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Anyone that thinks that Rep. Ilhan Omar’s life was complicated before this week should read this article. After reading that article, they’ll realize that Rep. Omar’s life is just starting to get super-complicated.

According to the article, “Rep. Ilhan Omar swore under oath in a 2017 divorce filing that she hadn’t seen her husband Ahmed N. Elmi in six years and didn’t know anyone who might be able to locate him, yet he appears to have designed a website for Omar’s sister this year, according to data hidden in the source code of that website.” Anyone who thinks there’s a simple explanation for this that doesn’t involve extreme political complications and perhaps some criminal complications is kidding themselves.

That’s just the start of Rep. Omar’s difficulties, though. The article continues with this:

In arguing that she should be granted a divorce without her husband’s consent because he could not be located, she claimed that she did not know the name of a single member of her husband’s immediate family. She also claimed that her attempts to find him included unsuccessfully searching on social media but he has been on Twitter since 2012 and Facebook since 2007 and is also on LinkedIn and other platforms.

The odds of Rep. Omar not finding her hubby under his given name aren’t high. It’s impossible to think that she didn’t know her hubby’s screenname on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. That’s a 5-minute search on the slowed day in the history of the internet. Then there’s this:

Lying on a sworn form is perjury and each charge carries five years in prison, according to Minnesota law. Questions have been raised about the accuracy of approximately six statements on the sworn form.

If Speaker Pelosi’s Democrats protect Rep. Omar, they’ll suffer a gigantic defeat in November, 2020. Committing multiple felonies isn’t something the Ethics Committee should tolerate. That should draw an expulsion from the full House.

This should drive the proverbial final nail home:

I’m not a legal eagle but that looks a lot like a smoking gun. The other question left in all this is what lengths the Star Tribune will go to protect Rep. Omar. At this point, I’d hope they wouldn’t walk across the newsroom to help her.

In the past, I’ve been pretty disgusted with the (lack of) quality displayed in the St. Cloud Times’ Our View editorials. Unfortunately for its readers, this Our View editorial is the worst Our View editorial I’ve ever read.

As is often the case, the Times’ Editorial Board couldn’t resist preaching from its moral high horse instead of doing its research. The editorial started by saying “St. Cloud, we have a problem. And it’s costing us dearly in respect, dignity and treasure. Our problem is not refugees. It’s not even an image problem, although we most certainly have one of those. If you don’t think so, Google ‘St. Cloud’ and click on the first New York Times article at the top.

Our real problem is that there are too many cowards in our midst. Yes, we said it: Cowards. Cowards who blanch at the idea of Somalis “just walking around” on a public trail. Cowards who cost local businesses thousands of dollars by overreacting to a mismarked security vehicle out of fear of Sharia law — which isn’t coming for us. It just isn’t, and only cowards believe it is.”

It continues:

Corporate America is not, by and large, interested in associating itself with hate of any kind. The cowardly among us keep perpetuating a local brand that makes it less likely we will be in the running for the next tech outpost or national call center. Convention schedulers are also keenly aware that attendees will look for details about our city and find our darkest side. Already this newspaper has been reached out to by travelers who planned to come to St. Cloud and changed their plans after the latest “branding effort.”

The smartest young people, the ones we need to attract to our companies, will be less likely to move here. Doubt it? Ask your kids if they’d Google a city before considering a job offer there. Our own young people, many raised with classmates and teammates and friends in a rainbow of colors, will think harder than they should have to about where they want to make a life.

Electrolux didn’t leave for South Carolina because of hate. It left because of Minnesota’s terrible tax and regulation system. It also left Minnesota for a right-to-work state. Why didn’t the Times mention that?

As for “the next tech outpost or national call center”, those companies don’t consider Minnesota because our taxes, transportation systems and regulations make us totally uncompetitive with the rest of the nation and the rest of the world. This isn’t mentioned by the DFL because their policies have hurt Minnesota. To admit this failure would be admitting that the DFL is a failure.

Listening to the Times is like listening to Dave Kleis and the Chamber of Commerce. In their world, everything’s just fine. In the real world, St. Cloud has been slipping for 10 years. This isn’t entirely St. Cloud’s fault. DFL state government needs to share in the blame by thinking it can tax the daylights out of everyone without consequence. That’s insanity.

This is why the Times isn’t trusted. Their opinions are insanity personified.

Perhaps, it’s more fitting to title this article “The Swamp lives in Minnesota. After writing about the IRRRB’s corruption in this post a month ago, I can’t say that I’m surprised by this information:

This week, it was revealed that the [IRRRB] paid a long-time staffer $166,000 to retire early and then hired him back as a consultant just one month later for up to $43,000 per year. The retirement payoff consisted in $66,000 in unused vacation and sick days as well as nearly $100,000 in cash!

If I didn’t know better, I’d think that the DFL, starting with Tom Bakk and Tim Walz, have turned a blind eye to the IRRRB’s corruption. How can anyone watch what’s happening there think that the DFL is interested in good governance? Further, what type of law permits a government employee to retire early, cash a huge check ($166,000 is a big chunk of money), then allow the ‘retired’ employee to get rehired as a ‘consultant’? That’s stupidity and then some.

If an employee wants to retire early, they should be forced to sign an agreement that forbids them from being hired as a consultant anywhere. At minimum, if the ‘retired’ employee is rehired as a consultant, then their pension should be immediately stopped and they should be penalized.

That shouldn’t apply just to IRRRB employees, either. That should apply to all government employees, whether they’re school board employees, municipal employees or all the way up through state employees. In fact, the cleanest way to deal with this is to prohibit people from retiring early. If a person wants to retire at age 55, let them foot the bill for their retirement until they get to age 62.

The IRRRB needs a major overhaul. It’s been corrupt essentially since its creation.

Each budget year, the DFL insists on ‘investing’ more on ‘education’. Each year, the DFL ignores the massive amounts of money essentially thrown into a dumpster by education bureaucrats.

Harold Hamilton’s commentary (If you haven’t subscribed, you should) highlights that waste, citing a St. Paul Pioneer Press article:

A recent article in the Pioneer Press explains that capital improvement projects in the district are experiencing massive cost overruns, even by government standards. There are 18 such projects that are running a collective $180 million over the projected budget of just two years ago.

In what could have been the quote of the week, a former school district official observed, “Every contractor wants to come work for St. Paul Public Schools because it’s frickin’ open checkbook.”

As is so typical in government, it appears that oversight and expertise were woefully lacking in this case.

Then Hamilton cites an example:

Perhaps the most egregious example of the waste is at Humboldt High School, where a $14.4 million project estimate now sits at $48 million, just two years later.

And what are taxpayers getting for their considerable investment in these schools and the district?

  1. At Humboldt, 28% of their students don’t graduate.
  2. Only 19% are proficient in reading.
  3. Only 10% are proficient in math.
  4. A dismal 6.5% are proficient in science.

The legislature should refuse to subsidize this failure and demand strict accountability for both spending and results in the classroom.

That’s theft. The people ‘teaching’ these students are stealing these students’ futures. When 1 out of 20 students are proficient in science, that’s theft. When 9 of 10 students fail at math, that’s theft. That must end ASAP.

Further, Education Minnesota must be made to pay for this theft. Ditto with the administrators who apparently don’t care whether students learn or not. Ditto with the DFL, who keep feeding the broken beast. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why this crisis hasn’t been turned around.

The DFL is owned by Education Minnesota. Education Minnesota is anti-competition. That means it’s anti-accountability, too. As long as there’s a DFL governor or a DFL majority in the Minnesota House or Senate, they’ll fight to maintain the status quo even if taxpayers are getting screwed. Education Minnesota’s primary mission is helping raise teachers’ salaries. It isn’t about helping students.

What type of system allows a $14,400,000 project to turn into a $48,000,000 project? You’d have to essentially be comatose to miss that. Whoever missed it should’ve been fired instantly, then ordered to spend time in prison for defrauding taxpayers. Further, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the subcontractors are friends of the person who didn’t detect the massive overruns. It’s difficult to believe that anyone’s that incompetent. It isn’t difficult to think that someone associated with a school district is that corrupt.

The DFL won’t hold these thieves accountable. That’s how the DFL buys votes. The only way to hold the DFL accountable is to restore the Republican majority in the House and maintain the GOP majority in the Senate, then force reforms that would eliminate this type of corruption. That means putting stiff criminal penalties on people who commit this type of graft.

This article highlights how Dan Wolgamott, Tama Theis and Jerry Relph are totally owned by Theresa Bohnen and the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Last Friday, Wolgamott insisted on this funding, saying that it would create jobs. (That’s what the DFL always says about pork-barrel projects. It’s always hogwash.)

Rep. Nick Zerwas, who represents Big Lake, told the legislature that the average ticket gets subsidized $54. That’s an average subsidy of $14,000 per year per ticket. That’s money that’s wasted that could’ve been used to lower taxes and prevent foolish spending. Any person voting for this foolishness should be primaried and run out of politics.

Further, getting the Chamber’s endorsement should be seen as a negative. They’re moderates at best. They’re also crony capitalists. I can’t remember the last time they fought for pro-growth capitalist policies.

This should frighten people:

Wolgamott says he will be enthusiastically voting for the transportation budget, and will continue to be a tireless advocate to bring Northstar to St. Cloud. Other things included in the transportation bill include an additional $275 million over the current budget for statewide road construction, delivery, and maintenance.

How could this be? Gov. Walz didn’t get his outrageous gas tax increase. We were told that we needed that tax increase to fix roads and bridges. St. Cloud voters better remember that Rep. Wolgamott voted for all of Gov. Walz’s and the DFL’s tax increases.

This article highlights just how out-of-touch the DFL is with voters. Frankly, it’s stunning to hear the DFL’s spin on the DFL’s disastrous session. As I said here, the DFL got smoked this session.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman said Democrats “fought until the very last minute” to include some of their top priorities in the final bills but ran out of time before Monday’s mandatory adjournment for the regular session. She cited driver’s licenses for immigrants living in the country illegally, making it easier for workplace sexual harassment victims to sue and making emergency insulin supplies more affordable.

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said they could raise their issues again next year, and use them against Republicans in the 2020 campaign when they hope to hold the House and retake the Senate. He cited gun control, paid family and medical leave and some education measures. “We feel like we’ve made some progress this year and we have marked out where we want to go in the future,” Winkler said.

As a Republican, I have one thing to say to the DFL — Thank you for pushing drivers licenses for illegal immigrants and gun control. Those are issues that poll extremely poorly in the outer ring suburbs, the exurbs and rural Minnesota. In this video, Speaker Hortman says that they tried laying out the DFL’s vision going forward:

According to the DFL Speaker’s own words, the DFL’s vision for Minnesota going forward is higher taxes and less accountability to the taxpayers. If that’s what they’re selling, and it is, then I’m betting that Minnesotans aren’t buying.

It’s understatement to say that House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt didn’t compliment the DFL after this session. Rep. Daudt criticized House DFL leadership, saying “I am not going to stand for this dark of night, making decisions behind closed doors with no one knowing what’s the bill. The authors of the bills didn’t know what was in the bills, we didn’t have spreadsheets, the spreadsheets that we did get didn’t match the bills. This is an absolute shame on the Democrats who are running the chamber on the Minnesota House of Representatives.”

If Minnesotans care about performance, then they should fire the DFL and replace them with people that know how to make things run properly. The DFL, especially Speaker Hortman and House Majority Leader Winkler, have a variety of nickname options. One legitimate option is the gang who couldn’t shoot straight. Another option would be ‘the not yet ready for primetime players.’

Here’s why Leader Daudt was upset:

This has been the least productive, least transparent session in the history of this state. Minnesotans should be ashamed of the process at the end of this legislative session.

Look how out-of-touch Speaker Hortman looks in this picture:

Walz looks like he’s about to blow a gasket while Hortman is smiling. What’s up with that? Here’s Leader Daudt’s press availability:

I’m with Leader Daudt. The DFL should be utterly ashamed of their incompetence. Unfortunately, the DFL won’t be ashamed of their incompetence because that would require a conscience, something that the DFL hasn’t had for 20 years. In light of Leader Daudt’s information about the Sick Tax, the DFL’s insistence on the Sick Tax is, at best, puzzling. That’s being charitable. If the federal government covers the things that the Provider Tax was originally put in place to cover, then the Sick Tax can’t be part of the final budget. If it’s being used as a slush fund for DFL special interest vote-buying, then it’s gotta go.

The more information that I gather about the budget agreement, the more I’m certain that Republicans should hold up the bills until the DFL caves on the health care provider tax. Period. That shouldn’t be part of the final budget.

In 2020, DFL freshmen will have to campaign with a handful of millstones hung around their necks. First, the House freshmen will have to explain why they voted for the biggest potential tax increase in Minnesota history. Next, they’ll have to explain why they voted to increase health care costs to pay for a DFL slush fund. Third, these DFL freshmen will need to explain why they were part of the least productive, least competent legislative majority in recent Minnesota history.

Good luck with that.

I don’t have a problem with the SCTimes publishing this LTE. What I’ve got a problem with is the liberal stupidity in this LTE.

Liberal stupidity, aka DFL stupidity, is on full display when the author says the “problem with Jerry Relph and his Republican colleagues in the Minnesota Senate is that they completely ignore what income and wealth Minnesotans are creating and simply assume that none of us can afford to pay anything more in taxes.”

That’s BS. I wrote several articles over the weekend stating that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to raise taxes when there’s a surplus well in excess of $1,600,000,000 and there’s $2,523,000,000 in Minnesota’s Rainy Day Fund. Further, revenues are rapidly increasing. Further still, the DFL hasn’t lifted a finger to look into the money that fraudsters have ripped off out of the CCAP program or that the idiots at MnDOT have pissed away on rest stops.

While it is true that many Minnesotans have not had a real increase [inflation-adjusted] in wages in many years, there are some that are reaping huge rewards from our collective efforts.

Some blatantly argue “tax the rich.” I’m not saying that. I’m saying don’t assume that no one has made money from our state when some have made a lot. Look at who is making money and make them pay their fair share in light of what they are making. When Republicans like Jerry Relph refuse to make wealthier Minnesotans pay their fair share, it unfairly burdens everyone else.

Clearly, this idiot was taught economics by Bernie Sanders or one of his stooges. Ronald Reagan’s economy created tons of jobs, 22,000,000 to be precise. In Oct. of 1983, the economy created 1,100,000 jobs. Wage growth exploded. GDP that quarter jumped. President Reagan famously said that you can’t be pro-jobs if you have employers. The DFL hates employers.

The DFL hates employers by imposing high taxes and unreasonable levels of regulations while suing pipeline companies that play by the rules. No wonder wages are stagnant. No wonder why manufacturers have left Minnesota. What idiot would put his/her capital at risk with such policies in place? The guy who wrote this idiotic LTE should’ve watched this video first:

If he’d watched this video first, he might’ve prevented himself from making such a fool of himself. Then again, the odds of preventing DFL socialists from looking like DFL socialists are exceptionally high. DFL socialists are extraordinary economic illiterates.

These negotiations (which I wrote about here) produced some of the biggest winners and losers in recent history. Let’s start with the biggest losers.

It’s impossible to imagine a bigger loser than Tim Walz. He lost on his tax increases, including the gas tax, the sick tax and the income tax increases. He and the DFL lost on spending, too. Another major loser was DFL Speaker Melissa Hortman. She was present throughout the negotiations but didn’t seem to be an active participant in those negotiations. I’d give her a ‘Potted Plant Award’ for participation.

Another major loser throughout the negotiations was DFL House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler. Friday night on Almanac, his first time on the big stage, DFL Rep. Winkler was used like a whipping post, first by Sen. Roger Chamberlain, then by House Minority leader Kurt Daudt. (More on them later.)

The other major loser in these negotiations was Education Minnesota, the people most famous for owning the DFL:

The biggest winners in this negotiations are Minnesota’s taxpayers. They didn’t get hit with one of the biggest tax increases in Minnesota history. That alone makes them a big winner.

The next biggest winner was Roger Chamberlain. Throughout these negotiations, he fought for the taxpayers, reminding the politicians who they worked for, aka the people. He took Rep. Winkler to the proverbial wood shed multiple times. After Rep. Winkler spurted out that “there are no free lunches”, Sen. Chamberlain reminded Rep. Winkler that the people not represented at the Capitol were “the people who pay the bills”, aka the taxpayers.

It’s hard to see how Kurt Daudt, the former and hopefully future GOP Speaker of the House, could’ve been more effective. He stated emphatically on Almanac that the DFL could raise spending by 7.3% without raising taxes a penny. That statement might’ve done more to finish the talks than anything else.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t praise Senate Majority Leader Gazelka for his job in negotiating this budget. Let’s remember that he won a significant tax cut by getting the 7.05% rate dropped to 6.8%. Rest assured that the DFL didn’t fight to include that policy change in the budget agreement.

Finally, I’d have to apologize if I didn’t include the House DFL legislators. They all voted for the Walz/DFL tax increases, which will hurt them in 2020, then saw Gov. Walz throw them under the proverbial bus in final negotiations. I can’t imagine them being too happy with Gov. Walz and the DFL leadership for that ‘favor’. That makes the DFL, especially the DFL House majority, a major loser in these negotiations.

Friday night on Almanac and today on @ Issue With Tom Hauser, Ryan Winkler insisted that we needed to raise taxes, stating emphatically that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” By now, that chanting point is getting rather tiresome. When we spent $100,000,000 on MNLARS (with another $85,000,000 needed to fix Gov. Dayton’s mess), we knew that there wasn’t anything like a free lunch, at least not when the DFL ran things. Republicans knew that things were exceptionally expensive with the DFL in charge.

Further, when Fox9 News reported on the millions of dollars of fraud that went undetected in CCAP funding, we knew that there isn’t anything called a free lunch in government. When we found out about the fraud committed by DFL activists and DFL legislators through Community Action of Minneapolis, we knew there wasn’t such a thing as a free lunch (unless you were well-connected to the DFL in downtown Minneapolis.)

When we heard about the $7,200,000 renovation of the Goose Creek Rest Stop on I-35 near Harris, Minnesota, we knew that the lunches weren’t just not free but downright expensive. I would’ve balked at a $2,000,000 bill for building a new rest stop. Remodeling an existing rest stop should’ve cost $500,000 or less. Further, it’s been closed for 2+ years.

Minnesotans have seen enough of DFL administrations throwing money away or ignoring corruption, not to mention the fact that there’ve been too many examples of money foolishly spent. Now the DFL, aka the party of big government, wants more money to spend foolishly? I don’t think so. They’ll have to earn our trust. We’ve seen the DFL spend too much money recklessly to be trusted automatically again. First, WCCO-TV aired this report:

Later last week, WCCO aired this follow-up report:

Why should anyone trust the DFL to handle our money efficiently? I only know what I can prove. Right now, I can’t prove that the DFL spends much time on oversight or ensuring product quality. I can prove that the DFL spent $7,200,000 on a facility so it complied with their environmentalist activist friends’ wishes.