Sunday, May 2, 2010

DFL and IP Gubernatorial Forum, May 2, 2010

Margaret Anderson Kelliher

Mark Dayton

Tom Horner (on right)

Dayton Staffer

Entenza Staffer

Kelliher Staffer

My Blogger Friend Dyna

Tom Johnson, MDH Management (My Friend from Work)

He's from my Senate District (SD53)

Margaret Anderson Kelliher

This afternoon I attended the Governor's Candidate Forum on Clean Energy, Clean Water and Minnesota’s Future. This was a free public forum sponsored by Super Valu. The location was the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Candidates attending included Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Matt Entenza, Mark Dayton, Rob Hahn and Tom Horner. The former three are DFL candidates; the latter two are IP candidates. The only Republican candidate, Tom Emmer, chose to absent himself from the forum. I'm sure it was because he knew he couldn't keep up with the high intelligence of the other five candidates.

First, each candidate was given one minute to present an opening statement.

Tom Horner gave four points that reflect his main goals in green energy should he become our next governor.
1.  Leadership
2.  Protect lakes and waterways
3.  Green energy with accountability
4.  Reform and smart policies

Margaret Anderson Kelliher said that she created jobs across the state. She's excellent on job creation. It sounds like it's her number one focus. She also rates very high on saving energy.

Rob Hahn stated that he is an innovator, a winner and a leader. He's a true outsider and is good on green issues.

Matt Entenza is excellent on green energy. It's his core value. He is an innovator in creating a clean energy economy. When Matt was a prosecutor he put polluters in jail. We're not talking about littering, but about those who knowingly and willfully break the environmental laws.

Mark Dayton knows a lot about everything due to his years as a U. S. Senator. He's got experience in green issues as well as in what has been done and what needs to be done in cleaning up the environment. He has said that the first day in office as governor, he would fire the MPCA Board. Dayton says the board of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has been irresponsible in enforcing pollution control standards.      

Question #1: How can we best promote energy efficiency?

Margaret Anderson Kelliher emphatically stated that energy conservation is her big goal. She will strive for a state government that is performance based. I wonder if AFSCME and MAPE will allow that?

Rob Hahn wants to give businesses incentives to hire new employees. He stated that goals are great to have, but you can't regulate everything. He feels that we should be concerned with our environmental footprint.

Matt Entenza knows that personal responsibility alone won't do the trick in fixing the environment. We need to change the way our new economy works. We also need to have laws and regulations that protect the environment as much as possible. Leaving this aspect of earth protection up to each individual person without any regulations or laws just won't work. 

Mark Dayton stated that if men were angels, we wouldn't need antipollution laws. However, human nature being what it is, we do need them. Government has a role and a responsibility in government and in protecting our environment. Dayton thoroughly understands the role that government must play in environmental issues.

Tom Horner said that we need to come up with the right reasons for recycling and keeping the environment clean and friendly. He said that we need to figure out how to innovate. He wants reform and smart thinking. He seems to think we can accomplish our environmental goals without a lot of regulation and laws. 

Question #2 stated that 73% of Minnesota voters want clean renewable energy sources. How will we accomplish this?

Rob Hahn said that we have to look at a grid. He also wants a to lift the moratorium on nuclear energy. He wants us to give serious consideration to building a new plant or two. He claims that 3rd generation power plants are very safe. (Okaaaay...and what will he do with the nuclear waste that no one wants to be responsible for?)

Matt Entenza said that dictators in 3rd world countries are determining our energy output. Far too many jobs have left Minnesota. We can get jobs back with wind technology, solar energy, biofuels, etc. Matt is no doubt the most knowledgeable candidate on renewable green energy. Most of his platform revolves around this. This is our future.

Mark Dayton basically said that Hahn is irresponsible. Dayton said we can convert boilers and in ten years we can convert most facilities to conserve energy.

Tom Horner said that our challenge is in finding energy in certain parts of Minnesota. We need smart energy principles. Horner comes across as a very smart person who is also reasonable and makes a lot of sense when you listen to him. Horner said he wants green energy, of course, but he wants smart green energy.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher wants to reduce the amount of energy we use. She claims to be the only candidate to put out a complete plan for energy conservation.

At this point, Margaret Anderson Kelliher had to leave. Now we only have four candidates answering the questions.

Question #3: The Politics of Conservation

Matt Entenza wants to use the money that Pawlenty took to fund conversation. Entenza knows that we need a governor who will make conservation a core value. He wants to eliminate the pollution of our waters with runoff.

Mark Dayton wants the conservation commission to consist of an equal number of men and women. Dayton has excellent ideas on gender politics.

Tom Horner says that it's not about gender politics. He maintains that we can't fund everything, especially now while we have a 5 to 6 billion dollar deficit.

Rob Hahn stated that rivers are polluted. He believes that government has a role to enforce pollution laws but that we can't mandate everything. He wants to lead by example. Apparently he thinks that if we lead the horses to water, we can make them drink just by setting an example.

Question #4:

Mark Dayton has a lot to say about the Pollution Control Agency. He's very outspoken about what is wrong with that agency, and rightly so. He is appalled at that Agency's lack of expertise in cleaning up the environment. If Dayton is governor, there will be a lot of changes there. Heads might even roll. He wants to rename it the Pollution Reduction Agency. Dayton is also for promoting free-roaming livestock. He's got excellent ideas for both reducing pollution and cleaning up the atrocious way many treat livestock.

Tom Horner will require leading through innovation. He wants to use easements creatively.

Rob Hahn says that feedlots are a big contributor to pollution. Farmers should have more easements to set up barriers. He kind of changed his stand as the debate went on. He's willing to listen to others and change as new data becomes available.

Matt Entenza stated that this is where the rubber meets the road. (I like that experession.) He said that this is not about separation. This is about communities coming together. We need to actually test our water. A huge portion of our water is polluted.

Question from Audience Member Andy: What will you do to make sure that enough is being done to protect our environment?

Tom Horner said that we need to adapt new technology. He wants to see innovation as well as more research at the U of M. He wants more to be done with K - 12.

Rob Hahn wants us to look at the big picture. He wants to see long term value for biofuels. 

Matt Entenza looks to the next generation of biofuels to create a new clean economy. Matt has great ideas on and knowledge of green energy. Take a look at his website to find out more at .

Mark Dayton knows a lot about the use of ethanol and reuseable energy in Minnesota.
Dayton has stated support of green energy and a state pollution reduction agency. He received a 79% rating from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), indicating pro-environment values.

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