Speaker talks to republican group

Jesse Weisbeck

Minnesota Lt. Governor Joanne Benson spoke to the University’s College Republicans student organization Wednesday about several issues she and the governor are currently facing, ranging from technological development to stadium funding.
Members also said this may be one of her first campaign pitches for the 1998 gubernatorial race.
Benson began by asking the crowd of about 20 at Coffman Memorial Union what Minnesota’s place in the world is.
In answer, she cited Minnesotan’s ability to apply technology to develop new products such as the pacemaker, which is a local invention.
Benson also talked about the importance of multicultural education.
“One of our biggest strengths is that we export education and import students from around the world,” she said. “We have a minefield of excellent relationships we can explore.”
As for the University, Benson said she wants it to be in the upper echelon of research institutions, so that it may help foster educational synergy in areas like technological research and agriculture between Minnesota and the rest of the world.
Benson also spoke on other issues, ranging from criminal rehabilitation initiatives to Minnesota’s future in business with the world abroad.
Hopefully, she’ll get us excited about her campaign,” said Bill Gilles, chairperson of the College Republicans before the speech.
Matt Curry, fellow member of the College Republicans, said he would like to see support from Benson for environmental initiatives and tax reform.
“I would like to see tax reform based on the current surplus in the government, i.e., tax reductions.”
Benson said she would use the current surplus in programs like tax reform and education, though she didn’t note any specific tax reform initiatives.
With the talk of taxes arose discussion about funding for a new Twins stadium. A member of the College Republicans asked Benson how she felt about the issue.
Rubbing her chin and furrowing her brow, Benson said she sticks to her public statement about the issue: that she sides with the taxpayers in opposition of spending tax dollars on the stadium. However, she added that she wouldn’t mind seeing other avenues explored.