Coleman addresses major state issues, ‘St. Paul formula’

Andrew Pritchard

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Norm Coleman unveiled his plan Monday to address what he said “should be the most important issue in this race” – the state’s economy.

“I speak on this issue from the perspective of experience,” he said. “I’ve run an urban center.”

Coleman was mayor of St. Paul from 1993-2001.

Coleman said he would follow the “St. Paul formula” of reducing taxes, limiting regulations and promoting partnerships between government and private business.

“We fostered an environment that was friendly to growing business in St. Paul, and it worked,” he said.

Coleman’s plan also proposes supporting development in rural Minnesota, making high-speed Internet access available in rural and low-income communities, reauthorizing the Welfare Reform Act and increasing support for job training.

“The best welfare program is a job,” he said. “The best housing program is a job.”

Coleman also proposed upgrading Mississippi River locks and dams, increasing use of ethanol, biodiesel and nuclear power as alternatives to fossil fuels and expanding the North American Free Trade Agreement to include all Western Hemisphere countries under the proposed Free Trade of the Americas Agreement that world governments are currently considering.

“You can’t be the senator from Minnesota and represent all the people of Minnesota without supporting trade expansion,” he said. “Just imagine the possibilities if Minnesotans could sell corn to Chile and it’s tariff-free.”

On other issues, Coleman called for federal terrorism insurance, education accountability through standardized testing and maintaining local control of public education.

“Certainly education is a critical link, a critical key to growing new jobs,” he said.

Coleman wins mock vote

coleman won a mock election sponsored at the University’s Duluth campus Oct. 8, taking 47 percent of the vote to Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone’s 42 percent.

Eldon Krosch Jr., public relations director for the Duluth campus College Republicans, said he had heard that approximately 70 students cast mock ballots.

“I’m talking about hope, I’m talking about vision,” Coleman said Monday. “I think young people respond to that. Let’s hope they vote on Nov. 5.”


Andrew Pritchard covers state politics and welcomes comments at [email protected]