To the editor:
As an incumbent state representative I know that my record is open to inspection and various interpretations. However, regarding Mr. Busse's recent letter, while he is entitled to his own interpretation, he is not entitled to his own facts. I find it unfortunate to see he has chosen to go beyond distortion and simply be untruthful.
He correctly states that I promised to work to create jobs, protect schools, promote business and keep down taxes. These are the issues that consume nearly all of my time. My first two bills this session concern keeping jobs in a Watkins nursing home and streamlining our regulatory process to allow for more timely business expansion.
But Mr. Busse then launches into distortion and fabrication. He asserts that I support a bill on gay marriage. Such a bill does not exist. He suggests that I support freezing teacher salaries. I challenge him to find in print or on tape any place where I said or wrote that I would vote for that bill. I have said that if teacher salaries are frozen, that they should be done by local school boards. I believe in local control and do not believe that we should tell our local school boards what to do in that regard. I trust them to make the best decisions about local salaries.
The provision to "break unions" was removed from HF 4 and was not part of the bill when we voted. It is true that I support photo voter ID.
It's convenient to quote me as saying that I didn't benefit from teacher development. It is dishonest to not give the rest of my statement which was, "but while we are encouraging increases in teacher quality, is it wise to cut the only funding designed to increase teacher quality?"
The LGA level that I voted for was the same one that the DFL majority had passed last session. We face a huge problem, a $6.2 billion deficit. I will take tough votes that not everyone will endorse. That is the nature of my job.
The past two letter writers have asked the rather canned question: "Is this the Representation we asked for?" I take my title of representative very seriously. I will continue to represent the people of District 18B to the best of my ability. Comments and criticisms are welcome. I just ask that they be truthful.
Rep. Dean Urdahl