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If Rep. Thissen’s destructive attitude wasn’t enough to disqualify him from a leadership position, then Rep. Thissen’s persistent whining should tip the scales against him.

Rep. Thissen’s latest diatribe is essentially his whining that Democrats didn’t get everything they wanted in the last session, mixed with a healthy dose of bragging that essentially says that the DFL would’ve done better.

For instance, when Rep. Thissen said “After nearly 3 months of indecision, this week is crunch time for a special session decision”, what Rep. Thissen doesn’t want to say is that Kurt Daudt has done a fantastic job of saying no to the DFL’s insistence on funding the SWLRT, a project that the citizens don’t want but that the special interests want in the worst way. Here’s what the GOP should say loudly to the DFL on this issue: “Shut up, go away or we’ll use this issue against you in the upcoming election.”

“Behind closed doors negotiations have produced little progress and all of the political obstacles to compromise, including Speaker Daudt’s primary, are behind us,” said Thissen. “After nearly 3 months of indecision, this week is crunch time for a special session decision. Once we hit the State Fair, it’s too late and we need some time for the promised public hearings. I continue to believe we should finish our job, but if agreement is not reached, I pledge that under a House DFL Majority we will bring a robust bonding bill to the House floor for a vote in the first 30 days of the next legislative session.”

It’s the DFL’s fault that a bonding bill wasn’t passed. An agreement was reached between the House and Senate. Rep. Thissen didn’t like the compromise so he worked with DFL senators to blow the agreement up. Now the saboteur is promising to fix the bill he helped demolish.

That’s rich.

Notice that Rep. Thissen doesn’t mention any of his sabotage in his statement. Why would he? Rep. Thissen isn’t a leader. He couldn’t care less about the average person. That’s indisputable. While he was Speaker in 2013, Thissen worked with the unions on the forced unionization of in-home child care providers. The in-home child care providers fought against it. Thissen didn’t care. He had his marching orders from AFSCME and SEIU. The bill was passed. Gov. Dayton signed it into law.

This spring, the in-home child care providers had the final say, telling Rep. Thissen, AFSCME and the SEIU to shove it:

In the end, in-home child care providers rejected AFSCME’s forced unionization plan. In fact, the vote wasn’t that close. According to this article, the “vote was 1,014-392 in a Tuesday count by the state Bureau of Mediation Services from ballots mailed to providers last month.”

Voters would do well to remember that the DFL did exactly what the special interests wanted while ignoring the in-home child care providers. To Thissen and the DFL, you’re a nobody if you aren’t a special interest group aligned with the DFL.

The Democratic Party’s platform doesn’t mince words when it comes to energy. The Democratic Party’s platform calls for the elimination of all fossil fuels by 2050. That means that Hillary’s statement in May that she’ll try to put coal workers out of work isn’t just campaign trail happy talk. It’s the stated goal of the Democratic Party.

Political parties’ platforms aren’t often followed and can be frequently ignored. This time, it’s different. When was the last time that Democrats sided with labor over the environmental activists’ agenda? Let me know when you get back to the 1980s. BTW, Bill Clinton put millions of acres of federal land off limits for oil exploration. Now his wife is running for office. Anyone that thinks that Hillary isn’t as prone to pandering as Bill is kidding themselves. She isn’t as subtle or charming about it as Bill was but she’s still a world-class panderer. This wasn’t one of her finer moments, though:

Hillary talked quite openly about “clean, renewable energy” energy in that speech. It’s possible that Hillary thinks that she’s just pandering to the environmental activist wing of the Democratic Party. If that’s what she’s thinking, she didn’t do her homework.

This isn’t the old Democratic Party. When it comes to today’s Democratic Party on energy, these environmental activists are fascists. They aren’t interested in walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. They’re willing to take half-a-loaf but that doesn’t mean that they’re reasonable. They’re totally willing to shut down fossil fuels with a steadfast progress towards eliminating fossil fuels.

Voters in Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania need to ask themselves if they’re willing to cast a vote for a Democratic candidate who wants to cripple their state’s economy and hurt their neighbors or their relatives. That’s what’s at stake in this election.

During her acceptance speech, Hillary said that “we all do better when we all do better”, a phrase first coined by Paul Wellstone. I’d like to hear Hillary’s explanation on how this helps miners do better. It’s likely that Hillary used that line without meaning it. It’s even likely that she doesn’t care if everyone does better as long as she’s elected.

It’s time to reject the Democratic Party’s politics of division and their divisive candidate.

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It isn’t difficult to read between the lines of Zach Dorholt’s op-ed. It’s clear that he, like Rep. Thissen and Gov. Dayton, long for the days when the DFL ruled everything in St. Paul. It would be a major mistake to return to that situation. It’s a recipe for disaster. It was a disaster then, too.

Let’s look at the Thissen-Dorholt-DFL ‘accomplishments’. They raised taxes by $2,200,000,000. The DFL promised property tax relief. We got the additional taxes. We didn’t get the property tax relief. In fact, the DFL touted their historic investment in education. A year later, the school districts in Princeton and St. Cloud enacted major property tax increases. What’s worse, they raised property taxes without bringing the increase before voters.

The last time that the DFL ran St. Paul, Rep. Thissen, Rep. Dorholt and the DFL ignored the dozens of in-home child care providers. Instead, Rep. Thissen, Rep. Dorholt and the DFL listened to AFSCME and the SEIU. As a result, they passed a forced unionization bill that Gov. Dayton then signed. The in-home child care providers, which are small businesses, told them they’d reject unionization, didn’t get a say in the matter because the DFL is a wholly owned subsidiary of the public employee unions.

When it came time to vote, in-home child care providers sent a loud message to the DFL and their special interest masters. They rejected AFSCME’s and the SEIU’s representation, with 1,014 child care providers voting against unionization and 392 child care providers voting for unionization. Jennifer Parrish summed it up perfectly:

We know that over the 10 years that we’ve been working on this that child-care providers are hands down overwhelmingly opposed to this. They were waiting by their mailboxes just so they could have an opportunity to vote no. Family child-care providers are small business owners. We set our own rates, we create our own working conditions, all the things that unions typically negotiate for, we determine for ourselves.

The point is that Dorholt and the DFL don’t listen to anyone except their special interest puppeteers.

This statement is particularly insulting:

My commitment: I will always put the public good above the appeals of powerful special interests. The people of Minnesota deserve much better than what we have now.

This special interest flier says that Dorholt isn’t honest:

It’s worth noting that I didn’t get a single lit piece from Dorholt’s campaign. I got tons of lit pieces and mailers from special interest organizations like Working America advocating for Dorholt. Isn’t it interesting that the man who’s pledging to “always put the public good above the appeals of powerful special interests” had 2 Minnesota contributors to his campaign? BTW, both of those contributors weren’t from his district.

Dorholt put the public employee unions, the environmental activists and the DFL’s bosses ahead of the public good. He voted 100% with Twin Cities DFL legislators. Zach Dorholt was too busy paying attention to the public employee unions, the environmental activists and the DFL’s bosses to notice he doesn’t represent the Twin Cities. Dorholt didn’t notice that the Twin Cities’ needs are different than the needs of HD-14B.

That’s because Zach Dorholt’s commitment is to the DFL, not the people of HD-14B.

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There’s an important question Minnesotans should ask themselves before they head to the polls this November. Should they vote for a political party that’s owned by the special interests? If they don’t want to vote for a political party that’s owned by the special interests, then they can’t vote for DFL candidates.

The child care unionization vote provides the perfect illustration of how much the DFL is owned by the special interests. On May 15, 2013, the Minnesota Senate debated the child care unionization bill for 17 hours. The bill passed 35-32, with 4 DFL senators joining all 28 Republicans in voting against the forced unionization legislation. Five days later, on May 20, 2013, the House passed the unionization bill 68-66.

The DFL passed the bill despite a strong self-organized marathon lobbying effort by the in-home child care providers. When the DFL took up the debate in the House of Representatives, in-home child care providers were legion in the halls outside the House chamber. Repeatedly, these child care providers told the few DFL legislators who would listen that they’d reject unionization.

That didn’t matter to the DFL. Mike Nelson, the DFL’s point person on all things unions, argued for passage of the bill. The DFL passed the bill by the narrowest of margins, 68-66.

Rather than listen to the people, the DFL listened to the special interests. The bill passed. The DFL bragged about another legislative victory to go along with raising taxes and making historic investments in schools.

The DFL’s victories were short-lived. Several of the taxes that they raised were repealed 9 months later. The “historic investments” in education were touted as a way to stop property tax increases. Less than a year later, school districts were raising property taxes to sustain their operating levies.

On March 1, 2016, in-home child care providers pounded the final nail in the DFL’s forced unionization plans, defeating the organizing effort with 1,014 child care providers voting against unionization and 392 child care providers voting for unionization. In-home child care providers rejected unionization by a 72%-28% margin. That didn’t surprise Jennifer Parrish:

We know that over the 10 years that we’ve been working on this that child-care providers are hands down overwhelmingly opposed to this. They were waiting by their mailboxes just so they could have an opportunity to vote no. Family child-care providers are small business owners. We set our own rates, we create our own working conditions, all the things that unions typically negotiate for, we determine for ourselves.

The DFL listened to the SEIU and AFSCME. Republicans listened to in-home child care providers. Remember that the next time you wonder which party to vote for.

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I knew that the DFL and ABM would start spinning things after they created a mess but this is ridiculous. While the legislature was still in session, Susie Merthans started spinning things. She quoted Paul Thissen as saying “Modest victories are due to Gov Dayton & DFL Senate dragging GOP kicking and screaming across the finish line.” Then, as though that wasn’t enough, she added “Paul Thissen: GOP beholden to corporate special interests, it’s time for a change.”

First, it’s frightening that Ms. Merthans admits in her profile that she’s the “Communications Director for @ABetterMN by way of @mnhouseDFL.” Why should ABM’s communications director get paid by Minnesota taxpayers? That’s the definition of corruption. ABM doesn’t change when the session ends. It’s the same dishonest messaging as they used during the legislative session. The only difference is that ABM will spend more money on mailers and ads during the campaign. The dishonest themes remain pretty much intact.

That’s before talking about the dishonesty of Thissen’s statements. The DFL is the party that does whatever the environmentalists tell them to do. Actually, they don’t do what the environmental activists tell them not to do. Think about the DFL’s opposition to the Sandpiper Pipeline project. Think about the DFL’s opposition to a resolution at their State Convention in 2014 that said the DFL supported mining. At the DFL’s State Convention in Duluth in 2014, that timid resolution was pulled by Ken Martin said it was too controversial. Seriously.

Another example is how the DFL rammed through forced unionization on in-home child care providers at the end of the 2013 session. Despite a massive lobbying effort organized by in-home child care providers, the DFL ignored the in-home child care providers and sided with public employee unions. Again, the DFL didn’t care about the people. The DFL sided with their special interest allies. It isn’t surprising. That’s their habit.

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This article from AFSCME Minnesota’s website highlights how spoiled their workers are. For instance, Roberta Suski said “We had to have a lot of hard conversations about whether we could afford for me to be out the entire 12 weeks, knowing six weeks would be unpaid. We are barely scraping by right now.”

When I worked at Fingerhut, they were known for having one of the best benefit packages in Minnesota. FYI- I worked there until April, 1997. Parents of newborn children or parents who adopted children were given 6 weeks off. Their time off wasn’t paid. In the 20 years I worked there, nobody complained about not getting paid time off for having children.

Fast forward to today. Specifically focus on the tax increases envisioned in this article. Envision a “payroll tax of $1.70 per week on both employers and employees would fund the leave benefit.”

Politicians complain all the time about unfunded mandates handed down by the federal government. I’ve never heard a politician whine about passing legislation that essentially passes an unfunded mandate onto businesses. The argument that ‘everyone benefits’ is BS. What AFSCME doesn’t want to admit is that businesses don’t benefit from being forced into paying employees not to work for extended periods of time.

If they were being honest, what AFSCME would admit is that ‘everyone that matters to us benefits’. The truth is that the DFL is attempting to put another stifling burden on business. The truth is that the DFL and AFSCME, if they got their way, wouldn’t improve people’s lives. They’d just chase more businesses from Minnesota.

Jane Conrad’s LTE is an exercise in partisan dishonesty. In Ms. Conrad’s opening paragraph, she said “In 2014, state politicians like Reps. Jim Knoblach, Tama Theis, Jeff Howe and Tim O’Driscoll ran and were elected on a promise to improve the quality of lives for citizens in Greater Minnesota. We were promised that our roads and bridges would be repaired and broadband technology would be expanded.”

What’s happening is unfortunate. This isn’t part of the DFL’s campaign. This is the DFL’s campaign. They’ve been whining about Republicans not spending as much on broadband as they are since the 2014 election. The truth is that Republicans are willing to expand broadband in Minnesota. They just aren’t willing to spend as much on it as the DFL.

Second, I’m tired of hearing that Republicans haven’t delivered on fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges. The DFL, starting with Gov. Dayton and including Transportation Forward, is insisting on a major middle class tax increase to pay for roads and bridges. Additionally, they’re insisting that Republicans raise fees to pay for transit projects. In short, the DFL is insisting on listening to their lobbyist allies rather than to the people. I wrote this post in April, 2015 about a KSTP/SurveyUSA poll on transportation. Here is the poll question and the result:

House Republicans propose spending $750-million on highways and bridges over four years by using some of the state’s budget surplus and other existing funds without raising taxes. Do you approve or disapprove? Asked of 525 registered voters. Margin of sampling error for this question = ± 3.8%
75% Approve, 17% Disapprove, 8% Not Sure

It’s pretty clear that Minnesotans don’t approve of a major middle class tax increase, especially when there’s a less expensive way of solving the problem.

This year’s legislative session has been shortened due to construction at the Capitol, so one would assume our representatives would try to make the most of what little time they have, and get done what is most important. Instead, they waste time and taxpayer money trying to pass laws that will not pass in the Senate, would be vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton and would do nothing to help their constituents in Greater Minnesota.

Shame on Ms. Conrad. She’s forgotten that last year’s session went rather well. She’s forgotten, perhaps intentionally, that Speaker Kurt Daudt and Sen. Tom Bakk worked out a bipartisan budget agreement that Gov. Dayton eventually signed right before a partial government shutdown would’ve happened.

To hear Ms. Conrad tell it, Republicans don’t get anything done because they hate central Minnesota and other parts of the state, too. Ms. Conrad is a DFL operative who supports labor unions’ goals. It isn’t a stretch to say that she’s critical of anything Republicans do. That’s who she is.

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Lou Dobbs isn’t usually prone to being a bonehead. Still, there’s no disputing the fact that this retweet isn’t one of Dobbs’s finer examples of thinking clearly. The original tweet said “Via @NPR: Trump Gains Support From Teamsters, Who Normally Vote For Democrats http://n.pr/1p1CyTC #Wisconsin #PA” It was posted by someone with a screen name of Tahquamenon. Dobbs’s baffling reply was “Lou Dobbs Retweeted Tahquamenon Great News for @realDonaldTrump supporters in Wisconsin. It’s #Trump2016 against Wisconsin GOP Establishment.”

First, it’s worth noting that Dobb’s tweet came minutes after Scott Walker announced on the Charlie Sykes Show that he’d endorsed Ted Cruz. Clearly, this was intended to compete with the positive news that Gov. Walker, one of the best reform governors in the United States, had endorsed Sen. Cruz. Next, it’s worth noting that the Teamsters leadership aren’t Republicans. Trump is clearly making a play for Democrats to vote in the GOP primary, which is an open primary. The Teamsters hate Gov. Walker with a passion. He’s hoping this will attract union voters to his campaign.

Let’s understand something important here. Lou Dobbs is either foolish or he’s totally in the tank for Trump. I’m betting the latter. Calling Scott Walker part of the GOP Establishment is a bit like saying that Bill Clinton is as liberal as Bill Ayers. Put bluntly, it’s absurd to think of Scott Walker as establishment. Couple that with Ted Cruz’s reputation of fighting “the Washington Cartel” in both parties and it’s utterly absurd to call Cruz and Walker the GOP Establishment.

It’s stunning to see how stupid otherwise intelligent people have become after they’ve interviewed Trump.

This is the chief takeaway from today’s announcements: Ted Cruz was endorsed by Scott Walker, a man who dealt with death threats against himself and his wife to pass union reforms. Donald Trump announced that he’s being supported by the people who protested against Gov. Walker’s reforms. Walker is a conservative’s conservative with a lengthy list of conservative accomplishments. The Teamsters are part of the Democrats’ base that tried to destroy Gov. Walker.

By those facts, there’s no question who the conservative in this race is and who the liberal is. Lou Dobbs should be ashamed of himself.

In the end, in-home child care providers rejected AFSCME’s forced unionization plan. In fact, the vote wasn’t that close. According to this article, the “vote was 1,014-392 in a Tuesday count by the state Bureau of Mediation Services from ballots mailed to providers last month.”
Don Davis, who wrote this article, is right in saying that the “election was a defeat for Gov. Mark Dayton and other Democrats who promoted the unionization effort. Republicans declared the results show that childcare providers do not want state interference.”

When the DFL pushed the forced unionization vote down the child care providers’ throats, LFR reported on the fight between the child care providers and the DFL’s special interest allies. Though I wasn’t there at the Capitol, I watched until 6:00 am via the House’s livestream. That’s how I gathered the information that went into this post.

The DFL loves to talk about how they’re the party of the little guy. That’s BS. Child care providers rejected AFSCME unionization by a 72%-28% margin. The only time they side with the little guy is when the little guy agrees with the DFL’s special interest allies. Period.

Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, said Dayton administration “did not follow the law” when it set up the election, ruling that many providers did not qualify for ballots.

“This vote should be the final word on Dayton’s shameful effort to pay back the AFSCME union for their early support of his campaign for governor,” Hann said. “Senate Republicans will now push to have the law repealed in the face of such strong opposition from providers and parents.”

House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, joined Hann in delivering harsh reaction. “Gov. Dayton tried and failed to rig an election that would have increased childcare costs for hardworking parents and caused headaches for independent providers.”

Sen. Bakk will block the GOP’s attempt to repeal the law because he can’t afford to piss off AFSCME in an election year. It’s that simple. Sen. Bakk isn’t about to fight the special interests that contribute to DFL campaigns and comprise the DFL’s GOTV operation.

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The DFL used to represent ‘the little guy’. Now it’s utterly beholden to Big Labor. Because the DFL is that beholden to the unions, they passed a bill in 2013 that a majority of in-home child care providers opposed. That’s why the DFL made sure to rig the election. That’s why in-home child care providers are suing Gov. Dayton, “Josh Tilsen, commissioner of the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS), and Emily Johnson Piper, commissioner of the Department of Human Services.”

First, “According to the suit: Only child care providers who were actively registered with the Minnesota Child Care Assistance Programs in the past 12 months and who received subsidies from the program in December 2015 can vote to determine whether AFSCME should represent child care providers. That means only 2,348 providers can vote in an election that was announced by the BMS in January.”

BMS should be sued for rigging an election. AFSCME’s unionization push doesn’t just affect in-home child care providers that care for children whose parents receive assistance. AFSCME wants to be the exclusive negotiator with government on a wide range of issues. Despite that fact, BMS is insisting that the unionization vote be limited to a tiny portion of the child care providers. NOTE: There are over 11,000 in-home child care providers.

AFSCME knows that they’ll get defeated if all 11,000 providers get to vote. In fact, AFSCME knows they’ll get trounced if all child care providers vote.

The legislation and unionization efforts will interfere with other child care providers’ abilities to negotiate contracts directly with their clients, the suit said.

Since these are independent small businesses, they should have the right to pick the people they want representing them before oppressive governments. They should be able to change their mind on that decision a case-by-case basis.

Isn’t it absurd that government is telling these entrepreneurs who can represent them in negotiating with that oppressive government? Distilled to its finest form, that’s what this rigged election is about.

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