Archive for the ‘Steve Gottwalt’ Category

This article is built on the myth that there’s such a thing as a moderate Democrat. That critter hasn’t existed since President Obama’s inauguration. In 2007, Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, then the Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives, insisted that the DFL majority was a fiscally moderate caucus. Less than 2 months later, DFL Rep. Cy Thao told GOP Rep. Steve Gottwalt at a committee hearing that “When you guys win, you get to keep your money. When we win, we take your money.

That same year, when asked about all the tax hikes hidden in his transportation bill, DFL State Sen. Steve Murphy saidI’m not trying to fool anybody. There’s a lot of taxes in this bill.” The DFL of 2007 isn’t as nutty as today’s DFL.

Democrat superdelegates are planning how to steal the Democrats’ presidential nomination from Bernie Sanders. They aren’t hiding their plans. They’re simply telling reporters what they’re planning and why they’re motivated to steal the nomination from Sen. Sanders:

From California to the Carolinas, and North Dakota to Ohio, the party leaders say they worry that Mr. Sanders, a democratic socialist with passionate but limited support so far, will lose to President Trump, and drag down moderate House and Senate candidates in swing states with his left-wing agenda of “Medicare for all” and free four-year public college.

Earlier this week, Newt Gingrich announced that he’s writing a book about House Democrats that he calls “the radical 200.” Newt then said that “the entire Democratic Party is marching off a left-wing cliff. There’s a bill, for example, that would raise the FICA Tax, your Social Security tax, by 19% and they had 206 Democrats signed onto it.”

Social Security is the third rail of American politics. Anyone that thinks that these Democrats aren’t in huge trouble is kidding themselves. That’s political suicide. Ed Morrissey puts it quite succinctly in this post:

The superdelegates and other party officials are warning Pelosi and Schumer that vacillation will cost them their party, one way or the other. It’s not just the megadonors who see Sanders as a disaster on a grand enough scale that they’re willing to risk utter ruination to stop it. If the party leaders won’t lead, these same establishment figures will start looking for replacements who can.

When people claim that Sanders’ rise is not really that big of a deal and that he’s not as extreme as he’s being painted, they should read this NYT report carefully. Democrats aren’t making these kinds of plans over someone who’s just a skosh off their center. They know Sanders better than most, and they’re outright scared of putting him within voting range of the White House, enough to burn the party to the ground to stop it. That tells us all we need to know about Sanders.

Bill Clinton’s Democrat Party doesn’t exist anymore. Barack Obama’s Democratic Party exists by its fingertips. By the time the electors assemble in the state capitols, that Democratic Party will be almost as extinct as the Dodo Bird. The so-called moderates sound moderate until they get their election certificates. That’s when they turn into AOC supporters.

Democrats would be wise in the long-term if they jettisoned Bernie, AOC, et al. They wouldn’t have to sound totally nutty on the environment. Democrats wouldn’t have to treat farmers and other blue collar workers like dirt like AOC treats them like dirt. Best of all, Democrats wouldn’t have to live in fear of getting primaried.

I remember the good old days when Tarryl Clark moved from St. Cloud to Duluth. These days, Tarryl isn’t the rising star that she once was. These days, she’s still travelling but this time, instead of running for Congress, she’s running for a spot on the Stearns County Commission, where she’ll be running against Steve Gottwalt.

A loyal reader of LFR emailed me, saying “Travelin’ Tarryl has a house on Woodhill Road near Cooper Ave about 7 blocks from Calvary Church. Her new ‘apartment’ is near the St. Cloud Aquatics Center…in Steve Gottwalt’s County Commissioner District where the vacancy is occurring.”

KVSC reported the story this way:

With candidate filing periods closing this week, one candidate made a last second entry to join the race to become the District 1 Stearns County Commissioner.
Tarryl Clark announced her intention to run for the position Tuesday. Clark is a resident of St. Cloud who has worked in the St. Cloud area for about 30 years. She is an active member of the St. Cloud Rotary Club and the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce.

Clark has previously been elected to the Minnesota State Senate, where she became Assistant Majority Leader and worked from 2006 to 2010. She was also the Academic Dean at St. Cloud Technical and Community College and the first Director for the Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity.

Clark will run against businessman Craig Bomgaars and former St. Cloud City Council member Steve Gottwalt.

I’m sure the omission of Steve Gottwalt’s accomplishments was intentional. While it’s true that Steve served on the St. Cloud City Council, including as City Council President, he later went on to win election to the Minnesota House of Representatives, eventually serving as Chair of the House Health Care Reform Committee.

I found this interesting:

Especially when compared with this:

What’s pathetic is that Tarryl went from Minnesota Senate in 2005-2011 to Congressional candidate in CD-6 in 2010 to congressional candidate in CD-8 in 2012 to running for the Stearns County Commission in 2018. The question I have is this: will she run for Colin Peterson’s seat when he retires?

I won’t bet against it.

PS- I wouldn’t bet against Steve Gottwalt in this race.

Paul Thissen and the DFL must think the turnout of uninformed voters must be high. That’s the only explanation for Rep. Thissen’s tweet asking “Kurt Daudt in 2014: “We will ensure fair access and affordability in health care.” What happened?”

Simply put, the DFL, ‘led’ by Rep. Thissen, Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton essentially told Minnesotans that the DFL didn’t care about their wallets. Rep. Thissen, Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton and the rest of the DFL essentially said that they’d fight for President Obama, not for their constituents.

Thanks to the DFL’s steadfastness to their leaders, not to their constituents, the DFL has shown where their loyalties lie. While Rep. Thissen’s and Gov. Dayton’s loyalties lie with President Obama’s failed system, Republicans are committed to ideas that’ve worked in the past.

In the past, Republicans supported systems like the ‘skinny Gottwalt’, a system devised by former Rep. Steve Gottwalt. Rep. Gottwalt’s system would’ve guaranteed high rates of people getting insured (when he was in the legislature, 93% of Minnesotans were insured with another 3-4% of people eligible for taxpayer-subsidized insurance. Obamacare doesn’t come close to hitting the 97% mark of people getting insured.

In short, Rep. Thissen, Republicans wanted to implement a superior plan and the DFL wouldn’t let them because the DFL was more beholden to President Obama than they were to doing what’s right for their constituents.

Technorati: , , , , , , ,

It’s hard to believe but today marks the 10 year blogiversary for LFR. It’s been an incredible experience. The first subject that I sunk my teeth into was the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. These days, there isn’t much in the way of good news coming from across the ocean thanks to our incredibly inept president.

Back when I started, I did lots of writing about world events. After the 2006 election disaster, I started paying attention to state government. In March, 2007, I broke my first news story thanks to a great tip from then-Rep. Steve Gottwalt. It’s still one of my favorite posts:

I just got off the phone with Steve Gottwalt, who had some shocking news from the Capitol. Today, at a committee hearing, Cy Thao told Steve “When you guys win, you get to keep your money. When we win, we take your money.” This was Thao’s explanation as to how the DFL plans on paying for all the spending increases they promised their special interest friends.

The DFL still has the same mindset today as they did in March, 2007.

Bit by bit, I started doing original reporting thanks in large part to frustrated state legislators who were being ignored by the Star Tribune and the St. Cloud Times. In 2008, I started covering the candidate forums. They were quite memorable. I still remember Rob Jacobs telling 2 major groups that he wasn’t an expert on their issues (transportation that Monday, health care the next day) but that he was a good listener. Despite telling everyone covering the events that he was totally unqualified for the job, the St. Cloud Times endorsed him over Rep. Dan Severson. The good news from that fiasco was that the Times had egg on their face when Rep. Severson beat Jacobs by 10 points.

The last 3 years, I’ve spent lots of time being the taxpayers’ watchdog. I’ve scooped the Times so many times that I’ve lost track of how many times it’s happened. Hopefully, I’ll be around when the mismanagement comes to an end. Hopefully, it’ll happen soon.

If you appreciate the reporting I’ve done, feel free to drop a few coins in the tip jar. Thanks for being incredibly loyal followers to LFR.

This Strib op-ed is about as whiny as I’ve read in recent years. It also isn’t credible. Here’s a sample from the op-ed:

The recent exchange between Gov. Mark Dayton and some community members in a discussion about increases in legislative pay (“Dayton says forum crowd in Shakopee was ‘juvenile,’?” May 1) illustrates a common problem.

In Minnesota and across the United States, government is continuously cited as something terrible, and members of an opposing party are fair game for insults and ridicule.

First, the treatment Gov. Dayton received was mild. I’ve watched the video. The crowd didn’t erupt. They mildly expressed their displeasure with Gov. Dayton’s policies. Second, government is immoral, not evil, when they spend money foolishly. Like when a city spends $50,000 each for 10 artistic drinking fountains, rather than $60,000 total for the drinking fountains. It’s worth noting that, after spending $500,000 on the artistic drinking fountains, R.T. Rybak had to lay off police officers.

In short, elected officials will get respected when they don’t spend the taxpayers’ money foolishly or make decisions that are counterproductive.

This won’t happen:

So disrespect of government officials seems to be at an all-time high. Perhaps it is time to lower the level of our rhetoric and raise the level of respect for our democratic government by acknowledging that those elected to office were supported by a majority of voters.

If this were put into practice, union stewards’ heads would explode. Their thugs’ tactics would have to stop. In 2011, I covered several townhall meetings hosted by Sen. John Pederson, Reps. King Banaian and Steve Gottwalt, including one at the Haven Township town hall. Public employee union member after public union member berated these elected officials. They were treated like human piñatas. In my opinion, Sen. Pederson, Rep. Banaian and Rep. Gottwalt had earned the right to respond in kind. They didn’t.

A month later, prior to the shutdown but after the session, Sen. Pederson and Rep. Banaian were invited to a union event to explain their votes on the budget. It’s important to note that the unions contacted them the afternoon of the event. It’s important to note that neither legislator attended the ambush (my words). It’s noteworthy that the unions had 2 empty chairs on the stage of the Atwood Theater. The event organizers then told the audience (the theater was less than one-third full) that Sen. Pederson and Rep. Banaian couldn’t be bothered to attend, omitting the part about them not getting the invitation to the event until that afternoon.

It’s getting tiresome to have people who want to grow the private sector economy while limiting government to the things it’s supposed to do per the Constitution are vilified while people who want government to do everything are applauded for their compassion.

Gov. Dayton, the DFL legislature and the DFL’s special interest allies haven’t hesitated in vilifying conservatives at every opportunity. They’ve gotten personal, too. They’ve accused Republicans of being racists because Republicans disagreed with President Obama’s policies.

Suggesting that conservatives hate government and think it’s evil is spin. It’s also highly inaccurate. Conservatives just want government to live within its means. Conservatives want to know that the taxpayers’ money is being spent wisely. They don’t want to hear about drinking fountains that cost $50,000 each. They don’t want to hear about universities spending taxpayers’ money on events that teach women how to have better orgasms.

The people attending the Shakopee town hall are tired of DFL politicians taking their taxes for granted. They expressed that frustration loudly because their other attempts went unnoticed. If politicians ignore the people, it’s only natural that the people will use whatever way works to get heard.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

When Republicans took control of the Minnesota legislature, Minnesota had a $6,000,000,000 deficit. Thanks in large part to GOP reforms, Minnesota was able to erase that deficit without raising taxes. This morning, the final budget forecast was released. Here’s what it said:

For the coming fiscal cycle, which begins in July and lasts through 2015, the state’s deficit will be $627 million. Both are improvements over estimates from late last year. In November, economists predicted the state would have to grapple with a $1.1 billion deficit over the next two years.

That’s the headline information. Here’s the important information found further down in the article:

it also shows slight dips in projected spending, with the biggest savings coming from health and human services spending. “Savings from negotiated reductions in managed care rates for elderly and disabled basic care, adults without children, and families with children, as well as an increase in pharmacy rebates in (fiscal year) 2014-15 contributed to the reductions,” it says.

That’s another way of saying that the reforms authored by former Rep. Steve Gottwalt saved Minnesota taxpayers a significant chunk of money. The question no longer is whether Republican reforms worked. The question now shifts to being whether Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature will significantly depart from the GOP budget blueprint. Based on Gov. Dayton’s budget and the bills getting committee hearings thus far, the answer to that question is apparently yes.

If passed as is, Gov. Dayton’s tax increase proposals will significantly hurt economic growth:

Dayton has proposed the most extensive rewriting of the state’s tax code in a generation. It would increase state taxes by $2.1 billion over the next two years, with top earners and businesses paying the brunt of the costs.

His budget would increase state spending from $35.2 billion in the current two-year cycle to $37.8 billion in the 2014-15 biennium. That’s a 7.6 percent increase.

The governor has said the state needs the extra money to erase a budget deficit, provide more money for education and property tax relief and stabilize future state budgets.

The biggest change he called for would broaden the sales tax base to include haircuts, car repairs, expensive clothes and, stirring the most controversy, business-to-business services, such as advertising, accounting and legal work that are not taxed now. In exchange, he would lower the sales tax rate from 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent.

Missing from that final paragraph is the fact that smaller cities, especially those that don’t get LGA, will get hit hardest by Gov. Dayton’s sales tax increase. Cities like Sauk Rapids and Sartell have attorneys from local law first on retainer, not on staff. The Dayton/Lenczewski/DFL tax increase bill, in its current form, would devastate smaller cities like Sauk Rapids, Sartell, Foley, St. Joe and Cold Spring.

It’s time to tell DFL legislators representing DFL legislators that it isn’t ok to vote for higher property taxes for small cities in rural Minnesota.

Tagsmaller Minnesota cities that they’ll lose their jobs if they vote for this sales tax increase. It’s time to tell these s: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The sun rising in the east. Bill Gates making money. The government collecting taxes. These are among the most predictable things in the news. It’s time to add another thing to that list: the DFL sending out a misleading mailer the last Friday before an election.

This time, DFL candidate Joanne Dorsher is featured on mailer with a firefighter. The implication is that she’s been endorsed by the firefighters’ union. According to a firefighter to received the mailer, they haven’t endorsed anyone in the special election for HD-14A to replace Steve Gottwalt in the state legislature.

A quick review of history shows that the DFL is famous for these types of last-minute stunts. I wrote about their dirty tricks in this post. In 2010, the DFL sent out a mailer with a picture of King Banaian with a picture of him that made him look like a Middle East terrorist. The front of the mailer said “King Banaian: More Interested in Egypt and Macedonia than St. Cloud”; the back of the mailer said “St. Cloud needs a leader, not a King. King Banaian certainly has a resume- jetting across the globe to consult the governments of Egypt, Macedonia, Armenia, Ukraine and Indonesia.” In another mailer that the DFL sent out, it said that pro-choice DFL candidate Carol Lewis was the “true pro-life candidate” in the race.

It’s up to the citizens of HD-14A to punish Joanne Dorsher and the DFL for their last minute dirty tricks. The only way to do that is by voting for Tama Theis this Tuesday. If they don’t do that, the DFL and Dorsher will be rewarded for their dirty tricks.

One of the nicknames that the St. Cloud Times has acquired throughout the years is the St. Cloud SomeTimes. After reading this Our View op-ed in the SC Times, it appears they need a new nickname. I propose that new nickname be the ‘Behind the Times’ for obvious reasons. Here’s part of the Times’ hatchet piece:

St. Cloud-area Rep. Steve Gottwalt is under some scrutiny in the wake of a Minnesota Public Radio news report last week that highlighted the reasonable public perception of a potential conflict of interest involving his private business dealings and his powerful legislative role in reforming health care coverage.

The Dec. 10 report stated shortly after Gottwalt, chairman of the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee, championed reforms to a state-run health care program, he became a licensed insurance broker, allowing for the possibility of selling products to those purged from that program.

The District 14A Republican also entered into a business partnership with another broker who had lobbied for Gottwalt’s reforms. And to further compound matters, Gottwalt hasn’t done a thorough job of explaining all this to constituents.

This is ancient news. Long before he was elected to represent HD-15A, Steve Gottwalt worked in the health insurance industry, though not as an insurance agent. As a freshman legislator in 2007, Steve became one of the experts in the House GOP Caucus on HHS issues because of Steve’s experience in the health insurance industry.

As for the Times’ cheapshot that Rep. Gottwalt “hasn’t done a thorough job of explaining all this to constituents”, that’s BS. The vast majority of the people that contributed to Steve’s campaign knew about Steve’s history within the health insurance industry.

After leaving his job with a local company, Steve opted to get his license to sell health insurance. That was well after Gov. Dayton signed Steve’s HHS reform plan into law. That’s a natural thing for him to do.

The Times admits that “Gottwalt’s actions don’t merit an ethics probe”, which is like admitting that they didn’t have much for the editorial page so they created this non-story.

With all their resources, you’d think the Times could find time to write something about the SCSU administration doctoring students’ transcripts. That’s something worthy of an editorial. This garbage isn’t. The question now is why the Times isn’t devoting any ink on a real scandal. Is it that they’re protecting this administration?

It’s time for the Times to come clean if that’s what they’re doing.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I didn’t see this coming. I’m totally surprised that the St. Cloud Times endorsed all 3 GOP legislators from SD-14:

Three-term Republican Rep. Steve Gottwalt is the best fit for this solid conservative district.

In his six years in the House, Gottwalt has developed a keen grasp of the state’s health and human services programs, which is why he chairs the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee. He has helped lead substantial reforms despite his penchant for divisive rhetoric. His social conservatism also fits the district well.

District 14B is likely a toss-up as evidenced by incumbent GOP Rep. King Banaian’s 10-vote victory over DFLer Carol Lewis in 2010.

Given an effective first term, Banaian deserves re-election. He authored the Sunset Commission law and helped college students with textbook prices. His expertise in economics also is a strength.

Voters have a tough choice between incumbent Republican Sen. John Pederson and DFL challenger Jerry McCarter. Both are well-intended but both are too tightly bound to partisan ideologies in an obviously moderate district.

Pederson, an ardent voice for business, developed a reputation as a good listener and advocate for regional trails in his first term so he gets a very slight edge.

It isn’t that I disagree with the Times’ endorsement of John, Steve and King. It’s that I didn’t see this coming.

It’s worth pointing out that John Pederson, Steve Gottwalt and King Banaian have lengthy lists of accomplishments. They accomplished these things without sacrificing their conservative principles.

The bigger point to these endorsements and the endorsement of the GOP candidates in SD-13, is that the GOP is well-positioned to win all 6 seats. Couple that with a likely sweep of seats in SD-15 and Central Minnesota is well-positioned to look dramatically different than it did going into the 2010 election.

Back then, Michele Fischbach, Dan Severson, Steve Gottwalt and Mary Kiffmeyer were the Republicans representing SD-14, SD-15 and SD-16. DFL legislators representing those districts were Larry Hosch, Tarryl Clark, Larry Haws, Lisa Fobbe and Gail Kulick-Jackson.

If the dust settles the way I think it will, Michelle Fischbach, Jerry O’Driscoll and Jeff Howe will represent SD-13, John Pederson, Steve Gottwalt and King Banaian will represent SD-14 and Dave Brown, Sondra Erickson and Jim Newberger will represent SD-15.

That’s quite a dramatic change from 4 years ago.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10. Alternative teacher licensure.
9. Keeping no new taxes promise to constituents.
8. Downsizing government, Part I Keith Downey’s 15 X 15 legislation.
7. Downsizing government, Part II King Banaian’s Sunset Advisory Commission.
6. Balancing budget without increasing taxes.
5. Creating surplus without raising taxes.
4. Passing real health care reform.
3. Passing budget reform.
2. Passing permitting reforms.
1. Creating jobs with the right policies and right priorities.