Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tom Rukavina for Governor

I support Representative Tom Rukavina for Governor because of the good things that he has done in trying to keep tuition down at the University of Minnesota.

With someone like him in the governor's chair it would be possible to develop a much better working relationship with state government assuming we have a new occupant of the president's chair in Morrill Hall.

Tom is a UMD graduate and an Iron Ranger. His commitment to education and jobs in Minnesota is of long standing. Unlike some other politicians, in both parties, it is not difficult to guess where Tom will come down on the issues. You may not agree with him on every single thing, but he certainly does not take positions based on what is going to make him the most popular candidate or raise the most money.

It is long past time for us to join hands in cooperation with the government of the state and our fellow citizens to duplicate the relationship between Ohio State University and the State of Ohio which has enabled operations at tOSU without tuition increases for the last three years, without staff layoffs, and with a modest salary increase of 2.5% this year.

Time for a change in St. Paul

and Morrill Hall?

A past exchange between Tom and a U of M admin rep is telling:

"They're going to lose a lot of friends at the Capitol if they jack up that tuition," he [Tom Rukavina] said. "They're pricing themselves out of work if they keep going up 7.5 percent."

Despite Rukavina's intent to keep tuition low, Pfutzenreuter stands by the fact that the Legislature can't decide how the University spends its money.

And in response to Pfutzenreuter:

"Tell him to sue me," Rukavina said. "It's in the bill, tell him to sue me."

Although technically the State Legislature cannot tell the University of Minnesota what to do, they do have the power of the purse. Representative Rukavina inserted language into a funding bill that effectively prevented the U from raising tuition any further. Disrespect and arrogance in matters like this by our administration is harmful.

The way that the Morrill Hall crowd handled the alcohol problem and their lack of cooperation in solving light rail problems are additional examples of behavior that needs modification.

A strong and affordable U of M is in the best interest of all citizens of the state as well as politicians of all persuasions. Arne Carlson was a tremendous supporter of the U. This is not just a DFL, or IR, or Independent Party problem. We need to elect politicians who will pledge to work together to solve the problems of the state. Education and jobs should be at the top of the priority list.

Thank you Tom, for your past, present, and future service.

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