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

State Senate Dist. 18

Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson)

Why are you running for state senate in District 18?

Our constitution anticipates citizens will step forward to serve as public servants. I have the time, education, and desire to do so, and represent the voters of Senate District 18.

Daniel Webster once said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” I think that pretty well sums up my reason for running.

What do you believe are the top two issues facing District 18, and what are your proposed solutions?

Jobs, and the economy.

If we reduce the tax burden and eliminate unnecessary government regulations on our private sector businesses, they will prosper. Jobs and a vigorous economy are the direct beneficiaries of vibrant private businesses.

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

If the state would reduce or eliminate unfunded mandates on local units of government, those local units of government would be able to operate in a much more efficient manner and reduce the real estate tax burden currently being carried by property owners.

For the reasons stated above, I recommend a gradual repeal of the Commercial Statewide Property Tax, and an immediate repeal of the automatic annual inflator on this tax.

Reform and modernize government operations – through the use of new technology, government agencies would be able to eliminate unnecessary duplication by sharing information and services.

Steven Schiroo (DFL-Cokato)

Why are you running for State Senate District 18?

For too long, we’ve watched the efficient and fair operation of the state and the needs and desires of Greater Minnesota ignored in favor of petty political games and pandering to special interests.

After our state suffered the longest state government shutdown in our nation’s history, due to insertion of social issues into a strictly fiscal budget, it was apparent someone needed to speak up.

As part of the generation that, both, has been most heavily impacted by years of fiscal turmoil and will be increasingly relied upon as previous generations exit the workforce, I believe I can offer a fresh perspective that is grounded in deep respect for Minnesota’s past without being dragged down by the current ugly state of politics.

What do you believe are the top two issues facing District 18, and what are your proposed solutions?

Greater Minnesota, and our district in particular, has struggled with shrinking local aid, tapped out revenue sources, and an aging population that increases the demand on services.

The state can aid the towns, counties, and other local entities in these days of tight budgets by providing a reliable revenue stream less subject to disruption every other year and allowing more local control over spending in exchange for the local units using this steady stream and additional control to spend more efficiently in the long-term.

While our budgets shrink, we’re also experiencing a continued weak economy. We cannot afford to continue to cut education and infrastructure spending to waste funds on tax breaks that are not – and have not – created additional jobs, while putting our future economic growth in jeopardy.

Minnesota has always grown jobs through offering businesses the best-educated and hardest-working people in the nation. We need to ensure businesses can continue to count on our state to have the best, most-prepared workers in the nation.

The best way for us to promise a prosperous, less-taxed future is by promising our children the best opportunity for good paying and safe jobs.

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

The first thing I can do in the senate is make every effort to ensure no business is stopped, or revenue lost, because of petty politics. It only takes a few senators fighting to serve the people, rather than their political party, to get the focus returned to pragmatic problem-solving, and I will reach across the aisle – not only to compromise, but to colaborate with my counterparts, so we can get the government back to work on repairing Minnesota’s tarnished image to the shining beacon it has been in the past.

If we can find agreement on what our problems are, we can begin to work toward long-term, forward-thinking efforts to fix what’s wrong.

We’ve got a great future ahead of us; we’ve just got to be willing to join hands – both Republican and DFL – to fight together for that brighter day.

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