Kieffer: Focused on the fiscal issues
For Andrea Kieffer, the Republican candidate for District 56B, the biggest concern facing Minnesota is the economy and other fiscal issues.
"I'm just a citizen who is focused on the fiscal issues," Kieffer said. "I'm very concerned about where our state is going."
Kieffer's primary platform is to balance the budget, reform the tax structure, ease the business tax burden, legislate to create jobs and improve the business climate.
Kieffer said she decided to challenge Rep. Marsha Swails, DFL-Woodbury, because she felt that the Legislature needed someone with a business background. Kieffer has previously worked in banking and insurance.
"We need more people who just have a business background and business sense and can crunch the numbers," she said.
Kieffer said the Legislature needs someone with a business background, an understanding of numbers, able to crunch data, able to make decisions based on data not emotions, someone fiscally responsible, someone who is a good steward of tax payers dollars and able to look at the funding.
"It's getting someone downtown who is going to be able to pull apart a budget, understands fiscal policies and also understands basic business needs," she said. "You have to ask the tough questions."
Kieffer's plan for getting the budget and economy back on track is to go to a zero-base budget and start from scratch.
"We need to pull the budget apart down to the bare bones," she said. "We need to look at what your funding, how much are you funding, why are you funding it."
In terms of the zero-base budget, Kieffer said she believes that there are areas that the state is funding that need to be reviewed since they may not be doing any good. Some of these areas are from amendments to the Minnesota Constitution from many years ago that are not serving a purpose.
"We don't want to be funding something archaic," she said.
Kieffer also said that Minnesota needs to improve the public's perception of the economy in order to help citizens feel more confident about spending.
"Everybody is kind of on pins and needles, everybody is pulling back on their spending -- the economy is imploding rather than growing," she said. "We need to grow our pie, we need to grow our economy."
Once the economy starts to pick up and the budget becomes balanced, Kieffer said a lot of the other concerns facing Minnesotans will become fewer.
The other areas of Kieffer's platform include: reducing government "red tape" on business; resolve the illegal immigration concerns; defend Minnesotan's civil rights; take back state sovereignty, provide access, privacy and choice for healthcare; defend the rights of individuals and families, legislate to support financial security; promote a health environment; give families more school choice options; control education costs; and find a real solution for the achievement gap.
"I think there's solutions out there," she said. "We just need to rethink how we're doing things in Minnesota."
View Andrea Kieffer's campaign website at http://www.andreakieffer.com