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Despite what Sartell Mayor Joe Perske told WCCO’s Esme Murphy, he’s still fighting a steep uphill fight:

Perske said that he thinks, while the district may be heavily favored toward Republican candidates, “people want a change.”

Perkse added that he believes “people are sick of the polarizing politics that we’ve seen with Michele Bachmann, and I think we’re just going to get more of the same with Tom Emmer. If you take a look at his past record of what he’s done in the state legislature, and you take a look at the things he’s said, (he’s) very similar in being on that right side with the Tea Party.”

First, it’s clear that Perske’s only hope of getting elected is in a) turning Tom Emmer into the biggest boogeyman this side of the Koch Brothers and b) getting voters to ignore what’s important to them.

Perske needs three other things to happen to win. He needs to have an instant name ID bomb to go off in the Sixth so people south of St. Cloud know who he is. At the moment, his name ID in Andover, Annandale, Anoka, Becker, Big Lake, Clear Lake and Clearwater is on a par with my name ID in those cities.

I’m pretty certain my name ID is virtually non-existent in those cities. Welcome to the club, Joe.

Another thing Perske needs is a mass cash infusion so he can at least run enough ads so people in Big Lake and Clearwater know who he is. (Perske should forget about becoming known in the south Metro part of the district.)

Finally, to be competitive, Perske needs the Sixth to become much more moderate between now and election day. Since that ain’t happening, Perske should accept the fact that he’s gonna get beaten like a drum.

Emmer’s team is working hard. They’re showing up at all the right events. They’re having discussions with all the right people. They’ve got a great GOTV operation.

Most importantly, Emmer’s team has something that Perske doesn’t have. Specifically, they’ve got a candidate who’s a great fit for the Sixth.

In 2010, Tarryl Clark had a well-financed campaign. Michele beat her by 13 points. This year, Perske is woefully underfunded in a year that’s likely to be another good year for the MNGOP.

The likely outcome is Emmer beating Perske like a drum.

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This article proves that Lois Lerner is thoroughly corrupt:

In 2007, Lerner responded directly to a complaint that some major labor unions reported completely different amounts of political expenditures when filing with the IRS and the Department of Labor.

At the time of the email, Lerner was the Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS.

Lerner wrote, “We looked at the information you provided regarding organizations that report substantial amounts of political activity and lobbying expenditures on the DOL Form LM-2, but report little to no political expenditures on the Form 990 filed with the IRS.”

“We believe this difference in reporting does not necessarily indicate that the organization has incorrectly reported to either the DOL or the IRS,” Lerner concluded.

Talk about a parsable sentence. Here’s something with a little less spin:

In 2006, the year leading up to Lerner’s email, the national headquarters for the AFL-CIO reported no direct or indirect political expenditures with the IRS on their 990 form, leaving the line 81a blank. That same year, the AFL-CIO reported $29,585,661 in political activities with the Department of Labor.

What’s $30,000,000 in indirect political expenditures amongst political allies, right? It isn’t like $30,000,000 could tip a handful of House and Senate races, right?

Unfortunately, that isn’t the only time Ms. Lerner turned a blind eye towards this type of corruption:

Also in 2006 the Teamsters Union reported no political expenditures with the IRS while at the same time reporting $7,081,965 with the Labor Department.

There’s more:

Again in 2006, Unite-Here reported no political activity with the IRS and $1,451,002 with the Labor Department.

In 2005, the National Education Association also reported no political expenditures with the IRS while at the same time reporting $24,985,250 with the Labor Department.

We’re supposed to believe that all this money was spent on lobbying Congress, not on campaigns? That’s as insulting as it is dishonest.

Lerner is a partisan hack. She should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Unfortunately, that won’t happen because we have an equally corrupt partisan hack as US Attorney General.

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Liar, Liar President Potter!
by Silence Dogood

President Potter continues to justify the drop in enrollment at SCSU by saying he’s “right sizing” the university and that “Enrollments are down across the country.” However, this flies in the face of the data. Let’s look at our neighbor to the East. The University of Wisconsin system has an incredible amount of data that is available to anyone (http://www.uwsa.edu/opar/ssb/), not just those who have received special permission, as is the case in Minnesota. The MnSCU system could certainly learn a thing or two from Wisconsin in terms of openness and transparency! The data for the University of Wisconsin System is shown in the following table:

The data for Full Year Equivalent (FYE) enrollment at SCSU is shown in the following table:

While it is true that you will get slightly different results depending on the years you pick for comparison, let’s pick FY2010—the year SCSU had its largest enrollment. In the Wisconsin system this would correspond to the 2009-10 academic year (AY2009-10).

Over the time period from FY10 to FY14, SCSU’s FYE enrollment has dropped 17.8%. The Wisconsin system uses the term Full-Time Equivalent Enrollment, which is exactly analogous to FYE and a similar comparison for the entire system shows an increase of 59 students from 153,193 to 153,252! That means enrollment isn’t down all across the country, especially in Wisconsin because it is actually UP!

If you look at the data for each of the universities individually, some are up in enrollment while some are down. The following figure shows the percentage change in FTE enrollment from AY2009-10 to AY2013-14 for the Wisconsin comprehensive universities—the universities that are most similar to SCSU.

Five universities are down in enrollment over this time period, while six are up. Overall, enrollment is up 1.6% for all of Wisconsin’s comprehensive universities. From the data shown for this time period, the worst performing university is UW-Parkside with a decline in enrollment of 10.5%. Compare this with SCSU’s decline of 17.8% over the same period of time and a decline of ‘only’ 10.5% starts looking pretty good. It is also important to note that two universities are up over 7% and one is up nearly 13%!

President Potter’s statement about enrollments being down across the country must exclude Wisconsin. How about looking within Minnesota? If we add Minnesota State University—Mankato to the graph and look at the time period FY10-FY14, we obtain the following figure:

Over the time period from FY10 to FY14, MSU-Mankato’s enrollment has grown by 2.0%, which means that there is a difference of almost 20 points between the percentage growth of MSU—Mankato and the percentage decline of SCSU. Remember SCSU is down 17.8% over from FY10-FY14.

Next time, let’s hope that President Potter checks his facts before he makes pronouncements that are easily disproven. It really makes him look bad!

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Despite Poligraph’s opinion about a recent DCCC attack against Stewart Mills, the DCCC’s attack is mostly BS. Here’s what the DCCC press release said:

“Millionaire Stewart Mills III has taken thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the health insurance industry, and now he wants to put the insurance companies back in charge to deny care to people with-pre-existing conditions and kick kids off their parents’ plans,” a DCCC press release states.

PoliGraph admitted that the DCCC’s first claim is BS:

According to Mills’ campaign finance records, he’s gotten $1,000 from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association PAC, and that’s it.

Apparently, the DCCC needs to return to grade school English. Apparently, they didn’t learn that thousands is plural for 1,000. Apparently, the DCCC didn’t learn that 1,000 is singular for thousands. Either that or they’re just lying through their teeth, which is a distinct possibility.

Here’s the part where PoliGraph is wrong:

The DCCC also claims that Mills wants to scrap popular parts of the Affordable Care Act, including a provision that prevents insurance companies from rejecting patients with pre-existing conditions and another provision that allows children to stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26.

Here, the DCCC is on stronger footing.

First, saying that the DCCC “is on stronger footing” isn’t saying much considering the fact that they were totally wrong about the DCCC’s first statement. Further, the DCCC’s claim is false. Here’s why:

Campaign spokeswoman Chloe Rockow says Mills isn’t opposed to making sure young adults and those with pre-existing conditions have access to health insurance; he just thinks there are better ways of doing it.

For instance, Mills wants to strengthen privacy rules for people with pre-existing conditions and to reinstate the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association, which is a special health insurance program for people with pre-existing conditions who can’t get insurance elsewhere.

In other words, Stewart Mills wants people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance. He just prefers a different method of getting people with PECs that coverage.

The DCCC said that Mills wants “to deny care to people with-pre-existing conditions.” That’s verifiably false. Period.

The title to PoliGraph’s article is “DCCC Mills claim half wrong, half right”. The article’s accurate title should be “DCCC Mills claim almost entirely wrong.” Mills didn’t take thousands of dollars from health insurance companies and he doesn’t want to deny health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions.

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This AP article lists early the type of messaging we’ll hear from Gov. Dayton and the DFL:

For Democrats, back-to-school week brings a chance to brag about the launch of statewide all-day kindergarten where parents aren’t hit with fees or school districts don’t have to absorb costs of the extra classroom time. Over the next month, thousands of homeowners, renters and farmers will receive property tax refund checks from the state because of expanded eligibility and new money the Democratic-led Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton designated for those programs.

That’s the glass-half-full version. Unfortunately, it omits some important details.

One of those details is how they paid for ‘free’ all-day kindergarten and the property tax refunds. Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature paid for them by raising taxes on small business owners. Those entrepreneurs, in turn, paid for those taxes by laying people off, then hiring part-time employees who make half what the full-time employees made. That’s before factoring in the part-time employees’ loss of benefits.

The proof is already appearing. After the Dayton-DFL tax increases kicked in, job creation dropped dramatically. That drop wasn’t coincidental. Thus far this year, Minnesota’s economy created a pathetic 2,900 jobs. I’ll be perfectly clear. Minnesota’s economy isn’t creating 2,900 jobs each month. This year, it’s created 2,900 jobs.

In July, 4,200 jobs disappeared from Minnesota’s economy. Another 3,600 jobs were trimmed from June’s jobs report. That’s before talking about Minnesota’s revenues falling dramatically short of what’s needed to balance Minnesota’s budget. July’s revenues fell $69,000,000 short of what’s needed to balance the budget.

That means the Dayton-DFL deficit is speeding its way in our direction. It isn’t a matter of if we’ll have a deficit in 2015. It’s a matter of how big the Dayton-DFL deficit will be and how we’ll fix the Dayton-DFL disaster.

Hopefully, we’ll start by firing the incompetents who created this mess. That starts with terminating Gov. Dayton and demoting Speaker Thissen to Minority Leader Thissen. Next, it means spending less by spending money only on the things we need, not the things that the DFL’s special interest puppeteers push.

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said the fact five of the past six monthly revenue reports have come in below the mark spells trouble. “They’ve taken a recovery and turned it into a flat-line at best,” Daudt said of Democrats. “It’s not me looking for a storm cloud. It’s an absolute fact and the realities of the policies they’ve put in place not working.”

Gov. Dayton and the DFL are bragging about the great Minnesota economy. Great economies, however, produce revenues that create surpluses, not deficits. The Dayton-DFL deficit is proof that Minnesota’s economy isn’t working.

Republicans aren’t happy with the state of Minnesota’s economy. They’re upset that the Dayton-DFL economy is failing hard-working Minnesotans. Republicans want to change directions so Minnesota’s economy can grow. That starts with getting PolyMet a reality. The jolt of revenues that will produce will balance Minnesota’s budget while lifting thousands of Minnesotans out of unemployment, poverty or both.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL have highlighted Minnesota’s relatively low unemployment rate. I explained in this post why the unemployment rate doesn’t prove the economy’s strength:

For the last 3+ years, the unemployment rate has been next-to-worthless as a benchmark of economic vitality. That’s because millions of people (literally) nationwide have quit looking for work, thereby artificially lowering the nation’s unemployment rate.

Another reason why the unemployment rate has become unreliable in terms of how strong the economy is is the number of people who’ve had their hours cut thanks to Obamacare. These are known as 29ers.

A person who is working a part-time low-paying job looks the same on the monthly jobs report as the employee who worked a high-paying full-time job a year ago. And there are lots of people working 2 part-time jobs who were making lots of money at their full-time jobs.

The Dayton-DFL deficit is speeding our direction. The Dayton-DFL jobs bust is already manifesting itself. Creating 2,900 jobs in 7 months is pathetic.

The question is whether voters will appreciate a handful of freebies more than they hate Minnesota’s struggling economy.

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This article shows that Senate Democrats are in a pickle across the nation:

The race to defeat one of the most powerful Democrats in the nation is narrowing, with incumbent U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin just seven percentage points ahead of Republican challenger Jim Oberweis, according to a new Early & Often Poll.

In a year that’s expected to tilt toward Republicans across the nation, Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the U.S. Senate, is leading Oberweis, who is making his third run for the Senate, 47.8 percent to 40.5 percent, the survey commissioned by the Sun-Times’ political portal shows.

Oberweis still faces an uphill fight. Still, something strange is happening in Illinois. Whatever that something is isn’t good news for Democrats. In the governor’s race, Republican Bruce Rauner leads Democrat incumbent Pat Quinn by 7 points in the latest RealClearPolitics average.

If Sen. Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, is fighting to reach 50%, then anti-Democrat angst isn’t just real. It’s spreading to states that we didn’t expect. Nobody thought Tom Harkin’s seat was in play when he announced his retirement. As of this morning, Republican Joni Ernst leads gaffe-prone Democrat Bruce Braley.

This information shows that Dick Durbin’s supposed strength has morphed into Dick Durbin’s potential weakness:

One of Durbin’s biggest weaknesses? The amount of time he’s spent in Washington.

Of those surveyed, 60 percent responded they were less likely to vote for a U.S. Senate candidate who had served in Washington, in the Senate and Congress, for 31 years. However, 39 percent said they were either more likely to vote for such a candidate or that it made no difference.

Apparently, people aren’t satisfied with Durbin ‘bringing home the bacon’. Apparently, they think it’s important for him to actually get important things done.

Based on this exchange, this race will get nasty:

Holmes was referencing Americas PAC, which has funded radio ads attacking Durbin.

“The question is what will be his next big lie?” Holmes said, accusing Oberweis’ campaign of concocting an issue of pay inequity “an IRS conspiracy, asking us to return donations from the Bush era. There is a string of mistruths that Dan Curry and the Jim Oberweis campaign are painting. The facts just don’t add up.”

Oberweis campaign spokesman Dan Curry, however, called the numbers indicative of a fed-up electorate.

“Career politicians like Dick Durbin are starting to drown in the backwash of their failed policies. The public is tired of excuses and blame shifting,” Curry responded in a statement. “They want more jobs, a better economy, better schools and safer neighborhoods, not what they are getting from Dick Durbin.”

Truthfully, I didn’t expect this race to suddenly be competitive. I’m still a little skeptical of it. Still, if it’s competitive, Democrats won’t like this election’s results.

The more Republicans expand the map of competitive Senate races, the greater their chances of demoting Harry Reid.

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Sunday morning, Ember Reichgott-Junge repeated the chanting point she recited Friday night. On @ Issue With Tom Hauser, Ms. Reichgott-Junge characterized Minnesota’s economy as strong, which it clearly isn’t.

An economy that just saw 4,200 jobs disappear in July isn’t strong. An economy where revenues came in 6.6% short of the state’s projection isn’t strong. An economy where the unemployment rate for an entire region of the state is 64.3% higher than the statewide average isn’t a strong economy.

This confirms the DFL’s metrocentric focus. It also confirms the fact that the DFL’s policies are designed to promote metro growth, not outstate growth. Twin Cities businesses don’t worry about regulations. Rural businesses, however, worry about regulations every day. Regulations are what’s suppressing the Iron Range economy.

Ms. Reichgott-Junge hasn’t factored those things into her calculations. The Twin Cities’ unemployment rate is 4,92%. It isn’t surprising that she either didn’t know or didn’t care that Grand Rapids’ unemployment rate for January was 11.6%, that February’s unemployment rate was 11.9% and that March’s unemployment rate was 11.2%. That’s more than twice as high as the statewide average.

I triple dog dare a DFL politician to explain how that type of chronic unemployment is proof of a vibrant, expanding economy. For the last 3+ years, the unemployment rate has been next-to-worthless as a benchmark of economic vitality. That’s because millions of people (literally) nationwide have quit looking for work, thereby artificially lowering the nation’s unemployment rate.

Another reason why the unemployment rate has become unreliable in terms of how strong the economy is is the number of people who’ve had their hours cut thanks to Obamacare. These are known as 29ers.

Minnesota hasn’t been immune from these trends. There are lots of people who’ve quit looking for work. The workforce participation rate is on the verge of dropping below 70% for the first time since October, 1980. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, aka DEED, the percentage of people who are underemployed is almost 50%.

When people quit looking for work, that’s proof the economy isn’t vibrant. If they’re working a part-time job in the hospitality industry after being a manager in a manufacturing company, that’s proof that the economy isn’t producing the high-paying jobs Minnesotans need to pay their bills.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL chanting puppets will undoubtedly keep chanting that Minnesota’s economy is strong. That’s their choice. It just isn’t the truth.

The workforce participation rate is proof of a stagnant economy. The fact that Minnesota’s economy has created only 2,900 jobs in 2014 is proof of a stagnant (or worse) economy. The fact that a major part of the state (the Iron Range) is suffering through a higher-than-normal unemployment rate (8.02%) is proof that the policies passed by the DFL legislature and implemented by Gov. Dayton aren’t working.

The revenues that Gov. Dayton and the DFL need to come in to balance the budget aren’t coming in. In July, revenues fell $69,000,000 short of projections. Thus far this year, revenues have fallen short of projection in 5 of the 6 months we have statistics for. The Dayton-DFL economy is heading towards the Dayton-DFL deficit.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL are satisfied with an economy where unemployment rates are artificially low and stagnant wages and part-time jobs are real.

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President Potter’s spin is non-stop. Maura Lerner’s article is just the latest edition of President Potter’s spin:

He said that colleges across the nation are struggling with similar challenges, including declining numbers of high school seniors. “The whole country is going through this,” he said. “Enrollments are down across the country.”

President Potter, name another university that’s seen its FYE (Full Year Equivalent) enrollment shrink by one-fourth over the past 5 years. While you might find another university or two who’ve seen that type of drop, it certainly isn’t common like President Potter insists.

This statement is frightening:

“What we’re trying to do is right-size and figure out what’s the appropriate size for St. Cloud State University,” he said. “It does not mean getting bigger and bigger. That’s not our future.”

Think about that. SCSU is trying to “right-size” but they’re still trying to “figure out what’s the appropriate size” for SCSU? Whether it’s a major corporation or a major university, major changes require thoughtful planning. Saying that SCSU is “right-sizing” isn’t credible without them first stating what a right-sized university looks like. It’s like saying you have a goal, which you’ll announce when you’ve achieved that goal.

The idea behind announcing a major plan is that it gives people a sense of direction and purpose. Saying that ‘we’re changing’ without giving details of how you’re changing is like inviting people to your house without giving them your address or directions.

What corporation could survive with that type of leadership? What board of directors would accept that type of rudderless direction?

Here’s more of President Potter’s spin:

This week, President Earl Potter sent out an all-campus e-mail saying that the school is projecting a 4 to 5 percent drop in enrollment this fall. That follows a 10 percent decline over the previous four years.

I don’t think Earl realizes he’s mixed headcount enrollment with FYE enrollment. I don’t think he cares that he’s mixing them. What he’s done, however, is said that the trend is getting worse. If enrollment has dropped by 10% over 4 years, that’s a per year drop of 2.5%. This year, however, that drop, according to President Potter’s admission, will be 5%, twice the rate of the previous 4 years.

Admitting that you don’t know what a right-sized SCSU looks like is frightening. Admitting that enrollment is dropping at a higher rate now than when enrollment started dropping and that you don’t know what a right-sized SCSU looks like is essentially admitting you don’t know what your goal is.

That isn’t leadership. That’s what flying by the seat of your pants looks like.

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At a DNC fundraiser in New York last night, President Obama said that the world isn’t falling apart, it’s just that social media is making him look bad:

President Obama on Friday said social media and the nightly news are partly to blame for the sense that “the world is falling apart.”

“I can see why a lot of folks are troubled,” Obama told a group of donors gathered at a Democratic National Committee barbecue in Purchase, N.Y. But the president said that current foreign policy crises across the world are not comparable to the challenges the U.S. faced during the Cold War.

There’s no question that social media spreads the news around quickly. That doesn’t explain away the multitude of crises that’ve started during President Obama’s administration or the threat posed by ISIL.

President Putin doesn’t take him seriously. At best, the Obama administration is an afterthought to Putin. America’s allies don’t trust us because of amateurish moves like dissing allies like Egypt in attempting to broker a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians.

Egypt and the UAE hit Libyan targets without informing the Obama administration:

CAIRO — Twice in the last seven days, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have secretly launched airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya, four senior American officials said, in a major escalation of a regional power struggle set off by Arab Spring revolts.

The United States, the officials said, was caught by surprise: Egypt and the Emirates, both close allies and military partners, acted without informing Washington, leaving the Obama administration on the sidelines. Egyptian officials explicitly denied to American diplomats that their military played any role in the operation, the officials said, in what appeared a new blow to already strained relations between Washington and Cairo.

America’s enemies don’t fear us. Iran and Russia laugh at the Obama administration. Putin keeps trying to rebuild the former Soviet empire and Iran continues on its path to a nuclear weapon.

Worst of all, ISIL is the biggest terrorist threat in history. They’re exceptionally well-financed. They have a military capable of dominating the Arabian Peninsula. They’re training fighters who have European and/or American passports.

No, Mr. President, it isn’t that social media is spotlighting the usual things. It’s that they’re highlighting your administration’s multitude of mistakes. Mr. President, there’s wide consensus that your administration is the worst foreign policy/national security administration since WWII.

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Former DFL legislators on Friday night’s Almanac Roundtable panel exemplified the best definition of DFL shovel-ready jobs. I’m betting they didn’t notice but Ember Reichgott-Junge and Mindy Greiling talked themselves into circles, thanks in large part to Amy Koch’s spot on analysis of the state of Minnesota’s economy.

Sen. Koch rightly highlighted the fact that, while Minnesota’s unemployment rate was low, Minnesota’s economy was still underperforming. Prior to her observation, Ms. Reichgott-Junge talked about how Minnesota’s economy was strong and that the unemployment rate was lower than the national average.

That’s when Sen. Koch said that, despite the low unemployment rate, people aren’t feeling good about the recovery because many Minnesotans are working 2 jobs and their wages don’t equal what they used to make. Sen. Koch then talked about the woman with an MBA working “as a barista at Starbucks” isn’t feeling the recovery. She said that, “while being a barista is a fine job”, the woman with the MBA would rather be working in her area of expertise.

At that moment, Rep. Greiling jumped in, saying that “that’s why I think Democrats will get credit for raising the minimum wage.” She explained that people will be grateful for getting a pay raise so they can pay their bills.

Summarizing this exchange up, Ms. Reichgott-Junge insisted that Minnesota’s economy is going gangbusters even though women with MBAs are working a part-time job at half the wages they made when they were working in their career path. Never fear, said Rep. Greiling. Those women should be greatful that these women with MBAs who used to make $25/hr. who had to accept a job paying $7.25/hr. are now making $8.00/hr.

Nothing says recovery like getting a 75-cent/hr. pay hike at a part-time job after making $25/hr. in a full-time job in your career field.

Sen. Reichgott-Junge insists that Minnesota’s economy is a source of pride for the DFL, then Rep. Greiling chips in by saying that people that got displaced from their high-paying, full-time jobs can now find part-time work that pays them the new minimum wage.

Give these DFLers credit. They brought their shovels to the set Friday night. They were prepared to spread the DFL’s bullshit of economic prosperity no matter how many circles they talked themselves into.

The reality is that the Dayton-DFL economy is flailing and failing. It’s ‘working’ in the Twin Cities because 21,523 new government jobs are mostly located there. It’s failing in outstate Minnesota, where job creation has been minimal, if not non-existent.

Why shouldn’t voters in Alexandria, Brainerd, Willmar, Redwood Falls, Park Rapids, Bemidji, Thief River Falls, Moorhead and the Iron Range vote against the DFL? They aren’t better off now than they were 4 years ago. In fact, Iron Rangers are significantly worse off now, thanks mostly to the environmental activist wing of the DFL.

It’s time for Republicans to start talking about the DFL’s economic failures. It’s time they started highlighting the fact that Minnesota’s economy is stagnating. The Dayton-DFL deficit is a matter of when, not if.

The Dayton-DFL policies are hurting private sector, outstate job creation. The Twin Cities are doing ok but the rest of the state is hurting. Apparently, that’s how Gov. Dayton and the DFL measure success.

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