District 5U.S.House…

District 5U.S.House of Representatives
Martin Sabo
Democrat
Democrat Martin Sabo has represented the Minneapolis campus and the rest of District 5 in the U.S. Congress since 1978, and he hopes to return to Congress again this year.
Sabo is the former chairman of the House Budget Committee and would like to regain the position if Democrats regain control of the House this November. He favors Bill Clinton’s gradual approach to balancing the budget but opposes a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
The 1993 deficit reduction bill, which Sabo co-wrote, has worked, he said. It has brought down the deficit each year for the past four years.
Funding for education and the University is important, he said. Sabo said he is committed to higher education funding and cited the federal dollars he secured to build the new Basic Sciences and Biomedical Engineering Building next to Coffman Union.
Sabo said he wants to defend Medicare and Medicaid from budget cuts. He does not favor the reductions in either program offered by Republicans in the 104th Congress.
Sabo favors legal abortion and gay rights. He is endorsed by the Sierra Club, an environmental interest group, the AFL-CIO and the National Organization for Women.
Standing up to Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America is what Sabo calls his top accomplishment this term. He voted against reduction of growth of spending for student loans, welfare reform and cuts in Head Start programs. He fought changes in laws that would reduce regulations on clean air and meat inspection.

Jack Uldrich
Republican
Jack Uldrich is not a typical Republican.
He supports abortion rights, gay rights and gun control. He supports cutting the military budget and making cuts in social programs in order to balance the budget.
“As a person who has served in the military, I know we can afford to cut some of these programs,” Uldrich said.
Uldrich is running for the District 5 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is endorsed by the Reform Party as well as the Republicans and said he hopes to reach moderate voters in the district.
Uldrich said it is unnecessary for some criminals to serve jail terms.
“We must start easing penalties on first-time, nonviolent crimes,” Uldrich said. “I want the prisons populated with the most violent offenders.”
Uldrich said the budget cannot be balanced without reducing the growth of Social Security and Medicare.
“There is no way we can balance the budget without cutting entitlements,” he said. “They have to be on the table.”
Education is also a big issue for Uldrich. While he supports cuts in many social programs, he said he favors increased spending for education programs.
Uldrich is the state director of the nonpartisan Concord Coalition, an organization that began in 1992 with the goal of balancing the federal budget.

District 59State Senate
Larry Pogemiller
Democrat
Democrat Larry Pogemiller has represented the University area in the state Senate since 1982. He said his work on University issues shows he deserves re-election.
Higher education has been a key concern for Pogemiller. He co-chairs the Education Committee in the Senate and said he favors increasing funding University funding.
“I want to continue my work to provide funding for the University, improve higher education, hold tuition down, and adequately pay for staff and faculty,” Pogemiller said.
However, Pogemiller has fought the University on their recently approved plans to renovate the Southeast Steam Plant on the Mississippi River.
The Legislature approved many programs Pogemiller pushed for last session. The list includes funding for male responsibility programs for reducing teenage pregnancy, as well as passing an income tax increase on upper-income households in order to use the increased revenues for reducing class sizes in public schools. He also sponsored a bill that would make it easier for students and elderly and handicapped citizens to vote by mail, but the bill was later vetoed by Gov. Arne Carlson.
Pogemiller said he favors social programs that are efficient and effective.
Pogemiller received his master’s degree in public administration from Harvard and attended the University for doctoral work in economics.

Dave Wiester
Grassroots
Dave Wiester said Democrats and Republicans have abused the Bill of Rights for far too long, and he hopes to change that if he is elected to the state Legislature. He favors eliminating gun control laws and renewing a commitment to protect citizens’ private property.
Wiester is the endorsed Minnesota Grassroots Party candidate for the state Senate seat in District 59. He is the only challenger to incumbent Democrat Larry Pogemiller. Cathy Carlson, the endorsed Republican candidate, will be on the November ballot but is no longer actively campaigning.
The two main themes of the Grassroots’ platform are preserving individual liberty and legalizing the use of marijuana in the United States. Wiester said the war on drugs is misguided and that legalization of marijuana will reduce crime.
He said prisons are filled with nonviolent drug dealers who do not belong behind bars.
“We should not be incarcerating people for drug use,” Wiester said. “We should save our prison space for only our violent criminals.”
Protecting the environment is a key part of Wiester’s platform. He said he favors laws and regulations to keep the environment from becoming polluted.
Wiester, 25, attended the University’s College of Liberal Arts from 1989 to 1993. He said that if he is elected he will fight to restore much-needed funding to the University.

District 59BState House of Representatives
Phyllis Kahn
Democrat
Democrat Phyllis Kahn stands for re-election on her record, she said. She has campaigned on her past accomplishments, including: increased funding for women’s shelters, women’s sports, parks and environmental protection.
Kahn has represented the state House District 59B, which encompasses the East Bank campus, since 1972. Her positions on women’s and environmental issues have earned her perfect 100 percent ratings from the National Organization for Women and the Sierra Club, an environmental protection group.
The Legislature should not cut social services in the name of cutting the size of government, Kahn said. Instead, it must evaluate each program and decide how much funding should be given on a case-by-case basis.
Kahn has consistently voted for higher taxes in the Legislature, a record she said she is proud of.
“We are not overtaxed,” she said. Kahn said she will continue voting to raise taxes if it means more money for the University.
Kahn has been a supporter of the University during her years in office, but has challenged University actions in the past two years. She opposes renovations to the steam plant on the Mississippi River and has encouraged the University to build a new plant at an off-river site.
Working with new changes in the welfare code is important to Kahn, and she said she will work to protect those who need welfare in the upcoming term if re-elected.

Tom Gromacki
Republican
Republican Tom Gromacki believes that the University community needs a college student to represent it in the state Legislature. Gromacki, a 21-year-old College of Liberal Arts junior, hopes University voters will help him upset a seemingly invincible incumbent.
Gromacki said he is qualified to hold Kahn’s 59B seat in the state House even though he lacks the years of public office experience of Democrat Phyllis Kahn. Gromacki is the former chairman of the College Republicans, and served on the Student Services Fees Committee as a freshman and sophomore. He is also a senator in the Minnesota Student Association, but has no elected state political experience.
The main themes of Gromacki’s platform are promoting the traditional nuclear family, opposing abortion and reducing government’s control over individuals and their money.
Gromacki is opposed to any new taxes that will increase the burden on families. He recently signed a Minnesota Family Council pledge to not vote to raise taxes if he is elected.
“The government forces both family members to work,” Gromacki said. “One has to pay for the family, one has to pay for the government.”
He said he is running his campaign by promoting his Christian values, and that these values will be applied to his decisions if elected. He advocates allowing religious views to be taught in public schools.

Alan Shilepsky
Reform
Alan Shilepsky sees himself as the moderate between two extremes. The Reform party candidate hopes the University community agrees with him and elects him to the District 59B seat in the state House.
Shilepsky, a lifelong Democrat until after the 1994 election, said he abandoned the Democrats because they were unwilling to make necessary cuts in Social Security and Medicare to balance the budget. He said these programs must stay solvent so there is money left for today’s college students when they retire.
“We have entitlements that are not sustainable into the future,” Shilepsky said. “And Democrats are not doing anything about it.”
Shilepsky considers himself a moderate, whereas he says his opponents are on opposite extremes and don’t represent the district. He supports a balanced budget amendment and term limits, typically Republican stances, but is also pro-choice and believes a big government can be effective.
“I definitely believe there is a role for government,” he said. “We need to have solid education funding and a social safety net.”
In regard to University issues, Shilepsky has outlined plans such as working with the University on steam plant renovation. He opposes the regents’ present tenure reform suggestions. He also supports eliminating General College and requiring students to demonstrate academic qualifications as well as a need to receive financial aid.

District 62AState House of Representatives
Lee Greenfield
Democrat
Democrat Lee Greenfield has represented District 62A, which includes the West Bank campus, in the state House since 1978, and he said he must return to the Legislature this year to work on welfare changes and the passage of universal health care.
Greenfield said the new federal welfare law, which gives states more control over funding, will hurt children and immigrants. He said he will work in the Legislature to protect these groups.
“We will have a difficult time keeping people out of poverty,” Greenfield said.
Greenfield favors abortion rights, gay rights and laws that protect the environment. He opposes the death penalty and supports gun control on several types of weapons.
“People don’t go hunting with handguns,” Greenfield said. “And there is never any need for automatic weapons.”
Greenfield said the best ways to control crime are better education and increased funding for Head Start and other mentor programs. He also supports tougher laws on criminals who commit a felony.
Greenfield was a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at the University in 1973 and said he knows the issues important to the University area. He supports increases in state funding for the University, but opposes renovations to the steam plant and changes to the current tenure system.
“We must maintain our core senior faculty,” Greenfield said. “To do that, you must have a tenure code.”

Jose Luciano
Republican
Republican Jose Luciano said government is too large and intrusive, and he will fight to reduce its size if he’s elected.
Luciano is challenging incumbent Lee Greenfield for the District 62A seat in the state House, which encompasses the West Bank campus. He graduated from the University’s College of Education in 1988.
Luciano said crime in Minneapolis is one of the reasons he decided to run for the Legislature.
“We lack the ability to control crime,” Luciano said. “We need to get tougher.”
Luciano said the key to crime reform is tougher and longer sentences, not gun control measures advocated by many Democrats.
“We don’t need new regulations on law-abiding citizens who want to feel protected in their own home,” Luciano said.
As for University issues, Luciano said tenure reform is needed to help weed out poor faculty members.
“We need a system that draws merit,” Luciano said. “We must reward teachers with the ability to teach, not who has been there longer.”
The University’s budget request is too high to support as it stands now, Luciano said. He said the University must find areas to cut the budget to ease the burden on taxpayers.
— Chris Vetter
District 4U.S. House of Representatives
Bruce Vento
Democrat
Democrat Bruce Vento said he is proud of his work fighting the Republican Congress this session.
Vento has represented the St. Paul campus, which is in the 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, since 1976. Over the years he has worked to protect the environment and create social programs.
The major issue that has occupied Vento this session is working to stop the proposed changes to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Vento opposes any changes that would allow motorized vehicles in the area.
Another victory for Vento was the passage of a minimum wage increase, a plan he has supported for years. He also favors a minimum livable wage.
Education funding is an important issue to him, because he is a former science teacher, Vento said. He supports President Clinton’s education plan that would provide a $1,500 tax credit for the first two years of higher education, or a $10,000 education deduction for all college-related costs.
As chairman of the Speaker’s Task Force on Homelessness, Vento supports laws that help provide food, clothing and shelters for the homeless. He also supports gay rights and abortion rights.
In early 1995 Vento opposed the balanced budget amendment and said he supports Clinton’s budget plan, which Vento said would balance the budget more slowly than the Republican plan but more fairly.
Vento said foreign nations must pay more of their share in U.S. military protection and operations overseas in order to keep the federal budget down.

Dennis Newinski
Republican
Dennis Newinski is hoping that the second time around will be the charm.
Newinski ran in 1994 against incumbent Democrat Bruce Vento for the 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He received 43 percent of the vote compared to Vento’s 57 percent. While Newinski won a majority of votes in the suburban precincts, he did poorly in St. Paul.
This year, Newinski and the Republican party are confident they can win. Newinski has the largest campaign budget among Minnesota Republican challengers for the House. He has used some of his money on radio ads that call Vento an out-of-touch incumbent who is “desperate to hold onto power.”
Newinski, a former state legislator in North St. Paul, opposes abortion rights and gay rights. He is also opposed to counseling high school students about homosexual lifestyles or abortion services.
He favors welfare reform and cites Wisconsin’s welfare program, supported by Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, as a model for the nation’s welfare system. Newinski said he supports the Wisconsin welfare program because it requires people to return to the workplace after a certain number of years on welfare.
Newinski also said the budget is too large and out of control. He favors a balanced budget amendment and a freeze of the budget at its current level. However, he said he does not intend to change the current Social Security system.
Newinski favors a tougher stance on crime. He said career criminals need to be placed in prison to keep the streets safe.

District 54State Senate
John Marty
Democrat
Democrat John Marty has been the leading voice against taxpayer funding for a new Twins baseball stadium, and he hopes to continue the fight in the Legislature this session.
Marty, who has held the District 54 Senate seat, which represents the St. Paul campus, since 1986, said discussion of baseball money is hidden right now, and he wants more public debate on the issue before the election.
“In times of rising property taxes, when there isn’t money for schools, this (baseball park) is absolutely wrong,” Marty said.
Marty is rebounding from a failed gubernatorial run in 1994, when he lost to incumbent Arne Carlson. Marty received less than 40 percent of the vote.
Marty supports government programs to improve the community. He favors abortion rights, gun control and stricter laws to protect the environment.
The University deserves a bigger budget this session, Marty said. He said the 19 percent increase might be a bit high, but added the University definitely needs an increase above the rate of inflation.
The tenure issues must be resolved, Marty said. He is a strong supporter of the tenure system.
“If we undercut academic freedom, we will not be a first-rate University,” Marty said. He said it is the government’s job to educate children as an investment in the future.
Marty said he will work to reform campaign finance laws if reelected.
Pat Igo
Republican
Republican Pat Igo faces an uphill challenge to win the state Senate seat for District 54. Igo must defeat popular Democratic incumbent John Marty to win the seat, which represents the St. Paul campus.
Igo, a real estate agent, says taxes are too high. His first goal if elected is to reform property taxes so they are flatter and easier to file.
Crime can be solved by investing more in children, Igo said. He favors putting more funding into education and programs that help children, rather than funding for prisons.
Law-abiding citizens should be able to carry guns, Igo said. But he added that he supports tougher sentences for people who commit crimes with guns.
Igo favors student choice in schools of attendance, but not necessarily through distributing vouchers. He said student choice will create competition, which is good for schools, and he favors paying teachers higher salaries.
Igo is an abortion opponent and supports gay rights. He favors keeping taxes low to maintain a balanced budget and opposes using tax money for a new baseball stadium for the Twins.
The University and the surrounding colleges make the Twin Cities a “Mecca of good education,” Igo said. He said the University’s budget request will need to be seriously looked at, but he has not decided if he favors it.

District 54AState House of Representatives
Mary Jo McGuire
Democrat
Democrat Mary Jo McGuire said she will push for new leadership in the Minnesota House of Representatives if her district returns her to the Legislature.
McGuire, who represents the St. Paul campus in District 54A, said leadership under Speaker of the House Irv Anderson has faltered. Several political scientists have said that because of the Democratic speaker’s indecisiveness, the House will fall under Republican control this term.
Crime prevention is a concern of McGuire’s. She helped create 1993 legislation against stalking, and she favors more funding for early childhood programs and afterschool care.
Funding for public education, especially at the K-12 level, should be drawn more from the state and less from property taxes, she said.
McGuire favors reforming the property tax code. She does not favor a new baseball stadium that would be paid for with tax dollars.
She favors abortion rights, gay rights, laws to protect the environment and “reasonable” reform of gun laws. She said hunters must not be prevented from owning guns, but she favors background checks on gun owners.
McGuire said she’s familiar with University issues. She supports increased funding for the University’s budget. However, the proposed 19 percent increase might be too high, she said.
Tenure reform, if it occurs, must be jointly conceived by the faculty and the University’s Board of Regents, she said. She said she rejects the regents’ current tenure proposal.
“We must keep academic freedom,” McGuire said.

Paul Kuettel
Republican
Republican Paul Kuettel said the Legislature is controlled by career politicians and that incumbents have too much of an advantage when it comes to election time. Therefore, he will push for term limits if elected.
Kuettel is running for the state House seat in District 54A, which includes the St. Paul campus. He said term limits are needed so more quality candidates can become elected.
“We have gotten away from being a citizens’ Legislature,” Kuettel said. “Incumbency is so pervasive and powerful.”
Kuettel said reforming the property tax code is another main issue he will push for if elected. He said the tax code must be simplified and that he dislikes plans that redistribute income, such as welfare and income taxes.
Kuettel considers himself a conservative Republican because he is an opponent of abortion, gun control and special privileges for homosexuals. University issues are very complex, Kuettel said; he will need more information before casting a vote for the University’s budget request.
Although keeping the riverfront clean is important, Kuettel said he understands and supports the reasons the University wants to keep the steam plant on the river.
Kuetell is also keeping an eye on the University’s tenure conflict and opposes the regents’ Morris proposal.
— Chris Vetter