Saturday, February 24, 2007

MN S.D. 15 Townhall Meeting Notes..

Yes, I braved the snowstorm of doom to venture out to the Townhall meeting in St. Cloud today, featuring our local representatives, MN state senator Tarryl Clark, 15B representative Larry Haws, and 15a representative Steve Gottwalt.

Nothing much of note to report of; but a few curiosities to pass along...

First let me say that if Circumlocution were an Olympic event, Tarryl Clark would take Gold.

An issue came up when representatives of the Stearns-Benton Workforce Council asked to have $10,000,000 taxpayer dollars restored to their funding; saying that they had a grant of $5,000,000 last year, but were denied the extra $5,000,000 due to MN Governor Tim Pawlenty vetoing taking out that money from the General Fund.

I suppose their line of thinking was that due to the new dem majority in the house, it may be easier to eack out the money. Tarryl Clark & Larry Haws, both democrats, supported the notion; but Steve Gottwalt came up with a different idea. Specifically, Gottwalt proposed an idea of a public-private partnership for SBWC, in which a matching government grant could be coupled with privately-raised money to fund the program. Gottwalt reasoned that getting businesses involved would be a perfect way to get stakeholders in the program (after all, the purpose of SBWC is to ready people for the workforce). The business leaders that were there were also very receptive to Gottwalt's ideas. After briefly touching on the subject in the vein of "yeah, nice idea, let's move on," Tarryl Clark attempted to change the subject. But I was not willing to let it rest. I reiterated Gottwalt's idea of the public/private partnership option, and asked her if the Minnesota DFL was receptive to such an option. After disingenuously dismissing the idea as beyond partisanship, suffice it to say, Clark gave a ten-minute spiel that was so devoid of substance that it would give helium a run for its money.

Word has it that Clark is grooming herself to run against 6th District U.S. congresswoman Michele Bachmann. You can bet that this blog you're reading, as well as this blog will stand ready to hold her feet to the fire.