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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Emily Mellingen, a Strong Contender for State Senate in SD54

Emily Mellingen.
Photo from her site 
Emily Mellingen, announced on January 11th that she is running for the vacated State senate seat left by Democrat Dan Schoen who resigned after numerous allegations of sexual harassment. Emily raised the required number of local signatures to be put on the ballot for the February 12th vote in SD54 in south Washington County.

Mellingen is the endorsed candidate for the Libertarian Party. This 3rd party option has dozens of currently elected representatives across the Country from Alaska, to California, to Florida, and in MN. With this party decision she is providing a strong choice between the two extreme establishment picks in this SD54 race. Those being the far left wing democrat Karla Bigham, who out of 87 democrats in the legislature in her final 2010 year only 6 others had a 0% career rating from the Tax Payers League who rates legislators based solely on their voting record without bias. Fiscally responsible voting legislators get up to a 100% rating from the non-partisan Tax Payers League. Most republicans get about a 75% rating and most democrats get 30-40% rating. Nearly all politicians understand that not every single tax and spending measure is a good idea. To Karla Bigham, and her 0% rating for every year of her four years in office, it's clear there is no tax increase, spending measure, or growth of government that Bigham would vote against. Denny McNamara was nearly as disappointing in his 14 years in office failing to represent his constituents with his own horrible voting record, not to mention his time facing an ethics violation. see: South Washington County Will Decide if they want McNamara, his Baggage, and Terrible Legislative Record

On Mellingen's page she explains she is a mom, nurse, and tax payer. That she's running because she's fed up with the "dysfunctional" government in Minnesota with legislators fulfilling their self interests instead of the voter's. On the key issues tab of her page she says "I am a conservative on taxation and spending while at the same time being liberal on social and civil practices." This is a great way to summarize the Libertarian platform, and frankly the views of most Minnesotans who simply want to live their life free of an overbearing government. Lastly, unlike politicians in other political parties who can seemingly sway as far from the party platform as they'd like without question, Libertarians absolutely stand by their party values. 

To let voters know more about her she answered the following questions we sent her on the biggest issues we think face Washington County and the State based on the volume of views with these topics.

1.) What are your views on the un-elected Met Council spending billions of MN tax dollars on failed mass transit lines that don't relieve congestion or serve nearly as many riders as they forecast? Especially knowing that both parties are funding this problem see:
GOP Senate Passes $5.8 Billion Transportation Bill with $180 Million to Met Council & Mass Transit a Huge Raise
"The Met Council is unconstitutional because it is appointed by the Gov, and not elected, yet they issue a surtax upon us and overrule community decisions. (ask your mayor of Oak Park Heights, he hates them!). The people in the southwest metro are fighting a $2 billion dollar extension and in the east metro a $500 million dollar exclusive 'gold' bus road. The SWLRT was not funded in the Legislature, yet the Governor issued money to pay for it with a trick like an emperor, which we object to. Rail transit serves 5% of the people and not the 95% who drive, yet is paid for completely by those who drive cars. If it was a good idea, then private companies would get it on it too."

2.) Very few republicans voted against the $1.6 billion dollar bonding bill last session that was filled with unprecedented amount of pork. How would you vote, if elected, if the GOP again writes a $1.5 billion dollar bonding bill? see:
$1.6 BILLION 2017 Bonding Bill. Legislators Say They Refuse to Cut Any Pork.

"Excessive bonding, which is where the government essentially takes a loan from the people, on top of the tax they already take, to fund 'pork' projects that are outside of the need of everyday citizen services, is wrong in itself. While not being in the Legislature full time to know the details of the spending, we know are the 4th highest taxed state in the nation, and yet are forecasting a budget deficit of $188 million. The logic points to wasteful, irresponsible spending, which needs to be put in check."

3.) Both Karla Bigham and Denny McNamara are strong supporters of the proposed Red Rock Corridor Bus Rapid Transit line from your district up to St. Paul. What are your thoughts on the transit line? Consider the fact the one piece that has been built (the $6.45 million dollar bus stop) is a huge failure and likely the rest of the proposed line: Red Rock Corridor Faces Delays as 7 Facts Become Undeniable

"Some public transit is needed in congested areas, some is non-congested areas is nothing more than 'pork'. (pet projects to award money to corporations that support a politician). Such projects need more transparency, analysis, and partnership between public and private entities to assess the common sense of it before execution by government alone, which is all we currently see."

4.) There is a big problem with Child rape and under punished sex offenders in Washington County and across the State. Neither candidate you face will respond on if they plan to address this issue. Would you actively support or author bills to work on this issue? See: 

"Rape, and that of children, is one of the worst offenses imaginable. If proven to be true they deserve the harshest punishment imaginable. (I would need to examine the current system to see how the system is broken and how to fix it.) There has been a lot of controversy surrounding MN MSOP program that is utilizing civil commitment to keep sex offenders at risk of re offending out of the public.  I see this as the State of Minnesota's  way of keeping the community safe from offenders that show little promise or commitment to their treatment program. There needs to be tougher sentencing guidelines from the start when the accused are convicted and have had their due process. Recidivism rates, especially for those level 3 sex offenders are extremely high. "

5.) What are your thoughts on the The $170 Million Dollar Washington/Ramsey County Plan to Take Over Private Sector Garbage Processing? A hauler who lives in your district has said this government over reach is killing his business, not to mention the negative effect of burning garbage. Note Karla Bigham's stance on the topic: From Hero to Zero on the Environment: Washington County Commissioner Karla Bigham

"I believe in protecting the environment AND business, it's doesn't have to be one or the other. Private trash haulers are efficient, affordable, and responsible, or they wouldn't be in business. Government taking over this private sector service is over reach and will eliminate jobs, totally unnecessary for something that is working fine already without government intervention. Free market choices work better."

6.) Is there anything else you'd like to tell voters about how you'd legislate if elected? 

"I am conservative on spending AND taxation, so if there isn't a clear win for the people of Minnesota and there isn't a transparent explanation of to whom and to where the money is going with projections I will always vote NO! Our legislature needs to provide more transparency and honesty when they author bills that affect the Minnesota tax payer. I am against lobbying, corporate inside influencing and swayed voting with backhand deals. I have had enough of it! Nobody makes a large purchase without looking at the return  I am a nurse so healthcare is something that I am passionate about. I would like to see a better mix of private and public healthcare options. We need safe staffing levels in our hospitals for not only the overworked nurses, but also for the safety of our patients while also being cost effective. I work for the correctional system and I would like to see more support for our correctional officers, officers, EMT's firefighters and our veterans. Our legislature denied a 2% cost of living increase for corrections officers, yet gave themselves a 45% pay raise by putting on the ballot a clearly misleading question.  I want to see felons be able to have the chance to truly rehabilitate from their past and earn the opportunity to have a clean back round check and become contributing members of society that will be able to find housing and jobs to support themselves, their family and contribute to society. We need affordable higher education so students graduating don't have as much debt as a traditional mortgage. We need to treat drug problems as a health problem instead of policing problem. While we are at it, lets legalize consumption of marijuana and pay for some of all that! "

Washington County Watchdog does not endorse any candidate or party. We keep all sides in check. All comments are my own and do not reflect the views of all the volunteer contributors to Washington County Watchdog. This is not an ad or campaign material and is not funded by any campaign or committee.