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When it comes to deceitful advertising, few organizations are more deceitful than the Alliance for a Better Minnesota. In their most recent ad, ABM ties the Trump tax cuts with education funding that’s already been cut. It’s astonishing to see that level of dishonesty. I wish I could say it’s surprising but it isn’t. It’s what’s expected.

If it’s to be believed, K-12 Education was cut by the GOP legislature and Gov. Dayton during the special session in anticipation of the Republicans passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which ABM insists will have an injurious effect on state funding of K-12 Education.

There’s so many flaws in that thinking that I can’t call it logic. ABM’s ad features a teacher named Annaka Larson. Ms. Larson identifies herself as “a first grade teacher at Wellstone Elementary in St. Paul.” Ms. Larson then says “Because our schools are already underfunded and the Republican tax bill will potentially take even more money away from Minnesota schools, I do buy a lot of school supplies out of my own pocket.”

It’d be interesting to hear Ms. Larson explain how the Republican tax bill that pertains only to federal taxes might cut K-12 Education funding that’s funded by the state of Minnesota. Rather than transcribe the whole video, I’ll just let you watch it. Here it is:

The DFL’s advertising has nothing to do with the truth. It has everything to do with tugging on people’s heartstrings by dishonestly implying that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will lead to draconian cuts in K-12 Education funding. The DFL: all they have to offer is deceit itself.

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Now that Gov. Dayton has officially picked Lt. Gov. Tina Flint-Smith to replace Sen. Franken in the U.S. Senate, it’s time to introduce Ms. Flint-Smith to Minnesotans. That’s the purpose behind Briana Bierschbach’s article attempts to do. Ms. Bierschbach’s article describes Ms. Flint-Smith as “a behind-the-scenes operator in DFL political circles who rose to the lieutenant governor job”, adding that “Smith said she’d decided against running for governor. But now, she plans to serve out Franken’s abbreviated term and run next fall to take his place in the United State’s Senate.”

TRANSLATION: Sen. Schumer essentially ordered Gov. Dayton to pick someone who was willing to do more than serve as a placeholder until this November’s special election. Simply put, Sen. Schumer gave Lt. Gov. Smith a set of marching orders and she complied.

The article continues, saying she “quickly rose within DFL circles and moved on to work on several statewide races, including Walter Mondale’s last-minute bid for the U.S. Senate in 2002 after the death of Paul Wellstone. Shortly after that race, she was recruited to be the vice president of external affairs at Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, leaving that job in 2006 to serve as Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s chief of staff and eventually run his campaign for governor in 2010.”

The truth is that she’s just as hard left as Al Franken. She’s anti-mining and anti-blue collar worker. She hasn’t shown any interest in completing the Enbridge Pipeline. Smith hasn’t lifted a finger to get PolyMet operational. Further, she’s done pretty much what Alida Messenger has told the Dayton administration to do. This video essentially tells Minnesotans that DFL policies have failed Minnesotans:

Listen to this litany of paradoxes:

“I’ve heard stories from families who are working 2 full-time jobs and are still struggling to find a good place to live. Minnesota has some of the best schools but I have talked to moms who are faced with driving 60 miles every day to get their children to a good pre-school. Minnesota has more people with health insurance than almost any other state, yet I have talked with farmers who have lost access to their long-time doctors and can’t afford the health insurance premiums. Minnesota iron ore built this country yet I have talked with Rangers who are worried about the future of their small towns. Minnesota is often named as one of the best states for women yet even here, women still earn less than men and women of color and Native American women have even fewer opportunities. (sigh) We have so much opportunity in this state and in this country but we have so much work to do to make sure that that opportunity is broadly shared.

Let’s go through that list. First, DFL taxes and regulations have killed capital investments, thereby killing jobs. The DFL doesn’t trust in capitalism, which is why there’s an outmigration of people from Minnesota to Iowa, North Dakota, Texas, Utah and Georgia. According to the state demographer, this trend isn’t all retirees. It’s prevalent through all age groups.

Next, the DFL’s metro-centric policies have hurt people living in rural Minnesota. Don’t blame this on Republicans. Republicans have fought with Gov. Dayton and Lt. Gov. Smith for rural Minnesota’s priorities. Next, Lt. Gov. Smith hasn’t lifted a finger to make PolyMet operational. If she gave a damn about the Iron Range, she would’ve fought for the Iron Range. Smith hasn’t fought for the Range because she’s a close friend of Alida Messenger, the most anti-mining DFL activist imaginable. I hope Rangers aren’t fooled by Smith’s faux empathy. Smith doesn’t empathize with Rangers. She’s visited the Range but that was a strictly a photo-op.

Another thing that Smith shouldn’t get away with is her criticism of the ACA/MNsure. She was an integral part of getting that enacted into law as Gov. Dayton’s Chief-of-Staff. It’s indisputable that Smith’s policies have hurt Minnesotans. Finally, Smith was Gov. Dayton’s trusted ally long before he was elected. She isn’t just a trusted ally. She’s the architect of Gov. Dayton’s campaign.

I don’t doubt that Lt. Gov. Smith will try to project an image similar to Sen. Klobuchar’s. That’s smart politics. It’s also exceptionally dishonest. Smith is more of a centrist than them pervert she’s replacing.

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After reading this KSTP article, in which Sen. Franken regurgitates the same scripted lines about regaining people’s trust, about how he let people down “who expect me to be a champion and who have looked at me to be a champion of women.” Sen. Franken repeated some other oldies but goodies about how he hugs people but can’t remember grabbing women’s butts because he takes “thousands of pictures with constituents, with people around Minnesota”, too.

The lines are scripted. It’s obvious that they’re scripted because he didn’t know what to say when Esme Murphy challenged him. Murphy had just cornered Sen. Franken when she said “With all due respect, people are going to find it hard to believe that someone such as yourself wouldn’t know that they were grabbing someone’s butt.” After pausing to think of an answer, Sen. Franken replied “I can understand how some people would see it that way.”

That was the only time in his multiple interviews that Sen. Franken didn’t follow his script. Here’s the video of Murphy’s interview of Sen. Franken:

Sen. Franken said that he wants to regain Minnesotans’ trust. Personally, I can’t trust him. Part of the process to regaining the people’s trust is to get people to forgive the offender. At this point, I can’t forgive him because he isn’t repentant.

Hypothetically speaking, let’s suppose that you caught a friend lying to you. Further, the friend insists that he isn’t lying even though you have proof that he’s lying. Why forgive a person who insists he hasn’t done anything wrong?

Let’s transfer that object lesson back to Sen. Franken’s situation even though they aren’t identical. Sen. Franken insists that he’s sorry for something he doesn’t remember doing but that he can’t rule out doing because taking pictures at the State Fair or at fundraisers or other outings is chaotic. What is Sen. Franken apologizing for? Do people apologize for doing things they don’t remember doing? Further, why would Sen. Franken accept the words of total strangers as fact?

I think Sen. Franken remembers his deeds. I think Franken’s apology tour is his attempt to smooth-talk himself out of a difficult political predicament. Just like this isn’t about becoming a man of integrity, this isn’t about anything other than keeping his office. As I noted in this post, Sen. Franken “apologized for the umpteenth time, saying that he’d ‘let a lot of people down, people of Minnesota, my colleagues, my staff, my supporters and everyone who has counted on me to be a champion for women. To all of you, I just want to again say I am sorry.'”

Notice that he never said a word about the victims of his attacks. Nothing says fake contrition louder than not apologizing to the victims. I refuse to forgive a person who isn’t repentant. That’s what I demand and that isn’t changing. Ever.

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I just received an email from Joe Davis, the executive director of the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, thanking me for helping persuade Inge Thulin, the CEO of 3M, to resign from President Trump’s Manufacturing Council. Davis insists that this is a major victory. It isn’t. The average person couldn’t care less about these councils. They’re most interested in whether the economic future looks bright and whether their kids will have jobs when they get out of school. Nonetheless, Thulin tried spinning it in a statement. Thulin said “I joined the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative in January to advocate for policies that align with our values…After careful consideration, I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals.”

Why should I care if Thulin, or any other CEO for that matter, is offended? Truthfully, it’s painfully obvious that Mr. Thulin is playing a political game to avoid the wrath of liberal activists protesting his company’s products. It’s probably the right thing to do from a financial standpoint but it’s still caving to unprincipled activists. Here’s Thulin’s statement:

If Davis wants to think this is a big victory, that’s fine with me. It isn’t like ABM has had a great election victory in Minnesota recently. In 2014, Republicans got outspent decisively but still flipped the Minnesota House of Representatives. In 2016, Republicans widened their margin in the House and flipped the State Senate. Rumor has it that ABM is thinking about changing their logo to this:

The other logo under consideration is this:

Here’s my statement to Mr. Davis: Pop the cork on that champagne. Celebrate those moral victories. Savor them. Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep telling yourself that it’s just a matter of time before people come to their senses.

In the meantime, Republicans will keep winning elections, not just moral victories.

This article highlights the fact that money isn’t everything in politics. According to statistics reported by Minnesota’s Campaign Finance Disclosure Board, “party groups and political action committees supporting DFL candidates outspent their Republican opponents in 2016, according to end-of-year finance statements that were due Tuesday with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board from every candidate, party and committee. Despite totals that far exceed recent elections and sometimes massive imbalances in spending, both seats went to Republicans on election night.”

In fact, the article said “Outside groups spent more than $588,000 in 2016 to support Jensen or bash Jasinski through TV, radio, print and online advertising and other support. The Minnesota DFL Central Committee alone spent $330,000 on pro-Jensen advertisements and another $105,000 against Jasinski. Despite such heavy spending, Jasinski won the vote 59 percent to Jensen’s 41 percent. Of course, Jasinski was not without his own third-party support. The Minnesota Action Network PAC and Freedom Club State PAC together spent almost $23,000 in his support and $128,400 against Jensen. Even so, the combined $150,700 spent on his behalf was barely a quarter of what was spent by Jensen supporters.”

This is proof that terrible candidates with a terrible message don’t automatically win. Apparently, that principle applies equally to national and local races. Hillary had tons of money and lost to President Trump. The point is that Democrats don’t have an appealing message. They have an organization that’s shrinking and some wealthy donors but that’s it. That’s as true in Minnesota as it is nationally.

Not far behind Senate District 24 in independent expenditures was House District 24B, in which Republican Rep. Brian Daniels faced a rematch with former Rep. Patti Fritz, both of Faribault, whom he had defeated two years before. On Election Day, he retained his seat by a margin of 58 percent to 41 percent.

Then there’s this:

All told, independent expenditures from Fritz allies came to almost $388,000, with another $299,000 spent on behalf of Daniels. Combined, the district drew about $687,000, a 916 percent increase from two years before.

There’s been lots of celebrating on the Range after Resolution 54 got defeated Saturday. This article said that Jason Metsa thinks that the vote is “a clear indication of where the party is at.” Then Metsa admitted that “the issue will be coming up again.”

First, the Range DFL survived Saturday, partially because all parts of the state were represented at the meeting. Anyone that thinks that John Marty will give up his anti-mining crusade anytime soon is kidding themselves. New incoming House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman hasn’t announce that she’ll take a more centrist, pro-mining position now that she’s the top-ranking Democrat in the House.

That’s before talking about whether organizations like the Sierra Club, MCEA or Conservation Minnesota (which gets significant funding from Alida Messenger) will stop bringing lawsuits against PolyMet. MCEA’s mission is to file lawsuit after lawsuit against mining companies or utilities. Winning the lawsuits isn’t MCEA’s goal. Their goal is to wear down the investors until those investors quit. I wrote about that tactic in this post, which I titled Attrition, not litigation.

Third, defeating Resolution 54 isn’t a victory because it didn’t approve a single permit for PolyMet or Twin Metals. The last I looked, Gov. Dayton hasn’t relented in saying no to the initial permits for the Twin Metals mining project.

Fourth, the DFL hasn’t lifted a finger to streamline the permitting process. I won’t trust them until they support permitting reform and regulatory relief. Even then, I’ll remain skeptical because these guys won’t permit the DFL to do real reforms:

There wasn’t much doubt about whether Rep. Jim Newberger represents his district prior to this election. That’s a big reason why he’ll easily win re-election this Nov. 8. Still, Rep. Newberger’s op-ed on Gov. Dayton’s shutting of the Sherco power plants shows how hard he’ll fight for his district.

The most alarming part of Rep. Newberger’s op-ed came when he wrote “With all the talk of a ‘transformational’ approach to energy at Thursday’s meeting, the Public Utilities Commission passed on actually deciding how it was going to ‘transform’ our energy grid. The PUC merely voted to retire two coal-fired units without designating a replacement.” There’s nothing “transformational” about shutting down 2 power plants that supply a large percentage of central Minnesota’s electricity, a significant number of central Minnesota’s private sector jobs and a gigantic portion of central Minnesota’s property tax revenue.

I’d say that it’s downright reckless for the PUC to shut down any type of power plant without having a plan on what to replace them with except I know that the Public Utilities Commission has lots of environmental activists on its board. This decision isn’t just reckless. It’s intentional.

Based on his campaign website, it isn’t a stretch to think that one would-be career politician who’s cheering the PUC’s decision is Zach Dorholt. Here’s what he wrote on his priorities page on energy and the environment:

I believe that our natural resources are one Minnesota’s greatest assets. I want to be able to swim in our waters and eat the fish that I catch and I want my children to be able to say the same thing 50 years from now. An ecological balance in a state that is the headwaters is not only a recreational need, but a necessity for our economy and way of life.
Working together, we can create a more sustainable future by:

  1. Supporting energy conservation programs and investing in alternative energy systems
  2. Fully committing to restoring our local waters and native prairie grasses
  3. Using the Clean Water and Legacy funds, not as a credit card, but for their intended purpose
  4. Encouraging forward thinking businesses to locate in Minnesota
  5. Assisting in the formation of community green spaces, local sustainable food and gardening efforts

This isn’t what a principled politician says. It’s what a man who wants to be a green energy lobbyist says. It’s what a politician who doesn’t represent his constituents says.

Mr. Dorholt won’t fight to keep these high-paying jobs in Central Minnesota. He should be crucified at the ballot box for selling out to the special interests instead of fighting for high-paying jobs in central Minnesota. Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This morning, I paid a quick visit to Zach Dorholt’s priorities page to see what Tina Flint-Smith Alida Messenger told him he believes. Earlier this week, at the St. Cloud Times-sponsored candidate forum, Dorholt said that he’d support a single-payer health care system. That was startling news to most of his constituents.

It’s startling because Dorholt avoided talking about the subject on his priorities page. On Dorholt’s priorities page, he said “As someone who works in the healthcare field I regularly see issues that if reformed, could make healthcare more efficient and affordable. Too many policies are made in St. Paul without the guidance of those who actually work with patients on a day to day basis. When elected, I will work to make sure that healthcare remains accessible and affordable to all of our citizens and that we get our fair share of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act from Washington.”

First, it’s noteworthy that Dorholt is an ideologue first. It’s incidental that he works “in the health care field.” Further, it’s noteworthy that working in the health care field doesn’t automatically make you an expert on health care policy. That isn’t to say we shouldn’t have health care professionals on the MNsure board. I’m just arguing that we shouldn’t just pick someone for the board because they work in the health care industry.

Next and most importantly, Dorholt’s a little late in saying he’d “make sure that healthcare remains accessible and affordable to all our citizens.” The premiums in the individual market aren’t affordable. That isn’t just my opinion. It’s also Gov. Dayton’s opinion (sometimes) and Bill Clinton’s opinion:

It’s worth noting that Gov. Dayton initially said that the Affordable Care Act wasn’t affordable 2 weeks ago. This week, he’s written an op-ed saying things aren’t so bad. I’m betting that Hillary’s campaign called him and lectured him on saying something like that.

Finally, Dorholt can’t admit that the system Minnesota had prior to Obamacare/MNsure, complete with its high-risk pool, did a fantastic job insuring people with pre-existing conditions while keeping health insurance premiums for healthy people relatively stable. I’ve said this before and I’ll repeat it here: the federal government should’ve modeled their plan after Minnesota’s system. Unfortunately for Minnesota, our senators crumpled like spineless wimps and voted to destroy Minnesota’s system.

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Friday afternoon, I received a mailer that was paid for by the Alliance for a Better Minnesota Action Fund. This mailer touted Zach Dorholt because he’ll “protect a woman’s right to choose, fight back against attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, work to pass paid family leave and make childcare more affordable.”

The opening paragraph of the mailer sounds threatening, saying “Women make hundreds of decisions every day and should be able to make the most personal ones — about their health, birth control and pregnancies — without interference from their boss or from politicians.” Let’s examine that paragraph.

When was the last time a Minnesota legislator offered legislation that would invalidate Roe v. Wade? Let’s be blunt, people. That’s what it would take to outlaw “a woman’s right to choose.” Actually, that isn’t enough because Roe v. Wade is a ruling from the US Supreme Court. In other words, there isn’t a thing that state legislators can do to outlaw a woman’s right to choose.

Later, it mentions that Dorholt would fight against defunding Planned Parenthood. Since that’s never been proposed in Minnesota, who cares what Mr. Dorholt thinks about the issue? It’s irrelevant. Finally, it mentions that Dorholt will work to “make childcare more affordable.” That’s code for he’s voted to force unionization on in-home child care providers.

In other words, it means that Dorholt will fight for a woman’s right to choose, something that he has utterly no control over and that he’ll fight against anyone who wants to defund Planned Parenthood, something that nobody’s attempted to do in Minnesota. Finally, he told everyone that he voted to force unionization down in-home child care providers’ throats. That ended with a thud when in-home child care providers rejected AFSCME’s ‘offer’ to represent them by a vote of 1,014-392.

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If you look at Dan Wolgamott’s issues page, it’s pretty clear that he’s a big government liberal attempting to sound like a centrist. It’s clear that Mr. Wolgamott wants to paint himself as a centrist by saying that he’d “work across party lines to move our state forward.” If Mr. Wolgamott is that interested in working across party lines to move the state forward, why didn’t he fight for the $800,000,000 middle class tax relief plan? I know he didn’t have a vote on the matter but speaking out in favor of it would’ve put pressure on Gov. Dayton and the Metro DFL to push for a special session to re-pass the Tax Bill.

Mr. Wolgamott’s association with corrupt far left lefty organizations like TakeAction Minnesota indicates that he isn’t the centrist he’s portraying himself as during this campaign. This morning, I got an email from TakeAction Minnesota warning me that the Koch Brothers want to steal legislative elections here in Minnesota. The email said “the Koch funded organization – Americans for Prosperity – is pouring money into our State Legislative races, launching a mail campaign this week with much more to follow. We want to create a Minnesota where our government and economy is working for us and by us. Our elections work reflects this belief – we are invested in the leadership development of our volunteers and we’re intentionally engaging neighborhoods that are too often overlooked during the election cycle. The work of our endorsed progressive champions reflects this – Ilhan Omar, Erin Maye Quade, Alberder Gillespie, Zach Dorholt, Dan Wolgamott, Lindsey Port, and others.”

TakeAction Minnesota is part of the ProgressNow-Alliance for a Better Minnesota coalition. Wolgamott can’t run as who he is. He can’t run as a Dorholt-like lefty. That’s because Wolgamott lives in St. Cloud, not in the Fourth or Fifth districts or Duluth. If he lived there, then he’d be able to run as the far left lefty that he is. In St. Cloud, he has to pretty much run as a centrist. That’s what Tarryl did in 2005 and 2006. She couldn’t run as a moderate in 2010 because she’d acquired a voting record that exposed her as a tax-raising lefty.