State Representative, District 66B

Courtney Blanchard

.Alice Hausman, DFL, Incumbent

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

They continue to be education and health care, but now these have extra weight because we have cut education and done damage to health care and we need to turn that around.

The third issue is transportation, because it’s close to me and my area of specialty.

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

I happen to be a supporter of single-payer health care. I don’t care how it looks Ö we’ve given way too much power to corporate structures.

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

I guess what I would say is, first of all, we have to set priorities and begin with core values. When it comes to public subsidies for corporate structures, we have to be more careful. We have a responsibility to taxpayers, and we need to ask: are we making fair decisions?

Another issue is living wage. Some argue that if the government gives money to a private business, we should expect that business to pay a living wage, so we don’t also have to pay for things like food stamps.

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

I have a strong preference for investment in transportation, particularly public mass transit. We’re behind our competitors.

Transit helps the economy grow. When a business looks to settle in the area, it looks at the transportation infrastructure.

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

We need more state funding.

For the average middle class, the cost of living goes up. It’s like an indirect tax.

We have been in this “no new taxes” era, trying to pretend we’re not raising taxes, but the cost of living is still going up. Whether you do it through local property taxes or tuition, one way or another this era has had an impact on the average working person.

Would you support an amendment banning gay marriage?

I would not support a constitutional amendment.

Would you change Minnesota’s tax policy and how?

We’re moving away from a progressive tax system. We used to be more progressive. I think a more progressive system based on ability to pay is the way we should tax people.

Joyce Nevins, Republican

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

Definitely taxes. Right now in the city we’re paying $5,000 a head to live here … it has become an unlivable situation, and I’m seeing the city empty out. Even Falcon Heights is emptying out.

I knew taxes were very high and they were too much of a burden … we have the revenue, we’re just wasting it.

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

I’m a nurse. I’m married to a pediatrician. I think there’s lots of stuff we can do. We’re going to have to do it equitably. I’d like to have a group sitting down at a table, maybe representing Medtronic, (the University), Mayo Clinic, insurance companies, various factions and ask them what they need … and then how can we look at that so we can do it without gouging?

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

I don’t know; I have a real problem with it … I’m not sure that we need to fund stadiums.

It seems to me that the people, Mr. Pohlad, as nice as he is and he does a lot of good, can afford a stadium. I think the players make plenty of money. I think it’s unreasonable to ask the citizens, many of whom who aren’t going to the games, to fund that stadium.

Do you think the state needs to fund highways, mass transit, or neither?

We have to be realistic. Congestion and traffic is getting to be a big problem.

Personally I would like to see some sort of transit system; I’m not sure light rail is the way to go.

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

I really resent the idea that education is getting to be for the elite. This is America, after all … I don’t think it will serve us well as a country not to educate people.

If people think that they’re going to go to college and not have loans, they’re going to be disappointed.

Would you support an amendment banning gay marriage?

I would. I think we need a constitutional amendment saying this is between a man and a woman.

I never met anyone amongst my constituents who wanted me to support gay marriage.

Would you change Minnesota’s tax policy and how?

What we have now is this very convoluted system with the state blaming the county and county blaming the state … and I think that both ought to be more accountable, they ought to be able to control their own money in their own local situation, and then you can vote out those representatives in that area that are not keeping track of things.

– Candidate did not provide a photo.