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Archive for the ‘Mark Dayton’ Category

This afternoon, I got an email saying that the MNPCA has submitted over 10,000 cards to Gov. Dayton “demanding a union decertification election.”

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota should be getting nervous because SEIU Healthcare Minnesota “established the union in a mail-in ballot, low voter turnout election with just 13 percent of the estimated 27,000 home-based PCAs in Minnesota.” Kim Crockett, the Vice President at Center of the American Experiment, said that the 10,000 cards “total three times more than the 3,543 PCAs who voted for unionization in 2014.”

In other words, the chances of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota getting decertified is significant to high. A little history is in order. On the last weekend of the 2013 session, the DFL passed a bill authorizing a unionization vote for in-home child care providers and PCAs. The DFL passed the bill despite the fact that in-home child care providers lobbied all weekend against the bill. They simply didn’t listen. The DFL had gotten their marching orders from AFSCME and SEIU. There was no way they were going to disobey their masters.

In March, 2016, the in-home child care providers rejected unionization by a vote of 1,014-392. That’s a defeat of 72% rejecting unionization, with only 28% of in-home child care providers voting for unionization. But I digress.

Apparently, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota got the message that a fair election wouldn’t turn out well so they allegedly tried winning the certification election with low voter turnout. Now that the “home-based PCAs in Minnesota” know the details of what they were signing, expect this decertification vote to turn out differently. These people don’t like the types of people you should mess with:

Though I won’t predict anything, I’ll state that it wouldn’t surprise me if this decertification vote is lopsided, too.

Last Friday, Gov. Dayton made a point of repeatedly saying that he’d been lied to, saying “in my 40 years dealing with Minnesota government I have never ever been lied to”, adding that “the people of Minnesota have been lied to and the Supreme Court has been lied to about the predicament that my vetoes supposedly put the Legislature in.”

First, it’s undisputed fact that Gov. Dayton’s veto will cause the legislature to run out of money. Gov. Dayton vetoed the appropriation for the biennium, not just until the 2018 session. Next, it’s worth noting that Gov. Dayton said that he’d “never been lied to” in his 40 years of government. That might be but he’s lied to us. Remember this golden oldie? It’s the article about then-Sen. Dayton “closed his Capitol Hill office Tuesday until after the November 2 election, fearing a possible terrorist attack that could harm his staff or visitors.” The thing is that then-Sen. Dayton closed the office despite the fact that the Capitol Police and the Department of Homeland Security denied there being a terrorist threat.

Sgt. Contricia Ford of the U.S. Capitol Police said “There’s no new threat or information pertaining to a threat that’s come in. We continue to advise (people) to take caution … but there’s no new information that we’ve put out.” Further, “Brian Roehrkasse, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, added: ‘We have not made a recommendation for any members of Congress to close their offices, and we do not have any specific threat reporting indicating that Washington, D.C., and the Capitol is a target.'”

This happened in October, 2004, right before the presidential election in which terrorism and homeland security were the biggest issues. Let’s remember that then-Sen. Dayton was the only person on Capitol Hill to shut his office. It’s worth noting that he’s the only member of the Senate who claims he got briefed by then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist about this terrorist attack.

I remember that election well. It was right before I started blogging. What I remember clearly is that CBS ran a fake story telling the nation that then-President Bush had gone AWOL while he was serving in the Texas Air National Guard. Powerline blew that story to smithereens the night CBS aired the segment.

For those too young to have experienced the onslaught, the Media wing of the Democratic Party, working in concert with congressional Democrats, tried destroying President Bush’s national security credentials with CBS’s fake story. While it wasn’t proven, people suspected that then-Sen. Dayton tried undermining President Bush’s credibility with his own fake national security story.

The fact that jumps out at me is that everyone on Capitol Hill, whether left, right or in between, denies having received the briefing. Either then-Sen. Dayton has an over-active imagination or he’s a pathetic liar. Either option is a possibility.

The point to the trip down memory lane is to remind people that then-Sen. Dayton was heading for defeat until he retired after a single term. Then-Sen. Dayton wasn’t a trustworthy person. For him now to accuse Republicans of lying to him is utterly laughable.

The environmentalists’ newest dog-and-pony show, aka the Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline Project, hearings start this week. It’s guaranteed that environmental activists will turn out in big numbers, thanks to the Dayton-Rothman Commerce Department’s gift.

When the Commerce Department provided testimony to the Public Utilities Commission, they said that “the project isn’t needed and won’t benefit Minnesota.” I question the validity of that testimony since it closely resembles the statements made by Steve Morse, the executive director of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, about the Pipeline project. That’s basis enough to question whether the Dayton-Rothman Commerce Department is essentially being run by special interest organizations opposed ideologically, not scientifically, to the project.

In their testimony, the Dayton-Rothman Commerce Department states that refineries are running near capacity, which, in their opinion, is proof that another pipeline isn’t needed. Why doesn’t the Commerce Department and the Minnesota Environmental Partnership think that that’s proof that we need to increase refining capacity, not reduce pipeline capacity?

The testimony is short-sighted in another way. Does anyone think that this oil won’t get shipped via a different pipeline if this pipeline project is rejected? If the PUC rejects this pipeline project, will the oil company simply shut down their operations in Alberta? Or will they simply start working with a different state to build a different pipeline? I’d submit that the latter scenario is most likely.

If that’s the case, why would the DFL shortchange construction unions and Minnesota’s small towns in northern Minnesota? Should this man essentially have a 1-man veto over infrastructure projects?

The DFL frequently accuses Republicans of ignoring science. Isn’t that what the DFL is doing in opposing this project? After all, Republicans aren’t foolish enough that fossil fuel usage has leveled off and will start declining. That’s what Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department and the MEP argue. The chances of that happening are remote. The chances of the MEP’s predictions being accurate are even more unlikely.

When Gov. Dayton whined about being lied to about the House’s and Senate’s reserves being enough to allow them to operate until the 2018 session starts, he said that the legislature could then attempt to override his veto. That’s a rather duplicitous statement made during a speech when he accused Republicans of lying to him, “to Minnesotans and to the Supreme Court.” It’s duplicitous because he knows the chances of a single DFL legislator voting against him is virtually non-existent if not actually non-existent.

Further, Gov. Dayton knows that his line-item veto didn’t just zero out the legislature’s budget for 3 months or 6 months. Gov. Dayton’s line-item veto eliminated funding for the entire biennium. Saying that the legislature has the option of overriding his veto is duplicitous because, while technically available, the reality is that it isn’t a realistic option. It’s worth noting that legal theories don’t exist in a vacuum. It isn’t honest to say that the legislature can override his veto when everyone knows that the DFL won’t supply a single vote to override.

During his press conference, Gov. Dayton said that the “2017 Tax Bill will seriously jeopardize Minnesota government’s future and financial stability.” Notice that he didn’t say anything about the Tax Bill’s benefits to families, hard-working small businesses and farmers. That’s a pretty clear insight into Gov. Dayton’s governing philosophy. It’s the DFL’s governing philosophy, too.

By comparison, when Speaker Daudt spoke about the impasse, he said that “we consider ourselves to be in survival mode. The Governor has literally eliminated our funding. The Court has given us funding through October 1st. We do have some funds that we can use beyond that. We will look at any other option to make sure that people have a voice here at the Capitol in their elected representatives. We feel very strongly about upholding Minnesotans’ constitutional right to 3 branches of government.”

The difference in tone between Gov. Dayton and Speaker Daudt was sharp. Gov. Dayton sounded like a petulant child throwing a hissy fit. Speaker Daudt sounded like an adult.

When Paul Gazelka stepped to the podium at Friday’s press conference, one of the first things Sen. Gazelka said was “both mediation and why we sued was because the governor can’t defund the House and the Senate. That’s the issue. The issue isn’t how far we can run. We have a 2-year budget that we have to fund that we have to fund all the way to July, 2019.” I hadn’t seen this press conference but I’m happy that I’m on the same wavelength as Sen. Gazelka. I wrote about that identical principle earlier this week.

Another thing that caught my attention happened when Sen. Gazelka said “We went back in our notes and found that the governor absolutely said that he’d support the tax bill as is on the Saturday before the end. It would have been a shock had he not signed that bill.” Let’s examine that a minute.

In 2011, GOP legislative leaders met with Gov. Dayton on June 30 to make a final attempt at reaching a budget deal before the midnight end of the biennium. When Gov. Dayton agreed to a budget deal that didn’t include tax increases, legislative leaders went back to their caucuses to tell them that they’d hammered out a deal that didn’t include tax increases. When Speaker Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch returned to Gov. Dayton’s office, Gov. Dayton told GOP leadership that he’d rejected the deal that he’d initially signed off on.

After a 2-week shutdown, Gov. Dayton agreed to the budget that the GOP leadership had proposed on June 30. When he finally accepted the deal, Gov. Dayton admitted that he didn’t realize Republicans had stripped out the controversial language from their proposal.

This year, Gov. Dayton signed off on the GOP Tax Relief Bill. Now he wants the GOP to renegotiate their tax relief bill in exchange for him signing a bill funding legislative operations. Sound familiar? If you answered yes, it’s because Gov. Dayton has shown a habit of reneging on deals that he’s initially signed off on.

Here’s the GOP press conference from last Friday:

I’d recommend watching Gov. Dayton’s’ press conference, too. Watch the difference between Gov. Dayton’s attitude and GOP leadership’s attitude. Gov. Dayton looked peevish and petulant. Speaker Daudt and Sen. Gazelka looked like adults.

Like in other years, GOP leadership will be waiting to pass a bill to restore funding for the legislature when the legislature opens in February. It’s still debatable whether Gov. Dayton will sign that bill. If Gov. Dayton vetoes it, Speaker Daudt should immediately schedule an override vote. Let’s see if DFL legislators would vote to not fund themselves. If they stick with Gov. Dayton, rural DFL legislators should expect to be tied to Gov. Dayton. They should also start writing their concession speeches or their retirement speeches.

If the DFL sides with Gov. Dayton, it will be proof that they’re Democrats first and that representing their constituents ranks way down their list of priorities.

Thanks to Rachel Stassen-Berger’s quoting Gov. Dayton, Minnesotans will have a better picture of why Gov. Dayton let them down. Ms. Stassen-Berger quoted Gov. Dayton as saying “I was angry. I told them in my 40 years dealing with Minnesota government, I have never, ever been lied to — and I don’t use that word lightly,” Dayton said. “The people of Minnesota have been lied to and the Supreme Court’s been lied to. … That infuriated me and it deeply offends me.”

Gov. Dayton’s statement offends me. I don’t want to hear his faux outrage. I wrote this article to highlight how then-MMB Director Showalter intentionally misled the State Government Finance conference committee. At dispute was the budget for Veterans Affairs. Gen. Shellito was led to believe that Veterans Affairs budget would be cut when, in actuality, they were getting a significant increase.

Jim Showalter later testified that he came up with that theory based on past statements by committee members. He didn’t rely on actual spreadsheets. Gov. Dayton’s administration lied to a conference committee. This didn’t happen by accident. It happened right before Gov. Dayton’s pre-planned government shutdown. BTW, this was a recurring theme that budget season.

Gov. Dayton, please don’t insult us and tell us that you haven’t misled people. There’s ample proof that you did. This paragraph sounds suspicious:

But Dayton said that strikes at the very reason he vetoed $130 million of funding for the House and Senate. He has said he is concerned that the tax cuts will cause Minnesota’s budget to go into deficit. Dayton has said he only signed the tax bill in the spring because lawmakers hid a provision elsewhere that would defund the entire 1,500-person state Department of Revenue if he did not.

First, I don’t doubt that Ms. Stassen-Berger got the information right. That isn’t what I find suspicious. What I find suspicious is the fact that Gov. Dayton hasn’t said that the GOP Tax Relief package would cause a deficit. Since Gov. Dayton hasn’t used that argument before, I’m skeptical. He certainly didn’t make that argument when he line-item vetoed the operating budget for the legislature.

Furthermore, this is just another distraction from the Dayton administration. That’s a political argument, not a constitutional argument. The argument still before Minnesota’s Supreme Court is whether a governor should have the right to immobilize another co-equal branch of government with his veto pen.

The Supreme Court’s ruling stated that Minnesotans have the right to 3 fully functioning branches of government. Now that mediation failed, which is was destined to do, we’ll see whether the Court that Gov. Dayton stuffed with longtime DFL operatives will side with the Constitution or with Gov. Dayton. At this point, I’m not certain they won’t rule against their first ruling. I wouldn’t be surprised if they sided with Gov. Dayton even though they said Minnesotans have the constitutional right to 3 fully functioning co-equal branches of government.

Gov. Dayton, spare me the faux outrage. During your time in office, you’ve tried convincing us that you didn’t know that the 2013 Tax Bill you personally negotiated with Tom Bakk and Paul Thissen contained a sales tax on farm equipment repairs. At the time, you said you first found out about it the day before the 2013 FarmFest event. You also insisted that you didn’t know that the Vikings stadium deal that you personally negotiated and that you signed had a provision in it allowing the Vikings to sell PSLs.

Those sound like lies to me, Sir, so spare me the faux outrage.

To hear DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin tell it, Gov. Dayton was the victim of dishonest Republican legislative leadership. Appearing on TPTAlmanac, Martin said that “Kurt Daudt put a poison pill” that would have “defunded the Department of Revenue” if he didn’t sign the GOP Tax Relief Bill. Later, Martin insisted that Speaker Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka lied to the Supreme Court with their representation of cash reserves. (Of course, Martin has to say that because Gov. Dayton said it first.)

Chairman Martin pretended that Speaker Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka pointed a gun at Gov. Dayton’s head and forced him to call the special session even though he didn’t like the GOP Tax Relief Bill. That’s utter foolishness. Only the governor can call a special session. It’s been Gov. Dayton’s tradition that he hasn’t called a special session until all of the bills were worked out and agreed upon. Why shouldn’t we think that he’d initially agreed to the Tax Bill, then got discreet criticism from the hard-line activist left? After all, there were a bunch of them running for governor who weren’t going to vote for the tax bill.

Here’s the question that Chairman Martin didn’t want to answer: if Gov. Dayton didn’t like the GOP Tax Relief Bill, why did he call a special session without negotiating a bill more to his liking? Before the session starts, Gov. Dayton had leverage. Why didn’t he use it? There’s other questions worth asking, too. First, did Gov. Dayton initially agree to the bill, then ‘change’ his mind when the hardliners got to him? Next, would the Department of Revenue provision be a poison pill if he planned on signing the GOP Tax Relief Bill as previously agreed to?

The other thing that hasn’t been questioned is why Gov. Dayton has consistently opposed tax relief. Feeding government has been his top priority. Opposing tax relief has been his next highest priority, with raising taxes a close third.

It isn’t like wages have increased dramatically during his administration. It isn’t like he’s fought for projects that would’ve benefitted blue collar workers. The truth is that Gov. Dayton has fought against those projects each time he’s had the opportunity. He sat like an innocent bystander while the Sandpiper Pipeline project got killed. Gov. Dayton hasn’t lifted a finger to make PolyMet a reality. In fact, his legacy on mining is that he’s the most anti-mining governor in recent Minnesota history. Finally, Gov. Dayton has acted like an innocent bystander while his anti-commerce Commerce Department testified against an important pipeline infrastructure project.

Chairman Martin’s job would be so much easier if he didn’t have to defend Gov. Dayton’s indefensible decisions. Still, I don’t feel sorry for him. He knew the job going in.

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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