Archive for the ‘Tom Emmer’ Category

According to this article, freshman Rep. Tom Emmer will attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress:

“With the Iranian nuclear deal approaching, U.S. allied Yemen falling to terrorists, the horrific violence by ISIL threatening regional security and Israeli and US interests, it’s absolutely necessary for Prime Minister Netanyahu to address Congress on the dire situation in the Middle East. It is imperative for Members of Congress to have open ears and an open mind for us to properly address these threats and their global impact. We must be able to listen to a world leader address the grave circumstances facing an ally in such trying times, regardless of political differences.”

A quick visit to newly re-elected US Sen. Al Franken’s website tells a totally detached view of the world. For instance, here’s Sen. Franken’s view of Iraq:


Senator Franken supports President Obama’s plan to bring our role in the Iraq war to a responsible end. He supports the President’s timetable, which led to the withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq in August of last year.

Senator Franken believes that when President George W. Bush started the war in Iraq, he lost focus on Afghanistan, the real base that Al Qaeda terrorists used to attack us. Because of this, the United States was drawn into a long and costly war, based on misinformation, that didn’t serve our nation’s interests.

Our courageous military finally started turning things around in 2007 with a new aggressive counterinsurgency strategy. In 2008, President Bush joined then-Senator Obama’s proposal for setting a timetable for withdrawing our forces, which improved our political leverage with the Iraqi government.

With the end of the U.S. combat mission on August 31, 2010 Senator Franken believes that America’s main job now to make sure that those who return get what they need, and that it’s now the job of the Iraqi people to build a functioning society for themselves.

As for whether Sen. Franken will attend Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech, that’s anyone’s guess:

Several other members of Minnesota’s delegation were noncommittal. A spokeswoman for DFL U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson said Netanyahu’s speech is on the schedule but it hasn’t been confirmed whether he’ll attend the event. A spokesman for Sen. Al Franken said he didn’t have an answer on whether Franken is going.

It’s virtually irrelevant whether Sen. Franken attends the speech. It isn’t like he’ll have original thoughts on the subject. If the Democrats’ leadership wants Sen. Franken offering his opinion, they’ll tell him what it is.

It isn’t like he’s paid attention to national security issues thus far. It’s been such a low priority for Sen. Franken that he hasn’t updated his Iraq webpage since 2010. ISIL has taken over Fallujah, Mosul, Ramadi and about one-third of Iraq. AQAP (al-Qa’ida of the Arabian Peninsula) has taken over the US embassy in Sana’a, Yemen. ISIL controls half of Syria. In addition to that, ISIL has expanded into Egypt and Libya.

These are major existential threats to Israel, our most trusted ally in the region. Sen. Franken’s response to these proliferating crises has been nonexistent.

Karen Cyson’s monthly columns are consistently intentionally misleading. This month’s column definitely fits that description. Here’s proof:

Previous Rep. Michele Bachmann had a 75 percent rating of spewing falsehoods (mostly false, false, or pants-on-fire), according to [Politifact], and missed 10.3 percent of her voting opportunities. The median absence rate in the House of Representatives is 2.5 percent. To represent a group, one of the most basic things a representative can do is show up.

I’m not here to defend Michele Bachmann’s statements, though I’ll definitely agree with her statements that the Muslim Brotherhood has tried infiltrating the State Department. There’s tons of proof of that, including the statement of a former terrorist who is now a Christian.

What I’m here to defend is Ms. Cyson’s statement that Michele missed “10.3% of her voting opportunities,” that’s true but misleading. That statistic is true because she ran for president in 2012. It’s inevitable that people running for president miss votes. Ms. Cyson, forever the partisan, intentionally omitted that important fact.

This information is technically accurate and intentionally misleading:

Also of note: The sole piece of legislation introduced by Bachmann that passed the House and Senate and was signed into law by the president was a bill to rename the Cold Spring Post Office.

While Rep. Bachmann’s legislation to replace the Stillwater Bridge wasn’t signed into law, there’s no question that she was the driving force behind getting that bridge built. That project had been stalled for a decade. It was indisputable that the bridge needed to be replaced.

Jim Oberstar didn’t get the thing built. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken couldn’t be bothered with pushing the project. Gov. Dayton didn’t put a priority on the project, either. It wasn’t until Michele started pushing the bridge project that Sen. Klobuchar got interested.

This paragraph is stunning:

I am hopeful Emmer takes it upon himself to introduce and support legislation that backs those Minnesota values we support: quality education, safe infrastructure, environmental stewardship, affordable health care, equality under the law for all citizens.

TRANSLATION: I hope Emmer becomes a good liberal.

First, the federal government’s involvement in education has been disastrous. They provide a tiny percentage of per-pupil funding but impose the majority of regulations. Next, it’s virtually guaranteed that Rep. Emmer will fight hard for transportation funding. That’s because expanding highway capacity is one of the top priorities for the district. Third, it isn’t likely that Rep. Emmer will fight hard for the excessive federal environmental regulations that President Obama is famous for. Thank God for that. Finally, based on the campaigns that I’ve watched, social issues aren’t a high priority. It isn’t that Rep. Emmer doesn’t have opinions. It’s that increasing economic opportunity within the district is Rep. Emmer’s highest priority.

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Jim Knoblach didn’t waste time correcting the St. Cloud Times’ misstatements about him. Here’s what Jim said:

I was puzzled by one line in the recent St. Cloud Times endorsement editorial. It said I sometimes provided “minimal support for measures that directly benefited his district.”

During my time in the Legislature, I successfully authored more than $100 million in bonding projects for the St. Cloud area. This is far more than any representative in local history. St. Cloud State University and St. Cloud Technical & Community College each received tens of millions of dollars from my efforts. Other projects like Quarry Park, the Beaver Islands Trail and various transportation projects also benefited.

Unlike past years, the Times Editorial Board never gave me the courtesy of an interview before announcing its endorsement. I was thus unable to respond to whatever concerns it had on this subject. Many other local candidates were granted interviews.

I hope in the future the Times gives the courtesy of an interview to all local candidates for endorsements.

Jim Knoblach is a House 14B candidate from St. Cloud.

Jim Knoblach is running for the state legislature, though you wouldn’t know it based on the Times’ reporting. The average citizen wouldn’t have known that Jim Knoblach wasn’t even asked if he’d like to be interviewed for the Times endorsement. I wrote here that the Times decided that they were endorsing Jim’s opponent long before they conducted a single candidate interview.

This year’s Times endorsements were utterly unprofessional. The Times endorsed Joe Perske to replace Michele Bachmann in Congress. Fortunately, he’ll get beaten like a drum next Tuesday. Here’s one of the Times’ rationalizations for endorsing him:

Voters need to elect the person who can begin to restore district credibility while improving the return district residents get on the tax dollars they send to Washington.

Here’s another:

While Emmer is the likely favorite because of the district’s conservative demographics, voters need to seriously consider whether his political persona will help the district. He’s similarly conservative to Bachmann and he is known as a political bully, which makes his House strategy is “building relationships” a tough sell.

Summarizing, the Times endorsed Joe Perske because they think he’d bring home the pork the district is losing out on and because Tom Emmer is a political bully.

At this point, it’s difficult picturing the Times Editorial Board as anything more than gossip columnists. They aren’t professional. They didn’t do their due diligence. They didn’t even treat one of the major party candidates with respect. That isn’t just shameful. It’s disgusting.

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To the surprise of nobody, the St. Cloud Times in endorsing Joe Perske and Al Franken. What’s surprising is that the Times admits they’re biased:

Central Minnesotans should back Sartell Mayor Joe Perske in the 6th District House race and incumbent Al Franken in the race for U.S. Senate.

Republicans will immediately call “liberal bias” with the endorsement of two Democrats. The truth, though, in both these races is no matter which major-party candidate wins, the victor is going to seldom cross party lines and compromise on major issues.

Before anyone gets their undies in a bunch, it’s clear that the St. Cloud Times thinks they’re fairly impartial. The truth is that they aren’t impartial. Here’s proof:

Voters need to elect the person who can begin to restore district credibility while improving the return district residents get on the tax dollars they send to Washington.

The soft-spoken, blue-collar-leaning Perske is a better choice than Republican Tom Emmer. While Emmer is the likely favorite because of the district’s conservative demographics, voters need to seriously consider whether his political persona will help the district. He’s similarly conservative to Bachmann and he is known as a political bully, which makes his House strategy is “building relationships” a tough sell.

The Times’ logic behind endorsing Joe Perske is that he’s a “blue-collar-leaning” kind of guy and that Tom Emmer’s a “political bully.” That’s stunning in its lack of seriousness. There’s this though:

Voters need to elect the person who can begin to restore district credibility while improving the return district residents get on the tax dollars they send to Washington.

I won’t insist that the Sixth District’s credibility is untattered. That said, the Times Editorial Board’s animosity towards Michele Bachmann is extensive and well documented. Another thing I’ll say is that it isn’t just about “improving the return district residents get on the tax dollars they send to Washington.” It’s about whose policies will strengthen central Minnesota’s economy and Minnesota’s economy.

One of the things Tom Emmer will jump right into is cutting the federal government’s wasteful spending. He’s spoken frequently about his admiration of Sen. Tom Coborn, the man who put together a series of videos on sequestration.


In not endorsing Al Franken in 2008, this board cited Independence candidate Dean Barkley as being most in touch with local, middle-class voters. Franken objected immediately and vowed to show it. In six years, and in a highly polarized Capitol, he has, and he deserves re-election.

Again, noting neither he nor Republican challenger Mike McFadden will stray far from their respective party’s line, Franken still stood up for Main Street over Wall Street, for a reasonable farm bill, and for better matching people with employers through education.

That’s insulting. The Times didn’t mention the fact that Sen. Franken signed onto letters that oppressed his president’s political opponents while ignoring the Bill of Rights protections of citizens. The Times ignored the fact that Sen. Franken signed onto a letter to the IRS directing the IRS to apply additional scrutiny to TEA Party organizations.

As for Sen. Franken staying in touch with Main Street, he’d pass with flying colors if Main Street was defined as a union hall. If staying in touch with Main Street is defined by holding town halls in profitable businesses, Franken would get a D-.

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Despite what Sartell Mayor Joe Perske told WCCO’s Esme Murphy, he’s still fighting a steep uphill fight:

Perske said that he thinks, while the district may be heavily favored toward Republican candidates, “people want a change.”

Perkse added that he believes “people are sick of the polarizing politics that we’ve seen with Michele Bachmann, and I think we’re just going to get more of the same with Tom Emmer. If you take a look at his past record of what he’s done in the state legislature, and you take a look at the things he’s said, (he’s) very similar in being on that right side with the Tea Party.”

First, it’s clear that Perske’s only hope of getting elected is in a) turning Tom Emmer into the biggest boogeyman this side of the Koch Brothers and b) getting voters to ignore what’s important to them.

Perske needs three other things to happen to win. He needs to have an instant name ID bomb to go off in the Sixth so people south of St. Cloud know who he is. At the moment, his name ID in Andover, Annandale, Anoka, Becker, Big Lake, Clear Lake and Clearwater is on a par with my name ID in those cities.

I’m pretty certain my name ID is virtually non-existent in those cities. Welcome to the club, Joe.

Another thing Perske needs is a mass cash infusion so he can at least run enough ads so people in Big Lake and Clearwater know who he is. (Perske should forget about becoming known in the south Metro part of the district.)

Finally, to be competitive, Perske needs the Sixth to become much more moderate between now and election day. Since that ain’t happening, Perske should accept the fact that he’s gonna get beaten like a drum.

Emmer’s team is working hard. They’re showing up at all the right events. They’re having discussions with all the right people. They’ve got a great GOTV operation.

Most importantly, Emmer’s team has something that Perske doesn’t have. Specifically, they’ve got a candidate who’s a great fit for the Sixth.

In 2010, Tarryl Clark had a well-financed campaign. Michele beat her by 13 points. This year, Perske is woefully underfunded in a year that’s likely to be another good year for the MNGOP.

The likely outcome is Emmer beating Perske like a drum.

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This LTE is just another helping of DFL gibberish:

Joe Perske, who is a candidate for the 6th Congressional District, is the kind of person we need to represent us in Washington.

Joe has worked in local politics for the past 10 years and has advocated diligently for workers and families in this area. He has an incredible gift of being able to relate to people from all walks of life. He has the integrity we are lacking in Washington today.

Recently he was endorsed by the Minnesota AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education for his positions and record on issues of importance to workers and their families. The endorsement is based on his steadfast support of working families.

The notion that a DFL congressional candidate getting endorsed by the AFL-CIO isn’t news. Based on their list of endorsees, if you had a D behind your name, you were endorsed.

Simply put, Perske is just another tax-raising liberal. His history is littered with raising propert taxes and spending money foolishly.

In 2010, I wrote that Tarryl faced an uphill climb against Michele Bachmann. Tarryl lost by 13 points, the biggest winning margin in Michele’s congressional career. If Republicans work hard this year, the DFL will look at the Michele vs. Tarryl as the good old days.

Tom Emmer is a great fit for the district. He’s fiscally conservative, which is important. Most importantly, he’s a reform-minded conservative.

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Tom Emmer just sent out this statement on his primary victory:

Tom Emmer Statement on Primary Results
Thank you for the great support that I have received from the Sixth Congressional District to be your Republican candidate in this year’s General Election.

Today marks another benchmark in the process and together, we are going to run hard and keep moving forward to another victory – this time in November!

Jacquie and I announced my candidacy for Congress well over a year ago and we knew that we had to be committed to gaining significant support for every milestone in the election process. We knew we would have to work for every vote, one handshake at a time.

Since I was endorsed by Republicans this April, I’ve enjoyed the time getting to know more people in a district that strongly believes in freedom and prosperity. As I look towards beginning the next phase of our campaign, there are no shortcuts to putting the time in with the residents of the Sixth District. I’m eager to continue to hear from citizens within the district on how we can improve the dialogue and outcomes in Washington, D.C.

There are just over 80 days until the General Election and I know we will go into the election as a united party. I am truly humbled by the support of voters in the Sixth District and I am very thankful for all of the friends and volunteers that have helped Jacquie and I achieve this important victory in the election process.

Thank you,

I’m voting for Tom Emmer tomorrow. A little part of me will be voting against Rhonda Sivarajah, too. I’ll have lots of reasons for votin Tom Emmer.

Chief among those reasons is something Tom said early in the campaign. At the first Townhall Tuesday meeting he attended, Tom said that he loved Tom Coborn’s Sequester This video series. He said that the Sixth District didn’t need a congressman who said we need to cut federal spending. He said the Sixth District needed a congressman who had a plan to cut federal spending.

Tom has instant credibility on spending restraint. In 2007, Tom was one of 4 legislators who got a perfect score from the Taxpayers League, joining Laura Brod, Mark Buesgens and Mark Olson. Tom was joined by Reps. Brod and Buesgens in 2009, too.

I’m voting for Tom because he’s got a reform agenda, too. He’s also willing to cast a no vote even if it isn’t popular. Tom was one of the few people people who voted against the Next Generation Energy Act, aka the NGEA. That horrific legislation got more than 115 votes in the House.

That leads me to why I’m voting against Rhonda Sivarajah. Last week, I heard one of her radio spots on KNSI. Saying that it repulsed me is understatement. In it, the narrator said that Rhonda was the only candidate with a proven track record of cutting spending. The clear implication was that Tom Emmer wasn’t a fiscal conservative.

I expect that type of BS from Democrats, whose fidelity to the truth is minimal at best. I won’t tolerate it from Republican candidates. That immediately eliminates Ms. Sivarajah from consideration.

I’m also voting be voting against Ms. Sivarajah because she’s proven she can’t raise money. In the summer of 2013, Ms. Sivarajah attended a BPOU fundraiser at Dan and Cathy Jo Severson’s home. While there, she openly said that we needed a candidate who wouldn’t let this be a tight race. Again, the implication was that Tom was a fatally flawed candidate that the DFL candidate could stay competitive with.

First, that’s BS. I’ve given Joe Perske a nickname. It’s ‘Sacrificial Lamb.’ Second, Ms. Sivarajah can’t raise money. In the last quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, she raised well short of $50,000. Combined. By comparison, Jim Knoblach, who is running for the legislature, has raised almost $60,000.

In the Sixth, it probably isn’t fatal if a Republican doesn’t raise tons of cash. The Sixth is conservative enough to let a qualified candidate win. That being said, why pick a candidate who would let the DFL candidate remain competitive when we have a candidate who will run away with the race?

Finally, Ms. Sivarajah hasn’t shown an ability to get her voters to turn out at the important meetings. They didn’t show up for the precinct caucuses. That’s when she lost the Straw Poll by 50 points. They certainly didn’t show up at the CD-6 Convention, where she got trounced again, this time by 52 points. If she loses tomorrow night by 40 points, it will represent her best showing of the cycle. Losing by 40 points shouldn’t be the high point of a campaign.

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This afternoon, I got this email from the Sivarajah for Congress campaign:


I am honored to have received an AQ rating from the National Rifle Association. An AQ rating as explained on the NRA website means the following:

“A pro-gun candidate whose rating is based solely on the candidate’s responses to the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire and who does not have a voting record on Second Amendment issues.”

I look forward to the opportunity to prove my commitment to our 2nd Amendment rights with my vote in the United States Congress.

The highest grade a candidate can receive from the NRA is an A+. It will be my personal goal to be “a legislator with not only an excellent voting record on all critical NRA issues, but who has also made a vigorous effort to promote and defend the Second Amendment.”

My message to Ms. Sivarajah is simple. Talk is cheap. Anyone can fill in the right answers on a questionnaire. Here’s what matters:

U.S. House of Representatives District 6 Republican Primary

Tom Emmer (R) Grade: A
Status: Candidate

Rhonda Sivarajah (R) Grade: AQ
Status: Candidate

It’s nice that Ms. Sivarajah got a nice grade but the NRA endorsed Tom Emmer. Here’s what the grades mean:

A: Solidly pro-gun candidate. A candidate who has supported NRA positions on key votes in elective office or a candidate with a demonstrated record of support on Second Amendment issues.

AQ A pro-gun candidate whose rating is based solely on the candidate’s responses to the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire and who does not have a voting record on Second Amendment issues.

In the Sixth District, we insist that our candidates walk the walk on the Second Amendment. Just talking the talk isn’t good enough. Tom Emmer’s consistently walked the walk. Thus far, Rhonda Sivarajah has only talked the talk.

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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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