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Julia Erynn’s articleprovides proof that the people closest to light rail projects don’t like them. Ms. Erynn’s article starts by saying “Dozens of business owners in St. Paul are speaking out against a light rail addition to West 7th St, placing signs in their windows urging patrons to sign a petition against the additional mass transit” then adding “The local business owners fear growing crime rates (which are proven along light rail routes), loss of parking for customers, and loss of revenue.”

That’s fantastic. Crime increases and taxpayers subsidize the criminals’ ‘getaway car’. I don’t know the specifics of this neighborhood but I know that other neighborhoods affected by light rail have been decimated because they’ve relied on walk-up business. Light rail demolishes that business model. Why can’t city planners leave well enough alone? Why do they have to side with the special interests all of the time?

As bad as that is, this is worse:

Several of the local owners say they feel they are not involved enough in the decision making process.

This information isn’t surprising either:

Alpha News has reached out to local lawmakers Senator Sandy Pappas (DFL) and Representative Carlos Mariani and have yet to receive comment.

Why would elected officials think that they need to be accountable? What St. Paul needs is their STPexit.

Despite Gov. Dayton’s best efforts to play the part of Obstructionist-in-Chief, with a supporting cast of metro environmentalists and SWLRT activists, it appears as though a bipartisan compromise has been reached between Sen. Jeremy Miller, (R-Winona), and Sen. Roger Reinert, (DFL-Duluth).

The key part of their compromises comes when they say “While there are projects in the districts we represent that didn’t make the bonding bill legislative leaders agreed to in the final hours of regular session, we realize that in order to garner the three-fifths super majority needed in each chamber to pass a bonding bill, any additional projects will need to have a strong state-wide significance.”

Sen. Miller and Sen. Reinert then lay out their proposal, saying “First, in recognition of the University of Minnesota’s critical role in our designation as a top state for healthcare education, access, and outcomes, we support including the University of Minnesota Health Sciences Education Facility in a final bonding bill. Second, in order to avoid unnecessary additional costs to taxpayers that would occur if the Minnesota Security Hospital Upgrade is not fully funded this year, we also support including their full request in the bonding bill.”

Simply put, I think this paints Gov. Dayton into a tight corner. It’s apparent that there’s significant bipartisan opposition to Gov. Dayton’s demands for funding SWLRT. Here’s the senators’ letter:

Rick Nolan isn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier. I recall thinking that when he was my congressman back in the mid-1970s. Back then, constituents knew that he’d vote the way Democratic leadership told him to vote. Nothing’s changed in 40+ years. Yesterday, Nolan joined the Democrats’ gun control sit-in. When it was his time to speak, Nolan spoke of a bygone era that didn’t exist, saying “If anybody had a good idea in the form of a bill or an amendment, they got an opportunity to offer it, and have it debated and discussed. That rarely happens anymore.”

What’s changed in those 40+ years is that Democrats went from being a party brimming with ideas to being the party of identity politics. Democrats don’t provide solutions anymore. These days, Democrats offer legislation that appeases one of their special interest allies. This week, rather than offering President Obama advice on how to destroy ISIS, Democrats have staged a faux protest aimed at getting their special interest allies frothing at the mouth over gun control. Here’s Nolan at his fruitiest:

Rep. Nolan supplied one of the dumbest arguments in favor of gun control. It deserves to be enshrined in the House of Representatives’ Hall of Shame. Here’s what Rep. Nolan said:

“I represent rural communities in northeastern Minnesota. Everybody in my neighborhood has shotguns and deer rifles—including me,” Nolan said in the release. “I’m proud to strongly support the Second Amendment. But the fact is, when you’re out duck hunting, you can only have three shells in your gun. Why? To protect ducks! That’s right—we put limits on guns to protect ducks. So why can’t we do the same for our elementary schoolchildren? For our friends and neighbors in places of worship? For our families who want to catch a Friday night movie? For our LGBTQ community who just want to go out for some fun and dancing on a Saturday night? Surely they deserve the same concern and safety that we afford to ducks.”

That’s breathtakingly stupid. Either that or he’s being breathtakingly dishonest. The Second Amendment wasn’t ratified to give people the right to hunt. Comparing hunting regulations with constitutional protections is like comparing the newest power tools with this year’s beauty pageant contestants. One has nothing to do with the other. Let me explain.

Hunting regulations were put in place to maintain healthy populations of game animals so sportsmen could go hunting. They weren’t put in place, as Rep. Nolan said, “to protect ducks.” The no fly-no buy legislation that Democrats, including Rep. Nolan, support requires the suspension of Fifth Amendment’s due process protections. Those protections protect people from start to finish. The Democrats’ No Fly-No Buy legislation only offers due process ‘protection’ after the fact. That certainly wouldn’t meet constitutional muster.

This is a gift to Stewart Mills’ campaign. Mills lost to Nolan by 3,732 votes in 2014. If Rep. Nolan keeps saying stupid things like this, he’ll get pummeled.

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When it comes to dishonest DFL politicians, Paul Thissen is in the conversation. Though he isn’t at the top of the list, he’s certainly part of the conversation. Yesterday, Rep. Thissen issued this statement. To be fair to Rep. Thissen, there were fragments of truth in his statement.

For instance, Rep. Thissen was sort of right in saying “Republicans have refused to provide any compromise offers to get needed tax, bonding and budget bills passed in a special session.” I say sort of right because they’re sticking with the House bill, which included lots of DFL priorities in it. I wrote this article to highlight the amount of compromise included in the House bonding/transportation bill. I included a lengthy quote from Sen. David Hann in the article. He was clearly and justifiably upset with Gov. Dayton’s refusal to drop any of his demands. Here’s what Sen. Hann said:

I would just reiterate that the bills that we had on the last day of session were compromise bills. Go back again. Look at the tape. Look at Sen. Stumpf talking about the bonding/transportation bill. He called it a “true compromise between Republicans and Democrats.” The Speaker has pointed out that half of that bill, more than half of it, had the Governor’s priorities in it. And now we’re supposedly at a point where all of those compromises are off the table and we’ve got another $243,000,000 of additional spending that we are being asked to do without any backing away from that number — an additional couple hundred million in bonding.

And all of this is kind of in complete denial of all of the compromise work that had gone on this entire last session. This is what I find so remarkable. I think it is a setback. Why, after a whole session and actually going back to the session before of talking about some of these issues, to now have a bill get killed at the last minute with a request for a light rail project that no one had ever seen a hearing on and now, that becomes a must have and they say we have to start over and renegotiate everything, I think it is a setback.

Rep. Thissen, why should Republicans offer additional compromises when Gov. Dayton refuses to move a square centimeter from his post-session positions? Rep. Thissen apparently thinks that Republicans should always compromise and that DFL politicians don’t ever have to compromise.

Later in his statement, Rep. Thissen said “If House Republicans were serious about doing the job they were elected to do, they wouldn’t be bringing controversial new policy into the discussion at this stage.” That’s rich. The only reason we’re in this position is because a handful of DFL senators amended the House bonding/transportation bill with less than 10 minutes left in the session to include a provision for funding for the Southwest Light Rail project. That provision was controversial. It wasn’t discussed in any House or Senate committee hearings. As Sen. Hann points out, “now it becomes a must have and we have to start over and renegotiate everything.”

It’s time Speaker Daudt and Sen. Hann turned up the heat on Gov. Dayton for killing the Tax Bill, then refusing the legislature to fix it. Gov. Dayton said he wouldn’t hold the Tax Bill hostage. I guess he meant he wouldn’t hold it hostage until he started using it as leverage in negotiations. Here’s why that’s important.

Gov. Dayton wants to increase the size of the bonding bill by more than 40% over the House bonding/transportation bill. Further, he wants $243,000,000 worth of additional spending for the Twin Cities added to a new supplemental appropriations bill after signing a major supplemental appropriations bill a month ago.

In other words, Gov. Dayton is insisting on getting everything he’s wanted from the start of the regular session. Republicans need to expose him for the autocrat that he is. Similarly, they need to expose the DFL as the party who hasn’t negotiated in good faith and that aren’t interested in doing what’s right for Minnesotans. Here’s Rep. Thissen’s statement:

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In a PR stunt, Gov. Dayton announced that he’s appealing the ruling shooting down the Next Generation Energy Act, aka the NGEA. It’s a PR stunt because Gov. Dayton said “it’s a matter of protecting air quality.” The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees, saying that “Minnesota would need Congressional approval to enforce that section of the 2007 law.”

Gov. Dayton is standing on shaky constitutional ground. He’s argued that the NGEA “doesn’t illegally restrict new coal-powered plants but merely requires that they be offset by reductions at existing plants.” That’s irrelevant. The Interstate Commerce Clause, found in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the US Constitution states “The Congress shall have Power To … To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”

Think of the insanity if this wasn’t the case. If the ICC didn’t exist, North Dakota could pass a law that requires all electricity sold into North Dakota had to be from nuclear power plants. Without the ICC, Minnesota would face a choice of not selling electricity into North Dakota or to generate that electricity at nuclear power plants.

Such laws would demolish state sovereignty. That’s intolerable.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision last week that barred Minnesota from enforcing key sections of the Next Generation Energy Act. The court sided with North Dakota utilities and other interests that argued [the NGEA] illegally regulates out-of-state utilities.

As usual, Rep. Pat Garofalo nails it with this statement:

This is an election year stunt aimed at improving turnout with environmental activists. It’s Gov. Dayton’s signal that he’s with them. Sadly, Gov. Dayton didn’t swear an oath to be with them. The oath he took said that he’d uphold the Minnesota Constitution and the US Constitution. As usual, he’s got his priorities all mixed up.

The SC Times Editorial Board isn’t as unflinchingly liberal as the Strib’s Editorial Board but it’s a close second in Minnesota. This editorial isn’t the worst that they’ve published but it’s still a cheerleading editorial.

For instance, this editorial says “Earlier, the Times Editorial Board gave this advice to Gov. Mark Dayton: Don’t call a special session. Make the lawmakers deal with the consequences of failing to find agreement on some major legislation.” Clearly, the Times Editorial Board is picking Gov. Dayton’s side. It’s as if they’re absolving him of any responsibility for the trainwreck.

Gov. Dayton isn’t innocent in all this. He’s the idiot that vetoed the Tax Bill that would’ve provided tax relief to small businesses, farmers, students with crushing student loan debt, parents trying to save for their kids’ college education and military veterans. Is the Times Editorial Board cheering this disastrous decision? That’s what it looks like.

Dayton’s glum status report: “We’re moving backward.”

Gov. Dayton ought to know. He’s the politician who’s moving things backwards. During the session, he signed a supplemental spending bill. It wasn’t for nearly the amount that he’d originally wanted. Gov. Dayton is now insisting that a special session won’t be called until Speaker Daudt agrees to give him the rest of his spending request.

Thankfully, Speaker Daudt rejected that demand. Meanwhile, the Times apparently doesn’t care that hard-working blue collar people have gotten deprived of tax relief thanks to the actions of a spoiled trust fund liberal. Listen to Sen. Hann’s opening statement in this video. It’s quite compelling:

Dayton’s limousine liberalism and his my-way-or-the-highway negotiating style sends the clear message that he puts his ideology ahead of doing the right thing for Minnesotans. Lumped in with that is the DFL itself.

Sen. Hann noted the bipartisan nature of the bonding/transportation bill. Now Gov. Dayton wants to essentially start over and include all of his priorities while refusing to accept Republicans’ proposals. That’s what obstructionist liberalism looks like.

Let’s be clear. If Sen. Bakk were a profile in courage, he’d break with Gov. Dayton and insist that Gov. Dayton call a special session to fix the Tax Bill. The fact that he’s stayed silent says everything.

Finally, why has Gov. Dayton and the DFL insisted on a bonding bill that funds Southwest Light Rail? Twin Cities progressives insist that it’s needed. They’ve never explained why it’s needed. That hasn’t mattered to the Times. Like an obedient puppy, they’ve refrained from asking important questions. That isn’t surprising, especially considering the Times’ puppy dog reputation.

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The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, aka ABM, is the DFL’s BS machine. These days, it looks more like a BS factory than anything else. This post’s content is almost totally BS. In a blatant display of dishonesty, ABM insists that “Daudt and his Republican colleagues have pursued a harmful, Trump-like agenda.”

That’s interesting. It’s also BS. Speaker Daudt and the GOP haven’t said that they’ll sit down with the NRA to straighten them out about gun rights and due process rights. Trump certainly hasn’t put together a middle class tax cut proposal like Speaker Daudt and the GOP have. Trump’s tax plan favors corporations. Tax Chair Larry Davids’ plan favors veterans, students, small businesses and parents saving for their kids’ college education. Trump’s proposal is as similar to Chairman Davids’ proposal as ice cream is similar to hydraulic log splitters.

The title to ABM’s propaganda piece is titled “Speaker Daudt Can’t Deny His Ties to Trump.” I know ABM will hammer that theme for the rest of the campaign even though it doesn’t have anything to do with reality. That’s why ABM will hammer it. They know it isn’t the truth. That’s what ABM specializes in. What’s coy is ABM’s tactic of quoting a Trump campaign worker:

Similarly, the Minnesota Trump campaign chair said, “Speaker Daudt will be a tremendous champion for our shared message in Cleveland, and across Minnesota.”

Let’s remember that Trump promised to self-fund his campaign, too. Yesterday, news reports flourished that Trump raised $3,100,000 in May and that he’s got $1,289,000 cash on hand (CoH). Trusting anything Trump says or that his surrogates say isn’t just foolish. It’s proof that you’re totally gullible. I don’t doubt that they’d love to have Speaker Daudt’s endorsement but that isn’t happening. Speaker Daudt knows better than to tie his boat to Trump’s sinking ship.

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It wouldn’t be a special session if the DFL’s special interest allies didn’t suddenly rush out of the woodwork like they’re doing now. This morning, legislative leaders met with Gov. Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Flint-Smith. PBS’s Mary Lahammer tweeted that negotiations are underway. Meanwhile, David Montgomery is reporting that the meeting is over. Montgomery quoted Speaker Daudt as saying “I’m still optimistic we’ll get to a special session. It may take some time.”

That’s probably right. I suspect that the DFL won’t cave until they start seeing how poorly they’re doing in outstate districts in the House and Senate. That’s the point at which they’ll have their ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with Gov. Dayton. It would be embarrassing for the DFL to thrown out of the majority in the Senate in the year Hillary cleans Trump’s clock in Minnesota. Still, that’s a distinct possibility.

The array of DFL special interests this morning was impressive in a depressing way. Transportation Forward put together a rally. Check out their list of DFL special interest “Coalition Partners“. I’ve made this graphic showing the environmental organizations on Transportation Forward’s “Coalition Partners”:

Organizations highlighted are hardline environmental activist organizations.
Here’s some other Coalition Partners:

Transportation Forward’s special interest allies have made it essentially impossible to negotiate a deal for a special session. That’s disappointing.

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When this year’s legislative session ended, the CW was that the DFL held the upper hand in the PR/campaign fight. Whether that was true or not at the time isn’t relevant anymore. What’s relevant is who’s fought the smartest fight to this point. This statement hammers home some important points.

In total, it says “House Republicans did their job this year, negotiated in good faith and passed bipartisan bills on the priorities most important to Minnesotans. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats and Gov. Dayton deliberately obstructed progress. First, Senate Democrats blocked funding for transportation and infrastructure, then Governor Dayton vetoed tax relief for working families, college students, parents, farmers, and veterans. If Gov. Dayton knew he was going to veto the tax bill, he should have done it a long time ago and called a special session right away. Now the election is ramping up and the political environment will get in the way of honest compromises. We are willing to hold a special session. We agree with Gov. Dayton’s requests in the tax relief bill, and we should pass the bipartisan compromise transportation and infrastructure bill that was agreed to on the last day of session. We are not going to rehash the whole session by repeating negotiations on half a billion dollars of new spending demands.”

The DFL has talked solely about process, talking about the end of session. Republicans have talked about Gov. Dayton vetoing the Tax Bill, then questioning why Gov. Dayton decided to hurt veterans, farmers, college students, parents saving for their kids’ college education and small businesses.

I won’t say that people don’t care about process. If I were a betting man, though, I’d bet that people care more about getting tax relief. If the DFL thinks that they’re winning that fight, I hope they keep thinking that.

The DFL is also highlighting the line ‘If the Twin Cities wants to raise the money to build SWLRT, they should be able to.’ I’d agree to that statement only if the DFL agreed that the metro also paid for the annual operating deficits, too.

The DFL needs to pick up seats in exurban and rural Minnesota. Arguing that tax relief for farmers, veterans and small businesses hinges on a metro project is exceptional stupid politics on the DFL’s part.

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The St. Cloud Times Editorial Board’s latest editorial could’ve been written by Moms Demand Action. The sad thing is that the Times is just as uninformed now as it was a year ago.

For instance, their chief recommendation is “Improving background checks. There are a variety of proposals in Congress that are reasonable. A good starting point is the long-proposed plan to require background checks for all gun purchases online and at gun shows. Unfortunately, the Senate, the day after the San Bernardino shootings, rejected this proposal 50-48. It was the second failure of the measure. It also rejected 55-45 a proposal to prevent people on the terrorist watch list from being able to legally buy guns.”

First, the Times should read the existing laws. Sean Davis, the founder of The Federalist, did. Then he wrote this post demolishing the myths that the Times still perpetuates:

1) The ‘Gun Show Loophole’ Allows Anyone, Even Criminals, To Get Guns

In reality, the so-called “gun show loophole” is a myth. It does not exist. There is no loophole in federal law that specifically exempts gun show transactions from any other laws normally applied to gun sales. Not one.

If you purchase a firearm from a federal firearms licensee (FFL) regardless of the location of the transaction — a gun store, a gun show, a gun dealer’s car trunk, etc. — that FFL must confirm that you are legally allowed to purchase that gun. That means the FFL must either run a background check on you via the federal NICS database, or confirm that you have passed a background check by examining your state-issued concealed carry permit or your government-issued purchase permit. There are zero exceptions to this federal requirement.

If an individual purchases a gun across state lines, from an individual or FFL which resides in a different state than the buyer, the buyer must undergo a background check, and the sale must be processed by an FFL in the buyer’s home state.

Here’s a pointed question for the TEB (Times Editorial Board): Do we need multiple federal laws covering the same situation? Here’s another question for the TEB: Might it not be better if we just enforced the laws that already address these situations?

Further, I wrote this article to highlight the fact that the federal government failed to do what it’s supposed to do. It won’t do any good to write new laws if the federal government won’t consistently and efficiently enforce the laws on the books.

To be fair, the TEB did its liberal duty. It did what it’s expected to do. Unfortunately, according to chapter 1, verse 1 of the progressives’ gospel is to disseminate untruths frequently and consistently.

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