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This editorial, from the Mesabi Daily News Editorial Board, insists on getting the Sandpiper Pipeline project built:

Symbolic meetings by elected officials being held on the rail delays that are severely affecting transportation of products and goods to market, including iron ore pellet deliveries from the Range to the Duluth-Superior Port, are feel-good nice and make for good photo opportunities.

Yes, it’s good to push for improvement of the U.S. rail system, even though the politicians are coming late to the issue, not dealing with it until it has reached a crisis level.

But what is really needed is a bipartisan meeting of all Minnesota office-holders along with business and labor leaders to endorse more urgency in getting oil pipelines up and running. Pipelines are the proven safest and most expedient way to get the liquid gold of our domestic self-sufficiency boom from the oil fields to refineries. And, pipelines also mean jobs.

Yet, it’s delay and delay and delay and a lot of political posturing when it comes to allowing and constructing pipelines. Meanwhile, some politicians put out news release after news release on the all sides of the issue, except, of course, advocating for getting pipelines built and operational.

Whether it’s the XL Keystone pipeline that would go from Canada’s western slope to Gulf states or the $2.6 billion Sandpiper pipeline through northern Minnesota to carry North Dakota oil to a terminal in Superior, Wis., that feeds refineries across the Midwest, both are hung up in unnecessary regulatory delay.

Enough of the political rhetoric. Let’s get at the core of the issue.

Enough’s enough is right. Environmental activists are doing everything to prevent the Sandpiper Pipeline and the Keystone XL Pipeline projects from getting built. It’s time they grew up. It’s time for DFL politicians in Minnesota and Democrats nationwide to reject the consequences of these extremists’ policies.

Their goal isn’t to put in place technologies that make fossil fuels safe. These environmental activists want to eliminate the use of fossil fuels:

Sierra Club Programs
Priority Campaigns

Beyond Coal
Beyond Oil
Beyond Natural Gas
Our Wild America

The DFL agrees with the Sierra Club the vast majority of the time. Gov. Dayton’s appointees to the Public Utilities Commission, aka the PUC, apparently agree with the Sierra Club. They took the unprecedented step of proposing a different route for the Sandpiper Pipeline. That step means a delay of years, not months.

That’s time farmers and miners don’t have. Farmers already have difficulty getting their crops to market. Miner have difficulty getting iron ore pellets shipped to the ports of Duluth-Superior.

Here’s how serious the Sierra Club is about ending mining, fracking and drilling:

It’s time for Minnesotans to reject the environmental extremists’ agenda. Their agenda is about stopping the fracking revolution that’s lowering gas prices and increasing the supply of natural gas, which lowers Minnesotans’ heating bills.

If the DFL wants to stand with the Sierra Club, let them explain to Minnesotans why it’s better to pay high prices to heat their homes while not creating good paying jobs on the Iron Range.

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The least competent DFL governor of my lifetime criticized the most successful DFL governor of my lifetime during Tuesday’s debate in Duluth. Here’s what Gov. Dayton, the least competent DFL governor of my lifetime said:

“I’ve seen the hucksters go up there and promise chopstick factories.”

There’s only one person that fits Gov. Dayton’s description:

Jul. 19, 1989 11:06 AM ET
HIBBING, MINN. HIBBING, Minn. (AP) _ Lakewood Industries, a Hibbing chopsticks factory that Gov. Rudy Perpich had called a major step in efforts to revitalize northern Minnesota’s Iron Range, has closed.

Lakewood Forest Products, the plant’s parent firm in Canada, said Tuesday that it closed the factory because of a financial restructuring. The company said in a press release that it had been talking with a potential overseas investor, but that discussions broke off Tuesday.

Discussions with other potential investors are continuing, but management “has determined that in light of the company’s working capital position it is necessary to close the plant until adequate financing sources have been identified and a financial restructuring plan implemented,” the release said.

In case that date doesn’t remind you of something, this paragraph will:

On its first anniversary, the Hibbing plant was criticized by Independent-Republican leaders as a government-backed boondoggle conceived for Perpich’s hometown. Perpich was unavailable for comment on the closing.

Here’s Gov. Dayton’s full criticism of Gov. Perpich:

“Irresponsible…you’re just doing it for political advantage,” he said. “I’ve been working on behalf of northeastern Minnesota for 37 years and I’ve seen the hucksters go up there and promise chopstick factories…and all those other things because they are dangling out the prospects of jobs. Well we’re going to do this one responsibly.”

I’d love hearing Gov. Dayton explain how preventing PolyMet from being built is irresponsible but funding DFL GOTV call centers is responsible:

EVELETH, Minn.— Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) Commissioner Tony Sertich today announced that New Partners Consultants, Inc. will operate a call center for its customers at Progress Park in Eveleth. The company is finalizing plans to lease the space that formerly housed Meyer Associates, Inc. New Partners will utilize some equipment from the Meyer operation, which is currently under IRRRB’s ownership. Staffing will begin as soon as all agreements are in place, possibly as early as next week.

“We are pleased to have played a role in facilitating the reopening of the center,” said Sertich. “This project will result in new job opportunities, particularly for those displaced by the Meyer closing.”

The man running the IRRRB is Tony Sertich, who was appointed by Gov. Dayton. If anything fits the definition of hucksterism, that fits. By the way, here’s the definition of huckster:

someone who sells or advertises something in an aggressive, dishonest, or annoying way

It’s disgusting that Gov. Dayton accused Commissioner Johnson of hucksterism while Gov. Dayton is engaging in hucksterism. Commissioner Johnson is simply fighting for PolyMet and for the streamlining of a process that’s corrupted by rich special interests. By comparison, Gov. Dayton is fine with maintaining the corrupt status quo.

Why shouldn’t Gov. Dayton? The activists corrupting the environmental review are Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s biggest supporters. Putting the puzzle together, it’s obvious that Gov. Dayton and the DFL don’t want a straightforward, streamlined review process. If it was streamlined, the environmental activists wouldn’t have the multiple opportunities to kill important projects that they hate. Right now, PolyMet and Sandpiper top their list of projects to kill.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL don’t share Minnesota’s priorities. They’ve proven that by calling people names without explaining why they’re fighting for the corrupt status quo. Yesterday, Gov. Dayton got out of control, criticizing his first boss for being a huckster. I’m not even sure he realizes what he did.

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One of this morning’s dramatic moments during a feisty debate between Jeff Johnson and Gov. Dayton came when Gov. Dayton accused Commissioner Johnson of pandering by saying he supported PolyMet:

In the first one-on-one debate of the campaign, Dayton labeled Johnson a “huckster” for promising mining permits on the Iron Range before environmental studies have been completed as a way to endear himself to a Democratic voting stronghold in northeastern Minnesota.

During this morning’s gubernatorial debate in Duluth, Commissioner Johnson exposed Gov. Dayton’s PolyMet doublespeak. Commissioner Johnson said his support for PolyMet was built on PolyMet being important for creating jobs on the Iron Range. Responding to Commissioner Johnson, Gov. Dayton said that it was irresponsible to hijack the environmental review.

That gave Commissioner Johnson he’d been waiting for. First, he cited the 9-year process as being too long and too expensive. Then he said that he didn’t want environmental activists “from the Twin Cities” killing the project.

Gov. Dayton’s response was classic DFL doublespeak. Gov. Dayton agreed that 9 years was too long for the review process. Then he said it would be wrong to hijack the process when the review was in its final stages. What’s stunning is that Gov. Dayton didn’t notice that he didn’t complain that the process took too much time while he was governor.

The reason why it’s noteworthy is because Gov. Dayton is only ‘getting religion’ now that he’s up for re-election.

Commissioner Johnson repeatedly attacked Gov. Dayton as being beholden to the DFL’s special interests. He specifically said that environmental activists “from the Twin Cities” were preventing Gov. Dayton from advocating for the PolyMet mining project because “they don’t want mining.”

Later, Commissioner Johnson accused Gov. Dayton’s appointees to the Public Utilities Commission of killing the Sandpiper Pipeline project. When Dayton said that he didn’t interfere with the Commission’s business, Commissioner Johnson replied, saying that he presumed that the commissioners he appointed shared Gov. Dayton’s views on the environment.

Then Commissioner Johnson accused Gov. Dayton of “hiding behind the process” instead of being a leader. After Commissioner Johnson accused Gov. Dayton of hiding behind the process, Gov. Dayton defended letting the process play out. Let’s remember that Gov. Dayton said that the process had taken too long and that he didn’t speak out about the process within his administration.

There’s something else that hasn’t gotten enough scrutiny. That’s the fact that Gov. Dayton hasn’t talked about whether the review process gives environmental activist organizations too much of an opportunity to drag the process out unnecessarily. The truth is that the process is intentionally convoluted to create the delays we’ve seen with PolyMet and Sandpiper.

This isn’t a fair process. It’s weighted to favor environmental activists’ wishes. The process isn’t streamlined so environmental issues are addressed and investors’ issues are addressed. If the DFL won’t untip the scales, then it’s fair to highlight the fact that the DFL is a subsidiary of the environmental activist left.

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Watching all the ads being run by Nancy Pelosi’s PAC, the Franken campaign, the Nolan campaign and all the anti-business rhetoric coming from the Dayton campaign, DFL chairman Ken Martin and other anti-business parasites, there’s only one conclusion you can draw. The DFL and its candidates hate employers. Joe Soucheray’s column highlights the DFL’s silliness perfectly:

It’s to the point of comedy that the national Democratic Party has raced to Minnesota to help Nolan out with television ads that feature yachts and private airplanes and white sand beaches. I guess the voter is supposed to believe that Mills sits around all day and has grapes fed to him as he pages through the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog pining for a new Maserati Ghibli S Q4.

Whether it’s Nancy Pelosi’s superPAC or Rick Nolan’s campaign, the hard left’s disdain for companies is unmistakable. It’s in each of their ads against Stewart Mills. What’s most appalling is that the DFL’s agenda doesn’t have a thing in it that says they’re pro-capitalism. In fact, when the DFL held their state convention, Iron Range Democrats wanted the state party to ad a simple sentence to their party’s platform. That simple sentence was to say that the DFL supports mining.

After hours of negotiations, aka Metrocrats intimidating the Iron Range delegation, that simple sentence was dropped because Alida Messinger declared that statement was too controversial. Nolan isn’t the only 1970s reject that thinks companies are evil:

The Franken camp says that as an investment banker, McFadden has brokered the sales of companies that have resulted in the loss of jobs. Well, that can be true in some cases. In other cases, there will be a gain of jobs. Besides, once a company is bought or sold, what does McFadden have to do with it? The Franken camp also insists that McFadden has been involved with companies that have committed the mortal sin of tax inversion by moving their headquarters overseas. No. McFadden’s company represented a foreign company being bought, not the U.S. company moving abroad. That’s business, however unfamiliar Franken might be to business.

In Franken’s thinking, the problem isn’t that the tax code is filled with special favors. It’s that small businesses, aka the rich, aren’t paying a high enough tax rate. The thing is that Franken and Nolan haven’t started a business that requires sound judgment. That’s why they don’t know that many of these small businesses owners work 60-75 hours/week to build a business, paying their employees first, then paying their bills before they can start funding their retirement and their kids’ college education.

After sweating through tough times before getting to the point of profitability, then idiots like Dayton, Franken and Nolan accuse them of being greedy and of “not paying their fair share.”

The truth is that Stewart Mills and Mike McFadden have done more to improve middle class families’ lives in 5 years than Dayton, Franken and Nolan have done in a lifetime. Long-winded politicians haven’t paid for their employees’ health insurance or contributed to their employees’ retirement accounts or paid them a good wage that put a roof over their employees’ families’ heads. Stewart Mills and Mike McFadden have.

When Dayton, Franken and Nolan do that for a generation, then I’ll listen, not a minute before.

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This LTE isn’t rooted in historical fact or reality. Here’s proof:

After the 2012 election, District 14B Rep. Zachary Dorholt and the Legislature had the tough task of cleaning up our state’s finances, which had been left in shambles. Previous Legislatures had passed along a $600 million budget deficit and nearly $1 billion in debt to our schools.

That isn’t accurate. The DFL legislatures of 2007-2010 left behind multi-billion dollar deficits and about $2,000,000,000 in school shifts. Republicans inherited a $5,000,000,000 deficit when they became the majority party in 2011.

They passed tons of reforms, including permitting reform, budget reform while insisting that high school teachers pass a Basic Skills Test. All of these things became law thanks to Republicans sticking to their principles of accountability and efficient government that works for people.

It’s worth noting that Republicans passed a bill that would’ve paid off the school shifts, too. The disappointing part is that the DFL legislature voted against repaying the school shift. Then Gov. Dayton vetoed the bill that would’ve paid off the school shift.

That’s verifiable historical fact. It’s indisputable.

When the DFL took total control of state government, the deficit had dropped to $600,000,000. That’s one-eighth the size of the deficit Republicans inherited in 2011.

By the time the 2014 session finished, the all-DFL government had repealed the Basic Skills Test reform and the budget reforms the GOP had passed. That’s inexcusable. Education Minnesota opposed the Basic Skills Test so Zach Dorholt and his DFL colleagues voted to repeal it. Nobody in the DFL, starting with Gov. Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Bakk and Speaker Thissen, liked the budget reforms so they repealed those reforms.

These paragraphs are total propaganda:

But Dorholt did not back down. He helped pay back every penny owed to schools and used new revenue (largely from closing corporate tax loopholes and asking the wealthiest 2 percent to chip in a fair share) to eliminate the deficit and make long-overdue investments in priorities Minnesotans broadly share.

Those priorities included all-day kindergarten; a two-year college tuition freeze; bigger property tax refunds; more funding for nursing homes; and resources to help small businesses. As a result, our economy is growing, Minnesotans are going back to work and more children have an opportunity to reach their full potential.

Dorholt the ideologue fit right in, voting against his constituents in raising a) income taxes on “the rich”, b) sales taxes that hit the middle class and c) the cigarette tax that hits low income Minnesotans.

All-day kindergarten wasn’t a priority for most middle class families but it was a priority for Education because they saw it as a way to increase funding to their members. It doesn’t have anything to do with providing a better education to students. Property tax relief is mostly a mirage. Yes, there will be refund checks on the back side but there’s also property tax increases on the front side. As for helping small businesses, that’s a myth. Many small businesses are either expanding in other states, starting in other states or moving to other states.

Rep. Dorholt and his all-DFL legislature have made a total mess of things. They should be fired this November.

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The thing that stood out during Tom Hauser’s interview with Gov. Dayton was Gov. Dayton’s insistence that some official government reports were totally accurate while other official government reports were rubbish.

For instance, Gov. Dayton insisted that health insurance prices were going up a paltry 4.5%, a statistic that’s been frequently discredited. Here’s what I wrote Sunday:

The Minnesota Senate Republicans put together this interactive map showing how much insurance premiums were increasing in each of Minnesota’s 87 counties.

For instance, Benton County’s least expensive health insurance premiums will increase by 22% in 2015. Stearns County’s least expensive health insurance premiums will increase by 22% in 2015, too. Ditto with Sherburne and Wright counties.

They should consider themselves lucky that they aren’t in Meeker, Kandiyohi, Chippewa or Yellow Medicine counties, where their least expensive health insurance premiums will jump by 43%. (Does that sound affordable?)

Cottonwood, Lyons, Nobles and Murray counties’ least expensive health insurance premiums hit a less-than-happy medium, increasing by 34%.

Gov. Dayton should be ashamed of himself for being this dishonest. The Dayton administration’s report saying that insurance premiums are only going up 4.5% is an outright lie.

Gov. Dayton wasn’t done lying with that, though. When Hauser brought up the BLS report that showed Minnesota was last in the Midwest in private sector job growth, Gov. Dayton started reciting the BS that Minnesota’s economy has created 160,000 jobs during his administration. Government jobs don’t create wealth. Private sector jobs are the only jobs that create wealth, which strengthens the economy.

The Dayton-DFL economy is a sugar high economy propped up by big bonding bills. The fundamentals are weak. Taxes are too high. Regulations prohibit or, at minimum, limit private sector job growth. MMB’s rosy scenario revenue forecasts are falling short on a near monthly basis.

Further, Minnesota’s economy hasn’t created 160,000 jobs. It’s closer to 110,000 jobs, 20% of which (21,523) are public sector jobs.

Later, Hauser questioned Gov. Dayton’s ad that says he’s cut taxes, asking whether it’s fair to question that considering the fact that Gov. Dayton campaigned on raising taxes. Gov. Dayton said that it’s fair to say because he only “raised taxes on the richest 2%.” Does this mean that Gov. Dayton thinks it’s ok to ignore raising taxes on “the rich” because they’re greedy and they don’t really count like the saintly middle class?

Seriously, Gov. Dayton’s thinking is warped, if it can be called thinking. Tax increases aren’t tax increases if they’re increased on people who Gov. Dayton disagrees with. Health insurance premiums are going up at 4.5% because his administration decided to use gimmicks to arrive at a figure that put the Dayton administration in the most favorable light. Families whose health insurance premiums were increasing by 20%-43% aren’t real because Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department used deception to determine in putting together a political document rather than putting together a document that accurately reflects the increases that families will get hit with.

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Tim O’Driscoll’s op-ed on MNsure’s rate increases is the best explanation I’ve seen on the subject. Here’s the key paragraph in Rep. O’Driscoll’s op-ed:

But if you’re still wondering how the state arrived at a 4.5 percent average increase, Commerce simply took the four average rate changes for providers in the exchange (up 17.15 percent, up 8.12 percent, up 1.8 percent, and down 9.07 percent) and divided them by four.

First, it’s important to note that the Commerce Department intentionally misled Minnesotans. While the average rate increase for each of the 4 remaining plans equals 4.5%, that’s misleading at best. Here’s why:

The reality is people are paying more than ever because of Obamacare in Minnesota. For people in Benton, Sherburne and Stearns counties, MNsure enrollees will see their average rates go up between 18 and 37 percent. And people in the bronze plans, which offer the lowest cost options, will see premiums increase about 20 percent. This is simply unaffordable for too many hardworking Minnesotans.

So why are their numbers off by so much?

First, it’s important to note the comparison of last year’s rates to this year’s is not an apples-to-apples comparison. Instead, when calculating rates, Commerce chose to ignore that the lowest cost provider (which covered about 60 percent of MNsure enrollees) dropped out of the exchange because of continued technical problems and inefficiencies.

The Minnesota Senate Republicans put together this interactive map showing how much insurance premiums were increasing in each of Minnesota’s 87 counties.

For instance, Benton County’s least expensive health insurance premiums will increase by 22% in 2015. Stearns County’s least expensive health insurance premiums will increase by 22% in 2015, too. Ditto with Sherburne and Wright counties.

They should consider themselves lucky that they aren’t in Meeker, Kandiyohi, Chippewa or Yellow Medicine counties, where their least expensive health insurance premiums will jump by 43%. (Does that sound affordable?)

Cottonwood, Lyons, Nobles and Murray counties’ least expensive health insurance premiums hit a less-than-happy medium, increasing by 34%.

But I digress. Here’s more important information from Rep. O’Driscoll’s op-ed:

Additionally, I offer this to people who argue rates still aren’t going up as fast as they did before the Affordable Care Act or before Minnesota taxpayers spent $160 million on a broken MNsure website. From 2003 to 2010, individual market insurance premiums rose a total of 35 percent in Minnesota, compared with 47 percent in our first year under Obamacare.

That isn’t Rep. O’Driscoll’s opinion. That’s from statistics compiled by the Department of Commerce. Finally, this is great advice:

Keep a copy of this article, and when open enrollment begins Nov. 15, take a look at your new premiums and compare my math to the 4.5 percent number being marketed by MNsure.

I’ve just got one tiny dispute with Rep. O’Driscoll. In fact, it isn’t really a dispute. The 4.5% increase figure is being peddled by the Dayton re-election campaign through the Commerce Department. There’s no sense in being polite. The 4.5% figure is fiction. Every real journalist should be highlighting the Dayton campaign’s dishonesty.

Finally, while I agree with Rep. O’Driscoll’s statement that people should “keep a copy of this article” and compare their “new premiums” with the Commerce Department’s 4.5% fiction, I’d additionally suggest that people remember Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s dishonesty in pimping the 4.5% figure. They know it’s intellectually dishonest. They don’t care about honesty when Gov. Dayton and the DFL are trying to win elections.

While there’s no doubt that people think that politicians aren’t the most honest people, there’s no doubt that people should take politicians that are intentionally dishonest to the proverbial woodshed. It’s time to take Gov. Dayton and the dishonest DFL legislators to that woodshed.

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Jeff Johnson’s latest ad is causing quite a stir:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson released a new television ad today that questions the competence of DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

Johnson’s ad is titled “Unaware.” The narrator contends that Dayton was unaware of bonuses paid to “failed Obamacare bureaucrats,” the contents of bills he signed and the legal issues facing the owners of the Minnesota Vikings.

Johnson then appears, saying Minnesotans deserve a “governor who knows what’s going on,” and promising that he will to be a 24/7 leader.


WCCO’s Reality Check on the ad provides the text from the ad:

Johnson Ad Text:
“Unaware of bonuses for his failed Obamacare bureaucrats
Not even knowing what’s in the bills he signed
Half-a billion taxpayer dollars to the Wilfs after they committed civil fraud and racketeering.
‘I was not aware at all’
What is Mark Dayton aware of?
Minnesotans deserve an engaged governor who knows what’s going on and what’s in the bills he signs. I’ll be a 24-7 leader who owns his decisions. The buck stops with me.
Jeff Johnson for Governor”

The Dayton campaign quickly reacted to Commissioner Johnson’s ad:

A spokesman for the Dayton campaign, Linden Zakula, described the ad as a “desperate attack” from a candidate who is far behind in the polls. “Commissioner Johnson offers no real ideas to improve education, create jobs, or help Minnesota families,” Zakula said in a statement.

What Zakula means is that Commissioner Johnson doesn’t have the special interest-approved pseudo-solutions that Gov. Dayton has. HINT to Zakula: That’s the point. Jeff Johnson won’t be beholden to list of special interests that Gov. Dayton has been his entire public life. The DFL doesn’t do anything that their special interest allies don’t sanction.

As for “real ideas that improves education, creates jobs or helps Minnesota families”, Zakula is lying. Jeff Johnson’s ideas will help miners on the Iron Range (PolyMet), farmers everywhere in the state (Sandpiper Pipeline) and will strengthen families by creating high-paying jobs. Gov. Dayton is a pathetic advocate for raising marginal tax rates. Jeff Johnson is unapologetic in his desire to grow Minnesota’s private sector.

Jeff Johnson will fight for a new K-12 funding formula that reduces the gap between metro schools and outstate schools. I suspect Jeff Johnson will fight to restore the Basic Skills Test for high school math and science teachers that the Republican legislature passed and that Gov. Dayton signed and that the DFL legislature repealed and Gov. Dayton signed. That’s accountability I can believe in.

Zakula’s response is predictable. Gov. Dayton’s litany of things he supposedly didn’t know about is lengthy. Gov. Dayton shut down the government because he supposedly didn’t know that the GOP had removed some provisions that he objected to right before the shutdown. When told in July that they’d been removed, Gov. Dayton acted surprised. Right before FarmFest 2013, Gov. Dayton ‘discovered’ that the Tax Bill expanded sales taxes to include farm equipment repairs, warehousing services and telecommunications. In 2013, Gov. Dayton was outraged that the Vikings stadium bill included a provision for PSL’s, which are standard in every stadium bill that’s been passed in the last 15 years.

Being ignorant might work within the DFL but hard-working families expect their governor to pay attention to the details of major bills. Gov. Dayton said that he thinks MNsure is working “phenomenally well”:

That’s stunningly out of touch. Tell that to families everywhere in Minnesota that are seeing huge increases in their insurance premiums. Tell that to the 140,000 families that had the policies they liked cancelled and replaced by “better” policies they didn’t want.

Gov. Dayton’s policies aren’t growing Minnesota’s private sector. They aren’t making K-12 education the best it can be, either. Gov. Dayton’s policies reflect Education Minnesota’s wish list.

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Zach Dorholt’s been running a campaign touting how he’s a great listener, that he’s responsive to the needs of his constituents. Jim Knoblach’s last mailer ends that myth. According to the Minnesota House Journal, Dorholt voted with the DFL leadership 470 times out of 470 final votes on legislation.

You don’t get more partisan than that.

Knoblach’s mailer also highlights the fact that Dorholt’s money comes from everywhere except Minnesota. Contributions to Dorholt’s fund have come from Boston, New York City and Philadelphia in the northeast, Fort Lauderdale in Florida, California (San Francisco and Hollywood) and Phoenix, AZ. The vast majority of the mailers that I’ve gotten praising Dorholt or criticizing Jim Knoblach have come from the “Minnesota DFL Party.”

According to this report, the DFL has outspent Dorholt by, at minimum, a 2:1 margin. Just in August through early September, the Minnesota DFL Party spent $37,160 on mailers for the Dorholt-Knoblach race. That isn’t counting the money that Working America Minnesota Political Fund has spent on the race.

When Knoblach made his first fundraising announcement, Dorholt complained about all the money in politics. I used this post to highlight the fact that Dorholt was silent in 2012, when DFL special interest groups literally spent over $250,000 in the race supporting Dorholt. This year, they’ll probably come close to that again. Once again, Dorholt hasn’t complained about special interest money essentially financing his campaign.

Many of the DFL’s mailers, however, complain that Jim Knoblach was the special interests’ pawn. It’s definitely pot meet kettle time with that.

The reality is that Zach Dorholt was an obedient puppy for Speaker Thissen. He kept his mouth shut and voted with Thissen 100% of the time on final passage of bills. I said early that St. Paul doesn’t need another representative. That’s what Dorholt has been.

We need someone that’ll fight to grow Minnesota’s economy, something that isn’t happening. This week, MMB announced that Minnesota’s revenue had fallen short of projects…again. Booming economies don’t consistently fall short of revenue projections.

Dayton, Dorholt and the DFL have trumpeted as fact that Minnesota’s economy is cruising along. Each time they’ve said that, they’ve lied. It’s that simple. The revenue shortfalls verify that.

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Pat Kessler’s Reality Check on Jeff Johnson’s latest ad is a step down for Kessler. On the positive side, he got this part mostly right:

The ad takes some tough shots at Gov. Mark Dayton and, unexpectedly, the owners of the Minnesota Vikings.

It’s classic political mudslinging, but there is some truth to it, as it counts down the missteps of a Governor who Johnson says is “incompetent” and who the new ad calls “unaware.”

“Unaware of bonuses for his failed Obamacare bureaucrats,” says the ad, as the words “Unaware Mark Dayton” appear on the screen. “Not even knowing what’s in the bills he signed.”

The ad accurately quotes Dayton saying he was unaware of MNsure bonuses, unaware of a farm equipment tax in a 2013 tax bill and unaware that personal seat licenses were included in the Vikings stadium bill.

It’s offensive to hear Kessler characterize the ad as mudslinging. It isn’t a stretch whatsoever to say that Gov. Dayton is incompetent. It’s verifiable that he’s admitted that he wasn’t aware of major provisions in the biggest bills Gov. Dayton has signed.

It isn’t mudslinging if the ad uses verifiable information. It’s hard-hitting but it isn’t mudslinging. If Gov. Dayton didn’t want to see these things highlighted, then he shouldn’t have made these dramatic admissions. Gov. Dayton made some major mistakes. Jeff Johnson’s ad just highlights that.

That wasn’t the worst of Kessler’s segment. Check this out:

But the ad strays from the truth when it smears Dayton and team owners Mark and Zygi Wilf, linking the Vikings stadium deal and the Wilf’s legal troubles. “Half a billion taxpayer dollars to the Wilfs after they committed civil fraud and racketeering,” says the ad, with grainy black and white video of Dayton and Vikings team owner Zygi Wilf.

That’s at least MISLEADING and borders on false.

Approximately $500 million is the amount taxpayers forked over to build the $1 billion stadium after the Minnesota legislature passed and Dayton signed the bill into law. The Wilfs put up the other $500 million.

What’s misleading, Mr. Kessler? Did the state of Minnesota commit to paying approximately $500,000,000 of taxpayer money to build the stadium? That’s easily verifiable. It’s in the bill. This isn’t difficult to verify it. The state of Minnesota committed to paying that money while the Wilfs were defending themselves in a New Jersey court on charges of civil fraud and racketeering. That statement is also accurate.

If both those statements are accurate, how could they border on being false? The simple answer is they can’t. True statements can’t border on being false. Still, that wasn’t the low point of the segment. This is:

The Minnesota Vikings strongly objected to the use of their team owners in the Johnson ad.

“We’re extremely disappointed that Jeff Johnson would stoop to this level,” said Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley. “The ad is reckless. The Wilfs have made substantial contributions to this community and this state. What Jeff Johnson has done is not consistent with Minnesota values.”

Mr. Kessler, Reality Check is about checking facts, not about sharing opinions. Quoting Lester Bagley in the article is totally inappropriate, especially considering the fact that he contributed to Gov. Dayton’s campaign. Furthermore, Bagley serves the Wilfs, nobody else. What qualifies him to speak on what Minnesota values are?

Finally, this was disgraceful, too:

A spokesman from Dayton campaign Linden Zakula said, “It’s not surprising to see a desperate attack from a candidate so far behind. Commissioner Johnson offers no real ideas to improve education, create jobs, or help Minnesota families. It’s easy for Commissioner Johnson to be against everything when he, himself, proposes nothing.”

My question for Mr. Kessler is straightforward. Did the Dayton campaign pay for this campaign ad? Inviting the Dayton campaign spokesman to take a cheap shot at Commissioner Johnson during a factchecking segment is totally unprofessional.

Calling accurate statements “bordering on false is disgusting. Allowing outsiders to level cheap shots at a political candidate during that factchecking segment is utterly unprofessional. Kessler should be ashamed of himself.

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