Last night’s debate on TPT between Minnesota Governor candidates Tom Emmer, Mark Dayton and Tom Horner was entertaining, spirited and just teetering on being out of control. Today’s debate is not in an air conditioned TV studio, but in a hot tent at Game Fair. Live video coverage of course was here on The UpTake. Click here to watch a video of this event with captioning added by The UpTake. Replay our video and live blog by clicking on the headline or Click Here to see live blog in a pop up window.
When you continue reading, a transcript of the debate.
Ron Schara: Welcome to GameFair. Welcome all of the candidates to GameFair. Ah but I think we should be very proud of the fact that the the leading candidates for to be leader of our state have chosen to be here. There’s lots of places they could be. But I think it says a lot about us and the fact that you have (applause) we have discovered that ah the outdoor lifestyle is important to us and we’re making that impact on our leaders to pay attention to the things that make Minnesota great outdoorwise and value. So no more needs to be said. I’m privileged also to have as my colleague today and one of the sponsors of this by the way the editor of Outdoor News Rob Drieslein. Rob? (applause)
Rob Drieslein: Thanks Ron. Thank you very much everyone for turning out. A great crowd. I wanna just cite some of the sponsors that brought this together. Ah Gary Leaf from Sportsmen for Change I think probably first called me and said let’s try to put this together he’s been doing it for a number of years. Gary couldn’t make it today. Ron Hustvedt is here Could you raise your hand? Where is he? There he is, right in front of me. Ron, Ron’s the guy who’s been workin his tail off getting this all set up getting the microphones together, y’know coordinating everything, so thank you very much Ron. Toward the end we’re hopin that we can if the crowd has some questions that we don’t get to, raise your hand periodically during the forum and Ron will bring you a pad of paper, you can write down a question and we’ll he’ll filter it through through Ron and I and we’ll try to include some of those at the end. Also I want to thank Chuck Delaney. Chuck’s been great for years hosting this big crowd, good friend of of the outdoors, he’s donated a lot of money to the Build a Wildlife area effort over the years, so I want to thank him.
And with that why don’t I introduce the candidates? Starting off immediately to my left we’ve got U.S – former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton, he’s a varied background, he started off as a teacher, I believe, in your early days, he was a legislative assistant to U.S Senator Walter Mondale, was that in the seventies I presume? Back in those days? He also served as the Minnesota st-
Mark Dayton: Before before you were born.
Rob Drieslein: Ah, Not quite. You’re getting there. Also served as Minnesota state auditor from 91 to 95, he was a U.S. Senator from Minnesota from 2001 to 2007, and he played a little college hockey I understand.
Mark Dayton: Yeah.
Rob Drieslein: All right. There you go. To his immediate left we’ve got Linda Eno representing the Resource Party. I think I made it clear Mark Dayton represents the DFL. I think we all know that. Ah Linda is a she’s a co-owner with her husband Bill of Twin Pines Resort on the west shore of Lake Mille Lacs. She’s a mother of four. We were talking before and her old – youngest son Mark helped me with a bait bucket on a launch. He was a little kid and I understand he’s in his first year of college now. So congratulations to Mark. She’s a promoter of all things Mille Lacs and she’s been an activist for many years on behalf of private citizens monitoring tribal treaty claims around the state. So thank you Linda. (applause)
Rob Drieslein: We’ve got a Republican candidate, Tom Emmer, he’s an attorney and legislator, a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, representing District 19B, that includes portions of Wright and Hennepin counties, also a former college hockey player, and judging from all the Emmer hockey jerseys, still a fan.
Tom Emmer: I’ve challenged the Senator to a showdown, by the way, so hopefully we’ll get that done.
Rob Drieslein: Probably not today, with this heat, I don’t think. And finally we’ve got from the Independence Party candidate Mr. Tom Horner. Horner served as U.S Senator Dave Durenberger’s press secretary and chief of staff. He’s cofounder of a public relations firm and has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas. So thank you for joining us Mr. Horner.
Tom Horner: And when they have the shootout I’ll referee. (laughs)
Rob Drieslein: There you go. There you go. (applause) And I’d just like to reiterate something Ron said, Let’s have a) brevity I think in our comments so we can get through there’s a lot of topics to talk about, and b) Let’s all be courteous. About the crowd and the candidates. We all saw Almanac last night guys and it sounds like it got a little warm so let’s try to keep it, cool it down a little bit today on these outdoor topics.
Ron Schara: Are we ready to begin Rob? All right. We’re gonna take turns asking some questions here but let’s find out first from each of you in 90 seconds or less please provide a brief description of your life as it relates to the outdoors and conservation issues. Tell us why sportsmen and women should support you. Ah, let’s just start at the very end there. Tom Horner.
Tom Horner: Well, thank you, ah first of all thanks everyone to, to coming out, a great opportunity for us to discuss issues that I think really go to the core of what makes Minnesota a great state. Thanks to all the sponsors and the, the hosts for having us here. Y’know I grew up in a family where my, my dad some of you may remember Jack Horner, one of the the first ah, tv sports celebrities where sports and outdoors always have been part of my life. Where we’ve always made an investment in understanding the value of, of sports, of outdoors, of what it means to to be a Minnesotan. To enjoy that part of our life. In my professional and community service career I’ve carried that forward. I had the opportunity to work for Dave Durenberger. Dave was one of the, the great champions of our park and trail system in in Minnesota and I’ve picked up that kind of legacy from his mentoring. And have carried that, that forward. So I believe strongly that for Minnesota to be a great state, we need to make these kinds of investments in, in ah the, the quality of our water, in our wildlife habitat, and our land management, all of those kinds of assets that go to the kind of state that we want to live in.
Rob Drieslein: All right. Hey, abs, yeah, there’s thirty seconds left. There you go.Tom Horner: Brevity is my middle name.Ron Schara: It’s fine if you go short. Tom Horner: Yeah.Ron Schara: Ninety seconds, Mr. Emmer.
Tom Emmer: Ah this is something that we just don’t talk about in my family. This was passed down from my grandfather to my father to me and now to our kids. Jacquie and I have seven kids, six boys and a daughter. And if you want to know how interested we are, I have three older boys that just got back from Lake of the Woods. Jack got shut out. Bob and Tripp both had walleyes that they could brag about. Our daughter Katie just got back from Gun Camp this week. She spent a week shootin every gun that is out there. In fact I asked her this morning and she said “I can’t give you all the numbers. I don’t remember what all the numbers are.” Although she did take a scope, Ron, in the, in the face with a thirty-ot-six and she still looks pretty good. This is ah something more than, than just talking about, this is our lifestyle. I told you, my dad used to take me out to the river bottoms, we know where ValleyFair is today, we used to hunt pheasants there and ducks on the river bottoms, I did it as a kid, I did it in college, when I was in Alaska, I actually took the first half of my last year in college and put all my classes on Tuesday and Thursday and yes I will talk about this — so we could hunt Monday, Wednesday, Friday, a little Saturday and a lot on Sunday in the fall. This is something we do and as a parent Ron, it’s about making sure that this tradition can be passed on to further generations, including mine. As a parent raising seven kids, we know how expensive it is. It’s about access and making it cost effective so that we can continue to enjoy all the great hunting and fishing and protect the natural resources that are Minnesota.
Ron Schara: All right, very good. Ah Linda, you’re next.
Linda Eno: Thanks everybody for coming. And thanks for recognizing the Resource Party. I think as you find the media around um, leaves out a few of the smaller parties. I’d like to say 16 years ago my husband and I bought Twin Pines Resort on the west side of Mille Lacs Lake, following the American Dream, and in Minnesota, really following the American Dream, thinking you’re gonna fish and make this your lifestyle. Ah, only to be thrown in the midst of the treaty management situation, so all of a sudden the American Dream turned into an American nightmare. I have watched I say your resources and my livelihood and my children’s future being negotiated away and mismanaged and abused. When, when my fishermen and when all of all of Minnesota’s fishermen go out on a lake and they’re told oh, you really don’t need to keep a fish. Y’know, catching and releasing is okay. Isn’t a walleye meal a Minnesota tradition? How dare the media and people say, Y’know what, it’s ok to have a two-inch slot limit. And then when the the management is not biological, it’s really political, there’s a problem and that’s what propelled me into this position and and the politics. And I’ve worked pretty hard, thinking grassroots might work. And then all of a sudden, being kind of a naïve American citizen, you really, it’s not grassroots, it’s money and power that’s running things at the Capitol. And it’s about time that the elected officials start to listen to the constituents and what the people want and not the money and power. And that’s what I would say.
Ron Schara. All right, very good, thank you Linda.
Linda Eno: Thank you.
Ron Schara: And last certainly not least, Mr. Dayton.
Mark Dayton: Thank you very much Ron. I grew up hunting and fishing, I went down to Heron Lake in near Windom, with my father my brother, started out in a duck blind with newspapers wrapped around my legs as a windblock and a BB gun at about age six. And I didn’t hit many ducks with a BB gun, I must confess, but I did a lot better when I graduated up to a twelve-gauge shotgun. Ah, fishing all my life up on Lake Vermillion, at my grandfather’s cabin. And I, you, if, I just want everyone to know that if I am governor the sportsmen and women of this state are gonna have a friend in the governor’s office. I will veto any legislative attempts to usurp the authority of the Lessard-Sams Council. I will work closely with the hunting angling and conservation groups to select a strong supporter of your interests as the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources. I will appoint members to the Lessard-Sams Council who represent all of Minnesota geographically. I think it’s ridiculous that there’s not a single member of the Lessard-Sams Council in the northern 200 miles of the state of Minnesota. And I will veto any legislative attempt such as Representative Emmer supported last year, cosponsored in fact, to repeal the Legacy Amendment, which was passed by a vote of almost 60% of the Minnesotans in 2008 who voted on that amendment as an overwhelming support. And I will say to the legislators, starting with attempts like Representative Emmer’s to repeal that legislation, that government interference in the rule of the people will not be tolerated if I’m governor.
Ron Schara: Thank you Mr. Dayton. (Applause)
(Rob Drieslein off camera question)
Ron Schara: Ah, well we could I guess. Ah,
(Rob Drieslein off camera) Why don’t we give Representative Emmer—that was our second question, why don’t we just jump right to that one.
Ron Schara: Representative Emmer, why didn’t you support the Legacy Amendment? And you, your name is also on a bill to repeal the amendment. You want to state your case?
Tom Emmer: Absolutely. And I talked about it last year when we were here and I’ll talk about it in the future. We don’t agree on everything, and I didn’t agree on putting the tax into, into our Constitution. That discussion is over. The one assurance I would make everybody in this room is that if I’m Governor of this state, we’re not going backwards. We’re going forwards. And you know what, you’ve gotta make sure that these funds, Senator, are being used for the original intent. We’ve gotta make sure that those funds are going for wildlife fish and hunting habitat. Not to dog parks in Minneapolis and we’ve gotta make sure that we stand up to the animal rights extremists that are trying to put puppy m-, our great kennels out of business. Our dog breeders. That’s what the sportsmen need. That’s what all of us need. Not looking backwards, looking forwards. And folks, that discussion is over. That fight is over. We are not going to repeal the Legacy Amendment. We didn’t have to agree with it. And by the way, Senator Dayton, since you brought it up. You weren’t there. One of the things that was missing, Ron, and you guys will remember, when the legislation was first pushed through the, through the legislature, we didn’t have the mechanics for the Lessard Council, the Lessard-Sams Council. So as a responsible policy maker, not only do you have problems with the Constitutional issue, but that’s gone now. The other issue is, how’s the Lessard-Sams Council gonna work. And I’ll tell you what. So far I’ve been impressed with how it’s working but I think we need to do a lot more to impress upon people that are on that working with hunting and fishing groups to advance more productive hunting and fishing habitat. Not dog parks in Minneapolis.
Ron Schara: I thank you. (Applause). Ron Schara: I have one little followup, ah, Mr. Emmer. Just because in my hand here is a bill to eliminate the Constitutional amendment. It has your name on it. Does that mean you’re taking your name off of it?
Tom Emmer: That’s right. Part of that was because we’re just seeing how the Lessard-Sams Council is working. And I gotta tell everybody in the room. I’m scared to death of people like Jean Wagenius in Minneapolis, taking away my kids’ right to hunt and fish in the future. And I was worried about the mechanics of the Lessard-Sams Council not working the way it was intended. You know what? We’ve seen it so far. We just need to have a governor that will put people on that council that will honor the original intent. And yes, my name will be on it.
Mark Dayton Off camera: You want to tear it up?
Tom Emmer: Sure.
Tom Emmer: So, so that’s why you tried to repeal it in 2009, was because of your concerns about the Lessard Council?
Tom Emmer: Yeah, that’s part of it. I mean, we have to see how this is workin. And now, you don’t go backwards. We’re gonna leave it. And we’re gonna make sure we appoint people to the council that will honor the original intent. And make sure the money goes where it’s intended. To produce productive wildlife hunting and fishing habitat.
Rob Drieslein Off camera: Senator Dayton, a quick retort?
Mark Dayton: Well, you know I’ve worked for Senator Mondale back when he was a Senator and his father was a minister. And Fritz said his father used to tell him, The only trouble with deathbed conversions is they seldom last if the patient recovers. So I’m, I’m glad that Representative Emmer has had a conversion on this because we do need this amendment and it should be hands off the legislature. I will support members of the Lessard-Sams council who will make decisions that represent the will of the people. That represent the language of that amendment as the people of Minnesota voted on it. And I will veto any attempt by the legislature to interfere with or usurp the authority of the Lessard Council. That has been my consistent position. I supported that amendment as a private citizen. I contributed to the vote yes, in in contrast to Representative Emmer. It’s a fundamental difference between us. I supported that amendment, I’ve always supported that amendment, I will always support that amendment. And I will say it’s the will of the people, and the Lessard-Sams Council’s word ought to be the final authority on where that money should be spent.
Tom Emmer: But you know what Senator, it won’t protect the…Ron Schara: We gotta move on to another topic. I guarantee you we’re going to get the opportunity to talk about more fun topics like this.Tom Emmer:…if it won’t protect the right to guns, it’s not going to matter. We got to let them hunt too.Rob Drieslein Off camera: Shoreline development has been in the news.
Tom Horner: Can I – can I just take one, one quick response? And I don’t want to keep doing the back and forth. But look, the issue is, we do have to go forward. And part of that Legacy Amendment is that, it is new money. It’s not money intended to replace the funds that we’re already putting into environment, into land management, into habitat protection, and that’s the issue. And we’re not going to do that if we keep cutting, if we have simplistic solutions, if we don’t have a commitment going forward to make sure that we are funding the the water quality, land management, conservation officers, habitat protection and development. It is also the money going forward. It is the commitment to the full text of the amendment, not just to one narrow slice of it. And that’s going to take leadership. That’s going to take foresight. That’s going to take a commitment to outdoors.
Rob Drieslein Off camera: Thank you, And I’m gonna to pitch this next question. You can, you can start Mr. Horner, with this next topic which is shoreline development. Been in the news a lot this year. The Star Tribune, Tom Meersman did a fine story about shoreline development in the Brainerd Lakes area. This past Wednesday the governor of Minnesota took several years of work that had gone into some new shoreline developments plans for the state and basically rejected ‘em. Bottom line that means you folks. The next governor or the next legislature’s gonna have to tackle this topic. Um, a lot of people feeling that these shoreline rules we have were developed for a time we had a few small cabins on a few lakes. Now we’ve got big lake homes. Is it time to address this? Would your administration be satisfied with status quo? Or support some new regulations establishing size limits, maybe on docks. Revise requirements for buildings, developments, sewage systems along our state lakes. I’ll let you tackle it first, Mr. Horner.
Tom Horner: Absolutely. And that’s a great example of how we need to keep moving forward, how we need a government that understands its role. Doesn’t grow too big, we do need to to rein it in, But we also need a government that does the responsible things. And water quality. It’s not just shoreline protection, it is water quality in Minnesota. We really do need to focus on that. So my disappointment was that not just the governor vetoed the, the or rejected the proposals, but that he’s made no effort to figure out how can we work with local governments to have state-of-the-art standards. To have enforcement of ordinances that are going to protect the water quality. Not just with docks but with the shoreline protection. Where do we and how do we invest, how do we have the resources to invest through CRP and other mechanisms in making sure that we have the easements around the creeks, the waterways, the drainage dishes – ditches to protect the water quality. How do we make sure that on on all of these issues we are saying that water quality is is important. And one of the things frankly that did disappoint me last week at FarmFest is when Representative Emmer said that he was going to take all environmental regulations that touch agriculture — well what environmental regulation doesn’t touch agriculture – and put them under the department of agriculture –that’s absolutely the wrong way to go. What do you say then to the forest products industry, what do you say to Ducks Unlimited, what do you say to the Sierra Club. What do you say to those who care about water quality. We need a governor who’s going to say the same thing to every audience. And the thing we need to say to Minnesota audiences is that our lakes, our rivers, our waterways are a critical asset. We need to protect them. That’s going to take a smart government investment in the kinds of things that really do make a difference.
Rob Drieslein: Representative Emmer, he’s kind of stolen our thunder there. We were going to ask about the ag comment. Uh, would you like to I guess first respond on the shoreline point
Tom Emmer: Sure. Sure.
Rob Drieslein: and then then address his agricultural statement there?
Tom Emmer: Well, actually, let’s start with this. First, there is. No. Such. Thing. As smart government. It does not exist. Government is not a person. It’s about people making decisions that impact people. So when we talk about good government, smart government, we’re talking about us. When you talk about the shoreline regulations and protecting our shoreline – you know what, I don’t agree with Governor Pawlenty on everything, I think that’s pretty well known if you look at the history, but when it comes to this he did the right thing. We should give more local control. The one-size-fits-all has been the problem coming from the politicians in St. Paul for far too long. You can’t have a one-size fits all. There has to be more local control. The future is not talking in big terms about smart government and the rest. The future is actually doin it. Giving local control and putting in place a basic set of standards that the local authorities can not only apply and make sure that there’s compliance but then review every 10 years to make sure what it’s is appropriate in their county is working in their county. That’s the future. And then this bit about the agriculture it’s absolutely the right thing to do. What I talked about down at Farmfest and John where’d you go, you asked me about this. Because there’s some misinformation being floated around that somehow this is going to impact sportsmen in a negative way. You know what, we should break out game and fish, not fish and wildlife. Game and fish. And we should have it be about habitat for hunting and fishing once again. The MPCA is frankly a problem for both the DNR and for the Department of Agriculture. And what I said to the folks at the Farmfest last week was when farmers are getting letters from this organization called the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency that says “You gotta put gutters on your barn because of the water runoff,” that thing has gone too far. It’s working against agriculture. And what we talked about was any regulatory rule-making authority should go within the Department of Agriculture so that – and by the way, nobody up here and nobody out there has the market cornered on wanting clean water, clean air, and protecting our natural resources. It’s ultimately what we all want. So let’s not point the fingers at each other. Let’s point the fingers straight ahead. This was about making sure that the pollution control rules work with farmers so that we can all recognize the goals that we have. Same thing should be happening when we talk about the DNR. This is a much longer answer about revamping which – the DNR needs a lot of work. But one of the things that you have to do is make sure that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency the environmental rules and regulations are working with sportsmen and in the interest of more productive hunting and fishing habitat rather than against it.
Rob Drieslein: And, and just to be clear, removing game and fish from DNR and putting them under department of ag? Is, Did I hear you correctly?
Tom Emmer: No. No, I said you should separate it out from
Rob Drieslein: Ok. Not putting them under ag,
Tom Emmer: No.
Rob Drieslein: but a separate agency.
Tom Emmer: Nooo, no no no, we’re not gonna do any more super departments. That’s been the problem. We just keep growing government bigger and bigger and bigger.
Rob Drieslein: Okay, thank you for clarifying. Linda, do you want to chime in on shoreline?
Linda Eno: Yep, I think Tom took some of my ideas immediately.
Tom Emmer: I’m sorry.
Linda Eno: Thanks a lot. (laughter) And it just is, every lake is different in this state. You can’t have people in St. Paul making one blanket blanket legislation for every lake. It’s gotta be back in the local governments. I live on Mille Lacs and a lot of little lakes around. It’s probably the third, I’m not sure of the statistics, but its one of the cleanest clearest lakes in the state. But yet there was all this hype when we were looking at moving Highway 169, when we were looking at a sewer district. Every lake needs to be looked at individually and it needs to be up to the residents around the lake, and the community that the lake is in.
Ron Schara: Thanks Linda.
Linda Eno: That’s all I would say.
Ron Schara: Mr. Dayton.
Mark Dayton: I would agree with that to a point. Certainly it should not be one size fits all. And yet you know, uh, public resources belong to all of us. You know, Lake Minnetonka belongs to all the people of Minnesota as a public resource and not the people only of Hennepin County or only of you know the community say of Minnetrista or whatever that border upon it. So it needs to be a balance, and and since Governor Pawlenty has exercised his prerogative as governor, to uh supersede the process that his own commissioner was engaged in and the like, then, you know, I think the paper said this morning, it’s gonna go to the next governor and the next commissioner. And you know that goes very much to the appointment of a commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources who is sensitive to these different interests and these different perspectives and and recognizes that the role of the DNR. I’ve been, I’ve heard let me say in my 87 counties in 87 days tour at over 100 community meetings around the state probably more criticism especially in greater Minnesota of DNR and its lack of responsiveness to citizens. The lack of responsiveness to local governments, to watershed districts, the chairs and members of you know the citizens leaders of Minnesota. And I want a commissioner of the DNR who will listen to the people, who’s going to listen to all the people. And is gonna insist that that agency is gonna be responsive to the differences. You know as one farmer up in Warren said to me If we could just combine the walk-the-land wisdom of those of us in Warren with the expertise of St. Paul we’d get a lot more done. Than with St. Paul trying to tell us in Warren y’know, how resources ought to be managed. So I will appoint that kind of commissioner and we will engage in this process again.
Ron Schara: All right. I’m gonna switch to a different, maybe speed it up a little bit here. Ah, there’ve been talk about increasing ah fishing licenses. They haven’t been increased for a long time. Ah, real quickly, ah Mark, we’ll start with you. Your views on increasing hunting/fishing license fees.
Mark Dayton: You know we have more fishing licenses per capita in Minnesota than any other state. We wanna be careful about how we’re competitive with other states. Our tourism industry depends heavily on the the summer tourism fishing activities and citizens of Minnesota and the other side you’ve got that money is dedicated to the DNR for the the very important work that they do that for improves habitat and improves fishing and hunting around the state. So it’s a balance and I would get the commissioner of DNR to sit down with all the sportsmen’s groups and anglers and others who are concerned about this and will strike a balance
Ron Schara: Linda?
Linda Eno: I don’t think tourism can take another hit in this state, and I would say leave the fishing licenses where they are and manage the lottery money a little more frugally.
Ron Schara: Okay. Mr. Emmer?
Tom Emmer: God bless Linda. (Laughter, applause) I ah, I gotta tell ya, I, I, Ron, I know there’s a difference of opinion on this across the state. Ah, there are a lotta sportsmen who think that we should raise it. I’m gonna talk to ya not as somebody who’s in the tourism business, I’m gonna talk to ya as a parent of seven children. I want to be able to pass this on to my kids, and the more we keep raising fees, the harder it is for some families to participate in these activities. Because remember it’s not just about buying the license. It’s about buying a fishing pole, it’s about buying the life preserver it’s about having the access to the lake. I mean it goes on and on. And these these things all add up. So my answer is no, Ron, ya gotta hold the line on fees.
Ron Schara: All right. (applause) Mr. Horner?
Tom Horner: When when we don’t have the resources to make sure that our lakes are protected from the spread of zebra mussels, from milfoil, that’s the most devastating thing we can do to, to our lakes. So are we going to need to raise more resources and are fees one of the things we should look at? Yes, because it’s the the future of Minnesota at stake.
Rob Drieslein: Okay, ah, Representative Emmer, I’m gonna start with you on this one. Ah, this past this past session, Representative Steve Drazkowski, he offered a couple of amendments to – one to the LCCMR bill, one to the Game and Fish bill that basically codified no net gain of public land, state public lands in Minnesota. Both failed, but you supported both of those. No net gain kind of runs counter to the mission of a lot of conservation groups you see represented here. Runs counter to the Build a Wildlife area effort that, you know, GameFair’s been the focal point for the past the past couple of years. Can you explain that vote? Should we stop acquiring WMAs in Minnesota? You wanna reconcile that for us?
Tom Emmer: Well, I don’t think there’s anything to reconcile. I think we talk about the fact that we don’t have a strategic land acquisition program in this state. We don’t have a plan that’s mapped out as to what we’re going to do. That’s a concern for somebody like me. And that’s why I would support a no net gain. In the future if we’re in the governor’s office I don’t think it’s about no net gain legislation. I think it’s about getting our DNR working with our sportsmen’s organizations to put together a strategic land acquisition management plan. And then the other half of it is about this. Take the million acres we have already and let’s start making sure that our resources go into that to make it productive for hunting and fishing. That’s the issue. (Whistles, applause)
Rob Drieslein: Anyone else want to chime in? Senator Dayton? Or Mr. Horner?
Mark Dayton: You know—
Tom Horner: Totally–
Tom Horner: Go ahead, Senator.
Mark Dayton: Go ahead.
Tom Horner: Okay, thank you. Ah, you you know, I I think that in this area, and so many other areas, we start with with the process. We ought to start with what is it that we want to accomplish. It is not how much we’re spending, it is what for. And so we ought to start with outcomes. And I think what we want in Minnesota is is land that that is productive for our wildlife. Where we’re protecting the habitats. Developing new habitats. Protecting the quality of of the water. So Representative Emmer is absolutely right. That we ought to have a strategic plan. But it ought to be a strategic plan that says the outcome we’re trying to produce is good habitat. Good hunting. We want everybody to go out and be able to get their limit. And that’s going to take looking at not only what are we going to acquire but how are we going to pay local governments responsibly for the for the public land and how are we going to manage wildlife production on our private lands, because after all, 80% of hunting, 80% of the wildlife habitat is on private land. We need a management plan that starts with the outcome of we want Minnesota to be the best state in the country for wildlife for hunting for for those kinds of important outdoor activities.
Ron Schara: Senator Dayton.
Mark Dayton: First of all I agree with Representative Emmer that we need to manage the public resources we have now. To maximize their their quality for for people who want to go camping and our state parks for people who want to hunting and fishing on publicly owned lands, and that ought to be priority number one. Uh, I’m sympathetic to the concerns about public acquisition. In areas especially like you take Koochiching County. Where I believe it’s about 88% of the sta- county is publicly owned land. Where In Cook County I think it’s over 90%. St. Louis County is about 75 percent. But I would just point out you know we just had a discussion about how that there should not be a one size fits all requirement or or legislation from the state. And it seems to me that the bill that you’re we’re discussing would oppose that kind of one size fit all uh and I think we’d want more flexibility in management than that while recognizing there’s a legitimate objective and concern that’s being expressed behind that legislation.
Ron Schara: All right, very good. Just to follow up. And for the audience just so you know, we are going to be, so hang with us, we’re gonna get to some Indian resource issues, we’re gonna get to some other issues that I know some of you are– timberwolves, et cetera et cetera. So ah but just to follow up and I want a yes or no from each of you. Would you line item veto land acquisition dollars from the Legacy Amendment LLCMR or bonding the iRIM bill. Would you line item veto land acquisition dollars? Yes or no.
Mark Dayton: No, I would not line item veto them. Land acquisition dollars? No. No.
Ron Schara: Acquisition. Yeah. Linda?
Linda Eno: I don’t know enough about it.
Ron Schara: Okay.
Tom Emmer: No.
Tom Horner: No.
Ron Schara: All right.
Rob Drieslein: Thank you for going on the record with that, folks. Ah, here’s here’s a quick and easy one. Would you support, would you continue to hold the governor’s deer opener? We’ll just go down the line. Senator Dayton?
Mark Dayton: Yes. And I’ve talked with Congressman Colin Peterson about a pheasant hunting opener. He has one himself. And I’d like to initiate that.
Linda Eno: Yes.
Ron Schara: You on board Linda?
Tom Emmer: Yes.
Tom Horner: Absolutely.
Ron Schara: All right.
Audience: Duck opener!
(Laughter, Cross talk)
Tom Horner: What if we have something like a Governor’s Son’s Duck Opener, and and I’ll get Kevin out there, and he’ll lead the charge, and get young people involved!
Tom Emmer: Hey, don’t leave my daughter out of this!
Mark Dayton: And since we’re on ducks, I’m very proud that in 2001 I prevented Senator Trent Lott from Mississippi and his other states from extending their season unilaterally, and and taking a lot more birds down there before they get back up here to Minnesota and Canada.
Ron Schara: Yeah.
Mark Dayton: and Canada.
Ron Schara: Thank you very much. I will ask you. No shouting from the audience, please.
(Off camera) Keep it under control, Shorty. You can do that at one o clock when we’re done here.
Ron Schara: All right. The White Earth and Leech Lake Bands showed interest in off-reservation hunting and fishing in northern Minnesota. Would your administration oppose that and take legal action to prevent the bands from pursuing these claims? And I might also ask, ah this is a two-part question, there is a lot of concern about the fact that the Red Lake Upper and Lower, I’m no lawyer, but folks tell me it’s supposed to be open to the public. It’s not closed, but I don’t know that, and maybe you do. But would you address those and and who would like to start? Tom over there?
Tom Horner: Sure. Sure. You know, look, I think the the issue likely is going to come up this fall around some of the the wild rice harvest issues. And we’re probably going to see these issues again. Ah, we do need to treat this as a policy issue not a regulatory issue. Be it my understanding that the Beltrami County attorney has twice asked the the Democratic attorney general to take this up and to set policy. And have been rejected on both occasions. So we do need to have clear policy direction on this and sort out what are the issues. But beyond that you know we can’t keep having these confrontational issues. And so we need to figure out how why isn’t the governor on a regular basis sitting down with the tribes to see what we can do together? Why isn’t the state working with with Red Lake ah and other bands to see how they can develop some pluralism opportunities, some economic opportunities. I mean look at the great asset that Red Lake is and what a terrific resource it could be for the tribe, for anglers, for outdoors people, to go up there and enjoy that kind of outdoor life. There’s the opportunity. It’s not just in drawing a line and and saying I’m going to fight you over this and I’m going to fight you over that. It is in drawing a bigger line to saying Where do we all benefit and how can we make this work for everyone? That’s the leadership the governor needs to provide.
Tom Emmer: The, I’ll do it in reverse order, Ron. First, I the attorney general and the courts don’t set policy. It doesn’t work that way. You’re talking about treaty rights, I we need an attorney general for once that will actually follow through and get those treaty rights determined once and for all. It’s not about setting policy it’s about making sure that we know what the rights are and how they’re going to be enforced. And that takes us to the next part. Ah the governor of this state unfortunately when you talk about this issue it really is a federal issue. But when you talk about it should be the federal the state and the tribes that are resolving this. Now we’re gonna need some direction from the federal government but if we’re in the governor’s office, if I’m the governor of this state, what the governor of this state must do is ensure that every citizen in the state of Minnesota has the right to hunt and fish alike. You gotta protect every citizen’s rights to hunt and fish. I have a feeling that I’m going to hear some of the same from Linda.
Ron Schara: Linda?
Rob Drieslein Off camera: Go ahead Linda.
Linda Eno: (Laughs) I guess the first thing I’d like to say when you said, when you made the comment about Red Lake, you heard it’s open. Well you could tell that to the guy whose airplane was confiscated and the guy whose boat was confiscated. And again, being kind of naïve sixteen years ago when I came into this, I I had no idea. How can you have two separate sets of rules for United States citizens living side by side? It’s not a fishing issue, it’s not a hunting issue, it’s an equal rights issue. And that is, you know people keep saying, Oh It’s a federal issue, you can’t keep fighting. Well you know I had four little kids at that time, and and I just couldn’t believe that when my little girl could stand next to her friend at the end of my dock and one could keep a fish and one couldn’t when they were in first grade. And then, how do you explain “let’s celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday the next day.” Uh, I I don’t know how to resolve it. I feel like our state has not fought for us. Or put one foot forward. When I came into this issue sixteen years ago, and I sat in, or maybe it was a couple of years after that, Mike Hatch’s office in that attorney general’s office, and I had the guy doing this, You’ve got a gaming compact with no expiration date. It’s elementary law to have an expiration date on any contract. And the guy in the attorney general’s office is doing this. And you might say this is a fishing issue. Well you know what, it’s their money and power that we have given them through the casinos that are buying most of I think our political decisions. You know it’s time to break the cycle, it’s time to revisit it, it’s time to all be Americans, not Indians and not Irish-German-English. It’s time we move together and I can’t imagine that we have two separate sets of rules. And that you got, you know you talk about your land acquisition? How about let’s sue like Utah and take our land back from the federal government? How can you have a sovereign nation in the middle of a state? All of that was ripped up in the Indian- -I can go on and on. But anyway So that’s how I kind of what propelled me into it. And I’ve got a lot of experience with it.
Ron Schara: Senator Dayton. Very good.
Mark Dayton: Well,
Ron Schara: How would you approach the White Earth and Leech Lake.
Mark Dayton: First, first of all, the last time I looked, tribal political action committees poured over 200,000 dollars into the DFL party to support one of my opponents in the primary and tried to defeat me because I took a stand in this case against the monopoly control of the casino operations in Minnesota. So I would say that this is and you know I’m not a constitutionalist authority. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled back on the treaties of the 1800s. Ah, the consequences of that those decisions even if they were constitutionally correct are very unfortunate and very destructive for Minnesota. There should be equal rights. For everybody. Everybody in this state should have the same equal rights to hunting and fishing on every personal property within respective private respective private property rights I’ll re retract that. But the same equal rights of hunting and fishing uh as anyone else. And you know I said from the beginning as well you know If my if my brother is going out on Mille Lacs a couple of weeks before me and he has opportunities to fish that I don’t have I’m going to be mad at my brother. Ah, so I think it’s very unfortunate that you know this is it develops the ruptures and the splits We talk about going forward and this is one of those areas where we absolutely as a state and as a society of all of us need to move forward together. And as governor I will I think you said it well, Mr. Horner, actively sitting down with tribal leaders and saying what can we do to get these matters resolved so they’re not destructive to to all the citizens of this state.
Ron Schara: Looks good. Rob?
Rob Drieslein: Yeah let’s jump back to the DNR. Ah, talk a little bit about a DNR Commissioner. Ah, we’ve had a lot of debate over what kind of person should lead a state agency at MnDOT. We’ve had talks should it be an engineer? Should it be a politician? What qualities will you folks seek for in your DNR commissioner? Will it be a politician? Will it be a resource professional? Ah will you appoint someone to lead the department of Agri BWSR? Will you also maybe consider conservation when you go about those appointments? I’ll ah we kind of started on that end, Why don’t we start with Senator Dayton on this end. DNR Commissioner, what do you like? And ah what kind of person do you like? And how do you feel about commissioners in general.
Mark Dayton: I want a professional. I want someone who’s gonna be an active outdoor sports hunter, fisher, man or woman, himself or herself. Someone who who is indigenous to Minnesota, who understands the DNR is the agency that affects more people in Minnesota more directly in their lives than probably any other agency of state government . Someone who will enforce an executive order that I intend to pronounce if I’m governor on January first that arrogance ends. In that agency and every other agency of state government. That we’re all elected or appointed or hired as public servants to serve the people of Minnesota. You the taxpayers pay the checks of everybody who serves in state government. That doesn’t mean we can we can satisfy everybody’s interests all the time. But we can be respectful and we can listen. And that will be an absolute responsibility. And that’s especially crucial for the commissioner of department of natural resources. Because you have all a broad range of interests. And sometimes they do conflict with one another or compete with one another. And I want somebody to listen. I want somebody who’s gonna enforce the listening and be respectful and be responsive mode all over. And I want someone who’s gonna make that agency act on behalf of people. Y’know I was up in Lutsen recently and the resort owners there and the others the small businesses depend on that whole industry, they’re frustrated because LCCMR appropriated funds about three and a half million dollars almost four years ago for a trail there that they can use to make their especially their fall and spring and summer seasons more attractive for tourism for jobs and DNR is just sitting on the money. And they can’t get a response. And they need a water waiver in terms of a river there for snowmaking so they can put snow on the Lutsen mountain so they can provide more jobs in the wintertime. And DNR just sits on that and won’t respond. And violates its own regulations and won’t respond. And I want a commissioner who’s gonna tell people You be a responsive. You have re- deadlines. You have a responsibility to the people of Minnesota. And you will act in the public interest. These are the people’s resources, not yours.
Ron Schara: Very good Linda.
Linda Eno: I’m gonna say team player and manager. Through my experience at the Capitol, I don’t even know. Do they have executive committee meetings?
Tom Horner: Yes.
Linda Eno: Like does the governor sit down with the head of each department.
Tom Horner: Yes. We hope so. Well,
Mark Dayton: If you’re governor you can sit down with whoever you want.
Tom Horner: We hope the governor is doing it right.
Linda Eno: Because when I talk to the commissioner of natural resources or when I talk to the MnDOT commissioner or the Minnesota EPA people it’s like nobody knows what each other is doing. And I would say, “Soooo Mark. Couldja talk tooo this person or that person? Y’know, don’t you g” – and my impression is, they don’t communicate a lot. So I’m gonna say team player and manager. Cause they all need to. It’s not just a DNR issue when it’s affecting different areas. They need to work together, those department heads. Um and the other thing that I would help promote and that I’ve probably been responsible for some policy changes. Is I’m just gonna say (laughs) the CO’s jobs are to NOT harass and intimidate. It should be EDUCATom Emmer and PROTom EmmerCT. And that is my message for (laughs) for MnDOT. Or for the DNR commissioner.
Ron Schara: Mr. Emmer.
Tom Emmer: I would add, I would add, with the educate and protect, it’s to serve. It’s an, I think there’s an attitude that has grown in government as it’s gotten bigger, that government is there for our benefit. And that you and I are supposed to be serving it. And that’s what has to change. A commissioner, ah, I’m not going to commit, obviously, I don’t think anybody up here is gonna commit to who they would be interested in. But it’s somebody who understands what the mission of the DNR is supposed to be. It’s about protecting our natural resources, it’s about making sure that we have all the recreational opportunities available. Snowmobiling ATV hunting fishing. And it’s about making sure that our lands our productive. We’ve talked about it today. Making sure that we have habitat that is producing waterfowl that we can hunt. That is producing pheasants and grouse. That we can go out and experience the great tradition we have. And then it’s somebody who’s gonna be a change agent. Because that’s what we’re gonna be about. It can no longer be about doing business as usual. It can’t be about bringing some career bureaucrat who has been working inside of government all their life. Who’s just gonna just run things as they’ve been run before. You’ve gotta not only set up a more tight team a tighter team a smaller team but you’ve gotta set goals Linda. You’ve gotta have meetings and you gotta set goals in terms of how you are going to redesign the DNR to get all the excess and the unnecessary functions out of it and get it back to doing the business of protecting our resources making sure that we have the recreational opportunities that we expect in this state, which means access to land at a at a reasonable cost, and then make sure that our lands are producing economically.
Ron Schara: Thank you. Mr. Horner.
Tom Horner: You know, these are great questions, but they’re not nearly as complicated as the length as some of the answers would suggest. Let let me just say quickly I I hope that politician/outdoors person/resource manager aren’t mutually exclusive terms. We need to find somebody who can serve all of those roles. Secondly I think one of the the things that Governor Ventura did very very well is appoint what probably is the best Cabinet Minnesota has ever had. Y’know, some some gaps here and there but overall, terrific Cabinet. And it was a terrific Cabinet because he appointed people not because he owed a debt to this interest group or because he was limited only to candidates from this political party or this narrow constituency. He appointed them because they were the best of the best. Because they knew the issue. Because they could work with other people. Because they could build bridges to the legislature. And to people like you. Because they came from folks like you. That’s what we need to do. And that starts with a transition team. But the governor has about seven weeks by the time between the time he is elected and the time that he has to to produce the first budget . That’s going to take a cabinet that is there, that hits the ground running. That understands what the needs are. And a Ca- a transition team that again reflects the broad breadth of Minnesota.
Ron Schara: Thank you. Ah Mr. Dayton we’ll start with you and then ah – some members of the Minnesota DFL party over the over the years have not necessarily been very friendly to firearm owners in this state. Ah and in addition they have opposed some hunting seasons like dove hunting and even the recently introduced season for sand hill cranes. Ah if you become governor, how will your administration look at firearms laws, rules, and hunting seasons like dove hunting?
Mark Dayton: Well, I strongly support the Second Amendment, I have all my life, uh I as I said earlier, I’m a hunter myself, I have two loaded .357 Magnum pistols in my home right now in a lockbox. I have a 9 millimeter pistol at home, I have a 12-guage shotgun at home. So I’m a firearm owner myself and you know since I’m lawful I have every right under the Constitution. And I will continue to support those rights for every law-abiding Minnesota citizen. I support the continuation of the dove hunting season and the crane season. And you know work with the DNR in terms of other seasons. And I support absolutely completely the right of Minnesotans to hunt and fish. And I supported the Lessard amendment proposed years ago that would establish the Constitutional right of Minnesotans to hunt.
Ron Schara: Very good.
Linda Eno: I’m gonna just say ditto except I don’t have um all those guns. My husband and children do. And I am a board member of our Ducks Unlimited committee. Which has has broken records for our fundraisers. We’ve got the first DU ice fishing contest in Garrison.
Tom Emmer: Support dove hunting. Hope that we move the season up a couple of weeks at least. Support the sand hill crane hunting. I I don’t know that any of my colleagues I don’t know how many of you I have hunted sand hill crane and let me tell you they taste very good. Ah, what’s that? Oh, I’m sorry. Jacquie says don’t tell anybody. And then I I will just say it very clearly I if if governor I would veto any legislation that would restrict our citizens’ rights to hold and possess and own firearms. And that means any gun show legislation anything like that would be vetoed immediately.
Tom Emmer: Oh, and one more Ron, because you didn’t add it you talked about doves you talked about sand hill cranes. I think it’s time that we have a governor who and Linda you talked about it. It is a federal issue. But we gotta be willing to fight for what we need here in Minnesota. Get our congressional delegation, get our federal representatives to help us get the law changed in another area that’s gotta be changed is with wolves. We have got to get wolves delisted and we’ve gotta have a season on wolves in this state. We have too many wolves and it’s causing major problems. I don’t think they taste as good as sand hill crane, though.
Tom Horner: Ah, ah, I think we all agree on the the importance of the Second Amendment, and we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t agree with that. So I think we’re all in accord there. On the seasons, absolutely support them, I think even the commissioner would agree that maybe on the sand hill cranes, he could have a little more involvement by the public, a little more discussion, not because the hunting season is in any way contradictory to good management, but because I think that’s the way to buy people into to understanding the value of these seasons. To understand why we have these kinds of seasons. And again you know, to help educate people.
Rob Drieslein: A real quick followup on the wolf issue. we’ve been spending I joke at Outdoor News. It seems like half a dozen times we’ve reported that wolves have been de-listed in Minnesota and then they get re-listed. Does does everyone agree with Representative Emmer here that we need to do whatever can as governor to accelerate that process? Senator Dayton, I’ll let you go first.
Mark Dayton: Yeah, they should be de-listed, and the DNR should have the management authority. And you know one of my good friends in Ely, Will Steger, had you know two of his dogs just eaten right out in front of his cabin when he was gone for a weekend by wolves. And as he said you know the real danger is you know wolves have lost their fear of the human race. And you know I I worry seriously that we’re going to en endanger our children up in those areas and =as well as certainly livestock. A lot of ranchers up there understandably you know find their livestock eviscerated. And you know I have a friend whose dog was out for a walk, with his German Shepherd, I own two German Shepherds and so I am very sensitive to this. And y’know this female wolf on the other side, this was up in Cherry Minnesota was across and y’know doin’ a little dance and the dog took off and she was the decoy and this pack came and eviscerated the dog. So we’ve got a serious encroachment problem here and the DNR needs to be responsible and given the authority to protect our livestock and protect our domestic animals and protect our children.
Rob Drieslein: Mr. Horner, do you want to chime in on this real quick?
Tom Horner: Sure, I mean the answer is yes, we ought to de-list, and I don’t know that much more needs to be said.
Ron Schara: OK. All right. Good enough.
Rob Drieslein: One more quick federal issue. It may not be quick, but we’ll – again brevity, folks, with we’ll make that up front. Federal farm legislation that expires in 2012, contains a lot of legislation important to sportsmen. CRP, the Conservation Reserve Program, WRP, ah, there’s Open Fields in there. It’s unclear how Congress is going to address the Farm Bill, given the dire federal budget situation we’re in. As governor, are you folks still gonna push hard to make sure that these federal programs are gonna continue? Real important conservation programs, especially in western Minnesota. We’ll start back on that end with you, Mr. Horner.
Tom Horner: Absolutely. And I think that’s one of the great opportunities that Minnesota has, is to work with our federal delegation, some of whom are leaders on this area to make sure that we are getting farm programs that protect our natural heritage, that protect our lands, our habitats, and and the water quality. You know, you mentioned CRP. Going back to the original question around water quality. That’s a key tool in making sure that we’re able to to provide the easements along drainage ditches, along some of our waterways and shorelines, to protect the quality of water. So absolutely we have to make an investment in that. Now, I would hope we’re also at the same time working with the federal delegation to make sure that we have a responsible farm bill coming out because again we do have to make sure that we are reining in government at the federal level as well as the state level. So where I disagree, ah one of the areas that I disagree with Representative Emmer is that I do think that we need smart government because the alternative is dumb government and dumb government is when we spend without any sense of what are we getting. When we start with the process instead of the outcomes. We need to have good outcomes. And then figure out how we get there and get there collectively and get there in partnership. Let me just add one, one point. An example of dumb government and it’s been perpetuated by the legislature is in some counties 40 percent of your property tax dollars, of your county property tax dollars, is going to pay for unfunded mandates from the state. That’s dumb government. We need to trust county officials to say You’ve got an election certificate, you’re smart people, we can build a partnership with you tp help manage these resources, and to help manage our resources our economic resources appropriately.
Ron Schara: All right. Very good. I’m going to ask some questions now from the audience. There’s one. It says All of you have been stressing the need for efficiency in state government. What efficiencies specifically would you propose? And I’m going to start with Representative Emmer because the part of the question is directed at you. Representative Emmer, how do you expect to increase productivity of our lands when you would cut the DNR budget by 20%. I don’t know if that figure is correct or not but the the person writing the question thought so. So let’s start with you about increasing efficiency of DNR and cutting budgets.
Tom Emmer: Well first off I love it that people and I’m gonna assume that that somebody who’s here who’s havin a little fun with the with the numbers because you gotta go back and read the actual transcript of what I said because Senator Dayton has proposed a this a tax the rich scheme that he’s been told doesn’t work. It’s wishful thinking. But if you look at his numbers over a four-year period based on what he’s proposed he’s cutting government by twenty percent over a four-year period so I don’t know if you were directing that at me or at the Senator. Here’s what I’ve been saying from day one. We have too much government. We have too many agencies that are given the authority for the same area of supervision, given the authority to promote rules to affect the same areas they overlap and then they’re all competing not only for the regulatory authority but also for the fees and the fines that they’re generating out of it. That’s wrong. That’s where government has turned around and started working against you and me. It’s gotta work for us. So when I talk about efficiencies I’m talking about making sure that we don’t have five state agencies that you gotta to go through to permit for water. Right now folks just at a horizontal level in the government, in the state government, ya gotta go to the Department of Agriculture, ya gotta go to the Department of Health, ya gotta go to the Board of Water and Soil Resources, ya gotta go to the MPCA, and then ya gotta go, which one did I leave out, the DNR, I left out the one that we’re talking about. Ya gotta go—ya like that? That’s a Sviggum by the way. I’ve got five state agencies, five state agencies, there’s four. Five state agencies. It’s okay, you guys can smile. I’m just having a little fun. I’m having a little fun. Here’s the– The issue is this. It’s called making sure that government is efficient. That you don’t have people duplicating services. That’s what we’re talking about. And then the big discussion. If you want to drive the things that sportsmen want, you’ve gotta make sure that we’ve got a private economy that’s growing. Y’know hopefully we’re gonna get a question that’s really substantive about lead. I’d like to hear what these other people think about this attempt to ban lead. Because we should not be banning lead. We should base our decisions with intelligent people, by the way, not smart government on facts. And the fact is, lead has not declined or caused a decline in any species out there. And yet there’s this movement across the country by the Humane Society and others to eliminate lead. And you know what? I’m worried about not only the fact that there is no scientific proof that it affects us in a negative manner but also the 1,400 jobs at Federal Cartridge up in Anoka or all the jobs around the state of people that are making fishing tackle that would be affected by this irresponsible and foolish legislation. That’s what ya gotta do.
Ron Schara: Government efficiencies. Tom?
Tom Horner: Yeah, y’know,
Ron Schara: DNR efficiencies.
Tom Horner: Well I always love to to try to follow Representative Emmer’s kind of circuitous path here to start here and somehow end over here. Absolutely we need greater efficiency. But it also is greater cooperation. We need to redefine the role between the state the relationship between the state government and local governments. As I said, when you have in some counties forty percent of your property taxes going to pay for unfunded mandates, and the legislature over the last six years has done nothing but add to those unfunded mandates, that’s a lack of efficiency. That’s what cause causes local governments to have to raise property taxes, it is what causes the state government to add bureaucracy because now we at the state level have to try to manage that. Y’know, you’re you’re not going to create greater efficiency just by cutting a few department heads or by merging a couple of programs. That’s not how you get it! You get it by starting off with What kind of a state do we want to be? What are the outcomes we need to achieve? And then what’s the best way to get there? Not the best state government way to get there, but the best way to get there. And sometimes it’s going to be local government, sometimes it’s going to be county government, and sometimes it’s going to be state government. And we’ve gotta be smart enough to figure out how to do that. And we also have to be trusting enough to say Look, you’re not electing a governor who ought to be chairman of 87 county commissions, superintendent of 330 school districts, or mayor of 1800 towns and townships. You’re electing a governor who ought to set a strategy, a vision, clear principles, and then lead the state to figure out the outcomes we want to be. And ultimately I think that’s the issue in this election. Who has the vision, who has the temperament, who has the ability to bring people together, to create the outcomes and achieve the outcomes that we want for a prosperous, healthy, productive Minnesota.
Ron Schara: Mr. Dayton.
Mark Dayton: I agree with Representative Emmer that the duplication and triplication of jurisdictions and reporting requirements is one of the plagues of on people whether as individuals, whether as nonprofits, whether as small business owners, whether as local governments school districts affected by state and federal regulations. And you know when I ran for governor 12 years ago I proposed a second session the even-yeared session be what I called the Unsession. Rather than adding things the legislature would focus along with agency heads solely on reducing and eliminating these duplications and triplications and making this government more efficient more responsive, setting deadlines, requiring agencies to follow those deadlines. And I will not wait till the second year I will say the first two months of the legislative session where a lot of time frankly is just spent on just taking advantage of fact that it’s a long session, I want them to focus with my agency heads and concerned citizens and small business and other organizations who are afflicted by these and say how can we reduce how can we streamline how can we make more responsive and the DNR would certainly be one of those agencies.
Ron Schara: Linda, add to that.
Linda Eno: I would say the DNR has got a lot of power because a lot of their decisions don’t even have to go through the legislature. Ah, right now the astronomical amount of funds being spent on whether it’s Mille Lacs Lake Red Lake the treaty management It is millions of wasteful dollars. Right now at the University of Minnesota there are people studying red-tailed snails and blue spotted frogs because they’ve got the money from the lottery. We need to manage from the top and start cuttin out. Take look at the money you have, how about and then go from there? Do a budget?
Ron Schara: Very good. By the way, a comment here. Mr. Emmer, since you brought up lead, somebody in the audience said, and I don’t know if you were talking about lead paint, they said, I have lead and benzene poisoning, it’s no fun, I’m a painter.
Tom Emmer: I was talking about lead shot. I was talking about lead angling equipment and that type of stuff. Which I think these people know.
Rob Drieslein: Let’s start on this end, and I’m hopin maybe we can get a quick yes or no from all you folks on this question. Senator Dayton, we’ve had a battle over definitions in the legislature the past couple of years over the Legacy Amendment. The definitions of what would that money was supposed to be spent on. Ah, It took a lot a lot of work but Margaret Anderson Kelliher and the Democrats kind of finally came around on this and just reinstated the original language. Can can the four of you, I’m gonna start with you because it was your party that kind of had this in limbo for awhile, can you assure us that if any bill comes along that would rewrite those definitions on how the Legacy Amendment dollars would be spent on conservation that you would veto it?
Mark Dayton: Yes, I’ll veto it.
Rob Drieslein: Just goin down the line, Linda what do you say?
Linda Eno: Yes.
Tom Emmer: Yes.
Tom Horner: That wasn’t a policy battle, that was a political battle, and yes I would veto it.
Rob Drieslein: Well, we just wanted to get you on record.
Rob Drieslein: We still have some pads of paper here, we’ve got a little time left, we’d be happy to take some more questions if folks have anything else And Ron, should we go with our plan to give the candidates an opportunity to
Ron Schara: We can do that, we can go a little longer if you want to
Rob Drieslein: If folks are wanting to hang out a little while longer we would like maybe close – ah Ron’s got another question but maybe we wanted to give the candidates an opportunity to ask one question to one other candidate. So if you want to ponder that as we as we continue here.
Ron Schara: All right. I’m going to talk about the walk-in access program idea that’s been floating around Minnesota for a long long time. DNR a few years ago said they were going to study it for three years and I said I won’t be able to walk by that time and that was five years before that. So and others will say they don’t know if it would work here in Minnesota, but nevertheless a lot of people think a walk in program, access program is valuable. Would you as governor support the critical walk-in access program? Ah, we’ll start with Tom at the other end.
Tom Horner: Yes.
Tom Emmer: Yes, and I think our DNR right now is working with farmers especially in southwestern Minnesota Ron and hopefully in the next couple of weeks we’re going to hear something.
Ron Schara: Very good.
Linda Eno: Yes.
Mark Dayton: Yes I support it.
Ron Schara: Let’s go on the record those are probably the shortest answers in the history of the candidate debates, huh. Rob?
Rob Drieslein: Let’s go back to one more personnel question and then I’m gonna ask you folks to to ask questions of each other. And that’s the Lessard Outdoor Heritage Council. The next governor will I believe in January or February of next year will be able to appoint two people to that council, and then two more in 2013. Can you tell us the type of people you’d choose? What priorities for the council would you cite when choosing members? Will they be public land advocates? Senator Dayton why don’t we start on this end.
Mark Dayton: Well, I’ve been a friend of Bob Lessard for thirty years and I would appoint Bob Lessard-type people who understand the importance of those resources who supported that amendment. Who would be advocates for the words that are written and passed by the people of Minnesota and represent all parts of the state. As I said earlier, when the northernmost person on the border on the council rigiht now is in Perham which is about 182 miles from the Canadian border clearly that northern part of Minnesota has been denied representation and that’s just fundamentally wrong.
Linda Eno: A team player, go back to that just and good manager.
Tom Emmer: I’d be working with sportsmen’s groups directly, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, you name it, and make sure that the people appointed to the Lessard Council are interested in producing productive land for hunting and fishing. That that would be the key. Not for dog parks in Minneapolis. I’m sorry if I offend you. For the original intent the money was intended.
Tom Horner: I believe that you bring the same principles to appointing members of the commission that you bring to appointing other members of the administration that you bring to all of the critical appointments that a governor has to make. And that is you want people who represent a broad range of Minnesota, who are tied to enforcing and and pursuing the policies as laid out in law, not their own narrow interpretation of the law, and frankly, who are smarter than I am. And I think you go to groups like you to say Give me some recommendations and we’ll see what makes sense.
Rob Drieslein: You got all four of us there?
Ron Schara: Are we all done?
Rob Drieslein: Okay.
Ron Schara: Sorry. I’m going to read some questions here. Here we go. Ah, we have a duck problem in Minnesota. I assume the four of you have heard about that. There is also a duck recovery program in the works. Uh, but we talked earlier about land acquisition, some of you were very cautious about land acquisition, mentioning the far north, where there is so much state and federal land But outside of the far north about 50 of the 87 counties, and this is a question from the audience, 50 of the 87 counties have but two percent of the total area of those counties in waterfowl management areas. What are your views about acquiring wetlands in the southern part of the state under the duck recovery plan? Mr. Dayton.
Mark Dayton: Well, this goes again to what I said before about not opposing a you know one size fits all through legislation. So you know yes the counties are very different. I used as I said earlier used to duck and hunt down in southwestern Minnesota down by Windom and you know absolutely we want to provide access. That’s why the walk-in program is important. To provide access as well. So I will certainly support those efforts to provide access. And we also need to be responsible to counties. And if you know if we take it away if we’re acquiring the land for public use then there needs to be a you know a payment of taxes kind of provision so that property taxes don’t go up for the people who live in that county.
Ron Schara: Linda?
Linda Eno: I don’t have any specific answer for that.
Ron Schara: Mr. Emmer?
Tom Emmer: It goes back Ron to what I talked about earlier. That’s why you have to have a strategic land acquisition plan. You have to – We can’t just buy land because it’s available. We’ve gotta make sure we have a plan as to why we’re doing it. You know one of the problems that I have, or one of the issues that I see with WMAs is when we’re doing the right thing, we think we’re doing the right thing, and we acquire lands that all of a sudden because of the activity around them the restrictions on the lands around them literally preclude people from accessing that land for hunting. That’s a problem. We gotta make sure that we have a plan that we know what we’re doing in all 87 counties. Then we gotta empower people at the local level to make those work and make sure they’re productive for hunting and fishing. Well, we’re talking about hunting right now.
Ron Schara: Mr. Horner.
Tom Horner: I believe, again, we start with outcomes. What is it that we want to achieve and what we want to achieve in specific response to your question, are the habitats that are going to be productive for wildlife and the question you asked particularly for for ducks and waterfowl. We start by acquiring the land that is needed, not just the land that is available. In a strategic management plan, not just a strategic acquisition plan, but a strategic management plan. We also incorporate in that plan how are we going to reimburse the local governments fairly and so that they’re partners in all of this. And thirdly we look at how private management, the management of habitat on private land complements the the public land acquisition so that we have an overall comprehensive approach to habitat management and development.
Ron Schara: All right, very good. Just one followup from the audience here. Says, sort of directed at Mr. Emmer, said, this person says, The city of Minneapolis has received no dedicated funding for dog parks although Mr. Emmer keeps saying that. Can he clarify if he really thinks they actually received constitutional money for dog parks?
Tom Emmer: No Ron and whoever asked the question, but this was a discussion at the legislature, which is why I keep bringing it up. This is why it’s so important to make sure that you have a governor who is not only a friend of sportsmen who is an actual sportsman. Who has boots on the ground who is actually experiencing this. So you know when you talk to the groups who it is you are putting on the Lessard-Sams Council. So that they will absolutely honor the original intent that that money was intended for.
Rob Drieslein: I’m going to start on the other end. Asian carp. Mr. Horner, how do we keep ‘em out of Minnesota?
Tom Horner: I think that we be more aggressive in doing some of the things we’re kind of we’re already doing. Working downstream, making sure we’re putting up the barriers well before they get into the Minnesota waterways.
Rob Drieslein: We’re just work our way down. Mr. Emmer.
Tom Emmer: It’s about education, it’s gonna take all the people in this tent. It’s gonna take the people of Minnesota to be vigilant on all these issues. Whether it’s Asian carp or it’s any other invasive species we’re talkin about. They’re coming and we just have to be constantly vigilant and educating our citizens as to what you need to do to stop the spread.
Rob Drieslein: Linda, any ideas.
Linda Eno: And then just maybe think ahead to the future of how you’re gonna manage it because really it is inevitable.
Mark Dayton: Every aggressive preventive measure possible: Asian carp, zebra mussels, you know, I mean whether it’s coming into the port of Duluth, or from wherever it’s coming from, up the rivers now, elsewhere, uh, working with the federal government, working with other states, every possible preventive and controlled measure.
Rob Drieslein: Should we skip to the question? Do you – does – I don’t – Maybe we’ll start on that end with Mr. Horner since Senator Dayton quit? We’re gonna let each of you ask a question to another candidate. Go ahead Mr. Horner.
Tom Horner: Well I guess my question to whichever of the candidates wants to to address is we’ve talked about a whole range of important issues, a whole range of some of the roles for the private sector, for the public sector, for state government, local government. But particularly the two principal candidates with all due respect to to Linda, Representative Emmer, Senator Dayton, both of you have made proposals that really come down to your going to try to do all of this with one hand tied behind your back. Representative Emmer, going to do it only through spending cuts, Senator Dayton, do it only through tax increases. How do we do accomplish all of the things that you’ve laid out, many of the things that we agree on, with one hand tied behind your back?
Ron Schara: Who would like to be first?
Mark Dayton: Well, I’d say most of what we’ve talked about today in terms of you know much of what we’ve talked about today in terms of DNR, in terms of what we’ve just talked about of preventing the invasion of invasive species, and what we talked about in terms of resource management, public acquisition and the like, involves a commitment of public resources. And I’ve talked about specifically how to raise those revenues, Mr. Horner, by making the richest Minnesotans, people individuals with income over $150,000, and joint filers with income of almost $175,000 pay a little more in taxes, and millionaires paying more in taxes which you said last night on Almanac you’re opposed, millionaires paying more in taxes in this state. And you’re instead in favor of you know extending the sales tax to clothing, extremely regressive. And also in response to Almanac, you’re in favor of raising taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, another regressive tax. So the difference between us is I want to raise taxes on the rich, and you want to raise taxes on sportsmen and women and and middle income working families.
Ron Schara: Mr. Emmer do you want to answer that?
Tom Emmer: Sure. First off, Senator Dayton I don’t know that when you talk about raising taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans that people that are making a hundred and thirty thousand dollars or a hundred and fifty thousand dollars combined. You know that that’s a good living but those are middle class folks (Dayton says something) those are middle class folks and you are gong right after the mom-and-pop businesses in this state. That is the wrong answer at the wrong time and frankly that’s politics as usual we’ve been doing around the state for decades. It hasn’t worked and it’s not going to work in the future. And this is the problem folks it’s time for people from outside of government to get into these jobs. When you have made your living on government or you have constantly be been running for office and working in government your entire life you have this concept that when people talk about real reform it means cutting. I’ve got news for ya revenues are going up. We are in a very difficult time absolutely but it’s funny how government revenues keep going up. And these guys keep talking about cutting. It’s time to talk about looking at government rather than going straight to the pocketbooks of the hard-working men and women and the business in this state every time government which is not workin runs out of money and tell them we need more from you. It’s time that we look at government redesign that so that it’s efficient it delivers the services that people expect. Set your priorities and honor those priorities. And then let’s let people of the state of Minnesota start to create their own opportunities. Let’s get this attitude from people who have made their life in government. The government’s the only thing that could create opportunities. Let’s get back to understanding that it was not government that built this state or this country. It was people. And it’s people that are gonna fix it.
(Whistles, cheers, applause)
Rob Drieslein: All right, all right, why don’t we speak to Linda. Linda, do you have a question for one of the candidates? And then we’ll go back to Representative Emmer? Do you have a question? You’re gonna pass? That’s fine. All right, then I’ll go back to Representative Emmer.
Ron Schara: Do you have a question for one of the candidates tonight? I will ask you to keep the question short and sweet and the response short and sweet.
Tom Emmer: I do. I do. Ah, Senator Dayton you talk about deathbed conversions. I’ve explained why I do the things I do. Ah, if you could just explain to me and everybody else here in the state of Minnesota, how is it that you can have an F rating from the NRA and you can sit up here and tell us that you’re gonna defend sportsmen’s rights, you’re gonna defend my right and my children’s right to hunt and fish in this state when you got an F from the NRA? Have you had one of your own ah, deathbed conversions? Well, we won’t call it deathbed, but one of your own conversions that you’re sharing with us today? Mark Dayton: Well, I had a D rating from the NRA in 1982 when I ran for the Senate. I had a two- an A rating in 2000. There were 2 principal votes you can look ‘em up ah, when I was a Senator. One was ah, banning Cop Killer bullets. And, ah, one reason that I have the endorsement of the Minneapolis Police and Peace Officers Association, Representative, is because I respect the law enforcement men and women. I was on a ride-along last week to, as I’ve been several times with a police officer in St. Paul. And those guys wear bulletproof vests every time they go out there. Men and women. And anybody who wants to go out there and see them put their lives on the line to protect us. And when the police chiefs and the police officers of this state and this nation send to us and say, “Those bullets are made to kill us,” then yeah, I’ll vote to ban ‘em. Does that prevent a law-abiding hunter or fisher, a hunter in this state from, from going out and hunting and fishing? Absolutely not.
How many of you, how many of you own Cop Killer bullets and use ‘em against police officers? Raise your hand. How many ever fire a Cop Killer bullet against a police officer in this state? Raise your hand. Nobody’s, Representative Emmer, nobody. Nobody. And they shouldn’t ever happen. Now I’m going to a, a service, I’m sure you are too sir, next week for a sheriff, a deputy sheriff, in this state, who gave his life, a Maplewood police officer who gave his life. Men and women who die. And their children and their wives suffer for the rest of their lives
And if I can prevent one police officer in this state from dying through a Cop Killer bullet I will do so as governor of this state. And I will at the same time support the right of every law-abiding Minnesotan to bear arms, to possess firearms as I do, use those for lawful purposes.
And to insinuate otherwise is just, just untrue.
Rob Drieslein: Linda, do you have a question?
Ron Schara: Thank you.
Linda Eno: I just want to ask if uh the other candidates support the Castle Doctrine?
Mark Dayton: (Advance?) I don’t know what it is.
Tom Emmer: I have.
Rob Drieslein: Can you fill us in Linda real quick?
Linda Eno: It’s the uh ability to protect yourself in your home.
Mark Dayton: Oh absolutely.
Tom Horner: Well, it gets written in different ways, I’m sorry, Senator Dayton. Were you – were you–
Mark Dayton: No, I said I – I I – You mean the right of a person to protect themselves in their home? Oh absolutely I support that.
Tom Horner: But but let’s be careful because as you know Linda it gets defined in different ways and so let’s make sure we’re doing the right Castle Doctrine, where where it is about protecting a home.
Rob Drieslein: And then finally, I think , Senator Dayton, it’s your opportunity to ask a question.
Mark Dayton: Well, in the interest of brevity and congeniality, I don’t have any questions.
Rob Drieslein: You’re gonna pass.
Mark Dayton: It’s been a great discussion. Thank you very much. I appreciate very much being a part of it. And I’m gonna be at my booth for the rest of the next couple of hours and I welcome anybody’s continuing questions.
(Are you going to handle any more of these questions that come from the audience?)
Ron Schara: Well, we’ve gone through quite a few of them.
Rob Drieslein: We’ve gone through quite a few, Bob.
Ron Schara: Which one were you thinking of, Bob.
Rob Drieslein: Well, we’ve got one from Bob. In the interest of moving on we were going to stop – should I – should we –
Ron Schara: Yeah, we have to — Mr. Dayton has to leave, let’s give a nice hand to our panelists here, thank you very much.
Rob Drieslein: Thank you for hanging in here so long folks