Viewing Guide for Recorded Mike Lehmann LWV Forum

We've created a time-indexed viewing guide for the recorded League of Women Voters Forum September 6 between Mike Lehmann and Melisa Franzen.

Video is at this link

Note:  The moderator called Mike Lehmann “Mike Freeman” more than a few times during this forum.

Opening statements

5:00  - Melisa Franzen            6:00 – Mike Lehmann

LWV prepared question (candidates were told this one ahead of time):  What changes would you make in state campaign finance laws?  For example, before each election voters receive communications such as leaflets, postcards and ads naming a specific candidate.  Would you support requiring groups to disclose how much they spend, and who donated the money for these communications?

7:33  Lehmann                        9:38  Franzen

11:49 Audience Question 1:  Which one issue do you think is most important to work on with legislators across the aisle?

11:59 Franzen                         13:09 Lehmann

14:18 Audience Question 2:  What is your position on state funding for Southwest Light Rail Transit?  And what is your vision for rail transit in the Twin Cities longer term?

14:36 Lehmann                       15:40 Franzen

16:55 Audience Question 3: The vacancy rate for affordable housing in the Metro area has dropped to 2 percent or below.  What legislation would you support to preserve and increase affordable housing?

17:10 Franzen                         18:12 Lehmann

19:17 Audience Question 4: Do you support or oppose legislation to restore voting rights to individuals convicted of a felony who are on parole or probation?  Why or why not?

19:31 Lehmann                       20:15 Franzen

21:05 Audience Question 5: What is your position on reducing Minnesota taxes on Social Security income?

21:15 Franzen                         22:19 Lehmann

23:18 Audience Question 6: The Comprehensive Health Equity and Employee Rights Act, or CHEER act, has been proposed in Minnesota.  The CHEER act would ensure that health plans offering drug coverage would have to cover contraceptives, too.  There is an exemption for religious institutions.  If elected, would you support the CHEER act?  Why or why not?

(followed by some brief moderator mix-up on candidate names and who’s to answer first, resolved)

24:05 Lehmann           25:00 Franzen

25:53 Audience Question 7: The State of Minnesota has a large achievement gap among different student groups.  What do you think the legislature should do to close this gap?

26:02 Franzen             27:16 Lehmann

28:21 Audience Question 8: Let’s stay with education here, and Melisa referred to this a little bit but Mike will start.  Should the state and/or school districts fund pre-kindergarten for all children in Minnesota?  Why or why not?

28:36 Lehmann           29:40 Franzen

30:55 Audience Question 9: What can the legislature do to reduce or eliminate the high MA-TEFRA parental fee for parents of autistic students?

31:27 Franzen             32:35 Lehmann

33:05 Audience Question 10:  If there is no special session, and therefore no bonding bill, public funding for 66 West may be at risk.  What is your position on funding for youth experiencing homelessness?

Clarification that 66 West is a shelter under construction in Edina for homeless youth. (Later stated by Franzen that 66 West is housing, not shelter, for homeless youth, and funding was in the vetoed tax bill, not the bonding bill.)

33:50 Lehmann           34:35 Franzen

35:40 Audience Question 11:  What do you think of unionization of personal care attendants?

35:45 Franzen             36:46 Lehmann

37:58 Audience Question 12: Do you support or oppose requiring criminal background checks on every gun sale?  Please explain your position.

38:09 Lehmann           38:49 Franzen

39:50 Audience Question 13: Last year the legislature provided additional funding for small business development and first time homebuyers, many of whom are people of color. Would you support additional funds to address racial disparities in home ownership and small business development?

40:08 Franzen             41:18 Lehmann

42:21 Audience Question 14: We have one constitutional amendment on our ballot this November 8.  It says, “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to remove lawmaker’s power to set their own salaries, and instead establish a citizens-only council to prescribe salaries of lawmakers?” What is your position on this amendment and why?

42:49 Lehmann           43:40 Franzen

45:00 Audience Question 15: This year, California became the fifth state to authorize medical aid in dying.  This allows terminally ill and mentally capable adults to ask for and receive medication from their personal physician that they may self-administer if their suffering becomes intolerable. Would you support such legislation in Minnesota? Why or why not?

45:26 Franzen             46:18 Lehmann

46:49 Audience Question 16:  For years the electorate has been up in arms about the legislature’s inability to compromise and make pragmatic decisions.  This applies to both parties.  What can be done to improve this situation?

47:04 Lehmann           48:06 Franzen

49:12 Audience Question 17: The Minnesota Department of Corrections has indicated that there’s a need for more prison beds in this state.  What actions do you support to remedy this situation? (Franzen asked for a repeat of the question).

49:33 Franzen             50:26 Lehmann

51:23 Audience Questions 18 /19:  Combined questions, candidates choose which one to answer:  What are your ideas for promoting cost-effective budgeting for the state, including evaluation of results and benefits against the attendant costs?  OR What current expenditures in the state budget should be cut?

51:50 Lehmann           52:58 Franzen

54:12 Moderator wrap-up

Closing Statements:

54:33 Franzen (Mentions she is expecting her 2nd child)      

55:31 – 57:06 Lehmann (Mentions taxes high enough, fiscal conservative, asks for vote).