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Letter: Pawlenty erodes state pride

During the past eight years, the pride I once felt about our state has been eroded by Governor Pawlenty's "cut and suffer" program. It is the future of our economic strength that has most of us concerned, including Richard Kagan, candidate for MN House of Representatives, Otter Tail County District 10A. In recent conversations, I've come to respect Kagan's views. Kagan recognizes our county's strengths, but it is his sense of fairness and careful consideration of the issues that most appeals to me.

Since 2003, the legislature, under Governor Pawlenty, has cut the Local Government Aid (LGA) funding by over one billion dollars. This year the Republicans cut an additional $660,000 from Otter Tail County alone. The tax burden has shifted to the counties, and locally we have to make up that difference through increased property taxes. If this tax structure continues, the quality of life we have worked so hard for will degrade. Kagan recognizes that LGA funds must be restored to pay for services that keep our county strong: education, police, fire response units, senior centers, and libraries.

Kagan believes that every person and family has the right to adequate health and well-being, including food, clothing, housing, medical care, and preventative care. Kagan will also defend the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, and disability. Kagan views the Republican Party's policy of cut and suffer, which out of fear of future expenses denies aid to those most in need, as irresponsible. We must not ignore the needs of our community today to defend a distant future.

Finally, Kagan firmly believes in the calls to: "Support our troops," and "Support our veterans." He feels it is our responsibility to recognize the service of our men and women in uniform. He will help soldiers transition back into our county and find meaningful, good-paying jobs.

A vote for Kagan on November 2 is a vote for job growth and fairness.

Roberta Freeman,

Communication Instructor,

M State - Fergus Falls