State Representative, District 59B

Karlee Weinmann

.Phyllis Kahn, DFL, incumbent

What are two or three of the most important issues to you in the election?

The shutdown of the state was just the most appalling waste of money, waste of effort and all sorts of things Ö so one of the things we need is the equivalent of a continuing resolution Ö and that’s one of the things that I’ll be working on the most.

Next, I’m really concerned about what’s happening to higher education. Part of this is federal and part of this is state, but we need to look at better loan programs, better work-study programs Ö and then the other aspect of making higher education more affordable is the release of loan obligation to people who do various kinds of public service.

And, then, I’ve always had as a major issue of mine environment and environmental protection.

How, specifically, would you change health care in Minnesota, if at all?

I sort of say I’m in support of a single-payer health care system, but I don’t think that we necessarily have to go that way. I’m just in support of moving to a system of universal health care.

Actually, the first thing I would do – and this is only something I’ve newly come to after the last session – I would go for a constitutional amendment that gives everyone the right to universal health care.

Where is the line separating funding public interests from special interests?

Public-private partnerships are a really good way to do things, but they’ve got to make sure there is a serious public benefit to it and you don’t make fake arguments.

I mean, the benefit to keeping the Twins (baseball team) here is not a financial benefit. There’s been all kinds of economists that have showed you that that’s not true. There is kind of a civic public pride benefit that means more to some people than to other people and that’s worth paying some public money for.

Do you think the state needs to invest more money in highways, mass transit or neither?

It has to invest more money in both and the obvious way is through an increase in the gas tax. And I voted for Ö the bipartisan balance transportation bill that was passed, which the governor vetoed – and I think the governor has to take the responsibility for that veto. That bill wasn’t perfect, but it would’ve put us well on the way to solving the problems.

Should higher education be more affordable? And, if so, how?

Yes, (through) higher state appropriations, more reliance on work-study programs (and) more reliance on loan refunds for people going into public service.

Would you support an amendment banning gay marriage?

No, and I would support a bill that would authorize civil commitments. What some people are doing is let marriage be a religious issue and let the compact between people be a civil issue, so that the issue never comes up.

Would you change Minnesota’s tax policy? And, if so, how?

Unfortunately, we have changed Minnesota’s tax policy. We used to have a much more progressive tax system with higher taxes on people that have higher incomes Ö (Now,) it’s very unfair for people with fixed income and escalating property values, so I’d reverse some of the changes that we’ve made.

Ron Lischeid, independence

What are two or three of the most important issues to you in the election?

First one is the high cost of college education, and my generation and my parents’ generation left your generation a $10 trillion national debt, and since we appear not to be willing to pay it off, it’s our obligation to provide your generation with the best education possible so that you have the highest earning power, so that you can pay off what we left on your credit card.

I would like to change state law that when you sign a housing lease as a college student, part of that process is a voter registration card, so when you move into your place on campus, you’re already registered.

A third one is the Central Corridor light rail (that) is currently proposed to come through campus on Washington Avenue Ö (I) and a number of other people think that we at least ought to look at alternative routes.

How, specifically, would you change health care in Minnesota, if at all?

Some form of health care should be available to everybody Ö (and) whatever plan a person has, it should cover preventative and diagnostic services, annual physicals, blood screenings, those kinds of things, so that we can find out about diseases and illnesses before they become a major expense.

Where is the line separating funding public interests from special interests?

In order to have a public investment, there has to be a public return on that investment Ö and if there isn’t any, if it’s an investment that’s being made so that a private investor can put less of their money in and retain all of the ownership, to me, that doesn’t make very good use of public money.

Do you think the state needs to invest more money in highways, mass transit or neither?

We need to increase transportation funding in general Ö I do support many alternatives of mass transit – bus transportation, light rail, commuter rail – and I think we need to invest more money in those kinds of things than we currently have.

Should higher education be more affordable? And, if so, how?

Higher education should be available to everybody Ö if you graduate from high school in Minnesota and go to a post-secondary school in Minnesota Ö and successfully complete it, and then are willing to stay in Minnesota to take what you’ve learned and apply it as part of Minnesota’s workforce.

I think that we ought to give you the opportunity to take your Minnesota income tax for however long it takes to pay back whatever you had invested in your tuition and books.

Would you support an amendment banning gay marriage?

I would be opposed to an amendment that would single out couples of the same sex that wanted to live in a civil union. I don’t think that’s an appropriate place for government to be sticking their nose in.

Would you change Minnesota’s tax policy, and how?

We collect plenty of money and we spend plenty of money. I think we could do a better job of spending it Ö I’m not opposed to raising taxes if there’s a worthwhile cause, but, on the other hand, I’m not opposed to lowering taxes when that cause is no longer there or when economic times are such that we don’t have to collect as much.

Christina Quick, Republican

Quick did not respond to repeated interview requests.

Candidate did not provide a photo.