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Letter: A better choice than Gimse

Four years ago Joe Gimse squeaked into the Minnesota Senate with the support of just slightly more than 50 percent of District 13 voters. He had no legislative record at that time. He promised to represent all of the residents of District 13. His record shows that he has kept his promise to a small segment of the population, namely the greedy rich, who pay a substantially smaller portion of their income in state and local taxes than the rest of us. His votes show that he is a loyal follower of Tim Pawlenty, whose pursuit of a home at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has harmed Minnesota.

Pawlenty-Gimse tax policies have shifted the tax burden from those with the highest incomes onto homeowners and businesses, regardless of their ability to pay property taxes. Those policies have hurt senior citizens on fixed incomes whose property taxes keep increasing to make up for inadequate state funding of schools and local government. Minnesota's future is jeopardized by Pawlenty-Gimse funding policies that have produced four-day school weeks, teacher layoffs, overcrowded classrooms and unaffordable college tuition.

Pawlenty and Gimse have "saved money" by pulling medical care from some of Minnesota's poorest and most disabled people. While sticking it to the "least of these," in a perverse twist of logic, they both proclaim themselves to be "pro-life."

While Pawlenty-Gimse policies have caused repeated property tax increases for everyone else, public records show that Gimse has not paid his own property taxes. He has billed himself as a fiscal conservative, but public records tell a very different story about how well he manages other people's money in his own business. At the height of the housing bubble, he gambled with a significant amount of other people's money and lost the bet. His bank had to sue him to get at least some of the money back. Gimse responded by hiring a St. Cloud bankruptcy attorney to defend him.

We can do better.

Fortunately, there is another and better choice on the ballot.

John Burns