Update-here is the link to the People's Press story about the meet and greet, and you can watch video of the event here.
8:25 I'm at Central park Coffee in Owatonna, getting set up for a practice run at live blogging.
8:35 Mike Parry is here and talking with local residents
8:41 question from the audience, 'doesn't a 15% reduction in state spending mean payroll cuts?' Mike says yes, and that will be the hard part of cutting
8:44 comment from the audience 'my son's company is mandating 30% pay reductions for everyone, why don't government employees have to do the same?
8:46 Mike says we need to pay based on performance, that is how he has been successful as a businessman and that needs to be brought into government
8:49 Claire Kennedy from the People's Press is here with camera and video camera, so I will link to the story and video from their site when it is available
8:53 question from the audience, 'do you support Dick's idea to bring in Racino?' answer from Mike- ' I'm all in favor of it! We have Diamond Joe Casino in northern Iowa getting Minnesota residents and Minnesota tax dollars to come across the border'
8:55 comment about the clean water legacy act, Mike responds 'that bill cost us an employee. I own a Godfather's Pizza, and that additional tax meant that we had to back off on one employee to keep our prices from going up'
9:01 Mike comments about the ongoing school teachers negotiations in Faribault, and how the kids will be penalized if the school district doesn't agree to terms quickly. Comment from the audience that the law says school districts lose money if negotiations go too long, but 'why don't unions get a penalty at all?'