On her personal Facebook page, Molly Schultz Pederson posted an interesting reaction (though not set to "public") to the Hutchinson Leader story, 15 minutes with Tim Walz: His case to be Minnesota's next governor:
Let's talk about Tim Walz's thoughts on the buffer bill and the frightening way he plans to run his agencies if he's elected. Here's what he had to say in response to a recent question about the buffers, with my thoughts.
TW: I agree with (farmers) about this. The farmers are not pushing back on this because they don’t care about clean water. They most certainly do. And it’s not that the buffer strip idea, or the idea of source-point cleaning of water is not a good idea. I think the frustration is: Why didn’t we include in the conversations those people who were going to be affected by it? Why didn’t we on the front end bring them in?
MSP: Well, let's first address the swipe at how I did my job as Mark Dayton's advisor when the buffer bill was passed. Mr. Walz, with all due respect, you weren't there, and I can assure you, there were ample conversations and ample input from the people who were going to be regulated. Perhaps I should be flattered that you think we had the power to simply ram this through the Republican House and very brown DFL Senate. I could talk extensively about our process and, of course, how the discussion of buffers has been going on for...decades...to debunk this myth, but I'll move on.
TW: I refuse to believe that (farmers) weren’t going to be (willing). In many cases, they already have been. We’ve seen compliance above 90 percent of people voluntarily doing this.
MSP: This is a statistic that exists....nowhere. NOWHERE can we see 90% voluntary buffer installations. Prior to passage of the buffer law, only a handful of counties had MANDATORY buffer laws and in THOSE COUNTIES, compliance was over 90%.
TW: But if we as a society are going to ask them to take productive land out of production, there is a responsibility to compensate them fairly for that. I totally agree with that.
MSP: I totally agree with that too, but the proposal touted by some of the groups this past legislative session didn't actually do this. The proposal was a $50 tax credit for every acre taken out of production. In addition to not being nearly enough money, it's kind of a dumb way to reimburse someone for land they can't use because...where do you stop? Everybody who owns land has setback requirements that regulate development and use. Under this theory, why not give a tax credit to every business in the entire state for every square foot of land on their property they can't use to generate income because of the setback requirements? Businesses get to set their prices based on the need to cover all of their expenses, including the land their building sits on, which includes land they're not allowed to build on as a setback. Instead of ramming through last session's dumb tax credit proposal, which, by the way, used the Clean Water Fund instead of the general fund (where tax credits SHOULD be paid) and only compensated people who hadn't yet put in their buffers (the ag groups touting this seemed remarkably unconcerned about their members who've had buffers in for decades), I think the conversations and subsequent proposals for adequate compensation, should be much broader.
TW: Our producers want to keep that water as clean as possible, want to do it in the most efficient way, willing certainly to help. Certainly tired of people lecturing to them. I don’t think our agencies need to be seen as regulatory agencies, they need to be seen as partners. I will show regulatory humility … rather than me coming in with a stick and telling you what it’s going to be, I’m much more the carrot guy.
MSP: This is one of the most discouraging statements I've ever heard from any DFL candidate ever running for governor, to say that he doesn't think his agencies should "be seen as regulatory." With all due respect, Mr. Walz, WHO ELSE IS GOING TO ENFORCE THE LAWS? And which laws are you going to actually enforce, and where will you show "regulatory humility?" So, we are already nearing 100% compliance on the buffer laws, but some people are still complaining, so is that an example of where you'll toss out a law because some people can't be bothered to comply with it? Will you be similarly inclined to toss out other laws that other people that you consider politically important don't want to comply with? Can we get a list of those before August 14? Can we count on you to champion much needed laws to, say, regulate predatory payday lenders, or will you be the "carrot guy" with the people who charge 300% interest on loans to poor people?
More on this in an upcoming post.
Pederson formerly served as Executive Director of Audubon Minnesota and Government Affairs Director for Conservation Minnesota. Her LinkedIn profile states that she was a Senior Policy Advisor for Governor Dayton from October 2013-June 2016; her Facebook profile notes that she is self-employed at Molly Schultz Pedersen Consulting.
She has one client as a contract lobbyist. According to Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board records, she is a registered lobbyist for Friends of the Mississippi River. According to the Board's records, she has not contributed contributions to any political candidate.
Here are the screenshots of the post from a reader:
Pederson raises more important points than Bluestem covered in The unbearable humility of regulatory capture: Walz set to erase years of work on buffers.
Photo: Buffers, elements of non-buddy agencies.
If you appreciate our posts and original analysis, you can mail contributions (payable to Sally Jo Sorensen, 600 Maple Street, Summit SD 57266) or use the paypal button in the upper right hand corner of this post. Those wishing to make a small ongoing monthly contribution should click on the paypal subscription button.
Or you can contribute via this link to paypal; use email email@example.com as recipient.