Archive for the ‘Tom Bakk’ Category

After I wrote this post about how the IRRRB, which is essentially run by the DFL, granted 2 loans to Meyer Teleservices, I started thinking things through about the corporation. First, let’s review what this company did:

The company was founded in St. Cloud in 1977; opened its Little Falls office in 1999; and then launched on the Range in Eveleth in 2007.

It was a company with direct ties and allegiance to the Democratic Party. After Republican President Richard Nixon’s resignation over the Watergate scandal the business created an “… innovative small donor fundraising program called the Dollars for Democrats program,” according to the Meyer Teleservices website.

At this point, taxpayers are footing the bill for a company that received taxpayer-subsidized loans to run a fundraising operation for Democrats. It’s more than that, though. Here’s more:

The St. Cloud-based company also leaves behind a debt of about $250,000 to the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board, which had issued two loans totaling $650,000 to the business for its Eveleth facility.

I’d ask which idiots were stupid enough to make a second loan to the company but we know which idiots made the second loan. I even think we know why they made that second loan. The IRRRB, aka DFL North, made that second loan to keep the fundraising operation going through the last election.

Wasn’t it clear that the company was failing? The taxpayers are on the hook for $250,000 in debt that Meyer Teleservices hasn’t repaid. Surely, somebody should’ve noticed that when Meyer applied for the second loan. Certainly, this information should’ve sent red flags into the air into the air if the IRRRB was paying attention:

Fundraising through telemarketing was its major service and revenue source. But the business model proved too outdated in recent years for today’s mobile phone society.

“Land lines are decreasing eight to twelve percent per year. And because of court rulings we can’t, we can’t consciously dial cell phone numbers. And a lot of politicians are now using the Internet to raise funds,” Owen said.

The owner said, “We did everything we could to stay open. I went all in. I basically lost all my retirement and took out mortgages on two houses. And the former owner put in $380,000 last year to try to keep us afloat. He’s out that now, too.”

Notice that Owens’ and Meyer’s money went to prop up a business destined for failure. It didn’t go to pay off the debt. That’s because fundraising for Democrats was more important to Meyer, Owens and the IRRRB. Taxpayers shouldn’t get shafted because the IRRRB, which is the DFL’s office on the Range, didn’t care about taxpayers. These 2 sentences should’ve been the brightest red flags imaginable to the IRRRB:

But the business model proved too outdated in recent years for today’s mobile phone society. Land lines are decreasing eight to twelve percent per year.

The first question that I have is simple. It’s impossible to think that the IRRRB cared about taxpayers if they knew this information. And it’s impossible to think they didn’t know this information. They aren’t that ignorant.

Legally, the DFL doesn’t owe Minnesota’s taxpayers a penny for this. Morally, they’re guilty of shafting Minnesota’s taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Additionally, Mssrs. Meyer and Owens should’ve paid back the loan rather than keeping the fundraising operation afloat.

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Stories like this prove that the DFL is built on cronyism and taxpayers’ money. Here’s a little background first:

EVELETH — Meyer Teleservices in Progress Park has closed its doors on the Iron Range, leaving 104 people unemployed.

The St. Cloud-based company also leaves behind a debt of about $250,000 to the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board, which had issued two loans totaling $650,000 to the business for its Eveleth facility.

“It was a pretty tough day (Monday),” said Gary Owen, company owner and CFO, in a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon. “I went up there and talked with the good people working for us. They are good employees with warm hearts. Some of them even said they were more concerned about me.”

Meyer Teleservices also on Monday shuttered its other Minnesota offices in St. Cloud and Little Falls.

According to Kevin Allenspach’s article, Meyer Teleservices was started in 1976 by Larry Meyer. I haven’t confirmed that the Larry Meyer mentioned in this article is former St. Cloud Mayor Larry Meyer but I’m betting it is. After all, there can’t be many St. Cloud businessmen named Larry Meyer, much less that are capable of this:

Owen bought the company from employee ownership last October and said he subsequently lost all of his retirement savings and took out two property mortgages in an effort to keep the business going. Meyer also infused the business with $380,000 last year, to no avail.

“Larry was very gracious and you can only go to the well so many times,” said Owen, who worked for Meyer Teleservices for 25 years. “We just weren’t able to turn a profit.”

Here’s where the cronyism comes in:

The equipment is collateral for the IRRRB loans, but Commissioner Tony Sertich said in a telephone interview Tuesday evening that he is right now more concerned with the workers who lost their jobs.

“We’ll sort that out in the coming weeks,” he said about the financial situation and where the agency will line up regarding the money it is owed. “It’s always hard to see job losses. This week it’s about empathizing with families who lost their jobs.”

The company was founded in St. Cloud in 1977; opened its Little Falls office in 1999; and then launched on the Range in Eveleth in 2007.

It was a company with direct ties and allegiance to the Democratic Party. After Republican President Richard Nixon’s resignation over the Watergate scandal the business created an “… innovative small donor fundraising program called the Dollars for Democrats program,” according to the Meyer Teleservices website.

The IRRRB gets tons of cash in taxpayer appropriations each biennium. Here’s the IRRRB’s alleged mission:

Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) is a State of Minnesota development agency located in Eveleth, Minnesota. IRRRB’s mission is to promote and invest in business, community and workforce development for the betterment of northeastern Minnesota.

IRRRB provides vital funding, including low or no interest loans, grants and loan guarantees for businesses relocating or expanding in the region. Additionally, a variety of grants are available to local units of government, education institutions, and nonprofits that promote workforce development and sustainable communities.

How does lending money to a DFL phone bank “promote workforce development and sustainable communities”? How does lending money to a DFL fundraising operation provide for “the betterment of northeastern Minnesota”? How many other DfL operations has the IRRRB loaned to other companies? How many pro-DFL operations have received “a variety of grants” available to “education institutions and nonprofits”?

The loan to Meyer Teleservices was approved in 2007, which means that David Dill and Tom Bakk almost certainly voted to approve this ‘loan.’ Aside from the cronyism, it’s worth noting that the IRRRB ‘invested’ taxpayer money in an outdated system that was designed to benefit the DFL. It’s also worth noting that this venture in pro-DFL cronyism lost the taxpayers money before going bankrupt.

Is this the type of Minnesota you want to live in? Are these the type of people we want running state government? I’d passionately argue that Mssrs. Sertich, Bakk and Dill are the last people who should have their hands on the levers of state and local government.

This is a taxpayer rip-off that specifically benefited the DFL. That type of cronyism/corruption must end ASAP.

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This morning, Rep. Matt Dean and Sen. Roger Chamberlain submitted a bill that would strip funding for Sen. Bakk’s Office Building:

Republican legislators are pushing a bill that would block construction of the much-maligned new Senate office building complex. Already a source of criticism from many conservatives, the building is now the subject of legislation brought by Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, and Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, that would strip the crucial language from the 2013 tax bill, leaving the $90 million project unfunded.

Dean and Chamberlain highlighted their bill with a Monday morning Capitol press conference. Joined by numerous other GOP lawmakers, they spelled out a number of complaints with the construction plan, which they say is unpopular and unnecessary.

“Republicans’ priorities are family first, people first, before the needs of politicians,” Chamberlain said.

I can’t see Speaker Thissen letting this bill get a hearing, which means passing this bill is virtually dead in the water. Thissen can’t afford to let the bill get out of committee and to the House floor for a vote on final passage. If it gets a vote on final passage, his vulnerable members would have to choose between voting against the bill, which is political suicide or voting for the bill, which would put the Senate in a difficult position.

Frankly, this is a political hot potato for the DFL. Most DFL legislators in the House and Senate voted for the Office Building. Some, like Zach Dorholt, have said that they voted for the bill because they wanted to vote for the tax increases. If this comes up for a vote, Rep. Dorholt would have to decide whether he’ll leave Sen. Bakk and other DFL legislators hanging or if he’d vote against the Chamberlain-Dean legislation.

If the Chamberlain-Dean bill passes the House, Sen. Bakk will be in a predicament. If he tables it, it’ll create an anti-DFL backlash across the state. Every DFL legislator will be tagged as part of the party that puts politicians first. Voters won’t make a distinction between senators and representatives just like they don’t differentiate between DC politicians and state legislators.

The prevailing storyline will be DFL legislators looking out for each other. Either that or it’ll be politicians putting themselves first, families way down the list. This is a heads, the DFL loses, tail and the DFL can’t win situation. This is brilliant from a tactical standpoint.

That’s before talking about Jim Knoblach’s appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. The first judge essentially ruled that anything could be included in the Tax Bill because it finances state or local government operations. In other words, that judge gutted the Single Subject Clause of Minnesota’s constitution.

If the Supreme Court rules the way the first court should’ve ruled, the Chamberlain-Dean bill will be moot.

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Last week, the DFL Senate’s spin about passing ‘tax relief’ was that the DFL added money to Minnesota’s Rainy Day Fund while providing tax relief to the people:

Nearly every Republican joined most DFLers in backing it, but GOP members criticized the majority for a provision in the bill that adds $150 million to state budget reserves. That brings the state’s rainy-day fund to more than $800 million, but Republicans said that money should go back to taxpayers too.

This puts the DFL in a difficult position. When they talk about a bonding bill, their predictable mantra is that spending x amount of dollars in a bonding bill creates thousands of jobs. When they’re talking about tax relief, though, taking $800,000,000 out of the private sector’s hands, the DFL’s argument essentially is that this doesn’t hurt job creation.

Having some money in the Rainy Day Fund is appropriate but having almost $1,000,000,000 in the Rainy Day Fund is criminal because it’s taking money that should be used for creating jobs and putting it away to maintain government spending longer than government spending should be maintained.

The other thing that the DFL has to be exposed on is the myth that the surplus is proof that Minnesota’s economy is booming. That’s BS. The government is wealthier than it was with the GOP legislature but that’s it. The surplus is proof that the DFL’s tax increase is stealing too much money from families and small businesses.

The DFL is ok with that because the DFL has sworn its allegiance to growing government to the point that it’s intruding in people’s lives too much. The DFL objected to PolyMet until recently. They’re still objecting to the silica sand mining in southern Minnesota. They’re objecting while chanting ‘the environment’. Nowhere in their chanting points is there a mention about families needing the high-paying jobs that silica sand mining and PolyMet would provide.

The DFL’s Rainy Day rip-off is proof that the DFL’s highest priorities are feeding government while appeasing militant environmentalists. Those aren’t the average Minnesotan’s priorities. They want policies that create jobs that don’t require raising taxes to create. At this point, the DFL doesn’t champion policies like that.

The DFL’s policies promote intrusive, expensive and inefficient government. How many people know that taxpayers’ money is being used to lobby the legislature to spend more of the taxpayers’ money? The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities spent $840,000 lobbying for the legislature to spend more of the taxpayers’ money. While they’re the biggest in that classification, they weren’t the only organization doing that. The League of Minnesota Cities spent $628,945 lobbying the legislature to spend more of the taxpayers’ money on cities.

The definition of corruption is using the taxpayers’ money to convince legislators that they aren’t spending enough of the taxpayers’ money. In that scenario, the taxpayers are getting shafted twice. How isn’t that corrupt?

That’s before talking about the millions of dollars being paid to legislative liaisons. Legislative liaisons is government-speak for taxpayer-funded lobbyists. State agencies are littered with legislative liaisons. If that position was eliminated from state government, government spending would drop dramatically.

It isn’t that legislative liaisons get expensive salaries. It’s that they convince DFL legislators to spend tons of money they don’t need to spend.

If Minnesotans want a real economy, the DFL is the worst option. If Minnesotans want money spent efficiently, the DFL is the worst option. If Minnesota families want government dictating to them what they can and can’t do, then the DFL is the right choice. If Minnesota families want government ripping them off and putting productive money into a dead fund, then the DFL is the only choice.

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According to this article, Sen. Bakk rebutted Sen. Hann’s reason for not suspending the rules so the Senate could pass the DFL’s Tax Repeal Bill:

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk rebutted Hann’s argument, saying the bill had gone through only minor, technical changes during Thursday’s committee hearing, and pointing out that, by law, the Senate needed to act on a bill that had first passed through the House.

“Members, we might not get another tax bill — this might be it,” Bakk warned. He added: “If you want to wait until tomorrow to process it, that’s certainly within your control here today.”

Trusting Sen. Bakk isn’t wise. After all, Sen. Bakk is the tyrant who held the bill hostage so he could use it as leverage against the House. Sen. Bakk wanted to use that bill to extract a promise from Speaker Thissen that the House would approve Sen. Bakk’s Legislative Office Building project.

Why would we trust Sen. Bakk after that fiasco?

Which of Sen. Bakk’s recent actions indicate that he’s trustworthy? At the start of the week, Sen. Bakk insisted that the Senate was just doing their due diligence on the House’s bill. Then Gov. Dayton criticized the DFL Senatea for dragging their feet. Within an hour of Gov. Dayton’s criticism, Sen. Bakk announced that the Senate Taxes Committee would hear the bill the next day.

FYI- I don’t believe in coincidences, which means I don’t believe that Sen. Bakk’s newfound urgency was triggered by anything other than political pressure.

While Democrats haven’t hesitated in voting for something they hadn’t read, Republicans are more cautious. Republicans insisted on reading the bill before voting on it. That’s the sensible thing to do. This is the perfect illustration that the DFL’s votes are calculated by political expediency.

“There is no good reason for Senate Republicans block the bill’s passage today,” Dayton said. “If Republican legislators force any further delays in either the Senate or the House, they will be solely responsible for denying income tax cuts to thousands of Minnesotans.”

Gov. Dayton’s statement was driven by either total dishonesty or by taking too much pain medication. First, Sen. Bakk whined that if he didn’t get his office building, the Senate would be kicked out to the street. This time, Gov. Dayton whined that Republicans were irresponsible for insisting on reading a major bill before voting on it. I’d argue that that’s a totally legitimate reason for their actions.

When the drama fades and the dust settles, several things will be apparent. It’ll be apparent that the DFL voted for the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history. It’ll be apparent that the DFL repealed the B2B sales taxes because they saw the political backlash it’d created. It’ll be apparent that Gov. Dayton signed the tax increases into law. It’ll become apparent that Sen. Bakk wanted to play political hardball with the Tax Repair Bill. It’ll become apparent that the DFL’s mentality is to raise taxes first, then determine whether raising taxes was the right thing to do.

Additionally, it’ll become apparent that the DFL, including their media apologists, is shifting into spin mode in their attempt to hide the DFL’s disaster.

I’ll be here to counter the DFL’s spin. If that’s important to you, feel free to drop a few coins in my tip jar so I can continue fighting the good fight.

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This article sickens me because it’s intellectually dishonest. Baird Helgeson is intent on portraying the DFL as heroic tax cutters. That’s BS. The DFL is the party that taxes first, then waits to see if there’s a backlash. If there’s a backlash, they pass a Tax Repair Bill like they did Friday.

“This is a monumental victory for the DFL leadership in the Legislature and just shows that we have a balanced approach to Minnesota,” Dayton said during a celebratory news conference with DFL House and Senate leaders. “That’s what people wanted.”

Despite Gov. Dayton’s attempt to praise the DFL leadership in the House and Senate, it’s just proof that Gov. Dayton is intent on painting over his criticism of Sen. Bakk earlier this week. Here’s what he said earlier this week:

I’m very disappointed that we have not been able to reach a bill and frankly, we’ve got a meeting this afternoon with House and Senate leaders. I just have to say that the impasse isn’t around the tax bill. It’s about the Legislative Office Building and the Senate’s insistence that they have the building and they aren’t willing to let a reasonable tax bill proceed on a timely basis until they get the building and the House’s unwillingness at this point to agree to that. So I hope that Minnesotans will communicate with their legislators, and these are Democrat legislators, I’m sorry to say, that this is inexcusable and unacceptable.

Which is it, Gov. Dayton? Does Sen. Bakk deserve praise for stalling a bill to pressure the House into approving Bakk’s Palace? Does the DFL deserve praise for passing the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history last year, then repealing a tiny fraction of them this year? Does the DFL deserve praise for raising taxes and fees by $2,400,000,000 last year, then giving $440,000,000 of that back this year?

Minnesotans shouldn’t be happy that the DFL finally listened to them. They shouldn’t be happy that the DFL did the right thing only after the DFL started worrying about this year’s elections. That isn’t representing the people. That’s voting the DFL’s ideology.

It’s proof that the DFL will always do the right thing…when it’s the only option left.

The House and Senate passed the bill overwhelmingly on Friday. Nearly every Republican joined most DFLers in backing it, but GOP members criticized the majority for a provision in the bill that adds $150 million to state budget reserves. That brings the state’s rainy-day fund to more than $800 million, but Republicans said that money should go back to taxpayers too.

Putting that much money into the state’s rainy day fund is criminal. That’s stealing money from businesses that would create jobs with it. The DFL is putting money aside so the DFL won’t have to spend money efficiently. They’d rather pay off their special interest allies with the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. The DFL wouldn’t be able to pay off their special interest allies with taxpayers money if money was spent efficiently. It’s time the DFL stopped feeding their special interest allies and started representing their constituents.

Thus far, the DFL hasn’t proven that they’re interested in doing the right thing the first time. They’ve proven quite the opposite. This week, the DFL proved that they’ll do the right thing only when they’re worried about the next election.

That isn’t leadership. That’s called brinksmanship, which shouldn’t be rewarded with praise. This isn’t tax relief:

Much of the tax relief is delivered by conforming to recent changes in federal tax law, and about $57 million of it is retroactive to taxes paid in 2013.

Typically, tax conformity is the first bill passed by the legislature each year. It’s typically the first bill the governor signs each year. By waiting until after thousands of people have filed their tax returns before passing the tax conformity bill, the DFL just caused taxpayers the headache of filing an amended return. The DFL didn’t give thousands of people the opportunity to do their taxes once. Instead, Sen. Bakk opted to force thousands to file amended returns.

That isn’t cause for celebration. That’s cause for criticism. The DFL, specifically Sen. Bakk, put a high priority on getting the Senate Office Building approved. The DFL, especially Sen. Bakk, didn’t put a high priority on passing what I’m calling the Tax Repair Bill. Sen. Bakk said that the Senate couldn’t be rushed into passing the Tax Repair Bill because they were studying the impacts the tax repeals would have.

Sen. Bakk said that until he was exposed as playing political games with the Tax Repair Bill. Then he went into warp speed.

The GOP deserves praise in this for not supporting the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history. The GOP deserves praise for not buying into the DFL’s counterproductive tax increases. Minnesotans deserve praise for passionately criticizing the DFL’s tax increases.

UPDATE: This video is sickening:

Speaker Thissen spoke about tax relief for possibly 1,000,000 Minnesotans. Sen. Bakk praised the DFL for working at warp speed to get these tax ‘cuts’ passed. Isn’t it interesting that Sen. Bakk conveniently omitted the part about how he tried holding the tax repeals hostage to force the House to approve his Senate Office Building project? He didn’t budge until Gov. Dayton threw him under the bus because the political backlash was threatening a second Dayton term.

Sen. Bakk deserves criticism for playing politics with this Tax Repair Bill. Speaker Thissen and Gov. Dayton deserve criticism for passing the original tax increases which they repealed Friday. The DFL ‘leadership’ deserves criticism for putting a higher priority on voting their ideology than representing their constituents.

The good news is that we can fix two-thirds of the problem this November.

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I wrote this post to highlight the Agenda Media’s willingness to parrot the DFL’s ‘tax cut’ rhetoric. Frankly, it’s insulting intellectually to hear them say that the DFL is cutting taxes. A little history lesson will illustrate the intellectual emptiness of the DFL’s claims.

Let’s start with 2010, when voters swept in a class of reformers, giving Republicans majorities in the House and Senate. That group of legislators started with a $6,200,000,000 deficit. Gov. Dayton immediately proposed the biggest tax increases in Minnesota history.

When the February budget forecast came out, the projected deficit had ‘dropped’ to $5,030,000,000. Immediately, Gov. Dayton took several proposed tax increases off the table. Here’s a list of Gov. Dayton’s tax increases:

Taxes: Largest Increase in History; Highest Rate in Nation -

New fifth tier of 13.95% for anyone earning over $500,000.
New fourth tier of 10.95% for single earning $85,000 or married filing jointly earning $150,000.
State property tax on Home Values over $1 million.
Closing Corporate and other Loopholes
Health Care Surcharges including the Granny Tax.
Other Tax Revenues including a car rental tax to help fund Minnesota tourism.
No complete payback of K-12 shift until 2023.

Spending: A 22% Increase

When the dust settled after the Dayton Shutdown, taxes weren’t raised. As a result, Minnesota’s economy rebounded. When the DFL took over the legislature, Gov. Dayton again proposed huge tax increases. He did this despite the fact that the projected deficit had dropped to $600,000,000. That’s quite the difference from the $6,200,000,000 deficit Republicans inherited.

Despite the tiny deficit, Gov. Dayton and the DFL proposed $2,400,000,000 in tax and fee increases. Gov. Dayton and the DFL included new business-to-business sales taxes in its ‘tax reform’ package. They also included increased LGA, allegedly to provide property tax relief.

Immediately, the business community criticized the B2B sales taxes and the income tax increases. Quickly, Gov. Dayton and the House DFL dropped those tax increases. The Senate DFL refused to play along with that. The Tax Bill that House and Senate Democrats voted for and that Gov. Dayton signed included those B2B tax increases along with money for Sen. Bakk’s Legislative Office Building.

Fast forward to this week. Gov. Dayton criticized Sen. Bakk for playing games with what I’m calling the DFL’s Tax Repair Bill. As a result, Sen. Bakk caved and eventually passed the Tax Repair Bill.

When a thief plunders a home, taking jewelry, high tech electronics and kitchen appliances, that’s a theft. If the thief returns the kitchen appliances, it’s still a theft. Similarly, raising taxes, then repealing a tiny portion of those taxes still means that the DFL raised taxes.

The reality is that Minnesota families will have a greater percentage of their paychecks confiscated because of the Dayton-DFL tax increases than they paid when this legislature was sworn in. That’s the verifiable reality.

Whether Heather Carlson, Mary Lahammer and Tom Scheck parrot the DFL’s chanting points, the plain truth is that Gov. Dayton and the DFL have raised taxes on every Minnesotan since taking office in 2013. No amount of tap-dancing by the DFL and the Agenda Media will change that.

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I just started watching Almanac’s Roundtable but I had to stop and write about what panelists Heather Carlson, Mary Lahammer and Tom Scheck said. Frankly, what they said is insulting. They’re disgraces to the reporting profession because they aren’t telling the whole truth.

When Cathy Wurzer asked Heather Carlson if passing these tax cuts was politically necessary to the DFL, Ms. Carlson said it was. Scheck followed up by saying that it was because the DFL “just raised taxes by $2.1 billion dollars.”

These aren’t tax cuts. A tax cut is when you lower the rate at which something is getting taxed. For instance, if income is getting taxed at 7.85% by the state, a tax cut would be lowering that rate. If farm equipment repairs aren’t subject to Minnesota’s sales tax, then the legislature passes their a bill that subjects farm equipment repairs to the state’s sales tax, then the legislature repeals the sales tax on farm equipment repairs, that isn’t a tax cut.

That’s returning things to where they were before the DFL legislature waged war on taxpayers. Another key portion of the Tax Correction Bill is tax conformity. That saves Minnesotans money but tax conformity is something that’s typically the first bill passed each year.

The truth is that the DFL raised taxes because Sen. Bakk insisted on punishing farmers, telecommunication companies and warehousing businesses. That’s where those B2B sales taxes came from. The truth is that the DFL raised other regressive taxes last year, too.

Now they’re trying to portray themselves as tax cutters when they’re really admitting that they raised taxes too much last year. What’s disappointing is that media personalities like Carlson, Lahammer and Scheck are playing along with the DFL’s storyline.

It’s disappointing from the perspective that societies that don’t get the whole truth make difficult decisions based on incomplete or faulty information. That’s a recipe for disaster. It’s also why the MSM is held in such low regard.

If Scheck, Lahammer and Carlson want to be DFL shills, that’s their right. In that case, however, taxpayers should insist that funding for TPT and MPR be cut dramatically because taxpayers shouldn’t pay for the DFL’s operations. If MPR and TPT can’t make it without taxpayer funding, that’s tough. That’s called the marketplace working perfectly.

The notion that MPR and TPT are the only real reporting outlets because they aren’t owned by corporate interests is insulting. They’re just as biased as Esme Murphy or Lori Sturdevant.

It’s time Minnesotans raised hell on this. They’re getting cheated by DFL spinmeisters pretending to be reporters. These reporters bought the DFL’s storyline without hesitation. A reporter’s job is to question people in authority. Carlson, Lahammer and Scheck apparently don’t think that’s part of their responsibility.

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According tho this article, Gov. Dayton and Sen. Bakk are whining because Republicans refused to vote on a bill without knowing what’s in it:

Dayton and DFL leaders have rushed to pass the measure to ensure the largest number of Minnesotans can take advantage of more than $50 million in retroactive tax relief by April 15. Senate DFLers used a rare procedure to try to speed passage by a day, but Republicans in the minority used their limited muscle to delay the vote until Friday.

Earlier in the week, Dayton chastised Senate DFLers for not passing the measure swiftly enough. On Thursday, Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, joined together to direct their wrath at Republicans.

“There is no good reason for Senate Republicans to block the bill’s passage,” Dayton said. If Republican legislators force any further delays, “they will be solely responsible for denying income tax cuts to thousands of Minnesotans.”

Yesterday, Sen. Bakk whined that not getting his office building would leave the Senate homeless:

“To think that the Senate is going to give up all this space and just be kicked out on the street. That’s just not going to happen. And we just don’t understanding why the House hasn’t acted in some urgency,” Bakk said.

Today, it’s Gov. Dayton whining that the GOP said no to voting on a bill they haven’t read. ‘Trust me’ won’t cut it. The GOP has an affirmative obligation to know what they’re voting for before voting on something. Senate Minority Leader David Hann summed it up perfectly:

“Just because Gov. [Mark] Dayton and the Democrats had a meltdown this week doesn’t mean the Senate should set aside our rules and rush this important tax bill,” said Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie. “There’s an old saying: Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”

Sen. Bakk held the Tax Repair Bill hostage as a bargaining chip to get approval for his office building. That’s why Gov. Dayton criticized him in a public press conference. Nos Gov. Dayton and Sen. Bakk are complaining that Republicans want to read the bill before voting on it.

Republicans did the right thing. The Tax Repair Bill got its first committee hearing Thursday morning. If the roles were reversed, isn’t it likely that Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton would be whining about Republicans jamming legislation down the Democrats’ throat without letting them read it?

Of course they’d be whining. In fact, they’d have a legitimate right to complain about that.

This is just Dayton’s and Bakk’s attempt to deflect attention away from Bakk’s attempt to play a stall game to get his office building. Bakk was humiliated publicly for playing games with the Tax Repair Bill. Since then, he’s been playing defense for playing political games.

This is what DFL ‘leadership’ looks like. First, the DFL plays political games. Next, people criticize the DFL for playing political games. When doing the right thing is the DFL’s only option, they try playing games by not letting the Senate read the bill that they’re supposed to vote on.

Finally, when Republicans insist on readng the bill before voting on it, the DFL ‘leadership’ whines that Republicans are holding up the legislation that Sen. Bakk didn’t want to vote on until he got his Palace for Politicians. That isn’t leadership. That’s gamesmanship.

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Based on this article, I’ve got to question whether the DFL is the united party that Twin Cities journalists, aka the DFL praetorian guard, would have us believe. Here’s the latest information that suggests the DFL isn’t the united party it’s pretending to be:

Gov. Dayton made his first public appearance since undergoing hip surgery in February to voice his disappointment for Senate DFLers, who he claimed were holding a tax relief bill hostage unless their demands over a new building were addressed. “The impasse is not around the tax bill,” Dayton said. “It’s about the legislative office building and the Senate’s insistence that they have the building.”

But Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk of Cook denied allegations that his members were holding up millions of dollars. “I don’t believe it’s been delayed any and I don’t know how much faster we could’ve gotten this up to the floor than we’re doing right now,” Bakk said.

That high-level back-and-forth between Gov. Dayton and Sen. Bakk over Sen. Bakk’s precious office building is just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s where the fight escalates:

Though he wasn’t willing to provide names of which senators were holding up the bill, Dayton did state, “The differences on tax policy are relatively minor and easily resolvable. It doesn’t do justice for the people of Minnesota to be in the situation we’re in now.

But House Speaker Paul Thissen of Minneapolis was willing to point fingers and right at Bakk. “It became clear that Sen. Bakk thinks that including a Senate Office Building in the tax bill is the only way he’s going to get his Senate Office Building done. We don’t believe that is the case but that is where we are,” Thissen said.

The animosity between Sen. Bakk and Speaker Thissen is one of the worst-kept secrets at the Capitol. Simply put, they’re enemies, not rivals. You can practically feel the joy Speaker Thissen felt in criticizing Sen. Bakk. This isn’t just a little dispute. This is the start of a full-fledged war:

Addressing the Senate building accusations, Bakk did admit that he was “disappointed” that the House hasn’t made progress on the issue and assumed it was because House members wouldn’t be impacted by the need for space. “To think that the Senate is going to give up all this space and just be kicked out on the street. That’s just not going to happen. And we just don’t understanding why the House hasn’t acted in some urgency,” Bakk said.

I’d say that someone needs a timeout for not playing well with others but that’s just my opinion. Seriously, Sen. Bakk’s mini-diatribe might indicate that he realizes he’s just lost his biggest bargaining chip against the House in his quest for getting Bakk’s Palace built.

That’s before talking about the erupting fight between the Iron Range Democrats and the Metrocrats. Sen. Bakk represents the Iron Range while Thissen and Dayton represent the Metrocrats. Thanks to their differing opinions on PolyMet, a fight is about to break out on that issue:

“Clearly this opens up the clash and conflict between those DFLers who value the environment first, versus those who value jobs first. We will all have to answer the question, ‘Whose side are you on?’” Anzelc said. “I think this issue has the potential to divide the DFL convention this summer. The table is set for Democrats running for statewide office to have a real challenging time of it in the ’14 elections.”

This is one of those rare times when the Republicans’ best strategy is to step to the side and watch the DFL fur fly. There’s no sense interjecting one’s self into a fight when your enemies are destroying each other.

It’ll take some effort resolving to get Sen. Bakk on board with the DFL agenda after he’s gotten shafted on his office building project. It’ll take a minor miracle to unite the DFL considering the looming fight over PolyMet. This is shaping up to being a major food fight for the DFL.

It ain’t gonna be pretty.

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