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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.

This article shows that the Iron Range knows that the DFL isn’t their friend. It doesn’t mean that they’re smart enough to vote for Republicans yet but that isn’t surprising.

Iron Range DFL activists attending the DFL State Convention this weekend defeated Resolution 54, which said “Oppose sulfide ore mining, which is significantly different from taconite mining, poses unacceptable environmental risks, threatens multiple watersheds (Lake Superior, BWCA/VNP, Mississippi) and should not be allowed in the sulfur-bearing rock of Minnesota.”

It’s nice that Resolution was defeated but that isn’t a victory. A victory would’ve included approval of permits for PolyMet. A victory would’ve included a resolution stating that the DFL wholeheartedly supports mining unconditionally. Neither of those things happened, which means defeating Resolution 54, though a good thing, wasn’t a victory.

Kelsey Johnson, the president of the Iron Mining Association, tried putting the best spin on it, saying “Today’s success was an important win and I’m glad that our legislators were able to remove this resolution. While it’s unfortunate that we have to fight against global forces, it’s more unfortunate to be fighting for our own livelihood in our own backyard.”

The truth is that the metro DFL controls the DFL. That won’t change anytime soon. In fact, that’s likely never to change. The only way for the Iron Range to truly win is for them to switch to voting for Republicans. Republicans don’t take their marching orders from Alida Messinger. They don’t have to fight environmentalists like John Marty or gun grabbers like Ron Latz or looney tunes lefties like Sandy Pappas.

Unlike the DFL, Republicans actually want every region in the state to succeed. The DFL isn’t interested in seeing mining succeed. This weekend’s vote proves that. Republicans would love to see the Iron Range rebound to the prosperity it once took for granted.

A rejuvenation of the Iron Range is the true definition of victory. That will only happen when the Range starts voting for Republicans.

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This morning, I wrote this article to highlight the DFL’s smear campaign has already started. In the article, I quoted Rep. Melissa Hortman as saying something that’s pure projectionism. When asked if Republicans wanted a transportation bill, Rep. Hortman replied “I think this is the problem when you hire the people who drafted your attack literature in the last campaign to run your legislative agenda.” We’ll get to that in a little bit.

It isn’t surprising that Rep. Hortman said that. The DFL’s primary campaign tactic is to accuse Republicans of doing the things the DFL is actually doing. For instance, AFSCME posted a tweet, complete with picture, that accused Republicans of not having time “for fixing dangerous roads and bridges.”

The opposite is true. The House GOP bonding bill included money to fix one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in Minnesota, a 38-mile stretch of Highway 12. After the House passed their bonding bill by a 91-39 margin, all that was necessary was for the Senate to pass the House bonding bill. Instead, with 8 minutes left in the session, the DFL amended the bill to include funding for the controversial Southwest Light Rail project.

That killed the bonding bill, thereby killing funding for fixing Highway 12. Here’s the incredibly dishonest AFSCME lit piece:

Remember Rep. Hortman’s statement that Republican had hired people who had drafted their attack literature? Here’s proof that the DFL hired someone who had made their living as a campaign attack dog attacking Republicans:

Let’s note these things:

  1. The GOP tried fixing one of Minnesota’s most dangerous highways.
  2. The Senate DFL killed the bill that would’ve fixed one of Minnesota’s most dangerous highways.
  3. A DFL front group insisted that Republicans didn’t have time for fixing “dangerous roads and bridges.”
  4. A member of the House DFL leadership team accused Republicans of hiring “the people who drafted [the GOP’s] attack literature” as staffers.
  5. The DFL hired the communications director from a DFL front group that specializes in producing the DFL’s attack literature.

It’s sad that the DFL’s campaign is built on the premise that a) Republicans are heartless, b) the DFL only runs high-minded campaigns and c) the DFL wants nothing but the best for Minnesota.

The truth is that the DFL is incredibly dishonest.

Last night, I noticed several tweets from the DFL side from Susie Merthans. After the session ended, a loyal reader of LFR sent me the link to ABM’s statement. According to the statement, Merthans is identified as “the Communications Director at Alliance for a Better Minnesota.”

That’s an attention-grabber because Ms. Merthans’ Twitter profile says “Communications Director for @ABetterMN by way of @mnhouseDFL.” Taxpayers shouldn’t pay the salary of someone who draws a salary as the communications director for the DFL’s campaign messaging unit. That’s what ABM is. If I had a $10 bill for each time I wrote about ABM’s role in DFL campaigns, I’d be living the life of luxury.

The DFL is a different operation. Their campaign communications are run through ABM’s offices. The DFL hasn’t been involved in campaign communications in years. ABM is as dishonest as they are corrupt. Check this paragraph from ABM’s statement out:

Republicans will be eager to start campaigning in their districts on the merits of this session. However, their record shows that they prioritized a Trump-like agenda that focused on tax giveaways to corporations and the wealthy, restricting women’s healthcare access, and denying that issues like climate change are a concern for Minnesota’s future.

First, as a proud member of the #NeverTrump resistance, I can’t figure out what Trump’s agenda will be beyond building a wall on the Tex-Mex border and stopping refugee resettlement programs from Muslim nations. I’m certain that the House GOP didn’t try enacting legislation making those thing the law in Minnesota.

Second and more importantly, the GOP fought for middle class tax cuts. If it was left to the DFL, they didn’t want to pass tax cuts. They wanted the money spent on broadband and on programs aimed at reducing racial disparities. Here’s Greg Davids’ statement on the GOP tax cuts:

“Over the past two years, I’ve continued to say ‘don’t stop believing,’ and today I’m proud that we can deliver significant tax relief for Minnesota families,” said Davids. “From a farmer in southern Minnesota, to a family in the suburbs, to a small business owner on the Iron Range, to a recent graduate at the U of M, this plan provides targeted relief to the middle class throughout the state.”

In the next three years, the plan provides tax relief in the amounts as follows:

  • $90.6 million in agriculture property tax relief for Minnesota farmers
  • $110 million in tax relief for college graduates paying off student loans through a refundable tax credit up to $1,000, the first of its kind in the country.
  • $49 million in tax relief for families who contribute to 529 Plans to save for their children’s college costs.
  • $146 million in property tax relief for every small business in the state by exempting the first $100,000 of commercial-industrial property.
  • $13 million in tax relief for veterans by raising the income eligibility threshold, and increasing the total credit from $750 to $1,000.
  • $150 million in tax relief for working families by expanding the working family tax credit
  • $32 million to reduce the cost of childcare; by expanding the childcare tax credit, families could earn a tax credit up to $960.

Those aren’t “tax giveaways to corporations and the wealthy.” They’re middle class tax cuts. The DFL spinmeisters at ABM aren’t interested in the truth. They’re interested in savaging Republicans at all costs. If they have to make things up, that’s what the DFL will do. ABM isn’t there to tell the truth, as I’ve pointed out multiple times. ABM is there to be the DFL’s hatchet against Republicans. If the DFL and ABM need to lie about Republicans, then that’s what ABM will do because that’s what the DFL wants them to do.

That’s hardball politics. What I have a complaint with is when the DFL expects the taxpayers to pay part of their communications director’s salary. There should be a constitutional amendment prohibiting people like Susie Merthans from ever working for as a legislative staffer. There should be a bright line between campaign shills and taxpayer-funded positions.

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I knew that the DFL and ABM would start spinning things after they created a mess but this is ridiculous. While the legislature was still in session, Susie Merthans started spinning things. She quoted Paul Thissen as saying “Modest victories are due to Gov Dayton & DFL Senate dragging GOP kicking and screaming across the finish line.” Then, as though that wasn’t enough, she added “Paul Thissen: GOP beholden to corporate special interests, it’s time for a change.”

First, it’s frightening that Ms. Merthans admits in her profile that she’s the “Communications Director for @ABetterMN by way of @mnhouseDFL.” Why should ABM’s communications director get paid by Minnesota taxpayers? That’s the definition of corruption. ABM doesn’t change when the session ends. It’s the same dishonest messaging as they used during the legislative session. The only difference is that ABM will spend more money on mailers and ads during the campaign. The dishonest themes remain pretty much intact.

That’s before talking about the dishonesty of Thissen’s statements. The DFL is the party that does whatever the environmentalists tell them to do. Actually, they don’t do what the environmental activists tell them not to do. Think about the DFL’s opposition to the Sandpiper Pipeline project. Think about the DFL’s opposition to a resolution at their State Convention in 2014 that said the DFL supported mining. At the DFL’s State Convention in Duluth in 2014, that timid resolution was pulled by Ken Martin said it was too controversial. Seriously.

Another example is how the DFL rammed through forced unionization on in-home child care providers at the end of the 2013 session. Despite a massive lobbying effort organized by in-home child care providers, the DFL ignored the in-home child care providers and sided with public employee unions. Again, the DFL didn’t care about the people. The DFL sided with their special interest allies. It isn’t surprising. That’s their habit.

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After reading this DFL puff piece, it would difficult to prove that it wasn’t written by ABM’s spinmeisters and given to these Strib stenographers. (They aren’t reporters because they didn’t question any of the DFL’s statements.)

For instance, the title is intellectually dishonest. The Strib’s title is “There’s no evidence that ultra-rich are fleeing Minnesota.” Nobody said the ultra-rich would leave Minnesota. That’s because the ultra-rich have much of their wealth hidden from taxation. The Strib is wrong, too, when they said that “Critics predicted that the ultra-affluent would flee after Gov. Mark Dayton secured 2013 passage of a new income tax tier of 9.85 percent on individuals who make more than $156,000 a year.”

It’s insulting that the Strib reporters got this information that badly wrong. Republicans said that small businesses and entrepreneurs would leave the state. I wrote this article to highlight the brain drain that Minnesota is experiencing. While the article’s focus was on the number of Minnesotans leaving for Wisconsin and the Dakotas vs. the number of students moving into Minnesota from Wisconsin and the Dakotas, I also highlighted the amount of capital flight that’s happening and that accelerated following the Dayton/DFL tax increase of 2013.

That capital flight isn’t just a statistic. It’s something John Christianson has witnessed firsthand:

John Christianson, an accountant in Willmar, said he’s aware of 12 wealthy people in his community who moved away, and six who expanded their businesses in other states. “People are at least considering it,” he says. “Ten or fifteen years ago, it wasn’t as prevalent.”

It isn’t a secret that Minnesota is losing out on tons of income. According to Peter Nelson’s study, most of the people leaving Minnesota aren’t snowbirds heading to Florida or Arizona:

One might think that most high-earning families who leave Minnesota are retirees moving to Florida or Arizona but this is not the case. Working-age people between 35 and 54 account for nearly 40 percent of Minnesota’s net loss of tax filers for the 2013-2014 period.

Shouldn’t Minnesota insist on pro-growth economic policies that attract the best and the brightest rather than chase them away? At some point, the capital flight from Minnesota and the brain drain Minnesota is experiencing will catch up with us. This isn’t a bold prediction. It’s just simple math.

Most people don’t know what Joe Davis does or what he believes. Let’s start filling in the multitude of blanks about Davis by telling people that he’s the chief propagandist Executive Director of ABM. The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, aka ABM, is the chief propaganda unit of the DFL. The morning after Donald Trump’s hostile takeover of the Republican Party, Davis issued a statement, saying “Republican legislators have been avoiding saying whether or not they’ll support Donald Trump if he’s the GOP nominee for president. Now, the path towards the nomination is clear for him, and Minnesotans deserve to know whether or not their elected officials will support Trump. Minnesota Republicans have showcased their shared priorities with Trump by focusing on things like defunding Planned Parenthood and cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy. These extreme priorities have become the hallmark of today’s Republican party, both at the national level and in our state, but Minnesotans just aren’t that extreme.”

In Joe Davis’s Minnesota, every Republican wants to cut taxes for “millionaires and billionaires” and evil “big corporations.” It’s important to highlight the fact that Joe Davis’s Minnesota, at least the one he talks about in public, doesn’t exist. Joe Davis’s Minnesota is just as imaginary as Joe Soucheray’s mythical empire of Gumption County and Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon. The key difference, though, between Gumption County, Lake Wobegon and Joe Davis’s Minnesota is that Davis won’t admit that his wild statements about Minnesota Republicans are a myth.

Forgive me. I said that Joe Davis’s Minnesota was a myth. That isn’t true. Joe Davis’s Minnesota is an intentional fabrication. Saying that Minnesota Republicans prefer “cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy” is verifiably false. It isn’t even close to the truth. This isn’t accidental, either. Whether you’re listening to Gov. Dayton, Rep. Thissen or Joe Davis, they’re repeating the line that Republicans love “cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy.”

I wrote this article last May. Back then, Gov. Dayton criticized Republicans, saying “They are saving that money for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, and property tax relief for large corporations.” When I contacted Rep. Greg Davids about his tax plan, he replied “My bill does not do that. Eighty percent goes to individuals. Tax relief is for the middle class…. My tax bill is tax relief for the poor and middle class.”

It’s time to run Davis and his dishonest quislings out of Minnesota.

I used to think that the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, aka ABM, was the most dishonest collection of progressives in Minnesota. I’m rethinking that, not because I think ABM suddenly became an integrity-filled organization but because Rep. Paul Thissen is a disgustingly dishonest person. I’m writing this because Rep. Thissen is dishonest and deceptive. When he issued this statement, Rep. Thissen put words in Speaker Daudt’s mouth, words that Speaker Daudt didn’t say.

The thing that Rep. Thissen twisted is the sentence that Speaker Daudt said. It reads “Number one, it would fund our roads and bridges, but number two, it would start to starve out the general fund, so it would remove money currently going in to the general fund, which is a really good thing.”

Rep. Thissen twisted that into this sentence, which says “Speaker Daudt’s admission that the purpose of the House Republican transportation plan is to “starve out” the money we use to fund our schools, police officers, and other basic services is the most damning argument against their so-called plan to date. He is openly admitting not only that they do not have a real plan to fund our roads and bridges but that the real purpose is to send us into deficit so they can cut our schools and other basic services in perpetuity.”

Rep. Thissen’s insistence that Speaker Daudt secretly wants to starve K-12 Education and police officer funding is insane. Last year, Speaker Daudt and Senate Majority Leader worked out a bipartisan budget plan a week before the end of session. If Rep. Thissen wants to argue that Speaker Daudt wants to starve education, transportation and public safety, then he’d better argue that about Sen. Bakk, too.

This statement is exceptionally dishonest:

Speaker Daudt and Republicans should bring forward a real transportation plan that will adequately fund our roads and bridges without depriving our general fund of resources that educate our kids from kindergarten to college and fund basic government services that are important to the lives of Minnesota families.

That’s rich. Tim Kelly criticized (exposed?) Rep. Thissen in this op-ed:

Do you recall Thissen’s “comprehensive transportation solution that truly fixes the problem long-term” from two years ago? Me either, because it didn’t exist.

Rep. Thissen is a natural-born obstructionist. His first action is to criticize, not solve problems.

It’s truly a sad day in Minnesota. The DFL leader in the House isn’t interested in solving problems. He isn’t even interested in telling the truth. Paul Thissen is a cookie-cutter DFL weasel whose only objectives are to maintain power and to pass the DFL’s ideological agenda.

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