Archive for the ‘DFL’ Category
This article highlights the fact that money isn’t everything in politics. According to statistics reported by Minnesota’s Campaign Finance Disclosure Board, “party groups and political action committees supporting DFL candidates outspent their Republican opponents in 2016, according to end-of-year finance statements that were due Tuesday with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board from every candidate, party and committee. Despite totals that far exceed recent elections and sometimes massive imbalances in spending, both seats went to Republicans on election night.”
In fact, the article said “Outside groups spent more than $588,000 in 2016 to support Jensen or bash Jasinski through TV, radio, print and online advertising and other support. The Minnesota DFL Central Committee alone spent $330,000 on pro-Jensen advertisements and another $105,000 against Jasinski. Despite such heavy spending, Jasinski won the vote 59 percent to Jensen’s 41 percent. Of course, Jasinski was not without his own third-party support. The Minnesota Action Network PAC and Freedom Club State PAC together spent almost $23,000 in his support and $128,400 against Jensen. Even so, the combined $150,700 spent on his behalf was barely a quarter of what was spent by Jensen supporters.”
This is proof that terrible candidates with a terrible message don’t automatically win. Apparently, that principle applies equally to national and local races. Hillary had tons of money and lost to President Trump. The point is that Democrats don’t have an appealing message. They have an organization that’s shrinking and some wealthy donors but that’s it. That’s as true in Minnesota as it is nationally.
Not far behind Senate District 24 in independent expenditures was House District 24B, in which Republican Rep. Brian Daniels faced a rematch with former Rep. Patti Fritz, both of Faribault, whom he had defeated two years before. On Election Day, he retained his seat by a margin of 58 percent to 41 percent.
Then there’s this:
All told, independent expenditures from Fritz allies came to almost $388,000, with another $299,000 spent on behalf of Daniels. Combined, the district drew about $687,000, a 916 percent increase from two years before.
Freshman Sen. Matt Klein, (DFL- Mendota Heights), isn’t catching on to things that quick. According to this article, Sen. Klein got upset when Sen. Carly Nelson of Rochester said “And so today we are sitting here trying to right the ship. The ship that was sailing along fine until government intervened. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t sinking like it is now.”
Klein replied “To narrate that health care was fully covered and idyllic in Minnesota 10 years ago, before the government intervened and destroyed it, is a false narrative.” Dr. Klein, your statement is an exercise in the improper use of straw man arguments. Sen. Nelson didn’t say that “health care was fully covered and idyllic in Minnesota 10 years ago.” She said that it “wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t sinking like it is now.” Nowhere in Sen. Nelson’s statement did she hint that “health care was fully covered and idyllic in Minnesota 10 years ago.”
What’s interesting is that Sen. Klein voted for SF1 after his mini-diatribe:
What’s interesting, though not particularly important, is the fact that 19 DFL legislators in the House and 19 DFL senators voted against SF1’s final passage. It’s interesting because the vast majority of these DFL legislators are from the Twin Cities. It’s interesting because a majority of these DFL legislators think single-payer is the right health care system.
Fighting back tears, the Senate architect of the rescue package spoke directly to families facing economic distress. “To the farmers and small business owners, to the entrepreneurs on our main streets who are worried, we are listening. We are doing our very best to get you help today,” Health and Human Services Chair Sen. Michelle Benson said.
Sen. Benson got the job done. Sen. Lourey, the chief author of the Senate bill that created MNsure, voted against premium relief for farmers and small businesses. Put differently, the person who created this crisis voted to not fix the crisis. The person who’s now in charge of the Senate HHS Committee voted to fix the crisis that the DFL and Sen. Lourey created. Unfortunately, that isn’t surprising.
Republicans and the DFL found a way to compromise this week. Republicans accepted Gov. Dayton’s plan to provide premium relief for people buying health insurance on the individual market but made too much to qualify for federal premium support. Gov. Dayton accepted the Republicans’ reforms. In the end, neither side got everything they wanted, which was anticipated, but everyone got something that they wanted.
Shortly after the House passed the conference committee report by a vote of 108-19, Republicans issued a statement, saying that their bill allowed “for-profit HMOs to operate in Minnesota (like most states) which will increase options for consumers, modifying stop loss coverage to make it easier for more small businesses to offer affordable insurance to their employees, providing greater transparency for proposed insurance premium changes by requiring earlier disclosure of proposed rates, allowing Agricultural Cooperatives to offer group health insurance to their members so farmers and their families can get better access to care and more affordable coverage, ensuring Minnesota employees can benefit from the recently passed federal 21st Century Cures Act which allows employers to make pre-tax contributions toward employee health insurance costs, network adequacy reform that will assist in ensuring more options for residents in rural Minnesota while prohibiting surprise billing to protect consumers from previously undisclosed costs.”
The Senate voted 46-19 in favor of the bill.
DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin issued this statement:
Today, we saw compromise prevail. After working with Gov. Dayton, the House and Senate passed a bipartisan solution to the current health insurance premium crisis. Although the bill is nowhere near perfect, this compromise helps Minnesotans now and keeps the door open for Minnesotans’ input on further health care reforms in the future.
Minnesotans could have seen relief 3 months ago but Republicans in the legislature wanted to get something out of the deal for themselves. Instead of working to get more to help Minnesota’s families, they showed their true colors and prioritized big corporations and big profits.
While I am pleased that our legislature was able to pass this relief that so many Minnesotans are counting on, I hope that for the rest of the legislative session, Republicans remember that Minnesotans are expecting their legislature to work for them, not against them.
Earlier this week, Gov. Dayton proposed a ‘reform’ that would inflict single-payer health care on Minnesotans. That bill is all but officially dead despite Martin’s statement that this compromise “keeps the door open for Minnesotans’ input on further health care reforms in the future.”
As for Martin’s whining statement that “Minnesotans could have seen relief 3 months ago but Republicans in the legislature wanted to get something out of the deal for themselves”, the truth is that Gov. Dayton insisted that the bill not include any reforms. Gov. Dayton insisted that it just provide premium relief. Republicans insisted that there be substantive reforms because, without them, they’d be right back here next year with another bailout.
Today’s bill is a first step in a session-long effort to address the problems created by Obamacare and MNsure,” said House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown. “As the first month of session comes to a close, Republican majorities have shown an ability to get things done for Minnesotans and to work productively with the governor.”
Gov. Dayton will sign the bill.
Speaker Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka should reject Gov. Dayton’s proposal to ‘reform’ health care by going to a single-payer plan. The article starts by saying “A new form of health insurance could be available next year to Minnesotans in the individual health insurance market if a proposal by Gov. Mark Dayton gains approval of state legislators and the federal government.”
While that excites hardline progressives, aka socialists, like John Marty, the vast majority of legislators (including Democrats) will reject single-payer health care. That’s because it’s failed each time it’s been tried. Mssrs. Daudt and Gazelka should investigate the numbers that Gov. Dayton is pushing because they aren’t credible. According to the article, “The new public option would be available to most Minnesotans for an average price of $469 per month, about 12 percent less than the $538 monthly premium for private insurance in 2017, the Dayton administration said. Dayton’s office estimates the plan would save families an average of more than $800 per person annually in 2018 compared to 2017.”
The chances that those numbers are accurate are virtually nonexistent. Let’s understand that these figures come from the party that insisted that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”
Further, let’s understand that Gov. Dayton’s goal is to prop up a failed government program by proposing another big government ‘solution’. As I’ve said before, single-payer either fails outright wherever it’s tried or it dramatically reduces health care options.
Then there’s this:
Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, applauded the governor’s public option plan. “Access to quality, affordable health care is the benchmark for success, and this is exactly what Minnesotans will get with this expansion,” he said. “Passage of this plan would restore comprehensive networks in rural Minnesota, and give hope to many Minnesotans who are struggling to keep up with health insurance costs.”
At the bill-signing ceremony for MNsure, Sen. Lourey said “The people won on this bill.” Considering how much pain MNsure has caused, should we think that Sen. Lourey’s opinion isn’t worthless? I certainly don’t think it’s worth anything. Watch this video before forming an opinion on whether Sen. Lourey is a legitimate health care expert or a political shill:
Technorati: Mark Dayton, John Marty, Tony Lourey, Joe Atkins, MNsure, Single-Payer Health Care, If You Like Your Plan, DFL, Politifact Lie of the Year
Tina Liebling’s most recent e-letter update is a portrait of the DFL’s hysteria. I first noticed Rep. Liebling’s hysteria when I spotted this hysterical tweet, which said “House GOP passed plan to let insurance companies sell junk insurance w/o coverage for things like cancer, Lyme disease, autism.”
Rep. Liebling didn’t like it when I challenged her by saying “We’ll determine what’s junk & what isn’t if you don’t mind. Your record of predicting what’s good for us isn’t exactly inspiring.” Rep. Liebling’s reply to my initial tweet said “If you get cancer and your insurance policy doesn’t cover cancer, it’s junk.” I followed that up by saying “Why think that people, consulting with their physicians, can’t figure this out? Catastrophic policies are great for young people. Your thinking seems based on the theory that people can’t figure these things out. Shame on you for thinking that!”
Rep. Liebling’s I-know-what’s-best-for-you thinking continued in her e-letter update:
Republican legislators are also taking the opportunity to help corporate insurance companies. They are proposing sweeping and risky changes to the insurance system–including allowing for-profit health insurance companies to operate in Minnesota. Changes to the insurance system could potentially cause even more instability and rate increases next year, but the GOP in both House and Senate have rushed them through committees. They refuse to pass relief for consumers without their other proposals. This is holding hostage the over 100,000 Minnesotans who need insurance in place before the end of open enrollment–January 31.
Republican legislators have said that they’re tying reforms to the relief because they don’t want to have to revisit this DFL-created crisis next year. This is what Speaker Daudt said in this statement:
“Our plan provides emergency premium aid while preserving access for life-saving care for thousands of Minnesotans struggling under the effects of Obamacare,” said House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown. “Minnesotans know we need to start fixing this problem now so we don’t find ourselves in the same situation next year. Republicans have and will continue to lead on this issue and offer concrete solutions to fix the health care mess Democrats created.”
It’s clear that Rep. Liebling just wants to spend money without fixing this crisis. Speaker Daudt has put a higher priority on fixing this DFL-created crisis.
This article by Katherine Kersten is another outstanding article from her on the subject of how the Met Council intends to govern cities.
Kersten starts by informing readers that the “council’s vision to transform how the people of the Twin Cities region live and get around has two prongs. First, the Thrive plan will promote compact, high-density housing and ‘transit-oriented development’ (TOD).”
Prior to that, Ms. Kersten explained that mission “creep has been escalating for some time, but under Dayton, the overreach has reached a crisis point. The Thrive plan is a power grab that will impose intrusive, top-down controls on 186 municipalities, neutering the power of local elected officials. The plan, wrapped in vague and noble-sounding goals, imposes a host of new, ideologically driven criteria for municipal development that will give the council the raw power, unchecked by elected representatives, to dramatically remake our region.”
That’s a fancy way of talking about top-down, unelected government dictating the terms of how urban life will work under their vision. The DFL, BTW, is all in on this anti-democratic form of governing. Apparently, the DFL supports any type of government that silences dissent and We The People.
People shouldn’t trust appointed politicians. That’s why Minnesota needs to dramatically overhaul the Met Council. Unaccountable people who weren’t elected (they’re appointed) with the ability to raise taxes, which the Met Council has the authority to do, are anti-democratic. They shouldn’t be respected or tolerated.
Finally, in a just world, they shouldn’t exist.
UPDATE: A loyal reader of LFR sent this video to me:
It’s a great (and frightening) picture of the Met Council’s mission creep and its misguided ‘mission’.
John Croman’s article reads like a DFL propaganda piece. That’s mostly because that’s what it is. The article starts by saying “Minnesota’s top budget official warned Monday that the Republican health insurance premium relief plan will significantly delay aid payments to those facing sharp increases in 2017. Commissioner Myron Frans, who heads the Minnesota Management and Budget department, said the rebate program envisioned in the GOP legislation would required creating an apparatus to receive and vet applications for aid, which could involve hiring an additional 100 staff in his agency. ‘Our first take is that this is going to cost a lot of money and it’s going to take a lot of time. And if we’re going to go down that road it’s going to make it very difficult to get this implemented in 2017,’ Commissioner Frans told reporters.”
My first question for Commissioner Frans would be why this wouldn’t apply to Gov. Dayton’s plan. Wouldn’t they need to verify that applicants’ income is truthful? Or would Gov. Dayton’s system run on the honor system?
The Republican plan, by contrast, calls for people to apply to the state for aid. The state would review the applications and issue State checks directly to the insurance customers. The Legislative Auditor would conduct the audits, if this plan passes and is signed into law.
I don’t know that that’s true but let’s stipulate that it is for this conversation. Couldn’t the DFL offer an amendment to change that part of the legislation?
The main question that hasn’t gotten asked is why Gov. Dayton and the DFL haven’t offered a plan to fix all the things that are wrong with Minnesota’s Obamacare health care system. Why haven’t the media asked Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk or Rep. Hortman where their comprehensive health care reform legislation is?
Does the Twin Cities media think, like Gov. Dayton and the DFL, that these skyrocketing health insurance premiums are a one-time thing? If they aren’t a one-time thing but are caused by systemic flaws, why haven’t the DFL written legislation that would fix that situation?
Commissioner Frans can complain all he wants about not getting the rebate fixed but the truth is that Minnesotans are worried about other parts of Minnesota’s health care system. Further, if Gov. Dayton vetoes premium relief, the DFL will wear that like a cement block during the 2018 campaign.
If she doesn’t watch it, Patty Murray will explode. According to this article, Murray went on a diatribe of epic proportions, saying “If Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act, it’s women, kids, seniors, patients with serious illnesses, and people with disabilities who will bear the burden. Premiums will skyrocket. Out-of-pocket prescription drug costs will rise. And overall health care costs will increase. It’s a perfect storm to make America sick again — and absolutely the wrong direction for families and for our economy.”
In other words, Sen. Murray insists that repealing the ACA will do what the ACA is already doing. The ACA is already driving up health care premiums. The ACA is already bankrupting states, many of whom are opting out of the exchanges they created. The ACA is already driving up out-of-pocket expenses for families.
Whenever Democrats pretend these things aren’t already happening, they demolish their credibility. It isn’t like people haven’t noticed. If the ACA wasn’t expensive, Republicans wouldn’t have flipped the Minnesota Senate. If the ACA was affordable, the Democratic Party wouldn’t be a shrinking national party.
Democrats are living in fantasyland if they haven’t noticed the mess they’re in.
According to this article, Rick Nolan is considering a run to be Minnesota’s next governor. The article opens by saying “Rep. Rick Nolan is considering a 2018 run for governor, his spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday. Nolan, 73, would be a high profile addition to the DFL field. He represents the 8th Congressional District in northeastern Minnesota, winning a tough re-election fight in 2016 despite a bad year for his party, especially in greater Minnesota. This is Nolan’s second go around in Congress, now in his third term after serving three terms in the 1970s. Having endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, Nolan could unite DFL progressives with rural moderates that he represents in Congress. ‘Because several people who (Nolan)& respects have urged him to run, he is giving it thought,’ said Samantha Bisogno, his spokeswoman. She added that he has not pursued the matter further and referred questions to his campaign operation.”
Rick Nolan isn’t the uniter that he’s portrayed as in this article. He’s a far left lefty who thinks Obamacare didn’t go far enough. Further, he isn’t trusted by Metrocrat environmental activists because he’s (relatively) pro-mining. I don’t know how he’d win enough votes in the DFL’s urban stronghold to win either the primary or the general election.
As a Republican, I love the thought of Nolan running for governor because it gives Republicans a stronger chance of flipping the Eighth District. The NRCC would likely think of this as a gift. Obviously, this isn’t decided. Still, it’s another possible ray of sunshine for Republicans.
Anders Koskinen’s article on Gov. Dayton’s tax ‘relief’ bill is enlightening in that it proves that Gov. Dayton still hasn’t learned that sending money to cities and counties doesn’t shrink families’ tax burdens. It just adds to those cities’ and counties’ spending.
The key part of Koskinen’s article is where he writes “the proposal ends up seeing the state spending $1.60 in subsidies for every dollar of direct tax relief. Dayton’s proposal includes $21 million in middle class tax cuts, $61 million of child care tax credits, and $34 million of property tax credits for farmers. A further $186 million, however, is a series of subsidies.”
Lt. Gov. Tina Flint-Smith adds “Our tax bill would provide significant relief to farmers by buying down the cost of local school district levies. I urge the Legislature to provide this needed tax relief for Minnesota farm families this session. In 2013, the DFL majorities in the House and Senate passed a bill with the same promises. It failed miserably. I wrote about those failures in this post and this post.
Despite all the DFL’s claims, property taxes skyrocketed anyway. While it isn’t shocking, it’s more than a little disgusting.
The DFL theory is that sending money to cities and counties should reduce the need for raising taxes. The reality is that it increases cities’ and counties’ spending. That’s been proven repeatedly. That’s why I called the DFL’s tax relief proposal a theory. It certainly isn’t verifiable fact.