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Two weeks ago, I published this post that highlighted this video, which focused on education:

Here’s the transcript of that video:

I think a lot of Minnesotans don’t know what Jeff Johnson stands for. It seems like schools are not Jeff Johnson’s priority. Jeff Johnson cut early childhood spending. That really bothers me. Any cuts to that would be devastating for our family. Our kids are our future so how could you do that? I would hate to see Minnesota take a step backwards in education. Students in the state of Minnesota deserve far better than that. I trust Mark Dayton. We think Gov. Dayton is the right choice for moving Minnesota’s schools forward.

Now that ad, which is paid for by the Alliance for More Powerful Unions, aka the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, is running constantly. I said in the original post that everything in the ad was about spending. It definitely didn’t focus on teacher accountability.

I doubt that many Minnesotans object to the thought of having qualified teachers in every high school classroom in Minnesota. The only people who’d object to that are Education Minnesota, Gov. Dayton and Zach Dorholt. That isn’t a cheapshot, either. In 2011, the GOP legislature passed a bill requiring high school math and science teachers to pass a basic skills test. Gov. Dayton signed that bill. After the 2012 election, and with an all-DFL government in St. Paul, Education Minnesota called in their biggest chit. Education Minnesota told the DFL legislature and Gov. Dayton that the basic skills test had to be repealed. ASAP.

Despite their public statements, Education Minnesota isn’t about putting highly qualified teachers in every classroom. Education Minnesota is about representing the best interests of their members, nothing more, nothing less.

The tip that voters should notice is the couple saying that they trust Gov. Dayton. What they’re saying is that they’re either steadfastly pro-union or they’re totally uninformed voters who’ve bought the Dayton campaign’s spin.

Though the ad touts Gov. Dayton’s support of Education Minnesota, it could tout Zach Dorholt’s support of Education Minnesota. When it comes to supporting everything on the public employees unions’ wish list, nobody gets higher grades than Zach Dorholt. Or Gov. Dayton. Or Speaker Thissen. Or Mike Nelson. Or any other DFL legislator.

The reality is that the DFL legislature is a subsidiary of the special interests.

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It isn’t likely that you’ll hear Denise Specht criticize Jeff Johnson’s plan to audit every government agency, though you might hear Specht rail against teacher testing. Scott Leitz isn’t publicly complaining about Jim Noble’s audit of MNsure but that’s mostly because whining about it won’t sit well with the public.

MNsure is a mismanagement disaster. The website doesn’t work. The vast majority of health insurance renewals through MNsure will be processed manually. Most importantly, MNsure is costing Minnesota’s taxpayers untold millions of dollars by putting children on Medicaid whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid. There’s even proof that the Minnesota Department of Human Services knew about this but didn’t fix the problem.

The Department of Human Services also isn’t doing oversight on the nonprofits it’s giving grants to. That’s why Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis shut its doors. It didn’t help that politicians like Jeff Hayden and Keith Ellison didn’t pay attention to how Community Action was misspending tens of thousands of dollars on cruises, spa treatments and weekend getaways.

The last thing a bureaucrat wants is accountability from his or her supervisor. They just prefer getting their agency’s budget increased each year without being audited. That’s why they fought hard against creating King Banaian’s Sunset Advisory Commission.

Jeff Johnson is a bureaucrat’s worst nightmare. He’s actually highlighted governments when they foolishly spend the taxpayers’ money. Football fans know that offensive linemen don’t get noticed until they commit a penalty or until the man they’re supposed to block hits the quarterback. The principle is the same for bureaucrats. They aren’t noticed until they’re caught in a scandal.

Jeff Johnson isn’t opposed to government. He’s part of it. He’s just opposed to government that opposes accountability. He’s opposed to that type of government thinking because it bothers him when the taxpayers’ money isn’t spent wisely.

Like most DFL politicians, Gov. Dayton doesn’t pay attention to how money is spent. When Jeff Johnson first said that government agencies should be audited, Gov. Dayton criticized Commissioner Johnson for essentially stereotyping people who receive government assistance. When KSTP discovered that Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis was spending money on cruises, spa treatments and weekend getaways, Gov. Dayton’s tune changed instantly and dramatically.

I don’t want a governor who specializes in cleaning up messes after the fact. I’d prefer a governor that puts policies in place that prevent messes from being created in the first place.

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Jeff Johnson is taking the fight to Gov. Dayton, this time in Virginia, MN:

Johnson has been a persistent critic of MNsure created under Gov. Dayton. But his opposition reached a new and higher level when PreferredOne, which had 60 percent of the MNsure market pulled out for business reasons.

Johnson even alluded to a possibility that Dayton’s Department of Commerce may have allowed PreferredOne to participate in MNsure even though it couldn’t sustain the low rates. “The Commerce Department’s role is to make sure that the rates are actuarially sound. It doesn’t appear that they were,” Johnson said more than a week ago when PreferredOne left the exchange.

PreferredOne’s decision to not participate in MNsure is a big deal because it’ll mean higher insurance premiums. PreferredOne left MNsure because it was a bureaucratic nightmare, which meant PreferredOne couldn’t make a profit. Commissioner Johnson’s statement must’ve hit a nerve with the Dayton campaign, which released this statement:

Dayton has admitted mistakes with MNsure and has shown his displeasure with its rollout. But the governor’s campaign fired back over Johnson’s allegation of possible political tinkering with the state Commerce Department.

“Commissioner Johnson’s accusations that the governor engaged in illegal activity are unfounded and untrue. We will not dignify Commissioner Johnson’s smear attempt with any response,” a statement from the campaign said.

That’s right. The Dayton administration has never broken. Except when they illegally put people on Medicaid:

We first reported Tuesday the Minnesota Legislative Auditor was investigating complaints that MNsure was placing people incorrectly on Medicaid. Now, we have emails between Minnesota House Research staff and the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) that show state officials and MNsure have known about this problem since January of this year.

Mike Franklin is one of those people. Franklin and his wife combined make more than the $65,000 limit for dependent children to qualify for Medicaid, yet Franklin says he received notice from MNsure that his children had been placed on Medicaid without his consent. Franklin says he even received notices that Medicaid had paid some medical bills for his two children, even after he asked MNsure to discontinue the coverage because he did not qualify. Franklin says it took six months and action by an Administrative Judge to discontinue the Medicaid policy.

That’s right. Gov. Dayton’s Department of Human Services knew that Gov. Dayton’s MNsure was illegally putting children on Medicaid even though their parents made too much for the children to qualify for Medicaid.

That’s the definition of breaking the law. It isn’t just that the Dayton administration broke the law. It’s that the administration knew that they’d broken the law and sat silent, at least publicly.

That means that the Dayton campaign’s statement that Gov. Dayton didn’t engage in illegal activity is 100% spin. Jeff Johnson accused Gov. Dayton’s administration of breaking the law. Jeff Johnson didn’t accuse Gov. Dayton of personally breaking the law.

The important point is that MNsure is a failure that’s hurting lots of Minnesota families. Insurance premiums will increase this fall. The only thing undetermined is by how much they’ll jump. It’s a fact that MNsure will be a disaster for people trying to renew their policies. It’s a fact that people who are trying to add babies to their coverage are being asked by MNsure if their newborn baby is married.

In other words, it isn’t just that the Dayton administration is utterly incompetent. It’s also verified truth that the Dayton administration has broken the law.

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Gov. Dayton’s MNsure problems just got bigger. KSTP’s investigation into MNsure has led them to “emails between Minnesota House Research staff and the Minnesota Department of Health” that show state officials and MNsure have known that MNsure was placing people incorrectly on Medicaid:

Internal emails obtained by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS show MNsure and other state officials were aware people who made too much money were placed on Medicaid, which is for low-income people.

We first reported Tuesday the Minnesota Legislative Auditor was investigating complaints that MNsure was placing people incorrectly on Medicaid. Now, we have emails between Minnesota House Research staff and the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) that show state officials and MNsure have known about this problem since January of this year.

Mike Franklin is one of those people. Franklin and his wife combined make more than the $65,000 limit for dependent children to qualify for Medicaid, yet Franklin says he received notice from MNsure that his children had been placed on Medicaid without his consent. Franklin says he even received notices that Medicaid had paid some medical bills for his two children, even after he asked MNsure to discontinue the coverage because he did not qualify. Franklin says it took six months and action by an Administrative Judge to discontinue the Medicaid policy.

Now that we know what happened, it’s time to find out why this happened. Why would MNsure and the Department of Human Services knowingly put the Franklin’s children into Medicaid when they should’ve been put on the Franklins’ private insurance policy?

Why wouldn’t MNsure and the Department of Human Services want people on private insurance plans? More importantly, why would MNsure and/or Minnesota’s Department of Human Services obey the law? The $65,000 limit isn’t a suggestion. It’s the law. Don’t Lucinda Jesson and Scott Leitz think that the laws pertain to them? Is it that they think that they know what’s best?

DHS declined an interview request and issued this statement: “We are closing cases (Medicaid) every day and will continue to do so.”

TRANSLATION: We’ll obey the law the minute we’re caught.

The Dayton era of mismanagement and corruption keeps rumbling along.

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After fleecing taxpayers, Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis has shut its doors:

DHS auditors accused the corporation of spending more than it helped. The state wants Community Action Minneapolis to repay more than $850,000 in grant money that was spent incorrectly. The audit showed more than $200,000 paid for unallowable costs like cruises, golf trips and alcohol. William Davis, the Chief Executive Officer, is accused of receiving an excessive bonus and spending thousands on a personal car loan.

Initially, Davis tried rationalizing the expenditures:

Auditors blamed Community Action’s board, which includes several well-known politicians and community leaders, for a lack of oversight and for personally benefiting from $34,892 worth of activities that “do not appear to serve a business purpose, and are considered waste and abuse as defined in state policy.”

Those activities included two weekend trips, between 2011 and 2013, to Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, where board members and senior management spent $9,000 for lodging, $3,200 for food and $900 for spas.

Davis defended the trips as a “small gesture on our part to offer them a moment of relaxation or entertainment. It’s not like we do this every single week of the year.”

What’s telling is that Davis didn’t think he’d done anything wrong. The only thing more appalling than Davis attempting to rationalize his reckless spending was Gov. Dayton’s statement denying that something like this could happen:

Initially, Mark Dayton responded to Jeff Johnson’s call for an extensive audit of NPOs by saying “The decades-old accusation that Minnesota government recklessly wastes money on people who are poor, sick, or elderly is unfair and unfounded.”

Later, Dayton backtracked quickly:

Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday said that a Star Tribune report of a nonprofit using state funds to subsidize cruises, a director’s car lease and spa treatments was very concerning and alarming. “I was personally really appalled,” Dayton said. “I take it very seriously.”

Let’s revise Gov. Dayton’s statement. Gov. Dayton was “personally really appalled” the minute he thought that the fiasco might damage him politically. Prior to that, he pretended that Community Action was totally trustworthy.

The truth, I’m afraid, is that Gov. Dayton knew about this audit prior to the story going public. Since the Strib article was published, DHS has tried pushing the notion that they should get credit for spotting this during their audit of the organization. Gov. Dayton can’t first say that he’s surprised by this, then say that his administration spotted this during an audit.

I’ve never bought into Gov. Dayton’s I-didn’t-know-about-[Fill in the blank] schtick. I’ve always thought that he used that gambit to get through a politically embarrassing situation. See FarmFest. The DFL legislature should’ve taken their oversight responsibilities seriously. Then again, with tons of prominent DFL politicians and activists on Community Action’s board, it probably didn’t take much to get them to look the other way.

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I’ve written several posts highlighting the fact that the DFL won’t stop yapping about Minnesota’s supposedly great economy. See here, here and here. Though this article won’t prevent the DFL’s spinmeisters from telling everyone within earshot that Minnesota’s economy is fantastic, it gives me this chart to prove the DFL spinmeisters wrong:

The key statistic to pay attention to is the 1 year change percentage in terms of private sector jobs created. The number of private sector jobs in Minnesota grew by a pathetic .8% over the past 12 months. That’s the worst in the Midwest. The other noteworthy stat is that the 2-year change for Minnesota is 2.9%. That means job growth in Minnesota totally stagnated in the last year. That’s the direct result of the Dayton-DFL policies put in place in 2013.

The DFL’s statements that the Dayton-DFL economy is flying high aren’t substantiated by the facts. Let’s remember, too, that 21,523 of the jobs created by the Dayton-DFL economy are government jobs. That isn’t proof of a healthy economy. That’s just proof that the DFL’s default position is growing government.

The DFL has spent the last 3 years fighting amongst itself on whether they should create mining jobs or if they should fight the creation of mining jobs. The anti-mining wing of the DFL, unfortunately, is the dominant wing of the DFL. Part of that wing of the DFL is located in the Arrowhead and Duluth. Most of the people who fit into the anti-mining wing of the DFL live in the Twin Cities.

At some point, the Iron Range will wise up and realize that the DFL isn’t their home. I hope this is the year that the pro-mining activists choose to vote for the no-excuses pro-mining party. They’re known as the Republican Party of Minnesota. Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jeff Johnson’s campaign is highlighting what’s been happening with the Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis fiasco. This time, the Johnson campaign highlights Gov. Dayton’s past statements about the Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis:

Johnson has proposed performance and fiscal audits of all state programs, beginning with human services programs, to determine which ones work and which ones are a waste of taxpayers dollars. In a September 14 Star Tribune story on Johnson’s audit proposal, Mark Dayton said: “The decades-old accusation that Minnesota government recklessly wastes money on people who are poor, sick, or elderly is unfair and unfounded.”

Actually, Gov. Dayton, Commissioner Johnson’s statement is accurate. Since Gov. Dayton made that ill-advised statement, he’s changed his perspective:

“It’s incredibly ironic that, after criticizing my plan to audit all state programs—beginning with human services programs—this egregious waste of taxpayer dollars has surfaced,” Johnson added. “My audit plan is clearly needed, and Mark Dayton is clearly out-of-touch.”

Actually, Dayton’s statements aren’t as much out-of-touch as they are a predictable defense of liberalism. The most important principle behind liberalism and budgeting is that every penny ever appropriated is forever justified. In fact, in 2007, the DFL legislature fought to have inflation calculated into the budget:

That’s bad enough but Democrats pushing to install “an automatic inflator put into the calculation of the state budget forecast” ain’t gonna fly. This is something that should be rejected before it’s ever proposed. There should be a public outcry against this type of reckless spending. We should recognize this scheme for what it is: an attempt to codify into law liberalism’s dream of ever-increasing taxing and spending.

The thought that government was spending money foolishly was the farthest thing from the DFL’s mind. I had multiple arguments with liberal commenters about that at the time. Gov. Dayton certainly would’ve agreed with the principles behind baseline budgeting, which is based on the thought that budgets must increase each year.

That’s the principle behind not spotting the mismanagement seen in the Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis fiasco. The DFL thinks that budgets should increase each year. Therefore, in the DFL’s thinking, auditing special interest organizations that get government grant money isn’t needed.

“I’m very troubled by and tired of Mark Dayton’s continuous pattern of creating or contributing to problems and then trying to claim credit for fixing them after the damage is done,” Johnson said. “Today, for the second time this week, Dayton’s DHS has employed its ‘arsonist with a fire hose’ strategy. Dayton’s ties to the leaders of Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis are numerous, and if he and his DHS commissioner were competent and aware of what’s happening, they would have discovered these issues long ago, without a tip from a whistleblower.”

It’s one thing for Gov. Dayton and the DFL to propose spending more money. It’s quite different, though, for Gov. Dayton and the DFL to initially pretend that money is being spent wisely, then expressing outrage once it’s proven that the money is getting spent foolishly.

It’s unacceptable that the all-DFL government didn’t care about Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis until it became a political liability. It’s better to be proactive in preventing these fiascos than to clean up the mess after the fact.

Jeff Johnson’s audit plan will identify organizations and agencies that are spending money foolishly. There’s no question that Jeff Johnson will implement proactive policies to prevent these things from happening. There’s no doubt that Gov. Dayton has operated government with a clean-up-the-mess-after-the-fact attitude.

It’s time Minnesota took a proactive approach to protecting the taxpayers. Only Jeff Johnson will bring that approach to governing. Gov. Dayton certainly hasn’t.

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After reading Pat Kessler’s Reality Check article, I thought a test of Reality Check’s statements were in order. Let’s start here:

“A few years ago, things in Minnesota weren’t going very well,” says the narrator, a thick-Minnesota accented hockey player. “So we got a new coach.” In fact, Gov. Dayton won re-election after Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty decided not to run again.

But the ad accurately describes an economic turnaround. “We’ve added over 150,000 new jobs and have one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation,” according to the ad.

It’s true.

Let’s check whether that 150,000 jobs figure is accurate. Bill Glahn’s post is the definitive source on Minnesota’s job creation statistics. Here’s what Mr. Glahn said:

Let’s start with the 150,000 jobs claim. There is simply no support for that figure. Based on data at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, if you give Dayton credit for the high-water mark for jobs while he has held office (May 2014) and subtract the employment level from before his election (October 2010) you get only 111,626 net jobs created, a far cry from 150,000.

More to the point, if you take today’s figure (July 2014) and subtract the figure prior to his inauguration (December 2010) you get only 96,515, less than 2/3 of the amount claimed by ABM.

Mr. Glahn even created this graphic to quantify his statements:

Glahn’s graphic shows that the 150,000 jobs figure is a myth and that most of those jobs were created before the DFL took total control of state government. In fact, more jobs were created in 2011 than have been created in 2013-2014 combined.

Let’s summarize. First, the 150,000 figure isn’t accurate. It’s off by, at minimum, 35,000 and by 50,000 in the worst case scenario. Next, it’s dishonest for Gov. Dayton to take credit for the jobs created because job creation ground to a screeching halt when the all-DFL government budget went into effect.

I’d give this section a C- because the statistics are off and because it’s misleading.

The ad continues: “Cut taxes while increasing our rainy-day fund and investing in education.”

This is also true. The DFL governor and legislature did cut taxes for middle-income earners. But they also passed a $2 billion tax hike on Minnesota’s highest earners: workers who earn above $250,000 a year.

Actually, that’s misleading, too. Raising taxes and fees by $2,400,000,000, then repealing $508,000,000 worth of the tax hikes they just passed isn’t cutting taxes. It’s reducing the size of the original all-DFL government tax increase.

Finally, I’d add that Gov. Dayton’s job creation figures deserve an asterisk. Minnesota’s economy created almost 60,000 jobs before the Dayton-DFL budget went into effect. The Dayton-DFL budget passed in 2013 is the budget he wanted to pass in 2011. Had Gov. Dayton’s budget gone into effect in 2011, it’s quite possible that Minnesota’s economy would’ve created far fewer jobs. (Yes, I realize that that’s an opinion but it’s worthy of consideration.)

I’d give this section a D+ because it omits the important information that much of the imaginary Dayton-DFL tax cut is the repeal of major portions of the Dayton-DFL tax increase.

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The Land Rights Network of the American Land Rights Association issued this statement this morning:

Groups Blast Minnesota Congressman Nolan on EPA Vote

Property rights groups are harshly criticizing MN 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan for his recent vote against a bill designed to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial 88-page proposed regulations that would dramatically expand federal control over the nation’ s lands and water.

The bill (H.R. 5078) passed the House of Representatives on a 262-153 bi-partisan vote. Minnesota democrats Collin Peterson and Tim Walz voted with the three Republican members of the MN delegation.
Congressman Nolan voted with the two metropolitan Democrats in opposing the bill.

The bill, if it becomes law, would block EPA’s regulatory proposal, which many are claiming is the biggest federal land and water power grab in history. The bill provides an opportunity for EPA to restart the process requiring formal federal agency consultation with state and local officials.

Chuck Cushman, founder and executive director of the American Land Rights Association said this issue has been a top priority for his organization since Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar introduced the Clean Water Restoration Act in 2007. That bill failed to gain congressional approval and became a defining issue in the defeat of Oberstar in 2010.

“Now EPA is trying to drastically increase federal land and water controls under the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act by going around Congress,” said Cushman. “A vote for H.R. 5078 should have been a no-brainer, especially for a northern Minnesota Congressman. Representative Nolan either doesn’t get it, or he’s beholden to the radical environmental lobby,” he added.

Cushman and Don Parmeter, a northern Minnesota native, led a successful national grassroots campaign to defeat the Oberstar bill beginning in 2007. Parmeter is co-founder of the National Water & Conservation Alliance, and is acting chairman of MnPure, a new statewide property rights group established to restore property rights and ensure access to and use of public lands and waters.

Parmeter said he was surprised and disappointed by Nolan’s vote. “Perhaps more than any other congressional district in the country, people in Minnesota’s 8th district have been national leaders in advancing successful local alternatives to federal top-down initiatives,” said Parmeter. “Local, grassroots alternatives are more lasting, less costly and more consistent with constitutional principles,” he added. “It appears that Congressman Nolan is extremely out of touch with his constituents on this issue. This issue is not about the environment, it’s about governance.”

The history of the water jurisdiction debate in Minnesota goes back to the 1950’s. Then Congressman John Blatnik, Oberstar’s predecessor, authored a federal water bill as chairman of the powerful Public Works Committee. In vetoing the bill, President Dwight Eisenhower had this to say: “The principal responsibility for protecting the quality of our waters must be exercised where it naturally reposes–at the local level.”

And in 1995, the Minnesota Legislature approved a state water rights statute with strong, bi-partisan support. Prominent northern Minnesota Democrats authored and co-authored that bill, including former Speaker of the House Irv Anderson, former Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee Bob Lessard, and current Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk.

This calls into question whether Rep. Nolan actually supports mining or if his positioning on PolyMet is just his playing politics to get past Stewart Mills. This sentence tells me that it’s Nolan playing politics:

Property rights groups are harshly criticizing MN 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan for his recent vote against a bill designed to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial 88-page proposed regulations that would dramatically expand federal control over the nation’ s lands and water.

This is in step with the late Jim Oberstar’s ACCWA legislation. ACCWA is the acronym for America’s Commitment to the Clean Water Act. That bill would’ve essentially given the federal government, starting with the EPA, virtual total control of water in the United States.

I know that sounds the ranting of a fanatic but it’s fact:

The “waters of the U.S.” issue is back. H. R. 5088, America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act (ACCWA), was recently introduced by House Committee of Transportation Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.)

Like Oberstar’s previous bill, ACCWA does two things. First, it eliminates the term “navigable” from all sections of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The term “navigable waters of the U.S.” is used more than 80 times in the CWA. NACo continues to oppose the removal of “navigable” from the act, because of the danger its absence poses to years of hard-won jurisdictional parameters.

Second, ACCWA removes the reference to “activities affecting” those waters and redefines “waters of the U.S.” by using a hybrid of current agency regulatory definitions. While ACCWA uses language based on existing agency regulations for a “water of the U.S.,” it is not identical to existing regulations. Furthermore, certain sections of the existing regulations were deleted and new language was added to the “waters of the U.S.” definition in ACCWA.

If Nolan is still siding with the environmental activists’ agenda, why should people think he’s truly pro-mining? It’s impossible to please 2 masters.

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Tom Hauser’s Truth Test of Gov. Dayton’s ad might’ve gotten an A in accuracy if he hadn’t tried marketing himself as a tax cutter:

NARRATOR: Cut taxes while increasing our rainy day fund and investing in education.
HAUSER: It’s true that Gov. Dayton increased the rainy day fund and invested more in education but it’s false to say that Dayton cut taxes, so false that it nearly overwhelms everything else that’s true in this ad. In fact, Dayton and the DFL legislature raised taxes by $2,000,000,000 in the 2013 session. In 2014, they cut taxes $508,000,000, partially by repealing taxes that they’d increased the year before. So over those 2 years, there’s a net tax increase of $1,500,000,000.

Later in the segment, Hauser said that “He admits it. He ran for governor by promising he’d raise taxes.” I’ll repeat what I’ve said previously. Repealing taxes that you just raised and/or created isn’t a tax cut. It’s a reduction in the size of the tax increase.

Gov. Dayton’s first instinct, which is shared by House and Senate DFL leadership, is to propose raising taxes first, then submitting a mulligan budget later when political pressure mounts:

In 2011, Gov. Dayton proposed massive tax increases, including a top income tax bracket of 10.95% and a 3% surcharge for people making $1,000,000 or more. When the deficit forecast was revised down from $6,200,000,000 to $5,030,000,000, Gov. Dayton immediately dropped the income tax surcharge. Eventually, the GOP majority forced him to drop his tax increases.

Raising taxes won’t be Jeff Johnson’s first instinct. He’ll ride herd on bureaucrats that don’t have the taxpayers’ best interests at heart because that’s who he is:

The difference between Jeff Johnson and Gov. Dayton is stunning. Gov. Dayton starts with the assumption that every state agency should have its budget increased. Jeff Johnson doesn’t start with the assumption that agencies’ budgets should be automatically increased.

Jeff Johnson has a lengthy history as Hennepin County Commissioner of highlighting government spending money foolishly. He’ll continue that habit as governor.

Minnesota families don’t need a governor who raises taxes first, spends money foolishly second, then tells them that he’s cut taxes on the campaign trail. Minnesota families deserve a governor who’s proven that he’ll be the taxpayers’ watchdog.

Jeff Johnson is the only gubernatorial candidate who fits that last description.

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