Chuck Frederick and Ken Browall of the Trib candidate interviewing board told me that Roger was in yesterday for his grilling. It wasn’t really a grilling just a cordial Q & A session. Mine lasted thirty minutes. let’s see what do I recall to compare with whatever they say to justify and explain their ultimate endorsement? I wonder if the two “citizen’s” and one “employee” honorary editorial board members will participate in the decision making?
Ken and Chuck asked me first what my reasons were for filing and I explained that on the one hand I had wanted to be a legislator (sort of a referee and law maker at the same time) for forty years. I explained how my long career as a Republican just about made that hope futile in Duluth until I started attending the DFL caucus six years ago. I explained that I more or less promised my wife I’d never run for office again but noted that she was probably aware I had never thrown out my old lawnsigns.
They wanted to know how that has worked out and I explained that Claudia didn’t seem very happy when I showed up at 10:30 last night from my last minute donation foraging. Then I told a humorous story about my wedding and said that we were pretty much a “for better or worse” couple.
As for tactics I told them that when Senator Prettner-Solon left a vacancy I realized that a primary would be an opportunity for me to upend Roger. They nodded in agreement at what they probably regard as a possibility even though they may consider this improbable.
As for issues I took off on the Texas School Board text book propaganda scam as an example of an issue I’d like to pursue. (I’m not sure if I’ve written about that recently but if you put texas and textbooks in the search function you’ll probably find a post devoted to this. Then they pointed out that this wasn’t really a red hot issue so I added that, of course, fixing the anticipated $6 or 7 Billion shortfall would be the top priority. I mentioned that I would not leave any budget item out of consideration for cuts no matter how sacred the cow.
I told them that LGA (Local government aid) increases would be unlikely to be in the mix because of the vastness of the financal problems faced by the state and then added that Duluth was fortunate because we had access to some nice revenues in the sales taxes on tourism.
They commented that I seemed to be taking a different tack from all the other pols they had been talking to. In other words all the others are promising big tax hikes. I went off on a jeremiad about how all politicians like to tell their voters they are going to get some other legislator’s constituents to pay for goodies. I told them that I though cities councils should be given more authority to raise taxes and spend money the way they saw fit. That way the Councilors not the legislators would catch grief.
I also mentioned that I planned on making sure the state would insure that no school board would ever pull a Red Plan without letting the voters make the decision and told them that I intended to try to include some Red Plan spending on the next state bonding bill.
I explained that all my life I’d been a centrist and that while I feel funny putting on DFL clothing the GOP had pretty well RINOed me out of the Party. (I still must have a few friends because I got a half dozen donations from Republicans as I was nearing the end of my fundraising last night) I had always prided myself, I told the Trib, on being the most reasonable person. Being in the Senate will test that self appraisal.