When Pat Anderson was a teenager, she got her “spark” for politics when the Reagan administration reformed America’s welfare system.
Anderson, a former state auditor and University alumna, said those reforms pushed her to take an active role in policy early on.
On Nov. 2, Anderson announced she would seek the Republican endorsement for the 2010 gubernatorial race. She said her campaign marks a shift from partisan politics, calling for increased citizen participation and advocacy.
As an international relations student at the University, Anderson serviced as Student Service Fee Committee chair in the Minnesota Student Association and helped eliminate a service fee at Boynton Health Services .
She also credits much of her interest in government to her family who favored “individual liberties” and actively participated in government. Anderson said much of her participation in policy has been modeled by the platforms her parents believed in.
Anderson served as state auditor from 2003-2007 before losing her bid for re-election to DFLer Rebecca Otto . She then served under Gov. Tim Pawlenty as Commissioner of Employee Relations, managing its merger with the Minnesota Department of Finance. This spring, she helped organize Tea Party rallies.
Anderson’s limited government platform focuses on Minnesota’s current tax system, economy, health care and K-12 education.
“We’ve had a situation where politicians on both the right and the left are using government to foster their own vision on the world or to create programs that benefit their constituencies,” she said. “To me, that is not the role government should play.”
If elected, Anderson said she would ditch the state's corporate income tax and reduce income taxes, replacing them through the extension of the sales tax to services and clothing — taxing consumption, not productivity.
“We should not be discouraging productivity. We should be encouraging it,” she said.
She said stabilized revenues for businesses will increase employment in the state, emphasizing that the government cannot create jobs, but only shuffle resources from private to public sectors.
“Limited government has a purpose,” she said. “I believe people should be able to make their own choices.”
In an attempt to create a free market for health care, Anderson said getting rid of state insurance regulations and giving people on public programs the option to buy health care where they want are essential.
Anderson, who has supports medical marijuana, said the government should not get involved in doctor and patient relations.
Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, who is acting as treasurer for DFL candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher, said the republican candidate is “extremely inconsistent.”
“She can slap any label she wants on herself, but the proof is in her policies,” he said.
In 2006, The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal named Anderson one of the state’s “Most Influential Women to Watch,” and one of Minnesota’s “Top 40 Business and Community Leaders Under 40.”
Anderson’s campaign kicked off a year before the 2010 election, promising 365 ideas in 365 days.
“People are looking for substance … I provide something very different [than many candidates],” she said.