DFL Rejects Debates

Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party leaders rejected Minnesota Republican
Chairman Ron Careys suggestion that the parties debate the now-law
transportation funding bill.

Carey wanted eight debates, one per congressional district, to discuss
the $6.6 billion, 10-year transportation funding bill. Carey likes to call it
the largest tax increase in state history.

"To strengthen our economy, Republicans believe we must take measures
that reward hard work and investment," Carey wrote to DFL Chairman Brian Melendez. "Now is not the time to be punishing Minnesotans with gas tax increases, sales
tax increases, license tab fee increases and other fee increases."

Democrats were not exactly thrilled to debate an issue lawmakers already
resolved by overriding Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto.

"The verdict is in, the
Legislature has spoken: On Monday more than two-thirds of legislators overrode
Gov. Pawlenty’s veto to pass a bipartisan comprehensive transportation bill
that will finally help rebuild our roads and bridges, reduce congestion and
improve public transit," said Kelly Schwinghammer, the DFL communications director. "With Minnesotans facing with skyrocketing health care costs, mortgage
foreclosures, high property taxes and a lackluster economy, this is no time for
sour grapes from the Republican Party."