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After reading this article, the first thing I thought was ‘can we get that in writing’? Specifically, I’m referring to this statement, which reads “About 20 rail transit projects in development across the country are in a queue for Federal Transit Administration grants through the agency’s New Starts program, and a delay in securing local funding commitments could cause SWLRT to lose its place in line, the Met Council has repeatedly warned.”

Starting from scratch on SWLRT would be a dream come true. It’s a project whose time will never come, at least not in Minnesota. What can SWLRT do that multiple bus lines can’t do better? Bus lines can adapt to changing transportation needs. Bus lines aren’t expensive, either. Installing new bus lines wouldn’t require settling ongoing litigation that SWLRT is tied up with, either. Then there’s the overall cost of SWLRT, which is orders of magnitude more expensive than buses.

Why does the DFL think this project is such a high priority? Is it because it’ll improve the lives of the masses? Not likely. Is it because it’ll play well with the special interests and big government types? BINGO! We’ve got a winner.

The statement noted about 45 staffers would be laid-off if the project office shut down. The project office runs out of cash to continue operations Sept. 30, and the cost of delays beyond that date is estimated at $1 million per week.

If the project is scrapped, I don’t care if costs pile up. The government shouldn’t have made such a foolish decision. Further, I don’t care if companies lose money because they trusted crooked politicians. That’s their fault. Let them pay the price for their decision-making. Nobody put a gun to their head and said ‘build the SWLRT.’

Capitalism isn’t about guaranteeing profits. Capitalism is about guaranteeing opportunities to make profits. Guaranteeing profits has a different name — public-private partnerships, aka socialism, aka crony capitalism.

This op-ed, co-written by Sen. Gary Dahms and Sen. Bill Weber, should be published throughout Minnesota. It should be published throughout Minnesota because it exposes the DFL’s plan for victory this November.

This isn’t surprising. The DFL is led by Gov. Dayton, who frequently acts like a spoiled rich brat, and Rep. Thissen, who consistently acts like the world stops a mile beyond the Twin Cities city limits. For instance, every rural voter should know that “when the DFL majority presented their first bonding and cash bill in the State Senate in early May with a combined expenditure of $1.8 billion, not a single dollar was included for light rail — yet every DFL Senator voted for the bill” and that “they add a light rail amendment to the compromise bonding bill just before deadline. Every DFL senator voted for that and now don’t want a bonding bill without it, effectively derailing the whole bonding bill.”

What’s clear is that the DFL isn’t interested in governing. It’s clear that the DFL prefers the campaign talking point over doing what’s right for Minnesotans. How can you vote for a $1.8 billion bonding bill that doesn’t mention SWLRT, then insist that they won’t agree to a special session because funding SWLRT is a high priority — which they forgot about in a bill almost twice the size of the bonding bill they sabotaged. And, yes, sabotaged is the right word, especially in light of this information:

With lawsuits still going on over routing of Southwest Light Rail etc., there was no immediate rush to fund this. The feds have indicated they want the lawsuits settled before funding is committed.

In other words, Gov. Stomp-His-Feet-And-Hold-His-Breath sabotaged the bonding bill and the Tax Relief Bill over a provision that was, at best, an afterthought to the DFL in their bonding bill.

This is good advice:

We ask all voters in Greater Minnesota to keep this in mind in the 2016 elections.

I’ll go a step further. All voters should ask themselves if they want to turn power over to a bunch of morally bankrupt politicians whose allegiances are to an endless parade of special interest organizations and to the goal of doing whatever it takes to regain the levers of power. If that doesn’t sound like a bunch of trustworthy politicians, it’s because they aren’t trustworthy politicians.

It’s time to vote for politicians that will do what’s best for your families, not do what the special interests tell them to do. If you aspire to voting for citizen representatives who care what’s best for you, then you can’t vote DFL this cycle. This cycle, the DFL are nothing but dishonest politicians who have an ideological agenda that’s counterproductive to what Minnesotans want.

It’s time people understood just how many jobs anti-development environmentalists kill each year. It’s time people understood, too, the impact excessive regulations have on Minnesota’s state budget. This article helps illustrate the negative and devastating impact overregulation has on economic growth.

This paragraph lays things out perfectly, saying “Enbridge has been trying to build this petroleum pipeline from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to its regional terminal in Superior, Wis. The project is common sense. The oil from the Bakken needs to be moved to market. Building Sandpiper would create thousands of well-paying middle-class construction jobs, bring millions of dollars in much-needed business to rural communities and add millions of tax dollars to rural governments. There is also no disagreement that moving the oil in a pipeline is a safer alternative than moving it via rail cars or trucks.”

It’s indisputable that moving oil through pipelines is safer than other forms of moving product to market. That fight is finished. Further, it’s indisputable that building the pipeline would create thousands of high-paying construction jobs. Think about this: If a bonding bill is called a jobs bill by the DFL, why shouldn’t building the Sandpiper Pipeline project be called a private sector jobs bill by Republicans?

It’s indisputable that the interest that’s paid back by taxpayers on bonding bills costs everyone money, frequently in the form of higher taxes. Interest paid off by companies like Enbridge when they build America’s infrastructure is a net plus on multiple levels plus it doesn’t costs taxpayers a dime in higher taxes. In fact, it’s possible to argue that increased economic growth from the private sector will lower taxes while increasing revenues and raising blue collar workers’ wages significantly.

Minnesota loses

The result of this uncertainty came home to roost earlier this month. Enbridge announced that it had formed a partnership to purchase a pipeline system that would get the Bakken petroleum to market. One of the pipelines Enbridge will purchase is still under construction, and it runs from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois. This pipeline was permitted in all four states in a year and a half. One thing the pipelines in this system have in common is that none of them travels through Minnesota.

Enbridge got what it wanted. North and South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois approved the alternate pipeline route in about 18 months, which is about a third of the time Minnesota had muddled through the permitting process thus far. BTW, North Dakota has better air quality than Minnesota.

This is particularly noteworthy:

One of the first things Gov. Mark Dayton did when he took office in 2011 was sign an executive order to streamline decisions on environmental permits. The rhetoric clearly has not been matched by action.

It’s noteworthy because Gov. Dayton signed that executive order after Dan Fabian submitted a bill (HF1) to streamline permitting. I wrote then that this was a purely political stunt. There’s little doubt but that I got that right.

Minnesota has strong environmental regulations. Unfortunately, it’s also got some of the most untrustworthy anti-development environmentalists in the US. These anti-development environmentalists oppose the Sandpiper Pipeline. They oppose all forms of mining in Minnesota. They opposed the building of the Big Stone II power plant, too.

At this rate, the anti-natural resources wing of the DFL, which is the dominant wing of the DFL, won’t permit anything that doesn’t fit their rigid ideology.

Now that it’s settled that we won’t have a special session, it’s time to state clearly what happened. What happened is that Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and Rep. Thissen negotiated in bad faith. It’s one thing to have a goal of funding SWLRT. As foolish as funding that is, it’s still a legitimate goal for the DFL, especially considering who their constituents are.

What Gov. Dayton did, though, was insist that funding for SWLRT be included in a special session agreement. We know this because Speaker Daudt told MPR that Gov. Dayton insisted on it. The direct quote reads “I did ask him in the meeting if he would consider doing a special session, set aside the things we can’t agree on and let’s be Minnesotan. Let’s be Minnesota nice and focus on the things we can agree on. Let’s get a session and just work on the things we can agree on. The governor flat out said ‘no, we’re not going to work on those things without Southwest Light Rail.'”

That’s where Gov. Dayton essentially told Minnesotans that he and the DFL only care about the Metro. Don Davis summarized things perfectly in his opening paragraph, saying “Farmers can forget about tax breaks to lighten their burden in funding new schools. Drivers on some of Minnesota’s most dangerous highways will not see immediate safety improvements. New state aid cities expected is not coming.”

That’s how Gov. Dayton and the DFL told outstate Minnesota that they weren’t important enough. That’s how Gov. Dayton and the DFL said that safe highways weren’t a priority for them, that SWLRT funding was their highest priority.

Rural Minnesota voters should send an unmistakable and clear message to Gov. Dayton and the DFL this November. They should defeat every DFL legislator who voted for tax relief but wouldn’t fight for that tax relief. That’s simple enough because the list of DFL legislators that voted for tax relief and the list of DFL legislators that wouldn’t fight for that tax relief are identical.

These DFL politicians showed their true colors. The best way to determine what’s important to them isn’t by looking at their votes. The best way to determine what’s important to them is in seeing what they vote for but won’t fight for. That’s how you determine their loyalties.

In this instance, the DFL showed their loyalty was with the Twin Cities and with Gov. Dayton, not with their constituents.

The upshot of this article is that the DFL has finally admitted what I’ve said from the start. The DFL is finally admitting that they don’t care about veterans, students with student loan debt, parents trying to save for their kids’ college education or farmers.

By insisting that Republicans agree to funding SWLRT, the DFL is insisting that the GOP fund a low-priority item. It ain’t happening. Light rail is a terrible investment. It doesn’t take hundreds of cars off the street, as the Met Council insists. It doesn’t increase flexibility for people. It’s extremely expensive. Bus lines are much more efficient and flexible.

Essentially, the DFL wants SWLRT funding because they want their pork.

Gov. Dayton admitted he doesn’t give a shit about the middle class when he said “I’ve concluded … I am not going to call a special session.” What a shock. The spoiled rich brat threw another hissy fit because he didn’t get everything he wanted. While he threw that hissy fit, he vetoed $800,000,000 worth of middle class tax relief. Gov. Dayton did that after promising that he wouldn’t use the tax cuts as leverage for getting everything he wanted in the bonding bill. Specifically, Gov. Dayton said no to $800,000,000 of tax relief for farmers and other blue collar workers because the GOP wouldn’t cave on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of spending on a light rail system that shouldn’t be a priority to anyone.

The DFL apparently doesn’t want these tax cuts either. If they did, they’d stand up to the spoiled rich brat in St. Paul, something that they haven’t done. Rep. Thissen and Sen. Bakk haven’t challenged Gov. Dayton on this. Locally, Dan Wolgamott and Zach Dorholt haven’t insisted that Gov. Dayton call a special session. Neither has fought for middle class tax relief. Wolgamott’s about Dan page says this:

Dan understand how to build relationships to pass tough legislation to support students, fix our roads and bridges, and reform state government.

That’s BS. Wolgamott hasn’t lifted a finger for any of these things. He’s sided with Gov. Dayton 100% of the time. This is BS, too:

Dan is innovative and forward-thinking and will create opportunities to grow an economy that works for everyone that works for everyone by supporting policies that help our local businesses, workers, students, and families.

Wolgamott has done nothing to show he’s anything except a cookie-cutter career politician. He’s done what he’s been told to do. He hasn’t been innovative. He hasn’t been forward-thinking. He’s done what the DFL told him to do.

That’s what puppets do.

Bakk’s puppet

This editorial isn’t worth the bandwidth it’s printed on. If it was printed on paper, it would be best suited for outhouses of 50-75 years ago. But I digress. Let’s dissect this worthless collection of words and determine their value to improving life in Minnesota.

Let’s start where the editorialist (s?) insist that “Every time a three-car light rail train is loaded, 600 cars are taken off the highways, according to the Metropolitan Council research.” Let’s question the veracity of that statement. Let’s question it because I don’t know the seating capacity of a “three-car light rail train.” Let’s question it because it isn’t known how many of these trains are filled to capacity.

This is a red herring argument anyway. If you build a light rail line, it’s fixed in place no matter what developments happen a mile or two from the rail. That LRT line simply isn’t flexible. It’s good at staying right where it was built. Bus lines, however, can move and adjust to emerging traffic patterns. This paragraph is telling:

Even the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, a longtime supporter of GOP ideas, has said there needs to be a transit solution in the metro area, whether that be light rail or more fast track buses.

First, the thought that the Minnesota CoC is a staunch supporter of Republicans is BS. They’re an equal opportunity political body. It’s fair to say that they support some GOP initiatives but it’s equally true that they support DFL initiatives, too. Further, it’s irrelevant whether this or that group supports an initiative. What’s important is whether that initiative will make life better for the people it’s supposed to support. If it doesn’t meet that criteria, then it’s worth scrapping.

Most important, though, is the part where the Minnesota Chamber supports transit, including “fast track buses.” Question: isn’t it important that our transportation system have the greatest combination of flexibility and capacity? What good is capacity if it isn’t where the people want it to go?

We urge Speaker Daudt to drop his party’s objections to the metro funding of the southwest light rail line and get on to providing tax relief and bonding and road funding to the rest of Minnesota that his party represents.

I urge Gov. Dayton to stop insisting on getting everything he wants before calling a special session. It’s time to provide tax relief to Minnesotans, tax relief Gov. Dayton vetoed. Gov. Dayton’s temper tantrums are fun copy but they’re counterproductive.

The more things change, the more the DFL insists on staying the same. It’s been months since DFL senators undermined a bonding bill agreement that would have paid for lots of road repairs. They’re still insisting on funding for the SWLRT project. Predictably, Gov. Dayton is throwing a temper tantrum, saying “The Legislature won’t let us improve the economic and social vitality of the metropolitan area. I think that’s really irresponsible.”

Gov. Dayton is wrong. Republicans won’t sign off on a project that’s pure pork. A handful of business leaders want SWLRT. As for improving “the economic and social vitality of the metropolitan area,” that won’t change one iota if SWLRT is approved.

Kurt Daudt, fresh off impressively winning a primary battle, has the right idea, saying “We’re going to lose everything that’s on the table right now. I don’t think that’s very good legislating. I don’t think that’s very good leadership.”

This is what he’s talking about:

Daudt warned that the benefits of tax cuts and a package of public works construction projects could be lost if Democrats walk away from the table over light rail.

Gov. Dayton vetoed $800,000,000 worth of middle class tax cuts in his attempt to force Republicans into funding SWLRT. Gov. Dayton’s veto stopped the tax cuts but it hasn’t rallied support for SWLRT funding. Thanks to Gov. Dayton’s idiotic decision, DFL legislators have to defend his veto of tax cuts for veterans, students, farmers and small business owners.

This is a political winner for Republicans. They shouldn’t give an inch on this. If the DFL wants to fight this, let them be highlighted as the party that doesn’t like outstate Minnesota.

If Rep. Thissen’s destructive attitude wasn’t enough to disqualify him from a leadership position, then Rep. Thissen’s persistent whining should tip the scales against him.

Rep. Thissen’s latest diatribe is essentially his whining that Democrats didn’t get everything they wanted in the last session, mixed with a healthy dose of bragging that essentially says that the DFL would’ve done better.

For instance, when Rep. Thissen said “After nearly 3 months of indecision, this week is crunch time for a special session decision”, what Rep. Thissen doesn’t want to say is that Kurt Daudt has done a fantastic job of saying no to the DFL’s insistence on funding the SWLRT, a project that the citizens don’t want but that the special interests want in the worst way. Here’s what the GOP should say loudly to the DFL on this issue: “Shut up, go away or we’ll use this issue against you in the upcoming election.”

“Behind closed doors negotiations have produced little progress and all of the political obstacles to compromise, including Speaker Daudt’s primary, are behind us,” said Thissen. “After nearly 3 months of indecision, this week is crunch time for a special session decision. Once we hit the State Fair, it’s too late and we need some time for the promised public hearings. I continue to believe we should finish our job, but if agreement is not reached, I pledge that under a House DFL Majority we will bring a robust bonding bill to the House floor for a vote in the first 30 days of the next legislative session.”

It’s the DFL’s fault that a bonding bill wasn’t passed. An agreement was reached between the House and Senate. Rep. Thissen didn’t like the compromise so he worked with DFL senators to blow the agreement up. Now the saboteur is promising to fix the bill he helped demolish.

That’s rich.

Notice that Rep. Thissen doesn’t mention any of his sabotage in his statement. Why would he? Rep. Thissen isn’t a leader. He couldn’t care less about the average person. That’s indisputable. While he was Speaker in 2013, Thissen worked with the unions on the forced unionization of in-home child care providers. The in-home child care providers fought against it. Thissen didn’t care. He had his marching orders from AFSCME and SEIU. The bill was passed. Gov. Dayton signed it into law.

This spring, the in-home child care providers had the final say, telling Rep. Thissen, AFSCME and the SEIU to shove it:

In the end, in-home child care providers rejected AFSCME’s forced unionization plan. In fact, the vote wasn’t that close. According to this article, the “vote was 1,014-392 in a Tuesday count by the state Bureau of Mediation Services from ballots mailed to providers last month.”

Voters would do well to remember that the DFL did exactly what the special interests wanted while ignoring the in-home child care providers. To Thissen and the DFL, you’re a nobody if you aren’t a special interest group aligned with the DFL.

Polite people are saying that Tim Kaine is a perfect running mate for Hillary, then adding that he’s definitely qualified to be president if, God forbid, anything happened to Hillary. After reading this article, it’s painfully obvious that he’s nothing more than a mouthpiece who reads spin-script well but couldn’t think his way out of a wet paper bag.

Friday morning, Mike Pence appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s show. During the interview, Pence said “The speech last night was nothing new. It was just more of the same, more government, more of the same failed foreign policy” before adding “I mean, you’ve got to hand it to Hillary Clinton last night. She doubled down on their big government, liberal agenda, on a weak foreign policy on the world stage.”

Tim Kaine wouldn’t hear any of that, saying “The thing I thought was great is it set such a contrast with what we saw in Cleveland last week. The Cleveland convention was dark and depressing, and she said it was kind of midnight in America. And her speech was morning in America. It was about the everyday struggles that people have, but the fact that we don’t have a single issue in this country that our people can’t tackle, because we have the greatest pool of just human resources, human capital, human talent that any nation has ever had.”

First, to hear a Democrat say that “we don’t have a single issue in this country that our people can’t tackle” is more than a little bizarre after what we heard 4 years ago in Virginia:

Second, saying that Hillary’s speech was “morning in America” is proof that Democrats haven’t told the truth. ISIS is killing people in France, California and Orlando. Sen. Kaine, does that sound like “morning in America”? Police officers are getting shot in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Does that sound like morning in America, Sen. Kaine? The governor of Minnesota, who addressed the Convention, accused police officers of racism, saying that Philando Castile would probably still be alive if he was white. Sen. Kaine, is it morning in America when governors accuse Hispanic police officers of racism?

Terrorist attacks are happening in western Europe at a faster rate than ever before. Ditto within the United States, though not at as fast a rate as in western Europe. What part of that sounds like morning in America, Sen. Kaine?

Democrats might settle for that, saying that it’s the new normal. Conservatives reject that foolishness because we can do dramatically better with the right leadership. Stephen Miller nailed it with this statement:

Hillary Clinton says America is stronger together. But in Hillary Clinton’s America, millions of people are left out in the cold. She only stands together with the donors and special interests who’ve bankrolled her entire life. Excluded from Hillary Clinton’s America are the suffering people living in our inner cities, or the victims of open borders and drug cartels, or the people who’ve lost their jobs because of the Clintons’ trade deals, or any hardworking person who doesn’t have enough money to get a seat at Hillary Clinton’s table.

Simply put, Hillary Clinton is an elitist and a snob. Imagine the thinking that went into her statement on national TV that she and Bill left the White House “dead broke”:

I get it that Hillary thinks it’s morning in America. I get it that Sen. Kaine does, too. They’re both living around the Capitol, where everything is going beautifully. Living near DC, which hasn’t experienced the Obama economy, it’s easy to believe that life is fine. Beyond the Potomac, something that Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Kaine aren’t familiar with, things aren’t going nearly that well. Living near the White House explains why they think it’s morning in America. We don’t need a president that’s unfamiliar with flyover country’s hardships. We need someone who understands what people living in the Heartland are dealing with.

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When Gov. Dayton spoke at the Democratic National Convention, he issued a threat. He essentially said that, under Hillary Clinton, the government would seize control of insurance companies, saying “It’s time we decided once and for all that the purpose of health insurance is to give Americans the health care they need at prices they can afford, not to pad the profits of corporate America. If they won’t do it, we will, and Hillary Clinton will lead the charge.”

First, the thought that the ACA, aka Obamacare, is making health care more affordable is BS. Tell that to the people who have fewer options, higher premiums and skyrocketing deductibles. In Minnesota, Obamacare actually ruined a good system.’

Further, it’s worrisome that government, not people, should have the right to tell companies how much is the right amount of profit for their companies. This is what happens when elitists and collectivists run government. They think that they know best so they should set prices, not the people.

Third, Gov. Dayton talked out of both sides of his mouth when he said “Thanks to President Obama and the Affordable Care Act, we’ve made a lot of progress getting people covered. But for too many families, out-of-pocket costs are still too high.” Which is it, Gov. Dayton? You can’t say that we’re making progress when “out-of-pocket costs” are skyrocketing out of control.

When insurance companies are opting out of the ACA’s individual markets because their costs are high, that isn’t making progress. That’s going backwards. Going backwards, though, is something that Gov. Dayton is used to. Watch Gov. Dayton’s speech here:

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