My Point of View: Cooperation needed at the state Legislature

Published 8:31 pm Monday, May 13, 2019

My Point of View by John Forman

John Forman


I volunteered my pontoon for the Governor’s Fishing Opener and attended the Thursday night appreciation dinner at Green Lea Golf Course. The governor, lieutenant governor and several other heads of state offices attended the supper and many of the other activities this weekend.

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Thanks to the many people who volunteered to make this event a success. Thanks to the governor and his staff for attending many of the weekend activities for this event. On Friday, there were many media outlets set up around the community, and from what I hear, everybody was very positive in reporting on this event. I am sure the same was true for the Saturday events.

Some estimate the value of this positive event coverage to be anywhere from $500,000 to a million dollars. I met several of the fishermen that were in town on Friday night when the Legion hosted a meet-and-greet for the boat owners and their passengers. They all seemed pleased with the events program. Cooperation between event leaders and the many volunteers created an atmosphere for success.

I think our governor and state legislators need to pick up on this pattern of success through cooperation. They need to look at the size of our reserves and realize that we in Minnesota are already over taxed. They need to look for waste in existing programs and better ways to accomplish their goals. They need to leave existing funds earmarked for transportation alone and use proper budgeting practices to fund their other programs. The proposed gas tax increase could impact Albert Lea due to our position close to the Iowa border. People already go to Northwood and Lake Mills to buy cigarettes and sometimes gas and how about gambling. Another 20-cent gas tax increase would give then even more incentive to go south. The Legislature had to lower the gas tax in Moorhead to keep all the people from going to Fargo to buy gas. I haven’t heard any talk of doing the same for Albert Lea. A lot of travelers stop at our truck stops on Interstate 35 and stations on Interstate 90. How long would it take people to realize if they go a little further south they can get cheaper gas? I know people who will do it for 5 cents per gallon let alone 20 cents per gallon cheaper.

I noticed that there a lot of stories in the paper, radio and TV about the cost of Chinese tariffs being passed on to the consumer of these goods purchased in the United states. It seems strange that the media realizes that the big businesses pass the cost of tariffs, which in a way are taxes, on to the consumer, but never seem to mention that the same businesses pass the cost of income taxes on to the same consumers. Could it be that the tariffs are being levied by a Republican president and the corporate tax increases are being pushed by Democratic legislators? The tariffs are evening the playing field for American producers in many cases and bringing back jobs. It is too bad we can’t even the playing field in media coverage.

John Forman is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.