Archive for the ‘ABM’ Category
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.
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:
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.
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.
Paul Thissen’s op-ed in Friday night’s St. Cloud Times is breathtakingly dishonest. Here’s a prime example of Thissen’s dishonesty:
On the campaign trail, Republicans like Daudt attacked these accomplishments as inadequate, attacks ironically financed by enormous contributions from big Twin Cities corporate special interests. So it seems fair to ask:
Will Republicans be willing to stand up to their big Twin Cities corporate donors and make sure to continue DFL investments in education that are closing the funding gap between rural and suburban school districts rather than handing out corporate tax breaks?
I frequently wrote about the Democrats’ dishonest claims that Republicans supported “handing out corporate tax breaks.” To be fair, most of those claims were made against Torrey Westrom’s and Stewart Mills’ congressional campaigns but Thissen’s claims are dishonest just the same. One of the DCCC’s ads accused Torrey Westrom of shutting down the government “to give tax breaks to his wealthy friends.”
First, Republicans haven’t written any legislation that would “hand out corporate tax breaks. Thissen knows that’s verifiable fact but he doesn’t care because he’s utterly dishonest. Soon-to-be Minority Leader Thissen can clear this all up by citing which legislation the Republicans authored would’ve given corporations tax breaks.
Most importantly, though, let’s focus on who funded the DFL’s legislative campaign. In St. Cloud, the DFL paid for most of the campaign mailers. I don’t recall getting any mailers from Dorholt’s campaign proper. I also got mailers from a pro-union group called Working America Minnesota Political Fund. This is one of their mailers:
Will Minority Leader Thissen “be willing to stand up to [his] big Twin Cities” special interest allies in the next legislative session? Will he stand up to the environmental activist wing of the DFL? Will he tell Alida Messinger that he’ll steadfastly support mining on the Iron Range?
History shows he won’t. When AFSCME and SEIU insisted that the DFL impose forced unionization on small businesses, then-Speaker Thissen didn’t think twice. Rather than siding with the hard-working ladies who run in-home child care facilities, Thissen and the DFL voted with Eliot Seide and Javier Morillo-Alicea instead.
When convenience stores told him not to raise the cigarette tax because that’d hurt their businesses, Thissen didn’t just ignore them. He raised the cigarette tax $1.50 a pack. Thanks to Thissen and the DFL, convenience stores in Greater Minnesota got hurt.
Will a Republican legislature respond to the unique economic challenges that have made it harder for our economic recovery to be felt from border-to-border?
Unlike the DFL of the last 2 years, the GOP House will respond to Greater Minnesota’s economic needs. The GOP didn’t ignore small businesses’ calls to not start applying the sales tax on business-to-business transactions. In the House, the DFL voted for raising those taxes. After they got an earful from businesses after the session, the DFL knew that they’d overreached.
Sensing that their majority status in the House was in jeopardy, the DFL quickly moved to repeal the B2B sales taxes that they’d passed just months before.
Paul Thissen wasn’t the only DFL legislator who displayed hostility to businesses. That’s why he’ll soon be the House Minority Leader rather than getting another term as Speaker.
If there’s anything that’s clear about the Eighth District race, it’s that Eighth District voters voted for a congressman who will be utterly irrelevant:
Candidates for 8th District Congress from the Brainerd Area received 254,004 votes on Tuesday, with Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan polling a mere 3,636 more ballots than Republican Stewart Mills. The result: A narrow re-election victory for Nolan in a race that drew national media attention and more than $12 million in independent groups for advertising — mostly television.
A final count gives Nolan 128,820 to 125,184 for Mills, a 48.5 percent to 47.1 percent margin. Nolan and Mills volleyed the lead for about two hours until the congressman opened about a 2 percent lead at 10 p.m., which he maintained with only slight slippage until Wednesday morning when his lead was too much to overcome.
The Eighth District just voted for a man who will be utterly irrelevant when the next Congress is sworn in. Nancy Pelosi’s caucus will have their smallest caucus since 1929. Seriously, that’s how irrelevant they’ll be.
More important, the Iron Range voted against its own self interest. They voted for a life-long environmentalist who won’t lift a finger to open PolyMet. The DFL is dominated by environmental elitists from the Twin Cities. That won’t change anytime soon because the environmental elitists write big checks to the DFL. The Range’s legislators are subjected to the Metrocrats’ agenda and always will be until the Range breaks away from the DFL.
Republicans were accused of playing the PolyMet issue for political advantage. Rangers said they’d forget about PolyMet the day after the election. To be fair, Republicans haven’t always had the Range’s best interests at heart so a certain amount of distrust is justifiable.
What Rangers are about to find out, though, is that PolyMet wasn’t just a political position taken by Republicans for the 2014 election. Rangers will see the Republicans’ commitment to PolyMet and other similar projects. The Range will find out that Republicans want people prospering wherever they live in Minnesota.
Finally, Rangers will find out that this isn’t their daddies’ DFL. This DFL is run by Alida Messinger, the woman who writes big checks to environmental organizations and to the DFL in her effort to prevent PolyMet from getting built. If Rangers keep voting for the DFL, they’ll continue to have the same shitty economy they’ve had for the last 15-20 years.
Einstein once said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. I disagree. Voting for the DFL again and again, then expecting the FL and Alida Messinger to change is either stupidity or political suicide. The DFL won’t change. It’s time the Range finally admitted that.
There’s all sorts of buzz around St. Paul of post-election plans by radical environmentalists to launch an offensive to kill copper-nickel mining in Minnesota. That’s been the stated goal of environmental organizations like the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Friends of the Boundary Waters, Conservation Minnesota and MCEA. It’s verified fact that Alida Rockefeller, one of the DFL’s biggest contributors and Gov. Dayton’s ex-wife, is responsible for much of the money that goes into these anti-mining organizations while supporting Gov. Dayton’s political activities.
Sources close to organized labor active in northeastern Minnesota say that Ms. Messinger and her allies are now prepared to fund a PR campaign to kill PolyMet. That’s certain to get these miners’ attention. Alida Messinger’s post-election agenda won’t sit well with union workers who would work on the construction of the mine or the union workers who would fill the mining positions once the plant opens. As a result, at least some of the rank-and-file might stop supporting the DFL.
Rumor has it that a prominent, talented DFL strategist is already lined up for this aggressive campaign. This strategist allegedly has been approached by Big Labor. This strategist has allegedly been quite coy about what’s coming.
The biggest question remaining is simple. What, if anything, does Gov. Dayton know about this anti-PolyMet PR offensive? Given his unwillingness to support mining projects like PolyMet even if they meet environmental standards, I think it’s a more than fair question to ask.
I still think that Jeff Johnson will win this race. If Gov. Dayton is re-elected, though, will Iron Rangers trust Gov. Dayton to not be swayed by a massive anti-mining ad campaign? Will blue collar voters in northeastern Minnesota demand answers from Dayton before Tuesday?
Technorati: Mark Dayton, Alida Messinger, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Friends of the Boundary Waters, Conservation Minnesota, MCEA, PR Campaign, PolyMet Mining, Unions, Mining, DFL, Election 2014
Watching all the ads being run by Nancy Pelosi’s PAC, the Franken campaign, the Nolan campaign and all the anti-business rhetoric coming from the Dayton campaign, DFL chairman Ken Martin and other anti-business parasites, there’s only one conclusion you can draw. The DFL and its candidates hate employers. Joe Soucheray’s column highlights the DFL’s silliness perfectly:
It’s to the point of comedy that the national Democratic Party has raced to Minnesota to help Nolan out with television ads that feature yachts and private airplanes and white sand beaches. I guess the voter is supposed to believe that Mills sits around all day and has grapes fed to him as he pages through the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog pining for a new Maserati Ghibli S Q4.
Whether it’s Nancy Pelosi’s superPAC or Rick Nolan’s campaign, the hard left’s disdain for companies is unmistakable. It’s in each of their ads against Stewart Mills. What’s most appalling is that the DFL’s agenda doesn’t have a thing in it that says they’re pro-capitalism. In fact, when the DFL held their state convention, Iron Range Democrats wanted the state party to ad a simple sentence to their party’s platform. That simple sentence was to say that the DFL supports mining.
After hours of negotiations, aka Metrocrats intimidating the Iron Range delegation, that simple sentence was dropped because Alida Messinger declared that statement was too controversial. Nolan isn’t the only 1970s reject that thinks companies are evil:
The Franken camp says that as an investment banker, McFadden has brokered the sales of companies that have resulted in the loss of jobs. Well, that can be true in some cases. In other cases, there will be a gain of jobs. Besides, once a company is bought or sold, what does McFadden have to do with it? The Franken camp also insists that McFadden has been involved with companies that have committed the mortal sin of tax inversion by moving their headquarters overseas. No. McFadden’s company represented a foreign company being bought, not the U.S. company moving abroad. That’s business, however unfamiliar Franken might be to business.
In Franken’s thinking, the problem isn’t that the tax code is filled with special favors. It’s that small businesses, aka the rich, aren’t paying a high enough tax rate. The thing is that Franken and Nolan haven’t started a business that requires sound judgment. That’s why they don’t know that many of these small businesses owners work 60-75 hours/week to build a business, paying their employees first, then paying their bills before they can start funding their retirement and their kids’ college education.
After sweating through tough times before getting to the point of profitability, then idiots like Dayton, Franken and Nolan accuse them of being greedy and of “not paying their fair share.”
The truth is that Stewart Mills and Mike McFadden have done more to improve middle class families’ lives in 5 years than Dayton, Franken and Nolan have done in a lifetime. Long-winded politicians haven’t paid for their employees’ health insurance or contributed to their employees’ retirement accounts or paid them a good wage that put a roof over their employees’ families’ heads. Stewart Mills and Mike McFadden have.
When Dayton, Franken and Nolan do that for a generation, then I’ll listen, not a minute before.
Technorati: Nancy Pelosi, House Majority PAC, Rick Nolan, Al Franken, Air America, Mark Dayton, Alida Messinger, Ken Martin, Big Government, DFL, Stewart Mills, Mills Fleet Farm, Mike McFadden, Capitalism, Tax Simplification, Republicans, Election 2014
Recently, I got another smear campaign mailer from the DFL smearing Jim Knoblach. It isn’t shocking that the DFL is into smearing Republicans. It’s that the DFL’s mailer has a picture of a senior citizen with the caption “Tell Jim Knoblach to keep his hands off our Social Security and Medicare.”
It’s painfully obvious that the DFL knows that state legislators don’t have anything to do with Medicare or Social Security. Just because the DFL is without character and can’t be shamed because they don’t have a conscience, that doesn’t mean that they’re stupid.
They’re just disgustingly unprincipled and utterly without virtue.
While it’s true that Jim Knoblach supported giving people the option of putting a portion of their FICA taxes into a government-approved equity account when he ran for Congress in 2006, that’s utterly irrelevant in this race. Jim Knoblach, if he’s elected, will never cast a vote on Social Security or Medicare because they’re federal programs.
This DFL’s intent with this mailer is to scare senior citizens into voting for Zach Dorholt. If’s apparent that the DFL doesn’t care that it’s fearmongering at its worst. It’s important to remember what Howard Dean said after being elected chair of the DNC:
It’s a battle between good and evil…and we’re the good.
In Dean’s mind, the ends justified the means. If that meant smearing people with lies, that’s the path he’d take without hesitation. That’s the mindset that Ken Martin brought with him from ABM to the DFL.
In Martin’s mind, the only thing that matters is winning elections and checking items off the DFL’s ideological checklist. It’s irrelevant if it helps Minnesotans. It’s only relevant if it makes their special interests’ lives better.
The DFL insists that it’s for the little guy. That’s BS and it’s verifiable. The Metrocrat wing of the DFL, made up mostly by plutocrats and elitists, has done everything to prevent PolyMet from getting built. If the DFL cared about Iron Range voters, they wouldn’t say that building the mine is important but dragging the regulatory review for 9 years is more important.
If the DFL cared about the little guy, they wouldn’t have shoved forced unionization onto child care providers.
Zach Dorholt voted for the forced unionization of child care providers. He voted for major business-to-business sales tax increases and the Senate Office Building. After the session, he caught hell from St. Cloud businesses for creating these new taxes. These businesses lobbied him hard during the session. He ignored them then. It wasn’t until after the session that he started listening to these businesses.
Dorholt is chair of the House Higher Ed Committee. That’s a position of authority yet he hasn’t lifted a finger to investigate the wasteful spending at MnSCU’s Central Office nor has he looked into the financial mismanagement at SCSU. Despite the fact that SCSU is facing $8,000,000-$10,000,000 of budget cuts this year and despite the fact that the Potter administration hasn’t published a budget report yet, Zach Dorholt hasn’t looked into these issues.
All he cares about is whether he can report that he increased spending on Higher Education.
How does that qualify as helping the little guy or middle class families? That’s before asking Mr. Dorholt how the Dayton-Dorholt-DFL budget is creating part-time, low wage jobs helps grow the economy from the middle class out?
The truth is that the DFL doesn’t care about prosperity. They don’t care about great jobs throughout the state. They don’t care if public institutions foolishly spend the taxpayers’ money. How dare they send out mailers that frighten senior citizens while smearing a great policymaker.
Technorati: Zach Dorholt, Smear Campaign, Special Interests, Forced Unionization, Medicare, Social Security, Tax Increases, Higher Education, Ken Martin, ABM, DFL, Jim Knoblach, Small Businesses, Prosperity, MNGOP, Election 2014
Since their foundation, the Alliance for a Better Minnesota has specialized in dishonesty. In fact, they’ve been one of the most dishonest political actors in Minnesota politics. Their latest ad is titled Impossible:
Here’s the transcript of that ad:
My kids and I lived on minimum wage. It was nearly impossible to get by. But TEA Party Republican Jeff Johnson says if he’s elected governor, he’ll find a bill to reduce the minimum wage. Johnson’s plan would hurt over 350,000 Minnesota workers. Johnson opposes raising the minimum wage but he supports tax breaks for big corporations. Jeff Johnson has the wrong priorities for Minnesota.
This ad isn’t totally dishonest but it’s definitely deceptive. When the woman said that Jeff Johnson opposed raising the minimum wage, ABM cited House Journal page 3417…from May, 2005. When she talks about “tax breaks for big corporations,” she’s citing House Journal page 3934…from May, 2005.
What this young lady didn’t mention in talking about politicians supporting “tax breaks for big corporations” is that TEA Party Republicans weren’t the only people to vote for “tax breaks for big corporations.” Democrats like Paul Thissen, Nora Slawik, Pat Opatz, Denise Dittrich, Ron Erhardt, Bev Scalze, Katie Sieben and Ann Lenczewski voted for “tax breaks for big corporations,” too. Thissen, of course, is the current Speaker of the House while Katie Sieben is Gov. Dayton’s commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, aka DEED.
The first thrust of this ad is that Jeff Johnson’s opposition to raising the minimum wage makes him unfit for office while the other thrust of this ad is that people voting for “tax breaks for big corporations” is a trouble-making arch-conservative. Apparently, ABM either didn’t do their homework or they chose to omit the fact that “tax breaks for big corporations” had solid bipartisan support. (It’s likely the latter because a) it doesn’t fit their narrative and b) ABM isn’t sloppy with their research.)
What’s sad, though, is that this woman apparently was stuck in a minimum wage job for a lengthy period of time. Minnesota’s economy should do better than that. The fact that 350,000 people are trapped in minimum wage jobs is an indictment of the Dayton-DFL economy.