Tuesday, February 4 is Caucus night in Minnesota. You can find out where to attend your local caucuses at the Secretary of State's office here.
When you go, you'll hear speeches and read letters from candidates for state offices. When you are asking candidates about their stands on the issues don't forget to ask them the simple question that reveals how they feel about growing government versus growing the economy, growing government programs vs. growing private sector prosperity, enlarging the social welfare bureacracy vs. helping families.
Ask them if they will pledge to vote to oppose any tax increase. With a billion dollar surplus generated by the Dayton Administration Tax increases, this should be an easy promise to make.
Some candidates may promise to cut taxes, or to cut spending and taxes. We applaud any candidate who pledges to do more than oppose tax increases.
If the candidate tells you "they don't sign pledges" just ask them the question, "will you promise not to raise taxes?" Record their answer and send it to us, and we will collect the responses from candidates for office from around the state. If you send us video or audio, we'll post it. If you quote them, we'll verify it.
If you, yourself are a candidate, you may sign the pledge and send it directly or use any of the means just listed to transmit it to us.
The draft cost-benefit analysis report released by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and prepared by an outside contractor makes it seem as if this deposit-return system could be set up in a way that would be self-sufficient. As cans and bottles are used and recycled, the money would simply be moved in and out of a revolving fund. But there are some serious potential costs that were either overlooked or which contractor and the MPCA chose not to mention in this draft.
The proposal states that unlike in other Statewide recycling systems, “recycling centers” are to be set up across Minnesota. There will still have to be quite a few of these set up across Minnesota in order to be not just convenient but reasonably accessible, especially in greater Minnesota. Recalling the debate in the legislature on the question of where rural Minnesotans would obtain a photo ID if such was required just ONCE for voters over the age of 65 or even once every five years for those younger, can we expect a similar debate about how many of these recycling centers there should be across the state? After all, recycling will be done by most families on a monthly if not weekly basis, year round, during the hottest summers and coldest winters. How convenient and accessible these places are is important.
You may have read recently of a discussion over a proposal to enact a bottle deposit law in Minnesota. Other states like Michigan, for example, have had systems like this for years. The goal is to force people to recycle the deposit items more consistently by adding a fee on to the price of the item. For example, a 10 cent fee added to each bottle of a six pack would mean an additional 60 cents per six pack, which would be redeemed when the bottles were recycled. In Michigan the law requires stores to provide the means for recycling. When it was first enacted, most stores kept a counter busy with some unlucky employee wearing rubber gloves to sort the cans and bottles into piles while somebody else totaled up return receipt or dispensed the cash. Eventually, however labor costs and technology produced the deposit return machine. Insert bottles here, get cash (or a receipt) there.
The Taxpayers League of Minnesota and True North blog are now partners in each other’s success. The League will be taking on some posting and managing duties on True North and adding its financial support for hosting the site.
True North continues to promote the work of an impressive group of conservative activists and policy experts, all based here in Minnesota. Many of these writers contribute to the running and upkeep of the blog as well.
The League has always supported True North as a medium through which the best commentary on the right and center right can be brought to a wider audience. Posts on True North do not necessarily reflect positions neither of the League nor of other contributors of True North.
A few updates but no major changes are planned for True North. It will continue to be a place where policy issues are discussed openly and transparently among the right and center-right. The True North “Manifesto” remains the best statement of what True North is about. True North content is also available on Facebook by liking True North’s Facebook page and on Tumblr.
In recent days, a podcast RSS page has been added, showcasing the growing medium of independent audio content as well as traditional media’s shift in emphasis to on-demand content.
The Taxpayers League was founded in 1997 as a statewide, grassroots organization giving a voice to Minnesota’s taxpayers at the capitol and in the media. True North blog was founded by a group of Conservative Minnesota bloggers in 2007. They wanted to create a place on the web that would aggregate the best posts on the right side of the Minnesota blogosphere, which had grown to encompass a staggering number of blogs. It promotes a (usually) twice a year gathering of Minnesota bloggers past and present in the Twin Cities.
It has become newly fashionable to compare Wisconsin’s rather anemic economic recovery to Minnesota’s rather more robust one — and to suggest that this is proof that Gov. Mark Dayton’s aggressively liberal policies are therefore superior to Gov. Scott Walker’s more conservative approach.
Professor Larry Jacobs of the Humphrey Institute, for example, published a well-argued (and completely wrong) commentary in the New York Times recently making precisely this argument. Other, more ideological players have made cruder arguments along the same lines.