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This picture shows just how disgustingly dishonest the DFL is:

The agenda for this year’s special session is still being negotiated but the Alliance for a Better Minnesota is already lying about Jim Knoblach’s votes. In the interest of honesty and integrity, I’m proposing that the Alliance for a Better Minnesota be renamed. I’m open to suggestions, especially if they feature alliteration.

The ABM functions as the DFL’s clearinghouse for focus group-approved lies. Their interest in the truth is minimal at best. The education bill that Rep. Knoblach voted for was the Bakk-Daudt omnibus bill that Senate Majority Leader Bakk voted for, too. In fact, 7 Democrat senators voted against the omnibus bill as did 7 Republican senators.

I have visual proof that the bill that ABM says shortchanged schools passed the Senate with a veto-proof majority of 52-14:

I wrote this post to highlight this quote from ABM Executive Director Joe Davis:

“Minnesota Republicans — especially in the House — need to be held accountable for putting corporations ahead of working families’ priorities,” says Alliance for a Better Minnesota Executive Director Joe Davis. “The GOP repeatedly pushed for special treatment for big business, but shortchanged our schools.”

MPR’s Catherine Richert exposed ABM’s lie, saying “Of course, this being politics, the story the Alliance for a Better Minnesota is trying to tell in its ads is more complicated than that. House Republicans and Senate Democrats agreed to put $400 million more into K-12 education. Dayton wants $150 million more than that to fund pre-kindergarten in public schools, and says he will veto the bill as a result.”

The DFL is a morally bankrupt political party. Their interest isn’t in setting good public policy but rather in dictating to people what they can and can’t do. If that requires lying to the people, then that’s what ABM will do … without hesitation.

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Yesterday morning, another DFL LTE lied to the public in the DFL’s attempt to appease Education Minnesota. Here’s Kat Harrison’s LTE, complete with highlighted DFL propaganda:

Anyone trying to portray Senate Democrats as opposed to Gov. Mark Dayton is flat out wrong. Majority Leader Tom Bakk, Assistant Majority Leader Katie Sieben, education chair Sen. Chuck Wiger and many other senators have been very vocal about their support for the governor’s plan.

The reason why they weren’t able to pass a bill including pre-K for our youngest learners was due to the refusal of House Republicans. Why did they block this opportunity for Minnesota’s kids? It’s thanks to their quest for, above all else, tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy. They’d rather sacrifice our kids than the wealthy donors they bow down to.

First, Harrison’s assertion that Senate Democrats support Gov. Dayton’s plan is a fanciful portrayal of the truth. I wrote this post, complete with a picture of the voting board in the Senate, that showed the Education Bill passing by a vote of 52-14. If Ms. Harrison thinks that Democrats supported Gov. Dayton’s education proposal, why didn’t Gov. Dayton’s proposal pass the Senate? His proposal was defeated. Also, if Democrats supported Gov. Dayton’s proposal, why did the conference committee report, which rejected Gov. Dayton’s proposal, pass with a veto-proof majority in the Senate?

Second, Republicans didn’t reject Gov. Dayton’s proposal to pay for tax cuts for “the rich.” That isn’t saying Republicans didn’t want to pass tax cuts. It’s just that they weren’t for “the rich.” Republicans rejected Gov. Dayton’s early childhood learning proposal because it’s terrible policy. Why would a sane person pass a bill that’s filled with unfunded mandates and a hidden $2,200,000,000 property tax increase? Why would sane people vote for legislation that isn’t financially sustainable?

The Association of Minneapolis School Districts (AMSD) rejected Gov. Dayton’s proposal. The Minnesota School Board Association rejected it, too.

If the DFL insists on lying about tax cuts to “millionaires and billionaires”, then it’s time to tell the DFL to produce proof that substantiates their accusations. This Friday night, I hope a Republican panelist on Almanac’s Roundtable insists that the DFL legislator produce proof of their accusation. If they make that accusation, insist that they tell you what section of the tax bill the tax cuts for big corporations and “the rich” are located in. Tell them firmly that you’re rejecting their accusations as lies until they can cite which section of the tax bill these tax cuts for the wealthy are in.

Embarrass the DFL legislators if it’s required. Teach them the lesson that their reckless accusations comes with a price. Pitchers throw a pitch inside to a batter leaning out over the plate to stop them from getting an advantage on pitches to the outside corner of the plate. Republicans should apply that principle with Democrats by exposing their lies with facts.

It’s time to give the DFL an incentive to not lie. That doesn’t come by gently disagreeing with them when they’re lying through their teeth. It comes by exposing them as outright liars.

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TEA Party Alliance president Jack Rogers is upset with House Republicans for not delivering on his demands for tax cuts:

“My heart is heavy with grief from the actions taken by the MN House Majority and some of the MN GOP Senators,” wrote Minnesota Tea Party Alliance president Jack Rogers on his Facebook page.

“Unfortunately, every house rep let us down in the final 48 hours,” commented Jake Duesenberg, the Tea Party’s executive director. “No tax cuts at all. Huge spending increases in public education and socialized health care.”

That’s disappointing coming from a group that’s supposed to know the Constitution. To expect tax cuts with a DFL majority in the Senate and a DFL governor is like expecting to buy winning lottery tickets each month. The odds are the same. Republicans passed tax cuts in the House. They were DOA when they arrived in the Senate. That’s political reality.

It’s also political reality that Republicans weren’t going to win many battles when controlling one half of one of the two political branches. If Rogers and Duesenberg want some of these accomplishments, then they should work tirelessly to elect more Republican legislators and a Republican governor. Without that, Republicans can’t enact their reform agenda.

While I’m disappointed with Mssrs. Rogers and Duesenberg, I’m not surprised that Paul Thissen and Ken Martin still won’t tell the truth. Check out Ken Martin’s whopper:

Said DFL Party Chair Ken Martin: “Republicans refused to compromise and are more interested in providing tax giveaways to corporations than investing in education.”

What is it that causes DFL politicians to reflexively lie? Does Alida Messenger implant a chip in these politicians’ brains that forces them to lie profusely? Martin saying that “Republicans refused to compromise” is disgusting dishonesty. It’s quickly disproven. Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk reached a budget agreement a week ago today. Of course, they kicked Gov. Dayton out of the room to finish the deal but they got it done.

Then there’s Paul Thissen. Here’s what Thissen said:

“House Republicans failed to finish the job,” DFL Minority Leader Paul Thissen said Wednesday. “They refused to compromise with Gov. Dayton. They wanted to keep this money so they can give corporate tax cuts.”

There’s those non-existent corporate tax cuts again. It’s stunning how frequently the DFL lies about this. Last weekend, I contacted Greg Davids, the chair of the House Taxes Committee, about the House Tax Bill. Here’s what he told me:

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 disappointing when people I agree with don’t acknowledge political reality.

What’s worse is when an entire political party proves itself incapable of telling the truth.

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When Gov. Dayton said that he wasn’t running for office again, he said that he was finally “unbound.” What he really meant is that he’s finally unhinged. Insisting that the legislature pass Education Minnesota’s universal pre-K program appears to have turned Gov. Dayton into a walking diatribe machine. Doug Grow has noticed that Gov. Dayton’s plan is risky:

Dayton’s veto vow comes despite the fact that the Legislature has had little time to digest this major education initiative. And he’s making the vow despite the fact that it’s not just Republican legislators who are saying “no,” but many school administrators, who are cool to an idea that would not only be very costly but has raised other questions about its value. Even early-childhood advocates question whether a “one-size-fits-all” public school pre-K program is good policy.

Now, even Bakk is calling Dayton’s veto pledge “risky.” The obvious risk is to school districts, which are saying that even with the additional $400 million included in the current deal, they will have to cut programs and lay off staff. Without that $400 million infusion, there will be cuts deeply felt by every school district in the state.

That means there will be political fallout. If the veto happens, there could also be chaos. Administration officials say a veto could mean a shutdown of the Minnesota Department of Education, which would halt teacher licensing and, of course, mean no added funds to the formula going out to cash-strapped districts.

When Gov. Dayton travels the state campaigning for his pre-K plan, he will be met with lots of resistance, much of it from past allies. This won’t turn out well. Unfortunately for him, that isn’t his only problem:

A long-time teacher and state representative wants Gov. Mark Dayton to apologize for saying some Republican lawmakers “hate the public schools.”

Dayton’s remark came during a Tuesday news conference he called to discuss his plans to veto a education funding bill that passed the House and Senate Monday. The $400 million in new spending isn’t enough for Dayton and he’s frustrated it also omits his top priority of universal preschool.

Gov. Dayton will lose the state’s voters if he continues with these over-the-top diatribes. It’s one thing to be critical. It’s another to be unhinged. Right now, Gov. Dayton has jumped across the line from being critical to being unhinged to the point of being totally disrespectful. He isn’t just saying Republicans are wrong. He’s essentially accusing Republicans of being evil and mean-spirited.

ABM’s ad campaign will be a waste of money if Gov. Dayton can’t control his temper.

ABM is launching another ad campaign, this time to push Gov. Dayton’s universal pre-K initiative across the finish line. Predictably, ABM’s latest campaign is filled with dishonesty:

“Minnesota Republicans — especially in the House — need to be held accountable for putting corporations ahead of working families’ priorities,” says Alliance for a Better Minnesota Executive Director Joe Davis. “The GOP repeatedly pushed for special treatment for big business, but shortchanged our schools.”

Here’s how Catharine Richert dropped the hammer on ABM’s BS:

Of course, this being politics, the story the Alliance for a Better Minnesota is trying to tell in its ads is more complicated than that. House Republicans and Senate Democrats agreed to put $400 million more into K-12 education. Dayton wants $150 million more than that to fund pre-kindergarten in public schools, and says he will veto the bill as a result.

TRANSLATION: ABM omitted the part about Republicans and Democrats, specifically, Kurt Daudt and Tom Bakk, agreed to this budget last Friday. ABM’s ad campaign doesn’t mention that the DFL Senate voted down Gov. Dayton’s proposal 2 weeks ago. I’ve written repeatedly about Dayton’s unwillingness to accept a bipartisan rejection.

Education experts like Art Rolnick, a former member of the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis, have criticized Gov. Dayton’s plan:

Rolnick, now a policy fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, has made researching early childhood education a big part of his life’s work. He argues that the earlier kids start a good education, the better off they will be in life. But he doesn’t back the governor’s universal preschool plan for 4-year-olds.

“It’s not cost effective,” Rolnick said. “There’s a much better way of doing this.” Rolnick prefers an existing scholarship program that pays for needy children to attend Head Start, a child care facility or a public school program that meets quality standards. He said Dayton’s plan is misguided because it would subsidize early education for all kids rather than target low-income children who need early education the most and are the least likely to have access to it.

Gov. Dayton’s had the entire session to build support for his plan. That clearly hasn’t happened. This article highlights why Gov. Dayton’s proposal likely won’t pass:

Some school districts indicated to the House Education Finance Committee that they don’t have space to add “basically an entire new grade in our public school system,” its chair, Rep. Jenifer Loon, an Eden Prairie Republican, told us.

There’s concern about facilities, equipment and transportation, she said. “There may be money the governor is proposing per pupil, but there’s no money there to help districts if they have to build classrooms,” for example. “That’s a huge cost that would largely fall on local property taxpayers.”

That’s a gigantic property tax increase waiting to happen. Then there’s this:

“The high return to the public is in investing in our most at-risk children,” Rolnick said. In the study that made him a national leader in the fields of child development and social policy, “we got an 18 percent inflation-adjusted return when you invest in our most at-risk kids.”

Such findings, it’s been suggested, run counter to committing a broad stream of resources to serve all children.

Plus, says Rolnick, we now have evidence from St. Paul’s Promise Neighborhood that a key approach — an emphasis on preschool scholarships — is closing the achievement gap between white students and their peers of color.

This is documented, indisputable proof of what works. Dr. Rolnick wants to solve a problem. Gov. Dayton wants to pay off a political ally. I’ll pick solutions to difficult problems over paying off political allies with terrible policies every time.

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This LTE was written by a DFL union propagandist. Here’s the proof:

The plans proposed this year by the House Republicans may be the worst, most damaging proposals I have seen. Instead of continuing the work begun two years ago to rebuild our schools after a decade of divestment, the plans call for a giant $2.2 billion dollar tax giveaway for the rich and corporations. It gets bigger over time and will create a gaping budget deficit, while offering an increase in education that is so low it would result in cuts to our schools.

First, it’s dishonest to call the Republican tax cut a “tax giveaway for the rich and corporations.” I can’t dispute the fact that the Republican tax bill includes tax relief for small businesses. Next, there aren’t any tax cuts for big corporations just like there aren’t big tax cuts for the Mark Daytons or Alida Messengers of the world.

Here’s more progressive BS from the DFL:

This is a doubling down on the dark days of the 2000s, when we paid for tax breaks for the rich by balancing our budget on the backs of our kids.

The only tax cuts over the last 15+ years are the infamous Jesse Checks from Jesse Ventura’s administration. It’s noteworthy that the DFL controlled the Senate from 1972-2011, meaning that the DFL signed off on those supposedly evil tax cuts. Another thing that’s important to debunk is that the Jesse Checks were “tax breaks for the rich”, as the DFL propagandist insists. That isn’t difficult. This article will expose the truth about those “tax breaks for the rich”:

“In late summer, I get to stand here and say, the checks are in the mail.”

Ventura pushed for returning surplus money in the form of a sales tax rebate, which some Minnesotans have come to call “Jesse checks.” This year, the average check is $512 for a married couple or head of household, and $232 for a single filer. State officials say all eligible taxpayers should receive their checks by Labor Day. But Ventura cautions that this may be the last year of rebate checks, since the state has cut taxes and the economy has slowed. “We are not bringing in the money that we used to bring in prior to my administration, and in light of that, and the economy, there may not be a fourth,” says Ventura.

In other words, this DFL propagandist is lying through her teeth. This LTE was written by a professional propagandist. Here’s more:

Two years ago, we finally made real investments in our schools. This gave many hope for our children’s future and the future of Minnesota. We saw free, all-day kindergarten, schools previously relegated to four days able to go back to five-day weeks, and health care and services for families expanded so all can succeed.

Despite the “historic investment in education”, property taxes in many school districts skyrocketed. What’s worse is that the achievement gap isn’t improving. That isn’t reason for celebration. That’s justification for worry.

Whenever the DFL uses terms like “tax giveaway for the rich and corporations”, that’s proof that they’re spinning. It’s proof that they aren’t telling the truth.

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The DFL’s most trusted ally, other than Alida Messinger and the public employee unions, are the environmental activists. For all the things that the DFL does to help the DFL environmental activists make life miserable for blue collar workers, you’d think they’d get a pass on things. Apparently, the environmental activist wing of the DFL didn’t get the memo:

Adding bird-safe glass to the Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium could add as much as $60 million in extra costs and delay construction by six months, the chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority said Friday.

Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen gave the estimate in response to complaints that the clear glass planned for the $1 billion downtown Minneapolis stadium would pose a threat to migratory birds, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

First, this is what environmental activists do. They make things up, then talk about the potential for crisis. This is fiction. Second, if this was a legitimate problem, which it isn’t, who cares?

Why should the Vikings have to spend an additional $60,000,000 to prevent birds from flying into the new Vikings stadium? Why should they have to wait an additional year to move into their new home? Most importantly, why didn’t these environmental activists mention this when the blueprints were first released in May of 2013?

If there was a Republican governor and Republican-picked chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, they’d tell these environmental activists to take a hike. What’s better is that organizations like Minnesota Citizens for the Protection of Migratory Birds wouldn’t have standing to proceed with a lawsuit because they can’t show how they’d be harmed.

It’s poetic justice that the political party that specializes in doing special favors for special interests is getting hassled by their most special of special interest allies.

There hasn’t been much of a dispute as to whether the DFL is attached at the lip with the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, aka ABM. After watching Almanac’s opening interview tonight, the debate is over on that. Ken Martin and the DFL are definitely attached at the lip to ABM.

During the opening part of the interview between Keith Downey and Ken Martin, Martin said that “the Parties’ priorities” were visible, that the DFL wanted to give free all-day Pre-K to 4-year-olds while the Republicans’ first bill called for “tax cuts for the rich, the powerful and corporations.” When I heard that, I immediately remembered this e-letter from ABM:

Once again, Republicans chose big corporations over real commitments to working families, schools, roads, bridges, and colleges.

ABM could sue Martin for plagiarism if he didn’t still get his marching orders from them. While it’s true that he’s technically the DFL Party Chair, he’s still working for ABM.

What’s stunning is the DFL’s intellectual dishonesty. I’ve read millions of articles about the DFL’s proposed middle class tax cuts and the Republicans’ proposed tax cuts. In all that time, I’ve yet to see the DFL’s imaginary tax cuts described as anything but targeted at the middle class. (The fact that the DFL’s proposed tax cuts never seem to materialize is seemingly irrelevant.) I’ve yet to hear the Republicans’ proposed tax cuts as anything but helping “the rich, the powerful and corporations.”

Let this post remind conservatives that the DFL a) isn’t tethered to the truth, b) is the same entity as ABM and c) won’t tell the truth about Republicans even if their lives depended on it. Ken Martin’s interviews are consistently filled with, putting it gently, inaccuracies. Put a bit more directly, I wouldn’t trust Ken Martin as far as I could throw him if I had 2 broken arms and a bad back and I was weak to begin with.

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This MPR article highlights the distinct differences between the DFL’s and the MNGOP’s priorities. Check this out:

Minnesota Senate Democrats want free education at the state’s two-year colleges, loan forgiveness for rural doctors and dentists and a program to link up career-minded students with employers in need of skilled workers. Their initial batch of bills would also fund early childhood education, child protection measures and disaster relief for counties hit by storms last summer.

Republicans contend that tax reductions for businesses are the best way to boost the economy and grow jobs. Toward that end, the first bill introduced by House Republicans calls for a series of business tax cuts.

Our ‘friends’ at the Alliance for a Better Minnesota are predictably criticizing Republicans’ approach in this e-letter:

Gary,

The Republicans in the Minnesota House just released their priorities for the year. And I’ll give you one guess what is included. Tax cuts for businesses. Sounds pretty familiar, right?

Republicans regained the majority this fall, giving them the chance to implement their priorities after being in the minority for two years. And this is what they chose.

Once again, Republicans chose big corporations over real commitments to working families, schools, roads, bridges, and colleges. This has been their main priority for years, and it looks like nothing has changed.

Actually, ABM is lying through their teeth on the tax cuts. It’s indisputable that they’re directed at businesses. It’s totally disputable, though, that they’re directed at “big corporations.” Many of the Dayton/DFL tax increases were characterized as taxing the rich. The truth is, though, that most of the DFL’s tax increases were on small businesses.

The reality is that lots of sole proprietorships and LLCs are the DFL’s targets. The wealthy have their wealth protected and don’t pay much in taxes. They’re essentially protected from the DFL’s tax increases.

This statement is pathetic:

Bakk also criticized the quickness of Republicans to pursue tax cuts. He said that approach has been tried, and failed. “I just do not believe that you can drive economic development by reducing a business’s taxes,” he said. “Because, one, you have no assurance that it’s going to get passed on to build the business.”

That’s BS. When Gov. Dayton tried recruiting companies to relocate to Minnesota, he put together a package of tax cuts for them. Further, it’s important that Sen. Bakk answer whether businesses expansion is possible without capital formation. The answer to that is it isn’t.

ABM and the DFL have shown that they’re anti-jobs. You can’t be pro-employee and anti-employer. It’s that simple.

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In 2012, the Republican Party of Minnesota (RPM) accused the DFL of ignoring Minnesota state campaign finance laws when it filed a complaint with the Campaign Finance Disclosure Board. Here’s part of the Board’s Findings of Fact:

Lit Happens is a political media consulting company based in Minneapolis, MN operating as a sole proprietorship of Vic Thorstenson. Lit Happens was retained by the Senate Caucus Party Unit to design, produce, and distribute communications advocating the elections of Vicki Jensen, Alan Oberloh, and Tom Saxhaug.

The Pivot Group, Inc. (Pivot) is a political media consulting company based in Arlington, VA. Pivot was retained by the Senate Caucus Party Unit to design, produce, and distribute communications advocating for the elections of Jim Carlson, Kevin Dahle, Kent Eken, Melisa Franzen, Laurie McKendry, and Matt Schmit.

Compass Media Group, Inc. (Compass) is a political media consulting company based in Chicago, IL. Compass was retained by the Senate Caucus Party Unit to design, produce, and distribute communications advocating for the election of Greg Clausen, Alice Johnson, Susan Kent, and Lyle Koenen or the defeat of their opponents.

The reason why this is important is because these expenditures weren’t attributed to the “Senate Caucus Party Unit.” The disclaimer on the mailers said that they were paid for by “the DFL Central Committee Party Unit.” Here’s what happened:

Lit Happens either took photos during the candidate’s door knocking event with the Senate Caucus Party Unit or when the candidate was in St. Paul on other business. In each case, someone acting on behalf of the Senate Caucus Party Unit contacted the candidate or a representative of the candidate to arrange for the candidate to be at a location where Vic Thorstenson would take the photographs. The candidates followed all direction, if any, provided by the photographer.

In other words, DFL Senate candidates worked with the Senate Caucus Party Unit on mailers sent out by the “DFL Central Committee Party Unit” and paid for by the “Senate Caucus Party Unit.” This information is important, too:

In the cases of those candidates about whom literature pieces were prepared by Compass and Pivot, Senate Caucus Party Unit campaign staff contacted the candidates or the candidates’ campaign managers or other representatives to arrange schedules for the photo shoots with the photographers. Each candidate agreed to a schedule involving multiple locations for the photo shoots and arrived at the specified starting location at the scheduled time.

In connection with the photo shoots taken by Compass and Pivot, the candidates were asked to bring wardrobe changes so that different looks could be obtained in different settings. Each candidate who was asked to bring wardrobe changes did so. All candidates followed the photographers’ directions regarding wardrobe changes and other matters relating to the photo shoots and fully participated in the photo shoots.

That’s what’s known as coordination and it’s illegal under state and federal election laws. Coordination between candidates and state party units or independent expenditure groups is prohibited. Of the 13 candidates that coordinated their activities with the DFL Central Committee Party Unit and/or the Senate Caucus Party Unit, 11 were elected. That gave the DFL a majority in the Senate.

In short, the DFL paid a $100,000 fine in exchange for their Senate majority. I’m betting that Alida Messinger, Mark Dayton and Tom Bakk think that that was a wise investment. Thanks to the DFL’s lawlessness, they passed a horrific budget that benefitted the DFL’s special interest allies in the Twin Cities but did little or nothing to help the regular folks in outstate Minnesota.

I’m betting that the DFL’s ends-justify-the-means attitude towards elections won’t play well in 2016. The DFL’s willingness to do whatever it takes to acquire and maintain power isn’t an attractive attribute.