Several of the candidates for governor released written statements on today's budget deal. Here they are in alphabetical order:
Margaret Anderson Kelliher:
DFL Candidate for Governor (this was issued through her role as Speaker of the Minnesota House):
"DFLers stood up forMinnesotans. We stood up to Tim Pawlenty and 'Just Say No' Republicans. Standing together Democrats fought for a responsible, balanced budget to protect students, create jobs, and make health care more affordable.
"I led DFLers in strong opposition to the governor all session. We stood together. We fought the governor's illegal unallotments, and won. We fixed the fiscal crisis he created.
"We fought tooth and nail for every job, every Minnesota family, every student, and every senior in every nursing home. Facing impossible odds, we made real progress.
"Standing together, we protected and created more than 50,000 jobs - including 22,000 good paying health care jobs.
"We secured $1.4 billion in federal funding to keep our hospitals strong - money from Minnesota taxpayers that would otherwise have gone to other states.
"We covered 102,000 Minnesotans, and fixed GAMC. We made tangible reforms that will make health care more affordable for all Minnesotans.
"We protected our students and the people who teach them from permanent cuts. We protected our senior citizens from any budget cuts.
"We met the serious challenges facing Minnesota with leadership and courage. Standing together, we protected the state we love, and the hard working families that make Minnesota great."
DFL Candidate for Governor:
"At the end of a very disappointing legislative session, we again see Minnesota sacrificed on the altar of Gov. Pawlenty's presidential ambitions. The people he's hurt the worst are our schoolchildren forced into more overcrowded classrooms and four‐day school weeks, the poorest of the poor needing health care, and middle class taxpayers facing higher property taxes.
"We know the answer to Minnesota's fiscal crisis. If the richest Minnesotans simply paid their fair share of our state's tax burden ‐‐ no more or less than middle class families - the Governor and Legislature could have balanced our budget and funded our schools. But Gov. Pawlenty's political ambitions wouldn't allow that ‐‐ and sadly the Legislature has gone along with him.
"Nearly $2 billion was taken from money promised Minnesota's school districts, thus proving that protecting tax loopholes for the rich is more important to some than educating our school children. Many districts will have to borrow money to pay their bills, since Gov. Pawlenty won't raise the revenues to pay his bills. More borrowing means more teacher layoffs, more overcrowded classrooms, and more children being left behind.
"It's time for real answers. Not gimmicks. And as Governor, I promise we will finally force the richest Minnesotans to pay their fair share of taxes, meet our obligations to our children, and put Minnesota back on the path of responsible, progressive leadership.
"It will take years for Minnesota to clean up the wreckage from Governor Pawlenty's misguided ideology and ambition. As Governor, I will clean up his mess as fast as I can."
Republican Party Candidate for Governor:
First of all, we should be grateful to Governor Pawlenty for once again protecting Minnesota families and businesses from tax increases. Economic recovery in Minnesota will come faster because we had the strength to hold the line on taxes.
But any recovery will be stopped in its tracks if the next governor "opts in" to Obamacare early by enrolling thousands of Minnesotans onto the federal health care roll at irresponsibly high costs, ignoring Minnesota"s nation-leading reforms in health care delivery.
With this deal, the next governor will have that power. I am announcing today I will not use it if elected this November. I also challenge my opponents (including Speaker Kelliher, who pushed for this power in closed-door negotiations) to tell Minnesotans where they stand on this issue immediately.
In addition to the "opt in" provision to Obamacare, the 2010 session will be remembered as another wasted opportunity due to failed Democrat leadership.
We should have taken this opportunity to redesign our government to provide expected services in a sustainable and sensible manner and we should have taken this opportunity to eliminate redundancies and excess in government. Instead, we have yet again postponed the day of reckoning and kicked the can down the road to the next Governor and the next legislature.
Minnesota expects more. Minnesota deserves more. We are ready, willing and able to take charge of our runaway government in this state. It is time to redesign government to serve the citizens of our great state. It is time for new, fresh and bold ideas. It is time to govern and we are up for the challenge!
DFL Party Candidate for Governor
"After a grueling legislative session, it appears we finally have a budget deal. But from start to finish, getting there involved working with a governor who has no interest in working with others. Another refusal to compromise, another legislative session ends with a whimper; the governor's just-say-no philosophy wins again.
"Make no mistake: A Tom Emmer administration would mean four more years of the same, my-way-or-the-highway story - and Minnesota can't afford it. Minnesotans understand we can't simply cut nor simply tax our way to greatness; we must grow our way there. At long last, we need a governor who understands that, too.
"I'm running for governor because the people of this state deserve a governor with a real vision for their future: a vision about keeping the jobs we have, creating new jobs and restoring our commitment to education so that our state becomes number one again. I am the candidate with that vision."
Statement from Rob Hahn
Independence Party Candidate for Governor:
"You'll have to excuse me if my statement arrives a little later than my opponents' comments," Hahn said. "I was having a long lunch with a potential running mate and haven't yet had time to look over the all details of the budget. However, from what I have reviewed, I'll weigh in on the following. "I find it interesting, if not laughable, that two gubernatorial candidates who are members of the Legislature but from different parties praise themselves (for what?), while three other candidates are quick to rip both the governor and the Legislature. I think some of these candidates woke up extra early today just so they could post some angry missive on Facebook. "This agreement could have been much worse and could have taken much longer to reach," Hahn added. "Instead of wasting time Monday afternoon quarterbacking, suggesting what could have been done differently and trying to use slick pr to spin it to my campaign's advantage, I plan to spend the next few days reviewing the details (looking for Lucifer) and using the agreement as the basis for formulating my proposals for balancing the budget in the next biennium, the specifics of which I plan to unveil over the next few weeks. I want to make sure my campaign stands for something, not just against candidates, elected officials and their policies."
Statement from Tom Horner
Independence Party Candidate for Governor
The budget deal negotiated by the Legislature and Governor Pawlenty is a reflection of Tom Emmer's Minnesota with the DFL leadership's seal of approval. The budget defers every major decision to next year while imposing higher costs on businesses and new burdens on schools and cities. Instead of facing up to the hard choices, legislators have created a budget deficit that will be as much as $9 billion in the first year of the new governor's term. Minnesotans will see more school districts going to four-day school weeks, more cities eliminating vital services while raising property taxes and fewer new jobs, and businesses bail out the state through the loans they are being forced to make to bail out Minnesota's budget.
This is a budget that sets mediocrity as our standard in job creation, education and basic services. Apparently for Emmer and the DFL leadership, Minneso-so is good enough. That's not the state I want to live in, and Minnesotans should be outraged at how this legislature is bankrupting our future. Emmer and Speaker Kelliher traded responsibility for electability. Minnesota needs a goverrnor who is willing to make the hard choices to honestly balance the budget and invest in job creation, education and innovation. If making those choices means I'm a one-term governor, I'm okay with that. Emmer and Kelliher have made it clear that their political futures are more important than Minnesota's economic future.
Do candidates hope to be taken seriously in spite of using the term "Obamacare"?
Maybe "Obamacare" will help find a cure for Stearns County Syndrome, which Tom Emmer seems to be afflicted with.