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Let’s be clear about something from the start. Today’s DFL activists are thugs without character. They’re people who should be locked up for years. Last week, there was a fundraiser in Minneapolis for GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump. DFL protesters didn’t bother trying to act like decent human beings. They acted like thugs. In fact, some of them allegedly committed crimes. That’s right. Some DFL thugs allegedly committed crimes.

Betsey Hodges needs to answer for her decisions. Ken Martin needs to be asked why DFL protesters are thugs, not protesters. Minneapolis police need to explain who told them to not protect people attending the Trump fundraiser. At this point, none of those things have happened.

Apparently, Mayor Hodges didn’t beef up security for the Trump event. Why she didn’t anticipate a violent reception is beyond explanation This is the Twin Cities, after all, the place where Black Lives Matter protesters started the night by blocking traffic on I-94 before escalating that to throwing cement blocks and rebar at police officers.

Even someone as airheaded as Betsey Hodges should’ve figured it out that violence was imminent. This didn’t require a rocket scientist. Betsey Hodges should’ve figured this out. Check out this video:

There’s no need for Keith Downey to demand an apology of anyone. There’s no need to halfheartedly criticize Ken Martin. What’s required is a chairman who would’ve told reporters that Ken Martin is the chairman of a political party that’s composed mostly of two-bit thugs and lowlifes. What’s required is a chairman that will call Betsey Hodges incompetent to run a Kool-Aid stand, much less a large city.

Chairman Downey, there’s a time for politeness. This wasn’t one of those times. Friday night was a time for you to empty both barrels at Betsey Hodges for not protecting citizens visiting her city. Friday night was a night to expose the DFL as the party that panders to the violent thugs of the Black Lives Matter movement of thugs.

It’s time people understood just how many jobs anti-development environmentalists kill each year. It’s time people understood, too, the impact excessive regulations have on Minnesota’s state budget. This article helps illustrate the negative and devastating impact overregulation has on economic growth.

This paragraph lays things out perfectly, saying “Enbridge has been trying to build this petroleum pipeline from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to its regional terminal in Superior, Wis. The project is common sense. The oil from the Bakken needs to be moved to market. Building Sandpiper would create thousands of well-paying middle-class construction jobs, bring millions of dollars in much-needed business to rural communities and add millions of tax dollars to rural governments. There is also no disagreement that moving the oil in a pipeline is a safer alternative than moving it via rail cars or trucks.”

It’s indisputable that moving oil through pipelines is safer than other forms of moving product to market. That fight is finished. Further, it’s indisputable that building the pipeline would create thousands of high-paying construction jobs. Think about this: If a bonding bill is called a jobs bill by the DFL, why shouldn’t building the Sandpiper Pipeline project be called a private sector jobs bill by Republicans?

It’s indisputable that the interest that’s paid back by taxpayers on bonding bills costs everyone money, frequently in the form of higher taxes. Interest paid off by companies like Enbridge when they build America’s infrastructure is a net plus on multiple levels plus it doesn’t costs taxpayers a dime in higher taxes. In fact, it’s possible to argue that increased economic growth from the private sector will lower taxes while increasing revenues and raising blue collar workers’ wages significantly.

Minnesota loses

The result of this uncertainty came home to roost earlier this month. Enbridge announced that it had formed a partnership to purchase a pipeline system that would get the Bakken petroleum to market. One of the pipelines Enbridge will purchase is still under construction, and it runs from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois. This pipeline was permitted in all four states in a year and a half. One thing the pipelines in this system have in common is that none of them travels through Minnesota.

Enbridge got what it wanted. North and South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois approved the alternate pipeline route in about 18 months, which is about a third of the time Minnesota had muddled through the permitting process thus far. BTW, North Dakota has better air quality than Minnesota.

This is particularly noteworthy:

One of the first things Gov. Mark Dayton did when he took office in 2011 was sign an executive order to streamline decisions on environmental permits. The rhetoric clearly has not been matched by action.

It’s noteworthy because Gov. Dayton signed that executive order after Dan Fabian submitted a bill (HF1) to streamline permitting. I wrote then that this was a purely political stunt. There’s little doubt but that I got that right.

Minnesota has strong environmental regulations. Unfortunately, it’s also got some of the most untrustworthy anti-development environmentalists in the US. These anti-development environmentalists oppose the Sandpiper Pipeline. They oppose all forms of mining in Minnesota. They opposed the building of the Big Stone II power plant, too.

At this rate, the anti-natural resources wing of the DFL, which is the dominant wing of the DFL, won’t permit anything that doesn’t fit their rigid ideology.

Now that it’s settled that we won’t have a special session, it’s time to state clearly what happened. What happened is that Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and Rep. Thissen negotiated in bad faith. It’s one thing to have a goal of funding SWLRT. As foolish as funding that is, it’s still a legitimate goal for the DFL, especially considering who their constituents are.

What Gov. Dayton did, though, was insist that funding for SWLRT be included in a special session agreement. We know this because Speaker Daudt told MPR that Gov. Dayton insisted on it. The direct quote reads “I did ask him in the meeting if he would consider doing a special session, set aside the things we can’t agree on and let’s be Minnesotan. Let’s be Minnesota nice and focus on the things we can agree on. Let’s get a session and just work on the things we can agree on. The governor flat out said ‘no, we’re not going to work on those things without Southwest Light Rail.'”

That’s where Gov. Dayton essentially told Minnesotans that he and the DFL only care about the Metro. Don Davis summarized things perfectly in his opening paragraph, saying “Farmers can forget about tax breaks to lighten their burden in funding new schools. Drivers on some of Minnesota’s most dangerous highways will not see immediate safety improvements. New state aid cities expected is not coming.”

That’s how Gov. Dayton and the DFL told outstate Minnesota that they weren’t important enough. That’s how Gov. Dayton and the DFL said that safe highways weren’t a priority for them, that SWLRT funding was their highest priority.

Rural Minnesota voters should send an unmistakable and clear message to Gov. Dayton and the DFL this November. They should defeat every DFL legislator who voted for tax relief but wouldn’t fight for that tax relief. That’s simple enough because the list of DFL legislators that voted for tax relief and the list of DFL legislators that wouldn’t fight for that tax relief are identical.

These DFL politicians showed their true colors. The best way to determine what’s important to them isn’t by looking at their votes. The best way to determine what’s important to them is in seeing what they vote for but won’t fight for. That’s how you determine their loyalties.

In this instance, the DFL showed their loyalty was with the Twin Cities and with Gov. Dayton, not with their constituents.

This editorial isn’t worth the bandwidth it’s printed on. If it was printed on paper, it would be best suited for outhouses of 50-75 years ago. But I digress. Let’s dissect this worthless collection of words and determine their value to improving life in Minnesota.

Let’s start where the editorialist (s?) insist that “Every time a three-car light rail train is loaded, 600 cars are taken off the highways, according to the Metropolitan Council research.” Let’s question the veracity of that statement. Let’s question it because I don’t know the seating capacity of a “three-car light rail train.” Let’s question it because it isn’t known how many of these trains are filled to capacity.

This is a red herring argument anyway. If you build a light rail line, it’s fixed in place no matter what developments happen a mile or two from the rail. That LRT line simply isn’t flexible. It’s good at staying right where it was built. Bus lines, however, can move and adjust to emerging traffic patterns. This paragraph is telling:

Even the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, a longtime supporter of GOP ideas, has said there needs to be a transit solution in the metro area, whether that be light rail or more fast track buses.

First, the thought that the Minnesota CoC is a staunch supporter of Republicans is BS. They’re an equal opportunity political body. It’s fair to say that they support some GOP initiatives but it’s equally true that they support DFL initiatives, too. Further, it’s irrelevant whether this or that group supports an initiative. What’s important is whether that initiative will make life better for the people it’s supposed to support. If it doesn’t meet that criteria, then it’s worth scrapping.

Most important, though, is the part where the Minnesota Chamber supports transit, including “fast track buses.” Question: isn’t it important that our transportation system have the greatest combination of flexibility and capacity? What good is capacity if it isn’t where the people want it to go?

We urge Speaker Daudt to drop his party’s objections to the metro funding of the southwest light rail line and get on to providing tax relief and bonding and road funding to the rest of Minnesota that his party represents.

I urge Gov. Dayton to stop insisting on getting everything he wants before calling a special session. It’s time to provide tax relief to Minnesotans, tax relief Gov. Dayton vetoed. Gov. Dayton’s temper tantrums are fun copy but they’re counterproductive.

Thanks to a tip from a loyal reader of LFR, I now have proof that the DFL hates all mining. This article provides that proof in the form of the wording for “Resolution 54”.

Specifically, Resolution 54 says “Oppose sulfide ore mining, which is significantly different from taconite mining, poses unacceptable environmental risks, threatens multiple watersheds (Lake Superior, BWCA/VNP, Mississippi) and should not be allowed in the sulfur-bearing rock of Minnesota.”

Bill Hanna, the executive editor of the Mesabi Daily News, disagreed with Res. 54’s statement that non-ferrous mining “is significantly different” than taconite mining, stating that “all rock mined on the Range is ‘sulfur-bearing rock,’ including in taconite production.” That’s a political predicament that Ken Martin, the chair of the DFL, doesn’t want to deal with.

Here’s why the DFL is in a no-win situation:

Martin, along with Range lawmakers and labor leaders, especially from the building trades, have crafted substitute language for Resolution 54. They are looking for someone who would be more amenable to the anti-mining crowd to introduce the compromise wording.

The substitute language reads: “We support stringent regulations, oversight, and using the best available science when evaluating the proposals for copper nickel mining, which would be a new industry in Minnesota and potentially poses significant risks to Minnesota’s waters including, but not limited to: Lake Superior, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Voyageurs National Park, and the Mississippi River.”

But the DFL Environmental Caucus is signaling no compromise. The caucus has sent out an email that claims support of more than 65 percent of DFL delegates for Resolution 54.

Simply put, the metro DFL vehemently opposes mining. Period. That’s why they aren’t willing to compromise on Res. 54.

Here’s a hint to the proud, hard-working people of the Iron Range: the metro DFL will never be willing to compromise as long as the Iron Range keeps electing DFL legislators. Why should the DFL move if they get what they want every time?

The more things change, the more the DFL insists on staying the same. It’s been months since DFL senators undermined a bonding bill agreement that would have paid for lots of road repairs. They’re still insisting on funding for the SWLRT project. Predictably, Gov. Dayton is throwing a temper tantrum, saying “The Legislature won’t let us improve the economic and social vitality of the metropolitan area. I think that’s really irresponsible.”

Gov. Dayton is wrong. Republicans won’t sign off on a project that’s pure pork. A handful of business leaders want SWLRT. As for improving “the economic and social vitality of the metropolitan area,” that won’t change one iota if SWLRT is approved.

Kurt Daudt, fresh off impressively winning a primary battle, has the right idea, saying “We’re going to lose everything that’s on the table right now. I don’t think that’s very good legislating. I don’t think that’s very good leadership.”

This is what he’s talking about:

Daudt warned that the benefits of tax cuts and a package of public works construction projects could be lost if Democrats walk away from the table over light rail.

Gov. Dayton vetoed $800,000,000 worth of middle class tax cuts in his attempt to force Republicans into funding SWLRT. Gov. Dayton’s veto stopped the tax cuts but it hasn’t rallied support for SWLRT funding. Thanks to Gov. Dayton’s idiotic decision, DFL legislators have to defend his veto of tax cuts for veterans, students, farmers and small business owners.

This is a political winner for Republicans. They shouldn’t give an inch on this. If the DFL wants to fight this, let them be highlighted as the party that doesn’t like outstate Minnesota.

If Rep. Thissen’s destructive attitude wasn’t enough to disqualify him from a leadership position, then Rep. Thissen’s persistent whining should tip the scales against him.

Rep. Thissen’s latest diatribe is essentially his whining that Democrats didn’t get everything they wanted in the last session, mixed with a healthy dose of bragging that essentially says that the DFL would’ve done better.

For instance, when Rep. Thissen said “After nearly 3 months of indecision, this week is crunch time for a special session decision”, what Rep. Thissen doesn’t want to say is that Kurt Daudt has done a fantastic job of saying no to the DFL’s insistence on funding the SWLRT, a project that the citizens don’t want but that the special interests want in the worst way. Here’s what the GOP should say loudly to the DFL on this issue: “Shut up, go away or we’ll use this issue against you in the upcoming election.”

“Behind closed doors negotiations have produced little progress and all of the political obstacles to compromise, including Speaker Daudt’s primary, are behind us,” said Thissen. “After nearly 3 months of indecision, this week is crunch time for a special session decision. Once we hit the State Fair, it’s too late and we need some time for the promised public hearings. I continue to believe we should finish our job, but if agreement is not reached, I pledge that under a House DFL Majority we will bring a robust bonding bill to the House floor for a vote in the first 30 days of the next legislative session.”

It’s the DFL’s fault that a bonding bill wasn’t passed. An agreement was reached between the House and Senate. Rep. Thissen didn’t like the compromise so he worked with DFL senators to blow the agreement up. Now the saboteur is promising to fix the bill he helped demolish.

That’s rich.

Notice that Rep. Thissen doesn’t mention any of his sabotage in his statement. Why would he? Rep. Thissen isn’t a leader. He couldn’t care less about the average person. That’s indisputable. While he was Speaker in 2013, Thissen worked with the unions on the forced unionization of in-home child care providers. The in-home child care providers fought against it. Thissen didn’t care. He had his marching orders from AFSCME and SEIU. The bill was passed. Gov. Dayton signed it into law.

This spring, the in-home child care providers had the final say, telling Rep. Thissen, AFSCME and the SEIU to shove it:

In the end, in-home child care providers rejected AFSCME’s forced unionization plan. In fact, the vote wasn’t that close. According to this article, the “vote was 1,014-392 in a Tuesday count by the state Bureau of Mediation Services from ballots mailed to providers last month.”

Voters would do well to remember that the DFL did exactly what the special interests wanted while ignoring the in-home child care providers. To Thissen and the DFL, you’re a nobody if you aren’t a special interest group aligned with the DFL.

For years, the Twin Cities drew high marks as two of the best cities in America to live in. They rate high in “their green spaces, culinary scene and jobs. High median incomes, low unemployment and poverty rates and affordable housing” contribute to the Twin Cities’ high ratings. Apparently, there’s a secret for the Twin Cities’ high ratings. According to this article, the secret is “you have to be white.”

Politico Magazine then adds that “Twin Cities, it turns out, are also home to some of the worst racial disparities in the country. In metrics across the board—household income, unemployment rates, poverty rates and education attainment—the gap between white people and people of color is significantly larger in Minnesota than it is most everywhere else. Earlier this year, WalletHub used government data to measure financial inequality among racial groups in each state and found that in 2015, Minnesota ranked dead last overall.”

It’s wise to take this article with a grain of salt because the article is written with a definite lefty perspective:

It seems illogical that inequality could thrive in one of the country’s most liberal states, home to past progressive icons like Paul Wellstone and Hubert Humphrey.

~~~~~

Academics, activists and researchers offer different conjectures as to how Minnesota achieved the ignominious title of “Worst in the Country,” for racial differences in wealth, status and education. Their analyses told a story of misguided attempts at desegregation, ignorance surrounding the state’s racist history and a systemic negligence that prevents communities of color from partaking in the state’s prosperity.

Actually, it isn’t difficult to imagine that there’s income inequality in the Twin Cities. Education Minnesota is a powerful lobbyist that essentially intimidates DFL politicians into following Education Minnesota’s agenda to a T. That includes DFL politicians voting against meaningful school reforms. Education Minnesota prides itself in opposing school reforms.

I wrote this post to highlight the Board of Teaching’s corruption:

Ramsey County Judge Shawn Bartsh “blasted the state’s Board of Teaching for suddenly stopping a program that allowed experienced teachers, often from out of state, to get teaching licenses through an alternate method called ‘licensure via portfolio.’ The judge ordered the agency to resume the program, as required by law.”

Many of these teachers want to teach in the inner city, where their help would help shrink the achievement gap significantly. Instead, the EdMinn-influenced Board of Teaching ignores laws it doesn’t like.

With corruption like that, it isn’t difficult to see why income inequality is so prominent in the Twin Cities. It would surprising not to find income inequality in a place like that.

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It’s difficult to take Gov. Dayton’s statements about law enforcement seriously these days. Hours after Philando Castile was shot and killed by a St. Anthony police officer and while the investigation was just getting started, Gov. Dayton threw white gas on the fire by saying he thought Castile wouldn’t have gotten shot if he’d been white.

Law enforcement officials across the nation and in the Twin Cities took Gov. Dayton to task for making such a reckless statement. They were justified in extracting the proverbial pound of political flesh from Gov. Dayton’s hide.

I can’t take Gov. Dayton’s statement about the Baton Rouge assassinations seriously after Gov. Dayton’s statements about Philando Castile. In his statement about Baton Rouge, Gov. Dayton said “The terrible murder of three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge shocks the conscience of every decent-minded American. I renew my plea for all Minnesotans to engage only in peaceful and lawful ways to exercise their First Amendment rights. This is our opportunity to help lead the nation away from this wanton, mass violence and toward a reconciliation and healing.”

Lt. Gov. Smith issued this statement:

I join all Minnesotans in mourning the tragic shooting deaths of two Baton Rouge police officers and an East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office deputy. Our prayers are with their families, friends, and communities. Law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge and across our country bravely serve to keep us safe with little consideration for their own well-being. This makes their murders particularly horrifying. We must stop this terrible violence.

Notice what’s missing from their statements. Notice that they didn’t criticize Black Lives Matter. Neither criticized Al Sharpton or President Obama for the outright lie that is “Hands up, don’t shoot.” That would require them to exhibit courage, something that neither has.

If we want healing, which is desperately needed, we need politicians who will call out race pimps like Sharpton and gutless civic ‘leaders’ like Marilyn Mosby and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Right now, the Democratic Party doesn’t have anyone that fits that description.

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This weekend, I wrote that I was skeptical of reports that a special session would be called this August. After reading Don Davis’ article, I’m hoping that a special session only happens if Republicans stand steadfast against SWLRT.

In the article, Sen. Bakk thinks that, with regards to SWLRT, “there appear to be some alternatives available.” Here’s hoping that Speaker Daudt shoots that down immediately and harshly. Anything that gets SWLRT built is unacceptable. Any Bakk-favored alternative should be shown the door in as hostile a manner as possible.

LRT projects are a disaster. If communities want to build them, let them build them with their tax revenues. Then let them subsidize their operations with their property taxes or their sales taxes. Talk that the business community wants them isn’t justification for building SWLRT. If businesses think LRT is so fantastic, let them pay for building them.

The dirty little secret is that LRT isn’t worthwhile except if taxpayers build it and subsidize its operations. Even then, these projects benefit the few while hurting others. Ask the displaced businesses in St. Paul if they’re fans of LRT. Hint: when asking that question, wear a bullet-proof vest.

There is some good news in the negotiations:

Dayton said he is more optimistic than ever that there will be a special session. “Where there is a will, there is a way.” The governor said he gave up all spending he earlier wanted to come up in a special session other than work needed on sex offender facilities and at the state hospital in St. Peter.

That’s the benefit of steadfastly saying no to unreasonable spending demands. Give Speaker Daudt and Sen. Hann and their caucuses credit for that. It wouldn’t have been possible if members of their caucus had left their reservation.

That’s why Speaker Daudt needs to return to that position and why Sen. Hann needs to be given the title of majority leader. Conservatives would applaud them shutting down Gov. Dayton’s reckless spending demands. Minnesota’s economy would improve by not having the legislature and the governor pile tons of new regulation on small businesses, too.

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