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Minnesota Gubernatorial E-Debate - Oct. 2006 Hosted by E-Democracy.Org and the Blandin Foundation - Your "on-demand" debate. 2009-05-12T12:33:54Z Copyright 2006 WordPress Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[Host - Welcome. E-Debate Highlights]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=115 2006-10-24T14:47:53Z 2006-10-24T14:47:53Z New Posts - Full Text Welcome to the E-Debate, where Minnesota candidates for Governor boldly debate four major themes and share their snappy answers to 10 questions provided by citizens. Be sure to rate their responses and have your say

Like a blog, the new content is on the top - so read the theme “responses” at the bottom of each topic, then scroll back up for the “rebuttals.” Or live on the edge and read the rebuttals first. :-) For more details on how the e-debate works, watch my opening statement video.

Opening statements and the four themes:

We also have 10 short answer questions (SAQs):

To quickly read responses sorted by candidate (most recent submission on top), select from this list below:

Finally, while the candidates have had their say including their closing statements, now you can have yours via Voter Voices through the election and beyond.

Let us know what you you think of the e-debate by dropping us a private comment.

Steven Clift

Steven Clift
E-Debate Host

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[Closing Statement - Tim Pawlenty - R]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=114 2006-10-20T01:47:51Z 2006-10-20T01:47:51Z New Posts - Full Text Pawlenty - R Closing Tim Pawlenty

Closing Statement from Tim Pawlenty:

As Minnesotans, we are fortunate to live in a great state. Our quality of life is the envy of the nation. We can boast about our world-leading health care facilities and the best schools including our colleges and universities, and cultural resources - all of which enrich our lives.

We are home to world-class businesses and have low unemployment with a rich marketplace of quality jobs. We are also home to countless natural resources, whose beauty draw tourists and deeply enhances our great state.

Looking forward, our future includes economic prosperity and job growth.

To achieve this goal, we will must:
• Increase school funding and accountability.
• Hold down taxes.
• Improve health care by putting consumers in charge.
• Keep Minnesotans safe by cracking down on meth and sex offenders.
• Continue to expand the Job Opportunity Building Zone program.
• Improve transportation.
• Preserve our natural resources
• Promote agriculture nationally and globally.

I am honored to serve as Minnesota’s governor. Our continued growth requires bold leadership, common-sense solutions and real reform. My goal everyday as governor is to keep Minnesota strong, prosperous, vibrant and to make sure our schools are improving and our economy is growing.

Related Links:

Campaign Website - www.timpawlenty.com
Contact Campaign -

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[Closing Statement - Peter Hutchinson - I]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=110 2006-10-20T01:47:33Z 2006-10-20T01:47:33Z New Posts - Full Text Hutchinson - I Closing Peter Hutchinson

Closing Statement from Peter Hutchinson:

Why would anyone run for Governor when politics in this state is so screwed up?

I have personally visited with thousands of Minnesotans, and I’ve heard how they are sick that partisan bickering, name calling, and nasty advertising have taken over our state’s once-proud political heritage.

I’m running for Governor because I think Minnesotans deserve better leadership than the Democrat and Republican career politicians can offer.

I’ve spent my entire career – as an executive at Target, state Finance Commissioner, school superintendent, and small business owner – bringing people together to deliver results. And, that’s what I would do as your Governor.

I have presented thoughtful, comprehensive, and fiscally responsible plans to move the state forward on the four Main Things – health care, education, transportation, and the environment.

As your independent Governor, I will be free from all the special interests and big money that have corrupted politicians of the two big parties.

In the coming days, you will hear a lot of talk about not wasting your vote. I couldn’t agree more – Don’t Waste Your Vote on politics as usual because you’ll only get more of the same. Instead, reclaim your Independence and get this state back on track. Thank you.

URL = www.TeamMN.com
Phone = 612-767-4465
Email =

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[Closing Statement - Mike Hatch - D]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=112 2006-10-20T01:47:09Z 2006-10-20T01:47:09Z New Posts - Full Text Hatch - D Closing Mike Hatch

Closing Statement from Mike Hatch:

Thank you for the opportunity to debate in this uniquely 21st Century format.

I believe in a Minnesota with a solid middle class; with students and workers who are well-educated, who are able to compete for jobs in the global economy, and who have access to good health care.

I believe in a Minnesota that creates an environment in which citizens can prosper. We should have excellence in schools, clean air and water, affordable and accessible health care, good roads, and a safe place to conduct our business and raise our families.

I will lead Minnesota differently:

* I’ll roll back tuition at our state colleges and universities. You can hold me to it.

* I’ll hold the line on property taxes by not cutting local government aid. You can hold me to it.

* I’ll support all-day kindergarten and K-12 computer technology. You can hold me to it.

* I’ll cut waste out of our health care system. You can hold me to it.

Above all, I want state government to preserve and expand the middle class.

As Governor, I will work with you to make Minnesota a better state for the next generation.

Related Links:

Candidate Website - www.hatch2006.org
Contact Campaign -

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[SAQ10 - Wild Rice - Peter Hutchinson - I]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=99 2006-10-19T16:15:47Z 2006-10-19T16:15:47Z New Posts - Full Text Hutchinson - I SAQ10 - Wild Rice

Short Answer Question 10 - Wild Wild Rice – In August, it was announced that portions of the US domestic crop of long-grain white rice was contaminated with an experimental genetically engineered variety. Japan is now refusing US exports and the EU is requiring expensive testing of every shipment. Minnesota’s Ojibwe tribes fear a similar kind of contamination for the lake-grown wild rice that is central to their economic, cultural and spiritual well being. Do you support legislation to protect Minnesota’s wild rice economy from contamination by experimental genetically engineered products and the loss of foreign markets which would result?

Peter Hutchinson

Response from Peter Hutchinson:

I don’t know. This is a new issue for me. I certainly don’t want pursue a strategy that will threaten the wild rice crop and the livelihoods of those who depend on it, but I don’t know what actions are being proposed nor what their consequences might be. When elected, I will pull together the “good heads” (scientists, etc.) and the “right heads” (key stakeholders) to design an effective response.

Related Links:

Candidate Website - www.teamMN.com
Contact Campaign -

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[SAQ10 - Wild Rice - Mike Hatch - D]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=100 2006-10-19T16:15:25Z 2006-10-19T16:15:25Z New Posts - Full Text Hatch - D SAQ10 - Wild Rice

Short Answer Question 10 - Wild Wild Rice – In August, it was announced that portions of the US domestic crop of long-grain white rice was contaminated with an experimental genetically engineered variety. Japan is now refusing US exports and the EU is requiring expensive testing of every shipment. Minnesota’s Ojibwe tribes fear a similar kind of contamination for the lake-grown wild rice that is central to their economic, cultural and spiritual well being. Do you support legislation to protect Minnesota’s wild rice economy from contamination by experimental genetically engineered products and the loss of foreign markets which would result?

Mike Hatch

Response from Mike Hatch:

Yes. Although I support scientific research at the University of Minnesota, I fully understand the economic, cultural, and spiritual importance of wild rice to Minnesota’s Ojibwe tribes and dangers associated with genetic contamination. Many countries ban the importation of genetically modified crops including wild rice. I believe that both sides need to engage in honest dialogue regarding this contentious issue in order to find common ground.

Related Links:

Candidate Website - www.hatch2006.org
Contact Campaign -

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[SAQ10 - Wild Rice - Tim Pawlenty - R]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=101 2006-10-19T16:14:57Z 2006-10-19T16:14:57Z New Posts - Full Text Pawlenty - R SAQ10 - Wild Rice

Short Answer Question 10 - Wild Wild Rice – In August, it was announced that portions of the US domestic crop of long-grain white rice was contaminated with an experimental genetically engineered variety. Japan is now refusing US exports and the EU is requiring expensive testing of every shipment. Minnesota’s Ojibwe tribes fear a similar kind of contamination for the lake-grown wild rice that is central to their economic, cultural and spiritual well being. Do you support legislation to protect Minnesota’s wild rice economy from contamination by experimental genetically engineered products and the loss of foreign markets which would result?

Tim Pawlenty

Response from Tim Pawlenty:

Wild rice has important cultural and economic significance to Minnesota tribes. While no genetically-engineered (GE) wild rice has been introduced in the U.S., I understand the concerns about potential rice contamination from a GE variety. However, before considering legislation, I support efforts to ensure that a credible regulatory system and public input process is in place both at the state and federal level before any variety in considered for introduction.

Related Links:

Campaign Website - www.timpawlenty.com
Contact Campaign -

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[SAQ10 - Wild Rice - Ken Pentel - G]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=98 2006-10-19T16:14:27Z 2006-10-19T16:14:27Z New Posts - Full Text Pentel - G SAQ10 - Wild Rice

Short Answer Question 10 - Wild Wild Rice – In August, it was announced that portions of the US domestic crop of long-grain white rice was contaminated with an experimental genetically engineered variety. Japan is now refusing US exports and the EU is requiring expensive testing of every shipment. Minnesota’s Ojibwe tribes fear a similar kind of contamination for the lake-grown wild rice that is central to their economic, cultural and spiritual well being. Do you support legislation to protect Minnesota’s wild rice economy from contamination by experimental genetically engineered products and the loss of foreign markets which would result?

Ken Pentel

Response from Ken Pentel:

I want a moratorium on GE wild rice in MN. My goal is to stamp the state of Minnesota “Organic”. If we phase in the State as organic we will protect our landbase, the quality of our food will be trusted and we will produce higher value for tribes and farmers.

It’s time we stop this corporate experiment with our natural resources, there’s to much at stake.

Related Links:
www.nativeharvest.com/displaypage.asp?PageID=17

Campaign Website - www.kenpentel.org
Contact Candidate - www.kenpentel.org/contact.php

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[T4 - Rural and Small Town Minnesota - Rebuttal - Peter Hutchinson - I]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=108 2006-10-19T15:05:19Z 2006-10-19T15:05:19Z New Posts - Full Text Hutchinson - I T4 - Rural & Small Towns Peter Hutchinson

(Are you on the e-debate home page, select “T4 - Rural and Small Town….” heading just above this excerpt so you can listen.)

Rebuttal from Peter Hutchinson:

Listen to Peter Hutchinson’s rebuttal or download it in MP3.

Text transcribed from audio by E-Democracy.Org:

Hello, this is Peter Hutchinson, and I’m doing a rebuttal to the discussion on rural development. As I read both Tim Pawlenty’s and Mike Hatch’s presentations, I can’t help but be impressed by the level of commitment, at least as expressed to greater Minnesota, and individual initiatives that they have suggested.

What I find missing, however, in both of their presentations, is any clarity about the specific objectives to be achieved. The specific strategies that would be used to achieve these objectives, and how they would be paid for. It’s not sufficient to say you are committed to rural Minnesota without telling rural Minnesota what they can expect, when, how it will be delivered, and how it will be financed. This is particularly absent from Tim Pawlenty’s presentation, in which he mostly recites accomplishments, but doesn’t lay the groundwork for describing what will happen in the future. At least Mike Hatch lays out a commitment to things like roads and bridges fiber optics and healthcare, but again he makes no effort, and is very unspecific about what would be accomplished in greater Minnesota, by whom, using what methods, and with what financing mechanisms, and in the absence of these specifics it’s hard to treat either of these responses as particularly credible, as we think about the future of our state.

In our presentation, and in particular on our website, we presented a great deal of detail, about how we would go about reforming healthcare, and particularly about how we would be sure that farmers and small businesses in greater Minnesota had the ability to pool their purchasing power when it comes to buying health insurance. We talk specifically about how we would finance improvements in our transportation system over the next several years, and how our proposal would move us much closer to fully funding our transportation needs, then either what Tim Pawlenty or Mike Hatch have said they would support. In fact, in their cases, only about 18% of our needs in transportation would be financed.

Now we also talked about how we would invest in research at the University of Minnesota and other places to assure that we discover the next value added opportunity for our rural communities. It is that kind of specifics that I think are necessary if this debate is to be meaningful.

Finally, I want to reconfirm, my commitment to what Rudy Perpich started years ago, was the Capitol for a Day program. I think it is important for the people of St. Paul to never forget who they work for, nor where the people of Minnesota live. That’s why I would move the capitol once a month to another city in our state, and require that all of our commissioners attend, so that we would have a first hand opportunity to observe the needs of our citizens and the impacts of our decisions throughout Minnesota.

Thank you, very much.

Related Links:

Candidate Website - www.teamMN.com
Contact Campaign -

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[T4 - Rural and Small Town Minnesota - Rebuttal - Ken Pentel - G]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=109 2006-10-19T15:04:45Z 2006-10-19T15:04:45Z New Posts - Full Text Pentel - G T4 - Rural & Small Towns Ken Pentel

(Are you on the e-debate home page, select “T4 - Rural and Small Town….” heading just above this excerpt so you can listen.)

Rebuttal from Ken Pentel:

Listen to Ken Pentel’s rebuttal or download it in MP3.

Text transcribed from audio by E-Democracy.Org:

Hello, this is Ken Pentel in response to the rural economic question.
I am calling to mention a couple things. One, governor Pawlenty just does not seem to acknowledge the poor in his discussion, and he also does not acknowledge the need for healthcare for all people. I think this is really an important issue for statewide rural economic development, and then there are many other things, the ecological stress is not brought up outside of the fact he is in to corn-based fuels, I think that that’s misguided.

Also, Attorney General Hatch is very vague on a number of his positions, and one would have to ask the benefits of wind industry in Minnesota are strong, he displayed some numbers that are good, but ultimately we need to ask how much is leaving the state. There could be hundreds of millions of dollars that could still be staying in the state of Minnesota with our farmers, yet I think they are just getting crumbs when it comes to the real revenue being created through the wind turbines, so that’s important. The other thing is, that there is no clear discussion about a livable wage in the state of Minnesota, talking about raising the minimum wage up to where it’s a livable wage where noone is in poverty. I do believe in a strong middle class, but if we take resources from the wealthiest in the state, and invest it in those that are the most poor, people that are in poverty, than the whole condition becomes stronger, and the middle class inherently will become stronger. So I think we need to not just focus on the middle class, but focus on the poorest first. Invest in those, lift everybody up out of poverty, then the whole condition is stronger.

Peter Hutchinson mentions the need for research, and energy and other applications for value added products in the state of Minnesota. In most of these areas, especially energy, and other areas like growing crops for paper, things like that, those are already invented, we don’t need research, we need application, we need it on the ground and being put in to place so our practices now daily change. So there doesn’t need to be any more research done or development. We need to get this stuff on the ground in action, now. The technologies are there, research is a diversion. The other thing is that he says he is the only one not tied to partisanship and special interest. Well, that’s just an outright lie. He knows darn well that I am a candidate for governor, prepared to be governor, and I am not in to partisanship, I am not in to special interest money, and I’ve been promoting a multi-party proportional system, and he knows this, and so I want to eliminate that dishonesty as well. There are more than three parties running in this state, Leslie Davis is running as well in the American Party. So let’s make it clear, we need to get the best ideas moving forward in this state to solve some very important problems, and rural Minnesota is the essential component for our ability to survive, as a self-reliant state. We cannot continue to do this global craziness that Tim Pawlenty our governor keeps promoting. It’s not that we won’t have global traits, but first we need to stabilize our transportation and our import and export activities, so we slow things done on this planet, and we live more in balance here at home, so we don’t need to disrupt people around the world to keep our excessive consumption going.

We are stressing out the planet, we are stressing out local economies, we need to stabilize them, I’m the Green Party candidate for governor, I’ve got the most honest and relevant plan to do that, and one of the key components to making this happen is we have got to get big money out of politics. If we don’t deal with the democracy issue up front honestly, then we are not being honest about resolving these issue for rural Minnesota. And we are continuously being deceived by the big parties, the big money parties in our government. So the public has to get behind those candidates who are going to lead us to a more honest democracy which will then establish a more stable economy, and sustainability for many generations to come.

Related Links:

Campaign Website - www.kenpentel.org
Contact Candidate - www.kenpentel.org/contact.php

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[T4 - Rural and Small Town Minnesota - Rebuttal - Tim Pawlenty - R]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=107 2006-10-19T15:03:35Z 2006-10-19T15:03:35Z New Posts - Full Text Pawlenty - R T4 - Rural & Small Towns Tim Pawlenty

Rebuttal from Tim Pawlenty:

The development and economic prosperity of greater Minnesota, indeed all of Minnesota, depends in part on having a state government that is not a financial burden. I’m pleased that we’ve been able to hold the line on state taxes, despite having to solve a $4.5 billion deficit.

Unfortunately, Mike Hatch does not agree with this approach. His record and recent support for tax increases will only result in expansion of government and an increased tax burden for Minnesota families that will take our state in the wrong direction. For example, his willingness to start a Metro Transit District through tax increases, expanding the sales tax and adding to the gas tax are all efforts that will be a substantial drain on our economy and job growth.

Related Links:

Campaign Website - www.timpawlenty.com
Contact Campaign -

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[T4 - Rural and Small Town Minnesota - Rebuttal - Mike Hatch - D]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=106 2006-10-19T15:01:48Z 2006-10-19T15:01:48Z New Posts - Full Text Hatch - D T4 - Rural & Small Towns Mike Hatch

Rebuttal from Mike Hatch:

My value system is based on the belief that a strong middle class, with well-educated students and workers who have access to decent and affordable health care is the foundation upon which all Minnesota communities can grow and make it better for the next generation.

Newspaper reports today state that Minnesota’s volatile employment market turned in a surprisingly hefty loss in jobs for September, the second month of job loss in this quarter. This was the largest single month decline since April 2001 and the third largest monthly job loss since the state began collecting unemployment figures in 1950.

This highlights the need to address the squeezing of middle class Minnesotans in all of parts of our state today. I believe that we need to look closely at making sure that Greater Minnesota is part of a comprehensive economic plan to move all Minnesotans forward.

It’s regrettable that the Pawlenty Administration has not allocated state resources equitably between rural communities and the metropolitan area. This has been to the detriment of Greater Minnesota.

Here are a few examples of what we need to do:

In today’s global economy, access to technology and high-speed Internet is essential for survival. As governor, I will invest in technology for our schools and make sure that our students are ready to compete in the knowledge-based economy.

The Iron Range already has fiber optics, and it houses several hundred employees of Delta Dental, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Northwest Airlines. These Minnesota companies outsourced to the Iron Range work that companies in other states send to Asia. Toro Industries is located in Windom in large part because the city wired up the community with fiber optics. We can do the same for the rest of Minnesota.

It is important that we do not have regional inequalities and differences from community to community in bandwidth availability and other infrastructure needs.

Equally as important as a statewide fiber optics system, is the fact that highways connect our state and our citizens. No highway should be used as a pawn for political gamesmanship.

As Governor, I will advocate and support the appropriate allocation of transportation resources to Greater Minnesota. Governor Pawlenty refused to provide the $11.3 million in state funds to match the $45.4 million federal funds secured by Congressman Oberstar to help fix highways 169 and 53 in the Northern part of our state. His decision was a disappointment to all of us. We need good, safe roads in all parts of our state.

As Governor, I will work to replace our existing voluntary renewable energy objectives with a firm renewable energy standard requiring at least 20 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2020.

Not only would such a mandate benefit the environment, it would strengthen our rural economy. In 2003, for example, the wind industry in Minnesota created approximately 3,100 jobs, $4 million in royalty payments to farmers, and $3.6 million in tax revenue to local governments.

Governor Pawlenty doesn’t seem to appreciate that unless we fix the problems that are squeezing middle class Minnesotanswhether they live in a small town or a metropolitan areawe will be short-changing and extinguishing opportunities that would otherwise be available for the next generation of Minnesotans.

We need to build a stronger middle class in rural, suburban and urban communities.

We need to commit to economic development opportunities in both Greater Minnesota and the metropolitan area. It is disappointing that Governor Pawlenty is contributing to artificial geographic barriers that are unnecessarily dividing our state.

I believe in a Minnesota that creates an environment in which citizens can prosper. We should have excellence in schools, clean water, affordable and accessible health care, clean air, good roads, and a safe place to conduct our business and raise our families.

Related Links:

Candidate Website - www.hatch2006.org
Contact Campaign -

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[SAQ9 - Online Safety - Mike Hatch - D]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=95 2006-10-18T19:27:34Z 2006-10-18T19:27:34Z New Posts - Full Text Hatch - D SAQ9 - Online Safety

Short Answer Question 9 - Protecting people online – from privacy to identity theft to child protection online – how do grade Minnesota’s performance with ensuring public safety online? Any future proposals?

Mike Hatch

Response from Mike Hatch:

Minnesota has done a very poor job in ensuring public safety online. Indeed, the security of our driver’s license data is so lame that Minnesota is one of only six states to have personal data of every driver available on a website: www.publicdata.com. Police detectives state that access to driver’s license data is one of the main reasons that identity theft is so rampant in Minnesota. I drafted legislation to make this data private and support making it state law.

Related Links:

For details about some of my online safety and consumer privacy initiatives as Attorney General, please see:
www.ag.state.mn.us/consumer/PR/PR_060217OnlineWarnings.htm
www.ag.state.mn.us/consumer/ylr/ylr_06_August.htm
Candidate Website - www.hatch2006.org
Contact Campaign -

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[SAQ9 - Online Safety - Peter Hutchinson - I]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=96 2006-10-18T19:25:09Z 2006-10-18T19:25:09Z New Posts - Full Text Hutchinson - I SAQ9 - Online Safety

Short Answer Question 9 - Protecting people online – from privacy to identity theft to child protection online – how do grade Minnesota’s performance with ensuring public safety online? Any future proposals?

Peter Hutchinson

Response from Peter Hutchinson:

The rise of the Internet as a tool for commerce and communication brings with it great opportunity and risks. We do not need to further regulate the Internet; instead, we need to educate our citizens and businesses on how to safely conduct their online transactions and information gathering. This includes alerting them to new patterns of criminal behavior as they develop and aggressively prosecuting those who commit these crimes.

Related Links:

Candidate Website - www.teamMN.com
Contact Campaign -

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[SAQ9 - Online Safety - Ken Pentel - G]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=97 2006-10-18T19:24:00Z 2006-10-18T19:24:00Z New Posts - Full Text Pentel - G SAQ9 - Online Safety

Short Answer Question 9 - Protecting people online – from privacy to identity theft to child protection online – how do grade Minnesota’s performance with ensuring public safety online? Any future proposals?

Ken Pentel

Response from Ken Pentel:

I will work closely with the Attorney General and the Legislature that as a state we will keep pace with the protection of private data and children protection online.

We will have regular audits of state held data and the necessary funding for consumer protection in the AG’s office.

Resources will be available for training of law enforcement, state employees‘, and myself on how to keep up-to-speed on security measures.

Related Links:

Campaign Website - www.kenpentel.org
Contact Candidate - www.kenpentel.org/contact.php

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[SAQ9 - Online Safety - Tim Pawlenty - R]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=94 2006-10-18T19:22:35Z 2006-10-18T19:22:35Z New Posts - Full Text Pawlenty - R SAQ9 - Online Safety

Short Answer Question 9 - Protecting people online – from privacy to identity theft to child protection online – how do grade Minnesota’s performance with ensuring public safety online? Any future proposals?

Tim Pawlenty

Response from Tim Pawlenty:

New laws and investments have strengthened online safety by cracking down on child porn cases through new investigative staff and increased penalties. We’ve also worked to protect Minnesotans against identity theft through increased penalties for identity/mail theft, computer hacking, restrictions on use of telephone records or social security numbers, and required notice of security breaches. Future plans include biometric technology, drivers’ license facility audits, restricted use of personal data and increasing felony internet crimes involving children.

Related Links:

Campaign Website - www.timpawlenty.com
Contact Campaign -

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[T4 - Rural and Small Town Minnesota - Tim Pawlenty - R]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=102 2006-10-18T14:44:08Z 2006-10-18T14:44:08Z New Posts - Full Text Pawlenty - R T4 - Rural & Small Towns

Theme 4 - Rural and Small Town Minnesota - The Mini-Debate

With the post-primary debates in “the cities” and one in Rochester, consider this theme the mini-debate for the hearts and minds of rural Minnesota. Imagine that you are simultaneously present in the public halls of our 770 cities or 1790 townships with fewer than 10,000 in population. From your grey metal folding chair along side the other candidates, address this gathering of proud citizens.

From agriculture and rural transportation to telecommunications and economic development, move beyond your core campaign themes to what you will specifically do for rural and small town Minnesota? What vision, values, and initiatives will you pursue as Governor?

Tim Pawlenty

Response from Tim Pawlenty:

Much of our values, heritage and economic strength come from Greater Minnesota. That’s why Lt. Governor Molnau and I are committed to building a stronger rural economy through opportunity, innovation and job development.

Agriculture is at the heart of the economic health of our state – contributing to the 120,000 new jobs created statewide over the last three years and our lowest unemployment rate in five years. As the second largest sector in our economy, the results for Minnesota agriculture are paying off. Just recently, Minnesota ag exports (over $2.8 billion) moved from 7th to 5th nationally.

But the strength of our rural economy didn’t happen by accident or overnight. Like any harvest, it took real work:

* We’ve increased Minnesota’s ethanol fuel requirement from 10% to 20% by 2013, and lead nationally in renewable fuels development and ethanol consumption per capita. We’re also building ethanol production facilities and the needed infrastructure through partnerships with the American Lung Association.

* Minnesota was first nationally to require 2% biodiesel use. The result is a renewable fuels “win-win” combination that’s good for agriculture, energy, rural economic development, the environment and a sound national security strategy.

* We continue to enhance and modernize Minnesota’s livestock industry by providing greater certainty for livestock producers in the permitting process. With livestock contributing over half of this states’ farm receipts, this is crucial to a profitable and diverse rural economy. In the face of strong competition, we continue to promote dairy modernization and growth through dairy investment tax credits to help improve operations.

* We’re also redrawing the map and bringing Minnesota closer to the world – especially China. Last fall, I was honored to represent Minnesota in an extraordinary trade delegation – which included a keynote presentation at a biofuels symposium in Beijing. With China’s population over 2 billion people and an exploding economy, Minnesota farmers stand to gain greatly from the development of this country.

* Beyond agriculture, we’re also developing a broader-based rural economy in forestry, energy and other areas. Our JOBZ program provides tax incentives and has launched 272 projects, resulting in more than 12,500 new and retained jobs - producing nearly $400 million in new capital investments. Many of these projects involve the processing of Minnesota agricultural products.

To remain competitive in today’s global economy, we can’t take anything for granted. This includes making sure our rural economy must remain sustainable and profitable.

Related Links:

Campaign Website - www.timpawlenty.com
Contact Campaign -

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[T4 - Rural and Small Town Minnesota - Mike Hatch - D]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=103 2006-10-18T14:43:48Z 2006-10-18T14:43:48Z New Posts - Full Text Hatch - D T4 - Rural & Small Towns

Theme 4 - Rural and Small Town Minnesota - The Mini-Debate

With the post-primary debates in “the cities” and one in Rochester, consider this theme the mini-debate for the hearts and minds of rural Minnesota. Imagine that you are simultaneously present in the public halls of our 770 cities or 1790 townships with fewer than 10,000 in population. From your grey metal folding chair along side the other candidates, address this gathering of proud citizens.

From agriculture and rural transportation to telecommunications and economic development, move beyond your core campaign themes to what you will specifically do for rural and small town Minnesota? What vision, values, and initiatives will you pursue as Governor?

Mike Hatch

Response from Mike Hatch:

My value system is based on the belief that a strong middle class, with well-educated students and workers who have access to decent and affordable health care is the foundation upon which all Minnesota communities can grow and make it better for the next generation.

It’s regrettable that the Pawlenty Administration has not allocated state resources equitably between rural communities and the metropolitan area. This has been to the detriment of rural Minnesota.

This disparity is highlighted by Governor Pawlenty’s “metro-centric” approach to allocating transportation resources. Consider, for example, the Governor’s decision to take $100 million from the rural highway account to “balance” the state’s budget. Given that two-thirds of the fatalities on our roads occur in rural areas, that decision was irresponsible.

I believe a commitment to maintaining our state’s roads and bridges in Greater Minnesota should be an integral component of an economic development strategy designed to promote rural communities.

As Governor, I will advocate and support an appropriate allocation of transportation resources to Greater Minnesota.

Of equal importance for the growth of rural communities is having access to affordable high-speed fiber optic systems.

As Governor, I will launch an initiative for the state, through a public/private partnership, to coordinate the development of a system that wires up regional communities.

The greatest threat to the middle class is the lack of accessibility to affordable health care; however, this crisis hits rural communities harder because pharmacists and physicians are being effectively forced by health insurers to join larger practices and move to larger cities.

Rural hospitals are also being disproportionately hurt by current policies. I am committed to reforming our state’s health care system and have a proven track record of doing so as Attorney General.

The rapidly emerging renewable energy market provides rural Minnesota an opportunity to expand markets and diversify crops.
As Governor, I will work to replace our existing voluntary renewable energy objectives with a firm renewable energy standard requiring at least 20 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2020.

Not only would such a mandate benefit the environment, it would strengthen our rural economy. In 2003, for example, the wind industry in Minnesota created approximately 3,100 jobs, $4 million in royalty payments to farmers, and $3.6 million in tax revenue to local governments.

I support strengthening rural communities because they offer a unique quality of life where Minnesota values are embraced.

Related Links:

Candidate Website - www.hatch2006.org
Contact Campaign -

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[T4 - Rural and Small Town Minnesota - Peter Hutchinson - I]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=104 2006-10-18T14:42:41Z 2006-10-18T14:42:41Z New Posts - Full Text Hutchinson - I T4 - Rural & Small Towns

Theme 4 - Rural and Small Town Minnesota - The Mini-Debate

With the post-primary debates in “the cities” and one in Rochester, consider this theme the mini-debate for the hearts and minds of rural Minnesota. Imagine that you are simultaneously present in the public halls of our 770 cities or 1790 townships with fewer than 10,000 in population. From your grey metal folding chair along side the other candidates, address this gathering of proud citizens.

From agriculture and rural transportation to telecommunications and economic development, move beyond your core campaign themes to what you will specifically do for rural and small town Minnesota? What vision, values, and initiatives will you pursue as Governor?

Peter Hutchinson

Response from Peter Hutchinson:

Over the past several months, I have had the pleasure of visiting with thousands of Minnesotans who live in small towns and rural areas in our state. They want their leaders to deliver straight talk about what is going on in our state, demonstrate a willingness to listen to their concerns, and offer a clear plan for making the state better. Here are four priorities my administration will focus on to improve rural Minnesota.

* Health care costs are the single greatest economic threat to rural Minnesota. Many rural Minnesotans are forced to carry insurance with $10,000 deductibles, which puts them at great risk of financial ruin in the event of a major illness or injury. That is why my top priority will be to reform health care – through strategies such as insurance pools for farmers and small businesses; otherwise we won’t have any new money to invest in things like an improved telecommunications infrastructure and education system that rural Minnesota needs to remain competitive.

* Minnesota’s transportation system is critical to moving agricultural and manufacturing goods around the world to the markets where they are needed. It is in deplorable shape right now and in dire need of investment. I will resurrect the bi-partisan transportation bill that was passed by the Minnesota legislature last year, but vetoed by the governor. This will help fix the roads and transit systems in Greater Minnesota.

* The state must invest in research – primarily at our public colleges and universities – to identify those innovations that will improve opportunities and profits for farming and other industries. In particular, I want the U of M to focus on developing the technology necessary to produce ethanol from perennial crops and to enhance renewable options for producing electricity. Most of this research will be implemented in rural communities, enhancing markets for Minnesota’s crops and providing jobs in rural communities.

* Governor Rudy Perpich taught me that you don’t change things at the Capitol from inside the Capitol. As your Governor, I will be on the road, in your towns, assuring that the government never forgets who it works for - YOU. I am the only candidate who is not tied to the partisanship, the negative campaigning and the special interest money that carves regular Minnesotans out of the decision-making process. In my administration, rural Minnesota will be able to trust that their voices will be heard.

Related Links:

Candidate Website - www.teamMN.com
Contact Campaign -

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Steven Clift, E-Debate Host <![CDATA[T4 - Rural and Small Town Minnesota - Ken Pentel - G]]> http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=105 2006-10-18T14:42:28Z 2006-10-18T14:42:28Z New Posts - Full Text Pentel - G T4 - Rural & Small Towns

Theme 4 - Rural and Small Town Minnesota - The Mini-Debate

With the post-primary debates in “the cities” and one in Rochester, consider this theme the mini-debate for the hearts and minds of rural Minnesota. Imagine that you are simultaneously present in the public halls of our 770 cities or 1790 townships with fewer than 10,000 in population. From your grey metal folding chair along side the other candidates, address this gathering of proud citizens.

From agriculture and rural transportation to telecommunications and economic development, move beyond your core campaign themes to what you will specifically do for rural and small town Minnesota? What vision, values, and initiatives will you pursue as Governor?

Ken Pentel

Response from Ken Pentel:

My goals will be to decentralize political an economic power. As I have talked about before we need to get big money out of politics because much of the big money interest is tied to corporate global trade and this is sucking rural economies dry.

This can be countered by promoting micro lending programs for local economies over big capital projects. This will spawn more entrepreneurial activity that can be more responsive and sustainable rather than big box and big energy like the coal gasification in Grand Rapids.

I want to allow statutory cities and MN as a whole to move toward Instant Run-off Voting and proportional representation giving rural communities more say in the political system.

I will promote more young farmers to get into the field and grow our food locally through young farmer programs.

In the Pentel/Provencher administration farmers will pay no property taxes if they grow local sustainable and organic.

The state will purchase locally grown food and encourage local government, school districts and businesses to do the same.

I will continue to promote diverse value-added products off the farm, growing crops for paper such as: kenaf and hemp. And energy crops such as: sweet sorghum, switch grass and wind.

I will offer free tuition for higher education, initially we will phase-in for rural doctors, nurses’, in-home care assistants, educators, efficient renewable energy and agriculture.

The elderly on fixed income will have a freeze on their property taxes, leading to a reduction in taxes based upon income.

I will plan for a intra-state bus service from small-town to small-town allowing the elderly and others in rural areas to not have to own a car to get around.

It is also important to maintain net neutrality so the rural have equal accesses to websites and e-mail.

Also, I will fight for more local broadcasting in radio and television to counter the consolidation of information and ownership.

Related Links:

Campaign Website - www.kenpentel.org
Contact Candidate - www.kenpentel.org/contact.php

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