Archive for the ‘Activism’ Category
Recently, I’ve written about a corrupt government agency that’s titled the IRRRB, aka the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board. In this post, I wrote about something that the IRRRB funded:
It was a company with direct ties and allegiance to the Democratic Party. After Republican President Richard Nixon’s resignation over the Watergate scandal the business created an “innovative small donor fundraising program called the Dollars for Democrats program,” according to the Meyer Teleservices website.
This afternoon, I wrote this post to talk about how the IRRRB resurrected that program with a little twist:
EVELETH, Minn.— Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) Commissioner Tony Sertich today announced that New Partners Consultants, Inc. will operate a call center for its customers at Progress Park in Eveleth. The company is finalizing plans to lease the space that formerly housed Meyer Associates, Inc. New Partners will utilize some equipment from the Meyer operation, which is currently under IRRRB’s ownership.
The Minnesota offices of Dollars for Democrats went bankrupt a few weeks ago, leaving Minnesota taxpayers on the hook for $650,000 in unpaid loans from the IRRRB. What’s disgusting beyond the stupidity of making $650,000 worth of loans to a company on the verge of bankruptcy is that taxpayers were paying for a political operation.
That shouldn’t happen. Ever. Still, it’s happened twice in the past couple months. Government, whether it’s state or federal government, shouldn’t make loans or give grants to political operations. Period. If a political party wants to open a call center or coordination center, they should do it with their own money. Taxpayers shouldn’t finance political operations.
Here’s the IRRRB’s mission statement:
Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) is a State of Minnesota development agency located in Eveleth, Minnesota. IRRRB’s mission is to promote and invest in business, community and workforce development for the betterment of northeastern Minnesota.
IRRRB provides vital funding, including low or no interest loans, grants and loan guarantees for businesses relocating or expanding in the region. Additionally, a variety of grants are available to local units of government, education institutions, and nonprofits that promote workforce development and sustainable communities.
How can the IRRRB or New Partners say that getting equipment from a bankrupt company is investing businesses, communities or workforce development?
Another thing that’s disgusting is New Partners is an operation for national Democrats. Here’s part of New Partners’ leadership team:
In 2007, Paul began the Obama for America campaign as State Director for the Iowa caucuses. For nearly a year, Paul and his team built the largest grassroots organization in caucus history. The year culminated with an Obama win in January 2008, a win that launched his historical campaign. Paul was also instrumental in putting together the blueprint for President Obama’s organizational efforts in the General Election.
From 2005-2009, McMahon served as Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). There he was one of the principal architects of the ground-breaking “50 state strategy” that transformed and modernized the Democratic Party resulting in historic electoral gains in both 2006 and 2008 at the state, local and federal levels and laying the groundwork for President Obama’s historic win in 2008.
Cara Morris Stern
From 2000-2004, Cara served as a spokesperson for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. During her tenure at the DSCC, Cara worked with national political reporters to help frame the nation’s most visible and competitive Senate campaigns as well as develop message for donor communications.
The IRRRB, led by former DFL House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, just provided seed money and equipment to a political organization whose goal is to elect Democrats. Minnesota taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for any political operation from any political party. Period.
That’s before talking about whether the business model makes sense. (It doesn’t.) This is what politically motivated crony capitalism looks like. Inevitably, crony capitalism is corrupt, which this operation certainly is.
EVELETH, Minn.— Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) Commissioner Tony Sertich today announced that New Partners Consultants, Inc. will operate a call center for its customers at Progress Park in Eveleth. The company is finalizing plans to lease the space that formerly housed Meyer Associates, Inc. New Partners will utilize some equipment from the Meyer operation, which is currently under IRRRB’s ownership. Staffing will begin as soon as all agreements are in place, possibly as early as next week.
“We are pleased to have played a role in facilitating the reopening of the center,” said Sertich. “This project will result in new job opportunities, particularly for those displaced by the Meyer closing.”
Sertich recognized Gilbert native Jerry Samargia of New Partners, stating, “I am thankful to Jerry for investing in the center and the people of the Iron Range.”
He also praised Virginia Eveleth Economic Development Authority representatives and Gary Owen, former owner of Meyer, for putting a deal together in such a short time.
New Partners isn’t well-known. I think it’s time it got some notoriety. Here’s what New Partners is in their own words:
New Partners is more than just a new firm with new people and new ideas. We also represent a new way of doing business. Whether the goal is to win an election, affect reputation, organize an advocacy campaign, raise money, or build a movement, our extensive expertise and groundbreaking strategies will get results.
We are all operating in a new environment based on a fundamental shift in how we organize, how we communicate and how we advocate. From the campaign that defeated President Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security, and implementing Governor Howard Dean’s landmark 50 State Strategy, to spearheading an innovative and successful development effort for the One Campaign, and the unprecedented Iowa caucus campaign that led to President Obama’s breakthrough victory, the team at New Partners has been at the epicenter of that shift.
What we have learned from our experience is that no two issues, organizations or campaigns are the same. Each requires a unique approach based on new ideas and new strategies that will lead to new results.
That means that the IRRRB is spending taxpayers’ money on a company committed to electing Democrats. The list of New Partners’ leadership reads like a who’s who from the Obama campaign.
If the Democratic Party want to put an organization together, that’s their right. It’s just that this type of operation shouldn’t be paid for by taxpayers. And there’s no question it’s being funded by taxpayers. That’s the IRRRB’s way. The IRRRB hasn’t met a project benefitting the Democratic Party that they didn’t like.
The DNC should finance this operation. Minnesota taxpayers shouldn’t finance it. Having taxpayers finance the DNC’s operations is the definition of crony capitalism meeting single party government. That’s the definition of corruption.
This Strib article certainly can’t help Rick Nolan:
Republicans on Friday slammed Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan for planning a fundraiser with Peter Yarrow, the singer from the 1960s band Peter, Paul and Mary, who admitted in 1970 to having improper relations with a 14-year-old girl.
Rep. Nolan must be totally stupid for planning a fundraiser with this pervert. “Having improper relations with a 14-year-old” is timid language. Mr. Yarrow should still be in prison for statutory rape.
What’s interesting is that Nolan’s campaign didn’t respond to the Strib reporter:
Nolan’s spokeswoman deferred comments to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“This is a desperate attempt from Stewart Mills to distract from the fact that he is personally offended when millionaires like himself are asked to pay their fair share,” said Brandon Lorenz, in an emailed statement.
If Rep. Nolan and the DCCC thinks that playing the class warfare card will deflect attention away from Peter Yarrow’s stench, they’re fools. If anyone’s desperate, it’s Nolan’s campaign and the DCCC.
Stewart Mills just was endorsed this weekend. According to people attending Saturday’s convention, Mills gave a great speech. Most importantly, these activists reported, the party’s support for Stewart Mills is enthusiastic. They think they’ve found a great candidate who’s got a fantastic message and who’s got a great fundraising machine.
Something else that’s interesting is what the Strib’s article didn’t include. Here’s part of Yarrow’s Wikipedia file:
In 1970, Yarrow was convicted of, and served three months in prison for, taking “improper liberties” with a 14-year-old girl who went with her 17-year-old sister to Yarrow’s hotel room seeking an autograph.
Why didn’t the Strib include this in their article? Saying that Yarrow admitted that he’d had “improper relations” with a 14-year-old isn’t the same as saying the pervert was convicted of a crime that included a prison sentence.
I’d be suprised if Nolan doesn’t disinvite Yarrow from the fundraiser. If he doesn’t, his political opponents will have a field day with him.
Technorati: Rick Nolan, DCCC, DFL, Peter Yarrow, Statutory Rape, Peter, Paul & Mary, Fundraiser, Stewart Mills, GOP, Election 2014
It’s been a topsy turvy day in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, After reading Commissioner Sivarajah’s statement announcing her intent to run in the GOP primary, I’m left wondering if she hasn’t already admitted she can’t win the primary. Here’s what she said that makes me question her:
“We are told we need to broaden the base of the Republican Party and a primary will help accomplish that,” she observed. “I am eager to take my record of achievement to the voters of Sixth Congressional District which will allow all voters–Republicans, Independents and Conservative Democrats, to have a say in who they think will best represent them.”
There aren’t many conservative Democrats or independents that’ll vote in this August’s GOP primary. Politically speaking, Tom Emmer’s support is a mile wide and a mile deep. They’ve passionately supported him since he ran for governor. Their enthusiasm for him hasn’t dipped since 2010.
I wrote in this post that “activists will show up en masse for the primary, too, possibly in record numbers to send the message to Sivarajah and Krinkie” that they enthusiastically support Tom Emmer.
“Voters are hungry for an accomplished conservative candidate,” she said. “My record of cutting taxes and reducing the size of government is unmatched by any other candidate in the race. People want results, not rhetoric.”
That’s been Commissioner Sivarajah’s battle cry since getting into the race. It didn’t sell during the precinct caucuses and it didn’t sell during the BPOU conventions. Even Commissioner Sivarajah admitted that Tom Emmer will win a first ballot endorsement victory.
What activists know, however, is that Tom Emmer didn’t have a prayer of cutting taxes because the DFL was the majority party in the Senate. Cutting taxes with a conservative majority is considerably easier than cutting taxes with an intransigent, obstructionist DFL majority in the Senate.
“I don’t fear the voters,” Sivarajah concluded. “People are not swayed by inevitability; I want to earn their vote. I am confident I will do so.”
That last paragraph of Commissioner Sivarajah’s statement makes me question whether she’s serious. She’s an experienced candidate so she knows how to count votes. Commissioner Sivarajah knows she lost the CD-6 Straw Poll by 50 points. Even before Wednesday’s announcement, Commissioner Sivarajah knew she was heading for a first ballot defeat at the CD-6 Convention.
That’s before factoring in her pathetic fundraising totals the last 2 quarters and Emmer’s significant name ID advantage. If independents and Democrats don’t turn out to vote for Sivarajah in historic numbers, Commissioner Sivarajah will lose the primary by 30-35 points. It won’t be that close.
According to Mark Sommerhauser’s article, Phil Krinkie and Rhonda Sivarajah are taking the gluttons-for-punishment path:
Anoka County Board chair Rhonda Sivarajah will take her campaign to a GOP primary election, she confirmed Wednesday in an interview with the Times.
The 6th District seat is being vacated by Rep. Michele Bachmann, who isn’t seeking a fifth term. Republicans are set to endorse a successor at a convention Saturday in Monticello.
The other 6th District GOP candidate, former state Rep. Phil Krinkie, said Wednesday that he won’t attend Saturday’s convention or seek the party’s endorsement. Krinkie also said for the first time that he’s mulling a third-party run for Congress, but said he still sees a Republican primary run as his most likely path forward.
Both Sivarajah and Krinkie have left open the possibility of running in a primary. Only Emmer has said he’ll abide by the GOP endorsement.
Sivarajah finished a distant second in the CD-6 Straw Poll, with Krinkie finishing far behind Sivarajah:
6th District Congress (97% Reporting):
Tom Emmer with 67.7%, Rhonda Sivarajah with 17.7%, Phil Krinkie with 10.1%
If Commissioner Sivarajah and Rep. Krinkie want to run in the primary, that’s their option. I just question their judgment. They don’t have a chance of winning. With an August primary, most of the turnout for the primary will be the dedicated activists that showed up for the precinct caucuses on a snowy Tuesday night this past February. These activists will show up en masse for the primary, too, possibly in record numbers to send the message to Sivarajah and Krinkie that their political careers are history.
That’s before factoring in Tom Emmer’s 100% name recognition, the fact that he handily carried CD-6 in 2010 when he ran for governor and the fact that he’s got an overwhelming cash-on-hand advantage.
If Krinkie runs as the Independence Party’s endorsed candidate, the backlash against him will be overwhelming. If he runs as a third party candidate, they’ll run him off the board at the TaxPayers League. I’d totally support TPL if they did that.
This statement is telling:
Sivarajah still intends to seek the Republican endorsement Saturday, but said she expects Emmer to garner delegates’ support on the first ballot.
Does Commissioner Sivarajah want to get thumped another time? She lost the straw poll by 50 points. She’s going to lose the endorsement on the first ballot. She’ll get thumped in the primary. That’s a helluva trifecta, though it isn’t one that’ll endear her to the activists.
Somewhere near Monticello, a fat lady is getting ready to sing. If I were a betting man, I’d bet she’ll sing a dirge sometime Saturday morning.
Technorati: Phil Krinkie, Taxpayers League, Rhonda Sivarajah, Anoka County Commissioner, GOP Primary, Third Party Candidacy, Tom Emmer, Endorsing Convention, Precinct Caucuses, Republican Activists, Election 2014
After I wrote this post about how the IRRRB, which is essentially run by the DFL, granted 2 loans to Meyer Teleservices, I started thinking things through about the corporation. First, let’s review what this company did:
The company was founded in St. Cloud in 1977; opened its Little Falls office in 1999; and then launched on the Range in Eveleth in 2007.
It was a company with direct ties and allegiance to the Democratic Party. After Republican President Richard Nixon’s resignation over the Watergate scandal the business created an “… innovative small donor fundraising program called the Dollars for Democrats program,” according to the Meyer Teleservices website.
At this point, taxpayers are footing the bill for a company that received taxpayer-subsidized loans to run a fundraising operation for Democrats. It’s more than that, though. Here’s more:
The St. Cloud-based company also leaves behind a debt of about $250,000 to the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board, which had issued two loans totaling $650,000 to the business for its Eveleth facility.
I’d ask which idiots were stupid enough to make a second loan to the company but we know which idiots made the second loan. I even think we know why they made that second loan. The IRRRB, aka DFL North, made that second loan to keep the fundraising operation going through the last election.
Wasn’t it clear that the company was failing? The taxpayers are on the hook for $250,000 in debt that Meyer Teleservices hasn’t repaid. Surely, somebody should’ve noticed that when Meyer applied for the second loan. Certainly, this information should’ve sent red flags into the air into the air if the IRRRB was paying attention:
Fundraising through telemarketing was its major service and revenue source. But the business model proved too outdated in recent years for today’s mobile phone society.
“Land lines are decreasing eight to twelve percent per year. And because of court rulings we can’t, we can’t consciously dial cell phone numbers. And a lot of politicians are now using the Internet to raise funds,” Owen said.
The owner said, “We did everything we could to stay open. I went all in. I basically lost all my retirement and took out mortgages on two houses. And the former owner put in $380,000 last year to try to keep us afloat. He’s out that now, too.”
Notice that Owens’ and Meyer’s money went to prop up a business destined for failure. It didn’t go to pay off the debt. That’s because fundraising for Democrats was more important to Meyer, Owens and the IRRRB. Taxpayers shouldn’t get shafted because the IRRRB, which is the DFL’s office on the Range, didn’t care about taxpayers. These 2 sentences should’ve been the brightest red flags imaginable to the IRRRB:
But the business model proved too outdated in recent years for today’s mobile phone society. Land lines are decreasing eight to twelve percent per year.
The first question that I have is simple. It’s impossible to think that the IRRRB cared about taxpayers if they knew this information. And it’s impossible to think they didn’t know this information. They aren’t that ignorant.
Legally, the DFL doesn’t owe Minnesota’s taxpayers a penny for this. Morally, they’re guilty of shafting Minnesota’s taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Additionally, Mssrs. Meyer and Owens should’ve paid back the loan rather than keeping the fundraising operation afloat.
Technorati: IRRRB, Meyer Teleservices, Dialing for Democrats, Larry Meyer, Gary Owen, Crony Capitalism, Corruption, Bankruptcies, Guaranteed Loans, Taxpayers, Tony Sertich, Tom Bakk, DFL Fundraising, Election 2014
Friday night, Mike Hatch enlisted himself as Gov. Dayton’s defense attorney. First, here’s a little background on the conversation. The first subject discussed during the Almanac Roundtable was medical marijuana.
When Cathy Wurzer brought up the subject of Gov. Dayton’s alleged statement to a parent to buy marijuana from a street dealer, Brian McClung jumped all over that, saying that it’s disgraceful that Gov. Dayton would tell someone to break the law. Then McClung said that it wasn’t just the mother who is making that accusation, that others attending that impromptu meeting had verified the fact that Gov. Dayton had said that.
That’s when Mr. Hatch came to Gov. Dayton’s defense, saying that “nobody knows what was said. Nobody here was in that meeting.” Then he said that since nobody on the panel was there, they shouldn’t state their opinion on what happened.
First, that’s exceptionally rich coming from someone who made a career as Minnesota’s Attorney General by avoiding trials by trying the cases in the court of public opinion. Hatch’s habit was to hold splashy press conferences where he’d say that another evil corporation had shafted John Q. Public. Most of Hatch’s lawsuits didn’t make it to trial because the defendant settled before trial.
But I digress.
Hatch’s argument is flimsy at best. Crime aren’t committed in front of a room full of upstanding citizens as witnesses. Despite that, juries frequently deliver guilty verdicts without eyewitness testimony to a shooting or robbery.
In this instance, however, there were a bunch of parents/activists who stepped forward and said that they’d heard Gov. Dayton make this statement. If they’re telling the truth, then Gov. Dayton told a distraught mother to commit a crime. This video shows at least 2 women, including Jessica Hauser, making the statement that Gov. Dayton told Ms. Hauser to buy marijuana from a street dealer:
If Mr. Hatch wants to argue that these women aren’t telling the truth, then he’d better bring a lunch because he’s in for a long day. There were at least a half dozen people standing with Ms. Hauser at Ms. Hauser’s press conference. If that’s the case, then Mr. Hatch’s job as Gov. Dayton’s defense attorney is to discredit each of these eyewitnesses’ testimony. I won’t say that’s impossible but I’d say accomplishing that is as likely as me hitting the Powerball jackpot…twice.
If I were Gov. Dayton, I’d either hire a better attorney or I’d throw myself on the mercy of the court because, right now, he doesn’t have a chance of winning this fight.
It’s often a big deal when Sarah Palin endorses a candidate. Much pomp and circumstance accompanies Ms. Palin’s endorsements. It’s perfectly within Ms. Palin’s First Amendment rights to endorse the candidates she chooses. I’d just respect Ms. Palin’s endorsements if she’d do her homework, which she didn’t do with her latest endorsement:
A 12-year state senator, Ortman is challenging Democrat Al Franken in Minnesota. Palin contrasted her qualifications with those of the incumbent, whom she labeled a “clown.” (Franken had a successful career as a comedian before entering politics.)
Ortman “is a conservative champion. … She is running a grassroots campaign against a well-funded favorite of the Washington GOP establishment whose policy record is a blank slate,” Palin said in her endorsement.
By contrast, the candidate that Ms. Palin criticized as being a “favorite of the Washington GOP establishment”, Mike McFadden, favors repealing Obamacare, reducing regulations, simplifying our tax code and limiting government spending.
The reality is that Mike McFadden has laid out a legislative agenda that’s conservative. Altogether too often, Julianne Ortman has voted against common sense conservative principles because she’s been a go-along-to-get-along legislator for nearly 12 years.
The proof is clear. Contrary to Ms. Palin’s endorsing statement, Julianne Ortman isn’t “a conservative champion.” She’s the type of politician that Ms. Palin has railed against in the past.
That’s why Ms. Palin’s endorsement rings hollow. That’s why I’m questioning Ms. Palin’s endorsement. If she doesn’t want her credibility questioned, she needs to prove that she consistently stands for conservative principles.
This time, Ms. Palin didn’t stand for conservative principles.
I just started watching Almanac’s Roundtable but I had to stop and write about what panelists Heather Carlson, Mary Lahammer and Tom Scheck said. Frankly, what they said is insulting. They’re disgraces to the reporting profession because they aren’t telling the whole truth.
When Cathy Wurzer asked Heather Carlson if passing these tax cuts was politically necessary to the DFL, Ms. Carlson said it was. Scheck followed up by saying that it was because the DFL “just raised taxes by $2.1 billion dollars.”
These aren’t tax cuts. A tax cut is when you lower the rate at which something is getting taxed. For instance, if income is getting taxed at 7.85% by the state, a tax cut would be lowering that rate. If farm equipment repairs aren’t subject to Minnesota’s sales tax, then the legislature passes their a bill that subjects farm equipment repairs to the state’s sales tax, then the legislature repeals the sales tax on farm equipment repairs, that isn’t a tax cut.
That’s returning things to where they were before the DFL legislature waged war on taxpayers. Another key portion of the Tax Correction Bill is tax conformity. That saves Minnesotans money but tax conformity is something that’s typically the first bill passed each year.
The truth is that the DFL raised taxes because Sen. Bakk insisted on punishing farmers, telecommunication companies and warehousing businesses. That’s where those B2B sales taxes came from. The truth is that the DFL raised other regressive taxes last year, too.
Now they’re trying to portray themselves as tax cutters when they’re really admitting that they raised taxes too much last year. What’s disappointing is that media personalities like Carlson, Lahammer and Scheck are playing along with the DFL’s storyline.
It’s disappointing from the perspective that societies that don’t get the whole truth make difficult decisions based on incomplete or faulty information. That’s a recipe for disaster. It’s also why the MSM is held in such low regard.
If Scheck, Lahammer and Carlson want to be DFL shills, that’s their right. In that case, however, taxpayers should insist that funding for TPT and MPR be cut dramatically because taxpayers shouldn’t pay for the DFL’s operations. If MPR and TPT can’t make it without taxpayer funding, that’s tough. That’s called the marketplace working perfectly.
The notion that MPR and TPT are the only real reporting outlets because they aren’t owned by corporate interests is insulting. They’re just as biased as Esme Murphy or Lori Sturdevant.
It’s time Minnesotans raised hell on this. They’re getting cheated by DFL spinmeisters pretending to be reporters. These reporters bought the DFL’s storyline without hesitation. A reporter’s job is to question people in authority. Carlson, Lahammer and Scheck apparently don’t think that’s part of their responsibility.
Technorati: Agenda Media, Heather Carlson, Tom Scheck, Mary Lahammer, Esme Murphy, Lori Sturdevant, Tom Bakk, Mark Dayton, Middle Class Tax Increases, Farm Equipment Repair Sales Tax, Warehouse Services Sales Tax, MPR, TPT, DFL, Election 2014
Lots of conservatives have ridiculed Al Franken about not being funny. They’ve criticized him for being a temperamental hard left lefty, too. While those are accurate, that isn’t Franken’s biggest problem. In fact, they’re far from it. This WashPo article works overtime to make Franken sound like a serious legislator:
“He stays home and studies for the next day,” a staffer says. Franken is known for actually reading committee witness testimony and even digging into the footnotes, looking for holes or contradictions.
Wow. Al Franken has finally started taking his job seriously. Let’s remember that he didn’t attempt to read the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, aka the ACA. He just voted for that destructive bill because that’s what Harry Reid and President Obama wanted him to do.
So like a good little puppet, Al Franken voted for a bill that’s raised families’ health insurance premiums and deductibles while shrinking families’ networks. Sen. Franken abandoned families when they needed him the most.
While that’s Al Franken’s biggest mistake, that isn’t the only time he’s abandoned families. He’s done nothing to help the hard-working people of the Iron Range because he’s refused to lift a finger to make PolyMet a reality. That’s because Franken is more worried about raking in max donations from his friends in Hollywood and other militant environmental activists.
These hard-line environmental activists don’t take kindly to politicians they support voting for the Iron Range’s blue collar workers. That’s because they’re most worried about their ideology. Worrying about hard-working families is well down their list of priorities, if it’s there at all.
As for whether Al Franken is a serious legislator, I’ll just post this video of Sen. Franken making a fool of himself while questioning Sonia Sotomayor during her confirmation hearings:
I’d submit that Sen. Franken isn’t the serious man he’s trying to portray himself as.
Technorati: Al Franken, Stuart Smalley, Air America, Talk Radio Host, Sonia Sotomayor, Confirmation Hearings, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, Rubberstamp, PolyMet, Blue Collar+Workers, Iron Range, President Obama, Democrats, Election 2014