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Betty McCollum just submitted a bill that would kill mining in northern Minnesota:

Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness would be protected from some mining under legislation being introduced in Congress this week.

U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, a Democrat who represents Minnesota’s 4th District, said her bill would bar new federal mineral leases to companies interested in extracting copper, nickel and other metals from sulfide ore within the surrounding Rainy River Drainage Basin.

The basin drains into Voyageurs and the Boundary Waters, and opponents of copper-nickel mining say pollutants from the extraction process could threaten pristine ecosystems.

The so-called National Park and Wilderness Waters Protection Act has little chance of passing in the Republican-controlled Congress, but McCollum said she is also putting pressure on the Obama administration to prevent copper-nickel mining in the area.

Yet again, a DFL legislator has submitted a bill that’s aimed at killing future mining. What will it take for miners to finally figure it out that the DFL is run by environmental activists from the Twin Cities? At some point, sympathy for Iron Range families will dry up. Republicans stand ready to help mining families build a thriving middle class. The DFL, by contrast, has done everything imaginable to destroy mining families by destroying mining. Check this sentence out:

McCollum said she is also putting pressure on the Obama administration to prevent copper-nickel mining in the area.

Rep. McCollum represents St. Paul and some of its suburbs. Range families should ask why she’s meddling in the Range’s business. The answer is simple. She’s fundraising. By submitting this bill, she’s pleasing the Twin Cities’ environmental activists, thereby guaranteeing this year’s flow of checks from Twin Cities environmental activists. Here’s proof of that:

The Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, which has been lobbying in Washington, D.C., for protections from copper-nickel mining, applauded the legislation. The group’s chair, Ely resident Becky Rom, said if Congress steps in on the issue, it would expand protections from mining it gave the Boundary Waters back in 1978.

Becky Rom is a slithering snake that I wrote about frequently. See here, here, here and here.

The Ely Echo did some digging into who recommended a PEIS (Programmatic Environmental Impact Study), which would essentially halt mining for a decade. Here’s what they wrote initially:

Then they wrote this:

Then, late Thursday a Freedom of Information Act request by Twin Metals-Minnesota was granted. Upon request, they shared those documents with us. If anyone would like a copy, just send us an email. In the documents provided by the Bureau of Land Management was a letter asking for the PEIS. The agency requesting the PEIS? Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness. And who is the vice-chair of NEMW? Becky Rom.

We also have copies of emails sent by Rom outlining a meeting with the BLM where the agenda included: “The BLM, together with the Forest Service, should undertake a programmatic environmental impact statement.”

Rom told us the first she heard of the PEIS was when Tom Rukavina, an aide for Congressman Rick Nolan, was in Ely on March 5. We’d like to refresh her memory. A letter sent Jan. 23 from the attorney for NEMW specifically requests that the BLM and the USFS undertake a PEIS. The letter even references a meeting held on Dec. 10, 2013 with Bonnie and NEMW members. The letter to Bonnie is nine pages long and is a multi-pronged attack on copper-nickel mining in northeast Minnesota. It specifically targets Twin Metals Minnesota.

Simply put, Ms. Rom’s answers were evasive, if not totally dishonest. That’s who’s praising Betty McCollum. There’s more to this that’s coming in a future post. Check back later today for that next post.

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The DFL is opposed to not raising every Minnesotan’s taxes. The Dayton-DFL transportation plan would impose a tax increase on everyone who owns a vehicle. It would also impose a tax increase on everyone in the 7-county metro area via a sales tax increase. The 7-county sales tax increase is collected from anyone buying things in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties. The sales tax revenue collected, however, mainly gets funneled into transit projects in Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

The Move MN plan isn’t focused. It wants to raise taxes on everyone to pay for this list of items:

Any plan that prioritizes everything doesn’t prioritize anything.

Minnesotans are imploring politicians to fix their roads and fill their potholes. The Republican plan focuses their attention on that. In fact, the Republican plan essentially told transit lobbyists that they’re on their own. That’s a bit of an oversimplification but it isn’t an outrageous oversimplification.

If I polled Minnesotans what they wanted their money spent on this session, bike trails and pedestrian infrastructure wouldn’t break the top 25 items. It just isn’t a priority. It wouldn’t be surprising if that same imaginary poll found that transit projects in the 7-county metro area would be a priority for a plurality of voters in Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

Predictably, the DFL is outraged by the Republicans’ plan. It’s predictable because Republicans listened to Minnesotans’ priorities while the DFL listened to transportation lobbyists. The DFL opposes redirecting the sales taxes away from the general fund.

The question Minnesotans should ask DFL legislators is straightforward. Why should taxes collected on vehicles and auto parts not be part of the solution for fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges? Another question that would be appropriate to ask is why those sales taxes are being directed at anything from funding corrupt organizations like Community Action of Minneapolis to funding MnSCU’s Central Office to paying for outrageous pay raises for Gov. Dayton’s commissioners.

Follow this link for more on this subject.

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This video shows how little provocation it takes to get progressive totalitarians in a tizzy:

This week’s big flashpoint moment came from Indiana, when a progressive ‘reporter’ played into the storyline that Indiana’s RFRA law was horrible. John Hinderaker’s post is must reading on the subject:

Yesterday Minnesota’s governor, Mark Dayton, joined the chorus of denunciation: “‘I abhor the actions taken by the Legislature and governor of Indiana,’ Dayton told the Star Tribune.” Dayton, like a number of other governors, says he is considering a ban on official travel to Indiana. So Minnesota’s bureaucrats may no longer be able to take junkets to Terre Haute.

The hysterical reaction to Indiana’s law can only be described as insane. As we noted here, there is a federal RFRA that governs federal laws, 19 states have their own RFRAs, and ten other states have adopted the “strict scrutiny” standard of the Indiana statute by judicial opinion. Governor Dayton is perhaps unaware that Minnesota is one of those ten states. Hill-Murray Fed’n of Teachers v. Hill-Murray High School, 487 N.W.2d 857, 865 (Minn. 1992); State v. Hershberger, 462 N.W.2d 393, 398 (Minn. 1990).

Today, Michael Barone’s article offers this explanation for what’s at stake:

The Indiana law is substantially identical to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed by Congress by a near-unanimous vote in 1993 and signed with brio by Bill Clinton. It was a response to a Supreme Court decision upholding an Oregon drug law against members of the Native American Church who had claimed their religion requires drug use.

RFRA sets up a balancing test, to be employed by courts. Government cannot enforce a statute requiring people to violate their religious convictions unless it can demonstrate a compelling interest in doing so, and proceeds to do so by the least restrictive means possible.

This is in line with longstanding American tradition. The First Amendment, ratified in 1790, guaranteed Americans the “free exercise” of religion. The Framers knew that their new republic included Quakers, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, atheists, even perhaps a few Muslims. They wanted all to be free to live, not just worship, but live, according to their beliefs.

There’s little doubt that this week’s firestorm is purely political. These LGBT organizations know the laws on the books, though I can’t say the same about Gov. Dayton. As Barone says, RFRAs impose “a balancing test” for the judiciary to follow in determining whether the government can limit a person’s right to live out their religious beliefs. What RFRAs do, too, is tell government that they must use the least most intrusive remedy if they can demonstrate a “compelling interest” in limiting a person’s right to practice their religion.

This isn’t new. As Mr. Barone highlights, this “is in line with longstanding American tradition.” I’d hope that the judiciary wouldn’t take a sledgehammer to people’s religious rights. Apparently, that’s the remedy these LGBT activists want.

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Mary Lahammer interviewed Ryan Winkler for last night’s Almanac. During that brief interview, Rep. Winkler gave us the DFL’s mantra for the next 2 years:

REP. WINKLER: Divided government and gridlock and the type of divisiveness that we’re already starting to see is not the way we move ahead and they’re going to send Democrats back in to get things done.

That’s stunning. The new legislature hasn’t even been sworn in and Rep. Winkler thinks he’s Carnac. Before the first bill is submitted, Rep. Winkler thinks that Republicans are being divisive and sowing the seeds of gridlock. That’s world class chutzpah.

A couple themes are developing already. First, Paul Thissen is questioning whether Republicans will stand up to their big corporate special interests:

Will Republicans be willing to stand up to their big Twin Cities corporate donors and make sure to continue DFL investments in education that are closing the funding gap between rural and suburban school districts rather than handing out corporate tax breaks?

As I wrote here, that’s what chutzpah looks like. First, Republicans didn’t propose any tax breaks for corporations. Thissen knows that. Thissen doesn’t care because the DFL’s communications aren’t based in honesty. The DFL specializes in repeating outright lies. Second, Thissen and the DFL didn’t fight for Main Street.

When it was time to fight for miners on the Iron Range, the DFL didn’t.
When it was time to fight for women operating in-home child care businesses, Thissen & the DFL sided with AFSCME instead.
When it was time to fight for small businesses in outstate Minnesota, Thissen and the DFL raised their taxes instead.

Rep. Winkler, I’ve had enough of your dishonesty and chutzpah. I’m especially disgusted with your reckless assumptions. It’s reckless and dishonest to accuse Republicans of being divisive a month before the 2015 legislative session has even started. Further, it’s dishonest to say that Republicans having honest policy disagreements with the DFL is automatically considered gridlock.

That’s a clever Alinskyite tactic but it’s deceitful. Before the DFL started employing Alinskyite tactics, expressing honest policy disagreements on the House floor or in committee were what’s known as debates.

Further, it’s dishonest and deceitful to think that all DFL ideas are great solutions to Minnesota’s problems or that Republicans’ ideas are automatically doomed to failure. If Rep. Winkler honestly thinks that, then he’s a narcissist who thinks of himself as intellectually superior.

Considering the fact that he once called a black man an “Uncle Thomas”, then insisted that he didn’t know that that was a pejorative term, there’s reason to think that he’s just a lefty bomb thrower who’s prone to shooting his mouth off.

During the 2013 session, the DFL voted to hurt some small businesses with major tax increases and hurt other small businesses with forced unionization. Repeatedly, the DFL showed their hostility with small businesses. Many of the businesses hurt with the DFL’s tax increases were in outstate Minnesota.

Despite those indisputable facts, the DFL is insisting that disagreeing with them leads to gridlock that hurts Minnesotans. The DFL’s policies are what hurt Minnesotans. No catchy, dishonest mantra will change that truth.

Next Wednesday marks the tenth anniversary of my starting blogging. Back then, the blog was known as Common Sense Conservative and it was on BlogSpot, not WordPress.

Through the years, I’ve offered lots of predictions, many of which were wrong. That being said, I’ve gotten quite a few things right. I was one of the first bloggers to call for defeating Mark Olson after this:

On August 16, 2007, Mark Olson was convicted of Domestic Assault-Misdemeanor-Commits Act With Intent to Cause Fear of Immediate Bodily Harm or Death.

I was the first blogger to write that the DFL’s intent was to establish a single-payer health care system. While the DFL hasn’t accomplished that, Democrats have pushed us to the brink.

I’m the blogger who first started stirring up trouble about the DFL’s attempts to shut down the PolyMet project. I even broke the story about how Gov.-Elect Dayton planned on nominating Paul Aasen, then the head of the MCEA, to be his first commissioner of the MPCA.

I’ve been fortunate to break lots of stories, especially in the last 4 years. My favorite, though, was this one in 2007:

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.

If you appreciate my reporting, I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a few coins in my tip jar at the top of the right sidebar. All contributions are appreciated.

Make sure and stop past on the 19th. I have a special Tenth Anniversary post planned for the occasion.

After fleecing taxpayers, Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis has shut its doors:

DHS auditors accused the corporation of spending more than it helped. The state wants Community Action Minneapolis to repay more than $850,000 in grant money that was spent incorrectly. The audit showed more than $200,000 paid for unallowable costs like cruises, golf trips and alcohol. William Davis, the Chief Executive Officer, is accused of receiving an excessive bonus and spending thousands on a personal car loan.

Initially, Davis tried rationalizing the expenditures:

Auditors blamed Community Action’s board, which includes several well-known politicians and community leaders, for a lack of oversight and for personally benefiting from $34,892 worth of activities that “do not appear to serve a business purpose, and are considered waste and abuse as defined in state policy.”

Those activities included two weekend trips, between 2011 and 2013, to Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, where board members and senior management spent $9,000 for lodging, $3,200 for food and $900 for spas.

Davis defended the trips as a “small gesture on our part to offer them a moment of relaxation or entertainment. It’s not like we do this every single week of the year.”

What’s telling is that Davis didn’t think he’d done anything wrong. The only thing more appalling than Davis attempting to rationalize his reckless spending was Gov. Dayton’s statement denying that something like this could happen:

Initially, Mark Dayton responded to Jeff Johnson’s call for an extensive audit of NPOs by saying “The decades-old accusation that Minnesota government recklessly wastes money on people who are poor, sick, or elderly is unfair and unfounded.”

Later, Dayton backtracked quickly:

Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday said that a Star Tribune report of a nonprofit using state funds to subsidize cruises, a director’s car lease and spa treatments was very concerning and alarming. “I was personally really appalled,” Dayton said. “I take it very seriously.”

Let’s revise Gov. Dayton’s statement. Gov. Dayton was “personally really appalled” the minute he thought that the fiasco might damage him politically. Prior to that, he pretended that Community Action was totally trustworthy.

The truth, I’m afraid, is that Gov. Dayton knew about this audit prior to the story going public. Since the Strib article was published, DHS has tried pushing the notion that they should get credit for spotting this during their audit of the organization. Gov. Dayton can’t first say that he’s surprised by this, then say that his administration spotted this during an audit.

I’ve never bought into Gov. Dayton’s I-didn’t-know-about-[Fill in the blank] schtick. I’ve always thought that he used that gambit to get through a politically embarrassing situation. See FarmFest. The DFL legislature should’ve taken their oversight responsibilities seriously. Then again, with tons of prominent DFL politicians and activists on Community Action’s board, it probably didn’t take much to get them to look the other way.

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Jeff Johnson’s campaign is highlighting what’s been happening with the Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis fiasco. This time, the Johnson campaign highlights Gov. Dayton’s past statements about the Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis:

Johnson has proposed performance and fiscal audits of all state programs, beginning with human services programs, to determine which ones work and which ones are a waste of taxpayers dollars. In a September 14 Star Tribune story on Johnson’s audit proposal, Mark Dayton said: “The decades-old accusation that Minnesota government recklessly wastes money on people who are poor, sick, or elderly is unfair and unfounded.”

Actually, Gov. Dayton, Commissioner Johnson’s statement is accurate. Since Gov. Dayton made that ill-advised statement, he’s changed his perspective:

“It’s incredibly ironic that, after criticizing my plan to audit all state programs—beginning with human services programs—this egregious waste of taxpayer dollars has surfaced,” Johnson added. “My audit plan is clearly needed, and Mark Dayton is clearly out-of-touch.”

Actually, Dayton’s statements aren’t as much out-of-touch as they are a predictable defense of liberalism. The most important principle behind liberalism and budgeting is that every penny ever appropriated is forever justified. In fact, in 2007, the DFL legislature fought to have inflation calculated into the budget:

That’s bad enough but Democrats pushing to install “an automatic inflator put into the calculation of the state budget forecast” ain’t gonna fly. This is something that should be rejected before it’s ever proposed. There should be a public outcry against this type of reckless spending. We should recognize this scheme for what it is: an attempt to codify into law liberalism’s dream of ever-increasing taxing and spending.

The thought that government was spending money foolishly was the farthest thing from the DFL’s mind. I had multiple arguments with liberal commenters about that at the time. Gov. Dayton certainly would’ve agreed with the principles behind baseline budgeting, which is based on the thought that budgets must increase each year.

That’s the principle behind not spotting the mismanagement seen in the Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis fiasco. The DFL thinks that budgets should increase each year. Therefore, in the DFL’s thinking, auditing special interest organizations that get government grant money isn’t needed.

“I’m very troubled by and tired of Mark Dayton’s continuous pattern of creating or contributing to problems and then trying to claim credit for fixing them after the damage is done,” Johnson said. “Today, for the second time this week, Dayton’s DHS has employed its ‘arsonist with a fire hose’ strategy. Dayton’s ties to the leaders of Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis are numerous, and if he and his DHS commissioner were competent and aware of what’s happening, they would have discovered these issues long ago, without a tip from a whistleblower.”

It’s one thing for Gov. Dayton and the DFL to propose spending more money. It’s quite different, though, for Gov. Dayton and the DFL to initially pretend that money is being spent wisely, then expressing outrage once it’s proven that the money is getting spent foolishly.

It’s unacceptable that the all-DFL government didn’t care about Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis until it became a political liability. It’s better to be proactive in preventing these fiascos than to clean up the mess after the fact.

Jeff Johnson’s audit plan will identify organizations and agencies that are spending money foolishly. There’s no question that Jeff Johnson will implement proactive policies to prevent these things from happening. There’s no doubt that Gov. Dayton has operated government with a clean-up-the-mess-after-the-fact attitude.

It’s time Minnesota took a proactive approach to protecting the taxpayers. Only Jeff Johnson will bring that approach to governing. Gov. Dayton certainly hasn’t.

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The Land Rights Network of the American Land Rights Association issued this statement this morning:

Groups Blast Minnesota Congressman Nolan on EPA Vote

Property rights groups are harshly criticizing MN 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan for his recent vote against a bill designed to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial 88-page proposed regulations that would dramatically expand federal control over the nation’ s lands and water.

The bill (H.R. 5078) passed the House of Representatives on a 262-153 bi-partisan vote. Minnesota democrats Collin Peterson and Tim Walz voted with the three Republican members of the MN delegation.
Congressman Nolan voted with the two metropolitan Democrats in opposing the bill.

The bill, if it becomes law, would block EPA’s regulatory proposal, which many are claiming is the biggest federal land and water power grab in history. The bill provides an opportunity for EPA to restart the process requiring formal federal agency consultation with state and local officials.

Chuck Cushman, founder and executive director of the American Land Rights Association said this issue has been a top priority for his organization since Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar introduced the Clean Water Restoration Act in 2007. That bill failed to gain congressional approval and became a defining issue in the defeat of Oberstar in 2010.

“Now EPA is trying to drastically increase federal land and water controls under the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act by going around Congress,” said Cushman. “A vote for H.R. 5078 should have been a no-brainer, especially for a northern Minnesota Congressman. Representative Nolan either doesn’t get it, or he’s beholden to the radical environmental lobby,” he added.

Cushman and Don Parmeter, a northern Minnesota native, led a successful national grassroots campaign to defeat the Oberstar bill beginning in 2007. Parmeter is co-founder of the National Water & Conservation Alliance, and is acting chairman of MnPure, a new statewide property rights group established to restore property rights and ensure access to and use of public lands and waters.

Parmeter said he was surprised and disappointed by Nolan’s vote. “Perhaps more than any other congressional district in the country, people in Minnesota’s 8th district have been national leaders in advancing successful local alternatives to federal top-down initiatives,” said Parmeter. “Local, grassroots alternatives are more lasting, less costly and more consistent with constitutional principles,” he added. “It appears that Congressman Nolan is extremely out of touch with his constituents on this issue. This issue is not about the environment, it’s about governance.”

The history of the water jurisdiction debate in Minnesota goes back to the 1950’s. Then Congressman John Blatnik, Oberstar’s predecessor, authored a federal water bill as chairman of the powerful Public Works Committee. In vetoing the bill, President Dwight Eisenhower had this to say: “The principal responsibility for protecting the quality of our waters must be exercised where it naturally reposes–at the local level.”

And in 1995, the Minnesota Legislature approved a state water rights statute with strong, bi-partisan support. Prominent northern Minnesota Democrats authored and co-authored that bill, including former Speaker of the House Irv Anderson, former Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee Bob Lessard, and current Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk.

This calls into question whether Rep. Nolan actually supports mining or if his positioning on PolyMet is just his playing politics to get past Stewart Mills. This sentence tells me that it’s Nolan playing politics:

Property rights groups are harshly criticizing MN 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan for his recent vote against a bill designed to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial 88-page proposed regulations that would dramatically expand federal control over the nation’ s lands and water.

This is in step with the late Jim Oberstar’s ACCWA legislation. ACCWA is the acronym for America’s Commitment to the Clean Water Act. That bill would’ve essentially given the federal government, starting with the EPA, virtual total control of water in the United States.

I know that sounds the ranting of a fanatic but it’s fact:

The “waters of the U.S.” issue is back. H. R. 5088, America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act (ACCWA), was recently introduced by House Committee of Transportation Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.)

Like Oberstar’s previous bill, ACCWA does two things. First, it eliminates the term “navigable” from all sections of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The term “navigable waters of the U.S.” is used more than 80 times in the CWA. NACo continues to oppose the removal of “navigable” from the act, because of the danger its absence poses to years of hard-won jurisdictional parameters.

Second, ACCWA removes the reference to “activities affecting” those waters and redefines “waters of the U.S.” by using a hybrid of current agency regulatory definitions. While ACCWA uses language based on existing agency regulations for a “water of the U.S.,” it is not identical to existing regulations. Furthermore, certain sections of the existing regulations were deleted and new language was added to the “waters of the U.S.” definition in ACCWA.

If Nolan is still siding with the environmental activists’ agenda, why should people think he’s truly pro-mining? It’s impossible to please 2 masters.

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The Strib’s article about a nonprofit’s reckless spending is worthy of multiple posts because this isn’t the first time the NPO has gotten caught:

This is not the first time that an audit has found issues with Community Action’s spending. A 2012 audit by the state’s legislative auditor singled out $1.35 million given to households that were not eligible for emergency benefits. Community Action paid a $100,000 fine to the federal government.

You’d think that the Dayton administration would pay additional attention to this NPO after they were fined for misappropriation of funds. It’s pretty apparent that the Dayton administration didn’t pay the requisite attention to this NPO. Unfortunately, that isn’t surprising. This administration is the Asleep-at-the-Switch administration when it comes to tracking the details.

Gov. Dayton has a substantial history of not knowing important things. He didn’t know that the tax bill he personally negotiated included a sales tax on farm equipment repairs. He didn’t find that out until right before talking at FarmFest. He didn’t know that the Vikings stadium bill that he personally negotiated included a provision that allows the Vikings to sell personal seat licenses, aka PSLs, to season ticket holders.

Gov. Dayton is taking credit for lots of things that aren’t accomplishments, starting with the low unemployment rate. It isn’t that high unemployment is a positive thing. It’s that far too many people in those jobs reports have part-time jobs or are working in jobs that they’re overqualified for. The headline is nice but families need sustained economic growth that produces full-time jobs with good pay, not headlines.

No matter how much concern the DFL, starting with Gov. Dayton, express about Community Action’s mismanagement and the betrayal of the public’s trust, the DFL, starting with Gov. Dayton, can’t hide the fact that they aren’t interested in being watchdogs of the taxpayers’ money.

The inescapable truth is that government has tons of slop in it that the DFL hasn’t paid attention to. The inescapable truth is that Minnesota’s unemployment rate is the only positive in an otherwise mediocre economy.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL haven’t grown the economy. Gov. Dayton and the DFL haven’t paid enough attention to whether the taxpayers’ money is spent wisely or foolishly. Finally, they’ve supported a fatally flawed health insurance system.

In 2012, the board also approved a $17,624 bonus to Davis, three times the amount allowed by state guidelines, according to the audit. Davis made $273,060 in salary, bonuses and deferred compensation in 2011, according to the most recent tax records.

It’s time we hired a governor with a lengthy history of highlighting, then eliminating, foolish and disrespectful spending. That’s Jeff Johnson’s history, not Gov. Dayton’s.

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Few apolitical people know that the Democratic Party has put in place a system that chills political involvement and that buys elections. I have proof that both statements are true. Starting with buying elections, this story proves that the DFL broke Minnesota’s campaign lawss and bought 11 Senate seats:

The Republican Party of Minnesota began filing complaints in October 2012, charging that DFL campaign materials were wrongfully listed as independent expenditures, but the materials were not because the candidates were actively engaged in photo shoots in producing the print ads, thereby breaching the legal wall between candidates and independent expenditures.

For those that want to argue that this is just Republican sour grapes, I’d ask them to explain this:

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board Tuesday, Dec. 17, fined the Minnesota DFL Senate Caucus $100,000 for wrongfully working with 13 of its candidates in the 2012 election.

The $100,000 civil penalty is among the biggest in state history.

These sitting senators should be kicked out of the Senate for their actions. Further, they should be fined for their actions, as should the DFL Senate Caucus for their actions. Finally, there should be a special election to replace Democrats that broke the law.

If it’s a financial hardship for these Democrats, good. I’m not interested in making their lives comfortable. I’m interested in making examples of them. They’ve lost the right to be called public servants. They’ve earned the right to be called lawbreakers. These Democrats have earned the right to be considered unethical politicians.

While buying elections is a serious thing, it’s trivial compared with the political witch hunt that’s happening in Wisconsin:

MADISON, Wis. – Conservative targets of a Democrat-launched John Doe investigation have described the secret probe as a witch hunt.

That might not be a big enough descriptor, based on records released Friday by a federal appeals court as part of a massive document dump.

Attorneys for conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth point to subpoenas requested by John Doe prosecutors that sought records from “at least eight phone companies” believed to serve the targets of the investigation. O’Keefe and the club have filed a civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors, alleging they violated conservatives’ First Amendment rights.

While there’s no doubt Democrats will deny a connection between the IRS-TEA Party scandal and this witch hunt, they’re too similar in intent to ignore. Here’s what John Chisholm, the Milwaukee County prosecutor leading this witch hunt, obtained through his pre-dawn paramilitary raids:

Court documents show the extraordinary breadth of the prosecutors’ subpoena requests.

They sought phone records for a year-and-a-half period, “which happened to be the most contentious period in political politics,” the conservatives note. They note that prosecutors did not pursue the same tactics with left-leaning organizations that pumped tens of millions of dollars into Wisconsin’s recall elections, in what certainly appeared to be a well-coordinated effort.

Among other documents, prosecutors sought “all call detail records including incoming and outgoing calls,” “billing name and information,” “subscriber name and information including any application for service,” according to the conservatives’ court filing.

In other words, these Democrat prosecutors wanted to intimidate people they didn’t agree with. They used tactics third world dictators use to intimidate the citizenry:

Chisholm, a Democrat, launched the dragnet two years ago, and, according to court documents, with the help of the state Government Accountability Board, the probe was expanded to five counties. The John Doe proceeding compelled scores of witnesses to testify, and a gag order compelled them to keep their mouths shut or face jail time. Sources have described predawn “paramilitary-style” raids in which their posessions were rifled through and seized by law enforcement officers.

This isn’t just a fishing expedition. It’s a message from Democrats to Republicans that they’ll use their offices to intimidate their political enemies. It’s a message from Democrats that they’re weaponizing government agencies.

This isn’t just happening in Wisconsin. It’s happened in Texas, too, where a Democrat with a penchant for getting highly intoxicated abused her office to indict Gov. Rick Perry for doing what other governors have done since the founding of their respective states. She indicted him because he vetoed a bill cutting off funding for her office.

It isn’t coincidence that Scott Walker and Rick Perry are considered potential presidential candidates. In fact, I’d argue that Chisholm launched his fishing expedition into Gov. Walker to defeat him so he can’t run for president.

Check back later today for Part II of this series.

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