Dan Wolgamott’s editorial in this morning’s St. Cloud Times sounds like he’s running against John Pederson, mostly because it sounds like he’s Tom Bakk’s puppet. Check these chanting points out:

Our roads are aging, the congestion is getting worse and our state is falling behind on delivering the vibrant transportation options we need. We feel the bumps in our pothole-filled roads and the hit in our wallets with vehicle repairs.

It’s time for us to invest in our roads and bridges, which is why St. Cloud needs better leadership than State Sen. John Pederson. As made clear in two recent articles in the St. Cloud Times, Pederson has some thoughts on the state’s transportation network. As the Republican lead on the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee, he could play a vital role in providing St. Cloud the comprehensive transportation investment we need.

Instead, Sen. Pederson backs a plan that not only shifts money away from our schools and services for our most vulnerable residents, but relies heavily on borrowing for our roads and bridges, putting the costs on the state’s credit card. This plan depends on action to be taken by future legislatures. However, there is no guarantee future legislatures will make those decisions. Instead of stability, this is another example of politicians promising something in the future to justify ducking their responsibilities now.

I won’t waste my time refuting the DFL’s chanting points because I’ve already done that. Instead, I’ll pose these simple questions:

  1. Do you want the legislature to raise the gas tax that won’t fix Minnesota’s roads and bridges?
  2. Do you want the DFL to raise the metro sales tax to pay for light rail projects that don’t help fix roads and bridges?
  3. Would you prefer that Republicans create a new fund that focuses exclusively on fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges?

I’m betting that the vast majority of people reading this post will pick the option that focuses exclusively on fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges. I’m betting that because few people care about new light rail projects. I’m betting that because most people care passionately about fixing Minnesota’s potholed roads.

We know that the DFL plan won’t work because it was tried in 2008. The DFL’s transportation plan is the same now as it was then. That plan failed. Why would we repeat that plan and expect different results? Einstein famously said that doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

The GOP plan learned from the DFL’s failed plan of 2008. Shortly after the 2008 tax increase, revenue didn’t come in like it was predicted. The DFL figured it out that more people are buying more fuel efficient vehicles, meaning less gas tax revenue. Then the DFL doubled down on their failed plan of 2008.

Republicans, though, figured it out that a different funding mechanism was needed. That’s why the Republican plan creates a Transportation Stability Fund that “collects existing proceeds from dedicated tax revenues and deposits them into accounts for each of their dedicated purpose.

There are five accounts that would dedicate a combined $3.078 billion over ten years:

  1. Road and Bridge Account: revenue from existing sales tax on auto parts
  2. Metro Capital Improvements Account: revenue from existing sales tax on rental vehicles
  3. Small Cities Account: revenue from existing rental vehicle tax
  4. Greater Minnesota Bus Services Account: revenue from 50% of existing Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax
  5. Suburban County Highway Account: revenue from 50% of existing Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax

In addition to the dedicated funds provided by the Transportation Stability Fund, the Road and Bridge Act of 2015 uses $1.3 billion in Trunk Highway bonds, $1.2 billion from realigning Minnesota Department of Transportation resources, $1.05 billion in General Obligation bonds, and $228 million in General Funds.Mr. Wolgamott’s LTE reads like Move MN’s chanting points. We don’t need another robot supporting the DFL’s failed policies. It also reads like the LTE a candidate seeking Sen. Pederson’s senate seat.

That’s quite a shift considering he ran for Tama Theis’s House seat in 2014.

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