October 22, 2016
The promise of an “independent” and “citizens-only” commission to determine legislative pay may sound like a good idea, but increasingly, many are not being fooled.
Prior to September, no organization had taken a stance either for or against the Constitutional Amendment appearing on the statewide ballot in November. That changed one month ago, when the Libertarian Party of Minnesota stepped up to take a leadership role on the issue. The party’s leadership considered the proposal and voted unanimously to oppose it in a public statement.
That stance has triggered additional attention. Local independent media outlet Alpha News highlighted Libertarians’ opposition, featuring LPMN Chair Chris Dock in an article and video. The St Cloud Times has also given coverage to the issue, interviewing LPMN Vice Chair S.L. Malleck who offered a counterpoint to State Senator Kent Eken (D-Twin Valley), a sponsor of the Amendment.
An organization called Voter’s Point of View recently joined the LPMN in opposing the Amendment, crying foul over the erosion of “separation of powers” and pointing out a clause that only Democrats and Republicans could be appointed to the unelected commission; independents and members of smaller parties would be banned from participating.
The editorial board of the St Paul Pioneer Press is now encouraging Minnesotans to vote No. Even the Minnesota Progressive Project, an organization often hostile toward Libertarians, is calling for a No vote.
So far, the Sun Current newspaper is the only known organization to support the Amendment.
The question “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to remove state lawmakers’ power to set their own salaries, and instead establish an independent, citizens-only council to prescribe salaries of lawmakers?” will undoubtedly seem enticing to voters, especially if they only see it for the first time in the voting booth.
The full text of the Constitutional change won’t appear on the ballot, but it can be reviewed here. Will enough Minnesotans learn about and understand the ramifications of this Amendment before voting to surrender their own control over legislative pay to a commission of unelected, unaccountable appointees hand-picked by the governor and chief justice?
Concerned about the expansion of government control and the erosion of individual liberty? Please consider joining and becoming active with the Libertarian Party of Minnesota. Libertarians support liberty on all issues, all the time! Libertarianism is a philosophical and political movement to promote personal freedom, strong civil liberties, a genuinely free marketplace, and peace.
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