I read a letter from Dean Urdahl...which leads to our newest edition of "Are you smarter than a 5th Grader...the Dean Urdahl file."
my goal for transportation legislation has been to put money into local
governments in order to fund important road, bridge and transit projects without
raising any kind of taxes.
The first Urdahl flip flop, as he stated in the Association of Minnesota Counties forum in Litchfield that he would support a gas tax increase in order to help pay for roads.
Rep Urdahl had a choice to make and his letter lays it out rather clearly.
The latest version of the Omnibus Transportation bill passed off the floor with
a 5-cent gas tax increase, $1.5 billion in bonding, a wheelage tax, a tab tax, a
motor vehicle lease sales tax, an increased fee for rental cars, driver's
license and plate fee increases and a sales tax increase. Gov. Pawlenty has
repeatedly confirmed that he would veto legislation with any amount of gas tax
When proportioned out according to the Minnesota Constitution, several million dollars would pour into the House District.
Pawlenty's proposal, on the other hand, offered no bonding money for
Meeker, McLeod, Wright or most counties in Minnesota. With deteriorating roads
and a flat transportation funding rate since 2001, Minnesota's need for
increased transportation funding is serious.
The Governor screwed over Greater Minnesota again in his budget. Despite this fact, the Governor carried these areas by a significant margin as well.
Urdahl had a choice. Support an initiative that could pour millions of dollars into the district for transportation funding or support the Governor who was not supporting his constituents who voted for both of them, in Greater Minnesota.
Tough choice...I know...
My recent vote to support the transportation conference committee report
was cast to make a point to the governor. We must form a plan that addresses
Minnesota's growing need for transportation funding to counties, cities and
townships. With six days left, I have met with the governor's office to discuss
a new transportation bill that reflects the needs of the state and our local
community, without burdening citizens with a multitude of tax increases.
In regard to a veto-override, in the end, my vote will support the governor
and uphold his veto.
His vote to support the transportation bill was "a message" to the Governor? I have known Rep Urdahl for a few years now and for the most part, have found him to be a pretty reasonable guy.
Unfortunately, Rep Urdahl has fallen prey to the tactic of some lifelong politicians.
He put politics before the people.
Now it's time to send Rep Urdahl a message about his vote against transportation.
I know I will actively support Urdahl's opponent in 2008...whoever that may be!