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Tuesday night, Jason Lewis won his primary against Darlene Miller and John Howe. Saying that this was expected is understatement. Lewis now heads into the general election against the DFL’s Angie Craig. The DCCC is already spinning Lewis as a rigid ideologue from hell.

Whatever.

Craig’s only hope of winning this election is to make the focus on Jason Lewis. The minute that this becomes a fight between Angie Craig’s progressive agenda and Lewis’ ideas for creating jobs and protecting us from terrorists, this race is over.

Nowhere on Ms. Craig’s issue page, which has a heading of “My Priorities”, does it talk about protecting against terrorist attacks, though it mentions “Slowing the Pace of Climate Change.”

When Ms. Craig talks about veterans care, she’s all about describing the problem:

We owe so much to the brave men and women who volunteer to serve our country in the armed forces. When they come home from their service, they deserve access to every benefit and opportunity they’ve earned. However, so often our veterans are faced with long wait times at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and service-related health problems that aren’t fairly compensated.

A 2014 internal audit by the VA found that more than 120,000 veterans waited at least 90 days for healthcare appointments or never received appointments at all. And as of January 2016, over 82,000 veterans were still waiting for the VA to evaluate their claims for service-connected disability compensation more than 125 days after filing.

Nowhere in that word soup is an identifiable solution. I’m not interested in another cookie-cutter politician that can identify problems but can’t identify solutions.

Jason Lewis is into solving problems. He’s also a principled Constitution-first citizen. It’s time to elect Jason Lewis.

This op-ed reminds us that Ronald Reagan’s Republican Party didn’t start smoothly. In fact, it’s true that the Republican Party initially rejected Ronald Reagan’s reforms. Then as now, the GOP preferred policies that maintained the status quo. Then as now, there was a rebel wing to the GOP. Back then, Ronald Reagan was that rebel. That rebel wing of the GOP was idea-driven and idealistic.

Today, the GOP Establishment, in its truest definition, prefers policies that maintain the status quo and that took care of big corporations through corporate welfare, aka crony capitalism. Today, the GOP’s rebel wing has a formal name. It’s called the TEA Party. At its best, the TEA Party is bustling with ideas that would solve America’s biggest problems. At its worst, the GOP has been the party of crony capitalism and corporate welfare.

These days, both parties are guilty of supporting crony capitalism and using the governments’ regulatory authority to limit competition.

In 1981, the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, (D-NY), called the Republican Party the party of ideas. When Republicans got crushed in the 2006 midterms, Mara Liasson said that that election was “the ideology-free election.” It was a referendum on GOP corruption. It was about Democrats running on criticism alone. They opposed the Iraq War for the wrong reasons but at the right time.

It’s obvious that Donald Trump isn’t an ideas guy. Ted Cruz isn’t the Republicans’ top idea man but he’s a good candidate with a very good campaign organization. That’s why I think Sen. Cruz translates into being the Republicans’ best hope of recapturing the White House.

Sen. Cruz isn’t just comfortable with Gov. Walker’s reform agenda. It’s that he gets the importance of getting government off the people’s backs so they can innovate and prosper. While a well-trained work force is essential, it’s indisputable that a good education is wasted if people aren’t willing to put their capital at risk.

I’m not advocating for a return to the glory years of the Reagan administration. I’m advocating for rejecting Donald Trump so the GOP can return to being the party of ideas.

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These days, the people still left at Breitbart, and that number is shrinking, aren’t living up to Andrew Breitbart’s high standards. Their latest shenanigans aren’t likely to salvage their reputation, either.

Breitbart apparently published, then deleted, this article with the hope of humiliating Ben Shapiro. Joel Pollak has admitted that he wrote the article under the pseudonym used by Shapiro’s father. Unfortunately, Mr. Pollak just couldn’t be honest, saying that “the article was written in jest.”

Apparently, Mr. Pollak doesn’t use a dictionary. The definition of jest is “a piece of good-natured ridicule.” What Mr. Pollak said doesn’t fit that description. Pollak wrote “Former Breitbart News editor-at-large Ben Shapiro announced Sunday evening via left-wing Buzzfeed that he is abandoning Andrew Breitbart’s lifelong best friend, widow, hand-picked management team and friends in pursuit of an elusive contributorship at the Fox News Channel. It was business as usual for the ambitious conservative gadfly, who is known to live on the edge, courting and then leaving a series of companies over the past several years.”

That doesn’t sound like “good-natured” ridiculing. Later, Pollak wrote this:

The article was written by me as part of an effort to make light of a significant company event, and was published as a result of a misunderstanding without going through the normal editorial channels. I apologize to Michelle Fields, my friend Ben Shapiro, and to everyone concerned.

Here’s the opening of Pollak’s article:

Former Breitbart News editor-at-large Ben Shapiro announced Sunday evening via left-wing Buzzfeed that he is abandoning Andrew Breitbart’s lifelong best friend, widow, hand-picked management team and friends in pursuit of an elusive contributorship at the Fox News Channel.

Friends of Hamas could not be found for comment.

Shapiro, a Harvard lawyer and member of the State Bar of California, apparently violated virtually every clause in his employment contract during an appearance on The Kelly File last Thursday evening.

Based on Shapiro’s standing up for Fields, I’d argue that it’s Breitbart News that’s abandoning Andrew Breitbart’s principles. The bigger the bully, the more fiercely Andrew fought. He loved kicking bullies’ backsides. That’s who Andrew was. He didn’t hesitate in fighting the left or, for that matter, Republicans.

I had the privilege of attending his keynote speech at the 2011 RightOnline conference in Minneapolis. Andrew brought the house down when he said that “anyone that can’t defend the concepts of freedom and liberty sucks“:

To Andrew’s staunchest supporters, the current mismanagement team at Breitbart are a disgrace to Andrew’s principles. They, not Ben Shapiro, Michelle Fields and Dana Loesch, should be the ones leaving.

Laura Ingraham has apparently named herself the determiner of who is the GOP establishment and who is part of a populist movement of, by and for the people. In one of her articles, she throws the kitchen sink at the GOP establishment. (I won’t supply the link because I don’t want to drive traffic to her website.)

According to Ingraham’s article, the “takeaway for the GOP Establishment, and its enablers at places like National Review and RedState, will be that Marco Rubio’s win in Minnesota, combined with Cruz’s victories in Texas and Oklahoma and the close-ish race in Virginia, show that Donald Trump can be stopped. They just have to keep going negative.”

First, it’s frightening to think that Ms. Ingraham thinks of RedState is part of the GOP establishment. While I haven’t always agreed with RedState’s beliefs and political analysis, I’ve never questioned their commitment to TEA Party principles. Second, while I agree that NRO is GOP Establishment-ish, I can’t say that they’re card-carrying members of the GOP establishment. Writers like Jonah Goldberg, Jim Geraghty and Kevin Williamson are thinkers who don’t take their marching orders from anyone, much less from the ever-morphing GOP Establishment.

This statement is utterly mindless:

There’s no point in complaining about this. Trump represents a potentially existential threat to the Donor Class.

When Trump told Bret Baier that soldiers would obey his illegal orders, did that represent a “potentially existential threat to the donor class” or did it represent that rantings of a lunatic who didn’t care about the rule of law? Trump didn’t reverse himself until after conservatives wrote negative articles criticizing Mr. Trump for his willingness to order troops to commit war crimes.

At the same time, this primary season has demonstrated that the Establishment has some real problems. It’s clear that Rubio is a deeply flawed candidate. It’s clear he struggles to reach people who aren’t already committed to the Establishment Agenda. It’s clear that the voters are screaming “NO!” to the Establishment’s agenda; they have rejected it in almost every state by almost overwhelming numbers.

What’s equally clear is that conservative activists, like the activists populating CPAC, have noticed that Mr. Trump “is a deeply flawed candidate” who “struggles to reach people who aren’t” repeating Mr. Trump’s clichés.

The GOP Establishment didn’t start the #NeverTrump movement. Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-NE), is the spiritual leader of the movement. Calling a freshman senator from Nebraska who confronted Sean Hannity at CPAC, “chastising the Fox News host for suggesting his refusal to vote for Donald Trump was equivalent to a vote for Hillary Clinton.” Here’s the set of questions Sen. Sasse posed to Mr. Trump that have gone unanswered:

Q1: You said you want single-payer “govt pays4everyone” [health care]. If that isn’t your position now when did it change? Why?
Q2: You’ve said you “hate the concept of guns.” Why the change? When did it happen? What’s the 2nd Amendment mean to you?
Q3: A few yrs ago u proposed $6trillion tax hike. Still want to do that? Agree w/ Biden that higher taxes=more patriotism?
Q4: You brag about many affairs w/ married women. Have you repented? To harmed children & spouses? Do you think it matters?
Q5: I believe 1 of the most damaging things POTUS Obama did is ignore Constitution, act on his own,& bypass Congress Next GOP POTUS must roll this back & reaffirm a Constitutional system b4 we lose this special inheritance forever. Do you agree that exec unilateralism is very bad? Because you talk A LOT about “running the country” as though 1 man should “run America.” Will you commit to rolling back Exec power & undoing Obama unilateral habit?

Do those sound like questions that the GOP Establishment pose on a daily basis? Of course they aren’t, which proves my point that populists mindlessly use the term GOP Establishment whenever their indefensible positions are questions. (They’ll use the term elitist, too. The words are interchangeable.)

Opposing Trump isn’t part of a GOP Establishment conspiracy to thwart the will of the people. It’s the re-invigoration of the TEA Party movement after high-profile TEA Party activists sold out TEA Party principles for high-paying positions with politicians. We’re opposing Trump because he’s the embodiment of the corruption known as crony capitalism.

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My first and only contact with Andrew Breitbart came at the Minneapolis Marriott Hotel in 2011. I walked in the door and Breitbart was standing there maybe 10 feet away. I was surprised that Breitbart took 4-5 minutes to talk with me because, in the grand scheme of things, I’m a nobody. That evening, Breitbart delivered a stirring speech in which he talked about the need to get rid of the Republican majorities in the House and Senate because, in his words, “if you can’t defend liberty and freedom, you suck.” Here’s the video of that keynote speech:

I wrote this article because I couldn’t stand the thought of hearing John Nolte tell us that Donald Trump was “the great truth-teller of 2015.” That’s such total BS, it stinks from Philadelphia to San Francisco and from Minneapolis to Houston.

This morning, Diana West stinks up the place again with this article by saying that we should “rally around Donald Trump.” Here’s the heart of West’s case for rallying to Trump:

The enthusiasm real people (as opposed to media and #GOPSmartSet) have shown for Trump and his paradigm-shattering wall is something new and exciting on the political scene. So is the “yuge” sigh of relief. Someone sees the nation bleeding out and wants to stanch the flow. Yes, we can (build a wall). From that day forward, it has been Trump, dominating the GOP primary process and setting all of the potentially restorative points of the agenda, compelling the other candidates to address them, and the MSM, too. Blasting through hard, dense layers of “political correctness” with plain talk that shocks, Trump has set in motion very rusty wheels of reality-based thinking, beginning a long-overdue honest-to-goodness public debate about the future of America — or, better, whether there will be a future for America. That debate starts at the border, too.

There’s a major flaw with Trump as commander-in-chief. The Constitution only works if it governs moral people. Mr. Trump isn’t a moral person. He’s repeated said dishonest things, then insisted that he hadn’t said the dishonest things that were videotaped. Think about his disgusting statement about Carly Fiorina’s face. The first time he was challenged about it at a debate, Trump insisted that he hadn’t disparaged Mrs. Fiorina.

Think about Mr. Trump’s statement that Megyn Kelly had mistreated him and that she had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever”, then explaining that he wasn’t suggesting that he’d been mistreated by Ms. Kelly because she was menstruating.

Anyone that will follow a person as morally deficient as Mr. Trump isn’t trustworthy. Ms. West, however well-intentioned she is, has essentially said that we should follow a highly immoral person. That’s something I won’t do. I’ve voted for people that I didn’t agree with. I won’t vote for immoral people.

That’s why I won’t rally around Mr. Trump.

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Tim Carney’s article about how the presidential candidates did at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference reaffirms my beliefs. First, it reaffirms that Jeb Bush is a frontrunner only because of his fundraising operation and his name recognition. Second, it reaffirms my belief that this race isn’t about who wins ‘the establishment primary’ vs. who wins ‘the movement primary’. Third, it reaffirms my belief that candidates like Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and Donald Trump are sideshows and don’t have a chance at winning the nomination. Finally, it reaffirms my belief that I’ve had from the start that Scott Walker is still the frontrunner.

OKLAHOMA CITY — The annual Southern Republican Leadership Conference provided a glimpse into the state of the Republican base and the presidential field. The conference revealed a Republican base that is (1) broadly happy with the crowded and conservative field, (2) still smitten with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and (3) unimpressed and uninterested in Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Senate chaos over the Patriot Act kept the four senators who are running from making it, dampening the mood a bit. The candidates running a second time — Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Mike Huckabee — do not excite the conservative base.

What’s interesting is Carney’s statement that the activists are “still smitten with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.” Marco Rubio has climbed to frontrunner status on Special Report’s Candidate Casino segment because he’s excellent on foreign policy and he’s got a terrific life story to tell. Jeb Bush is accorded top tier status for the reasons I’ve stated above. Scott Walker still gets strong support but there’s little buzz about him.

Perhaps that’s because he’s just the guy everyone quietly likes? This part is interesting:

Straw Poll: The straw poll results mostly reflected Scott Walker’s popularity, and the apprehension the Republican base has for Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, the perceived establishment moderates in the field.

1) Dr. Ben Carson won the straw poll handily, thanks to his having the biggest organized effort. His campaign bought a booth and bought 100 tickets, to allow supporters to attend for free. Many of these supporters came in from out of state. All told, Carson won about 240 votes.

2) The biggest winner may have been Wisconsin Gov. Walker, who finished a close second, with about 200 votes. He had no organized effort to win the straw poll, but he still won the most votes among Oklahomans in the crowd. His Friday afternoon speech was spot-on and well delivered. His strong showing reflects that the good will Walker garnered through his fights in Madison, Wis., sill buoy him, even after other conservative stars have entered the race.

Dr. Carson showed that he’s put together an organization. Still, what’s impressive is that Gov. Walker didn’t bring his organizers to the event and still was competitive. This might be more impressive, though:

3) What recommends Walker most to Republican voters is his successful battles with powerful labor unions, the media, and the Wisconsin Democratic Party. Walker made these battles — including his recall election victory — the focus of his talk.

4) Walker was able to tick off a long list of legislative accomplishments, touching on all the major conservative policy priorities: cutting spending, cutting taxes, bringing the bureaucracy to heel, defunding Planned Parenthood, expanding gun rights, passing right to work, requiring photo ID for voters and so on.

5) Walker cast his political and policy wins as populist victories over powerful insiders. He described his fight against the government unions as “taking power out of the hands the big-government special interests” and putting it in the hands of ordinary people.

6) Walker closed with a pointed critique of his rivals. He said many Washington politicians are good at picking fights, but they don’t win — a clear reference to Cruz’s failed Obamacare shutdown, and Marco Rubio and Paul’s lack of a record. Alternatively, many Republicans, Walker said, are good at winning races, but they never fight for important, tough things — presumably referring to Christie and Bush.

In other words, he’s a confident leader with a lengthy list of conservative accomplishments who isn’t afraid to pick a fight. Simply put, he’s everything McCain, Romney, Huckabee and Santorum weren’t and Jeb Bush isn’t.

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TEA Party Alliance president Jack Rogers is upset with House Republicans for not delivering on his demands for tax cuts:

“My heart is heavy with grief from the actions taken by the MN House Majority and some of the MN GOP Senators,” wrote Minnesota Tea Party Alliance president Jack Rogers on his Facebook page.

“Unfortunately, every house rep let us down in the final 48 hours,” commented Jake Duesenberg, the Tea Party’s executive director. “No tax cuts at all. Huge spending increases in public education and socialized health care.”

That’s disappointing coming from a group that’s supposed to know the Constitution. To expect tax cuts with a DFL majority in the Senate and a DFL governor is like expecting to buy winning lottery tickets each month. The odds are the same. Republicans passed tax cuts in the House. They were DOA when they arrived in the Senate. That’s political reality.

It’s also political reality that Republicans weren’t going to win many battles when controlling one half of one of the two political branches. If Rogers and Duesenberg want some of these accomplishments, then they should work tirelessly to elect more Republican legislators and a Republican governor. Without that, Republicans can’t enact their reform agenda.

While I’m disappointed with Mssrs. Rogers and Duesenberg, I’m not surprised that Paul Thissen and Ken Martin still won’t tell the truth. Check out Ken Martin’s whopper:

Said DFL Party Chair Ken Martin: “Republicans refused to compromise and are more interested in providing tax giveaways to corporations than investing in education.”

What is it that causes DFL politicians to reflexively lie? Does Alida Messenger implant a chip in these politicians’ brains that forces them to lie profusely? Martin saying that “Republicans refused to compromise” is disgusting dishonesty. It’s quickly disproven. Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk reached a budget agreement a week ago today. Of course, they kicked Gov. Dayton out of the room to finish the deal but they got it done.

Then there’s Paul Thissen. Here’s what Thissen said:

“House Republicans failed to finish the job,” DFL Minority Leader Paul Thissen said Wednesday. “They refused to compromise with Gov. Dayton. They wanted to keep this money so they can give corporate tax cuts.”

There’s those non-existent corporate tax cuts again. It’s stunning how frequently the DFL lies about this. Last weekend, I contacted Greg Davids, the chair of the House Taxes Committee, about the House Tax Bill. Here’s what he told me:

Eighty percent goes to individuals. Tax relief is for the middle class…. My tax bill is tax relief for the poor and middle class.”

It’s disappointing when people I agree with don’t acknowledge political reality.

What’s worse is when an entire political party proves itself incapable of telling the truth.

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A.B. Stoddard’s article needs lots of refinements. Here’s how it starts:

Four months into the 2016 presidential campaign, Jeb Bush has all the money and none of the mojo.

Despite the financial juggernaut the former Florida governor has built — Bush said this week he had raised more than anyone else has at this point in a presidential campaign in history — he is failing to excite crowds, dominate polls or scare away competitors.

Bush comes in second or third in most polls, and when he has ranked first it hasn’t been by much. There is considerable enthusiasm for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as well as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who many had believed would forgo the race if Bush were to make a White House bid. Bush has doubled down on his positions on education and immigration that are unpopular with conservatives, and as each young Republican contender labels Hillary Clinton “old news,” it only makes Bush seem more stale.

Here’s how it closes:

If Bush can attract unconventional support, he could defy the expectations for an establishment front-runner. And though many Republicans are swooning for Rubio, the widespread hesitation over electing another young, handsome, history-making first-term senator who listens to rap music and has a beautiful family still makes Bush the safer bet.

Bush can win the nomination just by surviving. Just ask Romney.

That’s pretty pathetic thinking. Romney survived because his competition wasn’t competitive. Jeb’s competition isn’t just competitive. There’s a question lingering about how competitive Jeb is. There’s no question about whether Jeb’s got the fundraising network. There’s tons of doubt whether he can win over conservative voters.

One of the rare things that Vice President Biden got right was when he said that “a leader without any followers is just a guy out for a walk.” I wouldn’t say that Jeb doesn’t have any followers. I won’t hesitate, though, is saying that his support is tepid considering how much money he’s raised and his name recognition advantage. He should be blowing his competition out of the water. The fact that he isn’t speaks volumes.

I wrote this article back at the start of February. It’s as pertinent today as it was then:

It wasn’t good news for Jeb Bush, though. Gov. Bush is the top choice of just 9% of caucus-goers in Iowa. He’s the second choice of just 6% of caucus-goers, giving Gov. Bush just 15% combined.

Then there’s this:

The best +/- rating in the GOP field is Scott Walker’s +48, followed by Rand Paul’s +39, followed by Rick Perry’s, Mike Huckabee’s and Ben Carson’s +38. By comparison, Jeb Bush’s +/- rating is +3 (46% favorable, 43% unfavorable.).

Bush can’t win the nomination by surviving because Walker and Rubio aren’t trendy flavor-of-the-month types. They have legitimate staying power because they’re appealing candidates.

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I’m going through the videotape of the Mills vs. Nolan debate. When they debated the issue of pipelines, something stunning happened. It wasn’t surprising. It was that Rick Nolan exposed himself as totally trusting government. Here’s the exchange I’m talking about:

Here’s the key part of the back-and-forth:

NOLAN: When you’re talking about Keystone, the TEA Party Republicans brought a bill before the House of Representatives that exempted Keystone, a foreign corporation, from complying with the EPA, from complying with the Army Corps of Engineers permits for installation and maintenance, for having to post financial assurances for when those accidents inevitably occur. Would you have voted for a bill like that? No. I’m for the Keystone and for Sandpiper but I want it built right. We’ve proven that we have the technology and the know-how to do it right if we have the political will. But we can’t let foreign corporations come in here willy nilly and have their way with us…
MILLS: Well, I keep getting accused of being a TEA Partier but I’m not sure if that’s entirely accurate but, nonetheless, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers has been weaponized against projects such as Keystone and, you know what, after years and years of trying to get it done, if these agencies aren’t looking for how it can be done but trying every reason to get it stopped, you know what, it’s time to get the people to take control of their government from the bureaucracies and the various agencies so we can get projects like Keystone going…

This isn’t surprising but it’s stunning. Rick Nolan’s belief that bureaucracies, especially the EPA, are honest arbiters of all that’s virtuous is stunningly naïve. What justification is there for that other-worldly opinion? Sen. Ron Johnson, (R-WI), has a mini-series on YouTube titled Victims of Government. I’d love seeing Nolan explain how the EPA’s actions in this article aren’t utterly corrupt. Let’s hear him explain how private property owners aren’t getting victimized by the zealots running the EPA. Here’s a story where the EPA showed itself to be weaponized:

[Andy Johnson] and his wife built a small pond on their rural property using the stream flowing through it. They stocked the pond with trout so that their three small children could fish. The pond is an oasis for wildlife such as ducks and geese passing through.

It is precisely the sort of industriousness that reasonable people and zealous stewards of the environment applaud. But the EPA is made up of neither reasonable people nor zealous stewards of the environment.

They are crazed hypocrites greedy for unchecked power and hell-bent on destroying the passions that connect people to the nature surrounding them. Like the Food and Drug Administration in the movie “Dallas Buyers Club,” the EPA has become the face of absolute power in the hands of blind government bureaucrats.

That is why the faceless henchmen of the EPA have come after Mr. Johnson and his family, charging them with violating federal law and threatening to bankrupt them. These EPA thugs ordered the Johnsons to destroy the pond they built and threatened to fine them $75,000 a day for being in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Stewart Mills is exactly right when he talks about the EPA being an agency that’s looking for ways to stop Keystone and Sandpiper. This is proof that the EPA isn’t interested in common sense. It’s interested in destroying private property rights.

Earlier in that segment of the debate, Nolan talked about supporting the Sandpiper Pipeline project, with this caveat. He wanted the route changed just slightly. Mills said that that’s just a way to delay the project. That would give Nolan’s allies in the environmental movement another opportunity to sabotage the project with attrition litigation. It’s time for the Iron Range to realize that Rick Nolan doesn’t support the miners’ lifestyle. He’s only come out for Keystone once it became politically imperative to say yes to the miners.

Let’s remember that Nolan’s first proposal on PolyMet was to propose a mining institute somewhere on the Range:

Northeastern Minnesota would be home to a major new national research center dedicated to the advancement of minerals research, mining technology and the environment, and is expected to generate several thousand new jobs, under a plan announced today by Rick Nolan, the DFL-endorsed candidate for Eighth District Congress.

The proposal is strongly supported by former Eighth District U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resource Research Institute, NRRI, and the UMD Swenson College of Science and Engineering.

At a news conference in Duluth and with press interviews across the Iron Range, Nolan said he will immediately introduce legislation to establish the United States Technical Institute for Mining and the Environment (TIME) upon taking office in January 2013. The exact northeastern Minnesota location for the TIME Center will be selected from proposals developed by the state, municipal and county governments and their private sector partners.

Nolan’s support for the two biggest projects in northern Minnesota has been tepid at best, artificial at worst.

The Iron Range can’t afford Rick Nolan’s naïve belief that the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are honest arbiters of this nation’s environmental laws. He’s standing in the way of one important project after another. He’s the believer in sentences that are always 4 words too long. He’ll never say that he supports PolyMet. Period. It’s always that he supports PolyMet…if it’s done right. He’s never said that he supports the Sandpiper Pipeline project. It’s always that he supports Sandpiper…if it’s done right.

It’s time for the Iron Range to reject Rick Nolan. If they reject his caveated support of all things mining, they will have gotten things right.

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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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