Archive for the ‘Unions’ Category
Paul Thissen’s op-ed in Friday night’s St. Cloud Times is breathtakingly dishonest. Here’s a prime example of Thissen’s dishonesty:
On the campaign trail, Republicans like Daudt attacked these accomplishments as inadequate, attacks ironically financed by enormous contributions from big Twin Cities corporate special interests. So it seems fair to ask:
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?
I frequently wrote about the Democrats’ dishonest claims that Republicans supported “handing out corporate tax breaks.” To be fair, most of those claims were made against Torrey Westrom’s and Stewart Mills’ congressional campaigns but Thissen’s claims are dishonest just the same. One of the DCCC’s ads accused Torrey Westrom of shutting down the government “to give tax breaks to his wealthy friends.”
First, Republicans haven’t written any legislation that would “hand out corporate tax breaks. Thissen knows that’s verifiable fact but he doesn’t care because he’s utterly dishonest. Soon-to-be Minority Leader Thissen can clear this all up by citing which legislation the Republicans authored would’ve given corporations tax breaks.
Most importantly, though, let’s focus on who funded the DFL’s legislative campaign. In St. Cloud, the DFL paid for most of the campaign mailers. I don’t recall getting any mailers from Dorholt’s campaign proper. I also got mailers from a pro-union group called Working America Minnesota Political Fund. This is one of their mailers:
Will Minority Leader Thissen “be willing to stand up to [his] big Twin Cities” special interest allies in the next legislative session? Will he stand up to the environmental activist wing of the DFL? Will he tell Alida Messinger that he’ll steadfastly support mining on the Iron Range?
History shows he won’t. When AFSCME and SEIU insisted that the DFL impose forced unionization on small businesses, then-Speaker Thissen didn’t think twice. Rather than siding with the hard-working ladies who run in-home child care facilities, Thissen and the DFL voted with Eliot Seide and Javier Morillo-Alicea instead.
When convenience stores told him not to raise the cigarette tax because that’d hurt their businesses, Thissen didn’t just ignore them. He raised the cigarette tax $1.50 a pack. Thanks to Thissen and the DFL, convenience stores in Greater Minnesota got hurt.
Will a Republican legislature respond to the unique economic challenges that have made it harder for our economic recovery to be felt from border-to-border?
Unlike the DFL of the last 2 years, the GOP House will respond to Greater Minnesota’s economic needs. The GOP didn’t ignore small businesses’ calls to not start applying the sales tax on business-to-business transactions. In the House, the DFL voted for raising those taxes. After they got an earful from businesses after the session, the DFL knew that they’d overreached.
Sensing that their majority status in the House was in jeopardy, the DFL quickly moved to repeal the B2B sales taxes that they’d passed just months before.
Paul Thissen wasn’t the only DFL legislator who displayed hostility to businesses. That’s why he’ll soon be the House Minority Leader rather than getting another term as Speaker.
There’s all sorts of buzz around St. Paul of post-election plans by radical environmentalists to launch an offensive to kill copper-nickel mining in Minnesota. That’s been the stated goal of environmental organizations like the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Friends of the Boundary Waters, Conservation Minnesota and MCEA. It’s verified fact that Alida Rockefeller, one of the DFL’s biggest contributors and Gov. Dayton’s ex-wife, is responsible for much of the money that goes into these anti-mining organizations while supporting Gov. Dayton’s political activities.
Sources close to organized labor active in northeastern Minnesota say that Ms. Messinger and her allies are now prepared to fund a PR campaign to kill PolyMet. That’s certain to get these miners’ attention. Alida Messinger’s post-election agenda won’t sit well with union workers who would work on the construction of the mine or the union workers who would fill the mining positions once the plant opens. As a result, at least some of the rank-and-file might stop supporting the DFL.
Rumor has it that a prominent, talented DFL strategist is already lined up for this aggressive campaign. This strategist allegedly has been approached by Big Labor. This strategist has allegedly been quite coy about what’s coming.
The biggest question remaining is simple. What, if anything, does Gov. Dayton know about this anti-PolyMet PR offensive? Given his unwillingness to support mining projects like PolyMet even if they meet environmental standards, I think it’s a more than fair question to ask.
I still think that Jeff Johnson will win this race. If Gov. Dayton is re-elected, though, will Iron Rangers trust Gov. Dayton to not be swayed by a massive anti-mining ad campaign? Will blue collar voters in northeastern Minnesota demand answers from Dayton before Tuesday?
Technorati: Mark Dayton, Alida Messinger, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Friends of the Boundary Waters, Conservation Minnesota, MCEA, PR Campaign, PolyMet Mining, Unions, Mining, DFL, Election 2014
Recently, I got another smear campaign mailer from the DFL smearing Jim Knoblach. It isn’t shocking that the DFL is into smearing Republicans. It’s that the DFL’s mailer has a picture of a senior citizen with the caption “Tell Jim Knoblach to keep his hands off our Social Security and Medicare.”
It’s painfully obvious that the DFL knows that state legislators don’t have anything to do with Medicare or Social Security. Just because the DFL is without character and can’t be shamed because they don’t have a conscience, that doesn’t mean that they’re stupid.
They’re just disgustingly unprincipled and utterly without virtue.
While it’s true that Jim Knoblach supported giving people the option of putting a portion of their FICA taxes into a government-approved equity account when he ran for Congress in 2006, that’s utterly irrelevant in this race. Jim Knoblach, if he’s elected, will never cast a vote on Social Security or Medicare because they’re federal programs.
This DFL’s intent with this mailer is to scare senior citizens into voting for Zach Dorholt. If’s apparent that the DFL doesn’t care that it’s fearmongering at its worst. It’s important to remember what Howard Dean said after being elected chair of the DNC:
It’s a battle between good and evil…and we’re the good.
In Dean’s mind, the ends justified the means. If that meant smearing people with lies, that’s the path he’d take without hesitation. That’s the mindset that Ken Martin brought with him from ABM to the DFL.
In Martin’s mind, the only thing that matters is winning elections and checking items off the DFL’s ideological checklist. It’s irrelevant if it helps Minnesotans. It’s only relevant if it makes their special interests’ lives better.
The DFL insists that it’s for the little guy. That’s BS and it’s verifiable. The Metrocrat wing of the DFL, made up mostly by plutocrats and elitists, has done everything to prevent PolyMet from getting built. If the DFL cared about Iron Range voters, they wouldn’t say that building the mine is important but dragging the regulatory review for 9 years is more important.
If the DFL cared about the little guy, they wouldn’t have shoved forced unionization onto child care providers.
Zach Dorholt voted for the forced unionization of child care providers. He voted for major business-to-business sales tax increases and the Senate Office Building. After the session, he caught hell from St. Cloud businesses for creating these new taxes. These businesses lobbied him hard during the session. He ignored them then. It wasn’t until after the session that he started listening to these businesses.
Dorholt is chair of the House Higher Ed Committee. That’s a position of authority yet he hasn’t lifted a finger to investigate the wasteful spending at MnSCU’s Central Office nor has he looked into the financial mismanagement at SCSU. Despite the fact that SCSU is facing $8,000,000-$10,000,000 of budget cuts this year and despite the fact that the Potter administration hasn’t published a budget report yet, Zach Dorholt hasn’t looked into these issues.
All he cares about is whether he can report that he increased spending on Higher Education.
How does that qualify as helping the little guy or middle class families? That’s before asking Mr. Dorholt how the Dayton-Dorholt-DFL budget is creating part-time, low wage jobs helps grow the economy from the middle class out?
The truth is that the DFL doesn’t care about prosperity. They don’t care about great jobs throughout the state. They don’t care if public institutions foolishly spend the taxpayers’ money. How dare they send out mailers that frighten senior citizens while smearing a great policymaker.
Technorati: Zach Dorholt, Smear Campaign, Special Interests, Forced Unionization, Medicare, Social Security, Tax Increases, Higher Education, Ken Martin, ABM, DFL, Jim Knoblach, Small Businesses, Prosperity, MNGOP, Election 2014
Two weeks ago, I published this post that highlighted this video, which focused on education:
Here’s the transcript of that video:
I think a lot of Minnesotans don’t know what Jeff Johnson stands for. It seems like schools are not Jeff Johnson’s priority. Jeff Johnson cut early childhood spending. That really bothers me. Any cuts to that would be devastating for our family. Our kids are our future so how could you do that? I would hate to see Minnesota take a step backwards in education. Students in the state of Minnesota deserve far better than that. I trust Mark Dayton. We think Gov. Dayton is the right choice for moving Minnesota’s schools forward.
Now that ad, which is paid for by the Alliance for More Powerful Unions, aka the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, is running constantly. I said in the original post that everything in the ad was about spending. It definitely didn’t focus on teacher accountability.
I doubt that many Minnesotans object to the thought of having qualified teachers in every high school classroom in Minnesota. The only people who’d object to that are Education Minnesota, Gov. Dayton and Zach Dorholt. That isn’t a cheapshot, either. In 2011, the GOP legislature passed a bill requiring high school math and science teachers to pass a basic skills test. Gov. Dayton signed that bill. After the 2012 election, and with an all-DFL government in St. Paul, Education Minnesota called in their biggest chit. Education Minnesota told the DFL legislature and Gov. Dayton that the basic skills test had to be repealed. ASAP.
Despite their public statements, Education Minnesota isn’t about putting highly qualified teachers in every classroom. Education Minnesota is about representing the best interests of their members, nothing more, nothing less.
The tip that voters should notice is the couple saying that they trust Gov. Dayton. What they’re saying is that they’re either steadfastly pro-union or they’re totally uninformed voters who’ve bought the Dayton campaign’s spin.
Though the ad touts Gov. Dayton’s support of Education Minnesota, it could tout Zach Dorholt’s support of Education Minnesota. When it comes to supporting everything on the public employees unions’ wish list, nobody gets higher grades than Zach Dorholt. Or Gov. Dayton. Or Speaker Thissen. Or Mike Nelson. Or any other DFL legislator.
The reality is that the DFL legislature is a subsidiary of the special interests.
Technorati: Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Education Minnesota, Mark Dayton, Zach Dorholt, Special Interests, Basic Skills Test, DFL, Jeff Johnson, School Choice, Achievement Gap, MNGOP, Election 2014
After reading this LTE in the St. Cloud Times, it’s frighteningly apparent that some members of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees union can’t comprehend grade school English. Here’s why that’s frighteningly apparent:
As the PAC chair of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, I am concerned former House Rep. Jim Knoblach used our name in campaign fliers, such as the ones labeled “Past Support”, which insinuate he has our support today.
I don’t know how MAPE union members think but I know how normal people think. When normal people hear the term past support, we don’t think that means a candidate currently has MAPE’s support. If a candidate is endorsed by a union or a business trade organization, they highlight the fact that they’ve been endorsed by that organization this year.
Typically, they include a statement from the spokesperson from the union or trade organization saying why their organization is endorsing that candidate. This statement is enlightening:
Our union represents more than 13,000 state employees. We hold elected officials to high standards, and we don’t take our endorsement process lightly. Actions speak louder than words and House Rep. Zach Dorholt has acted in the best interest of our members. Dorholt has a 100 percent voting record on MAPE issues.
It’s interesting to read what Team MAPE is interested in:
Team MAPE supports MAPE friendly candidates and legislation. Our issue priorities include: achieving fair compensation for state employees, fixing our broken health care system, preventing outsourcing and privatization of state services and protecting our pension and retirement benefits. Team MAPE is supported by the MAPE Government Relations Committee and MAPE Political Action Committee. The MAPE GRC and MAPE PAC work hand-in-hand to advance MAPE’s political and legislative strategic priorities. We achieve these goals by assisting the election of MAPE allied candidates and influencing the legislative process through lobbying and grass-roots action.
In other words, MAPE works hard to elect politicians committed to taking money from the private sector to grow government. Whenever MAPE elects a pro-government politician, MAPE gains another politician beholden to their causes.
Based on MAPE’s definition, they just said that Zach Dorholt will represent MAPE’s interests, not his constituents’ interests, 100% of the time. That isn’t surprising considering the fact that Dorholt hasn’t raised any money from inside his district. He’s bought and paid for by the special interests that knock doors for him and help get out the vote for him.
Zach Dorholt’s nickname should be MAPE’s representative. He definitely didn’t represent this district in the legislature.
According to this article by MPR’s Tom Scheck, the Jim Knoblach vs. Zach Dorholt race is one of the targeted races that might decide who has control of the Minnesota House of representatives:
For the most part, House Democrats have tried to build a firewall around 15 DFL seats they’re in jeopardy of losing in November. One of those seats is in St. Cloud, where first-term incumbent Zach Dorholt is running for his political life against former state Rep. Jim Knoblach.
The House DFL Caucus wasted no time defending Dorholt, spending at least $40,000 on radio ads. “Zach Dorholt delivered $11 million for local schools,” an announcer says. “On the other hand, Jim Knoblach won’t fight for middle class priorities and would bring Minnesota back to gridlock.”
That’s typical DFL spin. I won’t be polite. Simply put, it’s BS and the DFL knows it. Zach Dorholt voted for raising the cigarette tax, which has hurt convenience stores because smokers are stocking up when they visit the nearby casinos.
In that same Tax Bill, Dorholt voted for the Senate Legislative Office Building. The SLOB is a palace for part-time legislators. It’s $90,000,000 that should’ve been spent fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges, not building a palace for politicians.
That certainly isn’t looking out for the middle class. This isn’t helping the middle class either:
Among the legislation Dorholt takes credit for are measures that provided state funding to expand the St. Cloud Civic Center, increased funding for schools and gave more state money to St. Cloud State University.
Apparently, Rep. Dorholt and the DFL-dominated legislature think it’s wise to write St. Cloud State a blank check, then ignore the University’s multiple catastrophes.
Last year, the House Higher Ed Committee, where Rep. Dorholt is the Vice-Chair, met 4 times. During a non-budget year, the Pelowski-Dorholt committee had tons of time to dig into SCSU’s problems. They couldn’t be bothered by that. They didn’t pay attention to Chancellor Rosenstone until months after he’d received a contract extension and a hefty pay raise:
Monday’s announcement that the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system gave its top executive a raise and a new, three-year contract, last October, drew criticism from a top lawmaker and the union that represents the faculty at seven state universities.
Chancellor Steven Rosenstone will make $387,250 in base salary for the coming school year, a 1.8 percent increase. He also will receive a $43,160 boost to allowances for transportation and other expenses, MnSCU said.
I’d love hearing Rep. Dorholt’s explanation of how letting Chancellor Rosenstone get a $27,250 per year pay raise and a $43,160 per year increase in Rosenstone’s allowances is fighting for middle class priorities.
Rep. Dorholt, how is voting for the forced unionization of in-home child care providers fighting for middle class priorities? That sounds like you’re fighting for your special interest allies that are knocking on doors in your district.
The truth is that Rep. Dorholt is a rubberstamp for Gov. Dayton and the special interests that help him during campaign season. That isn’t a champion for the middle class.
Technorati: Zach Dorholt, Middle Class Tax Increase, House Higher Ed Committee, Oversight Hearings, St. Cloud State, MnSCU, Contract Extension, Pay Raise, Steven Rosenstone, Senate Office Building, Special Interests, Child Care Unionization, DFL, Jim Knoblach, MNGOP, Election 2014
Conn Carroll’s article highlights how the Mary Burke plagiarism scandal have hurt her:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has surged ahead of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke, as Burke has been forced to fire campaign staff responsible for copying her campaign’s job plan from other failed candidates.
The most recent Marquette Law School Poll, conducted September 11-14, found Walker enjoying a 3-point, 49-46 percent lead over Burke. This was a marked improvement for Walker who trailed Burke in Marquette’s earlier poll, conducted August 21-23, by 49-47 percent.
That’s a 6-point swing in less than a month. I’d call that significant. The Burke campaign’s worries are legitimate, to say the least. The plagiarism is just the least of her worries, though:
Burke’s week only got worse after BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski reported that portions of Burke’s jobs plan had been copied from four other Democratic candidates, three of whom went on to lose their elections.
Ed Morrissey’s commentary highlights another potential difficulty for Burke’s campaign:
And now Burke will certainly claim not to know that her other policy positions in her own campaign turn out to be cut-and-paste jobs, too. That will lead Wisconsin voters to ask just what about Burke’s campaign is her own thoughts and words, as well as question her ability as an executive. So far, Burke hasn’t exactly impressed as an executive with the running of her political campaign, and one has to wonder what voters can expect if she becomes the CEO of state government. With the majority of Wisconsin voters liking the direction of the state under Walker, these revelations will make them less and less likely to opt for new leadership, especially when the alternative is amateurish incompetence.
Burke’s campaign is in danger of hitting a tipping point. If she isn’t careful, she could get questioned for why she didn’t scrutinize her jobs plan. After all, that’s the cornerstone of her campaign. It isn’t a positive reflection on her abilities that she didn’t pay attention to the cornerstone of her candidacy.
Walker is no stranger to come from behind victories. In 2012, the same Marquette poll found Walker trailing his then-opponent Tom Barrett 46-47 percent. But Walker soon surged ahead of Barrett in Marquette’s final poll before the election 50-44 percent, before beating Barrett easily 53-46 percent.
Burke’s campaign is in a precarious position. If she doesn’t do something to change Walker’s momentum quickly, things could get real late real fast.
In late July, I wrote this post to highlight the fundraising disparity between Jim Knoblach and Zach Dorholt. Dorholt’s fundraising totals are pathetic, which is why I said this at the time:
What’s interesting is reading Mr. Dorholt’s campaign finance report. The reason it’s interesting reading is because it has a lengthy list of out-of-state special interests contributions. That begs the question of who Mr. Dorholt represents. Does he represent his district or does he represent the DFL’s Metrocrats? At this point, there’s little question that Dorholt represents Speaker Thissen’s wishes. He voted with Speaker Thissen 99% of the time on issues of importance.
Now that it’s crunch time, Dorholt’s special interest masters are spending on his behalf:
At the bottom of the lit piece, it says that it was “prepared and paid for by the Working America Minnesota Action Fund, 815 16th St. NW, Washington, DC in support of Zachary Dorholt. I decided to visit Working America’s About Us page:
Together, and in solidarity with working people across the country, we fight for our common interests—good jobs, affordable health care, education, retirement security, corporate accountability and real democracy. We want to ensure our kids have a quality education, our grandparents don’t have to decide between paying for their monthly medication or paying for food and that we will have a secure retirement when our working days have ended.
This lit piece was part of a door-knocking effort recently. It was given to a loyal reader of LFR, who then asked if I’d like to write about it. I didn’t hesitate in saying yes to that opportunity. When pressed by this loyal reader of LFR, the person doing the door-knocking said that he was an independent. When questioned about how independent he really was, the door-knocker insisted that he was truly independent.
That’s intellectually insulting.
Working America isn’t a Minnesota organization. It’s a national organization. How did they find out about Zach Dorholt? It’d be one thing if they were a Minnesota organization. It’s a different story because they’re a national organization.
This is just a hunch but I’m betting he got recognized for voting against in-home child care small businesses and for AFSCME and the SEIU in 2013. I’m betting that Dorholt got their attention by voting for raising Minnesota’s minimum wage, too.
At this point, it’s fair to ask who Dorholt represents. When I checked Dorholt’s campaign finance report, nobody living in his district had contributed to him. In fact, 2 people from Minnesota and 2 people from North Dakota had contributed to his campaign. Five people from California, 2 people from Ft. Lauderdale and 2 people from Pennsylvania contributed to him but nobody from his district.
It’s totally legitimate to ask who Dorholt represents because nobody supports him locally. His local BPOU hasn’t even supported him. Then again, his BPOU has virtually nothing in their checking account. If Dorholt’s neighbors won’t support him, why should we think he’ll represent this district?
It’s pretty clear that he’s bought and paid for by the progressives’ special interests.
It is an awful situation. Yes, Mr. Peterson is entitled to due process and should be “innocent until proven guilty.” However, he is a public figure; and his actions, as described, are a public embarrassment to the Vikings organization and the State of Minnesota. Whipping a child to the extent of visible wounds, as has been alleged, should not be tolerated in our state. Therefore, I believe the team should suspend Mr. Peterson, until the accusations of child abuse have been resolved by the criminal justice system.
However, I will not turn my back on the Vikings and their fans, as some have suggested. The Vikings belong to Minnesota – and in Minnesota. This has been the team’s only home; and our citizens, including myself, have been its most dedicated fans.
Like many of his worst moments, Gov. Dayton’s statement will give thoughtful people intellectual whiplash. First, he says that Adrian Peterson is entitled to due process and “should be ‘innocent until proven guilty.'” Next, Gov. Dayton said that the Vikings should suspend him until he’s had his day in court.
That doesn’t make sense. What happens if Peterson is found guilty? At that point, the NFL has the right, under its personal conduct policy, to tack on an additional suspension. That additional suspension might be indefinite, meaning Adrian Peterson will have been suspended twice for a single offense.
Actually, that might not be legal because of the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players’ Association. If that’s the case, Gov. Dayton might’ve just told the Vikings to ignore the collective bargaining agreement between the players and the owners.
I don’t doubt that Mark Dayton will react by saying that he didn’t know about the particulars of the NFL-NFLPA collective bargaining agreement. That’s shameful. This was a prepared statement. His staff should’ve done their research. They should’ve known about this provision in the NFL-NFLPA CBA.
The governor of a state should known what he’s talking about. Unfortunately, Gov. Dayton hasn’t done what smart governors have done. He’s shot his mouth off for political purposes, only to have to walk his statements back.
This ad, paid for by the House DFL Caucus, says that Zach Dorholt is “delivering for St. Cloud and the middle class”:
Like I said in this post, the DFL dances to the tune that Education Minnesota tells them to dance to. Zach Dorholt is no different. Like the rest of his DFL colleagues in the House of Representatives, Zach voted against teacher accountability because that’s what Education Minnesota told them to do. Rather than doing what’s right for Minnesota’s students and parents, Zach Dorholt and the DFL decided they couldn’t risk Education Minnesota pulling their campaign contributions or their Get Out The Vote (GOTV) operations.
When it’s a fight between doing what’s right for parents and students or doing what’s right for Education Minnesota, Zach Dorholt and the DFL will always fight for Education Minnesota.
The best way I can illustrate who the DFL fights for is to ask everyone when the last time was that the DFL picked the people instead of picking one of their special interest allies. Take your time. Do your research. Go through all of the DFL’s votes. That includes Zach Dorholt’s votes. Check out their votes in committee. Check out their votes on the GOP’s amendments to bills.
I’d bet that the DFL sided with the people less than 5% of the time when it was a fight between the people and one of the DFL’s special interest allies.
Let’s take this from the theoretical to the concrete. At their State Convention, did the DFL side with the blue collar workers of the Iron Range or the Twin Cities plutocrats and trust fund babies on mining? Did Dorholt and the DFL side with the women who ran in-home child care businesses or did they side with their friends in the SEIU and AFSCME instead?
The simple answer is that the DFL didn’t side with blue collar miners or the women who run in-home child care businesses. The DFL took the side of their special interest allies. Not once but twice. Unfortunately, those weren’t the only times that Zach Dorholt and the DFL didn’t take the people’s side.
In the spring of 2013, convenience stores lobbied the DFL legislature not to raise the cigarette tax, saying that raising the cigarette tax would hurt convenience stores on the Minnesota borders with North Dakota or Wisconsin. Zach Dorholt and the DFL couldn’t resist the ideological pull. They raised the cigarette tax, which led to Minnesotans driving to North Dakota or Wisconsin to buy their cigarettes.
Thanks to Zach Dorholt’s and the DFL’s decisions, middle class Minnesotans are getting squeezed. Despite significant increases in LGA and school funding, people’s property tax bills are going up. The jobs created during the time when the DFL controlled the entire state government are mostly part-time jobs or they’re low-paying jobs.
The unemployment rate on the Iron Range is 64.3% higher than the statewide average, thanks mostly to policies advocated for by environmental activists.
Zach Dorholt and the DFL are delivering. Unfortunately, they’re delivering for Education Minnesota and their other special interest allies, not for the middle class.