agriculture, local nesota's unique rural county- business and public safety). owned health plans, I am in a Former administrative support good position to help redesign at Meeker-Wright Special Edu- the system and apply for cation Co-operativeandDassel waivers to bring more efficient History Center. Volunteer care to our citizens, driver, Meeker Council on C) Rural economic devel- Aging. Longtime deacon, Lake opment. As a small business Jennie Covenant Church, rural owner, community journalist Dassel. Pro-life and former chamber of corn- Endorsed by Dist. 18 DFL, merce officer, I understand the Education Minnesota, AF- need for access to affordable SCME Local 5, Minnesota high-speed Internet. Sibley Nurses Association, Teamsters County is starting to make Drive, MN Farmers Union progress, but more needs to be PAC. Resident of District 18 done to get everyone on board, since 1972. Four adult children; 3) Qualifications. six grandchildren Meeker County Commis- 6) Closing comments. sioner, 1997-2010. Community Rural values of caring for reporter for three District 18 our neighbors, hard work and newspapers, 16 years (covered responsible budgeting need to school boards, city councils, be brought to the state capitol. Glenn Gruenhagen Why are you running for office? I have a strong desire and commitment to support legis- lation that improves the lives and economic opportunities for the people and children of our rural district. My top pri- orities include the following: Provide funding to up- grade our roads and bridges, especially completing Hwy. 212 to 4 lanes and upgrade highway 14. Provide property tax re- lief for small businesses, farms and citizens, including an expanded childcare tax credit for working families. Repeal MNsure (which has wasted over $400 mil- lion) and pass healthcare re- form that will decrease premiums and increase access for patients. Provide equal funding for rural school districts. Oppose DFL efforts to force unionization of child- care providers, which would take tax subsidies that benefit low income families to pay union dues to union bosses thereby increasing the cost of daycare and reducing the number of daycare providers for low income families. Personal Background: I have been married to Emily for 41 years. We have 3 children and 5 grandchil- dren. I was raised on a dairy farm in rural Glencoe. I'm also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. I'm a small business owner of Gru- enhagen Insurance and Finan- cial Services and have 38 years of experience in private business, health insurance and financial planning. I hold degrees as a Chartered Finan- cial Consultant and a Char- tered Life Underwriter. I participated in prison ministry for 13 years. I am also a member of the Rotary club and the American Le- gion. I was elected to the Glen- coe Silver Lake school board for four terms, serving for 16 years. In 2010 I was elected to serve in the Minnesota House of Representatives. I am running for my 4th term. These life experiences have given me strong roots and convictions in regards to the value of our rural commu- nities and farms. It has also provided me with the under- standing and experience to address the critical issues fac- ing our state. Qualifications: In addition to my personal background and life experi- ence, I am honored to have received the following en- dorsements for this election: The National Federation of Independent Business, Min- nesota Citizens Concerned for Life, The National Rifle Association, Minnesota Farm Bureau, Long-Term Care Providers, and Minnesota Gun Owners. In addition, the Taxpayers League of Minnesota has listed me as a "Lifetime Best Friend of the Taxpayer", an award based on my past vot- ing record. These endorsements demonstrate my commitment to support legislation that im- proves the lives and eco- nomic opportunities for the people and children of our rural district. I will promote solutions that work and op- pose legislation that damages people's lives and constitu- tional rights. What do you hope to ac- complish if elected to Office: In addition to those prior- ities mentioned above. We also need to reform Min- nesota's prevailing wage law, which is one of the four high- est in the nation, according to the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. This law artifi- cially inflates the cost to build and repair schools, roads, bridges, and city and county projects. This has a dramatic effect on higher taxes especially local and farm property taxes: To illustrate, according to a former county commis- sioner, a county construction project in our district cost $2.5 million with prevailing wage. If built without prevail- ing wage it would have cost $1.7 million, an $800 thou- sand savings to the taxpayer on this project alone. Multi- ply that across the state and it cost taxpayers $10's of mil- lions in higher costs per year, much of it levied on local property taxes. The majority of DFL legislators and the Governor oppose any and all reforms to lower the prevail- ing wage, especially hurting the citizens of rural Min- nesota. Lowering Min- nesota's prevailing wage would free up millions of ex- isting tax dollars for other necessary construction proj- ects such as schools, roads and bridges, without raising taxes. Closing Comments: Thank you for the honor of being able to represent this district for the past 6 years. I have always tried to respond to the needs of my con- stituents regardless of party affiliation. It has been my privilege to help several DFL activists in my district to re- solve concerns for their busi- ness and private property. My goal is to treat all con- stituents with respect and an open door policy. We may not always agree but I am always willing to learn and listen re- spectfully to those who dis- agree with me. If all of us demonstrate this attitude in our lives our district can be- come an example for political discourse in our state. With your support I hope to represent you again at the Capitol and stand for those principles that have made our district and state a great place to live and work and raise our children. Darrel Mosel 1) Why are you running for office? Many of the people I've talked to over the years are frustrated with the extreme par- tisan positions that our current representatives take. Since I served in the legislature 25 years ago, I was asked if I would run for the legislature again. I've accepted the chal- lenge and look forward to serv- ing our district. I want to represent our district in a more reasonable manner and look for ways to find common ground in order to avoid the political gridlock that now seems to dominate. 2) What are the most im- portant issues facing the State and how would you address them? Healthcare: I feel Gover- nor Dayton needs to call a spe- cial session as soon as possible to deal with the sharp increase in costs of health insurance for individuals. Every Minnesotan must have access to affordable health care. I want to work to find solutions for lowering the cost of healthcare, healthcare insurance, prescriptions and long term care. I want to find solutions to make MNsure (the computer exchange system) more user friendly. Transportation: Currently, the state of Minnesota trans- portation needs are running about $800 million short. As a farmer, I know the importance of good quality roads. I will work to find a sustainable solu- tion for funding our transporta- tion systems. Governor Dayton is asking for a gas tax increase to provide funding for trans- p0rtation. This is a dedicated fund that can only be used for transportation needs. Cur- complish if elected to office? rently, surveys have shown that I would like to serve on the rural Minnesotans overwhelm- Transportation, Education, ingly favor improving our Health Care, Agriculture and transportation system and are Environment Committees. I supportive of raising the rev- want to work aggressively to enue to do it. Over the years, address the inadequacy of the gas tax has not been in- transportation funding and creased yet the mileage that our work to provide more equitable cars get has improved greatly, funding for our schools. I want In effect, most of us are paying to address inadequate access to a lower gas tax today than we mental health treatment. As a did in the past and yet the need farmer, I understand the issues for improved roads continues, surrounding water quality and When elected, I will listen to Agriculture, I will provide a my constituents to try and de- reasonable voice as the state cide what is the best means for works to resolve these issues. dealing with our transportation 5) Personal background. needs. Born September 15, 1955 Other issues that I'm con- in Madelia, MN. Married 36 cemed about are public safety, years to Diane Bias-Mosel. equitable education funding, Two adult sons, Christopher environmental stewardship, and Michael. Graduate of agricultural economy, small Augsburg College--BA Eco- business, tax reform, good jobs nomics. Occupation--crop and and economic development, dairy farmer, Dryden Town- 3) Qualifications. ship, 1981 -present. State Rep- As a farmer and business resentative 23B for Sibley, owner for 36 years, I have a McLeod, Nicollet, Blue Earth good understanding of the and Brown Counties, 1992- needs of rural Minnesota. Hav- 1994 ing served in the state legisla- 6) Closing comments. ture, I've gained the experience I am committed to working needed to serve this area. I was in the legislature to find com- a member of the Agriculture mon ground on the important Committee, Government Oper- issues facing the state of Min- ations, Economic Development nesota. The actions that the and Infrastructure committee legislature has taken over the and the Transportation Finance past years have cost the citizens committee at the state legisla- of Sibley and McLeod counties ture. I currently serve on the unnecessary burdens because Sibley County Planning and of the inability of the legislature Zoning Board, the Sibleyto do its work. Delaying action County Variance Board, Min- on these issues, because of par- nesota Department of Agricul- tisan gridlock, costs all of us ture Advisory Board, Land taxpayers more in the long run. Stewardship Project, Federal One of my strong points would Farm Policy Committee. I've be to effectively serve the peo- also served on the Sibley pie who don't always agree County Extension Committee, with me. I consider myself a Sioux Trails Mental Health good listener and l would work Board, Regional Environmen- hard to see another person's tal Education Board. I've also view. We would discuss the been a Youth in Government facts and ideas they have so advisor. I'm currently a mem- they can be assured their views ber of the Gaylord Service to are heard and their ideas are Mankind club. I've received part of the solution. My 36 the Service to Mankind of the years as a farmer owning and Year Award and also the Dis- operating a business helps me trict Service to Mankindunderstand the need for good Award. I'm currently a member quality government. My serv- of the United Church of Christ ing on various boards and tom- in Gaylord where I've served as mittees gives me considerable council president, church treas- experience for serving in the urer, congregational care and Minnesota legislature, but my outreach committee, pastor best asset is that I like to listen parish relations committee and to people's ideas and fred com- confirmation mentor, mon ground. 4) What do you hope to ac- l