Debating At The U: MN Candidates For Governor (CC)

After the televised debate, University of Minnesota students asked questions of the candidates:

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Debate Transcript By Susan Maricle

Campaign 2010 Gubernatorial Debate, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN, Friday, October 15, 2010
Speakers: Mark Dayton, DFL candidate; Tom Emmer, Republican candidate;
Tom Horner, Independence Party candidate; Kathryn Pearson, Moderator

Kathryn Pearson Quickly, the ground rules. After each candidate gives a one-minute opening statement, I will ask the first in a series of questions to the candidates. They will each have one minute to answer the question, and then I will follow up with one, two, or all three of the candidates. We rolled the dice and determined that we will start with Senator Dayton, followed by Mr. Horner, followed by Representative Emmer. Senator Dayton, your opening statement. 00:25

Mark Dayton: Thank you Professor Pearson, thank you all for being here. I’m delighted to be joined by my son Andrew Dayton, who’s a third-year law student at the University of Minnesota. Unfortunately, he was disqualified as one of the questioners for Representative Emmer and Mr. Horner. It’s appropriate that we’re here at the University because higher education through Minnesota is so important to the future of our state. And yet Minnesota dropped from being the 12th highest state among the nation in its expenditures for higher education in 2001 to 35th place among the states in 2009. Our commitment to higher education as to other aspects of public education has fallen and that’s one of the reasons that the tuition here at the U has doubled in real dollars over the past decade. Making it unaffordable for far too many Minnesota families and their sons and daughters. There’s something wrong when our own working Minnesota families cannot afford to send their own children to their own public university. If I’m Governor, I’ll work to make tuition more affordable for you and others who follow you. 01:28

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you Senator Dayton. Mr. Horner. 01:31

Tom Horner: Well, thank you very much. And I do think that it’s appropriate that we have this debate among the many that we’ve held at the university. Because in so many ways this really is an election about the future. About your future. And I think the fundamental question of this election is, Do we invest? Do we stake our future on narrow partisan solutions? One of which says, “Let’s just cut spending and everything will be resolved that way.” The other which says “Let’s just tax 4% of the population and everybody else gets a free ride.” Those are solutions that look in the rear-view mirror. We need to look to the future. To your future. Minnesota is a terrific state, a state of great strength, great opportunities, great assets. Now we need the leadership that matches it. So I appreciate this opportunity and I’m looking forward to the conversation. Thank you. 02:22

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you Mr. Horner, Representative Emmer. 02:23

Tom Emmer: Thank you Kathryn. Thanks for doing this. Thank you Mr. Horner, Senator Dayton. Thank all of you for showing up today. This is hopefully going to be a great dialogue between the three of us and all of you so you get to know who we are and what we’re about. Briefly, there are three people running for the office of Governor in the state of Minnesota but there are only two messages. On the one hand my colleagues propose raising billions of dollars of taxes to support what we believe is an unsustainable yet again growth in government. We believe that it’s time to look at a different direction. We believe it’s time to talk about government living within its means, having it purchase the services that we all expect government to provide within the resources available. And then we’ve gotta start growing jobs again. Because after all you cannot pay for anything that you expect government to provide if you’re not growing a healthy number of new jobs in your private sector. Looking forward to the discussion today and thanks again for having us. 03:20

Kathryn Pearson: Great. Thank you all. The first question. And we’ll start here with Mr. Horner. The next Governor will have the immediate responsibility of presenting a budget that addresses the anticipated deficit that approaches 6 billion dollars over the next 2 years. You have each presented your plans in many other venues. Now please identify the specific components of your opponents’ proposals that you would not support as Governor and explain why. 03:48

Tom Horner: And I’m sorry, is that to me? 03:48

Kathryn Pearson: Yes. Yes.

Tom Horner: I’m sorry.

Kathryn Pearson: Yes.

Tom Horner: Well yes, I would not support Senator Dayton’s proposal to increase the top rate of the income tax to what would be one of the highest rates in the country. I think it imposes a terrible burden on job creators, and if we tax the job creators, we’re taxing away jobs. And Senator Dayton talks frequently about DigiKey in Thief River Falls, a great company, a company that has added hundreds of jobs. That’s a company that would have its state tax increase by 30 to 40% if Senator Dayton’s proposal goes through. That’s unacceptable. On Representative Emmer’s proposal, I don’t think we can afford to cut at the level that Representative Emmer has proposed. I think he’s offering too much in tax cuts that don’t get to business tax reform, simply pad the bottom line. We do need business tax reform, but the first tax dollar has to be invested in incenting business and individuals to invest, not just in getting to the bottom line. So I do think we need a more balanced approach that what Representative Emmer proposes. 04:51

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you Mr. Horner. Representative Emmer. 04:5r3

Tom Emmer: Well, and I appreciate that, but maybe we should sit down and talk about it some more. Because I presented the only balanced budget, the only budget that actually balances in every area. My colleagues, Senator Dayton still has a billion dollar hole in his. He’s still working on it. Mr. Horner’s has a 2 ? billion hole. I mean here’s where I disagree. I disagree that we should be raising all kinds of taxes to grow government almost 17% in the next 2 years. Because at some point we have to get ahold of the spending of government. Yes, government’s gotta provide services. But we should be able to purchase those services within available resources. And then folks, whenever we talk about cutting, I think my colleagues should be clear about the fact we’re not cutting government. In fact, our budget increases government spending in the next biennium by seven to eight percent. We believe government can live within that new seven to eight percent of revenue, rather than growing it unsustainably by seventeen percent. 05:49

Kathryn Pearson: Senator Dayton. 05:50

Mark Dayton: Well, I disagree with Mr. Horner’s proposal to extend the sales tax to clothing and to personal services such as haircuts and car repairs. Because that’s a tax that falls more heavily on the middle class than on upper income taxpayers. I agree, I DISagree with Representative Emmer’s proposal to cut funding for higher education by 14%, cut local government aids by one-third, and the Minnesota Department of Revenue says for every dollar that you cut in local government aids, or in school aid from the state, property taxes go up by 67 cents. So that’s why property taxes in Minnesota under Governor Pawlenty have gone from four billion dollars to seven billion dollars. That falls most heavily on middle income families and on small businesses.
So cutting local government aids and school assistance in addition to hurting police and fire and other essential protections, means property taxes would continue to rise for working Minnesotans and their families. The contrast, I want to protect the middle class from higher taxes. 06:51

Kathryn Pearson: You’ve each presented the electorate with some pretty distinct policy positions. But we know that it would be difficult for any one of your plans to get through the Legislature without some compromises. We’ve certainly seen that in the last biennium.
Where are you willing to compromise? What parts of your opponents’ proposals would you be willing to accept? If I can actually have all of you just answer that question. Briefly. As a followup.
07:15

Mark Dayton: Well, I, part of the process and I have been in the executive branch through nine different legislative sessions is give and take. And there’ll be 201 legislators with different points of view from mine, and that’s part of the process. So I wouldn’t rule anything out to begin with.
We’ll get new budget forecasts both in December and then the next January, February. And so this will be a moving target to begin with. And I’ll work with legislators until we meet the constitutional requirement by the end of the session to balance the state budget. 07:45

Kathryn Pearson: Representative Emmer?

Tom Emmer: Well, first I am the only one who has provided proposals for job creation in this state involving reduction of the corporate franchise tax, 10% exclusion on pass-through income for small businesses, expanding the research and development tax credit, expanding the Angel Investment tax credit, to grow jobs that Kathryn actually has support from both Republicans and Democrats historically in the Legislature. Senator Dayton ahs offered a tax the rich plan that got seven votes in the Minnesota House of Representatives. And Mr. Horner has offered a sales tax plan that has very little if any support right now in the Legislature. So first off, I have put out a plan that would draw people from both sides and second, the only overriding message I would have to the Legislature is government must live within the seven to eight percent of new revenue it’s going to have to spend, and if there are different priorities that the Legislature has within the line items, we’re open to talk about it. 08:44

Tom Horner: Well, and I think that really is in a lot of ways the critical question of this election. I think we have two candidates, with all due respect to my colleagues, who have put all of their investment in very narrow solutions. Senator Dayton appealing to very liberal Democrats only,
Representative Emmer appealing to very conservative Republicans only. The fact of the matter is, when you look at my proposals, the Chair of the Senate Tax Committee in the past session, Senator Bakk, a good northeastern Minnesota Democrat, made a proposal very similar to mine. The business-led, business-appointed Governor Pawlenty appointed Tax Reform Commission came out and said, “This is what we need to do.” My proposal. The broadening of the base.
Because what we really need to do is reform taxes. We put too much dependence on income tax. And so my proposal, reduce the sales tax, broaden the base, has broad bipartisan support, and it’s the only plan that does. 09:46

Kathryn Pearson: Okay. Thank you all. I’m sure we’ll get back to the various budget proposals, they’re such important part of this campaign, but I want to shift the focus for a minute from Minnesota’s immediate budget shortfall to focus on the next decade. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing Minnesota over the next 10 years, and what specifically would you do as Governor to ensure that Minnesota meets these challenges? And here we are starting with Representative Emmer, and then going to Dayton and Horner. 10:16

Tom Emmer: Once again, it’s a great question. Because I’ll just point out that my colleague Mr. Horner, nobody has agreed out of those groups you talked about that we should be doing billions of dollars in new tax increases. The biggest challenge for the next 10 years is to bring government, state government into the 21st century. Any business, if it operated the way it did 30 years ago, 40 years ago, would not be in business today. Private businesses are constantly adapting to meet the challenges of the new day. Our state government by comparison still works the same way today as it did many years ago and it’s time to start looking at the various agencies, the design, redesign our state government so that it delivers the services people expect in the most efficient, affordable and more importantly sustainable manner. And then the job, immediately and over the next decade, is start to grow jobs again in our private sector so that
Minnesota can once again realize the opportunity that we had when we had companies like Honeywell, IBM, 3M, Univac; (to timekeeper) red means stop? 11:14

Tom Horner: That does. 11:16

Tom Emmer: Okay, I’ll stop. 11:18

Kathryn Pearson: I’ll use your time

Tom Emmer: We’re goin, we’re goin backwards so the, when we go up, that’s the end. Okay. Thank you. I’m used to goin down. 11:27

Tom Horner: (laughs) And I’m not going to even make a joke about that. 11:31 (Horner and audience laugh) 11:37

Tom Emmer: How did I do? 11:38

Tom Horner: How did I do? Good straight line, nice followup. 11:42

Kathryn Pearson: Senator Dayton, the next 10 years. 11:44

Mark Dayton: Well, I’m going to resist the temptation to continue our hockey defenseman versus hockey goalie 11:50

Tom Emmer: Can you tell that we’ve been together a lot lately? 11:53

Mark Dayton: Well, job creation is certainly the key for Minnesota and for our nation. You know, I’ve been to China six times this decade, I’ve seen many of its people willing to work, work very hard, that’s true all over the world. The challenge is that you in the audience, students and young people face in the rest of your lifetimes, far greater in terms of economic growth for this state and nation in the last 50 years. And that’s why education is so vitally important. You know, and why it’s so unfair for us to tell you that your education is important, you should get as much of it as possible as you should, it’ll help you invent the society as it will, but we’re not gonna help you pay for it. And the debt load we put on students, and the failure to invest in education, and the need to reinvest starting with early childhood education, kindergarten through twelfth grade, smaller class sizes, and higher education making affordable, is very much the key to Minnesota’s future economic and social success. 12:47

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. Mr. Horner. 12:48

Tom Horner: So 10 years in one minute! Let’s give it a try. You know, I think that it really does highlight the fundamental difference. When you have two candidates who are only looking
in the rear-view mirror to say “Let’s use the same solutions that have failed in the past. Let’s
use the same solutions that have created the political gridlock. Let’s get ourselves locked into just taxing the wealthy or just cutting the spending.” It’s going to be very hard to create 10 years forward that are much different from 10 years in the past. I think that’s what we have to decide. The challenge for us is to fundamentally change the relationship between all of us and government. And how do we connect, reconnect all of Minnesotans back to public policy? Back to decision making? If we allow 20% over here, 20% over here to control the political debate, we’re going to continue to have the same problems. This is an opportunity to do something different. To elect a leader who’s going to engage all Minnesotans in creative solutions, in figuring out a new relationship between us and government, and among all us together. That’s our challenge. That’s our opportunity. 13:54

Kathryn Pearson: Mr. Horner, if I could first follow up with you. Many Minnesotans, in fact the majority of Minnesotans, identify with one of the two major parties and actually look to the parties for solutions. So could you be a little bit more specific about how you specifically would connect citizens to their government without sort of bringing people together with a pre-existing party identification? 14:15

Tom Horner: Sure! And I think the first answer to that is “And how’s it worked so far with the two parties?” Have we moved things forward? Have we broken through the gridlock? And so we connect, I connect because that’s what I’ve done in my community service career, and my professional career. And I think we do it first by making sure that we have a terrific Cabinet. I mean, Governor Ventura, who was very successful in his first two years, did it in part because he had a great Cabinet. And I think that’s the first step. But the second step is that you can’t breast solutions. You can’t build solutions only in the Democratic and Republican party. We have to have a Governor who can talk over the heads of the Legislature, who can engage the public,
who’s willing to bring the public, who’s going to listen to the public. That’s what I’ve done my whole career. I think it is the only way that we’re going to move Minnesota forward. 15:03

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. Representative Emmer if I could follow up on your answer. Can you be more specific about the role of the state government and advancing economic growth and job creation? 15:11

Tom Emmer: Absolutely. Absolutely. But the way I’ll start it after listening to my colleague is really
this, and Kathryn your questions. This election really isn’t about being a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent. It’s about common sense. And you can’t just make promises to everybody about everything. Mr. Horner, you’ve actually said you’re gonna protect 85% of what government says it wants to grow. The 17%. You’ve got a 2? billion dollar hole in your budget.
You can’t promise everything to everybody and then not deliver. What we’re talking about is,
government will have about 7 to 8 percent more, three billion almost, more to spend in the next biennium. You gotta make sure that it lives within its means and then when you do the tax stimulation stuff or the tax incentive things that we talked about. The corporate franchise tax will put roughly 360 million into the hands of businesses to start hiring, to make the capital purchases in the next two years. The 10 percent exclusion on small business, we’ll give small business owners about 160 million in the next two years to hire, and I could go on but I see I’m done. But the idea is, start getting them to hire new people like the people in this room. 16:17

Kathryn Pearson: And Senator Dayton, if I could ask you the same question. You focused on the role of higher education and growing the economy, and that’s certainly important. How else can the government play a role? 16:28

Mark Dayton: Well, I served twice as Minnesota’s Commissioner of Economic Development. And we provided the incentives for businesses, particularly manufacturing businesses, to locate and expand in Minnesota. That was pretty successful in producing, their producing jobs. I proposed moving up to next January a billion dollar bonding bill, taking advantage of low interest rates. One study is that such a bill would finance 28,000 jobs in the construction industry and among the building trades in Minnesota, where we have high unemployment. I have proposed a green energy savings fund, where modeled after the University of Minnesota-Morris, where they’ve retrofitted the buildings for more efficient energy use that puts people to work in there. Also retrofit the heating and cooling systems, use alternate energy, you can lower the cost of energy for taxpayers and save those dollars as well as developing alternative energy and industry in Minnesota. Which is going to be the energy future of our state, and would people to work in that industry for decades to come. 17:28

Kathryn Pearson. Thank you. Now, shifting to our third question. Each of you will have one minute to respond. To start with, we’ll start with Senator Dayton here. Rapidly rising health care costs comprise a growing share of the budget, and also make it difficult for many in Minnesota
to afford health care. What would you do as Governor to prevent health care costs from crowding out the rest of the budget, while still ensuring that Minnesotans have quality health care? 17:51

Mark Dayton: Well, the first thing I would do on January first if I’m Governor is sign the early opt-in to Medicaid. There’s 188 million dollars additional state spending over 3 years, which has already been included in the budget for the next biennium by the current Governor and Legislature. And that would bring in 1.4 billion dollars, minus what Governor Pawlenty has forsaken up until January first. It’s almost a million dollars a day, terribly unfortunate. And that would provide health insurance for about 102,000 Minnesotans, the poorest of the poor, and also very importantly it would provide the financial security to Minnesota hospitals all over the state so that they can provide the quality care they do for all of our citizens. Beyond that, we need to look at this as an entire society. The cost of health insurance and the cost of health care, even for those who have insurance, as you said, is just making both unaffordable for increasing numbers of Minnesotans. And yet, and also, as a result in part, of many of the 50,000 Minnesotans who have gone from private insurance to public rolls over the last dec- over the last year, and that also drives up the cost. 18:55

Kathryn Pearson. Thank you. Mr. Horner. 18:58

Tom Horner: Well I think is exactly, exactly an area where we need to be innovative, we need to be bold, and yet we get the same tired answers of “Either go to a single payer” as Senator Dayton has said or change to a voucher system, a charity care system. I don’t think either of those are going to work. We do need to build on what is working in Minnesota. We ought to go to the early opt-in as Senator Dayton suggested. But those aren’t the only answers. We need to figure out how do we drive health care reform at the community level. How do we engage people? A good example. The Department of Health decided that it would help kids from low-income families who have asthma. One of the great drivers of emergency room use. They got involved in fixing some of the upstream issues, helping parents deal with some of the triggers. In the end they were able to reduce the emergency room use, reduce health care costs an average of 2000 dollars per child per year, but more than that, they were able to reduce school absences by an average of 7 days per year. That’s the achievement gap, keeping those kids in school, keeping them healthy, reducing our health care costs. 20:02

Kathryn Pearson: Representative Emmer. 20:05

Tom Emmer: Kathryn, this is much more complicated situation than would take a minute, but very quickly some things that we could do right away, we should do. One, decouple our health insurance coverage from employment. Give individuals the same opportunity to deduct their
health care insurance premiums that we only give the employers right now. Two, we need to create more pooling options, not just with people that might be same or similarly situated, but with greater groups of people. And we’ve got to give choice to folks. To start working with one of the three to four thousand professional insurance brokers that we have in this state to tailor coverage to meet their needs. And then third or fourth, depending on whether you thought that was two ideas in one. You gotta give people the opportunity to shop one of the 1300 approved health insurance products across this country. You give people more ownership over their health care, you give them more of an opportunity, they will take that opportunity and it will drive down costs. How do we know? Well Lasik Surgery came in the mid-nineties, Lasik Surgery was very expensive. It’s not a mandated coverage, it’s something where people have to complete today. You can find Lasik Surgery for about 450 dollars. 21:08

Kathryn Pearson: Representative Emmer, if I could follow up with you. Should Minnesota work with the federal government on the new health care plan or should Minnesota resist it? 21:16

Tom Emmer: Well, I think we’re going to find out after November second what the status is at the federal level. I don’t think you ever say that you’re not going to work with the federal government.
But that, that plan just finding out how serious it is and what the consequences are, I think you’re going to see some major changes to it. In the meantime, we’ve gotta look at these ideas that I talked about at the state level. We have the best quality health care offered ever in the world here in Minnesota. There’s a reason why people fly into Minnesota to access the great Mayo Clinic and other providers we have in this state. We also have access, as you’ve heard, if people go to an emergency room they’re going to get treated. But we all agree, that’s not the best delivery system for health care, it’s the most expensive. So the idea is doing some of these reforms so we can actually create some market forces to drive cost down, to create better access. 22:04

Kathryn Pearson: Mr. Horner and Senator Dayton if you want to follow up just briefly on this question of working with the federal government on health care reform. 22:10

Tom Horner: Well, I do think we need to work with the federal government. We need to figure out how to leverage that for lower cost higher-quality care in Minnesota. And I think we’ve lost a number of opportunities. Representative Emmer talks about a competitive marketplace. Well, y’know, just bringing in a lot more insurance companies doesn’t reduce prices. Lookit, North Dakota has the lowest per-person, per-member cost in the country. It essentially has one insurance company. Now, that’s not the answer but neither is opening the floodgates to any insurance company that wants to do business. I think we do need to look at things like the insurance exchange that the federal government has made available, made available planning money where Minnesota could use its expertise to make sure that we do have more choices, that we have competitive choices. The reality is that, I believe this is right, every state accepted the planning money. Except two. Minnesota and Alaska. And I think that speaks to the politics of the issue. We’ve got to get past the politics of health reform. 23:14

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you, Senator Dayton. 23:15

Mark Dayton: Of course as Governor you work with the federal government. And I would say the same if it were a Republican President or a Democrat President. It’s so unfortunate that Governor Pawlenty has chosen to play politics with what he attributes to President Obama, when Medicaid was passed President Obama was four years old. And the Governor, Pawlenty, is costing Minnesota almost a million dollars a year, about 890,000 dollars – I’m sorry, A DAY – by not accepting the early opt-in to Medicaid. So to, if we get beyond the politics then we in state government in Minnesota as Mr. Horner says have been a leader. Other states in the past have looked to Minnesota – we have one of the best health care systems in the country – and say how does Minnesota approach these these critical problems and we should restore that leadership position among the states. We should be working with the federal government because a lot of this is undefined and it will depend on how the states take the various initiatives. And the goal should be to provide the best possible health care for all of our citizens, Minnesotans, and Americans at an affordable cost. 24:13

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. Next question turns to transportation. Transportation is an issue that affects all Minnesotans. The transportation funding decisions have different consequences in different areas of the state. Given the limited resources, what would you prioritize: the expansion of multimodal transit, the repair and maintenance of existing roads and infrastructure, or the building of new roads? And here we’ll start with Mr. Horner. 24:37

Tom Horner: Well, I think that frames the question incorrectly. I mean, I don’t think it’s, you pick all of this or all of that. I think you have to set different outcomes. And the outcomes we need to work against are, what creates the greatest economic opportunities in Minnesota? And they’re going to be different answers for different needs. But we have to set priorities, and then figure out how we fund those. And so the Minnesota Department of Transportation has said in the next 30 – 25 years, we will need 65 billion dollars to maintain current capacity of highways and bridges. They’ve identified 15 billion dollars. Now the old way of doing politics, the way that we’ve seen in the Legislature, the way we’ve seen with Democratic and Republican leadership in the Legislature, is you take 15 billion dollars, divide it buy 201, the number of Legislative districts, you do a little bit everywhere and not a lot and not very well anywhere. That’s what we can’t afford. And it’s only, I believe, an Independent who can bring all of these different interest groups together so that we can invest in transit. We can invest in a strong highway and bridge system. 25:40

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. Representative Emmer. 25:45

Tom Emmer: Well, you gotta look at moving people and product. That’s the key. You’ve got to set your priorities, you’re right. Today 95% of the people in this state travel by road and bridge. We can work out tails off over the next 10 years and double transit ridership in this state, but even then 90% of us will be traveling by road and bridge. We need to set our priorities, we need to look at every transportation option. And we need to fund those priorities. And I’ll just add. Going back to the last question real quick. When it comes to health care in this state, if the question would have been do I believe in a government-run health care system, absolutely not. These two gentlemen do. We have a fundamental disagreement and it’s not about opening up the state of Minnesota for a flood of insurance companies, it’s about starting to trust you and I, the people again, to make decisions about our own health care instead of turning it over to the federal government when we don’t have enough money to support it. So it’s also about doing it due diligence instead of pointing the finger at Governor Pawlenty. You gotta understand, it’s going to cost the state a half a billion dollars to do the early Medicaid opt-in. And that’s not responsible under the numbers we have right now. 26:56

Kathryn Pearson: Senator Dayton. 26:58

Mark Dayton: Well, I commend you for the question on transportation because we’re seldom asked in our 44 debates so far. And it’s one of the crucial issues affecting the future of Minnesota.
And talk about business climate, the importance of that, transportation in that I’m surprised it hasn’t come up. You know if you want a real-word example of what happens when government fails to make the necessary investments over the last 20 years, look at the congestion in the metropolitan area, the deterioration of our highways in greater Minnesota, and realize that if we’d spent the same amount of money in real dollars over those 20 years we did in 1990 we would have spent 15 billion dollars more. And we would be in much better shape today. Now we’re seriously in arrears. And, and the necessity I would put the investment into just basic repair and maintenance of our network of highways and roads and bridges. And public transit carrying that forward in the metro area. As Representative Emmer said, for much of Minnesota, highways are essential. And continuing the maintenance of those is going to be crucial. We also need to be looking for ways we can relieve the congestion in the metropolitan area, where it’s going to stifle our growth and our social vitality. 28:02

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you all for these responses. We will now take a 3-minute break. 28:08

Kathryn Pearson: As Governor, would you support the adoption of a measure similar to Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law? Why or why not? And we’re starting here with Representative Emmer. 28:24

Tom Emmer: Well, I think we’ve got ample laws in the state of Minnesota right now, we just enforce the laws we have. But now that you ask it, Kathryn, I did say last spring that I thought the
Arizona law was a good start. And a lot of people didn’t get the rest of the answer. The rest of the answer is because the federal government in this country has jurisdiction over immigration. And frankly, they’ve completely abdicated their responsibility to secure our borders and make sure that we have an orderly inflow of legal immigrants. Let’s face it, if this country ever comes, sees a day when people do not want to come here, to experience the freedom and opportunity that the United States is supposed to offer, then we’ve all lost. So the idea is, I thought that law would get the federal government off its, off the dime and start working towards solving the border problem and the inflow of legal immigrants. But so far it seems we’re continuing to see people drag their feet in Washington. And I think the next Governor in this state, along with several others, has to encourage the federal government to do their job. 29:25

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. Senator Dayton. 29:27

Mark Dayton: I think it’s a terrible start. And the federal government has the (slowly building applause) Constitutional responsibility (waits for applause to end) – the federal government has the Constitutional responsibility. And y’know I was in Washington during the time when President Bush, being the former Governor of a border state, to his credit was very close before 9-11 to reaching agreement with the Congress. And then that was set back. And then 2005, he in 2006 took the initiative again and bipartisan Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator John McCain, we came together and was absolutely blown apart by the right-wing ideologues, so to say that the Congress dragged its feet, I mean, they’ve been, you know, the ideology of has been preventing those initiatives from being undertaken. It does need to be a federal solution. And in reference to Arizona in particular, you know that the former police of chief of St. Paul and the police of chief of Minneapolis and the current police of chief of St. Paul have all said public safety, effective community policing would be seriously destructed by the approach the Arizona law has taken. 30:32

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. Mr. Horner. 30:33

Tom Horner: No. I don’t think it’s a good law. I never thought that it was going to be an answer.
And I think it’s exactly the kind of issue that traditional politicians use to drive wedges instead of bringing people together. All one needs to do is walk down Lake Street. Walk down University Avenue. Walk down Payne and Arcade. And see what new Minnesotans have brought to this state. In terms of their entrepreneurism, in terms of their vitality, how they’re investing in those communities. Should everybody be here legally? Of course. I mean, and we certainly need to have secure borders. We certainly need to make sure that we’re working with employers to make sure that they’re hiring people who are documented. But we don’t need to be a state that says “We’re going to divide some from others.” We need to welcome new Minnesotans. And I think that goes a step further. We need a Governor who’s willing to speak to that issue. We need a Governor who’s willing to stand up and say, “Look, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is right. We don’t need English-only language classes or restrictions, we need classes that help people become Americans.” 31:37

Kathryn Pearson. Great. Thank you. So Representative Emmer, just to be clear though, if the Minnesota Legislature presented you with this law, would you sign it as Governor? 31:45

Tom Emmer: I don’t think you’re gonna see that. More importantly, getting back to what Mr. Horner just said, I couldn’t disagree more. I absolutely do believe and I think we’ve just said the same thing. For some reason, y’know I don’t know why people want to attack a state like Arizona, and judge what they’re doing down there, where they’ve got a serious problem with illegal immigration and people having a serious public safety problem. Those lawmakers, that Governor, they’re trying to honor their commitment, their Constitutional obligation for the public safety of people in Arizona. But that’s Arizona. In Minnesota I think we all just said the same thing. You’ve got to celebrate the ideal that people are going to keep coming to the state of Minnesota to enjoy the freedom and opportunity that we have. But Mr. Horner, to suggest that we should have all kinds of different languages, we want people to celebrate their culture, their tradition, their history. We want them to maintain that, but we also want them to assimilate into the state of Minnesota, become productive members of our community, and I think English should be our language. 32:45

Tom Horner: And Representative Emmer, look. If we’re going to start to do, to draw lines, then let’s go back and look at your real quote. Because what you DID say, and was repeated, is that not just that that law was a good first step for Arizona, but you’ve said, and you’ve repeated, that you wanted that law for Minnesota. And that was the fact check, and we can look it up, and we’ll see the full quote in context, “bring that law to Minnesota.” I fundamentally disagree with that. Do I think that we ought to have everybody speaking English? Of course. But you don’t get there by setting laws that say “We’re going to exclude you from society if you’re unable to speak English.” You get there by saying “We’re going to make the investment in bringing you in to society, in making English language classes available to people, in doing the right thing, in being a society that doesn’t just talk about equality, but goes out and works for it.” And that’s the role of a Governor. 33:44 (applause, cheers)

Kathryn Pearson: Senator Dayton, your chance to jump in here. 33:48

Mark Dayton: Well, as a public school teacher in New York City, I taught then it was called English Second Language. Back then we had 4 different languages in the school. In Minnesota, now there are a total of 95 different languages and dialects throughout our state. So yes, I agree, we ought to give everyone the opportunity to learn English because they’ll be more successful , those facts are, socioeconomically by doing so, and that’s why we need to have our education system, one that welcomes people from all over the country, all over the world to Minnesota, and gives them the opportunity with small classes and individual attention. To gain, regain the skills that they need. It’s wonderful to go to the Wellstone International School; Paul and Sheila would be so proud of that school carrying their name. Where kids who came to Minnesota with never having formal education as teenagers are graduating ages 19, 20, 21, 22 years old. Having had the opportunity that every child should have in Minnesota, every young adult should have in Minnesota, to realize his or her fullest potential. 34:46

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. Moving on to the next question, we’ll start here with you Senator Dayton, the quality of higher education affects Minnesota’s workforce, economy, industry and cultural life. Yet state support has been declining. Last week, University of Minnesota officials unveiled a budget proposal requesting 1.3 billion in state funding over the next biennium. It was reported in the Minnesota Daily, that University President Bob Bruininks said, quote, “If we continue this path of disinvestment, it will be close to impossible to rebuild. The cost of rebuilding the cost of catching up, if we make the wrong calls right now, will be extraordinarily high for the University and for Minnesota.” So as Governor, what would you do to ensure quality public higher education going forward? 35:33

Mark Dayton: Well I’d, first of all, going back to your very first question, the next Governor and Legislature will inherit a 5.8 billion dollar deficit. So before you can add additional money for something like that, University of Minnesota however, commendable that is and that would certainly be one of my goals, to have to balance that budget. And also recognize, as we go forward, that if the state fails to make these investments, the result is higher tuition. And that’s the reason why tuition at our two-year public colleges is third highest in the nation. Tuition here at the University of Minnesota is 50% higher than the average of the state universities in the surrounding four states. One-third higher than the next highest, the University of Wisconsin. So we need to recognize just as President Bruininks said, that without the state of Minnesota making these investments, equality is going to suffer, and affordability is going to become more, it’s going to be worse. I mean, St. Cloud State, University of Minnesota/Mankato, have cut 14 and 17% of their faculty respectively for this coming year. It’s devastating the quality of education that can be offered, and it’s very unfair to all of our students who need those opportunities. 36:36

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. Mr. Horner. 36:38

Tom Horner: Well, I think again this is another question of leadership. This is another question of how to we get there. Because I think we all would agree that higher education has to be a priority for Minnesota. The challenge is in the context of a shortfall that is 20% of the state’s operating
budget, how do we get there? And so next year, look at the opportunities: a new President of the University, a new Chancellor of Minnesota state colleges and universities, and a new Governor. We need to use that as an opportunity to have a conversation around priorities. What’s the outcome we need? And be willing to put everything on the table. Do we need a realignment of systems? How do we protect our great two-year, community and vocational schools? How do we make sure that our four-year schools are doing what we need of them? Is it the right way to have our four-year schools offering 300, 400, 500 different majors? Or should we go to centers of excellence? And how do we truly make a world-class research university on this campus right here? Set the outcome, have a leader who’s going to have the conversation, and put everything on the table. Then we can decide where we and how we fund it. 37:43

Kathryn Pearson: Representative Emmer. 37:45

Tom Emmer: Well it’s time to get past the conversation. It’s time to be responsible. Let’s face it. You can’t fund anything if you don’t have the money to fund it. Right now, when we look at higher ed, it absolutely is important to the future of our state. We have the best workforce in the country. It’s the envy perhaps of the world. And we need to make sure that we continue to do that. But you gotta bring the University system into the 21st Century as well. We’re way too top-heavy on administration. And I hear President Bruininks is a wonderful guy. Talk about how, if we don’t get all the money we’re talking – we’re asking for, we’re gonna have to raise tuition again. Well, perhaps we should look at some of the administration. Perhaps we should look at how we make this more affordable, because inflation on college campuses is running way beyond what it’s going everywhere else. And again, if we’re gonna talk about honesty, you can’t make promises to everybody about everything. You’ve got to talk to people about what it is you’re going to cut. When you have a 2 ? billion dollar hole in your budget, or you have a billion dollar hole in your budget, we’ve got to start being responsible. So we can fund our priorities going into the future. 38:53 (audience applauds)

Kathryn Pearson: We’ll get back to the issue of funding higher education, but now for a different question about higher education. And here we start with Mr. Horner. If you were asked to give series of lectures in an undergraduate class here at the University of Minnesota, what subject would you choose, what particular insight would you bring, and what viewpoints other than your own would you include? 39:15

Tom Horner: Well, I would speak to the issue of leadership. Because again, I think that’s going to be the critical issue. And so the the insights that I would bring are the insights of those people
who have been great leaders in Minnesota. Look at Arne Carlson, a Governor, a former Governor whose endorsement I’m very proud to have. Governor Carlson walked into a situation where he had a huge deficit. He fixed it. He fixed it honestly and transparently. But then he turned around and he said, “Now we need to reform. Now we need to invest. Now we need to build for the future.” And he brought together a bipartisan group of Legislators. And worked on health care reform. And did a terrific program. And it took them two tries, but he stuck with it. The same thing on workers comp. Governor Carlson said, “We’ll fix workers compensation because it is discouraging job creation in Minnesota.” He brought together a bipartisan group of Legislators, unions, workers, business people, and they got a solution. That’s leadership. If you’re not tied to the old solutions of the past, you can move to the future. 40:19

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. Representative Emmer. 40:22

Tom Emmer: Well, I’d give a lecture on common sense. But I’d hope it would be more of a dialogue. Common sense says that you can’t keep spending more than you have. Common sense says that you can’t just keep spending what you want to spend, as opposed to what you need to spend. I’d want to have a dialogue about the fact that we can’t continue to grow government beyond its means. And we’ve got to get back to our our roots. The freedom that this country’s supposed to offer. This country was not built by government. It was built by people. People who had the freedom, more freedom that any other peoples has ever known on the face of the planet. Giving people the freedom and the opportunity to realize their greatest dreams and meet their full potential. That’s the discussion that I’d like to have. 41:04

Kathryn Pearson: Senator Dayton. 41:05

Mark Dayton: I agree with Representative Emmer, I would not give a lecture, I’d want to have a dialogue. And it would be about heroes. I’d share who are my heroes, such as Robert Kennedy, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Betty Jo Overland, my third and fourth grade teacher who was so crucial in my making the transition from one school to another. And I’d ask the students “Who are your heroes?” And what are the qualities? Leadership, as you said Mr. Horner? And also, just inspiration, and just the challenges that they overcame in their lives, to make the contributions they did to the betterment of our society. And what kind of inspiration can they offer us in our lives? 41:43

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you all. You can all come to my class. (audience laughs) Switching gears. Question number eight. We’re starting here with Representative Emmer. Learning from the successes and failures of one’s predecessor is important. And Minnesotans need to know how much change and continuity to expect in the Governor’s office. As Governor, in what ways would you emulate Governor Tim Pawlenty’s policy positions and leadership style? And in what ways would you depart from his policy positions and leadership style? 42:12

Tom Emmer: Well, I appreciate the question, but I think we should go back farther than that. I think what i’d like to do is look back at how we got here. Cause it’s one thing to look backward and assess blame, which other people seem to want to do on a regular basis. To say is their fault, or it’s his or her fault as to how we got here. But we’ve gotta start looking forward. And the only reason we should look backward is to see how we got here. And how did we get here? Since the late sixties, early seventies we’ve had a model of governance in this state where Republicans, Democrats alike, even the people who call themselves other, have always had this idea that when government runs out of money. It looks immediately to the hard-working men and women in this state, to the businesses of this state, and tells ‘em just to pay some more. So government continues to grow. That’s not the answer for the future. Government in this state is simply grown to be too large today. It is suffocating our private economy You gotta get that balance back and the leadership, the style that I would offer is it’s about all of us. It’s not just some of us. We’ve got to get Minnesota back on track. And we’re all gonna have to work together to do that. 43:18

Kathryn Pearson: Senator Dayton: Governor Pawlenty’s policies and style? 43:21

Mark Dayton: Well, I appreciate, would emulate Governor Pawlenty’s support for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs. I respect his commitment to our troops serving, he’s been to Iraq, I believe to Afghanistan, as I went when I was a Senator three times to Iraq, once to Afghanistan. And, and we both did together the hard part of it, which is to go to in my case, most, I think in his case, virtually all, of the wakes and funerals of the heroes who died in service to their country, in those countries. And I was grateful and often he’d give me an opportunity to fly the National Guard helicopter to get there and back expeditiously, and you know that’s hard to do. And I respect his commitment and Mrs. Pawlenty’s as well. I disagree that Governor Pawlenty shifted the tax burden to the property tax. Property taxes, as I said earlier, are going up from four billion dollars to seven billion dollars during his two terms. That’s a tax that falls unfairly on middle-income taxpayers and on small businesses. So I would, I would reverse that and put the tax responsibility more on upper income and the income tax. And protect the middle class. 44:24

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. Mr. Horner. 44:25

Tom Horner: You know, I think a couple of things that Governor Pawlenty has done well is that
in his first administration, I think he was much more responsible in dealing honestly and forthrightly with the budget, including some tax increases to balance the budget, focus on spending cuts, but do the right thing. I think Governor Pawlenty has done a pretty good job in setting a foundation for health reform. Particularly for his investments in prevention. But let me tell you a couple of things that I do disagree with. And they are about style, and they are about leadership. And they do reflect the candidates up here. One is that, I think, we have a 6 billion dollar deficit to deal with next year. Because Representative Emmer, Governor Pawlenty, Democrats, Republicans weren’t willing to deal with a 3 billion dollar shortfall this year. We can’t afford that. And so my promise to you is that at the end of four years, I’ll hand over a truly balanced budget. But I think secondly, y’know Governor Pawlenty with his ambitions for higher office; I think Senator Dayton frankly it does reflect your career of always trying to move on to the next office. Giving up on what you’ve done before the job is over. We can’t afford that. We’ve seen the consequences in Minnesota. 45:38

Kathryn Pearson: Okay. Only Representative – we’re running short on time here – but only Representative Emmer. If you could follow up for about 30 seconds and tell us is there anything about Governor Pawlenty’s policy positions that you disagree with? 45:49

Tom Emmer: Well, here’s the thing. I mean we have Senator Dayton talking about how there’s this direct relationship to property taxes as if somehow the budget was cut over the last 8 years. And Mr. Horner suggesting the same thing. And it’s terrible because it’s pushing it on. Ladies and gentleman, a fact. At the end of this biennium, from 2001 to the end of 2011, the end of this biennium, state government general fund spending will have grown by almost 6.5 billion dollars. It hasn’t gone down under Governor Pawlenty, it’s gone up by almost 6.5 billion. So this argument about property taxes is not right. And we’ll just leave it at that. 46:23

Kathryn Pearson: Okay. This is our final question for our television and radio audience, because of the time limits we’re just going to take 45 seconds each. I apologize. What are your top goals for your first term, and if like Governors Pawlenty and Carlson, you have a second term, what would you like to have accomplished by the end of that term? There will be no followup. 46:40

Tom Emmer: (laughs) 46:42

Kathryn Pearson: And Mr. Dayton, Senator Dayton, you’re first. 46:46

Mark Dayton: Well, I’d roll up my sleeves and go to work to put Minnesotans back to work all over the state. I’ll go anywhere in this state or nation or world where there’s a job to be gained for Minnesota. And I’d make government a proactive partner with businesses throughout Minnesota, with mayors and chambers and local development corporations, as I did when I was Commissioner of Economic Development. And then I would, it is the dollars that come with improved economy and those resources are available to make my priority commitment to education, starting with early childhood education, smaller class sizes, optional all-day kindergarten, higher education that’s more affordable, restore the cuts that have been made in faculty and options here at the University of Minnesota and the MnSCU system. In the second term , I’d just do more of trhe same. I’d put more, try to help put more people back to work throughout Minnesota, and to restore Minnesota once as a premier state in the nation. 47:36

Kathryn Pearson. Thank you Senator Dayton. Mr. Horner. 47:36

Tom Horner: Well, first and foremost we have to balance the budget. We have to do it honestly, fairly. We have to do it in a way that still allows for investment in Minnesota’s future. Secondly, I do think that we need to have a conversation around heal- around education so that we can start to make changes. We need to let teachers teach. We need to remove some of the rigidity of schools. We need to look at education as a seamless lifelong opportunity, and that is going to include early education, reforming K-12, looking at higher education. Long term, we do have to, have to reform health care. We’ve got to get control of the cost. That’s going to include odler adult services as well as the current health care system and make it work for everybody. By starting to deal with it as a community-level issue. And in the end, we need to be a state that is open for everybody, that creates opportunity and jobs for all Minnesotans. 48:30

Kathryn Pearson. Thank you. Representative Emmer. 48:31

Tom Emmer: Well, what I propose to do is exactly what – I’m the only one who’s put out there. A balanced budget. A budget that is not smaller than it is right now, it’s 7 to 8% greater, so to suggest it’s a cut, it’s not. Government is going to grow in the next biennium if we’re in the office by 7 to 8%. And we will redesign the actual structure of government to get rid of the bloat, the duplication, the excess. So that we can start to deliver services that people expect in an efficient manner. And then first and foremost, the thing that you don’t hear from my colleagues that we
must do, is the next Governor, the next Legislature, must get government out of the way and create new opportunities to grow jobs in this state. Because if we don’t start growing jobs again in our private economy, it won’t matter. We won’t have the revenue to pay for the services people expect out of government. That should be the job of the next Governor. 49:20

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. This concludes the first segment of the debate for our television and radio audience. Please join me in thanking the three candidates.

Transcript by Susan Maricle
Campaign 2010 Gubernatorial Debate, University of Minnesota, Student Q/A
Minneapolis MN, Friday, October 15, 2010
Speakers: Mark Dayton, DFL candidate; Tom Emmer, Republican candidate;
Tom Horner, Independence Party candidate; Kathryn Pearson, Moderator

Sarah, a Student: …the cost of tuition in the immediate future, and how will you practically do so without increasing class sizes 00:05

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. And we are starting here with – where did we leave off last time? Thank you! We’re starting off with Mr. Horner. 00:17

Tom Horner: All right. Well thank you very much, Sarah, for the good question. Here’s the honest answer. We have a nearly 6 billion dollar shortfall in the next biennium. And to suggest that we are going to be able to to use that money to significantly reduce tuition in the short term isn’t honest to you. And, and so I won’t make that promise. But here’s what we can do, and what we need to do in the long term. I think first of all we need to make sure that we are investing in our great two-year schools, so that students in 11th and 12th grade can start taking college classes. And the 12th grade graduates can move into their two-year schools to start taking their generals at a lower cost, with a seamless transition into four-year schools. But I believe we also need to take a look at our higher education costs and and figure out how do we reduce the cost? How do we reduce maybe the number of majors in some campuses, so we can reduce the overhead. How do we lower the cost in other ways, so that we can afford it. Then we need to look at the the programs that have worked, including the student grant program, and eventually fund those at full levels. 01:25

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. Representative Emmer. 01:26

Tom Emmer: Some leadership in the higher education institutions like to always point at state funding as being the only problem. And you know, state funding is not the only problem. In fact, it’s not necessarily a matter of not having enough state funding. Because there’ll never be enough. It’s not a matter of students not being able to pay. It’s a matter of our higher education institutions not delivering an affordable product. They’ve got to start looking at their own overhead expenses. You heard Senator Dayton talk about how the MnSCU system has the third highest tuition in the country. This is an issue that we all have to work on, but the people that are running these institutions really have to start looking at their administrative costs and looking at how they’re delivering education. In the future it should be probably more smaller staff, more efficient. More consumer- or student-centered. We should find other ways with technology to start delivering our educate – our higher education opportunity. 02:25

Mark Dayton: Well, I agree – 02:27

Kathryn Pearson: Senator Dayton. 02:28

Mark Dayton: – with Mr. Horner that the honest answer is you recognize that we have to resolve a 5.8 billion dollar projected shortfall for the next biennium before we can add dollars into any area. And I would let the Legislature to do that. And as the Minnesota economy, the U.S. economy would hopefully improve in the years ahead, more resources are available, educations would be absolutely my number one priority. Recognize, as I said earlier, early childhood, K-12 and higher education. And I agree with Representative Emmer, that we’re gong to need to look for administrative efficiencies so again, make sure that every education dollar possible is going into your education. Which is what should be the priority. 03:08

Kathryn Pearson: If I could follow up, asking all three of you something that Representative Emmer highlighted, and that is technology. What is your position on, about online education? What are its benefits and what are your concerns? In the same order. 03:25

Tom Horner: Well I think all the research has shown that the introduction of online education has great value. But it has great value mostly as access. And it doesn’t reduce costs. And in fact a lot of online courses are actually more expensive to deliver. Now, we should still do it because they are important values in access. We ought to look at some of the hybrid classes that have been very successful. We ought to make sure that we have the the access. But part of that, then, is that we also have to look at how do we make sure that we have high speed broadband internet connections available around Minnesota? We hope we can do that as a private investment, but in some areas it may take a public investment. You know, online works only if you can get the high download speeds. And so again, it’s an answer – it’s a question that doesn’t have one neat simple answer. It involves a whole variety of things. Some of which include government. 04:26

Tom Emmer: Well I think that, I think it’s a shame to suggest that online, which is just in its infancy, is really not part of the solution because it costs just as much and we’re not going to see efficiencies. I think with that attitude, we probably won’t. I think that we have to trust the people that are running these higher education institutions, to understand that their job is to deliver not only a high-quality education but also to deliver it at a cost that people can afford. I mean Jacquie and I have 7 kids. I’ve done the math. It’s not going to be a cheap investment for us or our kids to go to college and pay for it. But you know what, it’s worth it to do. We have to trust now the people that run these institutions to understand, they’re runaway costs, just like we have to get ahold of them at the state level in government, they’ve got to get a hold of them here. They can’t just keep saying it’s tuition. They’ve got to look for those efficiencies and new delivery systems to offer the great higher ed opportunities that Minnesota’s come to enjoy. 05:22

Kathryn Pearson: Senator Dayton. 05:24

Mark Dayton: I think the advantage is access, those that for whatever reasons otherwise couldn’t actually get physically to a campus, now have an opportunity to have a higher education, and the benefits of that. I would have two concerns, one is the quality. And the second is, the old-fashioned work ethic. For those who can get to campus, I think there’s a real benefit to be getting up early in the morning and go to school, because you have to get up and go to work. And having, as I said earlier, having been to China, seeing people working a hundred, 120 hours a week, the competition that all of you are going to face in this global economy, is going to be a greater challenge than we’ve had previously. So part of that I think is a benefit of on campus education. 06:12

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. We’ll now hear our second question. And we’re starting here with Representative Emmer. 06:17

Ian, a Student: My name is Ian Larson, I’m a journalism and religious studies major, and I’m the managing editor of the Minnesota Daily. In light of recent suicides among students, gay rights has received a lot of attention lately. What would you do for gay rights in Minnesota? 06:35

Tom Emmer: In terms of…in terms of what, sir? 06:40

Ian: In terms of legislation that may arise throughout the state and Legislature. 06:44

Tom Emmer: You know what, all these issues are very important. And if you’re talking about the bullying legislation that was brought up at one of our last debates, as I’ve said before, and I don’t know how many people know this, but we already have bullying legislation in this state. We already have policies in place that school boards and school administration are supposed to set in place. Policies to deal with issues having to do with bullying, harassment, making people feel uncomfortable for any reason. I think the bigger issue for us going forward is to started empowering our teaching professionals, parents, other adults, so they don’t fear a lawsuit every time they step in and try to solve a problem. Let’s protect them so they feel that they have the authority to step in and stop tragedy before it ever occurs. And I think that’s the next step. As far as the Governor of the state of Minnesota going forward, I’ve made it very clear. I think the Governor, this is, that’s an issue for all of us. I’m sorry. I’m done. Thank you. 07:45

Kathryn Pearson: Senator Dayton. 07:46

Mark Dayton: I support the anti-bullying legislation. I think it’s a terrible tragedy that young people are taking their lives because of their sexual orientation, the harassment, the bullying that takes place. As James Madison said many years ago if men were angels, government would not be necessary. Well, government is necessary. And it’s important that government step in and make it very clear here in Minnesota, any kind of bigotry or racial intolerance or religious intolerance or intolerance or bigotry based on sexual orientation is absolutely prohibited in this state. And if I’m Governor I’ll use every moral authority of that office to make it very very clear by everything I do in making, sending that message. I also support marriage equality. I believe in the founding principles of this country that all men are created equal. Endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights. Among those are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And that certainly ought to include the right of any American citizen to marry the person that he or she loves. 08:40
(applause through 9:02)

Kathryn Pearson: Mr. Horner. 09:02

Tom Horner: My father was one of the first TV and radio personalities in this market. And when he died a few years ago, Matt Little, who was one of the state’s great civil rights leaders, told me a story that I hadn’t heard before. He said that he could always count on my dad in the 1940s and 1950s when Minnesota wasn’t a very hospitable place to people of color. He could always count on him to emcee the NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner. And I’ve never heard that story before. That’s the environment that I grew up in. So I do believe that we ought to, Ian, pass the anti-bullying legislation. But I also believe that we need to be a state of equality. I think we need to integrate it into our culture. And I do think that we need to have marriage equality. I think we need to have respect for all people. And that gets back to the the issue of immigration. This needs to be a state that is welcoming, that opens its doors to diversity, that respects all people and celebrates their differences. 10:00 (applause through 10:07)

Kathryn Pearson: So Mr. Horner, just to follow up briefly, to be clear, if you were Governor you would sign into law if the Legislature brought you Legislation? On, about gay marriage, you would sign that? 10:14

Tom Horner: Yes! I mean I’ve already been working on it, both in my community service career as well as in my professional career. 10:19

Kathryn Pearson: Representative Emmer? 10:21

Tom Emmer: I’ve made it very clear that this topic it’s important to a lot of people. Every issue is important to somebody. This issue, I’ve got a clear history of where I stand on the issue of marriage. But this election, this campaign has to be focused on getting Minnesota moving again.
That’s what we’ve been talking about for months. You’ve got to create jobs again in the state of Minnesota. That’s what the next Governor should be focused on. 10:48 (applause through 11:00)

Kathryn Pearson: Okay, we’re ready for our third question. 10:58

Abou, a Student: Thank you so much for being here today. My name is Abou Amara, and I’m a first year public policy student at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. And I’m also the vice president for public affairs for the Graduate Professional Student Assembly. And the question is, the University of Minnesota is a leader on research and sustainability initiatives, both nationally and internationally. How would you use the U of M to further Minnesota’s inevitable transition to a clean energy economy? And then more importantly, how would you pay for it? 11:25

Kathryn Pearson: And we’re starting here with Senator Dayton. 11:29

Mark Dayton: Well, it’s an excellent question because there’s so much about the opportunity. The energy challenge presents the state, and our opportunity to lead. And I said earlier, I would issue as part of my bonding bill, state bonds that would create a revolving loan fund that would start with the state colleges and university buildings as I said earlier, they’re doing at the University of Minnesota- Morris. Retrofit those buildings, re, retrofit the heating and cooling systems, use alternative energy. I’m told a successful project pays with energy savings in five to seven years. And as that money comes back to the revolving loan fund, it would be loaned out to local governments for their buildings and for schools for their buildings, and state government for its buildings, and in a decade we could transform the public sector’s use of energy in Minnesota, save money, and also create an alternative energy industry. Then I would go as Governor to the companies established in that field or new companies and say “Look, we have a, we have a proven ten, twenty-year commitment in Minnesota to using alternative energy. Come locate your operation, your manufacturing here in Minnesota.” 12:33

Kathryn Pearson: Mr. Horner. 12:36

Tom Horner: Well, I do believe that that we need to transition away from subsidies for ethanol. I think that it is not a program that has returned that is returning value to to Minnesota today. Now we need to respect the contracts that are out there. The subsidies expire in 2013, and I wouldn’t renew them. Instead, I do believe that we need to be making investments in research. And look what’s already going on. Central Lakes College, with its Ag Center in Staples, is doing tremendous work in biomass. Groundbreaking work that will open new doors. The University of Minnesota – Morris, in wind energy. Around the state. So I think that’s where we need to make our investment in research and then let the the marketplace take over. But we also need to integrate into that a reminder that the cheapest energy is conservation. And so we ought to have that as as a high priority. But I also want to go back, Representative Emmer, to what you just want to say. One of the reasons I’m no longer a Republican is because a party that thinks that economic development, fiscal responsibility, and equality are conflicting opinions is not a party that I can any longer belong to. 13:42 (applause through 13:54)

Kathryn Pearson: Representative Emmer. 13:54

Tom Emmer: Well, and I respect that. Just like I respect anybody else’s point of view. Mine is quite simply we’ve got to start working on the things that we all agree on. And the thng that we have to all agree on is that we can’t just keep doing what both of you are proposing, which is just keeping growing government at unsustainable rates. That’s, these people out here that are in school, it’s your debt. It’s your future. You are spending it by raising taxes yet again, and growing government even more. You’re creating more of a debt that will put on the shoulders of these young people, who we’re going to send out into the world as soon as they get out of this great institution and tell ‘em, “Now go realize your greatest dreams” but there aren’t going to be the dreams there because they’re going to be paying our debt for years to come. How do you address the issue that you talk about? You just hit it. The University of Minnesota has a great tradition as a research university. It’s got a worldwide reputation as a top-notch research university. We’ve gotta incent more private University of Minnesota partnerships. That will start to move us to whatever opportunities are out there for new alternative energies. And we’ve got to let the marketplace work. 15:02 (applause, cheers to 15:12)

Kathryn Pearson: Okay. We’ve got a lot of issues going on in this question here. I want to follow up first with regards to ethanol, something that Mr. Horner brought up. And if Senator Dayton and Representative Emmer could quickly respond regarding your support for ethanol subsidies, as Mr. Horner outlined his. 15:26

Mark Dayton: I support the continuation of the ethanol subsidies. 15:29

Tom Emmer: Well, it’s a non-issue in the state of Minnesota. We keep talking about it but in fact any subsidies and there are about 14 million dollars right now out of a 300 million Ag and Veterans budget that was passed in the state of Minnesota. That 14 million was a promise that was made way back when. It’s running out right now. So the statement that I’m against subsidies is great. But there aren’t gonna be any more subsidies in the next biennium. They’re being paid off right now. In going forward, right now there’s an issue at the federal level as to whether or not there will be subsidies or whether there will be legislation to try and create more pumps, more producer pumps, so that there can be more of a marketplace. Not just for ethanol. But for any biofuels, any other fuels. The idea is that you should be able to choose if you’re a consumer. You should be able to go to your local filling station and with a flex fuel vehicle, be able to choose at some point within the next decade, whichever is the cheapest source of energy to run that vehicle. That’s the marketplace we’re trying to get to. 16:31

Kathryn Pearson. Thank you. And now I want to touch on something that has to do with leadership in the Governor’s Mansion. I think you’ve all made it pretty clear that the budget deficit and jobs and the economy are some of Minnesota’s biggest challenges and what Minnesota is facing right now. But I guess when it comes to social issues, that isn’t something that we’ve talked a lot about in this campaign. But nonetheless as Governor you would all likely get legislation dealing with these issues. And so, just quickly don’t you agree that it is important to have a full airing of your positions on these issues, so that voters know where you stand? Because there are some voters for whom these are the most important issues. We’ll start with Senator Dayton. 17:12

Mark Dayton: Yes! Absolutely. 17:13

Kathryn Pearson: And do you feel like these issues have been adequately discussed in this campaign? 17:18

Mark Dayton: There were some venues more than others, we’ve got 24 debates so we’ve covered quite a range of issues and we’ve been asked our questions, I mean something specific, but I mean we’ve certainly, some of the questions we’ve gotten from MPR, Question of the Week, and some of the newspaper questionnaires we’ve filled out, and certainly the organizations themselves. I mean I’ve filled out, my goodness, gotta be over, well over a hundred questionnaires from various groups, most of what should have been put on their Web sites. I mean you know there’s certainly you know – you know the great thing about our democracy and the great thing about Minnesota, has been the public participation, as evidenced here today. Look at the fantastic turnout. Thank you all for being here. And to say this is the 24th debate we’ve had this kind of interest all over Minnesota. And if you want the antidote for y’know thirty-second commercials or seven-second sound bites, it’s absolutely to have these kinds of opportunities for people to ask us questions, for y’know people to see us and hear our answers unrehearsed and unvarnished. And so those questionnaires are also y’know an important part of this process. 18:20

Kathryn Pearson. Thank you. Representative Emmer. 18:22

Tom Emmer: I don’t know, after 24 debates, how they could be unrehearsed? I would say this. Thank you for asking the question again. I’ll say it one more time. I have a very clear record on these issues that anybody can go and look up and see. But the next Governor, the next Legislature in the state of Minnesota, and frankly all across this country has to start to recognize where we all agree. And if we can’t all agree on how we’re going to create a future that is going to provide the opportunity for not just you that are in this room but future generations. Then we’ve really lost. We gotta start talking about how we need to redesign the delivery system of government and how we have to keep growing jobs again in this state. Because I would say this: Jacquie and I, and I know that these gentlemen up here, we do not want to be the first generation that leaves less of an opportunity to the next generation than we’ve been offered. The only way we’re going to address that problem is by getting control of out-of-control government spending. And starting to create a business environment that grows new jobs in this state. 19:26 (applause through 19:33)

Kathryn Pearson: Mr. Horner. 19:34

Tom Horner: Well, right. I do think that all issues are important. And as we travel around the state, I’m sure all of us have received questions, not just in the public forum but in the individual media interviews and other forums that we’ve done as individual candidates. I think there’s been extensive media coverage on the different issues, I know that you can certainly go to my Web site, and there’s a whole discussion of the issues, so I think that that all of the issues are out there. But again, I do agree, and I think that there are clear differences. Clear points of distinction.
And I think those points of distinction really come down to Are we going to look in the rear-view mirror and try to create solutions based on very narrow partisan ideas, or are we going to move forward, are we going to move forward with innovation, with new ideas, with a willingness to invest, with a willingness to look at how we create a better future for everyone? I think that’s our challenge. And in the end, that’s the fundamental issue that has to be decided in this election. 20:30

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. Our next question. 20:33

Sarah, a Student Hi, my name is Sarah Brammer-Schlay. I am a junior majoring in political science and Jewish Studies. And I’m here today on behalf of the Department of Political Science.
There’s a current trend of shutting down public schools and opening privately-run charter schools in their place. Such is the initiative to shut down Minneapolis North High School. How do you plan on protecting our public school system and not privatizing K through 12 education? 20:57

Kathryn Pearson: Mr. Horner, you’re first on this. 21:00

Tom Horner: Well, and again, Sarah, I mean many of the the charter schools, are public schools. They’re part of the public school system. But I don’t think that that just, that that it’s a decision that we either shut down this or we keep this one open. I think we need a much broader reform approach to K-12 education that starts with making sure that we’re investing in early childhood education. So that every child comes into kindergarten fully prepared for success. That we look at the rigidity imposed by No Child Left Behind, and either get more flexibility, or we decide that we’re going to take on the responsibility ourselves. Because we do have great teachers. We have very effective teachers. And then we put handcuffs on them. And they have, right now, an inability to keep a lot of kids engaged because of what we’ve said, the way in which they have to teach. And then great schools have great principals, and we need to be willing to stand up and make the investment to have great principals. We also need to engage Education Minnesota, to deal with some of the issues around seniority. So we can keep our great young teachers, and around alternative certification. It’s all of those things that we need to do. 22:06

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. Representative Emmer. 22:0

Tom Emmer: Ah Sarah, I would say Jacquie and I are the only ones right now that are running
for this office that actually have kids in our public schools. This is a very important issue with us, and I hope you will go look at our Web site at EmmerforGovernor.com. Because we have proposed the only complete and very aggressive reform package for K-12 education based on measure, report, and reward. You gotta start measuring the outcome, set high standards, measure outcomes, and make sure that our kids are performing at the levels we expect. Why? Because it’s not just about throwing more money at it. If it was, then Washington D.C. would have the best public schools in the country. It does not. Second, when you look at report, you got to be able to report the results in a timely manner during the year to teachers, so they can gauge their progress. But also to parents and the students and to employers. So that parents can make choices that best fit their child’s needs in terms of education. And then third, we believe, imagine this, that good teachers, effective teachers, should get paid more. Based on the results that they get. 23:07

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. Senator Dayton. 23:10

Mark Dayton: Well I would like to point out, Representative Emmer, that my son Andrew, the only of my two sons still in school, as I said earlier a third-year law student here at the University of Minnesota, which the last time I looked is a public educational institution. (audience laughs) And an excellent one at that. (audience applauds) But I respect the commitment that you and your excellent wife has made to our – no, a really fine person. I mean that. Sincerely. 23:34

Tom Emmer: I appreciate it . 23:35

Mark Dayton: – you know, to public education. In response to your question Sarah, you know the state funding for public schools in Minnesota has been cut by 1300 dollars per student in real after-inflation dollars over the last 8 years. And as I’ve seen all over this state, that’s meant overcrowded classrooms. Go to Rochester Minnesota, a fairly well-off part of our state, and a fifth-grade classroom has 35 children and one teacher. A school that has 17 different languages and dialects spoken. So the the cutback in funding commitment to our public schools has a real impact in Minneapolis and Rochester and all over this state. 24:11

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you all. So this question has raised the issue of ah, sort of, empathy and understanding based on your own experiences. And so I want to follow up with, with this thought. And that is that Governors are usually surrounded by the economic and social elite. What is there in your background, sort of going beyond your children’s experiences, and in your current life, that gives you insight into and empathy for those who are struggling in Minnesota. And we’ll go in the same order here. 24:45

Tom Horner: Well, I mean it, it is the half of my experience that is community service and the commitment that I’ve always brought to that. So I’ve had the opportunity to serve in leadership positions on the board, as a volunteer working in the program, on organizations like Catholic Charities. Dealing with with families in crisis, dealing with homeless population, with with Hearth Connection, a terrific program that deals with families in crisis. That deals with those kinds of programs. Wilderness Inquiry, a program that that is uniquely Minnesota. That opens the outdoors to the disabled. I mean it’s all of those kinds of experiences and many more, that that have made me the complete person that I hope I am, as a candidate and as a Governor. 25:31

Kathryn Pearson: Representative Emmer. 25:33

Tom Emmer: Yeah, well, you know, I think it’s a very sad statement if it’s true. That Governors are surrounded solely by the political and social elite or whatever it was. 25:44

Kathryn Pearson: Mainly. 25:44

Tom Emmer: That’s a sad statement. I think that’s why we’re here. Because Jacquie and I we don’t, we didn’t come from inside of government. I haven’t been representing clients, lobbying for money for government projects, and I’ve been running for public office for the last 30 years. Yeah, I served on city councils; I think the only thing that probably is, is more intense in terms of giving back to the community is serving on school boards. But we’ve, we’ve been raising a family with seven kids and there’s never enough money. There’s never enough money for food, there’s never enough money for clothes. That’s the experience. Plus, for the last 20 years, guess what? I’ve been coaching kids from all different walks of life. And you know, when you have kids that don’t have enough at home and you gotta find ways to help them participate. Or when you have a young man look up at you on the bench who has tears streaming out of his eyes because his parents just told him he was, they were getting divorced. These are real-life situations that we experience all the time, and that’s the kind of people that we would still be surrounded by if we get elected. 26:41

Kathryn Pearson: Senator Dayton. 26:42

Mark Dayton: I am very fortunate, what I was born into, and I’ve tried to use that good fortune in ways that benefit other people. After I graduated from college, part of the training program for the teaching in a public school in New York City, I lived with a family in a public housing project in New York City. And then taught New York, and then went to Boston where I was a street worker and a counselor for a social service agency. The last 35 years of my life I’ve spent most of those years in public service to the people of Minnesota. I’ve been to more cities and counties all over this state than anyone else running for this office. And I’ve rolled up my sleeves, work with people seeing their jobs lost with plant closings. And a woman up in Two Harbors lost her husband, lost most of her pension right after. And sometimes, you find all you can do is hug people and cry with them. But you share their life experience. You work with them to overcome the challenges in their life. And that’s what draws me to public service, is a chance to work directly and try to make people’s lives better. 27:41

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you. We’ll now go to our fifth question. 27:44

Natalie, a Student: Hi, my name is Natalie Wagner and I’m a University of Minnesota graduate., pursuing a second degree in political science. And, and, I wanted to ask, what is your position on
a woman’s right to have an abortion, and would you support or oppose any new restrictions on abortion in Minnesota? 28:04

Kathryn Pearson: And we’re, this is Representative Emmer, Senator Dayton, and Mr. Horner. 28:32

Tom Emmer: Thank you so much for asking the question. Again, I’ve got very clear views on these issues. There’s no question. And I’m going to say it again. (jeering from audience) I’m going to say it again. If we are going to take all of our time running for office in this state and in this country, and just identified the things that divide us on a regular basis, we’re never going to move to where we need to be. (audience jeers) If you just give me the respect that I’d give to you, I will answer the question again. This next Governor, the next Legislature, everybody in this state, rather than focusing on the things that divide us, needs to start focusing on the things that unite us. The one thing we should all agree on is creating a future that each of us can enjoy whatever quality of life and what other, whatever social viewpoint we have. That’s the place where we all agree. Let’s get back to workin on reforming government and trying to create jobs in this state so that everybody can enjoy the quality of life that they would like to enjoy. 29:12

Kathryn Pearson: Senator Dayton. 29:16

Mark Dayton: I believe that a decision regarding pregnancy should be a decision between a woman and her doctor and her God. And I believe abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. 29:24
(Audience applause, :27 to :35)

Tom Horner: You know again. (laughs) I want to just say, as Governor I can do more than one thing. We can have a couple of agendas. We can get a couple of things done. (audience laughs, cheers, applauds, :50 to :55 ) So, in direct answer to your question, no I would not support additional restrictions. I would leave the the status quo. But I think we also need to take a step beyond that. And and we need to to work on where we do agree. And that takes leadership. And part of where I think most Minnesotans agree is that we should reduce the need for abortions. And I think we get there by making sure we have access to good health care, including contraceptive care, that we have good, responsible sex education in the schools, (cheers, applause, :23 to :28), and that we’re funding good adoption services. And that’s where we agree, That’s leadership that comes from a Governor. It’s not enough just to articulate platitudes. And it’s not enough to say we can only do one thing. We need leadership. 30:41 (Applause to :45)

Kathryn Pearson: Representatives, Representative Emmer, and Senator Dayton, I’ll give you a chance to follow up on some of the issues that Mr. Horner just talked about, which is pregnancy prevention. 30:53

Mark Dayton: Oh, absolutely we want to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and certainly we want to encourage adoption. And I failed to answer your question most directly, that I would not support any additional restrictions. 31:06

Kathryn Pearson: Representative Emmer. 31:07

Tom Emmer: I don’t think there’s anything to add to that. I mean, if you’re asking me what my position is, as I’ve told you, I’ve had a very clear position on these issues. I’m prolife. I’m the only one that is. But going forward, you gotta focus and we can play games with words. But you gotta focus on the things we agree on. The idea is, you got to create an economic engine that actually runs so that you can enjoy the quality of life that you would like to and everybody else here can too. 31:33 (applause to :41)

Kathryn Pearson: We’ll now hear from our sixth student question.

Devin, a Student: Hi, I’m Devin Henry, I am a political science and a journalism senior. I’m also
the editor-in-chief of the Minnesota Daily. As you know, the University of Minnesota is in the process of choosing a new President. If, hypothetically, you were on the search committee, what qualities would you look for in a new President? What goals should they aim for and how will you work with them to achieve those goals? 32:06

Kathryn Pearson: And Senator Dayton, you’re first, and then Mr. Horner and Representative Emmer. 32:13

Mark Dayton: It’s a crucially important position for the University of Minnesota and for our entire state. I would look for a proven leader. Someone who has a proven ability to lead a higher education institution, or a significant part of one. Someone who would have respect and support of the faculty, of students. Someone who would work well with people, a good listener. A consensus builder, someone who understands that there’s a relationship that needs to be built with the political process with the Legislature and the administration. And someone who would be a national leader for higher education. And distinguish this state well as those leaders have in the past. 32:53

Kathryn Pearson: Mr. Horner. 32:57

Tom Horner; Y’know Devin, it’s a great question. And I thought it was so important actually that I I found the opportunity to talk to some of the people in the search committee to share my views. And here’s what it what I suggested to them. Is that first and foremost, I do believe we need somebody who has a proven track record as an innovator, in running a large public university, somebody who’s shown the ability to really be creative to figure out how we’re going to move this university forward. To make it a world-class research university. Secondly it has to be somebody who understands the complexity of running this kind of of a very complicated financial organization. Somebody who understands the finances, who can bring efficiencies to the University. And somebody who’s open to change. Because one of the things I believe we are going to have to look at is whether or not we need to to look at a different alignment of systems between the University and the MnSCU schools. But I also think that it’s going to be somebody who frankly we’re going to have to recruit and identify. Somebody who’s not looking for a job because we want the best, we want the brightest. We want somebody who already has shown the ability to get all of these things done. 34:03

Kathryn Pearson: Representative Emmer.

Tom Emmer: I would suggest somebody with a strong leadership background that’s not management background, that’s not necessarily from an education, a higher educational institution. Perhaps somebody from the business world that has run a major corporation, that is interested in coming in and innovating and not only creating the efficiencies to deliver the high-quality education that we expect in this state and an affordable manner, but who can also be the sales person that goes out and starts to create those public private partnerships between the University and different businesses that are interested in the research component that is the University of Minnesota’s tradition. Because I think if we’re going to grow in the right direction, and create jobs, that’s going to be not only making sure it’s affordable and that we bring the University into the 21st Century with the technology we have provides, but also somebody who can start to draw on past experience so we can get these new opportunities for research and jobs in the state of Minnesota. 35:04

Kathryn Pearson: Thank you all. And now to conclude. With each of you for about 45 seconds. There are many college seniors who will soon graduate in this audience. Please give these students advice as we move into the future. We’ll start with Mr. Horner. 35:22

Tom Horner; Well, the best advice that I can give you is to follow your passion. To think of yourself as lifelong learners. To think of yourself as people who are going to be open to all of the experiences that life has to offer. I’ve been very fortunate with my wife Libby and me. With our three kids. In being able to to take the opportunities that life has come my way. But I’ve also been open to the new experiences, and that’s the best advice that I can give to you. The second best advice I can give to you is try to tackle a couple of issues at the same time. 35:54 (audience laughs)

Kathryn Pearson: Representative Emmer. 35:57

Tom Emmer: (applause, cheers to :07) You know, there’s nothing wrong with the personal stuff. I don’t know that it’s appropriate. But that’s what I’d say to you. Is no matter where it is you go in life you’re going to have people that attack you for your views and for your your positions. This is your, this is your election as much as it is ours. This is the only, and it’s not advice, it’s just encouragement. Please. Look at the candidates. On the one side you’ve got two people who say government needs to grow at any cost and guess what? It’s at your expense. Because if government’s going to keep growing with unsustainable growth over the next 2 to 6 years, you’re not going to have any opportunities by 2020. I see something better. I see an opportunity where we can put government back in proportion to the private sector and grow jobs. That should be our future that we all agree on. 36:59, applause to 37:06

Kathryn Pearson: Senator Dayton. 37:07

Mark Dayton: Over 2000 years ago the philosopher/politician Cicero said that in a democracy, the most important office is that of citizen. And you, I congratulate you on your completion of your undergraduate education, and I encourage you to be citizens of this democracy, to be involved or whatever your chosen career in in public service in whatever way. To be on the school board, be on the city council, county commissioner, boards commissions, run for public office. Be involved in the problem solving, the great challenges, which are also the great opportunities of your lifetime, and of your generation. I wish we, my generation would leave this state, nation, world in better shape for you. Hopefully you will so in the years ahead. But recognize that your responsibility as a citizen of this democracy is your own life but also to serve your fellow citizens
and future generations. 37:57

Kathryn Pearson: All right. Please join me in thanking all of these candidates for their participation. (Applause, candidates shake hands with each other, moderator)

(applause)
6 camera switched feed of the debate: