State of Minnesota Archives: on Corporations

Tom Emmer: Family business is Viking Forest Products

In 1907, Tom's great-grandfather, John W. Emmer, came to Minneapolis with two of his brothers to found a business that eventually became known as Emmer Brothers Lumber. In the early years, they provided lumber to build summer homes and cabins around Lake Mille Lacs. Tom's grandfather joined the company in 1933 and his father and uncle took over in the 1960s as the company shifted to lumber wholesaling. Today it's known as Viking Forest Products, with Tom's brother, Jack, continuing in the business. Growing up around the company, Tom learned first hand the value of hard work and the everyday pressures faced by employers and the families who count on them. Tom was born in 1961 in South Bend, IN as his father finished his degree at Notre Dame. He grew up in Edina and went to St. Thomas Military Academy where he grew in his faith and learned leadership through the JROTC.
Source: 2014 Minnesota House campaign website, Oct 10, 2014

Heather Johnson: Don't use eminent domain for private companies' benefit

Q: What is your opinion on oil fracking?

A: Here in Minnesota, Enbridge wanted to lay an oil line. I testified yesterday at a hearing about whether the public utilities commission would examine alternate routes and systems for their application for the permit. I spoke about how part of their plan would cross indigenous lands provided in the 1855 treaty. I supported the land rights, and spoke about having the route exclude indigenous territories and other land where there are land use rights. Government should not use eminent domain for private companies' benefit. Businesses have a right to do business, but they should take the risk and responsibilities for how their business functions, the impact on the environment and the people around them. They should legally acquire the land in voluntary exchanges. If they are using public lands they should contract with the government.

Source: News Examiner Q&A on 2014 Minnesota Senate race Aug 11, 2014

Al Franken: Block merger of biggest & 2nd biggest cable providers

In New York two years ago Franken ran into Lorne Michaels, his former boss at "Saturday Night Live," chatting with the CEO of Comcast, which had recently acquired NBC-Universal in a deal that Franken opposed. "I fought to prevent this!" Franken blurted out to the two men.

After a failed attempt to block the Comcast-NBC-Universal merger, Franken has emerged as the leading congressional opponent of Comcast's $45 billion bid to take over Time-Warner Cable, a merger that would unite the nation's two biggest cable companies. He was the only lawmaker to explicitly say he wanted the merger blocked.

"We've got the biggest cable provider and biggest Internet provider, in Comcast, buying the 2nd-biggest cable provider and 3rd-largest Internet provider, and I'm very worried that will create a company that's too big," Franken said. "They're going to use their position to leverage higher cable prices and to dictate a lot of things that will make for fewer choices, and their service will be even worse."

Source: N.Y. Times on 2014 Minnesota Senate race Apr 11, 2014

Al Franken: Oppo AdWatch: Franken limits free speech issue advocacy

American Encore debuts its first ad in Minnesota, criticizing Franken for supporting additional restrictions on tax-exempt issue-advocacy groups--putting roughly $250,000 behind the 60-second spot.

The ad criticizes Franken for calling on the IRS to impose new rules that could limit certain political activity by "social welfare" non-profit groups. The ad features clips of a Civil Rights-era march, Suffragettes and an antiwar protest. It derides efforts by the IRS and Senate Democrats to impose new rules on these nonprofits, citing complaints by the ACLU. "Tell Sen. Franken to stop attacking free speech," the narrator says.

"This is ridiculous--Sen. Franken is one of the most vigorous defenders of free speech in the Senate," said a Franken spokeswoman. But the homepage of Franken's campaign website asks people to sign a petition endorsing a constitutional amendment that would upend the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that gave corporations more leeway to influence elections.

Source: Wall Street Journal AdWatch on 2014 Minnesota Senate race Mar 25, 2014

Mark Dayton: Lowest business tax states accompanied by lowest incomes

Those who measure "business climate" only by tax rankings will question my strategy. We're 15th among the states in taxes. However, Minnesota has not been considered a "low tax" state during my almost four decades of public service. And the facts show that states offering businesses and their top executives the lowest taxes usually offer the rest of their citizens the lowest incomes, the fewest public services, and the highest crime rates.
Source: 2013 State of the State speech to Minnesota Legislature Feb 6, 2013

Tim Pawlenty: Reduce business tax from 3rd highest corporate tax rate

Minnesota's business tax climate is the 8th worst in the nation. That means 42 other states have a competitive edge on Minnesota.

We have the 3rd highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. Our personal income and sales tax rates are among the highest in the country, and Minnesota offers no preferential rate for capital gains. We need to face the facts: Minnesota's tax system is costing us jobs, and our tax code needs to change to meet the challenges and opportunities of our time.

Source: Minnesota 2010 State of the State Address Feb 11, 2010

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