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During her interview with KMSP-TV, Erin Murphy did her best to explain why the DFL endorsement for governor is important. At one point, I got the sense that Rep. Murphy almost said that it’s important because she’s strapped for cash and needs the DFL’s assistance to push her across the finish line. She stopped short of that but that’s still the truth:

According to this report, Murphy had less than $75,000 cash-on-hand as of 3/31/2018. By comparison, Tim Pawlenty has $900,000 more cash-on-hand. On the DFL side of things, Tim Walz has almost $650,000 cash-on-hand.

Let’s get serious here. With the DFL’s help, Erin Murphy should win the DFL Primary. The minute the primary is over, though, she’s in trouble. The bad news for the DFL is that her competitors on the DFL side are in worse shape. With the DFL having been taken over by Our Revolution, Murphy is the only candidate extreme enough for that organization. Lori Swanson and Tim Walz will split the outstate vote. When they lose the primary, their voters are most likely to either not vote for Murphy or they’ll switch to the GOP.

This won’t be a happy reunion. This is the DFL’s civil war. Republicans aren’t unified but the DFL is heading for outright civil war.

Thus far, Tim Pawlenty is the only GOP gubernatorial candidate to send me information on their campaign. Jeff Johnson’s campaign hasn’t shown any signs of activity, either in fundraising letters, campaign updates or through social media. At this point, I’m left to question whether Jeff Johnson is going through the motions or whether he’s just too broke to run a full-fledged campaign.

At any rate, Tim Pawlenty is running a complete campaign. In his latest campaign email, Pawlenty writes “The DFL candidates for governor, Tim Walz and Erin Murphy, support tax increases and turning Minnesota into a haven for illegal immigration by imposing sanctuary state laws. In fact, Tim Walz even proposed bringing terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay to Rochester, Minnesota!” Later in the same email, Pawlenty wrote “At a time when our state government can’t properly operate the renewal system for licenses; can’t even properly confirm eligibility before giving out public assistance; and is even being investigated for potentially diverting child care funds to terrorists — we need our elected officials to be accountable and use common sense. With the DFL plunging into chaos, they have proven to every Minnesotan that they cannot and will not take these critical responsibilities seriously.”

Gov. Dayton has been a total disaster the past 8 years. Minnesotans are taxed far too much. Far too often under Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s watch, they’ve ignored warning signs of theft or fraud.

It isn’t improper to call the DFL the party of big broken government. They’ve proven that they only care about oversized appropriations and no oversight. MNLARS continues unfixed. Meanwhile, Gov. Dayton vetoed a bill that would’ve saved deputy registrars from financial ruin that Gov. Dayton and the DFL caused because Republicans wouldn’t write Gov. Dayton a blank check for an additional $33,000,000 to supposedly finish fixing MNLARS. When the GOP insisted on strict oversight, Gov. Dayton went into another of his famous diatribes.

Do we want another inept, corrupt Democrat in the Governor’s mansion? Shouldn’t we want a governor who has already shown he’s competent? We can’t afford Erin Murphy’s wildly expensive ideas

According to this article, the DFL thinks it’s got a messaging problem. While it’s true that they have a difficult time selling their agenda, their problem is substantive. It isn’t that they’ve got a failure to communicate.

Check this out. A caller into the Kerri Miller show, Rishab, thinks that “Republicans are incredible marketers. They have a very simple ideology and can get that out to the voters”, adding that “All these moves the Democrats are doing are very calculating and it’s very difficult for the American people to understand what their position really is.”

I’d argue that the DFL has a unity problem, which might turn into a shrinking party problem if the socialists persist in pushing their economic message. To reduce it to its simplest, socialism bets against human nature. That’s why they need tons of regulations, then tons of carve-outs for their friends when those regulations don’t work. People are in the process of rejecting that economic model. That, in turn, will lead to the party shrinking if this persists.

Why would people be confused about this DFL?

Shortly after the endorsements were announced, the Democratic field began shifting.

  • U.S. Rep. Tim Walz made it clear he’ll take his gubernatorial campaign to the primary against the endorsed candidate, state Rep. Erin Murphy.
  • After Lori Swanson, the incumbent attorney general, lost the endorsement to DFL activist, Matt Pelikan, she decided to shift her focus to the governor’s race.
  • Seeing an opportunity, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison filed to run for attorney general, leaving his seat in the 5th Congressional District open.
  • In response to Ellison vacating his seat, eight other Democrats entered the fray for his 5th District seat.

What could possibly be confusing about that? LOL The thing that’s straightforward is that all of these tickets/candidates are extreme lefties. How do you message for their agenda? Good luck with that.

In this convention speech, Mr. Ellison talked about selling people on climate change and other ‘progressive’ issues. BTW, never forget that progressive equals socialist. They’re inseparable.

Finally, the DFL has some real problems ahead if this is true:

Even so, Bakk sounded a pessimistic tone for the DFL should the primary send Murphy on to the general election. “There is zero chance she will win in November,” predicted Bakk. “I heard there are 13 rural DFL party chairs who have quit over it,” he said. “It’s a pretty metro-centric ticket.”

The prediction is fun reading but finding out that 13 DFL BPOU chairs have quit over the endorsement of the Erin-Squared ticket is important news. That indicates a major division within the DFL. Whether those chairs flip and vote Republican or not, it isn’t likely that they’ll vote DFL.

People leaving the DFL because the DFL isn’t interested in people living outside the Metro is how you shrink the party. That’s a substantive issue or a philosophical issue, not a communications issue.

The thing that’s getting more play at the DFL convention than expected is that Erin Murphy’s momentum is real and that she might win the DFL endorsement. Tonight, Murphy announced that she’d been endorsed by OutfrontAction via this tweet:


A quick glimpse at OutFrontAction’s about us webpage identifies which identity group OutfrontAction represents:

OutFront Minnesota’s mission is to create a state where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are free to be who they are, love who they love, and live without fear of violence, harassment or discrimination. We envision a state where LGBTQ individuals have equal opportunities, protection and rights. We are working toward the day when all Minnesotans have the freedom, power and confidence to make the best choices for their own lives.

There’s little question whether this is an important endorsement the night before the DFL endorses a gubernatorial candidate. That isn’t the same as saying this is a winning issue in a general election. It isn’t. Compare that with the top contenders’ issue pages. Check out how substantive Jeff Johnson’s issues page is. Then compare the DFL candidates’ pages with Tim Pawlenty’s issues page.

The difference between the Republicans’ issues pages and the DFL candidates’ issues pages isn’t a fair fight. Murphy doesn’t have an issues page. Instead, she calls her page her Vision page. On that page, she talks about single-payer “health care, equity & justice, economic justice, reproductive justice, immigration and mining.”

On immigration, Murphy says this:

Minnesota must be a state where all of our neighbors are treated with respect and dignity. It’s also critical for our future; we need the hard work and bright ideas of people all over the world to build our economy. That’s why, as a state, we must unite against efforts by the federal government to attack immigrants living in Minnesota. Our communities must be strong, safe, and welcoming.

  • I support drivers licenses for all, an initiative that keeps our roads safe while ensuring that people are able to get to work or take their child to the doctor and school.
  • Our state and law enforcement must not serve as an extension of ICE, nor should Minnesota prisons be used as detention centers.

In other words, Murphy supports Minnesota becoming a sanctuary state. In terms of mining, here’s part of what Murphy says:

I’ll protect our state from corporate interests that seek to weaken our permitting process for their financial gain. We see these efforts both at the state and federal level. I’ve voted against them repeatedly, and would continue to oppose them if the science is not sound.

Although we often focus on mining, in Minnesota, we are hard on our water – with agriculture, with overdevelopment, with road salt, and with manufacturing. So it’s imperative we invest in the research already taking place at the Natural Resources and Research Institute at UMD around advanced filtration, reverse osmosis, and other ways to clean impaired waters. As governor I would ensure that we invest in that research more heavily to protect and repair water, regardless of the project.

In short, Murphy will be a friend of environmental activists. This has long-reaching effects. It affects farmers, miners, construction workers and cities building wastewater treatment plants. It isn’t a stretch to say that environmental activists would have too much influence in our lives if Murphy was elected.

Minnesota came close to having unified Republican government in 2010, when Republicans swept into control of the State House and Senate while losing the governor’s race in a recount. With Republicans controlling the Senate and not up for election in 2018, Republicans can focus on strengthening their majority in the Minnesota House and electing a Republican governor. The DFL is in real trouble in the legislature. According to the article, “the Democratic National Committee announced in May it would give a $100,000 grant to the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor party for outreach to rural voters.”

That’s pretty laughable. The DFL has been well-funded for years, with DFL trust fund babies (Think Alita Messenger) writing big checks to the DFL. The DFL shouldn’t need outside help to connect with rural voters. I can save the DNC that $100,000. The problem isn’t that the DFL hasn’t reached out to rural Minnesota. It’s that those DFLers are attached to a cancer originating from Minneapolis and St. Paul. The DFL won’t like hearing this but it’s the truth: The Republican Party of Minnesota is the new home to farmers, miners and construction workers.

Skipping the convention is a sign Pawlenty has trouble with the modern GOP, said David Turner, spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association, who compared the Minnesota contest to the 2017 Virginia governor’s race—which was expected to be close but turned into a big victory for centrist Democrat Ralph Northam over moderate Republican Ed Gillespie.

“What we’ve seen in 2017 and 2018 is a high level of enthusiasm among Democratic voters,” Turner told Fox News. “Pawlenty is eerily similar to Ed Gillespie in Virginia. Both had harshly criticized President Trump in the past and lobbied for Wall Street. Now, Pawlenty is coming back to Minnesota and—like Gillespie—doesn’t know how to deal with the current Trump Republican party.”

The chance to elect, for the first time in Minnesota history, a unified Republican Party government is all the motivation Republicans will need this fall. The opportunity to fix the problems Dayton created but didn’t fix is great motivation. The opportunity to trash Minnesota’s socialist economic policies will be a great motivator, too.

I’d be in denial if I said that there aren’t some people who question Pawlenty. They definitely exist. That being said, he’s a reliable chief executive who is light years more trustworthy than Gov. Bobblehead, aka Gov. Dayton. A Pawlenty-Daudt-Gazelka trio of leaders would be able to get lots of good things done.

As for the DFL gubernatorial candidates, each have serious flaws. The first test for a candidate is picking a running mate. Rebecca Otto failed that test by making an identity politics choice. The first thing a running mate has to be is capable of running the state if, God forbid, something happens to the governor.

Here’s the opening sentence in the article:

DFL gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Otto has chosen Zarina Baber as her running mate, creating the possibility that if elected, Baber would be the first Muslim woman to hold statewide office in the United States.

Picking a nobody with no government experience is foolish. It’s impossible to take this pick as serious. This is purely an identity politics pick.

As for Tim Walz, his biggest flaws are that he’s got the worst of both worlds. He really isn’t a Twin Cities kind of guy but he doesn’t fit well with rural Minnesota, either. He once represented rural Minnesota but he lost that by playing politics with the NRA. When he pandered after Parkland, people saw that his values are ‘flexible’. That won’t fly during the age of Trump.

Erin Murphy’s biggest flaw is her being a true believer. She’s a single-payer advocate:

I am a supporter of single-payer and a co-author on John Marty’s Minnesota Health Plan. A full single-payer solution isn’t possible without federal participation, but we can build the infrastructure here in Minnesota and lead the nation.

Single-payer health care will never be the law of the land. This is totally foolish. If she wants to play to her base to win the endorsement, that’s fine. She’d better know, though, that it’ll cost her bigtime in the general election.

As for the Republicans’ majority in the House, the DFL can forget about flipping it. They voted for creating the hated buffer strips that are costing farmers tons of money. The DFL sat silent about the rebuild of the Line 3 Pipeline, which would’ve helped stabilize, if not decrease farmers’ property taxes. The DFL voted against the Republicans’ tax cuts in 2017, which has limited farmers’ property taxes.

It isn’t a matter of outreach. It’s a matter of voting for terrible policies. No amount of outreach will make amends for terrible policies.

Prof. Steven Schier’s op-ed asks a fundamental question that might determine whether Minnesota Republicans will experience a good year in 2018. There’s no question whether Minnesota is a redder state now than when Tim Pawlenty won re-election in 2006. What’s still in question is whether Minnesota will return to electing Republican governors.

Buried inside Prof. Schier’s op-ed is some information that’s gotten my attention. For instance, Prof. Schier notes that “the steadily more progressive profile of the DFL is hurting the party in greater Minnesota. Minnesota Democrats are increasingly defined by strong environmentalism and assertive social liberalism that does not receive a warm response in places such as Redwood Falls, Roseau and Blue Earth and among the state’s farm population. An increasingly progressive DFL creates many electoral opportunities for the state’s GOP. That is reflected in the trends noted above. Metro DFL activists are among the most progressive in the country, and their agenda puts substantial political distance between them and residents of most counties outside of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area.”

It isn’t that Republicans have suddenly gotten popular, though it’s indisputable that they’re more popular than Democrats. What’s most true is that the DFL is much less popular in rural Minnesota than at any time in my lifetime. A look at the Secretary of State’s website shows how the DFL went from having an 89-45 majority in the House in 2008 to a 63-71 minority in 2010. Republicans go into this election with a 76-58 majority in the House. With the margin of victory being large in most of those seats, it’s difficult not picturing Kurt Daudt as speaker again in 2019.

Further, it’s difficult not picturing Republicans being super-motivated this fall to elect a Republican governor to go along with GOP majorities in the House and Senate. It might not finish that way but Republicans must have that as their goal. That’s because it’s such a realistic goal.

This is an unexpected burst of honesty:

It’s easy to miss the recent “reddening” of Minnesota because the state’s media is heavily concentrated in the heavily blue enclave of the MSP metropolitan area. Analysis and coverage of political trends in greater Minnesota receive sporadic and often superficial coverage.

It isn’t that I think Prof. Schier isn’t trustworthy. It’s that such candidness isn’t that common. To be certain, turning Minnesota from a deep blue state to a purple state on its way to being a semi-red state is taking time. There still aren’t any conservative superstars from Minnesota.

Tim Pawlenty is the closest thing to a Republican rock star but he isn’t a superstar by any stretch of the imagination. Jason Lewis has a legitimate shot at becoming a conservative superstar because of his intellectual heft. BTW, ignore the nonsense that Angie Craig will defeat him this year. He’ll have to work hard but Jason will win re-election.

Today on At Issue, Tim Walz tried sounding reasonable about Second Amendment issues while preaching the mantra of ‘common sense gun laws’. During the interview, Walz claimed that he’s uniquely qualified to get gun control legislation passed because he’s had an A rating from the NRA. After that, Walz immediately reminds lefty voters that he’s still on their side, that he’s the only person who can navigate that minefield without getting blown to smithereens.

Among the ‘common sense’ gun bills that Rep. Walz has proposed is an assault weapons ban. That isn’t common sense. It’s just politically popular within the DFL:

As recently as 2016, Guns and Ammo magazine called Walz one of the 20 best lawmakers on gun rights. He said in an interview Tuesday that his relationships with gun owners would allow him to bring them into the conversation. “This is about bringing in responsible gun owners who understand something’s got to be done,” Walz said.

Bryan Strawser, chairman of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, said Walz is mistaken: “Tim Walz’s relationship with gun owners was directly related to his strong advocacy for gun rights. He will soon learn how little of their support he has since he has forsaken them for political expediency.”

Gun rights advocates won’t waste their time on a politician who’s flip-flopped on this issue while pandering for votes. Gun rights advocates want someone who’s rock-solid in their beliefs, someone who’s thought these things through. Clearly, Tim Walz is just a cheap politician who will say anything to get elected. That isn’t a principled man who will fight for people’s constitutional rights. That’s just a politician who will sell his soul to the devil.

Tim Walz had credibility with guns rights advocacy. Then he sold his soul to the devil to win an election. Now, he’s a man without a country, metaphorically speaking. Once, he had credibility with gun owners. He’s always had credibility issues with gun-grabbing Metrocrats. Now he’s got credibility issues with both groups.

First, Tim Walz wanted to be the man who made Minnesota a sanctuary state:

Now, he’s trying to weasel his way through this fight with gun owners. That’s what I’d call a politically disastrous week for Walz.

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Just when you thought the DFL couldn’t get any nuttier, their messaging center, aka ABM, sent out this fundraising appeal:

Hasn’t the DFL paid attention lately? This fundraising letter says that “Undocumented Minnesotans are our friends and our neighbors.” Go to Willmar, St. Cloud, Little Falls or any town with a meat-packing plant and ask them if they see illegal aliens (they aren’t “undocumented Minnesotans”) as their neighbors.

The DFL hasn’t figured it out that the average blue collar worker is disgusted with the DFL’s open border policies. BTW, this includes the rising tensions caused by the refugee resettlement program. If the DFL wants to write off rural Minnesota’s voters, they’re advocating for the right policies to accomplish that.

Earlier today, I read this article about how Gabby Giffords’ group is running ads against Republicans who’ve accepted money from the NRA:

As President Donald Trump addresses the National Rifle Association this week, a leading gun-safety group is looking to make an example out of suburban Republicans. Giffords, the organization co-founded by shooting victim and former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., will announce Thursday that it is adding five GOP lawmakers to its list of midterm targets and launching digital ads in 10 competitive House and Senate races, NBC News has learned exclusively.

If that’s the Democrats’ strategy, Republicans should counter by highlighting the Democrats’ open border policies.

People have noticed that immigration-related crime is rising. That’s why President Trump keeps pounding the subject. He knows that people don’t think of illegal immigration the way Jeb Bush saw it:

President Trump stripped away the propaganda and exposed the reality of illegal immigration, especially the gangs like MS-13 and the human trafficking that people in California are seeing. The Jeb Bush ‘act of love’ image of illegal immigration doesn’t play anymore.

Thanks to ABM’s and the DFL’s tone deafness, they’re still convinced that illegal immigration is a winning issue for them. Rest assured that it’s a winning issue … for Republicans.

Please, please, please, please, please let Tim Walz be the DFL candidate for governor. This afternoon, Tim Pawlenty sent out an email stating that Tim Walz answered a questionnaire from Our Revolution Minnesota. Reading through Our Revolution Minnesota’s news & headlines page, it’s pretty clear that this isn’t a moderate, center-left organization. One post is titled Our Revolution MN Endorsements: Ellison, Kulp, Phifer. The next post is titled Our Revolution MN Endorses Jeff Erdmann.

It’s obvious that they’re far left radicals.

The Pawlenty email states “Walz answered a question as part of the ‘Our Revolution Minnesota’ candidate questionnaire by stating that he would ‘make Minnesota a Sanctuary State.'” That Rep. Walz wants to turn Minnesota into a cold California is frightening. In California, which is now known as the ‘Crime & Homelessness State’ (compared to the Golden State of yesteryear), crime is rampant and pictures of massive tent cities of homeless people are routine parts of newscasts. If Tim Walz gets his way, this is what’s in Minnesota’s future:

This is Tim Pawlenty’s response to Tim Walz:

In the ad, Pawlenty said this:

Really? I mean that’s just nutty. And it’s not safe. It’ll take away tools from police officers who are trying to get criminals off the streets. When you turn on the news and you see things like a 90-year old farmer from Carver County who was robbed and beaten to death in his home by two illegal immigrants, Tim Walz’s plan makes even less sense. In fact, it’s dangerous. There’s a better way forward. I’ll bring common sense and accountability back to government.

It isn’t a stretch to say that Tim Walz sold his soul to run for governor. He used to have a great rating with the NRA. Now he’s trashing them because being on good speaking terms with the NRA isn’t allowed if you’re a DFL candidate for governor. Walz crafted an image of being sensible while in Congress. (He wasn’t sensible but that’s the image he crafted.) Running as the ‘Sanctuary State Candidate’ won’t help Walz’s carefully-crafted image.

This isn’t something Walz can dodge, either. I’m told that there’s visual proof of Walz’s sanctuary state statement. That puts Walz in an impossible position. If he denies making the statement, the visual proof is produced, which destroys Walz’s credibility. If Walz proudly states that he supports Minnesota as a sanctuary state, he turns off people in rural Minnesota, who expect laws to be enforced. Couple Walz’s sanctuary state policy with the refugee resettlement crisis and you’ve got the potential for lots of hostility directed at Rep. Walz. That’s a can’t-win situation.

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Ed Morrissey’s post illustrates the strength of Tim Pawlenty’s position, both going into the August primary and potentially the general election. First, Ed cites this article:

“The 1,300 delegates, or so, that you need to get endorsed may already be pledged to other candidates,” Pawlenty said on WCCO Sunday Morning. “If that is the case, the cake may already be baked, but either way our campaign is not stopping with the endorsing convention. You get on the ballot in Minnesota by running and winning a primary, and that is what we intend to do.”

Ed then highlights the DFL’s difficulties:

Walz has other worries than just fundraising. It’s taken him more than a year to get to $1.6 million, which means that Pawlenty may soon surpass him. Meanwhile, his nearest two Democratic opponents (Erin Murphy and Rebecca Otto) have raised almost a million dollars between them. Furthermore, the fight in the DFL has burned through much of that fundraising; Walz has spent just over a million dollars from his coffers, while Murphy and Otto have run through most of their funds (Murphy appears to be $30,000 or so in the hole). Otto, whose campaign will challenge Walz from his left, also pledges to run in the primary, which will force Walz to either move in a more progressive direction or lose ground in the Twin Cities.

Ed’s observations are certainly accurate but they don’t tell the entire story. It’s my contention that Tim Walz sold his soul while pandering to the anti-gun left. I think that Rep. Walz did that because he needs to win tons of votes in the Twin Cities.

I don’t think Rep. Walz will like that trade-off. First, I don’t think that Walz will be that competitive against Otto in the Twin Cities. Next, by pandering to the anti-gun left, Rep. Walz likely undercut his support in rural Minnesota and Southern Minnesota. If I’m right, that foolish pandering has left Walz as a candidate without a sturdy base of support.

Outstate Minnesotans won’t like Walz’s pandering. It isn’t likely that they’ll appreciate his flip-flop on the Second Amendment, either, though the pandering is the bigger sticking point.

The other problem facing whoever the DFL candidate is in the general election is that they’re all virtual unknowns. That means the DFL’s candidate will need to spend tons of cash. Apparently, they’re already doing that:

Meanwhile, how much of Pawlenty’s funds have gotten spent? Er … $40,000 as of last Tuesday, a mere 4% of his revenue, which means that Pawlenty already has an advantage of nearly $400,000 over Walz. Compare that burn rate to Johnson (~50%), Walz (62%), Otto (74%), and Murphy (105%), and it’s not looking bad for Pawlenty in either the primary or general election.

With or without a DFL primary, the DFL candidate faces a steep uphill fight to raise enough money to compete. While Pawlenty an Johnson duke it out in the GOP primary, the DFL candidate will need to spend tons of money just to gain name recognition. Considering the amount of money that the DFL candidates have spent, they’ll need to raise literally millions of dollars for the general election.

Whether you agree or disagree with Tim Pawlenty, he’s a good debater:

Here’s something worth thinking about. Pawlenty is prepared to defend his record and tout his accomplishments. The DFL candidate, whoever it is, won’t have many accomplishments to highlight. Jeff Johnson is kinda stuck in the same situation as Walz. The activists know him but he isn’t well-known beyond that. His fundraising hasn’t inspired much confidence either.

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