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Michael Brodkorb’s post about Rhonda Sivarajah’s attempt to attack Tom Emmer’s candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives is quite revealing. First, here’s what Brodkorb wrote about Sivarajah’s campaign:

Sivarajah has rebooted her campaign for Congress since losing the Republican Party’s endorsement in the 6th Congressional District to Emmer in April. In the last few weeks, Sivarajah has hired Patrick Davis as the campaign’s general consultant, released a new campaign website, been more aggressive on social media and also in contrasting her positions with Emmer.

This attack will fail because it’s apparent that it’s an act of desperation.

Even if Tom Emmer was connected to NPV, it’s irrelevant because Congress will never bring this subject up. Never. NPV is something that state legislatures would have to deal with.

Apparently, Sivarajah and Krinkie are attempting to say that Emmer’s involvement with NPV is proof that he isn’t a real conservative who will fight for lower taxes, pro-growth policies, regulatory reform and repealing Obamacare. If that’s their contention, then they’ve lost what little is left of their credibility.

Polling released from Emmer’s campaign showed Emmer maintaining a big lead over Sivarajah in the upcoming primary election.

This primary is essentially over. If they do exceptionally well, the combined votes for Sivarajah and Krinkie would allow one of those candidates to lose by 25 points or more.

According to the poll, which is extremely credible, Emmer’s name ID within the district is 94%, with 71% of likely voters having a positive image of him. Those statistics translate into the reality that Sivarajah is getting hit with hurricane-force headwinds. They translate into an overwhelming defeat.

At the CD-6 Convention, the rationale spread by the Sivarajah campaign was that a) attendance was low for the caucuses and b) we need to grow the Republican Party.

I agree that attendance was low for the precinct caucuses. I agree that growing the MNGOP is a high priority. It’s just that desperately attacking the endorsed candidate doesn’t grow the party. It’s important to make a distinction, though.

It’s one thing to have a spirited debate on the issues the candidates will have to deal with. It’s quite another to just criticize candidates in a fit of irritation and resentment.

If Sivarajah wanted to make sure NPV doesn’t happen in Minnesota, she should run for the legislature, where she might have a chance at winning. If she’s just using NPV to attack Emmer, it’s too inconsequential to have an impact. If there’s anything that’s known about Tom Emmer’s supporters, it’s that there’s lots of them and that they’re exceptionally loyal to him.

If Mrs. Sivarajah wants to continue her campaign, that’s her right. I’m just saying she’ll have to spend tons of money to lose badly. If that’s what she wants, that’s her choice.

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Based on Mark Sommerhauser’s article, it sounds like Rhonda Sivarajah and Phil Krinkie are moving into the ‘sore loser’ category, with Sivarajah sounding particularly bitter:

And Sivarajah didn’t pull punches last week in her campaign’s response to the Emmer poll.

“The state of Minnesota did not want Tom Emmer as their Governor, the GOP party faithful did not want Tom Emmer to represent them at the Republican National Committee, and as voters in the 6th District become more intimate with Emmer’s extremely questionable positions on important issues they will not want him as their congressman either,” the Sivarajah campaign said.

Talk about a sore loser. Wow. First, the Sixth District loved Tom Emmer for governor. Second, the “GOP party faithful” picked Jeff Johnson over Tom Emmer. That’s hardly a stinging rejection. Third, saying that voters will reject him as they get to know him more is purely projection. Actually, I think it’s more wishful thinking than anything.

I’ve met Ms. Sivarajah several times. She comes across as a bitter person. Perhaps that’s why contributors haven’t contributed to her campaign. Perhaps they haven’t contributed to her because they’ve picked Tom Emmer over her. If Sivarajah continues this type of bitter campaigning, she’ll burn her bridges for a future run in the Sixth.

Phil Krinkie, meanwhile, sounds delusional and ill-informed:

Krinkie said this week he likely won’t decide what route to take until after the Republican state convention on May 29-31. At that point, he said it will be clearer which Republican statewide candidates will take their campaigns to a primary — which could influence how many GOP voters show up for an August primary.

Krinkie suggested Bachmann’s endorsement of Emmer could carry a backlash in a 6th District general election. Bachmann barely won re-election in the 6th District in 2012.

“If you ran a campaign as a third-party candidate connecting Mr. Emmer to the incumbent congresswoman,” Krinkie said, “that might have a very interesting outcome.”

First, Krinkie is grasping at straws when he says there might be a general election backlash against Emmer because Michele Bachmann endorsed him at the CD-6 convention. I don’t think even Phil thinks that. Apparently, Phil hasn’t figured it out that the turnout model in 2014 will be dramatically different than the one in 2012.

Second, Krinkie hasn’t figured it out that he’s yesterday’s news. Last week, he was dropped from the Taxpayers League Board of Directors.

It isn’t like Sivarajah and Krinkie had lots of support at the precinct caucus Straw Poll:

6th District Congress (97% Reporting):

Tom Emmer with 67.7%, Rhonda Sivarajah with 17.7%, Phil Krinkie with 10.1%

Amazingly, that was the high point of their support in the Sixth District:

The poll of 300 likely Republican primary voters shows Emmer getting 73 percent of the vote in a primary, with Sivarajah getting 5 percent and Krinkie getting 4 percent.

Sivarajah and Krinkie have questioned the poll’s validity. That’s their right but it’s foolish. As I showed before, they started off poorly. Then they didn’t catch fire. That’s before talking about Sivarajah’s fundraising:

Yet after raising a mere $4,266.77 from donors in the first three months of 2014, Sivarajah’s candidacy has its own liabilities, including the question of whether she’ll have the resources to get her message out.

What’s interesting is that Sivarajah raised less than $20,000 in Q4, 2013. A congressional candidate that raises less than $25,000 in 6 months isn’t a viable candidate. They’re just a sore loser.

I’ve volunteered for legislative campaigns that’ve raised more money than that in a single night. I’d say something different if she’d raised $50,000-$60,000 in a quarter. That’s quite a bit less than Emmer but it least it would’ve shown she had some support. The reality is that candidates with terrible fundraising numbers and who can’t reach double digits in support don’t win party primaries. Instead, the likely outcome is that they’ll burn the last of their political bridges in the district.

That’s the likely outcome this time with Ms. Sivarajah and Krinkie.

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.

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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.

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Liberals love talking about diversity and tolerance. Hamline’s initial hiring of Tom Emmer spoke well of those principles. Unfortunately, Hamline caved to their liberal special interest group supporters. Thanks to this Strib op-ed, though, Hamline’s diversity and tolerance is getting exposed:

While this page strongly differs with Emmer’s strident views on taxes, health reform, state’s rights and social issues, especially when it comes to the state’s proposed marriage amendment, the Hamline incident raises disturbing questions about academic freedom and administrative backbone at one of Minnesota’s most respected educational institutions.

Although Hamline officials declined comment for this editorial, it appears that the university reneged on at least one viable job offer, possibly two, because of last-minute faculty objections to Emmer’s politics, particularly his stance on gay marriage.

I’ll sum this up quickly. Hamline’s administrators don’t have a spine. They aren’t committed to intellectual diversity or academic freedom.

Hamline can’t argue that Emmer wasn’t offered the job either:

Tom: I hope all is well with you. I understand from Anne that you are interested in teaching Business Law. We have a spring section scheduled from 9:40-11:10 on Tuesdays and Thursdays on the St. Paul campus for which I could add you as an instructor if you are interested.

I hate to make you rush a decision but we have to put schedule changes in over the next week to have things ready for spring registration. If you are interested in this course, I need to get a copy of your CV and your SSN as soon as possible so we can get you added as an instructor in the system. If you have questions about the class, you can certainly give me a call. I don’t have the content expertise but I’m sure I can get you copies of others syllabi from past courses so you can see what is generally covered. I also think Bob Kramarczuk was/is going to contact you regarding doing some practice teaching in the MBA program so you can get a feel for the classroom.

With the job offer being substantiated with this official email, the question left is what went wrong. This information might help:

Things allegedly went south when Emmer showed up at a November faculty meeting. In a long letter sent to Hamline President Linda Hanson, Emmer details the back-and-forth conversations he had with McCarthy about faculty opposition.

According to Emmer, McCarthy continued to convey her support until the conversation where she said the university couldn’t bring him on board because of a “very vocal few” professors.

If President Hanson doesn’t have the spine to stand up to a “very vocal few” professors, then she isn’t qualified to be president of a university. Not only that, but it calls into question the need for a university president. If the faculty sets policy and makes hiring decisions, what’s the justification for having a president.

This paragraph bothers me:

That Hamline’s leaders apparently gave the boot to Emmer simply because of his politics suggest a startling lack of confidence in their students, faculty and the institution.

I’d argue it’s proof that Hamline have fascist tendencies. Rather than winning a debate, they’d rather prevent a merit-based discussion of differing opinions. That’s why they booted Tom Emmer.

FYI: Here’s the definition of fascism:

a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc. and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

If a tiny fraction of the faculty indeed have veto authority on faculty hiring, then that’s certainly fascism. If that same tiny fraction of the faculty won’t let dissenting ideas be presented, then they’ve failed at giving students a balanced education that explores all sides of a possible equation.

Hamline should be ridiculed for their intellectual timidity, their intellectual rigidity and their closemindedness. In my estimation, they’ve lost their right to be called educators.

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During Mary Lahammer’s segment of State Capitol politics, DFL Liar-In-Chief Ken Martin said “Unfortunately, this week, Grandma got run over by the GOP.” I knew when Brian Melendez announced that he was getting forced into retirement by Alida Messenger, Gov. Dayton’s ex-wife, that the DFL would take a hard turn left.

I didn’t think they’d go this over-the-top this quickly. I guess I should’ve expected that considering who they elected to replace Chairman Melendez. This is from one of the first Strib articles quoting Chairman Martin:

Ken Martin’s challenge as new DFL State Party chairman in a small way may be reflected in his brother.

Martin, of Eagan, recently spoke of a brother living in the northern exurbs, a carpenter by trade hard hit by the recession, who votes Republican.

He votes Republican, Martin said, because he’s wrongly convinced Democrats want to take away his guns, tax him out of his home, tell him where and where he can’t snowmobile.

None of that is true, Martin explained.

“He votes his fears over his hopes, over his pocketbook issues,” said Martin. “We just have to take those (wedge) issues off the books,” he said.

There isn’t a part of that article that’s even remotely close to the truth. That’s why I titled the post “Strawmen as far as the Eye Can See”.

What’s puzzling about Chairman Martin’s statement is that the House GOP devoted the week to debating the Tax Bill, the K12 Bill, the Public Safety Bill and one other bill that I can’t recall. None of the bills had anything remotely to do with seniors.

It’s impossible to negotiate with a political party that’s that disinterested in the truth. Just like ABM’s smear campaign this summer, which Chairman Martin as part of, the DFL seems disinterested in the truth.

This afternoon on Mitch and Ed’s show, they interviewed Sen. Roger Chamberlain. Sen. Chamberlain said that Gov. Dayton used words like draconian, saying that the Republicans’ budget work includes “a lot of drastic and very poorly thought-through, or not thought-through, actions.”

If those words weren’t coming from the candidate whose first two budgets didn’t balance, (the first missed by $2,100,000,000, the next by $1,000,000,000) I’d take him seriously. Gov. Dayton, whether you agree or disagree with his policies, has a mathematics skills problem.

His first tax-the-rich gimmick, he predicted, would raise an additional $4,600,000,000 in revenues. Later, he revised that down to ‘only’ $4,000,000,000. When the MMB finished examining the policy, they said it’d raise $1,900,000,000 in additional revenue.

In other words, Gov. Dayton was only off by a tiny 60% on the centerpiece of his economic package. Let me repeat that. Gov. Dayton was 60% off in his prediction for the centerpiece of his economic package.

Now I’m supposed to believe that his ex-wife’s appointed hatchetman after he’s accused the GOP of throwing Grandma under the proverbial bus? If the DFL and their political allies had a history of caring about the truth, I’d possibly give them the benefit of the doubt.

I wrote here about ABM’s hatchet job against Tom Emmer:

Settle in high flying corporate executives, because Tom Emmer’s Minnesota is going to be more fun than your last trip in a golden parachute. Here in Tom Emmer’s Minnesota, we believe that paying for good schools and hospitals is the job of the unwashed masses. That’s why the slightly regressive taxes of the past have been replaced by a massively regressive tax code in Tom Emmer’s Minnesota.

In Tom Emmer’s Minnesota, we don’t even care if you have your interns set up post office boxes all over the world to avoid paying your taxes. Even if those funds would go to fund nursing homes and other medical facilities, in Tom Emmer’s Minnesota we want nothing to get in the way of the gobs and gobs of money coming your way, not even fair play.

Rest assured, my very rich friend. This isn’t just a one-time deal. You can trust that in Tom Emmer’s Minnesota, solid investment in good schools, nursing home facilities, clean lakes, fixing roads or health care for “regular folk” will never get in the way of your extreme wealth and stealthy tax maneuvering.

This post on ABM’s blog was part of FactCheck.org’s study of campaign ads. Here’s the opening of their analysis:

Minnesota’s race for governor is pitting corporate money against money from labor unions and wealthy Democrats. So far, the misleading attack ads are all coming from the liberal side, and the corporate side is being badly outspent to boot. The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a group funded by labor unions and the family of Democratic contender Mark Dayton, has raised nearly $1.7 million so far. Its ads have:

Accused GOP-endorsed candidate Tom Emmer of sponsoring a bill to “reduce penalties for drunk drivers.” That’s misleading. The bill would have required that accused drunk drivers be penalized only if convicted.

Said Emmer was “arrested twice himself for drunk driving.” That’s true, but the arrests were nearly 20 and 30 years ago.

Claimed Emmer voted against “corporations and CEOs” paying higher taxes. That’s false. He voted against a Democratic bill to raise state income taxes for all upper-income individuals, not corporations.

Claimed Emmer’s vote “created” a huge state deficit. That’s false as well. The deficit existed prior to Emmer’s vote against a Democratic plan to raise taxes to help close it.

Though that’s substantial proof that the DFL, through ABM and Ken Martin, didn’t hesitate in playing fast and loose with the truth, that isn’t the only ‘indictment’ FactCheck.org levies against ABM. Here’s another:

An earlier ad by ABM also contained false claims, accusing Emmer of supporting a plan that “created a huge deficit,” while opposing requiring “corporations and CEOs” to pay higher taxes.

The ad claims that Emmer “opposed a plan that would force corporations and CEOs to pay their fair share of taxes.” That’s false. The bill did not mention corporations or corporate CEOs at all. What it would have done is raise taxes on more than 100,000 high-income individuals, pushing the state’s top individual income tax rate up to among the highest in the nation.

The bill cited by the ad was actually a Democratic budget measure (H.F. 2037) to close a $3 billion budget deficit. Among other things, it would have raised the top state income tax rate, for individuals, not corporations, to 9.1 percent (from 7.85 percent) for all couples making more than $200,000 a year, and individuals making more than $113,100. That would have made the state’s top rate “higher than all but five states for single filers and six states for married joint filers,” according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The newspaper called the bill an “exercise in futility” because Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty had vowed to veto it.

An estimated 122,000 taxpayers would have been affected, and while that group no doubt includes some corporate CEOs, it also would have included many more small-business owners, doctors and other professionals, not to mention high-income farmers and retirees. And whether or not the higher rate is “fair” is a matter of opinion on which even Democrats are divided. It passed the state Senate by a single vote, with Republicans and 12 Democrats voting against it. It also passed the Democratic-controlled House but Gov. Pawlenty vetoed the bill, forcing the Legislature to return in special session and pass a revised budget bill, without any income tax increase, which the governor signed into law.

In the final analysis, there’s just too much proof that DFL leaders like Ken Martin are willing to slash the truth in the hopes of raising government control of Minnesotans’ lives. Martin’s statement about sweet, little Grannie is as devoid of the truth as ABM’s accusations against Tom Emmer.

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I just caught a bit of Tom Bakk’s and John Marty’s press conference on th GOP tax bill. Frankly, it sounded more like the attack of a pair of whiners. I didn’t watch long because it was that whiney.

This morning, the DFL’s twitter brigade started a new chanting point: the GOP’s fantasy budget. According to Sen. Bakk and other DFL spinmeisters, the GOP budget isn’t serious, that it should be ridiculed.

First, the GOP budget is based on anticipated economic growth as a result of getting spending under control thanks to important reforms like Rep. Dan Fabian’s HF1. Spending is finally under control after the DFL didn’t set budget targets during their time in the majority.

In 2009, then-Speaker Kelliher brushed aside questions about putting a budget together:

Emmer’s question has become the mantra of state Republicans. In every public forum, at least one or two Republican legislators raise the question: If DFL legislators don’t like Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s proposed budget, why don’t they come up with one of their own?

“It’s strategic,” said House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, of the Republican cry. “It’s designed to freak people out on our side, and it takes attention off the governor’s budget.”

I totally understand why Kelliher slipped the question. The DFL’s budget tactics always include whining about the GOP’s budget while not talking about their budgets. They want nothing to do with budgets because, at heart, they’re spending addicts. Spending addicts don’t like restrictions like budgets.

The DFL doesn’t even like their own governor’s proposal. That’s why it didn’t attract a sponsor earlier.

What’s standing in the way most of all is the DFL’s insistence on maintaining the status quo in government. That’s plain wrong. For instance, the Higher Ed budget will get cut. Both the Dayton budget and the GOP cut the Higher Ed budget:

Both the House and Senate bills would cut $411 million in projected state spending for higher education, more than double the reductions included in Dayton’s budget, as part of GOP lawmakers’ solution to Minnesota’s $5 billion shortfall.

Within the next decade, the current higher ed system won’t be able to sustain itself in its current form. The number of young people coming through the system simply isn’t enough. Having a glut of community colleges, technical colleges and jucos simply isn’t sustainable. That’s before considering the number of classes that should be taught statewide online.

In the context of the Airport Commission meeting, I talked with one of the board members afterwards. I told this person that we should shoot for more online classes, more than we even have now. I then said that the next step should be to move to an online version of Wisconsin’s Centers of Excellence system if it’s possible.

I’m not expecting those changes to be passed, signed into law and implemented within this biennium. That’d be actual fantasy. Still, it’s a safe bet that the DFL didn’t think of this because the unions would have a total fit.

This fits the DFL’s status quo mindset. If they don’t change anything, then their union allies won’t see major changes. That means they’ll be able to rake in the unions’ campaign contributions.

If the DFL ever proposed that type of reforms, they’d be primaried and run out of the union hall. That’s if they wouldn’t be tarred and feathered.

That’s why it’s predictable that the DFL attacked the GOP’s budget. If they didn’t, their union allies would question the DFL’s commitment to the status quo, which the unions prefer.

The GOP budget will require some tough votes. It’ll include a number of cost-saving reforms, too. The GOP’s reforms have been part of their agenda since literally the first week of the session.

The GOP’s grasp of reality is strong. Their budget deals with the reality that nobody is doing that well financially, not even the so-called rich. Gov. Dayton’s tax-the-rich scheme wouldn’t net the money that’s forecast.

I suspect that this information is what’s really troubling to the DFL:

The House state government bill also:

  • Requires a 12 percent reduction in the state work force by 2013 and immediate hiring and pay freezes.
  • Sets up a pilot program to study whether it is feasible to pay state workers based on performance.
  • Appropriates $322,000 to reimburse counties for costs incurred in the 2010 governor’s race recount.
  • Cuts executive agency spending nearly $95 million.
  • Establishes a commission to review whether state agencies should continue to exist.

I’m betting that that last sentence is the one that’s bothering the DFL the most. To a DFL status quo activist, nothing bothers them more than eliminating bureaucracies.

Bureaucracies aren’t a way to measure man’s compassion. Increasing their budgets isn’t proof of wisdom. Never questioning these agencies’ existence is testimony to the DFL’s status quo mindset and their obedience to the unions.

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This fall’s campaign taught me, repeatedly, that Tom Horner’s logic for running was built on dishonest premises. Having gotten defeated, things haven’t changed with Mr. Horner. Mr. Horner’s op-ed in Saturday’s St. Cloud Times offers another bit of proof of Horner’s intellectual dishonesty:

Republicans, who won majorities in both houses, are convinced Minnesotans want all solutions to fixing the state’s deficit to come from the spending side of the ledger. Democrats, backed by the election of DFLer Mark Dayton to the governor’s office, are equally adamant Minnesotans are willing to accept some higher taxes to maintain vital services.

If those are the only mandates Democrats and Republicans heard in the 2010 elections, Minnesotans better get used to another word: gridlock. Meaningful, long-term solutions won’t be found if spending cuts or higher taxes are the only two tools used by legislators and the governor in an effort to forge good policy.

If false choices were commodities, Horner’s campaign would’ve driven that commodity through the roof. It isn’t that he offered any serious policy initiatives. It’s that he spent his entire time suggesting that Tom Emmer and Mark Dayton were extremists who didn’t represent mainstream Minnesota.

That theory disintegrates the minute it collides with reality.

While it’s true that Republicans are adamant about not raising taxes, it isn’t true to say that their only strategy comes from cutting the budget. Republicans’ strategy on solving the persistent deficit problems hinge on strengthening Minnesota’s economy, streamlining the permitting process, reforming Minnesota’s regulations and telling each state agency and department that they need to justify every penny of their spending.

That hardly sounds like a simplistic ‘no new taxes’, cut-the-budget strategy for longterm economic growth and sustainable government spending. Rather, it sounds like a multi-faceted, thoughtful approach to strengthening Minnesota’s economy and lightening the tax burden on Minnesota’s taxpayers while still maintaining the services that are required.

This, BTW, is the message that the GOP legislature will be carrying this session. It’s also the message that resonates with TEA Party activists and Main Street Minnesota.

It’s time to discard Mr. Horner’s arguments that everyone but him are extremists. It’s apparent that he’s got a substantial ego and a poor grasp of honesty.

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Ever since the MNGOP State Central Committee told some high-profile malcontents that they needed to start acting like Republicans, the DFL’s media lappuppies have trained their focus on lambasting Republicans.

This op-ed by the Winona Daily News is just more of the same we’ve heard before:

Former Gov. Al Quie had the right response – laughter. And it would be funny if it weren’t so sad. But Quie, along with other Minnesota GOP notables like Gov. Arne Carlson and Sen. David Durenberger have been banned from state Republican politics for two years all because they wouldn’t back Tom Emmer for governor.

So much for freedom of thought and choice.

And it would be silly and laughable if it weren’t so sad.

The two-year ban that Quie and 17 other Republicans face represents a sad shift for a party that once claimed to be “big-tent” for varying opinions.

The exile should be seen as a badge of pride for the 18. Names like Quie, Durenberger and Carlson are known for a thoughtful, collaborative approach. Their endorsements didn’t carry weight because of the party affiliation; they carried weight because they were statesmen, not politicians.

A big tent is worthless if there aren’t any unifying principles guiding a political party. More importantly than just the petty rantings of this editorial board is the fact that people expressed their agreement with the size (and principles) of the MNGOP tent. The reality is that people voted, across the nation, not just in Minnesota, that they wanted principled politicians who didn’t just go along to get along.

In droves, people have said they want politicians who say what they mean and mean what they say. Meanwhile, Sen. Durenberger, Gov. Quie and Gov. Carlson essentially said that they’re too big to be bothered by governing principles, living up to a party platform and actually doing things that identify themselves as Republicans.

By endorsing a snake oil salesman, they essentially said that that sort of loyalty was beneath them. They said that they’d prefer playing personality politics than being principled politicians.

At a time when voters across the state and nation are telling politicians that they want politicians with a spine, the MNGOP not only has the right to stand up to politicians who think they can do whatever they want. They have an affirmative responsibility to protect the conservative brand.

Should Republicans ignore the will of the people? That’s essentially what the Winona Daily News is essentially telling the MNGOP. They’re essentially saying that they should set aside principles because these 3 people are high profile people.

Meanwhile, voters showed time and again that they were perfectly willing to put a boot to unprincipled politicians’ backsides when these politicians got too big for their britches.

The editorial ignores the fact that there’s frequently spirited debate on issues within the MNGOP and that people like Jim Abeler gets along just fine with people like Tom Emmer.

If the MNGOP’s tent is tiny, how can people like Jim Abeler and Tom Emmer co-exist? The truth is that the MNGOP isn’t nearly as strident as the DFL and their compliant lap puppies would have people believe.

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Following this morning’s gracious concession speech by Tom Emmer, the MNGOP issued this statement:

“Tom Emmer and Annette Meeks have served Minnesotans with great distinction for many years. As conservative champions of lower taxes, reform, and smaller, sensible government, Tom and Annette waged a principled and optimistic campaign that Minnesotans can be proud of. While Tom may be conceding the governor’s race, his ideas that government must live within its means won the day as he led the ticket that took control of the state house and the state senate for the Republican Party. His message of smaller, sensible government will be what guides the legislature and is the political reality that the incoming governor will have to recognize. On behalf of the Republican Party of Minnesota, we wish Tom, Annette and their wonderful families all the best in their future endeavors.”

I’ll take it a few steps further. While I congratulate Sen. Dayton for his victory, it’s important that he understand that Minnesotans essentially rejected his tax-the-rich scheme. They also said yes to the House and Senate GOP’s message of living within our means, reform and bringing state government into the 21st century.

Tom and Annette lost the race but won the war. Their ideas won the day throughout the state. Thanks to their message, Minnesotans can now rest easy knowing that they won’t have to worry incessantly about their taxes getting raised because spending is out of control.

Thanks to their message and the candidates’ hard work, there is a major check to Sen. Dayton’s plans.

That alone is worthy of our praise.

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