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AFSCME’S statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Harris v. Quinn is exceptionally defensive sounding:

“No court case can stand in the way of millions of women who help us raise our children and care for our aging parents,” said Eliot Seide, director of AFSCME Council 5. “Child care providers and home care workers will continue to have a strong voice for good jobs and quality care for their consumers. This decision doesn’t stop them from organizing and collectively bargaining with states.”

AFSCME and the SEIU can bargain with state governments all they want. They just can’t collect dues from people who don’t want to be part of the union. The ruling did nothing to prevent collective bargaining. It just said that people who aren’t directly employed by the government aren’t government employees.

“This attack on worker rights is bankrolled by billionaires and big corporations to enrich themselves at the expense of hardworking Americans,” added Seide. The Harris case was brought by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an extreme anti-worker group funded by the Koch brothers and the Walton family.

I’d love hearing Seide explain how “billionaires and big corporations” get rich because of this ruling. I think Seide’s making this stuff up for political consumption to excite his base. If union workers don’t turn out in massive numbers for the DFL this fall, the DFL will take a bigtime hit.

“We won’t let right-wing extremists rob us of our rights,” said Clarissa Johnston, a pro-union child care provider from Mounds View. “Justice won’t be served until child care providers can vote on whether we want a union. When providers choose to join a union, we gain a voice on the job. We pay our dues to make our union strong. That gives us the power to get the fair compensation we deserve. We close the income gap and we lift our families out of poverty.”

Actually, unions pay dues to get Democrats elected. The notion that these union leaders are great altruists is silly.

“We unite to lift up our profession and prepare Minnesota’s poorest children for school and success in life,” said Marline Blake, a pro-union child care provider from Minneapolis. “Our union has helped to secure pre-school scholarships that make child care affordable for working parents. We provide training in first aid and CPR, child nutrition and safe infant sleep practices. Any court case that tries to stop our union is hurting the families who depend on us to keep their kids healthy, learning and safe.”

Consider this the unions’ best qualifications argument. It isn’t persuasive, though it’s dripping with chutzpah. Insisting that unionized child care providers are the only child care providers providing quality care is insulting the high quality non-unionized child care providers doing a fantastic job.

“We won’t rest until every worker has a voice on the job,” said Seide. “It’s the only proven way for caregivers to improve their lives and the lives of the families in their care.”

The women who run these in-home child care facilities are part entrepreneur, part teacher and part supervisor. That’s before mentioning a lengthy list of other qualifications these ladies bring to the table.

I’d triple dog dare Seide to tell these anti-union child care providers to their face that unionized child care providers are the only qualified providers.

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This statement on Workday Minnesota’s website is spin. Take this statement:

MAPE, the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, and AFSCME Council 5 denounced the corporate-backed “United for Jobs” initiative as a misleading and deceptive paid advertising campaign. The ads target Governor Mark Dayton’s proposal to raise more revenue for public services by raising taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans.

“While the TV and radio ads are designed to make the audience believe that ‘United for Jobs’ wants to safeguard Minnesota families and small businesses, in reality, ‘United for Jobs’ is funded by corporate advocacy groups that want to protect the pocket books of their multi-millionaire members,” the unions said.

Here’s the TV ad that’s been running for about a week:

Here’s the transcript of the ad:

NARRATOR: Minnesotans pay some of the highest taxes in America. Now some Minnesota politicians want you to pay even more. They’d raise the income tax to be the second highest in the country to fuel a nearly $2 billion spending increase. There’s a more responsible way. Go line-by-line. Cut the waste. Do your jobs. Make government more efficient and effective. Be accountable for every taxpayer dollar you spend. Tell Gov. Dayton and DFL legislators they don’t need more of your money. They need to spend it better.

While it’s true that the ad highlights the DFL’s proposed income tax increase, it’s misleading and deceptive to say that the ad “targets Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposal to raise more revenue for public services by raising taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans.”

First, the ad highlights the need for politicians to “go line-by-line” through the budget and to “cut the waste” from the budget. In that context, the focus is on the legislature to do its job of spending the taxpayers’ money wisely.

Second, the ad points the spotlight at “Gov. Dayton and DFL legislators,” not just Gov. Dayton. That’s perfectly appropriate because it highlights the fact that Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and Speaker Thissen are threatening to raise the rates on regressive taxes as well as raising the top income tax rate. Then there’s this statement:

The unions said the ads also mislead the audience into believing that the Governor’s tax proposal for the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans will raise taxes on “hard-working Minnesotans” – insinuating that all Minnesotans will get a tax increase. This is not true. The Governor’s proposal is a targeted tax increase to have the wealthiest pay their fair share, the unions said.

The unions’ statements are intentionally misleading. Their leadership knows that the DFL’s tax bills propose raising the tax on cigarettes by $1.60 per pack and the liquor excise tax from $4.60 a barrel on beer to $27.75 per barrel.

Sin taxes are necessarily regressive. They hit people who aren’t “the wealthiest Minnesotans” because they’re paid by everyone regardless of income. I’d love hearing Eliot Seide explain how AFSCME’s statement is accurate. In fact, I’d sell tickets to that event. I’d sell popcorn at that event, too. It’d be fun watching Seide slip and slither, twist and turn while doing his best to not answer my questions.

Seide, Gov. Dayton, Speaker Thissen, Sen. Bakk and their allies know this ad hits them hard. That’s why they’re responding with this dishonest counterattack.

Seide and company better be prepared to spend tons of money on their advertising campaign because the DFL has given these pro-business groups tons upon tons of ammunition with their tax bills. They’d better pack a lunch for this fight because AFSCME and MAPE will be fighting this fight for quite awhile.

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Each week, different proof appears that the DFL is intent on eliminating the GOP’s reforms. Months ago, I wrote about the DFL’s attack on teacher accountability, aka HF0171. HF0171 would repeal the basic skills test for teachers that Gov. Dayton signed last year. This week, I wrote about the DFL’s attempt to eliminate the Sunset Advisory Commission.

If the DFL would put forward a good faith effort on reforming government, the Commission would be a great tool for increasing government accountability. In some instances, the Commission would force agencies to justify their existence. In other cases, it would force the agency to justify their staffing and funding levels.

First, why won’t the DFL explain who wrote the bill that would eliminate the basic skills test for teachers? Requiring teachers and applicants to pass such a test isn’t revolutionary. It’s sensible. Why, then, did the DFL write legislation that would eliminate that requirement? They aren’t doing it “for the children” because they’re the first people it’d shortchange. Their parents and other taxpayers are the next people this legislation would shortchange.

It isn’t a stretch to think that EdMinn wrote this legislation because it’s their job to protect union members. If EdMinn wrote that legislation, why isn’t Rep. Ward representing his constituents, not EdMinn? Perhaps Rep. Ward thinks that EdMinn is his constituent and that he doesn’t have to represent the people living in his district.

Second, why is the DFL insisting on eliminating a great tool for increasing government accountability and transparency? Without the Sunset Commission, government oversight doesn’t exist. As recently as last year, the DFL threw a hissy fit when Republicans sought to make government more efficient. They accused the GOP of “waging war against working families.” Eliot Seide held a press availability in which he got exceptionally agitated.

He talked about how Republicans hated “working families” because they questioned whether state agencies, commissions, councils and panels had outlived their usefulness or had expanded themselves beyond their original charter. The Commission’s purpose was to examine these entities, then tell the legislature whether they were still doing what they were created to do and whether that mission was still important.

We know that the DFL doesn’t believe in oversight because they rejected that notion in 2007. That’s when they insisted that spending should be adjusted for inflation. In the DFL’s thinking, once an appropriation is made, it should increase by the rate of inflation in the future.

Another GOP reform required the Minnesota Department of Revenue to factor federal taxes into their annual tax incidence report. Minnesota is one of a tiny handful of states that didn’t do that. Gov. Dayton signed that legislation into law. Now he’s signed it out of existence after the DFL legislature voted to repeal that requirement.

This year’s report had been prepared but it hadn’t been released. That report included federal taxes. The DFL moved quickly, eliminating the federal taxes requirement. The new tax incidence report doesn’t include federal taxes. First, the new report doesn’t give an accurate picture of Minnesota’s taxes. Second, it means that all the time that went into preparing the first report was for nothing.

Is that the type of government efficiency Minnesotans deserve? I’d argue it isn’t. I’d argue that that’s the type of waste that must be eliminated.

While we’re on the subject of taxes, let’s talk about the fact that the DFL isn’t committed to a progressive tax system. I’ll stipulate that they’re great advocates of progressive taxation during campaigns. That’s as far as it goes, though. Then-Candidate Dayton argued passionately for a more progressive taxation system during his campaign. In 2010, he criticized Tom Horner for supporting increases to the alcohol and cigarette taxes:

you’re in favor of raising taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, another regressive tax. So the difference between us is I want to raise taxes on the rich, and you want to raise taxes on sportsmen and women and and middle income working families.

This year, Gov. Dayton’s objections to increasing taxes on alcohol and cigarettes disappeared, most likely because he needs the revenues to increase the size and intrusiveness of state government.

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The political party that Hubert Humphrey formed back in the late 1940′s doesn’t exist anymore. Back then, Humphrey convinced farmers and unions that his fledgling party was their home.

For some time, the DFL really did represent those interests pretty well. Then came the 1970′s. That’s when the DFL started drifting away from its founding principles.

Nationally, the anti-war movement caused it to drift away from its belief that America is the greatest force for good in the world. Significant-sized parts of the Democratic Party, both nationally and in Minnesota, got the title of being the ‘blame America first’ crowd that former UN ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick talked about.

The Sierra Club and other environmentalist organizations caused the DFL to become more of a metrocentric party. That’s when the biggest drift from supporting miners and farmers happened.

These days, the DFL is essentially a metrocentric party. Miners’ input isn’t welcomed in the party. In fact, they’ve lost their seat at the table to the environmentalists.

Proof of that is supplied by Gov. Dayton’s delaying the mineral rights auction for a year. When the Executive Council finally approved the mineral rights auction, an organization tied to Gov. Dayton’s first ex-wife announced that they’d do everything possible to prevent PolyMet Mining from becoming reality:

Conservation Minnesota, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy are targeting the proposed PolyMet mine near Hoyt Lakes and the proposed Twin Metals mine near Ely.

The campaign includes the web site MiningTruth.org, a 40-page report examining mining in detail, a Facebook community, and four billboards along Interstate 35 between the Twin Cities and Duluth to reach summer travelers.

Environmental groups call it sulfide mining because the copper, nickel, gold and other metals are locked up in minerals that contain sulfur and can produce sulfuric acid and other contaminants when exposed to the elements. They fear toxic runoff would threaten Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. And they say the environmental record of such mining elsewhere is poor.

“These are not our grandfather’s iron ore mines,” said Molly Pederson, government affairs director for Conservation Minnesota. “This is a completely different kind of mining.”

The unmistakable message to mining unions is that their industry isn’t welcome in the DFL anymore.

Environmentalists 1, unions 0.

Sens. Franken and Klobuchar told the unions that they weren’t welcome when they voted to keep construction unions unemployed. That happened when they voted to prevent the Keystone XL Pipeline from becoming reality. That’s unforgivable considering the fact that unemployment in the construction industry is 14.7% nationally.

Environmentalists 2, unions still nothing.

When Hubert Humphrey started the DFL, public employee unions didn’t exist. Today, they’ve achieved sacred cow status. Whatever Tom Dooher, Javier Morillo-Alicea and Eliot Seide says they want, Gov. Dayton and the legislature do without question or hesitation.

The DFL is so endebted to these unions that Gov. Dayton signed an unconstitutional executive order in an attempt to unionize child care small businesses.

It’s time that the DFL admitted that it isn’t interested in supporting the Steelworkers Union or the United Mineworkers. Jim Oberstar’s vote for Cap and Trade was seen by the mineworkers rank-and-file as a vote to destroy the mining industry in Minnesota.

Similarly, Collin Peterson’s vote for Cap and Trade was potentially damaging to farmers. Throughout that fight, Rep. Peterson insisted that he wouldn’t hold hearings on Cap and Trade. Then Queen Nancy came calling for his vote, at which point his vote flipped. That’s when Rep. Peterson threw farmers under the bus.

Today, the Democrat-Farmer-Laborer Party doesn’t exist. It’s transitioned into the Democrat-Public Employee Unions-Environmentalist Party.

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If you believe Denise Cardinal’s performance on Almanac, which I don’t, you’d believe that the DFL is totally content, that there’s no divisions within the DFL and that they’re rolling in cash. As Meatloaf said a generation ago, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

Cardinal is right in that there aren’t any divisions within the DFL. She’s right, too, that there’s lots of money in the DFL’s coffers. Both things come together in a simple step. If the DFL does exactly what Alida Messinger tells them to do, she’ll promptly write a check with lots of zeroes at the end of it.

See how simple it is with the DFL. Obedience to the first former Mrs. Mark Dayton ends all divisions and all money problems for the DFL. That’s efficiency, DFL style. (When’s the last time anyone stood up to Alida’s extremist environmental dictates?)

The thing that’s sad is that the DFL is forced into agreeing with her anti-mining ideology. The DFL is forced into agreeing that fairness and class warfare are infinitely more important than prosperity. Thanks to Alida, the DFL is forced into thinking that the definition of marriage that’s been used by civilized societies for 5,000 years is divisive.

A Cardinal appearance on Almanac wouldn’t be complete without her spewing her dishonest propaganda. This time didn’t fail. First she said that the GOP shut down state government. Then she said that the only things that the GOP legislature could point to were a pair of “divisive constitutional amendments.”

First, there’s proof aplenty that the DFL and their allies approved the strategy of shutting down state government:

Early in the process when it was becoming clearer that the shutdown was going to happen there was discussion between the governors office and the coalition group (a group made up of a wide variety of unions including AFSCME, MAPE, Teamsters, and others who discussed on how broad the shutdown should be. All parties agreed that for the shutdown to be most effective, that the public had to feel the pain and realize what state workers do for this State. The best way for this to happen would be a real shutdown involving many state workers, in lieu of a partial shutdown. There was no one party who came to this conclusion. The shutdown was necessary to place focus on the top 2% of Minnesotans to pay their fair share in taxes. This was explained at a statewide meeting of all local presidents.

Governor Dayton supported this shutdown because he could not agree to the massive cuts to state workers and state programs, and although we did not have success with taxing the top 2% he did succeed in saving 5 thousand state jobs which were going to be lost under the Republican backed plan, and many provisions which would have ended our collective bargaining rights as we know them were removed from bills.

There was much disappointment when the Governor made his decision to compromise and end the shutdown. Elliot Seide was asked to speak to our group so we could better understand the Governors decision. Elliot stated that the Governor did not take this decision lightly and was burdened by the effects the shutdown was having on state workers and the entire state on Minnesota. Elliot stated that Governor Dayton did not believe that continuing the shutdown would result in Republicans agreeing to raise taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans. Elliot and other did attempt to convince the Governor, without success to continue the shutdown as he felt we were gaining momentum and gaining Public support.

AFSCME council 5, intends to stick with Governor Dayton’s tax the rich plan and is convinced we can take control of the House, and Senate with labor friendly legislators in the 2012 elections. This is the only way we can assure our jobs, and collective bargaining right will be protected.

In solidarity:

xxx

In short, this AFSCME memo is irrefutable proof that the government shutdown was planned by the DFL. That fits with what Gov. Dayton told me at his trainwreck townhall here in St. Cloud. That’s when he said that he wouldn’t consider calling a special session to sign the transportation bill, which has almost nothing to do with balancing the budget.

Mothballing construction projects in the middle of the summer didn’t just put thousands of construction workers out of work. It put important public safety projects 3 weeks behind schedule.

For Ms. Cardinal to say that Republicans shut state government down isn’t just disgustingly dishonest. It’s proof that she’s a perfect fit for ABM and ProgressNow. ABM and ProgressNow are like her in that they’re only loosely tethered to the truth.

Finally, saying that the Photo ID constitutional amendment is divisive is deceitful. I wrote here about how divisive the Photo ID constitutional amendment isn’t:

According to our exclusive new SurveyUSA poll, 76% of Minnesotans say they’d vote in favor of voter ID. Only 18% oppose the idea.

Party affiliation – Yes, 92% of Republicans support voter ID. So do 76% of independents…and 59% of those wingnutty Democrats in Minnesota, too.

Issues that get 75+ percent of voters of all political persuasions to aqree isn’t a divisive issue. It’s a unifying issue.

Ms. Cardinal’s dishonesty is disgusting to the point that she’s earned the Ambassador Joe Wilson Dishonesty Under Fire Award. During the Plame scandal, journalists of all political persuasions said that the best way to determine whether Joe was lying was determining if his lips were moving.

If the cliche fits…

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This Kos post questions a) whether Tarryl Clark is liberal enough and b)whether she’s pro-union enough. To read this post is personally delightful.

It is shocking, then, to watch DFLer Tarryl Clark tap dance around the issue during this St Cloud Chamber of Commerce debate with Michele Bachmann and Bob Anderson in 2010:

I’ve always had good working relationship with our business community and with labor. I want to work with both sides to be sure we have a level playing field for business and for our employees…a much bigger issue right now for our businesses and our employees is this continual outsourcing of our jobs…this is not the big issue in front of us, what the big issue is, is how we’re going to get back to creating jobs.

I attended that debate. It was apparent to everyone in the room that Tarryl was finished if she answered that question honestly. I said that Tarryl hasn’t stood up to the unions:

Tarryl denied that she’d vote for EFCA, aka Card Check. She’s been endorsed by every alphabet union imaginable. Ditto with organizations like EdMinn and the Teamsters.

Should I believe that the biggest item on the unions’ priority list isn’t a priority anymore? Should I believe that Tarryl told a great big whopper? It isn’t that she’s stood up to the unions before.

Whatever the CD-8 DFL decides is up to them. Whatever Kos wants to do is up to him. Saying that Tarryl isn’t pro-union enough, though, is utterly laughable. Days after Tarryl’s website appeared, it was filled with union endorsements:

Here’s a comprehensive list of the unions that have endorsed her:

Greater Minnesota AFSCME, Council 65
Teamsters Joint Council 32
Minnesota Nurses Association
Minnesota Association of Professional Employees
SEIU Minnesota State Council
Minnesota AFL-CIO
AFSCME Council 5
Education Minnesota

That list makes this part of the Kos post that much more delicious:

Clark’s refusal to take a stand on the Employee Free Choice Act is inexcusable and unacceptable. Indeed, Trumka makes it quite clear there is no equivocating on this issue; if you are not with us, you are against us:

When it comes to politics, we’re looking for real champions of working women and men. And I have a message for some of our “friends.” It doesn’t matter if candidates and parties are controlling the wrecking ball or simply standing aside—the outcome is the same either way. If leaders aren’t blocking the wrecking ball and advancing working families’ interests, working people will not support them. This is where our focus will be—now, in 2012 and beyond.

That’s right, Mr. Trumka. You can’t trust Tarryl, especially on union issues. It’s time to throw her under the bus for a true hardline union supporting candidate for Congress.

Seriously, it’s a hoot for conservatives like me who’ve followed Tarryl for 5 years getting called too wishy-washy by hardline progressives. It’s positively delicious.

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If ever people needed anything to tell them what lengths unions were willing to go to establish day care unions, this quote says it all:

Day care provider Sharon O’Boyle of St. Paul Park said she and other union supporters see want a union in order to have a stronger voice when it comes to streamlining government oversight of day care facilities. O’Boyle also said she wants a stronger voice advocating for higher day care reimbursements from the state.

“I want a union to work with me on issues that concern myself and other licensed family child care providers,” she said. Those issues include licensing rules and regulations, and adequate compensation for services to families.

What’s interesting to me is that Ms. O’Boyle thinks that the best vehicle for “streamlining government oversight of day care facilities” is AFSCME or SEIU. When have unions streamlined anything?

Additionally, Rep. Mary Franson said that she knew of at least 2 lobbying organizations while she was a day care provider. Does anyone think that unions would be better advocates for these businesses than lobbying organizations would be?

It’s apparent that SEIU and AFSCME want these businesses unionized so their political influence doesn’t diminish. That’s SEIU’s and AFSCME’s worst nightmare, the thing that worries Eliot Seide and Javier Morillo-Alicea the most.

The political reality is that AFSCME and SEIU wouldn’t be better advocates for in-home day care businesses than lobbying groups are. Furthermore, forced unionization of these in-home businesses isn’t likely to lower costs to parents. It’s likely to cost more.

That matters considering the fact that many of the children receiving day care from these in-home businesses are recipients of state aid. The last thing we need right now is to give AFSCME and SEIU another reason to argue for more of the taxpayers’ money.

This is a union power play. It’s beyond Gov. Dayton’s ability to force unionization of these in-home businesses through an executive order:

What is the status of home-based child care providers under the Public Employment Labor Relations Act (PELRA)?

Answer: Minnesota Statutes Chapter 179A defines a public employer as the state of Minnesota or other local political subdivisions. The law also defines public employees as those appointed or employed by a public employer. Under current law, a self-employed, home-based child care provider would not be a public employer or a public employee. Here is the link to the law; the relevant definitions are in subdivisions 14 and 15: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=179A.03

It’s time for AFSCME and SEIU to drop this charade. Contrary to what SEIU and AFSCME say, they didn’t find the support they needed to start a day care union. If they had, they wouldn’t need Gov. Dayton’s executive order. They’d start the unionization drive by filing with the NLRB.

It’s telling that they didn’t file that notice. In fact, it’s all you really need to know about the situation.

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This morning, I had an interesting thought about Arne Carlson. The media is so eager to tout him as a senior statesman for the Republican Party, mostly because he’s supposedly a moderate. I don’t buy the fact that Arne Carlson is really a Republican, much less a moderate Republican.

I know he couldn’t identify with mainstream Republicans because he’s never identified himself with them. Let’s remember that spending increased by 56% during his 8 years in office. That’s 7% per year or 14% per biennium. That’s perfectly in line with what the DFL has historically done. Let’s remember that the initial budget passed by the DFL majority passed in 2007 would’ve increased spending by 17% for the 2008-09 biennium.

How is that significantly different than what Arne did each year for 8 years?

To settle this fight once and for all, I’m proposing that there be an hour-long debate during the state fair at the grandstands. Let’s have Ed Morrissey, Mitch Berg, Dan Ochsner and Tom Hauser as moderators. I’m also proposing that the debate be between so-called senior GOP statesman Arne Carlson and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dave Thompson.

The debate would be a great service to Minnesota because these moderators are straight shooters who fit comfortably within the mainstream of Minnesota politics.

In addition to holding it at the State Fair, let’s have someone subsidize a live video feed for the internet for those who can’t make it to the fair. That person or company can recoup some or all of their money through advertising revenues.

I don’t want this to be Arne vs. a retired GOP legislator. I want Minnesota to see the difference between politicians that once were considered moderate Republicans vs. a current conservative that’s been recently mischaracterized as a far right conservative by Eliot Seide.

Let’s let Minnesota decide which person’s views are more in line with their policies, priorities and beliefs.

Let’s make it happen.

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This weekend, I wrote about Esme Murphy’s interview of Sen. Dave Thompson, Rep. Deb. Hilstrom and AFSCME Council 5 president Eliot Seide. She pushed Sen. Thompson but sat like a potted plant when Rep. Hilstrom, then Seide recited DFL talking points like they’d eaten the DFL script.
Lord knows that Esme Murphy isn’t the only journalist who frequently ignores pertinent information. Scott Johnson’s post highlights how many pertinent facts the Strib’s Rachel Stassen-Berger has omitted:

Here let me pause to note that Rachel Stassen-Berger et al. at the Minneapolis Star Tribune have failed to get this right despite the fact that the documents have been made available to them and that Senator Koch herself explained them to Stassen-Berger this past Saturday. The Star Tribune threw four reporters, including Stassen-Berger, into reporting the breakdown of negotiations and still couldn’t get it right. According to the Star Tribune: “The GOP proposed delaying another $700 million in payments owed to schools, which would add to the more than $1 billion the state already owes K-12 schools.” On the contrary, however, the idea came from Governor Dayton.

RSB can’t claim that she didn’t know about Gov. Dayton’s offer; Sen. Koch spoke directly to her, highlighting the final offer exchange between Gov. Dayton, Sen. Koch and Speaker Zellers.

During the Faceoff segment on @Issue With Tom Hauser, DFL strategist Cathie Hartnett said that Gov. Dayton went from wanting to “raise taxes on the wealthiest 2% to .3. He compromised all along this way.” Hartnett is refering to Gov. Dayton’s final offer to raise taxes on those people making $1,000,000 a year. That represents the top .3% of Minnesota wage-earners.

Ms. Hartnett skips the part about Gov. Dayton taking his tax increases off the table. She rightly highlights the fact that Gov. Dayton had held fast to his tax-the-richest-2% policy. She’s right that Gov. Dayton’s final offer prior to the shutdown was a surcharge on income above $1,000,000.

In fact, I can state categorically that I haven’t heard any of this past weekend’s DFL guests talk about Gov. Dayton taking his tax increases off the table. I can state categorically, too, that none of the talk show hosts raised that issue either.

People will say it’s unfair to compare Cathie Hartnett with Rachel Stassen-Berger and Esme Murphy because she isn’t a reporter. I’d argue that neither are Rachel Stassen-Berger and Esme Murphy.

For far too long, the Twin Cities media, with some notable exceptions, have acted like potted plants rather than challenging Gov. Dayton, DFL legislators or the DFL’s special interest allies. As a result, Minnesotans aren’t getting the information they need to consistently make informed decisions.

I suspect that that’s the DFL’s plan.

Thanks to Scott Johnson’s and John Hinderaker’s work at Powerline, Mitch Berg’s work at Shot in the Dark, as well as at other websites (like LFR, Sheila Kihne’s The Activist Next Door and Erin Haust’s work at Examiner.com), the media’s corruption is getting exposed. More importantly, people are getting the information they need.

Thanks to speeches at TEA Party rallies, people are realizing that the Twin Cities media isn’t a reliable source of information. They’re also finding out that they can be their own source for information by checking state and city government websites.

The upside is that people no longer have to rely on the potted plant Twin Cities media.

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After reading AFSCME’s latest propaganda sheet, I’m wondering if Twin Cityites and suburbanites are willing to stage a counterprotest to AFSCME’s astroturfed protest. Here’s some of the propaganda in the AFSCME newsletter:

Instead of creating jobs, Republicans are creating unemployment. They’re ready to shut down the state and cause the biggest lay off in Minnesota history. If you’re angry about losing your job and your public services, join us Wednesday, July 6, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on the state Capitol steps.

We’ll set up “Downeyville,” spotlighting the policies of the state representative from Edina (and his allies) that would wipe out the jobs of 5,000 state workers. But that’s just the beginning: If Legislative Republicans get their way, their “cuts only” budget will eliminate 30,000 public- and private-sector jobs, permanently.

People won’t lose their jobs if Keith Downey’s reforms are enacted. This is a DFL scare tactic. They even got political operative Jim Showalter to create fictional fiscal notes ‘showing’ people that the House GOP budget would cut each department’s spending by 9%. Showalter’s fiscal note said that the Senate GOP budget only cut each department’s spending by 8%.

This despite Rep. Downey’s testimony that the vast majority of workforce reductions would be caused by not hiring to replace retirees. The expectation is that 6% of the PEU workforce will retire each of the next 3 years.

That isn’t the only propaganda in AFSCME’s version of Pravda. Here’s more:

The Republicans’ budget also eliminates jobs in other ways:

  • Their proposed cuts in aid to cities and counties will make it harder for communities to provide the public safety and basic amenities businesses rely on.
  • Their proposed cuts to public transit will make it more expensive, and, in some cases, impossible, for workers to get to their jobs.
  • Their refusal to even consider the governor’s bonding bill means continued unemployment for tens of thousands of construction workers.

If you applied truth-in-advertising laws to this statement:

Cuts in aid to cities and counties will make it harder for communities to provide the public safety.

Actually, communities could still provide public safety services if communities didn’t spend money on less-than-essential thing like $50,000/ea. artistic drinking fountains. Public safety should be the first priority of every city, county, township and state. PERIOD. Saying that you’re cutting spending on public safety means that you’re using money on non-essential services. Any mayor that isn’t putting public safety first as a budget matter is the picture of irresponsibility.

If the Republicans force a government shutdown [ed. note: they didn't] and refuse to meet Gov. Dayton halfway on a budget deal, up to 23,000 state workers could be laid off. It will be the biggest layoff in Minnesota history, at a time when 196,000 Minnesotans already are unemployed.

Republicans didn’t force a government shutdown. They wanted to keep negotiating. Numerous temporary spending bills had been written that would’ve temporarily funded government while the final negotiations continued. Gov. Dayton said that accepting that option was worse than shutting down government. I’m betting that AFSCME or MAPE employees disagree with that statement. If the CRs or other activists put together a counterprotest, feel free to email me any pictures from your counterprotest or from the union’s protest and I’ll post them on this blog.

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