What issue in the governor’s race matters most to you?

There are just three weeks to go before the primary elections that will determine the final candidates for governor of Minnesota. Today’s Question: What issue in the governor’s race matters most to you?

  • Bob

    Keeping a high quality educational system. In a cold weather state like Minnesota, having a quality work force is the only reason that corporations would locate in this area.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Undoing the damage that His Obstinacy, Gov. Pawlenty, has done.

  • Alison

    I’m looking for a governor who has the leadership skills and drive to do the best for Minnesotans, not just their party elite, with regards to the budget. This will necessarily involve major changes in taxation and spending. Budget negotiations should involve the recognition that people come to Minnesota because our quality of life and education systems have been top notch. The budget needs to account for those priorities.

  • Deb

    Returning MN to a place where quality of life is a concern. Which means undoing the damage that Governor Pawlenty has done. Businesses will stay, will return and will come to MN when MN starts undoing the damage done by Gov Pawlenty.

  • Gary F

    Curbing our runaway government so we won’t be a California or Illinois.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Curbing our runaway tax cuts so we won’t be an Alabama or Mississippi.

  • Clark

    These far left liberals seem to thing that DFL candidates like dayton can confiscate wealth creation and it will have no impact on where wealth creators will locate their business.

    They are WRONG. Take a look at the number of jobs created in a low tax, low regulation state like Texas vs California. Not even close. Texas has prospered while California is a disaster.

    The DFL wants to confiscate wealth creation and distribute to their supporters, unions, miniorties, etc and they believe this will grow the economy. They are wrong, there are no free rides and the wagon pullers will depart.

    If by quality of life you mean Cuba, good luck as I will be long gone with my wealth

  • Employment. This does not mean the low-tax world that Clark seems to want with his slamming of “liberals”,

    We need a Governor who seems Minnesota as a state that invests in its infrastructure, its education, and in itself to help create jobs. We do not need a Governor who sees Minnesota as a state that needs to slash taxes, and in the process, slash the things in the budget that make Minnesota a great place to live and work.

  • Bruce

    Well lets start with education, then the roads, then balancing the budget, or is it balance the budget, then work on where the money really needs to be spent. I forgot about the need for jobs for Minnesota. Who would want to be the governor anyway?

  • Carrie

    I’m looking for a governor who puts us back on the right track again. We’ve lost our way with T-Paw.

    Like Entenza’s ad says “if cutting was always the answer, then Mississippi would be a leader in this country”. We don’t lose businesses because of high taxes. We lose businesses when our education system and our quality of life becomes sub-par.

  • Sue de Nim

    The extreme of more government is represented by the Soviet Union or Cuba. No one wants that. The extreme of less government is a failed state, such as Somalia. No one wants that, either. I want a governor who knows that there’s a good balance somewhere in the middle and thoughtfully seeks it. Clearly, Minnesota is not far from that balance. If Minnesota’s current high-tax structure is really killing jobs, why is our unemployment rate so much lower than the national average?

  • Joe Schaedler

    The legacy of Gov Pawlenty’s incessant tax-bashing is what matters to me most – it needs to end.

    Our state has been cannibalized unter this toxic mantra, as essential services get undercut & cut altogether so that a sliver of the state’s richest rich can avoid providing for the populations that made them so wealthy in the first place.

    We need more taxes on wealthy individuals. if they don’t like it, they can get the hell out and go live in Alabama instead. We would be better off without them.

  • DMox

    As a recent migrant from the Great Republic of Arizona, let me tell you – the answer to economic recovery is not slash, slash, slash! You have to have taxes and you have to balance that with quality of services provided. Minnesota is already lightyears ahead on this issue compared to failed states like Arizona, but you must not kid yourselves…..AZ went from a prosperous state with growth in jobs, not just in real estate & related jobs either, and had a billion dollar “rainy day” fund/surplus to a busted broke joke of a government in less than 4 years.

    What matters to me most when I vote in my first Minnnesota election, is that I see balance in my candidates, and an admission that they are elected to govern EVERYONE in the state, not just those who voted for them. Democracy tends towards the middle, by it’s very definition, and therefore there is no room in elected government for extremism.

  • deb bergeron

    Fees. Pawlenty raised fees in excess of 1 Billion dollars. Are we to expect that those fees remain in place or lowered?

    Property taxes. Some people have to leave their homes not due to the mortgage payment, but to the Property taxes. Please don’t back out of the question by stating that it’s local government’s concern.



  • jamex

    At the risk of sounding like a radical kook, I’m going to suggest that government is more nuanced than Clark suggests.

    I know, I know. It’s hard to believe. But what if – just for argument’s sake – we think about this whole government thing as a balancing act between leaving people and businesses alone to do as they wish, and interfering where needed to assist the public, protect people’s rights, and provide large-scale services that can’t feasibly be managed in other ways.

    Sure, it’s a controversial proposal, and will never catch on, because it’s just too ludicrous to believe, but maybe someday, somewhere, someone will try it out.

  • Everett Flynn

    In my opinion, all citizens of this state are insulted and their greatest needs effectively ignored if the candidates for governor do not address this one issue in the greatest detail possible: how do they intend to resolve the gaping, structural budget deficit left by Pawlenty? Examining the candidates’ positions on this issue is the only way we’re going to be able to distinguish a real leader for this critical time in our state from the pretenders. Personally, I think we all ought to banish talk of the relative non-issues like restaurant servers and the minimum wage, and we ought to insist that attention be given to the budget. We ought to challenge the candidates, the news media, our friends and neighbors to push relentlessly discussion of this issue above all others. That’s the only thing that really interests me, because the problem is of such magnitude, it renders all other issues and policy proposals very nearly moot.

  • bsimon

    My flippant response is ‘sanity’.

    More seriously, it is extremely important to me that the next governor put a stop to the something-for-nothing policies that have exacerbated the budget problem our state faces.

  • Nanc e Lee

    I could not agree more with Deb, who said this:

    Returning MN to a place where quality of life is a concern. Which means undoing the damage that Governor Pawlenty has done. Businesses will stay, will return and will come to MN when MN starts undoing the damage done by Gov Pawlenty.

  • Steve

    I think the most important issue is funding for education in the k-12 system-teachers are overloaded, kids are not being mentored right.

    Also we should return to a great quality of life that i knew growing-up in Minnesota (minnesota nice). Where i live they are cutting out the arts program dramitically relying on the teachers to promote art and they are already overloaded. Banks are being beatup and we need new leadership in government. We need a more focused program to curb obesity and get our citizens moving again!

  • Khatti

    I don’t suppose that “All of the above” is the answer you’re looking for: but I’m concerned with education, jobs, and quality of life.

    One thing I do think that should be mentioned is the repair, updating, and replacement of infrastructure. Don’t forget, this is the place where the bridge COLLAPSED!

  • James

    A true leader that is fair and honest.

    No back door deals or corruption.

    Be true to our constitution.


  • Lawrence

    Boy, where to start? We have a budgetary problem that is going to get worse; our public education system has dipped so that needs work; it doesn’t sound like our roads, bridges, and transit ways are completely solved so that is an issue, and then in general the state seems divided along irrational thought — those that fear poor people are exercising their political power to disenfranchise people of modest and wealthy means versus those that are concerned about the quick toppling of our democratic institutions. Although both claims are unfounded, the new governor is going to have to substantially bring down the level of fear that is currently gripping voters and help us all remember a state is a peaceful collaborative of businesses, people, and families that work to build a thriving community.

  • Chris

    Higher Ed, Higher Ed, Higher Ed! It is a shame what has happened to our great Universities. They have to keep cutting and raising tuition. That’s nothing more than another tax on the middle class.

  • sheila

    Education is such an important issue to all of Minnesota. Much research has shown how well educated people cost the state less over time. Why can’t we see what will happen in the long term? I want a governor who will take the chance to work on issues that will enhance our state not just tomorrow but next year, next decade and most importantly for our children and their children. A governor who supports early childhood education is a start but it goes beyond this to families and communities. We need to get back to the Minnesota that people were proud of — a state that cares AND is financially sound.

  • Carol

    I am hoping for a LEADER who will make the hard choices and invest in our youngest children and their families. We will not have the MN we want if we don’t nurture and educate ALL of our childen.

  • Sue de Nim

    A while ago, while waiting in a lobby for a state government service, I asked how to find the restroom and was told there were no public restrooms there. Stunned, I asked where one might be found. I was told I could go across the street to a certain retail establishment. The “street” was a busy federal highway, and there was no crosswalk at that location, so I had to dash across when I could. After using the restroom there and thanking the employee who had directed me to it, I explained about the lack of one at the state office across the street. The employee was as stunned as I was and was clearly unaware that the state was mooching on the hospitality of a private business. Back in the lobby at the state office, waiting for service along with me were several immigrants (legal, of course) and folks who had moved to Minnesota from other states. Overhearing others being given the same answer to questions about restrooms, I felt a wave of embarrassment wash over me. What kind of a dishonorable place has Minnesota become if we’re too cheap to provide such basic hospitality as public restrooms in government offices, and what must those newcomers think about us?

    Of course, public restrooms are far from the most pressing issue facing the state. But if we’re already so strapped we have to deny the public the use of restrooms in government offices, what sense does it make to cry for more tax cuts?

  • Shane

    Who is going to shrink government the most.

  • Kami

    Sustainable funding for education, pre-school through post-secondary. It is with an educated work force that Minnesota will recover from the economic sitation.

    No successful business runs on a two-year budget cycle never knowing how much money will be available or wondering if the state will “borrow” from their savings at a moment’s notice

  • I want to see a governor who has the honesty and the courage to say that we need to move our income tax back in the direction of a progressive income tax so that we can invest in public education at all levels and the state can fulfill its obligations to all of its citizens. What I don’t want is a governor who thinks that, after all the tax cuts of the last thirty years, we have a spending problem and not a revenue problem. One of my sons attends Central High School in St. Paul. There were more than 40 students in all but one of his classes last year.

  • David

    Education funding is nearly 60% of the entire state budget and should be slashed. It makes me sick that most of this money goes to paying administrators of administrators, and doesn’t make it to our teachers and more importantly, our students and classroom.

    The education system in Minnesota is broken. It rewards teachers for length of service, versus actual results. Teachers who want to start their careers are left out while useless ones still keep their jobs.

    We need a governor who will stick up to the teachers union and say enough is enough. They cry for more funding, but how much is enough, when the results speak for themselves.

    Educators are failing in this state and it isn’t because of lack of funding.

  • Donna

    I don’t understand these people who say we need smaller government, what does that mean? Nothing, it’s just a GOP talking point. We have had 8 year of Pawlenty, correct? Do we have smaller government?

    All this, “smaller government talk” is just code for cutting off the legs of people who need government the most, the poor. I can’t believe these people keep on insisting they are Christians.

  • Tom

    We need a governor who can help lead the state to fiscal sanity by helping MN citizens realize that more taxes and more beaurcracy do not equal a higher quality of life. Perhaps the best example is the $8+ million building at the St. Peter facility that remains un-used. Who pays? Sure isn’t anyone ‘involved’ except for the tax payers.


    The Twins Stadium: The taxpayers were overwhelming opposed to public funding of the stadium. The Twins and the legislature knew this and would not permit the taxpayers to vote on the on the issue. Ignoring the will of the people, Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Matt Entenza voted to tax the citizens of Hennepin County for 20 years for benefit of the Pollads’

    Do we want of Governor who has these priorities and is so clearly indifferent to the wishes of the citizens on Minnesota?

  • kay

    I love MN. We have the best beaches and trails and woods and scenery. We have one of the best education systems. If we are going to tax the “rich” it should be those who earn over 300K per year – gross, not net. Our state’s future depends on our citizens being healthy and educated and safe. Those should be the top priorities of our governor and legislators.

  • Frustrated Taxpayer

    I am looking for a governor that will continue to demand fiscal responsibility. We simply cannot spend more money than we have. this means both sides will have to come to an agreement about what is important, and drop programs and proposals that have been nice, but are not necessary (this goes for city budgets too). Taxing the rich (which is not as large a population as some think) will not bail out years of state overspending. It would barely make a dent. I would also like to see someone who expects Minnesotans to be at least partly responsible for their own well-being. There are those who cannot take care of themselves who need our help and those who don’t want to take care of themselves because they have gotten used to all of the handouts. Personal accountability of Minnesotans is just as much an issue as government overspending… I want, not I need.