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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.

It’s time people understood just how many jobs anti-development environmentalists kill each year. It’s time people understood, too, the impact excessive regulations have on Minnesota’s state budget. This article helps illustrate the negative and devastating impact overregulation has on economic growth.

This paragraph lays things out perfectly, saying “Enbridge has been trying to build this petroleum pipeline from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to its regional terminal in Superior, Wis. The project is common sense. The oil from the Bakken needs to be moved to market. Building Sandpiper would create thousands of well-paying middle-class construction jobs, bring millions of dollars in much-needed business to rural communities and add millions of tax dollars to rural governments. There is also no disagreement that moving the oil in a pipeline is a safer alternative than moving it via rail cars or trucks.”

It’s indisputable that moving oil through pipelines is safer than other forms of moving product to market. That fight is finished. Further, it’s indisputable that building the pipeline would create thousands of high-paying construction jobs. Think about this: If a bonding bill is called a jobs bill by the DFL, why shouldn’t building the Sandpiper Pipeline project be called a private sector jobs bill by Republicans?

It’s indisputable that the interest that’s paid back by taxpayers on bonding bills costs everyone money, frequently in the form of higher taxes. Interest paid off by companies like Enbridge when they build America’s infrastructure is a net plus on multiple levels plus it doesn’t costs taxpayers a dime in higher taxes. In fact, it’s possible to argue that increased economic growth from the private sector will lower taxes while increasing revenues and raising blue collar workers’ wages significantly.

Minnesota loses

The result of this uncertainty came home to roost earlier this month. Enbridge announced that it had formed a partnership to purchase a pipeline system that would get the Bakken petroleum to market. One of the pipelines Enbridge will purchase is still under construction, and it runs from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois. This pipeline was permitted in all four states in a year and a half. One thing the pipelines in this system have in common is that none of them travels through Minnesota.

Enbridge got what it wanted. North and South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois approved the alternate pipeline route in about 18 months, which is about a third of the time Minnesota had muddled through the permitting process thus far. BTW, North Dakota has better air quality than Minnesota.

This is particularly noteworthy:

One of the first things Gov. Mark Dayton did when he took office in 2011 was sign an executive order to streamline decisions on environmental permits. The rhetoric clearly has not been matched by action.

It’s noteworthy because Gov. Dayton signed that executive order after Dan Fabian submitted a bill (HF1) to streamline permitting. I wrote then that this was a purely political stunt. There’s little doubt but that I got that right.

Minnesota has strong environmental regulations. Unfortunately, it’s also got some of the most untrustworthy anti-development environmentalists in the US. These anti-development environmentalists oppose the Sandpiper Pipeline. They oppose all forms of mining in Minnesota. They opposed the building of the Big Stone II power plant, too.

At this rate, the anti-natural resources wing of the DFL, which is the dominant wing of the DFL, won’t permit anything that doesn’t fit their rigid ideology.

ABM Executive Director Joey Davis just sent me an email that’s essentially pure propaganda. The email starts with “Funding our schools so our children have a great start in life. Closing corporate loopholes so small businesses have a level playing field. Making the economy work for all of us, not just the wealthy. These are the priorities that Democrats in the Minnesota legislature have focused on, while conservative Republicans continue to try and divide us and keep the deck stacked against working families.”

Nothing tells voters that the DFL wants to level the playing field for small businesses and working families than Gov. Dayton’s veto of a tax bill that would’ve provided substantial property tax relief for small businesses and farmers.

ABM and the DFL (pardon the repetition) want Minnesotans to forget that Gov. Dayton, like he’s done each year, vetoed popular legislation that had strong bipartisan support. This year, he vetoed the Tax Bill that garnered 178 out of a possible 200 votes in the House and Senate. Last year, Gov. Dayton vetoed most of the budget bills that passed. Those bills were the product of bipartisan negotiations between Sen. Bakk and Speaker Daudt.

Later in the email, we find this gem:

Republicans want us divided and focused on who we should be scared of, but we know that to build a better Minnesota we need to go a different way.

In 2015, Speaker Daudt met with Sen. Bakk and hammered out a solid bipartisan budget. It’s difficult to say that Republicans want Minnesotans divided when the top-ranking Republican in the state negotiates a solid bipartisan budget. Considering the fact that Gov. Dayton said that he couldn’t trust Sen. Bakk in 2015, it’s impossible to believe that Republicans are the dividers. It’s important to remember this:

Gov. Mark Dayton erupted in anger Thursday in a dispute with the DFL Senate leader over a weeks-long controversy surrounding pay raises the governor gave to his cabinet. “To have a majority leader of the Senate come in and stab me in the back and blindside me is absolutely unacceptable,” Dayton said.

Dayton’s ire came after Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk led the Senate in voting to suspend the salary increases for state commissioners. All but two members of the DFL-controlled Senate voted with Bakk in favor of the proposal. The friction between the Capitol’s two most powerful DFLers threatens to cast a cloud over the rest of the 2015 legislative session. The two have tussled before, but Dayton indicated Thursday that their relations now were beyond repair.

Dayton said Bakk, a former ally, has proved himself untrustworthy because he brought forth the salary smackdown without any warning. “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,” Dayton said. “I certainly learned a brutal lesson today that I can’t trust (Bakk.) I can’t believe what he says to me and connives behind my back.”

ABM wants to paint the picture that they’re unified and that their agenda is popular. Last year’s fight between Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton indicates that ABM isn’t tethered to reality.

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Once again, the Twin Cities DFL shows its indifference towards the Iron Range’s blue collar workers. This post is the latest thumb in the Iron Range’s eye.

ABM’s first paragraph starts by saying “Minnesota has seen many victories for working families this year. On August 1, the minimum wage increase that Governor Dayton and Democratic legislators fought for in 2014 will be fully implemented, raising the wage to $9.50 an hour – one of the highest in the nation.”

I’d love hearing ABM hold a townhall meeting in Virginia, Hibbing or Hoyt Lakes. I’d love hearing them say that the Iron Range’s working families have “seen many victories.” If Brooke Wallington or Susie Merthan opened a meeting on the Range with that type of statement, they’d be advised to duck first, then hightail it to the nearest exit.

The second paragraph says “In May, paid sick leave passed in Minneapolis, allowing workers to better take care of themselves and their families. More recently, the Shakopee City Council voted unanimously to increase the minimum wage at subsidized businesses to $19 an hour. Now, Minneapolis is close to placing a $15 an hour minimum wage proposal on the ballot.” I’m not from the Iron Range but I can’t imagine them getting excited to hear that Minneapolis and Shakopee have new minimum wage laws. How does that help anyone in Buhl, Ely, Eveleth or Hibbing?

What’s interesting is the fact that there’s nothing in ABM’s post that talks about high-paying mining jobs. In fact, there’s nothing about high-paying mining jobs on ABM’s website. That’s rather stunning.

It’s stunning but it isn’t surprising. It isn’t surprising because Metro DFL activists care about the Twin Cities. It isn’t that these DFL activists just hate the Iron Range. It’s that they’re indifferent about the Iron Range. The Metro DFL is indifferent to the Iron Range because the Metro DFL’s agenda is all about what’s important to the Metro DFL.

That’s the way it’s been. That’s the way it’ll be for the foreseeable future. It won’t change until the Iron Range starts voting for Republicans. It won’t change when Iron Rangers stay home. It’ll change when Iron Rangers start making the DFL pay for their metro-centric agenda.

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The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, aka ABM, is the DFL’s BS machine. These days, it looks more like a BS factory than anything else. This post’s content is almost totally BS. In a blatant display of dishonesty, ABM insists that “Daudt and his Republican colleagues have pursued a harmful, Trump-like agenda.”

That’s interesting. It’s also BS. Speaker Daudt and the GOP haven’t said that they’ll sit down with the NRA to straighten them out about gun rights and due process rights. Trump certainly hasn’t put together a middle class tax cut proposal like Speaker Daudt and the GOP have. Trump’s tax plan favors corporations. Tax Chair Larry Davids’ plan favors veterans, students, small businesses and parents saving for their kids’ college education. Trump’s proposal is as similar to Chairman Davids’ proposal as ice cream is similar to hydraulic log splitters.

The title to ABM’s propaganda piece is titled “Speaker Daudt Can’t Deny His Ties to Trump.” I know ABM will hammer that theme for the rest of the campaign even though it doesn’t have anything to do with reality. That’s why ABM will hammer it. They know it isn’t the truth. That’s what ABM specializes in. What’s coy is ABM’s tactic of quoting a Trump campaign worker:

Similarly, the Minnesota Trump campaign chair said, “Speaker Daudt will be a tremendous champion for our shared message in Cleveland, and across Minnesota.”

Let’s remember that Trump promised to self-fund his campaign, too. Yesterday, news reports flourished that Trump raised $3,100,000 in May and that he’s got $1,289,000 cash on hand (CoH). Trusting anything Trump says or that his surrogates say isn’t just foolish. It’s proof that you’re totally gullible. I don’t doubt that they’d love to have Speaker Daudt’s endorsement but that isn’t happening. Speaker Daudt knows better than to tie his boat to Trump’s sinking ship.

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If anyone thinks that hardline lefties care a bit about the truth, they need to rethink things. This propaganda piece isn’t just dishonest. It’s frightening in that ABM isn’t interested in fixing the problem.

Susie Merthan’s propaganda piece opens by saying “The Orlando shooting is a tragedy. Unfortunately, for now, it’s just the most recent example of the epidemic of gun violence in America.” First, let’s remember Merthan’s history. According to Merthan’s Twitter profile says that she’s the “Communications Director for @ABetterMN by way of @mnhouseDFL.” Trusting the DFL is foolish. Trusting the Thissen-led House DFL is the ultimate in foolishness in Minnesota. Trusting President Obama’s spin of the driving force behind the Orlando terrorist attack is the ultimate in stupidity in the United States.

I wrote this article to make a specific point. I closed the article by specifically admonishing President Obama. Before admonishing him, though, I highlighted the administration’s failures:

According to the CBS article, the “co-owner of a Florida gun store says his employees contacted law enforcement before the Orlando shooting after gunman Omar Mateen attempted to purchase body armor and ammunition.” Further, the article says that “Mateen asked for level 3 body armor, according to Abell, but was told the store didn’t carry it. He then made a phone call and spoke in Arabic before asking for bulk ammunition, but employees did not sell it to him.” Finally, the article quotes Robbie Abell, the co-owner of Lotus Gunworks, as saying “we contacted FBI direct” after Mateen left the store.

Then I highlighted a Washington Post article:

“On the day of his rampage at a gay nightclub, the Orlando shooter posted messages on Facebook pledging allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State and vowing that there would be more attacks in the coming days by the group in the United States.”

The indisputable truth is that the federal government didn’t connect the clearly visible dots. President Obama didn’t care. Like ABM, he’d picked his storyline and he wasn’t deviating from it:

“Those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that makes sense.”

Susie Merthan’s article read much the same way:

Gun violence in America too often includes hate crimes and acts of terrorism. Hate crimes and acts of terrorism in America too often involve the use of guns. Strengthening our gun safety laws and closing loopholes in the background check system will help prevent lethal hate crimes and acts of terrorism.

The first World Trade Center bombing used explosives. The terrorists used box cutters and airplanes to carry out 9/11. Richard Reid, the infamous ‘Shoe Bomber’, used explosives planted in his shoes in his attempted terrorist attack. The Times Square bomber used a car bomb.

President Obama and Ms. Merthan, should we ban shoes, box cutters, cars and airplanes? After all, they were used in the attempted commission of terrorist attacks, too.

Further, the gun laws that were already in place should’ve sufficed. They weren’t the problem. The federal government failed us. Why shouldn’t We The People be upset that the federal government didn’t do its job?

Our not-so-illustrious senator took to the Senate floor to babble about gun violence:

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ABM’s latest dishonest statement is really a beauty. Notice the slipperiness in the wording. ABM’s statement starts by saying “This morning, Speaker Daudt (R-Crown/Stanford Township/Zimmerman), the highest ranking Republican in the state, said that Donald Trump is great for the Minnesota Republican Party.” That isn’t what Speaker Daudt said. What Speaker Daudt did say is “With the seats that we’re defending, we think Donald Trump actually helps us on the ballot to retain our majority.” (Notice, too, that ABM didn’t quote Daudt. They put their own spin on things.)

Predictably, DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin threw a hissy fit upon hearing that, saying “It’s time for Speaker Daudt and Minnesota’s Republicans to stop blindly following Donald Trump’s divisive lead and prioritize the needs of Minnesotans they are running to represent.” Chairman Martin, are you saying that political parties should call out politicians that behave dishonorably? If that’s the standard, why haven’t you openly criticized House DFL Leader Paul Thissen’s disgusting behavior?

Rep. Thissen’s pattern of verbal abuse of defenseless GOP staffers is plenty disgusting. Admittedly, it isn’t getting the attention that Trump’s bigotry is getting. Still, Thissen’s behavior is disgusting. Chairman Martin should stop with the gamesmanship. If he won’t hold his legislators to a high standard of integrity, then he should shut up. Nobody likes double standards. Nobody, apparently, other than DFL Chairman Martin and Rep. Thissen.

Finally, there’s this:

The Party is so unified that the Minnesota co-chair for the Trump campaign said today that, “Speaker Daudt will be a tremendous champion for our shared message in Cleveland, and across Minnesota.”

That’s wishful thinking. Trump has a history of saying untruthful things. Think of the time he said that he’d spoken with Paul Ryan. Then Ryan told the press that, at that point, he hadn’t spoken with Trump. The Trump campaign wants to present the image that the GOP is rallying to his cause. While it’s true that some Republicans are willing to vote for him out of loyalty to the GOP, it’s equally true that there’s a significant number of Never Trump activists who are essentially saying ‘Drop dead.’

ABM’s dishonest statement is brought to you by Susie Merthan.