Ryan LykâÄôs Dec. 1 letter in the Minnesota Daily, âÄúCollege GOP chair: vote for Schwanke,âÄù urged students to vote for Ben Schwanke in the upcoming special election for State Senate. I find his words to be quite ironic given the divergent interests and contradictions SchwankeâÄôs candidacy brings to our community.
In his glowing endorsement, Lyk emphasizes SchwankeâÄôs disdain for big government and his desire to lower the costs of higher education. However, according to Lyk, Schwanke plans to accomplish this by telling the University of Minnesota how to best spend its money on administration, research and education.
Apparently the GOP way to cut the costs of higher education is for politicians to tell leading scholars how to run our University. Moreover, the Republican Party has never been an advocate for higher education, Minnesota being no exception.
Rather than work toward a more equitable tax code for our state in order to balance the state budget, our GOP-controlled state legislature cut $411 million from higher education last summer.
The idea of a Republican State Senator representing the district in which our institution resides is beyond absurd.
Furthermore, I find it quite ironic that the candidate and party running on a platform of fiscal responsibility is in deep financial debt. According to a Dec. 2 report by the Star Tribune, the Minnesota GOP owes more than a half million dollars to creditors.
If Republicans such as Lyk and Schwanke truly believe in their conservative principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility, then perhaps itâÄôs time they start living up to their own ideals.