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.
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."
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.
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.
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