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Crime was the topic for Lt. Gov. candidate Meeks at Mankato gathering

Annette Meeks, the lieutenant governor candidate running with Republican-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, got an earful of opinions on crime and law enforcement Tuesday at a campaign stop in Mankato.
Meeks, a member of the Metropolitan C

Annette Meeks, the lieutenant governor candidate running with Republican-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, got an earful of opinions on crime and law enforcement Tuesday at a campaign stop in Mankato.

Meeks, a member of the Metropolitan Council and a former aide to Republican Congressmen Newt Gingrich and Vin Weber, said she and Emmer want to hear ideas on solving state problems from people who are affected.

She heard from Blue Earth County Attorney Ross Arneson, who said costs of prosecuting criminals is way up, but state funding isn’t, reported the Mankato Free Press.

Meeks asked him if the new drug court is worthwhile.

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“I think it is, yes,” Arneson answered. “… But we have to have funding to get it carried out.”

But Nicollet County Sheriff’s investigator Marc Chadderdon was skeptical:

“I just don’t know how you justify spending this amount of money on this person when the second-time DWI offender is sitting in jail,” Chadderdon said.

And Mankato Public Safety Director Todd Miller criticized cuts in state aid to cities and counties — an important part of the Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s plan to balance the state budget:

“If you can’t balance your own budget and you balance it on local governments, local public safety is being impacted,” he said.