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Juan Williams’ column is filled with faulty premises. Here’s the first of Williams’ faulty premises:

Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) strategy for defeating Democrats in the final two years of the Obama administration is clear: divide and conquer.

There’s no doubt that Democrats are divided over Keystone. What Williams didn’t detect is that the people are incredibly united on the issue. Almost 70% of registered voters support building the Keystone XL Pipeline. A pathetic 25% of registered voters oppose building it.

If Democrats want to listen to the environmental activist wing of the Democratic Party, that’s their right. If Democrats want to ignore the will of the American people, that’s their option, too. Just don’t try telling me that that’s divide and conquer. That’s giving people the option between doing the right thing and playing partisan politics.

Now he is testing Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) ability as minority leader to hold Senate Democrats together in opposition to a Republican agenda favoring the pipeline, halting immigration reform, lowering corporate taxes, and seeking to destroy Obamacare.

If significant numbers of Senate Democrats are willing to join with Republicans to force presidential vetoes, McConnell wins. He gains the power to paint himself as the good guy working across political lines. And he will smear the remaining Democrats as members of an out-of-the-mainstream party in the grips of leftist ideologues — Obama, Reid, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and possibly Hillary Clinton.

Sen. McConnell’s agenda this year consists of passing lots of things that 70+ percent of the American people support. Pundits call that picking off the low-hanging fruit. It’s the stuff that President Obama and Sen. Reid ignored the past 4 years.

It isn’t surprising that Republicans have a different agenda than President Obama and Sen. Reid. President Obama and Sen. Reid frequently thwarted the will of the American people. They weren’t just characterized as out-of-the-mainstream ideologues. It’s that President Obama and Sen. Reid have been out-of-the-mainstream ideologues.

In 2010, the American people spoke with a clear voice that they didn’t like President Obama’s and Sen. Reid’s agenda. This past November, they spoke with an even clearer voice. They rejected President Obama’s and Sen. Reid’s agenda.

Rather than listen to the American people, President Obama said that he isn’t interested in the American people’s agenda. President Obama and the Democrats have forcefully said that they’re interested only in their agenda.

Hooray for Sen. McConnell for putting the Democrats’ feet to the fire. It’s time to find out if they’re aligning with the American people or with the Democrats’ special interest allies.

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There’s no question that Gov. Dayton is a progressive. In 2010, he campaigned on the issue that Minnesota’s tax code wasn’t progressive enough. Immediately upon getting sworn in, he submitted a budget that raised income taxes. During the campaign, Gov. Dayton criticized Tom Horner’s cigarette tax for its regressivity. In 2013, Gov. Dayton signed a plethora of regressive taxes. This year, he’s pushing hard for another regressive tax increase that will hit the poor and the middle class harder than it’ll hit “the rich.”

When Republicans said no to raising taxes on the poor and the middle class, Gov. Dayton threw another temper tantrum:

Mark Drake, the new president of the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, noticed Gov. Dayton’s change of mind in this op-ed:

During a recent press conference in which he reiterated his support for a gasoline tax increase, Dayton mocked a GOP transportation proposal as “pure fantasy,” dismissing the plan’s funding mechanism as derived from “la la land” and “Fantasy Island.” Yet Dayton’s name-calling can’t change the fact that he’s long been an opponent of the very type of gas tax increase that he’s now pushing.

“I don’t support a gas tax increase at this time, because I think there’s not public support for it,” Dayton said in 2012. Dayton added that he opposed such a hike because “I don’t see it as providing nearly the amount of money necessary to make significant and really identifiable progress.”

“I don’t support a gas tax. I don’t think the people of Minnesota are prepared to support it and that’s the critical consideration,” Dayton assured Minnesotans in 2013. “If it’s going to raise more revenues than the current gas tax, then it’s going to result in higher fuel prices for middle-income Minnesotans. I think they’re not in a position economically to have that,” Dayton emphasized that same year. During his 2014 re-election campaign, Dayton again expressed opposition to a gas tax increase. “I have thought all along that this requires a long discussion in a non-election year,” Dayton stated.

It’s time for Gov. Dayton to stop with his flip-flopping. Gov. Dayton and the DFL didn’t promise to raise taxes during the campaign. In fact, they tried claiming that repealing their tax increase from 2013 was a tax cut. Gov. Dayton and the DFL promised voters property tax relief.

I wrote this post and this post to show that the DFL failed with that promise.

There’s no question that Gov. Dayton and the DFL prefer a progressive income tax system. Likewise, there’s no doubt that Gov. Dayton and the DFL like raising regressive taxes, too. Their record is littered with proof of the DFL voting for progressive and regressive taxes.

Tax the rich is the DFL’s mantra but tax everyone is what the DFL believes in. The DFL just isn’t honest enough to admit the latter in public.

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It didn’t take long for the DFL to define themselves on transportation:

Then there’s Gov. Dayton’s fallback position on everything:

“I say $6 billion and they say nothing?” a frustrated Dayton said last week during the press conference at which he made his “pure fantasy” remark about Republicans’ proposal. “This is not a beginning of a sensible conversation.”

Tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax. That’s the DFL’s solution for everything. In 2013, they raised taxes and fees by $2,400,000,000. In 2014, they repealed some of the taxes they’d raised in 2013, then had the audacity to call it a tax cut. FYI- That didn’t fly with voters. They returned Republicans to the majority in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

With the 2015 session just a week old, the Senate DFL has proposed raising taxes to fund their transportation wish list. Let’s be clear about this. Republicans want to focus on fixing roads and bridges. The DFL wants to raises a plethora of taxes to repair roads and bridges, pay for trolley cars, fund transit expansion and pay for light rail projects.

Republicans a) don’t want to raise taxes and b) want to focus on roads and bridges. The DFL wants to raise the gas tax (even though it won’t fund the projects they’re proposing) to fix roads and bridges and increase license tabs and the metro sales tax to pay for transit projects.

In 2010, Mark Dayton criticized Tom Horner for pushing a cigarette tax increase, calling it a regressive tax. At the time, Gov. Dayton said Minnesota needed a more progressive tax system. Back then, Gov. Dayton said that he’d “tax the rich” but he’d cut taxes for the middle class.

There’s now a plethora of proof that Gov. Dayton lied. BIGTIME. The rich got hit alright. Unfortunately for the middle class and the working poor, they’ve gotten hit the hardest with the Dayton-DFL tax and fee increases.

Minnesota’s middle class and working poor can’t afford the DFL’s tax increases. They’re taxed too much already.

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Dylan Scott’s article about what might happen if the Supreme Court invalidates health insurance subsidies being paid to people who bought insurance through HealthCare.gov is fascinating. For instance:

What leeway does the ACA itself give the administration? It seems self-evident that the states currently using the federal exchange would be required to do something, to “establish” their own exchanges, and the Health and Human Services Department therefore couldn’t just decree that all exchanges are state-based. States also probably need to do more than, say, sign a piece of paper declaring their exchange state-based.

“Now you could perhaps define the word ‘established’ down. HHS might be tempted to do so,” Bagley said. “But at the minimum, that kind of move from the administration would be sure to provoke a prompt legal response.”

There’s an additional problem not cited in the article. Specifically, state-established exchanges are part of Section 1311:

(d) Requirements
(1) In general

An Exchange shall be a governmental agency or nonprofit entity that is established by a State.

Changing that language requires legislation, which Mitch McConnell might agree to in exchange for other concessions:

That also extends to Congress, which as Bagley and Jones both noted, could correct the problem with ease by amending the law to allow tax credits on the federal exchanges. “Congress could fix this with a stroke of the pen,” Bagley said. “I could write the statute in a single sentence.”

But nobody is really expecting that. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier this month that SCOTUS could “take down” Obamacare in the King case and that would open up the opportunity for “a major do-over.”

“If that were to be the case, I would assume that you could have a mulligan here, a major do-over of the whole thing,” he said, in comments flagged by the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent.

While the administration might be willing to do a lot to save the law, an emboldened Republican Congress seems unlikely to settle for anything less than major concessions, as McConnell suggests. So a fix in Washington doesn’t appear in the cards.

It’s interesting that Democrats fear a Washington fix because that would require them making major concessions in exchange for those subsidies. In other words, DC Democrats are most afraid of actually improving the ACA.

That’s insane on a multitude of fronts, starting with the fact that the ACA is a weighty millstone around their political necks. Democrats got crushed in 2010 and 2014 because of the ACA. Despite experiencing those historical thumpings, Democrats don’t want to change the ACA. It’s their right to commit political suicide.

If there’s anything that can be gleaned from Juan Williams’ article, it’s that he’s exceptionally gullible. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Last week, however, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) invited me and a few other columnists to his office to deliver a message: The paralyzed, polarized government is not due to the president’s failure to win friends in Congress. Nor is it because Reid is a “dictator.” In his view, the stalled Senate is the result of an intentional strategy pursued by the Republicans.

Reid pointed to constant filibusters by the GOP minority. Republicans also refuse to allow the use of unanimous consent to move along Senate business, he charged.

Reid asserted that after President Obama was first elected, the GOP met with Frank Luntz, the political adviser, who told them to block everything Obama and Democrats tried to accomplish and then tell voters that Obama was a failure and government could not get anything done.

First, let’s address the issue of whether Reid is a dictator. There’s no question that he is. Since Republicans took over the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections, Sen. Reid hasn’t brought a single bill passed by the House of Representatives come up for a vote in the Senate. Many of the bills sitting on Sen. Reid’s desk got overwhelming support, some getting more than 350 votes in the House.

There’s no justification for Sen. Reid’s actions.

Second, Sen. Reid’s legislative tactics are best described as my-way-or-the-highway. Republicans rarely get to offer their amendments. When they do, which is rare, they’re shot down on a party line vote.

That sounds rather dictatorial, doesn’t it?

Next, let’s tackle the part about Republicans blocking everything President Obama proposed. In 2009-2010, Democrats had a filibuster-proof Senate for well over a year. They didn’t have the ability to block anything President Obama proposed. Further, there’s overwhelming proof that Democrats ignored the people’s will. That overwhelming proof comes in the form of the worst “shellacking” in recent midterm election history. It isn’t just that Republicans won 63 seats in the House. It’s that they flipped 680 seats in state legislatures, too, which helped them flip 19 legislative majorities and 5 governorships.

Wave elections are rare enough. Wave elections of that magnitude don’t happen much more than once a century. They only happen when the people get utterly pissed with DC. That’s what happened in 2010. Democrats ignored the people on health care reform. People were reading the bills, then reciting them to Democrat politicians at August townhall meetings. Many of those who spoke out had never taken the political process seriously. Many of those who spoke out were women.

Harry Reid didn’t care what they said. He passed the ACA, aka Obamacare, anyway.

Most of the people who spoke out for the first time in their lives didn’t know Frank Luntz. They didn’t listen to Republicans. They attended TEA Party rallies that were filled with like-minded people who simply wanted politicians to pay attention to them. Many of the TEA Party activists that were created were upset with Republicans, too, though not nearly as upset as they were with Democrats.

Finally, people don’t need Republicans telling them that HealthCare.gov failed. They didn’t need Republicans telling them that the IRS was attacking the organizations that simply wanted their voices heard. They didn’t need Republicans telling them that the VA crisis was proof that the federal government is inept.

Reid’s frustration led him to announce last week that he is considering a vote to change Senate rules and break the power of the GOP filibuster. After the midterm elections, he wants to expand on the so-called ‘Nuclear Option,’ approved by the Senate last year. Under that rule, only 50 votes are required to confirm most judicial nominees. Reid is considering applying the same standard to bills.

Reid isn’t frustrated. He’s pissed that Republicans haven’t rolled over to President Obama’s demands. Further, the question must be asked how President Obama’s policies have worked. Thus far, President Obama’s policies have failed, whether we’re talking about the economy, the ACA, foreign policy or national security.

Finally, let’s look at the destructive role President Obama plays in this mess. Let’s remember him inviting Republicans to the White House for their ideas on the Stimulus bill. When Eric Cantor made some suggestions, President Obama brushed them aside, saying that “We won.” The tone was set. Harry Reid’s marching orders became clear at that point. His job was to shove as many things down Republicans’ throats as possible.

Now Sen. Reid is peddling the BS that all he wants to do is legislate. That isn’t credible coming from the man who’s repeatedly called the Koch brothers un-American, who’s lied on the Senate Floor that he has word that Mitt Romney hasn’t paid taxes in over a decade and who’s been President Obama’s protector since 2011.

The Senate will be a far better place the minute Harry Reid is run out of office. He’s a despicable low-life who isn’t capable of doing what’s right for the nation. He’s only capable of doing what he’s told to do by the worst president in the last 75 years.

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This op-ed calls out the DFL, starting with Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and Speaker Thissen, for telling whoppers about repaying the school shift. Dan Fabian’s and Deb Kiel’s op-ed is a shot across Gov. Dayton’s bow:

So, when Gov. Mark Dayton and Democratic leaders recently declared their one-party control led to the state making good on $2.5 billion in delayed K-12 school payments, we stopped dead in our tracks, totally astonished.

Now, people who know us gather we are reasonable people. We don’t like to get into partisan politics, but in this instance, we felt the need to set the record straight to what we view as one of the more egregious examples of political misrepresentation.

Rep. Fabian and Rep. Kiel won’t say it this harshly but I will. Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and Speaker Thissen lied through their teeth. (I first wrote about this in this post.) Here’s what the DFL press release admitted:

Governor Mark Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, House Speaker Paul Thissen, Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter, and Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius announced that Minnesota schools were repaid an additional $636 million at the end of the 2013 fiscal year.

The budget that was in place through the end of FY2013 was passed by the GOP legislature after a lengthy shutdown caused by Gov. Dayton. Credit for paying off $636,000,000 of the school shift rightly belongs to the GOP legislature, first because their budget created a healthy surplus and secondly, because the GOP legislature said no to the greedy fingers of the DFL’s special interests.

Here’s some verifiable facts for Gov. Dayton, Speaker Thissen and Sen. Bakk to digest:

From the previous Legislature, we inherited a $5 billion deficit, including a $2 billion school shift. A “shift” simply means that payments to K-12 schools are delayed to a later date in order to provide a one-time savings to the state without actually reducing education appropriations.

As we wrestled to balance a historic deficit and out-of-control spending, we and our legislative colleagues called for holding the line on taxes and controlling state spending; on the other hand, Dayton called for large tax increases to fix the deficit.

During compromise negotiations, Dayton was first to float the idea of delaying school payments to an even later date. Ultimately, as part of the 2011 budget agreement with the governor, the amount owed in deferred payments to schools grew to $2.7 billion.

In other words, the DFL had little, if anything, to do with accelerating the paying off of the school shift. Rep. Thissen didn’t vote for the budget Gov. Dayton grudgingly signed. Sen. Bakk didn’t vote for the budget that Gov. Dayton grudgingly signed, either.

It’s pretty pathetic to see 3 people attempting to take credit for something they shut down the government to prevent. That’s the sad truth of this episode. Here’s what the Democrats said about the GOP budget:

Hardworking Minnesotans responded well to the budget that didn’t tax them, and revenues coming in to the state were consistently higher than expected. Record numbers of businesses popped up, and the unemployment rate continued to drop.

In April 2012, Dayton vetoed the Legislature’s move to pay back more than $2 billion in delayed K-12 payments. With this veto, Dayton said, “This is what I think is right for Minnesota.”

Vetoing a bill that would’ve paid off the vast majority of the school shift, then taking credit for paying off the school shift with the money from a budget they didn’t want belongs in the theater of the absurd. It’s pathetically fitting that Democrats would take credit for something they didn’t want anything to do with.

By this point, the 2011 fiscally responsible budget had produced nearly $3.4 billion in cumulative budget surpluses. Of this, about $2.5 billion has been applied to the school shift, leaving only about $238 million from the 2010 DFL-led Legislature.

During the 2013 session, our DFL colleagues enacted a special provision that allowed them to use the remaining budget surplus of $636 million and put it toward the remaining school shift.

Now, Gov. Dayton and legislative leaders who decried the 2011 budget are taking credit for its benefits. We have to admit, it’s a shrewd move and politically savvy. But it’s not honest.

The words honesty and Democrats fit together as nicely as ‘government shutdown’ and ‘respectful of veterans’.

Gov. Dayton and the Democratic legislature fought against paying off the school shift. Democratic legislators voted in lockstep against the GOP to repay the shift. Gov. Dayton vetoed the bill that would’ve paid off $2,500,000,000 of the school shift. Those are verifiable, irrefutable facts.

Gov. Dayton and the Democratic legislature should be ashamed of lying this blatantly about who paid off the school shift.

UPDATE: Sen. Nienow just emailed me this clip from this September’s special session. In the video, Sen. Bakk admits that the school shift wasn’t in the DFL’s budget. Further, Sen. Bakk made clear that paying off the final $238,000,000 would rely on whether sufficient revenues came in. Finally, Sen. Bakk sounded anything but clear on whether there was enough money to repeal the DFL’s mistake taxes, aka the B2B sales taxes on farm equipment repairs, telecommunications purchases and the warehousing services sales tax.

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Sunday morning, I DVR’ed At Issue With Tom Hauser for the first time since the election. I’m glad I did, though not because I agreed with what I heard. The majority of the show was Hauser’s interview of Gov. Dayton on his budget.

The dishonest things that Gov. Dayton said were insulting to thinking people. About 6 minutes into the show, Gov. Dayton said that “The GOP wouldn’t tell me what spending I should cut.”

First, I highlighted here how Gov. Dayton is cutting spending by $225,000,000 but raising taxes by $3,700,000,000. It’s apparent that Gov. Dayton isn’t interested in cutting spending. Neither is the DFL legislature. They can’t afford it because they’ve got too many political allies to repay with taxpayers’ money.

Next, it’s insulting that Gov. Dayton would lie like that. The GOP legislature passed a budget complete with spending cuts and spending priorities. Gov. Dayton and the DFL didn’t like that budget, which led to Gov. Dayton’s veto of the legislature’s budget.

If Gov. Dayton said that he disagreed with the GOP budget, everyone who paid attention to the budget fight would agree. Saying that Republicans didn’t offer specific cuts in their omnibus bills is exceptionally dishonest.

Unfortunately, Gov. Dayton telling whoppers isn’t surprising. It’s disappointing but it isn’t surprising.

Later in the interview, Hauser asked Gov. Dayton how he’d reconcile his sales tax and cigarette tax proposals with what he said on the campaign trail in 2010. Here’s what Gov. Dayton said:

GOV. DAYTON: Well, if my tax proposal in 2011, which was no tax increase for sales or property or individuals, which would’ve raised taxes on the wealthiest 2% by 2 points, if that would’ve been adopted, we would have no deficit going into the next biennium. We would be able to pay off the school shift entirely.

That’s nonsense. First, Gov. Dayton’s initial tax increase proposal called for creating a top tax bracket of 10.95%, compared with the top tax bracket today of 7.85%. Next, Gov. Dayton’s initial tax increase proposal included a 3% surcharge on income over $1,000,000 a year.

Most importantly, Gov. Dayton didn’t explain why raising the sales and cigarette taxes were taxes against workers in 2010 but it’s ok to raise them now.

The truth is that Gov. Dayton, like DFL legislators, loves all tax increases. He just loves confiscatory income tax increases on “the rich” most of all.

Finally, the GOP legislature passed a bill that would’ve paid off the school shift last year. Gov. Dayton vetoed it. This year, Dr. Cassellius, his Education commissioner, admitted in testimony that Gov. Dayton’s education budget wouldn’t pay off the school shift until 2017.

I repeat. Gov. Dayton will raise the income tax and the cigarette tax while applying the sales tax to dozens of things it doesn’t apply to now but he won’t pay off the school shift until 2017. That’s several political lifetimes from now.

That’s why Gov. Dayton’s policies are totally unacceptable for Main Street Minnesota.

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TakeAction Minnesota, one of the organizations that opposed the proposed Photo ID constitutional amendment, authorized this report to be published. Here’s a key statistic from the report:

According to recent testimony by the secretary of state’s office, the proposed photo ID amendment could adversely affect more than 700,000 eligible Minnesota voters. This total includes 215,000 registered voters who do not have a Minnesota driver’s license or ID card with a current address on it, and another 500,000 eligible voters who use Election Day registration.

Prior to this article, people have generally accepted the importance of Election Day registration, aka EDR. That’s changing thanks to this information:

2012
Ramsey County 278,821 votes; 279,513 registered voters, 99.75%VPR
Hennepin County: 674,149 votes, 678,074 RVs, 99.4% VPR
Anoka County: 186,461 votes, 195,424 RVs, 95.4% VPR
Benton County: 19,755 votes, 21,051 RVs, 93.8% VPR
Carlton County: 18,545 votes, 19,929 RVs, 93.1% VPR
Carver County: 52,899 votes, 55,366 RVs, 95.5% VPR
Dakota County: 230,992 votes, 240,100 RVs, 96.2% VPR
Morrison County: 16,836 votes, 17,998 RVs, 93.5% VPR
St. Louis County: 115,921 votes, 122,755 RVs, 94.4% VPR
Sherburne County: 46,707 votes, 48,691 RVs, 95.9% VPR
Wright County: 69,861 votes, 70,572 RVs, 99.0% VPR
Washington County: 142,133 votes, 151,803 RVs, 93.6% VPR
Registered Voters at 7AM: 3,085,277, Voting Eligible Population: 3,876,752

In addition to the astonishing participation rates, notice that 3,085,277 people were registered voters in 2012.

Let’s compare those figures with 2008’s participation figures and registered voter numbers:

2008
Ramsey County 278,169 votes; 317,028 RVs, 87.7%
Hennepin County: 665,485 votes, 722,777 RVs, 92.1% VPR
Anoka County: 182,559 votes, 189,349 RVs, 96.4% VPR
Benton County: 19,429 votes, 21,438 RVs, 90.6% VPR
Carlton County: 18,530 votes, 19,942 RVs, 92.9% VPR
Carver County: 49,806 votes, 53,059 RVs, 93.9% VPR
Dakota County: 225,933 votes, 241,276 RVs, 96.2% VPR
Morrison County: 16,850 votes, 18,979 RVs, 93.6% VPR
St. Louis County: 119,435 votes, 134,550 RVs 88.8% VPR
Sherburne County: 45,121 votes, 47,397 RVs, 95.2% VPR
Wright County: 65,479 votes, 67,959 RVs 96.4% VPR
Washington County: 137,323 votes, 147,347 RVs, 93.2% VPR
Registered Voters as of 7AM 11-04-08: 3,199,981

In 2012, there were 1,544,914 registered voters in Ramsey, Hennepin, Anoka, Dakota and Washington counties. According to the Secretary of State’s website, 1,512,556 people voted in those counties. That’s a participation rate of 97.9%.

Let’s compare those statistics with 2008 for those same counties. There were 1,617,777 registered voters in 2008, with 1,489,469 people voting in those counties. That’s a participation rate of 92.1%.

That isn’t the astonishing part, though. In 2008, there were 3,199,981 registered voters in Minnesota, compared with 3,085,277 registered voters in 2012.

If 500,000 people use EDR each presidential election in Minnesota, why were there 114,704 more registered voters in Minnesota in 2008 than in 2008?

That isn’t even the most astonishing statistic, though. Even though there were 114,704 fewer registered voters in Minnesota in 2012 than in 2008, 21,707 more votes were cast in 2012 than in 2008.

In 2008, the participation rate was 90.9%. In 2012, the participation rate was 95.03%, an increase of 4 points from a wave election.

With all due respect, it’s impossible to believe that the voter participation rate was 4 points higher this year than in a wave election. It’s impossible to believe that 500,000 people used EDR in 2008 and another 500,000 people in 2010 but there were 114,704 fewer registered voters in 2012 than in 2008.

Finally, where did those 1,000,000 registered voters disappear to? It isn’t a stretch to think that a significant portion of those voters who used EDR weren’t eligible to vote.

Without Photo ID, though, it’s almost impossible to tell.

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The DFL started setting up a phony storyline to propel them back into the majority in the Minnesota legislature during Gov. Dayton’s State of the State Address in 2011. At a time when nobody was thinking about a possible special session to pass the budget, Gov. Dayton asked the legislature to pledge not to shut government down.

By early May, it was clear that Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and Rep. Thissen were hoping for a government shutdown. At midnight, July 1, 2011, the Dayton/DFL shutdown became reality.

Along the way, the DFL and ABM started talking about the do-nothing legislature. What’s interesting is that the DFL legislature didn’t submit a budget nor did they submit a set of redistricting maps. The DFL won’t talk about that because that cost Minnesota taxpayers $188,000 in exchange for…nothing.

Here in Central Minnesota, the goal is to go 12 for 12 in ’12. The goal is to elect Jeff Howe, Jim Newberger, David Fitzsimmons and Nick Zerwas to their first terms in the House. We expect to re-elect Tim O’Driscoll, Steve Gottwalt, King Banaian and Sondra Erickson to the House. We expect to send Michelle Fischbach, John Pederson and Dave Brown back to the Senate while adding Mary Kiffmeyer to the Senate.

While I haven’t studied the entire state, a couple of races caught my attention. John Carlson is matched against Tom Saxhaug in SD-5. I’m picking Sen. Carlson to win by 8-10 points. Carolyn McElfatrick is paired against Tom Anzelc in HD-5B with Larry Howes matched against John Persell in HD-5A. I expect McElfatrick to win by 4-6 points. I expect Howes to squeak out a victory against Persell.

When the dust settles, I expect Republicans to keep control of the Legislature, mostly on the strength of their recent candidates. The fire-breathing zealots that Tom Bakk and Paul Thissen whined about will be returned to torture Mssrs. Bakk and Thissen. Republicans will have a 71-63 majority in the House and a 38-29 majority in the Senate.

As for the congressional races, John Kline, Erik Paulsen, Michele Bachmann and Chip Cravaack will win re-election. Rumors from Tuesday night that Alida Rockefeller-Dayton-Messinger is demanding Ken Martin’s head on a platter shouldn’t be taken seriously, though understanding why nobody’s heard of his whereabouts should be taken seriously.

The quality of the GOP legislative candidates will be a major reason why Republicans did so well. The leadership at the BPOU and congressional district levels, with a couple exceptions, will be a GOP strength, too.

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Charlie Crist used to be known as a rising star in the GOP. When he endorsed Sen. McCain right before the Florida Primary, it essentially doomed the GOP to Sen. McCain being their nominee. Just 9 months later, the United States was shackled with President-Elect Obama’s disastrous economic policies.

Crist’s stock has fallen mightily since then. The minute he announced his intention to run for the open Florida Senate seat, John Cornyn and the NRSC endorsed him, expecting him to be the presumptive next senator from Florida.

Instead, Crist ran into a genuine rising star in the GOP in Marco Rubio. Despite his massive advantages in fundraising capabilities and statewide name recognition, Sen. Rubio crushed Crist.

Pretending to still be a national leader, Crist penned this op-ed to endorse President Obama:

We often remind ourselves to learn the lessons of the past, lest we risk repeating its mistakes. Yet nearly as often, our short-term memory fails us. Many have already forgotten how deep and daunting our shared crisis was in the winter of 2009, as President Obama was inaugurated. It was no ordinary challenge, and the president served as the nation’s calm through a historically turbulent storm.

The president’s response was swift, smart and farsighted. He kept his compass pointed due north and relentlessly focused on saving jobs, creating more and helping the many who felt trapped beneath the house of cards that had collapsed upon them.

He knew we had to get people back to work as quickly as possible — but he also knew that the value of a recovery lies in its durability. Short-term healing had to be paired with an economy that would stay healthy over the long run. And he knew that happens best by investing in the right places.

President Obama’s stimulus was directed at his biggest political allies, his campaign’s most prolific bundlers. The result was the worst economic recovery since FDR’s, the biggest annual deficits in our nation’s history and the worst economic future since the Great Depression.

President Obama owns the worst economic trifecta in US history: the biggest deficits, the worst regulatory overload and the bleakest economic outlook.

Economic growth in a second Obama term will be as dismal as they are now. Businesses won’t invest their capital because of this administration’s hostility towards capitalists. The ACA will continue to depress job creation. President Obama’s EPA will continue their attempt to kill the coal and natural gas industries.

The PEU bailouts included in the stimulus didn’t create jobs. The loans to President Obama’s most prolific bundlers didn’t create jobs at Solyndra. They just created the environment for the greatest electoral rebellion in recent history.

On Nov. 2, 2010, the American people booted the people out because they’d had enough of politics as usual.

Thanks to President Obama’s deficits, we can’t afford ‘cronyism as usual.’ Charlie Crist’s always been an unprincipled politician. Thanks to Sen. Rubio’s victory, he’ll be remembered as an unprincipled politician.

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