Archive for the ‘Paul Thissen’ Category
It isn’t a secret that I don’t like Paul Thissen. I find him to be a man of little character but 2 faces. He’s also a political hack. This post will highlight Rep. Thissen’s character flaws. This post will highlight what he’s done recently in private vs. what he’s said publicly.
This post will highlight some of the behind-the-scenes things that caused Gov. Dayton to announce that there won’t be a special session this fall. This article’s quotes of Speaker Daudt highlight Rep. Thissen’s lack of integrity. For instance, Speaker Daudt said “I’m particularly disappointed that Minority Leader Thissen refused to meet two days ago, and refused to even provide his availability to schedule a meeting with Governor Dayton and legislative leaders.” It’s impossible to negotiate with someone who won’t even schedule a negotiating session.
Rep. Thissen sang a different tune in this article, though:
Thissen, a DFLer from Minneapolis, said it was “House Republicans that didn’t really want to get a special session done. This Legislature proved it can’t function. I think they proved that back in May,” Thissen said. “I don’t think we gain anything (politically) by not getting a special session.”
What this past session proved is that the legislature doesn’t function properly if the Minority Leader is frequently attempting to sabotage good-faith attempts to accomplish things. Rep. Thissen fit that role perfectly.
Rep. Thissen has a history of not working well with others. This past May, 7 Republicans wrote a letter to Rep. Thissen. One of the things they said was “Throughout this session, we have witnessed a disturbing pattern of verbal abuse of Republican Staff by you on the floor of the House of Representatives.” A day later, Rep. Thissen apologized, which I wrote about in this post.
Shortly after becoming Speaker in 2015, Speaker Daudt negotiated an agreement between Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton. At the time, Gov. Dayton said “I’m confronted with two hostile bodies of the Legislature, one with a leader I believe I can trust (Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt) and one I know I can’t trust.” That’s something that the Twin Cities media praised Speaker Daudt for.
In May, 2015, Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk worked out a bipartisan budget agreement in an afternoon after spending the entire last full week of the session negotiating with Gov. Dayton. Despite all that proof that Speaker Daudt is a tough, fair negotiator, Rep. Thissen wants us to believe that Speaker Daudt isn’t interested in making a deal.
Still, we’re supposed to believe Rep. Thissen when he says that Speaker Daudt didn’t want to negotiate in good faith to get a bonding bill and a tax relief bill signed? Why should we trust Rep. Thissen considering all the scandalous things he’s done?
I’ll trust Speaker Daudt because he’s got a lengthy history of negotiating in good faith. I won’t trust Rep. Thissen because he’s got a lengthy history of undermining good faith negotiations for purely partisan reasons.
DFL senators killed the House bonding bill in mid-May by insisting that the bill include funding for the Southwest Light Rail project. In June, Gov. Dayton killed middle class tax relief with a pocket veto. In July, Gov. Dayton refused to call a special session in House Republicans didn’t include funding for the Southwest Light Rail project. (Sounds like a broken record, doesn’t it?) In August, after the Met Council, CTIB and Hennepin County provided the local funding for the Southwest Light Rail project, Gov. Dayton hinted that he was open to a special session again.
Friday, Gov. Dayton sent a letter to Speaker Daudt saying that “he had ‘reluctantly concluded that the time for agreement on a Special Session has expired.'” It expired because Gov. Dayton didn’t get everything he wanted in the bill. Republicans insisted that specific highway projects be included in the bonding bill, including the Highway 14 project. Speaker Daudt addressed that, saying “House Republicans have initiated every meeting and discussion over the past two months to pass tax relief and funding for critical infrastructure projects like Highway 23, Highway 14, and countless others throughout the state.”
In the end, Gov. Dayton said that wasn’t enough:
But the infrastructure bill was more troublesome. Lawmakers solved the money issue — Dayton’s demands that Republicans add new funding for his priorities, including upgrades at the state’s psychiatric hospital in St. Peter. But a process issue proved intractable. Dayton objected on principle to the infrastructure bill’s earmarking of money for specific projects, and was backed up in this by a letter signed by a bipartisan range of current and former chairs of the Legislature’s transportation committees. Many lawmakers like earmarking because it lets them guarantee funding for key projects in their home districts. House leaders agreed to a compromise that would give the Department of Transportation more flexibility instead of dictating every project, but Dayton’s letter said that “remains unacceptable.”
Gov. Dayton is pretending like MnDOT ultimately decides what projects get done. That’s fiction. It’s indisputable that MnDOT has a say in which projects get done. The Met Council, CTIB and port authorities all have a say in it, too.
The first time that Gov. Dayton and the DFL rejected the special session, Gov. Dayton and the DFL said no because they put a higher priority on funding the SWLRT project than they put on providing middle class tax relief. The final time that Gov. Dayton and the DFL rejected the terms for a special session, they rejected it because they didn’t get to control who picked the highway improvement projects. The reality is that farmers, veterans, students and small businesses didn’t get tax relief because Gov. Dayton and the DFL didn’t put a high priority on it. Gov. Dayton and the DFL put a higher priority on a project that the vast majority of Minnesotans will never use. Then Gov. Dayton and the DFL said no to tax relief because they didn’t get to pick their transportation projects.
In 2015, GOP Speaker Kurt Daudt and DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk put together a bipartisan budget agreement. The problem that time was that Minnesota’s other political odd couple, Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL Rep. Paul Thissen, combined to sabotage that bipartisan budget agreement. It isn’t unlike the DFL’s sabotaging of the bonding bill this session.
According to this article, “legislative and executive branch staff members [will] gather to discuss bringing legislators back this fall” this morning.
Gov. Dayton, as usual, is acting like a petulant child. This time, he said that the transportation projects in the bonding bill “were selected based on this year’s GOP election needs instead of following a list of the most-needed work as determined by his Minnesota Department of Transportation.” Gov. Dayton knows that a number of the projects specifically put into the bill were picked because the highways were among the most dangerous highways in Minnesota.
While they’re campaigning, Republicans should remind voters that the DFL put a higher priority on funding the Southwest Light Rail project than they put on middle class tax relief. The DFL voted for the Republicans’ Tax Bill but they certainly didn’t fight for it. Let Gov. Dayton criticize Republicans about which transportation projects should’ve been included in the bonding bill. Republicans can counter that by saying that they fought for funding to fix the most dangerous stretches of highway in Minnesota. Then they can remind people that they’re the party that fought for middle class tax relief.
The DFL isn’t in great position going into this election. Many of their mailers talk about bringing people together and how they need a majority in the House and Senate to pass their ultra-liberal agenda. This is my first prediction of the season. Republicans will maintain their majority in the House this election.
This article makes it pretty clear that farmers aren’t fond of Gov. Dayton. It isn’t a stretch to think that farmers aren’t happy with DFL legislators, either.
Farmers are upset with Gov. Dayton because “farmers were not happy when Dayton tried to do an end-around the legislative intent of the new buffer law and make it apply to private farmland as well as public bodies of water.” As always, Gov. Dayton tried siding with the environmental activist wing of the DFL.
Gov. Dayton wasn’t satisfied with just that. According to the article, Gov. Dayton “followed that with an executive order aimed at restricting the use of certain pesticides that some scientists have implicated in the decline in pollinators, such as honeybees.”
Gov. Dayton still wasn’t finished. According to Becker County Board Chairman Barry Nelson, “the new buffer law will also cost farmers money, because areas now enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program will no longer qualify because of state-mandated buffers.”
TRANSLATION: Farmers get shafted because Gov. Dayton couldn’t resist appeasing the DFL’s environmental activist wing. Gov. Dayton didn’t consult with the farmers though it’s virtually certain that he gave the environmental activists all the time they needed to make their case for this law.
It isn’t a secret that the DFL’s reputation with farmers is dropping. Rep. Thissen thinks that expanding broadband in rural Minnesota is the way to attract additional voters. Apparently, Gov. Dayton thinks that farmers won’t notice him siding with environmental activists. It isn’t that farmers don’t care about other things. It’s that they care most about making money through farming.
Thus far, Gov. Dayton and Rep. Thissen haven’t figured that out. That’s why Republicans will hold onto their majority in the House. That’s why they have a shot at flipping the Minnesota Senate.
Technorati: Mark Dayton, Paul Thissen, Tom Landwehr, Department of Natural Resources, Buffer Zones, Environmental Activists, DFL, Farmers, MNGOP, Election 2016
If anyone needs proof that the DFL hates laborers (the L in DFL supposedly stands for Laborer), they should look at this map of the new alternative route that Enbridge will use to get their Bakken oil to market:
I wrote this post to highlight the DFL’s indifference to pipefitters and other blue collar workers. The metro DFL environmental activists threw up hurdle after hurdle to prevent the Sandpiper Pipeline. The DFL won. The Sandpiper Pipeline won’t be built. Enbridge decided to avoid Minnesota and route their pipeline through North and South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.
The oil will flow. The commodity will still make it to market. The DFL ‘won’, if you consider losing hundreds of high-paying heavy equipment jobs to other states winning. (HINT: The Metro DFL thinks this is a victory. Since the Metro DFL runs the party, the DFL considers this a victory.)
The DFL isn’t the party of the blue collar workers. This is who they are:
Today’s DFL is led by a trust fund governor who’s lived a life of carefree luxury. It’s led by a House Minority Leader who lives in a tony Minneapolis enclave and pays more in property taxes than some people make in a year. It’s led by a clownish U.S. Senator who made a fortune playing the fool in Hollywood, writing vacuous trash while doing dope. All three live in Minneapolis and consider walking down to the farmer’s market to pick up some kale to be “farming.”
That isn’t all. Think of this:
Of course, the antidote for this malaise would be to get more mining jobs up and running, especially for those minerals, ferrous and non-ferrous, that have recovered in price point. But the urban elites who run the DFL won’t allow it. Instead, they engage in a cynical game of stringing people along, claiming that there’s just “one more” environmental regulation to clear.
Years later, miners are still waiting for good jobs. They won’t be coming, at least so long as Mark Dayton is governor. You see, there is no intention to allow this mining to start up. It’s all a smoke screen to cop some more votes out of Iron Rangers for the next election.
It’s about the false hope. The DFL party has delayed considering a resolution to oppose mining. It wasn’t defeated. Only delayed until after the election.
The DFL abandoned farmers, the F in the DFL, when Gov. Dayton vetoed a tax relief bill that would’ve provided hundreds of farmers property tax relief. Gov. Dayton didn’t fight for farmers. Instead, Gov. Dayton fought for the SWLRT project.
When it was decision time, Gov. Dayton and the DFL fought farmers, laborers and other blue collar workers. They fought for environmental activists and the metro.
Paul Thissen and the DFL must think the turnout of uninformed voters must be high. That’s the only explanation for Rep. Thissen’s tweet asking “Kurt Daudt in 2014: “We will ensure fair access and affordability in health care.” What happened?”
Simply put, the DFL, ‘led’ by Rep. Thissen, Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton essentially told Minnesotans that the DFL didn’t care about their wallets. Rep. Thissen, Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton and the rest of the DFL essentially said that they’d fight for President Obama, not for their constituents.
Thanks to the DFL’s steadfastness to their leaders, not to their constituents, the DFL has shown where their loyalties lie. While Rep. Thissen’s and Gov. Dayton’s loyalties lie with President Obama’s failed system, Republicans are committed to ideas that’ve worked in the past.
In the past, Republicans supported systems like the ‘skinny Gottwalt’, a system devised by former Rep. Steve Gottwalt. Rep. Gottwalt’s system would’ve guaranteed high rates of people getting insured (when he was in the legislature, 93% of Minnesotans were insured with another 3-4% of people eligible for taxpayer-subsidized insurance. Obamacare doesn’t come close to hitting the 97% mark of people getting insured.
In short, Rep. Thissen, Republicans wanted to implement a superior plan and the DFL wouldn’t let them because the DFL was more beholden to President Obama than they were to doing what’s right for their constituents.
I’ve written more than a few posts highlighting Rep. Thissen’s dishonesty. It’s nice to know that others have noticed those traits in him, too. This op-ed, written by Rep. John Petersburg, who represents House District 24A, cites the same traits.
Rep. Petersburg starts his op-ed by saying “It was amusing to read Minneapolis Minority Leader Paul Thissen’s inaccurate and partisan letter to the editor in this last week’s paper attacking Rep. Brian Daniels and House Republicans over special session negotiations. Thissen and liberal Metro Democrats are desperate to say and do anything this fall to defeat hardworking legislators like Brian. Why? It’s simple: Paul Thissen wants a return to single-party Democrat control in Minnesota.”
It’s time that Minnesota accepts as fact that Rep. Thissen is one of the most disgusting men to serve in the legislature. He’s been accused of making derogatory statements about GOP staffers. House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, Reps. Mary Franson, Tony Albright, Marion O’Neill, Tara Mack, Dan Fabian and Jim Nash, stated in their letter that Rep. Thissen “routinely made derogatory remarks about our staff by name on the House floor and in the Rules Committee. These comments were made knowing that our staff cannot respond in kind and that staff has no microphone to defend themselves.”
This paragraph highlights Rep. Thissen’s dishonesty:
I find Minority Leader Thissen’s partisan finger pointing especially interesting given that he personally wrote a letter to Gov. Dayton calling for Hwy. 14 funding to be removed from any special session bonding bill. It’s seems Rep. Thissen is trying to have it both ways and is being disingenuous with Faribault Daily News readers.
It’s clear that Rep. Thissen isn’t interested in working to make Minnesota better. He’s interested in being a dishonest partisan hack who’s interested in one-party rule in St. Paul.
Saying that the questions asked at the St. Cloud Area Joint Cities Forum had a leftward tilt to them is understatement. For instance, the first question was “While the legislature accomplished its most basic responsibility of passing a state budget, the last biennium, it does seem that the last 2 years are marked with significant disappointment, including the failure to pass a Tax Bill, no major bonding bill, and continued impasse over transportation. What do you think needs to happen at the legislature to make sure that these other important pieces of legislation get passed?”
If that question sounded like it was written by Rep. Thissen or Gov. Dayton, raise your hands. If you think that question was written by Rep. Thissen, you earned bonus points. He’s specialized in criticizing everything that Speaker Daudt did the past 2 years. That’s because he didn’t like getting cut out of the budget negotiations in 2015. He didn’t like it that Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk put the budget together in an afternoon.
The truth is that the past 2 years produced a bipartisan budget that should’ve gotten signed during the regular session. The only reason why the Tax Bill didn’t get signed into law was because our spoiled rich brat governor vetoed the bill in his attempt to get funding for a SWLRT project that has no chance of happening before the end of the first term of Minnesota’s next governor. The problem with the Tax Bill wasn’t with the legislature. That fault is exclusively with Gov. Dayton, aka Gov. Temper Tantrum.
Here’s another question:
Q3: Local government aid continues to be an important program for restraining property taxes and providing services to residents and businesses at a reasonable cost. For 2017, the LGA formula distributes approximately 66% of all LGA funds to greater Minnesota vs. 34% to the metro area. The LGA appropriations to cities across the state is still $45.5 million less than it was in 2002. Do you support the current LGA formula and would you support an increase in LGA to get back to the 2002 level?
I reject the premise that LGA is “an important program for restraining property taxes.” There’s no proof of that. Why should I accept that premise? The truth is that it’s more likely to increase spending on foolish projects in the Twin Cities than it is to stabilize property taxes.
The truth is that property taxes have increased significantly since the DFL legislature increased LGA and Gov. Dayton signed those increases into law. Here are all 8 questions from the forum:
During the DFL’s bad faith negotiations for a special session, Gov. Dayton and the DFL insisted that the GOP fund the Southwest Light Rail Transit, aka SWLRT, project. Speaker wisely refused. Now we know why it was wise to refuse. On Wednesday, January 13, 2016, Adam Duininck wrote an email to Gov. Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Flint-Smith about a variety of topics.
In the 4th paragraph of the second page of the email, Commissioner Duininck said “On the schedule we had been pushing the FTA for a number of weeks to sign off on an aggressive schedule that called for a full funding grant agreement by the end of this year, while President Obama is in office. They have resisted that goal and have said the grant agreement is likelier to come in the middle of 2017.” Later in the email, Commissioner Duininck explains why the FTA is hesitating on signing off.
According to Commissioner Duininck, the FTA is hesitating on signing off because “the reason the FTA refused to move the schedule up is that they are concerned that the litigation risk is still there until Judge Tunheim rules on the Lakes and Park Alliance case.”
Connecting the dots
Judge Tunheim’s dismissal of summary judgement against the Met Council is dated August 4, 2015. Judge Tunheim noted that “The LPA may not have met its summary judgment burden at this point, but the record, specifically the negotiation process and agreements between the Met Council and various cities and other public entities, and public statements regarding those agreements, shows that, throughout much of this process, the Met Council has had a clear favorite route for the SWLRT.”
Judge Tunheim also noted that the case is complex because environmental reviews still need to be approved. That hadn’t happened when he ruled on this motion for summary judgment.
Gov. Dayton and the DFL likely didn’t include SWLRT funding in their bonding bill because of the Tunheim lawsuit. Further, the Kenilworth Preservation Group, through Stuart Chazin, insists that “the Met Council has not made the legally required good faith effort to consider alternatives to the Kenilworth route, and has had secret communication between Sen. Latz and the Met Council that will prove the point.”
There’s no doubt but that this is a tangled legal mess that’ll take time to untangle in the courts. With the outcome still in doubt, funding SWLRT at this point is foolish. That’s likely why the DFL Senate didn’t include SWLRT funding in their $1,800,000,000 bonding bill. Further, it isn’t a stretch to think that the DFL is attempting to paint Republicans as reckless when the truth is that the DFL is trying their best to pander to their urbanist special interest organizations. Finally, it isn’t a stretch to think that Gov. Dayton and politicians like Rep. Thissen are grasping at anything in their attempt to win back the majority in the House.
Today’s DFL are a nasty lot, fully prepared to side with brick-throwing thugs like BlackLivesMatter and the anarchists who attacked Republicans in Minneapolis last weekend. They won’t think twice about sabotaging any project or legislation if they think it’ll help them gain power. That’s who today’s DFL is.
This morning, I wrote this post to highlight Betsy Hodges’ bizarre quote. Specifically, Ms. Hodges said “I expect everyone in Minneapolis to behave with civility and respect.” Most people who aren’t afflicted with an onslaught of progressivism would agree with me when I said “Expecting people in the Twin Cities to “behave with civility and respect” weeks after BlackLivesMatter threw concrete blocks and construction rebar at police officers on I-94 in St. Paul is like throwing a piece of meat between 2 hungry Dobermans and expecting them to behave with civility.”
That’s just where this bizarre episode starts. Enter House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, the man with a history of thuggish behavior towards Republican staffers. Rep. Thissen responded to my post by saying “Wow @LFRGary! I thought comparing people to dogs went out of style 50 years ago! I guess it is the age of Trump.”
Who in their right mind thinks that I called Ms. Hodges a dog? That isn’t the heart of Rep. Thissen’s argument. This is:
Not Mayor Hodges. The protesters.
I replied, saying “So it’s the DFL way to defend ruthless thugs? Thanks for confirming that.” Rep. Thissen is saying that I shouldn’t call thugs names. With all due respect, calling out thugs when they spit on people is what I’ll do whenever I hear about it and I won’t think twice about it.
Here’s Rep. Thissen’s reply:
So touchy! I’m not defending anyone. I just don’t think any Minnesotan should be called a Doberman.
I finished the fight, saying “Those thugs spat on people & you’re criticizing me. That’s defending thugs. I hate it when politicians defend thugs.” Then I said “Don’t hear what I didn’t say. Again, @paulthissen can’t tell the truth to save his soul. So unbecoming.”
Rep. Thissen is a reprehensible person. Anyone that thinks people who attack others shouldn’t be criticized harshly is a moron. Let’s remember that Rep. Thissen sat silent when he knew that Kerry Gauthier had sex with a 17-year-old boy.
Here’s a final question: When isn’t it appropriate for police officers to enforce society’s laws? Based on what happened in Minneapolis Friday night, it’s appropriate for police officers to ignore the law if the crimes are committed against Republicans.