Senate candidate McFadden stops in Worthington
WORTHINGTON — Mike McFadden, who Minnesota Republicans hope will unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Al Franken in four months, visited Worthington on Thursday to tour Bedford Technology and speak with local media about what he perceives to be important issues in the coming election.
McFadden, who also had Thursday stops in Slayton, Storden and Jackson, is in the midst of a Growth & Prosperity Tour that has him criss-crossing the state. During the Slayton stop, McFadden said the most common concern expressed by his potential constituents was that the U.S. “is going in the wrong direction.” He added that the economy has suffered since Franken took office and that while people are working just as hard or harder, they often don’t have much to show for it.
McFadden also said he has been hearing about the need for American energy independence from voters.
“We now have an opportunity to be energy-independent for the first time since the 1960s,” McFadden said, adding that Minnesotans have experienced more than 1,000 consecutive days with gas prices above $3 a gallon. “Maybe most importantly, with lower energy costs, we would have a manufacturing boom because of a greater ability to compete on a global basis.”
Franken’s energy policies, McFadden stated, “are driving us into the ditch.”
Also of importance to McFadden — who grew up in Omaha, Neb., before attending what’s now known as the University of St. Thomas and then beginning a two-decades-plus business career — is a climate of what he calls over-regulation.
“Farmers, if they want to drill a well, there are so many regulatory agencies they have to go through,” he said. “I’m a businessman … and I’ve been advising small- and mid-sized businesses on growth, and I know they’re getting smothered on regulations.”
Minnesotans, McFadden attested, are hard-working people who right now are only represented by one-hard senator, Amy Klobuchar. He also criticized Franken’s frequent absence from the state and being on the wrong side of issues, such as health care reform.
“I believe we have a health care problem in this country, but I also believe Obamacare is not the solution,” McFadden said. “Minnesota has some of the best health care minds in the world. … We need to focus on policies that allow us to increase accessibility while maintaining quality.
“The majority of individuals believe there is a better way to provide health care,” he added.
McFadden also addressed concerns regarding immigration and accused Washington of “kicking the can down the road” when it came to the issue.
“We need immigration policy that is more based on economic concerns, and one that fits our 21st century,” he said. “Any reform right now starts with securing our borders.”
McFadden also said change is needed in the realm of education, an area in which he sees great improvement needed in Minnesota.
“We have the lowest graduate for Hispanics in the country and that’s not acceptable,” McFadden stated. “Forty-four percent of Hispanics graduate in the state … and that’s immoral.
“I serve on the board of Cristo Rey (a Minneapolis inner-city school), and last year we had 100 percent of our seniors graduate. … There are many other charter schools in Minnesota that are seeing similar outcomes, and we have multiple data points on how to do things better.”
Franken, who serves on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, “is complicit” in Minnesota’s poor results in its schools, McFadden alleged.
Daily Globe Managing Editor Ryan McGaughey may be reached at 376-7320.