"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

THE RUKAVINA RECORD Pointless Personal Attacks, Kucinich Style Liberalism, Tax Increases


Rukavina “Wanted” To “Slap” Patricia Anderson. “A simmering feud between State Auditor Patricia Anderson and DFL state Rep. Tom Rukavina of Virginia grew hotter Monday over a Rukavina quote in a magazine profile about him. … The magazine mentions an incident last session where Rukavina called Anderson ‘Osama Bin Awada’ (Anderson had the last name Awada before a recent divorce). ‘I don't apologize for that,’ Rukavina said. ‘I wanted to slap her around a bit for what she's done up here.’” (“State auditor objects to Rukavina remark,” Associated Press, April 12, 2004)

  • “The decline of civility in America is a concern felt by many people these days. It's impossible to quantify, but rather it's a sense one gets in our personal lives and through the media, especially in the world of politics, that people aren't as nice to one another as they once were. Still, most of us expect those elected to be our leaders to set an example for the way we treat one another, whether we agree with them or not. That is why it is disappointing to hear of the strident -- even rough-and-tumble -- remarks by Minnesota Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia, in a totally uncalled for feud with Republican State Auditor Pat Anderson.” (Editorial, “Lawmaker Should Cease Making Uncivil Remarks,” Duluth News-Tribune, April 14, 2004)
  • “Asked this week about using the words ‘slap around,’ Rukavina said he didn't mean it literally, adding, ‘If she can't take a joke, it shows she's even goofier than I thought she was.’ Rukavina needs to simmer down and temper his remarks. He's sent to St. Paul by his northern Minnesota district to help his constituents improve their lives, not insult state officials with whom he disagrees -- state officials whose cooperation he might need to achieve his legislative goals. It's not only uncivil, it's impolitic.” (Editorial, “Lawmaker Should Cease Making Uncivil Remarks,” Duluth News-Tribune, April 14, 2004)

“Because Of His Style And Sometimes Politically Incorrect Cracks, He’s Not Seen As A Serious Candidate By Many.” (Doug Grow, “17 candidates on the long march: Sizing up Minnesota's crowded governor's race,” Minn Post, January 4, 2010)


Rukavina Voted To Raise State Gas Tax, Metro Wide Sales Tax And License Tab Fees. (H.F. 2800, February 25, 2008)

  • “Minnesotans will see their first state gas tax increase in 20 years as part of an ambitious $6.6 billion transportation plan... The legislation would increase the state gas tax 5 1/2 cents by fall and then by up to another 3 cents; 3 1/2 cents of the 8 1/2 cents would be in place until bonds authorized under the plan are retired.” (Mike Kaszuba & Mark Brunswick, “House, Senate Override A Pawlenty Veto For The First Time,” Star Tribune, February 25, 2008)
  • “Under another provision, a quarter-cent sales tax increase would occur in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area without a referendum, with all proceeds going to transit projects.” (Mike Kaszuba & Mark Brunswick, “House, Senate Override A Pawlenty Veto For The First Time,” Star Tribune, February 25, 2008)
  • “The sales tax would raise an estimated $1.1 billion over 10 years. In Hennepin County, the state's most populous, it would generate more than half of that amount, or $606 million.” (Mike Kaszuba & Mark Brunswick, “House, Senate Override A Pawlenty Veto For The First Time,” Star Tribune, February 25, 2008)
  • “The legislation also will increase license tab fees on vehicles, particularly luxury cars…” (Mike Kaszuba & Mark Brunswick, “House, Senate Override A Pawlenty Veto For The First Time,” Star Tribune, February 25, 2008)

Rukavina Backed Gas Tax Hike For Years. “State taxes on gasoline would increase 6 cents a gallon by mid-2007 under a bill approved Friday by the Minnesota House Taxes Committee. The vote to raise the gas tax came despite a run-up in gas prices that has left motorists paying about $2.75 a gallon for fuel that a year ago cost just over $2. … Rukavina's amendment would raise the current 20-cents-a-gallon gas tax by 3 cents July 1 and another 3 cents July 1, 2007.” (Patrick Sweeney, “House panel approves 6-cent gas tax increase,” Pioneer Press, May 6, 2006)

Rukavina: “I Am Going To Tax Everybody In This Room.” “Tom Rukavina did not mince words in Minnesota’s first gubernatorial forum featuring candidates from both major parties. ‘I am going to tax everybody in this room,’ the Virginia Democratic state representative declared. He promised that if elected he would raise taxes on the richest Minnesotans more than others, but all Minnesotans would pay an income tax surcharge.” (Don Davis, “Minnesota governor's race: Democrats willing to raise taxes,” Forum Communications, October 15, 2009)

  • “Bakk said he is telling voters the ‘unpleasant truth’ that it will take both tax increases and spending cuts -- plus tax incentives to spark job creation -- to erase the deficit. He has proposed an across-the-board income tax increase and a new top rate for wealthy taxpayers to raise $2.2 billion to help balance the budget. The Senate approved his plan last spring, but it died in the House. Rukavina and a third candidate, Sen. John Marty, support similar plans.” (Bill Salisbury, “Tax the rich? Is it that simple?” Pioneer Press, December 12, 2009)

Rukavina Maintains There’s “Not Much Fat Left” In State Government. “One student asked if the Legislature could look for areas of waste in state government. ‘There's not much fat left,’ as budgets have been cut for years, Rukavina said. ‘We haven't had any new spending.’” (Linda Vanderwerf, “Rukavina talks state budget at Ridgewater,” West Central Tribune, November 4, 2009)


Rukavina is House Co-Sponsor Of John Marty’s Far-Left Health Care Plan. “Of course, Marty is known more as a visionary liberal than as a pragmatic politician. But his bill has now acquired 71 co-sponsors in the Legislature and has been passed by two Senate committees. You'll find more on the plan, which Marty named The Minnesota Health Plan, here. Legislative support for the plan is definitely growing. It's crazy, but not completely crazy, to think that such a bill could pass. (It is important to note that there is no specific plan at present for raising the revenue to pay for the plan. Marty argues that the revenue should not be called ‘taxes’ but ‘premiums.’ But they will look and feel a lot like taxes. He argues that most Minnesotans will end up paying less than they pay now in health insurance premiums.) … State Sen. Tom Bakk of Cook and state Rep. Tom Rukavina of Virginia are co-sponsors of the Minnesota Health Plan.” (Eric Black, “Surprising support: 6 of 10 DFL candidates for governor back single-payer state health plan,” MinnPost.com, December 22, 2009)


Rukavina Backed Far-Left Dennis Kucinich For President. “Reps. Mike Jaros, DFL-Duluth; Mary Murphy, DFL-Hermantown; Bill Hilty, DFL-Finlayson; and Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia, all say U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich is still their man. ‘I don't think he has a chance, but there's just something about short, articulate Croatians,’ Rukavina said.” (Scott Thistle, “DFLers Are Split Over The Race For President,” Duluth News Tribune, March 1, 2004)

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