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Support Kirk Stensrud for 48A Representative
     • 10/28/2010: Robert Johnson
     • 10/28/2010: Ben Johnson
     • Ruud's Voting Record: How Liberal Is She?
     • 10/28/2010: Bev Aho
     • 10/28/2010: Jon Nelson
     • 10/28/2010: Ruth Wollenberg
     • 10/28/2010: Bob Gorsky
     • 10/28/2010: Tom Gasper
     • 10/21/2010: Andreas Schultz
     • 10/21/2010: Jill and Ted Manley
     • 10/21/2010: David Johnson
     • 10/20/2010: Ronald Youngdahl
     • 10/14/2010: Bill Cullen
     • 10/14/2010: Tom Styczinski
     • 10/14/2010: Kirk Stensrud
     • 10/13/2010: Nancy Axelson
     • 10/13/2010: John Tyler
     • 10/13/2010: Al Starshak
     • 10/13/2010: Jeffrey Simon
     • 10/07/2010: Patty Brandt
     • 10/07/2010: Steven Bieloh
     • 10/07/2010: Julie Schmandke
     • 10/07/2010: Randy Liebo
     • 10/07/2010: Kirk Stensrud
     • 09/30/2010: Brad Aho
     • 09/30/2010: William Horn
     • 09/30/2010: Crystal Kelly
     • 09/30/2010: Peter Bozanich
     • 09/30/2010: Betty Helseth
     • 09/30/2010: Edgar Morton
     • 09/26/2010: David Johnson
     • 09/23/2010: Anne E. Seeland
     • 09/23/2010: Kirk Stensrud
     • 09/23/2010: Larry G. DeVries
     • 09/16/2010: John Tyler
     • 09/09/2010: Bryan Tupman
     • 09/02/2010: John E. Rice
     • 08/26/2010: David Johnson
     • 08/26/2010: Stacey Bozanich
     • 08/19/2010: Kim Stender
     • 08/19/2010: Lonnie Gades
     • 08/19/2010: Thor and Carmen Hansen
     • 08/19/2010: John Tyler
     • 08/05/2010: Peter Bozanich
     • 07/29/2010: Mark Johnson
     • 07/29/2010: David Johnson
     • 06/24/2010: John Iverson
     • 06/03/2010: Fred Koppelman
     • 05/27/2010: Donna Azarian
     • 04/22/2010: Peter Bozanich

Support David Hann for Senate SD48
     • 10/28/2010: Bob Gorsky
     • 10/28/2010: Brad Aho
     • 10/28/2010: Kathy Tyler
     • 10/28/2010: Tom Gasper
     • 10/14/2010: Bill Cullen
     • 10/14/2010: Tom Styczinski
     • 10/14/2010: David Hann
     • 10/13/2010: Jeffrey Simon
     • 10/07/2010: David Hann
     • 10/07/2010: Stephen Hann
     • 10/07/2010: Bonnie Gasper
     • 09/30/2010: Krisla Bereth
     • 09/30/2010: Bev Aho
     • 09/16/2010: John Tyler
     • 08/26/2010: David Johnson
     • 08/26/2010: Roger Jorgenson
     • 07/29/2010: David Johnson
     • 07/01/2010: David Johnson

Questioning Melissa Krull, Eden Prairie School Board
     • 10/21/2010: Scott Ruthford
     • 10/21/2010: Andi Svendsen
     • Eden Prairie School Board: How They Voted
     • 10/14/2010: Nichole Hansen
     • 10/14/2010: Mark Diede
     • 10/14/2010: Gwen Welder
     • 09/23/2010: Eden Prairie News Editorial Staff
     • 09/23/2010: Eric Falkenstein
     • 06/24/2010: Jim Johnson
     • 06/24/2010: Nancy Frischmon
     • 06/17/2010: Karla Bratrud and Jessie Score

Support Jon Duckstad for Mayor
     • 10/28/2010: Sheila Kihne
     • 10/28/2010: Kathy Tyler
     • 10/28/2010: Tom Gasper
     • 10/21/2010: John Iverson
     • 10/21/2010: Carole Duckstad
     • 10/21/2010: John Mahowald
     • 10/21/2010: Richard Proops
     • 10/21/2010: Jon Duckstad
     • 10/21/2010: Tony Pavik
     • 10/20/2010: Denny Vinar
     • 10/14/2010: Jon Duckstad
     • 09/30/2010: Jon Duckstad
     • 09/30/2010: Denny Vinar
     • 09/23/2010: Richard Proops
     • 09/23/2010: Jon Duckstad
     • 09/09/2010: Jon Duckstad
     • 09/02/2010: Karen Paul
     • 08/26/2010: Jeff Meyerhofer
     • 06/17/2010: Jon Duckstand

Support Donna Azarian for City Council
     • 10/28/2010: Sheila Kihne
     • 10/28/2010: Kathy Tyler
     • 10/28/2010: Tom Gasper
     • 10/21/2010: Lee Prinkkila
     • 10/21/2010: John Mahowald
     • 10/21/2010: Richard Proops
     • 10/21/2010: Donna Azarian
     • 10/21/2010: Tony Pavik
     • 10/20/2010: Denny Vinar
     • 10/14/2010: Martin Azarian
     • 10/14/2010: Donna Azarian
     • 09/30/2010: Donna Azarian
     • 09/30/2010: Jake Grassel
     • 09/30/2010: Denny Vinar
     • 09/23/2010: Donna Azarian
     • 09/16/2010: Donna Azarian
     • 09/09/2010: Al Krause
     • 08/26/2010: Kevin Schultz

Support Tom Emmer for Governor
     • 10/28/2010: Tom Gasper
     • 10/28/2010: William Horn
     • 10/07/2010: Marc Papineau
     • 09/16/2010: John Tyler

Support Greg Wersal, Tim Tingelstad, and Dan Griffith for Judge
     • 10/28/2010: Jeff Thompson

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 28, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Robert Johnson, Eden Prairie

Maria Ruud is a liberal. Her literature and her supporters assure us that she's just "Finding Common Ground", she's "moderate", she's "reaching across the aisle". But she's really just a liberal.

Polticians can say all kinds of things about themselves. But the only thing that counts is the voting record. And, according to Ruud's voting record, she's a liberal.

According to seven right leaning interest groups, Ruud is a liberal. The Taxpayers League and the Chamber of Commerce both give Ruud failing marks. The NRA gives her a zero. Four other conservative groups (Minnesota Majority, Bills and Votes, MCCL, and the LEA) all give her failing marks.

But that's not all. Liberal groups insist that Ruud is a liberal too!

Outfront Minnesota, a group that supports gay marriage, gives Ruud a perfect score. CleanWater Action, who opposes all nuclear power, gives Ruud a perfect score. Three government employee unions (AFCME, MAPE, and SEIU) give Ruud perfect or near-perfect scores.

Seven liberal groups and seven conservative groups all agree. Ruud is not finding common ground. Ruud is not a moderate. Ruud is not reaching across any aisles. Ruud is a liberal.

For six years, Ruud has been getting away with saying one thing and then doing another. The interest groups -- all 14 of them -- know she is a liberal. Now you do too.

Please vote for Kirk Stensrud on November 2.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 28, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Ben Johnson, Eden Prairie

I have been following the problems with the local Eden Prairie School Board.  It seems like four board members (out of seven) have unilaterally decided to do away with the concept of neighborhood schools.  The plan being implemented is going to happen without the input and, apparently, without the support of many parents.  What we have is a school board that is completely out of control and out of touch with the people they represent.

Then I thought of Maria Ruud.

In 2010, Ruud supported a bill that would have done away with school referendums.  The bill (HJ12470) would have allowed your local school board to simply raise your taxes any time it wanted and you would have absolutely no say in the matter.  The middle man -- you the taxpayer -- would be completely removed from the decision.

Is that what we want -- to give our local school board even more power?  It sounds like insanity to me.  Giving a blank check to Teachers Unions and School Boards is never a good idea.  But that is exactly what Ruud supports.

With Ruud's help, the bill passed the Minnesota House.  Thankfully, it died in the Senate.  But it shows once again just how extreme the Ruud agenda really is.

Kirk Stensrud supports democracy.  He will never take away your right to vote.  He knows that accountability forces school boards to be responsive to the local public.  Accountability makes better schools, better teachers, and better students.  In November, my vote will go to preserve accountability.  In November, my vote will go to Kirk Stensrud.

Candidates typically tell you only what they want you to know. That's why it's useful to seek the help of watchdog organizations who actually examine a large number of key bills and show us exactly how the legislators are voting. So how is Representative Maria Ruud doing according to scorecards from fourteen public interest groups?
Conservative interest groups all agree: Ruud is a Liberal
Liberal interest groups all agree: Ruud is a Liberal
Taxpayer's League "Heroes of the Taxpayer"
Pro-taxpayer and business group

OutFront Minnesota
Promotes the gay marriage issue

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
Supports small business group
Clean Water Action Alliance
Opposes all nuclear power
Minnesota Majority "Heroes and Zeroes"
Tax burden, spending, voter integrity, healthcare, energy and education policy
AFCME Council 5
A government employees union
Bills and Votes
Tax burden, spending, voter integrity, legislative reform
Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE)
A government employees union
National Rifle Association
Gun rights
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
A government employees union
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life
National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) - Pro-Choice Minnesota
Supports abortion on demand
Minnesota Legislative Evaluation Assembly
Social Issues
National Organization for Women (NOW)
Supports abortion on demand
Check the links to see the actual bills that were scored

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 28, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Bev Aho, Eden Prairie

I am writing in support of Kirk Stensrud, candidate for House in 48A. As a small business owner, Kirk understands the sound fiscal policies that are necessary to make Minnesota competitive again and able to attract businesses and how misguided policies hurt job growth and our state's economy.

Please visit Kirk's website at for more information and contact him regarding issues that are important to you and your family. I am convinced you will be impressed with his expericne, ideas and well-reasoned approach to solving Minnesota's problems in these tough economic times.

The people of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka couldn't ask for a better candidate and , this November, we have a clear choice in 48A. Please vote for Kirk Stensrud for House in 48A.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 28, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Jon Nelson, Eden Prairie

It's time for a change in leadership over at the State Capitol and that change calls for making Kirk Stensrud the next state representative for District 48A.

Jobs, jobs, jobs seem to be the watchword today and that is exactly what is needed. The good news is that Kirk Stensrud is already experienced at creating jobs! Kirk had successfull careers with several companies and then started his own business which created jobs for others... he is exactly what we need to get this state going again!

For six years, Maria Ruud has been telling us that she is "moderate" and "finding common ground". Finding common ground really means more government and higher taxes and the common ground part must mean we all will pay for it through higher taxes. Both conservative and liberal groups agree that Maria Ruud is a liberal. But the ultimate test is her voting record ... Liberal ... check it out.

Vote for Kirk Stensrud on November 2. Your wallet is counting on you.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 28, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Ruth Wollenberg, Minnetonka

I am writing in support of Kirk Stensrud for the Minnesota State House seat in House District 48A. I do not know Kirk personally, but have talked with him on the phone. Kirk has been a lifelong resident of Minnesota and a resident of Eden Prairie for 23 years. He has been an active participant in the community and in the Minnetonka School District. He is a small business owner, so knows what it is to make payroll and that you can't spend money you don't have.

As a businessman, he knows what kind of policies can make Minnesota competitive again. He also knows what policies hurt job growth. Higher taxes especially hurt small business where most of the job growth originates. Kirk's opponent has voted consistently for higher taxes which hurt not only small business, but all Minnesotans. I urge you to vote for Kirk.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 28, 2010:

Support Erik Paulsen, David Hann, Kirk Stensrud, Jenifer Loon
By: Bob Gorsky, Eden Prairie

Eden Prairie is fortunate. Fortunate in that we have three candidates who support the idea of limited government and a reinvented government. Erik Paulsen, David Hann, and Jenifer Loon all understand that tough choices will have to be made in the coming years at both the state and federal government level.

All three will work hard to pass an agenda to limit the reach and power of government. They understand that we cannot simply increase spending or taxes to solve our problems. A fundamental understanding of what government was intended to be will be their focus. A structure to protect and assist the citizenry of the country to remain free and not rule.

And they need to be joined by Kirk Stensrud for state representative in District 48A.

We have passed the point of trying to keep the current bloated and freedom crushing enterprise of government afloat. Now is the time for real change, change that brings forth the old ideal of government from the country's founding. An idea that allows every man, woman and child the express opportunity to succeed and prosper in an enviroment unhindered by a wasteful and ineffective bureaucracy.

Tough choices will be made and harship may occur, but in the end these effects will pale in comparison to the pain and suffering our children will likely experience if we "stay the course" of just nibbling at the edges of the current status quo. A solid foundation for growth and prosperity must be manifest in any retooling of government, a foundation of fiscal responsibility and limited interference of property rights.

As Thomas Jefferson said so many years ago:

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned: This is the sum of good government".

Let's start with this quote and see where it can take us. Vote for those who hold these same ideals and beliefs. I know the above candidates certainly do!

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 28, 2010:

Support Jon Duckstad, Donna Azarian
By: Sheila Kihne, Eden Prairie

The theme of the upcoming City Council election seems to be "experience".

Harry Reid has 28 years of experience in Washington; Nancy Pelosi - 24 years. One could argue that their combined poltical "experience" led to extreme haste in passing some of the most damaging legislation that this country has ever seen. If lack of experience as a politcian translates to slower, more carefully planned government, then I'm all for it.

Donna Azarian has 23 years of experience in the private sector working in management positions for companies like KMSP-TV and Time Warner Cable. That's more private-sector experience than Ms. Tyra-Lukens, Ms. Butcher-Wickstrom, and Ms. Nelson combined. She's earned the endorsement of the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce (hardly a right-wing organization) as well as the Voices of Conservative Women.

As for the four years of complaining about the local Republican endorsments, current City Council member Ron Case said it best when he spoke at the "Drinking Liberally" event in Minneapolis: "I've never run with a 'D' by my name, that's a little problematic". It's terribly disingenious to decry party endorsements but seek them based on political expediency.

The local Republican Party is part of the grassroots beginning of the country's two-party political system. We caucus at the precinct level (required by Minnesota state law) to endorse for President, U.S. Congress, State House and Senate and, yes, City Council. We've even endorsed for School Board and should probably do so again next year as it's clear that the "independents" of the current board lack the political will to stand up to an over-reaching superintendent.

It was enlightening when longtime DFL activist and current Council member said that these endorsements shouldn't happen at the local level unless it's Saint Paul or Minneapolis. So, it's OK where the DFL is in complete controil, but not when a community leans to the right?

Eden Prairie is not a small town. It's one of the largest cities in the state. Rather than spend so much time bemoaning the American political process, candidates should run on the issues.

There are critical decisions to be made in the upcoming years and we need people who clearly understand that it's the private-sector in Eden Prairie that must be strong to build for a vibrant and prosperous future.

My vote is for Jon Duckstad for mayor and Donna Azarian for City Council, the Republican-endorsed candidates.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 28, 2010:

Support David Hann
By: Brad Aho, Eden Prairie

Please help re-elect David Hann to the Minnesota State Senate. His outstanding leadership and well-reasoned, detailed approach to problem solving has served us well during his tenure in the Senate - and is exactly what we need during this difficult economic time. We could not find a more committed, conservative voice for Eden Prairie and Minnetonka than Sen. Hann.

Since first being elected to the State Senate in 2002, Hann has been recognized by the Minnesota School Board Association for his service to education in the legislature, and has been named "Best Friend of the Taxpayer" four times by the Taxpayers League. David's experience has also enabled him to serve effectively as a member of the Senate's Education Committee; the Health, Housing and Family Security Committee; the Agriculture and Veteranns Committee; and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

this year, when there seems to be a strong anti-incumbent attitude among voters, it is important for us to differentiate those officials who have served us well. David is among the best and deserves our vote. Please join me in re-electing David Hann to the Minnesota State Senate.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 28, 2010:

Support David Hann, Jon Duckstad, Donna Azarian, Dan Kitrell
By: Kathy Tyler, Eden Prairie

Funny how all the candidates for Eden Prairie City Council, Mayor and State Senate all suddenly sound like fiscal conservatives - aspiring to control spending, budgets, taxes and the size of government. What is the fiscally conservative voter to do to determine who is real and who to vote for? Look beyond the talk and look to what they have actually done. Actions do speak louder than words in politics.

Kathy Nelson has recently voted with Ron Case for an Eden Prairie increase to the size of the city budget. Nancy Tyra-Lukens as former mayor had budget increases of 8.9 percent in 2006 and 6.2 percent in 2007. Sherry Butcher Wickstrom as former City Council member and Ron Case, now running against David Hann for State Senate, also participated in voting for those increases.

In contrast, current Councilman Jon Duckstad and present candidate for mayor has participated in two zero percent increase city budgets and recommended a third. Donna Azarian is a solid fiscal conservative and is Republican endorsed for that reason. Dan Kitrell has practical business experience in the private sector in running both small and mid-sized successful companies in good economies and bad and has solid financial credentials. Sen. David Hann as senator has a proven track record as a leader in disciplined voting for lower taxes and less government. The fiscally conservative Eden Prairie voter should just think Duckstad for Mayor, Donna and Dan for City Council and David for State Senate. Just think "the four Ds" on Nov. 2.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 28, 2010:

Support Greg Wersal, Tim Tingelstad, and Dan Griffith for Judge
By: Jeff Thompson, Eden Prairie

What should I do with the back of my ballot? Who are these judges I've never heard of? I’m sure plenty of you have had those thoughts when voting.

I’m writing to encourage voters to flip their ballot over and vote against incumbent judges. Why? To show that we the people believe in our right to vote for judges. I urge you to send a message to incumbent judges that you will not tolerate their offorts to take away your right to vote for judges.

For over 150 years, Article VI, Section 7, of the MN Constitution has said that judges “shall be elected by the voters.” However, there is an effort, supported by incumbent judges, to change the process so that judges would be appointed and voters would no longer have any say in who is chosen. Every eight years (yes, it’s also a term extension), we would be allowed a token “retention election” with one name and no real choice. The governor would always select the judges from a short list provided by an unelected committee.

What impact will this have on separation of powers among the branches of government? What of checks and balances? Who’s to say this small committee can’t easily be corrupted?

As you can see by the small number of contested judicial elections, it’s already difficult to successfully run against an incumbent judge, but why give up that right? Greg Wersal, Tim Tingelstad, and Dan Griffith are brave enough to campaign against the incumbents, are GOP-endorsed, and support our right to vote for judges. Please support them by voting for them and against the incumbents.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 28, 2010:

Support Erik Paulsen, Tom Emmer, David Hann, Kirk Stensrud, Jon Duckstad, Donna Azarian
By: Tom Gasper, Eden Prairie

America is trillions of dollars in debt and Minnesota faces billions of dollars in budget problems. Clearly, government spending is out of control. Higher taxes won't fix it. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, already increasing the crushing tax burden on those still working ... and higher taxes will kill future job creation. Democrats are rightly criticized as "tax and spend" zealots having spent like drunken sailors under Obama. Many "Republicans" have done the same. Our only hope for a sustainable economic future is to cut spending and restrain its growth immediately, and that can only happen under the leadership of fiscal conservatives.

Many "disaffected voters" didn't vote in past elections because they were frustrated with all candidates. However the current recession and the groundswell of fiscally conservative Tea Partiers provided a long overdue wakeup call to America. Finally, Americans are paying attention and holding candidates accountable.

Republican-endorsed candidates Erik Paulsen, Tom Emmer, David Hann, and Kirk Stensrud offer our best hope for reigning in government spending. They are proven fiscal conservatives who will protect taxpayers from government wastefulness. Mark Dayton, Ron Case, and Maria Ruud have proven they aren't and will never do so. Voting records tell the truth.

Similarly Jon Duckstad and Donna Azarian will exercise fiscal restraint for the citizens of Eden Prairie. If we elect true fiscal conservatives at ALL levels of government, we will get healthy "change" for America and the future economic prosperity of our children.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 28, 2010:

Support Tom Emmer
By: William Horn, Eden Prairie

Let's get the facts right. The current biennium spending is $30.7 billion. The next "projected" biennium spending is $38.7 billion. That is an increase in spending of $8 billion or 26 percent. In a recession.

Revenues are projected to increase $2.4 billion (or 8 percent). This is the $5.6 billion deficit the Star Tribune keeps telling us we need to fill -- revenues up $2.4 billion, spending up $8 billion, equals deficit of $5.6 billion.

Two governor candidates and one party want to increase spending 26 percent and drown us with increased taxes. The other party wants to just increase spending 8 percent, the amount of the projected revenue increase.

Do the math and vote accordingly.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 21, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Andreas Schultz, Eden Prairie

Maria Ruud and her followers continue to describe her as a “moderate”. According to my understanding, the word “moderate” describes someone that sometimes takes liberal positions on issues and sometimes takes conservative positions.

Maria Ruud supports higher taxes. She votes for higher gas taxes, sales taxes, and income taxes. These are all things liberals do.

Ruud supports something called “The Dream Act” -- a program that allows the children of illegal aliens to get a discount on tuition. She opposes the right of people to conceal and carry a firearm. As state legislator, she sponsored several viewings of Al Gore's propaganda film “An Inconvenient Truth”. She sponsored a cap and trade bill -- a bill that commits Minnesotans to a higher costs and a lower standard of living all in order to save the planet from evil Global Warming. She voted against removing the ban on building new nuclear energy facilities in Minnesota. She supports expanding sex education to children as young as kindergarten. She proposed a Constitutional Amendment to guarantee health care as a right and to authorize rationing of health care resources.

These are all radically liberal positions. There's nothing conservative or moderate about them!  In fact, it is difficult to find even one issue where Ruud comes down on the conservative side.

So let's stop pretending she's “Finding Common Ground”. She never has and never will. It's time to bring some common sense to our state legislature. It's time for Kirk Stensrud. Please elect Kirk Stensrud in 48A.


Maria Ruud supports reduced tuition for illegals

Maria Ruud opposes Conceal and Carry

Ruud and Global Warming

Ruud sponsors cap and trade bill

Ruud signing up people to see Al Gore's propaganda film

Ruud and Sex ed for kindergarten

Ruud supports government takeover of Health Care

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 21, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Jill and Ted Manley, Minnetonka

The DFL majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate have resulted in some bold, arrogant actions which would never occur if there were a true balance of power.

Take, for example, House Bill 3833. This bill would have allowed individual school boards to pass tax levies without putting it to a vote of the people. Who would vote for such an outrageous, constitutionally dubious bill? Maria Ruud would, that's who. Ruud, the blindly loyal DFL legislator from District 48A, voted for the measure, which passed the House and, thankfully, died in the Senate.

Even loyal Democrats ought to be concerned at this apparent power grab. If Ruud and her party can give the foxes the key to the K-12 hen house, what's next?

Democrats should understand that this is wrong. Ruud wants school boards to be able to raise taxes without a referendum. One has to ask, who is Ruud representing -- the powerful government employee unions -- or the citizens of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka?

We are thankful that District 48A has an alternative. Kirk Stensrud supports keeping the right of citizens to vote on school tax levies. Unlike his opponent, he would never vote to take that right away. On November 2, please elect Kirk Stensrud for 48A representative.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 21, 2010:

Questions Ruud, Case
By: David Johnson, Eden Prairie

The middle class is broke.  Small business is broke.  The state employee pension funds are broke.  According to a recent Star Tribune article, Minnesota is facing $6 billion in debt.  And all the DFL wants to do is spend more.  Democrats from Mark Dayton to Maria Ruud and Ron Case believe shouting “tax the rich” will raise revenue and grow jobs.  This is ridiculous.

We cannot fund all of the Democrats' intended programs. And we shouldn't.

Rep. Maria Ruud promises us state-funded all-day kindergarten and a new single-payer health care plan that goes even further to into socialism than Obamacare. Apparently she thinks money grows on trees.

DFL liberals expect businesses to simply roll over as they are taxed and regulated into bankruptcy.  Minnesota is not “too big to fail.”  This logic is faulty.  Anyone with their head on straight can see that following a “spend, spend, spend” philosophy will put us in the same spot as California, New York, and Illinois:: broke and defaulting on our bills.

DFL liberals like to chant “tax the rich” but do not realize that money can move out of this state just as quickly as move in.  They are naïve.  “Rich people” tend to be pretty savvy with their money.  That's how they got rich.

Liberals like Ruud and Case are addicted to spending, but their schemes end up hurting the very people they claim to help.  When Minnesota's economy collapses, it will be senior citizens who suffer, schools in poor neighborhoods that close, sick and vulnerable people who no longer get care.  You don't have to take my word for it.  It is already happening elsewhere.  California, New York and Illinois, three states that have been run by liberals for decades, are on the verge of insolvency.  They simply have stopped paying their bills.

The liberals in power are doing us great harm.  Our state and nation are in a financial crisis and spending money we don't have is not the answer. It's time to reign in the reckless actions of DFL liberals and force them to go cold-turkey on their spending addiction.

Minnesota can't afford more tax and spend liberal addicts. Minnesota can't afford more Maria Ruud and the DFL. And we certainly can't afford to make things worse by electing Ron "old barns are neat" Case to the senate.

Stop the spending madness and vote Republican this November.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 21, 2010:

Support Jon Duckstad
By: John Iverson, Eden Prairie

In 2007 a new majority took over the Eden Prairie City Council and with it a new way of doing city budgets.  A Budget Advisory Committee was formed to actually solicit citizen input.  And, instead of just raising taxes in the face of every hard decision, the new leadership began demanding that city departments start "trimming the fat" in their budgets.

Did they succeed?  According to Eden Prairie City Manager Scott Neal, they did.  According to Neal's December 2007 commentary, the budget maintained city services "at their current levels, while beginning to reduce the rate of growth of city spending for the future."

Jon Duckstad's opponent responded to this success by accusing him of "raiding the cookie jar".  In their recent debate, Tyra-Lukens actually asserted that Jon and the Republican majority decimated the Rainy Day Fund in order to keep their promise not to raise taxes.  So I checked with City Hall and do you know what I found?  The Rainy Day Fund is $5.5 million -- it is much higher than had been previously stated.  Tyra-Lukens' claim is false.

Tyra-Lukens declares Jon's effort to control spending is unsustainable.  "Unsustainable" is liberal code for: "I will raise your taxes".  That is her track record.  In her last two years as mayor, Tyra-Lukens raised taxes 9 percent and 6 percent. 

Instead of smearing Jon's record, Tyra-Lukens ought to be thanking him.  Not only did city services not suffer, not only did Eden Prairie receive national recognition as the #1 city, but Jon should be congratulated for forward thinking.  The city's belt tightening began in 2007 in response to a bad economy.  Now we see state and local governments across the country doing the same thing.

Tyra-Lukens believes special interests should get everything they want.  She wants government that is fat and pulls money out of our wallets. Jon believes that government needs to run lean and efficient.

Jon Duckstad has kept the lid on taxes and that has been a good deal for Eden Prairie families.  He has forced city government to be innovative and cut their budget without sacrificing city services.  Thanks to Jon, not only are we the number one city, but the Rainy Day Fund is full.  Isn't that the kind of forward thinking we want in a mayor?

Please vote for Jon Duckstad for Mayor on November 2.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 21, 2010:

Support Jon Duckstad
By: Carole Duckstad, Eden Prairie

My husband, Jon, is running for Eden Prairie mayor. After many years spent raising children, having a law practice, being involved with many professional, civic and charitable organizations, four years ago and with my blessing, Jon decided he had the passion, time, credentials and wherewithal to run for City Council.

The citizens who are aware of his campaign platform know he is the guy at City Hall who is committed to advocating for the city to live within its means, just as many of us have always done and believe it is admirable to continue to do so. As with every political campaign, not all candidates are completely homogeneous. However, first and foremost, he is sincere in his belief that being fiscally conservative in these lean economic times is in the taxpayers' best interests.

Granted, I am his biggest cheerleader, but I do want you to know he has been, and will continue to be, the watchdog at city hall who cares how your hard-earned money is spent and to ensure that taxpayer money is being utilized to its highest and best use.

To his supporters, thank you.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 21, 2010:

Support Donna Azarian
By: Lee Prinkkila, Eden Prairie

I will be casting my vote this November for Donna Azarian for City Council and encourage you to do the same. I met Donna a few years ago and found her to be a very kind person who listens, gathers the facts, and makes an informed decision. On every project assigned to her, not only did she accomplish it, she completed it way above everyone's expectations. With these two qualities, she will make an excellent City Council member.

Thank you Donna for running, you have my vote and I have told everyone I know to vote for you also.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 21, 2010:

Support Jon Duckstad, Donna Azarian
By: John Mahowald, Eden Prairie

A recent EP News article asked the candidates for City Council whether they will raise taxes on the citizens of Eden Prairie. Let me distill the answers.

Donna Azarian: No. Jon Duckstad: No. So far, so good.

What did the more liberal candidates answer? Nancy Tyra-Lukens says "Tax adjustments will be necessary". Woops! That sounds like she wants a tax increase. Sherry Butcher-Wickstrom confessed that zero tax increases have appeal only "in the short term". Woops! Another one that wants higher taxes!

It sounds like we have two very different views of the world here.

One view wants to hold the line on taxes. Government needs to live within its means. The other view says taxes need to go higher. Government needs to grow and grow and grow despite its harm to Eden Prairie families' budgets.

One view understands that people are struggling. Now is not the time to put more financial pressure on Eden Prairie families and chase businesses and jobs away from the city. The other view is that government doesn't need to prioritize. Even when incomes remain flat, government should always grow.

In fact, when Butcher-Wickstrom and Tyra-Lukens were last in office, they raised taxes almost every year. On the other hand, Jon Duckstad fought to cut needless waste and keep taxes under control without compromising essential city services.

Jon Duckstad will not raise your taxes. Donna Azarian will not raise your taxes. It's as simple as that. Please vote for Jon and Donna on November 2.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 21, 2010:

Support Jon Duckstad, Donna Azarian, Dan Kitrell
By: Richard Proops, Eden Prairie

"Raiding the cookie jar" is a cute, catchy phrase, which lacks depth and accuracy. In developing the 2009 and 2010 budgets the objectives were to have no increase in taxes during the recession and to maintain city services. There are actually two "cookie jars", the Budget Stabilization Fund (rainy day fund) and the Community Development Fund. Together they had a total of $11,000,000 of your money, not dedicated to any specific project. What would your prudent decision have been: raise taxes, cut services or use available funds? The rainy day fund was used temporarily and then replenished, in part, from the Community Development Fund. The current balance is $5,500,000 in the rainy fund and $3,500,000 in the Community Development Fund.

"Deficit financing" is an alarming phrase. Debt! It is a financial tool used for major projects with a long, useful life. It was utilized extensively by the previous administration. Yearly taxes to serve the debt (like paying a mortgage) has increased from $2,000,000 in 2004 to $3,400,000 in 2008, about where it is today. Some of the deficit financing by the previous administration is currently paying for the referendum of $13,345,000 and the fourth fire station for $4,500,000. There was no comparative major financing during the current administration.

Anyone keeping an eye on city hall would understand the events leading to the funding of the Staring Lake trails. The trails were presented to the council for approval as costing $300,000 for the $3,000 foot trail and $400,000 for the 4,000 foot trail. $100 per foot. Analysis showed that the average cost of recent trails was $42 per foot. After the low bid came in at $169,000, the decision was reversed in July. Is this "nonsense" or responsible management?

Don't be fooled by vague, misleading, catchy phrases. Vote for a fiscally responsible team!

The following Candidate Commentary appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 21, 2010:

Fiscal restraint needed during difficult times
By: Councilmember Jon Duckstad, candidate for Eden Prairie Mayor

Government at all levels spends too much money. The federal government is currently spending our money at an alarming rate. Many people were concerned during the Bush administration when the national debt soared to $5 trillion.

Currently, the federal deficit has reached $13.5 trillion and climbing. It is unfortunate that this excessive spending and debt accumulation at the federal level has not provided any meaningful relief to our high unemployment figures and stagnant economy.
Our state revenues have also hit hard times. Looking at the state's financial outlook, we see more gloomy predictions of a $6 billion biennial deficit.

Hennepin County also will be forced to adopt a reduction in its 2011 budget.

For example, county employees again in 2011 will get no cost-of-living adjustments or step pay increases. This echoes the state's action of no pay increases for the past few years. Cities in Minnesota are currently confronted with flat revenue sources and rising costs. Most municipalities that receive Local Government Aid (LGA) and Market Value Homestead Credit Reimbursement (MVHC) can expect to lose some, if not all, of this revenue in 2011.

What does all this have to do with Eden Prairie? Well, spending tax dollars is the easy part; generating revenue is the difficult part in a slumping economy.

Our fiscal cushion has grown slimmer in the face of declining revenues. If we are not dependent on state aid for operating revenues, then we need effective, innovative leadership coupled with spending restraint to address the city's current revenue lag. The hard-working people in this community understand that all of us are required to pay federal and state taxes, in addition to local property taxes. It is simply not prudent to raise taxes when our taxpayers are dealing with a difficult economy, facing layoffs, wage freezes, are increasingly on fixed incomes, and struggling to make ends meet. Likewise, many business owners cannot afford to hire employees and are plagued with lingering uncertainty about the future of their businesses. If the good people in our community are forced to tighten their belts, then so should the city.

The current City Council exhibited forward thinking in adopting two consecutive flat budgets in 2009 and 2010. The 2009 and 2010 budgets were less than the 2008 budget by $233,202.

Year Total Budget
2008 $40,848,133
2009 $40,614,931
2010 $40,614,931

Some voices have criticized our two consecutive zero growth budgets, suggesting we significantly depleted the budget stabilization fund (rainy day fund). This is not true. According to our city manager, this fund is currently at an almost historically high balance of approximately $5.5 million.

It is vital that our city public servants continue to recognize the need to address fundamental restructuring in some city services to ensure the city's ability to provide quality services at a reasonable price. Sustaining core services such as police, fire, street maintenance and parks is first and foremost. However, the city must find ways to reduce costs by cutting or limiting non-essential services, and, further, by consolidating services where possible with other local municipalities.

Together, through fiscal restraint during these difficult times, we can continue to be proud to live and work in a No. 1 city!

The following Candidate Commentary appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 21, 2010:

Continue sensible use of tax dollars, high quality of life
By: Donna Azarian, candidate for Eden Prairie City Council

Eden Prairie is the No. 1 city in the country. It is a title to be proud of.

But if people leave Eden Prairie because they cannot afford to live here any more, how long will our city be able to keep this honorable distinction? I see empty homes throughout the city, a harsh reminder that this economy impacts us all.

Knocking on doors, I have heard stories that would make you want to cry. People are losing their jobs or their spouse is unemployed. They can't afford daycare. Their car needs repairs, but they can't take it into the shop because they need the money for groceries. They are a few months behind in their mortgage payments and are on the verge of losing their home. They are afraid of losing the comforts they were once able to afford – when they had a job or two incomes. Without a job, they have to pay for their own health insurance, which is expensive. Without extra money to spare, they are afraid of having to leave Eden Prairie, the beautiful city where there are plenty of parks, open spaces, trails and decent schools.

All this in the No. 1 city in the country.

Minnesotans are known for their big hearts. Many are in favor of funding social programs to help people in need. I give to charities, but I feel my choice of who I support should not be mandated by the city through my tax dollars. The city should not be in the business of choosing winners and losers by deciding to fund this charity instead of that. There are many worthwhile charities that help our community so the city should promote individual giving and volunteering and leave the deciding of who benefits to each resident. The rationale of “It only costs a few dollars to …” is what some other candidates, who served on the council before, use as they look to fund more and more programs of their choosing rather than allowing us to keep more of our money to give to whom we choose.

I am running for City Council because we cannot afford to bring back this old mentality, which continually spent our hard-earned tax dollars on self-interest projects, like historic preservation to the tune of $2.3 million dollars, with some City Council members having served on the committees that received the funding. Doesn't this seem like a conflict of interest to you, and do you think it's acceptable for a public servant? This same entitlement mentality was also used to justify raising our taxes as they felt that they “knew best” how to spend our money. And now they're back, wanting to spend even more of our money on even more of their projects. And their claim is that it is “unsustainable” to keep Eden Prairie running efficiently without raising taxes, just as they did practically every year they were in office.

I say it can be done, without jeopardizing public safety or our quality of life, because we have done it. For the last three years the council has controlled spending and not raised taxes. And if elected, I will continue this sensible use of your tax dollars. By prioritizing our spending and by keeping city government within its proper bounds, as a partner to business and a good steward of our tax dollars, we can continue to fund the high quality of life we all want for our families, save for the future and encourage the growth of our community, our businesses and thus our tax base.

I will be that good steward of your tax dollars and I ask for your vote this November.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 21, 2010:

Support Jon Duckstad, Donna Azarian, Dan Kitrell
By: Tony Pavik, Eden Prairie

The thought of Tyra-Lukens, Butcher-Wickstrom and Case back together on the council to run our city puts a chill up my spine. Back to the good old days of rubber-stamping, maintaining the status quo, annual tax increases and wasteful spending, some on questionable projects.

How did you like watching them spend millions of our tax money on renovating old houses, barns, or was it out-houses? After defeating a $22 million referendum in 2004, the referendum question reappeared in 2005 but this time it used some "fuzzy" numbers to get it passed. When all was said and done, the new and improved community center cost us I believe about $5 million more than approved. Then, to add some more insult to injury, these forward-thinking visionaries apparently gave little to no consideration to the cost of operating the new center and to what the user fees might be to cover that cost. We are now stuck with a Community Center that operates at a deficit each year which is a drain on the city budget and user fees for its use that are less than affordable. The classic movie line modified for our use: "Build it and they cannot afford to come."

For sensible and fiscally responsible city government, please join me in supporting Jon Duckstad for mayor, Donna Azarian and Dan Kitrell for city council.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 21, 2010:

Forced Busing Proposed in Eden Prairie
By: Scott Ruthford, Eden Prairie

Three years ago the Eden Prairie School District proposed a plan to redraw boundary lines to increase racial diversity in their schools. The effect of the policy would have been to bus students from the elementary school in their neighborhood to a school on the other side of town. The Supreme Court struck down race-based school assignments in 2007 as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause so the school district backed down, but they're at it again.

At a question and answer session regarding the proposed boundary change, a well-informed grandmother of one of the affected students asked Superintendent Melissa Krull if she was aware of any studies that show the ineffectiveness of these types of policies is well documented. This is why their use has declined nationwide by 90 percent since the 1970s. The fact that Ms. Krull had no awareness of any studies to the contrary of her findings is appalling and frankly the lack of intellectual curiosity by someone with a doctorate charged with making public policy is disappointing.

We also need to recognize the environmental and sustainability advantages of having walkable communities and short bus routes, not to mention the disastrous effects on property values these policies cause. What parent would want to buy a house with a school across the street that their child cannot attend?

Eden Prairie residents are some of the most diversity-minded, enlightened, educated parents you'll meet. No parent in our community is against classroom diversity of any kind. We are opposed to ripping our children away from their friends and away from their neighborhood schools so the school district can dust off some failed social engineering policies from the 1970's. Even if your child is not directly affected by this policy, your child's best friend may be moved to another school. I urge all parents to help us oppose this terrible policy on principle alone. It could be coming soon to a school district near you.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 21, 2010:

Don't Approve Boundary Map
By: Andi Svendsen, Eden Prairie

The boundary maps should not be approved and those of us living near a neighborhood school should continue to have the opportunity to attend that school. We currently bike to Prairie View Elementary School with out neighborhood. Under the proposed boundary map, this will no longer be possible. Our neighborhood is very close and we all love the culture of teaching our kids that biking is a better choice for their health, brain activity, fitness and environment. We have wonderful conversations about school and life while biking which we will miss when my child is forcibly bused across town. We also have the opportunity to teach bike safety each morning and afternoon, another life skill.

I am asking you to please consider the effect this has on our community, our health, our taxes, and our environment. Let's be innovative and find ways to improve every child's education rather than just shuffling kids from school to school.

Eden Prairie School Board
How They Voted On The School Boundary Decision

VOTED FOR Next Election VOTED AGAINST Next Election
Kim Ross November 2011 John Estall November 2011
Carol Bomben November 2011 Holly Parker November 2011
Chuck Mueller November 2013 Ranee Jacobus November 2013
Suzanne Kutina November 2013    

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie Sun-Current, October 20, 2010:

Stensrud is pro-business
By: Ronald Youngdahl, Minnetonka

Marvin Windows was deciding where to locate its business in 1997. It looked around Minnesota and decided to move to Grafton, N.D. Why Grafton - not Minnesota? The answer: lower corporate taxes, income taxes and a state that welcomes job creators.

Minnesota's corporate tax rate is the second highest in the world. It's higher than France and Greece. Given the chance to lower that tax, Maria Ruud voted no. Ruud has voted for higher individual taxes, business taxes, gasoline taxes, sales taxes, energy taxes and higher transportation taxes. She voted to slap more regulations on Minnesota's economy with a cap and trade program.

In 2007 she voted repeatedly for what the Taxpayer's League called a bloated transportation bill and then voted to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto. This bill would have raised taxes by billions -- more than $500 a year for a family of four.

Ruud and her fellow Democrats voted to raise their own pay by increasing their per diem-housing allowance. Legislators in the Minnesota House can spend up to $77 per day on food. Tax-free money and you pay the tab.

Now Ruud has the audacity to tell Minnesota families that she's pro-business? My advice to Rep. Ruud - it's time to put down the fork and push away from the table. Minnesotans have had enough.

It's time to elect a businessman, someone who actually runs a business and has to meet a bottom line. That person is Kirk Stensrud. Vote for Stensrud for 48A Representative.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie Sun-Current, October 20, 2010:

Azarian and Duckstad for city offices
By: Denny Vinar, Eden Prairie

Four years ago, the Republican majority on the City Council -- Jon Duckstad, Brad Aho, and Phil Young -- promised to stop the endless tax increases while maintaining our high quality of life. They promised not to follow a "cut, cut, cut" mentality but to set priorities -- fund things that we need (like our brand new Community Center and the building of a fourth fire station) while cutting spending for things we don't need.

Well, I'm happy to report: Promises made, promises kept. Eden Prairie is thriving at a time when other cities are suffering.

In Oakland, California, thanks to budget problems, the local chief of police has put out a list of crimes his department will no longer enforce.  Camden, New Jersey announced that their city can no longer afford to keep libraries open.  Across the nation cities, counties, and states are announcing that they can no longer afford to provide basic, necessary services that we have all grown accustomed to government providing for us.  Fiscal mismanagement is killing our great nation.  It's killing our future and it's killing our cities.

But not in Eden Prairie.  Eden Prairie is working.  Eden Prairie is #1.  That is why we need to keep our Republican majority in place.  Don't go back to the past.  Nancy Tyra-Lukens represents yesterday's ideas and yesterday's failed policies.  We need to keep Eden Prairie moving forward.  Please vote for Jon Duckstad for Mayor and Donna Azarian for City Council.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 14, 2010:

Supports Hann, Stensrud
By: Bill Cullen, Minnetonka

I miss Paul Wellstone and Ronald Reagan. They were both leaders. They never pretended to be something just to get elected. I am so tired of today's elected officials that play politics instead of leading as Wellstone and Reagan did.

Even in our local races in Minnetonka and Eden Prairie we see leaders and politicians. Rep. Maria Ruud campaigns on "finding common ground" and claiming to be pro business. Neither claim can be substantiated. Her voting record is consistently lock-step with her liberal DFL majority. Liberal organizations give her perfect or near-perfect scores. Right-leaning organizations give her failing grades. It seems the only common ground Ruud ever finds is between far-left positions and ultra-far left ones. Further, if Ruud is pro-business, why did the TwinWest Chamber bypass her for endorsement this year? In fact, Ruud was the sole incumbent not endorsed even though the Chamber endorsed a bipartisan set of legislators. TwinWest endorsed newcomer Kirk Stensrud. It seems clear: Ruud misrepresents her views when campaigning.

Likewise, Ron Case placed stickers on his signs two years ago proclaiming himself as "The Low Tax Guy." A fair examination of his voting record reveals he loves higher taxes. In fact, during Case's tenure on Eden Prairie's City Council, Case voted to raise taxes 10 times. Further, Case has always claimed to be a Republican. He even sought Republican endorsement. But now, when the political climate changes, he flips to the DFL party and accepts their endorsement for State Senate. We should all ask ourselves, what does Ron Case really believe and what will he do if elected? How can voters ever assess such a chameleon?

We have alternatives. Like Wellstone and Reagan, Senator David Hann has always been a leader. He always states his position and defends it with facts and knowledge. He is a breath of fresh air in politics and I am proud he represents me. Likewise, newcomer Kirk Stensrud is campaigning like the small businessmen he is. He doesn't need this job and isn't willing to mislead to get it. Stensrud states what he believes and lets the voters decide. Please vote for the real deal. On November 2, vote for Kirk Stensrud in 48A and Senator David Hann in SD48.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie Sun-Current, October 14, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud, David Hann, Jenifer Loon
By: Tom Styczinski, Eden Prairie

Halloween is still a couple weeks away but it's already “Trick of Treat” time in Senate District 48. Democrats Maria Ruud and Ron Case are trying to masquerade as Republicans. A review of campaign literature reveals a lot of talk about controlling spending and advocacy for small business and job creation. Those are core Republican values. Values that Ruud and Case (dyed-in-the-wool members of the DFL) have never had.

This masquerade is self-serving. These two Democrats have discovered that in today's world of economic stress, job loss and household budget cuts, voters will not elect them unless they pretend to be something they are not.

Unfortunately for us, if we fall for their trick, their costumes will come off the day after the election and they will revert to their old habits of spending outrageously and raising taxes on already struggling Minnesota families. The Democrats can't hide their legacy of job-killing taxes and destructive over spending from the voters any longer.

But there are candidates who don't hide behind masks and actually are who they claim to be. Kirk Stensrud is a small business owner and supports policies that will bring jobs and opportunities back to Minnesota. Senator David Hann has a proven track record of cutting taxes and keeping state spending under control. Along with Representative Jenifer Loon, they will use their true core Republican values to help turn our state around and make us competitive once again.

So, this Halloween if you see a Democrat out "trick or treating" as a Republican, beware of their tricks, keep an eye on your treats, and remember to vote for the real Republicans: David Hann, Jenifer Loon, and Kirk Stensrud.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 14, 2010:

Support Donna Azarian
By: Martin Azarian, Eden Prairie

I support my wife, Donna Azarian, for Eden Prairie City Council because she is a woman of integrity and fiscal responsibility.

After a 23-year career in the television and marketing sales research, Donna made the adjustment to begin a new career as a business owner, starting her own company, Samrox Inc. Understandably, this was a major adjustment to our household budget. For the first time we had to shop for health insurance and adjust our lifestyle to account for the loss of a dependable salary. But that didn't deter Donna. Like many Americans during these difficult economic times, we took a hard look at our budget, made a few changes, shopped for the best bargains and found ways to make our household dollar go a little further. We live by a simple credo: If you don't have the money for something, then don't buy it. We avoid debt and live within our means. By making simple adjustments, we are able to purchase our own health care, balance our household budget and save for our own retirement. It is this rational approach to our home situation that she can now bring to our city. She will make the common-sense decisions we need to be made.

There are many things I love about my wife, but the thing I love most is that she gets involved and stands up for what she feels is right. Just as families must balance their budgets and live within their means, Donna believes that the City of Eden Prairie should do the same.

The members of the City Council are the elected trustees of our tax dollars. A member of the City Council should not handle the city's budget like a Visa charge card, then turn around and demand that hardworking Eden Prairie taxpayers pay the bill. Families do not want to be taxed out of their homes.

She wants to make a difference and help others in these tough economic times. Please join me in voting for my wife, Donna Azarian, for Eden Prairie City Council.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 14, 2010:

Disappointed in Boundaries
By: Nichole Hansen, Eden Prairie

Disappointed. That's how I feel in response to the district's new boundary proposal. For our family, it means our kindergartener won't be able to loop with her class, a longer drive to bring her and pick her up each day and saying goodbye to friendships she's just begun to form.

Will the district really be listening to feedback they receive this month? I would hope so, but I have to wonder. They met for almost five months behind closed doors, only updating us on the things such as "eliminating Map 36 and revisiting Map 35A" which are meaningless to those not involved. After five months of planning and the month of October to take feedback, they've said the map will be finalized in early November. Why the rush to finalize things if the committee truly does take the feedback received into consideration?

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 14, 2010:

Lost Revenue
By: Mark Diede, Eden Prairie

Currently I pay $175 a year for my child to ride the bus as we live "too close" to our school. With the proposed boundary map, my child would be bused across town. I wonder if they figured this loss of revenue when they were trying to figure costs for the master plan or were their minds too clouded with their free lunch ploy?

The other side of the equation is the fact that people have spent hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars on real estate to live in a neighborhood close to a school. These neighborhoods give children the option to walk to school or be dropped off in literally one minute. At least once a week, we head over to school due to a forgotten library book, a missed bus or more importantly to help out in the classroom. I repeatedly hear how parental involvement is key to a child's development but with this new over-engineered boundary map, the board will be putting unnecessary pressure on Eden Prairie families.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 14, 2010:

Questions “Feedback”
By: Gwen Welder, Eden Prairie

I would personally like it if the superintendent would stop patronizing us by portraying that she is going to take "feedback". We all know that "feedback" is a bunch of bull, because she is going to do whatever she pleases, like she does every time she asks for feedback. With the support of her four cronies on the School Board, King Krull will do whatever she wants to do, because any feedback that doesn't go along with her Spanish Immersion plan is just "noise".

Eden Prairie citizens, this is a plea that you vote in the next school board election. (I know it is a long time coming). Please find out from friends and neighbors what the candidates are really about and vote. The rest of us can do it ... just like Spanish Immersion folks! We will need a board who will try to salvage what we have left of a school district now that King Krull and her four School Board cronies have had their way with it. Unfortunately the School Board vote is the only way to get rid of King Krull, as she will never be voted out with this Board, dominated by her cronies. What we need are some good Eden Prairie lawyers to help the children of Eden Prairie. We need a superintendent with a broader agenda that the Spanish Immersion Program.

So, King Krull has "repackaged" the agenda that Eden Prairie residents refused to buy -- what, three times now? Now she has shoved it through with the help of her cronies. We now have a very unsettled, divided angry district for multiple reasons, including ripping Oak Point apart. Teachers are threatened to offer even an opinion among their peers and principals. Thank you, King Krull and cronies, for the environment that you have created in our community.

Additionally, looking at the new boundary map, we have just moved the entire Forest Hills "issue" of free lunch to Prairie View -- all three major apartment complexes. How is this "balancing" anything? We are just crisscrossing kids across the district to schools not in their neighborhoods.

Families have had enough of this agenda, and many have just been pushed one step too far. Parents, lawyers, please be involved in the future of our children's school district.

The following Candidate Commentary appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 14, 2010:

Make things better, not just more expensive
By: Senator David Hann, SD48

Over the past several months as I have walked the neighborhoods of our Senate District and talked to thousands of our residents it is clear that the central issues in this election are the economy and managing the state budget. These are not unrelated issues. Many people have lost their jobs or have experienced reductions in income. Many business owners are struggling and concerned about their ability to grow. Most people believe that there are things that government can and should do to improve the economy and there are sharp differences of opinion about what those things ought to be.

On the one hand, there are those who are looking for larger public "investment" in state spending on various programs as the mechanism to propel the economy forward. This increase in the state budget, or "investment", requires more state revenue and consequently higher tax rates than we currently have in order to pay for increases in spending. And there are candidates who agree with this approach. They are talking about "enhancing state revenue" or using a "balanced approach" to address the fact that even though we will see a 6.5 percent increase in revenue for the next biennium, they believe we need to increase our spending by more than twice that amount. They apparently take the view that government spending is the engine of economic recovery, failing to understand that before the state can spend any money it first has to take it from someone in the private sector through taxation.

There are others of us who believe we should not raise taxes in a struggling economy and should instead commit ourselves to a budget that spends no more than the revenue we have. Most people are not seeing a 6.5 percent increase in their income. The economy is not growing at a 6.5 percent rate. Inflation is non-existent. We should easily be able to live within a 6.5 percent increase in state spending.

If increasing state spending is not the way to grow the economy, what is? I believe we need to develop state policies that create the conditions for private sector investment and economic growth. This means we need to look at our tax rates and work to reduce them to levels that make Minnesota competitive. We need to reform our regulatory structure so businesses are not faced with greater obstacles to growing and managing their businesses than they will find in other locations. We live in a global economy. It is incredibly easy for businesses to move to locales where there is a better opportunity for them to prosper. We need to do more to make sure we are attracting businesses to Minnesota and to retain those that are here and encourage them to continue to invest themselves and their capital in growing our economy and creating jobs.

The bottom line is we need to focus on growing the economy, not the size of state government. The state budget has grown almost 10 percent annually for the past 50 years. This rate of spending is not sustainable without dramatic increases in taxation falling on our children and grandchildren. It is no longer acceptable to tell ourselves we have improved our state simply because we are spending more money than we did last year. The spending we do at the state level needs to be re-focused on achieving defined results. Like families in today's economy, living within our means in state government is necessary and prudent. In addition, it is the way to put pressure on the Legislature to focus on making things better, not just more expensive.

The following Candidate Commentary appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 14, 2010:

Primary concern is fiscal responsibility
By: Kirk Stensrud, candidate for House District 48A

I want to serve as your representative to bring the strong work ethic and common sense to the Legislature that has made me a successful businessman and father.

My primary concern with state government is fiscal responsibility. You work hard for your money and the government has a duty to carefully and responsibly spend it on sensible programs and items that do the most good for Minnesotans.

It's about jobs. I will seek innovative solutions to government problems like supporting local businesses by outsourcing appropriate services to them when they can be done more efficiently than by the government itself. By outsourcing the right services to local Minnesota-owned businesses, we can spend your tax dollars responsibly and support the local economy at the same time.

I believe that there is an important and appropriate role for state and local government in our economy as a partner to business and private industry. I will work to make our government that valuable partner once more through common-sense regulation and the expertise I have gained as a successful business owner.

Business owners from around our district have told me that they feel unsettled by the actions of an ever-growing government that thinks it knows how to run every type of business better than the local owners themselves.

They are laying off workers and not investing in future growth because they are scared of what the DFL-led state Legislature will do next to make their lives more complicated and their businesses even more expensive to run. This environment created by the current Legislature scares away more businesses than are brought in.

Over-regulation, unnecessary spending and the burdens of an ever-expanding government are forcing our friends and neighbors to close their doors and move to another state or face mounting debt. Minnesota families need to make ends meet. I have spoken to hundreds of families that have tightened their belts and are getting by on less this year. The state needs to do the same and stop asking families to give more.

Building consensus is necessary to get things done. A decade of successful business ownership has given me the relationship-building skills to understand and work with people of all views and positions.

Legislators with no real-world business experience have a limited perspective of how to support a growing economy. My years as an actual business owner give me the experience needed to understand the issue facing our economy and find effective solutions to them. The endorsements from both the Minnesota and the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce PACs show that my fellow business owners agree.

I will bring my strong work ethic and common-sense approach to the Legislature. These traits built my business and can now serve our district.

This November, we have a great opportunity to address our concerns about where the state is heading. I have heard these concerns as I have walked the district. I will bring strong business-based solutions to the Legislature to pull our state back from the financial trouble we are in.

Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Spending more money on projects and programs we don't need or can't afford in a weak economy is what brought us to this point in our poor economy. Increased spending in Minnesota will not fix it.

The voters of Minnetonka and Eden Prairie have expressed these concerns, but the politicians in control are not listening. Make sure your voice is heard by electing Kirk Stensrud as your next representative to the Legislature.

The following Candidate Profile appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 14, 2010:

Duckstad would continue to take on budget challenges
Jon Duckstad, candidate for Eden Prairie Mayor

Since first being elected to the City Council in 2006, Jon Duckstad has served Eden Prairie during a time of unprecedented economic
challenges: In many ways, Eden Prairie faces a double punch of both ongoing recessioon and the natural slowdown of the city's development engine. Duckstad, who is running to become Eden Prairie's mayor against opponent Nancy Tyra-Lukens, outlined three main reasons why he wants to serve as mayor: It all comes down to the rising cost of city government, less revenue coming into the city and the sliding economy.

Those three factors have all come together since he started serving, he noted. "Those are real challenges that have to be met," said Duckstad, 76.

During his time on the council thus far, Duckstad has repeatedly stressed the need to tighten the city's budget. Most recently, he voted to set a preliminary levy and budget at zero for the coming year, though a majority on the council voted against that.

When asked what could be cone to address the declining revenue at the city, Duckstad said he would hope to work with the council and new city manager in a collaborative fashion to discuss how to solve these problems.

The ongoing rise in the cost of city government (through rising pension and healthcare costs) is not unique to Eden Prairie, he said. "In a collaborative fashion, I think it would be necessary for the future City Councils and city leaders to sit down and figure out how to control these rising costs," he said.

One example would be to make a greater effort to share costs with other municipalities, such as in the case of the police dispatch system. Another thing they can do is "spread out some of the capital improvements," he added. Eden Prairie's capital improvement fund pays for work like yearly pavement maintenance but also is intended to cover more costly projects that involve major reconstruction of the city's infrastructure.

"It may be necessary to spread those improvements out into the future over a longer period of time," noted Duckstad.

Disagreement on council

When asked to discuss a recent issue he disagreeed with the majority of the council on, Duckstad mentions his previous vote not to support a lease agreement that would expand Flying Cloud Fields.

Duckstad's issue with the lease is that the Metropolitan Airports Commission has the ability to cancel that lease with little notice. If the city invests millions to expand the fields there is athe risk that money could be lost if the MAC goes back on its agreement.

"I just thought it would be important to speak up" so that taxpayers were aware of that, said Duckstad.

He ended up voting in favor of the fields' lease the second time it came up for a vote because "sometimes you have to balance the interests," he said.

The business of going forward with city government not only here buy everywhere really is entering a difficult time, said Duckstad. "We have to come up with solutions," he said. To avoid a financial crisis, "the city will have to make some hard decisions," he noted. Citizens should be aware we might have to cut back a little bit. Changes should be made across the board where everyone enters this peior od "shared sacrifice," said Duckstad. "We're just entering a period of dire straits in a sense there's not enough money."

Other Issues

Funding grants to nonprofits: In 2007, Duckstad did not approve funding city grants for nonprofits such as Meals on Wheels, Teens Alone and PROP. This year, Duckstad noted that the funding for the nonprofits is included in the current budget proposal. No one has proposed cutting those funds, he said. At this time, "even if we had another zero increase budget they would be available and they would be funded."

Support for Budget Advisory Commission: "I certainly wouldn't restrict what they're doing," said Duckstad. He suggested that the BAC mission could be widened so they could comment not only on the operations budget but also play a larger role in long-range budget planning for capital improvements.

Recent Reading

"Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag" by Cholhwan Kang and Pierre Rigoulot.

The following Candidate Profile appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 14, 2010:

Azarian wants fiscally conservative council
Donna Azarian, candidate for Eden Prairie City Council

Donna Azarian came to Eden Prairie in 1993 for a job opportunity with KMSP-TW, only planning to stay a few years. "We're on the 17th year of our second year," she joked. Azarian lives in Eden Prairie with her husband, Martin, and daughters Alexa, 16, and Adriana, 6. She is running for one of two Eden Prairie City Council seats. "I just felt that I wanted to get involved and make a difference and what made me run for Eden Prairie City Council is that I felt we need to keep a conservative majority on the City Council, she said.

Azarian said that would help keep property taxes down for residents, who are still struggling. She can relate to that struggle. Azarian lost her job with Comcast
in 2006. As she was seeking her next career, she got involved with the Eden Prairie Republican Party, working on several campaigns. She has invented "Pan's Best Friend" cooking oil wipes, which are patent- pending, she said.

She said she has seen her taxes more than double in 17 years. "I've noticed something I never noticed before in terms of going to people's homes and they're starting to look tired," she said. I never remember Eden Prairie looking this worn."

Azarian said the top issue facing the community is the budget and the economy. "There are a lot of people begging and pleading not to have their taxes raised," she said. "The City council right now needs to really keep in mind what's going on in people's private lives. "It's nice to have all the bells and whistles and parks, but in these economic times, you can't always get what you want," she said.

She would support keeping the city's property tax levy and budget at a zero-percent increase for next year, which some on the council have proposed. "If there's any way we can get the tax levy to zero, that would be wonderful and I would fully support it," Azarian said. When necessary, the city's budget stabilization fund should be used, but it shouldn't be relied upon, Azarian said.

As Eden Prairie seeks a new city manager, with City Manager Scott Neal leaving for Edina, Azarian would recommend someone with private sector work experience and leadership skills who is fiscally responsible. Someone that has a love of Eden Prairie and wants the best for the city, she said.

A devastating blow for Eden Prairie came in 2002 when Best Buy left for Richfield, which was a lot of money to walk out the door, she said. "We need to make it a tax friendly place for business," she said.

On Flying Cloud Airport noise and redevelopment issues, Azarian said that it's a federal issue, which is tough for city hall to fight. A lot is out of the City Council's hands, she said.

Light-rail transit to Eden Prairie will be expensive for the number of people that will be served. The plan is not fiscally responsible, Azarian said. The former East Coast resident pointed out, "If the majority of people... only have a 20-minute commute, to spend on something as expensive as that, I don't think would be prudent."

I'm being very conscious about not outwardly asking people for money for my campaign," she said. "People need the money more than I do for a campaign." "I'd rather see people spending it on their families or putting it toward something that they really need. ... I just think that the money that's spent on a lot of these campaigns is kind of ludicrous," Azarian said.

"It's not recovered yet. We're going to have a have a long process before we get to where we have been."

Other issues

Funding grants to nonprofits: "It's all based on a necessity," Azarian said. "If there is a need for it, then we should, but if there is no need for it, then I'd say not."

Support for the Budget Adivsory Commission: "I think that the Budget Advisory Committee is a great idea. It's a volunteer group comprised of citizens that live in the community. I think they do give great advice. In fact I met several of the people on the committee and discussed some issues with them."

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie Sun Sailor, October 13, 2010:

Vote Stensrud November 2
By: Nancy Axelson, Minnetonka

Government involvement in medicine is bad for medicine. Why anyone would want to fundamentally change our health care system and replace it with socialized medicine is beyond me, as it is with a majority of Americans.

In 2006, Maria Ruud admitted she is a supporter of something called “Universal Health Care.” Even though polls still say that Americans oppose the recently passed Obamacare legislation, Ruud supports a system that goes even further than President Obama's does.

As we have seen in other countries with socialized medicine, when the government controls your health care, they control your choices. They can tell you who you can see, when you can see them, how much your doctor gets paid to see you and even control whether or not you get treated at all.

Kirk Stensrud opposes government-controlled health care. With a looming budget deficit, Kirk knows the last thing Minnesota needs is another expensive government program -- especially one that takes away their choices and freedom.

Please vote for the “common sense” candidate. Vote Kirk Stensrud on November 2.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie Sun Sailor, October 13, 2010:

Stensrud For House
By: John Tyler, Eden Prairie

Is Rep. Maria Ruud really searching for "common ground" as she and her supporters love to crow about? As a licensed health insurance agent I am involved with the "Real Reform in Health Care Working Group" co-chaired by Sen. David Hann. Our task is to create market-based recommendations to reduce cost and enhance quality to MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance programs. We are a bi-partisan group and all are invited to participate, including Maria Ruud. She has never attended in spite of repeated invitations.

H.F. 3036 was devised to reduce the cost to the health care access fund, which funds MinnesotaCare and is scheduled to be insolvent next year. H.F. 3036 shows $112 million in biennial savings, according to the official Department of Health Fiscal note.

While she voted in favor of the bill in Health Policy Committee, she abstained from voting on the House floor at the critical time. She did vote in favor of a bill for a $500,000 study of H.F. 135, a government run healthcare overhaul bill with an estimated annual price tag of $25 billion to $30 billion. Her favoritism toward much more expensive government run health care rather than more efficient market-based reforms is obvious.

Kirk Stensrud will be of great help to Hann on this working group and is open to innovative, market-based ideas. With a $6 billion to $7 billion deficit looming ... we need Stensrud as Ruud's replacement for State Rep. 48A if we are to truly find "common ground."

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie Sun-Current, October 13, 2010:

Ruud's Vote Gives Unions a Blank Check
By: Al Starshak, Minnetonka

The omnibus K-12 education bill (HJ 12470) contained a landfill of policy changes, but the most dangerous proposal was to allow school boards to extend property tax levies without a popular vote.

Maria Ruud's vote should come as no surprise. She owes her political fortunes to SEIU, AFSCME and Education Minnesota -- three powerful government unions who would benefit most from such a blank check.

You may believe public education is under-funded, but that's another debate. Regardless of which party is in power, the Legislature should not allow school boards to raise taxes without a vote by the taxpayers.

Fortunately, in House District 48A we have a man of honor running against Ruud. Kirk Stensrud is a small-business owner who has followed the laws of our state. He understands that our Constitution is a literal boundary on what government can do without our explicit consent. Please vote for Stensrud for 48A.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie Sun-Current, October 13, 2010:

Clear Political Choices in This Election
By: Jeffrey Simon, Eden Prairie

The political choices this year at the national level are crystal clear. Unlike many years in the past, there is a huge difference between the Democrats and Republicans. It can be very simply put. The "party of food stamps" against the "party of paychecks." Nancy Pelosi said food stamps and unemployment insurance give the biggest bang for the buck. That tells you where she wants to take us.

Interestingly, the local races mirror the national races. We have a clear choice between conservatives ("paychecks") and progressives ("food stamps"). For example, Maria Rudd is business-unfriendly; Kirk Stensrud is business friendly. Ron Case is "big spending;" David Hann is a true conservative. And on and on.

The choice at the local level is just as clear as at the national. It is a question of values. If you think you like the growing welfare state, the dominance of the public sector unions, government take over of health care and the rest or private industry, just keep voting them in. But if you want to take back your government and keep our city great, you have to vote for those who can make this happen.

In their hearts, the liberals never saw a tax or government control or intrusion they did not like.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie Sun-Current, October 07, 2010:

Ruud is an Extreme Liberal
By: Patty Brandt, Minnetonka

Maria Ruud's supporters call her a “moderate.” She even adopted a snappy campaign slogan, “Finding Common Ground.” But is it the truth? Does Maria really work with both parties to find the middle ground on issues? According to several watchdog organizations, the answer is no.

Pro-taxpayer organizations like the Taxpayer's League and the Chamber of Commerce give Ruud failing grades -- 20 percent and 16 percent respectively. In fact, two years ago Ruud scored a zero grade with the Taxpayer's League. Three other right-leaning groups, Minnesota Majority, Bills and Votes and the Minnesota Legislative Assembly, give Ruud failing grades as well -- 6 percent, 15 percent and 6 percent. And she gets a big fat zero from both Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life and the National Rifle Association.According to seven right-leaning organizations, Ruud is not only liberal -- she is an extreme liberal. But it gets worse. The liberal groups all say she's a liberal too.NARAL Pro-Choice America, a vehemently pro-abortion organization, gives Ruud a 100. OutFront Minnesota, a group that pushes the gay marriage issue, gives Ruud a perfect score. Clean Water Action, another far-left fringe group that opposes all nuclear energy among other things, endorses Ruud and gives her 100. Government unions Minnesota Association of Professional Employees and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees - give Ruud a 96 and 100. Even the liberal groups know what apparently Ruud's own supporters won't tell you.Conservative and liberal groups both agree - Maria is no moderate.

Instead of fairy tales, instead of “Finding Common Ground,” how about we start “Finding Common Sense.” Kirk Stensrud isn't the kind of person who calls himself a moderate one day and then supports job-killing tax increases the next.

With our help, Kirk will go to St. Paul and will get spending under control. I know Kirk. He's not a pretender -- he's the real deal. Please vote for Stensrud November 2.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie Sun-Current, October 07, 2010:

Stensrud is Pro-business
By: Steven Bieloh, Minnetonka

I've read a lot of nonsense recently about Maria Ruud being pro-business and now it's time to set the record straight.

Recently, two pro-business groups have made their decisions about who to support in District 48A and have chosen Kirk Stensrud. First, the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce political action committee has endorsed Kirk. TwinWest has a history of supporting incumbents, but in this race they have made an exception. Yes, Ruud's anti-business voting record is simply that bad.

Next was the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce's turn to endorse a candidate. Once again, the business people of our state chose Kirk. They know he is a true pro-business candidate worthy of their endorsement.

Kirk has lived in Eden Prairie for 23 years. He began his career in medical sales but chose to start a window cleaning franchise in 2002. Unlike Ruud, Kirk has had to manage a payroll. He worries about his business on a daily basis, for he knows that government gets in the way of budding businesses all too often.

While Kirk and Ruud come from different parties, it often seems like they come from different worlds. Kirk wants to give people and businesses the freedom to succeed, while Maria favors a smothering blanket of taxes.

On November. 2, we -- the residents of 48A -- have to choose between Kirk Stensrud and Maria Ruud. These two have very different philosophies -- but only one received endorsements from both the TwinWest and Minnesota Chambers of Commerce.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 07, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Julie Schmandke, Eden Prairie

Is the American dream over? My family is middle class and we try to live by the rules. I stay out of debt. I live within my means. But when I see what Democrats are doing to our once-great nation, I worry about our future.

One in seven Americans now lives in poverty. Unemployment has been hovering around 10 percent. When you add in all the people who have simply stopped looking for work, unemployment is 17 percent. In some states it's over 20 percent. This is not the America I grew up in. This is not the shining city on the hill, the beacon of hope and liberty that President Reagan once spoke of. This is a nation that is on its economic knees.

So what is Maria Ruud's answer to middle class families like mine?  Her answer is to raise our taxes.  Her answer is to grow government.  Her answer is to vote for cap and trade and socialized medicine which raises our heating bills and takes away our health care choices.   That's won't get us out of this mess.  In fact, it will make it worse.

When I saw Ruud's slogan “Finding Common Ground,” I had to laugh.  Is this some kind of joke? She's one of the most liberal members of the Minnesota House.  If that's “common ground”, then I'd hate to see what a radical lefty looks like!

Kirk Stensrud knows how to grow jobs.  Do you know why? Because he's done it.  He owns a business and every day he has to worry about meeting the bottom line.  Unlike his opponent, he doesn't get to just raise taxes every time he runs out of money.  Kirk is fighting for people like me.  Thank you Kirk Stensrud for running and I look forward to voting for you on November 2.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 07, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Randy Liebo, Eden Prairie

Maria Ruud and the DFL inherited a $2.2 billion surplus when they took over the Minnesota House in 2006. Among the many spending proposals Ruud supported: A $6.6 billion budget busting bill which included new gas taxes that hit every Minnesota family. Now -- just four years later -- Minnesota faces a $6 billion shortfall.

Do we want to turn over our budget process to the likes of Ruud and Margaret Anderson-Keliher whose only solution to Minnesota's problems is more job-killing tax increases? No way!

Kirk Stensrud wants to get Minnesota's bloated budget under control. 

Haven't Minnesota families had enough of the liberal tax and spend excesses of Ruud and the DFL? Stop the spending by sending Maria Ruud home before she does any more damage at the bidding of the DFL leadership. Please vote for Kirk Stensrud for 48A.

The following article appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 07, 2010:

Stensrud wants taxpayers to see better value for their dollar

Kirk Stensrud first started to become politically aware just after he formed his own business in 2002. Stensrud, 48, owns a window- cleaning business, has raised a family in Eden Prairie, and over the years has become more politically active as he's connected the impact legislators can have on businesses and individuals. This year, he's taking his political awareness a step further. Stensrud, a Republican, is running to be representative for District 48A in Eden Prairie and Minnetonka. His main concern is what he describes as a "spending crisis" at the state.

Most of the people in Eden Prairie and Minnetonka are happy to pay their taxes if the perceive that they get a value out of it. But when money gets wasted, "that's when they start feeling like they're not getter great value," he added.

Overall, Minnesota is a great place to be and the state has to market itself to companies, said Stensrud. "We have to compete," he said. "We don't want to lose to South Dakota, Indiana or Florida."


When asked what specific tax reform he'd like to see, Stensrud tells the story of meeting up with a company that had just put in a million- dollar production line. That company didn't have to pay sales tax, but instead of just not paying the tax, they had to initially pay it, and then fill out forms for a refund. That is just one example the "unintended consequences" that come with legislative decisions, he said.

Stensrud is not in favor or raising taxes.

"Minnesota has a spending problem," not a tax problem, he said. Families are cutting back ... "and the state of Minnesota has to do that too."

Stensrud said he's met at the door in the community by people who say they don't want to pay more taxes, he added. Instead, government should look for opportunities to partner with businesses to provide services. "I think we should create partnerships."

Health care

A safety net is "absolutely necessary" when it comes to paying for health care, noted Stensrud. "The question, is how do we finance that?" The way things were going the last 20 years, "was not sustainable," when it comes to paying for health care, he said.

When asked about how the Legislature handled the reform of the General Assistance Medical Care program, Stensrud noted that they are not there yet. After funds for GAMC were vetoed during the 2009 session, the Legislature spent the previous session amending the program in a way that put more demand on hospitals to manage the care of GAMC clients. Clients under GAMC are typically the poorest of the poor - many are homeless with mental health issues. The burden of covering the costs of uninsured clients is falling on some medical centers ... so "I don't think they're completely there yet," he added.


When it comes to education funding, Stensrud is in favor of more local control. "I would want more control for the local school board," he said. "we're smart enough in Eden Prairie to know what's best for us."

The following article appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 07, 2010:

Hann Hearing Concerns About Growing Government

David Hann has spent eight years representing District 48 in the Minnesota State Senate, and this time around, there's a noticeable change in the general sentiment of the public he has heard from while door-knocking in Eden Prairie.

Four years ago, a lot of people were talking about the war in Iraq and about George Bush. Instead, this time there is frustration about the economy, and the size and growth of government, said Hann.

Hann, 58, is hoping that frustration translates to a change at the Senate, where he's been in the Republican minority for his entire time at the Legislature. "You're really limited in what you can accomplish," he noted. "I think this year we have a real opportunity to be the majority party in the State Senate." It was that prospect that led Hann to consider running for re- election. In many ways Hann has been in campaign mode for much of the year since he spent much of 2009 and 2010 talking to the electorate around the state in a bid to become the Republican-endorsed candidate for governor; a title that ultimately ended up with Tom Emmer:

Hann said there's a good chance the state's governing majority can change this year: "I'm excited to be a part of that," he said.


Hann's main concern has been the growth of state government. Continuing to raise taxes is "not economically sustainable," he added. The real challenge is to manage the spending, he said. One area of particular concern for Hann is public pension funds. Hann has co-sponsored legislation that calls for an increase in contributions by employees and a slowing of the state's contribution to pensions. "I don't see there's any way to sustain them. We're going to have to restructure those," said Hann.

Health care

Hann was pleased with the work the Legislature on the General Assistance Medical Care program, because the ensuing debate really put a focus on the problem. GAMC, which provides health care to the very poor in Minnesota, is a significant part of the state's health-care structure that is growing at an unbelievable rate, noted Hann. "It raised that very prominently in people's minds," he added.

The restructured GAMC put a fixed dollar amount to hospitals to work with while also requiring that hospitals take on the role of coordinating the care of the clients they serve. The idea is that by providing and coordinating care of GAMC clients, those clients are not just addressing their health needs at a moment of crisis.

"I think that experiment has been muddied somewhat by the national health-care climate and the passage of the federal bill," said Hann.


Hann, who prior to being elected to the State Senate, served eight years on the Eden Prairie School Board, is well versed in the state's education woes. In the past, he has supported merit pay initiatives such as Q Comp, in which Eden Prairie participates. "Fundamentally there has to be a stronger connection between the results they achieve and the compensation they receive," he added. Hann is in favor of initiatives that give more power to local boards to set policy and control the purse. Hann would argue that districts do not need more commitment from the state level when it comes to funding education. In general, Hann is in favor of giving power to families and local boards.

From Hann's perspective, the answers are not to be found in expanding state government. "The biggest concerns people have are the economy, the size of the state budget, the projected taxes that are coming from the federal level and people are very worried about how they're going to make this work."

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 07, 2010:

Support David Hann
By: Stephen Hann, Eden Prairie

I am writing this letter to communicate my dedicated support for a man who is principled, trustworthy, accountable, and also happens to be my father. I've just recently moved back to Eden Prairie after living in South-Central Michigan and recently North Saint Paul. And now, more than ever, it's clear to me that we are fortunate to have a sensible leader like Sen. David Hann representing Eden Prairie and Minnetonka.

Sen. Hann's accomplishments in 20-plus years working for a local small business, faithful servant on the Eden Prairie School Board and leadership as our senator are notable. But none are as meaningful to me as his outstanding dedication and commitment to his family. I'm exceedingly proud to say he's my father.

He was determined to give myself and my siblings the opportunity for a great education. So he ran for the Eden Prairie School Board to make common-sense changes and give parents a stronger voice in public schools. When met with challenges from state government, my father was elected to the State Senate on a mission to improve public education, bring accountability to the Legislature and stand strongly against unsustainable government spending.

David Hann has been consistent in his message: government must be accountable and live within its limits if we want to pass a bright future on to the next generation (in his case particular, myself and my siblings). There is nobody I trust more to make the right decisions for SD48 than him. Please join me in voting to re-elect State Senator David Hann this fall.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 07, 2010:

Support David Hann
By: Bonnie Gasper, Eden Prairie

I whole-heartedly support Republican-endorsed David Hann for re-election to the Minnesota State Senate. He is a principled man of great integrity who has never twisted in the political winds. His astute mind, careful analysis and ability to articulate his positions in a respectful and convincing manner are but a few evidences of his effective leadership on the Senate floor and in committee. His thoughtful reasoning is a refreshing contrast to the knee-jerk, sensationalized rhetoric of the liberal DFL-controlled Senate.

Senator Hann stands firm against the tax and spend mentality. Minnesota cannot afford this status quo. We need real systemic solutions so we don't wind up bankrupt like California. The very last thing Eden Prairie can afford is to send Ron Case, an uninspired tax-and-spend liberal, beholden to the teachers' union and all other DFL interest groups to Saint Paul.

Government takes private wealth ... it doesn't create any.

If voters allow big government liberals like Case, unfettered control of our education and health-care systems, we will face certain financial collapse. There is a point at which high taxation really becomes government theft. When there are more people riding in the wagon than there are pulling it ... I think we've been had.

If you believe in real leadership in the areas of freedom, integrity, equal opportunity, and hope, Senator Hann is your man. Please thank Senator David Hann by returning him to Saint Paul as our Minnesota State Senator for Senate District 48.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, October 07, 2010:

Supports Emmer
By: Marc Papineau, Eden Prairie

And now for the rest of the story: Tom Emmer, Republican-endorsed candidate for governor has been falsely portrayed in the pro-DFL campaign advertising.

They focus on DWIs Tom had on his record -- more than two decades ago. Somehow they forgot to mention that part.

What else are they forgetting to mention about Tom? That he is a devoted family man, a small business owner, a principled conservative who stands for individual liberties, a proven fighter for his beliefs.

The Star Tribune can choose to tell the truth pr misconstrue it. They can choose the photographs of the candidates and pair their choice of stories with their choice of photos to color a candidate's image. They did exactly that to Tom Emmer. From his past votes to his present words on issues like minimum wage, they portray Tom as anti-little guy. And most of the readers just eat it up. They fail to mention that Tom is the little guy, like the rest of us, in a battle against a multi-millionaire attempting to buy his way into another high-profile political office. Never mind that Mark Dayton graded his own track record as Minnesota's U.S. Senator with an "F".

Never mind that Dayton's more recent history shows his own struggles with alcoholism and depression, which his supporters use to explain away his erratic behavior. Politicians in glass houses should be more careful than that.

Minnesota's governor is going to be in the hot seat. There will be serious pressure there. When confronted with serious pressure, we know exactly how Dayton will respond. When the going gets tough, Dayton gets going -- right out of town. As our U.S. Senator, when the possibility of danger presented itself, Dayton packed his bags and high-tailed it back to Minnesota. No one knows why. Minnesota needs a governor that stands his ground in the face of adversity and Tom Emmer will do just that. He is a fighter for what he believes is right, who will not back down.

It will be necessary for the next governor to significantly cut government costs. When has Dayton ever cut costs for anything in his life? He doesn't know how. If Minnesotans allow the Star Tribune and bogus, truth-distorting political ads to choose our next governor, we'll get what we deserve -- another "F-rated" liberal politician at a time when we need principled fighters capable of making tough decisions.

Tom Emmer is that man.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 30, 2010:

Support David Hann
By: Krisla Berreth, Eden Prairie

For the first time in 78 years, the Democrats popularity has sunk to record lows. In Minnesota, the DFL-controlled state Legislature refused to balance the budget or work on bipartisan cuts, leaving a multi-billion dollar deficit. I don't think DFL-endorsed candidate for state senate Ron Case is part of the solution. As a City Council member, he has time and again voted to spend, supported city tax subsidies and spending of city funds to fight the airport expansion. Mr. Case has repeatedly taken credit for maing Eden Prairie one of the best places to live, even though he arrogantly said the city would befall terrible tragedy should a "Republican Endorsed" candidate become mayor. In the last four years Eden Prairie has ranked "tops" or "top" by several sources. Mr. Case was voted off the City Council by angry taxpayers for his propensity to spend taxpayer's money and for his arrogant political rhetoric.

It's no wonder there is a climate of disgust towards politicians. It is no surprise Mr. Case has taken "field trips" to Dunn Brothers (a now city owned property) on taxpayers' time and money. Nor was it shocking to learn corrective action was reportedly taken due to Mr. Case campaigning from his classroom at Oak Point. On September 12 the Case campaign parked a pickup truck on the corner of Riley Lake Road and Pioneer Trail with a billboard made up of political platitudes in the bed, where parking is not generally allowed.

Nonetheless, the truck was removed. To be fair, Mr. Case did respond to an e-mail I sent him via his campaign website. He said the truck was helping propmote his fundraiser at the Riley-Jaques Barn.

Change is coming in November. Ron Case has left a multi-year trail of ridiculous statements and egregious votes indicating the kind of leader we could expect. I am ready for real hope and change ... the kind that comes without the same old DFL luggage.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 30, 2010:

Support David Hann
By: Bev Aho, Eden Prairie

Please help re-elect David Hann to the Minnesota State Senate. His outstanding leadership and well-reasoned, detailed approach to problem solving has served us well during his tenure in the Senate -- and that is exactly what we need during this difficult economic time. We could not find a more committed, conservative voice for Eden Prairie and Minnetonka than Senator Hann.

Since first being elected to the State Senate in 2002, Hann has been recognized by the Minnesota School Board Association for his service to education in the Legislature, and has been named "Best Friend of the Taxpayer" four times by the Taxpayer's League. David's experience has also enabled him to serve effectively as a member of the Senate's Education Committee, the Health Housing and Family Security Committee, the Agriculture and Veterans Committee, and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

This year, when there seems to be a strong anti-incumbent attitude among voters, it is important for us to differentiate those officials who have served us well. David is among the best and deserves our vote. Please join me in re-electing David Hann to the Minnesota State Senate.

The following appeared in an article entitled "Ask The Candidates" in Eden Prairie News, September 30, 2010. The answer of Jon Duckstad, candidate for mayor and Donna Azarian, candidate for City Council, appear below:

Question: Would you approve of raising property taxes in Eden Prairie? Why or why not?

Mayor Candidate Jon Duckstad: “I would not support raising property taxes in Eden Prairie during this ongoing dismal economy. If our citizens are enduring wage freezes, layoffs, and belt-tightening budgets, then the city should do likewise. I am in support of a 2011 budget that matches the amount of the current 2010 budget. This would allow the City Council to control spending and explore ways to possibly share services with other local governments.”

City Council Candidate Donna Azarian: “Raising taxes should always be the last thing government does to meet new funding needs, not the first. If there is a priority which requires additional monies, there are several means of freeing up funds already entering the treasury which should be explored first before raising any tax. Efficiencies in city operations can be made and budget items should be re-evaluated to find the required funds for the new priority before considering raising taxes.”

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 30, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Brad Aho, Eden Prairie

I am writing in support of Kirk Stensrud, candidate for House in 48A. As a small business owner, Kirk understands the sound fiscal policies that are necessary to make Minnesota competitive again and be able to attract businesses, and how misguided policies hurt job growth and out state's economy. Please visit Kirk's website at for more information and contact him regarding issues that are important to you and your family. I am convinced you will be impressed with his experience, ideas and well-reasoned approach to solving Minnesota's problems in these tough economic times.

The people of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka couldn't ask for a better candidate and this November we have a clear choice in 48A. Please vote for Kirk Stensrud for House in 48A

The following editorial appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 30, 2010:

Don't Place Boundaries On Discussion
By the Eden Prairie News Editorial Staff

The Eden Prairie School District is set to release its proposed boundary map in early October. The community is looking forward to seeing it.

Residents are watching how the district handles this process. So far, some parents have not been pleased with their access to information on the boundary change. Meetings of the boundary task force were closed to the public and the district has not released specifics related to the boundary change. The meetings of district task forces are legally allowed to be closed to the public, but they don't have to be. If this is a necessary and appropriate change, then why should there be a problem discussing that change in the public sphere? Parents don't need or wish to be sheltered from reality. Let the merits of the boundary change and details speak for themselves.

The district seems to devote more time to discussing timelines and the process for releasing information than it allows the community to discuss the information itself. The district has good intentions (the continued success of all students) and a good track record (notable improvements in standardized test scores). What it continues to lack is transparency. The map is set to be out in "early October" (hopefully the district announces a more specific date when the map can be expected in parents' inboxes).

A decision would be made by Superintendent Melissa Krull in November. The district will offer multiple ways to access the information, including several public input sessions. The district should disclose questions asked -- not just the "themes" of those questions during this month allotted for feedback on the map. The district should disclose the research behind the decision -- in addition to a summary. A town hall style gathering would help address many of the questions, and allow parents and other community members to bring concerns and frustrations to light. The district should look into these possibilities.

It's hard to argue with success. But it's easy to argue with silence.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 30, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: William Horn, Eden Prairie

It is interesting to read Maria Ruud explain how she votes with the values of her constituents in mind. What she does is vote the Democratic agenda.

She does not vote our interests, she votes for a Democrat's interests. And I am sure Kirk Stensrud will vote consistently and in line with the Republican agenda. So don't pay much attention to the letters of support for Maria suggesting we should vote for her because she is a nice mom, neighbor, person. I'm sure she is. Just look at the DFL platform -- high tax, high spend, liberal agenda compared to the Republican more conservative, low tax, less spend agenda of personal responsibility. Vote accordingly.

And by all means vote to prevent one-party rule in Minnesota. Look at what that got us at the federal level.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 30, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Crystal Kelley, Eden Prairie

Kirk Stensrud is a common-sense conservative small business owner, not a professional politician. He would be a true citizen legislator. He understands how to grow a business and jobs because he's done it. He knows it's not done with more taxes and runaway spending.

Compare Stensrud's principles with Maria Ruud's voting record. She's owned by the ruling-class DFL liberals. She may deny it, but her actions and votes prove it. Her first vote every January is for speaker of the house. For four years she has helped put liberal Margaret Anderson-Keliher in the speaker's chair. Since becoming speaker, Keliher helped drive Minnesota's budget into the ground. Keliher and the ruling DFL took a $2 billion surplus and turned it into a $6 billion deficit by proposing endless spending increases and demanding endless taxes from us.

I hate to think what will happen if Emmer loses and Dayton wins the gubernatorial election. If Minnesota can't count on a fiscally minded governor, who will be there to stop the DFL's tax-and-spend schemes? Dayton says he wants to explode spending. He has admitted his "tax the rich" plan won't "earn" nearly enough to satisfy the spending he craves. He's promised his union buddies he won't allow government union jobs to be cut. Who will be there to stop Dayton? Not Maria Ruud.

If the gubernatorial race goes to Emmer and the DFL gains even a couple more members in the House, who will sustain the governor's vetoes to stop out-of-control spending? Ruud won't. Her voting record clearly shows she likes higher taxes, wants government to grow, and marches in lock-step with her liberal DFL leadership at the expense of our families and our wallets.

With one in seven Americans in poverty, now is not the time for more pork barrel spending. The time for Ruud's brand of "tax-and-spend" common ground is over. It's time for some common sense.

This November, I will enthusiastically cast my vote for Kirk Stensrud. You should too.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 30, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Peter Bozanich, Eden Prairie

I would like to respond to Maria Ruud's recent letter where she denounces letters opposing her as "negative, partisan campaigning". The only letters I have seen have been letters complaining about her voting record.

For example, a recent letter from Kim Stender mentioned that Maria Ruud's votes were hurting her ability to run her small business and preventing her from hiring people. Anne Seeland wrote about how Ruud's votes for higher taxes were hurting her family.

These are real people with real concerns. If Ruud wants to dismiss every complaint from a constituent about her voting record as unfair, then perhaps she is in the wrong line of work.

It reminds me of an old line from Harry Truman. When people said "Give 'em hell, Harry!" Truman replied: "I don't give them hell, I just tell the truth and they think it's hell."

People are telling the truth about Ruud's liberal voting record. People are calling her out. If she thinks her voting record is a negative, well I guess we agree! Her votes to increase taxes, grow government, and chase jobs away from Minnesota are very very negative. Her votes are hurting Minnesota families.

Why do you think the Twin West Chamber of Commerce didn't endorse her? 48A was the only race where they didn't endorse the incumbent. Because they know that Maria is anti-business. Ruud can make up any story she wants, but she can't run away from her votes.

The people writing the letters have been hurt by Maria Ruud's votes. They don't need to be called names. They are worried about our economy. They are worried about what voting for another big spending, big taxing liberal is going to do to their future and to the future of their children. That is why we need Kirk Stensrud. Kirk has pledged to get Minnesota's taxes and spending under control and I for one find that to be a very positive message. On November 2, please vote for Kirk Stensrud in 48A.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 30, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Betty Helseth, Minnetonka

As a former election judge, I continue to be very concerned about the policy of permitting voters to "vouch for" the eligibility of potential voters.

There were times when I felt uneasy with the vouching system because the possibilities for abuse are obvious. The integrity of our government and the confidence we have in it depends on open, honest, and fair elections.

It's a no brainer as far as I'm concerned. Seventy percent of voters understand this. Every illegitimate vote disenfranchises a legitimate voter. Kirk Stensrud supports Voter ID for good reason and his Democrat opponent does not. Why not? I strongly support a picture ID with names and addresses as is required to drive a car, cash a check, seek medical care, etc.

Vote Kirk Stensrud. The integrity of our government and the confidence we have in it demands that ballots be legitimate.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 30, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Edgar Morton, Minnetonka

As a longtime resident of Minnetonka, it is becoming very clear that the legislators have no reason to stop the out-of-control spending that is taking place. They balance the budget by smoke and mirrors, refuse to address the problems with the pension funds and couldn't care less what the real problems are, and propose new taxes to raise money. Throw more money at the problem and they hope it will go away.

Seniors are leaving the state in droves, businesses are following and the wealthy are relocating to Arizona, Texas, and Florida. Now they are proposing closing the "loopholes" on the snow birds to raise more tax revenue.

We need a change, a drastic change to reverse the downward spiral. Most of these DFL legislators have never run a business, taken out a loan to get a business going, written a payroll check and put their credit on the line and taken the risks it requires to start and run a business.

A business approach has to be taken to the problems at hand in the State. We have such a choice this year, a businessman, Kirk Stensrud for State Representative. Kirk Stensrud started and owns his own business. He is not a career politician. He would bring a common-sense approach and the business approach to spend within our means.

The choice is ours, continue the out-of-control spending or change the direction. A vote for Kirk Stensrud can start that change we urgently need.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 30, 2010:

Support Donna Azarian
By: Jake Grassel, Eden Prairie

I have known Donna Azarian for a few years and wholeheartedly support her race for City Council. Working alongside Donna was an absolute pleasure. I have met very few people in my life who are as hardworking as Donna Azarian. She works her tail off to be knowledgeable on the issues and how the actions of the Eden Prairie City Council affect all residents. Donna would truly be an asset to our community as a member of the City Council. Donna's dedication to fiscal responsibility would be a huge benefit to all Eden Prairie taxpayers.

As a small-business owner, she understands that a vibrant business community is essential for the health of our city. Her commitment to fostering a strong business community would help increase employment opportunities for those struggling in our communtiy. Donna is a leader with a vision to make our great community even better. I encourage you to vote for Donna Azarian for City Council!

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 30, 2010:

Support Jon Duckstad, Donna Azarian
By: Denny Vinar, Eden Prairie

With the City Council and mayor's races in full swing, we have a choice of returning to the old tax-and-spend ways of Nancy Tyra-Lukens, Sherry Butcher, Ron Case, and Kathy Nelson or continue on the road of fiscally responsible budgets by electing Jon Duckstad as mayor and Donna Azarian to the council. The winning team gets to spend our money.

Eden Prairie's portion of our property taxes has been flat the past two budget cycles of 2008-2009 -- a huge accomplishment by the Republican council majority. The two prior budgets under Tyra-Lukens and the liberal majority were an 8.9 percent increase in 2006 and a 6.2 percent increase in 2007. Part of the recent success was the establishment of a citizens' budget task force, whose advisory role is to bring issues to the attention of the council. Jon Duckstad refers to this group as extremely helpful in giving a citizen's perspective on budget priorities. Thank you, Councilman Jon Duckstad, for listening to the taxpayers' voice.

One example of how they wasted our tax dollars was the restore and preserve barn campaign. In surveys of Eden Prairie residents, historical preservation of farms was item No. 14 out of 15 budget priorities. But in Tyra-Lukens' budgets, the city of Eden Prairie spent seven times what eight other metro suburbs did on historical preservation -- more than $2.3 million dollars. Ron Case stated publically his passion for this kind of spending and his declaration that he would fight for more of it. When taxpayers recommended $1,000,000 in spending reductions, the liberal majority led by Tyra-Lukens rejected them all. It was easier to slap a consecutive 8.9 percent and 6.2 percent tax increase onto property owners, expanding the budget a whopping $11.6 million during their seven-year tenure, to pay for their pet projects. In all but one year spending and taxes went up. Now this same crowd of tax and spend liberals wants back into office to waste even more of our money. Don't put this arrogant regime back in power.

Vote for Jon Duckstad and Donna Azarian who will continue the fiscally responsible and common-sense agenda that has made Eden Prairie the number one place to live in the nation.

The following letter appeared in the Minnetonka Sun-Sailor, September 26, 2010:

Ruud Bad For Business
By: David Johnson, Eden Prairie

Authenticity is a big thing in modern life. We want people we elect to be who they say they are. Many politicians aren't. And Maria Ruud is one of them.

She and her supporters want you believe she is pro-business. The evidence, however, tells a different story.

In 2005, Ruud voted for $860 million in higher taxes, including a business tax and voted for a 50-percent increase in the gasoline tax.

In 2006, Ruud voted to hike the sales tax and voted for a $1-billion bonding bill filled with pork. In 2007 she voted to increase energy costs with a renewable energy mandate and a Health and Human Services bill that would have reversed many valuable welfare reforms.

In 2008 she scored a zero from the Taxpayers League - voting against taxpayers on all 11 votes scored that year.

In 2009, she voted for $1 billion in new taxes. In 2010, she voted against lowering corporate taxes and for additional taxes on food, beverages and lodging.

No major taxpayer advocacy organization, no major pro-business organization supports Ruud in 2010. Instead, the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce and Minnesota Chamber of Commerce political action committees support Kirk Stensrud. It's clear the business community knows Ruud is bad for business.

Minnesotans cannot afford more job-killing tax and spending increases. Unlike Ruud, Stensrud has an actual stake in jobs here. If you care about jobs and our future, then Stensrud is the only choice this November.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 23, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Anne E. Seeland, Minnetonka

I am voting for Kirk Stensrud for state representative. I know the Stensrud family and have seen their commitment to their community. They have been actively involved in Eden Prairie and Minnetonka for 24 years. Their children have attended Minnetonka schools and have participated in sports for Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Hopkins. I work with Kirk's wife, a school nurse in Minnetonka. I have witnessed her integrity and passion for hard work.

I am a single mom raising four children. This recession is very challenging for families. I have felt the effects of the job crushing tax hikes Maria has voted for since taking office. It is troubling to imagine the future for our state if spending continues at the current rate.

Kirk wants to grow the economy by reducing the costs of state government and eliminating unnecessary regulations. This is change we need, change which will not happen if Maria Ruud and the DFL led legislature have their way.

Financial responsibility is crucial. Controlling spending is not optional. Since I must do this with my budget, I expect the government to do so even more since they are spending our money. Continued spending will further increase the tax burden we are passing on to our children. This is not the future I want for my children.

I am supporting Kirk Stensrud because he will vote against job killing tax increases and decrease spending. Kirk will also vote to pass voter ID, which Maria voted against. On November 2 vote for Kirk Stensrud.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 23, 2010:

Stensrud Plans Town Hall
By: Kirk Stensrud, Eden Prairie

I'm Kirk Stensrud and I am the Republican-endorsed candidate running to be your representative in House District 48A. I am a small-business owner and family man who has firsthand knowledge of the concerns facing our local businesses and families. Don't take my word for it. I have received endorsements from the Minnesota and the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce PACs who both agree that I support private enterprise and will work to improve economic conditions in the Twin Cities metro area and statewide. I think raising taxes and increasing the size of government is not the answer for Minnesota. We need to start attracting good businesses and put people back to work. Our district needs a representative with true business experience who puts our families' futures above the needs of the special interests.

I would like the opportunity to meet you and your family and talk about your concerns. I will be appearing with Senator David Hann at the Glen Lake Community Center, 14350 Excelsior Blvd, Minnetonka (the old fire station, right near the intersection of Eden Prairie Road and Excelsior Boulevard) on Saturday, September 25, at 10:30 AM for a Town Hall Meeting. Here's your chance to ask me your questions and tell me your concerns about your family and our state. Please bring your family and friends as well. Hope to see you there.

Stensrud is a candidate for representative in House District 48A

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 23, 2010:

Defends Young, Duckstad
By: Richard Proops, Eden Prairie

A recent [letter to the editor] closed with accusing Mayor [Phil] Young and [Council Member] Jon Duckstad of ignorance, cheap politics and recklessness for voting to hold the levy flat.  The [letter] itself appears to be guilty of these accusations.

Quote, "Both want to freeze the levy (that's the part of our city budget that comes from taxes) in an effort to look fiscally responsible-knowing that doing so could require yet again a big infusion from reserves (on top of last year's raid on the cookie jar)."  An examination of this statement seems to qualify it as cheap politics.

Using the phrase, "raid on the cookie jar" is an inflammatory description of the use that was made of the Budget Stabilization Fund, which had a balance of over $5,000,000 in 2007.  This fund, informally referred to as the rainy day fund, was established to provide for an unforeseen catastrophic event.  This recession certainly qualifies, and rather than increase taxes, some of the fund was utilized.  This was not done recklessly, but only after careful consideration by the council, and appreciation for the financial problems some taxpayer's were facing; it may have been, for them, more than a rainy day, but in fact a deluge.

"You can't cut the budget by as much as $1.2 million dollars without decimating our ... police and fire departments."  This statement is reckless, meant to inflame readers that basic security services will be cut; it is used as a scare tactic in every election.  Cheap politics?  You decide.  Ignorance comes in to play in that there has not been any mention of cutting these vital services.  The proposed budget does include expenditures for two additional policemen, at $156,000, and additional firefighters time for $240,000.

Yes, Mayor Young and mayoral candidate Duckstad do want a zero budget.  It is hard to understand how this can be considered "sleight of hand," even before the budget is finalized.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 23, 2010:

Questions EP School Board
By: Eric Falkenstein, Eden Prairie

Few government programs have failed so spectacularly that they have been abandoned, highlighting busing a singular failure in American social engineering.  The thought that busing over a smaller geography like Eden Prairie would make it different is the triumph of hope over experience.

The idea seems to be that if you take underperforming students concentrated in certain regions and smear them around a school district, an important problem is solved.  But does it help the under- of out-performing child?  There is no evidence to this effect, indeed much to the contrary as anyone unlucky enough to experience busing back in the 1970s can attest.  Spreading kids around merely hides the embarrassing fact that certain demographics have higher average scores, but it raises no one's scores.  More importantly it creates problems as parents are not as in tough with their local schools, taxpayers waste money on greater transportation costs, children waste time on longer commutes and more prosperous families flee.

Melissa Krull and the Eden Prairie School Board are not only naive, but disingenuous.  Ever since the prior racial redistricting plan was quashed by a June 2007 Supreme Court ruling, the board merely created the laughably objective Boundary and Transition Plan Task Force to achieve the same end via different reasoning.  The Task Force has admitted they look at "demographics" as well as geography in determining the boundaries, buy have been careful to not define the term "demographic."

This is the most pressing issue talked about by parents I know, yet in their next public forum September 29 they intend to merely discuss the irrelevant issue of "how policies are monitored," and "will not entertain questions or comments related to administrative initiatives in the district."  Krull and her colleagues are the insulated, obtuse, cliche-spewing administrators we see parodied in "The Office," only this is not funny.

If the School Board thinks busing will help underachievers or overachievers it would be unprecedented.  If they merely want to hide the fact that some areas produce better average students than others, this is an incredibly superficial way to rectify the underlying problem.  It would be far better to design programs and allocate specialists to help underachievers directly, which paradoxically might be more efficient if they are concentrated so you do not need the same specialists at every school.  If Eden Prairie starts busing the way Cleveland did (where I grew up), it will not end well, but it will end.  Better not to start.

The following appeared in an article entitled "Ask The Candidates" in Eden Prairie News, September 16, 2010. The answer of Jon Duckstad, candidate for mayor and Donna Azarian, candidate for City Council, appear below:

Question: City Manager Scott Neal is set to leave his position in a matter of weeks. What should the city look for in its next city manager?

Mayor Candidate Jon Duckstad: “The position of city manager requires a broad range of management skills which have been developed in a responsible management position in government and industry.  Skills required include: the ability to meet, speak, and respond with poise in diverse situations; training, motivating and directing the city staff; establishing goals for the city's direction, preparing complete and concise reports for the City Council and to meet legal requirements, preparing fiscally responsible balanced budgets.”

City Council Candidate Donna Azarian: “A city manager must have a strong skill set gained through experience in both the private and public sectors.  These skills include: effective project management; ability to manage multiple priorities; recruit, train coach and lead city personnel; prepare detailed reports for the council; responsibly manage a budget to meet the needs of city residents; able to interact with city residents and address their concerns with tact, respect and a strong motivation to serve their needs.”

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 23, 2010:

Supports Kirk Stensrud
By: Larry G. DeVries, Eden Prairie

A number of letters to the editor have extolled the traits of the incumbent representative in House Seat 48A in Eden Prairie/Minnetonka, Rep. Maria Ruud.

Supporting letters have indicated Maria Ruud understands people, is caring and compassionate and, above all, is a nice person. Others say she communicates well and is passionate about her beliefs and acts on those beliefs.

However, the real question that needs to be answered is: Does Rep. Maria Ruud actually represent Eden Prairie and Minnetonka constituents when she is at the State Capitol?

We are a suburban residential area with suburban businesses providing jobs of many types. As I live in and travel about the area of 48A, I see residential suburban areas consisting of all kinds of businesses with which we are familiar. In addition we have our churches and schools, parks and golf courses.

This country was founded on the concept of geographic representative government. That means that each representative elected to serve is charged to actually represent the interests of their constituents of that particular geographic area. That means not voting to only support the general interests of her political supporters, not writing for the interests of the core city areas or the downtown interests of the core city areas or the downtown interests and not supporting the priorities of special interests not present in her geographic area.

In reviewing Ruud's record over the span of years, it is clear she has not represented her legislative are well. She has voted and supported issues that are not a priority of those living in her geographic area. Since elected (2004) this is evidenced by her mediocre voting record as measured by the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, Minnesota Legislative Evaluation Assembly, and other legislative rating groups. In taking initiative, she has authored bills that attempt to apply to Minnesota regulations originating in other states (California's energy mandates). She is known as a tax, spend, regulate legislator -- her record shows that -- when her constituents are, in fact, moderate suburban voters. Ruud's voting patterns are a miss-match with the constituent's interests of this house district.

It is time to shift to someone who will actually represent constituents -- and votes that way. For that reason I am supporting and recommend support for Kirk Stensrud for House Representative in 48A. As a small business man with roots in the suburbs he knows the area and will represent it as it should be.

The following appeared in an article entitled "Ask The Candidates" in Eden Prairie News, September 16, 2010. The answer of Donna Azarian, candidate for City Council, appears below:

Question: Eden Prairie was recently named the No. 1 small city in which to live in the country by Money Magazine. What is your vision for the future success of the community and how will you attain it?

City Council Candidate Donna Azarian: “Eden Prairie is Number 1 -- Why? Because in these precarious times, we have kept hope alive. We have kept businesses alive. We did it not by following a 'cut, cut, cut' mentality but by setting priorities. We funded amazing community center and funded a fourth fire station. We can continue to keep Eden Prairie Number 1 by setting priorities and spending money wisely allowing it to be an affordable city for all residents.”

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 16, 2010:

Support Tom Emmer, David Hann, Jenifer Loon, Kirk Stensrud
By: John Tyler, Eden Prairie

In reply to Ellen Hoerle's commentary, “Healthcare reform a complex issue” from the Eden Prairie News, I agree, our current healthcare system is unnecessarily complex and expensive. The solutions to cost and coverage issues can be achieved without compromising the care quality of our healthcare delivery system to any of us.

There are two crises in healthcare. The growth in the cost of state government plans is the first. It is unsustainable. The second crisis is the scandalously low level of payment healthcare providers receive for treating the government-insured population. They need to receive the same commercial carrier rate of pay for their services as they receive for all privately insured individuals. As federal, state, and county budgets become tighter, healthcare provider reimbursements will continue to fall, making even worse the forced cost-shifting to private health plans. The DFL's solution to cover all of us in the category of Canadian-style government single-payer would under pay physicians and hospitals for everyone -- a disaster for our care quality and for the careers of our medical provider professionals and insurance professionals.

Market-based health insurance reforms are favored by Republicans including governor candidate Tom Emmer, Senator David Hann, Representative Jenifer Loon, and candidate for representative in district 48A, Kirk Stensrud. Representative Maria Ruud's voting record indicates she is not. A simple cost comparison between the government-insured plans with individual health plans show astounding savings. Even with pessimistic cost assumptions for the entire government-insured population, we find an estimated $1.2 billion dollars in total annual cost savings to help with a projected $6 billion to $7 billion budget shortage.

The means of saving the three major government insurance plans is an issue voters need to consider in elections. Examine the DFL's federal and state platforms on single payer, Canadian-style, government run health care for us all as "health care reform" and the Republicans' alternative with market-based health insurance alternatives and make your voting decision accordingly. Please join me in supporting Republicans to bring forward their common-sense, cost-saving and quality-enhancing healthcare reform proposals to Saint Paul -- Tom Emmer, Kirk Stensrud, Rep. Jenifer Loon, and Sen. David Hann.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 9, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Bryan Tupman, Eden Prairie

As an employee of a major corporation in Eden Prairie, I see the results of how an over-taxing, over-regulated and over-reaching state government is forcing layoffs and downsizing across all areas in my company. This is no different than what is happening in hundreds of companies across the state.

The occasional downturns in the economy, which always happen from time to time, have been made far worse by the policies and out-of- control spending of the DFL and their special interests. When I see on the news about our state government spending tax money on things like new gorilla cages and a book on indigenous birds of Minnesota while at the same time my company is laying off workers because we can't afford to keep them on payroll, my blood pressure soars.

This habit of wasteful spending and the attitude that justifies it are personified in our current representative, Maria Ruud. Let's list some of the ways she's spent our money since being elected:

• $372,000 for bird breeding maps,
• $545,000 for unique Iron Range microbe characterization,
• $160,000 to show teachers how to use a digital camera outdoors,
• $15,000 to tell kids to go outside,
• $155,000 to teach Hmong women how to fish. (HJP126888, 86th session).

So this fall I am taking a page from the Democrat's playbook and choosing change. Even though I cannot vote for Kirk Stensrud as I live in district 48B, I encourage my fellow citizens of district 48A to vote for fiscal responsibility by selecting Kirk Stensrud to bring fiscal sanity back to St. Paul.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 9, 2010:

Questions Butcher-Wickstrom
By: Al Krause, Eden Prairie

When questioned about her decision to run for the City Council, Sherry Butcher Wickstrom is quoted in your newspaper as saying, "I am running because I think I've got that experience and that kind of collaborative leadership that is really needed right now." While I applaud Sherry's willingness to serve another four years on the council, I question the wisdom of that decision.

When Sherry started on the council in 1997, the total budget for Eden Prairie was $24,169,808. In her last year on the council, 2008, that budget had risen to $40,848,133 - an increase of 53 percent. Well, you say the city grew during that time and it did, from 51,974 to 62,610 (an increase of 20.5 percent). But the net result was that each resident's share of the budget grew from $465.93 to $652.42, an increase of 40 percent. In the four years since Sherry has been on the council our city budget increased only 3.4 percent (from $39,261,313 to $40,614,931) and yet we were able to be named the top rated city in the nation this year. That leads me to believe it's not the amount of money you spend but how you spend it that really matters.

Do you think we can afford Sherry's council experience and "collaborative leadership" in these trying, tough economic times?

Think about it!

The following appeared in an article entitled "Ask The Candidates" in Eden Prairie News, September 9, 2010. The answer of Jon Duckstad, candidate for Mayor, appears below:

Question: Eden Prairie was recently named the No. 1 small city in which to live in the country by Money Magazine. What is your vision for the future success of the community and how will you attain it?

Mayor Candidate Jon Duckstad: “I envision the city retaining its high level of excellence which has been built and supported by citizens with a strong sense of community, inspired, in part, by our wonderful lakes and parks. Preserving excellence requires continuing our momentum. This can best be accomplished by electing responsible public servants who will provide leadership and a balance between services provided and the impact on taxes”

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 2, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: John E. Rice, Eden Prairie

Many politicians say one thing and do another. So when Rep. Maria Ruud represents herself as “pro-business” is she telling the truth? Ruud makes a big deal of the fact that she co-chairs something called the "House Small Business Caucus". She mentions it on her campaign website, on her legislative website. She even mentions it in her recent letter to the editor. Two of her supporters also mentioned it in recent letters. One letter writer even crowed that Ruud co-chairs her committee with Representative Keith Downey. Clearly they want you to conclude: "See how pro-business she is?"

Nothing could be further from the truth. Maria Ruud, you're no Keith Downey!

The Taxpayer's League of Minnesota rates our legislators on bills that are favorable or unfavorable to taxpayers. In the most recent ratings, Rep. Downey scored a respectable 83 out of 100. So how does Maria Ruud score? According to the League, since starting at the Legislature in 2005, Ruud has voted against taxpayers a whopping 58 times. In 2010, Ruud scored an embarrassing 20 out of 100. The previous two years, Ruud scored a zero and a 13 respectively. Does that sound like someone who is pro-business?

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce scores our legislators on bills that are favorable or unfavorable to business and growing jobs in Minnesota. Rep. Downey earned a perfect score of 100 in the chamber's most recent report. Ruud, on the other hand, scored a disappointing 16. Does that sound like someone who is pro-business?

And now the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce PAC has endorsed Sen. David Hann and Kirk Stensrud for election this November.

These groups know lip service when they hear it and that is all hard-working businesspeople get from Maria Ruud and the DFL. Rep. Ruud is clearly hostile to business, to growing jobs, and to taxpayers.

Now more than ever, we need Kirk Stensrud in the state legislature. Kirk will bring a reasonable voice to St. Paul. Kirk doesn't need to fool people into thinking he is pro-small business -- he owns a small business. On November 2, please elect a real voice for small business. Please vote for Kirk Stensrud for state representative in 48A.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, September 2, 2010:

Support Jon Duckstad for Mayor
By: Karen Paul, Eden Prairie

Eden Prairie was recently honored by Money Magazine as America's top town to live in and has been in the top 100 places for the past four years. During that time, we have also had a conservative fiscally responsible majority on our City Council with Phil Young, Brad Aho, and Jon Duckstad. To me, this is no coincidence. It is imperative we continue their efforts of providing essential services while at the same time practicing restraint and serious scrutiny of spending at all levels of city government. With Mayor Young not running for re-election, Jon Duckstad has chosen to run for the office and continue this award-winning program of fiscal restraint and focus on core responsibilities that made us Number One in the nation.

Jon's long record of public service includes Eden Prairie City Council 2007 to present, SouthWest Transit Commission member 2007 to present, Eden Prairie City Schools Joint Task Force 2007 to present, Eden Prairie Planning Commission 2006, Saint Paul City Charter Commission Vice Chair, 2000 to 2003, Saint Paul Zoning Board of Appeals secretary 2000-2003 and U.S. Army Military Services two-year active duty 1956-1958.

Jon is a graduate of Luther College, Decorah, Iowa with a BA 1956 and a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, Saint Paul, 1962.

I will thank Jon for his excellent service to Eden Prairie by voting for him this November to be our next mayor and I hope you will too.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, August 26, 2010:

Support David Hann, Kirk Stensrud
By: David Johnson, Eden Prairie

This last week the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce PAC announced their endorsements for November. Their purpose is to endorse candidates whose platforms support private enterprise and work to improve economic conditions in the Twin Cities metro area and statewide. There were seven Republicans on the list including Senator David Hann and Kirk Stensrud (the only non-elected official on the list). There were also three Democrats endorsed. Maria Ruud was not one of them.

Ruud's supporters have written about her supposed work for small business, but her record of voting for tax hikes, even during a recession, and wasting our tax dollars on non-essentials like $160,000 to show teachers how to use a digital camera outdoors and $372,000 for bird breeding maps (HJP12688, 86th session) shows why local businesses, chambers, and taxpayers have had enough of Maria Ruud's actions. And it's no wonder why, with actions like this as our representative, the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce PAC chose to endorse her Republican opponent, Kirk Stensrud over her.

Ruud and her supporters can speak all they want about how she's voted for this bill or that, sat on this committee or that, or promotes some feel-good program at our expense. But the facts are that Maria Ruud is no friend of the taxpayer or store owner and this endorsement is truly an indictment of her values and actions as our representative. Maria Ruud is bad for business and business owners in Eden Prairie and Minnetonka know it.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, August 26, 2010:

Questions Ruud
By: Stacey Bozanich, Eden Prairie

I would like to respond to Rep. Maria Ruud's recent commentary where she dismissed the concerns of people who want to require photo ID for voting. I am an Eden Prairie election judge and I can tell you that this is an important issue with many voters. In fact many people have expressed surprise and outrage that we don't require photo ID. As an election judge, it is not uncommon for me to see people show up to vote with ID in hand. When we tell them that their ID is not necessary, a few even get angry and can't believe that it is not required to vote.

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports 26 states have adopted laws requiring some sort of legal identification present at polling places. Eight states require photo identification. Eighteen require valid identification that does not include photos. Four other states are working on similar laws.

All these states have alternative plans for voters who cannot produce proper identification arriving at the polls. No voter failing to present proper identification has ever been refused the right to vote in any of those states.

When you consider Minnesota Majority's recent findings that more than 1,000 ineligible felons voted in 2008, we have some serious problems. The need for photo ID for all voters at the polls has become a reality. It is the only way to ensure safe and accurate elections.

People want an extra protection. Why does Rep. Ruud belittle their concerns? It makes me suspect that there is another agenda here.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, August 26, 2010:

Support Donna Azarian
By: Kevin Schultz, Eden Prairie

I am very pleased to write this letter in support of Donna Azarian, Republican-endorsed candidate for Eden Prairie City Council. Donna will be a wonderful complement to Brad Aho and Jon Duckstad as mayor on the Eden Prairie City Council as responsible stewards of our tax dollars. Donna is an exceptionally hard-working and dedicated individual. She has been a member of the Senate District 48 Republican Executive Committee and an active member of Saint Hubert's Catholic Community.

No stranger to financial hardship, Donna has had her bouts with unemployment due to her company's takeover by another. I believe she will bring this real world experience with her in evaluating city budgets, costs, and expenses. Many in Eden Prairie are hurting financially and Donna will bring empathy when spending other people's tax money and making city government cost decisions.

Those of us who know Donna know her as a humble, warm, and hard-working individual with a small-business background and a real desire to serve. Please join me in enthusiastically supporting Donna for Eden Prairie City Council.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, August 26, 2010:

Support Jon Duckstad
By: Jeff Meyerhofer, Eden Prairie

As an Eden Prairie resident, I wanted to extend my appreciation to Jon Duckstad for his tenure on the City Council. Jon's record of a common sense approach to decision making has made it possible to manage the city budgets and keep spending at a minimum for the past several years.

I fully support Jon's run for Eden Prairie mayor. Jon is a fiscal conservative and has the interests of Eden Prairie residents in mind as he makes his decisions. Jon knows keeping spending down while focusing on decreasing taxes puts more money in our pockets, where it should be.

Please join me in casting your vote for Jon Duckstad this fall!

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, August 26, 2010:

Support David Hann
By: Roger Jorgensen, Eden Prairie

Eden Prairie needs to re-elect Republican-endorsed David Hann to the Minnesota State Senate. I have had the opportunity to observe Senator Hann on the Senate floor, on television, and in committee. He brings a very detailed mind and asks the tough questions needed when crafting legislation. His is a voice of thoughtful reason amid the liberal DFL Minneapolis/Saint Paul legislator-controlled Minnesota Senate. I am grateful to David for running as I know the frustrations are immense when attempting to buck the tide of the tax-and-spend mentality that prevails in the DFL-controlled Minnesota Senate. The last thing Eden Prairie needs to do is send another teacher's union representative like Ron Case to Saint Paul to help the inner city liberals obtain further control of our educational, healthcare, and farming systems.

We have followed Hann since his days on the Eden Prairie School Board. His balanced and reasoned approach to problem-solving the key issues at hand gives us hope for our children's and grandchildren's future.

Senator Hann could not be a more committed, determined or dedicated individual for the causes of freedom, integrity, opportunity and hope in state government. Rather than looking for further government controls over our education, farming, and healthcare systems. David seeks to lessen the strangling burdens of bureaucracy, taxation, and over-regulation. He speaks out in an informed, articulate fashion that makes me proud he is my state senator and proud to vote for him this fall to return to the Senate again next year.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, August 19, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Kim Stender, Eden Prairie

As a small business owner and a single mother of three, I work very hard to support my family and build a better life for us. I am a home care provider who helps elderly and disabled adults stay in their own homes by providing non-medical services to them.

I work more than the standard 40 hours a week, like many of us do, and also have kids in school, church activities and other programs that take up much of my time.

I would love to expand my business and be able to help so many others. Right now, I have a potential employee that I would love to hire. This employee would not only enable me to provide even better services to my current clients, but would be invaluable to me in growing my business, which would help me put even more people to work. I can't afford to hire that person because the costs of hiring her are too expensive. For every dollar I would pay her in salary, I have to pay another $0.66 in benefits.

I have seen the ads on TV and read the letters to the editor here that say Maria Ruud and the DFL have worked hard for people like me. I don't see it. I did see the DFL debates where each candidate stated that the Democrats' idea of helping me grow my business is to tax me more. This makes no sense to me. I am beginning to lose hope that I will be able to provide for my children.

Thankfully, I now have someone else to vote for this fall with Kirk Stensrud. I know Kirk personally, he's my neighbor. I know his wonderful wife and their three kids who have grown up with my kids here in Eden Prairie.

As a fellow business owner and father of three, Kirk understands what I am going through in this economy. I have spoken to Kirk many times about work, family and these issues. His ideas about reducing the costs of state government and eliminating unnecessary regulations to grow the economy make a lot of sense.

That's why this fall I will be voting for my neighbor, Kirk Stensrud, to represent me in the Minnesota House and I hope you will vote for him too.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, August 19, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Lonnie Gades, Eden Prairie

I helped lead a financial workshop for our church community with Kirk Stensrud where we discussed strategies to help people better manage their family budgets and avoid the common pitfalls of debt.

In this workshop we teach a person that spending beyond their income and putting that spending on high-interest credit cards is a recipe for financial ruin. Without a good plan and a sound budget to determine where we should spend our money rather than where we want to spend our money, we will not be able to provide for our own future.

Kirk understands that the state government is no different. The same financial rules apply. Deficit spending by Maria Ruud and the DFL on special interest programs and boondoggle projects is spending on credit. And that credit card has our children's names on it.

We need to send someone to St. Paul who understands that the way government spends our money is not working and will help put into place the common-sense financial planning that will bring Minnesota's spending under control and help restore our struggling economy.

So I am voting for Kirk Stensrud because he is the only candidate who will bring sound financial principles to the Minnesota House as our representative.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, August 19, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Thor and Carmen Hansen, Eden Prairie

Wouldn't it be refreshing to vote for a candidate who believes in serving his constituency, listens well, has a grasp of the issues, and has no personal agenda?

That candidate is Kirk Stensrud.

We have known Kirk Stensrud for a number of years and are constantly impressed with him. He is frequently found serving others at his church and in his community and that service philosophy is the guiding factor in his candidacy. He truly desires to serve in the Legislature, being the voice, hands, and feet of his constituency to effect sensible change in Minnesota.

He has often shared with us his position regarding current government issues and listens well, asking questions to add to his knowledge. There are many voices in politics, shouting to be heard. Kirk is discerning and looks at the issues with common sense and will challenge legislative business as usual.

He is a small business owner who knows the struggle of this economy and how it impacts the family. He is concerned about health care, education, and runaway political agendas that do not support the future security of our families and our state, but rather perpetuate frivolous spending.

Kirk has no personal agenda except to represent you well in the Minnesota Legislature. His candidacy is not about recognition or future political position. Kirk recognizes the gap in common-sense leadership in the Minnesota Legislature and is willing to stand in the gap for you.

Isn't that refreshing?

Vote for Kirk Stensrud for Minnesota state representative in November.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, August 19, 2010:

Amazed at Recent Letter
By: John Tyler, Eden Prairie

I find myself shaking my head in amazement, not amusement, at the responses of Rep. Maria Ruud and one of her supporters about the serious issue of voter fraud.

Ruud and her supporters are actually writing letters opposing voter photo ID? Are they kidding? Is she aware that Rasmussen's survey shows two-thirds of Democrats support photo ID? This isn't just a Republican issue, Maria. Nearly everyone opposes voter fraud.

Ruud believes the public will forget the DFL controls both the House and Senate and send legislation to the governor to protect the integrity of our elections. They have not. The problem is not the integrity of the anonymous paper ballot but who is allowed to vote in the first place. We must also stop absentee ballot fraud and the legal loophole which allows one person to vouch for another that they are a citizen. Once the ballot is cast there is no way to distinguish it from the legitimate votes. This type of voter base broadening Rep. Ruud and the DFL want to maintain only opens the door to a massive increase in fraudulent registrations groups that ACORN seek skeep to manipulate. Ruud's supporters may chuckle at the seriousness of these deliberate efforts to disenfranchise Minnesota voters, but most of us find this no laughing matter.

This is just one of many reasons why we need to send Kirk Stensrud to Saint Paul as our state representative in place of Maria Ruud. Unlike Ruud, Kirk Stensrud feels strongly about this issue and will actually work to enact meaningful laws to stem the tide of voter fraud. Please join me in supporting Kirk Stensrud for our representative from 48A. Support clean elections!

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, August 5, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Peter Bozanich, Eden Prairie

A couple weeks ago the Opinion Section of the Eden Prairie News featured two letters. One demanded that the taxpayers of Eden Prairie buy them a new outdoor pool. The other hissed that Republicans hate all government. Tsk. Tsk. We would all be happier and we would get what we want if it wasn't for those evil Republicans always saying “No!”

Meanwhile the editorial cartoon in the same issue offered an answer for these complainers. The cartoon showed the U.S. capitol with a gigantic rubber check bouncing past. The deficit is out of control.

Obama and the Democrats are on a spending spree. The debt for this year alone is $1.5 trillion. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation calculated just how high taxes would have to go to even things out. One option is to raise the top three tax brackets to 100 percent -- and that still would not be enough! How would you like that? You could work all year and all your paychecks just get sent directly to Obama and Pelosi to spend as they pleased.

Locally we have Maria Ruud who represents the same philosophy. The latest ratings from the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce give Ruud a 0 out of 100. According to the Chamber, Maria Ruud is very anti-business!

Runaway deficits. Government on steroids. That's what you get when Democrats are in charge.

Thankfully we can replace that philosophy in November by putting a businessman like Kirk Stensrud into office. Kirk has met a payroll, he has had to meet a bottom line. He doesn't want zero government, but he does believe in limited government. On November 2, please elect Kirk Stensrud to the Minnesota House in 48A.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, July 29, 2010:

Support Kirk Stensrud
By: Mark Johnson, Minnetonka

I have known Kirk Stensrud for over 15 years and Kirk would be a great District 48A representative for our community. Kirk is a faithful husband, strong local business owner and father to three Minnetonka students. Our children have gone through the Minnetonka schools together and he knows firsthand what is great about our school system and what needs work.

Kirk has a level-headedness about him that many state representatives do not. He owns and operates a local family-owned business where he must work within a budget, something our state definitely needs to learn how to do. Kirk has a strong work ethic and would represent our community with dignity and honor. He knows that changes need to be made in many areas of our state's programming and will bring to the State Legislature the common sense business practices he's learned from a decade of running a successful company. I trust Kirk to find the right solutions to the state's problems instead of being beholden to the same special interests that put us in this terrible economic situation in the first place. And he would have the taxpayer's money in mind when choosing to vote yes or no on any issue.

He is hard working, honest, faithful, kind and is the best choice to represent Eden Prairie and Minnetonka in the state house. Vote for Kirk Stensrud for District 48A this November and he'll bring back the common sense needed to solve our state's problems.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, July 29, 2010:

ID Check Vital To Stop Vote Fraud
By: David Johnson, Eden Prairie

Senator Al Franken likely owes his Senate victory to felons. With a razor-thin victory over Sen. Norm Coleman in 2008 of just 312 votes, we have recently discovered that felons convicted of crimes such as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults may have given Democrats the filibuster-proof 60th vote that allowed Obamacare to pass.

Minnesota voters have good reason to be concerned. Without free and fair elections, we are no longer a democracy.

Vote fraud is bad for democracy. Democrats say they oppose it, yet they refuse to take action to stop it. The reason? By allowing people to vote multiple times or allowing felons and non-citizens to vote, the DFL increases their numbers and is able to steal elections.

Photo IDs are required for driving vehicles, buying alcohol or cigarettes, applying for Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, food stamps, applying for a library card, boarding airplanes, entering government buildings, registering at school, getting student loans, renting movies and cashing checks. But you don't have to show ID to exercise our most important right as American citizens -- the right to vote.

Is that fair? Democrat Maria Ruud seems to think so.

In May 2006, she voted against requiring ID to vote (HF 1443). In fact, of all the Democrats in the Minnesota House, only three supported requiring an ID to vote. As American Express said for decades: “membership has its priviledges”. And the greatest privileges of American citizenship is the right to vote. But Maria Ruud and Democrats across our state refuse to secure this foundational right against fraud.

Vote fraud is a problem. Without honest elections, our democracy will not work.

The recent Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform (headed by Republican James Baker and Democrat Jimmy Carter) made 87 recommendations to make our elections more fair and honest. One of their main recommendations: require people to show ID before voting.

According to Rasmussen, an overwhelming majority of Americans favor requiring an ID to vote. Opposition to voter fraud cuts across age, gender, race and party affiliation. Yes, even rank-and-file Democrats support voter ID.

Every time a fraudulent vote is counted, your vote is diminished and your right is stolen. Stand up for your rights and your vote. Vote for Kirk Stensrud, David Hann, and Jenifer Loon in November.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, July 01, 2010:

Supports Senator Hann
By: David Johnson, Eden Prairie

Rather than send yet another teachers' union rubber stamp as Senate District 48's Senate representative to Saint Paul, let's thank Sen.
David Hann for his fine work by returning him there for another term. A vital area of effort has been in healthcare. Sen. Hann sits on the Senate Health Policy Committee and consistently attempts to bring financial sanity to a Senate world totally lacking it.

The chairman of this committee is Sen. John Marty who authored "The Minnesota Health Plan". It is a Canadian/British style single-payer healthcare legislation with an estimated price tag of a certain $15 billion and probably closer to $30 billion in new taxes. It will place us on Medical Assistance-style healthcare that pays healthcare providers 17 to 42 cents on their earned dollar. This is the same system that has failed both the UK and Canada, bringing each to the brink of insolvency.

In contrast, Sen Hann authored legislation to privatize MinnesotaCare using private sector policies that pay providers commercial carrier rates and would have saved $112 million dollars over the next two years. This concept projected an additional $1.12 billion in savings per year. It was voted down on straight party lines by the DFL. We need to put Sen. Hann in charge of the Health Policy Committee by helping Republicans win a majority there in November. And the first step in doing that is to send Sen. Hann back to Saint Paul to represent us for another term.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, June 24, 2010:

Supports Stensrud for 48A Seat
By: John E. Iverson, Eden Prairie

In Washington as well as Saint Paul, liberals are demonstrating that they cannot control spending, even when they know that we are broke. The good news is that the polls are showing that the public is beginning to notice. All over the nation people are saying "enough is enough" -- stop the deficits, stop the taxes, stop spending money we do not have.

I'm very happy that in the Senate District 48A race there is a choice. We have a fantastic candidate in Kirk Stensrud. Kirk was a
top-achieving corporate sales rep before starting his own business. He's the parent of three children in the Minnetonka school district where his wife is a school nurse. Kirk's message is simple: Cut government waste, cut taxes and regulations that impede doing business in Minnesota, and stop the out-of-control spending in Saint Paul.

Are you tired of being represented by Maria Ruud who scores dismally on taxpayer ratings and continually favors bigger government over private business? Then it's time to act!

Please visit Kirk's website at http// and let him know you want to help. If you can make a donation or help him with door knocking or even if you can just put up a lawn sign, every little bit helps.

It's important to get engaged locally. It is here in our own backyard where we can most easily change things. We can't unseat Obama in 2010 or vote out the people who gave us this horrific budget deficit, but we can unseat someone who is just as far to the left right here at home. Please join me in supporting Kirk Stensrud for 48A representative.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, June 24, 2010:

Concerned with Commentary
By: Jim Johnson, Eden Prairie

Superintendent Krull, this is not an angry editorial but one written out of concern. Concern that you would attempt to stereotype and marginalize so many people with the label "dismissive noise".

Concern that you would take exception with people who have utilized forms of communications like surveys, petitions, blogs and editorials to communicate with you.

Really concerned that you could have a problem with people merely exercising their first amendment rights.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, June 24, 2010

Questions Krull's Message
By: Nancy Frischmon, Eden Prairie

Melissa Krull's recent letter exposes a new level of arrogance. Her timing is poor. Summer is here, a time to pause and take a deep breath as we all move forward.

The letter could have helped us move forward in spite of our differences. She could have pointed out that parents who do not agree with the board's majority care about our schools and have invested a lot of time and energy in them.

Instead, she chooses to insult the people who disagree with her recommendation by labeling the disagreement as "noise" which distracts from the core mission of long term success for all students. She states that by accepting the decisions of the board, parents are demanding their own way. Isn't our country built on the principle that we have the right and responsibility of and engaged society to discuss, debate and challenge decisions made by our democratic process?

The decisions of local, regional, state and national leaders are challenged daily using the tools and rights that we have in this
country: freedom of speech, letters to the editors, signing petitions, testifying before boards and committees, informative bulletins and brochures, conducting investigations regarding laws and policies. I can't understand or accept the arrogance of our superintendent to believe her recommendations and the school board's decisions should be insulated from the founding principles of our democratic society. Thankfully our founding fathers designed a system where voters have the ultimate authority to determine how well the decisions recommended by Superintendent Krull and voted on by the board, reflect the values and wishes of our community.

I suspect I am one of the majority of parents who has an opinion about the board's decisions but has not participated in any of the "noise" that Melissa has been hearing. My understanding is school board members voted to approve Superintendent Krull's strategic recommendation for a conceptual K-6 model before some of the difficult and significant decisions were made on how to actually implement this new model. This is a policy decision the school board has been given the authority to make. Since we all know the devil is in the details, the school board should understand that until the K-6 concept has been developed into an actual plan for moving forward, the door remains open for parents who don't agree and/or understand the conceptual model to respectfully question/challenge the K-6 decision. This is how it works at all levels of government.

I hope school board members can look past the ignorance and arrogance of Superintendent Krull to hear caring and committed parents continuing to challenge the board to make the best long-term decisions for our school district. As for the "noise" Melissa Krull is hearing and the letter she sent informing us she has become unyielding in her direction, I suggest it's time for the School Board to change Melissa's job title to King Krull.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, June 17, 2010

City Needs Flat Budget
By: Jon Duckstad, Eden Prairie

In light of our current difficult economy, many Eden Prairie residents are struggling to make ends meet on tight budgets. If taxpayers are required to tighten their belts, then so should the city of Eden Prairie.

It was encouraging to see a recent commentary by City Manager Scott Neal, extolling good financial news at city hall as a result of two successive (zero increase) flat city budgets encompassing the years 2009 and 2010. It is apparent we have an able city manager who understands the need for government to reduce spending in our struggling economy and the importance of allowing our taxpayers to keep more of their hard-earned money in explaining how such a feat was accomplished, Neal indicated in part his staff worked hard “to be more creative, frugal and good stewards of our budget” through personnel reductions, expense reductions and service level changes. He deserves a pat on the back for pointing out that even though 12 city jobs were eliminated in 2009, “we did not decrease our services levels much.”

In the ensuing year we will once again be confronted with adopting a city budget for 2011. It is noteworthy that both Hennepin County and the state of Minnesota currently have a wage freeze as well as for the 2011.

In addition to being saddled with local property taxes, Eden Prairie taxpayers recognize they do not live in a cocoon immune from other taxing obligations. They understand they have a pay increasing state taxes. They are also obligated to pay significant federal taxes and are on the hook for the current out-of-control federal spending as well as skyrocketing deficits. Government at all levels simply spends too much money. Our resident taxpayers deserve more good news from city hall in the form of an adoption of a third consecutive no increase (flat) budget for 2011.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, June 17, 2010

Two Parents Respond to Krull Commentary
By Karla Bratrud and Jessie Score, Eden Prairie

By now everyone is probably aware that the petition asking the Eden Prairie School Board to revisit their K-6 facilities decision, signed by 730 people, went over like a lead balloon.

Superintendent Melissa Krull responded publicly in last week's edition of the Eden Prairie News and in an e-mail to all district parents. Her response, titled, “Leading Transformation,” ordered parents to “move on.”

Krull referred to dissenting opinions in our district as “noise,” saying it was “all intended to distract us from our primary purpose and our core mission.” She characterized editorials as “angry” and petitions as “divisive.” She also said, “We are all partners in this important work and each of us has a role to play in the success of our children.” Apparently, if you are part of the dissenting “noise,” your role now is to be quiet and go away. The idea that intelligent adults can agree on a primary purpose and core mission, but disagree on the roadmap for getting there, is one she must not embrace.

We're sure she'd prefer citizens “move on” before they discover if she will, in fact, be able to replicate all the programs that are currently offered at Oak Point at five locations with the same or better quality and within the budget, as she has promised. She'd also like us to “move on” before families grasp the magnitude of the boundary changes that will be necessary to make this plan work.

Krull frequently uses the word “change” in her communications, yet she uses it as if it is synonymous with the word “good.” It isn't. Changes can be good, but they can also be bad. We're not aware of any parent who thinks we shouldn't make thoughtful changes in order to seek continued improvement in our schools. Why must Krull resort to implying that opponents of this particular K-6 plan have a sinister motive to deny some students a proper education? A large number of parents simply object to the fact that the superintendent limited what the facilities committee was allowed to consider, resulting in a plan that is more disruptive and less cost effective than it could have been.

Challenging financial times are ahead for all schools. State funds are not expected to increase. Our teachers and staff took a wage freeze once already. Class sizes are increasing, and programs and teachers are being cut, with more cuts on the way.

Parents started a petition in order to demonstrate to the superintendent and board the number of very active and involved parents who oppose this K-6 plan. We worked hard to defend the rights of teachers and parents to be involved in decisions that affect them. We exposed facts and figures that the district wasn't sharing. We asked questions and raised issues that weren't addressed prior to the K-6 decision. We followed the proper avenues available to us to try to influence our leaders. Although we have at times experienced frustration, we did not “demand” our way, as Krull asserts.

We understood that the superintendent and some board members might not welcome our actions. We knew they might say “thank you very much” and then promptly throw our petition in the trash can. But our superintendent decided to go a step further. She thought taking parents to the woodshed in the newspaper and via e-mail was also in order, maybe forgetting that parents and community members are not on the payroll. She is on ours, and it is not wise to try to intimidate us in the same way that the recent teacher's survey indicates that she intimidates some of them.

Krull and four board members wanted this plan. Our petition has been submitted and rejected. For the sake of all our students, we hope they can make this plan work.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, June 3, 2010:

Get Government off our Backs
By: Fred Koppelman, Eden Prairie

A few weeks ago, Peter Bozanich wrote a letter to the editor commenting on the importance of small businesses in our community and that small businesses are the backbone of our economy and provide the lion's share of employment in the country.

In the May 6 issue of the Eden Prairie News, Maria Ruud, DFL-48A representative, wrote a letter thanking Peter for the letter.  I also that Peter because he hit the nail on the head.  We have to do everything possible to promote businesses and entrepreneurship.  Ronald Reagan once said that government can't solve our problems, government is our problem.

Maria's letter patting herself on the back about all the government programs that they had passes - that's the problem.

Nice try Maria, but we need to get government out of the way and let his incredible bread machine called the free enterprise system work.  It works just fine without all of the government fingers in the pie.  All of those programs just cost money, just get in the way and are mostly created by people who have never had a make a living by running a business.  That free enterprise system built this country into the strongest economy in the world.

I'm so thankful that we have someone running for that office (Kirk Stensrud) who is running a business and who understands what it is to have to make a payroll, keep a company running so that those employees continue to have a steady paycheck and put up with the ever encroaching tentacles of government getting in the way.

Please remember these things when you vote in November.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, May 27, 2010

Supports Loon, Stensrud
By: Donna Azarian, Eden Prairie

There are alternatives to increasing taxes.  It's called "living within our means."  It's something every Minnesota family has to do right now.

All citizens, regardless of their political preference, feel economic struggles.  The people of Eden Prairie are pleading for fiscal responsibility.  In November 2010, Eden Prairie residents are fortunate to have two candidates for the state House of Representatives who will fight to alleviate the already steep tax burdens that are placed upon us.  Both Rep. Jenifer Loon and Kirk Stensrud want to cut government waster, cut taxes, stimulate the economy and make Minnesota a destination for jobs.

We all have the power to put Minnesota back on track this upcoming election season - by re-electing Rep. Jenifer Loon in Senate District 48B and electing small business owner Kirk Stensrud for state representative in Senate District 48A.

The following letter appeared in the Eden Prairie News, April 22, 2010:

Kirk Stensrud for District 48A
By: Peter Bozanich, Eden Prairie

Rep. Maria Ruud is too liberal for Eden Prairie.  Oh, I'm sure she is a nice lady.  But in terms of fighting for taxpayers, her voting record is one of the worst in the Minnesota Legislature.

The Minnesota Taxpayer's League gave Ruud a 13 out of a possible 100 in 2009.  That means that 87 percent of the time, Ruud votes the way her DFL leadership tells her to vote - and against the taxpayers of Eden Prairie.  The previous year (2008) she scored even worse - she scored a big fat zero.

Her votes included billions of dollars in new tax increases that, in this tough economy, Minnesota families just cannot afford.

Sen. Larry Pogemiller once summed up the DFL mentality when he said:  "I think it's simplistic and naive to say people can spend their money better than the government."  Rep. Cy Thao echoed the same sentiments when he said: "When you guys win, you get to keep your money.  When we win, we take your money."  Is that the government we want in St. Paul?

Thankfully voters in 48A have an alternative - and his name is Kirk Stensrud.

Kirk is someone who understands that you cannot balance a state budget by breaking the budgets of Minnesota families.  According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, Minnesota ranks No. 43 in business climate.  Kirk knows firsthand how hard it is to run a business because he runs his own business.  He signs the paychecks.  He knows what businesses have to go through to keep jobs viable in today's economy.

Next November, let's send a real message of hope and change and vote for Kirk Stensrud for 48A representative.  For more information, please check out Kirk's website (http//

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