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Benson announces run for First District Seat


Fri, Jun 21st, 2013
Posted in All Government

By Karen Reisner

Republican Mike Benson announced on June 17 that he will seek his party’s nomination to run for the First District congressional seat in the November 2014 election. The seat is now held by Tim Walz (D). Benson is the first from his party to take on the challenge. Walz is currently serving his fourth term.

The First Congressional District includes 22 counties in southern Minnesota and extends from the South Dakota border to the Wisconsin border. It is primarily a rural district with a sprinkling of mid sized cities.

Benson (R) 26B resides in Rochester, Minn. and is in his second term as state representative. He is 58 years old, married with four children. Benson was educated at Eastern University where he earned a BA in organizational management and an MBA in business. Eastern University is a Christian university located in Philadelphia, Pa.

At age 17 he started working for the postal service. In 1988 a job opportunity as Rochester’s post master brought him to Rochester. After 31 years with the postal service, he sustained employment since 2004 as an associate college professor and director of human resources. This allowed him to pursue his interest in politics and to run for political office.

Benson says he is running for Congress to work for a course change, as he believes America’s best days don’t have to be behind us. He suggests President Obama’s policies are leading the country toward disaster; policies which have been supported by Walz.

He believes the federal government is too intrusive in our everyday lives, citing the recent IRS scandal and its targeting of conservative groups seeking a tax exempt status. Benson tagged the controversial health care legislation as the Affordable “Unaffordable” Care Act. In his opinion the federal government over regulates business, which discourages business investment and doesn’t allow for economic growth. He insists the government needs to get out of the way of business to produce a climate where business can invest and create jobs.

Benson said during his last three years in St. Paul he has become convinced that government works best when it is close to the people. He feels the federal government needs to relax mandates. Benson fears, that due to the $17 trillion federal deficit, states will face static or reduced federal funding. He believes states will be forced to take up some of the slack if mandates remain in place.

Benson noted there is a new $2 billion facility in Utah (Utah Data Center), which in his opinion, stores information on Americans collected in violation of the Fourth Amendment. This reference is related to the illegal leaking of intelligence information by the former American technical contractor Edward Snowden concerning the National Security Agency’s data collection. The Obama administration argues that these surveillance programs protect the nation and save lives.

When asked about immigration legislation, Benson said he would have to know the details, adding we are a nation of laws which have to be enforced properly to stop unlawful entry.

He does not favor any additional gun control laws and suggests current laws haven’t had any substantial impact, adding related mental health issues should be addressed.

Benson is in favor of tax reform, saying the tax code should be simplified. He said he was not interested in raising taxes, insisting rates should be lowered. Benson said it should be easier to decipher the tax code to remain in compliance, suggesting the current tax code discourages companies to invest in the United States. He suggested the size of the IRS should be reduced.

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