House District 44A (Plymouth) has the good fortune to be represented by Sarah Anderson, an experienced legislator with a record of standing up for small business, taxpayers, and pragmatic solutions to our state’s problems. A legislator’s voting record says a lot about them. Anyone can offer platitudes that they think voters want to hear, but at the end of the day we’re electing someone that will actually make the right call on legislation. I’ve taken a hard look at Sarah Anderson’s voting record, and what I’ve found is a pragmatic conservative that has repeatedly made the right call for the people of her district. Let’s take a look.
Just this last session Sarah voted for business property tax relief, a common sense measure to reduce overhead for small Minnesota businesses at a time when they’re struggling with a weak economy. This measure passed the House of Representatives with broad support, largely because most legislators recognized that Minnesota has become a comparatively hostile environment for business. But Mark Dayton vetoed the measure. This is only the latest pro business, pro taxpayer measure she’s supported.
Sarah has repeatedly voted against DFL measures to raise virtually every category of taxes: income taxes, gas taxes, alcohol taxes, & surtaxes and surcharges on everything from car registration to certain types of interest. She’s voted to make Minnesota one of the many states that welcome our nation’s heroes by ending the tax on military retired pay. But she’s not just a doctrinaire conservative. When a tax cut proposal doesn’t make good fiscal sense, such a symbolic temporary gas tax holiday proposed a few years back, she votes against it. Sarah’s record is of someone who believes in taking less from Minnesotans while at the same time being responsible about the state’s finances.
Role of Government
Lots of conservatives talk about limiting the power of government and returning it to the people, but Sarah has actually made the difficult votes necessary to achieve that objective. She took the gutsy and politically risky stance of voting against the Vikings stadium measure, not because she has anything against the football team, but because she believes on a principled level that it is not the proper role of government to finance vast entertainment projects. That is the kind of principled leadership we need.
Sarah’s record is of someone who seeks not only small government, but responsible government. If you look at her votes on budget issues, she has consistently voted to slow the growth of government. But at the same time she’s fought for proper financing of those government programs that are genuinely necessary. For instance, she voted to use unexpectedly good tax revenues from hard-working Minnesotans to pay back funds borrowed from the state’s education funds. The DFL defeated the measure, preferring to keep those funds available to finance other government boondoggles.
Finally, Sarah has voted to stand up for individual freedom against government regulation in countless specific ways. To name just two, she voted to treat Minnesotans as adults and let them purchase fireworks, and she voted to protect peoples’ right to use deadly force to defend themselves from criminal attacks. These measures are important, because it shows a commitment to an individual-centered society, where people are given the freedom and responsibility to make decisions about their own lives rather than have the government make those decisions for them.
Sarah is a longtime supporter of voter ID, and her voting record reflects that. She repeatedly voted to require photo identification to verify the identity of voters, despite the inevitable Mark Dayton vetoes, and helped to get the proposed amendment onto the ballot. She recognizes that the only way to detect voter fraud, let alone stop it, is to have in place some method of verifying that people casting ballots are actually registered voters in the district where they are voting. Asking people to collect a free government-issued ID is a small price to pay for integrity, and we need people like Sarah that are willing to stand up for voters.
Sarah has proven herself standing up for us. It’s time we did the same for her. If you are in 44A please make sure that you vote. If you’re at all unsure about being able to vote on Election Day, then take advantage of early voting. Have a plan. We need to keep Sarah in the Legislature.
David Faith is Vice Chair At Large of the SD44 Republicans. This post originally appeared on SD44gop.org.