Minnesotans for Better Education, Standards and Testing

Minnbest is a non-partisan, broad based coalition of parents, educators and school advocacy groups who believe excellent public education is a foundation of democracy in America.

4/15/2005

Yecke needs to get new friends

From Parents United
http://www.parentsunited.org/CriticalMoments.html

This Morning at the Capitol

This morning at the Capitol the Minnesota Taxpayers League held a rally. About 100 people rallied for No New Taxes and about 30 folks that the speakers called “from the other side” were there to show support for increased revenues for Housing, Health Care and Education.

The event began with Jason Lewis, from North Carolina, encouraging Minnesotans to hold the line on taxes. David Strom. President of the Minnesota Taxpayer’s League, spoke next and explained that on April 2, Gov Pawlenty called him and said, “We need a rally--how about on Tax Day at 8AM?” Even though Mr. Strom thought that was short notice, he pulled it together. It may have been helpful that the state Republican Party distributed the emails. It might also explain why so many signs read, “Pawlenty-06”

When Mr Lewis returned to the podium it was to recognize a woman in the crowd who was holding a sign that said, “When did we stop seeing kids and start seeing tax burdens.” To that Mr. Lewis shouted—“And where do you get the right to take the food from my child to give to yours!” Often throughout the event those who held differing opinions from the No Tax Pledge people, were told to “get a job” and “get off welfare”. Those were interesting statements to the doctor in front of me—and the high school students who were holding signs that read, “Fees are Taxes” “Stop the Lies”.

Again Mr. Lewis returned to the podium and this time remarked to a person in the audience who held a sign saying “Willing to pay more for a better Minnesota”--“yeah—you mean you want to take my money to pay for a better Minnesota!” Does Mr. Lewis still pay tax in Minnesota—does anyone know?

He then called upon all of the non-profits in the group to “give some of all that money to the hard working folks here!” I didn’t see any non-profit groups represented in the crowd. He also congratulated the crowd for getting to the Capitol all on their own—not using any “government paid for buses. ” I suppose that was an oblique reference to the February Education Rally of oh, 6000- 8000 people.

When a gentleman came over to read my sign, which was pro education, he told me to “get the communists out of our schools.” I heard other parents there called socialists and communists.

Govenor Pawlenty was part of this amazing line up of speakers, as was Sen Gaither (R Plymouth), Speaker Sviggum and Ron Ebensteiner (Chair of the State GOP) and Congressman Kennedy. They all encouraged the rally participants to call their legislators and make sure they got the message that taxes were not to be raised.

The denouement of the event was when Mr. Strom invited all of the Republicans who are looking for the Republican endorsement for the 6th congressional seat to come forward to sign large facsimiles of the No Tax Pledge. Among others, Rep. Jim Knoblach, former Education Commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke and Sen Michele Bachmann did just that. Some of you might remember that last week, Sen Bachmann had a hearing on her bill to fund schools. In that bill, she took all of the dollars that the Governor had in his budget and placed them on the per pupil formula. The revenue source for those dollars was local tax levies. Maybe if it’s local—it’s not a tax?

All in all the morning was quite eye opening. The anger of the crowd was reminiscent of the Civil Rights era. This writer thought we were finished with that level of hateful division.