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Thursday, October 29, 1998 - Volume 11, Issue 5

Mayor of Brooklyn Park, Jesse Ventura: Reform endorsed candidate

Staff Reporter

Jesse Ventura is best known from his former profession as a professional wrestler. However, most people are unaware of his community and political involvement. Ventura became involved in the political arena when a zoning decision angered him and his Brooklyn Park neighbors in 1991. Ventura decided to run for mayor and won over an 18-year incumbent, as an independent. The gubernatorial race is his first campaign for state office.

Much like his opponents, Ventura is concentrating on educational and tax cut issues. On the education front, Ventura is confident his plans are in the best interest of the State of Minnesota with an extensive education plan and a running mate that doubles as a St. Paul educator. Ventura wants to enforce current laws in concern of class size restrictions in early grades. He believes we have too many loopholes in the current system. Ventura is concerned at looking into the Profiles of Learning and would like to appoint a task force to look at it in-depth. Ventura doesn't believe in open-enrolment, busing, or vouchers. He believes education funding needs to be altered severely.

Ventura claims taxes are a top priority next to education, yet he has not produced a written tax plan or any cost estimates as of yet. Ventura assures voters he is committed to returning every penny. However, he has yet to say whether it will be in the form of a property tax rebate, as in current legislation, or under an income tax rebate as Coleman has proposed. "I want to be the governor that destroys the property tax system as we know it," Ventura says.

Ventura supports the "trigger" system, which is an automatic reimbursement from the government when a surplus is reached at a certain dollar mark. Ventura has voiced his concern on home assessments; he would eliminate them so that the market values are frozen at the price the owner pays for it, until the house is sold again. "I want to destroy the assessment system," says Ventura. His motive behind this is the fluctuating housing market. He says he will veto any tax increases the legislature passes.

Ventura opposes state-subsidized day care and in turn supports charities and non-profit organizations which he believes should take over the social work aspect of government, due to overhead costs being too high. He generally supports the state's welfare-to-work program, which requires participants of the program to work to receive benefits and financial incentives. The program has a five-year life time limit. Ventura's opinion on work ethic is that "everyone should get a job, no matter what it is. They need to figure out what they need to survive."

As far as workers compensation is concerned he doesn't see a need for an immediate change in the laws, however, he plans to monitor it for a few years and make unspecified changes if needed.

Gun control has been a hot topic this campaign. Ventura, much like his opponents, wants to double the state funding for gang task force. He plans to reduce plea-bargaining that results in reduced sentences for offenders. Ventura is hoping for more neighborhood involvement for anti-crime efforts. Ventura blames the state for not providing families with support, which would in turn reduce crime. Ventura favors easing handgun permit requirements.

Jesse Ventura is running with St. Paul educator, Mae Schunk. The Reform Party is endorsing the Ventura/Schunk team.

If you're looking for a particular subject or more information in relation to Jesse Ventura's campaign, you can contact his campaign at (612) 585-0102, or visit his website at http://www.jesseventura.org

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