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Earlier today, Gov. Dayton accused the GOP legislative leadership of lying about how much money they had in reserves. He even had the audacity of publishing a statement essentially accusing Republicans of negotiating in bad faith. (This coming from the politician who promised to sign a $1,000,000,000 tax relief bill in 2016. How rich.)

Part of Gov. Dayton’s statement said “I have said repeatedly that my reason for exercising my Constitutional line-item veto of some of the Legislature’s biennial appropriation was to require them to revise their 2017 tax bill, which I believe will seriously jeopardize Minnesota government’s future financial stability. Republican legislative leaders have said repeatedly that the reason for their lawsuit was to provide them with sufficient funds to operate in this biennium.”

Why didn’t the Twin Cities media ask Gov. Dayton why he negotiated (then subsequently agreed to) the Tax Bill? Certainly, he agreed to the Tax Bill because he called the special session. Why would he call a special session if he didn’t major provisions in the bill? Is it because he’s just stupid? Or is it because he decided that he wasn’t going to honor his promise? Here’s Gov. Dayton’s full statement:

One of the eye-popping paragraphs in Gov. Dayton’s mediation statement said this:

I was not surprised by the intransigence of Republican legislative leaders during this attempted mediation. But the reason for their intransigence was a surprise. They have now revealed that they already have more than enough money to operate both the House and the Senate at their projected levels of spending, until they reconvene in Session next February.

WCCO-TV said this about that statement:

Currently, there’s no agreement in sight, and the Legislature is set to run out of money beginning Oct. 1. As it stands, the Legislature has enough money in reserve to continue operations until Dec. 1. After that, the jobs of hundreds of staffers are in jeopardy.

As much as Gov. Dayton wants to distort what’s happening, the Courts have the full and truthful figures. As for Gov. Dayton, there’s little reason to trust him. He’s already reneged on his negotiated tax bill deal. He’s frequently played with people’s livelihoods, especially if they live on the range or are blue collar workers. Trusting him is foolish because he’s gone back on his word too often. Here’s the full text of Gov. Dayton’s statement:

I thank our Mediator, former Judge Rick Solum, for his concerted efforts over the past two days to help the Legislature and our Administration negotiate a settlement of the issues that have divided us. For the past four months, I have advocated for just such a negotiated agreement.

I have said repeatedly that my reason for exercising my Constitutional line-item veto of some of the Legislature’s biennial appropriation was to require them to revise their 2017 tax bill, which I believe will seriously jeopardize Minnesota government’s future financial stability. Republican legislative leaders have said repeatedly that the reason for their lawsuit was to provide them with sufficient funds to operate in this biennium.

I was not surprised by the intransigence of Republican legislative leaders during this attempted mediation. But the reason for their intransigence was a surprise. They have now revealed that they already have more than enough money to operate both the House and the Senate at their projected levels of spending, until they reconvene in Session next February.

Their cash surplus contradicts the high drama they have been manufacturing during the past four months. Just today one of their members asserted, ‘…the governor used his line-item veto power to eliminate funding for the Legislature, effectively abolishing the legislative branch.’

Their current cash position also contradicts the assertions made in their filing with the Minnesota Supreme Court this past week. It stated, ‘Assuming the House and Senate spend as anticipated through October 1, 2017, and only begin using their carryforward funds thereafter, the anticipated date carryforward funds will be exhausted is as follows:  House: After payment of payroll on February 1, 2018.  Senate: After payment of payroll on December 1, 2017.’

However, this statement fails to disclose what the Republican legislative leaders have known – or should have known – for some time. In addition to their carry-forward funds, they have stated they will use the Legislative Coordinating Commission’s biennial carry-forward monies of over $3.6 million and appropriation of over $35 million to completely fund their expected operating expenses until they return to Session next year. They admit their Legislative Counsel has advised them that they can do so.

Republican leaders have claimed repeatedly that they had to file their lawsuit and cost taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars in legal fees, to prevent the Legislature from being ‘abolished’ by my vetoes depriving them of operating funds. Now, after the Court forced their financial disclosure, we learn their claim is untrue.

They owe the Minnesota Supreme Court and the people of Minnesota an honest explanation of why they have dragged all of us into their costly theatrics over the past four months.

First, Gov. Dayton’s statement is a distraction from what’s most important about this lawsuit. No governor should have the authority to defund another branch of government. Period. That path is fraught with perils, none of which are anything but disastrous. The thought that Gov. Dayton, or other governors in the future, would have the court-sanctioned ability to punish the judicial or legislative branches for not doing as he wishes is frightening.

Gov. Dayton’s term in office can’t end quickly enough.

To: Minnesota Supreme Court
From: Gary Gross, President, Uppity Peasants Brigade
Subject: Do your damned jobs, aka Gov. Dayton’s line-item veto

Several weeks ago, you had the opportunity to settle a pretty straightforward case. You blew it by stating the obvious without doing anything. This can’t continue. At issue were 2 constitutional provisions. First was the line-item veto. The other was whether Minnesotans had the constitutional right to 3 fully-functioning branches of government.

Since nobody disputed whether the line-item veto was part of Minnesota’s constitution, the only question was whether there were limits on its usage. Gov. Dayton’s attorney insisted that there weren’t any limitations on how or when he could use it. He was paid to say that. I’d question whether he believed that. It appears as though you don’t think that a governor has the right to use the line-item veto. The problem is that you didn’t state that emphatically. Instead, you punted, hoping that the political branches would work things out.

They won’t and they shouldn’t. It’s your job to determine constitutional questions. That isn’t a political question. It has political ramifications but it isn’t a political question.

The other issue you had to determine was whether the people of the state of Minnesota had the constitutional right to 3 fully-functioning branches of government. You said in your ruling that they have that constitutional right. You also said that Gov. Dayton didn’t have the right to use a constitutional tool to obtain “an unconstitutional result”, presumably referring to the shutting down the legislative branch.

This is where you blew it. It’s like a math question. It’s like the teacher asked you what 2+2 is. It’s like you replied 2+2 equals insufficient information to give an answer. It’s clear that you’d rather invite a colony of ants to your picnic than resolve this straightforward case. That’s tough. You accepted the job. Now it’s time to fulfill your responsibility.

When the Legislature and Gov. Dayton don’t resolve this issue, it’s time for you to decide this lawsuit in the only logical manner possible. Rule that governors can’t disable other branches government with their line-item veto authority.

Finally, in your ruling, you questioned whether the judicial branch had the authority to appropriate money. That isn’t relevant. It isn’t important to decide that question because Gov. Dayton signed the bill that appropriated money to operate the legislature. By ruling that Gov. Dayton couldn’t use his line-item veto to disable another branch of government, you could then legitimately rule that the entire bill appropriated the money to run the legislature. You’d solve 2 constitutional questions with 1 ruling plus you’d fund the legislature.

If you don’t get this right, understand that I will lead a campaign to defeat each of you cowards the next time you’re up for re-election. That’s a threat you can take seriously.

In the first 4 parts of this series (found here, here, here and here), I focused on different facets of the inadequacies of the Dayton-Rothman Commerce Department. I categorized each of the shortcomings and culprits. Most importantly, I identified the opportunities that the Dayton-Rothman Commerce Department missed and why.

This article will pull everything together so we can put together a less hostile, more business-friendly set of policies that doesn’t sacrifice the environment. First, we’ll need to streamline the regulatory review process so hostile environmental activists don’t have multiple opportunities to throttle key infrastructure projects. Whether we’re talking about killing the Sandpiper Pipeline project, the constant attempts by the Sierra Club, Conservation Minnesota and Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness to kill both the Twin Metals and the PolyMet projects or the Public Utilities Commission and the Dayton-Rothman Commerce Department, it’s clear that the DFL is openly hostile to major infrastructure projects.

It’s long past time to get the PUC out of the public safety/transportation business. Similarly, it’s time to get the Commerce Department out of the environmental regulatory industry. Public safety and transportation belong in MnDOT’s purview, not the PUC’s. Environmental regulations need to be significantly streamlined, then shipped over to the DNR. There should be a period for fact-finding and public comment. There should be the submitting and approval/disapproval of an Environmental Impact Statement and the submitting and approval/disapproval of an Economic Impact Statement.

Further, laws should be changed so that there’s no longer a requirement to submit an application for a “certificate of need.” In effect, that’s a bureaucratic regulatory veto of major infrastructure projects. That isn’t acceptable. There should be a time limit placed on the bureaucrats, too. They should have to accept or reject applications within a reasonable period of time. That’s because regulators have sometimes used delaying tactics to throttle projects without leaving a paper trail. It’s also been used to deny companies the right to appeal rulings. (If there isn’t a ruling, there isn’t an appeal.)

Third, streamlining the review process limits the opportunities for environmental activists to kill projects like those mentioned above. There’s a reason why it’s called the Commerce Department, not the Department of Endless Delays and Excessive Costs, which is what it’s become. Eliminating the PUC’s oversight responsibilities, especially in terms of approving certificates of need, will eliminate the impact that environmental activists serving on that Board can have in killing or at least delaying major infrastructure projects.

Fourth, it’s important that we bring clarity and consistency to this state’s regulatory regime. The system Minnesota has now breeds uncertainty. That steals jobs from Minnesota because companies attempt to avoid Minnesota entirely whenever possible. While we want to preserve our lakes, rivers and streams, we want to preserve our middle class, too. The environment shouldn’t be put on a pedestal while communities die thanks to a dying middle class.

I’ve seen too often how once-proud parts of Minnesota that have a heavy regulatory burden have seen their middle class essentially disappear. Cities like Virginia and Eveleth come to mind. It’s immoral to give a Twin Cities agency the authority to kill Iron Range communities. That’s literally what’s happening right now.

For the last 7 years, Gov. Dayton has run an administration that’s of, by and for the environmental activist wing of the DFL. If you work in a construction union, you haven’t had a great run. That isn’t right. People who work hard and play by the rules should be able to put a roof over their family’s head, set money aside for their kids’ college education and save for their retirement. For far too many people, that hasn’t happened recently.

The next Republican governor should implement these changes ASAP. It’s time to destroy the Dayton ‘Hostile to business’ sign and replace it with an ‘Open for business’ sign. It’s time to get Minnesota government working for everyone once again.

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For years, the DFL has put together a regulatory scheme that hinders industry in the name of environmental safety. Each year, it’s more apparent that environmentalists control these regulatory agencies. This article illustrates the point.

According to the article, “Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership has applied for a certificate of need and a route permit from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to construct and operate the proposed Line 3 pipeline replacement project. At the direction of the Public Utilities Commission, the Minnesota Commerce Department is preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. ‘The proposed Line 3 project presents significant issues,’ state Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said in a news release. ‘Additional time allows the department to prepare a thorough draft environmental impact statement that provides effective, meaningful public review and comment. The Public Utilities Commission has an important decision to make for Minnesota, and the Commerce Department is committed to providing the best information possible for them to use in the decision-making process.’ Rothman said the time will be used for consultation with tribal governments, additional information gathering, coordination with stakeholders and technical analysis and review.”

It’s important to remember that this isn’t a new pipeline. It’s replacing an existing pipeline that’s been in place for almost half a century. The PUC and Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department know this. Consultation “with tribal governments shouldn’t take much time since this pipeline project is replacing an existing project. Simply put, Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department is intentionally dragging their feet on this project. This PUC document is infuriating.

In the opening paragraph of the document, it says “Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership has applied to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for a certificate of need and a pipeline routing permit for its Line 3 Pipeline Replacement Project.” The government shouldn’t be in the business of telling the private sector what’s needed and what isn’t. Determining what’s needed is a subjective process. What’s worse is that it’s especially subject to the lobbying efforts of the environmental activists.

What the PUC, the Commerce Department and the environmental activists haven’t talked about is the fact that transporting oil by pipeline is significantly safer than transporting it by oil train or semis. Why haven’t the PUC, Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department or the environmentalists talked about public safety? The Minnesota Environmental Partnership spent lots of time trying to convince people that the pipeline wasn’t needed. That isn’t their call to make.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL have stressed the importance of public input. What Gov. Dayton and the DFL haven’t proposed is a balance between giving people time to comment and the importance of ruling on the merits of the project. It’s fair to give people time to comment. It’s also imperative to not force companies to wait endlessly for final approval. Dragging out the permitting process is the ultimate proof that Gov. Dayton and the DFL are openly hostile towards construction unions and fossil fuels.

It isn’t like the DFL is hiding their contempt for these companies or for construction unions. It’s there for the world to see.

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It isn’t just Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department that’s anti-commerce. Apparently, Gov. Dayton is anti-commerce, too. This statement from Rep. Deb Kiel and Rep. Dan Fabian provides documented proof that Gov. Dayton is anti-commerce. In their statement, Kiel and Fabian mention that “Governor Dayton and the PUC need to allow the Line 3 Replacement project to move forward and stop drawing out the regulatory permitting process. This important project will have a positive impact on our economy here in Northwest Minnesota, including the creation of more good-paying jobs and tax revenue for our communities.”

If Gov. Dayton was pro-commerce, the permitting process would have gotten finished by now. In a letter signed by 45 representatives, it states “There is simply no disputing the fact the L3R will improve safety and environmental protection by replacing the current aging pipeline infrastructure. Delay would not offer any environmental benefit. Instead, it would do the opposite by keeping crude oil in aging pipeline infrastructure that has been identified as in need of replacement for integrity reasons. Economic security and environmental safety should not be held hostage by a proxy war against petroleum us, which is not directly relevant to this project. L3R in no way hinders the use or development of alternative fuels. It simply facilitates the safe transportation of the petroleum our economy currently needs.”

Here’s page 1 of the letter:

Page 2:

Page 3:

It’s obvious that the Minnesota Department of Commerce is run by environmental activists who don’t have rural Minnesotans’ best interests at heart. This project, like the Sandpiper Pipeline would have provided a major economic boost. Instead, environmental activists destroyed the Sandpiper Pipeline project. That company opted instead to transport that oil through the Dakota Access Pipeline, aka DAPL. Minnesotans lost out on all those jobs because the DFL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Twin Cities environmental activists.

Rather than growing Minnesota’s economy, Gov. Dayton and the DFL opted to raise tax rates. Gov. Dayton and the DFL could’ve opted for letting Minnesota’s economy grow. Instead, Gov. Dayton and the DFL let it idle. It isn’t that Minnesota’s economy is tanking. It’s that Gov. Dayton and the DFL are satisfied even though Minnesota’s economy could help fuel a robust US economic recovery.

Thanks to environmental activist special interests, our economy isn’t operating at peak efficiency. Mediocre economic growth is Gov. Dayton’s true legacy. He isn’t the great leader that the Twin Cities media have portrayed him to be.

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When the Minnesota Department of Commerce testified that Enbridge hadn’t shown a need for replacing their Line 3 Pipeline, people scratched their heads. That project is a $7,500,000,000 infrastructure project. It’s difficult to picture a pro-commerce Commerce Department rejecting that type of project. There’s an old saying that I learned during the Watergate investigation. It’s called ‘follow the money’.

According to Mike Rothman’s official bio, “Rothman’s top priorities include consumer protection, a clean energy future, and strong financial and energy sectors for Minnesota’s economy.” In an interview with the Clean Energy Resource Team, Rothman made clear that he wasn’t a disinterested bystander in terms of the government financing clean energy projects. CERT started the interview by asking Rothman “Have the tax credits been important for getting Minnesota to where we are today with wind and solar?” Commissioner Rothman replied “From the vantage point of the Commerce Department, we believe these tax credits have really been central pillars supporting wind and solar development in our state. The ITC enabled solar manufacturers to produce at scale and dramatically cut the costs of modules and other components. It also encouraged a growing base of Minnesota solar installation companies to invest in training and certification while expanding their businesses and creating new jobs.”

In other words, without crony capitalism, wind and solar wouldn’t offer competitive prices. The question I’d ask Commissioner Rothman is whether his prioritizing clean energy had anything to do with his department’s heavy-handed testimony against Enbridge. It isn’t a stretch to think that a person that supports tax credits for wind and solar certainly might support eliminating fossil fuels, too.

This is part of the Commerce Department’s website:

Solar Industry Resources

The state of Minnesota is interested in helping Minnesota-based solar businesses expand and attracting new solar businesses to the state.

From solar manufacturers and system developers and installers to the agencies that help finance solar projects, the Minnesota Department of Commerce is here to help build a strong clean energy economy. The solar industry is booming in Minnesota, and it is positioned for continued growth. With solar policies such as the solar electricity standard and programs like the $15 million a year Made in Minnesota Solar incentive Program, Minnesota is committed to the solar industry.

Based on the Commerce Department’s pro-clean energy statements and their hostility towards fossil fuels, I think it’s entirely reasonable to think that Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department isn’t a neutral arbiter in this fight.

In Part I of this series, I quoted Kate O’Connell, manager of the Energy Regulation and Planning Unit of the Department of Commerce, as saying “In light of the serious risks and effects on the natural and socioeconomic environments of the existing Line 3 and the limited benefit that the existing Line 3 provides to Minnesota refineries, it is reasonable to conclude that Minnesota would be better off if Enbridge proposed to cease operations of the existing Line 3, without any new pipeline being built,’ the agency wrote in testimony submitted to the Public Utilities Commission on Monday, Sept. 11.”

It isn’t a stretch to think that environmental activists had a special place in Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department. The Department’s testimony to the PUC was tilted. The Commerce Department’s personnel indicate a strong pro-clean energy preference. Thanks to the Commerce Department’s anti-pipeline bias, Minnesota is missing out on a major infrastructure project.

Shouldn’t we insist that these types of infrastructure projects get a higher priority? This project would’ve created thousands of jobs. The negative economic impact this rejection will have is disgusting. Stop back Tuesday for more on that aspect of the pipeline.

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If people needed a better example of how hostile the Dayton administration is to robust economic growth, they needn’t look further than Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department. When Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department testified that the Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline wasn’t needed, they testified that they were anti-commerce. When the Commerce Department testified to that, the DFL quietly applauded. They knew that it essentially killed approval of that pipeline’s replacement at least through the end of Gov. Dayton’s administration.

Listen to the certainty of the Commerce Department statement. They said “‘In light of the serious risks and effects on the natural and socioeconomic environments of the existing Line 3 and the limited benefit that the existing Line 3 provides to Minnesota refineries, it is reasonable to conclude that Minnesota would be better off if Enbridge proposed to cease operations of the existing Line 3, without any new pipeline being built,’ the agency wrote in testimony submitted to the Public Utilities Commission on Monday, Sept. 11.”

In the next paragraph of the article, it states “The testimony, written by Kate O’Connell, manager of the Energy Regulation and Planning Unit of the Department of Commerce, comes ahead of evidentiary hearings on the oil pipeline replacement that will see the project debated in a trial-like setting in November. A new round of public hearings across the state will kick off at the end of the month.”

It’s time to ask a foundational question. Shouldn’t Minnesotans to expect the state government’s Commerce Department to be pro-commerce? There’s no question that the Dayton/DFL Commerce Department isn’t pro-commerce. Ms. O’Connell’s testimony settled that matter.

Here’s another foundational question Minnesotans should ask: who should have the final say on multi-billion dollar projects? Why should the Public Utilities Commission and the Commerce Department have the final say on whether projects should be approved? Further, what makes the Commerce Department and the PUC experts on things like public safety and transportation?

Those are the only things that government should be involved in. When Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department testified that there wasn’t a need, they didn’t testify as to whether their testimony hurt public safety. It does from the standpoint of forcing more oil onto oil trains. More oil on more oil trains is already causing cities through which these railroad tracks run to come up with evacuation plans. That costs each of those cities tons of money in their annual operating budget. That, in turn, leads to higher property or sales taxes.

This is a multi-part series. This is a subject that’s too important not to examine in depth.

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Saying that MEP, aka Minnesota Environmental Partnership, is dishonest and biased when it comes to fossil fuels is understatement. In their statement about the Dayton Department of Commerce testimony to the Public Utilities Commission, Steve Morse, MEP’s Executive Director, admitted that MEP hates fossil fuels.

He admitted it when he said “The age of growth in fossil fuel demand is over. We don’t need increased fossil fuel capacity. Instead, We need to get about the business of abandoning and cleaning up the existing Line 3.” That’s a pretty stunning statement, especially considering the fact that natural gas will be needed for at least three-fourths of this century to replace coal-fired power plants for baseline energy generation.

In MEP’s official statement, Morse also said “We commend the Department of Commerce for taking a hard look at the data and carefully considering the criteria that are in law for this type of project. The Department found that this pipeline is not needed for Minnesota, that it does not benefit Minnesota, and is not good for Minnesota.”

That’s a narrow-minded view of things. First, legislators from northwest Minnesota have criticized the Minnesota Department of Commerce for their narrow-minded perspective:

“Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration is ‘siding with environmental extremism instead of common sense.’ ‘Shutting down this pipeline will have a substantial impact on rural Minnesota’, Fabian said in the statement. ‘Our local counties, school districts and townships will lose critical property tax revenue, and what’s more, jobs will be affected and there will be fewer workers patronizing local businesses like our grocery stores and motels. Plain and simple, bureaucrats in St. Paul are advancing policies that hurt Greater Minnesota.’”

Friday night on Almanac, Steve Morse debated Cam Winton on the merits of the pipeline. The arguments made by Steve Morse weren’t totally without merit. They weren’t the least bit persuasive, either. I’ve been watching environmentalists for 40+ years. In that time, their statistics and ‘facts’ have been consistently inaccurate. The notion that we’re starting to use less fossil fuels is preposterous. Yes, we’re driving more fuel efficient cars. Yes, car manufacturers are manufacturing more hybrids. No, society isn’t reducing the amount of gasoline we’re using. Watch the video of the interview, which starts approximately 5 minutes in:

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Rep. Dan Fabian and Sen. Mark Johnson didn’t mince words in their criticism of Gov. Dayton on his administration’s ruling that the pipeline isn’t needed.

In the opening paragraph of the article, it says the “Department of Commerce’s recent analysis that an Enbridge pipeline project is unnecessary defies common sense, northwest Minnesota legislators said this week.” Then it gets into specifics, saying “Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration is ‘siding with environmental extremism instead of common sense.’ ‘Shutting down this pipeline will have a substantial impact on rural Minnesota’, Fabian said in the statement. ‘Our local counties, school districts and townships will lose critical property tax revenue, and what’s more, jobs will be affected and there will be fewer workers patronizing local businesses like our grocery stores and motels. Plain and simple, bureaucrats in St. Paul are advancing policies that hurt Greater Minnesota.'”

That’s the heart of the matter. The DFL is ruled by environmental extremists who want to totally eliminate the use of fossil fuels. I know that sounds paranoid but it’s based on what the Sierra Club has said publicly. The Sierra Club is even opposed to natural gas:

If drillers can’t extract natural gas without destroying landscapes and endangering the health of families, then we should not drill for natural gas.

There isn’t much difference between the Dayton administration saying that we don’t need pipelines because our need for oil “isn’t likely to increase over the long-term” and the Sierra Club insisting that natural gas isn’t clean. Neither statement is credible.

The Sierra Club’s hands aren’t clean, either:

Then there’s this:

“I am frustrated the Dayton administration and Department of Commerce are once again dragging their feet on this project and throwing roadblock after roadblock in the way of this critical pipeline replacement,” Johnson said in the statement. “It seems they are more interested in working for special interests instead of supporting citizens, industry and good-paying jobs.”

In late August, Johnson, Fabian, Rep. Deb Kiel, R-Crookston, and 50 other state legislators signed a letter of support for the project. “The Department of Commerce’s recommendation to shut down and not replace Enbridge Line 3 is another example of policymakers in St. Paul ignoring common sense and the priorities of Greater Minnesota,” Kiel said in a statement Thursday. “It’s time the Dayton Administration put the people of Minnesota first instead of special interests.”

If the DFL wants to know why they lost the rural vote and is losing ground on the labor vote, this article explains it pretty well. You can’t be pro-laborer while opposing the projects that employ those unionists. The DFL has done a masterful job — if their goal was to alienate construction unions.

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This isn’t exactly shocking but Gov. Dayton is promising that his administration won’t put together a package that would attract Amazon to Minnesota.

The article says “Gov. Mark Dayton says any attempt to use state tax dollars to convince Amazon to build a $5 billion headquarters in Minnesota would be “restrained” because of the importance of homegrown competitors Best Buy and Target. Dayton says he called the CEOs at Target and Best Buy last week to reassure them of their companies’ importance to Minnesota. The Star Tribune says the DFL governor says both companies have expressed concern about using tax dollars to lure a competitor to Minnesota. Dayton has asked the Department of Employment and Economic Development to put together a proposal for Amazon.”

In other words, Minnesota likely wasn’t in the running for attracting Amazon so the Dayton administration decided to not put an attractive offer together. Let’s be blunt about something. Yes, Minnesota has a well-trained workforce. So do lots of other states. There was a time when that set Minnesota apart. As often happens, other states studied Minnesota’s blueprint and copied it. Later, they coupled their well-trained workforce with lower taxes and more sensible regulations.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL have used that same playbook literally for decades. They haven’t figured it out that other states have put together better blueprints.