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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Commissioner Tony "Choo Choo" Bennett - Right Vote, Wrong Reason

Ramsey County Commissioners voted today to ratify the legislature's shakedown of the taxpayers by piling on with an additional quarter percent sales tax to fund bus and choo-choo transit. The vote was 6-1 with only Commissioner Tony Bennett voting against further gouging his constituents.

I'm actually somewhat surprised that Bennett voted against the tax hike as over the past few weeks it appeared that he has been laying the groundwork to justify an approval vote. Don't get me wrong - I'm glad he voted against it, but I'm having trouble suppressing my cynicism that his vote was more driven by re-election year politics than by principled opposition to tax increases in general.

It was obvious given the bunch of big government socialists on the commission that the tax was going to be ratified regardless of how Bennett voted. In voting the way he did Commissioner Bennett, who in the past has shown quite an affinity for choo choos and other transit boondoggles, can claim "Republican" credentials for election purposes and still get to spend money on silly transit projects in his little fiefdom. As reported in the Star and Sickle today [emphasis added]:
County Commissioner Tony Bennett, the board’s lone Republican, voted against the sales tax in a nod to the "minority of people" in his district -- which includes Mounds View, North Oaks and Shoreview -- who opposed the tax. "It’s been a tough decision for me," he said before the vote. "I’ve changed my mind four times on the way in this morning."
The Commissioner's statement is not exactly a rock-ribbed principled stand against the evils of excessive taxation. It should have been an easy in-your-face slam-dunk decision to oppose this asinine tax increase and "Both Ways" Bennett should have had the integrity to come right out and say so to support his vote in opposition.

As a member of the "minority of people" who opposed the tax increase (I'd like to know how it was determined that we are in the minority) I resent being pandered to in this way, especially from someone with such strong RINO tendencies who finds it necessary to constantly remind everyone how "Republican" he has been since 1966.

Put it this way: if Commissioner Bennett is defeated this fall the decisions made by the commissioners probably won't change appreciably. In any case I wouldn't lose any sleep over it or, as a Conservative, feel a deep sense of loss.

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Blogger Force50 said...

You beat me to the punch again, Right Hook. Tony Bennett promoted the new tax exuberantly. He knew his vote was meaningless, just for show. Jan Parker -- who calls herself and independent -- used every old lie ever invented to promote the tax. Property taxes would go up othwerwise ... and the old "ability to pay" excuse. Plus Tony and Jan said the tax was good because tourists would pay some of it! Wow, that's reaching. I'd like to say more but I'm too angry right now.

3/26/2008 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right on about Bennett. He is afraid he will not get the Republican endorsement for his re-election. That, combined with the fact the Phil Krinkie is living back in his district--maybe he is afraid of Krinkie as a challenger.

3/27/2008 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the 50B endorsing convention and I just don't understand why there were no candidates put forward to run for the 2 County Commissioner seats. Bennett is up for election and so is Commissioner Jan Parker. Both are long timers and are on spending sprees with our tax dollars. I just read that the board of Commissioners are turning loans into grants for cities. They are giving our money away for FREE!!!
Someone in 50B leadership, Mr. Teets, should let us Conservatives know why there were no candidates that represent us. I want an answer.

3/30/2008 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Jim Schottmuller said...

I too have had enough of the tax and spend practices of the board. So I am answering the call for new representation.

I am running for Ramsey County Commissioner - District 1 to remove Tony Bennett the RINO commissioner.

Check out my website at www.jimschottmuller.org. I look forward to your support and encouragement.

Just a little food for thought, there were 684 votes from January 2007 to April 2008. Tony Bennett, the "only republican on the board" as he likes to say, voted 3 (THREE) times in the minority. Way to stand up for your principals Tony!

6/09/2008 11:36 PM  

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