Don’t let the fall election be all about Trump

Mike KnaakEditorial, Opinion, Print Editions, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

Two names you probably haven’t heard until recently, if at all, should set the agenda of issues for the midterm elections. While the elected leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties frequently frame the choice as a referendum on Donald Trump, there are urgent issues that need action and that will shape the United States long after Trump is gone.

Ask candidates if they are ready for compromise

Mike KnaakEditorial, Opinion, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

Which political environment produces results? Some people argue that divided government – one party controlling the executive branch and the opposition controlling the legislative – works because the opposing parties serve as a check on the extreme stands of the other and the result is a middle-ground compromise. The alternative viewpoint – one party controls both the executive and legislative

Election filings kick off official campaign season

Mike KnaakEditorial, Opinion, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

Now it gets real. Although many candidates running for election this fall have been campaigning for months, Tuesday, May 22, marks the official beginning of the election season. On that day, candidates can begin filing with the secretary of state or local officials for positions up for election this fall. The early filing period, which ends June 5, is for

Time to get serious about Northstar commuter rail

Mike KnaakEditorial, Opinion, Print Editions, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

Ever since the first Northstar commuter rail train rolled out of downtown Minneapolis in 2009, central Minnesota mass transit advocates have argued the route should extend to St. Cloud instead of stopping at Big Lake. Proponents counter the costs and ridership estimates don’t justify extending the service. Commuters between St. Cloud and Minneapolis still contend with the increasing traffic on

Pawlenty’s poor support for higher education disqualifies him

Mike KnaakEditorial, Opinion0 Comments

After eight years as a lobbyist for the financial industry, Tim Pawlenty wants to return to Minnesota’s governor’s office. The Democrats competing for their party’s nomination quickly responded when Pawlenty made his long-predicted announcement. After his announcement, Democrats attacked what they consider the failings of his administration. The critics citied  inadequate funding for health care, infrastructure and public education. Republican