Ken Martin recommends you do NOT Vote Yes for the “Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment”

That’s a weird title for a post on my own blog. Well, here’s the story: there’s another Ken Martin. Actually, there’s a bunch of us, but there’s one in particular who is the campaign manager for the “Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment”. So folks are searching the web for him and seem to stumble in here.

Well, OK, but I’m not that Ken Martin, and though I’m sure he’s a perfectly fine fellow, I don’t agree with him that there should be a constitutional amendment like the one his group is supporting. In fact, I think it’s a dreadful idea. Please, vote no for the “Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment”.

I’m tempted to rant… sorely tempted. But I promised myself I’d keep this short. OK, I’ll try the constraint of bullet points:

  • Let’s keep our “how government spends money” questions out of the constitution and in the legislature. That’s where government is faced with all the needs and must draw up a budget. Doing this constitutionally feels like an end run around representative government.
  • “Yeah, well they did it!” Yes, others have pulled exactly this shenanigan, but I don’t accept that excuse from my kids, and none of us should accept it as a basis for creating public policy.
  • I don’t trust a movement that talks all about “clean water” and then has 19.75% of the funds going to “the arts and cultural heritage fund”. You want to clean the water? Go clean the water. This is the hackneyed old political shell game… and a little for my friends to get this passed.
  • Only 33% of the funds actually go exclusively to clean water.
  • It’s a 25 year tax hike. Hello? A tax hike. I don’t really want to increase the “Minnesota Taxes” portion of my family’s budget. Certainly not in times like these.
  • It’s a constitutional amendment. Hello? OK, that’s basically the same as my first bullet, but does anyone get this? If you’re unhappy with this choice – if it turns out to be a mistake – what will you do about it? Replace your legislator? Tough cookies… won’t work. Nothing will work! That’s why you shouldn’t make it a constitutional amendment.

Look, it’s a good idea to have clean resources. A very good idea. But there are a lot of very good ideas. It’s a good idea to help disadvantaged folks. It’s a good idea to make sure folks are educated. It’s good idea to have excellent law enforcement. It’s a good idea to replace the carpet in the capitol once in a while. So what we do is we get all the good ideas together and prioritize and find out which ones we can afford. We hire and pay for legislators for this very purpose.

My guess is folks behind this initiative have tried that, and have constantly missed the “cut”. And they’re just trying to find a way to get this thing – what they think is a good idea – done.

Don’t vote for this. If you care about this, you make your legislator pay attention to them and support them, but don’t support this practically irreversible end run around how we as a people prioritize our resources.

Ken looks like a nice guy (all of us Ken Martins are), and he’s done a nice job on the web site (I look at such things). But I just disagree with what he’s doing. This particular Ken Martin in Minnesota urges you to vote “No” for the “Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment on Tuesday.

28 minutes. I’m OK with that.

UPDATE: Here’s 10 reasons to vote “no”.

UPDATE: One more link with nice, balanced pro and con information.

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