Archive for the ‘Mark Dayton’ Category

It almost seems impossible that Gov. Dayton might call a special session this year but that’s what Don Davis is reporting in this article. He’s reporting that “Gov. Mark Dayton said at the Minnesota State Fair that if local money could be found to support a southwestern Twin Cities light rail project, and the Legislature did not need to take action on the issue, he would talk to key lawmakers about calling a special session to take up a tax bill and funding public works projects.”

Let’s be clear about this. Republicans shouldn’t let the DFL off the hook if a special session is called. There’s no disputing the fact that the DFL was perfectly prepared to throw rural Minnesota under the bus to shove the SWLRT project down rural Minnesota’s throats.

Republicans put together a strong bonding bill in the House that included $700,000,000 worth of funding for improving Minnesota’s most dangerous roads and bridges. DFL senators, in a last night hissy fit, said no to those highway improvements by insisting that SWLRT funding be included in the bonding bill. The DFL did that despite the fact that DFL senators refused to include $135,000,000 in SWLRT funding in their $1,800,000,000 (that’s $1.8 billion) bonding bill. If SWLRT was a high priority to DFL senators, why didn’t they include funding for it in their bill? Further, if it’s such a priority to them, why did every DFL senator vote for their bonding bill even though it didn’t have a penny of funding for SWLRT?

These are questions that the DFL hasn’t answered because the DFL can’t answer those questions. The DFL is playing political games, which is what politicians do when they can’t run on what they’ve accomplished. The DFL has shown that they care about the Metro than they care about all of Minnesota.

The last night of the session, the DFL didn’t hesitate in putting a significantly higher priority on funding light rail than they put on tax relief for farmers, veterans, small businesses. The DFL didn’t hesitate in putting a higher priority on a project that won’t get built for at least another 5 years than they put on making the most dangerous stretches of highway safer.

Is that really the types of priorities we want the legislature to have? If citizens want priorities that fit all of Minnesota’s priorities, defeat the DFL. They’ve shown what their priorities are. They aren’t Minnesota’s priorities.

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I just received an indoctrination email from Gov. Dayton’s office. The opening paragraphs of the email state “ST. PAUL, MN – Standing beside the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fish Pond at the Minnesota State Fair, Governor Mark Dayton this week announced a “Year of Water Action” Stewardship Pledge, which will last throughout the year. The pledge calls for Minnesotans to rethink how water impacts daily life and the lives of future generation; to use water efficiently and wisely in everyday activities; to learn more about what individuals can do to protect and preserve water; to make informed consumer choices; and to talk to one another about water protection and preservation.

“As I travel across Minnesota, I hear frequent concerns about the quality of our state’s water,” said Governor Dayton. “The future of clean water in Minnesota is dependent on the action we all take now. That is why I am asking all Minnesotans to join me, in pledging to protect and preserve clean water throughout our state.”

Let’s stipulate that Gov. Dayton means from DFL stronghold to DFL stronghold when he talks about travelling across Minnesota. Appearing anywhere that people might confront him definitely isn’t part of Gov. Dayton’s agenda. (FYI- It isn’t part of Sen. Franken’s agenda, either, but I digress.)

Let’s understand what this is. This is the Dayton-DFL indoctrination program. Surely, people can’t oppose cleaner water, they’ll tell you, knowing that they’ll require a new raft of regulations that they’ll later use to strangle jobs on the Iron Range and throughout rural Minnesota. The DFL’s indoctrination is especially targeted at children:

Turn off water faucets? Carry your own water bottle? These sound like things they told us before the first Earth Day half a century ago. (Or whenever it was. FOOTNOTE: The first Earth Day was on 4/22/1970 so it’s only been around 46 years, not 50.)

Let’s remember that, with the DFL, no age is too early to indoctrinate kids on the environment. Here’s a question worth pondering: how can the political party that believes in indoctrinating children about the environment side with miners, farmers and blue collar workers? I’d submit that they can’t support miners, farmers and blue collar workers while indoctrinating children about the environment.

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If anyone needs proof that the DFL hates laborers (the L in DFL supposedly stands for Laborer), they should look at this map of the new alternative route that Enbridge will use to get their Bakken oil to market:

I wrote this post to highlight the DFL’s indifference to pipefitters and other blue collar workers. The metro DFL environmental activists threw up hurdle after hurdle to prevent the Sandpiper Pipeline. The DFL won. The Sandpiper Pipeline won’t be built. Enbridge decided to avoid Minnesota and route their pipeline through North and South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.

The oil will flow. The commodity will still make it to market. The DFL ‘won’, if you consider losing hundreds of high-paying heavy equipment jobs to other states winning. (HINT: The Metro DFL thinks this is a victory. Since the Metro DFL runs the party, the DFL considers this a victory.)

The DFL isn’t the party of the blue collar workers. This is who they are:

Today’s DFL is led by a trust fund governor who’s lived a life of carefree luxury. It’s led by a House Minority Leader who lives in a tony Minneapolis enclave and pays more in property taxes than some people make in a year. It’s led by a clownish U.S. Senator who made a fortune playing the fool in Hollywood, writing vacuous trash while doing dope. All three live in Minneapolis and consider walking down to the farmer’s market to pick up some kale to be “farming.”

That isn’t all. Think of this:

Of course, the antidote for this malaise would be to get more mining jobs up and running, especially for those minerals, ferrous and non-ferrous, that have recovered in price point. But the urban elites who run the DFL won’t allow it. Instead, they engage in a cynical game of stringing people along, claiming that there’s just “one more” environmental regulation to clear.

Years later, miners are still waiting for good jobs. They won’t be coming, at least so long as Mark Dayton is governor. You see, there is no intention to allow this mining to start up. It’s all a smoke screen to cop some more votes out of Iron Rangers for the next election.

It’s about the false hope. The DFL party has delayed considering a resolution to oppose mining. It wasn’t defeated. Only delayed until after the election.

The DFL abandoned farmers, the F in the DFL, when Gov. Dayton vetoed a tax relief bill that would’ve provided hundreds of farmers property tax relief. Gov. Dayton didn’t fight for farmers. Instead, Gov. Dayton fought for the SWLRT project.

When it was decision time, Gov. Dayton and the DFL fought farmers, laborers and other blue collar workers. They fought for environmental activists and the metro.

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Paul Thissen and the DFL must think the turnout of uninformed voters must be high. That’s the only explanation for Rep. Thissen’s tweet asking “Kurt Daudt in 2014: “We will ensure fair access and affordability in health care.” What happened?”

Simply put, the DFL, ‘led’ by Rep. Thissen, Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton essentially told Minnesotans that the DFL didn’t care about their wallets. Rep. Thissen, Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton and the rest of the DFL essentially said that they’d fight for President Obama, not for their constituents.

Thanks to the DFL’s steadfastness to their leaders, not to their constituents, the DFL has shown where their loyalties lie. While Rep. Thissen’s and Gov. Dayton’s loyalties lie with President Obama’s failed system, Republicans are committed to ideas that’ve worked in the past.

In the past, Republicans supported systems like the ‘skinny Gottwalt’, a system devised by former Rep. Steve Gottwalt. Rep. Gottwalt’s system would’ve guaranteed high rates of people getting insured (when he was in the legislature, 93% of Minnesotans were insured with another 3-4% of people eligible for taxpayer-subsidized insurance. Obamacare doesn’t come close to hitting the 97% mark of people getting insured.

In short, Rep. Thissen, Republicans wanted to implement a superior plan and the DFL wouldn’t let them because the DFL was more beholden to President Obama than they were to doing what’s right for their constituents.

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There’s no question about whether Gov. Dayton is dishonest. The only question left to determine is how dishonest Gov. Dayton is. I’d say that he’s exceptionally dishonest if I’m using this article to determine Gov. Dayton’s dishonesty.

According to the article, Gov. Dayton ” said that ‘the cost of inaction’ by state lawmakers had caused the price increase.” Gov. Dayton knows that the legislature has nothing to do with the price increase because Adam Duininck told him that the SWLRT project was being put off by the federal government. Commissioner Duininck told Gov. Dayton that “the federal government has no plans to execute a funding agreement until sometime in 2017 because of ongoing litigation regarding the project.”

The “ongoing litigation that they’re talking about is something I’ve started calling the Tunheim Lawsuit. It’s a lawsuit being tried in federal court. The Tunheim Lawsuit won’t start until Sept. 17, 2017. The FTA, aka the Federal Transportation Administration, won’t lift a finger until that lawsuit is settled. The earliest that lawsuit will be settled will be January, 2018.

That’s actually the least of the Met Council’s worries. It isn’t likely that they’ll win the Tunheim Lawsuit. It’s that they have no chance at winning the lawsuit that the Calhoun-Isles Condominium Association might bring. The Calhoun-Isles Condominium Association hasn’t filed a lawsuit yet but if they did, they’d win.

This paragraph is wishful thinking:

The Council, backed by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, has proposed to authorize $103.5 million in debt, with the Hennepin County Regional Real Authority and the Counties Transit Improvement Board contributing a total of $41 million — enough to ensure $900 million in federal dollars for the light rail project.

This isn’t based on reality. It’s based on what the Met Council, the Hennepin County Regional Real Authority and CTIB wish would happen. They know, though, that it won’t. They know it won’t happen because they’ve been told that it won’t happen.

Saying that the questions asked at the St. Cloud Area Joint Cities Forum had a leftward tilt to them is understatement. For instance, the first question was “While the legislature accomplished its most basic responsibility of passing a state budget, the last biennium, it does seem that the last 2 years are marked with significant disappointment, including the failure to pass a Tax Bill, no major bonding bill, and continued impasse over transportation. What do you think needs to happen at the legislature to make sure that these other important pieces of legislation get passed?”

If that question sounded like it was written by Rep. Thissen or Gov. Dayton, raise your hands. If you think that question was written by Rep. Thissen, you earned bonus points. He’s specialized in criticizing everything that Speaker Daudt did the past 2 years. That’s because he didn’t like getting cut out of the budget negotiations in 2015. He didn’t like it that Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk put the budget together in an afternoon.

The truth is that the past 2 years produced a bipartisan budget that should’ve gotten signed during the regular session. The only reason why the Tax Bill didn’t get signed into law was because our spoiled rich brat governor vetoed the bill in his attempt to get funding for a SWLRT project that has no chance of happening before the end of the first term of Minnesota’s next governor. The problem with the Tax Bill wasn’t with the legislature. That fault is exclusively with Gov. Dayton, aka Gov. Temper Tantrum.

Here’s another question:

Q3: Local government aid continues to be an important program for restraining property taxes and providing services to residents and businesses at a reasonable cost. For 2017, the LGA formula distributes approximately 66% of all LGA funds to greater Minnesota vs. 34% to the metro area. The LGA appropriations to cities across the state is still $45.5 million less than it was in 2002. Do you support the current LGA formula and would you support an increase in LGA to get back to the 2002 level?

I reject the premise that LGA is “an important program for restraining property taxes.” There’s no proof of that. Why should I accept that premise? The truth is that it’s more likely to increase spending on foolish projects in the Twin Cities than it is to stabilize property taxes.

The truth is that property taxes have increased significantly since the DFL legislature increased LGA and Gov. Dayton signed those increases into law. Here are all 8 questions from the forum:

During the DFL’s bad faith negotiations for a special session, Gov. Dayton and the DFL insisted that the GOP fund the Southwest Light Rail Transit, aka SWLRT, project. Speaker wisely refused. Now we know why it was wise to refuse. On Wednesday, January 13, 2016, Adam Duininck wrote an email to Gov. Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Flint-Smith about a variety of topics.

In the 4th paragraph of the second page of the email, Commissioner Duininck said “On the schedule we had been pushing the FTA for a number of weeks to sign off on an aggressive schedule that called for a full funding grant agreement by the end of this year, while President Obama is in office. They have resisted that goal and have said the grant agreement is likelier to come in the middle of 2017.” Later in the email, Commissioner Duininck explains why the FTA is hesitating on signing off.

According to Commissioner Duininck, the FTA is hesitating on signing off because “the reason the FTA refused to move the schedule up is that they are concerned that the litigation risk is still there until Judge Tunheim rules on the Lakes and Park Alliance case.”

Connecting the dots

Judge Tunheim’s dismissal of summary judgement against the Met Council is dated August 4, 2015. Judge Tunheim noted that “The LPA may not have met its summary judgment burden at this point, but the record, specifically the negotiation process and agreements between the Met Council and various cities and other public entities, and public statements regarding those agreements, shows that, throughout much of this process, the Met Council has had a clear favorite route for the SWLRT.”

Judge Tunheim also noted that the case is complex because environmental reviews still need to be approved. That hadn’t happened when he ruled on this motion for summary judgment.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL likely didn’t include SWLRT funding in their bonding bill because of the Tunheim lawsuit. Further, the Kenilworth Preservation Group, through Stuart Chazin, insists that “the Met Council has not made the legally required good faith effort to consider alternatives to the Kenilworth route, and has had secret communication between Sen. Latz and the Met Council that will prove the point.”

There’s no doubt but that this is a tangled legal mess that’ll take time to untangle in the courts. With the outcome still in doubt, funding SWLRT at this point is foolish. That’s likely why the DFL Senate didn’t include SWLRT funding in their $1,800,000,000 bonding bill. Further, it isn’t a stretch to think that the DFL is attempting to paint Republicans as reckless when the truth is that the DFL is trying their best to pander to their urbanist special interest organizations. Finally, it isn’t a stretch to think that Gov. Dayton and politicians like Rep. Thissen are grasping at anything in their attempt to win back the majority in the House.

Today’s DFL are a nasty lot, fully prepared to side with brick-throwing thugs like BlackLivesMatter and the anarchists who attacked Republicans in Minneapolis last weekend. They won’t think twice about sabotaging any project or legislation if they think it’ll help them gain power. That’s who today’s DFL is.

I wrote this post last week to highlight the documented fact that Gov. Dayton and DFL legislators knew that the federal government wouldn’t fund the federal portion of the SWLRT project until a series of lawsuits were settled. That’s why the DFL Senate didn’t include the $135,000,000 funding for SWLRT in their $1,800,000,000 bonding bill. That bonding bill would’ve been the biggest bonding bill in state history by almost $750,000,000.

One lawsuit that’s on the docket is scheduled to start on Sept. 17, 2017. That isn’t a misprint. The trial won’t start until Sept. 17, 2017. There’s another potential lawsuit waiting in the wings. That lawsuit, if it was brought, would be filed by the Calhoun-Isles Condominium Association. This Strib article highlights why the Calhoun-Isles Condominium Association would file that lawsuit.

According to the article, “Condominium residents along the planned Southwest Corridor light-rail route in Minneapolis want assurances that a transit tunnel won’t hurt their buildings. The residents of 143 units along the future light-rail route south of Cedar Lake Parkway say the trains will run through a tunnel on rails 12 feet from the foundations of their condos and parking structure.”

They added that “We have received no assurance that operation of 200 trains per day … will not materially undermine their integrity and safety,” read a letter this week from a lawyer for the Calhoun-Isles Condominium Association to Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and the City Council. “No one knows what all of the effects will be, but it is certain that they will be significant and harmful.”

The Dayton-DFL SWLRT funding push is a political scam. They know that the project won’t get federal funding for at least 2 years and possibly longer. That means local funding is irrelevant for the near future because local funding only accounts for 10%-15% of the funding.

Quite literally, SWLRT is going nowhere fast. Thanks to Gov. Dayton’s stubbornness and the DFL’s unwillingness to challenge Gov. Dayton, hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans are being deprived of meaningful tax relief. Farmers and small businesses won’t get their property tax relief. Veterans won’t get their tax relief. Students and parents will find college expensive because Gov. Dayton vetoed the Tax Bill.

BTW, the DFL failed to fight for the tax relief they voted for. That’s rather telling, isn’t it? That might be enough to tip votes in a close rural election.

Just like Speaker Daudt predicted, the Met Council has announced that they’ll “come up with the final piece of the state and local funding” for the SWLRT project. That’s the mini-bombshell about the SWLRT project.

The major bombshell this week happened “when House Speaker Kurt Daudt revealed the existence of an email from Met Council Chairman Adam Duininck to Governor Dayton stating that the federal government has no plans to execute a funding agreement until sometime in 2017 because of ongoing litigation regarding the project. He’s (Dayton) hid that from the public and from the Legislature and from the press since January of this year. We know the federal government is not going to fund it for a year and a half. There is no deadline. There is no reason that we have to take action now on Southwest light rail,” said Daudt.”

It’s connect-the-dots time. First, the Senate DFL bonding bill that was defeated was the biggest bonding bill proposed in state history by orders of magnitude. It was for $1,800,000,000. Next, every DFL senator voted for that bill. Third, that $1,800,000,000 bonding bill didn’t contain a penny of funding for SWLRT. The state’s share would have been $135,000,000. In a pork-filled bill of almost $2,000,000,000, the DFL didn’t include $135,000,000 on a project that they insist today is Minnesota’s highest bonding priority? What idiot DFL senator omitted that funding from a monster bill like that?

Fourth, Gov. Dayton vetoed a major tax relief bill, then insisted that he wouldn’t call a special session unless Republicans added funding for a project that the DFL refused to fund in a $2,000,000,000 bonding bill.

Connecting these dots tells this indisputable story: Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans won’t receive tax relief because the DFL refused to fund SWLRT initially, then insisted on funding it as a condition of holding a special session.

It’s time to throw these DFL legislators out of office. It can’t happen soon enough. What type of person would omit funding for a project, then deny farmers, veterans, students with student loan debt and small businesses tax relief? The DFL’s position is that it’ll fight for funding a light rail project but it won’t fight for tax relief for students, veterans and farmers.

Minnesota, you’ll have a choice this November. Will you vote for politicians that won’t fight for students, parents, farmers, veterans and small businesses? Shouldn’t you vote for the party that’s fought the good fight for students, farmers and veterans? The choice is clear. The DFL needs to get run out of St. Paul ASAP.

They deserve it because they’ve fought for the special interests, not the people. That’s grounds for immediate dismissal.

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.