2010 Election Guide: Dan Craigie, Green Party

by Evelina Smirnitskaya

What is the most important issue facing your district and how would you address it?
I think the most important issue in this district is the cost of higher education âĦ I would address it three ways: Number one, more state funding, number two would be college readiness, so engaging K-12 schools to ensure that their students are prepared
to take college remedial course work. And the third one is leveraging local resources.
What would you do to fix the stateâÄôs $5.8-billion budget deficit?
There is no silver bullet … Right now, 30 percent of our budget is health and human services. WeâÄôre going to have to get more efficient in how we deliver, not only our education services, health and human services, but other state programs. So itâÄôs going to be a combination of raising more revenue, cutting some programs and then defining efficiencies within the government.
What policies will you support to spur economic growth?
Education, first and foremost. Any economist would tell you that innovation is the backbone of the economy, and in Minnesota innovation comes from educated citizens âĦ And then the next thing is either repeal or lower the business tax in Minnesota âÄî the corporate income tax that studies have shown that actually just gets passed down on consumers.
What changes would you make to the state health care system?
I support a single-payer health care system âĦ Health care is a basic human right now. Number one, itâÄôs efficient.
We actually save money in the long-run if we go with single payer because they will do preventative care, which they donâÄôt now, which makes it worse and health care becomes more expensive âĦ Single payer care is much more economically efficient than other health care systems.
How would you transition Minnesota into a green-energy economy?
Being an active representative, so not only going out and getting manufacturers to build turbine solar panels to manufacture here in Minnesota, but also instituting policies that subsidize the production of real energy. Especially for cities and rural municipalities, itâÄôs really important that we keep local dollars within community.
Should state funding be used for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium?
No.
Should more money be invested in mass transit? If so, where would that money come from?
Yes, I definitely think that we have to keep people out of their cars.
The way the transit system is set up right now âÄî how we fund it through the gas tax âÄî I think itâÄôs skewed. I think we need to change that because, especially through the advent of electric cars, we might not be using gas anymore.
What is your stance on gay marriage?
I am fully supportive. My sister, one of my younger sisters, she is a lesbian. She should be able to marry whomever she wants. I donâÄôt think we should be telling people that they canâÄôt marry someone that they love.
What policies would you support that would affect tuition at the University of Minnesota?
I would work with the University and see what projects that theyâÄôre working on right now, and would give some type of support for the administration that weâÄôre not going to increase tuition.
If that means that we have to scale back capital projects, so be it. So long as the state is increasing
their funding to the University of Minnesota and other public institutions, thatâÄôs a policy IâÄôll support.