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Just prior to this morning’s State of the State Address, I talked with Senate Majority Leader Pogemiller, House Majority Leader Sertich & my state senator, Tarryl Clark. I told them that I was interested in their reaction to Gov. Pawlenty’s speech. I then asked each of them if they’d be willing to reply to my email that I would send via their contact forms.

I promised them that I’d print their replies without editing so that nothing they said could be taken out of context or twisted. Rep. Sertich said that he appreciated that, adding that “That’s how it should be.” I heartily agreed. Imagine my surprise, then, in getting this email:

Kristen,

This gentleman spends a great deal of his time attacking Tarryl and her positions on his blog. He has made a similar request to Tarryl’s office. We are going to post her responses that she gave to the media today on her website and refer him to that.

Gary

Gary Hill
Communications
Director – Senate Majority

The following email was received from:

Gary Gross
Email Address: gmg425@charter.net

Message:

Sen. Pogemiller, I spoke with you just prior to Gov. Pawlenty’s State of the State speech. I’d like your impression of it. Specifically,what part (s) did you like about it? Which part or parts didn’t you like about it?

I’ll be including your response in its entirety in a blog post that I’m putting together. I promise not to edit your statement in any way.

Thanks in advance for your reply.

I’ve never hidden my partisan side. What I have done is my best to never get personal with any politician. Yes, I’ve strongly disagreed with Tarryl but I’ve never, to the best of my knowledge, gotten personal with her.

In the interest of fairness, here’s Tarryl’s response to Gov. Pawlenty’s State of the State Address:

Text of Sen. Tarryl Clark’s response to Gov. Pawlenty’s State of the State Address

Good Morning:

As St. Cloud’s state senator, I want to thank Governor Pawlenty for coming to our city to deliver the State of the State Address. It’s good to get out of the State Capitol and come to places like Central Minnesota. Here, as in most places in the state, people consider and work out issues, as citizens, not partisans.

Coming together and working out problems is an everyday duty—accomplished without much fanfare or fuss. It begins when people agree on what’s wrong and then agree on the goal. The rest is hammering out the details of how the issues are addressed.

Across this great state, we all share the same goal—for a strong, prosperous, and united Minnesota.

It’s a goal that cuts across the lines of partisanship and every other cross-section in our state.

It’s a value embraced by earlier generations of Minnesotans, most recently by those who fought the world wars and survived the Great Depression. They were determined that Minnesota was not going to be mediocre. They wanted our state to be among the best in the union.

They made sacrifices so they could leave us, their children, a state that was better than the one they inherited.

They built the best public education system in the United States.

They built the roads, highways, and bridges that we still use today.

They built our great institutions—universities, colleges, medical centers.

And they built the smaller institutions, the kind that hold our communities together, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, police stations, volunteer fire and ambulance services.

They confronted problems. They hammered out solutions. They invested in Minnesota.

And their investments paid off.

As a state, we were healthier and better-educated. Businesses, large and small, could move goods between producers and markets quickly and efficiently.

Commerce grew, prospered, and our state developed a unique business culture led by people of vision who believed in giving back and supporting their communities.

Affordable tuition meant that a university education was available to anyone, no matter how poor their family was.

Medical research in university, nonprofit, and private settings gave citizens access to the finest care in the world—at the lowest costs in the nation.

At the government level, Republicans and DFLers often fought like cats and dogs. But they shared the view that budgets were going to be balanced, and that the methods of setting budgets would follow the same, sensible, honest rules.

We were strong. We were prosperous. And we were united.

But today, much of what our parents built is showing signs of neglect.

Our state lost 23,000 jobs in the last half of 2007, even as the rest of the country increased employment.

The costs of education, of police and fire protection, and even roads and bridges, are being shifted from state government to local property taxpayers.

We still have great medicine and medical facilities, but it’s increasingly difficult for many Minnesotans to access this care in the face of ever-rising insurance rates, co-pays, deductibles, and limits on health care coverage.

Tuition costs have far outstripped the rate of inflation, leaving students with mountains of education debt.

Today, instead of our economy outperforming the rest of the country, we’re actually doing worse than other states.

This year, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of our statehood. We need to rededicate ourselves to the principles and goals of the men and women who built our state:

A strong, prosperous, and united Minnesota.

A strong and prosperous state is one that creates opportunity by educating children and adults so they can compete and win in the global marketplace.

A strong and prosperous state is one that has a transportation infrastructure that makes it safe, fast and easy to move products between sellers and buyers.

A strong and prosperous state fosters innovation and research at its colleges and universities.

A strong and prosperous state ensures that every citizen and their children can get medical care.

A strong and prosperous state is dedicated to conservation of natural resources and embraces freedom of expression and the arts.

A strong and prosperous state does not excessively tax its people, does not hide taxes by imposing ‘user fees’ that really aren’t, and doesn’t add to the burden of homeownership with property taxes that rise faster than income.

Finally, a strong and prosperous state governs itself with fairness, openness and honesty in every aspect. It encourages public participation and is straight with citizens about where every dollar comes from and where it goes.

Budgets need to be balanced and straightforward. Revenue and spending forecasts shouldn’t resort to accounting gimmicks in order to make things appear better than they really are.

Our parents handed us a state that led the nation in every aspect.

It’s up to us whether we maintain and build on their legacy.

As this legislative session opens, we will act quickly to send the governor legislation that reflects these goals.

We will pass a comprehensive transportation plan that builds roads, bridges, and transit. Our plan will pay for these needs as we build them, and not pass the cost to our children.

We will pass health care legislation that makes it easier for families and businesses to purchase health care by reducing administrative costs—not by increasing co-pays and deductibles.

We will let voters choose whether to raise and set aside funds for cleaner lakes, improved wildlife habitat and natural and cultural resources.

We will pass a bonding bill that emphasizes job growth and higher education, and cleans up local water supplies.

We will pass legislation that builds on the strides we made in improving Minnesota’s energy independence. Our legislation will help free ourselves from foreign oil and build new industries working in the areas of alternative energy sources.

And we will reform the way government works, stressing efficiency, effectiveness and clarity. We want to open up the process so taxpayers can understand what’s going on.

This year’s legislative session will not last long. But that will not be an excuse for lack of effort on Minnesota’s critical needs.

Like those who came before us, we want to set a high bar, and with your help, we’ll get there.

Here’s Rep. Larry Haws’ statement on Gov. Pawlenty’s speech:

State Rep. Larry Haws
NEWS RELEASE

Minnesota House of
Representatives Contact: Joan Nichols
District 15B (651) 296-6612 (651)
296-8891
473 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155 Joan.Nichols@house.mn

February 13, 2008

STATE OF THE STATE OFFERS NOTHING NEW FOR
MINNESOTANS

ST. PAUL – State Representative Larry Haws agrees with the Governor’s idea of putting first things first in his State of the State address today; what he found most disappointing is that there was no mention of new initiatives to deal with the deficit and the state’s worsening economy. “This year is Minnesota’s 150th birthday – I was hoping St. Cloud and Minnesota were going to receive a message of hope and vision – a present, if you will, offering promise and direction for our struggling communities,” said Haws.
“Instead we got familiar rhetoric that is weary and worn, backed by an unproductive veto threat. We need leadership on solutions and compromises to address the real challenges Minnesotan’s are facing, not a review of initiatives most comfortable to the Governor.”
Haws said that while he was pleased to hear the Governor recommit to education, renewable energy, and health-care reform, he was concerned about not hearing any specifics when it came to economic stimulus and job growth, transportation funding or capping property taxes.
“These days, the minds of most Minnesotans are on the state of our economy, keeping their jobs, and making mortgage payments,” said Haws. “Unemployment lines continue to increase and too many folks are struggling to keep a roof over their head. Jobs are needed and this session we’re ready to pass a Capital Investment Bill that will put more Minnesotans back to work on important public projects statewide. Jobs are solutions that deliver what Minnesotans need most – work to sustain themselves and their families.”
Minnesotans need more than talk; they need solutions that start with creating and keeping jobs here at home.
“It was heart warming to hear the Governor applaud St. Cloud’s award as the “Most Livable City in the World” and for our great community resources,” said Haws. “When Al Loehr was the Mayor of St. Cloud in 1973, we were named the “All American City.” This living standard can only be maintained if the State does its fair share. I urge the Governor to show us leadership, not through the veto pen but by bringing opposite sides together for the betterment of us all.”

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