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After fleecing taxpayers, Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis has shut its doors:

DHS auditors accused the corporation of spending more than it helped. The state wants Community Action Minneapolis to repay more than $850,000 in grant money that was spent incorrectly. The audit showed more than $200,000 paid for unallowable costs like cruises, golf trips and alcohol. William Davis, the Chief Executive Officer, is accused of receiving an excessive bonus and spending thousands on a personal car loan.

Initially, Davis tried rationalizing the expenditures:

Auditors blamed Community Action’s board, which includes several well-known politicians and community leaders, for a lack of oversight and for personally benefiting from $34,892 worth of activities that “do not appear to serve a business purpose, and are considered waste and abuse as defined in state policy.”

Those activities included two weekend trips, between 2011 and 2013, to Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, where board members and senior management spent $9,000 for lodging, $3,200 for food and $900 for spas.

Davis defended the trips as a “small gesture on our part to offer them a moment of relaxation or entertainment. It’s not like we do this every single week of the year.”

What’s telling is that Davis didn’t think he’d done anything wrong. The only thing more appalling than Davis attempting to rationalize his reckless spending was Gov. Dayton’s statement denying that something like this could happen:

Initially, Mark Dayton responded to Jeff Johnson’s call for an extensive audit of NPOs by saying “The decades-old accusation that Minnesota government recklessly wastes money on people who are poor, sick, or elderly is unfair and unfounded.”

Later, Dayton backtracked quickly:

Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday said that a Star Tribune report of a nonprofit using state funds to subsidize cruises, a director’s car lease and spa treatments was very concerning and alarming. “I was personally really appalled,” Dayton said. “I take it very seriously.”

Let’s revise Gov. Dayton’s statement. Gov. Dayton was “personally really appalled” the minute he thought that the fiasco might damage him politically. Prior to that, he pretended that Community Action was totally trustworthy.

The truth, I’m afraid, is that Gov. Dayton knew about this audit prior to the story going public. Since the Strib article was published, DHS has tried pushing the notion that they should get credit for spotting this during their audit of the organization. Gov. Dayton can’t first say that he’s surprised by this, then say that his administration spotted this during an audit.

I’ve never bought into Gov. Dayton’s I-didn’t-know-about-[Fill in the blank] schtick. I’ve always thought that he used that gambit to get through a politically embarrassing situation. See FarmFest. The DFL legislature should’ve taken their oversight responsibilities seriously. Then again, with tons of prominent DFL politicians and activists on Community Action’s board, it probably didn’t take much to get them to look the other way.

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In his most recent e-letter update, Keith Ellison suggested that the United States is just as bigoted now as it was in the 1960s:

Senator Klobuchar and I called on Congress to protect voting rights after the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act that protected voters in states with a history of voter suppression. The action of the Court was a step back for voting rights in the country.

With people like Sen. Klobuchar and Rep. Ellison, bigotry never disappears. The Supreme Court sees things differently:

(3) Nearly 50 years later, things have changed dramatically.Largely because of the Voting Rights Act, “[v]oter turnout and registration rates” in covered jurisdictions “now approach parity. Blatantly discriminatory evasions of federal decrees are rare. And minority candidates hold office at unprecedented levels.” Northwest Austin, supra, at 202. The tests and devices that blocked ballot access have been forbidden nationwide for over 40 years. Yet the Act has not eased §5’s restrictions or narrowed the scope of §4’s coverage formula along the way. Instead those extraordinary and unprecedented features have been reauthorized as if nothing has changed, and they have grown even stronger. Because §5 applies only to those jurisdictions singled out by §4, the Court turns to consider that provision.Pp. 13–17.

Sen. Klobuchar and Rep. Ellison insist that the extraordinary circumstances that temporarily justified the federal government’s intervention in state-run elections in 1965 still exist. Moreover, they insist that the remedies implemented in 1965 haven’t worked.

They’re entitled to their partisan opinions but the facts don’t support their opinions.

Though he’s an attorney, it’s apparent that Rep. Ellison doesn’t respect the Constitution much:

The right to vote should be guaranteed and that’s why I’ve introduced a constitutional amendment with Rep. Mark Pocan to do just that. The Pocan-Ellison Right to Vote Amendment would amend the Constitution to provide all Americans the affirmative right to vote and empower Congress to protect this right.

First, this proposed constitutional amendment won’t get a hearing because it’s at odds with the Ninth and Tenth amendments. States administer elections through counties. The federal government isn’t equipped to enforce election laws. That means Ellison’s talk about empowering “Congress to protect this right” is just that — talk.

Second, this is political grandstanding meant to fire up minority voters. This doesn’t have anything to do with good governance. It has everything to do with Ellison and other Democrats playing the race card right before the 2014 election.

Third, this is the Democrats’ war on election integrity. Klobuchar’s and Ellison’s proposal has everything to do with preventing Photo ID from becoming more popular. In Minnesota, Democrats know how to undermine election integrity. They’ve undermined election integrity by refusing to promptly updating the Statewide Voter Registration System, aka SVRS, which HAVA, the Help America Vote Act, requires.

We know this because hundreds of felons, both those still in prison and those who haven’t had their rights restored, are still on Minnesota’s SVRS. We know this because registrations that were submitted in 2008 had addresses that turned into empty lots. Six years after the fact, those ‘empty lot voters’ are still on the SVRS.

How likely is it that the federal government would be even slightly interested in maintaining the integrity of the SVRS’s for 50 states, especially considering how disinterested they’ve been in this since 2003?

Ellison is a race hustler on a par with Sharpton, Jackson and Michael-Eric Dyson. His agenda is focused mostly on stirring up racial hostilities where they don’t exist.

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This afternoon, Keith Ellison and I got into a little dispute on Twitter:

REP. ELLISON: targeting is wrong. Obama said so; replaced people. IRS apologized. Political orgs posing as social welfare orgs is wrong too.
REPLY: He’s right. It’s wrong. Why did his 2008 campaign start that tactic? Check out what Bob Bauer & Tom Matzzie did.
REP. ELLISON: do you want to fix the blame or fix the problem? Obama’s fixing the problem.
REPLY: Obama’s campaign tactics contributed to the problem. Obama’s governance looked the other way when the problem erupted. I want both. PS-Obama administration targeted reporters, conservatives.

Rep. Ellison’s question of whether I wanted to affix blame or fix the problem was his attempt to distract from the question at hand. It’s important to affix blame because that’s the only way forward.

The bigger point, though, is that President Obama’s administration specialized in these tactics, starting in 2008. They made a point of using the IRS to intimidate their political opponents. Conservatives shouldn’t ignore these facts. Rather, they should highlight the fact that the Obama administration is the source of these tactics.

When we criticize the Obama administration, we should expect the Democrats to criticize us for politicizing these scandals. We should expect the Obama administration to retaliate. Our response should be swift and hardhitting. Our reply should be that we’re appalled by Holder’s DOJ attempting to intimidate reporters from doing their jobs. We’re appalled that the IRS targeted TEA Party activists, Christians and other conservatives just like the Obama 2008 campaign did under Bob Bauer’s leadership.

It isn’t enough for President Obama to pledge to change how his administration and his campaigns have operated. Frankly, at this point, informed people who are willing to see the truth as the truth know President Obama’s machine have specialized in the things he’s now promising to fix.

Rep. Ellison is a willing flack for President Obama. If only he was willing to criticize President Obama for his administration’s willingness to act without integrity. That would be news indeed.

Rep. Keith Ellison has fought a ‘valiant’ fight to protect wasteful government spending:

“If we can’t find a solution before these cuts hit, we should eliminate it altogether,” said Jeremy Slevin, a spokesman for Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a co-chair of the progressive caucus.

“Our preference is to have a balanced approach to get [a] one-to-one” ratio of program cuts to revenue raising, Slevin went on. “But short of that we don’t think under any circumstances that the American people should lose their jobs because of Congress.”

The Goverment Accountability Office, aka the GAO, has identified 1,362 duplicative programs in the federal budget. According to GAO, $364.5 billion are spent on these duplicative programs. I transcribed part of Sen. Coburn’s “Sequester This” speech for this Examiner article. Here’s the key paragraph from that article:

SEN. COBURN: Next one, housing assistance. We have 160 programs, separate programs. Nobody knows if they’re working. Nobody in the administration knows all the programs. I’m probably the only person in Congress that does because nobody else has looked at it. Twenty different agencies. We’re spending $170 billion. If we’re really interested in housing assistance, why would we have 20 sets of overhead, 20 sets of administration? And what would it cost to accomplish the same thing?

That’s insane. It’s impossible to justify 160 duplicate programs. It’s totally impossible to justify intentionally establishing “20 sets of overhead, 20 sets of administration.”

Despite this stunning fact, Rep. Ellison’s spokesman insists on raising taxes or repealing the sequester.

Sen. Franken isn’t exactly a profile in courage when it comes to putting a budget together or cutting spending without gimmicks. Here’s part of Sen. Franken’s letter to Sen. Patty Murray:

Meaningful deficit reduction is critical and necessary, and our budget resolution must reflect tough choices and tough cuts. Deficit reduction must be achieved in a commonsense way that doesn’t just shift costs to our seniors, or parents raising children with disabilities. That’s why deficit reduction efforts should maintain a balance between targeted spending cuts and new revenues from closing tax loopholes that benefit corporations and wealthy individuals.

Sen. Franken, like Rep. Ellison, voted to raise taxes when he voted for the PPACA. That dynamic duo voted for raising tax rates on small businesses when they voted for the Obama ‘Fiscal Cliff’ tax increases. The payroll tax holiday tax increase went into effect the same day the PPACA tax increases went into effect. Now they’re demanding another (fourth) tax increase to hit the American people in less than 3 months.

Nowhere do they mention the duplicate programs and wasteful spending from the GAO report. That’s the definition of being MIA during the sequestration fight. Unfortunately, this isn’t surprising for either ‘public servant’. Neither has voted in committee for a budget since early in President Obama’s first term.

What’s most disappointing is the fact that Twin Cities media outlets haven’t asked why Sen. Franken and Rep. Ellison have fought tirelessly to protect government bureaucrats while they waste taxpayers’ money.

By comparison, Sen. Coburn has been persistent in highlighting the ways government wastes money:

I wish we could trade in Sen. Franken and Rep. Ellison for a real public servant like Sen. Coburn.

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Rep. Ellison, During your epic meltdown on Sean Hannity’s show, you insisted that President Obama was right. You insisted that it was imperative to raise taxes again. You insisted that President Obama had valliantly cut the deficit while making “key investments” in America’s future.

Those are exceptionally odd statements considering the fact that the annual deficits during President Obama’s administration haven’t wavered much, staying pretty much in the $1.1 to $1.3 trillion range. For awhile, President Obama insisted that everything would’ve been worse if not for the stimulus. Everyone with more than half a brain knew that that wasn’t right.

Considering the fact that Sen. Coburn has found hundreds of billions of dollars in duplicative programs, most of which are waste, it’s difficult to take anything you say on deficits, the necessity for raising taxes and the impossibility of finding even 2 pennies on each dollar spent in waste, fraud and abuse.

Rather than being part of the solution, you’ve insisted on being part of the partisan problem. By comparison, Sen. Coburn started working on finding the solution to this overspending crisis. Thanks to his persistence, it appears he’s found that solution without raising taxes.

It’s disappointing that you haven’t taken off your partisan hat. Unfortunately, you’ve insisted on not putting on your ‘solutions hat.’ Unfortunately, it isn’t surprising that you’ve refused to work towards a solution. Unfortunately, it isn’t surprising that you’ve insisted on burying the American people under 4 tax increase in 3 months. In case you’ve forgotten, and I doubt you have, the American people were hit with a tax increase when the payroll tax holiday expired at the start of the new year. At the same time, they got hit with the full onslaught of tax increases from the ACA. Two days later, you voted for a $600 billion tax increase on “the rich” because you said they “weren’t paying their fair share.”

When President Obama insisted on closing loopholes, something he said wasn’t good enough when he insisted on the Fiscal Cliff tax increase on the rich, you supported him without hesitation but with great enthusiasm.

The question that you haven’t answered is simple. What makes you think that raising taxes 4 times in 3 months will strengthten the US economy? What historical proof do you have that that many tax increases in that short of a period of time will strengthen an economy?

Perhaps the better question is whether you’re insisting on tax increases simply because you’ve reflexively increased taxes whenever you’ve had the opportunity. I suspect that’s the case because that’s what DFL legislators think.

One question that doesn’t need asking is whether you think there’s tens of billions of dollars being wastefully spent. I’m certain you know there is. I’m equally certain you’re fine with that because that a significant portion of that wasteful spending is getting spent on your public union allies.

Finally, I’m thankful you aren’t my representative, though I am sad that you techically represent some of my friends.

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This morning, testimony was taken on Rep. Ryan Winkler’s minimum wage legislation. This testimony was given to a “joint meeting of the House Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee, and the Select Committee on Living Wage Jobs.”

The first testifier was Jennifer Schaubauch of the Minnesota chapter of the AFL-CIO. What she said was a stunning indictment of Obamanomics. She said that many higher paying jobs had been eliminated and replaced by minimum wage jobs. Ms. Schaubauch said that fact justified the need to raise the minimum wage to $10.55 per hour. Ms. Schaubauch insisted that raising the minimum wage was the only way to lift families out of poverty.

Another testifier in the first set of testifiers identified herself as a college graduate who’s been working the same minimum wage job for the last 3 years since graduating. That’s another testimonial to the fact that Obamanomics has failed. We didn’t hear stories like this during the Bush years, the Clinton years or the Reagan years.

That’s because incomes grew during their administrations. That’s the opposite of what’s happened during President Obama’s administration. During President Obama’s administration, median household incomes have dropped from $55,000 a year to less than $50,000 a year.

If the DFL cared about poor people, they’d stop enacting policies that’ve caused entrepreneurs to stop creating jobs. Yesterday, I wrote that Rep. Keith Ellison appeared on Hannity’s show last night to push for a third tax hike in 2 months.

During this morning’s testimony, Paul Rademacher testified, identifying himself as a small businessman. Mr. Rademacher listed the obstacles that the Obama administration has created and that the Dayton administration, coupled with the DFL legislature, are attempting to create. Here’s a partial list of what Mr. Rademacher said: fed income tax increased from 35% to 39.6%, fed capital gains tax increasing from 15% to 20%, Minnesota’s top income tax bracket increasing from 7.85% to 9.85%, a 71% increase in the state minimum wage and a major sales tax increase. Then Mr. Rademacher stunned people, saying that the average profit margin for grocery stores is 1%. The room fell silent when he said that, if these things became reality, it was possible he’d have to shut 2 of his grocery stores.

It’s rather apparent that President Obama’s policies have crippled the US economy. The AFL-CIO testifier, Ms. Schaubauch, testified to the fact that great paying jobs were eliminated while minimum wage jobs were created. Rep. Ellison pushed for President Obama’s alternative to the sequester, which is a third tax increase in 2 months. (Why do President Obama and Rep. Ellison hate economic growth this much?)

Gov. Dayton has proposed raising income tax rates while subjecting more people to a higher sales tax bill. The DFL legislature is in the process of forcing entrepreneurs to choose between laying people off, leaving the state or raising prices. Why does Gov. Dayton hate economic growth? Why is he intent on saddling cities and counties with crippling sales tax bills? Why is the DFL legislature intent on saddling businesses with massive labor cost increases while the economy is struggling?

Either the DFL doesn’t have a clue about economic growth or they’ve put a higher priority on passing everything on their special interest allies’ wish list than on growing Minnesota’s economy.

Either way, that’s terrible news for Minnesotans.

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Rep. Ellison got feisty when Sean Hannity confronted him about President Obama insisting on the sequestration cuts or tax hikes. Watch Rep. Ellison’s faux outrage in this video:

Here’s the key part of Rep. Ellison’s faux diatribe:

For you to say that the President is to blame is ridiculous. I was there in August, 2011 when the Republicans, your party which you shamelessly (CROSSTALK) What the President said is absolutely true. The people should ignore everything you said.

After Rep. Ellison attempted to filibuster Hannity, Hannity finally got a word in edgewise. Here’s what Hannity said:

First, it was Max Baucus and Bob Woodward who said that sequestration was President Obama’s idea.

This video verifies Hannity’s statement:

There’s something important that isn’t being discussed by the major media outlets, namely that President Obama and Rep. Ellison are fighting for the third tax hike in 2 months. The tax increases that were part of the Affordable Care Act took effect on Jan. 1, 2013. President Obama’s tax hike on small businesses took effect less than a week later. Rep. Ellison enthusiastically voted for both of those tax hikes.

In fact, Rep. Ellison has never voted against raising taxes, either when he served in the Minnesota legislature or in the US House of Representatives. Likewise, President Obama has never voted against raising taxes, either as part of the Illinois Senate or the US Senate.

The question that the media hasn’t asked of Rep. Ellison is simple: Rep. Ellison, why do you hate the US economy this much?

It’s one thing to fight for a tax increase. It’s another thing to fight for progressive tax increase days after a regressive tax hike goes into effect. It’s totally irresponsible to fight for regressive tax increases, then fighting for raising progressive tax rates, then insisting on “closing loopholes” without cutting tax rates.

That isn’t proof of economic illiteracy on Rep. Ellison’s part. It’s proof of Rep. Ellison’s economic stupidity or economic dishonesty.

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Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison haven’t been accused recently of being national security hawks. After reading this statement, I’m pretty certain they’ll never be considered serious about national security:

Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced the “Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons and Stop War Through Diplomacy Act,” which would create a high level Special Envoy to Iran. The act pushes diplomacy as a vital route to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and directs the President to appoint a Special Envoy to pursue direct, sustained, bilateral and multilateral negotiations with the Government of Iran in order to prevent war, and support human rights.

“The darkening clouds surrounding Iran’s nuclear program are troubling. We must use all diplomatic tools available, including engaging in direct bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. To do that, we must lift the ‘no contact policy and begin negotiations,” Congresswoman Lee said.

The bill calls for eliminating the State Department’s ‘no contact’ policy that prevents State Department officers and employees from making any direct contact with Iranian counterparts. The bill outlines measures to pursue opportunities to build mutual trust and to foster sustained negotiations in good faith with Iran.

Original cosponsors include Representatives Earl Blumenauer, John Conyers, John Dingell, Keith Ellison, Rush Holt, Hank Johnson, James McGovern, Jim Moran, Betty McCollum, and Bobby Rush.

That’s quite a list of doves. Barbara Lee was the only member of Congress to vote against going to war with Afghanistan after 9/11. (It takes divine intervention to get to the left of Dennis Kucinich on national security.)

Hank Johnson is famous for saying that he thought Guam would capsize if troops then stationed in Iraq were redeployed to Guam:

Rather than focus on the goofy people that signed onto this legislation as co-sponsors, though, it’s important to notice that the policy that’s being espoused sends a terrible signal of weakness to the terrorists. What’s more is this policy is most likely to embolden terrorists. If the terrorists think that they can threaten the West, why wouldn’t they think that they can get away with much more than threats?

Follow this link for more on this topic.

I don’t think Rep. Keith Ellison understood that he admitted that President Obama’s policies aren’t working but that’s what he admitted in saying this:

The middle class has already been forced to get by with less. The wealthiest 2% of Americans have continued to see their income rise as middle-class wages remained stagnant.

Actually, Rep. Ellison is lying or ill-informed when he says that middle-class wages have remained stagnant. They’ve actually dropped by $4,300 since President Obama took office. He’s right that “the middle class has been forced to get by with less.”

Thanks to President Obama’s counterproductive economic policies, families are paying higher electric bills, higher gas prices while paying more for groceries. Meanwhile, President Obama’s policies have led to higher unemployment and shrinking wages.

The latest proposal by Republicans fails to meet the basic test of fairness. Over the past two years, Republicans have forced cuts of more than $1.7 trillion for vital investments such as helping children get a college education and helping seniors heat their homes. But they have refused to ask the wealthy to contribute even a little more.

Rep. Ellison needs a refresher course on spinning. Republicans haven’t cut anything. They’ve cut the projected rate of spending growth a little but they haven’t cut spending. Only progressives think that slowing the rate of future spending from unprecedented levels is a destructive cut that’s sure to wipe out the middle class.

Shame on Rep. Ellison for peddling that crap. President Obama’s EPA has led to the closing of 100 coal-fired power plants. President Obama’s loans to the rich fatcats who were his biggest campaign bundlers in 2008 was disgusting enough. That they got these loans right before going bankrupt and laying off thousands of factory workers.

Has Rep. Ellison criticized President Obama for destroying the lives of those middle class families while giving Obama’s fatcats billions of dollars in taxpayer money? No, he hasn’t.

Might Rep. Ellison’s definition of fairness be subject to situational modifications? I can’t rule that out.

Unfortunately, the Republican plan doesn’t even touch Americans’ most immediate concern: creating good jobs. It’s time to focus on fairness. The Republican plan fails that test.

Rep. Ellison voted for the biggest job-killing legislation in U.S. history when he voted for the ACA. As a direct result of the ACA, workers are getting cut from full-time to part-time status. Wages are dropping. Other companies are laying hundreds of people off.

That Rep. Ellison has the audacity to say Republican plans won’t create good-paying jobs is testament to his willingness to criticize those he disagrees with based on his assumptions. What’s worse is that Rep. Ellison has repeatedly proven that he isn’t willing to criticize policies that he voted for even if it’s proven that they hurt the economy.

Rep. Ellison’s worldview is skewed because he’s viewing it through rose-colored glasses.

UPDATE: Welcome Hotair followers. After you read this article, make the time to read this article about a major breaking scandal on a college campus.

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Wednesday afternoon, the House voted to approve Chip Cravaack’s land swap bill that had solid bipartisan support in the Minnesota legislature. The Mesabi Daily News is reporting that, despite the fact that this bill has the support of political opposites like Chip Cravaack and Tommie Ruckavina, the DFL members of the Minnesota delegation voted against it.

Rep. McCollum took a particularly harsh beating during the debate:

When McCollum said it was “completely unnecessary” because the state law had already set the process in motion, Republican Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah said: “The state wants to do it quickly, the federal Forest Service does not. It helps the kids of Minnesota to take it away from an agency that moves at glacial speed.”

After that specious argument failed, Ms. McCollum tried a different argument, only to be shot down again:

When Rep. McCollum said repeatedly that there was not a map related to the issue, Rep. Cravaack responded with a map of the area in question alongside him. “Well, here’s the map,” he said, pointing out the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service have the map and it’s also available to the public online.

It’s pretty obvious that Rep. McCollum either doesn’t know what she’s talking about or she’s willing to shaft students to prevent Chip’s bill from passing.

What’s disgusting is that DFL Reps. Ellison, McCollum, Peterson and Walz voted against a significant funding source for K-12 students. So much for the DFL being the party that’s “for the children.”

That isn’t the only disgraceful behavior on behalf of the DFL members of the Minnesota delegation:

Minnesota Democratic U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken would not answer directly a question of whether they support the House measure passed on Wednesday, but did endorse a land swap in some form yet to be spelled out. And, they said, they are collaborating on legislation.

“I understand how important this is for our schools and local economies in northern Minnesota, and that’s why I continue to support a land exchange and am working with similar legislation with Senator Franken to get it done,” Sen. Klobuchar said in an e-mailed statement to the Mesabi Daily News following a call to her Washington office.

A statement from Sen. Franken mirrored Klobuchar’s.

Minnesota Democratic U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken would not answer directly a question of whether they support the House measure passed on Wednesday, but did endorse a land swap in some form yet to be spelled out. And, they said, they are collaborating on legislation.

That’s code for saying they’re killing Chip’s bill. Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar know that their “similar legislation” would require a conference committee, which wastes valuable time during a lame duck session.

That’s a best case scenario with Harry Reid running the Senate and Sens. Franken and Klobuchar doing their best to sabotage the bill that Chip, Mark Dayton and Tommie Ruckavina support.

This vote proves that Tim Walz and Collin Peterson aren’t moderates. Voting with Raul Grijalva, Betty McCollum, Emanuel Cleaver, John Conyers, Dennis Kucinich, Jim McDermott and Keith Ellison won’t improve Peterson’s or Walz’s moderate ratings.

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