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This tweet from Tim Walz says everything we need to know about his allegiance to the Democrats’ special interests. Further, it says that Rep. Walz’s allegiance isn’t to protecting American citizens.

The tweet says “The way @realDonaldTrump treats Dreamers is no way for anyone to treat contributing patriotic members of our country. The way @realDonaldTrump approaches trade is no way for anyone to approach matters that have real-life impacts on working-class folks. Enough, Mr. President.”

Rep. Walz has worked on veterans’ issues for 11 years. It’s still a problem, meaning that he’s more into working on problems than he’s into fixing problems. Working on problems is something that Gov. Dayton has focused on. He’s worked on MNLARS. He’s worked on MNsure. He’s (barely) worked on the elder care home crisis. Each of these issues have been around 6-8 years. Of those issues, MNsure is the closest to being fixed. The others are far from fixed.


Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Here’s a question to millennials: why vote for people who can’t get a simple website to work? MNLARS doesn’t work. MNsure didn’t work. When you can’t get a simple website working, what part of that sounds like someone equipped for life in the 21st century? Shouldn’t our next governor be someone who’s ready to create a MNLARS app? This is what Tim Walz thinks of rural Minnesota:

Remember that Walz supposedly represents rural Minnesotans. If he cares that little about his own constituents, shouldn’t we expect that he doesn’t care about protecting the nation?

Earlier this afternoon, Tim Pawlenty announced that he’s running for governor. Within hours, the DFL candidates and DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin had issued defensive-sounding statements.

For instance, Tim Walz, the supposed DFL frontrunner, issued a statement saying “Tim Pawlenty was a bad governor, and he’s not the leader Minnesota needs. When he was running the state, Tim Pawlenty made decisions that hurt working Minnesotans. Those decisions really hit home on the issues of health care, education, and infrastructure.”

DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin’s statement said “Minnesota needs a governor who will fight for everyday families. That’s not Tim Pawlenty. As governor, he deprived thousands of Minnesotans of affordable health care. He jeopardized our children’s education. He devastated our budget, and left roads and bridges across the state to crumble. From health care to education to infrastructure, Pawlenty failed our state. We need an honest leader who will fight to build a better Minnesota—not a Wall Street lobbyist who cares more about the wealthy than everyday families.”

With all due respect to Tim Walz, he isn’t a leader. Tim Walz is a pander bear. He’s one politician out of 435 politicians. He’s never had the responsibility of being the man before. He’s been a reliable vote for Nancy Pelosi, nothing more. What’s worse is that he abandoned his allies the minute he started running statewide. This wasn’t a decision based on gathering new information, then making a principled change. When Tim Walz attacked the NRA, it was a purely political calculation.

As for Ken Martin, he’s fought hard to hide the DFL’s contempt for blue collar Iron Rangers. That’s why President Trump won the 8th district by 15 points. President Trump is fighting for the Iron Range while Ken Martin is fighting the working families of the Range.

Amidst all of the DFL’s angry words, Tim Pawlenty reintroduced himself to Minnesotans with this upbeat-but-realistic appraisal of Minnesota:

The DFL’s angry responses are telling. Is it because they know that their candidates are back-benchers compared to Tim Pawlenty?

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A liberal front group specializing in gun control bought a full page ad in the Star Tribune. Then the Strib published this article to make sure the organization got extra mileage for their ad buy.

In the article, the Strib wrote “A mysterious group operating under the name ‘Listen to the Children’ called out four members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation Monday on their positions on gun control measures and donations from the National Rifle Association. In a full-page ad in the Star Tribune a week ago, the group asked the entire Washington delegation if they would introduce, cosponsor or vote for legislation to ban the manufacture and sale of high-capacity magazines for firearms, and if they would return any donation from the NRA and its affiliates and refuse to accept future NRA donations.”

Later, Listen to the Children “the nonprofit placed another full-page ad, saying it received ‘yes’ responses from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Tina Smith, Rep. Tim Walz, Rep. Betty McCollum and Rep. Keith Ellison, all Democrats. The ad said that Rep. Erik Paulsen, a Republican, was the only one to respond ‘no’ to both of the group’s questions, but a spokesman for Paulsen’s office said their organization never responded to the ad. Rep. Jason Lewis and Rep. Tom Emmer, both Republicans, and Rep. Collin Peterson, a Democrat, also didn’t respond to the group, which stated in the ad that it considered a lack of response as “no” answers.”

Tim Walz and Tina Smith both essentially said that they don’t think that people should have the right to defend themselves. They also said that they’d reject any contributions from the NRA. With a significant portion of NRA members being blue collar people living in rural areas, Walz and Smith are essentially turning their backs on rural blue collar voters.

I hope rural blue collar voters remember that this November.

After watching the interview (see video below) and reading this article, it’s obvious that Prof. Larry Jacobs isn’t an objective observer in the Minnesota governor’s race in 2018.

Speaking about the GOP race, Jacobs said “It’s quite possible that Jeff Johnson, who has been in the race and winning a lot of these delegates, could win that endorsement headed into the primary as the party’s endorsed candidate against Tim Pawlenty. Everything is up in the air.”

First, I don’t have a dog in this fight beyond wanting the strongest candidate possible. I’m tired of candidates that can’t raise money and don’t excite the base. At this point, I’ll support the strongest candidate but only if they can raise money and get elected. Right now, I don’t see Jeff Johnson being able to raise the money it’ll take to be competitive. We’ve seen this episode before. (See 2014 vs. Gov. Dayton.)

Let’s admit something else right now. Both candidates are establishment candidates. They aren’t Trumpists, which is fine. They’re both excellent on policy. They’ve both proven that they aren’t inept like Gov. Dayton. When it comes to major projects like MNLARS, MNsure and the elder care crisis, Gov. Dayton has been terrible.

What’s telling from Prof. Jacobs’ interview with WCCO’s Esme Murphy is that Prof. Jacobs’ statement that “Tim Pawlenty has got all sorts of great things going for him — name recognition and a gold-plated Rolodex to raise money from and he’s a fabulous communicator to the point that both Republican and DFL leaders say that he’s probably the best candidate but he’s also the guy that came out against Donald Trump.”

Let’s be clear about this. When your potential opponents from across the aisle say that you’re likely the best candidate, that’s going to open fundraising doors, both in Minnesota and with the RGA. If Pawlenty’s the GOP candidate, the RGA will dump lots of money into the race. If Jeff Johnson is the GOP candidate, that isn’t likely.

Those are definite starting structural advantages in Gov. Pawlenty’s favor. They aren’t impossible to overcome but it’s daunting nonetheless. Things might be “up in the air” but I’d rather start in Pawlenty’s position.

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The DFL’s condescension for people came gushing through this week thanks to Vice President Pence’s visit to Minnesota. In advance of Vice President Pence’s visit, DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin issue this statement. In part, it said “While corporations will see their taxes cut by 40 percent, the plan increases taxes on hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans. And thanks to the bill, more than 700,000 Minnesotans are now limited in their ability to use the state and local tax deductions. Minnesotans know a scam when they see one, and the Republican tax bill is a bad deal for our state.”

First, saying that the Trump/GOP tax cuts raises taxes “on hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans” is an extreme exaggeration. Everyone’s marginal tax rates dropped. The standard deduction increased dramatically. The per-child tax credit increased significantly.

It’s impossible for those things to be verifiably true at the same time Chairman Martin’s statement is true. Martin isn’t the only ‘extreme exaggerator’ in the DFL. This morning, Ember Reichgott-Junge said that Republicans were caught flat=footed with their messaging and that they’re now playing catch-up. Reichgott-Junge then said that all the chaos in the administration is getting in the way of people knowing that they got a tax cut.

This is typical DFL thinking. The DFL insists that people can’t recognize their bigger paychecks if the government doesn’t tell them that their checks are bigger. This is typical DFL condescension. What’s also typical of the DFL is voting against middle class tax cuts. DFL state legislators voted against state tax cuts before Tim Walz, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Collin Peterson, Rick Nolan, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts.

Chairman Martin said that “Mike Pence should return to Washington and join Democrats in fighting for a tax plan that puts everyday families first.” I’ve got a better idea. Chairman Martin should tell DFL legislators in DC and St. Paul to start voting for tax cuts rather than hoarding it for questionable DFL spending priorities and a multi-billion dollar rainy day fund. Chairman Martin should be honest for once and admit that the Trump/GOP tax cuts have triggered billions of dollars in bonuses, higher wages and better benefits for literally millions of people across the nation.

In this post, I asked this question:

How long will this list get?

Since I asked that question, the list has gotten significantly longer.

While DFL activists think they’ve got the upper hand in the tax fight, the truth is that they’re playing catch-up and don’t know it. That’s because they’re willing to believe their press clippings.

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When it comes to veterans, Tim Walz can’t quite tell the truth. It’s indisputable fact that the VA system is a failure. Veterans have died waiting months for urgent care. On his official issues page, Walz said “We must honor the sacred contract between a grateful nation and our veterans who made selfless sacrifices in defense of freedom and democracy. Our goal as a nation is to provide the men and women who return from service in the U.S. military with the opportunity to achieve the American Dream in civilian life. As the highest ranking enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress, I have been extremely honored and humbled to work directly on behalf of veterans and their families with a position on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. We owe it to our veterans to ensure that they are healthy, happy, and employed when they return home, and I am working hard to get results for veterans.”

The truth is that Rep. Walz worked with Nancy Pelosi to throw additional money thrown towards the failed VA system while trying to weaken the VA reforms Congress passed months ago. That’s the worst way to “ensure that they are healthy, happy, and employed when they return home.”

Being anti-VA reform, which is what Rep. Walz is, is hurting veterans. Ten years ago, Rep. Walz complained about VA administrators receiving bonuses while veterans got neglected:

Three years ago, Rep. Walz travelled around the state after the Phoenix VA scandal broke:

Five months ago, Rep. Walz called for a federal investigation into why VA hospitals denied veterans access to health care and/or why they charged veterans for care they shouldn’t have been required to pay:

I hope I’m not the only Minnesotan noticing a pattern of failure on Walz’s behalf. Minnesota doesn’t need another failure after suffering through 8 years of Gov. Dayton’s failures. We need someone who will fix things the first time, then keep things working properly thereafter. People thinking that that’s Walz’s habit aren’t accustomed to reality.

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It’s apparent that Tim Walz will say anything to win the DFL endorsement for governor. This article is proof that, when it comes to governing principles, Walz doesn’t have any.

Walz isn’t a leader. He’s a legislator, aka a talker. On the issue of gun violence, Walz said he’d “build new coalitions to ‘finally end the obstruction, get the NRA out of the way and get us to the common-sense solutions that we all agree on, including universal background checks, a bump-stock ban and yes, after listening hard to Minnesotans, an assault-weapons ban in Minnesota.'” First, banning assault weapons isn’t a solution. It’s a PR ploy meant to make people feel like they’ve done something without fixing anything.

The reason why is because the 1990s definition of assault weapons is mostly about cosmetics. The 1990s definition of an assault weapon is essentially a semi-automatic weapon with a few cosmetic changes. If the definition of an assault rifle stays essentially the same, it’ll be meaningless. If it’s expanded, the Supreme Court will likely strike it down because it’s too vague or expansive. That’s the opposite of a solution. That’s the definition of pandering.

Next, it’s important to highlight how Walz insists that Minnesotans need to “get the NRA out of the way.” How will Walz do that? The NRA isn’t a nefarious boogeyman organization. It’s an organization filled with people who feel passionately about protecting everyone’s civil liberties while protecting their families.

Michael Graham’s article sets the ill-informed straight:

Let’s start with a basic fact about the NRA that seems to have been lost: The “A” is for “Association.” As in “freedom of association?” Or “assembly” as it’s called in the First Amendment. Some 5 million Americans choose to pay dues and “associate” with other like-minded people who share their views on gun ownership.

This distinction doesn’t make the NRA good or bad, but it’s simply wrong to look at them the way we look at, say, the National Beer Wholesalers Association when it comes to the issue of DUI laws. The NRA isn’t the beer sellers. It’s the beer drinkers.

The DFL can’t win without its collection of boogeymen to vilify. Their arguments, like Walz’s, are intellectually dishonest or incoherent.

Admittedly, more significant was the money the two groups spent promoting their cause and attacking their opponents, $15 million by Planned Parenthood and $54 million by the NRA. Both of those figures, however, pale in comparison to the $90 million California billionaire Tom Steyer spent on the 2016 presidential race by himself–his part of more than $2 billion in total spending on the Hillary vs. Trump battle. The NRA’s contribution to Trump’s election, $30 million—is about 1.5 percent of that total.

And once again—remember where most of that money comes from. Not from the profits of Dr. Evil’s “Virtuecon,” but from members and donations. Citizens who pay dues and write checks for a cause they believe in.

It’s time to ignore show-me-the-money politicians. That’s what Walz is. Show him enough money and he’ll fight for anything. Literally:

Democrats are going on the offense in their attempt to retake the US House. They’re targeting 101 GOP House seats. The way things are going in Minnesota, they’d better target 150 seats because they’re likely going to lose 2 seats in Minnesota.

When Tim Walz announced that he wasn’t running for re-election so he could run for governor, that seat was all-but-officially lost for the DFL. The DFL’s bench is virtually nonexistent while Republicans have 2 quality candidates who are ready to rock.

Today, Rick Nolan surprised people by announcing that he isn’t seeking re-election in MN-08. That immediately threw that race into toss-up status. Early this afternoon, Stewart Mills announced via Twitter that he’s considering jumping into the race:


Then there’s this:

Other new DCCC targets include South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District, where Democrat Archie Parnell outperformed expectations in a special election last year and is running again; New Jersey’s 4th Congressional District, represented by veteran GOP Rep. Chris Smith; Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District, held by Rep. Sean Duffy; and Maryland’s 1st Congressional District, which includes the state’s conservative Eastern Shore, where Democrats initially planned to have their retreat.

The DCCC can target Sean Duffy if they’d like but it’s a waste of time. Further, with the economy getting stronger and the tax cuts getting more popular, Democrats won’t be able to stay on the offensive much longer.

Once the ads start running showing every Democrat voting against the tax cuts, Democrats will be in God’s little acre — east of the rock, west of the hard place.

Jeff Johnson and Tim Walz won their party’s non-binding straw polls at Tuesday night’s precinct caucuses. Unfortunately for both men, that won’t get nearly as much publicity as the breaking news from earlier in the day. The other noteworthy news from Tuesday night’s straw polls is that Keith Downey underperformed, losing to Commissioner Johnson by a 45.4% – 14.6% margin. Perhaps, more embarrassing for Downey is the fact that he lost to “Undecided” by a 15.6% – 14.6% margin.

After such a lackluster performance in the straw poll, the Downey campaign must ask themselves if there’s a legitimate pathway to the endorsement. At this point, nothing seems to suggest that there is a path to the endorsement.

Full disclosure: I’m still undecided so I don’t have a dog in this fight at this point. At some point, I’m sure that will change. It’s just that it hasn’t changed yet.

On the DFL side, it appears as though Paul Thissen, Tina Liebling and Chris Coleman have difficult paths to the DFL endorsement, with Walz, Rebecca Otto and Erin Murphy having the strongest finishes:

Here’s the unofficial results of the GOP straw poll:

Turnout at Republican precinct caucuses were significantly smaller than at DFL, which can’t please Republicans. Still, tonight was the night when initial assessments were made. This isn’t the night when final decisions are made.

If Walz is the DFL-endorsed candidate, it isn’t likely that he’ll have much of an enthusiasm gap in his favor. The Bernie Sanders wing of the DFL is dominant. That’s where the enthusiasm comes from. That isn’t where Tim Walz is from. Further, like I said earlier this week, Walz alienated NRA voters and the Iron Range. OF the 3 DFL finalists, all have difficult paths to the governor’s mansion. Erin Murphy is little known outside the Twin Cities. Further, she’s hated in rural Minnesota. Rebecca Otto is hated on the Range, especially after fundraising off of her decision to vote against approving mining exploration leases.

A loyal reader of LFR forwarded me a fundraising e-letter from Tim Walz. In the e-letter, Walz wrote a section titled “If a Republican wins this election.” The second bullet-point says “If a Republican wins this election, Republicans will do everything they can to circumvent and undermine our environmental review processes that exist to keep our environment and workers safe.”

That’s the polite way for DFL politicians to say that they hate mining and miners. The DFL knows that their system of regulations has literally delayed the start of the PolyMet mining project by more than a decade. Rangers know this. City slickers don’t.

The point is that Walz just inadvertently told the Range that he wants their votes but that he won’t be their advocate. Question for miners: why waste a vote on the DFL? Another of their priorities reads “If a Republican wins this election, anti-trans bathroom bills will be introduced and passed in the Minnesota legislature.” As for himself and his running mate, if they’re elected, “we’ll stand up for LGBTQ+ Minnesotans.”

Another bullet-point says “If Peggy and I win, we’ll fight for common sense gun violence legislation here in Minnesota.” For years, Tim Walz bragged about his A rating with the NRA. The minute Walz became a candidate for statewide office, though, his positions ‘evolved’:

That’s politicspeak for not having principles to begin with.

In short, Walz is a typical spineless DFL politician who won’t hesitate in selling out his past constituents to gain higher office. He stands for nothing. He’s unprincipled. We don’t need another windbag politician.