2010 Election Guide: Ron Lischeid, Independent

by Evelina Smirnitskaya

What is the most important issue facing your district and how would you address it?
IâÄôve actually identified four issues for the district. The four issues are âĦ high tuition cost, number two is making the neighborhoods
around the University of Minnesota safe, affordable and livable, number three is the Central Corridor [light-rail line] and number four is kind of a catch-bag of economy, jobs and state budget and health care, which are all interrelated.
What would you do to fix the stateâÄôs $5.8-billion budget deficit?
IâÄôm a member of the Independence Party, IâÄôm supporting Tom Horner and I totally agree with Tom HornerâÄôs approach that itâÄôs going to take a combination of elements to balance the budget.
âĦ ItâÄôs going to take raising some taxes and fees; weâÄôre going to have to bring new money into the state. âĦ We need to ring out every efficiency we can out of state spending.
What policies will you support to spur economic growth?
Not only the state of Minnesota, but every county, every city, needs to be as small-business friendly as they can be. âĦ The private sector is the only portion of the public that creates wealth.
What changes would you make to the state health care system?
I would reach out to experts in the field âĦ to see what their solutions are, and would try and actually get a bill on the floor that, through bipartisan support, could move forward.
We donâÄôt need to correct the entire health care system in one session but we need to incrementally make small improvements session-by-session until we can eventually get those costs and things under control.
How would you transition Minnesota into a green-energy economy?
IâÄôd like to see tax incentives and tax credits for people âÄî individuals and businesses, government units and school districts âÄî to invest money in solar energy. I think that the state needs to get more involved in wind and water power. We need to continue to develop multi-mobile forms of transportation. âĦ I think we also need to take a look at our policies regarding ethanol. I personally have a problem with using a food source as an energy source.
Should state funding be used for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium?
I would like to see the project be used as a way of increasing the tax base in Minneapolis through future and further development
of the Cedar-Riverside black hole. âĦ
I think we need to look at if the Vikings wanted to put an extra tax on the cost of the ticket âĦ [and] the merchandise. âĦ I could support those, but those are voluntary taxes.
Should more money be invested in mass transit? If so, where would that money come from?
Gasoline price should be part of it, but it canâÄôt be the whole thing. âĦ We may need to look at mileage taxes. âĦ We need to look at the whole range of things, but they need to be looked at as a system rather than individual projects. Light rail, bus rapid transit, commuter
rail, highways and freeways, airports, air travel, bicycle, walking âÄî all of these would have to be designed in such a way that it
becomes a total package.
What is your stance on gay marriage?
IâÄôm totally supportive of the LGBT community. I think itâÄôs just a basic human rights issue, and anything that is less than equitable to everybody in the state of Minnesota is not equitable to the members of the LGBT community. They shouldnâÄôt be singled out.
What policies would you support that would affect tuition at the University?
We need to do legislative audits, so that students can be sure that when they pay [a] tuition bill that they are only paying for that portion of the collegeâÄôs total cost that [had been] directly related to their instruction. I think that we are going
to have to look at more models where students are receiving instructions online rather than from a live professor.