Gubernatorial candidate Erin Murphy visits Worthington talks about broadband

The Worthington Globe reports

Gubernatorial hopeful Erin Murphy is focused on building toward the future, which means investing in priorities like health care, child care, education, infrastructure and broadband.

And gets into a little of the details…

Continuing with the theme of investment, Murphy said she would dedicate new revenue from online sales taxes — in lieu of the Wayfair v. South Dakota Supreme Court case that allows states to tax all online sales — to expand the state’s broadband infrastructure.

Primary race in 15B draws two candidates that list broadband as a top priority

The St Cloud Times reports on the Primary Race in 15B…

Republicans made up their minds already on the most contested Central Minnesota House seat, but Democratic voters have a chance to pick between two candidates in Tuesday’s primary.

Karla Scapanski has the DFL endorsement. She’s being challenged by former Bernie Sanders delegate Jessica Filiaggi.

Looks like both candidates have broadband at the top of their list…

Scapanski has worked as a dairy farmer, child care provider and community advocate. Her top issues include broadband access and job training, education and ending unfunded government mandates.

Filiaggi lives in Foley and works at a credit union. She wants to work on health care and rural issues, including broadband access, infrastructure development, transportation and sustainable jobs, Filiaggi told the St. Cloud Times in June.

Governor Dayton supports Erin Murphy – mentions broadband plan

Governor Dayton had a Letter to the Editor in the Minneapolis Star Tribune…

Erin believes that Minnesota must work well for everyone throughout our state. Her plan to connect all of Minnesota to high-speed broadband would open new opportunities for students, small-business owners and everyone else in Greater Minnesota. She wants to bring the State Capitol to the people, by opening up regional offices across the state.

Gubernatorial candidates Erin Murphy and Jeff Johnson mention broadband in Granite Falls

Granite Falls News reports on Gubernatorial candidates coming to visit the area leading up to the August 14 primary election. Here are the ones that mentioned broadband:

Erin Murphy…

Murphy also addressed specific policies she would enact to funding disparities between urban and rural communities. She talked about the lack of access to broadband internet in many rural areas, and elaborated on her ‘Connect MN’ plan. Under her proposal, the state government would “provide a dedicated investment of more than $100 million each year into Minnesota’s Broadband Development Grant Program.”

To pay for this added expense, Murphy would dedicate the new revenue generated by internet sales taxes (the United States Government Accountability Office estimates that this tax will generate between $132 and $206 million per year). Murphy underscored during the event that equal access to high-speed internet was vital to ensuring equitable economic development across the state.

Jeff Johnson…

On the issue of broadband, Johnson agreed that there was a serious lack of high-speed internet access in rural communities, but he explained that he didn’t think the government should become a direct provider. Instead, he supported the current granting process, though shied away from supporting additional state investment.

Support for Walz in Houston County – Broadband part of the reason

I like to see that voices in rural Minnesota are letting candidates know that broadband is important to them. Such is the case with Teresa O’Donnell-Ebner’s Letter to the Editor in the Houston County News

Tim and Peggy Flanagan are the team to lead on issues affecting Greater Minnesota – education, jobs, roads, broadband and local government aid to cities. Go to for details.

I’ve known Tim for more than 10 years. From the start, he inspired me to get involved. He is one of the reasons why I am active in local and state issues. I feel so strongly that Tim and Peggy are the right team that I have taken a leave as Houston County DFL chair so I can actively campaign for them.

Farmfest – candidate debates happening this week

One of my favorite events for finding out how candidates (and rural voters!) feel about broadband is Farmfest! It’s happening this week August 7-9 in Redwood Falls.

If you’re around, you should go and if you care about broadband, you should ask. You can find the whole schedule online. I have heard some very impassioned speeches and questions from attendees in the past.

Here are the events where I think they are most likely to talk about broadband…

10:30 a.m. – U.S. Senate Candidate Forum 


  • S. Senator Tina Smith (D)
  • State Senator Karin Housley (R)
  • Richard Painter (DFL)
  • Bob Anderson (R)
  • Nick Leonard (D)

Ag Leader Panel:

  • Kevin Paap, President, MN Farm Bureau
  • Gary Wertish, President, MN Farmers Union
  • Kirby Hettver, President, MN Corn Growers Assn.
  • Mike Petefish, President, MN Soybean Growers Assn.
  • Greg Boerboom, President, MN Pork Producers Assn.
  • Mike Landuyt, Pres.-Elect, MN State Cattleman’s Assn.

1:15 p.m. – Congressional Candidate Forum on Agriculture and Rural Issues

First District:

  • Jim Hagedorn (R)
  • Carla Nelson (R)
  • Dan Feehan (D)

Second District:

  • Angie Craig (D)

​Sixth District:

  • S. Congressman Tom Emmer (R) – Incumbent
  • Ian Todd (D)

Seventh District:

  • Congressman Collin Peterson (D) – Incumbent
  • Dave Hughes (R)

10:30 a.m. – Minnesota Governor Candidate Forum


  • Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R)
  • Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (R)
  • S. Congressman Tim Walz (DFL)
  • Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson (DFL)
  • Minnesota State Representative Erin Murphy (DFL)


  • Dave Lee, WCCO Morning Host
  • Blois Olson, WCCO Political Analyst
    (WCCO-AM is the Exclusive Radio Station of the Gubernatorial Forum at Farmfest 2018.)

10:30 a.m. – U.S. Senate Candidate Forum


  • S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D) – Incumbent
  • Minnesota State Representative Jim Newberger (R)
  • Rae Hart Anderson (R)

Ag Media Panel:

  • Janelle Ateyo, Tri-State Neighbor
  • Dick Hagen, The LAND
  • Randi Kallas, Agri News
  • Peter Scharpe, MN Farm Guide

I am planning to attend for the Gubernatorial Debate. If I can livestream, I will. I will take notes regardless. (And I might have to hang for the Pig Races, immediately following.)

Tim Walz calls for $300 million for broadband in MN

Earlier this week I wrote about Erin Murphy’s plan for $100+ million ongoing funding for broadband. It’s great to see that Tim Walz, also running for Governor, is talking about serious money for broadband too $300 million. MPR reports

Walz is also proposing an increase in the gas tax and a boost in local government aid. He wants to invest $300 million in high-speed internet access throughout the state.

Walz did not did not say how much the overall proposal would cost. He called it a work in progress and did not rule out tax increases.

“If I have to ask the wealthiest Minnesotans to pay, I will ask,” he said.