GOP candidates for governor talk about fiscal crisis

A panel of Republican candidates for governor on Wednesday painted a dire portrait of a state in fiscal crisis.

Speaking at a private forum for Medtronic employees, the five GOP contenders described a state budget broken from unsustainable spending. And they spoke about an alarming migration trend they see in which businesses are fleeing the state due to taxes and regulation while indigents flock here to take advantage of overly generous social programs.

The solution, according to former State Auditor Pat Anderson: Be more like South Dakota, a state which has no personal or corporate income tax and fewer public services and amenities.

Minnesota should do “the exact same thing,” Anderson said. “I think the key is to have a good South Dakota-style business climate and then get out of the way.”

But state Rep. Marty Seifert said calling for the elimination of income taxes is “pandering” to voters and that state government needs to use certain subsidies in order to accomplish its goals.

The exchange was one of a couple barbs traded between Seifert and Anderson in what was otherwise a friendly and uncontentious forum, sponsored by Medtronic’s employee political action committee and moderated by Rick Kupchella of BringMeTheNews.com. Continue reading “GOP candidates for governor talk about fiscal crisis”

Student group wants pledge from ‘U’ to dump coal

A student group at the University of Minnesota wants the school to set a time line for phasing out the burning of coal on campus.

Students Beyond Coal, part of a national Sierra Club campaign, will stage a rally today against the fuel, which is a major source of greenhouse gases and other pollution.

“We want to support what the University has done already” to reduce its coal use and energy consumption, said Siri Simons, a sophomore environmental studies student, “and we want to pressure them to keep moving in that direction.”

But is completely cutting coal from the equation realistic? Continue reading “Student group wants pledge from ‘U’ to dump coal”