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This article highlights just how out-of-touch the DFL is with voters. Frankly, it’s stunning to hear the DFL’s spin on the DFL’s disastrous session. As I said here, the DFL got smoked this session.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman said Democrats “fought until the very last minute” to include some of their top priorities in the final bills but ran out of time before Monday’s mandatory adjournment for the regular session. She cited driver’s licenses for immigrants living in the country illegally, making it easier for workplace sexual harassment victims to sue and making emergency insulin supplies more affordable.

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said they could raise their issues again next year, and use them against Republicans in the 2020 campaign when they hope to hold the House and retake the Senate. He cited gun control, paid family and medical leave and some education measures. “We feel like we’ve made some progress this year and we have marked out where we want to go in the future,” Winkler said.

As a Republican, I have one thing to say to the DFL — Thank you for pushing drivers licenses for illegal immigrants and gun control. Those are issues that poll extremely poorly in the outer ring suburbs, the exurbs and rural Minnesota. In this video, Speaker Hortman says that they tried laying out the DFL’s vision going forward:

According to the DFL Speaker’s own words, the DFL’s vision for Minnesota going forward is higher taxes and less accountability to the taxpayers. If that’s what they’re selling, and it is, then I’m betting that Minnesotans aren’t buying.

These negotiations (which I wrote about here) produced some of the biggest winners and losers in recent history. Let’s start with the biggest losers.

It’s impossible to imagine a bigger loser than Tim Walz. He lost on his tax increases, including the gas tax, the sick tax and the income tax increases. He and the DFL lost on spending, too. Another major loser was DFL Speaker Melissa Hortman. She was present throughout the negotiations but didn’t seem to be an active participant in those negotiations. I’d give her a ‘Potted Plant Award’ for participation.

Another major loser throughout the negotiations was DFL House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler. Friday night on Almanac, his first time on the big stage, DFL Rep. Winkler was used like a whipping post, first by Sen. Roger Chamberlain, then by House Minority leader Kurt Daudt. (More on them later.)

The other major loser in these negotiations was Education Minnesota, the people most famous for owning the DFL:

The biggest winners in this negotiations are Minnesota’s taxpayers. They didn’t get hit with one of the biggest tax increases in Minnesota history. That alone makes them a big winner.

The next biggest winner was Roger Chamberlain. Throughout these negotiations, he fought for the taxpayers, reminding the politicians who they worked for, aka the people. He took Rep. Winkler to the proverbial wood shed multiple times. After Rep. Winkler spurted out that “there are no free lunches”, Sen. Chamberlain reminded Rep. Winkler that the people not represented at the Capitol were “the people who pay the bills”, aka the taxpayers.

It’s hard to see how Kurt Daudt, the former and hopefully future GOP Speaker of the House, could’ve been more effective. He stated emphatically on Almanac that the DFL could raise spending by 7.3% without raising taxes a penny. That statement might’ve done more to finish the talks than anything else.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t praise Senate Majority Leader Gazelka for his job in negotiating this budget. Let’s remember that he won a significant tax cut by getting the 7.05% rate dropped to 6.8%. Rest assured that the DFL didn’t fight to include that policy change in the budget agreement.

Finally, I’d have to apologize if I didn’t include the House DFL legislators. They all voted for the Walz/DFL tax increases, which will hurt them in 2020, then saw Gov. Walz throw them under the proverbial bus in final negotiations. I can’t imagine them being too happy with Gov. Walz and the DFL leadership for that ‘favor’. That makes the DFL, especially the DFL House majority, a major loser in these negotiations.

Last night on Almanac, co-host Eric Eskola opened the show by explaining that Gov. Walz, Speaker Hortman and Sen. Gazelka wouldn’t appear on the show due to last-minute budget negotiations. In their stead, the panel consisted of Ryan Winkler and Tom Bakk attempting to make the case for the DFL and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt and Senate Taxes Committee Chairman Roger Chamberlain representing Republicans.

At the outset, Winkler tried a little humor, saying “Well, when you have the junior varsity on the field like you do on this couch today, that means that the A-Team is out doing the work that they need to do.” Little did I know that Winkler was this prophetic. When Eskola asked whether Gov. Walz and the DFL overpromised, Winkler said “We know that there will be compromise with the GOP Senate but Gov. Walz and the DFL House also wanted to be clear about where we are headed.” Later, he stated that “We want to make sure and do no harm to people.” (It’s a little late for that, Rep. Winkler.)

Kurt Daudt replied “I think Democrats have overpromised. I think that’s pretty obvious at this point. We have a $1,000,000,000 surplus right now. We’ve got another half a billion dollars sitting there already collected over forecast that’s waiting to be recognized in the November forecast and Democrats are still holding onto this dream of raising taxes by $12,000,000,000 on Minnesotans.” Daudt then finished by saying “I just think that’s way out of touch with where Minnesotans are at.”

Here’s the entire segment:

Roger Chamberlain stated emphatically that if the DFL raised taxes by $12,000,000,000, “it will kill this state.” He didn’t mince words, which was the right thing to do. Winkler tried responding, saying that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. That’s when Kurt Daudt buried Winkler, saying “The DFL could increase spending by 7.3% without raising taxes.”

That’s what the DFL JV team looks like. How’d you like to be a DFL House member representing a swing district after voting for these massive tax increases? They’d better campaign wearing flack jackets after those votes. The DFL can kiss all those seats good-bye. Selling those legislators as moderates after those votes isn’t possible.

Let’s be clear. The DFL will get a significant portion of what they want because they control the governor’s chair. Still, the DFL misread their mandate, which they do virtually reflexively.

Finally, Bakk and Winkler tried peddling the BS that Gov. Walz should get most of what he wants because he campaigned on this and he won with a record amount of votes. It’s true that the DFL won with a record number of votes but it’s an outright lie to say that Gov. Walz campaigned by stating specifically that he’d raise the gas tax by 20 cents-per-gallon and raise taxes overall by $12,000,000,000. That didn’t happen so that argument is BS.

Minutes after Tim Walz withdrew from the endorsement fight, the DFL endorsed Erin Murphy to be their gubernatorial candidate.

This was an event-filled, tumultuous, convention. The first shock happened when unknown Matt Pelikan trailed DFL Attorney General Lori Swanson by just 5 points, with Swanson at 52.2% and Pelikan at 47.2% of the vote. Before they started the second ballot, Swanson pulled out, handing the endorsement to Pelikan. When Erin Murphy won the endorsement after Tim Walz withdrew from the endorsement race, rumors started swirling that Swanson might jump into the DFL gubernatorial primary instead of fighting through the DFL AG primary.

Meanwhile, another rumor has it that Ryan Winkler will run in the DFL AG primary if Swanson opts for the DFL gubernatorial primary. If AG Swanson runs in the AG’s primary, she’d probably win. If she runs in the gubernatorial primary, her chances of winning drop significantly. In both instances, though, her chances of winning the general election aren’t that great, though they’d be better if she ran for AG.

As for Murphy’s chances, they aren’t good. If she defeats Tim Walz, she’ll only do so by running far to Walz’s left. Single-payer health care isn’t popular in Minnesota. People didn’t trust MNsure. They definitely won’t trust single-payer. Further, it’s quite possible that she’ll lose to Tim Walz while pushing him farther left than Walz can afford to go to win the general election.

Murphy’s victory makes life difficult for Chairman Martin because it’s dragging the supposed frontrunner farther left than Martin wanted. Next, whoever wins will have gotten dragged so far left that it’ll be virtually impossible to win in November, mostly because Murphy is a hostile environmental activist. To win, she’ll have to alienate miners and union construction workers like pipefitters. Think heavy equipment operators, too.

This isn’t the script the DFL wanted written at convention-end. Most likely, they’ll have primaries in Tina Smith’s seat, the open Nolan seat, the possibly open State AG seat and the governor’s race. It’s the exact opposite of what Chairman Martin hoped for.

Finally, this situation virtually guarantees a Republican governor in November. Add to that the likelihood of Republicans winning the auditor’s race and the definite possibility of Republicans winning the AG race, coupled with the strong likelihood of maintaining their majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate and you’re looking at a pretty difficult year if you’re Chairman Martin. That’s before mentioning the likelihood of winning the First and Eighth U.S. Congressional districts.

This year, Minnesota has none of the makings of a blue wave.

Ryan Winkler has a reputation for saying controversial things. In June, 2013, Winkler took to Twitter to tweet about the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act. That morning, Winkler tweeted “VRA majority is four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas.” Rather than quitting there, Winkler replied, saying “I did not understand ‘Uncle Tom’ as a racist term, and there seems to be some debate about it. I do apologize for it, however,” he said.

Winkler was then a rising star in the DFL. I think that label is pretty much gone after reading this article. Twin Cities blogger and conservative activist Chad the Elder got into an exchange with Winkler over Charlottesville. Winkler started by saying “Nazism only stood for one thing. Communism has meant different things in different place at different times, not just Stalin. Not the same.” Chad replied, saying “Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Ceausescu, Honecker, North Korea…Stop me when I reach what you consider good communism.”

Had Winkler stopped there, he might’ve limited the damage. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t stop there. Instead, Winkler asked this question:

Do you disagree that the Soviets were the lesser of two evils for us from 1940-45?

Anders Koskinen of Alpha News wrote “In a series of tweets stemming from recent actions by white supremacists’, Minnesota attorney general candidate and former State Rep. Ryan Winkler appeared to defend communism late Monday night. In light of white supremacists and Nazis being fired for their views, Twitter user ChadTheElder questioned whether the same standard would be applied to Communists, since that ideology is also responsible for horrific atrocities on the scale of Nazism.”

It’s apparent that Winkler is a loose cannon who hasn’t learned the first rule of holes. Instead of getting into a hole, then stopping digging, Winkler keeps digging. Here’s hoping he’s the DFL-endorsed candidate for State Attorney General.

According to this KSTP article, the Republican Party of Minnesota is terminating a “social media manager” is being fired for referring to a “Negro problem” on Twitter. Predictably, DFL Party Chair Ken Martin called the comments “racist and bigoted”. Martin expressed outrage even though the person who published the tweet is getting terminated.

Rather than defending that offensive comment, I’ll simply highlight the fact that the DFL doesn’t have the right to take the moral high ground on this issue. I wrote this post after the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act. It’s helpful to highlight the fact that the DFL has racists, too. That’s because Rep. Ryan Winkler was a rising star in the DFL up until that morning. Prior to the morning that the Supreme Court issued its ruling, Rep. Winkler was a leading candidate for Secretary of State. After that ruling, Winkler thought he’d get a little cute with his tweets. That’s why he published this tweet:

Winkler thought that it was clever to call Clarence Thomas an “Uncle Thomas.” When Winkler graduated from college, his degree was in history. That’s noteworthy because Winkler’s non-apology apology said that he didn’t “did not understand ‘Uncle Tom’ as a racist term, and there seems to be some debate about it.” Nobody with common sense believes that Winkler didn’t know that Uncle Tom was a pejorative.

Shortly after posting that tweet, Rep. Winkler issued a statement saying that he was withdrawing his name from consideration to be the DFL-endorsed candidate for Secretary of State. Since then, Rep. Winkler resigned from the legislature.

The point is that the DFL is just as capable of being a bigot as the Republicans are.

I’m jumping for joy over Ryan Winkler’s impending resignation from the House of Representatives:

Fifth-term Rep. Ryan Winkler of Golden Valley said he will resign this summer and move to Brussels. The Harvard-educated lawyer said his wife, Jenny, landed a new executive position with an international hotel chain that is owned by a Minnesota company.

I’d like to personally thank Rep. Winkler’s wife for removing that particular pain from my backside. I’m more than grateful.

In the Legislature, Winkler revels in jabbing Republicans with unrelenting, sharp-tongued rhetoric.

“I’m going to miss things like passing the minimum wage increase far more than I’m going to miss the back and forth in the Legislature,” Winkler told The Associated Press, adding that his wife’s opportunity was too big to pass up. “I’d rather have a great experience with my family than argue with Republicans all day.”

That’s understandable. In the legislature and committee, he frequently got his ass handed to him in debates. While Rep. Winkler was irreverent, he wasn’t particularly smart. The difference showed up in June, 2013:

His penchant for a good zinger sometimes got the best of him. Winkler apologized in 2013, for a tweet criticizing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as “Uncle Thomas” that drew national attention and cries of racism. He said it wasn’t intended to be racially derogatory.

I wrote this post to highlight Rep. Winkler’s disgusting action. Here’s what he initially tweeted:

Here’s Rep. Winkler’s ‘apology’:

“I did not understand ‘Uncle Tom’ as a racist term, and there seems to be some debate about it. I do apologize for it, however,” he said.

Here’s what I said then:

That’s BS. Rep. Winkler graduated with a B.A. in history from Harvard University in 1998. If Rep. Winkler thinks that we’ll buy the fact that he didn’t learn about Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic from 1852, he’d better think again.

Good riddance. Minnesota is getting rid of a first class jerk.

Rep. Ryan Winkler’s op-ed is his usual blast of BS. Check this out:

Minnesota Republicans are putting state government up for sale to the highest bidder, and Rep. Heintzeman is one of the auctioneers. Rep. Heintzeman recently voted to eliminate Minnesota’s anti-corruption campaign laws, including spending limits for all candidates in state elections. He also removed lobbyist contribution limits, enabling campaigns to be fully funded by lobbyists and special interest groups.

We should be increasing campaign finance disclosure and making it easier for the public to trust state government, but Rep. Heintzeman has instead put forward a corrupt payoff to his corporate backers who spent record amounts in the last election. Rep. Heintzeman’s first vote this session was to keep corporate campaign cash hidden, and since then he voted to defeat the same measure half a dozen times. In the same bill that allows corporate special interests to run away with our elections, Rep. Heintzeman is also giving himself an increase in his own housing allowance. This type of self-interest and service to corporate allies does not benefit Minnesotans.

That’s insulting. The DFL shoved the unconstitutional child care unionization bill down child care providers throats, ignoring the (mostly) women who run these in-home child care centers who lobbied at the Capitol during the last weekend of the 2013 session. The DFL, led on that issue by Mike Nelson, told the women lobbying against the bill that the unions’ wish list was a higher priority than listening to their constituents.

The DFL ignored the corruption happening at Community Action of Minneapolis, too:

The Star Tribune first reported Sunday that a state audit found that leaders of the organization misspent more than $800,000 in taxpayer money on travel, a celebrity cruise, spa visits and even a personal car loan for its chief executive.

Community Action later shut down without the DFL uttering a peep about their corruption. This isn’t hypothetical corruption, either. It’s documented corruption. Where was Rep. Winkler when this real corruption was happening?

The corruption that Rep. Winkler is talking about is perceived corruption. There’s no proof that legislators are engaging in quid pro quo deals. Until he has verifiable proof supporting his accusations, Rep. Winkler should keep his mouth shut or expect to get highlighted as a mean-spirited partisan who isn’t that interested in the truth.

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.

The DFL must see the Bill of Rights, specifically the First Amendment, as utterly annoying. What other reason would the DFL have for pushing that’s already been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court? This language from HF1944 looks familiar:

Subdivision 1. Electioneering communication. (a) “Electioneering communication” means a communication distributed by television, radio, satellite, or cable broadcasting system; by means of printed material, signs, or billboards; or through the use of telephone communications that:
(1) refers to a clearly identified candidate;
(2) is made within:
(i) 30 days before a primary election or special primary election for the office sought by the candidate; or (ii) 60 days before a general election or special election for the office sought by the candidate; (3) is targeted to the relevant electorate; and (4) is made without the express or implied consent, authorization, or cooperation of, and not in concert with or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate or a candidate’s principal campaign committee or agent.
(b) If an electioneering communication clearly directs recipients to another communication, including a Web site, on-demand or streaming video, or similar communications, the electioneering communication consists of both the original electioneering communication and the communication to which recipients are directed and the cost of both must be included when determining if disclosure is required under this section.

McCain-Feingold, aka the BCRA, prohibited certain types of speech 30 days before a primary election and/or 60 days before the general election. Here’s the relevant part of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling:

The statute is underinclusive; it only protects a dissenting shareholder’s interests in certain media for 30 or 60 days before an election when such interests would be implicated in any media at any time.

Here’s another important part of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. the FEC:

Because speech is an essential mechanism of democracy—it is the means to hold officials ac-countable to the people—political speech must prevail against lawsthat would suppress it by design or inadvertence. Laws burdening such speech are subject to strict scrutiny, which requires the Government to prove that the restriction “furthers a compelling interest and is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest.”

Despite that clear ruling, the DFL insists on pushing a bill that includes provisions that the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled unconstitutional. It isn’t just that they’ve ruled these provisions unconstitutional, either. It’s that they said future legislation had to pass strict scrutiny, which is described like this:

subject to strict scrutiny, which requires the Government to prove that the restriction “furthers a compelling interest and is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest.”

The DFL knows that this is an extra-high hurdle that they likely can’t overcome. What’s disturbing is that the DFL isn’t hesitating in writing legislation that violates people’s rights to participate in the political process.

This is the definition of shameful, too:

Question: Why do Democrats hate certain types of political speech?

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