consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Perovich is the better choice for Senate District 35.

ABC Newspapers published profile responses of the two candidates for SD 35, here.

I first met Peter Perovich last cycle when he ran against, and unfortunately lost to climate change denier Michael Jungbauer, who now serves out his last term in the legislature.

I learned Peter is one of the most trustworthy people I met, who will listen and when needed speak his mind, and when he promises that once elected his door will always be open to citizens, people should realize that is sincere and not merely a political statement. I have found him to be one of the most accessible people I have known, who will independently think and reach decisions but not without listening to multiple possibly conflicting opinions, where he will not march in lockstep with any ideology but instead will seek a best consensus yielding the most good for the most people. A uniter and not an igniter.

Peter is more conservative than I am, and clearly so. His opponent, however, is positioned within the far right-wing of his party and is a part of a concerted far right-wing effort to undermine public education as it has been painstakingly shaped over the years by people who know what they are doing and know what they are talking about; people having decades of experience in K-12 public education far beyond that of a Lowes' Department Store employee.

The effort of Branden Paulsen and others to fragment and tear apart the integral fabric of education - the way our society trains one generation to succeed another - intentionally tampers with cherished Jeffersonian principle of separation of church and state. Paulsen has sponsored and signed onto a string of bills with that intention.

This is very personal to me. I and my remaining living close family have not had children; yet there is an absolute willingness, indeed eagerness, to pay any taxes needed to assure ongoing K-12 support at levels aimed at continuing the excellence of teachers in training new generations because society needs the coherence and social integrity that arises from public education effort, done well.

There is enough divisiveness and fragmentation in our society that tampering legislators schooled at Lowes should restrain themselves and not make things worse than necessary for whatever reasons that motivate their assault on education and educated people who may hold differing world views from theirs.

I trust Peter Perovich to be true to education as it has evolved and shown itself to work best, in the hands of people who, unlike some in the legislature, know what they are doing and are not interested in sowing divisiveness or indoctrinating young people in rigid and nonuniversal belief systems. Secular preparation to be able to be a functioning adult in a diverse and changing world is all it is about, not straitjacketing the young into radical positions or world views.

So, willingly pay the taxes needed to assure the future generations are not zombied by whatever the divisive education attackers have in mind as change for the system.

Petersen is one of them.

Not one of us, on the side of what's worked with a range of young people over time, from the most talented to the most challenged.

I have no idea in the world who Wes Volkenant of Andover is, but he authored an excellent October 26 letter to the editor of ABC Newspapers, about Perovich, which I quote in its entirety:

Voting for Perovich

To the Editor:

I am voting for Peter Perovich in Senate District 35 this year because I find him a much better fit for this district and this state. Peter and his family have longtime roots here in Anoka and Ramsey, he grew up around the educational challenges facing the school district and as an adult has focused his attention on the modern challenges of balancing our environmental concerns, our love for our lakes, rivers and streams and the interests of the hunting and fishing communities throughout the state.

I see Peter Perovich as an “Abeler Democrat,” to coin a phrase; Peter would not be tied to party dogma, he would be open to collaboration with Republicans to legislate solutions to the gridlock that we face in St. Paul, and he would be willing to take hard votes based on his own fine principles, not just those of his party and his supporters.

Many of us union members in Anoka, Andover, Ramsey and northern Coon Rapids have endorsed Peter Perovich because of the positions his opponent, Branden Petersen, has taken against our collective bargaining rights in supporting a Right to Work amendment, against government and government workers, and especially against teachers.

We hear Branden Petersen railing against “bad teachers” and insisting on better performance evaluation processes. He sure has it out for these hard-working professionals.

I don’t understand Republicans like Petersen who want to get elected to serve, but whose real purpose is to tear away at the government itself, and the public employees who make our state and communities efficient and successful in these trying times.

I don’t understand Republicans like Petersen who voted to change the homestead credit in 2011. You might be lucky, and your property taxes didn’t go up. Anoka County and many of our communities are holding down their property tax collections, but not all communities can do so.

Throughout Minnesota, that Republican change shifted more of the property tax burden to homeowners and away from commercial properties. Homeowners in many communities have seen the same or higher taxes despite lower home valuations. Peter Perovich and a DFL legislature will work to restore the market value homestead credit.

I don’t understand Republicans like Petersen who voted in 2011 and again in 2012 against raising revenue, but to make the budget balance, shifted educational funding down the line, further hurting our schools and educational system.

Peter Perovich believes in investing in our schools now and not using any fancy budgeting gimmicks to balance our state budget on the backs of our schools.

Perovich is committed to reversing the short-sightedness of Branden Petersen and his Republican colleagues, and will work to legislate paying back our schools the monies they are owed.

I’ve watched both local debates between Peter Perovich and Branden Petersen, sponsored by the area mayors and the League of Women Voters.

Branden Petersen is ambitious. He’s a young man in a hurry, and Petersen is carrying a set of principles for our future that scare me. He called Minnesota a “sovereign state” in the Anoka debate.

Minnesota isn’t sovereign, but Republicans like Petersen have introduced legislation to make us sovereign – to enable us to reject federal legislation they don’t like, as they want to stymie as best they can, such programs as Obamacare, Medicaid, and laws protecting women’s reproductive rights.

Help stop this ambitious young man’s political career here and now, and elect Peter Perovich to the Minnesota Senate for District 35 on Nov. 6.

Wes Volkenant

To the phrase "ambitious young man" I would add "ambitious and basically misguided young man," since I see Petersen as one being guided, call it mentored, by the worse of the rabid anti-education faction of the Minnesota legislature, and I view that as socially dangerous, and something to be opposed and curtailed. No time is a good time to undermine education of new generations who will face uncertainties and innovations in their lifetimes, and Petersen's agenda seems exactly aimed at that dubious goal, by intentional misuse the easily used word "reform."

I understand Republican behind-the-scene operative Jim Bendtsen wants to drum-beat one issue aside from education, claiming it a virtue that Petersen opposes the liberty of family planning and family size decision making, to take such basic and fundamental considerations out of the hands of individuals treasuring their freedom, and to impose governmental control of freedoms, his way. Bendtsen and Petersen are driven to want to impose on others a governmentally instituted and policed regime, that is an unfeeling and unrealistic and ill-motivated constraint on families and family freedom, posing that biased position in the guise of "pro-family" advocacy when it is anything but that.

Such things, yes, Petersen is in league with Bendtsen's control-freak objectives, which are not the objectives of most people when confronted with decisions about family income and capability, and how family size and possible expansion can and should be logically planned within the family, and not by governmental dictates and impositions.

In my view, Perovich is quite the stronger advocate for liberty. And sanity.

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