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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Representative Kate Knuth's Self-Serving Survey

Below is the bogus survey State Representative Kate Knuth mailed to some residents of HD50B. It would be interesting to know how the recipients were selected.

As Force50 previously alerted us, the survey seems to be designed to provide some political cover to raise taxes in the face of a large state budget surplus. The vague questions and the narrow scope of answer choices indicate that this is essentially a campaign piece designed to convey an "I am diligently working for you and really care about what you think" message to pander to those gullible enough to have voted for her.

I don't believe for a second that those who waste the time and postage to return the survey will have any more influence on the way Ms. Kate will vote on any given issue than those of us who put the survey to a more practical use, such as for training a puppy or lining the bottom of a bird cage.

For your amusement, as well as for your disdain, here are the self-serving questions Ms. Knuth poses along with some observations:
  1. Please mark the top three issues that are most important to you:
    • Permanent property tax relief
    • Tuition relief at state colleges and universities
    • Increased funding for K-12 and ECFE
    • Significant investment in roads and transit
    • Investment in renewable energy
    • Preservation of Minnesota's environment and natural resources

  2. Note that the response choices only reinforce touchy-feely liberal feel-good issues. Conspicuously missing are such things as "Permanent income tax cuts", "A taxpayers Bill of Rights", "Require a super majority to raise taxes", "English only", "Crack-down on illegal aliens", "Real welfare reform", "Elimination of wasteful programs and spending", etc. It is also interesting to note "roads and transit" are lumped together with no choice of "more roads with significant cuts to the black hole of things like bike trails, rail lines, and buses.

  3. The Governor has proposed a 2% increase in basic funding for schools and up to an additional 2% for schools that maintain a 3-star rating. Should the Legislature increase funding for K-12, ECFE, and Special Education above the Governor's proposed funding increases.
    • Yes
    • No
    • Don't Know

  4. The first thing I noticed was that she doesn't ask if the respondent agrees with the Governor's asinine proposal in the first place. She also fails to mention that "education" spending consumes about 43% of the entire state budget and ask if this obscene amount of largesse should be cut. Perhaps choices like "Dismantle the Minnesota Department of Education" and/or "Decertify Education Minnesota" should have been included.

  5. With inflation factored in and combining one-time money from 2006 and projections for 2007 and 2008, Minnesota has a small budget surplus that may be less than$200 million (of a budget of more than $4 billion). Considering this, what areas (if any) would you consider increasing taxes to boost investments?
    • K-12 Education
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Higher Education
    • Health Care
    • Conservation and the Environment
    • Transportation
    • Other

  6. The contention that the budget surplus is only around $200 million is ridiculous! She asks her constituents, without offering any evidence, to stipulate her self-serving, low ball figure as fact to set up asking what taxes need to be raised. She also uses the tried and true liberal scam of characterizing state spending as "investments". Note that once again the choices seem to be limited to the usual liberal sacred cows. It's also interesting that there is no response to indicate that the responder is in the "if any" camp.

  7. In order to clean up polluted lakes and streams and to preserve wildlife habitat, the Legislature should (select one):
    • Place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to increase the sales tax by one-quarter percent dedicated to environmental protection and clean up
    • Dedicate a larger portion of existing sales tax to environmental protection and clean up
    • Support environmental projects with general fund revenue and bonding
    • Maintain present funding levels

  8. A minor variation of the previous scam. The question implies a consensus that waterway and animal habitat pollution is a serious problem that requires at least the current level of funding. How about a choice that postulates we are already spending more than enough on the alleged problems and could cut the funding significantly without any tangible consequences? Or, how about a choice that, assuming for the sake of argument that more money does need to be spent, asks what existing wasteful liberal programs could and should be cut to come with the funding?

  9. What should be the state's top health care priority? (Please rank these, with 1 being your top priority)
    • Negotiate discounts with drug companies to provide prescription drug discounts to the uninsured and seniors in the Medicare Pard D "Donut Hole"
    • Expand MinnesotaCare, the state health insurance plan for working Minnesotans, to ensure that the 70,000 Minnesota children without health insurance are covered
    • Allow small businesses to buy into the large MinnesotaCare purchasing pool at full price in order to provide affordable coverage to their employees
    • Hold-off on other options including covering all kids to create a universal system such as a single-payer health care system or expanded MinnesotaCare
    • Enact a statewide smoking ban in bars and restaurants

    The question implies that it is a given the state should be meddling in the business of health care and that MinnesotaCare should be retained. It also implies that a state-wide smoking ban is a health-care rather than a private property rights issue, setting up the political cover for Little Miss Liberal to vote for a ban in the name of health care. How about an option that the state gets the hell out of the health care business and remove the regulatory mess that severely hampers the private sector in providing reasonably priced health insurance?

  10. What other issues are important to you? (Use a separate piece of paper if needed)
    • _____________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________
    • _____________________________________________

  11. Don't even waste ink putting anything here. This is a nice, politically pandering way to end the survey on a "your concerns are very important to me" note.

Please don't waste the time, effort, or postage to propogate this trivial nonsense as it can do nothing but provide political cover for Ms. Knuth when she votes for tax increases and infringements on our liberty.

By all means, in lieu of participating in the survey, write, phone, and/or e-mail her on a regular basis to let her know what a pathetic job she is doing so as to make her think twice before voting in lock-step with the rest of the DFL idiocracy.

Hopefully the people of HD50B will have had enough of Ms. Knuth and her goofy, liberal (I know, it's redundant) ideas to complete the only survey that matters (the next election) in a way that gives the district some responsible representation in Saint Paul.



Anonymous Cavan said...

Actually, if you answer any question on the survey, it should be number 6. Sure, Kate (or whichever Rep sent out the survey) won't read it, but the House Pages recording the survey results sure do.

Seriously, "What other issues are important to you?" provided us with days of entertainment in the '06 session.

3/19/2007 12:29 PM  
Blogger Right Hook said...

Good point!

The only problem with this form of entertainment is that it can be very expensive, especially if a suggestion meant to be a sarcastic shot actually triggers real legislation.

3/19/2007 12:50 PM  

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