Here’s the Trib’s Editorial endorsement of Roger Reinert.
I’m mostly pleased with the Trib’s editorial endorsement of Roger Reinert. I was but an afterthought but the Trib didn’t go out of its way to disparage me other than to say it appears my desire to have the state pay for part of the Red Plan is illegal. That changing the law is part and parcel of what legislators do seems not to occur to them. Perhaps this should not surprise me because the Trib seems not to understand that journalism and the news often go together.
Quibble Two: The headline uses the wrong word, “retain” when taking about electing Roger to the Senate. But Roger is not in the Senate. This is analogous to saying Roger should be reelected. Clumsy word choice.
Quibble Three: Roger is given credit for seeing that LGA (Local Governmental Aid) will probably die off in the next ten years. I told the Trib almost the same thing so Roger’s brilliant analysis seems to apply to me as well.
Quibble Four: This gushing compliment ” For two years, he’s been trying to engage Minnesotans – via Facebook, e-mailed updates, letters to the editor and other avenues – to partner with him and the Legislature to find solutions. The teacher in him has worked tirelessly to educate constituents about tough decisions that must be made.”
I’m sorry but for three years the teacher in me has created websites, a blog, emailed extensively, organized a grass roots organization, and kept the public up to date about an issue of surpassing importance that the Trib dismisses (Quibble five) as “hardly a statewide issue.”
Quibble Five continued: Just because the Trib finds the Red Plan tiresome and reporting about it likely to cause subscriptions to be canceled doesn’t mean that the theft of a vote is not a state-wide issue or that the cost of the biggest ever school building project does not have state wide significance. If every other school district in the state did what Duluth is doing the State would see something like 43 billion in construction without local approval. That’s almost seven times larger than the current state budget crisis.
Quibble Six: In the four sentences devoted to me in the Reinert endorsement the Trib published one good quote of mine: “I’m not afraid to say what needs to be said for fear of compromising my political future.” Considering how Roger and most other local pols hid under rocks rather than deal with the Red Plan I think what the Trib said about Roger: “He’s the DFL’s best option for representing our city on a larger stage'” would be better said of me.
Since this is now the public record I’m posting the editorial in its entirety here:Our view: Reinert DFL’s best bet to retain Senate seat
DFLers eager to hold on to their 7th District state Senate seat don’t have to look far for their best candidate.
The state House has long been a training ground for senators; just look at the resumes. And after Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon announced her intention to seek higher office, a Duluth House representative jumped at the chance to move up. Although he’s only been in the Legislature two years, Roger Reinert has amassed a strong record and deserves to advance from the Aug. 10 primary to face Republican Rilla Opelt in the Nov. 2 general election.
“The political reality in St. Paul is (that) if you want more of a voice, the Senate is the place to be,” Reinert, a University of Minnesota Duluth instructor and a former Duluth city councilor, told the News Tribune editorial board. “Whoever fills this seat will be the voice of Duluth in the Legislature. All the issues I worked on in the House transfer well to the Senate.”
None are as critical as taming the state’s budget and multibillion-dollar deficit. Reinert has been around long enough to realize that – and to know that no amount of cutting or
Revenue-raising alone can clean up the mess. For two years, he’s been trying to engage Minnesotans – via Facebook, e-mailed updates, letters to the editor and other avenues – to partner with him and the Legislature to find solutions. The teacher in him has worked tirelessly to educate constituents about tough decisions that must be made.
“My number-one, -two and -three issue is the budget,” he said. “I’m passionate about education and transportation, but if we don’t find financial stability, nothing else really matters. And I’m talking about stable footing for the next 10 to 20 years.”
Reinert’s no-nonsense, across-party-lines work in St. Paul has cast him as a young, energetic lawmaker willing to approach problems from fresh angles. Take Local Government Aid, the state money on which Duluth and other regional hubs depend, sometimes too much. The aid keeps shrinking and Reinert doesn’t think the program will last another 10 years, not with the state’s political power shifting toward Twin Cities’ suburbs, which don’t receive the aid. As a replacement, Reinert advocates the ability of regional hubs like Duluth to tax or charge fees on out-of-towners who spend the bulk of their work days and other time enjoying, for free, services the cities’ residents have to pay for, services like libraries, infrastructure, and police and fire protection.
“The state needs to be our partner, and that
doesn’t always mean give us more money,” Reinert said. “Sometimes it just means the freedom and flexibility to do things.”
Reinert’s DFL opposition on Aug. 10 is Duluth’s Harry Welty, who’s well-known for his opposition to the Duluth school district’s Long-Range Facilities Plan, which is hardly a statewide issue. Regardless, Welty wants the state to reimburse Duluth district taxpayers the cost of school construction and reconstruction, a proposal that doesn’t appear to be legal.
“I’m going to be a very individually minded legislator,” said Welty, whose enthusiasm is undeniable. “I’m not afraid to say what needs to be said for fear of compromising my political future.”
Reinert’s political future appears bright. He has done well for Duluth, both on the City Council and in the Legislature. He’s the DFL’s best option for representing our city on a larger stage.