Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Through a glass, darkly

"Distortion" may be a theme that develops over the campaign for the SD 43 state Senate seat currently held by Sen. Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka). In the fog of overheated political rhetoric, voters will need to carefully consider the differences between distortion, spin, and the truth.

This letter to the editor appeared in the July 12 edition of the Plymouth Sun-Sailor:
I was stunned to see Internet blogger Matt Abe's letter in a previous edition of the Sun-Sailor stating that Terri Bonoff is out of touch with constituents...

Bonoff also made no bones that a Twins stadium was part of her vision of Minnesota as a first-class state...

"Out of touch" does not describe Sen. Bonoff. It does, however, describe those who think that they can promote their cause by distorting Bonoff's record rather than running a positive campaign on the issues.

Ellen Dustman

First, I did not choose the headline that was attached to my letter to the editor, "Bonoff out of touch." Nor did I ever accuse Sen. Bonoff of being out of touch. Between the personal visits, phone calls, faxes, e-mails, and regular letters that flood all legislators' offices, and the web sites and e-mail newsletters that flow out of them, and the town hall meetings back in the district, it would be difficult indeed for Sen. Bonoff or any other legislator to be "out of touch." I am sure that Sen. Bonoff was in touch with how her constituents felt about this tax increase — but her vote struck a dissonant chord with her constituents.

Here is the pertinent paragraph from my letter referenced by Dustman:

"I am also very disappointed that Sen. Bonoff voted to ignore Minnesota law by robbing us of our right to a voter referendum on this stadium tax. Sen. Bonoff is out-of-tune with her district. She was one of only a handful of Hennepin County state senators to vote this way."

Sen. Bonoff's vote was a crucial one on a bill that passed the Senate by a vote of 34-32. She was one of five Senators (all DFLers) from Hennepin County, where the tax increase without referendum will be felt, to vote in favor of the bill. I have heard from plenty of SD 43 residents who object to having been "short circuited" by this sales tax increase.

Where's the "distortion?" Who's distorting whom? I encourage Terri Bonoff or her supporters to correct any "distortions" that appear in this blog or in anything else I write. I will certainly hold Bonoff and her supporters to the same standard. Good candidates don't need to distort their opponent's record or positions; the voters are smarter than that anyway.

Bonoff's key vote to allow Hennepin County to raise a sales tax without voter approval was no surprise given her statements during the whirlwind 2005 campaign, but it really was not about the Twins. I too enjoy major league baseball and would mourn the loss of the Twins, having followed the team since the 1965 World Series, Met Stadium, Killebrew, and Oliva. But is financing a professional sports stadium for millionaire ball players and billionaire team owners the proper role of government? Why not follow the law and allow Hennepin County voters to tax themselves? Who really got represented in the 34-32 vote?


sd42webmaster said...

As you probably already know, Ellen Dustman is co-chair of the Hopkins LAC and is a very vocal supporter of increasing school funding. Last Fall we learned that, although Hopkins is one of the most generously funded districts in the state, they went broke. I think it's safe to say that Ellen Dustman (like Terri Bonhoff) is no friend to taxpayers and really couldn't care less if your money is being confiscated to support billionaire Carl Pohlad or her own bloated school budget.

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