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Whenever a DFL politician talks about major construction projects, whether it’s the Sandpiper Pipeline project or the PolyMet Mining project, they always say these 6 extra words:

“We need to do this right.”

This time, the politician was Al Franken and the project he was talking about was PolyMet. Unfortunately, Sen. Franken loves using the environmental activists’ code words. Here’s a perfect example:

The Minnesota Democratic senator, who is in a re-election contest with Republican challenger Mike McFadden, spoke about the copper/nickel/precious metals venture during an interview at the Mesabi Daily News Monday morning. The senator said he believes “a vast majority of Minnesotans want to see those (PolyMet) jobs … no question about that.”

Franken said he has regularly been in touch with PolyMet officials. And he has also heard from critics of the project. “One thing I’m very aware of is that we haven’t done this before here,” the senator said. “But boy, can I understand how people are frustrated” about the nine years of environmental review. “Believe me that’s not lost on me.”

Franken said he aligns himself with the Iron Range Legislative Delegation on the issue — “Get it done based on the science.”

“Get it done based on the science” is code for ‘let’s let the environmental activist organizations drag this out with lawsuits, PR stunts and propaganda wars’. DFL politicians are experts at that. DFL politicians like Sen. Franken and Rep. Nolan are professionals when it comes to looking like they’re doing something while dragging their feet.

That’s what they’ve both done since getting to DC. Nolan voted for HR 761, then promised environmental activists that he wouldn’t vote for it again if it came back for final passage:

Northern Minnesota is known for its great fishing, so perhaps it’s fitting that tracking 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan’s position on a bill that deregulates the mining industry and fast tracks the permitting process for PolyMet is a bit like watching a fish flopping around on a dock: first he’s against it, then he’s for it and now he once again opposes it, this time promising to vote against the legislation if it “comes anywhere near close to becoming law.”

This weekend, Nolan told Tom Hauser that he voted to streamline the permitting process. Sen. Franken couldn’t say that because he hasn’t lifted a finger to make PolyMet a reality. Nor has he done anything to streamline the permitting process in the future.

Instead, Dayton, Franken and Nolan have worked hard to walk a perilous tightrope. Dayton, Franken and Nolan have to appear to be friends of the miners without overstepping the environmental activists’ boundaries.

The PolyMet supplemental draft environmental impact statement is currently in the comment review phase, which Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr said earlier this month should be completed in early-2015.

If the project receives a certificate of adequacy from the SDEIS, permits can follow, with construction beginning. The venture is projected to create 360 permanent jobs, hundreds more spin-off positions and more than 2 million hours of construction.

“We’ve got an incredible deposit of minerals,” Franken said. “But if this had been done too soon and it was tainted and the watershed contaminated, it would be mitigated for decades or centuries. And what would that have meant for the second or third project?”

Throughout this process, environmentalists have portrayed mining companies as deadbeats that destroy the environment, then skip the country while taxpayers foot the cleanup bill. They’ve also portrayed mining companies as thugs who love destroying the environment in their lust for big profits. This is dishonest.

That isn’t what happens. These companies have a history of following the rules. They have a history of doing things right.

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During his interview with Esme Murphy, Rick Nolan reiterated his support for overturning the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United vs. the FEC lawsuit:

The Supreme Court ruled against BCRA, aka McCain-Feingold:

Independent Expenditures by Corporations

The Court overruled Austin, striking down § 441b’s ban on corporate independent expenditures. It also struck down the part of McConnell that upheld BCRA § 203’s extension of § 441b’s restrictions on independent corporate expenditures. The Court held that the “government may not suppress political speech on the basis of the speaker’s corporate identity. No sufficient governmental interest justifies limits on the political speech of nonprofit or for-profit corporations.” An analysis of this holding follows.

As Applied Challenge. First, the Court held that the case could not be resolved on an as applied basis without chilling political speech. Under an “as applied” challenge, the Court’s review of the law’s constitutionality is limited to the set of facts in the case before it. The Court therefore broadened the case from Citizens United’s initial narrower arguments, focusing only on Hillary, to reconsider both the validity of its prior decisions in Austin and McConnell and the facial validity of § 441b.

In reaching this decision, the Court reasoned that among other things:

1. Citizen United’s narrower arguments, including that Hillary is not an “electioneering communication,” are not sustainable under a fair reading of § 441b, and

2. it must therefore consider the statute’s facial validity or risk prolonging its substantial chilling effect.

The First Amendment’s protections apply to all political speech. The argument that ‘corporations aren’t people’ is laughable at best. Nowhere in the First Amendment does it say that the First Amendment protects only individuals. Does the Fourth Amendment protect only individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures? Of course it doesn’t.

But I digress.

Nolan said that he’s “the lead sponsor of new legislation in Washington to reverse Citizens United.” That means, according to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Nolan wants to reverse the chilling effect McCain-Feingold had on political speech. For those asking why that’s a bad thing, I’ll answer with a question. Do you want the government to say what’s acceptable speech and what isn’t? Before answering that question, think about this: Lois Lerner “served as associate general counsel and head of the enforcement office at the FEC“:

One of Lerner’s former colleagues tells National Review Online that her political ideology was evident during her tenure at the FEC, where, he says, she routinely subjected groups seeking to expand the influence of money in politics, including, in her view, conservatives and Republicans, to the sort of heightened scrutiny we now know they came under at the IRS.

Before the IRS, Lerner served as associate general counsel and head of the enforcement office at the FEC, which she joined in 1986. Working under FEC general counsel Lawrence Noble, Lerner drafted legal recommendations to the agency’s commissioners intended to guide their actions on the complaints brought before them.

Isn’t it frightening that a corrupt bureaucrat like Lois Lerner could be the final arbiter of what’s acceptable speech and what isn’t? If Nolan’s legislation passed, it’s possible a corrupt, hyperpartisan bureaucrat could determine which speech is acceptable and what speech isn’t.

Nolan’s legislation would make it illegal for unions to advocate for their endorsed candidates. Nolan’s legislation might be used to shut down ABM, Nancy Pelosi’s superPAC and the DCCC. Is that what Nolan wants?

I’d bet it isn’t. He’s been silent while the DCCC ran its disgusting ads. He’s been silent while Nancy Pelosi’s superPAC ran disgustingly dishonest ads. Apparently, Nolan only opposes money in politics when he’s in front of a camera. That isn’t a principled position. It’s a political position.

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I’ll risk saying this but the professional political punditry needs to get start seeing things through a policy impact perspective, not through a ‘will it play politically’ perspective. During this morning’s gubernatorial debate, Gov. Dayton said that he’s long advocated for a single-payer health care system.

What was the collective reaction from the professional political punditry? Crickets. No big deal. Keep moving.

The government, whether we’re talking about the Obama administration or the Dayton administration, is incapable of handling anything that complex. In too many instances, it’s incapable of handling fundamental responsibilities.

That professional political pundits think it isn’t a big deal to advocate for a system that’s never worked anywhere because that’s been his standard answer is shameful. Style points seem to matter more than character, policy impacts and what’s best for Minnesota.

It’s time to tune out the professional political pundits because they’re too interested in election outcomes. Unfortunately, they aren’t interested enough in policy outcomes. Jeff Johnson’s policies will make life better in Minnesota. Unlike Gov. Dayton, Jeff Johnson will fight to build the Sandpiper Pipeline because that’ll free up railcar space so farmers can get their crops to market. That makes life better for hard-working Minnesota farmers. Unlike Gov. Dayton, Jeff Johnson will fight to open PolyMet because that’ll create hundreds of good-paying jobs. That’d make life significantly better for miners and mining communities.

Apparently, these things don’t matter to the professional political punditry from both sides of the aisle. Their tweets didn’t speak to what’s best for Minnesota. They just spoke to who won or lost based on game-changing moments and style points. That isn’t responsible journalism. That’s the type of partisanship that’s rotted our institutions and corrupted the political process.

If Republicans retake the House of Representatives and Gov. Dayton gets re-elected, Republicans will have a mandate because they spoke about issues. Gov. Dayton will have retained his title but he won’t have a mandate because he hasn’t spoken about what he’d do in his second term.

The DFL isn’t the party of no. They’re the party that won’t say no to their special interests that are driving Minnesota’s economy into the ground. Ask an Iron Ranger if they’re better off now than when Gov. Dayton took office. If they’re honest, they’ll say they aren’t. Their median household income has increased marginally. The percentage of people living below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) grew by roughly 50%.

Health insurance premiums have skyrocketed. It’s virtually impossible to get changes made to policies to include or drop people from coverage. Still, Gov. Dayton insists that “it isn’t perfect” but that it’s getting better. Once a month, if not more often, we hear of another MNsure-related disaster.

Meanwhile, the professional political punditry insist that Gov. Dayton is winning because Jeff Johnson didn’t have that big game-changing moment. With all due respect, these political junkies are missing the point. Jeff Johnson has been solid. He’s provided sensible solutions to Minnesota’s biggest problems. Gov. Dayton has been dismissive, arrogant and utterly incompetent. He’s Minnesota’s version of Jimmy Carter.

It’s time to ignore the political junkies because they’re worried more about gamesmanship than doing what’s right for Minnesota. While we’re at it, it’d be great to get rid of the incompetent in the Governor’s Mansion, too.

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Joe Atkins, one of the co-chairs of the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee, insists that Tim O’Driscoll’s editorial was misleading. Actually, it’s Atkins’ editorial that’s misleading:

Republican Rep. Tim O’Driscoll’s recent op-ed (“Insurance premiums are going up,” Oct. 12) was very misleading and continues the practice of attacking MNsure, celebrating technical problems and distorting the facts about rate increases.

The fact is that Minnesota’s rates remain the lowest in the nation and our uninsured rate dropped by 40 percent, to the lowest level in state history.

Republicans ignore the $20 million in federal tax credits that Minnesotans received this year. When tax credits are accounted for in next year’s rates, many Minnesotans statewide will actually see a decrease in their premiums.

In Region 8, which includes Stearns, Sherburne and Benton counties, a 25-year-old selecting a silver plan, the most commonly selected plan, will see an average increase of 3 percent with tax credits. A 40-year-old on a silver plan will see an average increase of 1 percent, and a 60-year-old will see no increase.

Talk about misleading. That’s stunning. From Rep. Atkins’ perspective, premiums didn’t increase because taxpayers are footing the bill for MNsure’s premium increases.

Rep. Atkins, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Someone’s paying for those premium increases. When premiums increased by 22% in Benton, Stearns, Sherburne and Wright counties, the premiums really skyrocketed. When premiums increased by 43% in Meeker, Kandiyohi, Chippewa or Yellow Medicine counties, premiums really increased. When premiums increased by 34% in Cottonwood, Lyons, Nobles and Murray counties’, premiums really increased.

Let’s remember Chairman Atkins’ happy talk in Atkins’ interview with Julie Bartkey in mid-September, 2013. After that, let’s fast forward to January, when KSTP’s reporter Jay Kolls interviewed Jim Nobles, the Legislative Auditor. Here’s what Kolls reported:

KOLLS: There are all kinds of red flags popping up at MNsure and Jim Nobles tells me that MNsure has not delivered what it promised to taxpayers and the agency needs to be held accountable.

In the interview, Jim Nobles said this:

So I think everyone agrees that we simply have not delivered what we promised.

Watch this video of Atkins talking about whether the rollout would be smooth:

This interview happened a week before MNsure and HealthCare.gov went live.

BARTKEY: How are you feeling with everything? Are you feeling confident? Off camera, you said that the whole nation’s eyes are watching.
ATKINS: I’m actually feeling better about it every day. One of the best news days that we had was when we found out that this would have the best rates of any insurance marketplace in the country. My understanding is that tomorrow — I don’t know when this all gets shown — that the federal rates are going to be released for all 50 states and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Minnesota will lead the nation of having the lowest rates anywhere in the country.
BARTKEY: What about any of the technical aspects, any concerns that it will crash or that people won’t be as trained as they should be to make sure that consumers can pick the right plan?
ATKINS: When you’re as technically unsavvy as I am, anything like an iPad or a computer concerns me. But that’s why you hire the professionals that you do and I’m — from all that I hear — we’ve got the best folks involved both at the state level and externally coming in and taking a look at how we’re doing business to make sure that we’ve got those protections, to make sure that we’ve got the IT network in place to handle it.

That’s proof that Rep. Atkins is a king of happy talk, the point person to deliver sunny-sounding statements that everything’s just fine whether that’s true or not.

Having Atkins say that rates are really cheap because they’re heavily subsidized is like saying Northstar Rail is inexpensive because taxpayers, not riders, pay for most of the cost of transporting people. Rep. Atkins shouldn’t be trusted because his op-ed is spin:

Compare that with rate increases over the last decade as high as 19.5 percent. In Region 8, some carriers are offering plans that are 18 percent cheaper than they were last year. When was the last time you heard of health plans going down in price?

Let’s compare that with the truth:

From 2003 to 2010, individual market insurance premiums rose a total of 35 percent in Minnesota, compared with 47 percent in our first year under Obamacare.

Rep. Atkins’ spin and cherrypicking is anything but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Rep. O’Driscoll’s advice is good advice:

Keep a copy of this article, and when open enrollment begins Nov. 15, take a look at your new premiums and compare my math to the 4.5 percent number being marketed by MNsure.

Rest assured that Chairman Atkins’ spin won’t withstand strict scrutiny.

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This article is rather enlightening:

“I learned some important lessons from him. First of all, the importance of a job to someone who doesn’t have one. My job as governor is to do everything I can to provide jobs for the people of Minnesota, those who are unemployed, those who are underemployed, to those who want better opportunities for those young people from Bemidji High School who were here and are going onto college and need a better job environment when they graduate.”

Dayton says, “Whatever I can do to make a difference and to be proactive” will frame his administration.

“It’s easy to say no to this and no to that and no to everything, but Perpich said, ‘What can I do?’ to try to make a difference. I hope I can follow in those footsteps. I won’t be building chopsticks factories or visiting castles in Switzerland. Rudy had, as the French said about [de Gaulle], the faults of his virtues and the virtues of his faults. We all have our faults, and we hope for a lot more virtues than faults.

First, let’s highlight the fact that Gov. Dayton isn’t being proactive in providing “jobs for the people of Minnesota, those who are unemployed” and “those who are underemployed.” In February, 2011, Gov. Dayton thought underemployment was a problem along with unemployment. Gov. Dayton in 2014 gets testy when Commissioner Johnson talks about Minnesotans who are underemployed.

When did Gov. Dayton determine that underemployment wasn’t a priority?

Next and most importantly, why isn’t Gov. Dayton interested in being proactive about mining jobs? He hasn’t lifted a finger to make PolyMet a reality. Don’t unemployed miners deserve a proactive governor who’s doing everything possible to create great paying jobs? Is Gov. Dayton only interested in being proactive when his environmental activist allies give him permission?

Finally, it’s interesting hearing Gov. Dayton talk about “hucksters who promise chopsticks factories” as though they were Republicans in 2014 while admitting that Gov. Perpich brought the chopsticks factory to Hibbing in a 2011 interview.

Comparing Perpich’s chopsticks factory with PolyMet is intellectual absurdity. The chopsticks factory went bankrupt in less than 3 years. PolyMet would create 360 mining jobs that would be there for a generation.

Clearly, Gov. Dayton hasn’t thought this stuff through. Clearly, Gov. Dayton hasn’t figured it out that his silence is giving dishonest environmental activists implicit permission to protest PolyMet, which they’re doing.

Will voters let Gov. Dayton off the hook for being a proactive jobs governor for the Twin Cities but an inactive jobs governor for the rest of Minnesota? It’s important to find out the answer to that question because that’s who he’s been.

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Last night, I watched the Almanac Roundtable debate featuring the candidates for Secretary of State. The lasting impression I left with was straightforward. Steve Simon is Mark Ritchie in an expensive suit. He’s thoroughly indoctrinated in liberal ideology with regards to voting fraud. The other thing about him is that he apparently thinks voters are incredibly stupid.

Let’s take that last one first. After Dan Severson highlighted the vulnerabilities of Minnesota’s election system, Rep. Simon replied, saying “Would Minnesota have the highest voter turnout rate in the nation if people didn’t trust it?” That’s a nice-sounding answer but it doesn’t have anything to do with whether the system is secure. The fact that Democrats continually talk about Minnesota’s election system as the nation’s gold standard is because they don’t want people checking out the details of whether the system is fraught with vulnerabilities.

Rep. Simon’s answer totally ignores the vulnerabilities in Minnesota’s voting system. I know more than a little about this since I wrote a series of articles highlighting those vulnerabilities. (See here, here, here and here.)

Part IV is particularly disturbing because it shows how protective the election machine is of their system:

Thanks to KSTP-TV’s reporting, we learned that cities threw “up legal roadblocks” to their investigation. We learned that Bloomington “even suggested that felony charges could be pursued against” KSTP-TV if they “reported what [they] found.”

A system that’s the gold standard for election participation shouldn’t threaten people examining the system. They especially shouldn’t threaten reporters investigating Minnesota’s election system. The thought that they’d throw up legal roadblocks and suggest that they’d file felony charges against KSTP’s reporters strongly suggests that Minnesota’s election system is anything but impervious to voter fraud.

The DFL says that there’s little proof of fraud existing. That isn’t true but let’s say it is. The video shows that there’s a number of vulnerabilities in the absentee ballot system. Why wouldn’t we want to eliminate those vulnerabilities?

Another of the DFL’s chanting points is that we should want high voter participation rates. That sounds nice but it comes with a catch. The insinuation always comes with the suggestion that everyone who requests a ballot should get a ballot. There’s never a mention that this should be done within the context of the requirements in Minnesota’s constitution.

Steve Simon doesn’t have Mark Ritchie’s history of corruption. Still, Simon is nothing if not a puppet doing the same things Mark Ritchie did. That’s a step sideways after a major step backwards in 2006. We don’t need Mark Ritchie in a better suit. We need a man of integrity who won’t blindly incorporate the DFL’s chanting points into Minnesota state statutes.

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After last night’s bombshell polling data from Minnesota’s Eighth District, the next questions are quite logical. First, when will the DCCC and Nancy Pelosi’s PAC pull their money from the Mills-Nolan race? Second, when that money is pulled, where will it be spent?

The conventional wisdom is that the money pulled from Nolan’s race would be spent on Collin Peterson’s race. I don’t think that’s what they’ll decide. They’ve already pumped millions of dollars into the Westrom-Peterson race. It hasn’t hurt Westrom a bit. Next, they’ve thrown everything at Torrey, including the proverbial kitchen sink. Torrey Westrom keeps gaining. In fact, Torrey will campaign tomorrow with Mike McFadden:

McFadden knows that his message sells in the Seventh. He’s campaigned with Torrey before, too. It’s obvious that they feed off each other and complement each other nicely. Why would Pelosi’s superPAC or the DCCC shift money into that situation?

Finally and most importantly, a little money pays for tons of ads in the 7th. How much more money does Collin Peterson need to win that race? People know Peterson because he’s finishing his twelfth term. If the first and second ad buys didn’t put Peterson over the top, why would the DCCC think that the third and fourth ad buys will? Known commodities are known commodities. If they don’t sell right away, they won’t jump off the shelf later.

Pelosi’s superPAC and the DCCC have other seats that need propping up. Nolan’s seat is history. He’s an ancient candidate whose policies are from the 1970s. There’s nothing that indicates he’ll catch fire in the last 2 weeks.

Peterson has a better shot at winning but that’s because he’s frequently won with over 60% of the vote. He’s either popular and heading for victory or people have tired of him and he’s heading for defeat. There isn’t a middle ground with him.

Ken Martin, the DFL, Steve Simon, Gov. Dayton and Sen. Franken are watching these races. That’s because they know their races are based, at least partially, on doing well in these districts. If Nolan and Peterson lose, Gov. Dayton’s, Sen. Franken’s and the DFL’s path to victory gets complicated fast.

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I predicted that Gov. Dayton would attempt to deflect criticism from the bogus health insurance premium rate increase report. I was right:

Republican Jeff Johnson seized Thursday on new insurance data to accuse Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton of lying about how much health premiums will increase for coverage next year.

Johnson said the Dayton administration is lowballing the medical premium estimates for political advantage. Dayton shot back that Johnson is ignoring that people are free to shop around for the best deal and said his charge demonstrates a rival who “gets more desperate by the day.”

Gov. Dayton’s response was predictable. In fact, I predicted it. Gov. Dayton’s dismissive attitude won’t sit well with Alycia Reidl. Here’s what she told the MNsure Board of Directors:

“You’ve got to remember, the majority of consumers who have individual health insurance policies did not buy them through MNsure,” says Alycia Reidl of the Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters. “Most of them are outside of MNsure at this point, and they haven’t received their renewals yet. As they start to receive them, they’re going to understand they have significant increases facing them.”

Reidl made that point to the MNsure Board at their first meeting since the new MNsure rates were announced. She told them many Minnesotans now have the mistaken notion their rates will go up only 4.5 percent. Instead, Reidl says they’re likely to get “sticker shock” when they see their increases. “The increases that are happening are putting our clients in a really difficult situation which is putting us in a difficult situation as the bearer of that news,” Reidl told the MNsure Board.

Gov. Dayton’s dismissiveness is only exceeded by his dishonesty. The Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters are experts on the size of rate increases because they’re working with it every day. By contrast, Gov. Dayton has shown that he doesn’t know what’s in the bills he’s signed. If I’m forced to choose between Alycia Reidl or Gov. Dayton on the issue of trust, that’s an easy decision. Hint: I wouldn’t trust the sitting governor of Minnesota as much as I’d trust Ms. Reidl.

The administration’s 4.5 percent average leaves out PreferredOne, a dominant player in MNsure last year that isn’t selling policies through the exchange this year. Details that surfaced Wednesday show its customers could see up to 60-percent premium increases if they want to keep their policies and buy them away from the exchange for 2015.

Gov. Dayton is fond of saying that PreferredOne “‘misjudged the market'” last year by offering lower costs than bigger competitors in an attempt to gain market share.” Whether that’s true or not, the reality is that PreferredOne’s rates are going up in a big way. Minnesotans will experience sticker shock when they get their renewal notices.

Commissioner Johnson should be asking Minnesotans who’ve seen their new rates for 2015 if they’re feeling the Dayton-DFL middle class squeeze. I’d remind people that Republicans didn’t vote for MNsure, which means the double-digit increases they’re seeing are Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s fault. They passed it. They own this disaster.

Gov. Dayton can make petulant child-like comments insinuating that Jeff Johnson isn’t being honest. What Gov. Dayton can’t do is hide from MAHU’s well-documented numbers. Those numbers show how expensive health insurance is through MNsure. Gov. Dayton’s hissy fits won’t change those facts because facts are stubborn things.

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When Gov. Dayton’s Department of Commerce announced MNsure’s rate increases, skeptical statements poured in. State Senate Republicans put together this interactive map to spread the truth that Gov. Dayton’s Department of Commerce wouldn’t. KSTP’s Tom Hauser says people are justified in worried about big health insurance premium spikes:

With great fanfare earlier this month, Minnesota Department of Commerce officials announced Minnesota would continue to have among the “lowest health insurance rates in the country.” They were referring to health insurance sold through MNsure, which they said would only increase an “average of 4.5 percent.”

That modest increase was immediately met with skepticism by Republican opponents of Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration. However, the health insurance industry is also throwing cold water on the notion that Minnesotans will see rates go up just 4.5 percent. Whether buying insurance in the MNsure system or through the private market, for most Minnesotans reality will not match the rosy 4.5 percent “average increase.”

“You’ve got to remember, the majority of consumers who have individual health insurance policies did not buy them through MNsure,” says Alycia Reidl of the Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters. “Most of them are outside of MNsure at this point, and they haven’t received their renewals yet. As they start to receive them, they’re going to understand they have significant increases facing them.”

Reidl made that point to the MNsure Board at their first meeting since the new MNsure rates were announced. She told them many Minnesotans now have the mistaken notion their rates will go up only 4.5 percent. Instead, Reidl says they’re likely to get “sticker shock” when they see their increases. “The increases that are happening are putting our clients in a really difficult situation which is putting us in a difficult situation as the bearer of that news,” Reidl told the MNsure Board.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s another part of that iceberg:

When Gov. Dayton says that Minnesota’s health insurance rates are the cheapest in the nation, it’s important to highlight the fact that, though that’s true, it’s after three-fourths of the people received rate increases while transitioning from the policies they liked to Obamacare-approved policies. The next logical question would be about how big those premium increases were. You ask. I’ll deliver:

According to that graphic, 28.3% of people surveyed got rate increases of 11-20%. Another 30% of the people got rate increase ranging between 21%-30%. Another 15% of people got rate increases of 31%-40%. Those statistic don’t fit with the bill’s title of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it here. When the ACA kicked in, most everyone’s premiums spiked. That means that Minnesota’s premiums are the least terrible premiums in the nation. They’re a better grade of terrible.

Jeff Johnson is calling on Gov. Dayton to apologize for lying to Minnesota about the rate increases:

“A few weeks ago, Mark Dayton stood before the press and flat-out lied to Minnesotans. Dayton’s claim that MNsure rates are going up an average of just 4.5% next year is completely bogus, and he knows it. I call on Governor Dayton to come clean and apologize to Minnesotans for lying to us. Enough is enough.”

I’m predicting that Gov. Dayton, or one of his paid shills, will release a statement saying that Commissioner Johnson’s accusations are the actions of a desperate candidate who’ll say anything in his attempt to win an election. Commissioner Johnson, I’d have a statement prepared to respond to Gov. Dayton’s unresponsive response. Here’s what I’d put in that statement:

Gov. Dayton, why are you accusing “Alycia Reidl of the Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters” of lying? In the days ahead, our campaign will be releasing stories from families throughout Minnesota who will verify MAHU’s report.

Minnesota doesn’t need a governor who won’t admit that MNsure, Obamacare in Minnesota, is an unmitigated disaster. Minnesota needs a governor with integrity and fresh ideas that will take Minnesota in the right direction.

I’m being charitable by saying Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department used slippery math in the MNsure rate increase report. Gov. Dayton’s actions inform us that he isn’t a man of integrity. He’s a man just hoping to get past November 4th.

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Friends, this is as close to a GOP trifecta as we’ve seen in quite some time:

Stewart Mills leads Rick Nolan
Minnesota’s Secretary of State race heats up
Westrom leads Peterson in private polling

If the MNGOP wins these three races, it’ll be a big night for Minnesota Republicans. It’s still too early to predict victories in these races but I’d rather be the Republican in each of these races than be the Democrat.

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