Archive for the ‘ABM’ Category
Gov. Dayton attended a rally in Virginia Monday but that doesn’t mean he’s committed to mining.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton urged iron miners to step up the fight against foreign countries illegally dumping steel in the U.S. and threatening the local mining industry.
“The story of the Iron Range is one of standing strong against exploitation and oppression, and too often of a government that will not stand with them,” Dayton said to a cheering crowd of 1,500 iron miners. “Today’s enemies are not the companies, but the countries that dump their steel in the U.S. market, depress the prices and take away your jobs.”
It’s interesting that Gov. Dayton will rally with miners who work at existing mining companies but won’t support new mining projects like PolyMet and Twin Metals-Minnesota. I didn’t say that Gov. Dayton’s behavior is inexplicable. It’s quite understandable.
When it comes to taking a stand on jobs or the environment, Gov. Dayton is a wimp, always siding with environmental activists like his ex-wife Alida Messinger. This year, despite loud protestations from the Range, Gov. Dayton has insisted that he won’t take a position on PolyMet until the reviews are done.
That isn’t leadership. That’s what spineless wimps do.
Republicans are capitalizing on the PolyMet issue:
GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Honour’s running mate, state Sen. Karin Housley, drove up to attend the rally. “Scott Honour and I support the mining jobs in northern Minnesota,” Housley said. “We are all about mining jobs.”
After the rally, Housley toured the proposed copper-nickel mine in Hoyt Lakes, where PolyMet Corp. is seeking approval for a mine that could bring hundreds of jobs and millions in new investment. But the 20-year mine would also require environmental clean-up that could stretch 500 years.
Housley said she has a long connection to PolyMet. She is a member of a small group of hobbyist investors who first invested in PolyMet about eight years ago and even toured the facility.
“There is room for common-sense growing jobs and protecting the environment,” she said. “We are all over creating jobs up here.”
GOP-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson issued a statement saying Dayton is not leading on job-creation issues on the Iron Range.
“Attending rallies is not leading – it is standing,” Johnson said. “When I am governor, I am not just going to stand with people who are losing their jobs, I am going to do everything I can to ensure that mining jobs aren’t just protected, they are expanded.”
Of course, the DFL doesn’t like the possibility of losing support on a long-time electoral stronghold:
Dayton and other Democrats took direct aim at Republicans at the rally, saying that the GOP has repeatedly tried to raid special Iron Range funds whenever the budget got tight. Democrats said the Republican’s sudden interest in the Iron Range is a fleeting political ploy.
First, Gov. Dayton’s support of mining is questionable at best. He hasn’t said a positive word about mining since becoming governor. Second, Democrats sound defensive now that GOP gubernatorial candidates are fighting for Iron Range votes.
Third and most importantly, Democrats talk about budget tightening while they’re causing the tightness by not letting the Iron Range economy flourish. Their history of creating jobs on the Range is awful. That’s why the MHI for Eveleth is $35,500.
Dayton and other Democrats fought for projects and jobs “that would improve your quality of life on the Iron Range, across Minnesota and across the country.”
On that front, Gov. Dayton and the DFL failed. One in 6 people living on the Range live in poverty. That isn’t the definition of jobs that “improve your quality of life.” That’s the definition of failing the Range while leaving them in misery.
Technorati: Mining Rally, Mark Dayton, Alida Messinger, Environmental Activists, Federal Poverty Level, Iron Range, Poverty, DFL, Scott Honour, Karin Housley, Jeff Johnson, MNGOP, Election 2014
Whatever the outcome of Novembers’s election, KSTP’s poll has stripped away the BS from DFL pundits:
Franken clings to a six-point lead over his closest Republican challenger Mike McFadden, 48 percent to 42 percent. The poll has a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.1 percent.
“This poll is a cannon burst into the Minnesota U.S. Senate race,” says political science professor Larry Jacobs of the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute.
It isn’t just that McFadden is close. It’s that Sen. Franken has a microscopic lead over Jim Abeler:
Franken has a larger lead over another potential challenger, state Representative Jim Abeler. Franken leads Abeler by nine points, 48 percent to 39 percent. “The fact that even Jim Abeler is only nine points behind Al Franken indicates there appears to be a solid base of opposition to Al Franken,” says Jacobs.
Let’s put this more succinctly. It isn’t just that there’s a “solid base of opposition to Al Franken.” It’s that lots of people haven’t seen Franken make a difference in Washington, DC. It’s like they know he’s there but the average Minnesotan, not the political activists, couldn’t make a list of Franken’s accomplishments.
The news is worse for Gov. Dayton:
The GOP-endorsed candidate for governor, Jeff Johnson, trails Dayton 46% to 40%. Dayton leads former House Speaker Kurt Zellers by seven points, 46 percent to 39 percent. Former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert is eight points back (46 percent-38 percent) and businessman Scott Honour is ten points back (47 percent-37 percent).
This time, Dayton doesn’t have a third party candidate to put him over the top. This time, Gov. Dayton can’t take the Iron Range for granted, especially after he picked Tina Smith of Minneapolis to be his Lt. Gov. running mate. This time, the DFL’s smear campaign will be responded to.
At this point, it’s difficult to tell the impact of the DFL’s tepid support for PolyMet will have on the election because that will affect both turnout and voting habits. If the DFL doesn’t get a huge turnout on the Range, Gov.-Elect Johnson and Senator-Elect McFadden are a distinct possibility.
This video provides a good perspective on the races:
Gov. Dayton and Sen. Franken are in the fight for their political lives. Whether they survive depends partly on the quality of their campaigns and partly on the amount of outside money spent. In 2010, ABM spent tons of money smearing Tom Emmer. This time, they’ll have to decide which races to spend money on. It’ll be difficult for them to help Gov. Dayton and Sen. Franken while trying to hold onto the majority in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Allison Sherry’s article in the Strib is yet another article highlighting the tensions within the DFL. While things look normal on the outside:
things are anything but normal on the inside:
That has DFL state Chair Ken Martin fretting.
“I’m worried about the Eighth,” Martin said. “The rank-and-file union members showing up and supporting the Democratic candidates, I’m worried about environmentalists in Duluth showing up and supporting our candidates. I’m worried about college students throughout this district and young people showing up. We have to win big. We have to run up the score here.”
Here’s why Martin’s worries are legitimate:
Increasingly, the Eighth is cleaved by forces difficult for any one party to address. PolyMet Mining Corp.’s plan to extract copper and nickel from the long-closed LTV mine in Hoyt Lakes has pitted out-of-work but union-loyal miners desperate for decent wages against preservationists, who say the mine could damage the watershed and poison the landscape.
Even after loyal DFLer and Aurora City Council Member David Lislegard lost his job at the mine in 2000, he canvassed for DFL candidates, fighting to get fellow miners to the polls.
No more. “The party is starting to change in direction to the point where I don’t know if it necessarily aligns itself with northeast Minnesota anymore,” said Lislegard, 41. “I’m going to support those who support our way of life.”
Former state Rep. Tom Rukavina, who lives here, was more brusque.
“I just wish one day that our good DFL senators, both of them, you know, would tell the environmentalists to quit crying wolf, you can’t be against everything,” he said. “You can’t want a broadband if there is no copper. You can’t want windmills if there is no nickel. You can’t want a medical device industry if there aren’t stents made of copper, nickel and stainless steel. So cut the crap and grow up.”
There’ve been tons of times I’ve disagreed with ‘Tommie the Commie’ when he was in the legislature. This time, I wholeheartedly agree with him. In the aftermath of the DFL State Convention, a DFL activist made a similar statement, saying that environmental activists walked the convention floor with cell phones and iPads. This DFL activist then asked “do they think that the minerals in those phones and iPads magically drop out of the sky”?
Both nationally and here in Minnesota, Democrats are at a tipping point. Will environmental activists continue to dictate their agenda or will they be abrupt like Tom Rukavina and tell these environmental activists to “grow up”?
Lislegard still favors Nolan in the upcoming election, but he is wavering on whether to support Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken’s re-election bids. He senses that the DFL has taken his and other blue-collar votes for granted, and he is particularly disgusted with the carefully parsed answers he hears about the idled mine that once was his livelihood.
Mindful of the different factions, both politicians are careful when talking about PolyMet.
“What they [miners] want is sustainable mining, that’s what they always wanted,” Franken said. “That’s what we’re doing with the process, and I think the process has improved the project considerably. … There is never anything without risk, but we have to make sure the risk is as minimal as possible.”
That’s slippery language from Sen. Franken, which isn’t surprising. The mining issue wasn’t controversial because of what the miners wanted. It was controversial because environmental activists were steadfastly opposed to precious metals mining. In fact, Alida Messinger, who has written some of the biggest checks to the DFL, vehemently opposes precious metals mining.
Dayton makes no apologies for staying neutral until more is known about one of the most environmentally sensitive projects the state has embarked upon.
“I’ve said before and I’ll say again, my position is I’m not going to take a position,” Dayton said. “I’m going to remain intentionally neutral until all the reports are done, all the comments have been made and filed and responded to, until there is final information. When that will be, I’m not entirely certain. Some people jumped in already pandering to one group or another … before the final analysis came in. I think that’s irresponsible.”
Gov. Dayton, it’s time you stopped walking the tightrope. Tons of information is already known about PolyMet. Alida Messinger and Becky Rom won’t support PolyMet. Get over it. No amount of information will change their minds.
If the DFL won’t tell the environmental activists to sit down and shut up, lots of Rangers will vote for the MNGOP’s pro-mining candidates. It’s that simple.
Technorati: Mark Dayton, Al Franken, Rick Nolan, Ken Martin, Alida Messinger, Becky Rom, Environmental Activists, Tommy Rukavina, , David Lislegard, Mining Activists, DFL, Stewart Mills, Republicans, Election 2014
This week, I’ve spent a ton of time focusing on the DFL’s hostility towards the Iron Range’s problems. The truth is that a prominent part of the DFL is interested in preventing another mining project from starting. That’s what’s really behind the PEIS that Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness, aka NEMW, asked the US Forest Service to put together.
As I wrote here, Becky Rom, the vice-chair of NEMW, lied about whether NEMW had requested the PEIS. Here’s the proof that the Ely Echo cited:
Then, late Thursday a Freedom of Information Act request by Twin Metals-Minnesota was granted. Upon request, they shared those documents with us. If anyone would like a copy, just send us an email.
In the documents provided by the Bureau of Land Management was a letter asking for the PEIS. The agency requesting the PEIS? Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness. And who is the vice-chair of NEMW? Becky Rom.
We also have copies of emails sent by Rom outlining a meeting with the BLM where the agenda included: “The BLM, together with the Forest Service, should undertake a programmatic environmental impact statement.”
I’ve written extensively about which DFL politicians have tried tiptoeing that tightrope. Every DFL politician elected to statewide office has tried tiptoeing the tightrope. One day, they’re artificially supporting the miners. The next day (or next event), they’re enthusiastically, albeit quietly, supporting environmental activists like Becky Rom and Alida Messinger.
Rom doesn’t want another mining project to start. Enough, though, of the DFL’s negativity. If I just wanted to write about the DFL’s hostility towards mining, I’d need a staff of writers and tons more bandwidth.
There’s a simple solution to the miners’ crisis. And yes, it’s a crisis. The solution is voting for Republicans. They’re staunchly pro-mining. Better yet, they don’t answer to dishonest environmental activists like Becky Rom and dishonest environmental philanthropists like Alida Messinger.
If elected to statewide offices, Republicans will fight for the PolyMet and Twin Metals-Minnesota mining projects. It’s that simple. It’s that uncomplicated because Republicans don’t rely on campaign contributions from environmental activists like Becky Rom.
If the RPM wanted to run a clever campaign against the DFL, they could start a ‘What have they done for the Range lately’ campaign. Even when the DFL-filled Executive Council approves mining exploration leases, it’s torture for them. It’s like they’d rather have a root canal without anesthesia than voting to approve mining exploration leases.
It’s been 9 years since the PolyMet permitting process started. In that time, PolyMet has spent more than $150,000,000 in their attempt to comply with Minnesota’s stringent environmental regulations. They’ve shown that they’re solid corporate citizens.
If Iron Range communities like Chisholm, Eveleth, Hibbing and Virginia vote for the candidates who will fight for these mining projects, it’ll be a tough night for the DFL, from State Rep. David Dill to State Auditor Rebecca Otto to the DFL’s Secretary of State candidate to Congressman Rick Nolan to Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken.
Technorati: Mining, Iron Range, Chisholm, Eveleth, Hibbing, Virginia, Dave Dill, Al Franken, Mark Dayton, Rebecca Otto, Becky Rom, Alida Messinger, Environmental Activists, DFL, Twin Metals-Minnesota, PolyMet Mining, Precious Metals Mining, Republicans, Election 2014
Now that the fishing opener is pretty much history, it’s time to say that the Seifert Fishing Opener was a fiasco. This is what made it a fiasco:
It’s one thing for a candidate to hold a mock fishing opener. It’s a bit gimmicky but people aren’t likely to remember a stunt like that a month from now. It’s another to offer reporters free hotel rooms. That isn’t a gimmick. That’s a foolish stunt that’s sure to get Capitol reporters upset.
Here’s a little insight for Seifert’s campaign: This was foolish on multiple fronts. First, if reporters were interested in attending, they wouldn’t accept the offer for fear that they’d look compromised. Reporters have expense accounts for things like this.
Second, it’s foolish because it’s giving free ammunition to the DFL and the Alliance for a Better Minnesota. Even if Team Seifert made a sincere offer, which I believe they did, the reality is that the DFL and ABM don’t care. They’ll highlight this while they’re smearing Seifert.
This too-clever-by-half stunt carried significant downside with it but little upside. Had the Seifert campaign just done the fishing opener, ABM would’ve had to make something up to smear him. Instead, the Seifert campaign gift-wrapped this present for them. The only thing they didn’t do for the DFL is deliver it on a silver platter.
Third, this isn’t a net plus for Seifert with the Capitol press corps. It’s possible it’ll have the opposite effect. The old saying that there’s no such thing as bad press is BS. In this instance, the buzz won’t help the Seifert campaign.
This alone won’t prevent Seifert from winning the GOP endorsement. It just means people will enter the Convention questioning if he’ll make other unforced errors.
It was quite a downer when Zach Dorholt defeated King Banaian, especially from a policy standpoint. We traded a respected economist for a politician with no particular policy skills. Apparently, though, Dorholt is a skilled spinmeister:
Tax Cuts for Minnesotans
The House got an early start this year by passing a repeal bill to end unnecessary warehousing and business-to-business sales taxes during the first week of session. As part-owner and a small business, I worked with members of both parties to make sure that warehousing taxes, telecommunications equipment taxes, and machinery repair sales taxes were repealed this session. I was a co-author of many of these business tax repeal bills in the House.
We also passed federal conformity as part of that tax repeal bill. Conforming Minnesota’s tax code to federal tax law makes tax filing easier for Minnesotans and qualified over 1 million residents of our state for $230 million in increased tax relief. Last Friday, we were finally able to act on the complete amended tax cut package that was sent to us by the Senate. We passed the bill the same day with bipartisan support to cut taxes by $430 million and sent it to Governor Dayton for signing.
Here’s the truth of what happened:
As part-owner and a small business, I worked with members of both parties to make sure that warehousing taxes, telecommunications equipment taxes, and machinery repair sales taxes that I voted for were repealed this session. I was a co-author of many of these business tax repeal bills in the House. I co-authored many of these tax repeal bills because not repealing them would’ve been political suicide. I supported terrible tax increase policies because that’s what loyal Democrats reflexively do.
Seriously, Dorholt voted for the biggest tax increases in Minnesota history last year. Then he saw the political firestorm erupt the minute Gov. Dayton signed the bill that Dorholt and the DFL voted for.
Now Dorholt wants to pretend that those tax increases just appeared out of thin air, that he didn’t have a thing to do with them. Dorholt wants people to think that giving some of the Democrats’ tax increase back should count as a tax cut. That’s the same logic as saying that the burglar who stole a flat screen TV, several brand new iPads and some kitchen appliances last week, then returned the kitchen appliances this week is a man of charity.
Restoring part of the things that the DFL legislature stole last year isn’t the same as cutting taxes. Outside of a Democratic politicians’ world, that’s considered as righting a wrong.
Finally, talking about tax conformity as tax relief is a joke. It isn’t tax relief. I don’t recall the DFL legislature passing tax conformity last year but if they did, they certainly didn’t talk about it as tax relief. When tax conformity was passed in previous sessions, the legislature just treated it like the right thing to do, a ho-hum type of thing.
I’m betting that the reason the DFL is trumpeting tax conformity as tax relief is because the DFL wants some political cover from the charges that a) the DFL passed the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history and b) the DFL’s tax increase hit plenty of middle class families.
The DFL and their allies like ABM and TakeAction Minnesota aren’t tethered to the truth. They’re more closely affiliated with spin that says reducing the size of last year’s tax increase is a tax cut. There’s a simple thing to remember. The next time that the DFL cuts taxes…will be the first time the DFL cuts taxes.
Predictably, the DFL’s spinmeisters are doing their best to put the happiest face on MNsure possible. This time, ABM and the public employee unions aren’t the only DFL spinmeisters plying their craft. Now they’ve got Scott Leitz, the interim CEO of MNsure, painting rosy pictures. This time, though, it’s time to dispel the myths that the DFL is working feverishly to establish. First, let’s look at what Mr. Leitz said in painting a hopeful picture:
“With regards to the private side, we are running about 30,000 right now, but we do anticipate because of the mandate that people have health insurance coverage by March 31,” Leitz said.
It’s time to see what official MNsure documents say about the health of the MNsure initiative. First, let’s look at how enrollment is going:
According to MNsure’s report, approximately 26,000 people had signed up for qualified health plans, aka QHPs, as of Jan. 4, 2014. As of Feb. 8, 29,493 people had enrolled, an increase of approximately 3,500. That’s an increase of approximately 13.5%. During the same timeframe, enrollments in Medical Assistance increased from approximately 28,000 to 41,591, an increase of over 13,500. That’s an increase of 48%.
That certainly isn’t the ratio MNsure was hoping for.
Here’s more bad news for MNsure and the DFL:
According to that chart, approximately 100 people are signing up for QHPs per day. If enrollments in process continue at this pace, MNsure won’t meet its goal of 69,904 until March…of next year.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the worst news. This pie chart should frighten Gov. Dayton and every DFL legislator who voted for the exchange legislation:
According to MNsure’s own statistics, only 21% of the enrollees in QHPs are in the 19-34 age cohort. That’s far below the 40% the federal government said is needed to pay for the benefits of less healthy people. Without 40% of the enrollees being young healthies or invincibles, health insurance premiums will spike this fall.
That should frighten Gov. Dayton, President Obama and Democrat legislators and senators to death because there’s nothing President Obama can do to stop insurance companies from announcing big premium spikes before this fall’s election. Those rate spikes will be announced in September or October.
If Democrats think they’re slamming into fierce headwinds now, they ain’t seen nothing yet. When that rate spike happens, employers will dump coverage and pay the penalty. Employees will get hit with the worst sticker shock they’ve ever experienced.
September and October will be difficult months for Democrats. The only month worse for Democrats than those months will be November.
All of the pundits have hinted that the DFL is one big, happy family. I’m betting that those pundits are stretching things a bit based on this article:
The DFL political establishment on the Range is virtually unanimous in its support, which also has the backing of many in the construction trades, another key DFL constituency. But the controversial project faces stiff and well-coordinated opposition from environmental groups and many DFL lawmakers.
“Clearly this opens up the clash and conflict between those DFLers who value the environment first, versus those who value jobs first. We will all have to answer the question, ‘Whose side are you on?’” Anzelc said. “I think this issue has the potential to divide the DFL convention this summer. The table is set for Democrats running for statewide office to have a real challenging time of it in the ’14 elections.”
Anzelc is partially right. He said this in the context of Gov. Dayton picking Tina Smith as his running mate. This split has been developing since 2009. That’s when Chip Cravaack campaigned hard on the Range and took tons of votes from Jim Oberstar, something that people thought was impossible.
In 2012, ‘normalcy’ was restored when fossilized Rick Nolan defeated Chip. That calm exterior disappeared when Nolan decided to vote for HR761:
Northern Minnesota is known for its great fishing, so perhaps it’s fitting that tracking 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan’s position on a bill that deregulates the mining industry and fast tracks the permitting process for PolyMet is a bit like watching a fish flopping around on a dock: first he’s against it, then he’s for it and now he once again opposes it, this time promising to vote against the legislation if it “comes anywhere near close to becoming law.”
Picking Tina Smith certainly contributed to this division getting exposed but the DFL’s allies have contributed more to this expanding division. Twin Cities Metrocrats are militant environmentalists. They’re passionately opposed to mining. They love harvesting the Iron Range’s votes. They also love stiffing the Iron Range on their highest priorities.
Gov. Dayton’s pick is essentially the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
Marlene Pospeck, a former mayor of Hoyt Lakes and a longtime DFL activist, noted that strong turnout on the Range has been critical to many DFL victories in the past, including Gov. Dayton’s narrow victories in the DFL primary and general election in 2010.
“The people in St. Paul need to be aware that if they want to be re-elected, we on the Iron Range hold one of the keys,” Pospeck said.
Still strong for DFL in ’14?
Like Anzelc, Pospeck believes that PolyMet and, more generally, mining, is the principal source of regional conflict within the party. But she said it is not the only one. Another came in 2012, when Mark Phillips was squeezed out as commissioner of the powerful Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). An Iron Range native who previously worked at the IRRRB, Phillips resigned the post after less than a year on the job. The reasons for Phillips’ departure have never been made entirely clear.
Pospeck isn’t issuing an idle threat on this. I wrote this post about Pospeck’s LTE about taking the Iron Range for granted:
For instance, although mining is the lifeblood of our region and provides benefit for the entire state, those in high office in St. Paul have been almost silent in support of this important industry that provides thousands of jobs on the Iron Range.
So when these DFL candidates come north, seeking our votes and making promises they do not intend to keep, let’s carefully assess whether or not they truly support our concerns and intend to effectively address our issues.
It is no longer enough for them simply to carry the label DFL to win our votes. We Iron Rangers must hold their feet to the fire and demand their support for issues important to the Iron Range in return.
It’s put-up-or-shut-up time for the DFL. They can either support the Iron Range or they can start expecting to get a smaller share of the Iron Range vote.
Technorati: Mark Dayton, Tina Smith, Lieutenant Governor Candidate, Alida Messinger, Metrocrats, Militant Environmentalists, Marlene Pospeck, PolyMet Mining, Iron Rangers, Rick Nolan, Flip-Flopper, DFL Civil War, Election 2014
When Alida Messinger picked Tina Smith to be her ex’s running mate, she sent the signal that she didn’t trust Iron Range candidates. That’s likely because Alida hates mining. Imagine her disgust when she found out that the Duluth Chamber of Commerce voted unanimously to support PolyMet:
The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce has announced its board of directors has voted unanimously in support of the proposed PolyMet copper mine project.
Chamber president David Ross said the vote was to “support advocacy for the PolyMet project. And to go beyond that and state that we are here to encourage decision makers to allow this project to proceed,” Ross said in a video statement.
While it’s about 5 years too late, this development is still welcome. This puts pressure on DFL legislators because they’re trying to thread the needle. DFL legislators have to please the miners. These legislators have to keep the environmentalists happy, too.
At this point, the environmentalists have to be discouraged. They’ve poured time, money, campaigning and misinformation into their effort to prevent PolyMet. At this point, it looks like they’ve lost the fight. It looks like they’ll have to rely on President Obama’s corrupt EPA to prevent PolyMet.
Iron Rangers have traditionally supported the DFL. Their faithful support shouldn’t earn them the DFL’s cold shoulder. At this point, the ruling Metrocrat wing of the DFL loves the Iron Range’s support but they hate the Iron Range’s pro-mining agenda.
Hopefully, the Iron Range will wake up to the fact that the GOP is pro-mining. Hopefully, that recognition translates into increased support for the GOP’s pro-mining candidates. Hopefully, conservative DFL voters will file for a messy divorce the first Tuesday this November.
Frankly, it can’t happen soon enough.
After the DFL’s 2010 wipeout, Alida Messinger told then-DFL Party Chairman Brian Melendez that he would be resigning. If he didn’t, she’d stop writing big checks to the DFL. Melendez resigned a week later. He was replaced by Ken Martin, who had worked for her at the Alliance for a Better Minnesota.
This morning, Gov. Dayton announced that Tina Smith, his current chief of staff, would be his running mate for the 2014 election. First, here’s a little something from the Martin coronation article:
Most of the criticism of DFL state party chair Brian Melendez in the wake of Election Day has been confined to the liberal blogosphere. The three-term incumbent could likely survive those barbs.
But a much more important DFL supporter, wealthy donor Alida Messinger, is also apparently opposed to Melendez remaining as party chair. According to a reliable DFL source, there won’t be any checks arriving in DFL coffers from the Rockefeller heir if Melendez remains in the post.
Of course, Ken Martin, the person most often cited as a potential rival for state party chair, is closely aligned with Messinger. He chaired the Win Minnesota Political Action Fund, which played a key role in the governor’s race. The group’s largest individual donor: Messinger.
Back then, I wrote that the DFL was quickly becoming a subsidiary of the Dayton Family Politics, Inc. This information provides important insight into Gov. Dayton’s pick:
Smith is a longtime friend of Dayton’s former wife, Alida Messinger, a significant donor to Dayton’s first election effort and other prominent DFL causes.
When Dayton was searching for someone to help his campaign after winning the DFL primary, Messinger recommended Smith for the job.
This isn’t surprising. Alida Messinger wants to create a political party that stands for the things she stands for. If that means filling the DFL power structure with her yes people, then that’s what she’ll do. In fact, we have proof that that’s what she’s doing right now.
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, aka ABM, is funded by her. Ditto with the DFL. One of her puppets is the DFL Party chairman. Now, because she doesn’t trust Iron Rangers, she’s hand-picked a candidate to be Gov. Dayton’s candidate for lieutenant governor from the Twin Cities.
Simply put, Tina Smith was picked because Alida Messinger didn’t trust another Iron Ranger as Gov. Dayton’s lieutenant governor. In Alida’s DFL, Iron Rangers are welcome for their votes. Unfortunately for people living on the Range, Alida’s DFL doesn’t like a pro-mining agenda. Gov. Dayton’s pick of Tina Smith turns that opinion into fact.