Senate Honorees: Senator David Hann.
House Honorees: Bruce Anderson, Mark Buesgens, Steve Drazkowski, Tom Emmer, Ron Shimanski.
Honorable Mention: Eastlund, Holberg, Hoppe, Kohls, Scott, Severson, Smith, Zellers
Legislators were evaluated for their voting records on 20 different key issues; ranging from tax and bonding proposals, to energy policy, election law changes and medical regulations.
“It was disappointing to have so few honorees this year,” stated LEA President Gordon Anderson. “With little legislative resistance, the liberal majority increased the growth of state bureaucracy with unnecessary regulations, passed unwieldy omnibus bills written at the behest of special interest groups, and needlessly yielded additional state authority to Washington enticed by the lure of federal tax dollars.”
Triumph of the Nomenklatura
Despite an economic downturn that demanded sacrifices by the majority of American citizens in 2009, the Minnesota legislature blatantly ignored economic realities and attempted to dramatically expand the bureaucracy and government programs. They gave a blank check to judges to pay lawyers, inviting future corruption. They redirected suburban and rural state tax dollars to dense urban areas to operate light rail and provide all kinds of free services to inner-city communities. They formed a new bureaucracy to spend money collected from state sales taxes for the environment and the arts. They gave near-absolute police power to the state medical bureaucracy. They instructed Minnesota universities to sell only American-made clothing, and report back on the efforts to comply with that instruction. And they spent a lot to plan for “green” public facilities without any respect for markets’ ability to analyze and respond to environmental issues.
Perhaps most pernicious was a common thread throughout the bills of using taxpayer funds to better guarantee the bureaucracy continued support from special interests. For example, “Communities for a Lifetime” authorizes services to which only select groups of inner city seniors will qualify and others will have no access, creating another vested interest group. A bill on automatic voter registration would add non-citizens to the list of voters, further stacking the deck against the citizens with whom the Constitution is the legitimate social contract.
The year 2009 was a serious loss for limited government and financial freedom, and a victory for the consolidation of political power. Rather than be content with its role as a guarantor of basic human rights, our state government continued to expand its nanny/parent role, as evidenced by the new seatbelt, booster-seat, and sippy-cup laws. The state agreed to adopt more liberal federal-government welfare and healthcare policies so that it could qualify for federal stimulus funds. Rather than creating jobs that will produce goods and services leading to economic growth, this legislature has created jobs for a new class of bureaucrats who research, allocate, and regulate, after which they report what they did with their increasing share of power and money obtained by sinking the ship on which they are passengers. Michael Voslensky coined a name for a similar class that brought down the Soviet Union—the Nomenklatura.
LEA applauds those legislators receiving awards that voted against the destructive and centralizing bills that take the government away from the people.
Full Report: 2009 Report (409kb .pdf file)