Herald Journal - Voters' Guide 2010
Herald Journal / Dassel-Cokato Enterprise Dispatch / Delano Herald Journal

State Representative - Dist. 34A

Two people have filed for the position of Minnesota state representative in District 34A, Leanne Pouliot Kunze and Ernie Leidiger.

Leanne Pouliot Kunze

Why are you running for office?

The challenge our state faces requires leadership that is looking to get things done, instead of fighting partisan battles.

I am frustrated with the increased partisan power struggles and lack of collaborative spirit to make the tough decisions necessary to develop a balanced budget that provides Minnesotans with the most efficient and effective public services such as public safety, education, and the administration of justice.

We need to reform the way we do government. We need to make sure our tax dollars are invested wisely, not just collected and spent.

My faith and 20 years experience of service in our district has prepared me to be a true representative of the people, and return civility to the political process. I have deep roots in this district and care about protecting our rural community values.

As your representative, I will make sure Minnesota is on a path where we respect life, protect freedom, and reward hard work.

I look forward to serving the citizens of District 34 in the Minnesota House of Representatives – the people’s House.

What do you think are two major issues at this time, and what do you propose to do about them?

Economy and education. Our education outcomes impact our business and economy outcomes.

It is not government’s role to create jobs, but government plays an important role in creating an environment where employers and employees provide goods and services, build consumer trust, and in turn, stimulate the economy.

Our state’s investment in education must yield high rewards and continue our trend of producing a highly-educated work force.

I am a graduate of Holy Trinity High School, and we are fortunate in our district to have excellent schools to choose from, both public and private. We need to invest in our children’s future as they will be tomorrow’s leaders.

We must consider administrative reforms that ensure priority funding of the classroom and ensuring every student has the opportunity to reach their potential. Education is the foundation upon which our economy grows.

Why should you be elected?

My lifelong connection and commitment to this district makes me the best candidate to ensure our voice and shared values are heard and represented in St. Paul.

When I am out knocking on doors and visiting with voters, the most common theme is a lack of trust in our electorate doing what is right for continued progress in our communities.

Many voters, like me, are frustrated with politicians who promote extreme partisan ideologies that interfere with progress.

State government leaders need to listen to the general public and not give so much weight to the squeaky wheels and special interest groups.

Our state government needs to demonstrate a positive return on taxpayer investments. We deserve and should expect our elected officials to exercise common sense and represent what is good and right for our community and our state.

We need to reclaim our esteemed position of being a state that attracts businesses, produces a highly educated workforce, and preserves our high quality of life.

My character, faith, education, and experience building consensus are the same skills that will be necessary to get our state on a sustainable path and restore trust in our citizen legislature.

Now it is time for the people to unite and reject the hyper-partisanship that has characterized Minnesota politics in recent years. We need someone who will challenge the status quo and do what they think is right for our community. I will be that representative.

Ernie Leidiger

Why are you running for office?

Government has grown arrogant and out of control. Politicians fail to listen to the people. They continually bend to demands for more and more spending from radical special interest groups that call for government to solve their problems and make more people dependent, rather than hold the line on spending and trusting the people. They believe the people no longer can cope with their problems, and that “the new reality” is one of a declining America, a declining Minnesota.

Like Reagan, I utterly reject that view. Government is the problem, not the solution. I add my voice to those who still see a great future. The American dream is not dead. The answer is a smaller, more responsive government that promotes private sector solutions, not government solutions.

What do you think are two major issues at this time and what do you propose to do about them?

Jobs and the economy. Job-makers face an uncertain future with threats of new taxes, new regulation, and intrusion. Businesses left in flux are unable to hire.

The answer is to reduce government spending and taxes, and over-regulation. This sets the stage for job creation. Once we set a policy of government belt-tightening in motion and create a stable future, we’ll see companies start to hire again. The private sector will then be free to invest again to meet new demands and discretionary dollars.

As a state representative, I’ll stand to hold the line on new spending. I’ll vote, “No,” to unnecessary state projects that make little or no sense and, “Yes,” to reduce wasteful spending, and “Yes,” to eliminate redundant and non-safety regulations that hamper private job growth.

Then, government services can be delivered more efficiently and you’ll save more of your hard-earned tax dollars. Then, we’ll see long-term job and economic growth.

Why should you be elected?

First, I know I work for the people, not the other way around. Government is run by the people, and I believe in the Constitution. I will rely on the people’s help and never stop listening to and serving them. This seat belongs to them.

My education and experience is one of proven, sound policies that work. I earned an engineering degree from the US Naval Academy, and two master’s degrees; one in strategic planning from the US War College, and one in management from Salve Regina College.

As a Naval officer and veteran of 20 years of service, I was responsible for developing many budgets; and during Desert Storm, was instrumental in developing plans that were necessary for the Navy to achieve astonishing success.

In business, I formed good, sound fiscal policies that were necessary for the companies to survive, prosper, and create jobs.

It would be a great honor to earn your vote Tuesday, Nov. 2 to serve Carver and Scott counties in District 34A. With the people’s help, I’ll serve as they bid.

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