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Minnesota Gubernatorial E-Debate - Oct. 2006 » Blog Archive » T4 - Rural and Small Town Minnesota - Rebuttal - Peter Hutchinson - I

T4 - Rural and Small Town Minnesota - Rebuttal - Peter Hutchinson - I

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.

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