2010 Election Guide: Ole Hovde, Republican

by Evelina Smirnitskaya

What is the most important issue facing your district and how would you address it?
IâÄôm going to say that the price of education is [the] most important issue facing our district. We canâÄôt continue to allow tuition to go up when the largest population in the district is students.
First of all, I think tuition freezes are called for, especially at the University of Minnesota âĦ I would say thatâÄôs [the] first and foremost important thing to get in there, and then on top of that, I believe that making sure that the [University] is funded properly is number two.
What would you do to fix the stateâÄôs $5.8-billion budget deficit?
Cut spending across the board. Number two, IâÄôm absolutely in favor of a state-owned casino âĦ One of the most important things is it shouldnâÄôt be up just to the legislature âĦ ItâÄôs going to come from everyone. We need to look over every aspect of our stateâÄôs budget, and cut out everything that isnâÄôt essential to the daily operation of the state.
Unfortunately I think youâÄôre going to find in that budget that âĦ there is a lot of stuff weâÄôre sending money to that, quite frankly, we donâÄôt need at this point. Take care of our people, and take care of our infrastructure âĦ those are the main things.
What policies will you support to spur economic growth?
Absolutely in favor of holding the business tax where it is or lowering it. I think that is one of the biggest things time and time again âÄî more and more businesses in the state of Minnesota are leaving the state of Minnesota, more and more people are leaving the state of Minnesota âĦ We have so many regulations that we slap onto business.
What changes would you make to the state health care system?
We have a phenomenal health care system in the state of Minnesota right now, despite what the media tells you … Everything is being impacted by health care federal laws âĦ there is a reason for having a one- or two-month enrollment period, and I would like to see a one- or two-month enrollment period so that the insurers can continue to offer child-only policies, which are quite essential.
How would you transition Minnesota into a green energy economy?
Right now I donâÄôt think the research is there, and I donâÄôt think we can run everything off of green energy. Do I support green energy? Yeah, absolutely. I think we need to move in the direction. We need to start looking at the alternative sources out there âĦ However, it takes time, and IâÄôm 100 percent behind Gov. PawlentyâÄôs initiative.
Should state funding be used for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium?
Absolutely. If weâÄôre going to publically fund the arts, which are an integral part of society, we should publically fund sports, which are an integral part of society.
Should more money be invested in mass transit? If so, where would that money come from?
At the current state I canâÄôt say we should look at alternative, or adding mass transit to the state
of Minnesota.
Look, weâÄôre facing a $6-million deficit. Right now we need to figure out âÄòAâÄô before we move to âÄòB.âÄô So, no, at this point I canâÄôt say I would be a mass transit supporter. I do like mass transportation âÄî it has its purpose, but until we get our budget crisis solved I canâÄôt see why the state of Minnesota would spend more money.
What is your stance on gay marriage?
I absolutely, 100 percent, support civil unions.
What policies would you support that would affect tuition at the University?
One of the ones that I would like to do is far-reaching, but I would like more state control over the University of Minnesota, especially
when it comes to finances. When weâÄôre building $80-million buildings on campus that we donâÄôt need, that arenâÄôt absolutely imperative, youâÄôre wasting studentsâÄô tax dollars and studentsâÄô tuition dollars.