To the editor:
Last week this paper printed a letter that flat-out lied about my voting record. Cindy Erickson – who just happens to be the registered campaign manager for my opponent Jeske Noordergraaf – wrote that I voted for “a 30 percent raise” in 2011. I never did that. Her campaign wasn’t “being creative.” She didn’t “spin” some vote taken out of context. It was a straight up lie. In 2011-12 I never had a chance to vote on anything related to legislative compensation. Jeske’s campaign manager told you I voted for a raise, but she literally made it up. You deserve better than lies! For the record: legislative salaries have remained unchanged since 1999. The only Senate increase voted on recently was when Rick Olseen was Senator, not me, and Rick voted for a 40 percent increase in Senate per diem. When Republicans took charge two years ago, that increase was reduced by our Rules Committee.
At least the other part of her letter was “only” deceptive. She said I received legislative pay during the shutdown. That’s technically a fact, but here are all the facts involved: the Legislature was automatically not going to get paid during a pending shutdown because, unlike 2005 when I authored no-pay legislation, in 2011 the legislative budget wasn’t enacted. However, Governor Dayton petitioned the court to pay legislative salaries anyway. A Minnesota Court Order was issued, stating that even without a budget in place legislators would be paid in the event of a shutdown. I responded to that by immediately filing a lawsuit with the State Supreme Court to stop that, to try to prevent legislators from getting paid. You can verify every bit of this. It’s all a matter of court record.
By giving you less than half the facts, Jeske Noordergraaf’s campaign manager tried to deceive you into believing that my attempts to stop legislative pay were somehow selfish. I believe facts show otherwise, and now that you have all the facts you can decide for yourself. But never forget … last week they quite literally lied to you.
State Senator, District 32