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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

DFL Gov Candidate Series: Rep. Paul Thissen

Category: MN 2016 Governor
Posted: 08/06/17 22:32

(This is the 3rd Installment in the DFL Gov series)

by Dave Mindeman

Full disclosure at the outset - I have supported Paul Thissen for Governor in the past.

It is too early to choose just yet for this cycle, but I have always been impressed with Paul's consistent progressive stands on the issues. He would definitely support single payer if it got to his desk - although he would want any bill thorougly vetted in committee. He would fight for the social safety net in Health and Human Services. He has been a champion on transportation issues; including light rail.

In regards to mining, he favors smart but safe mining goals. The approval process needs to be played out in full and it must be absolutely iron clad in regards to financial assurances for any future clean up. But if mining meets all of that criteria, he would support a go ahead.

On rural issues, Thissen believes in the state setting goals on issues, but allowing local entities to find the best way to implement how to proceed. Rural areas don't like the state dictating terms but they also need state support in infrastructure like broadband, as well as a return to meaningful LGA funding. Paul notes that Democrats have sought more funding for broadband year after year, only to have Republicans cut it back.
Paul wants to focus on what is good for the state as a whole without looking to help rural or metro areas alone.

I have always found Paul Thissen to be one of the more personable legislators. When he talks to people one on one directly, he always seems to connect. Maybe he is not a red meat type speaker, but that comes from a sincere desire to offer vision rather than division.

It is hard to imagine a tougher challenge than trying to deal transparently on policy with Kurt Daudt. But Paul has done his best in the past and wants to make transparency mandatory in state government for the future.

We have to find a better way to end these legislative sessions - and on that, I feel confident that Paul Thissen would find that way.
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