Wednesday, October 20, 2004

"We won't tell you who to vote for, but..." 

In a letter from our union's government relations guy (read: lobbyist), we get some unsolicited advice and a little revision of history. First, the history:
Following the plane crash that killed Sen. Paul Wellstone, Minnesota went into a political convulsion. When the dust settled 10 days later, the political makeup of the legislature had shifted dramatically to the right. The newly elected conservatives stuck to their pledge to the Taxpayers League to not raise taxes. They would not even entertain proposals to raise the tobacco tax to the same level as Wisconsin�s rate.
Get that? We had a "convulsion". It was involuntary. Well, if you heard Rick Kahn's memorial/pep rally, your reaction probably was involuntary, though the convulsion was more akin to retching.

And isn't the whole purpose of federalism to allow states to determine their own tax levels? Since when does a legislature have an obligation to match the taxation levels of its neighbors?

So, we get this advice:
During my 32 years in and around state government, I have never met a candidate that didn�t say he/she supported higher education. The key test is whether the candidate will have the courage, like previous generations of legislators did, to raise the revenue necessary to support higher education. And don�t buy the line by a candidate that he/she will just cut somewhere else to fund higher education�the legislature is not going to throw patients out of nursing homes or cut special education funds so faculty can get pay increases, and the state is not going to save enough money by denying prisoners dessert (one of the bills last biennium) to prevent tuition increases to students and their parents.
At least he's honest -- he wants us to only vote for candidates who are willing to raise taxes. And they wonder why conservatives think this union doesn't represent them?