With under two weeks before the general election, a Mankato Democrat running for governor is highlighting some of the differences between himself and G.O.P. opponent Jeff Johnson.
U.S. Congressman Tim Walz said perhaps the greatest divides between them are how they’d address various social issues, including the continued debate concerning gay marriage. “I certainly don’t think it’s the government’s responsibility to tell people who they love and who they marry,” he said.
Another example? Walz said prohibition doesn’t work. “It didn’t work on alcohol and I don’t think it works on cannabis,” he stated, “I think the state can regulate that in a smart manner and give freedoms to people.”
Walz also believes it’s not the government’s responsibility to make health care decisions for women because, “Those are things that are personal freedoms issues.
Meanwhile, Johnson is warning Minnesotans will have long waits for health care under a single-payer system that Walz wants to phase in — and he brought a former doctor from Thunder Bay Hospital to the Capitol this week to back him up.
Doctor Lee Kuriskso said, “Our wait time for an elective CT scan was seven months long. For an MRI, it was 13 months.” He added that when he left, 40 percent of Thunder Bay residents had no access to primary care
Walz also blasted Johnson for saying the state is over-taxed in response to Duluth voters approving a sales tax increase for street repairs, saying, “The lack of respect for 77 percent of the voters who chose to improve their community… is stunning to me.”
Johnson responded that if Duluth residents choose to increase their taxes, state law allows it and, “I’m a local control guy, but I will continue to say that taxes are too high in the state of Minnesota, and Tim and I just fundamentally disagree on that: He thinks they need to go up.”
The two are also trading shots over the minimum wage. Walz backed off from his website pledge that he’d increase it to $15 dollars. Johnson said he opposes a $15 minimum wage because, “It hurts the people that we claim we want to help.” He added that it would be a “killer” for the smallest businesses.