Archive for the ‘Tim Walz’ Category

Tim Walz knows how to play the DC spin game. This article is proof of that:

At the U.S. Capitol, Walz said, “there’s not democracy.” Instead, “there’s just a speaker who holds a gavel.” The only legislation that can get voted on is that which the House speaker allows.

The reason Tim Walz is in the minority is because the politicians he voted for for Speaker didn’t just hold the House hostage. Then-Speaker Pelosi wouldn’t even let Republicans participate in writing a bill the vast majority of Americans didn’t want. It wasn’t enough for Ms. Pelosi to play the role of tyrant. She wasn’t satisfied until she ruled with an iron fist.

I don’t recall Rep. Walz complaining about Ms. Pelosi’s dictatorial stranglehold on the House from 2007-2011. Perhaps that’s because getting his way was the only principle that mattered to him.

Walz wasn’t the only spinmeister on stage:

With Republicans in charge of the Legislature and a Republican governor, Smith said, Minnesota ended up with a $6 billion debt.Under Democratic control, the deficit was erased, and money has been put aside for future emergencies.

Tina Smith should be ridiculed and criticized for lying like that. There’s never been a time when a Republican governor got to work with Republican majorities in the House and Senate. N-E-V-E-R. In 2010, Republicans gained control of the Minnesota Senate since it became a partisan election in 1972. From 1972 through 2010, Democrats had a stranglehold on the Senate.

That part of Smith’s BS is bad enough but that isn’t the only BS Smith peddled. In 2011, Republicans inherited a $6,000,000,000 deficit from Sen. Pogemiller and Speaker Kelliher. Sen. Pogemiller had a veto-proof DFL majority in the Senate while Speaker Kelliher lead 87 Democrats in the 134-member in the House.

When the DFL regained control of the House and Senate in 2012, Sen. Bakk and Speaker Thissen inherited a $640,000,000 deficit, not a $6,000,000,000 deficit.

That means Smith was only off by $5,360,000,000. In other words, she was as close to being accurate on the deficit as Gov. Dayton was with the e-tabs projection. That means neither was particularly accurate.

If spin was a $100 bill, the DFL could pay off the national debt. If accuracy and honesty was a gold bar, Walz and Smith couldn’t afford a stick of gum.

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In 2009, Ann Lenczewski proposed tax reform while she chaired the House Taxes Committee. Here’s what she said then:

“This bill proposes the most significant tax overhaul in 20 years,” said the bill’s chief author Rep. Ann Lenczeswki, DFL-Bloomington.

In addition to the tax hikes, Lenczewski’s bill removes a variety of tax breaks for homeowners and businesses. Charitable contributions, the mortgage interest tax deduction and the property tax deduction for homeowners are eliminated and replaced with a tax credit based on income. The bill also eliminates several business tax breaks, like the Research and Development credit and parts of the governor’s JOBZ program.

Lenczewski said she wants to clean up the state’s tax code.

“Which is to sweep the tax code clean of all of the preferential treatment and subsidies and things we can’t afford anymore and instead bring a fairer, more progressive income tax to Minnesotans based on the ability to pay,” she said.

That information is important context to the DFL’s ‘tax reforms’ this year. Gov. Dayton and Sen. Bakk have announced that tax reform is a high priority this year. One of the first tax bills is from Sen. Rest, in which she’d change the sales tax to apply to clothing. This isn’t a new idea by any stretch. Still, combined with higher taxes on “the rich who aren’t paying their fair share”, the DFL’s tax reform will hurt lots of people.

Is Sen. Rest balancing the budget on the backs of the middle class and working poor? Is it that she thinks the middle class and the working poor aren’t paying their fair share?

GOP legislators should ridicule Sen. Rest’s proposal until it’s dropped from committee consideration.

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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It’s occasionally possible to ignore dishonest statements from politicians. I can’t do that after reading this article. Tim Walz made this dishonest statement recently:

For his part, Tim Walz doesn’t seem concerned about Republican challengers. He said he’s a proven bipartisan moderate despite the Republican rhetoric.

“Every time you make these types of cases that Walz is in lock-step with Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama and then the NRA runs an ad for me it really starts to question your credibility,” he said.

Walz also said his victory in the 2010 over former state Rep.Randy Demmer, when many other Democrats around the country were defeated, demonstrates his strength among 1st District voters.

What part of Walz’s record says that he’s bipartisan? It certainly isn’t bipartisan to vote for the stimulus bill. That bill got 3 GOP votes in the Senate, none in the House. It certainly isn’t bipartisan to carry a minimum wage bill as a freshman that shielded then-Speaker Pelosi’s husband from the minimum wage increase.

In fact, those sound like the types of things that only a Pelosi lapdog would do.

That’s before talking about his voting, repeatedly, for Obamacare. That isn’t proof of Walz’s bipartisan nature. It’s proof of his partisan nature.

As for his defeating Randy Demmer in 2010, that isn’t proof of his bipartisan nature. It’s proof that the Demmer campaign didn’t do a good enough job of exposing Walz’s liberal voting record.

This is a new election cycle. Mike Parry is certainly a tougher matchup for Walz than Demmer was. This isn’t being disrespectful of Demmer. It’s just that his spending 8 years in the state legislature made him a target of Walz’s demagoguery.

Mike Parry is a businessman who’s served a briefly in the Minnesota Senate. Sen. Parry is only in his second term but he’s already the chair of the Senate State Government Innovation and Veterans Committee, one of the most powerful committees in the Senate.

The bottom line is that Tim Walz isn’t a moderate. You can’t vote for Cap and Trade, Obamacare and the stimulus and be a moderate.

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Last Friday, Sen. Mike Parry announced that he’s running for the CD-1 seat currently occupied by Nancy Pelosi’s lapdog, aka Rep. Tim Walz:

Sen. Mike Parry is the first Republican to announce a run against Walz, a three-term Democrat from Mankato and a former teacher at West High School. Walz attracted five Republican challengers in 2010, but all dropped out after state Rep. Randy Demmer of Hayfield beat them at an endorsing convention in April.

Sen. Parry is a formidable opponent. Rep. Walz will quickly find that out. Perhaps Sen. Parry’s greatest strength is that he’s a no-nonsense, let’s-get-to-the-bottom-of-this kind of guy. That became apparent to me watching him utterly dissect MMB Commissionef Showalter. Here’s the most telling exchange:

CHAIRMAN PARRY: So you did give written instructions so that they fully understood how they were to move forward with their testimony today?
SHOWALTER: Mr. Chairman, I haven’t instructed anyone on testimony. What I have asked and informed them on is these provisions because not everyone is watching the State Government Committee or they’re assuming that we take the lead in looking at these elements and helping them understand the impact and what issues they need to be aware of.
PARRY: So were your instructions orally delivered, your message, or in form of the information that they’re working off from. I guess what I’m asking for, Commissioner Showalter, I would like to, if there was a written memo given to each commissioner on how to look at their budget, I would be interested, and I’m sure this committee would be interested to see that memo.

Because if every commissioner that’s coming here with worst case scenarios, that is a far cry from what is inside the House and the Senate versions of this bill as I have listened. And so I guess maybe, for us to understand what the commissioners are working off of, I would think that it would be prudent to give us…let us look at the instructions that you have given commissioners.

Shortly thereafter, Commissioner Showalter admitted that he’d prepped the other commissioners on how to testify by relying on misleading information. He turned over the written memo he’d used to prep the commissioners.

In short, Sen. Parry spotted the pattern in the commissioners’ testimony, identified the source of the misinformation, then embarrassed the person responsible for prepping the commissioners with the information.

If Sen. Parry is the GOP endorsed candidate, Rep. Walz won’t be running against a career politician. He’ll be running against a legislator with a history of getting to the bottom of things.

Sen. Parry won’t let Rep. Walz get away with his split personality schtick, the one where he plays a conservative while he’s visiting his district, then behaves like Nancy Pelosi’s obedient lapdog the minute he returns to Washington, DC.

I have a suggestion for Rep. Walz: Announce your retirement now before you’re dissected by Sen. Parry. Otherwise, prepare to get exposed as Pelosi’s lapdog.

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A faithful reader of this blog emailed me copies of Common Cause Minnesota’s redistricting maps. As you’ll see, Common Cause Minnesota’s maps expose them as political hatchetmen doing the DFL’s bidding. Here’s Common Cause Minnesota’s statewide redistricting map:

Here’s a tighter shot of Common Cause Minnesota’s map. It focuses on the southern half of the state:

It’s apparent that Common Cause MN isn’t nonpartisan or transparent. The fact that Common Cause Minnesota didn’t publish these maps and displayed prominently on their website says everything that needs be said.

Even if Common Cause MN denies ownership of these maps, the truth is that the maps didn’t create themselves. Common Cause Minnesota’s maps fits with their goals:

The campaign seeks to create a better redistricting process in Minnesota that uses the following principles:

1. The redistricting process should be independent and nonpartisan, to minimize the influence of elected officials and political parties in creating districts to their own political advantage.
2. The redistricting process should be transparent to the public.
3. The redistricting body should provide data, tools, and opportunities for the public to have direct input into the specific plans under consideration.
4. The redistricting process must be reflective of the diversity of the state, especially racial and ethnic diversity.
5. Redistricting plan should preserve communities of interest wherever possible, where communities of interest are groups of people concentrated in a geographic area that share similar interests and priorities, whether social, cultural, ethnic, racial, economic, or religious.

The maps attempt to protect DFL incumbents while pitting John Kline and Michele Bachmann against each other. That isn’t a serious map. That’s an insult to Minnesota’s voters. They left Keith Ellison’s, Betty McCollum’s, Tim Walz’s and Colin Peterson’s districts in droves. Isn’t it interesting that Keith Ellison’s, Betty McCollum’s, Tim Walz’s and Colin Peterson’s districts are the districts are the ones that Common Cause Minnesota’s map protects?

Isn’t it interesting that Common Cause Minnesota’s map pits John Kline and Michele Bachmann against each other while creating an open seat to the west of the Twin Cities metro?

What’s even more interesting is that Common Cause Minnesota’s map draws 2 of Tim Walz’s likeliest challengers into the same district as John Kline and Michele Bachmann.

Study these maps. Memorize them. They’re what political hatchet jobs look like.

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Following the release of the redistricting data yesterday, it’s safe to say that the only thing that’ll stay the same are the numbers of the districts. There will be some significant changes in congressional districts. Based on this information, the changes to legislative districts likely will be more dramatic than the congressional district changes.

First, let’s start with the fact that each congressional district will have 662,991 people in them after redistricting. There will be 79,163 people in each state senate district, with 39,582 in each House district.

Based on the state senate district information, it’s clear that urban areas will take a significant hit and that southeast and southwest suburbia will gain seats. Other areas that will likely gain seats are in the exurban bedroom communities north of the Twin Cities.

For instance, SD-34 must shrink by 15,000 people. The Lady Logician’s former district, SD-35, must shrink by 37%. SD-36 must shrink by 22 percent. Senate Majority Leader Koch’s district must shrink by 34.5% while Gary Kubly’s neighboring district must grow by 15.6%.

Frankly, based on these big-picture numbers, it’s apparent that the DFL has alot to be worried about. Then again, these are just the big picture numbers. They don’t show the demographic breakdown of those numbers.

Of the northernmost districts, only John Carlson’s SD-4 district must shrink, by a total of 1,985 people. The rest of those districts must add significantly to their populations, ranging from adding 7,900+ to 2,400+.

With the northernmost districts having to expand and with urban areas losing seats, that means central Minnesota, the outer burbs and the exurbs will likely gain seats. In fact, I’d argue that that’s inescapble at this point.

The political ramifications won’t be known for certain for some time. Initially, it doesn’t appear to be good news for the DFL, either on the congressional level or on the legislative level.

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Wednesday, Tim Walz and Collin Peterson voted against repealing O’Care. While their votes didn’t surprise political activists, it’s still telling that they voted the way Minority Leader Pelosi wanted them to vote.

Peterson’s vote is most puzzling because he voted against final passage of O’Care, then said he wouldn’t vote to repeal the bill when posed with the question.

Peterson’s logic, or lack thereof, suggests that Peterson either thinks he needs more help from extremist activists or that he’s planning on retiring. Personally, I think it’s the latter. Peterson had spent 12 years in the minority prior to the 112th Congress.

This past election was a tight election by Peterson’s standards, defeating a definitely underfunded Lee Byberg by a 55-38 percent margin. It’s a safe bet that Byberg will have sufficient funding this cycle should he choose to run again.

If I’m Collin Peterson, I’m asking why I’d want to run against a well-funded candidate in a race that the NRCC will put special emphasis on. I’m also asking why I’d want to return to the House to be in the minority for the rest of my career.

The equation is likely different for Walz. He’s just entering his third term, with this being his first time in the minority. I suspect he won’t like it that much. I don’t doubt that he’ll still enjoy voting with Pelosi 97 percent of the time but that’s another story.

With more of Minnesota turning red, this might be a difficult environment for DFL candidates to run in, especially Peterson. Peterson’s gone from winning by a 70-30 margin in 2006 to 72-28 in 2008 to winning by 55-38 in 2010. Getting only 55 percent of the vote against a previously unknown candidate who was vastly underfunded should have Peterson worried.

Don’t be surprised if Peterson decides that lobbying is better than valor.

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After considering the polling data, the stories from the campaign trail and some supposition in terms of high GOP/independent turnout, it’s prediction time.

Let’s start close to home.

In SD-14, I’m predicting a clean sweep, with Sen. Michelle Fischbach winning handily, with Tom Ellenbecker defeating Rep. Larry Hosch and Tim O’Driscoll trouncing Rob Jacobs. (Hopefully, that defeat puts us out of our misery with Mr. Jacobs, quite possibly the worst local candidate in Central Minnesota since I became eligible to vote.)

In SD-15, John Pederson will defeat Bruce Hentges, partially because he’s a serious businessman with the requisite skills to get Minnesota’s economy going. Likewise, King Banaian will defeat Carol Lewis, another EdMinn drone who otherwise would be relied upon to rubberstamp Tom Dooher’s agenda. Steve Gottwalt is running a great campaign and should easily win re-election.

A little further away from St. Cloud, I fully expect Mary Franson to win the seat vacated by Mary Ellen Ottremba’s retirement. I fully expect Mike LeMeuir to defeat Al Doty, too. If I’m right about these picks, that’s a net gain of 4 House seats and 1 Senate seat.

After talking with numerous House and Senate candidates, I predict that Republicans will retake the House of Representatives, making Kurt Zellers the Speaker-Elect. I can’t predict whether Republicans will retake the Senate but I’m certainly not ruling that out. If I had to predict, I’d guess Republicans retaking the Senate by a 35-32 margin.

I’m predicting Pat Anderson defeating Rebecca Otto by 5 points, Dan Severson defeating Mark Ritchie in a close race, possibly by 1-2 points. I don’t know if Chris Barden will win. What I know for certain is that he’d win handily if this was based on qualifications.

If the GOP wave that’s rumbling through Minnesota is as big as the congressional races indicate, Chris Barden quite possibly be swept in, bringing in a much-needed house-cleaning in the AG’s office.

Next are the high profile races. Two weeks ago, I wasn’t certain how everything would work out for Tom Emmer. Now I’m certain. After watching Tom beat Sen. Dayton and Tom Horner like a set of bongo drums in Sunday’s 26th and final debate, I’m confident Tom Emmer will succeed Tim Pawlenty.

Recent polling shows independents breaking hard against DFL candidates by a 5:3 or 2:1 margin.

I’m predicting my congresslady Michele Bachmann will win re-election by a minimum of 8 points. In a tip of the hat, I’ll admit that Tarryl kept fighting to the end. Tarryl wasn’t a great fit for this district but she worked hard.

Now for my upset specials. Chip Cravaack will defeat Jim Oberstar by 3-5 points. Teresa Collett will defeat Betty McCollum, making Mitch Berg the happiest man in the MOB. Randy Demmer will defeat Tim Walz, mostly because the man who promised to be an independent voice for southern Minnesota is actually Speaker Pelosi’s lapdog, voting for the trifecta of the stimulus, Cap and Tax and Obamacare.

Nationally, I’m predicting Republicans to win a net of 60-70 seats in the House and 10 Senate seats, taking control of both houses of Congress.

The White House will argue that this wasn’t a repudiation of their policies, which sane people won’t buy into. This election will be so jarring that Democrats will start questioning whether President Obama should be their nominee in 2012.

After much infighting and bickering, though, I suspect he’ll be the 2012 Democratic nominee.

There you have it. Believe all of it, some of it, little of it or ignore it.

Those are my predictions and I’m sticking with them.

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After Randy Demmer’s first TV ad started running, the Walz campaign predictably reacted to the ad:

In the e-mail it states “National Republicans are not coming after Tim Walz because they believe he is vulnerable, they are coming after Tim because he is strong. While Tim has focused on solutions that will improve people’s lives, the NRCC leaders have chosen to help Randy Demmer because they know he will be a reliable vote for Wall Street and health insurance companies.”

Rep. Walz doesn’t explain how his voting for Cap and Trade is a positive solution. He can’t explain it because the-Sen. Obama said this about his Cap and Trade bill:

When I was asked earlier about the issue of coal…under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket…even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad, because I’m capping greenhouse gasses, coal power plants, natural gas…you name it…whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retro-fit their operations. That will cost money…they will pass that money on to the consumers.

Is Rep. Walz suggesting that voting for Cap and Trade is a positive solution for farmers, small businesses and families? If yes, how is having electric prices “necessarily skyrocket” a positive solution for southern Minnesota?

I recall Rep. Walz telling the audience at FarmFest that he expected the conference committee report to fix many of the things in the House bills? What things did Rep. Walz expect to get fixed in conference committee negotiations? Which taxes did Rep. Walz expect to get eliminated in negotiations?

With Obamacare, insurance premiums aren’t dropping. They aren’t even stabilizing. They going up by almost 10 percent a year with no end in sight. How is that helping Minnesota families?

How is Obamacare a common sense solution for southern Minnesota? It’s telling that Rep. Walz would try selling rising insurance premiums as a positive solution for Minnesota.

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