‘Dr. No’ Consistently Fights for Tax and Spending Restraint

Published September 1, 2005

Minnesota State Rep. Phil Krinkie is a Republican and successful businessman from Lino Lakes who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1990, when the Democratic Farm and Labor Party (DFL) overwhelmingly outnumbered Republicans. Early on, one of his liberal colleagues gave him the nickname “Dr. No,” in an attempt to criticize his no-new-taxes stance.

The moniker has stuck, and Krinkie is still considered the legislature’s most consistent opponent of higher taxes, increased government spending, and more regulation.

Sights Set on Congress

Krinkie hopes his fiscal conservatism helps propel him to higher office. He is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Minnesota’s 6th congressional district next year.

Fellow conservatives appreciate his principled stances. The Taxpayers League of Minnesota, headed by David Strom, gave him a “Taxpayers Hero” award in 2000 and named him “Lifetime Friend of the Taxpayers” in 2004. Strom calls him the “most principled politician I know.”

Founded Watchdog Group

Krinkie’s list of accomplishments is long. In 1995 he founded Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, a watchdog organization that monitors state spending. In 1997 he was the first legislator to call for an across-the-board state income tax cut, which was enacted in 1999. In 2003 he wrote the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, a proposed constitutional amendment that would put a tight lid on spending.

This year, as chairman of the House Tax Committee, Krinkie again put his efforts into crafting a fiscally responsible budget. The House tax bill would have balanced the budget without raising taxes. An important provision of the tax bill called for a Taxpayer Satisfaction Survey, which would have given property owners a voice in evaluating government spending by their cities and counties.

— Sandra Fabry