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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Time to review Steve Kelley's website positions

--posted by Tony Garcia on 1/19/2006

Because I went over Sue Jeffers campaign website and evaluated her standing on the Scoreboard, and I went over Tim Pawlenty's horrible bonding bill wishlist to evaluate an updated score for him I figured it is time to go over the other Governor candidates' websites and positions. This post will be Steve Kelley's positions.

Agriculture...government initatives means lost of spending without market driven results. If the farmers are not efficient enough to survive then so be it. Stevie, you lose more points. - 2

Economy & Jobs. This one gets mixed reactions from me so I have copied the bullet points as individual planks.
Investing in a world-class Minnesota public education system. + 1. Yes, investing in education is a good thing for the future of the state's economy. How he intends to keep the grubby hands of the unions out of these policies is the reason he is not getting more points here. Also considered is the fact there is no indication of HOW MUCH INVESTMENT.

Providing retraining opportunities for workers hit hard by the recent changes in the state’s economy. - 1. Nope, sorry, they need to take care of themselves. Get their own retraining.

Promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention. + 4. Knowing Stevie's socialist tendencies I wonder if he means this to be directed at the individuals...subsidies to promote businesses to retain individuals, etc. Until that is clarified I will give him the benefit of the doubt and take the vague statement at face value. That said he gets 2 point for recruitment and retention.

Identifying new international trade opportunities. This is a wash because while I understand the opportunities I also think it is out of line for the states to seek out those opportunities internationally.

Actively promoting community development. - 2

Investing in our businesses by redirecting a portion of state investment money into promising start-ups and companies here in Minnesota. + 1. I think this could be a good thing in the right hands. Are Stevie's the right ones? Probably not, but again I'm taking the positions at face value.

Targeting research funding at the University of Minnesota in areas that can build on our strengths and give us the flexibility to explore new opportunities, such as in biotechnology. Another wash. Yes investment in the U of MN has its benefits. But the U of MN also is one of the least efficient, under performing organizations of the state's major employers. No more investments in them until they get their crap together.

Work to strengthen and promote the early childhood education and care system. - 1. Nope. Pre-school is the responsibility of the parents. In fact, we should not allow Kindergartens to quasi-require pre-school. The 'K' in K-12 is the starting point of education...they should return to the responsibility of, well, starting the education.

Support and empower families—without interfering with parental decision-making—by providing them with the information they need to choose the high-quality care that is right for their family. - 3. Unless I'm misinterpreting this it sounds like a step towards socialized health care. I don't take off more points because I'm not certain he means this.

Eliminate the freeze on child care provider reimbursement and help stabilize these valuable small businesses. - 1. Let the business sort this out on their own. Either they want to provide child care or they do not. It is not the proper role of government to interfere in any way on this.

Encourage providers to strive to improve the quality of their care with a quality improvement incentive. - 1. Again, leave the business operations to the businesses. Get the hell out of the government-running-business mentality. That mentality worked so well in the Soviet Union, right?

Ensure the consistent delivery of quality care by adopting the proposed Quality Ratings System that sets voluntary quality standards for providers. - 1. Ditto above.

Put an end to double-digit tuition increases. - 1. Not with my tax money, thank you very much. If you propose to do this by strictly making the schools more responsible and efficient then I will ADD points here.

Support the University of Minnesota and MnSCU colleges so they can become stronger engines for economic growth. - 1. "Support" means money. To this point I say ditto previous point.

Target research funding at the University of Minnesota in areas that build on our strengths and give us the flexibility to explore new opportunities, such as biotechnology. + 1. Hear me out on this one. In order to do this effectively you will have to make the U of MN give up some of its land grant privilege. That in the long run can help reign in the state's costs at the U of MN.

Help enhance MnSCU’s presence throughout Minnesota. + 1. As long as the state can control MNSCU there is some amount of accountability. The reason for getting rid of the General College at the U of MN was that it duplicated services already provided at MNSCU. Adding some "adult colleges" under the California model would be a good thing for the workforce and the state not to mention the better prospect of easing the social services burdens the state has.

Create new pathways for high school graduates who choose not to attend four-year colleges, so they can gain marketable skills. + 2 Ditto the previous point. I would have added more except for the "four-year" part. Some trades really do not need four-year schools. Auto mech, for example, or beautician need trade schools, or "adult schools". See above explanation on these.

Support College in the Schools programs so that high school students enter college ready for success. - 1. This should have been done already in the schools. If they are not ready then start holding the teachers and schools accountable...fire them.

Environment: - 3. Don't like the tree-hugging approach or his tree hugging record.

GLBT: - 3. He's just flat out wrong on these issues and I take away another point (- 1) for his improper labeling of marriage as a "human right". Sorry, that is simply wrong.

Health Care: - 5. Hello socialized medicine. Don't like it. The one thing that I add a point (+ 1) for is the "improve access to information on medical mistakes". I would have little problem if that information was led to proper malpractice suits. Some mistakes warrant punitive damages and licensure review.

Labor: - 3. Unions also practice in bad faith (look at every negotiation with AFSCME), what are you looking to do about that. Replacement worker are bad? You mean you would rather a business go out of business...that is anti-business, isn't it?

Public Safety: + 5. I agree with all 5 bullet points on his platform.

Reproductive Rights: A wash on the first 4 bullet points. I oppose the first two and can support the last two. Where he loses points is the Abortion issue. - 1 for mislabeling the issue as "Choice" which is political and disingenuous. I believe the WHOLE issue should be a state's rights issue. His position does not lend itself to that and there for - 3.

Guns: This whole plank read to me as "I don't want to piss off the hunters but I do not want people to have guns much less conceal carry." For that seeming assault on the Constitutional right to protect oneself: - 2

Transportation: Supporting rail ends any benefits the other ideas would bring. - 5.

Correct me if I added wrong but I come up with a net change of - 25.


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