Letter: Howe paid distribution; taxpayers got printing billI'd like to clarify some recent spin regarding a taxpayer-funded campaign-style flyer circulated by Sen. John Sterling Howe.
By: Nona Nelson, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
I'd like to clarify some recent spin regarding a taxpayer-funded campaign-style flyer circulated by Sen. John Sterling Howe.
The flyer in question was inserted in the Republican Eagle and did not include a campaign disclaimer. Without such a disclaimer, the public rightly concludes it was printed at Howe's state Senate office.
A letter from Teresa Whitson (R-E, Aug 18) confirmed this, stating that "not one penny of taxpayer money went into the distribution" of the piece.
However, Senate records indicate that Senator Howe printed 8,000 such flyers - and all at taxpayer expense.
Interestingly, Howe's flyer includes a rather boastful prediction: "I'm pretty confident I'll get re-elected this fall."
I doubt genuine legislative updates allowed by the Senate typically focus on the election ahead. Given last summer's wasteful state government shutdown (during which Howe received full pay and per diem), the scandals plaguing the Minnesota Senate, and the state's unresolved budget mess, I can't imagine why our incumbent state senator should feel confident about his re-election.
Instead of premature back-slapping and political spin, I'd like to see a 2013 legislative update from our next state senator focus on real accomplishments. Attention to job creation, an honestly balanced state budget, a fully repaid K-12 education funding "shift" and property tax relief - including a return of the homestead property tax credit - all come to mind.