Session start and legislative meetings

Tuesday, January 6th I was sworn in for my second term as your state representative. I was fortunate to have my son with me who enjoyed the ceremony and posed for a picture with me after the swearing in. He was curious about why President Lincoln’s portrait decorates the front of the House chamber. I […]

SMIF Announces $100,000 in Available Grants

As part of its effort to invest in economic growth within the region, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is offering $100,000 in incentive grants.  Grants up to $20,000 are available to support collaborative projects or programs in emerging business and workforce areas. Pre-applications for this round of grants are due March 2, 2009 with awards […]

Update on the ILSR Conference

  “It is possible to fight over oil but not over wind and sun!” These were the words of Wilfried (Willi) Voigt, Germany’s former Secretary of Energy, as he presented environmentally friendly energy producing ideas and methods at a conference held at St. Olaf on January 9, 2009. Sponsoring the conference was John Farrell of […]


As House Speaker Kelliher communicated to the Governor: “Budget unallotment is a blunt instrument that reflects the difficult budget crisis confronting our state. It is important to identify the priorities that will ultimately make Minnesota stronger. That is one reason why the House wanted to ensure that resources continue to flow to our classrooms. While […]


Along with the immense financial and emotional toll job losses take on individuals, families and communities, there is a significant economic impact on state government and ultimately taxpayers. Several economists have studied the cost of unemployment on government. The most recent being a 2008 study by Lawrence Summers, the newly appointed Director of the White […]

The Ownership Society and Our Current Economics

The Bush administration promoted a new vision for how we ought to see ourselves in this country called ‘the ownership society’ and it is my belief we have just been witnessing the dark side of what that vision means from the Bush reaction to New Orleans to our current financial struggles all across the country. […]

Renewable Energy Payments Conference

A conference about a new way to create jobs and encourage renewable energy in your community. Sponsored by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance January 9, 2009 at Buntrock Commons, St. Olaf College, MN (click on names for directions) To register click here: To organize and inform decision makers via a one-day conference to highlight the […]


Gov. Pawlenty believes that the State of Minnesota still spends too much money and again wants to swallow the idea that we can solve our budget shortfall without increasing revenue. We have to live within our means, he says. He’s worried about the habit we have of living off our Federal credit card and so […]


Recently I was in a meeting with several legislators who got some advice from former Gov. Arne Carlson. He said we have two problems: one, the budget and the second, job creation. He urged us to be as creative as we could about the latter. He echoed the words of State Economist Tom Stinson who […]