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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By the time the 2014 session finished, the all-DFL government had repealed the Basic Skills Test reform and the budget reforms the GOP had passed.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 Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Bakk and Speaker Thissen, liked the budget reforms so they repealed those reforms.

These paragraphs are total propaganda:

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Towards the end of the 2014 legislative session, the DFL quietly passed a $400,000,000 bailout of MNsure. Technically, the bailout was for MinnCare but MNsure caused MinnCare’s insolvency. Based on the information in this Pi-Press article, that bailout was just the tip of an iceberg. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Most of those enrolled through the exchange are on public subsidies. As of last week, nearly a quarter-million Minnesotans had enrolled. Of those, 88 percent, 218,615 out of a total of 249,369, are receiving a public subsidy.

That leaves 30,754 Minnesotans who purchased a plan on their own via MNsure.

The ratio of subsidized to “commercial” enrollees “needs a long hard look going forward,” said Julie Brunner, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans. Unless they “ramp up significantly,” she wonders if the low numbers on the commercial side will provide “the financial support that MNsure needs to have a balanced budget.”

That’s stunning information. Based on that information, MNsure isn’t sustainable financially. If MNsure needs a bailout, that means tax increases can’t be far behind. This is more bad news:

The system is preparing to absorb still more public enrollees. MNsure has delayed until August a major transition of public insurance beneficiaries to the system. About 800,000 Minnesotans will be renewing their current coverage.

MNsure CEO Scott Leitz told the editorial board earlier this month that the agency “wanted the system to be stable” to handle the influx.

That’s disturbing because MNsure isn’t stable:

During the assessment, 47 of the 73 sub-functions addressed were found either to be absent or not functioning as expected. Six of the 73 sub-functions could be considered for implementation post-open enrollment. 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.

That’s what instability sounds like. Last fall, MNsure’s rollout was a disaster. This year’s open enrollment will be a bigger disaster than last year’s open enrollment. Thanks in part to that, the revenue shortfall will be greater this year than last year.

With MNsure stability being at least a year away, it’s likely that the shortfall for the next biennium will be huge. It’s difficult to see this turning out well for Minnesota taxpayers. In the end, though, these shortfalls will put pressure on the DFL Senate to resist changing MNsure.

It’s time for the DFL to accept the reality that it’s time to start over on health care reform. When a system is this disfunctional, this expensive and this unpopular, it’s time to start from scratch. Minnesota was a leader in health care. We should’ve learned from that. Instead, Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature created this financial nightmare.

Sen. Michelle Benson might’ve put it best:

A key point, however, noted by the Pioneer Press’ Christopher Snowbeck: The report couldn’t say exactly where the uninsured found coverage, that is, whether insurance was obtained through public programs, private insurers available through MNsure or commercial plans sold outside the health exchange.

He noted pushback from legislative Republicans, including the contention of Sen. Michelle Benson of Ham Lake that, to the extent the reduction came from people enrolling in the state’s Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare insurance programs, the state “didn’t need MNsure at all.”

That’s spot on. Rather than weighing the options, Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and Rep. Thissen let their ideology drive their votes. As a result, all Minnesotans will be hurt financially.

Let’s be clear about this. There aren’t enough rich people in Minnesota to raise taxes on…again. The DFL will have to raise taxes on the middle class if these MNsure deficits continue as expected.

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I wrote this post to highlight part of Sen. Bakk’s end-of-session spin. I wouldn’t be telling the entire story if I didn’t write about something Sen. Bakk said at the end of his interview. Here’s what he said on the subject of medical marijuana:

SEN. BAKK: I think when this session started, there were probably few lawmakers that thought medical marijuana would likely be the marquee issue of this session. Not many of us, myself included, were thinking about it rising to such a level of that intensity and emotion in the legislature. And it happened because a group of families with their largely disabled children came to the Capitol and they visited legislators and they put the breath under that issue and made legislators ‘look at the plight of my kids and want them to have a better quality of life’.

It was a remarkable example of how a small group of people can come to their state capitol and advocate for a change and, even though nobody was thinking about it, it ends up happening.

It’s true that these parents succeeded in getting this legislation passed but it comes with an asterisk.

The asterisk is that these parents got this legislation passed because the DFL’s special interests didn’t oppose it. We needn’t look any further than last year, when hundreds of parents and in-home child care providers visited their state capitol to tell legislators that they opposed the unionization of in-home child care providers.

They told DFL legislators how unionization would drive up the cost of child care. They told DFL legislators how that legislation would force in-home child care providers to reject children from families getting government assistance because these child care providers didn’t want to be part of a union.

How did the DFL react in that situation? They repeatedly recited AFSCME’s and SEIU’s talking points, ignoring the parents and the children’s care providers.

In that instance, the DFL didn’t care about the children’s quality of life. The DFL didn’t care that their legislation made life miserable for parents receiving government assistance. For all the DFL’s talk about standing with ‘the little guy’, last year, the DFL ignored the little guy while siding with their well-funded special interest allies.

Sen. Bakk might fool some people with his spin but the reality is that the DFL routinely ignores parents and families when the DFL’s special interest allies oppose the parents’ initiatives. In the DFL’s world, special interest activists outrank parents and the average Joe.

This November, people of all political stripes have the opportunity to reject the DFL’s politics of, by and for their special interest organizations.

Another thing that just popped into my head is how people lobbied against the B2B sales taxes. Initially, they were removed from the DFL’s tax bill, only to be put back in by Sen. Bakk during the conference committee.

Then things hit the fan politically.

Gov. Dayton told FarmFest he didn’t know that Sen. Bakk had included the Farm Equipment Repair Sales tax in the tax bill. Then talk started about repealing them during last summer’s special session. When that fell through, pressure built until the B2B taxes were repealed this session.

Now, Sen. Bakk, Gov. Dayton and the DFL are bragging about cutting taxes this session. That’s Clinton-worthy spin on steroids. Raising taxes by $2.4 billion, then reducing the size of the tax increase by $400,000,000 still equals a tax increase, albeit a smaller tax increase.

Here’s the question the DFL won’t want to answer: If cutting taxes was a priority to them, why weren’t they in the 2013 tax bill? Let’s remember, too, that Sen. Bakk insisted prior to the special session that he didn’t think the B2B taxes should be repealed. That’s why they weren’t part of the special session agenda.

In 2013, the DFL showed its true colors by raising taxes. That isn’t surprising. What’s stunning, though, is the fact that they didn’t even know how their tax increases would impact people.

Finally, any party that presides over a 33% spending increase over 4 years isn’t fiscally responsible. The DFL can spin all they want but raising taxes and fees by $2 billion and increasing spending by $5 billion are the net results of total DFL control.

That’s a ton of money to take out of the private sector, which, unlike the DFL, actually uses the money efficiently on the things people need most.

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I just published this post to highlight the DFL’s failure to put the highest priorities on the most important things. In that post, it was mostly about what I’m calling the Pothole Crisis. According to the Minnesota Transportation Alliance, the DFL legislature only appropriated $15,000,000 for pothole repairs on Minnesota’s trunk highways and county roads.

As frightening as it is to think that the DFL didn’t put a high priority on this crisis, that isn’t the only thing where the DFL didn’t put a high priority on an important matter. Rep. Matt Dean explains in this post:

Dean said there are some major differences between what the House and Senate bonding committees propose. The biggest one, he said, is a southwest Minnesota water project.

“Lewis and Clark is a big deal,” Dean said. “We think that should be the first project in and not the last project in.”

The project should receive the nearly $70 million it needs to move water to residents in the Luverne and Worthington areas, Dean said. Dean, like other Republicans, said that museums, theaters and other arts projects should get less money so Lewis and Clark can be fully funded.

The DFL wrote the bonding bills. They put in a few projects that the Republican legislators want in their attempt to pick off a few votes to pass the bill. What they didn’t do is prioritize their spending.

The fact that the DFL’s bill shortchanges an important infrastructure project but puts in tons of money for frivolous projects highlights the Democrats’ inability to say no to silliness and their inability to say yes to important infrastructure projects.

Minnesota’s taxpayers can’t afford more of the DFL’s foolish priorities. They shouldn’t have to deal with a political party that isn’t putting the highest priorities on the most important projects. Spending $90,000,000 on the ‘Part-Time Politicians’ Palace’, aka the Senate Office building but only spending $15,000,000 on Minnesota’s Pothole Crisis isn’t just foolishness. It’s outright stupidity.

The DFL’s decision to spend money on theater renovations and other entertainment projects instead of fully funding an important infrastructure project is proof positive that their priorities aren’t Minnesota’s priorities.

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