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Over the weekend, Gov. Dayton’s apologists twisted themselves into virtual pretzels in their attempt to justify Gov. Dayton’s not doing any high profile debates. Chief amongst those apologists was Ember Reichgott-Junge, who virtually twisted herself into a pretzel while attempting to justify Gov. Dayton’s unwillingness to agree to any high profile debates.

The following are the five debates Johnson and Dayton have agreed to participate in:

Coalition of Greater MN Cities/Rochester Post-Bulletin/Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Wednesday, October 1, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Rochester
Forum News Service/WDAY TV Wednesday, October 8, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Moorhead
Duluth News Tribune/Duluth Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, October 14, Duluth, 8:00 a.m., Duluth
KMSP/FOX 9, Hamline University Sunday, October 19, 9:00-10:00 a.m., St. Paul
TPT/Almanac Friday, October 31, 7:00-8:00 p.m., St. Paul

There isn’t a high profile debate in the bunch. Normally, the Duluth debate would grab the biggest audience. It won’t this time because it’s scheduled for 8am on a Tuesday morning.

KSTP, KMSP, KARE11 and WCCO should announce that they’re taping these debates, then replaying them that evening. We The People should demand that candidates that want our vote participate in high profile debates that are a) broadcast statewide and b) held in the evening to attract the biggest audiences possible.

Further, we should demand that journalists who aren’t afraid to ask the candidates tough questions be the panelists. That eliminates DFL apologists like Esme Murphy, Cathy Wurzer and Eric Eskola. (I’m sure Mitch can think of others that fit that description.) I’d also recommend that thoughtful bloggers like Ed Morrissey, Scott Johnson and John Hinderaker be panelists. Throw in traditional journalists like Bill Hanna, Don Davis and Tom Hauser and we’d have some fine debates.

Minnesotans have always prided themselves on the level of civic participation by its citizens. When career politicians refuse to answer tough questions from serious journalists, We The People don’t just have the right to question what that politician is afraid of. We The People have the obligation to question what that politician is afraid of.

I strongly suspect that Gov. Dayton will have a difficult time answering questions about his economic policies, the MNsure disaster and how incompetent his Department of Human Services have been in administering the MinnesotaCare program and manually changing health insurance policies to “life events” like having children, changes of addresses or marital status and others.

Gov. Dayton’s handlers/apologists want to limit Gov. Dayton’s exposure. They want to limit the damage that would come from high profile scrutiny versus an intelligent adversary. It’s easy to picture Jeff Johnson questioning Gov. Dayton’s statements on the health of Minnesota’s economy or what a great thing MNsure is. It’s easy picturing Jeff Johnson’s sharp pictures of how Minnesota’s economy isn’t nearly as good as Gov. Dayton and his apologists claim.

It’s natural for Gov. Dayton’s apologists to do everything to hide his weaknesses. That’s their job. It’s the people’s job, though, to demand a series of high profile debates.

Finally, it’s time to tell Gov. Dayton’s apologists that watching Gov. Dayton give a scripted speech to a group limited to top partisans isn’t the same as seeing 2 candidates go toe-to-toe, challenging each other. A scripted speech requires a speechwriter and a teleprompter. To win a lively debate between adversaries requires a candidate with a strong grasp of the issues and the ability to think on their feet.

Gov. Dayton is missing both of those attributes.

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This article highlights the disparity between Gov. Dayton’s talking up the economy and reality:

The annual “Household Food Security in the United States” study, released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, finds that on average from 2011-13, 10.8 percent of Minnesotans lacked consistent access to food needed to stay healthy (they were “food insecure,” by the report’s definition).

The report also found that 4.4 percent of households had “very low food security,” in which the “food intake of one or more members was reduced and eating patterns disrupted because of insufficient money.”

Let’s compare those statistics with these statistics for St. Louis County:

According to the most recent Census statistics, 1 in 6 people are living in St. Louis County are living below the Federal Poverty Level compared with 1 in 9 Minnesotans living below the Federal Poverty Level. Let’s compare that with the most recent statistics for Anoka County:

According to these statistics, 1 in 14 people living in Anoka County are living below the Federal Poverty level. As good as Anoka County’s poverty rate is, Dakota County’s poverty rate is better:

The point is that people living in poverty aren’t likely to have a high ‘food security rating.’ It isn’t coincidental that metro areas have the lowest poverty rates.

Dayton’s ‘economy that works’ is more accurately described as the ‘economy that works in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and Rochester but stinks everywhere else, especially on the Range.’

The reality is that the Dayton-DFL economy isn’t working for the vast majority of Minnesota cities. All too frequently, people with MBAs are working part-time jobs instead of having a career in HR or elsewhere in management. That isn’t an economy that’s working.

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Friday, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce endorsed Jeff Johnson in the Minnesota governor’s race:

In announcing the endorsement, the chamber’s interim president Bill Blazar said Johnson best represents the chamber’s “pro-business, pro-jobs agenda.” He said Dayton has enacted some of the highest tax rates in the country and increased labor regulations on employers that “seriously inhibits their ability to succeed and compete regionally and globally.”

Naturally, the Dayton campaign issued a statement on the Chamber’s endorsement:

Dayton campaign manager Katharine Tinucci said the governor wasn’t counting on the chamber’s backing despite participating in the screening.

“We’re going to continue to make the case that the progress that we’ve made the past four years has been good for workers, for working people, for families and for businesses,” she said.

TRANSLATION: We didn’t expect to get this endorsement because Gov. Dayton has waged a nonstop war against Minnesota’s small businesses:

After Teresa Bohnen pointed out concern by the business community on the impact of Governor Dayton’s 4th tier income tax on S-Corps I felt his response was disrespectful. He implied that businesses are “OK” with disparities in tax rates of businesses compared to middle income earners. He called the Minnesota Chamber destructive. Then he implied that Teresa and other businesses were unrealistic about the facts.

The fact that Gov. Dayton attempted to get the Chamber’s endorsement indicates he’s either delusional or desperate. When a former member of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce board of directors says that Gov. Dayton called the Minnesota Chamber “destructive”, that’s a pretty good sign that he doesn’t stand a chance of getting the Chamber’s endorsement.

As for Ms. Tinucci’s statement that they’ve made progress the last 4 years that’ve “been good for workers, for working people, for families and for businesses,” she must be either a topnotch spinmeister or she’s using some expensive drugs. Gov. Dayton has fought the Chamber every step of the way. He’s raised taxes on the vast majority of the Chamber’s members. He signed, then repealed, some business-to-business sales taxes that would’ve caused iconic Minnesota companies like Red Wing Shoes, Polaris and DigiKey to move out of Minnesota.

That Gov. Dayton and his apologists in the DFL punditry have the audacity to say that they’ve passed bills that’ve made Minnesota’s economy better says that they’re willing to lie if that’s what’s needed to win this election.

Rural Minnesota’s economy isn’t great. It’s far from it. It’s worth noting that when the DFL insists that Minnesota’s economy is doing well, what they really mean is that the Twin Cities is doing ok. The dominant wing of the DFL is the Twin Cities Metrocrat. If they’re doing well, everything’s fantastic because, in their eyes, the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and Rochester are the only cities that matter.

There’s no doubt that the DFL/ABM/Team Dayton axis of spin will attack the Chamber’s endorsement of Jeff Johnson. ABM will undoubtedly characterize the Chamber as a bunch of rich, out-of-touch, white guys. While that’s likely to be their mantra, that isn’t reality.

The Chamber represents small businesses and entrepreneurs. What’s good for big corporations is entirely different than what’s good for small businesses. While both are established to make profits, that’s pretty much where the similarity ends.

Charlie Weaver’s Minnesota Business Partnership represents big corporations. Weaver’s sold out for his thirty pieces of silver. The Chamber, though, has sided with Jeff Johnson because he’d best represent the small businesses that drive all successful economies.

It’d be nice to have a governor who actually thought our economy extends beyond the Twin Cities. Gov. Dayton has shown he won’t pay attention to the economy outside the Metro.

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The highlight of Bill Hanna’s article about his interview with DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin is this quote:

“I think we’re in a good position to close out the election. But we can’t be too cocky. That’s how we lose.”

Here’s a hint for Martin. The DFL doesn’t lose when it’s too cocky. It’s always too cocky. The DFL loses when it pays too much attention to its special interest allies and ignores the people. It loses when it goes hard ideological. That’s what happened in 2009-2010. That’s when the DFL legislature insisted on passing a budget filled with tax increases that paid for its payoffs to its special interests.

Tom Bakk, the Senate Majority Leader, has said that Minnesotans “don’t mind paying a little more in taxes” because they get their money’s worth from those taxes. That’s the DFL’s Achille’s Heal this year.

  1. Minnesotans aren’t getting their money’s worth from those increased taxes when DFL plutocrats take $90,000,000 to pay for an office building for part-time politicians instead of paying to fix Minnesota’s pothole-riddled streets.
  2. Minnesotans definitely aren’t getting their money’s worth from those increased taxes to pay for the utter incompetence at MNsure.
  3. The DFL can’t claim that Minnesota’s entrepreneurs were helped by raising their taxes. Job creation has virtually stopped since the Dayton-DFL tax increases hit these small businesses.

The only thing that’s helping the DFL right now is that the Twin Cities media’s coverage has changed since early summer. Back then, they actually talked about the negative effects the DFL’s policies were having, especially on the Iron Range. Now they’ve returned to talking only about the race to the finish.

DFL pundits, from Larry Jacobs to Ember Reichgott-Junge to Mindy Greiling, praise the strength of the Dayton-DFL economy because Minnesota’s unemployment rate is artificially low. They don’t talk about things like how many people have quit looking for work or how many “Starbucks MBAs” are employed in jobs that they’re vastly overqualified for.

The DFL promised jobs during their campaigns. They didn’t promise careers, with the exception of a career as a government bureaucrat. During the past 12 months, the Dayton-DFL economy has created 21,523 public sector jobs. That’s compared with the Dayton-DFL economy creating 2,900 total jobs in the last 7 months.

Chairman Martin’s job is to elect as many Democrats as possible, regardless of how much that’d hurt Minnesota. With outstate Minnesota’s unemployment rate high, it’s safe to say that the Dayton-DFL economic policies are hurting Minnesotans.

That’s especially true for the Range, where the region-wide unemployment rate is 8.02% compared with a statewide unemployment rate of 4.88%. Doing nothing while a major region of the state stagnates isn’t doing what’s best for the state. That’s the result of the DFL telling the Range that they’ll pay attention to the environmental activist-elitist wing of the DFL while ignoring the blue collar wing of the DFL represented by the Range.

It’s time for the Range to wake up and realize that the DFL is playing them for fools. It’s time they realized that Ken Martin’s DFL isn’t the Iron Range’s friend. It’s its enemy.

If the Iron Range realizes that, it’ll result in a happy ending for the Range because it’ll mean an end to DFL reign in St. Paul.

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Each afternoon, I receive a google alert to news involving Gov. Dayton. This afternoon’s alert is filled with articles talking about Gov. Dayton apologizing for MNsure’s failed rollout. The Miami Herald, the Kansas City Star and the Hilton Head Island Packet all ran with the AP article.

Here’s what he told county workers gathered in Alexandria:

“I want to thank you for the tremendous assistance you and your county staffs provided to MNsure, and I want to apologize for the excessive burdens it’s placed on you, your budgets and your people,” Dayton said. Calling MNsure’s rocky start his biggest disappointment so far, Dayton said, “It’s got better, and it will continue to get better, but it still has a ways to go.”

Without question, it’s polite to apologize for that crisis. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help families get health insurance in a timely fashion.

They don’t need apologies. They need the old system back. When I say that, I’m not talking about health insurance companies denying people with pre-existing conditions coverage. I’m talking about the programs Minnesota had in place that worked beautifully.

There’s no polite way of putting it. The Affordable Care Act, aka the ACA or Obamacare, was a major step backwards for Minnesotans. Possibly, it represents multiple steps backward from the pre-ACA standards. What’s taking months in the Dayton/DFL/MNsure regime, it took minutes in the Pawlenty/pre-MNsure regime.

This highlights something important worthy of the voters’ consideration. The number of things that are outright disasters during the Dayton administration dwarfs the number of things that were mismanaged during Gov. Pawlenty’s 2 terms in office.

Whatever you thought of Gov. Pawlenty’s policies, there’s no debating whether the policies that were implemented were executed properly.

Comparatively speaking, on any given day, Gov. Dayton might be seriously uninformed on major issues. For instance, when he signed the budget that ended the government shutdown in 2011, Gov. Dayton said that he didn’t know that Republicans had removed 2 provisions that he objected to. That means he could’ve signed the omnibus budget bills during the regular session and avoided the government shutdown.

Gov. Dayton claimed he didn’t know that the Vikings stadium bill that he personally negotiated contained a provision that allowed the Vikings to make money by selling PSLs, aka Personal Seat Licenses, to season ticket holders. Every stadium that’s been built over the last 15 years has that provision in it.

When Gov. Dayton visited FarmFest, he told farmers that he didn’t know that the Tax Bill that he personally negotiated included a new farm equipment repair sales tax.

Gov. Dayton said that he didn’t know MNsure had so many problems that were hurting Minnesotans. At what point do we say that Minnesota needs a governor who actually knows what’s going on in his own administration? Gov. Dayton’s ineptitude is frightening and it’s unacceptable.

Mothers attempting to get insurance for their newborn children deserve better than what Gov. Dayton’s been delivering.

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According to this article, the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, aka ABM, is a “liberal leaning group.” To be fair to the article, though, they took some pretty substantive swipes at ABM’s attacks against Jeff Johnson:

“Tea Party Republican Jeff Johnson voted to cut education, so he could give millions in tax breaks to big corporations,” the ad claims.

Contrary to what the ad claims, Johnson voted for an increase in K–12 education when he served in the Minnesota House, not a cut, according to final appropriations.

“I voted to increase education funding,” Johnson said. “We do this in government all the time when the increase isn’t as big as they wanted they say it was a cut.”

Here’s part of what Alisa Von Hagel, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin Superior, said about ABM’s ad:

The attack ad in its entirety is not grossly misleading or horribly inaccurate when compared to other television advertisements voters are being inundated with this election cycle.

That isn’t the same as saying it’s a true ad. It doesn’t even reach the point of being misleading. It’s like saying ‘Yeah, it’s dishonest but it isn’t as worthless as some of the vile crap that’s out there.’

Here’s something else that Dr. Von Hagel said about ABM’s ad:

“The most egregious part of the ad is this connection between education cuts and tax breaks for corporations which is not necessarily a claim there is any factual basis to make,” Von Hagel said.

Here’s the filthy part of the ad. Jeff Johnson didn’t cut K-12 spending. He voted to increase K-12 spending. He just didn’t increase K-12 spending as much as Education Minnesota wanted.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL tripped over themselves to increase spending on K-12 to the level that Education Minnesota asked for. That isn’t responsible government. That’s government of, by and for the special interests that fund DFL campaigns.

Bill Glahn is onto something about the ad, too (H/T: Mitch Berg):

Apparently the pejorative “Tea Party Republican” must test particularly well with low information voters. Or, perhaps its use in the ad is a sign the Democrats are concerned about turning out their base in an off-year election.

Ms. Livermore makes the dubious claim that Johnson “cut education by over $500 million” back in 2003, and then gave that money to corporations in 2005. Keep in mind that a similar ABM ad was judged “Misleading” by Minnesota Public Radio (of all places) for making those exact same claims. [The bill Johnson voted for in 2003 actually increased (rather than cut) public school spending.]

No, the real lie in the ad comes from the “appeal to authority” of having an ordinary “classroom teacher” attack Johnson’s education policy. According to her LinkedIn profile, Ms. Livermore served on the governing board of the teachers’ union Education Minnesota from 2004 to 2007. [By the way, she spells the word “education” incorrectly on her profile.]

Bill should cut Ms. Livermore some slack on the spelling. Chances are she attended a public school so what can you expect?

The point of the ad is to depict Ms. Livermore as just a concerned teacher. She definitely doesn’t fit that description after serving on Education Minnesota’s governing board.

This is just another bit of proof that ABM, which is the DFL’s messaging center, isn’t interested in informing voters. Their mission is to win voters over with whatever means are available. If that means lying or intentionally misleading, then that’s what ABM will do.

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This KSTP article includes this precious quote from Scott Leitz, MNsure’s CEO:

“The one thing that we know is that the system will be better this fall than it was last fall,” he said. “Progress has been made on the system, but I think anyone who will be signing on will also say the system isn’t quite a perfect one.”

Anyone using MNsure “will also say the system isn’t quite a perfect one.” That’s understatement. Here’s what DeLoitte’s report said about MNsure’s ‘capabilities':

During the assessment, 47 of the 73 sub-functions addressed were found either to be absent or not functioning as expected.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg:

The remaining 41 sub-functions need to be provided for the 2015 Open Enrollment either through changes/enhancements to the systems or through contingent means.

Here’s how well those “contingent means” work:

Then, when state officials unveiled in June a work-around process for adding babies, county workers found the process usually took an hour or more per baby. Before MNsure, the job usually took about five minutes.

In other words, MNsure’s “contingent means” are essentially worthless.

When Dayton ran for governor, he said he wanted to be known as ‘the jobs governor’. He’s failed at that. I’d argue that he’s the ‘incompetent governor’ because everything he’s touched has turned to manure.

We had a world class health insurance system. Thanks to the Dayton-DFL disaster, aka MNsure, it now takes months to do what used to take minutes to do.

“The system isn’t quite a perfect one.”

That’s what Scott Leitz’s gravestone should say, though it isn’t difficult to picture Gov. Dayton saying something that ridiculous.

Meanwhile, Leitz says he’s confident the whole MNsure enrollment process will be smoother than last year’s rocky rollout.

Promising that things will be smoother than last fall’s disaster isn’t promising much. That just isn’t that difficult.

What’s needed is a governor that isn’t afraid to tell President Obama Obamacare is a disaster. What we don’t need is a wimpy governor that does whatever President Obama wants him to do. Thus far, Gov. Dayton has bought into Obamacare lock, stock and barrel. As a result, we’ve got MNsure, which is a total disaster.

“I think anyone who will be signing on will also say the system isn’t quite a perfect one.”

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This video is just another example of how Education Minnesota and the Alliance for a Better Minnesota can’t resist lying about Republicans:

The “cutting education to pay for tax breaks for big corporations” storyline was used against Tom Emmer in 2010. Back then, KTSP and FactCheck.org rated that ad as false. That’s because they’re polite. I’ll just state that they’re lying. It’s been proven false. Further, they knew it was false when they said it. That makes it a lie.

Like the DFL, ABM doesn’t have a positive agenda. Admittedly, they’ve lied about Minnesota’s economy, saying that Minnesota “is working again.” They said that despite the fact that Minnesota’s job creation has ground to a screeching halt, creating a pathetic 2,900 jobs this year. That’s right. This year, not this month. That isn’t a typo.

I wrote here that Gov. Dayton admitted that the MNsure rollout was a disaster, though he insists that it’s improving with each day. I wrote this article to highlight the fact that MNsure will be a major headache for years to come. That isn’t just my opinion. That’s the conclusion DeLoitte reached in their investigation.

Yes, Jeff Johnson voted for some unpopular things. He didn’t vote for “tax breaks for big corporations,” though. That’s part of ABM’s web of lies. If they were forced to tell the truth, 90% of their content for their ads would disappear. The best way to determine if ABM is lying is to determine if their lips are moving. If their spinmeister’s lips are moving, then it’s almost a certainty that they’re lying.

This is how bad MNsure still is:

During the assessment, 47 of the 73 sub-functions addressed were found either to be absent or not functioning as expected.

Two-thirds of the vital sub-functions either don’t exist or don’t work.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL can’t stand up to ABM, either. That’s because the DFL is funded by the same special interests that fund ABM. Specifically, the DFL is funded by Alida Messinger and the public employee unions. That’s who funds ABM, too.

That means Gov. Dayton and the DFL can’t call ABM out even if they wanted to. Then again, Gov. Dayton and the DFL don’t want to because the only thing they care about is winning at all costs.

If that means breaking the law, the DFL is fine with that. In fact, the DFL has broken the law, after which Ken Martin, the chair of the DFL, insisted that breaking the law was “a distraction“:

DFL lawmakers disagreed with the board’s ruling said that they are glad to put the matter to rest.

“Ultimately, it is best to set this distraction aside and allow our members to focus on governing,” DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said.

It’s worth noting that Ken Martin was an integral part of ABM before Alida Messinger announced that she’d picked him as the next DFL chairman after she pushed Brian Melendez out the door.

The best way to deal with ABM is to vote for the party with a pro-growth, positive agenda. Voting for the people ABM targets won’t shut ABM up. It’ll just tell them that ABM is wrong for Minnesota.

If you want government of, by and for the special interests that raise your taxes and spend money foolishly, vote for ABM-approved candidates. If you prefer a prosperous Minnesota that works for families and the small businesses found on Main Street, then vote against ABM-approved candidates.

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Appearing at a convention in Alexandria, Gov. Dayton admitted what Minnesotans knew a year ago. Gov. Dayton admitted that MNsure’s rollout was a disaster. Unfortunately, he didn’t admit that it’s still a mess:

Gov. Mark Dayton called the troubled rollout of the MNsure insurance exchange the low point of his first term in a campaign appearance Wednesday, but embraced the program’s successes in extending insurance coverage to those who historically struggled to get it.

“I want to apologize for the excessive burdens it’s placed on you, your budgets and your people,” Dayton told a gathering of county officials. “The problems that have afflicted the inception of MNsure are my biggest disappointment in my term as governor. It’s got better, and it will continue to get better, but it still has a ways to go.”

Gov. Dayton still hasn’t admitted that MNsure is still a disaster, instead couching that fact in weasel words like “it will continue to get better” and “it still has a ways to go.”

Let’s be clear. MNsure doesn’t “still have a ways to go.” It’s an unmitigated disaster that’s essentially unworkable. To use an old poker phrase, the only right way to throw this hand is away. Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature spent more than $160,000,000 on MNsure’s website. It didn’t work. What’s worse is that they put manual workarounds in place. This week, we discovered that they aren’t working either:

When a new baby arrives, parents want the infant quickly added to their health insurance. But for 78 new moms in Dakota County this year, the process bogged down for months because of a change to Minnesota’s new MNsure health insurance exchange.

For five months, county workers said they couldn’t use the new system to add babies to their mom’s coverage in Medical Assistance, the state’s primary safety net health insurance program.

It gets more insulting:

Then, when state officials unveiled in June a work-around process for adding babies, county workers found the process usually took an hour or more per baby. Before MNsure, the job usually took about five minutes.

That isn’t the worst of it. This is:

The trouble with babies points to a broader problem with the MNsure system. It remains a slow and difficult process for state, county and health exchange workers to record “life events” for people who have obtained coverage through the new online marketplace for insurance.

Moms need coverage for new babies. Husbands and wives sometimes need to add a spouse to their policy. People move, so they need to provide notice of a new address. Income can change in ways that impact eligibility for government programs.

The MNsure system needs to be able to record all of these life events and others. But the labor-intensive process for doing so has led to a backlog.

The MNsure rollout was a disaster. The continuing difficulties people are experiencing indicate that MNsure is still a bureaucratic mess that’s still tormenting families and county workers.

Nothing says things are getting noticeably better about MNsure. Nothing. It’s time for Gov. Dayton and the DFL to admit that it’s a disaster. It’s time to scrap MNsure and start over on something that works.

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According to Patrick Condon’s article, Gov. Dayton stopped short of officially announcing more tax increases. Instead, he said that the Legacy Amendment might be an option he’d consider to pay for Minnesota’s transportation needs:

The governor cited the 2008 Legacy Amendment, for which voters willingly approved a statewide sales tax increase to pay for spending on arts, outdoor recreation and water quality improvements, as potentially instructive to transportation boosters. “It showed that people will dig into their pockets for things they consider priorities,” Dayton said.

That’s Gov. Dayton’s hint that he’ll push for another tax increase instead of prioritizing existing transportation spending. Jeff Johnson took a more direct approach:

Johnson said he would redirect state money away from mass transit programs, including the planned Southwest light-rail line, which he said he would seek to cancel. Johnson said he also believes the state should do more borrowing to pay for transportation projects, and look for efficiencies at the state Department of Transportation.

We need more light rail like Minnesota’s entrepreneurs need more tax increases and more regulations. Apparently, Gov. Dayton still frequently visits LaLaLand when not living in the Governor’s Mansion:

Dayton criticized that last suggestion as “just fanciful,” saying it would be impossible to come up with the kind of money that’s needed.

Eliminating funding for the Southwest light rail project would free up tons of money that could be used to fill Minnesota’s potholes and fix Minnesota’s bridges. Spending a penny on the SWLRT is too much for that albatross.

That’s a stinging indictment of Gov. Dayton’s lack of priorities. He still hasn’t figured out (or he doesn’t care) that light rail is a waste of money. Gov. Dayton’s ‘let’s just throw more money at it’ approach to governing is what’s wrong with this state. That mentality is causing growing businesses to move to or start in North Dakota, Utah and Texas instead of Minnesota.

Under Gov. Dayton’s ‘leadership’, every Minnesotan’s taxes have increased, thanks to all of the regressive taxes passed in the Dayton-DFL tax bill. Despite increased LGA and “historic investments in education”, Minnesotans’ property taxes still went up. Significantly.

That’s before talking about how the Dayton-DFL budget has hurt job creation in Minnesota. In fact, it isn’t difficult to make the case that job creation has ground to a halt in Minnesota and that a Dayton-DFL-caused deficit is heading our direction in February.

The only bright spot during Gov. Dayton’s term in office was when the Republican legislature balanced Minnesota’s budget without raising taxes. That led to the most prolific job growth of the Dayton administration. As Gov. Dayton’s term comes to a close, job growth is disappearing, taxes are going up and businesses are leaving Minnesota.

That’s what all-DFL governance has bought us. God help us.

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