FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Phil Krinkie
October 23, 2012 Ph: (612) 919-4945
Taxpayers League Weighs in
on Photo ID
Radio campaign focuses on common sense
approach to Voter ID
ST. PAUL, MN –The Taxpayers League of Minnesota will start airing radio ads statewide on the issue of requiring a photo ID to vote. The ads are intended to educate voters that the process of showing a photo is an ordinary part of life in our complex and security conscious world.
As Chair of the House State Government Finance Committee in 2001, Phil Krinkie authored legislation providing a photo ID requirement for voting. The legislation passed the House but didn’t become law. “It was a good idea eleven years ago and it is still an important tool to provide a secure voting process,” stated Phil Krinkie, now President of the Taxpayers League.
Every day we are asked for our photo ID in order to complete the simplest of transactions. Requiring this simple and free form of identification is a quick and easy method to ensure our election process is fair and safe.
“Our goal is to educate voters that the requirement of an ID to vote is a common sense solution to ensure integrity in our election process and nothing more,” said Phil Krinkie.
The objective of these ads is to provide voters with a “no spin”, “no hype” message in response to how other groups have characterized the photo ID requirement.
Listen to the ad here:
Here is the script:
Let’s Get Serious About Voting
By Phil Krinkie
October 11, 2012
In just three weeks, three million Minnesotans will head to thousands of polling places across the state to cast their ballot for national, state and local offices. This process of free and open elections is a cherished and valued right in our country, and one that should be taken very seriously. By the time Election Day rolls around we should know who we are going to vote for. But how many times have you stared down at your ballot and not known anything about either candidate? What about the judicial candidates, or the individuals seeking election to the Soil and Water Board?
Yes, it has happened to most of us at one time or another. Sure, ninety-eight percent of us probably have already determined who we will choose for President. We may also have decided about the definition of marriage. But what about requiring a photo ID in order to be able to vote? Is it an obstacle to casting a ballot or is it just common sense? Maybe it’s time we all took our right to vote more seriously.
First take time to reflect on the struggles and the challenges of those who for years were denied the opportunity to vote. Think of the efforts made by women and minorities over decades to obtain the right to vote. Also we should remember those who have sacrificed with their life in order to preserve our right to vote. We owe a debt of gratitude to all of those who have fought to protect our right to vote.
Secondly, we should be sure we are properly registered to vote. In the last election more than 500,000 Minnesotan’s showed up to vote who had not previously registered to vote. They used the process of showing a valid driver’s license or utility bill or perhaps asked a neighbor or a friend to vouch that they were indeed legally eligible to vote. Minnesota is one of only nine states that allows same day voter registration. Isn’t it time we take our right to vote more seriously than to show up on Election Day to register? Our state constitution states “Every person 18 years of age or more who has been a citizen of the United States for more than three months and who has resided in the precinct for 30 days preceding an election shall be entitled to vote within that precinct.” So if you meet the legal requirements to vote shouldn’t you make sure you register to vote before Election Day?
It’s the Spending Stupid
By Phil Krinkie
Whether at the federal, state or local level of government, our elected officials don’t seem to understand that they shouldn’t spend money faster than the rate of economic growth. It’s like that old axiom, “Don’t spend money you don’t have.” For politicians it’s always easier to say “yes” than to tell someone “no”. There are no better examples of this lack of fiscal restraint than our current President and our current Governor.
Our out of control federal spending has been a key Presidential election topic for months, so I will focus instead on our run away spending at the state level. In the most recent budget battle during the 2011 Session, there was an impasse between the Republican controlled legislature and Gov. Dayton. The result was an overall spending increase of more than 15%. Most of the spending growth was paid for with increased revenue, but some of the increase was paid for with an accounting shift (i.e. in delaying payments to school districts) and some was paid for by cashing in on future revenue. Yet the final budget compromise of 15% growth in spending was heralded as a victory over Dayton’s desire for 20% growth.
But Governor Dayton continues to unrelentingly believe that the solution to our state budget issues is to raise taxes.
Private vs. Public Employment
By Phil Krinkie
September 12, 2012
Decades ago workers weighed their decision between public employment vs. a private sector career based on a simple premise, stability vs. compensation. This may be a grand simplification of the decision making process, yet many people seemed to use this criteria. Individuals choosing a career path weighed the benefit of a government job with lower compensation in part for the promise of long term stable employment. On the other hand, the private sector often provided faster advancement along with better compensation. But the private sector downside was the inevitable market forces that could lead to layoffs or transfers.
But today this entire premise of better compensation in the private sector has been turned on its head. In the current turbulent economic times government workers not only enjoy long term job stability but also better pay and benefits when compared to positions in the public sector.
The dichotomy between private sector compensation and government employee compensation was highlighted in a two part 2010 Minnesota Taxpayers Association Study sponsored by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. The Study called “Minnesota Public Sector Compensation”, reported that the average wage for a state government worker in 2009 was $59,415, which ranked Minnesota 7th highest in the nation in state employee wages. In a comparison of private sector vs. public sector wages they found that 24 of 41 job classifications had an average wage that was 10% higher for the government worker. In 17 of 41 occupations the private sector compensation was 15% higher than the public sector. Most of these positions were highly skilled or advanced positions such as attorneys, accountants and engineers. The study also highlights the difference in benefit levels between private sector and public employees. This adds to the disparity in total compensation between the private sector and public sector employees.
Tax Reform On A Stick
By Phil Krinkie
This year’s State Fair experience was similar to past years at the “Great Minnesota Get Together.” It was a mix of just wandering the Fairgrounds and the usual list of mandatory stops. The usual destinations included the Education building, the Grandstand, a bag of mini donuts and, of course, a large helping of politics, all flavors. Politics at the State Fair this year seemed to be rather subdued, even quiet in comparison to past years. Perhaps it stems from the fact that nearly everyone has already decided who they’re voting for or maybe everyone is just tired of the political banter, because the Presidential campaign started over a year ago.
The one thing, however, there was no shortage of this year was opinion surveys. There were surveys on long term care, health care, Minnesota history and, of course, the usual twenty questions about legislative proposals at the State House booth. But the most intriguing survey was the one being conducted at the Minnesota Department of Revenue booth where I was asked to complete a survey on tax reform.
This push for tax reform is coming from Governor Mark Dayton. His tax reform agenda is entitled “Governor Dayton’s Tax Reform for a Better Minnesota.” A one sheet handout states that Governor Dayton is sending Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans on a statewide tour to talk about our tax system and collect suggestions on how to make our Minnesota tax system “fair and simple.” On the bottom of the sheet in big, bold, blue type it states, “Tell us your ideas for tax reform!” So, Governor Dayton, here it goes. Let’s reform the Minnesota tax system by using the “State Fair model.” The “State Fair model” is simple and very fair. It’s a system where everyone pays.