Replay- MN Governor Candidates Debate In Duluth (CC)

Closed captioned version of this event available here.
Mark Dayton (DFL), Tom Horner (I) and Tom Emmer (R ) debate in Duluth. To read a transcript and view our live blog for this event click here. To view our live blog for this event in a popup window.Click Here Highlights:
Tom Emmer steadfastly insists there is no deficit for the coming budget year.


Minnesota Gubernatorial Debate, Duluth MN, September 6, 2010
Sponsored by Duluth News Tribune and Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce

Speakers: Mark Dayton, DFL candidate; Tom Emmer, Republican candidate; Tom Horner, Independence Party candidate; 3 Moderators; Audience Members

Moderator: These treats gentlemen so if you are hungry during the time we’re up here, I am not quite sure what the significance :06

Tom Horner: Can I just point out something? :07

Moderator: Okay, please do. :07

Tom Horner: Each of us was asked our treats. Plain cookie, cookie, cream cheese filled brownie. (audience laughs) :16

Mark Dayton: I want to point out that I have shrunk my cookies much smaller than the size of Representative Emmer’s. (audience laughs) :28

Tom Emmer: And I want to point out rightly so. (audience laughs) :31

Moderator: Maybe you need that tapeworm. I don’t know. :36

Mark Dayton: And I want to know why David there can get himself a Diet Coke and we’re stuck with water. :43

Moderator: Well, you guys probably don’t need the caffeine at this point. :46

Mark Dayton: It’s a private sector advantage. :47

Moderator: We can get you a Diet Coke. :48

Mark Dayton: No, no, I’m just kidding. It’s fine. :49

Moderator: All right. Okay. Well, it’s so great to have each and every one of you. I hope you had a restful night here in Duluth. A little bit of rain! You know that happens so seldom in Duluth. At least – wow (audience laughs). Every, every like third day we have a hundred-year rain. It just comes gushing down the hill. So it’s been a wet summer. 1:06

Moderator: It didn’t snow, Andy. 1:08

Moderator: It didn’t snow. 1:09

Mark Dayton: But you a had a breeze yesterday, and my terrific running mate, Duluthian Yvonne Prettner Solon, says the Coast Guard measured the third highest waves in the recorded history, so it was breezy on the park there. 1:18

Moderator: Yeah, it was, it was. Well let’s talk about some of the questions that we started bringing up and then we’ll go to audience questions in a bit. But what is the role of government in priv- in developing private sector jobs? Who wants to take a stab at that first? 1:34

Mark Dayton: Well I’d say it’s a partnership. 01:36

Moderator: Okay. 01:36

Mark Dayton: And, you know I drive up here and go by the Polymet company in Duluth, and that company began in 1985 with the support of state government and the city of Duluth. And Governor Perpich and others including his excellent PCA Commissioner then, Sandra Gardebring, and this is an example of how government, good government works effectively, got assisted the company in sound economic development. The company where Representative Emmer was yesterday and issued his jobs plan was the recipient of TANF job fund training funding and placement funding. So there is I believe a constructive role for government to play in cooperation with the private sector, where most job creation does occur but in supporting those endeavors. 02:24

Tom Emmer: I I think you know the sad fact is today Senator you can’t drive on a road without having some federal funding. You can’t go into any business without having some federal or state funding. As far as the future, in sustainability, affordability, being able to pay for the things that we expect out of government, when it comes to its role in the private sector, you hear politicians say always, you know “It’s a partnership between Governor and business” or “We need to invest.” You know I’ve never seen government invest our money better than we can, better than the entrepreneurs, the real risk takers can do. Government’s role is literally to get out of the way and allow those entrepreneurs to realize their full potential. If there is a role, its in the marketplace making sure that there isn’t somebody taking advantage of somebody else. But aside from that, let’s allow the great entrepreneurs in the state of Minnesota, you talk about a great example, the Polymet issue, you’re going to see the same thing up here with Duluth Metals. Since 2001 is it July 2009 this region has lost 5500 jobs. It is time the government realize more government is actually suppressing the entrepreneurial spirit. That we need to pull government back, make it efficient so that people who want to create opportunities in northern Minnesota mining opportunities, logging opportunities, so that they can actually start to exercise their own risk taking, their own investments and start to create jobs. :03:48

Tom Horner: Well, as one was actually started and run a small business, who had to sign the front of a paycheck, not just the back of a paycheck, let me tell you a little bit about running a business where I didn’t take any government assistance. You can do it without government, but you can’t do it in spite of government. We do need a strong public sector, a responsible public sector that creates a level playing field. That has tax policies, that allows small businesses like mine, like many of those up here, to invest, to help create jobs. But I also need, and I think most businesses would agree with this, we need a strong talent pool. In the end, that’s Minnesota’s distinctive advantage. We need the kind of talent that allows us to compete, we need to make some smart public sector investments. Look at the great biomedical diversity sector, growing up on the the University campus, came through bonding. That’s going to create an entirely new industry. And what’s exciting is that right next to this campus of 4 buildings is a campus of private sector companies, including some venture capitalists ready to take those good ideas, commercialize them, bring them to the the private sector. Talking a little bit ago about the opportunity to bring a wind turbine plant to northeastern Minnesota. One of the things that is needed is the heavy load Highway 2 to carry those. Fortunately we’ve made that investment here. But there are other places around the state where we haven’t invested in in those 10-ton roads. And when you look at what farmers are going to produce this year, the harvest that they’re going to have, we need that kind of infrastructure. So it is a partnership, but it’s a partnership based on smart thinking, based on what’s best for Minnesota. Based on truly understanding what is our distinctive advantage as a state. 05:42

Moderator: inaudible

Mark Dayton: It’s unfortunate and overdue that we’re having the first of our now 7 debates here in greater Minnesota. And in greater Minnesota I think people understand that there is a very important role for government to play in jobs. And of course the mining industry in northeastern Minnesota is continued today because a professor at the University of Minnesota discovered the process to create taconite. Government up there has played a very important role through the IRRRB. As Mr. Horner just said and properly so, I mean, highways are crucial to getting people to work and getting products to markets. And the deterioration of our highways, and Representative Emmer I wish we had more federal money for highway development, I wish we had more state money. The failure of our just to keep pace with the needs of our growing population and the demands of business are such that we are constricting economic development all over this state with the deterioration of our highways and the increased congestion. With an aging population in northeastern Minnesota, more and more people need public support for healthcare, and the hospitals in Duluth were ravaged by the failure of the GAMC compromise, they lost about 19 million dollars. And the early buy-in to Medicaid, which you opposed, would mean an initial 26 billion dollars for hospitals here in Duluth. So there is an important role for government, and you don’t believe in that, and I believe there is a constructive role for government to play. 07:08

Tom Emmer: Well y’know Senator I’ve got to tell you, you’re talking about a system that is actually collapsing in on itself. You know if you want to solve these problems
you’ve got to create good-paying jobs in northern Minnesota. You don’t do that by having a regulatory system that delays new opportunities in the richest mining discovery in the world. You don’t do it by forcing them to go through hoop after hoop. We, we all want clean air and water and Minnesotans care about their natural resources. But we also need to use those resources efficiently and create the opportunities that they provide for our families, the hard-working men and women in this state. And you talk about needing more government. Well, Polymet they’ve invested 20 million over the first 5 years trying to achieve, and they have successfully as I understand it, met every threshold and you’re suggesting they should another 2 years would be fine. Seven years to bring jobs to northern Minnesota is unacceptable. 08:03

Mark Dayton: I agree. 08:04

Tom Emmer: You want to solve the problems that you’re talking about, you want people to have access to the best health care in the world, give them a good job, give them the opportunity to realize the quality of life that this state offers. More government right now is not the answer. Is there a place for government? Absolutely. But we are seeing right now we’re at a crossroads. Where government is literally choking the ability of people in the private economic sector to grow new jobs. I remember the days when I was younger in the ‘70s, in the ‘60s and the ‘70s, when busloads of kids were coming from northern Minnesota to all of the state tournaments in St. Paul and wherever else. We have to have northern Minnesota growing again. The aging population is the result of no new jobs being created in northern Minnesota. We need northern Minnesota to realize its full potential, not just the natural resources but the opportunity for economic development that it provides. And let’s loosen these people up so they can start to create the quality of life that we all remember that was northern Minnesota. Let’s start growing northern Minnesota again. 09:03

Mark Dayton: I know because we discussed this 09:04

Moderator: I, I have a question actually 09:05

Mark Dayton: Wait, let me respond to this. We agree on Polymet. That the delays in regulatory process have been unacceptable 09:11

Tom Emmer: So how quick should we open it? 09:13

Mark Dayton: And that’s why I have my state Senator runningmate, Yvonne Prettner Solon, working on reducing the regulatory process. I don’t know because we haven’t gone in there. But I would point out – 09:21

Tom Emmer: Would you guarantee these folks 6 months? 09:23

Mark Dayton: It’s your call I couldn’t guarantee anything 09:25

Tom Emmer: What about Duluth Metals? What about Duluth Metals? 09:27

Mark Dayton: We absolutely have to go through that process as well. Those are very important jobs. I couldn’t agree with you more. But actually, you know, your friend Governor Pawlenty, who has been running the state regulatory agencies for the last 8 years, so if you want to talk about delays and the failure of state agencies to be responsive, I think you’ve gotta point the finger right at your own party (applause) 09:46

Tom Emmer: And that’s, y’know I get to respond to that. Because that’s, while that’s fair, that Governor Pawlenty has been in the office, I’m not Governor Pawlenty. I’m not going to agree with everything Governor Pawlenty has done. We’re running on different things. And I will tell you. You know Governor Pawlenty has done some good things as well and he’s a good man regardless of whether you disagree with him or agree with him. And Senator Dayton if you want to come over to my house after and kick my dog you can do that too. 10:10 (audience laughs)

Moderator: Okay, so, so, so 10:11

Tom Horner: Let me just make one quick comment – 10:14

Moderator: Is that a campaign promise? Because – 10:16

Tom Horner: David, let me just make 1 quick comment. I mean, here’s the problem. If you think that Minnesota is going to move forward, if you think that Polymet is going to open up in the next 4 years, if UMD is going to have a strong opportunity, an opportunity to create strong curricula for these new jobs, if you think the Duluth K-12 schools are going to grow if we have a continuation of this gridlock, I disagree. I mean 10:43

Moderator: How do you change it? How do you change it? 10:44

Tom Horner: I think you change it by saying, look. Representative Emmer has some good ideas. Senator Dayton has some good ideas. Right now we have an environment in which Democrats and Republicans can’t even come to the same table and look each other in the eye. That’s the reality! How do you move forward when you have one side that says we’re going to do everything through spending cuts? Representative Emmer introduced his business tax plan yesterday. It’s a great plan. Congratulations! It’s the plan was introduced by Governor Pawlenty’s commission that I embraced 18 months ago. And at the time it came out, Republicans said “Oh, we can’t do that. Nope, we’re not going to do that.” Wouldn’t even discuss it. Wouldn’t even put it on the table. Representative Emmer’s own Republican caucus, dead on arrival. Senator Dayton’s Democrats, same thing, dead on arrival. We had the plan! We didn’t have to wait for 18 months. We could’ve been making these investments. You have to have leadership that says We need to move forward. It is not about fighting over who’s right, it’s about fighting over what’s right. And what’s right is what’s going to grow Minnesota’s economy. (applause) 11:54

Moderator: First off, I want my question 11:58

Tom Emmer I have the solution if you’ll allow me. Because first off, with all due respect you’re wrong. Democrats and Republicans DO get along. They sit down at the table, they have a different point (audience laughs) Hey! I disagree. I’ve been there. You’ve got great people from northern Minnesota that we work with every day. Do we see the world through the same eyes? No. But that’s what makes the system so wonderful. You’re not supposed to all agree. You’re supposed to shake hands when it’s over and move on to the next issue. You want to solve this problem by the way. And you might come down Tom because the plan that I put out yesterday is NOT the plan that you talk about. In fact yours mirrors the plan that Governor Pawlenty put out. Ours is a little bit different and I think ours will create jobs all over the state of Minnesota. You want to solve this problem? There’s a bill that if I’m in the office we will move to get passed immediately. It’s called First Things First. When you go down to the Legislature right now the Governor has one tool, it’s called unallotment. It’s not right. We need to give the Governor a different tool, the opportunity to declare a fiscal emergency, which is simply defined as your revenues will not meet your expenses. Once the Governor declares a fiscal emergency, if this bill were law, the Legislature has 45 days to put a balanced budget on the table. Imagine a world because right now the way it works is in 2011 the Governor will come in and by Constitution will have to put a budget proposal out by the end of January, early February. And then what usually happens is the Legislature screws around till the last night of the session arguing about everything but the budget. This would allow the Governor to declare a fiscal emergency on day one of the session. And now, imagine a world where the Governor’s got a budget out by the end of January, early February. The Legislature has its cards on the table by mid-February late February. Now you can take those issues that you agree on and get them off the table. And we can all focus on those things in the budget that we disagree on, reach agreement, we’ll have two-plus months to do it. That’s the way you solve the problem. 13:50

Tom Horner: There is a difference in our plans (applause for Emmer) There is a difference in our plans. I’m willing to be honest and pay for my tax cuts, to make investments in the budget, to lay out a specific budget that says if you’re going to cut 6- 700 million dollars with a 6 billion dollar deficit, you have to pay for it or it isn’t going to get done. 14:11

Moderator: You’re sitting there, you have a barrelful of ink, and you’re not saying anything. 14:16

Moderator: You know nobody argues with the need to grow the economy in northern Minnesota or across Minnesota. And of course no one is arguing about the need to maintain as you called it our talent pool, Minnesota’s talent pool. But with, under the current economic climate, how do we pay for education, how do we maintain that talent pool? And Mr. Emmer you talked very, you know, about your budget approach, your budget schedule. Would that work? What do you guys think of that? I know it’s like 3 questions, but I don’t know if I’m going to get in again, so I want to get all of them in. (long laughter) Let’s start with Senator Dayton. 14:53

Mark Dayton: Let’s be clear, as Mr. Horner correctly pointed out, Representative Emmer has no budget. It was Republican Governor Arne Carlson who taught me “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” And so, you know there is no budget in that proposal. There’s some good ideas, I would agree Representative Emmer, in terms of stimulating job creation. But the reality is we’re looking at a deficit of almost 6 billion dollars. That doesn’t even factor in inflation. And Mr. Horner and I have both put forward proposals. We put them up, people can disagree with different parts. There’s no popular way to solve a 6 billion dollar deficit. 15:27

Moderator: How would you 15:28

Mark Dayton: And then yesterday, let me just finish 15:28

Moderator: Okay. 15:29

Mark Dayton: Representative Emmer, you just added, Representative Emmer, over 600 million dollars to that deficit. And that, you know, so now we’re waiting still for the hard part. We’re 8 weeks from today from the election. Next week early voting begins in Minnesota. And you won’t tell people, you just refuse to tell people where you’re going to cut. Now it’s 6-1/2 billion dollars to balance the budget. My proposal is that I would make the richest Minnesotans pay their fair share of taxes. Now under Governor Carlson in 1994, the tax distribution of state and local taxes was about even in Minnesota as a percent of income. Now the richest people in Minnesota pay, the richest 10%, only 80% of what the rest of Minnesotans pay in state and local taxes. And the richest 1%, and this is according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, pay only 2/3 as a percent of their income in state and local taxes as compared to everyone else. I just don’t think that’s fair. And I think if we go back to what Governor Carlson’s distribution was, which was even, and even just the same percentage of their income, that the richest Minnesotans are being asked to pay, that would generate the revenues, it goes to your point Chuck, of investing in education. Which has been cut back drastically in real dollars per pupil under Governor Pawlenty. So you know we have a choice here. Are we going to make taxes fair or are we going to keep them unfair? Are we going to raise revenues to be able to invest in education? Which I believe is key to the future, key to job creation, key to well-educated people, healthy people? Or are we going to let our schools continue to deteriorate? Are we going to allow the tuition at the University of Minnesota/Duluth
continue to rise so that working men and women cannot send their own children to their own public colleges and universities? Those are the key choices that we face in this budget, which is about values and priorities every bit as much as it is about dollars and cents. (applause) 17:12

Tom Emmer: Senator, 626 million in tax incentives to cure the job deficit that we have in this state is a solution. And if you take a look at it, mine have actually gone to the Department of Revenue and said Will you run these numbers? Folks, only in government can politicians tell you that an increase is a decrease. I don’t know where you get the budget deficit when we’re going to have 2.8 billion dollars roughly more to spend. The next Governor and the next Legislature will have, based on current revenue projections, almost 2.8 billion dollars more to spend. The only way that you can call that a deficit today is if you want to spend more than you have. If you want to spend beyond your means. Because government in this state is going to have 3 billion dollars more to spend. These guys want to spend 38 billion. What family in this state would not die to have a 7 to 8% raise next year? Government can’t live with a 7 to 8% raise. It’s got to have a 17% raise. It’s time we start talking about facts. And the numbers I put out yesterday, they don’t add to the deficit unless you want to buy into this accounting that when these folks give the government their tax money, and the government says “No we’re gonna let you keep some of that money so you can create opportunities,” that somehow that adds to the deficit by telling taxpayers you get to keep more of your money to create more jobs. I challenge both of you, by the way your plan which is about 2 pages long has a paragraph in it that essentially says my campaign does not have the computer modeling capabilities to prove to you that this works. But here’s what I propose to do. I’m going to propose that both of you go to the Department of Revenue that does have the computer modeling capabilities, take these so-called plans, you call yours an outline, take your so-called plans to the Department of Revenue and have them run your numbers and show these people that they do in fact work. They don’t. 19:02

Mark Dayton: Well – 19:02

Tom Emmer: Yours, yours, will kill every mom-and-pop business in this state, and drive more business out of town. You’ve admitted even in your own plan that you’re 700 million dollars short of whatever solution is you’re looking for- 19:14

Mark Dayton: Well that’s 6 billion dollars ahead of yours – (audience laughs) 19:17

Tom Emmer: And – and –

Tom Horner: Well, wait a second, wait a second – let me just say that 19:20

Moderator: I think we’re getting a little rhetoric heavy here 19:22

Tom Horner: Let me just say to Representative Emmer here. I mean if this is a family budget, you’ve got two parents that aren’t even talking to each other (audience laughs) I mean, come on. We have a deficit not because we’re spending more than the revenue that’s coming in but because you already spent the money! I mean, we have a deficit because last year when you were in the Legislature when your party passed budgets with Governor Pawlenty, you spent 4 billion dollars more than we have. You did it by taking money from the school districts. You did it by taking federal money. And now you’re doing it by taking money from small businesses to say, “You have to accelerate your sales tax payments.” We don’t have 2 billion dollars extra. You know that! You already spent it! You spent it twice over! Now we’re just trying to dig out of the hole. And so the reality is that you have to have a responsible budget. And I will say to my good friend Senator Dayton that it’s great that you’re up here talking about how we need to really hold MPCA’s feet to the fire, when in every other part of the state you’ve been saying, “Oh, it’s the Minnesota Pollution Cooperation Agency.” And we’re going to be stricter on environmental review. We ought to be tough on environmental review. But we ought to have a process that says to government, “Here’s a good project, let’s figure out how to make it work, let’s figure out how to make it work in an environmentally responsible way.” The answer to today’s challenges is not to say “Here is the status quo, let’s raise all kinds of new taxes and make that status quo bigger,” but neither is it to say “We’ll take the status quo and we’ll shrink it down to nothing.” Because for so many Minnesotans, Minnesotans who were playing by the rules, Minnesotans who have invested in the future in Polymet, who want a good education in K-12, at UMD, at St. Scholastica, who want to be able to go to the great hospitals in the Duluth area and get good care, Durbin Keeney, who on the Veterans Council, who wants to know that when they get to the end of the year, unlike this year, they’re not going to be able to, they’re not running out of money, simply to TRANSPORT veterans to the care facilities. I mean, how appalling is that? For a lot of Minnesotans the status quo isn’t working! You’ve gotta change the status quo. You have to take a new approach to government. You have to take a new approach to cooperation. To figuring out where the answers are, how we get things done, how we move the state forward. 21:45 (applause)

Tom Emmer: So, so you guys won’t take your plans to the Department of Revenue? 21:48

Tom Horner: I did! 21:49

Mark Dayton: I, I — 21:50

Tom Horner: I mean, my plan is right there! My plan is right there. 21:51

Tom Emmer: Will you guys agree to have the Department of Revenue so these people understand that your plan will tax haircuts, will tax garage sales, 21:57

Tom Horner: Oh, Representative, come on – 21:59

Tom Emmer: Will you guys agree – 21:59

Tom Horner: Oh, COME ON! 22:00

Tom Emmer: Will you guys agree –

Tom Horner: No, first of all, first of all – 22:03

Tom Emmer: Will you guys agree, just commit today – that you’ll take your plan, just like we took ours, take it to the people that have the computer modeling capabilities and show everybody if you’re so convinced it works, show them. Take it to the Department of Revenue, just the way we did, and have them run the numbers and and say yes it will 22:19

Mark Dayton: I’ll I’ll make you a deal, (unclear moderator comment, audience applause) I’ll make a deal with you Representative Emmer, I will do that if you will tell us by the end of the week when, where you’re gonna cut 6 billion dollars in spending to balance the budget. Is that a deal? 22:31

Tom Emmer: Listen. Ah, first off – 22:34

Mark Dayton: All right. All right. All right. By Friday. By Friday. Good. (audience laughs)

(Unclear moderator comment)

Mark Dayton: And I sent mine to the Department of Revenue, and I will ask them to have it there ready by Friday. 22:41

Tom Emmer: First off – 22:41

Mark Dayton: So we’ll have something by Friday. We can share. 22:42

Tom Emmer: Senator. This is the problem with running for office for 28 years and doing it the same way 22:44

Mark Dayton: You’ve run for office more often than I have, Representative Emmer. (audience laughs) 22:49

Tom Emmer: Every year at this level the statewide level you have bought into this thing where government needs more money to spend even when it doesn’t have it. 22:54

Moderator: All right, I’m gonna pull it back because I have a question- 22:56

Mark Dayton: So, show us where you’re gonna cut. Just tell us. 22:59

Moderator: No no! No more talking! No more talking! Take a breath! Cause I’m gonna ask a question. That goes back to my first question. We talk about the partnership between business and government. We’re all businesspeople here for the most part. What 3 things do you propose to make the government side of the equation better, what can government actually do, 3 things, can government actually do, to make it easier for a small business, easier for a big business, to grow in Minnesota? What 3 things. Sans rhetoric. Three things. 23:32

Mark Dayton: First let me just say, you know, Representative Emmer, I have a couple (Emmer laughs) No! We’re a couple of old hockey players. So we don’t mind 23:41

Tom Emmer: Hey. You’re old. 23:42

Mark Dayton: Okay. He was a young hockey player, I’m an old hockey player. 23:45

Tom Emmer: You were a goalie too, that’s different. (audience laughter throughout) 23:46

Mark Dayton: So we don’t mind a couple of elbows 23:48

Tom Emmer: I actually knew how to skate. 23:50

Mark Dayton: Three things. (laughter, applause) Three things. One is, streamline regulations. And my running mate, Yvonne Prettner Solon, is working to reduce regulations, we can have strict environmental protection and efficient reviews in a timely fashion. We should eliminate the duplication, triplication of reporting requirements. That businesses and nonprofits and individuals and local governments all are overburdened by. So that’s number one. Number two, is we should reduce property taxes. Y’know property taxes have increased by over 3 billion dollars because again taxes have become more regressive in Minnesota. And third, I think Representative Emmer has some good ideas about the S corporation, the 10% there, eliminate immediately the sales tax on capital equipment expenditures, and extending it to services that are making capital expenditures, because unfortunately the the initiative that the Governor and the Legislature have taken to provide a rebate has been stalled because the state does not have enough money to pay its bills. And the Department of Management and Budget is now delaying those refunds and that’s defeating the purpose of of the initiative. 24:57

Moderator: Well, we’re hoping they forget about it. The government hopes they forget about that rebate as well. 25:02

Mark Dayton: Well, they’re delaying monies, payments to the schools, delaying payments to the University, delaying payments to small business – 25:07

Moderator: Okay. Okay. 25:08

Mark Dayton: It makes them borrow more money. It’s against job creation. 25:10

Tom Emmer: Lower taxes, let people keep more of their money so they can create more opportunities. Government doesn’t create jobs, people do. Long-lasting jobs growing the private economy. Streamline the regulatory process in the state of Minnesota. Eliminate unnecessary regulation. And then streamline the the regulatory process so that Minnesota becomes a one window state for business as opposed to many windows. For instance when you permit for water you have to go to at least 5 state agencies to permit for water. Let’s make Minnesota business friendly. And the third one is giving more local control. Let, you said all politics are local, the best decisions when it comes to responsibility accountability are made at the local level. 25:55

Tom Horner: Well, I mean I think (applause for Emmer) the 3 things are pretty straightforward. One is that we need tax reform. Not just cutting taxes down to the bone. Certainly not raising taxes, Senator. To say that now you’re going to allow the 10% exemption on flowthrough of sub-S after you’ve just taxed small business an extra 30 40% doesn’t make any sense at all. So we do have to have tax reform that is going to make it possible for businesses to invest long before Representative Emmer was out with his plan. I’m the one that has been talking about making sure that small manufacturing plants can buy capital equipment purchases with an exemption of the sales tax. Those kind of things that make sense. But let’s be honest. We’re not going to start growing out of a 6 and now 7 billion dollar shortfall on July 1 of the next fiscal year. This has to be a long-term vision. This has to be a plan that says we’re in it for the long haul. We’re not just in it when Democrats and Republicans decide who’s in charge. Secondly we do need a streamlined permitting process, but that starts with the Governor who’s willing to say Look, there are some extraordinary circumstances, Polymet, absolutely, we ought to have a thorough investigation. But a lot of permitting, a lot of permit requests that come into the government, let’s have a policy that says It is the the burden of the government to turn around an answer in 6 months. We don’t need to wait 12 to 18 months, 24 months. Turn it around in 6 months, and get an answer or tell that business why you can’t do it in 6 months. But the third thing that we need is, we need to invest in our infrastructure. And part of our infrastructure is education. Part of it is roads. Part of it is high-speed broadband. I’ll give you any number of examples where high-speed broadband is opening the gateway to world-class education, world-class healthcare in Minnesota, and world-class economic development opportunity. When you have the state making the commitment to say we’re going to invest in life sciences, in biomedical diversity, in that kind of growth opportunity, through bonding bills that you’ve vetoed all along, there is our future. There is the opportunity, not just for scientists, not just in the Twin Cities, but the way it can connect it to the medical school at the University of Minnesota/Duluth. The way it can grow life sciences jobs. Good, well paying career jobs. If you have the connection for broadband in every community in this state. That’s our future. 28:28 (applause)

Moderator: All right, we’re going to start opening it up to questions. So if people would like to start lining up at the mikes? We’re gonna go just a couple at a time, two at a time, don’t, you know, no elbowing, pushing, shoving. Well you could, I mean it would get in the paper. You had another question. 28:46

Moderator: I do, I want to ask very specifically about local government aid. Can we afford it? How? Or do we need to wean cities like Duluth off of it? And find an alternative? 28:54

Tom Emmer: Well, I think that that I can have made this proposal from day one. I think local government aid needs to go back to what was it what it was intended to do, which is provide for essential services. Local government aid was intended to provide communities that did not have the economic ability to provide the number one obligation that government needs to provide: that’s for public safety, police and fire, sewer and water infrastructure, those things. Let’s make that categorical and then let’s address the other funding. For instance I didn’t look up the numbers for Duluth, but I’ll give you the numbers for Winona. Winona sends about 40 million dollars in local taxes to St. Paul. And you know how much it gets back? About 9 million. Let’s start looking at reforming that system so that our regional centers perhaps in the state of Minnesota can start to keep more of their local taxes. And I’m not talking about just local option sales tax, I’m talking about business taxes, income taxes, find a formula that allows them to keep more of those local. Because again the best decisions are made at the local level. 29:58 (applause)

Mark Dayton: Representative Emmer, in your last year’s Politics in Minneosta biography you were reported as saying you wanted to eliminate local government aids. That would be a disaster for Duluth, that would be a disaster for cities around Minnesota 30:11

Tom Emmer: You just heard what I want to do. You just heard what I want to do. 30:13

Mark Dayton: Well, I’m glad if you now are slightly clarifying exactly what it is you propose 30:18

Tom Emmer: I did back then too. You gotta read the whole article. 30:20

Mark Dayton: Well I did. (audience laughs) You said you wanted to shift it from the cities to the counties because the counties had the management 30:25

Tom Emmer: Sorry. It’s a goalie thing. 30:26

Moderator: We got a hockey player picking on him. 30:29

Mark Dayton: I would continue local government aids because it’s essential for greater Minnesota. You know, without, even with the cutbacks in local government aids over the last decade and that’s one of the driving forces behind the property tax increases. And property tax is a much more regressive tax than the personal income tax. And that’s one of the fundamental differences in this election. My value is that people should pay their fair share of taxes. That we should make taxes more progressive in Minnesota. Mr. Horner says he’s not going to, he talks about my tax proposal, Mr. Horner you’re going to raise taxes, you’re going to do it regressively, you’re going to extend the sales tax to clothing, to unspecified services, consumer services, so that means, you won’t tell us what they are, but that means accounting services, legal services, hair cuts, funeral services, car repairs, 31:14

(off camera moderator cross talk about haircuts) 31:18

Tom Horner: I’ve got Andy’s vote. 31:20

Mark Dayton: In terms of specificity I wish you would tell us specifically what services are you going to attach a sales tax to. Because you know they talk about effects on small businesses that have to become tax collectors for the state of Minnesota, that’s an onerous proposition in addition to the fact that those taxes are regressive. Representative Emmer, some day you’ll tell us exactly where you’re going to balance the budget, we’ll have the chance to talk about your proposal as well. 31:33

Tom Emmer: (inaudible) 31:44

Mark Dayton: But the reality is that that is the fundamental value difference when the richest 1% of the people in this state who are making over a million dollars a year are paying only two thirds of their income in state and local taxes, the percentage compared to everybody else. That’s just not fair. That violates a fundamental Minnesota value of fairness. I want to make taxes fair. These two gentlemen, with all due respect want to make taxes regressive, more unfair. 32:06

Tom Horner: Well, I think the question was about local government assistance so let me answer that question. (applause) I think we do need to keep local government assistance, without question. When a community like Crookston raises its taxes 1%, it collects about $4 per person. Wayzata raises its taxes 1% it collects $40 per person. There’s the disparity. That’s why we need LGA. There’s the challenge. But it’s also the opportunity to reform it, to refine it, to make it better. I’m also of the belief, and I’ve put this in my very specific plan, that that there are some things we can do with with county aid. To make it more fair, to make it more accountable. When most counties pay, charge 40% of their property taxes to pay for unfunded mandates, we can do it better than that at the county level. And I put in a redesign program. I’ll also say, Senator, you know that I’m not going to tax business to business services, that’s spelled out very clearly. You know that that’s not part of m plan. You know that I put in 350 million dollars in my plan to guard against the regressivity. We can deal with the the sales tax in a fair way, in a way that does collect more money from those who are able to afford it while we protect the low income. That’s right there. And Senator you supported sales tax last time you ran for Governor. Now you’re opposed to it. The good policy behind sales tax hasn’t changed. The politics have. 33:34

Mark Dayton: Well, I tell you, Mr. Horner 31:35

Tom Horner: Excuse me just a second, I’ll finish. 33:37

Moderator: And then we’re going to go to a question. 33:39

Tom Horner: Representative Emmer, Representative Emmer just a few weeks ago was at a gathering of outdoors people, and he said “Oh, I support the sales tax for these purposes.” And so you know they supported sales tax increases. What we need is consistency in leadership. What we need are people who are willing to put their ideas on the line and then stick to them whether they’re talking to a group of folks in northeastern Minnesota, or the Twin Cities, or at GameFair, or out at Farmfest. The same idea for all Minnesotans. That’s how we move Minnesota forward. 34:10

Mark Dayton: Mr. Horner, I – 34:11

Moderator: Are we gonna take questions now? 34:12

Audience Member: Hello? Hello? Are we on? 34:18

Moderator: You’re on. 34:19

Audience Member: Wonderful. My name is (Name unclear) and I’m a Duluth citizen, a hardworking Duluth citizen. My question is for Senator Dayton. I’ve read your your Dayton Deficit Solution end to end and you stated that you wanted to raise taxes on those individuals, starting with those individuals making $130,000 or more and for couples filing jointly making $150,000 or more. Now your plan differs from your opponents 34:54

(off camera moderator, unclear, asking to hurry with question) 34:55

Audience Member: Oh, sorry about that. Now regarding the people that you stated, those making $130,000 or more, these people are the job creators, the small business owners, the wealthy farm owners, legal and medical professionals. How can you ensure them through your that your tax cuts, excuse me I mean your tax increases, will not run them out of business and give them an incentive to go out of state where taxes are lower for them. 35:28

Moderator: OK, good question. OK. 35:29

Mark Dayton: To clarify, when you’re talking about those amounts, is taxable income. That’s after I’m assuming about a 15% standard deduction. So we’re talking about actual income of about $152,000 for an individual, about $173,000 for a couple filing jointly. That’s about for a couple filing over three times the average household income in Minnesota. And as I said before, the facts are, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, the richest people in Minnesota and more power to them, but whereas under Governor Carlson in 1994 they were paying the same percent of their income of state and local taxes as a percentage as everyone else, now they’re paying in those instances about about 80%. So I’m asking them to go back to the the same tax rate that they were paying under Governor Carlson. And I’m asking them to pay the same percent of their income in state and local taxes as everyone else in Minnesota. I’m glad they’re successful. But I I think that the richest people in Minnesota both can afford to pay their fair share of taxes and I think they’re large minded enough, if you’re a business owner you know the quality of your business depends on well educated productive employees. That’s always been the key to Minnesota’s success in business growth. It’s certainly the key to my family’s success. And we need a good healthcare system. We need highways where people can get to and from work and get goods to and from markets. So I think you really have to not only look at what are we asking people to pay, and I take that very seriously. Asking people to pay more in taxes. I wouldn’t even propose it if we weren’t facing a 6 billion dollar deficit. I didn’t create that deficit. But one of us is gonna have to figure out how to solve it along with the Legislature in a very short period of time. And it’s not going to be popular with everybody and it’s not going to be easy. But I think if we if we don’t raise revenues, the alternatives are drastic cuts, further cuts in education, drastic further cuts in health care, damaging the financial solvency of hospitals in Duluth and all over northeastern Minnesota, and the rest of our state, continue the deterioration of our highways. And I don’t think anybody wants to live in that kind of state. I don’t. 37:37

Moderator: Did he answer your question? Yes or no. 37:39

Audience Member: (Yes, inaudible). Thank you very much. 37:41

Mark Dayton: Thank you, that was a good question, thank you. 37:44

Audience Member: Hi, my name is Becky. And I’m just a stay at home mom, hockey mom of five, and to be honest you guys, all 3 of you are scaring the heck out of me. Because I don’t know if anyone’s paying attention but in our nation and in this state we have huge deficits that continue to grow. And I think a lot of us are worried that government is never the solution. It tends to be the problem quite often. And my question is, directed to Mr. Dayton please. My question is, do you think there’s enough “rich” in Minnesota to cover the 6 billion dollar deficit and continue on or should we? You remind me of my children. My children would love everything to be right in their world, and we need to pay for it, but you know what, we don’t have the money. 38:32

(Off camera, unclear moderator comment) 38:34

Audience Member: So I want, I would like Mr. Dayton to define who the rich is, and do you really think that that’s going to pay the bills that that we’re facing here. 38:41

Mark Dayton: Well again I defer, refer to the Minnesota Department of Revenue. And their analysis is if the richest 10% of the people in Minnesota paid the same percent of their income in state and local taxes as everyone else, that would be 3.8 billion dollars of additional revenue in the next biennium. If we made it even slightly progressive that would be 4 billion dollars of additional revenue in the next biennium. Again, just by asking the richest 10% of the people in Minnesota to pay the same percent of their income in state and local taxes. And y’know the reason I was endorsed for example by the Minnesota Professional Firefighters Association, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, the Minneapolis Police Federation, is because they know that those dollars go to keep your five children safe. And they know, and we all know, that those dollars go to provide the best possible education, if your children go to public school or of other people’s children go to public school. Or go to the University of Minnesota-Duluth or the like. They go to provide essential service. Can government become more efficient? Absolutely yes. It will under Senator Yvonne Prettner Solon and my administration. Can we reduce regulations? Absolutely yes. Y’know, again it’s ironic that y’know our DFL party has been the one that has not been leading state government in the executive branch for the last 20 years. And yet people are pointing the finger at the state government and saying as though it’s somehow our responsibility. I beg to differ. You know, I want better government. The people responsible now are making it worse. Yvonne and I are going to make it better. You deserve a hardworking government for every tax dollar that you have. And she and I will see that you get it. 40:14

Moderator: OK. (applause) 40:16

Moderator: All right, we got a followup over here then we’ll go to Durbin 40:18

Moderator: We’ve got 2 straight questions on tax the rich. 40:20

Audience Member: I want to ask the other 2 candidates, will it work? Does it work? Why or why not? 40:26

Tom Horner: No, I mean if I had thought it would work, I wold have proposed the same thing. I didn’t. It doesn’t work. 40:32

Audience Member: Why not? 40:33

Tom Horner: Well it doesn’t work because first of all you’re not taxing wealth, you’re taxing income. At $150,000 taxable income you’re taxing 2 people who already are paying $50,000 or more in federal taxes, FICA, property taxes, state taxes. They have to save for retirement, they have to save for their kids’ college education, they’re paying a mortgage, all things that a person with wealth doesn’t have to pay. You’re taxing income. A huge difference. But beyond that, as the questions have suggested, you’re taxing small businesses. You’re taxing the job creators. Senator Dayton frequently points out Yeah, but it’s only 8% of small businesses. Yeah, but it’s 8% that are generating 90% of the small business jobs in Minnesota. When you raise their state taxes 30 to 40%, they ARE going to make some changes. In a lot of cases these small businesses are ones that now get all of the flow through. They have to pay taxes on it. This is their opportunity to pay back the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands. In one case I ran into at the State Fair this week, a small business that has to pay back millions of dollars in investments he made, loans he took out to get his small business to the point where it IS successful. That’s now how you create jobs. You do it through a fair tax that moves where the economy is. It is why a great northern Minnesota legislator, the chair of the Senate Tax Committee, Senator Bakk has said that we ought to raise the sales tax. We ought to generate revenue through the sales tax because it is the most fair way to do it. I’m the only one, I believe, who can work with the Legislature that has a Senator Bakk that says “We ought to raise the sales tax.” The Republican leader, Senator Senjem says “Oh no, we ought to cut spending.” You know, they’re both my friends, I always agree with my friends. I’m the, I’m the one who can bring the two sides together and actually get something done. Instead of what we’ve seen up here this morning. 42:29 (applause)

Tom Emmer: Y’know what, I, as a parent of 7 children, that formula that you’ve just described is a recipe for disaster. There has to be leadership in terms of leading
people to where they need to be, not where they already are. I think the question that we got, the second one over here, I think it was Becky, who was talking about my kids would love to have everything. But you know what, somehow we gotta pay for it. And 2 things. First, Minnesotans are better than that, Senator I don’t think Minnesotans are about class warfare attacking successful people at the expense of good jobs. You talk about both of you talk about LGA dollars, we need more LGA dollars. You know what we need? We need more jobs. Can you imagine a northern Minnesota where you have growing jobs and you have higher income. Then you can pay for the things you want. This is what’s missing. Plus, you’ve gotta go back and look. Every state that’s tried this, first your numbers don’t add up. And I would ask you again. You know you’ve made the statement here that I just look at the Department of Revenue, you have not GONE to the Department of Revenue with your plan. You have not explained to the state of Minnesota that we will have the highest income tax rate in the nation. The highest right now is Hawaii at 11. We’re gonna be above Hawaii and you keep claiming we’re going to be below or even the highest tax rate. You won’t go above in the country. In fact, it doesn’t generate the monies that you say it does. More importantly if you look at states that have tried this type of tax policy, they actually did worse in the years after in terms of the revenues they generated for government. The only way you can solve this problem is to grow your private sector and that means your job creators need to be allowed to keep more of their resources to reinvest in their business. Start hiring again, start buying more equipment, start growing again. Because the more people that are employed the more revenues you will ultimately generate to pay for the services that we all have come to expect. 44:25 (applause)

Moderator: All right, Durbin? 44:25

Audience Member: My name is Durbin Keeney 44:30

(inaudible cross talk)

Mark Dayton: Chuck, you know as you said earlier there’s no popular way to solve a 6 billion dollar deficit. Y’know it’s easy to put my plan up on a board and throw darts at it. But you’ve got to compare mine with Mr. Horner’s, which is going to, and I did say to Mr. Horner earlier, that these are consumer sales taxes that consumers, that the people are going to pay for, since you won’t specify them, I have to take what the roster is, which are such things as accounting services legal services 44:58

Tom Horner: Senator, Senator 44:59

Mark Dayton: and so on 44:59

Tom Horner: We’re not going to 45:00

Mark Dayton: Then tell us, if you’ll tell us specifically which 2.8 billion dollars worth
of sales taxes you’re going to put on services then that will remove any any dispute or doubt. So if you’ll tell us that specifically then we’ll know what we’re discussing
here. Representative Emmer hasn’t presented us with a budget proposal. So there’s nothing we can really disagree with because we don’t know what it is. But I maintain when all 3 of our proposals are put in specificity and I have asked Representative Emmer and I will provide when I receive from the Department of Revenue their analysis of my proposal 45:31

Tom Emmer: You’ve submitted it? 45:32

Mark Dayton: Yes sir I have. The we will be able to, then we will be able to, compare the 3. And I think people deserve that. I think they deserve it before people start
early voting next week 45:43

Moderator: All right, Durbin. 45:44

Audience Member: My name is Durbin Keeney, (inaudible) I’m from Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans. And since my name was already brought up let me make it very clear that I’m neither Republican Democrat or Independent. I’m a member of the Pedestrian Party, I get walked on by all of you folks. (laughter, applause) My first thing is, whoever is elected, we have the best Commissioner of Veterans Affairs in the state, in the state of Minnesota, in the nation. You have the right to replace him, I pray as all veterans do in this state that you don’t. Mike Pugliese is worth his weight in gold, and keep him. My major, my question is this: whether you like the past Governor, current Governor or not, in the last two bienniums he’s put a moratorium on cutting the veterans department and the military. We are still a country at war. And the military in this country, in this state, when you’re in a city that has the number-one air force in the nation, the question is 46:47

Moderator off camera: (inaudible) 46:47

Audience Member: The question is, will you today make a commitment that you will not cut the military budget? Or the Department of Veterans Affairs? 46:56

Mark Dayton: Yes, yes I will, I will take your recommendation of the new commissioner very seriously and others. I want to commend Governor Pawlenty for for his excellent appointment, the new Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, General Nash. And since you mentioned the Duluth airbase, I’m very proud of one of the things I was able to do as a Senator, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was to help get the funding to expand that base, to get the next generation of the F-16 fighter planes which when the BRAC base closing was going through was crucial, protecting that base which is also the ninth largest employer in Duluth. And I look forward to continue to work with the Duluth Air National Guard, with the new Adjutant General, with the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs to increase support and make more effective our assistance to the courageous men and women who have served our country so very well. 47:41

Tom Emmer: I will absolutely commit (applause). I will absolutely commit to doing
whatever possible can be done to honor the people that have not only paid the ultimate service but those people that are currently protecting our freedoms, whether it’s here or abroad. I’m the guy who’s proposed eliminating taxes on retirement benefits. We need to have our veterans coming home. We need them to be part of our communities, part of our business growth in the state of Minnesota. We need to honor them for the commitment that they honored us with. (applause) And thank you. 48:19

Tom Horner: Yes, I will commit to not cutting. But it goes beyond that. I’m the only one in my budget plan, again very specific, it’s at for those who want to take a look, I’ve put in new money for supportive services for the homeless population. I mean I’ve worked with Commissioner Steve O’Neil and others to understand this population. One of the fastest-growing populations of homeless are returning vets. We need to provide them with the supportive services to help them readjust, to help us reintegrate them into a sustainable independent lifestyle. You told me about the great things that you’re doing in Duluth with some of the supportive services, the supportive housing. That’s terrific. But we need resources to do that around the state. We also need to make sure that we have a strong healthcare system around the state for veterans and for others. But we also need to take a look, and I think this is where the Governor does have to take a lead, it’s not just the veterans, the National Guard that in Minnesota have been deployed 3-4 times now. It’s the families left behind. It’s that working mom or dad whose spouse is called in for the third or fourth deployment that now has to manage as a single parent. That family. Has to now juggle a job. We ought to be taking care of helping those people also. I mean as an employer, I get it. Y’know sometimes it’s simple things. One of the changes I made is that we took all of our time off – sick leave, vacation, holiday time, and said “Employees, we’re going to trust you to make good decisions with that time. We’re going to call it all personal time off. You make the decisions. If you have to care for a child, take the time off If you have to care for an aging parent, take the time off. We’re going to trust that you’ll put in the hours. As a businessperson, I get it. We can make those changes. To help not just the veterans but the families and spouses that also bear a significant burden from these multiple deployments. 50:19

Moderator: All right, over here. 50:20 (applause)

Audience Member: Good morning. I’m Paul (unclear) I have a question for Mr. Emmer and Mr. Dayton. 50:28

Moderator: Paul, can you speak up a little bit? 50:29

Audience Member: Yes. Apparently one of the biggest questions and bones of contention has to do with the budget plan and deficit reduction. About 10 minutes ago I saw some very chummy handshaking. And I’m interested to know what that means. Mr. Emmer is going away from this meeting with the commitment to have his deficit reduction plan completed by the end of this week. And if that’s done, Mr. Dayton has committed to present his plan to the Department of Revenue for review.
Is that a commitment? Yes or no. 50:59

Tom Emmer: If you’re asking me, what I’ve already told you is that these guys are talking about a deficit which frankly is what government wants to spend and I know, one candidate likes to continue to say that that its money Legislature spent. You know what? It’s money, more revenue that the government is going to have in the next biennium. And people need to start to recognize that it’s not a matter of being short, it’s what government WANTS to spend. Yes, there will be difficult decisions that need to be made. But let’s start recognizing that this so-called deficit is about government wanting to spend beyond its means. It’s going to have roughly 32 billion dollars and you know what? The plan that I put out which is the ONLY one so far that has been verified by the Department of Revenue that it can work. The only one that can actually generate economic growth is the one we put out yesterday. Let’s start getting jobs moving. All you hear up here is about the services that we all believe we need to provide. But how are you going to pay for those services if you are not creating good-paying jobs in the state of Minnesota? I put that out yesterday. Mine has been verified and mine is based on the fact that government is going to have more revenue to spend in the next biennium. These folks are talking about the deficit because they want government to grow 52:11

Audience Member: So when will your whole plan be out? 52:12

Tom Emmer: We’re gonna put out a couple of more pieces over the next couple of weeks. 52:14

Moderator: So is there a final date when it will be out? 52:18

Tom Emmer: Ask these guys, are they gonna – 52:19

Moderator: I’m asking you and then I’ll go after (applause) So when will yours be out? 52:24

Tom Emmer: Absolutely. My budget plan in terms of what we were doing was out yesterday. It’s a jobs plan. Everybody here keeps talking about a deficit that frankly does not exist if you’re willing to live within your means. The only way you have a budget deficit and if you’re going to be politics as usual and not be willing to look at government and say “Look we’ve got 32 billion dollars. This is what we’re going to spend. Now let’s start growing jobs in this state so it isn’t just government that grows, but our private economy grows so you can start paying for these things. That’s what we proposed yesterday and we’ll keep putting out more 52:55

Tom Horner: Well, let’s be clear, well let’s be clear 52:57

Mark Dayton: One of my, one of my 52:58

Moderator: Let’s let Mark Dayton have a chance 52:59 (Moderator cross talk)

Mark Dayton: Well as one business executive said to me, if you want to be a CEO, you better be able to count. And Representative Emmer, what I understood when we shook hands was that as soon as my proposal that I’ve submitted to the Department of Revenue, as soon as we receive that, I will make that public. 53:17

Tom Emmer: Good. 53:18

Mark Dayton: What I understood you to say was that by this Friday you would submit your proposal to eliminate the state deficit. 53:23

Tom Emmer. I did it. I did it yesterday. That’s what we put out yesterday. 53:24

Mark Dayton: Mr., Representative Emmer, you added, you cut taxes by 626 million dollars in addition to 53:31

Tom Emmer: Only a politician would say 53:33

Mark Dayton: Well – but then – 53:33

Tom Emmer: – leaving these people with their own money is a loss. 53:34

Mark Dayton: Take the private econometric firm that provides the state budget projection. And they said we’re going to spend, you had the figure correct, 38 billion dollars in the next biennium. You want to reduce that to 32 billion dollars. So that means you have to cut 6 billion dollars of what is projected to be spent in the next biennium.

Tom Ememr: Well – 53:56

Mark Dayton: So just tell us, straightforward, 53:57

Tom Ememr: This is a great debate. 53:59

Mark Dayton: Let me just finish. Let me just tell. Representative Emmer. 54:01

Tom Emmer: When are you guys gonna start representing these people instead of government? 54:01 (applause)

Mark Dayton: I’m just asking you

Tom Emmer: When are you gonna start protecting THEM? 54:04

Mark Dayton: I’m just asking you the fiscal integrity of Minnesota is something absolutely absolutely that needs to be protected. 54:11

Tom Emmer: how about the fiscal integrity of the citizens? 54:12

Mark Dayton: Just tell us tell us where you’re gonna cut the 6 billion dollars to bring the budget back down where you said it needs to be. 54:18

Tom Emmer: We are going to live within our means, sir. If we didn’t change – 54:20

Mark Dayton: Then where are you gonna cut? 54:21

Tom Emmer: Theoretically David here’s what it is. If we do not change 1 line item of spending over the next 2 years, if we agreed, and I’m not, but if we agree that we weren’t going to change a thing based on current revenue projections, the state of Minnesota after the next biennium would have a surplus, not a deficit, if we agreed we weren’t going to grow government beyond where it is right now. But that’s not what they’re doing. What they’re saying is government must grow. And at whose expense? At the good people, the hard-working men and women of this state. It’s time for government to live within its means and allow these people to start creating jobs again and start workin 54:55

Off camera moderator: Mr. Horner.54:56

Tom Horner: Well, let let us be clear because Representative Emmer loves to talk about living within his means, even though he wasn’t willing to do it the last 6 years when he’s been in the Legislature. (applause) If you do nothing, if you do nothing, take Representative Emmer at his word. Do nothing. No changes in the line item. We will have a surplus. School districts won’t be paid back the 2 billion dollars that were borrowed from them. Businesses will still be paying accelerated sales tax that the state is borrowing from them. Hospitals will still be closing because we cut GAMC and we haven’t replaced it (applause), we will have roads deteriorating (applause) we will have roads deteriorating because that’s been paid for largely by federal stimulus money, so, YEAH, we’ll have a we’ll have a 55:44

Tom Emmer: David,

Tom Horner: Wait a second, wait a second, wait a second

Tom Emmer: that assumes he’s not growing one job 55:47

Tom Horner: We’ll have – no ,

Tom Ememr: It does!

Tom Horner: I – no,

Tom Emmer: You’re not growing one new job, so no new revenue is what you’re saying from economic growth. That’s the part you’re leavin out, sir. 55:56

Tom Horner: It’s hard to have a discussion when these two guys keep fighting with each other and making up numbers. 56:03

Mark Dayton: He’s fighting with you now. (laughter) 56:04

Tom Horner: Here’s reality. Yeah, yeah. Here’s the reality. We are going to grow jobs. I’ve got a plan out there to grow jobs. I’m willing to invest in the future. I think what we did through a bonding bill, that Representative Emmer vetoed, 56:22

Tom Emmer: (inaudible) 56:23

Tom Horner: to invest in a whole new industry at the University of Minnesota, next door to it, a campus of private sector businesses, venture capitalists, that are going to create new jobs. You know Representative Emmer loves to talk about the jobs we’re losing to South Dakota, and we ought to be concerned about that. Absolutely. But you know where the even better jobs are going? Hudson Wisconsin. And they’re going there with the technology, with the innovations, with the ideas that are coming out of the University of Minnesota. 56:52

Moderator: Okay. 56:53

Tom Horner: They’re going there with a talent pool that comes out of our schools, and they’re going there because we haven’t made the investment in incentives to keep them in Minneosta. That’s reality of our state. 57:06 (applause)

Moderator: I haven’t seen so many palms since I was trying to pick up girls in college.(Emmer laughs) Yeah. Right over there. 57:13

Audience Member: Question. Why is Sioux Falls South Dakota successful? For all three. 57:19

Moderator: Oh, good question. Great question. 57:20

Tom Horner: Well, it’s successful because it has decided to be a low tax, low cost, low service state. And and we do need to keep some of those jobs here. There’s no question about it. But we also need to compete on our talent pool. We need to compete with the technology that is going to make a Polymet successful. We need to compete with the innovation that is going to make our other natural resources industry successful. That’s the kind of a future that we need for Minnesota. Do we need some of those backroom jobs that South Dakota has stolen? Absolutely. Do we need the good, well-paying career jobs that are coming out of cutting-edge industries that will be here forever, that will help provide the kinds of income that will raise a family of 5 or even a family of 7? Absolutely. 58:13

Tom Emmer: It is successful because it is business friendly. It has low taxes and it has a streamlined regulatory process that welcomes business opportunity and allows entrepreneurs, people that understand what risk is. Government doesn’t understand risk. When government politicians talk about investment they’re taking your money and risking it. When you’re out in the real world you’re taking your own money and you’re risking it. That’s the best kind of investment. They made it a place where they welcome that type of investment. They want you there ’cause you can get your business started, you can get people employed, you can grow if you are good at what you do. That’s what Minnesota was known for. We still have more Fortune 500 companies in Minnesota than any other state in the union and yet they’re not expanding here. We need to go and look at why. Why is because we’ve got a great state, there’s no question. I think all three of us would agree that we have come to expect a very high quality of life in Minnesota. But you also have to understand that it’s not about being bargain basement, we’ve gotta be competitive. Which means we gotta reduce taxes, we gotta streamline our regulatory burdens, we gotta tell all that that venture capital out there and all those existing business owners, We want you here and we want you to grow here. Bring your jobs to Minnesota. (applause) 59:26

Mark Dayton: It has no corporate tax, no personal income tax, a relatively high property tax, again a regressive tax, falls more heavily on lower income people and senior citizens, those with fixed incomes. The average per person income in South Dakota is about $10,000 less a year less than the average citizen in Minnesota. It ranks about 48th lowest in teacher salary of all the states. It provides a tax haven for some companies like the bank trust companies that want to go there, but their executives don’t live there. They live in Minnesota or they live in California. Wells Fargo moved there, which is also a relatively high personal income state because of the services. Because they recognize that they’re real values and that they can have better employees overall here in Minnesota or in California than South Dakota because people want to live here. Because we have better public schools, better health care. And those are the things, if we sacrifice those, and if somebody really wants to pay no taxes and pay lower wages they’ll go to China or Cambodia. Y’know it’s education that’s the future of our state. And we need to reinvest more in education. (applause) 1:00:37

Audience Member: Good morning, my name is Linda Riddle, I am the Executive Director of the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs here in Duluth. In 2008 the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women did a survey of the costs of domestic violence. So it considered services, probation, law enforcement, courts, all kinds of costs. In Duluth in 1 year the costs were 25 million dollars. What, just considering the costs to the public communities across the state, what will you do as Governor and I’d like each one of the 3 of you to answer this question, what will you do to end violence against women as Governor? 1:01:20

(long pause)

Moderator: Okay! (laughter) Now might be a good time to eat a cookie. 1:01:26

Mark Dayton: Zero tolerance. Zero tolerance. For abuse against women, for abuse on basis of racial discrimination, abuse against people who are gay lesbian, men or women, bisexual transgender. Not on our state. You know in Rochester a decade ago when a Somali youth was beaten on his newspaper route, they started a program for a year long saying Not in Our Town. And a yearlong education program. Zero tolerance. Not in our state. And we’ll get law enforcement, we’ll get citizens, we’ll get everyone involved. Police, prosecutors, and we’ll provide you with the resources. You know and if I’m Governor I’ll put a sign back up on the office wall that Rudy Perpich had, it says “None of us are as smart as all of us.” You have more expertise than I do in terms of this area. I will rely on you and other experts to say exactly what do we need to do. But it’s going to be with the goal that no one, no child should be abused. You know we talk again about government, you know, government’s a loaded word. But there’s services for example and in one of the counties south of here, there’s a triage they have because of a lack of funds. If a child the age of 4 and above is hit with an open hand they don’t get involved because they don’t have the resources. If a child 3 or younger is hit, or hit with a closed fist, they do get involved. We’re talking about abuse against children. We’re talking about abase against spouses, women. We’re talking about abuses against people because of their identities. Who they are. The God-given creation that they are. Not in our state. Not in our state. (applause) 1:03:06

Tom Emmer: In addition to working with people who are on the front line of the issue, you’ve also got to look at our educational system. I think far too often our young people in our society right now are getting their understanding of how they interact with people in the community through media such as TV shows that absolutely do not teach respect for one another. And I think as we go forward there’s some educational improvements that we can make that make particularly in focusing our attention at the early childhood area, the early childhood development area. The ages of 3 and 4 as we prepare kids to go into the K-12 system. I don’t know how many people realize that we really have not attacked the achievement gap in this state at all. And in fact as far as disparities between black and white children, it’s incredible that Minnesota would have the greatest disparity of any state in the union. This relates not only to those disparities but the issue that you’re talking about. When it comes to abuse, in how we treat one another, at the early childhood age, we need to have curricula that focus on preparing kids to compete when they get to K-12, but just as important, starts to teach them what respect is all about. Respect for one another and how you carry yourself with respect and how you treat others with respect. That’s where it needs to happen. And in the home. 1:04:33


Tom Horner: Well, I agree with what these two gentlemen said. I’m particularly happy to see that Representative Emmer now is endorsing early learning. I’m the only one with a budget plan (laughter) 1:04:47

Tom Emmer: I must have got it from you. 1:04:49

Tom Horner: Well apparently, because it’s in my budget plan. I’m the only one
of the three that has actually proposed new money going into early learning because I do think it’s important. I think it is an area that we need to make an investment in. And I agree with all of what these gentlemen have said. But I also think that we have to face the reality that that without some further investment and there’s that word again, but without some investment, we’re going to continue to confront this problem, and and women are going to be left isolated. Uh, the, those with a different sexual orientation are going to be left isolated. And so we do need the bullying legislation that has been proposed in the Legislature. We can’t afford to have communities, you know the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities did a survey of its communities. Forty percent of their members have cut basic services including fire and police. And that was BEFORE the 2010 budget. That was BEFORE community assistance was cut deeper. That was before school districts were forced to go to 4-day weeks. We can’t afford that. We need a strong infrastructure, a society needs to have the infrastructure that embraces the private sector, embraces leadership from this kind of terrific nonprofit leadership, but we need a strong healthcare system. We need a strong education system. And we need strong communities with strong public law enforcement agencies. 1:06:14

Moderator: Right over there. 1:06:18

Audience Member: Hi, my name’s Elizabeth. And the reality is in this state if my child was born 3 weeks ago when they were full term they would have full human rights that all of us have. As it stands today if I wanted to I could legally go and abort my child and not face any criminal prosecution. And if I couldn’t pay for it taxpayers like yourselves would be forced to pay for it. 1:06:44

Moderator: What is your question? 1:06:45

Audience Member: I would like to ask these gentlemen what their philosophy is on abortion and specifically what your policy is on taxpayer-funded abortion in Minnesota. 1:06:54

Moderator to candidates: Well, don’t rush! (laughter) 1:06:59

Tom Horner: Well, I mean, lookit, I think, I think we all agree that we ought to reduce abortions. And so I put on a very specific plan that says I think we get to reducing abortions by making sure that all women have access to good health care including access to contraceptives. I think we get there by making sure that we have responsible sex education in the schools. It was disappointing that that Governor Pawlenty turned down the federal grant that would have expanded good responsible, including abstinence-based sex education in the schools. And I think we make an investment in adoption services. That’s what a Governor can do to make good public policy, to achieve the goal that I think most Minnesotans agree on: reduce the number of abortions. (applause) 107:45

Tom Emmer: I don’t know where the, you know I appreciate the question, and you Jacquie and I we believe in life. But I got to tell you this election, it has to be about what is hurting the state of Minnesota, the loss of jobs. It’s got to be, the economics are front and center. Are these important issues? No doubt. But we got to start talking about why Minnesota is not able to do the things it might want to do. We don’t talk about reforming our education system. We’ve gotta talk about reforming our government delivery system. More importantly, we gotta talk about growing jobs again in this state and that is something that should be job number one for the next Governor of this state and those issues will be handled by the Legislature. 1:08:30

Mark Dayton: I think the decision is between a woman and her doctor and her God, and I believe that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. 1:08:38 (applause)

Audience Member: I’m Jennifer Julsrud and I’m Commissioner of Duluth Public Utilities. And I’m wondering if you could please clearly state and lay out for all of us to understand clearly what your, what your goal is for funding local government aid, and will you continue to make bonding a priority for essential services because it’s strong communities and strong businesses are built upon strong infrastructure. 1:09:14

Mark Dayton: As I said earlier, I will support the funds through a progressive income tax to continue local government aids, I think they’re essential. And particularly as you get in areas and this is not including Duluth but areas of the state that are even more rural and poorer. When I went up to Wadena and the mayor there showed me the devastation of the tornado. And he said y’know “We’re a poor community. We are, one-third of our citizens have a household net worth of less than $15,000. We couldn’t have afforded the early warning system, we couldn’t have afforded the emergency response system without the assistance of local government aids. They’re crucial to bonding also. Y’know, my bonding bill next year, taking advantage of low interest rates, would be in the neighborhood of a billion dollars. Representative Emmer has voted against every bonding bill, including bonding funds for the port of Duluth for the expansion of the Duluth airport, the Hibbing-Chisholm airport. I believe again that bonding bills are job creating bills, they provide an estimated 1 billion dollars, 28,000 jobs, those are, that’s a positive contribution that the state government can make to improving our economic infrastructure and also putting people to work through private employers, and I would support that initiative and move that bonding bill next year instead of waiting until 2012. 1:10:39

Tom Emmer: Y’know, I keep, it’s a recurring theme up here. Our citizens don’t have enough money to pay for the things that they expect, not only for themselves but the services they expect out of government. It’s a recurring theme. And the only answer that’s offered as well, we need to tax more and we need to grow government more. That’s what we’ve been doing for decades now in the state of Minnesota. That’s
not working. There’s a reason why they don’t have the money that they need to drive the services that they expect, that we expect. It’s because we are not growing jobs in the private sector. It will be a recurring theme. You’ve got to create a business environment to grow jobs. LGA. I’ve answered your question on that earlier and I’ll do it again. When it comes to LGA I believe that LGA should exist in its original intended form which means that for essential services, police and fire, essential sewer and water infrastructure, things that government absolutely has an obligation to provide all of its citizens, regardless of the economic ability of the community to provide it. And then when it comes to bonding bills you’re right I haven’t seen a bonding bill yet in the state of Minnesota while I’ve served in my short 6 years that actually met the formula, which is we should be bonding for long-term capital improvements. Yeah, there’s some great ones in there, Senator, when you look at it and you would like to vote for those. But you can’t pull those out and say, “This fits the long-term capital improvement,” that we can look at our children 20 years from now and say, “This was built so that your quality of life could not only be maintained, but you’d have the opportunity for a better quality of life than we’ve had.” Instead we we load it with all kinds of personal things at times, personal to districts that do not meet that criteria. It is important, a bonding bill should be used,
and it should be used for long term capital investments, infrastructure that the state needs. 1:12:28

Tom Horner: Well, I haven’t (applause for Emmer) we’ve all in one form or another
Supported LGA, so we all support LGA. But that’s not enough for communities around the state to grow. We do need to do other smart things and I’m the only one that has laid out a specific proposal. One of the things we need to do, make sure that we have strong 2-year schools, both the vo-techs and the community colleges. Two-year schools that are fully integrated into the regional economic assets of the areas that they serve. So that they’re developing with the industries, the new technologies, the talent pool that is going to help those kinds of communities grow. We need to make sure that we have lifelong training opportunities. We need to make sure that the small manufacturing facilities around the state, the 10- and 12-person shops, have the resources to invest in the new technology that is going to keep them competitive, that is going to be able to add a new line. We need to make sure we have 10-ton roads that can get the products to market. We need to make sure that communities have the ability to build out their infrastructure. Broadband, I think that is a critical infrastructure asset. I would hope could be developed in the private sector, sometimes it’s going to be a public/private partnership, and in some communities it’s going to be a public investment. And we ought to make it. Because that’s our future. But we also can’t pretend that we’re going to have strong communities while we turn around and cut our health care infrastructure for
example. When we say to rural communities, “We’re just going to take the most vulnerable Minnesotans and dump them on your emergency rooms” and expect our health care system to be strong. You know one of the great things, look at the UM-D
Medical School. It has the highest percentage of medical school graduates, I believe
in the country, going into rural practice. That’s government assistance. 1:14:22

Moderator: One more question. Over there. 1:14:24

Audience Member: If we agree that 100% of our future rests with our children what would your administration do to put the effect on the child and their educational outcome as the priority of educational decision making? Increasingly opportunities in education, public education are diminishing. The arts, the humanities, athletics. Fewer and fewer students have the opportunity to make choices to participate in things that will lead to their long-term success and their productiveness as a citizen in our society. And I’d just like to know what you will do in your administration through your education reform agenda to create the child and the effect on the child as the center if you think that’s important. (applause) 1:15:08

Tom Horner: Well, I think it’s a great question. And I think it’s one of the critical questions of our discussion this morning. And so a couple of things that I’ve laid out. I do believe we need to invest in early childhood learning. New money. It is going to take new money. And that’s the reality. Fifty percent of our children are coming into kindergarten not fully prepared for success. That’s unacceptable. We have to change that. And we can do it. Now we can do it through some redesign, I mean look at the sliding-scale childcare money that’s out there. Y’know, a lot of that serves the same population that we need to reach with early childhood learning. We can help merge some of that and maybe get better bang for the buck. So we can do things smarter, but we need to make money. We need to make good investments and use the money wisely. Secondly, my proposal is I think we ought to turn the schools back to teachers. Let teachers teach. Trust them for their instructional expertise, not just their content expertise. Allow them to recognize that this group of 30 students in front of me is very different from the group of 30 students in Hibbing, in Wayzata, or even down the hall. Third, successful schools have great principals. We need to make an investment in in making sure that we have the best principals. That they’re trained, that they go through a residency program, and that they have the ongoing mentoring and support. If we do that, then I think we’re prepared to either go to the federal government and say “We have to move away from NCLB, No Child Left Behind, or we have to change it, to get rid of the rigidity.” So many kids learn not just by memorizing facts for a test, they learn from project-based learning. Understanding how science relates to math relates to language arts. We need to make those investments in broad comprehensive education that includes language and the arts programs, more sciences. We ought to have more ag economy around the state. We ought to have more business courses around the state. And some of that lastly is going to come through some of the hybrid classes where we can open up the the best courses, the best curricula to students around the state through high-speed broadband where they can have the facilitator onsite, a teacher, maybe a mid-level practitioner, but also getting the course content from another site. (applause) 1:17:30

Tom Emmer: You know, we have, we’ve come from the one-room schoolhouse to the system that we have right now, and we’ve enjoyed great success in the state of Minnesota. And we still enjoy great success the world over with our students when it comes to math and science, although we have a shortage of math and science teachers. But we are falling behind in reading. Dramatically. The state that should be all about reading are, we have fallen behind, and more importantly in those other areas, other states have not only caught Minnesota, but now they passed us. It’s time to look at the delivery of the system. And we can talk about throwing more money at it, but frankly we’ve got a ton of money being put in early childhood opportunities right now, they’re just not focused. We’ve got a lot of money that’s being paid into our K-12 system right now, but certainly is not equal. You’ve got certain school districts that are rolling in money and you’ve got others that are struggling just to provide the basic service in the classroom. We’ve got to work on putting more money in the classroom and then you may be surprised, even though I don’t believe the federal government should be telling the state of Minnesota how to run its schools, I’m going to give President Obama a compliment because President Obama is pushing some reforms that are desperately needed, not only in the rest of the country but here in Minnesota, including alternative teacher licensure, and I know there are a lot of teachers that are out of work right now, they’ve been laid off, but please understand, we do have a shortage in math and science. And if we can fill that by creating some reforms in that alternative teacher licensure area we should absolutely take advantage of it. The other area is we have to set measurements. Nowhere else in our society do we allow just because you showed up and just because you made it through a certain period of time, you succeed. We have to establish a goal that we expect for our students, we have to be able to put in place measurements, and then we’ve got to have a mechanism in place to report that to the parents of those children so that they know that kids are not only getting the education that we expect, but getting the education that they need to compete at an international level. That’s the challenge for all of us. And that is not a Republican Democrat or other issue. That’s an issue that we all have to be worried about and be ready to meet the challenge in the next 4 to 8 years. (applause) 1:19:50

Mark Dayton: I think it’s descriptive that after an hour and a half we finally have our first question about education and about our children and our future. Y’know half of the state spending, we call it government, goes from the state of Minnesota to our public schools. It funds education. And I couldn’t agree more, the questioner said our question should be, how is our budget, how are we as a state assisting our children? To receive the opportunities that they need in a much more challenging global economy than we’ve faced in the last 50 years? And I would ask is it better for our children that the state of Minnesota has reduced state funding per pupil by $1300 in the last 7 years after inflation? Is it is it helpful to our students who cannot afford the University of Minnesota because the tuition here is 1/3 higher than it is at the University of Wisconsin? And I think that the common-sense answer is “no.” Overcrowded classrooms, 4-day school weeks, elimination of music and athletics and other opportunities for kids to develop their whole being. Are clearly against the basic values of Minnesotans. So, a big part of why I’m proposing to raise taxes on the richest people in Minnesota is to increase our funding for education. Is to pay back the shift, is to increase as I promise state funding for public education every year I’m governor. No excuses, no exceptions. We can’t afford excuses. We can’t make exceptions. We have to, we have to invest in our children. That’s our future. And our future success as a state depends on it. 1:21:38

Moderator: Okay. (applause) I’m going to get in here. We are just about out of time. We’re going to hear the bell ring in a minute. Dave’s gonna wrap it up. But one last question. In February, Duluth and St. Louis County comes on down to the Capitol and we have an event called Duluth and St. Louis County Days at the Capitol. So, gentlemen, if you’re elected Governor, will you attend Duluth and St. Louis County Days at the Capitol? (audience laughs) Yes or no? Mr. Dayton. 1:22:01

Mark Dayton: I’ll attend, and you’re all invited to the residence. 1:22:04

Moderator: All right! I like that. (audience applauds) 1:22:04

Mark Dayton: And Yvonne and I will serve cookies. 1:22:10

Moderator: All right. 1:22:11

Tom Emmer: Well, that’ll be good, because we’ll be there too, so that’s wonderful. (audience laughs) 1:22:16

Tom Horner: Not only will I attend, I’ll come up here and ride the bus down with you so that we have a longer conversation (audience laughs, applauds) 1:22:22

(Bell rings)

Moderator: Okay, thank you very much, let’s give these gentlemen a round of applause!


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