Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bill Cullen: bigger government shrinks our freedoms

In 2006, Republican Bill Cullen ran unsuccessfully against Rep. Maria Ruud (DFL-Minnetonka) in Minnesota House District 42A. I asked Bill to share his post-election thoughts with North Star Liberty.

After Cullen wrote this article, on Monday, January 8, his mother died. Our prayers and sincere condolences are with Bill and his family.
Since the election, I have done two things: I sold off 30% of my company and tended to my mother. My mother has been battling cancer for over three years. We have seen many victories and many setbacks, but we are losing the battle. In the past two weeks, my mother has become bedridden and now requires constant care. We have decided that we want her to die at home, so the family is taking turns caring for her. I was slow responding to you because it was “my shift” with Mom. While I cherish my time with her (her mind is still sound), I have shed many tears watching this beautiful woman slowly fade away. The time I have left with Mom is closer to days than months.

My business partner and I decided to go different paths. In an effort to buy him out I had to sell some assets. I decided to sell all of my assets in St. Paul. I still love the city of St. Paul, but I believe their policies are bad for the rental community. They are in the process of increasing regulation and fees in an effort to improve rental property. But their policies have skirted the common sense of aligning responsibility and accountability. The city is going for the easiest target, not the responsible person. It is a recipe for disaster. I will focus on cities with more sensible policies.

With regard to the upcoming session: I am a fiscal conservative. Minnesota is one of the highest-taxed states in the nation and every state agency I know claims they are broke. Clearly this is not because our government doesn’t tax our citizens enough, yet the calls for more taxes, more regulation and more central control are rampant these days. Even my friend, Governor Pawlenty, has joined the chorus.

Our elected officials have missed the voters 2006 “mandate.” I believe the voters spoke against Iraq, the federal deficit, and ethical scandals. So how does that translate into a government takeover of health care, interfering with free market wages, and decreasing property taxes by either restricting local governments’ rights or raising income taxes to offset the decrease? The legislature’s goals point towards an increase in state government and a decrease in individual freedoms — is that the voters’ mandate? I worry what freedoms my children and grandchildren will have when they inherit such an expensive and burdensome government.

Best regards,

Bill Cullen

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