Busy Friday

Here I am on the phone with KDHL’s GORDY KOSFELD

He keeps saying I am hard to get a hold of, makes wild on-air APB’s putting the word out on me, but he can’t seem to call the campaign office, fully staffed and I’m in the book, oh well, and between my work at the ALC and work on the campaign trail, superhighway, I usually don’t have time to check my home phone messages until late at night. We finally got a time scheduled and had a good conversation about the state of the economy and my plans to improve things. One caller was concerned about whether funding the necessities of the state would mean higher taxes for her, and given that she’s probably not in the highest of the high income groups, it’s not likely. Another was concerned about raising cigarette taxes, and thought that alcohol should be as much of a concern as tobacco use. I don’t think it’s an ‘either/or’ and think we should be concerned about both alcohol and tobacco use, and use of either while driving, as inattention is a major cause of vehicle wrecks. That was the beginning of a very hectic day over in Belle Plaine. I’ll be glad to get back to work, this was no ‘day off!’

At the invitation of Social Studies teachers Dick Fox and Dan Gardner,

I visited four classes at Belle Plaine High School to talk about the election, my candidacy and the difference between Republican and Democratic philosophies. They were pretty attentive through the discussion even though we touched on some pretty esoteric things. One student wanted to know how Ray and I were different. I explained that I was a Democrat and Ray was a Republican and how these two philosophies guided our decision making processes. Then he wanted to know how we both would vote on the issue of gay marriage. I explained that this issue came up as a constitutional amendment and Ray voted against it and I would have too. Because I believe the constitution should not be easy to change and that I was bothered by an effort to allow the majority to pass laws that would take rights a way from the minority. This would set a horrible precedent. We need to be wary of doing such things and ought to consider that sometimes tolerance towards others who are different is important. When I finished my closing remarks to the class, this same student raised his hand and said, “Can I get one of your signs, I’m going to vote this year and I’ll vote for you.”

Mike Klatt CEO of the Lutheran Home invited me to come talk with him at his office on Meridian St. in our conversation he outlined four concerns he has for nursing homes.
1. Need for comprehensive change in nursing home service, including consolidation of resources, in order to give the public the kind of long term care they really want. Look at ways the state can consolidate its departments to help with cost as well.
2. Nursing Scholarship program to bring more nurses in to the system.
3. In regard to Liability insurance problem limit the use of state surveys as evidence in liability cases. Mike says these surveys are inconsistent and are often not understood by juries.
4. ICF/MR issue to secure funding for Hope Residents, this is an issue that directly effects a program at the Lutheran Home and at the Laura Baker School in Northfield.
The Lutheran Home is the largest employer in Belle Plaine and I was very impressed with Mike and his leadership, he struck me as honest and fair minded at the same time truly having the best interests of his employees and residents in mind.

Southern Valley Alliance for Battered women shelter. in Belle Plaine hosted an open house from 2 to 4 that afternoon. I visited with board members and staff. I also ran into Teresa Daly
who was visiting the shelter for the first time. A year ago I had participated in Walk/Run fundraiser for the Alliance in Belle Plaine and blogged about then.

The end of my day came with a call to MNPolitics‘s reporter Mark Brouwer, we talked about the budget crisis facing state and local governments and taxes. We also talked about how schools and nursing homes are doing and the bleak future they face without serious reorganizing and funding increases. Marl was also interested in what he called the hot button issues of abortion, gay marriage and guns. It was my opinion that these issues are distractions that keep legislators from accomplishing the real business that affect Minnesotans. Voters have a right to know what my values are but we also have duty to get things done like passing a bonding bill that will bring jobs and progress to communities in Minnesota. I am pro-choice, I opposed the changing of our constitution, and I believe the gun laws in Minnesota as they stand are adequate. But let’s get on with the business of Minnesota and get things done so we invest in our communities and continue the quality of life we have come to expect.

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