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The Minnesota Daily

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Ilhan Omar being interviewed in her office on Feb. 23, 2024. Omar sat down with The Minnesota Daily to discuss law enforcement, housing, drug addiction and student concerns.
Campaign Q&A with Ilhan Omar
Published February 25, 2024

Mark Lazarchic

What is the most pressing issue to the University and how do you plan to deal with it?

I don’t know, I guess I’d have to talk to the University and find out. I’m not going to be presumptuous enough to assume I know.


What is your stance on the upcoming marriage amendment?

I think anyone that votes yes is a control freak and has absolutely no idea what the true definition of marriage should be.

I think it’s disgusting that the government wants to define marriage at all.


What is your stance on the upcoming voter ID amendment?

I don’t know — I’m kind of torn about that one. I’m going to vote no, but it’s not a super-hot issue for me. I’m voting no because I just don’t see it being a problem and I’m also against adding any sort of infrastructure in the place of voting, but I’m not going to go picket in front of the Capitol if it gets voted through.


Should Minnesota invest in alternate forms of energy?

I don’t think the state should invest in any private industry at all. I think if they want to give tax credit and make it a desirable place for renewable energy to set up, I think that’s a great idea. But I certainly don’t want them throwing money around and giving money to privately owned businesses.


With the Central Corridor Light Rail set to be finished in the coming years, should Minnesota further invest in mass transit?

I don’t think they should further invest. I think the light rail is, in my opinion, a complete boondoggle. If you look at the amount of money that’s been spent, it’s ridiculous compared to how much we could have spent on roads and bridges for something that less than 7 percent of the population will ever ride. And it’s literally a straight line — it doesn’t have any flexibility to it.

If you want to invest in mass transit, invest in the buses — they can go anywhere.


What would you do to spur economic growth in Minnesota?

I’d make it easier for businesses to set up and conduct business. I own seven businesses, and the amount of bureaucracy and red tape you have to go through just to open your doors is amazing.

Every city, every county, every state office has their hand out looking for permits and inspections, all for just ridiculous stuff that’s common sense.

The tax rate in Minnesota for businesses isn’t the greatest. For what I paid in taxes last year I could have hired two full-time employees at a great salary, but I [had] to pay it in, so I can’t hire those people.


As tuition rises, what, if anything, would you do to address affordability for students?

The problem with tuition is that every time you put out more loans and more grants, the tuition goes up, because if you’re handing out money to do something, they’re going to keep raising the tuition at the school.

They follow hand-in-hand — you can’t put out more grants and loans because the only thing that will happen is that tuition will keep going up.

You have to at some point start cutting off a lot of that money out there so that the school is forced to cut their tuition down to where people can actually afford to go to school if they want to go to school.


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