Ernie Leidiger is entitled to his opinions, but he’s not entitled to his own facts. In his Q&A in the October 7, 2010 edition of the Waconia Patriot, Leidiger asserts some things that just aren’t true.
First, Leidiger claims that state spending is out-of-control. In fact, state spending (adjusted for inflation and population growth) has declined by over $900 per person over the last eight years. If cutting spending is key to economic growth, why is our economy struggling like it is? Why are we lagging the rest of the nation – over that time, Minnesota is 38th in employment growth and 46th in wage growth – using the very same philosophy Leidiger would use to guide his votes?
Second, Leidiger asserts that the gasoline tax increase passed by the State Legislature hasn’t been going towards construction of roads and bridges. Article XIV, Section 10 of the Minnesota State Constitution dedicates gasoline tax revenue to the Highway User Tax Distribution Fund, which is split between state, county, and municipal road projects. Leidiger is just plain wrong on this point. Maybe the Legislature has the power to divert transportation funding in California, but not here. If you don’t understand how transportation funding in this state works, how can you expect to work on legislation to improve the situation?
Either Leidiger doesn’t know these things, or he’s shading the truth for partisan advantage. Neither speaks well to his suitability for representing our interests. We certainly don’t need another under-informed or overly partisan person in St. Paul.