Search
Archives
Categories

Archive for the ‘Mark Dayton’ Category

Monday, I wrote this post to highlight Gov. Dayton’s statement on the Baton Rouge assassinations. Gov. Dayton said “The terrible murder of three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge shocks the conscience of every decent-minded American. I renew my plea for all Minnesotans to engage only in peaceful and lawful ways to exercise their First Amendment rights. This is our opportunity to help lead the nation away from this wanton, mass violence and toward a reconciliation and healing.”

While it’s true that Gov. Dayton’s tone in this statement was conciliatory, let’s not forget that Gov. Dayton also accused a Hispanic police officer of racism by saying “Would this have happened if driver and the passenger have been white? I don’t think so.”

Don’t let Gov. Dayton’s latest public statements fool you. Gov. Dayton accused a Hispanic police officer of being a racist. In her speech to the NAACP Convention, Hillary Clinton said “Americans need to do a better job of listening when African-Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day. We need to recognize our privilege and practice humility rather than assume that our experiences are everyone’s experiences. We all need to try, as best we can, to walk in one another’s shoes, to imagine what it would be like to our son or daughter down and have the talk.”

Whether it’s Gov. Dayton accusing police officers of being racists or whether it’s Mrs. Clinton talking about white privilege, Democrats talk the language of victimization to minorities, especially African-Americans.

Gov. Dayton’s political allies at TakeAction Minnesota hinted that white people are racists in this letter:

Last week, we shared our reflections on the tragic death of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and countless other black people, as well as other people of color, at the hands of the police. We were amazed by the overwhelming amount of people like you who recognize this injustice and are ready to act.

You know more than anyone that the time to show up, to be in solidarity, to act for the movement of black lives is NOW. We must take action against the structural racism plaguing our state and entire country. A racism that shows up in our policing as systemic violence, in the public education system that fail students of color, and in every other facet of our communities.

Here are a couple immediate ways you can join the fight right away:

In the Twin Cities tomorrow? We’re joining the educators from the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change & other black leaders hitting the streets to demand justice for #PhilandoCastile and for Black lives across the country.

Can’t make the march, but still want to act? Sign this petition to call on St. Paul County Attorney Choi to turn over the investigation on the murder of Philando Castile into the hands of an independent special prosecutor.

Police violence and structural racism are literally costing the lives of people of color and ultimately, both of these forces impact all of us in varying ways, but they do and will take all of us to create change. As a white father, whose children are in the St. Paul Public Schools, the tragic death of Philando Castile is a terrifying reminder that the educators who care so much for my children are not safe themselves – and that’s unacceptable. We can’t stress this enough. That’s why we’ll be there tomorrow, and we want to see you.

It isn’t difficult to understand what’s happening. In public, Gov. Dayton and Mrs. Clinton sound like us. The minute they’re with their special interest friends, though, they start accusing people of being racists. Personally, I can’t trust someone who changes what they say depending on which audience they’re speaking to.

Mrs. Clinton’s divisiveness is off-putting and unattractive. Couple that with her lack of trustworthiness and you have a legitimate reason not to trust her with the keys to the Oval Office.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s difficult to take Gov. Dayton’s statements about law enforcement seriously these days. Hours after Philando Castile was shot and killed by a St. Anthony police officer and while the investigation was just getting started, Gov. Dayton threw white gas on the fire by saying he thought Castile wouldn’t have gotten shot if he’d been white.

Law enforcement officials across the nation and in the Twin Cities took Gov. Dayton to task for making such a reckless statement. They were justified in extracting the proverbial pound of political flesh from Gov. Dayton’s hide.

I can’t take Gov. Dayton’s statement about the Baton Rouge assassinations seriously after Gov. Dayton’s statements about Philando Castile. In his statement about Baton Rouge, Gov. Dayton said “The terrible murder of three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge shocks the conscience of every decent-minded American. I renew my plea for all Minnesotans to engage only in peaceful and lawful ways to exercise their First Amendment rights. This is our opportunity to help lead the nation away from this wanton, mass violence and toward a reconciliation and healing.”

Lt. Gov. Smith issued this statement:

I join all Minnesotans in mourning the tragic shooting deaths of two Baton Rouge police officers and an East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office deputy. Our prayers are with their families, friends, and communities. Law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge and across our country bravely serve to keep us safe with little consideration for their own well-being. This makes their murders particularly horrifying. We must stop this terrible violence.

Notice what’s missing from their statements. Notice that they didn’t criticize Black Lives Matter. Neither criticized Al Sharpton or President Obama for the outright lie that is “Hands up, don’t shoot.” That would require them to exhibit courage, something that neither has.

If we want healing, which is desperately needed, we need politicians who will call out race pimps like Sharpton and gutless civic ‘leaders’ like Marilyn Mosby and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Right now, the Democratic Party doesn’t have anyone that fits that description.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

ABM Executive Director Joey Davis just sent me an email that’s essentially pure propaganda. The email starts with “Funding our schools so our children have a great start in life. Closing corporate loopholes so small businesses have a level playing field. Making the economy work for all of us, not just the wealthy. These are the priorities that Democrats in the Minnesota legislature have focused on, while conservative Republicans continue to try and divide us and keep the deck stacked against working families.”

Nothing tells voters that the DFL wants to level the playing field for small businesses and working families than Gov. Dayton’s veto of a tax bill that would’ve provided substantial property tax relief for small businesses and farmers.

ABM and the DFL (pardon the repetition) want Minnesotans to forget that Gov. Dayton, like he’s done each year, vetoed popular legislation that had strong bipartisan support. This year, he vetoed the Tax Bill that garnered 178 out of a possible 200 votes in the House and Senate. Last year, Gov. Dayton vetoed most of the budget bills that passed. Those bills were the product of bipartisan negotiations between Sen. Bakk and Speaker Daudt.

Later in the email, we find this gem:

Republicans want us divided and focused on who we should be scared of, but we know that to build a better Minnesota we need to go a different way.

In 2015, Speaker Daudt met with Sen. Bakk and hammered out a solid bipartisan budget. It’s difficult to say that Republicans want Minnesotans divided when the top-ranking Republican in the state negotiates a solid bipartisan budget. Considering the fact that Gov. Dayton said that he couldn’t trust Sen. Bakk in 2015, it’s impossible to believe that Republicans are the dividers. It’s important to remember this:

Gov. Mark Dayton erupted in anger Thursday in a dispute with the DFL Senate leader over a weeks-long controversy surrounding pay raises the governor gave to his cabinet. “To have a majority leader of the Senate come in and stab me in the back and blindside me is absolutely unacceptable,” Dayton said.

Dayton’s ire came after Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk led the Senate in voting to suspend the salary increases for state commissioners. All but two members of the DFL-controlled Senate voted with Bakk in favor of the proposal. The friction between the Capitol’s two most powerful DFLers threatens to cast a cloud over the rest of the 2015 legislative session. The two have tussled before, but Dayton indicated Thursday that their relations now were beyond repair.

Dayton said Bakk, a former ally, has proved himself untrustworthy because he brought forth the salary smackdown without any warning. “I’m confronted with two hostile bodies of the Legislature, one with a leader I believe I can trust (Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt) and one I know I can’t trust,” Dayton said. “I certainly learned a brutal lesson today that I can’t trust (Bakk.) I can’t believe what he says to me and connives behind my back.”

ABM wants to paint the picture that they’re unified and that their agenda is popular. Last year’s fight between Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton indicates that ABM isn’t tethered to reality.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , ,

This weekend, I wrote that I was skeptical of reports that a special session would be called this August. After reading Don Davis’ article, I’m hoping that a special session only happens if Republicans stand steadfast against SWLRT.

In the article, Sen. Bakk thinks that, with regards to SWLRT, “there appear to be some alternatives available.” Here’s hoping that Speaker Daudt shoots that down immediately and harshly. Anything that gets SWLRT built is unacceptable. Any Bakk-favored alternative should be shown the door in as hostile a manner as possible.

LRT projects are a disaster. If communities want to build them, let them build them with their tax revenues. Then let them subsidize their operations with their property taxes or their sales taxes. Talk that the business community wants them isn’t justification for building SWLRT. If businesses think LRT is so fantastic, let them pay for building them.

The dirty little secret is that LRT isn’t worthwhile except if taxpayers build it and subsidize its operations. Even then, these projects benefit the few while hurting others. Ask the displaced businesses in St. Paul if they’re fans of LRT. Hint: when asking that question, wear a bullet-proof vest.

There is some good news in the negotiations:

Dayton said he is more optimistic than ever that there will be a special session. “Where there is a will, there is a way.” The governor said he gave up all spending he earlier wanted to come up in a special session other than work needed on sex offender facilities and at the state hospital in St. Peter.

That’s the benefit of steadfastly saying no to unreasonable spending demands. Give Speaker Daudt and Sen. Hann and their caucuses credit for that. It wouldn’t have been possible if members of their caucus had left their reservation.

That’s why Speaker Daudt needs to return to that position and why Sen. Hann needs to be given the title of majority leader. Conservatives would applaud them shutting down Gov. Dayton’s reckless spending demands. Minnesota’s economy would improve by not having the legislature and the governor pile tons of new regulation on small businesses, too.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

According to this article, Sen. Bakk, Speaker Daudt and Gov. Dayton are close to an agreement on a special session. I question the accuracy of that statement.

The article opens by saying “A special Minnesota legislative session to approve tax cuts, transportation projects and public works construction could happen in a month, but the governor and key legislators are not quite ready to promise that.” Notice the hint that all is not well? Saying that “the governor and key legislators are not quite ready to promise that” set off red flags with me. Several paragraphs later, my suspicions were vindicated.

The vindication came when the article said a “major unresolved issue continues to be whether to approve a light rail line from downtown Minneapolis to the southwestern suburbs.” That’s indisputable. That’s the line Republicans shouldn’t cross under any circumstances. It’s the Minnesota equivalent to the infamous Bridge to Nowhere.

Speaker Daudt needs to realize that he’s sitting in the power position. I’m betting that DFL candidates aren’t popular because Gov. Dayton vetoed a major tax cut bill. Bakk and Dayton aren’t striking a more conciliatory tone because they’re altruistic. They’re striking a more conciliatory tone because they aren’t getting the response they’d hoped for.

Speaker Daudt, Sen. Hann and all Republicans should stand steadfast against the SWLRT project. If metro DFL legislators object, fine. Republicans don’t need to flip urban seats to flip the Senate. They need to flip seats in rural Minnesota. That’s where the tax cut bill is popular. If DFL candidates and incumbents want to defend Gov. Dayton’s veto of the Tax Bill, Republicans should rejoice that the DFL is giving them that gift.

Further, I’d encourage Republican House and Senate candidates to highlight the fact that the DFL put broadband and SWLRT at the top of their priority list and that Republicans put gutting taxes on farmers, the middle class, the military and small businesses at the top of their priority list.

Let’s fight that fight on our side of the battlefield. Let’s see if the DFL is capable of fighting that fight. I’m betting they’ll lose that fight by a significant margin.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thanks to his attorney’s statements, Officer Jeronimo Yanez’s side of the story is getting out. Tom Kelly, Officer Yanez’s attorney, is getting word out that there’s much more to the story than what’s been told thus far, saying “The shooting had nothing to do with race and everything to do with the presence of that gun”, adding that Mr. Castile “was not following the directions of the police officer.”

This investigation is just getting started, meaning that they’re just starting to connect the dots. Still, it’s clear that a significant portion of the early reporting didn’t tell the whole truth. I suspect that we still aren’t getting everything but the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fit together a bit better.

One thing, though, that’s clear is that Gov. Dayton’s initial statements on the Philando Castile were ill-advised. That’s when he said “Would this have happened if those passengers would have been white? I don’t think it would have. I’m forced to confront — and I think all of us in Minnesota are forced to confront — this kind of racism exists, and that it’s incumbent upon all of us to vow that we’re going to do whatever we can to see that it doesn’t continue to happen.”

It was always known that Diamond Reynolds’ account wasn’t the final word. It was dramatic. It showed part of the story. It was never going to be the final word on what happened. It’s been known that Gov. Dayton’s statements would quickly proven as ill-advised.

Gov. Dayton should’ve waited. Had he done so, he might’ve learned this:

An audio clip purporting to capture the moments just before Castile was stopped by Yanez seems to indicate that the officer believed he and Reynolds ‘looked’ like suspects in a robbery.

“I’m going to stop a car, I’m going to check ID’s,” the officer can be heard saying in the recording, obtained by KARE 11. “I have reason to pull it over. The two occupants just look like people that were involved in a robbery.”

The officer then tells dispatch he believes the driver looks like one of the suspects because of his ‘wide set nose’. Less than two minutes later an officer screams that shots have been fired and that it’s a ‘code 3’. The license plate mentioned by police in the recording matches the plate of the car Castile was driving, and the location the officers give to dispatch matches where the traffic stop took place.

It is not yet clear what alleged robbery the officer in the recording was referring to.

In light of the fact that there is audio indicating that the stop was happening because the officer thought the car was used in a robbery, it isn’t difficult to think that Officer Yanez was worried for his safety. Couple that with the claim that Officer Yanez told Castile not to move. If it’s proven that Officer Yanez issued that command and that Castile didn’t obey Officer Yanez’s order, that’s a potentially explosive situation.

It’s time to consider the possibility that this tragedy wasn’t about racism but that it might’ve been about a potentially dangerous situation and a motorist who didn’t obey a police officer’s commands.

With tomorrow being Independence Day, it’s worthwhile to see which people care about our founding documents. The comments in this editorial indicate that the DFL either don’t understand the Constitution or they’re dismissive of it.

About 2 weeks ago, a district court ruled that the Next Generation Energy Act, aka the NGEA, violated the Interstate Commerce Clause of the US Constitution. Despite the unanimous ruling, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is appealing the ruling. In his statement, Gov. Dayton said “I will continue to do everything in my power to defend the State of Minnesota’s right to protect the quality of the air our citizens breathe.”

The thing is that telling other states what they can’t do is something that’s beyond Gov. Dayton’s authority. That principle escaped one commenter who said “Of course, these same people oppose any clean energy preferring the spewing of pollution into our environment…even to the point of ignoring how some of our waters are polluted. I don’t want lead in my water. I don’t want my health endangered by pollution.”

First, the statement is BS. Conservatives love nuclear power, which is exceptionally clean:

The low-carbon electricity produced by such reactors provides 20 percent of the nation’s power and, by the estimates of climate scientist James Hansen of Columbia University, avoided 64 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution. They also avoided spewing soot and other air pollution like coal-fired power plants do and thus have saved some 1.8 million lives.

And that’s why Hansen, among others, such as former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, thinks that nuclear power is a key energy technology to fend off catastrophic climate change. “We can’t burn all these fossil fuels,” Hansen told a group of reporters on December 3, noting that as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy source they will continue to be burned. “Coal is almost half the [global] emissions. If you replace these power plants with modern, safe nuclear reactors you could do a lot of [pollution reduction] quickly.”

Indeed, he has evidence: the speediest drop in greenhouse gas pollution on record occurred in France in the 1970s and ‘80s, when that country transitioned from burning fossil fuels to nuclear fission for electricity, lowering its greenhouse emissions by roughly 2 percent per year.

Another commenter who is an attorney said “Congress has no authority to determine whether any state attorney general abused their discretion.” In most cases, that’s true. When a state AG is dealing with an issue of state law that affects only their state, the federal government should keep its nose out of that state’s business. The minute that AG’s decision affects multiple states or the AG potentially violates part of the US Constitution, Congress certainly has oversight authority.

Technorati: , , , , , , , ,

Despite Gov. Dayton’s best efforts to play the part of Obstructionist-in-Chief, with a supporting cast of metro environmentalists and SWLRT activists, it appears as though a bipartisan compromise has been reached between Sen. Jeremy Miller, (R-Winona), and Sen. Roger Reinert, (DFL-Duluth).

The key part of their compromises comes when they say “While there are projects in the districts we represent that didn’t make the bonding bill legislative leaders agreed to in the final hours of regular session, we realize that in order to garner the three-fifths super majority needed in each chamber to pass a bonding bill, any additional projects will need to have a strong state-wide significance.”

Sen. Miller and Sen. Reinert then lay out their proposal, saying “First, in recognition of the University of Minnesota’s critical role in our designation as a top state for healthcare education, access, and outcomes, we support including the University of Minnesota Health Sciences Education Facility in a final bonding bill. Second, in order to avoid unnecessary additional costs to taxpayers that would occur if the Minnesota Security Hospital Upgrade is not fully funded this year, we also support including their full request in the bonding bill.”

Simply put, I think this paints Gov. Dayton into a tight corner. It’s apparent that there’s significant bipartisan opposition to Gov. Dayton’s demands for funding SWLRT. Here’s the senators’ letter:

When it comes to dishonest DFL politicians, Paul Thissen is in the conversation. Though he isn’t at the top of the list, he’s certainly part of the conversation. Yesterday, Rep. Thissen issued this statement. To be fair to Rep. Thissen, there were fragments of truth in his statement.

For instance, Rep. Thissen was sort of right in saying “Republicans have refused to provide any compromise offers to get needed tax, bonding and budget bills passed in a special session.” I say sort of right because they’re sticking with the House bill, which included lots of DFL priorities in it. I wrote this article to highlight the amount of compromise included in the House bonding/transportation bill. I included a lengthy quote from Sen. David Hann in the article. He was clearly and justifiably upset with Gov. Dayton’s refusal to drop any of his demands. Here’s what Sen. Hann said:

I would just reiterate that the bills that we had on the last day of session were compromise bills. Go back again. Look at the tape. Look at Sen. Stumpf talking about the bonding/transportation bill. He called it a “true compromise between Republicans and Democrats.” The Speaker has pointed out that half of that bill, more than half of it, had the Governor’s priorities in it. And now we’re supposedly at a point where all of those compromises are off the table and we’ve got another $243,000,000 of additional spending that we are being asked to do without any backing away from that number — an additional couple hundred million in bonding.

And all of this is kind of in complete denial of all of the compromise work that had gone on this entire last session. This is what I find so remarkable. I think it is a setback. Why, after a whole session and actually going back to the session before of talking about some of these issues, to now have a bill get killed at the last minute with a request for a light rail project that no one had ever seen a hearing on and now, that becomes a must have and they say we have to start over and renegotiate everything, I think it is a setback.

Rep. Thissen, why should Republicans offer additional compromises when Gov. Dayton refuses to move a square centimeter from his post-session positions? Rep. Thissen apparently thinks that Republicans should always compromise and that DFL politicians don’t ever have to compromise.

Later in his statement, Rep. Thissen said “If House Republicans were serious about doing the job they were elected to do, they wouldn’t be bringing controversial new policy into the discussion at this stage.” That’s rich. The only reason we’re in this position is because a handful of DFL senators amended the House bonding/transportation bill with less than 10 minutes left in the session to include a provision for funding for the Southwest Light Rail project. That provision was controversial. It wasn’t discussed in any House or Senate committee hearings. As Sen. Hann points out, “now it becomes a must have and we have to start over and renegotiate everything.”

It’s time Speaker Daudt and Sen. Hann turned up the heat on Gov. Dayton for killing the Tax Bill, then refusing the legislature to fix it. Gov. Dayton said he wouldn’t hold the Tax Bill hostage. I guess he meant he wouldn’t hold it hostage until he started using it as leverage in negotiations. Here’s why that’s important.

Gov. Dayton wants to increase the size of the bonding bill by more than 40% over the House bonding/transportation bill. Further, he wants $243,000,000 worth of additional spending for the Twin Cities added to a new supplemental appropriations bill after signing a major supplemental appropriations bill a month ago.

In other words, Gov. Dayton is insisting on getting everything he’s wanted from the start of the regular session. Republicans need to expose him for the autocrat that he is. Similarly, they need to expose the DFL as the party who hasn’t negotiated in good faith and that aren’t interested in doing what’s right for Minnesotans. Here’s Rep. Thissen’s statement:

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In a PR stunt, Gov. Dayton announced that he’s appealing the ruling shooting down the Next Generation Energy Act, aka the NGEA. It’s a PR stunt because Gov. Dayton said “it’s a matter of protecting air quality.” The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees, saying that “Minnesota would need Congressional approval to enforce that section of the 2007 law.”

Gov. Dayton is standing on shaky constitutional ground. He’s argued that the NGEA “doesn’t illegally restrict new coal-powered plants but merely requires that they be offset by reductions at existing plants.” That’s irrelevant. The Interstate Commerce Clause, found in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the US Constitution states “The Congress shall have Power To … To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”

Think of the insanity if this wasn’t the case. If the ICC didn’t exist, North Dakota could pass a law that requires all electricity sold into North Dakota had to be from nuclear power plants. Without the ICC, Minnesota would face a choice of not selling electricity into North Dakota or to generate that electricity at nuclear power plants.

Such laws would demolish state sovereignty. That’s intolerable.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision last week that barred Minnesota from enforcing key sections of the Next Generation Energy Act. The court sided with North Dakota utilities and other interests that argued [the NGEA] illegally regulates out-of-state utilities.

As usual, Rep. Pat Garofalo nails it with this statement:

This is an election year stunt aimed at improving turnout with environmental activists. It’s Gov. Dayton’s signal that he’s with them. Sadly, Gov. Dayton didn’t swear an oath to be with them. The oath he took said that he’d uphold the Minnesota Constitution and the US Constitution. As usual, he’s got his priorities all mixed up.