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Mary Lahammer interviewed Ryan Winkler for last night’s Almanac. During that brief interview, Rep. Winkler gave us the DFL’s mantra for the next 2 years:

REP. WINKLER: Divided government and gridlock and the type of divisiveness that we’re already starting to see is not the way we move ahead and they’re going to send Democrats back in to get things done.

That’s stunning. The new legislature hasn’t even been sworn in and Rep. Winkler thinks he’s Carnac. Before the first bill is submitted, Rep. Winkler thinks that Republicans are being divisive and sowing the seeds of gridlock. That’s world class chutzpah.

A couple themes are developing already. First, Paul Thissen is questioning whether Republicans will stand up to their big corporate special interests:

Will Republicans be willing to stand up to their big Twin Cities corporate donors and make sure to continue DFL investments in education that are closing the funding gap between rural and suburban school districts rather than handing out corporate tax breaks?

As I wrote here, that’s what chutzpah looks like. First, Republicans didn’t propose any tax breaks for corporations. Thissen knows that. Thissen doesn’t care because the DFL’s communications aren’t based in honesty. The DFL specializes in repeating outright lies. Second, Thissen and the DFL didn’t fight for Main Street.

When it was time to fight for miners on the Iron Range, the DFL didn’t.
When it was time to fight for women operating in-home child care businesses, Thissen & the DFL sided with AFSCME instead.
When it was time to fight for small businesses in outstate Minnesota, Thissen and the DFL raised their taxes instead.

Rep. Winkler, I’ve had enough of your dishonesty and chutzpah. I’m especially disgusted with your reckless assumptions. It’s reckless and dishonest to accuse Republicans of being divisive a month before the 2015 legislative session has even started. Further, it’s dishonest to say that Republicans having honest policy disagreements with the DFL is automatically considered gridlock.

That’s a clever Alinskyite tactic but it’s deceitful. Before the DFL started employing Alinskyite tactics, expressing honest policy disagreements on the House floor or in committee were what’s known as debates.

Further, it’s dishonest and deceitful to think that all DFL ideas are great solutions to Minnesota’s problems or that Republicans’ ideas are automatically doomed to failure. If Rep. Winkler honestly thinks that, then he’s a narcissist who thinks of himself as intellectually superior.

Considering the fact that he once called a black man an “Uncle Thomas”, then insisted that he didn’t know that that was a pejorative term, there’s reason to think that he’s just a lefty bomb thrower who’s prone to shooting his mouth off.

During the 2013 session, the DFL voted to hurt some small businesses with major tax increases and hurt other small businesses with forced unionization. Repeatedly, the DFL showed their hostility with small businesses. Many of the businesses hurt with the DFL’s tax increases were in outstate Minnesota.

Despite those indisputable facts, the DFL is insisting that disagreeing with them leads to gridlock that hurts Minnesotans. The DFL’s policies are what hurt Minnesotans. No catchy, dishonest mantra will change that truth.

Paul Thissen’s op-ed, which was also published in the Rochester Post-Bulletin, had so spin that I couldn’t fit it into one post. Here’s more of Thissen’s spin:

They voted against the Homestead Credit Refund that provided $120 million in direct property tax relief to 450,000 homeowners, helping reduce statewide property taxes for the first time in 12 years.

Bill Salisbury’s article quickly discredits Thissen’s spin:

Overall, cities have proposed a 4.6 percent property-tax levy increase, counties’ levies would go up 3 percent, townships would levy an additional 2 percent and special taxing districts proposed a 3 percent boost.

Thissen and the DFL initially raised taxes and fees by $2,500,000,000. After getting blasted for raising taxes on B2B transactions, Thissen and the DFL returned to St. Paul a repentant bunch. They quickly repealed the tax increases they’d passed just months earlier. Thissen and the DFL frequently justified that gigantic tax increase by promising property tax relief to the middle class. Apparently, the DFL failed. Property taxes didn’t drop. They’re still going up.

They failed to support our farmers, voting against grants to help family farms start up and expand, against livestock disease research and against the new Farm-to-Foodshelf program.

Republicans voted against the DFL’s attempt to use taxpayers’ money to buy votes with massive spending increases directed at their special interest allies. The Dayton-Thissen-DFL budget wasn’t a budget as it was the DFL checking off as many of the items on the DFL special interests’ wish list as possible.

The DFL’s tax bill didn’t reform the tax code to make Minnesota competitive with its neighboring states. It’s amazing that the DFL’s hostility to businesses didn’t result in them losing more seats.

More importantly, I hope to hear the Republicans move on to governing and discuss how the entire state can prosper together as one.

That’s a clever trick on Thissen’s part. You’d almost think that there was a Republican governor setting the agenda. It’s the governor that proposes. The legislature’s role is to debate Gov. Dayton’s budget, then offer amendments to the things he got wrong. Unfortunately for Minnesota businesses, there’s be so much uncertainty caused by Gov. Dayton’s budgets that businesses didn’t create as many jobs as they could have.

Will Thissen and the DFL support opening PolyMet? Will they support building the Sandpiper Pipeline project? Will they insist on a silica sand-mining moratorium? Those projects alone would spread prosperity throughout more of Minnesota.

When Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and Rep. Thissen attended the DFL State Convention, their devotion to Iron Range jobs was so tepid they wouldn’t even permit a debate on whether the DFL’s platform should include a simple statement saying that they support mining.

I’d love hearing Speaker Thissen explain how stifling debate on a major economic development issue helps “the entire state can prosper together as one.” That explanation would likely be more twisted than a pretzel.

Then again, I could say that about most DFL economic policies.

Paul Thissen’s op-ed in Friday night’s St. Cloud Times is breathtakingly dishonest. Here’s a prime example of Thissen’s dishonesty:

On the campaign trail, Republicans like Daudt attacked these accomplishments as inadequate, attacks ironically financed by enormous contributions from big Twin Cities corporate special interests. So it seems fair to ask:

Will Republicans be willing to stand up to their big Twin Cities corporate donors and make sure to continue DFL investments in education that are closing the funding gap between rural and suburban school districts rather than handing out corporate tax breaks?

I frequently wrote about the Democrats’ dishonest claims that Republicans supported “handing out corporate tax breaks.” To be fair, most of those claims were made against Torrey Westrom’s and Stewart Mills’ congressional campaigns but Thissen’s claims are dishonest just the same. One of the DCCC’s ads accused Torrey Westrom of shutting down the government “to give tax breaks to his wealthy friends.”

First, Republicans haven’t written any legislation that would “hand out corporate tax breaks. Thissen knows that’s verifiable fact but he doesn’t care because he’s utterly dishonest. Soon-to-be Minority Leader Thissen can clear this all up by citing which legislation the Republicans authored would’ve given corporations tax breaks.

Most importantly, though, let’s focus on who funded the DFL’s legislative campaign. In St. Cloud, the DFL paid for most of the campaign mailers. I don’t recall getting any mailers from Dorholt’s campaign proper. I also got mailers from a pro-union group called Working America Minnesota Political Fund. This is one of their mailers:

Will Minority Leader Thissen “be willing to stand up to [his] big Twin Cities” special interest allies in the next legislative session? Will he stand up to the environmental activist wing of the DFL? Will he tell Alida Messinger that he’ll steadfastly support mining on the Iron Range?

History shows he won’t. When AFSCME and SEIU insisted that the DFL impose forced unionization on small businesses, then-Speaker Thissen didn’t think twice. Rather than siding with the hard-working ladies who run in-home child care facilities, Thissen and the DFL voted with Eliot Seide and Javier Morillo-Alicea instead.

When convenience stores told him not to raise the cigarette tax because that’d hurt their businesses, Thissen didn’t just ignore them. He raised the cigarette tax $1.50 a pack. Thanks to Thissen and the DFL, convenience stores in Greater Minnesota got hurt.

Will a Republican legislature respond to the unique economic challenges that have made it harder for our economic recovery to be felt from border-to-border?

Unlike the DFL of the last 2 years, the GOP House will respond to Greater Minnesota’s economic needs. The GOP didn’t ignore small businesses’ calls to not start applying the sales tax on business-to-business transactions. In the House, the DFL voted for raising those taxes. After they got an earful from businesses after the session, the DFL knew that they’d overreached.

Sensing that their majority status in the House was in jeopardy, the DFL quickly moved to repeal the B2B sales taxes that they’d passed just months before.

Paul Thissen wasn’t the only DFL legislator who displayed hostility to businesses. That’s why he’ll soon be the House Minority Leader rather than getting another term as Speaker.

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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Apparently, the DFL is trying to pander to MnSCU executives. This article sounds like the DFL’s attempt to pander to MnSCU voters:

DFL leaders said today they would work to provide more money for higher education and work closely with the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system to ensure each system is becoming more efficient in order to better direct state dollars toward tuition stabilization and reduction.

That’s DFL demagoguery at its worst. The DFL never insists that government becomes more efficient. The next time they insist on MnSCU spend the taxpayers’ money efficiently, it’ll be the first time that the DFL will have insisted that MnSCU spend the taxpayers’ money efficiently.

The DFL chairs of the House and Senate Higher Education committees didn’t find out that Chancellor Rosenstone had gotten a big raise and a new contract until 9 months after the fact. They didn’t know that Chancellor Rosenstone paid McKinsey and Co. $2,000,000 until after the fact. Here’s how important it was to hire McKinsey:

Dean Frost, a professor at Bemidji State University and a former management consultant who reviewed some of the documents McKinsey produced, said the playbooks feature general, common-sense instructions on conducting a task force. He said the supporting research mostly includes publicly available materials rather than reports generated specially for MnSCU.

In other words, the work McKinsey did wasn’t particularly enlightening but it was expensive. Now the DFL expects me to buy the notion that they’ll actually pay attention? They expect me to buy into the notion that they’ll reform MnSCU? Why would I buy into that? This part leads me to think that the DFL isn’t trustworthy:

In an election year where candidates are promising to make education more affordable, the Minnesota House DFL says it wants to freeze tuition at Minnesota’s public higher education institutions until 2017. The effort would build on an existing tuition freeze through 2015.

That isn’t what happened in 2013-14. First, the DFL legislature imposed a tuition freeze on MnSCU universities in 2013. In 2014, the DFL legislature passed a supplemental appropriation of $17,000,000. Then it negotiated a contract with the IFO. When MnSCU got the $17,000,000, it didn’t spend the money on the new contract, which is what the supplemental appropriation was supposed to pay for. It went elsewhere.

That means the DFL legislature froze tuition, raised the universities’ biggest cost substantially, then told the universities that they’d have to figure out how to pay the higher contract costs without raising tuition. Meanwhile, Chancellor Rosenstone paid McKinsey $2,000,000 for work they could’ve done in-house and President Potter insists that losing $7,500,000 in 5 years on the Coborn’s Plaza Apartments is a great success for SCSU.

That last part is especially galling considering the fact that a) Zach Dorholt is the Vice-Chair of the House Higher Education Committee and b) SCSU is in his district. He’s paid no attention to SCSU except to rally students for his campaign this fall.

These aren’t the actions of politicians that are committed to making sure that the taxpayers’ money is spent efficiently on necessities. They’re the actions of politicians pandering to voters. Period.

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In late July, I wrote this post to highlight the fundraising disparity between Jim Knoblach and Zach Dorholt. Dorholt’s fundraising totals are pathetic, which is why I said this at the time:

What’s interesting is reading Mr. Dorholt’s campaign finance report. The reason it’s interesting reading is because it has a lengthy list of out-of-state special interests contributions. That begs the question of who Mr. Dorholt represents. Does he represent his district or does he represent the DFL’s Metrocrats? At this point, there’s little question that Dorholt represents Speaker Thissen’s wishes. He voted with Speaker Thissen 99% of the time on issues of importance.

Now that it’s crunch time, Dorholt’s special interest masters are spending on his behalf:

At the bottom of the lit piece, it says that it was “prepared and paid for by the Working America Minnesota Action Fund, 815 16th St. NW, Washington, DC in support of Zachary Dorholt. I decided to visit Working America’s About Us page:

Together, and in solidarity with working people across the country, we fight for our common interests—good jobs, affordable health care, education, retirement security, corporate accountability and real democracy. We want to ensure our kids have a quality education, our grandparents don’t have to decide between paying for their monthly medication or paying for food and that we will have a secure retirement when our working days have ended.

This lit piece was part of a door-knocking effort recently. It was given to a loyal reader of LFR, who then asked if I’d like to write about it. I didn’t hesitate in saying yes to that opportunity. When pressed by this loyal reader of LFR, the person doing the door-knocking said that he was an independent. When questioned about how independent he really was, the door-knocker insisted that he was truly independent.

That’s intellectually insulting.

Working America isn’t a Minnesota organization. It’s a national organization. How did they find out about Zach Dorholt? It’d be one thing if they were a Minnesota organization. It’s a different story because they’re a national organization.

This is just a hunch but I’m betting he got recognized for voting against in-home child care small businesses and for AFSCME and the SEIU in 2013. I’m betting that Dorholt got their attention by voting for raising Minnesota’s minimum wage, too.

At this point, it’s fair to ask who Dorholt represents. When I checked Dorholt’s campaign finance report, nobody living in his district had contributed to him. In fact, 2 people from Minnesota and 2 people from North Dakota had contributed to his campaign. Five people from California, 2 people from Ft. Lauderdale and 2 people from Pennsylvania contributed to him but nobody from his district.

It’s totally legitimate to ask who Dorholt represents because nobody supports him locally. His local BPOU hasn’t even supported him. Then again, his BPOU has virtually nothing in their checking account. If Dorholt’s neighbors won’t support him, why should we think he’ll represent this district?

It’s pretty clear that he’s bought and paid for by the progressives’ special interests.

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This AP article lists early the type of messaging we’ll hear from Gov. Dayton and the DFL:

For Democrats, back-to-school week brings a chance to brag about the launch of statewide all-day kindergarten where parents aren’t hit with fees or school districts don’t have to absorb costs of the extra classroom time. Over the next month, thousands of homeowners, renters and farmers will receive property tax refund checks from the state because of expanded eligibility and new money the Democratic-led Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton designated for those programs.

That’s the glass-half-full version. Unfortunately, it omits some important details.

One of those details is how they paid for ‘free’ all-day kindergarten and the property tax refunds. Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature paid for them by raising taxes on small business owners. Those entrepreneurs, in turn, paid for those taxes by laying people off, then hiring part-time employees who make half what the full-time employees made. That’s before factoring in the part-time employees’ loss of benefits.

The proof is already appearing. After the Dayton-DFL tax increases kicked in, job creation dropped dramatically. That drop wasn’t coincidental. Thus far this year, Minnesota’s economy created a pathetic 2,900 jobs. I’ll be perfectly clear. Minnesota’s economy isn’t creating 2,900 jobs each month. This year, it’s created 2,900 jobs.

In July, 4,200 jobs disappeared from Minnesota’s economy. Another 3,600 jobs were trimmed from June’s jobs report. That’s before talking about Minnesota’s revenues falling dramatically short of what’s needed to balance Minnesota’s budget. July’s revenues fell $69,000,000 short of what’s needed to balance the budget.

That means the Dayton-DFL deficit is speeding its way in our direction. It isn’t a matter of if we’ll have a deficit in 2015. It’s a matter of how big the Dayton-DFL deficit will be and how we’ll fix the Dayton-DFL disaster.

Hopefully, we’ll start by firing the incompetents who created this mess. That starts with terminating Gov. Dayton and demoting Speaker Thissen to Minority Leader Thissen. Next, it means spending less by spending money only on the things we need, not the things that the DFL’s special interest puppeteers push.

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said the fact five of the past six monthly revenue reports have come in below the mark spells trouble. “They’ve taken a recovery and turned it into a flat-line at best,” Daudt said of Democrats. “It’s not me looking for a storm cloud. It’s an absolute fact and the realities of the policies they’ve put in place not working.”

Gov. Dayton and the DFL are bragging about the great Minnesota economy. Great economies, however, produce revenues that create surpluses, not deficits. The Dayton-DFL deficit is proof that Minnesota’s economy isn’t working.

Republicans aren’t happy with the state of Minnesota’s economy. They’re upset that the Dayton-DFL economy is failing hard-working Minnesotans. Republicans want to change directions so Minnesota’s economy can grow. That starts with getting PolyMet a reality. The jolt of revenues that will produce will balance Minnesota’s budget while lifting thousands of Minnesotans out of unemployment, poverty or both.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL have highlighted Minnesota’s relatively low unemployment rate. I explained in this post why the unemployment rate doesn’t prove the economy’s strength:

For the last 3+ years, the unemployment rate has been next-to-worthless as a benchmark of economic vitality. That’s because millions of people (literally) nationwide have quit looking for work, thereby artificially lowering the nation’s unemployment rate.

Another reason why the unemployment rate has become unreliable in terms of how strong the economy is is the number of people who’ve had their hours cut thanks to Obamacare. These are known as 29ers.

A person who is working a part-time low-paying job looks the same on the monthly jobs report as the employee who worked a high-paying full-time job a year ago. And there are lots of people working 2 part-time jobs who were making lots of money at their full-time jobs.

The Dayton-DFL deficit is speeding our direction. The Dayton-DFL jobs bust is already manifesting itself. Creating 2,900 jobs in 7 months is pathetic.

The question is whether voters will appreciate a handful of freebies more than they hate Minnesota’s struggling economy.

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Katie Clark-Sieben insists that Minnesota’s jobs outlook remains strong despite the fact that Minnesota lost 4,200 jobs in July:

DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said despite the July job loss the state’s economic outlook is healthy. “July’s employment change appears disappointing, however, this is the smallest percentage decline in jobs for a July since 1999,” Sieben said. “Minnesota’s economic indicators remain positive, and underlying employment data continue to look strong.”

Sieben is a politician, not a serious economic analyst. Her statement is campaign fodder. It isn’t economic analysis. If job growth is as strong as Ms. Sieben insists, money should be flowing into state coffers in large amounts. That isn’t what MMB is reporting:

Net general fund revenues totaled $982 million in the first month of FY 2015, $69 million(6.6 percent) less than forecast.

Being off by 6.6% in a month isn’t good news. In fact, it’s rather disheartening. Couple that information with this information and a person could get downright pessimistic:

The state has gained 68,344 jobs since July 2013, led by 21,513 new government positions.

Let’s remember that 2,900 of those 68,344 have been created this year, meaning that 65,444 jobs were created in August-December 2013. Creating 65,444 jobs in 5 months is quite a bit more than 2,900 jobs created in 7 months. It doesn’t take a math major to figure it out that job growth is essentially stalling in 2014.

Here’s what we know:

  1. Government is the biggest growth industry in job creation, creating one-third of the jobs in the last year.
  2. Revenues have fallen short 5 of the last 6 months.
  3. Job growth has virtually stagnated this year, with much of the job growth coming from the hospitality industry and temp jobs.

Those aren’t the signs of a strong economy. They’re the signs of an economy that’s badly underperforming.

Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s policies aren’t working. It’d be one thing if this was a one-month blip. Creating 400 jobs a month for 7 months isn’t a blip. Revenues falling short of projections 5 of the last 6 months isn’t a one-month blip. It’s a disturbing, negative trend.

There’s little question that Gov. Dayton and the DFL will continue telling Minnesota that things are just fine. They don’t have a choice in that matter. It’s either that or admit that Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s policies are failing. That won’t happen.

Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s policies are failing. The alternative is to replace Gov. Dayton with Jeff Johnson and Speaker Thissen with Speaker Daudt. Speaking of Jeff Johnson, he issued this pithy statement:

“According to the Department of Employment and Economic Development half of Minnesotans are underemployed. That means people have part time jobs, low paying jobs, and aren’t climbing the economic ladder,” said Jeff Johnson.

“Minnesotans shouldn’t be satisfied to be ‘hanging on’ to a job they don’t want. People want careers, not minimum wage jobs. Minnesota’s economy is sputtering, and now people aren’t even able keep the jobs they have,” said Johnson.

“Anemic job growth is unacceptable. Job losses are worse. Dayton is satisfied with just hanging on; I am not,” concluded Johnson.

Settling for anemic job growth isn’t acceptable, especially when we’ve just gotten hit with a big tax increase. Nonexistent job growth and higher taxes isn’t the right economic model.

It’s time to change.

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Now that Jeff Johnson has won the GOP primary, it’s time to look ahead to his general election message. Late Tuesday night, I received this email from the Johnson for Governor campaign:

In his victory speech he thanked his supporters and the other candidates, and laid out his vision for a Minnesota where everybody has the opportunity to succeed:

I have a vision for a state where politicians understand that people work really hard for their paychecks, and politicians spend their money as carefully and wisely as if it were coming out of their own pockets. I have a vision for a state where every kid regardless of where they live has access to a great education. I have a vision of a state where doctors and patients make medical decisions, not insurance companies or government. I have a vision of a state where the most vulnerable people in our communities are treated with dignity and not just herded into government programs that often don’t work but given access to the same private market that everyone lives in.

And most importantly I have a vision of a state where we have ended this philosophy that the poor are poor and the rich are rich and all we can do is redistribute wealth; we, instead, are preaching a sincerely held belief that the poor can become the middle class and the middle class can become rich and anyone who starts with nothing can still accomplish anything in this great state.

That’s the type of message Republicans will quickly unite around. I suspect, too, that it’s the type of message that will resonate with independents and non-political voters.

The last 2 years, the DFL’s message has centered on the word more. As in more taxes. As in more spending. Unfortunately, Gov. Dayton and the DFL haven’t focused on spending other people’s money wisely. Unfortunately, Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature didn’t put a high priority on creating more high paying jobs or saying no to their special interest allies.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature has spent money in ways that’d make a drunken sailor blush. The Senate Legislative Office Building is the perfect symbol of Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL legislature’s reckless spending spree. The part-time legislature needed a $90,000,000 office building like President Obama needs to play more golf.

That building and the taxes that first got raised, then got repealed, symbolize what’s wrong with Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature. St. Paul needs a new sheriff to police the Capitol. Gov. Dayton isn’t the right man for that job. Paul Thissen isn’t the right man to be his deputy.

St. Paul needs Jeff Johnson to clean up Gov. Dayton’s mess. Jeff needs Kurt Daudt to help clean up Gov. Dayton’s and Paul Thissen’s spending orgy.

As Commissioner Johnson said in his victory speech, Tuesday night’s victory isn’t the end of the road. There’s still one more victory to win. Hopefully, that march to November will finally finish Gov. Dayton’s political career.

Weary taxpayers can’t afford 4 more years of Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL legislature’s reckless spending.

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Jim Knoblach, the GOP-endorsed candidate for House District 14B, issued this press release on his fundraising totals thus far:

KNOBLACH RAISES OVER $57,000, HAS $42,000 IN BANK

Jim Knoblach (St. Cloud), the Republican candidate for State House District 14B, announced today that he had raised $57,249 in the four months since he filed for office, and that he had $41,941 in the bank as of July 21, the preprimary reporting date.

This contrasts with his opponent, Zachary Dorholt, who reported raising $19,820, and reported having $8,626.61 in the bank. The vast majority of Knoblach’s funds were raised from Minnesota individuals. Over 60% of Dorholt’s funds were raised from out of state individuals, PACs, or lobbyists.

“I am gratified at the support of my many contributors,” said Knoblach. “This is a campaign funded by Minnesotans who care about our state, not out of state individuals and special interests.”

Knoblach also announced that he would not be accepting public subsidies for his campaign, for which he is eligible. This includes both a state check of approximately $3,000, as well as eligibility for the state political contribution refund.

“This move is necessary to allow me to combat the special interest money that already flowing into this race,” said Knoblach. “District 14B was the most expensive State House race in the state in 2012. My opponent beat King Banaian in large part because outside special interest groups poured over $300,000 into this race against Banaian. It would be crazy to agree to abide by the spending limit of $62,600 in exchange for receiving public funding, knowing this will likely happen again. It is an added bonus that by not agreeing I will not be spending taxpayer funds.

“I truly regret the enormous sums spent on these campaigns,” said Knoblach. “However, with my opponent likely to again benefit from hundreds of thousands of dollars of out of state special interest money, I need to be able to respond to his negative attacks.”

This is a shot across Mr. Dorholt’s bow. I’m sure Dorholt expected Jim Knoblach to be well-financed. I’m betting, though, that he wasn’t expecting this fundraising total from Jim.

What’s interesting is reading Mr. Dorholt’s campaign finance report. The reason it’s interesting reading is because it has a lengthy list of out-of-state special interests contributions. That begs the question of who Mr. Dorholt represents. Does he represent his district or does he represent the DFL’s Metrocrats? At this point, there’s little question that Dorholt represents Speaker Thissen’s wishes. He voted with Speaker Thissen 99% of the time on issues of importance.

The Twin Cities doesn’t need another representative. St. Cloud, however, needs a real representative in the worst way. HD-14B needs a legislator who’s interested in the important local issues. Zach Dorholt’s press releases don’t read like they’re written by someone interested in St. Cloud. They’re mostly about touting Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s so-called accomplishments.

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