The conclusion drawn from the misleading attacks against Tom Emmer and Tom Horner from shady groups such as "Alliance for a Better Minnesota," funded in large part by contributions from Mark Dayton's family, have alleged that what is needed for Minnesota to escape from the recession is a governor who won't stand in the way of the DFL Legislature. Their point seems to be that it's Gov. Pawlenty's fault that we're in the mess we are.
That argument is ridiculous. Even worse, it's dangerous. Consider the following:
The DFL Legislature has sent Gov. Pawlenty several job-killing tax increases since taking control of the Legislature in 2007. He has vetoed every one.
When Minnesota's economy took its steep downward turn in 2008, the Legislature just kept trying to raise taxes -- but Pawlenty stifled them again.
In August, Minnesota's unemployment rate was just under 7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compares to a national unemployment rate of 9.2 percent at the same time.
I can only speak for my business, and others like mine, but Pawlenty's stalwart opposition to tax increases gave me the confidence to say "we can get through this, let's keep our people working and fight to stay alive in business." I felt protected and confident I could weather the storm knowing an attitude of smaller government and lower taxes existed to keep our state in check.
So I have to say this: should Dayton be elected our next governor and he follows through on his promise to more than double even the largest tax increase that was vetoed by Pawlenty, what effect will this have on my business and ultimately our employees?
No candidate has all the right answers and I am sickened by the negative attacks on both sides, but I urge voters to understand from a small-business owner that our climate needs to stay focused on less is more.