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Q&A: Daley's Highest Priorities Are Job Creation, the Economy

To help voters learn more about local political candidates in advance of the general election, Eagan Patch asked all of the candidates about their views and accomplishments.

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School funding, state spending, job creation. Those are just a few of the issues that will drive voters to the polls on Nov. 6 to vote for their preferred candidate in local and state races.

To help voters learn more about Eagan City Council, House District 51A, House District 51B and Senate District 51 candidates, Eagan Patch asked all candidates to submit their responses to a set of questions regarding their views and accomplishments. Each candidate was limited to a 200-word response per question. We will publish their responses in installments leading up to Election Day. For ongoing political coverage, check out our 2012 Election Guide.

Without further ado, here are Senate District 51 Sen. Ted Daley's (R) responses.

Eagan Patch: What inspired you to run for re-election in Minnesota Senate District 51?

Senate District 51 Sen. Ted Daley: I have always had a strong desire to do public service. That is what motivated me to enter West Point and to serve our country for over 28 years in the Army, with service in both Iraq wars. Upon returning from my most recent deployment in Iraq, I joined the Eagan Planning Commission to help serve our local community. As I watched the trouble our state was entering with an overextended state budget, I knew that my financial skills learned as a CPA were needed at the state level. Clearly the legislature at that time was making commitments they could not keep with money that we did not have. That was a formula for disaster as too many welfare commitments would imperil our state’s commitment to give our children a world class education.

Patch: Tell me about your previous accomplishments as an elected official representing Eagan. What other relevant background experience do you think you could bring to the position if re-elected?

Daley: We turned the nearly $5.2 billion deficit left by my opponent and the previous Legislature into a $1.3 billion surplus for this biennium according to Minnesota Management and Budget. This surplus can be used, in part, to cover much of the deficit in the next biennium. With a $2 billion, or 6 percent, increase in revenue expected in the next biennium, we can reduce the projected 9 percent growth in spending. We will then be able to focus on priorities like education and paying back the school shift that was used by both the current legislature and my opponent and the prior legislature.

Patch: What is something you think the current legislature has done well?

Daley: Despite the $5.2 billion deficit last session, we were successful in providing a $200 per pupil increase in funding to our local schools. This demonstrated our commitment to education, which I hope to continue next session. While funding is important, we also need to focus on accountability to ensure those dollars are well spent and effective for our kids. I worked on bi-partisan reform efforts with fellow legislators and Governor Dayton and his staff resulting in the first bill (Teacher Basic Skills Exam) signed into law in 2012 for which I was the chief Senate author.

Patch: What is something you think the current legislature has done poorly?

Daley: We should address our transportation needs based on performance-based solutions which are best value: High-benefit options with a low cost. A local example of this is the Cedar Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. An assistant county engineer agreed this was the best choice for the Cedar Avenue Transitway as a means to reduce congested roadways with fewer community impacts and lower costs as well as shorter implementation timelines. It also provides the flexibility needed adjust to changing ridership and evolving public needs. I contrast this with the huge financial commitments needed to sustain the light rail commitments made during this legislative session as well as by previous legislatures. Unfortunately, those commitments will require high operating budgets and provide little flexibility in the future for changing ridership.

Patch: What are some of the most pressing, long-term issues facing Senate District 51? The state?

Daley: A quality education for all of our children is important to everyone. Strong schools today help create a strong economy tomorrow. Too often new programs are layered on top of old commitments in order for politicians to score points in the current election, with little consideration of their long term consequences. Over the years these new spending commitments will crowd out education funding and put an additional burden on our taxpayers. That tax burden will fall disproportionately on the people of this district. I also worry about the long term effects of Obamacare and other proposals that, if passed, would be a huge hit to local jobs. Proposals like the government run-health plan supported by my opponent would not only take away your choice of health plan, but they would eliminate thousands of jobs at large local employers like Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Delta Dental, Prime Therapeutics and others. Local families would lose jobs, their homes and everyone’s property values would drop even further.

Patch: Why should constituents vote for you in November? What distinguishes you from your opposition?

Daley: The first rule should be that government does no harm. When he was in the legislature, my opponent authored a bill to require all Minnesotans to buy a government run health plan. Besides taking away your choice of plans, this bill would have eliminated thousands of local jobs at Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Delta Dental and other employers. We need to create a business climate that encourages job growth in order to help small businesses be more competitive with other states and internationally. My CPA and business experience help me to evaluate the practical impact on business of various government proposals.

Patch: Anything else you would like to add?

Daley: My priority and focus since day one has been Minnesota jobs and our economy. It remains my top priority. Minnesota is a wonderful place to live and raise a family, and I want to make sure we provide a bright future for our children. To do so, we must continue to reduce government waste and balance the budget without further burdening the taxpayers of Minnesota. We need to stay the course and not go back to the same tax and spend pattern that built the record budget deficit my opponent helped to create. We should stop making promises we cannot keep with money we do not have. We need to continue responsible budgeting practices that do not automatically increase welfare programs, which in turn threaten to crowd out priorities like education. The good news is we are already realizing a positive turnaround with monthly revenues coming in above budget projections. I continue to see the amazing potential and the positive future we have here in Minnesota.

I would be honored to have your vote on November 6th. To learn more, please go to www.DALEYforSENATE.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this and have a great day!

Stay on top of the 2012 election cycle. Check out these other Q&As with our local Eagan legislative candidates:

  • Q&A: Masin Believes Current Legislature Unable to Address Minnesota's Needs
  • Q&A: Carlson Wants to Bring Back Ethics and Honesty Back into Politics
Rosco October 23, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Daley spent his time in office on social issues. Issues that discriminate and disenfranchise people. He and his party haven't created any bills that would create jobs. He is a member of ALEC so, he doesn't write the bills ALEC does. The voter ID bill that Daley supports will increase the size of government and increase taxes to pay for it. We don't have a voter fraud problem here in MN. Daley hasn't mentioned why he supports a larger government and higher taxes to pay for this fictional problem. If you want a bigger government, higher taxes and your freedoms taken from you then by all means support Daley.
Ken in MN October 23, 2012 at 02:46 PM
The "balanced" the budget by stealing from the schools. FAIL!
Grace Kelly October 23, 2012 at 03:04 PM
As a state senator, one would expect Ted Daley to be at public forums and events. Yet, Daley went AWOL at all recent forums. This included forums from non-partisan faith groups like ISAIAH and governmental action alliances like I-35W Solutions Alliance. Maybe he is ducking questions. I would have like to have asked Ted Daley why he thinks borrowing $2.7 billion from schools to pay the daily bills of the state is good financial practice? And Ted Daley claims to be an accountant (CPA). The claimed surplus comes from the borrowing of funds owed to the schools. With this kind of logic, we could all borrow ourselves into being millionaires. Heh, don't take my word for it. Just cut and past this " That brought the total amount owed to $2.7 billion. Minnesota budget" into Google search and see a page full of references. Ted Daley also said "We were successful in providing a $200 per pupil increase in funding to our local schools." Wow, Ted Daley's legislature said to the schools basically said, "We won't pay you, go borrow it if you have to" and then said "Oh, and you can borrow more so you can spend $200 more per pupil." Was that $200 per pupil to cover the interest of the borrowing? The punchline is that Daley says that this "demonstrated our commitment to education." Obviously, commitment means non-payment. Would you want Ted Daley as your CPA or State Senator with this kind of accounting logic?
Grace Kelly October 23, 2012 at 05:44 PM
The best way to get jobs is to attract more high-tech highly-innovative businesses to locate here. Education is the best action that we can do to attract businesses. That is what studies like "BUSINESS LOCATION DECISION-MAKING AND THE CITIES: BRINGING COMPANIES BACK" by Natalie Cohen conclude. As an MBA student, I can tell you that an industry or a business would locate near the market or the source of its most important product. For high tech, high innovation industries, the most important resource is an educated talented workforce. We should be concentrating on have the best educated pool of people for a green-tech industry or for internet startups. This plan has worked before here in Minnesota, when it was called the Minnesota Miracle. We can do it again. Jim Carlson (Ted Daley's opponent) supports education. Ted Daley only pretends to support education. When it comes to real commitment in money, Ted Daley uses education as a piggy bank to steal from. In contrast, the ongoing "job creation" plan of Ted Daley is to give even more tax breaks to the richest of the rich. The richest of the rich tend to invest overseas in places like China. Ted Daley's plan is really job creation in places like China. Local jobs or oversea jobs - which will you pick?
Thomas Anderson October 23, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Seriously? Daley's biggest priority in 2010 was jobs. What did we get? Divisive social amendments, failure to govern, dishonest budgetary gimmicks and gridlock. No thanks Senator Daley, you are fired!
Deb M October 23, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Ted, you really must quit lying to yourself. Everybody knows when you borrow BILLIONS from education, do not pay it back there is NO surplus. Do the math yourself and it will be instantly obvious. You are a member of ALEC which, for me, makes every word out of your mouth suspect. You are not standing for Minnesotans when you look to ALEC for guidance on all legislation. I might also ask why you have only shown up at two debates? The first at Rasmussen College was sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, endorsers of the GOP and it appeared that some of the GOP candidates were fed the questions beforehand as one candidate for Representative was reading her answers off a cheat sheet. Not sure why you bothered showing up at the debate at Blackhawk Middle School sponsored by Early Childhood Family Services. Oh I forgot you had to perpetuate the lie regarding the money borrowed from schools. Last, let's discuss your "No New Taxes" pledge. Not a single citizen in the Eagan/Burnsville area escaped without a property tax hike. The GOP slashed funding for state mandated services and borrowed from schools which in turn forced the communities to raise property taxes to keep public services such as police and fire functioning. I hold the GOP personally responsible for that hike so you did break that much touted "No New Taxes" pledge. Clearly Ted you are NOT a good choice for Eagan/Burnsville.
Sherry D. October 24, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Unfortunately, the information that Mr. Daley posts about his "accomplishments" is, at best, inaccurate. Ted was part of the crowd that took money from the public schools and the tobacco settlement to "balance the budget". Unlike when the rest of us borrow, there was no plan for paying any of the money back to the children he took it from. Public services have been cut and property taxes have gone up. The GOP crowd was willing to shut down the state in order to try to push through their right-wing social agenda. Ted and his ALEC cronies are behind the Voter ID amendment; which, if it passes, will cost the citizens of Minnesota millions of dollars and will disenfranchise many voters (particularly those who are already marginalized). It's time to thank Ted for his service elect Jim Carlson to represent our district.
ellen holmes lafans November 04, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Republican Senator Ted Daley along with the other republican legislators came to the town hall forum one year ago with Paul Ryan's radical budget plan to privatize social security and voucher Medicare rather than to have the wealthiest pay their fair share. This is not Minnesotan and this would be very bad for all of us. He is not representing us and he is not what he appears to be. He is a puppet for the biggest corporations. I'm voting for the DFL candidate Jim Carlson. Jim Carlson does not take lobbyist money and is NOT a member of ALE. Jim represents US!!

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