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BLOG: Top Five Reasons to 'Just Say No' to Re-electing My DFL Opponent on Nov. 6

candidate for Minnesota House 52b goes on the record...

As a resident of Inver Grove Heights, I receive a lot of ‘Legislative Updates’ from my opponent. They are filled with 'information' on what a great job he is doing and why you should continue to elect him in perpetuity.

Honestly, I have grown tired of the self-aggrandizing nature of his message. I have grown tired of the endless top ten lists of why he is the ‘most bi-partisan legislator’ in the Minnesota House. And I have grown tired of the endless ‘polls’, which he quite often ignores, as in the case of the government shutdown back pay issue.

But, in the spirit of the past decade of said ‘Top Ten’ lists, I offer up my own list for you to ponder in the final week before the election. As a conservative, I don’t need a top ten list to make my point when five will do just fine.

My Top Five Reasons to Just Say No to Joe this Nov. 6:

1) Just Say No to Career Politicians. Our government was set up to have citizen legislators represent the people. When a politician decides to make a career out of being an elected official, re-election, campaign donations, special interests and lobbyists begin to take up their time and attention. A legislator with power and influence can quickly cease being the servant and instead becomes the master.

2) Just Say No to More and More Legislation. My opponent passes an inordinate amount of legislation that benefits trial lawyers. We don’t need more laws to ‘fix’ things. We have mountains of them now. My opponent claims his ‘Cigarette Fire Safety Bill’ saves lives. An Oct. 24 article in the Eagan Patch stated “In the last six months, Eagan firefighters have responded to eight patio fires—seven of which were caused by lit cigarettes that were improperly disposed of." You cannot legislate common sense and ‘fire safe’ cigarettes still burn down houses.

3) Just Say No to More State Debt. The State of Minnesota had a debt of about $5.6 billion dollars in 2001. Our current state debt is an estimated $12.62 billion and our incumbent representative voted YES, Omnibus Bonding Bill after bonding bill to increase it. The total Minnesota State Debt per man, woman and child is $12,946.99. We can no longer afford Billion Dollar Bonding Bills, loaded with special interest projects, benefiting a few, but at the expense of every Minnesotan.

4) Just Say No to Unethical Government Spending. The role of government is limited to protecting life, liberty, and property. My opponent has voted repeatedly for using tax dollars to fund the killing of the unborn and has been endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota for his tireless work ensuring that your tax dollars are used to end life instead of protect it.

5) Just Say No to Nanny State Government. Joe Atkins believes that government is here to protect us from ourselves. In just the past six years he has introduced 208 different bills and is one of the state’s most prolific sources of potential new laws and regulations. Thankfully, most never saw the light of day.

People have a choice between someone who is looking for the next bill to introduce which will grow the size and reach of government or someone who understands that every thing, idea, thought and action cannot and should not be taxed or regulated.

Ronald Reagan once said, “Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”

Finding ways to cut government waste and bureaucracy is what conservatism is all about. It’s time we start limiting the power and scope of government instead of expanding it. It is imperative that your representative understands that when they vote on the state’s budget, they are spending your money.

As your representative, I will fight for your personal liberty, and your freedom to prosper. Because, when we live free, we live better.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

William 'Bill' DeBerg October 31, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Everyone got like 5 of Joes flyers that have the two guys shaking hands where he claims to be bipartisan but anyone who has ever watched his speeches in the legislature or talked to almost any other state representative knows that Joe is about as partisan as they come on issues that actually matter. Stealing bills from other states that are pretty much 100% guaranteed to pass without a vote against them doesn't make someone bipartisan!! Whenever there is a controversial vote Joe is almost always there to tow the DFL party line. When he isnt doing that he just doesnt show up to vote so he doesnt have to be on the hook. I hope the voters of the area are learning about the issues and not just Joes special interest pieces. We need new representation in this area. Joe tries to mask his voting record with these cherrypicked examples of saving people from the big bad government then he turns around and helps grow of government at practically every turn! It is sickening to watch!! PLEASE INFORM YOURSELF ON THE ISSUES AND DONT FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO VOTE FOR JOE JUST BECAUSE YOU DID BEFORE! We have a real option on Tuesday for once and Paul Tuschy is the guy who can beat him and give us a representative who stands up for issues that matter to us and not just ones that are designed to make him look like the mother Theresa of MN politics If Joe is such a great guy and does so much work with charities lets make that his full time job and vote him out of office on Nov 6!!!
Joe Atkins October 31, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Paul, the cartoon of me is great. Can I use it on my website? Not only did you depict me in something of a Heisman Trophy pose, you gave me darker hair than I actually have. Thank you. I wish I had your cartooning talent - all I am capable of is drawing on my daughter's lunch bag each morning. Here are a few clarifications to the points you made: 1) Politics is definitely not my career. I own and operate a small law firm. That's what I do for a living. But I am honored to also serve my hometown of IGH in the Minnesota House and previously as mayor. 2) I'll leave it to readers to decide if they like the bipartisan laws I pass, to aid job creation and streamline regulations, improve public safety, provide more rigorous K-12 courses, protect retirement accounts, and help families afford college. http://invergroveheights.patch.com/blog_posts/blog-atkins-top-10-examples-of-bipartisan-solutions 3) As far as state debt, you forgot to point out that I voted AGAINST the billions in borrowing from schools and the tobacco bonds borrowing. The transportation bonds to fix many of Minnesota's roads and bridges, as well as the Outdoors Amendment passed by voters a few years back, were the other main reasons we have more debt now than 10 years ago. There are a few more clarifications, since you pull a lot of my votes out of context, but they'll have to wait. I have to head off to work. Have a great day, Paul!
William 'Bill' DeBerg October 31, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Joe just stop. youve been in some elected office since pretty much the day you were allowed to run. You might own a law firm but make no mistake about it if you have been in office for as long as you have you are a career politician. not only that but you make plenty of laws which no doubt help your other lawyer pals make money. big shocker there
William 'Bill' DeBerg October 31, 2012 at 02:16 PM
As far as I have seen the only thing that is being talked about is your voting record and if that is considered negative then maybe you should have voted the other way rather then try to convince people that you are a conservative when your votes paint a very different picture Its funny how everyone is a conservative on the campaign trail until they get into office then suddenly they turn to voting for every bonding bill and spending increase that comes across their desk because they know most people will never hear about it and the lobbyists sure like that dont they Joe? I think its great that the real issues are being talked about in this race. Well at least on one side. all we ever hear from Joe is how he is bipartisan even though almost every example he lists is fluff with no substance!
Eric Goodrich October 31, 2012 at 02:22 PM
"Bi-partisan Joe Atkins" votes with Liberal DFL minority leader Paul Thissen 90% of the time. Look up his voting record if you have any question on that. Also, Joe put out a fundraising email yesterday just before Noon which went against his website's 'pledge' not to fund raise in the month of October but to encourage supporters to direct funds to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. He is asking supporters for funds (during October) while he has already raised over $62,000, which is well over the $39k he can spend on campaign activities. http://www.cfbreport.state.mn.us/rptViewer/Main.php?do=viewPDF The one thing that strikes me about his donations, is most of them come either from people in the liquor industry or lawyers. For someone who has introduced over 200 Bills in the past 3 years, that tells me he is working hard for the trial lawyers. For someone who fought against Sunday liquor sales, this tells me he is being taken care of by those who enjoy their government-granted monopoly on selling liquor. Follow the money people.... it leads right to special interests.
Eric Goodrich October 31, 2012 at 02:30 PM
On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 11:25 AM, Joe Atkins <rep.joe.atkins@gmail.com> wrote: ..."To respond to these ugly attacks, we need to raise another $2,955 by Saturday to help set the record straight. Can you help us meet our goal? There are two easy ways to donate: 1) Send a check to the “Atkins for State Representative Committee” at 2463 78th St. E., Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076. 2) Make a secure online donation at www.JoeAtkins.com. Click on “Donate” in the left column. We will accept donations up to $250/person. All contributions, of any size – $250, $100, $50, $25 – are deeply appreciated and are needed ASAP".... Your contribution will help counter the nasty attacks by Joe's opponent and get Joe re-elected on Tuesday. Sincerely, The Atkins for State Representative Committee
William 'Bill' DeBerg October 31, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Is this really true? I know the part about Joe saying he wasn't taking any money during october is true. Did he really send out this email asking for money after that?!? If so WOW thats all I can say. when you raise $62k and the spending limit is $39k why do you need more money now? come on Joe even for you this is bad
Pat November 01, 2012 at 01:24 AM
This reminded me about something I read about Joe Atkins use of campaign donations a few years back. So I dug up the blog: http://jungbauer2010.blogspot.com/2009/03/joe-atkins-unethical-abuse-of-campaign.html?m=1 I wonder how his campaign donors feel about the cavalier way he throws their hard earned money around? Turns my stomach.
Peter November 02, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Joe - thank you for a common sense response to the attacks from your opponent.
Norann Dillon November 02, 2012 at 05:40 PM
I hate to be Debbie Downer, but the state's debt picture is more like $25bn ($2bn in school shift, $8bn in bonding, $15bn in unfunded pension liabilities). But I commend Paul for being aware that the state has a debt problem (balance sheet) in addition to its spending problem (cash flow). We need more candidates like Paul who are aware of and willing to tackle the tough issues for the long term, not paper over them until the next election. http://www.noranndillon.com/thoughts-on-borrowing
Dani November 04, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Joe, you're my new favorite person. Paul, lol.
Dani November 04, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Stop talking. Joe does good things for our community. At least Joe doesn't attack his opponents when he's scared to lose. Paul on the other hand, does. Attacking Joe's Catholic faith? COME ON. Honestly, so rude, and pathetic. When my dog was attacked by another dog last year, who was there to help us deal with an unresponsible owner? Joe was. So when saying Joe's a career politician? Just be quiet. You are obvlivious as to seeing how much GOOD things Joe has done. And how good of a person Joe is. Oh well. Paul will never get my vote. Maybe if he wasn't so rude I'd consider voting for him. Oh wait... nope. Never would.

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