Down the page in Carolyn Lange's coverage of the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce candidate forum between incumbent DFLer Mary Sawatzky and Republican challenger Dave Baker, Local candidate forum: Sawatzky, Baker tackle jobs, taxes, transportation and political leadership, we find this interesting exchange:
Baker said he visited with a local accountant who said 10 of his clients moved out of Minnesota because of tax policies approved last year in Minnesota.
Sawatzky disputed that story.
She said she also visited with the accountant and was told that just one family moved. Sawatzky said that individual told her he moved because he couldn’t afford to keep his airplane here anymore.
On his website, Sawatzky's opponent uses a similiar play-it-loose-with-with-the-facts approach along with a case of bangorrhea and peculiar capitalization, and it's all about business owners--not education, transportation or that pesky minimum wage. Baker laments that it's "hard to compete with neighboring states with wage and labor laws and more."
For a critical examination of general claims like those that Baker makes, check out No, Minnesota is not 'dead last' in the Midwest in job growth in MinnPost.
Baker goes for the exclamation point to make his spin seem more urgent, and when it comes to his local examples, it's best to have someone in office who checks his story out, as Sawatzky has done. Seriously!
This unlisted Youtube of the debate isn't shot from a good vantage point (it's hard to see either candidate and the ambient sound of silverware is distracting), but it does seem to be a complete record of the forum:
Sawatzky gives an impassioned defense of the DFL big tent--which includes socially conservative Democrats like herself--versus the fate of House Republicans who bucked their party on marriage equality and the gas tax.
Photo: Mary Sawatzky and a young supporter, via Facebook.
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