Labor 2012 Endorsed: Carlson, Masin, Morgan eye return to Legislature

Jim Carlson (top-left), Sandy Masin and Will Morgan are labor-endorsed candidates seeking to return to legislative seats they lost in 2010.

Jim Carlson, Sandy Masin and Will Morgan are hoping voters who bounced them from office two years ago will show buyer’s remorse in 2012.

All three DFLers represented suburban areas south of St. Paul, including Burnsville, Eagan and Lakeville, from 2007 to 2010, but they were swept out of office by a wave of support for “tea party” Republicans two years ago.

What have Republicans accomplished since taking control of the Legislature? One state government shutdown, two divisive constitutional amendments and a $2.4 billion I.O.U. to public school districts.

“Instead of focusing on creating jobs and improving the economy like they promised, they got sidetracked by irrelevant issues, gridlock and shutting down the government,” said Morgan, a high school physics teacher from Burnsville running for House District 56B (map). “None of that helped improve the lives of working Minnesotans.”

Morgan, Carlson and Masin believe voters want a Legislature that will focus on moving Minnesota forward with real solutions – not scoring political points or advancing an extremist ideology.

Masin, a longtime parks advocate and community volunteer in Eagan, says voters in her House District 51A (map) deserve representatives who will act like adults. “We know some of the Republicans were just not willing to compromise at all to do the work of the state,” she said. “That’s the reason for the state shutdown.”

Carlson, a retired mechanical engineer from Eagan, is running against Sen. Ted Daley in District 51 (map). Daley was among the most vocal supporters of so-called Right to Work legislation, a direct attack on workers, collective bargaining rights and the middle class.

Carlson says Daley is taking marching orders from the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, the corporate-backed lobbying group behind right-wing model legislation introduced in statehouses across the country, much of it aimed at stripping protections for middle class workers and their families. “If you go to China or to India, you’ll see what (ALEC) wants: to be able to have the lowest labor rates avail to them.”

Rather than compete in a race to the bottom, Minnesota should be developing an economy prepared to compete for the best jobs of the future – and that means making investments in K-12 and post-secondary education, keeping our infrastructure sound and preserving our high quality of life.

Masin agrees: “If we want to maintain our businesses and attract businesses, they need to know we have a workforce that is well educated.”

Morgan, meanwhile, isn’t shy about telling union members what’s at stake in this election. If Republicans maintain control of the Legislature, he predicts Minnesota will have a Right to Work constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2014 – legislation that would “turn Minnesota into a cold Mississippi.”

“We need to make sure our economic future is sound to bring prosperity to all,” Morgan added. “It starts with a strong middle class, and that starts with good schools and making sure working folks have a voice regarding their working conditions, wages and benefits.”

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  1. […] campaign was particularly successful in Eagan, where Jim Carlson, Sandra Masin and Laurie Halverson swept all three legislative seats in Senate District 51. Halverson’s victory […]

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