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

State Senate Dist. 19

Two people have filed for the state senate position in District 19, Jim Bischoff and Amy Koch.

District 19 is made up of all of Wright County except for the following: the cities of Howard Lake, Cokato, and Annandale; and townships of French Lake, Middleville, South Haven, Southside, and Stockholm.

Jim Bischoff

Why are you running for state senate?

I have long thought about running for office. I believe the people of Wright County need to hear a different voice, a different message. In true Minnesota fashion, I had problems putting myself forward. When I was asked to run, I knew it was time to step up and do my civic duty.

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

I believe funding education is one of the most important issues we face right now. We are trying to educate children, in 2010, with a dollar amount set 10 years ago. I would do what I could to work on the funding formula to stabilize and increase funding for education, for all students in Minnesota.

I believe creation of jobs is also vitally important. I will push for projects to improve our infrastructure, which will improve our roads and create jobs.

Why should you be elected?

I am a real Minnesotan. I don’t have wealthy relatives; we support ourselves and live within our means to the best of our ability. We have three children educated in the public schools. If people want a candidate like them, who truly understands their perspective, I am that candidate.

Amy Koch

Why are you running for state senate?

Wright County is my home, and what happens here is very important to me. Our quality of life has always attracted new neighbors and offered robust small business opportunities. I want the next generation of residents to enjoy the same blessings that we enjoy and that generations before us have enjoyed.

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

The looming $5 billion budget deficit will be the defining issue of the next biennium. I was born in 1971, first year that Minnesota spent more than $1 billion. For fiscal 2011, it’s $16 billion.

Over the last 50 years, Minnesota’s budget has grown at an average rate of nearly 18 percent. That kind of growth is unsustainable and will have to be addressed in a reasoned, principled fashion.

Specifically, the legislature is going to have to take action to make our state more attractive to business to aid in job creation and grow our tax base, while examining our spending priorities in a way that distinguishes needs from wants (just like Minnesota families are doing).

One thing that won’t work – taxing our way out. Minnesota already has the third-highest corporate tax rate in the nation and is among the top 10 in personal income taxes.

Ensuring that our state’s long-term energy demands are met is another major issue. That’s why I’ve led the fight to overturn Minnesota’s decades-old ban on the building of new nuclear power plants.

Not only does nuclear power meet our needs for carbon-free baseload energy, but today’s third- and fourth-generation plants represent major leaps in safety and efficiency over the facilities currently in operation.

Finally, due to the lengthy permitting and construction process, if Minnesota doesn’t lift its ban soon, there will be few options on the table for replacing aging coal facilities in the coming years.

Why should you be elected?

It’s been my honor to serve our community in the state senate for the past five years.

During that time, I have been an outspoken voice in the ongoing debate about the size of our state government and its role in our daily lives, consistently voting against wasteful spending, increased taxes, and regulatory overreach.

I authored the Spending Accountability Amendment and was recently named a “Guardian of Small Business” by the NFIB.

I believe my record in St. Paul is proof of my commitment to commonsense government and hometown values.

For this election cycle, I’m grateful to be endorsed by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, the NRA Political Victory Fund, the Minnesota Chamber Leadership Fund, Minnesota Farm Bureau, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, the Minnesota Professional Firefighters Association, and Minnesotans for Personal Choice and Competition in Health Care.

You can learn more about me and my candidacy at www.voteamykoch.com.

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