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Bakk has qualities state needs

To the Editor:

In 2010, Minnesotans will elect a new governor. It's been more than 20 years since a Democrat held this office and we need a bold leader who will move the state forward.

I support state Sen. Tom Bakk from Cook for governor. A union carpenter for more than three decades, he and I have been Senate colleagues for seven years. During that time I've developed a deep respect for his understanding of tax and budget issues, commitment to job creation, and interest in helping the residents of southeastern Minnesota.

Minnesota needs a leader who understands the state's budget and will work to make long-term improvements. Under "no new taxes," our current governor has increased property taxes and fees, used budget gimmicks and shifts to "solve" budget deficits, and shifted away much needed funding to our schools.

State officials believe the next governor will face at least a $3 billion budget deficit, and if the next governor wants to pay back our schools and restore health care to our poorest citizens, that figure doubles.

Tom knows that we can no longer kick the can down the road, put so much pressure on property tax payers, and shortchange our schools.

Significant changes must be made for the state to have critical revenue to preserve our quality of life.

One way to produce more revenue is to get people back to work. Not since 1983 have so many Minnesotans been out of work.

Tom has a passion for creating jobs and, as our governor, he will make getting people back to work his top priority. Without people working Minnesota will not have the money necessary to invest in the things we value, such as a strong education for our children and health care for our most vulnerable citizens.

I am asking the residents of southeastern Minnesota to support Tom because, as chair of the Senate Tax Committee, he has supported you.

If not for his efforts on utility payments, property taxes would have increased for residents of Red Wing and Goodhue County.

Tom has proven himself to be a leader that cares about people and doing what's right.

Steve Murphy

Red Wing

Steve Murphy is a Democrat and represents Minnesota Senate District 28.