Mark Dayton is the right choice for governor

By Representatives Jeff Hayden and Bobby Joe Champion
Guest Commentators

This is an incredibly challenging yet hopeful time for our community.

The home foreclosure crisis continues to weaken our communities and displace families. Jobs have been lost and they haven’t come back. Far too many Minnesotans are losing access to basic healthcare coverage. All the while, our politics have not moved with the urgency needed to address the serious challenges facing our community and state.

There is reason for hope that change is coming to Minnesota. That reason is Mark Dayton as our next governor.

Minnesota has not had a DFL governor for over 20 years. Mark Dayton is a DFLer who understands the unique challenges facing our community. In both word and action, he has been on our side.

From his days as a teacher in New York City, Dayton knows a good education, taught by great teachers, puts our children on the path to success. Dayton voted against “No Child Left Behind” in the U.S. Senate because he knows excessive testing isn’t the answer. He is serious about closing our achievement gap and meeting our state’s obligation to adequately fund our schools in the 21st century. Dayton’s education plan calls for increased funding for early childhood as well as state-funded and optional all-day kindergarten.

Dayton knows our economic recovery will only be real if good paying jobs are created for all Minnesotans. He served twice as Minnesota’s Commissioner of Economic Development. As our U.S. Senator, he helped secure funding to build the Hiawatha Light Rail Line and secured resources for Youthbuild, a program that helps urban youth earn high school credit while getting real world experience building affordable housing. He opposes tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas.

In every election, there are contrasts between candidates. In this election, the contrast could not be more pronounced.

Tom Emmer’s budget plan would cut over $2 billion from basic healthcare programs and over $500 million from education. Meanwhile, he has the audacity to propose a $600 million tax cut for corporations.

Tom Horner’s plan is not much better. Horner would expand regressive taxes on clothing and basic services while shielding the wealthiest Minnesotans from any increases. Don’t these two plans sound familiar?

Mark Dayton is the only candidate offering a new vision for Minnesota that all Minnesotans can be a part of. His plan protects those who have been hit hardest by the recession. He will increase taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans so we can invest in our middle class, basic health care, and our schools.

At a town hall forum earlier this year, we heard from many discouraged voters.

People who felt joy and excitement with the election of President Obama were disappointed that more wasn’t getting done.

We agreed that change should come faster. But our collective response must not be resignation or defeat. This election is the next step forward for Minnesota, and Mark Dayton needs our voice and vote to make it happen.

Together with Dayton, we can create new jobs, care for those who are sick, improve our schools, and truly rebuild a Minnesota “where we all do better.”

Join us on November 2 and cast your ballot for our community, for our state, for Mark Dayton.

Minnesota State Rep. Jeff Hayden (DFL District 61B) welcomes reader responses to, and Rep. Bobby Joe Champion (DFL District 58B) welcomes them to