Friday, May 25, 2012

Now at a new address

If you are visiting here looking for new 2012 information, I invite you to my Tumblr blog. Just go from this link. Thanks!

Friday, October 1, 2010

LWV Closing Remarks

(At the request of those in the audience at the League of Women Voters/St. Cloud Times candidate forum last night, here is the full text of my closing remarks. The part in italics had already been cut out and used, but the last two paragraphs did not fit the one-minute limit either and were not delivered.)

I’d like to thank the League of Women Voters and the St. Cloud Times for organizing this important debate tonight. And I’d like to thank the audience for taking the time to learn about the issues and us candidates.

Two years ago many questioned the very core of our economic system. It was an election that brought many to seek solutions based on promises. Many of those promises now appear to be dust.

Our state struggled with how to finance its own budget, and in the strain we saw a system that no longer worked. Legislators fought with each other; a governor stepped in with a unique solution; both went to court to argue why the other couldn’t do its job. What got left behind was a mess for the next Legislature and governor to deal with.

Despite everything else you heard here tonight these facts are not in dispute: The current budget spends $30.5 billion in the biennium through the end of June next year. The next budget is expected to have $32.9 billion in revenues according to the state’s finance department. But the last Legislature agreed to spend $38.7 billion in the next biennium.

When you hear others say they want to have a “balanced approach,” it is your wallet they want to throw on the balance to pay for their spending.

I chose to run for this seat because I saw something was wrong with that process and think I have a plan to fix it.

Higher taxes do not create jobs; the dollar that pays for any public spending must first be taken from someone else. What was that dollar going to do before, did you think? Would it have bought a new shirt? A pizza? What of the jobs for the tailor or the cook?

I offer you a chance to do something different. We ask for – no, we demand as citizens – real accountability for our public resources. We demand that the regulations we face really work to solve problems that we agree are real and pressing. Regulations that inhibit job growth must be examined and, if not working well, removed.

Your life is more than a job, but meaningful work makes us not only wealthier but happier. A life has dreams; your dreams that should not be subject to confiscation or undue regulation. Your dreams should not be subject to someone’s desire to increase spending by 27%. If that makes my approach imbalanced, fine. There is no midpoint between right and wrong.

I’m King Banaian, and I offer to serve you as your representative for House District 15B, because your dreams deserve a chance to grow, because the growth of Minnesotans’ dreams was always what made this a great state. Thank you.

Friday, September 24, 2010

39 tomorrows

I want to thank everyone who came to our BPOU office tonight.  I got some nice compliments on my remarks.  I had written something down before giving this, and thought for those who missed it I would put my prepared remarks here.  (If you were there, it was a fair bit shorter.)

Tempus fugit.  The time is short. 
The people behind me know the time is short.  Many of them have been working for a year to get to this place.  They are counting the days.  I am counting them.  We have 39 days to get where we want to go. 
And of course we need your help.  We need you to call all your friends.  Even those who you know are strong DFLers.  We need you to come here and make calls to turn out our voters.  We have envelopes to stuff, doors to knock, signs to put up and repair, people to deliver to polls, polls to watch, absentee ballot counting to observe. 
We need you. 
We need you to help us today.  “Tomorrow” is often an answer we get.  But there are only 39 tomorrows until election day.  Time is flying.
But time is flying for more than an election.  Last weekend Peggy Noonan noted that one thing we believe is that time is short.  Something profound is happening in our state and in our country.  “If we don't get the size and cost of government in line now, we won't be able to. “  And in Minnesota we have a budget that is on autopilot to take us from spending $31 billion to $39 billion.  This is not a matter for green eyeshade-types, or even economists.  This is ruinous to the future we promised our children and grandchildren.  Once you get to $39 billion, they will not let you turn back. 
The time is short.  You know it; that’s why you’re here.
And we don’t need “balanced approaches.”  We can’t call stalling ruin a victory.  We know we are on our way there now.  We fear it may be too late.  We know in two more years if nothing changes, it probably will be.
What Minnesotans want is an accountable government that supports our aspirations to become better persons, to leave something for our families and for our communities. That has always been there for us; the Minnesota Miracle was always about free enterprise given a chance to grow in places that did not always have critical mass.
Small businesses create jobs, but who creates more?  New ones.  That idea, those dreams in each of our heads right now.   One that, if brought to fruition and successful, the new federal and Dayton tax rates would take 55% of, or more.
We are the ones who know, government can’t be a majority partner in our dreams.
The people here know, the time is short. 
You have the chance to change this.  You have 39 tomorrows.  What will you do with them? 
Thank you for being here, for knowing what time it is.  I look forward to working with each and every one of you, and watching together the wonderful Minnesota in which our families will thrive. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quick update: doors; parades

There has been some very nice response at doors lately.  I have many people interested in holding down taxes and wanting government to live within its means.  With an expected revenue flow of about $33 billion for the next biennium, we have enough to meet our priorities.

What a happy bunch at parades!  We had a nice group for the St. Joseph Lions Parade on the 4th and saw many friends and neighbors there.  When I knocked a door earlier this evening the resident replied that she had seen our parade float in Sauk Rapids and remembered the K9s for King.  They are former neighbors of ours now living in a neighboring precinct.  They will end up with one of our yard signs.  ("When are they going up, King?" you ask.  Soon enough.)

If you want to see pictures of the parades, you can either visit our Facebook page for the campaign, or stop by the K9s for King page on Facebook.  (If that link fails, just search us.)  Just because parade season is over for us doesn't mean your dog won't have an event -- the K9 crew has plans for more.

If you can doorknock for us, that would be great, just drop a line to us. Would you consider hosting a coffee for me to visit with your neighbors?  We'll bring the coffee, you bring the neighbors.  (And if you don't want people to see your messy house, get them to a coffee shop and we'll see you there.)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Revised website now operational

We've tweaked the website for better readability and added some content to it.  Please visit and see for yourself.

Monday, June 21, 2010

What you learn in front of a door

We swung into doorknocking last Friday with a gang of eight (two of whom are my wife and daughter.)  Great to see the enthusiasm from them, and the impetus to make doorknocking a daily ritual.  And so it is now.

Tonight I was by St. Cloud Technical and Community College along one of the roads perpendicular to 15th St.  This neighborhood has been there for probably 30-40 years and a mix of old and new homes, old and new families.  I met one family who had just arrived in St. Cloud from out of state; their neighbor, another young family, joined in.  The new residents are here for jobs at our hospital (one has the job, the other hopeful.)  We talked a bit about the area and how the health care industry has grown so dramatically here.  I was lifted by that scene, a neighbor greeting a new family to town.

That is really what door knocking is about.  I'm not just a guy looking for a job, though that is what I am asking you for.  I'm a neighbor, I'm someone who calls St. Cloud home, and I am given the opportunity in this race to meet all my neighbors, new residents and old ones.

Also met a younger man tonight, perhaps 30, who has been told his job running a kitchen is in jeopardy because the restaurant needs to balance its books.  I told him that I wanted to balance the state's books with without* increasing the costs at his restaurant.  It turns out his family has other restaurants, one of whom my son cooks at!  I asked him to thank his family for me, because I know they treat my son well there.

But it is hard for restaurants to keep treating their workers well when government decides to disallow a young person from working for a restaurant for less than the minimum wage.  It is hard for a restaurant to keep treating its workers well when we raise taxes on liquor (already the highest-taxed good in Minnesota and taxed 20-80% higher than in surrounding states.)  It is hard to treat your workers well when the government decides your sole proprietorship making $300,000 in net revenue should pay higher taxes out of 'fairness'.

All that out of a 3-minute meeting with a voter in north St. Cloud.  And I get to do that every day between now and November.  I look forward to visiting more of you and hearing more about the lives and concerns of my neighbors.

* -- corrected for typo; thanks to Fred for catching it!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Two candidates, two positions, one commonality

The people of House District 15B awoke this morning to a news article about the two remaining DFL candidates who have entered the race to be their representative.  They have a choice between a candidate that wants to tax our purchases of clothing, and one that wants to tax small business owners who choose to take their business income on their individual income tax form:
Dorholt and Lewis both adhere to the DFL position that the state must raise taxes to resolve its deficit. Lewis says she’d consider eliminating state sales tax exemptions for clothing and other exemptions. Dorholt says an income tax hike on high earners would be the least onerous option for a tax increase.
Some choice.  The common feature is that both candidates from the DFL support a higher level of state spending and the intrusion of the state deeper into our lives.  One wants to tax the very same producers whose entrepreneurship is vital to our economic recovery.  The other wants to tell poor families that their children's blue jeans should cost an extra 7.375% at Crossroads Mall.

Regardless of the choice local DFL voters make in August, voters will have a clear choice in November.  I will vote against either of these tax increases should they come before me in 2011 as your representative from District 15B.  We can balance the next biennium's budget without a tax increase.  It only takes the will and a belief that government can perform its vital functions with the amount of money we are projected to have. 

In its last forecast, the Department of Finance projected revenues in the next biennium to rise to $32.9 billion from this biennium's $31.1 billion.  That's a 2.85% annual rate of growth.  Don't you think they have enough?  My opponents say no.