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ISSUE 116 VOL 6 PUBLISHED 10/18/2002

Election 2002 – an overview of gubernatorial candidates

By Annie Rzepecki
Staff Writer


Friday, October 18, 2002

Elections are rapidly approaching, and with all of the ads, attacks and publicity, the real issues are sometimes buried. Before Nov. 5 arrives, it is helpful to know where the four Minnesota gubernatorial candidates stand on both state and national issues such as education, economy, transportation, security, abortion and health care. Roger Moe (DFL) Roger Moe was raised on a farm in Erskine, Minn. He was a teacher before becoming a state senator in 1970, and he was elected majority leader in 1981. His goal is to get Minnesota back on track through education, corporate responsibility, and improved health care. Education: Moe believes in increased spending for education, and in raising educational standards. However, he would like to decrease mandated testing. Transportation: Moe proposed a six-cent per gallon tax increase to help pay for improved transportation. He advocates increasing transportation spending by 25 percent to ease traffic congestion in the metro area. Security: Moe wants to do away with handguns. He also would like to see a national ID standard implemented to tighten security. Abortion: Moe opposes the 24-hour waiting period between consultation and the procedure. Health care: Moe would like to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors and ensure that all children have access to health care. He supports a 25 percent increase in health care spending. Tim Pawlenty (Republican) Tim Pawlenty is from Eagan, Minn. His father was a truck driver and his mother stayed at home. Pawlenty is a House majority leader and is serving his fifth term in the House. He wants the government to be accountable to Minnesotans. Another top priority is also to concentrate on jobs and education. Education: Pawlenty advocates higher graduation standards to improve student learning. He believes that parents should be actively involved with their childs education. He also advocates performance pay for teachers, improved discipline, and expansion of educational tax credits. Pawlenty supports the right of parents to choose which school their child will attend. Economy: Pawlenty wants to create more jobs and improve corporate responsibility. He supports tax-free zones to give businesses incentives to operate in Minnesota. Transportation: Pawlenty opposes an increased gas tax. However, he wants to double transportation spending through trunk highway bonds and borrowed funds. To increase efficiency, he supports the building of transit in places where it is most needed. Security: Pawlenty supports greater sentences for convicted violent criminals. He also supports mandated visa expiration dates on drivers licenses and the funding of a national computer system to keep track of repeat criminals. Pawlenty supported the 2002 Homeland Security Bill. Abortion: Pawlenty supports the 24-hour waiting period between consultation and the procedure. Health care: He stresses the importance of subsidized insurance for the working poor. To lower health care costs, he promotes increasing competition among health insurers. He supports decreased state regulation of health care in order to open up more coverage options. Tim Penny (Independent) Timothy (Tim) Penny has served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate. He supports governing from the “sensible center” to best accommodate the various interests of Minnesotans. His priorities are balancing the budget, education, and a long-term transportation solution. Education: Penny wants to free school districts from state regulation in order to better accommodate the individual needs of students. He opposes vouchers, and wants to decrease the current high school dropout rates. He wants the federal government to increase funding to special education. Penny believes it is important to keep higher education affordable. Economy: Penny supports better wages, job security, and benefits to better the workforce and living conditions. He believes that increased funding to research facilities will benefit the economy as well. He would increase taxes and cut programs only where it is absolutely necessary for the benefit of the Minnesota economy, but he argues that some tax increase is necessary to pull the economy out of the rut it is in. Transportation: Penny supports a five to six-cent tax increase, as well as a long term multi-modal transportation system for decongestion and competitive purposes. To solve increased gridlock problems, he proposes a high-speed light rail system. He believes that this is necessary due to population increase and sprawling urbanism. Security: Penny believes that public safety should protect citizens without severely compromising personal freedoms. He recognizes the constitutional right to carry a gun, but believes there should be limits as to who may posess one. Abortion: Penny opposes the 24-hour waiting period between consultation and and the procedure. In addition, Penny wants to turn the focus from abortion to decreasing the number of unwanted pregnancies in Minnesota. Health care: Penny will pressure Medicare to include prescription drug coverage in its program. Penny will also work to increase the number of children and minorities who are insured. He also advocates prevention programs such as tobacco-prevention. Ken Pentel (Green) Ken Pentel has been actively involved with the Green Party since 1996. He has served as a Greenpeace lobbyist and field organizer from 1986-1997. In 1998 he was a gubernatorial candidate. Pentels priorities are livable-wage jobs, education, revitalization of the rural economy, health care, restoration of natural resources, and corporate responsibility. Education: Pentel advocates meeting 100 percent of educational funding needs through income taxes. He supports smaller class sizes and increased teacher salaries. He opposes private school vouchers. Economy: To decrease the number of workers living below the poverty line, Pentel will offer tax incentives to employers, support the right of workers to strike, and create living wage requirements. He will create more affordable housing and hold corporations accountable for the cost of their pollution as well. He also supports tax cuts for farmers. Transportation: Pentel wants to expand the focus of transportation beyond roads, which promotes pollution. He wants to see the gas tax go to more than just highway funding, and he supports long-term light rail plans. He would like to see more carpool lanes and he advocates taxing polluting vehicles. Abortion: Pentel is pro-choice and he would like to increase education on reproductive issues and birth control options. Health care: Pentel supports a universal, single-payer health care system similar to that of Canada. He argues that a universal health care system would cover all people and all services while also allowing the state to save money.


– Information obtained from www.moeformn.com, www.timpawlenty.com, www.timpenny.com, and www.votekenpentel.org


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