FFM Bulletin 12/15/11


FFM welcomes Gov. Jon Huntsman to MN


Last week, we were honored to host Gov. Jon Huntsman at our Capitol Club holiday luncheon in Minneapolis. Governor Huntsman’s remarks focused on his previous experiences as governor of Utah, as well as his experience as US Ambassador to China. The title of his remarks was: “Why the Relationship Between China and the United States is the Most Important One in the 21st Century.”

We are thankful the governor was able to speak with some of our members about the challenges that the Chinese government must confront in the next few years.

If you’re interested in supporting the Freedom Foundation’s educational work at the Minnesota legislature, please consider an end-of-the-year, tax-deductible contribution to the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota. You can do so by clicking here. If you’re interested in learning more about our Capitol Club, contact Christina Pajak at christina.pajak@freedomfoundationofminnesota.com.


Buffalo residents face a "tough lie" with city-owned golf course

The City of Buffalo will be “seeing red” when it looks at the balance sheet for its municipal golf course. According to the recently posted 2012 budget,the city lost $502,336 on the course in 2011.

Buffalo has been handicapping taxpayers for years by forcing citizens to subsidize the losses at the Wild Marsh Golf Course. The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota conducted a statewide study of municipal golf courses and found that Buffalo was one of the worst offenders when it came to losing taxpaying money for recreation. The city purchased the golf course in 2004 and has lost a considerable amount in subsequent years after posting a modest profit during its first year. During 2004-2008
Buffalo, the city of 15,000 residents, lost more than $1.4 million, or nearly $100 per man, woman or child in that rural community.

As we recommended in our report, cities like Buffalo should stop forcing citizens to subsidize their neighbors’ recreation while competing with private businesses. 


Ninth time's the charm for Brooklyn Center schools

If at first you don’t succeed, try again - and again - until you try nine times. And hold the election at a really convenient time for voters - like during the Christmas/Hanukkah season.

The Brooklyn Center school district finally succeeded on Tuesday when voters renewed the current school levy after nine attempts over the past six years. The levy was set to expire at the end of the year if Tuesday’s referendum was unsuccessful.

The failed referendum proposal in September asked voters to increase the levy from the current $337 per pupil. Since voters rejected an increase eight times, Superintendent Keith Lester and the school board finally listened to the voters when developing the latest (and successful) proposal.

“Recent levy requests have been for an increase in funding and have not passed. This levy request is for a renewal only—which would simply continue existing funding—and would not increase taxes,” the district pitched on its website.

Unlike the mail-in ballot process used in September, Tuesday’s election was entirely in person. The result was 513-196.


Stimulus Funding for Controversial Wind Farm Up in the Air - Accountability Alert

An initiative led by Congressman John Kline (MN-R) would do more than terminate the federal stimulus renewable energy program that funded the bankrupt $535 million notorious Solyndra solar power project. If successful, it would also knock the wind out of a key funding source for one of the nation’s most controversial wind projects –T. Boone Pickens’ proposed $180 million AWA Goodhue Wind farm in Kline’s congressional district.

Read the entire Accountability Alert on our website.


FFM in the News

FFM CEO Annette Meeks penned an opinion piece for the Star Tribune on the "soda tax" idea that continues to receive attention as a method to raise revenue while curbing obesity. From the piece:

“Make no mistake about it: Obesity is a serious public health problem. I understand the implications of an overweight society for our American health care system as well as for each of us personally. But while [the author] makes several interesting arguments regarding government's subsidization of agricultural products, he misses the mark when he suggests that a soda tax will curb obesity in Minnesota.”

To read the entire piece on StarTribune.com, click here.

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One of our latest Accountability Alerts was featured on BigGovernment.com. The story focuses on a tanning salon tax tucked away in the Obamacare bill that has been a major factor in the sharp spike of tanning salons that have shut their doors since 2009. This tax affects a lot more than the Jersey Shore wannabes. Taxes like this one mean fewer jobs and less local businesses. 


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