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Political notebook: Anti-tax group targets state fairgoers

ST. PAUL - Minnesota's biggest anti-tax group bought billboard space to promote its cause to people headed to Minnesota's biggest get-together.

The Taxpayers League of Minnesota bought billboards along streets leading to the state fairgrounds.

"Our first billboards highlight Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson-Kelliher and her efforts to raise taxes by $1.5 billion dollars," league President Phil Krinkie said.

The billboards proclaim: "She thinks you're not paying enough in taxes." It refers to bills that would have raised taxes $1.5 billion.

"The Minnesota State Fair is usually considered a time to kick off political discussions in the state, and we wanted to take advantage of that by helping to educate Minnesota voters on the tax and spending habits of state legislators," Krinkie said.

Busy candidates

Two Minnesota representatives who want to be governor will be in the official Minnesota House booth at the State Fair more than anyone else.

House Speaker Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, plans four shifts, mostly during the visitor-heavy weekends. Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, has three shifts scheduled.

Many lawmakers take a two-hour shift at the fair booth to give the public a chance to discuss issues with elected officials. The House and Senate have separate booths next to each other.

Seifert is the only governor candidate with his own campaign booth at the fair. Most serious candidates have fair booths in an election year, but such booths are rare more than a year before an election.

Voting aid available

Better voting access for the disabled is supposed to be the result of a new federal grant, Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said.

Ritchie's office will receive $365,000 to distribute to local governments to improve polling place accessibility.

Senators tour

On Tuesday, a Minnesota Senate committee begins its every-other-year state tour of proposed public works projects.

The Senate Capitol Investment Committee, led by Sen. Keith Langseth of Glyndon, heads to places such as Hastings, Red Wing, Rochester, Austin, Albert Lea and Faribault for a three-day tour. Three other tours will take in other parts of the state this fall.

Langseth said he expects about $3 million in requests to fund public works projects by the time the next legislative session begins Feb. 4.

Earlier this year, the Legislature approved nearly $300 million in public works project funding, but a couple of recent sessions appropriated nearly $1 billion.

Senate leader travels

Minnesota Senate President Jim Metzen is part of a weeklong trip leaving Friday for Taiwan.

The South St. Paul Democrat and his wife were invited by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, along with other Midwestern legislators.

Davis works for Forum Communications Co., which owns the Perham Enterprise Bulletin. He can be reached at (651) 290-0707 or