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The Case of the Vanishing Summer School Students
by Silence Dogood

The enrollment data for Summer School 2014 is in and it doesn’t look good! The MnSCU website lists summer FYE enrollment for Sum’14 at SCSU as 916 FYE. This compares to an enrollment of 1,011 FYE for Sum’13 and corresponds to a one-year decline of 95 FYE, which translates to a drop of 9.4%!

The FYE enrollment data for summer since 2005 is shown in the following Figure (the data comes from the Office of Strategy, Planning & Effectiveness website and for 2005-2013—the data for 2014 comes from the MnSCU website because the FY14 enrollment data on the Office of Strategy, Planning & Effectiveness website has not been updated) [http://www.stcloudstate.edu/ospe/research/data.asp]

Figure 1. FYE summer school enrollment for SCSU from 2005 through 2014.

From Figure 1 you can see that after relatively constant enrollment from 2005 through 2008 and even a small growth in enrollment between 2007 and 2010, summer school enrollment has come crashing down. The tabulated annual declines in enrollment are shown for the four straight years of decline.

Table 1. Year to year enrollment changes as a percent change in FYE.

From 2010 forward on a year-to-year basis the data does not look good. However, when looked at from Sum’10 to Sum’14, the four-year drop in enrollment is a staggering 30.9%!

One can speculate that SCSU is still ‘right sizing’. However, as of yet, no enrollment management plan has been presented so everyone is left to simply guess what the ‘right size’ is for SCSU. Perhaps when we get there, the administration will tell us.

One of the reasons Dr. Mahmoud Saffari (Vice President for Enrollment Management) was dismissed in September of 2011 was supposedly his failure to develop an enrollment management plan. In the three years since Dr. Saffari’s departure, the SCSU administration hasn’t put together an enrollment management plan. Meanwhile, enrollment is still dropping. It’s interesting that no one else has been fired! The only thing we know for sure is that enrollment at SCSU, at the end of FY14, was at 12,400 FYE. That means SCSU is smaller than at any time since 1999, when the FYE enrollment was 12,576.

Last spring, the administration projected that enrollment for FY15 would be down 3.3%. That would put the FYE enrollment at 11,990. SCSU may not have been under 12,000 FYE as far back as the early 1980′s but it is not possible to reliably go back any further because the data is not readily available.

I guess it’s fair to say that the administration is hoping that fall enrollments won’t continue the 9.4% drop evidenced in the summer or a 3.3% projected drop in enrollment for FY15 will just be a fantasy.

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Yesterday, I wrote this article to highlight ABM’s willingness to publish things that it knows aren’t true. Bill Glahn picked up on that article and wrote this post, which he appropriately titled “Minnesota isn’t working.” Frankly, Bill does a better job of illustrating how terrible the Dayton-DFL economy is. This graphic shows the difference between job growth when the GOP had the majority in the House and Senate and the job growth when Gov. Dayton and the DFL controlled all of state government:

Honest people can’t disagree that significantly more jobs were created while Republicans held majorities in the House and Senate than have been created during all DFL control in St. Paul. At this point, the Republicans’ point is made. Their policies led to greater job creation than during the days of all-DFL control. But Bill didn’t stop there. He published this graphic to highlight Minnesota’s job creation numbers pre-tax increase vs. post-tax increase:

Gov. Dayton, the DFL and ABM will undoubtedly attempt to explain away the dropoff in jobs created after the tax increase went into effect as coincidence. That’s BS. It isn’t coincidence. It’s the direct, predictable, result of the Dayton-DFL tax increases.

The thing is that the totals aren’t close. Over 70,000 jobs were created before the Dayton-DFL tax increase compared with a little over 30,000 jobs being created after the Dayton-DFL tax increase.

I highlighted in my article that a pathetic 300 jobs were created in January-March, 2014. Another 2,600 jobs were created in April-July, 2014. The April-July numbers are hurt by the fact that 4,200 jobs were cut in Minnesota during July.

The reason I started looking into Minnesota’s job creation numbers is because of ABM’s dishonest video (that’s the only kind they put together) about the Dayton-DFL stewardship of the economy:

Here’s the transcript of the video:

Look across the land. On farms and in factories, in classrooms and on construction sites, Minnesota is working. For years ago, Minnesota faced a $5,000,000,000 deficit. But Gov. Mark Dayton showed strong leadership. He raised taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent so we could invest in our schools and reduce middle class taxes. Now Minnesota has 150,000 new jobs and a budget surplus.

That’s insulting to honest Minnesotans. Minnesota’s economy hasn’t created 150,000 jobs during Gov. Dayton’s time in office. It’s more like 96,000 jobs created, with the vast majority of them getting created while Republican policies were in effect. The Dayton-DFL tax increases have essentially killed Minnesota’s job growth.

There’s no question that the Dayton-DFL tax increases have led Minnesota companies to leave the state. It’s time Minnesotans told the Dayton-DFL-ABM Axis of Lies that we insist that their ads be honest or, at minimum, not this blatantly dishonest.

How can we trust Gov. Dayton and the DFL to govern when they won’t tell us the truth about what’s already happened? It’s the worst of all worlds. Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s policiess have failed, which is why they’re lying to cover up their failure now.

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Late Monday afternoon, the Johnson for Governor campaign issued this statement:

GOLDEN VALLEY—Jeff Johnson received the endorsement of the Minnesota Farm Bureau today, adding to his credentials as a candidate for all of Minnesota.

“I am proud to be endorsed by the Farm Bureau,” said Johnson, who was born and raised in Detroit Lakes and now lives in Plymouth.

“I picked Bill Kuisle, a farmer from the Rochester area and former state representative, as my running mate because he has been a steadfast advocate for Greater Minnesota his whole life. Minnesota needs a governor that appreciates and represents the entire state, and that’s exactly the kind of governor I’ll be when I take office next January.”

The Johnson campaign noted that earlier this year, Dayton replaced his lieutenant governor from Greater Minnesota with his chief of staff from Minneapolis as his running mate for re-election. And in 2013, Dayton singled Minnesota farmers out for a special tax on their equipment repair.

Gov. Dayton doesn’t have a great record on agriculture. As noted in the Johnson campaign’s statement, Gov. Dayton went to FarmFest last year and announced that he’d just discovered that the tax bill he’d negotiated and signed included a sales tax on farm equipment repairs. Shortly thereafter, Gov. Dayton promised he’d call on the legislature to repeal the farm equipment repair sales tax increase during a special session to pass flood relief.

By the time the State Fair opened, Gov. Dayton had broken that promise.

Gov. Dayton and his running mate, Tina Smith, are both city slickers who wouldn’t know the first thing about running a farm. By comparison, Bill Quisle, Jeff Johnson’s running mate, is a farmer in southern Minnesota and a former state legislator.

It isn’t that Quisle can relate to farmers. It’s that he’s one of them. He knows farm issues like no other running mate in recent history.

This campaign sets up a classic confrontation. The Dayton-Smith ticket should do well in the Twin Cities, Duluth and possibly Rochester. The Johnson-Quisle ticket will do well in the suburbs, the exurbs and rural Minnesota. If I was forced to predict, I’d bet that the Johnson-Quisle ticket will do great in the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th districts while holding its own in Minnesota’s First District and the western and southern portions of the Eighth District.

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Apparently, Charlie Weaver’s principles are negotiable. His statements, which I wrote about here, indicate that Mr. Weaver isn’t prone to taking principled stands on important issues. If he’s going to continue undercutting Jeff Johnson’s campaign, he should announce that he’s stabbing Jeff Johnson’s campaign in the back.

When Weaver said that “the economy is pretty strong” and that Gov. Dayton’s GOP opponent “will be forced to find other issues as contrasts with Democrats”, Weaver ignored the truth about the Dayton/DFL economy. The question is why Weaver didn’t pay attention to this year’s jobs reports.

The truth is that the Dayton/DFL economy stinks. This year, Minnesota’s economy has created 2,900 jobs in the first 7 months. That’s pathetic. Weaver’s ‘pretty strong economy’ statement was made before the July jobs report showed that Minnesota’s economy shed 4,200 jobs in July.

That’s anything but strong.

The disgusting part is that, with Weaver’s help, Gov. Dayton and the DFL pundits that litter the Twin Cities political landscape will be able to quote Weaver as ‘proof’ that the Dayton/DFL economyy is working.

The truth, though, is that the Dayton/DFL economy stinks. In addition to Minnesota’s economy losing 4,200 jobs in July, revenues for July fell 6.6% short of projections. That’s proof that the Dayton/DFL economy is a disaster.

In the last 12 months, Minnesota’s economy created 68,344 jobs. What’s sad is that 21,523 of those jobs are government jobs. Almost one-third of the jobs created by the Dayton/DFL economy are government jobs.

Does Mr. Weaver think that creating tens of thousands of goverment jobs in 2013 and creating dozens of private sector jobs in 2014 is proof of a “pretty strong economy”? Or is he just peddling a pile of manure about the Dayton/DFL economy because his job requires it?

It’s time for Charlie Weaver to exit stage left and collect his thirty pieces of silver from the Dayton campaign. It’s only appropriate that Weaver exit to the left since he’s selling Republicans out for personal gain.

Here’s hoping that contributors to Republican campaigns ostracize Weaver for his dishonesty and stabbing Jeff Johnson’s campaign in the back. Better yet, Weaver should host a major fundraiser that raises several hundred thousand dollars for Jeff’s campaign.

It won’t make Weaver more trustworthy. It’ll just make up a little bit for his stabbing the GOP in the back.

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There’s little question that St. Cloud State is losing a recruiting war with the University of North Dakota. A few years ago, St. Cloud State hired Earthbound Media Group to rebrand SCSU. EMG’s idea of rebranding was pretty much a failure on multiple fronts.

First, EMG created a pathetic slogan for billboards. That slogan, literally, was “Think. Do. Make a Difference.” It’s stunning to think that media professionals would think that young people would be attracted to a university with that wimpy of a slogan.

Unfortunately, that’s just the PR side of things. What’s worse is that, according to records I obtained through a Minnesota Data Practices Act request, SCSU paid EMG over $400,000 for their work.

Let’s compare those pathetic attempts with UND’s recruiting efforts. First, look at where they’re recruiting:

They’re recruiting students in the Twin Cities and in Brainerd. That means they’re recruiting in SCSU’s back yard. What’s alarming is that UND didn’t start this public recruitment drive in central Minnesota until SCSU announced that they were shutting down the Aviation program. It isn’t accidental that this is one of their biggest billboards:

It’s clear that UND didn’t hire EMG to put together that billboard. It’s apparent because UND’s billboard will get potential students’ attention and cause them to think about enrolling at UND.

Here’s the thing that should jump off the page for everyone. UND’s billboards are appealing because they’re energetic and challenging. SCSU’s billboards are lifeless and defensive. UND’s billboards say ‘Check us out’ while SCSU’s billboards say ‘Hi. We exist. Please notice us.’

SCSU isn’t losing the recruiting war with UND just because of these billboards. They’re losing, too, because UND has a drone program, which is catching young people’s attention. SCSU could’ve had a drone program within the Aviation program, too. That’s if they still had an aviation program.

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This post on the Hill’s campaign blog asks whether Al Franken is vulnerable. Here’s Larry Jacobs’ opinion:

“Al Franken’s gonna have a fight on his hands. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” said Larry Jacobs, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota and director of its Center for the Study of Politics and Governance.

The Democrats’ most frequent defense of Franken is that he’s “kept his head down and worked hard.” That’s fine if your expectations are to edge out potted plants in terms of competence and productivity but it’s pathetic if you’re hoping for a leader like Minnesota used to expect from its senators.

“I think people had a lot of doubts about whether he was going to be a serious senator or not,” said a Minnesota Democratic operative, adding there is “no doubt about that now.”

This DFL operative must not have watched Franken during his questioning of Sonia Sotomayor during her confirmation hearing:

This supposed serious senator focused on his love of a TV show. Perry Mason was a great show but it doesn’t belong in a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. Then again, Franken isn’t a great fit on the Senate Judiciary Committee because a) he isn’t a lawyer and b) he isn’t that bright.

He’s capable of reading things from a script but anything more than that is a struggle.

“For a guy who made a living with improvisation and speaking his mind at will, it’s almost unbelievable how on message he’s been,” Jacobs said.

First, Al Franken wasn’t that funny as a comedian. Second, Franken was one of the nastiest, most mean-spirited talk show hosts in Air America’s history. He’s exceptionally mean-spirited and hyperpartisan, which explains why he’s voted in lockstep with President Obama and Sen. Reid. He’s voted against building the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is hurting farmers:

“The Keystone pipeline needs to be built, I am here to tell you, and it should have been built last year, not delayed another several months as we are seeing under this current Administration,” Westrom said. Without the pipeline, oil producers are using an increasing number of railcars to transport their supply, which is squeezing out farmers and propane suppliers.

“[Grain] elevators from the south end of the 7th District to the north tell me they are still going to have last year’s crop when this year’s crop comes in, and they can’t get enough extra cars to ship it out,” Westrom continued. “That’s unacceptable. We need to build energy and infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline. That’s something I will advocate for.”

It’s rather nasty that Franken fought for environmental activists instead of for farmers. What is Franken’s rationale for that? Is he that beholden to the anti-energy environmental activists?

That isn’t what a man of the people does, though it’s what a man of the special interests does. From all accounts, Franken has done a decent job with constituent services. Then again, I haven’t heard of an elected official in recent Minnesota history who hasn’t done a decent job with that.

Franken, then, shouldn’t be judged on constituent services. Rather, he should be judged on whether he’s voted for things that’ve made Minnesotans’ lives better. Obamacare certainly didn’t make life better for Minnesotans. It took a pretty good health care system and turned it into a one-size-fits-all program where a federal bureaucrat tells Minnesotans what they must do.

Thank Sen. Franken, too, for Minnesota spending $160,000,000 on a broken website, too.

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It’s amazing that Charlie Weaver has any Republican friends left. I wouldn’t show my face for a month if I’d said this BS about the Dayton/DFL economy:

“The economy is pretty strong,” said Charlie Weaver, a veteran of state Republican politics and executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership, which represents the state’s largest corporations. “We have a low unemployment rate — one of the lowest in the country,” he said.

A former top aide under Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Weaver predicted that Republican candidates, particularly Dayton’s challenger, will be forced to find other issues as contrasts with Democrats.

Far too often, this is what happens when a Republican gives up his principles to become a lobbyist. What happened here is Charlie Weaver, lobbyist, said something Charlie Weaver, conservative, wouldn’t get caught dead saying.

Weaver’s statement is a combination of fiction and professional self-preservation. It’s impossible for an honest person to look at the July jobs report and conclude the economy is strong. July’s jobs report just confirmed the fact that Minnesota’s economy sucks:

Minnesota lost 4,200 jobs in July, disappointing news in a year so far of tepid job growth for the state. The unemployment rate remained at 4.5 percent, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The U.S. unemployment rate in July was 6.2 percent.

June’s job gains were also revised downward by 3,600, driving home the point that over the first seven months of the year Minnesota’s job market has been stuck in neutral. After adding 41,900 positions from August to December 2013, the state has added only 2,900 jobs since January. Some 133,000 Minnesotans are officially unemployed, and thousands more are working part-time jobs when they would rather work full time.

Isn’t Mr. Weaver troubled by the fact that one-third of the jobs created in the past year are government jobs? If he isn’t, why isn’t he? Certainly, Mr. Weaver is smart enough to know that government confiscates people’s money. Certainly, he knows that government doesn’t create wealth.

Over the last 6 months, revenues have fallen significantly short of projections. In July, it fell short of projections by 6.6%. This constitutes a trend. That isn’t a one-time blip.

What’s particularly disgusting is that Charlie Weaver is hurting Jeff Johnson’s campaign whenever he lies about the strength of the Dayton/DFL economy. Months of terrible jobs reports, combined with revenues consistently falling short of projections, aren’t the statistics that you get from a booming economy. Yes, 2,900 jobs created in 7 months is pathetic. By comparison, St. Cloud created 2,894 jobs in 12 months.

Over the past 12 months, 68,344 jobs were created in Minnesota. A total of 46,339 jobs were created in Minneapolis-St. Paul, followed by St. Cloud with 2,894, Mankato with 1,236, Duluth-Superior with 1,145 jobs followed by Rochester with 1,054 jobs. That’s a total of 52,668 jobs created in those cities.

Noticeably missing from the list are Moorhead, Brainerd, Monticello, Hutchinson, Willmar and any Iron Range cities. Mr. Weaver, isn’t it important to creat jobs in those cities, too? Apparently, Gov. Dayton doesn’t think so. Apparently, Gov. Dayton and Mr. Weaver think it isn’t important to create jobs in northern Minnesota cities not named Duluth.

I’m pretty certain that people in Forest Lake, Grand Rapids, Alexandria, Pierz and Little Falls think it’s important to create jobs in their towns. I’m pretty certain that they’d love seeing new businesses starting up in their cities.

Here’s the dirty little secret Charlie Weaver doesn’t want anyone to know. He isn’t looking out for Main Street Minnesota. He’s looking out for big corporations. This isn’t a criticism of big corporations. I appreciate any company that employs lots of people. It’s merely highlighting the fact that big corporations have the resources to comply with Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s regulations and tax code.

Small businesses, the kind found throughout the 6th, 7th and 8th districts, find it difficult to create wealth and expand their companies. If you only care about the Twin Cities, which Mr. Weaver apparently does, then Minnesota’s economy might look ok.

If you care about statewide prosperity, though, which Jeff Johnson does, then Minnesota’s economy isn’t doing well.

If Mr. Weaver wants to peddle Gov. Dayton’s BS that Minnesota’s economy is “pretty strong”, then he’d better expect me to highlight the truth about Minnesota’s job creation statistics. He’d better be prepared to be called out for his BS.

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This video should worry Democrats:

The Democrats think they’ve caught Sen. Torrey Westrom in a ‘Mitt Romney moment’. In reality, they’ve shown 7th District voters that their activists aren’t the brightest people around. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Man: [During] the Eisenhower Administration, we built our infrastructure, our roads, our bridges, our schools, our fire halls, we built that during that era and the tax rate on the wealthiest people was 60 percent, and it was an honor for them, and society looked up to them, they were pillars in their community and respected, and we appreciated them. And now all I see is scapegoating on the poor, blaming people on food assistance when they can’t even get a part-time job… I’m saying that [rich people] pay less in income tax than poor people do.

Westrom: Even though 48 percent of Americans don’t pay taxes?

The first indication that this activist isn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier is his implication that high income taxes in the 1950s paid for the interstate highway system. Income taxes didn’t have a thing to do with building and maintaining the interstate highway system:

About 70 percent of the construction and maintenance costs of Interstate Highways in the United States have been paid through user fees, primarily the fuel taxes collected by the federal, state, and local governments. To a much lesser extent they have been paid for by tolls collected on toll highways and bridges. The Highway Trust Fund, established by the Highway Revenue Act in 1956, prescribed a three-cent-per-gallon fuel tax, soon increased to 4.5 cents per gallon. In 1993 the tax was increased to 18.4 cents per gallon, where it remains as of 2012.

The next indicator that this activist isn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier is that he thinks “poor people” pay more income taxes than “the rich.” Sen. Westrom dispatched that argument by telling the activist that “48 percent of Americans” don’t pay income taxes.

This wasn’t a vilification of “poor people.” It was simply a statement of statistical fact. It’s interesting that the DFL activist thinks stating a statistical fact is an act of vilification. Sen. Westrom finally had enough of the activist’s rantings:

Man: The Bible says, ‘To whom much has been given, much shall be required.’ Now [the wealthy] built that infrastructure and they did that out of the goodness of their hearts in the ’50s and now it’s like pulling teeth to get an extra dime out of the wealthiest people in this society, and I’m tired of it.

Westrom: Let me tell you, versus your philosophy, my philosophy is, don’t overtax the citizens, let them keep their hard-earned wealth [and] take care of themselves as much as they can and we do for the communities that individually they can’t do for themselves. You would rather tax everybody’s income, take it away from them, redistribute it, government knows best…

Before getting into Sen. Westrom’s reply, let’s focus on the activist’s statement that “the wealthy built that infrastructure…out of the goodness of their hearts…” That’s the picture of delusion. The truth is that “the wealthy” built much of this nation’s infrastructure to create bigger profits for their companies.

As for Sen. Westrom’s statement, he’s right in his philosophy of letting the people keep their money. The thought that the federal government knows best is intellectually laughable. For instance, Minnesota had a great health insurance system that featured one of the lowest rates of uninsured in the nation. In 2011, 93% of Minnesotans were insured. In 2013, thanks directly to the Affordable Care Act, that rate of insured ‘jumped’ to 95%. It just cost Minnesotans the paltry amount of $160,000,000 and counting.

The MNsure website still isn’t working. In fact, it won’t be working correctly until after this fall’s open enrollment. Thank God for the federal government’s intervention. I don’t know what we would’ve done without their assistance, though I’d love to find out.

This video should dispel the notion of government being benevolent:

Simply put, Sen. Westrom is right in ridiculing this activist. In fact, it’s best for him to just put this behind him so he can highlight his positive agenda and Collin Peterson’s history of Nancy Pelosi pushing him around. (Think voting for Cap and Trade after promising his constituents he wouldn’t vote for it.)

Sen. Westrom won’t take the 7th District for granted like Collin Peterson has for the last 20 years. Sen. Westrom has a history of getting things done. That’s the type of congressman Minnesota’s 7th District needs.

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This morning’s @Issue was offensive to informed voters. It started with Tom Hauser sleepily repeating the discredited DFL talking point that jobs are “coming back.” It continued when Sarah Janacek called ABM’s ads against Jeff Johnson “outside money.” Retread political hack Don Betzold kept the misinformation going by saying that “it’s too early to tell” what insurance rates will be.

Let’s start with Hauser repeating the DFL line about jobs. It’s BS. They aren’t coming back. That’s just the DFL lying through its teeth. This year, the Dayton/DFL economy has created 2,900 jobs in 7 months. The Dayton/DFL economy lost 4,200 jobs in July. The revenue projection for July was off by 6.6%, coming in $69,000,000 short of MMB’s projection.

That isn’t proof of a Minnesota economic recovery. It isn’t proof that the Dayton/DFL policies are taking us in the right direction. It’s proof that they’re failing, especially when you consider the fact that one-third of the jobs created in the last 12 months were government jobs.

It’s sad to see Sarah Janacek make foolish statements like calling ABM “outside money.” She knows better than that. She knows that ABM is funded by Alida Messinger, the public employee unions and community organizing organizations with deep ties to the DFL.

In short, ABM is the DFL’s messaging unit. Pretending that they’re an arms-length distant organization just isn’t being honest with people. Further, Ms. Janacek shouldn’t be that gentle with ABM. They’re a disgusting organization that specializes in smear campaigns. ABM is devoid of virtue and honesty. They should be treated like the parasitic political hatchet organization that they are.

Let me repeat this message to timid GOP pundits like Ms. Janacek: ABM should be exposed and ridiculed for being dishonest and untrustworthy. Tip-toeing around ABM’s disgusting tactics gives them a legitimacy they didn’t earn.

Finally, Don Betzold should’ve been criticized for saying that he didn’t know what insurance premiums would be. If he actually doesn’t know, then he should be put out to pasture. If he knows, he should be exposed as a political hack repeating the DFL’s talking points.

Honesty matters in messaging and reporting. That’s why Tom Hauser and Sarah Janacek should be criticized for their timid, misinformed statemenets.

The lone bright spot was Brian McClung. Brian was well-informed and confident in his presentation of important information.

One of my favorite reads each week is the Mesabi Daily News’ Onions and Orchids column. Here’s the highlight of this week’s edition:

Onions: Smelly ones to the same old same old by our Minnesota union executives endorsing Al Franken and the new Democratic Party. The Steelworkers, Carpenters, AFL-CIO, AFSCME … once again bow down to the party they send our dues to. The new Democratic Party would not endorse mining in northeast Minnesota a few monthThe s ago when they attempted to construct a platform to run on. Franken has done nothing for the real working middle class at all. He votes against things like Keystone Pipeline and has not strongly supported mining. He supported the minimum wage increase but that in reality does nothing to the working middle class being more of a political move than a real help to anyone. Franken has gladly gone along with everything Obama has pushed for, including Obamacare. Unions are supposed to support its members and the work they are trained to do. Our unions once again let us down supporting a candidate like Franken who is part of the elite left against mining, logging, fossil fuels, etc. He has no real clue about what a middle class family endures watching our median income drop by almost 18 percent over the past six years. Think on your own and vote your conscious. Our way of life depends upon it.

A few days ago, Ken Martin said that Republicans would forget about the Range the day after the election. I wrote this post to highlight the fact that the DFL has forgotten the Range the day after each of the last 5 cycles. The closest Al Franken’s gotten to supporting miners is telling them he’s pro-union.

That’s BS.

You can’t be pro-egg and anti-chicken. You can’t be pro-jobs and anti-businessman. In this instance, you can’t be pro-mining and pro-environmental activist. That’s who Al Franken is.

The writer is right. The “new Democratic Party” didn’t endorse mining at this year’s state convention. That necessarily means they’re anti-mining. Saying that you’re for mining “if it can be done in an environmentally safe way” is code for saying ‘I don’t have the spine to tell Conservation Minnesota and the Sierra Club to take a hike.’

That’s Al Franken. He’s spineless. He’d rather have environmental activists send him campaign contributions than fighting for good paying mining jobs. That isn’t opinion. It’s what he’s done the last 5+ years.

As for the “new Democratic Party”, they’re owned by Alida Messinger, Conservation Minnesota and the environmental activists living comfortably in the Twin Cities. They don’t just run the DFL. They own the DFL. They’re the people who’ve antagonized the blue collar workers of the Range.

Check back later this weekend for more on the “new Democratic Party.”

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