Gov. Mark Dayton issued his State of the State Address from the House floor Wednesday night. It was interesting to hear his speech. He took a more conciliatory tone toward the Legislature than he has recently used in the press, but did not provide much in the form of detailed proposals.
Most of our time at the Capitol this week is being spent in committee meetings as we consider bills and prepare legislation to be brought to the floor. Reform continues to be the buzzword in St. Paul this year as we continue working on proposals to help our state operate more efficiently and create a warmer business climate so our entrepreneurs can thrive, expand and create jobs. A recent report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation ranks our state 45th worst in its State Business Tax Climate Index for 2012, further underscoring our need for improvements.
I also co-hosted a news conference with the Civil War Commemoration Task Force this week. We unveiled the winning logo and introduced the artist who created it in a contest we conducted to develop an official symbol as our state commemorates the Civil War’s 150th anniversary. More details are below in a news release issued by my legislative office.
Civil War Commemoration Task Force unveils winning Civil War logo, introduces artist
ST. PAUL – Tuesday, co-chairs Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, and other members of the Civil War Commemoration Task Force presented the winning design from the task force's logo contest and introduced the artist who created it: Michael Campbell of Chanhassen.
The CWCTF received an enthusiastic response from Minnesota’s artists – nearly 50 logo contest entries were submitted. Campbell’s eye-catching red, white and blue design was chosen because of his unique use of Civil War images that clearly capture the connection between the war and Minnesota – exactly what the Civil War Commemoration Task Force asked for in the statewide contest guidelines.
“As a Minnesotan, I have always held a certain pride in my heart for the exploits and sacrifice of the farmers and woodsmen who donned a blue uniform and fought for the young North Star State – and ultimately the preservation of the Union,” Campbell said. “It was with this same sense of pride that I submitted my logo for consideration in this contest.”
Campbell combined key identifying elements and thoughtful subtleties to create a crisp logo that will be Minnesota’s official symbol for the Civil War’s 150th anniversary. The logo’s image, representing the monument dedicated to the heroics of the First Minnesota at Gettysburg, consists of a Civil War soldier’s white silhouette cast over the state of Minnesota. The logo’s deep blue banner of 11 stars is a tribute to the 11 Minnesota regiments that served in the war.
“I think it had all the elements we wanted in a design,” Task Force selection committee member Brian Rice said. “It has the image of the state, it has 150 years and it has the words ‘Civil War’ on it for easy identification.” Rice also said he likes the action displayed in the forward-charging soldier and found symbolism in the poised bayonet, which parallels Minnesota’s Arrowhead region.
As the winner of the Civil War Commemoration Task Force logo contest, Campbell will receive a one-year membership to the Minnesota Historical Society and two books: The Last Full Measure by Richard Moe and Brother of Mine: The Civil War Letters of Thomas and William Christie.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all the talented Minnesota artists who submitted their logo design concepts for our consideration and congratulate Mr. Campbell for his outstanding design that will be prominently featured in all of the Civil War Task Force’s citizen outreach, education and marketing initiatives,” Ritchie said.
Urdahl, who has written a trilogy of books pertaining to Minnesota events during the Civil War, said the subtleties within Campbell’s design are natural story-telling portals.
“Minnesota soldiers fought with bravery in the Civil War and were involved in pivotal moments during several battles,” Urdahl said. “There are stories behind each regiment which should be shared.”
Campbell has been in the graphic design and marketing communications field for 27 years. He currently is manager of marketing communications at Nash Finch Company, where he oversees the company’s communications and branding initiatives.