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

State Representative Dist. 47A

Ernie Leidiger (R)*

Why are you running for state representative, District 47A?

As a constitutional conservative Republican, I believe adhering to the founding ideas of this country as the only path for a successful future for our children.

This means it is imperative to right-size government, reduce its footprint on society, and make it a smaller, more responsive organization.

Government should be limited, and not encroach on charities, non-profits, religious organizations, and the private sector. These sectors of our society should have a much greater impact on our lives, not government.

Government wrongly owns companies that are in competition with the private sector. It out-grows population growth, yet over the years, the cost of delivering services should decline due to technology.

Over-burdensome government regulations restrict private business creation and growth. Job and career creation depends on policies that create a business-friendly environment, where risk-takers open businesses and grow here in Minnesota, rather than moving to more business-friendly states.

Wealth is mobile and will naturally go where it can make a profit, no matter how nice it might be in this state.

Our well-known Fortune 500 companies have not grown here in Minnesota for a long time, a result of the state’s culture of high corporate taxes and an unfriendly business environment.

Small business is under attack in this state and around the country. Yet, historically, everything has come from small business. Large companies were once small, and all government tax revenue sprout from people who work in business. It’s the source that pays for all our infrastructure and government operations. Small business is the backbone of our society.

I believe in free enterprise, self-reliance, free speech, guns, and federalism.

Over the last few years, under the progressive movement in the Democratic party, the country has been under assault on these ideas.

Progressives must be stopped, and the movement must be exposed as the destructive force it is to our future. The once proud conservative, business-friendly Democratic party of my father is no longer around, hijacked by socialists and fear-mongers.

What do you believe are the top two issues facing the district, and what are your proposed solutions?

First, turn around government over-spending and over-taxation which, in itself, will automatically stimulate the economy.

Second, encourage businesses to grow, or start-up, with a tax code, permit process, and regulation reduction, that encourages investment in this state.

New business ideas are plentiful, but investment opportunity in Minnesota needs improvement. Risk-takers have optimism, because of technological advancements in many areas such as in space, mining, energy, transportation, healthcare, science, and exploration, but some government agencies seem to discourage growth and protect a status quo with outdated policies and regulations that stifle entrepreneurial spirit, so many ideas never get to the marketplace.

Almost every problem in society can be solved by full, meaningful employment – solved by government helping create an environment that encourages risk-takers to invest here.

Multiple job options for people create demand for talent, increasing pay rates and employer demand to keep good help.

When family finances shore up, it creates a sense of optimism in people that affects everything else in society, including the need for a bloated bureaucracy state government.

This is why job creation is so important. Business is the engine of our society, and from the taxation of activities in business, everything else is paid for – including government workers’ salaries and infrastructure.

What specifically can this unit of government do to cut costs and operate efficiently, while still maintaining service to taxpayers?

State government could be reduced significantly, just by reducing redundancy.

Just last session, I authored a bill that eliminated the requirement of county transportation projects to go through unnecessary redundant reviews before getting approved. It was passed as part of the omnibus transportation bill, and the savings to taxpayers of just this one item alone shaved off millions of dollars.

There are hundreds of procedural changes that can be made to reduce the size of government. It has to happen through normal attrition, not lay-offs, so that government becomes more efficient. State government should not be the state’s largest employer as it is now.

Keith Pickering (DFL)

This candidate did not submit answers to the questions sent him by Herald Journal.

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