Dale wants to be 'grassroots person' if elected to Senate

HANLEY FALLS -- Farmer and seed dealer Roger Dale of Hanley Falls says he wants to be a "grassroots person'' if he's elected from Senate District 20 to the Minnesota Legislature.

HANLEY FALLS -- Farmer and seed dealer Roger Dale of Hanley Falls says he wants to be a "grassroots person'' if he's elected from Senate District 20 to the Minnesota Legislature.

"You've got to listen to the people out here and I intend to do that,'' he says.

The 70-year-old Dale, a Republican, is running against DFL Sen. Gary Kubly of Granite Falls, who is finishing his first term in the Senate.

Dale says he's taking no political action committee or special interest money.

Running for office is a new experience for Dale. He became interested in politics while serving on the boards of farm groups, including the Yellow Medicine County Farm Bureau , the Minnesota Soybean Growers and the American Soybean Association.


He was elected to the Minnesota Corn Growers Board in January but has taken a leave of absence during the campaign.

Dale said he's talked to many of the sheriff's departments in the district and said he supports adequate funding for the region's meth task force. Dale said methamphetamine is a big problem in southwest Minnesota.

Dale said transportation is important. He said farmers need good roads to ship goods out and consumers need good roads to bring products in. Dale said Hanley Falls is fortunate to be located on a Burlington Northern Santa Fe main line, but said other small communities no longer have rail service.

"We have to keep our roads up,'' he said.

Dale acknowledges the state gasoline tax has not increased for quite a few years. If he did vote for a gas tax increase, the amount would be less than the 10-cent increase passed by the Legislature but vetoed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in May 2005.

Dale said the concept of the proposed constitutional amendment to dedicate all motor vehicle sales tax funds to transportation is good, but the wording is wrong. The amendment asks voters to dedicate 100 percent of the existing motor vehicle sales tax to transportation projects.

"The way it is written, as I interpret it, is outstate Minnesota could actually get nothing. There's a cap on roads and bridges on the top at 60 percent, and there's a cap on the bottom for rapid transit of 40 percent,'' he said.

"Theoretically that's OK. But if you look at it, it could all go for rapid transit. I don't think it will, but theoretically it could,'' he said.


Dale said he supports the use of wind energy and expanded use of biodiesel, ethanol and E85. As past president of the state Soybean Growers Association, Dale said he and other farmers pushed for biodiesel.

"I'm for all kinds of renewable energy because, as my flier says, it's time we use Midwest energy instead of Mideast oil, and I'm a true believer in that,'' Dale said. "We'll never get away from using any of the Mideast oil. But the more we can use from home the better, and that's jobs for our area.''

Dale said many people raise the issue of the high cost of health care. It's great that some companies offer health insurance coverage to their employees, he said, but there are many people that don't have that luxury.

"That's something we've got to look at because it's a very hot topic out here,'' he said.

Dale said he'd like to know why outstate Minnesota does not receive the same funding for schools as the metro area. "Our kids are just as important out here as theirs,'' he said. "I know our enrollment is declining, but I'd like to see that turned around.''

Dale is a member of the National Rifle Association and said he believes in the right to have weapons.

Dale said he supports the country's veterans and troops. He said many of them are returning either wounded or with mental problems, "and we've got to work with that.''

Dale opposes abortion and is pro-life. Also, he supports marriage as one man and one woman.


"I make one statement: If I get to St. Paul, which I intend to do, that will be one vote more to bring that marriage amendment to the vote of the people,'' he said.

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