Ernie Leidiger, Annotated

This legislative session, I have written five letters to my State Representative, Ernie Leidiger.  I have received precisely zero responses.

Another constituent, though, did write to Leidiger and received a response which they shared with me.  I think it’s worthy of unpacking the contents of the e-mail, sent before the government shutdown began.  (I have eliminated personal references in the e-mail to protect the constituent’s anonymity. All the grammar and spelling errors in the e-mail are reproduced exactly as Rep. Leidiger wrote them.)

[NAME REMOVED],
The only person talking about a shutdown is the Governor. He’s been talking about it since February.
We passed a balanced budget that spends 6% ($2 billion) more than last biennium.
The Governor wants $2 billion more, and he has not told us what for. We’ve shifted spending to meet what he wanted to spend in several areas including Ag, Ed, Public Safety, and Judicial.
Partially yes, and partially no.  In education, while the dollars are even — how the dollars are allocated is vastly different in the Dayton budget versus the GOP budget.
We are spending almost $500 million more in HHS.  I hope you sent an email to him too!  But I bet you didn’t.
Taking an accusatory tone towards your constituents?  Classy.  (Interestingly enough, this constituent reported to me that they did, in fact, also send a note to Governor Dayton asking for a resolution to the budget stalemate.)
The Governor is the ONLY one in the 50 states who wants to spend more, everyone else is cutting spending in this recession.  So, tell me, who’s not compromising? The $34 billion budget is the highest we’ve ever spent in MN.
The last point is technically true, if you ignore stimulus funding and the K-12 shift.  But you can’t — at least not if you want to be honest about the budget.
Just how much more should we make people pay? His stunt to take more from the rich sounds great (and for what?). Everyone pays when that happens because costs are spread to everyone.
Leidiger fails to mention that the very budget he voted for raises taxes on all Minnesotans, too.
And how many of the super rich will just leave the state when we become the HIGHEST taxed state in the nation? Great, that just leaves more services for the rest of us to pay.
As it is, we’re the highest taxed state in the region, businesses are already leaving and going to the Dakotas and Wisconsin. Don’t you hear their ads on the radio whooing them to move.
As it is, the Governor has all his money in South Dakota. Do you think he understands what you’re going through?  He hasen’t a clue. He misses meetings and has a careless attitude about negotiating. He doesn’t care about how many people he puts out of work as long as he gets his way. It’s like negotiating with a child.
Interesting that the person who complains about “negotiating with a child” just spent a paragraph listing a bunch of points that have precisely zero relation to the issues at hand.
We’re spending enough. Did you know we already had a budget with a 6% increase before you sent this email?  I bet not.
Insulting your constituent’s intelligence?  Again, very classy.
You may vote me out of office all you want I have plenty of other things to do.  But I’ll tell you, your support for the Governor’s position is in the minority, those polls are bogus.
When multiple polls give you the same result, it becomes harder and harder to claim that the polls are inaccurate.
You are blind to the facts. I ran for office to help bring sanity and fiscal responsibility to state government. There is no way I’ll vote to tax and spend more.
Insulting your constituent’s intelligence for a second time?  Yet again, very classy.
Send an email to the Governor to sign the budget we gave him.
Compromise, GOP style.
Nice hearing from you again [NAME REMOVED], all the best,
Ernie
Maybe it’s a good thing I haven’t gotten any response from Rep. Leidiger…
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