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In this post, I said “Here’s a fearless prediction: the DFL will criticize the House-Senate GOP tax cuts as tax breaks for big corporations. What the legislation says is irrelevant to the DFL. What’s important to the DFL is that they’ve rehearsed their lines properly.”

This morning, I received an email from the Alliance for Telling Filthy Lies, aka ABM. In their email was a sentence that said “if state Republicans get their way, corporations and the wealthiest Minnesotans will get millions in tax breaks as our schools face teacher layoffs and program cuts from lack of funding.”

Talk about a total filthy lie. Here’s the truth:

The House and Senate deal lowers the state’s first tax bracket from 5.35 percent to 5.25 percent. The change affects a single filer’s earnings below $25,890 and a couple’s below $37,850. The second tax bracket rate drops from 7.05 percent to 6.85 percent. This decrease affects a single filer’s income between $25,891 and $85,060 and a couple’s between $37,851 and $150,380. The rate reductions would take place over two fiscal years, so the lower rates would be in place by 2020. The changes would cost $137 million this year and $341 million by 2020.

It’s disgusting to hear the DFL lie like that. Only people in the lowest 2 income tax brackets will have their rates cut. There’s nothing in the bill that remotely relates to corporations or upper income tax brackets.

Here’s the edited email that I received:

Apparently, it’s asking the DFL too much to actually tell the truth. The only legitimate conclusion that can be drawn is that they’re disgusting people who haven’t hesitated to lie to get their way. I expect better than that. I can’t vote for people I can’t trust.

On a related matter, Gov. Dayton vetoed the tax conformity bill in front of a room filled with students. This November, it’s time to throw these liars out. It’s time to reject their dishonesty. It’s time to demand people that tell the truth and who do their utmost to keep their promises.

Finally, it’s time to elect pro-growth politicians. It’s time to reject the DFL socialists.

Just when you thought the DFL couldn’t get any nuttier, their messaging center, aka ABM, sent out this fundraising appeal:

Hasn’t the DFL paid attention lately? This fundraising letter says that “Undocumented Minnesotans are our friends and our neighbors.” Go to Willmar, St. Cloud, Little Falls or any town with a meat-packing plant and ask them if they see illegal aliens (they aren’t “undocumented Minnesotans”) as their neighbors.

The DFL hasn’t figured it out that the average blue collar worker is disgusted with the DFL’s open border policies. BTW, this includes the rising tensions caused by the refugee resettlement program. If the DFL wants to write off rural Minnesota’s voters, they’re advocating for the right policies to accomplish that.

Earlier today, I read this article about how Gabby Giffords’ group is running ads against Republicans who’ve accepted money from the NRA:

As President Donald Trump addresses the National Rifle Association this week, a leading gun-safety group is looking to make an example out of suburban Republicans. Giffords, the organization co-founded by shooting victim and former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., will announce Thursday that it is adding five GOP lawmakers to its list of midterm targets and launching digital ads in 10 competitive House and Senate races, NBC News has learned exclusively.

If that’s the Democrats’ strategy, Republicans should counter by highlighting the Democrats’ open border policies.

People have noticed that immigration-related crime is rising. That’s why President Trump keeps pounding the subject. He knows that people don’t think of illegal immigration the way Jeb Bush saw it:

President Trump stripped away the propaganda and exposed the reality of illegal immigration, especially the gangs like MS-13 and the human trafficking that people in California are seeing. The Jeb Bush ‘act of love’ image of illegal immigration doesn’t play anymore.

Thanks to ABM’s and the DFL’s tone deafness, they’re still convinced that illegal immigration is a winning issue for them. Rest assured that it’s a winning issue … for Republicans.

Today, Tim Pawlenty will officially announce that he’s running to become the governor of Minnesota. A GOP strategist is already speaking out about Gov. Pawlenty’s campaign, saying “Pawlenty is a huge addition to the Republican efforts across the map this fall. Specifically in Minnesota, Pawlenty’s entrance to the race is the type of game changer Republicans need. Pawlenty is not only experienced and has a very good image with voters across the ideological spectrum, he’s also demonstrated a level of confidence that most voters are looking for this fall and it’s exactly the type of thing Republicans want in every ticket in every state.”

This strategist spoke with “CNBC on the condition of anonymity.”

Gov. Pawlenty’s campaign strengths are two-fold. First, he’s able to raise a ton of money, something that’s been missing from GOP coffers for years. Next, he’s a great retail politician. On the stump, he’s got the gift of connecting with people. As the time-tested saying goes, you don’t get to govern if you can’t get elected.

Predictably, A Better Minnesota already has a video up in their attempt to stir up trouble:

I won’t criticize Prof. Schier but saying that he’ll have lots of questions to answer about being a Washington lobbying is what the media will care about. Voters will care about policies and Gov. Pawlenty’s plan for making their lives better.

It isn’t that those questions aren’t legitimate. It’s that they aren’t that important to voters unless there’s some sort of scandal Pawlenty’s involved in. And yes, that’s true about most politicians. That’s why the Trump-collusion ‘investigation’ has been such a failure. After 2 years of digging, they don’t have anything to show for their efforts. People have moved on.

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It isn’t surprising that the Alliance for a Better Minnesota started attacking Tim Pawlenty before he’s entered the gubernatorial race. This indicates who they see as the most formidable GOP candidate. Without endorsing anyone (I’m not a delegate to the GOP State Convention), this makes sense to me from the standpoint that Pawlenty has won 2 statewide races (in 2002 and 2006). Meanwhile, Jeff Johnson has lost 2 statewide races (in 2006 for attorney general and 2014 as governor)j

Of course, ABM is telling its readers that the moderate Pawlenty is a combination of the worst traits from the Koch Brothers and President Trump. It isn’t surprising that ABM’s fundraising letter focuses on Pawlenty and President Trump. It starts by quoting Gov. Pawlenty as saying “I agree with much of what President Trump is trying to do.” From there, it jumps directly into saying “Those words came straight out of Tim Pawlenty’s mouth last week, before he even announced his latest run for Minnesota Governor. This is why the Alliance for a Better Minnesota is committed to stopping Trumpism in Minnesota and why we’re committed to holding Tim Pawlenty accountable for what he’s said and done.”

Honestly, I’d welcome a spread of “Trumpism” to Minnesota. Compared with the Dayton administration’s incompetence, some Trumpism and, for that matter, Pawlentyism would be refreshing.

Let’s simplify this as much as possible. Tim Walz will have tons of strife with mining because his running mate is a strident environmental activist. Yes, he’ll win that fight but the strife will exist between him and Rep. Flanagan. Rebecca Otto won 1 district in the DFL’s statewide straw poll on the strength of a strong turnout of environmental activists in the Eighth CD. If I had to guess, Otto is the frontrunner because Walz isn’t crazy enough for the activists. That doesn’t mean he isn’t crazy. It just means he isn’t as far left as Otto.

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: