Archive for the ‘DFL’ Category
Longtime readers of LFR know that I haven’t hesitated in highlighting how the DFL is the party of special interests. Lately, I’ve intensified my writings about how Democrats are favoring the environmentalists over the unions. That caught the attention of the Lady Logician, who wrote about Bill DeBlasio’s sucker-punching of the unions in this post:
Facing mounting criticism for refusing to even see the horses he proposes banning from the city, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio Thursday finally promised to go and see the animals in their stables.
He also promised that he wouldn’t change his mind about the ban, no matter what he sees there.
In Minnesota, Democrats are siding with militant environmentalists who hope to kill the PolyMet mining project, which would create tons of union jobs. In NYC, uber-liberal Mayor DeBlasio is siding with animal rights activists and militant environmentalists to kill lots of union jobs. In Washington, DC, the administration has dragged its feet on the Keystone XL Pipeline project, siding with environmentalists over the unions’ interests.
Until now, I’ve thought that the Democratic Party was the special interest party. Tonight, I changed my opinion. That’s because I’ve realized that the Democratic Party, in Minnesota and nationally, is owned by militant environmentalists. The only question left to answer is whether unions will continually side with the Democratic Party.
While it’d be a stretch to say that Republicans love all unions, it’s 100% accurate to say that Republicans are siding with mining unions on the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects. Similarly, it’s 100% accurate to say the DFL is tip-toeing through a political minefield while attempting to placate militant environmentalists and the miners’ union.
Honest union workers need to ask themselves why their leadership is constantly selling them out while electing Democratic politicians who talk about how they love unions while stabbing unions in the back. While they’re asking that question, they should ask themselves why they aren’t voting for pro-mining Republicans in Minnesota and pro-union jobs on the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Finally, the unions should ask themselves why they’re supporting Democrats that only pay “working families” lip service. It’s time these unions figured it out that today’s Democratic Party is pro-government unions, not private sector unions.
Technorati: Unions, Mining Projects, Keystone XL Pipeline, PolyMet Mining, Twin Metals Mining, Iron Range, MNGOP, Environmentalists, Public Sector Unions, Bill DeBlasio, President Obama, Democrats, DFL, Election 2014
The DFL’s hostility towards businesses has been frequently documented. Tax the Rich became their mantra in 2008. It’s still part of their mantra today. Unfortunately for Minnesotans, Gov. Dayton and the DFL didn’t just ‘tax the rich.’ They dropped a ton of taxes on the middle class and the working poor.
Speaker Thissen officially went on the record at a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce event that the DFL will raise the minimum wage and that it’s likely to be closer to $9.50 per hour than $7.75 per hour:
Tuesday’s Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Session Priorities event may have been full of literature, displays and speeches promoting business interests, but House Speaker Paul Thissen wasn’t shy about telling business leaders that they won’t be getting some of the biggest items on their wish list.
For starters, the highest income tax bracket is not going away, the DFLer from Minneapolis predicted. There will be a minimum wage hike, and that new minimum wage will be closer to the high end than the low end, he said.
“Quite frankly, I think this is the right direction for Minnesota to go. I know that’s going to disappoint a lot of the people in the room, but I think it’s where we should head,” Thissen said at the RiverCentre in St. Paul, where 1,650 tickets were sold to the annual event.
The short-term effect of raising the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour is that fewer teenagers will find jobs if the minimum wage is raised. In this sluggish economy, employers will have an additional excuse not to hire teenagers for summer jobs.
What’s most disturbing is that Thissen thinks that Democrats think this is the right direction to head in. It indicates that the DFL doesn’t understand what creates prosperity. One of Thissen’s top lieutenants, Rep. Ryan Winkler, repeatedly says that raising the minimum wage doesn’t hurt hiring. He’s both right and wrong. There’s sufficient proof that raising the minimum wage during good times isn’t tragic for businesses. It isn’t helpful but it isn’t catastrophic.
Likewise, there’s sufficient proof that raising the minimum wage during a struggling economy hurts hiring, especially with young people looking for their first job.
Finally, it looks like the warehousing services sales tax and the farm equipment repair sales tax will be repealed. Two weekends ago, SEIU Local 26 President Javier Morillo-Alicea tried spinning the repeal of these taxes as DFL tax relief. That’s the most deceitful spin I’ve heard in ages.
The DFL legislature passed a Tax Bill that raised too many taxes. After a lengthy public outcry, they’ve decided that it’s in the Democrats’ political self-interest to repeal their mistake before voters punish them this November. This isn’t about the Democrats realizing that their tax increases will hurt businesses.
It’s important to remember that these taxes were in Gov. Dayton’s initial budget. They were stripped from the Democrats’ Tax Bill thanks to an intense lobbying campaign by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. On the final weekend of last year’s session, the DFL put the tax increases back into the final bill.
Simply put, Democrats thumbed their noses at the Chamber. The DFL only changed directions when they noticed how upset the Chamber was with these tax hikes. Thissen is especially worried because the Senate isn’t up for re-election. That means all of the Chamber’s anger will be directed at House DFL legislators.
That isn’t automatically catastrophic with a statewide candidate, though it can’t help. It’s likely to have the biggest impact in House races where a well-funded challenger can defeat a vulnerable incumbent. That’s why Thissen is rightfully worried.
Technorati: Paul Thissen, Mark Dayton, Tax Increases, Warehouse Services Sales Tax, Farm Equipment Repair Sales Tax, Ryan Winkler, Minimum Wage Increase, DFL, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Election 2014
If anything is gaining traction as a totally unexpected issue, it’s the DFL’s palace, aka the Senate Office Building. In January, Joe Soucheray wrote this blistering piece about the SOB foolishness. He wasn’t finished. He’s written this article to blast the foolishness again.
The duplicitous DFLers in the state Senate are moving the marble around under the thimbles. Again. Watch it. Keep your eyes sharp.
As near as I can understand it, they are now informing us that a new Senate office building they want to build for themselves has always been a part of the plan to renovate the Capitol building.
We didn’t know that. Most of us are on board to renovate the Capitol, but we didn’t sign on to build a new office building for 44 of the 67 senators as part of the project. No, they tossed that new building into a tax bill in the closing minutes of the last legislative session and are now trying to sell us on the idea of how desperately they need the new space and that was the plan all along.
Let’s cut through the DFL’s spin. It’s entirely possible that Democrats, starting with Sen. Bakk, always planned on building this monument. Before you get upset with me, take time to think of it from an Obamacare perspective. After President Obama said that people could keep their health plan if they liked it, they followed that up by saying it was never their intent to let people keep their “substandard health insurance plan.” There’s no disputing that.
Pay attention to this thinking. President Obama and DC Democrats always planned on quietly pushing people out of the health insurance plans that they liked. Likewise, it’s totally plausible that Sen. Bakk and the Democrats supported this ill-advised project if it was done quietly.
If you need to seriously remodel your house to the point where you have to move out, it is unlikely that you are going to build a new house for yourself in the interim. No, you would rent a house.
The senators can rent office space in St. Paul. They don’t need an opulent $63 million building with a $27 million parking ramp on the side. That parking ramp is a beautiful window into the minds of the people who brought you light rail. In fact, light rail will swing right by the Capitol. So they should put their mouths where your money is, rent some of the extraordinarily available office space in St. Paul, hop on the train and get dropped off at the Capitol for votes and meetings and whatnot. Why would they need a parking ramp? They don’t even like cars.
Let’s get to the heart of this. Had the Capitol press paid attention and if they were in touch with Main Street Minnesota, they would’ve highlighted this foolish spending. Rather than actually reading bills and asking questions about whether the bills working their way through the legislature, the Capitol press spends most of its time tracking down quotes from legislators.
That isn’t journalism. That’s stenography. If newspapers want to increase readership, they should require their reporters to read the bills that are getting passed.
Part of the problem, unfortunately, is because people don’t care until after the outrage has happened. If people don’t want money to be spent foolishly, the citizenry should be eternally vigilant. Then, if politicians spend money this foolishly, the citizens should boot their arses out.
Finally, let’s have a straightfoward discussion about what Sen. Bakk perpetrated. Sen. Bakk didn’t want anyone to testify about his ill-advised initiative. That’s why he slid the proposal into the Tax Bill as an amendment in the final weeks of the session. If you look, Sen. Bakk didn’t author legislation proposing construction of the Senate Office Building.
It’s time for Minnesotans to step forward and speak with a loud, passionate and unified voice that any politician that isn’t willing to stop this project dead in its tracks will be targeted and defeated this November. Legislators who aren’t the taxpayers’ watchdog are utterly worthless. They should be fired this November.
That’s the only remedy for this disease. When people get re-elected after spending money foolishly, citizens are sending the signal that they’re ok with foolish spending. I’m not ok with this foolish spending.
Defunding this project is imperative to good governance and protecting the taxpayers’ pocketbooks. The House Rules Committee can stop this ill-advised project with a simple vote. Here’s the committee website. All of the GOP legislators will vote against the project so it’s imperative to call or email the DFL committee members and politely but firmly tell them that a vote to approve this project is a vote that will be remembered this November.
Technorati: Tom Bakk, Plutocrats, Senate Office Building, House Rules Committee, Committee Hearing, Legislative Amendment, Secrecy, Pork, DFL, Accountability, Transparency, Taxpayer Revolt, MNGOP, Election 2014
Predictably, the DFL’s spinmeisters are doing their best to put the happiest face on MNsure possible. This time, ABM and the public employee unions aren’t the only DFL spinmeisters plying their craft. Now they’ve got Scott Leitz, the interim CEO of MNsure, painting rosy pictures. This time, though, it’s time to dispel the myths that the DFL is working feverishly to establish. First, let’s look at what Mr. Leitz said in painting a hopeful picture:
“With regards to the private side, we are running about 30,000 right now, but we do anticipate because of the mandate that people have health insurance coverage by March 31,” Leitz said.
It’s time to see what official MNsure documents say about the health of the MNsure initiative. First, let’s look at how enrollment is going:
According to MNsure’s report, approximately 26,000 people had signed up for qualified health plans, aka QHPs, as of Jan. 4, 2014. As of Feb. 8, 29,493 people had enrolled, an increase of approximately 3,500. That’s an increase of approximately 13.5%. During the same timeframe, enrollments in Medical Assistance increased from approximately 28,000 to 41,591, an increase of over 13,500. That’s an increase of 48%.
That certainly isn’t the ratio MNsure was hoping for.
Here’s more bad news for MNsure and the DFL:
According to that chart, approximately 100 people are signing up for QHPs per day. If enrollments in process continue at this pace, MNsure won’t meet its goal of 69,904 until March…of next year.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the worst news. This pie chart should frighten Gov. Dayton and every DFL legislator who voted for the exchange legislation:
According to MNsure’s own statistics, only 21% of the enrollees in QHPs are in the 19-34 age cohort. That’s far below the 40% the federal government said is needed to pay for the benefits of less healthy people. Without 40% of the enrollees being young healthies or invincibles, health insurance premiums will spike this fall.
That should frighten Gov. Dayton, President Obama and Democrat legislators and senators to death because there’s nothing President Obama can do to stop insurance companies from announcing big premium spikes before this fall’s election. Those rate spikes will be announced in September or October.
If Democrats think they’re slamming into fierce headwinds now, they ain’t seen nothing yet. When that rate spike happens, employers will dump coverage and pay the penalty. Employees will get hit with the worst sticker shock they’ve ever experienced.
September and October will be difficult months for Democrats. The only month worse for Democrats than those months will be November.
When it comes to MNsure spin, Scott Leitz’s spin ranks right up there. Here’s what he said:
MNsure’s interim CEO Scott Leitz appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.
“With regards to the private side, we are running about 30,000 right now, but we do anticipate because of the mandate that people have health insurance coverage by March 31,” Leitz said.
Notice that Leitz didn’t say that they anticipate people enrolling because MNsure is selling a great product. Leitz didn’t say that people would buy at the last minute because they’re having a difficult time picking between a bunch of great options at great prices either. What Leitz said in this unguarded moment of truth is that people would buy health insurance because the government pointed a gun at their head.
It remains to be seen if Leitz’s prediction is right. I’m betting it isn’t because President Obama might delay imposing the individual mandate because it’s as unworkable as other parts of the ACA are. If that happens, people will have an additional incentive to not buy insurance. If people choose not to buy health insurance, health insurance prices will skyrocket. Not just that but there’s another important thing that likely will happen if people don’t sign up:
Only about one third signed up for private insurance plans, far below the projected numbers. That’s a problem because starting in 2015, money to fund MNsure is supposed to come from a tax on those private plans. If that trend continues, MNsure will face a substantial deficit and taxpayers may have to bail out the program.
If Minnesotans don’t flock to MNsure, MNsure will run a significant deficit that taxpayers will have to cover. This MNsure report indicates that MNsure won’t reach its targets. According to the report, 41,591 individuals have enrolled in Medical Assistance, 29,943 individuals have enrolled in qualified health plans (QHPs), while 21,414 individuals have enrolled in MinnesotaCare. According to the chart on page 4 of the report, approximately 3,500 people have signed up for QHPs this year. That’s approximately 3,500 individuals signing up between 1/4/2014 and 2/8/2014. That’s a little over 100 enrollments per day.
That’s stunning. MNsure needs to go from 29,500 individuals enrolled on 2/8/2014 to having 69,900 individuals enrolled on 4/1/2014. If enrollments continue at a pace of 100 enrollees per day between 2/8/2014 and 4/1/2014, they’ll have 34,600 individuals enrolled on April 1. At that pace, they’d fall short of their goal by 35,300 people.
That’s just part of the terrible news. According to the latest data, only 21% of the people signing up for QHPs are in the 19-34 age group. If that percentage doesn’t double by April 1, next year’s premiums will jump through the proverbial roof. If MNsure falls that far short of their goal, Minnesotans would be totally justified in thinking of that the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, isn’t affordable.
It isn’t surprising that Mr. Leitz’s spin got past Ms. Murphy’s attention. What won’t escape people’s attention if they’re buying health insurance is the fact that it’s expensive.
These days, the environmentalist wing of the DFL, aka the elitist Metrocrats, seem determined to shaft miners. This time, it’s Speaker Thissen that’s giving the Iron Range the shaft:
The Minnesota House speaker will not allow any legislation to pass this year setting an amount PolyMet Mining Corp. should set aside to fix environmental damage done by its proposed copper-nickel mine.
“We are not taking up any legislation related to mining, one way or the other,” House Speaker Paul Thissen, D-Minneapolis, told Forum News Service on Friday. “The best thing is to let the process work its way out.”
One of Thissen’s committees held a 5½-hour meeting this week dealing with how much money the state should require PolyMet to pay up front to clean up any environment issues once the mine closes. PolyMet itself has said perhaps $200 million should be available at mine closure, with a few million more a year for some time afterward.
When Yvonne Prettner-Solon announced that she’d gotten tired of being ignored by Gov. Dayton, she created an opening on the Dayton ticket. Rather than picking Tony Sertich, Gov. Dayton picked Tina Smith, creating an all-Minneapolis ticket.
This time, Speaker Thissen is saying he won’t lift a finger to help out the Iron Range. It’s worth noting that Thissen is the quintessential Minneapolis Metrocrat. He’s danced the environmentalists’ tune every time they’ve demanded it of him.
At some point, the blue collar workers of the Iron Range will have to ask whether Gov. Dayton, Speaker Thissen and Alida Messinger care about them after they’ve cast their votes for the DFL. Thus far, the Metrocrats have proven that they’re interested in the Iron Range’s support at the polls. What’s worse is that the Metrocrats have shown that they’re totally disinterested in supporting the Iron Range’s pro-mining agenda.
FOOTNOTE: During Friday night’s political roundtable, SEIU Local 26 President Javier Morillo-Alicea said that this isn’t a big deal, that “voters don’t think in terms of geographical balance.” Andy Brehm pounced on that, saying “Spoken like someone from Minneapolis.”
It’s true voters don’t walk into a voting booth and say “I can’t vote for this ticket because it isn’t geographically balanced. That said, there’s tons of reasons for Iron Rangers to abandon the DFL, starting with the indisputable fact that Alida Messinger, the biggest funder of the DFL, hates mining.
Funding the DFL isn’t the only activism Ms. Messinger has engaged in. According to Conservation Minnesota’s website, Ms. Messinger is the Vice-Chair of CM’s Board of Directors. CM is one of the biggest supporters of MiningTruth.org:
Our goal is to provide a resource for Minnesotans to get the facts about sulfide mining and its impacts. Today, there is little awareness and even less understanding about proposed sulfide mining projects in northern Minnesota.
Our state has important choices to make that impact every Minnesotan. The more people who participate in these decisions, the better the outcome. Learn more about sulfide mining.
Founding partners of Mining Truth are Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Conservation Minnesota. See the full list of supporters.
Apparently, Thissen doesn’t want his DFL House caucus voting on anything controversial:
However, Thissen said the DNR should proceed with its studies, adding that he is confident the process will provide enough information that those in charge “can make the right decisions.”
“We do have this process in place,” the speaker said. “It feels like the information is getting out there. I feel this is going to be an extensive process.” Thissen said fellow House Democrats, who hold a majority of the votes, do not appear to be leaning “one way or the other” on the PolyMet issue.
That’s pure BS. The Twin Cities DFL want to kill the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects. The Iron Range DFL want those project built ASAP.
Politics is definitely a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately proposition. Lately Metro DFL legislators have given the Iron Range the shaft. They just didn’t give them the mine to go with it.
Technorati: Paul Thissen, Mark Dayton, Alida Messinger, Tina Smith, Militant Environmentalists, Metrocrats, Yvonne Prettner-Solon, Tony Sertich, Iron Range Democrats, DFL Civil War, Javier Morillo-Alicea, Metrocrats, Election 2014
All of the pundits have hinted that the DFL is one big, happy family. I’m betting that those pundits are stretching things a bit based on this article:
The DFL political establishment on the Range is virtually unanimous in its support, which also has the backing of many in the construction trades, another key DFL constituency. But the controversial project faces stiff and well-coordinated opposition from environmental groups and many DFL lawmakers.
“Clearly this opens up the clash and conflict between those DFLers who value the environment first, versus those who value jobs first. We will all have to answer the question, ‘Whose side are you on?’” Anzelc said. “I think this issue has the potential to divide the DFL convention this summer. The table is set for Democrats running for statewide office to have a real challenging time of it in the ’14 elections.”
Anzelc is partially right. He said this in the context of Gov. Dayton picking Tina Smith as his running mate. This split has been developing since 2009. That’s when Chip Cravaack campaigned hard on the Range and took tons of votes from Jim Oberstar, something that people thought was impossible.
In 2012, ‘normalcy’ was restored when fossilized Rick Nolan defeated Chip. That calm exterior disappeared when Nolan decided to vote for HR761:
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.”
Picking Tina Smith certainly contributed to this division getting exposed but the DFL’s allies have contributed more to this expanding division. Twin Cities Metrocrats are militant environmentalists. They’re passionately opposed to mining. They love harvesting the Iron Range’s votes. They also love stiffing the Iron Range on their highest priorities.
Gov. Dayton’s pick is essentially the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
Marlene Pospeck, a former mayor of Hoyt Lakes and a longtime DFL activist, noted that strong turnout on the Range has been critical to many DFL victories in the past, including Gov. Dayton’s narrow victories in the DFL primary and general election in 2010.
“The people in St. Paul need to be aware that if they want to be re-elected, we on the Iron Range hold one of the keys,” Pospeck said.
Still strong for DFL in ’14?
Like Anzelc, Pospeck believes that PolyMet and, more generally, mining, is the principal source of regional conflict within the party. But she said it is not the only one. Another came in 2012, when Mark Phillips was squeezed out as commissioner of the powerful Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). An Iron Range native who previously worked at the IRRRB, Phillips resigned the post after less than a year on the job. The reasons for Phillips’ departure have never been made entirely clear.
Pospeck isn’t issuing an idle threat on this. I wrote this post about Pospeck’s LTE about taking the Iron Range for granted:
For instance, although mining is the lifeblood of our region and provides benefit for the entire state, those in high office in St. Paul have been almost silent in support of this important industry that provides thousands of jobs on the Iron Range.
So when these DFL candidates come north, seeking our votes and making promises they do not intend to keep, let’s carefully assess whether or not they truly support our concerns and intend to effectively address our issues.
It is no longer enough for them simply to carry the label DFL to win our votes. We Iron Rangers must hold their feet to the fire and demand their support for issues important to the Iron Range in return.
It’s put-up-or-shut-up time for the DFL. They can either support the Iron Range or they can start expecting to get a smaller share of the Iron Range vote.
Technorati: Mark Dayton, Tina Smith, Lieutenant Governor Candidate, Alida Messinger, Metrocrats, Militant Environmentalists, Marlene Pospeck, PolyMet Mining, Iron Rangers, Rick Nolan, Flip-Flopper, DFL Civil War, Election 2014
I didn’t know about Joe Soucheray’s column from the Jan. 11, 2014 edition of the Pioneer Press. It’s a fascinating read. Here’s part of Mr. Soucheray’s column:
Not only is a new state Senate office building unnecessary, but the effort to bring it about was, essentially, crooked. In the final minutes of the last legislative session, the lodge tucked into a massive tax bill language that authorized a new edifice for themselves. They might as well have been throwing candy from a parade float.
They didn’t even know what it would cost, and they apparently didn’t care. They didn’t even seem to care that their action might very well have been unconstitutional. Former state Rep. Jim Knoblach, R-St. Cloud, filed a lawsuit in October. We should be cheering for this guy. He contends in the suit that authorizing the project in a tax bill, instead of the usual bonding bill, violates a state constitutional requirement that a law embrace only one subject. A hearing is scheduled this month in Ramsey County District Court.
Mr. Soucheray is right. Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk, Speaker Thissen and the DFL didn’t care how much this building cost. They didn’t care that the building wasn’t needed or that there were cheaper ‘solutions’ to this non-problem. The Minnesota Senate needed that building like this ship needed more ice near Antarctica:
The Minnesota Senate needed that office building like Olympic athletes need this type of drinking water:
Let’s get serious about this. If we do, then we’ll be more considerate of the taxpayers’ plight than the DFL was. The DFL Tax Bill is a disaster. First, it raised taxes on the middle class and on small retailers. Next, it’s spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need, aka the Senate Office Building. Third, the DFL is already admitting that they raised taxes too much because they’re already preparing to repeal some of the taxes they created less than a year ago.
All of these things are major mistakes. Building the SOB is the biggest of those mistakes because, potentially, it’ll exist a generation or more. Hopefully, the middle class tax hikes will be repealed. (The sooner the better, right?) Repealing the B2B sales taxes will happen this session.
Unfortunately, if it’s approved by the DFL House Rules Committee, the SOB will be with us for a generation or more.
The biggest question Minnesotans need to ask themselves is whether they want inconsiderate, thoughtless people running state government. The DFL did what conservatives predicted they’d do. They raised taxes on the middle class and working poor. They foolishly spent money on things like the Senate Office Building. They built a collosal monument to their warped ideology when they passed MNsure.
I’d argue that the DFL is the ‘gang that couldn’t shoot straight’ if I thought that were true. Unfortunately, this DFL governor and this DFL legislature has aimed their taxing and spending guns at every Minnesotan. Every Minnesota taxpayer will pay for this monstrosity.
Mostly, the SOB is a testimony to the DFL’s appetite for spending money foolishly. That alone should get them fired this November.
Last night, I heard that the judge dismissed Jim Knoblach’s lawsuit. The twisted logic behind the judge’s ruling has essentially given future legislatures a gigantic loophole that essentially nullifies the Single Subject Clause of Minnesota’s Constitution. Jim Knoblach’s argument, the DFL’s counnterargument and the judge’s ruling are found in this document:
Here’s where the judge created a gigantic loophole:
The crux of the plaintiff’s argument is that, based on legislative custom and history, the passage of Section 21 was a significant deviation from traditional practice — by its inclusion in a tax bill and consideration before a tax committee — and was the product of impermissable logrolling that violates the Single Subject and Title Clause. Where the court has found that legislation is germane to a single subject, however, allegations of legislative improprieties cease to be a proper subject of judicial review. Certainly Plaintiff has highlighted significant oddities about this legislation and its passage, but such factors only become relevant if the legislation has failed the mere filament test.
What this judge just did was rule that the DFL could’ve put other capital projects into last year’s Tax Bill:
But Judge Lezlie Marek rejected that argument, writing in her order of dismissal that the legislation did not violate the single subject requirement. The $2 billion tax bill was a sprawling piece of legislation, but Marek ruled that the office building provision is linked to the rest by a common thread of “financing and raising revenue to fund state and local government operations.”
In other words, it’s a single subject because the tax bill finances government operations. That’s absurd illogic. The Senate Office Building project isn’t part of government operations. It can’t be part of government operations until it’s actually built, if then.
By this judge’s ruling, anything can be justified if it’s ruled to be part of state or local government operations and it’s included in the tax bill. That’s a gigantic loophole for the DFL to exploit.
The lesson taxpayers should take away from this is that the DFL won’t hesitate in spending hard-working families’ money on things that aren’t needed. Last spring, the DFL voted to spend $63,000,000 on an impractical building. Here’s what we’re getting forced down our throats:
Under the approved design, 44 senators from both parties and their staffs would relocate to the new building, and 23 others — the DFL and GOP leaders and committee chairs — would keep offices in the Capitol.
The “heart” of the new building would be the main floor with large, open public gathering spaces that look out on the Capitol through a “sweeping curve” of a glass and stone wall, said Jon Pickard, the principal designer with the Pickard Chilton architectural design firm. Large committee hearing rooms, which the Capitol lacks, also would be located on the main floor.
Senators and their staffs would have offices on the top two floors. A two-level, 265-stall parking garage would be built under the building.
The House Rules Committee hasn’t voted to approve this monstrosity. DFL legislators can stop the building of this disfunctional, ill-advised project by not approving this project. If they approve Sen. Bakk’s palace, they will have proven that they’re irresponsible stewards of the public’s money. Only a fool thinks that spending $63,000,000 on this ill-advised SOB (Senate Office Building) is a wise investment.
Anyone voting for the SOB isn’t a trustworthy watchdog of the taxpayers’ money.
When Alida Messinger picked Tina Smith to be her ex’s running mate, she sent the signal that she didn’t trust Iron Range candidates. That’s likely because Alida hates mining. Imagine her disgust when she found out that the Duluth Chamber of Commerce voted unanimously to support PolyMet:
The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce has announced its board of directors has voted unanimously in support of the proposed PolyMet copper mine project.
Chamber president David Ross said the vote was to “support advocacy for the PolyMet project. And to go beyond that and state that we are here to encourage decision makers to allow this project to proceed,” Ross said in a video statement.
While it’s about 5 years too late, this development is still welcome. This puts pressure on DFL legislators because they’re trying to thread the needle. DFL legislators have to please the miners. These legislators have to keep the environmentalists happy, too.
At this point, the environmentalists have to be discouraged. They’ve poured time, money, campaigning and misinformation into their effort to prevent PolyMet. At this point, it looks like they’ve lost the fight. It looks like they’ll have to rely on President Obama’s corrupt EPA to prevent PolyMet.
Iron Rangers have traditionally supported the DFL. Their faithful support shouldn’t earn them the DFL’s cold shoulder. At this point, the ruling Metrocrat wing of the DFL loves the Iron Range’s support but they hate the Iron Range’s pro-mining agenda.
Hopefully, the Iron Range will wake up to the fact that the GOP is pro-mining. Hopefully, that recognition translates into increased support for the GOP’s pro-mining candidates. Hopefully, conservative DFL voters will file for a messy divorce the first Tuesday this November.
Frankly, it can’t happen soon enough.