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Yesterday, I wrote this article to highlight ABM’s willingness to publish things that it knows aren’t true. Bill Glahn picked up on that article and wrote this post, which he appropriately titled “Minnesota isn’t working.” Frankly, Bill does a better job of illustrating how terrible the Dayton-DFL economy is. This graphic shows the difference between job growth when the GOP had the majority in the House and Senate and the job growth when Gov. Dayton and the DFL controlled all of state government:

Honest people can’t disagree that significantly more jobs were created while Republicans held majorities in the House and Senate than have been created during all DFL control in St. Paul. At this point, the Republicans’ point is made. Their policies led to greater job creation than during the days of all-DFL control. But Bill didn’t stop there. He published this graphic to highlight Minnesota’s job creation numbers pre-tax increase vs. post-tax increase:

Gov. Dayton, the DFL and ABM will undoubtedly attempt to explain away the dropoff in jobs created after the tax increase went into effect as coincidence. That’s BS. It isn’t coincidence. It’s the direct, predictable, result of the Dayton-DFL tax increases.

The thing is that the totals aren’t close. Over 70,000 jobs were created before the Dayton-DFL tax increase compared with a little over 30,000 jobs being created after the Dayton-DFL tax increase.

I highlighted in my article that a pathetic 300 jobs were created in January-March, 2014. Another 2,600 jobs were created in April-July, 2014. The April-July numbers are hurt by the fact that 4,200 jobs were cut in Minnesota during July.

The reason I started looking into Minnesota’s job creation numbers is because of ABM’s dishonest video (that’s the only kind they put together) about the Dayton-DFL stewardship of the economy:

Here’s the transcript of the video:

Look across the land. On farms and in factories, in classrooms and on construction sites, Minnesota is working. For years ago, Minnesota faced a $5,000,000,000 deficit. But Gov. Mark Dayton showed strong leadership. He raised taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent so we could invest in our schools and reduce middle class taxes. Now Minnesota has 150,000 new jobs and a budget surplus.

That’s insulting to honest Minnesotans. Minnesota’s economy hasn’t created 150,000 jobs during Gov. Dayton’s time in office. It’s more like 96,000 jobs created, with the vast majority of them getting created while Republican policies were in effect. The Dayton-DFL tax increases have essentially killed Minnesota’s job growth.

There’s no question that the Dayton-DFL tax increases have led Minnesota companies to leave the state. It’s time Minnesotans told the Dayton-DFL-ABM Axis of Lies that we insist that their ads be honest or, at minimum, not this blatantly dishonest.

How can we trust Gov. Dayton and the DFL to govern when they won’t tell us the truth about what’s already happened? It’s the worst of all worlds. Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s policiess have failed, which is why they’re lying to cover up their failure now.

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This morning’s @Issue was offensive to informed voters. It started with Tom Hauser sleepily repeating the discredited DFL talking point that jobs are “coming back.” It continued when Sarah Janacek called ABM’s ads against Jeff Johnson “outside money.” Retread political hack Don Betzold kept the misinformation going by saying that “it’s too early to tell” what insurance rates will be.

Let’s start with Hauser repeating the DFL line about jobs. It’s BS. They aren’t coming back. That’s just the DFL lying through its teeth. This year, the Dayton/DFL economy has created 2,900 jobs in 7 months. The Dayton/DFL economy lost 4,200 jobs in July. The revenue projection for July was off by 6.6%, coming in $69,000,000 short of MMB’s projection.

That isn’t proof of a Minnesota economic recovery. It isn’t proof that the Dayton/DFL policies are taking us in the right direction. It’s proof that they’re failing, especially when you consider the fact that one-third of the jobs created in the last 12 months were government jobs.

It’s sad to see Sarah Janacek make foolish statements like calling ABM “outside money.” She knows better than that. She knows that ABM is funded by Alida Messinger, the public employee unions and community organizing organizations with deep ties to the DFL.

In short, ABM is the DFL’s messaging unit. Pretending that they’re an arms-length distant organization just isn’t being honest with people. Further, Ms. Janacek shouldn’t be that gentle with ABM. They’re a disgusting organization that specializes in smear campaigns. ABM is devoid of virtue and honesty. They should be treated like the parasitic political hatchet organization that they are.

Let me repeat this message to timid GOP pundits like Ms. Janacek: ABM should be exposed and ridiculed for being dishonest and untrustworthy. Tip-toeing around ABM’s disgusting tactics gives them a legitimacy they didn’t earn.

Finally, Don Betzold should’ve been criticized for saying that he didn’t know what insurance premiums would be. If he actually doesn’t know, then he should be put out to pasture. If he knows, he should be exposed as a political hack repeating the DFL’s talking points.

Honesty matters in messaging and reporting. That’s why Tom Hauser and Sarah Janacek should be criticized for their timid, misinformed statemenets.

The lone bright spot was Brian McClung. Brian was well-informed and confident in his presentation of important information.

Gov. Dayton isn’t a leader. Further,he won’t confront the environmental activist wing of the DFL. That’s why it isn’t surprising that Gov. Dayton called pro-mining Republicans “highly irresponsible”:

REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. — DFL Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday called his Republican rivals “highly irresponsible” for pledging to re-open an Iron Range mine before an environmental study is done. Republicans are “just pandering to people up there,” Dayton told reporters. “They’re like a lot of other hucksters who have gone up there saying they have jobs to offer, so vote for us.”

Dayton, who is seeking re-election, said he will wait until after an environmental impact assessment is completed before he takes a stand. “I think that’s the responsibility I have as governor,” Dayton said before giving a short address at the annual FarmFest trade show here.

Apparently, Gov. Dayton doesn’t think it’s his responsibility to fight for great paying mining jobs. Further, it’s apparent that he’s playing politics with this, albeit defensive politics. The EPA has reviewed the latest EIS. Barring President Obama putting a political stop to the project, a distinct possibility, PolyMet will happen.

The science is clear. All of the arguments that environmental activist organizations have thrown out as excuses have been shot down.

I’m thankful, though, that Gov. Dayton just admitted, again, that he won’t fight for middle class blue collar jobs for the Range. It’s the worst kept secret of his administration. That’s why he picked Tina Smith of Minneapolis to be his running mate rather than Tony Sertich of Hibbing.

I’m happy to stipulate that, throughout his administration, Gov. Dayton has put a higher priority on appeasing his environmental activist base than he’s put on creating mining jobs on the Iron Range.

As for him whining about pandering, it’s disappointing that he’s whining about it now but he engaged in pandering last year when he visited FarmFest:

In a sudden reversal, Gov. Mark Dayton says he’s open to expanding the scope of a possible special session to include the repeal of a new sales tax on farm equipment repair. Dayton shared his revised position Thursday at Farmfest, according to media reports. An aide later confirmed the shift.

Gov. Dayton apparently doesn’t hate pandering as long as it’s him doing the pandering.

Gov. Dayton’s priorities don’t make sense. He cheerfully flip-flopped on raising taxes on farmers at FarmFest last August but he isn’t willing to change his position on creating high paying mining jobs on the Range. Perhaps, that’s because he knows his ex-wife will stop writing checks to the DFL if they stop pandering to the environmental activist wing of the DFL.

Whatever the case, Gov. Dayton is wrong for Minnesota because a) he won’t fight for the hard-working people of the Iron Range and b) he won’t fight against government bureaucrats who stand in the way of creating great middle class jobs.

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TakeAction Minnesota’s latest press release instructs the press to investigate Stanley Hubbard:

Statewide people’s organization TakeAction Minnesota, which has offices in Duluth and Grand Rapids, issued the following statement regarding a political TV ad running in the 8th Congressional District which was pulled off the air by Hubbard Broadcasting last week in a flurry of controversy:

“The real story isn’t about Stewart Mills or Rick Nolan. The real story is about corporate conservatives limiting political dialogue and eroding free speech. It’s about a billionaire, Stanley Hubbard, protecting certain candidates who protect wealth at the expense of working people. It’s about corporate conservatives and media conglomerates owned and run by billionaires like Stanley Hubbard and the Koch Brothers protecting candidates for their own economic gain. How concentrated wealth increasingly controls public discourse at the expense of people. You can swap in any corporate conservative candidate you want for Stewart Mills.

“There are several important questions voters and the media should be asking. Why did the ad run in the first place? When and why was it decided that it must be pulled down? Did someone from the Mills campaign see it was running and call in a favor from Hubbard? Did Stanley Hubbard himself see the ad and decide it was damaging to Mills? Did someone from Hubbard’s friends connected to the Koch Brothers decide it needed the ax?

It’s understatement to say that the ad they’re talking about didn’t enhance public dialogue. It’s defamatory and dishonest. Saying that it’s highly edited and spliced is understatement. These 128 words that Stewart Mills said:

What happened in the last round of elections, where you had folks saying that ‘the wealthy, the wealthy are not paying their fair share, that there’s all these loopholes and they don’t pay any taxes and we have to make them pay more. Well, you know what? I’m gonna speak for myself and then I’m going to allude to a few others here. We’ve paid for all of our taxes. We reinvest the money we make into our business.

How come we are not generating the jobs in Northeastern Minnesota that we otherwise would? Well I can tell you why. Because the overwhelming group of people that run businesses, that have the ability to employ people are taxed at that personal rate. They are the villains, they’re the bad guys. They’re the ones that quote are not paying their fair share. They’re the ones quote that ‘the 2%, the 1%, whatever percent you want.

To be singled out as a deadbeat is personally offensive.

turned into this 26-word sentence he didn’t say:

…folks saying that ‘the wealthy, the wealthy are not paying their fair share…the 2%, the 1%, whatever percent you want…is personally offensive.

Next, let’s answer some of TakeAction Minnesota’s questions, starting with this one:

Why did the ad run in the first place?

To smear Stewart Mills. It isn’t a coincidence that this smear campaign started after the DCCC put Nolan on their version of endangered incumbents list and after the Cook Report changed their rating of the race from Leans Democratic to toss-up.

Rick Nolan is a deeply flawed candidate running a terrible, 1-issue race. It isn’t a coincidence that Nolan’s campaign is focusing on Mills “representing the 1-percent.”

Q2: When and why was it decided that it must be pulled down?

After attorneys from the Mills campaign a) notified KSTP and WDIO of the defamatory nature of the ad and b) reminded them that the TV stations weren’t protected from running the ad:

The false ad bankrolled by AFSCME/House Majority PAC against Stewart Mills does not constitute a “candidate use.” Under Columbia Broadcasting Sys., Inc. v. Democratic Nat’l Comm., 412 U.S. 94 (1973), and Nat’l Conservative Political Action Comm., 89 FCC 2d 626 (1982), your station is not obligated to air any advertisements from third parties, such as the AFSMCE/House Majority PAC, as third parties have no guaranteed right of access to air their advertisements on your station. Thus, broadcasting stations are not protected from legal liability for airing a false and misleading advertisement sponsored by the AFSCME/House Majority PAC. Moreover, broadcast licensees have a legal responsibility to review and to eliminate any false, misleading, or deceptive materials contained in advertising.

KSTP and WDIO pulled the ad when they saw that the ad was defamatory and they weren’t protected from having a lawsuit filed against them.

Q3: Did someone from the Mills campaign see it was running and call in a favor from Hubbard?

This is pure speculation intended to take the spotlight off the fact that Rick Nolan didn’t support mining jobs on the Range until the political pressure forced him into supporting creating mining jobs.

It isn’t a DFL conspiracy theory without throwing in this boogeyman:

Did someone from Hubbard’s friends connected to the Koch Brothers decide it needed the ax?

The paranoid rantings and the conspiracy theory just wouldn’t be complete without a reference to the Koch Brothers.

Now it’s time to ask TakeAction Minnesota this straightforward question: How can an organization that’s a major part of the DFL’s messaging and GOTV machine benefit from our nation’s tax laws? After all, TakeAction Minnesota’s facebook page states pretty clearly that they’re a nonprofit. Their member organizations page is filled with DFL front organizations. Their every action is, by Al Franken’s definition, political.

Simply put, TakeAction Minnesota’s public call for an investigation into Stanley Hubbard and the Koch Brothers is both a farce and a gimmick. This DFL front group’s questions are illegitimate because TakeAction Minnesota knows that the Pelosi ad was pulled because it was defamatory.

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While writing this post, I thought about the Democratic Party’s disgusting tactics. First, here’s what caught my attention:

But his billionaire friends at Hubbard Broadcasting won’t air an ad that uses his own words to call him out.

And here’s the kicker: the owner of Hubbard Broadcasting, Stanley Hubbard, is a major donor to Mills’ campaign and a friend of the Koch brothers. When a media station owned by someone who has maxed out to a candidate is keeping voters from knowing where that candidate stands, something’s not right.

TakeAction Minnesota is one of the DFL’s front organizations. They, along with organizations like the Alliance for a Better Minnesota and AFSCME PEOPLE, specialize in smearing Republican candidates. In this instance, they’re unloading both barrels on Stewart Mills.

There’s more to this than just a smear campaign.

That’s bad enough but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s remember that Al Franken enthusiastically signed a letter to the IRS telling them to crack down on TEA Party organizations. We know that the IRS and other government agencies made life a living hell for Catherine Engelbrecht.

The DFL, like the Democratic Party nationally, is the party that’s deployed ‘weaponized government’ to harass people that don’t agree with them. They used the IRS, OSHA and the ATF to harass TEA Party organizations. They’ve used the EPA to intimidate private property owners.

It isn’t a stretch to think that the DFL might organize a boycott of KSTP. Further, it isn’t a stretch to think that Sen. Franken’s friend Chuck Schumer might ask the FCC to look into KSTP’s broadcast license. They unleashed the IRS against the TEA Party. Why wouldn’t these senators use other government agencies to harass their political enemies?

Just the threat of a boycott by the DFL would have a chilling effect on stations. Having advertisers leave their station because TakeAction Minnesota and other DFL front groups is a threat stations would have to take seriously.

While this would be the first time that TakeAction Minnesota has organized a boycott against a business, it’s old hat for AFSCME:

Last month, Dawn Bobo, owner of Village Dollar Store in Union Grove, Wis., was asked to display a pro-union sign in her window. Ms. Bobo, a self- described conservative Republican, refused and received a letter from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees asking her to reconsider. “Failure to do so will leave us no choice but do [sic] a public boycott of your business,” the letter said.

It isn’t coincidence that AFSCME PEOPLE (Public Employees Organized to Promote Legislative Equality) is running the same defamatory ad that got pulled from KSTP and WDIO.

Why would anyone think that these thugs wouldn’t attempt to intimidate businesses into not criticizing DFL front groups when they run their smear campaigns? Contrary to Mitt Romney’s statements, these aren’t “nice people we simply disagree with.” These Democratic front groups are despicable, dishonest people that can’t be trusted because they won’t hesitate to use government as a weapon against their political enemies.

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TakeAction Minnesota’s fundraising email is clear proof that DFL front groups a) don’t care about the truth and b) won’t hesitate in smearing anyong they think of as a threat to their power. Here’s their latest fundraising e-letter:

Dear Gary,

In a 2013 speech, 8th district congressional candidate Stewart Mills said that all the talk about the rich not paying their fair share and corporations dodging taxes singled him out as a deadbeat, and was “personally offensive.”

But his billionaire friends at Hubbard Broadcasting won’t air an ad that uses his own words to call him out.

And here’s the kicker: the owner of Hubbard Broadcasting, Stanley Hubbard, is a major donor to Mills’ campaign and a friend of the Koch brothers. When a media station owned by someone who has maxed out to a candidate is keeping voters from knowing where that candidate stands, something’s not right.

We’re getting ready to launch a door-to-door canvass across the district to reach out to voters and give them the facts about where Stewart Mills stands and talk about what really matters to working families.

Mills doesn’t think that he and his fellow millionaires should have to pay more in taxes and he doesn’t support raising the federal minimum wage. Billionaires like Stanley Hubbard shouldn’t get to decide whether or not voters know the truth – but you and I both know that, as long as they own the media, they have an outsized voice in our elections.

That’s where you come in.

Thanks for standing with us,
Dan and the whole TakeAction Minnesota team

Mr. McGrath’s distortions are noteworthy. First, the ad was shut down because the ad, which was initially paid for by Nancy Pelosi’s PAC, is an outright distortion that I wrote about in this article. Here’s what Stewart Mills actually said:

What happened in the last round of elections, where you had folks saying that ‘the wealthy, the wealthy are not paying their fair share, that there’s all these loopholes and they don’t pay any taxes and we have to make them pay more. Well, you know what? I’m gonna speak for myself and then I’m going to allude to a few others here. We’ve paid for all of our taxes. We reinvest the money we make into our business.

How come we are not generating the jobs in Northeastern Minnesota that we otherwise would? Well I can tell you why. Because the overwhelming group of people that run businesses, that have the ability to employ people are taxed at that personal rate. They are the villains, they’re the bad guys. They’re the ones that quote are not paying their fair share. They’re the ones quote that ‘the 2%, the 1%, whatever percent you want.

To be singled out as a deadbeat is personally offensive.

Pelosi’s PAC took those 128 words and turned them into this 26-word sentence:

…folks saying that ‘the wealthy, the wealthy are not paying their fair share…the 2%, the 1%, whatever percent you want…is personally offensive.

Honest, thoughtful people would see that Ms. Pelosi and other Democratic front groups like TakeAction Minnesota didn’t just take Stewart Mills’ words out of context. They spliced his words together to create a sentence he didn’t say.

Minnesota has an option this November. If they vote Democrat, they’re voting for the political party that a) didn’t hesitate in smearing Republicans, b) didn’t hesitate in smearing media companies who have a legal obligation to the public and c) had to run a massive smear campaign on multiple levels because they couldn’t run on their accomplishments.

Here’s KSTP’s legal obligation:

The false ad bankrolled by AFSCME/House Majority PAC against Stewart Mills does not constitute a “candidate use.” Under Columbia Broadcasting Sys., Inc. v. Democratic Nat’l Comm., 412 U.S. 94 (1973), and Nat’l Conservative Political Action Comm., 89 FCC 2d 626 (1982), your station is not obligated to air any advertisements from third parties, such as the AFSMCE/House Majority PAC, as third parties have no guaranteed right of access to air their advertisements on your station. Thus, broadcasting stations are not protected from legal liability for airing a false and misleading advertisement sponsored by the AFSCME/House Majority PAC. Moreover, broadcast licensees have a legal responsibility to review and to eliminate any false, misleading, or deceptive materials contained in advertising.

KSTP and WDIO could’ve kept running Pelosi’s disgustingly dishonest ad…if they wanted to lose a high dollar lawsuit.

That Stan Hubbard has contributed to Republicans isn’t news any more than Alida Messinger contributing to the DFL is news. What’s different here is that this DFL front organization knows the facts behind the Pelosi ad getting tossed. Rather than admitting that Pelosi’s ad is dishonest, TakeAction Minnesota is engaging in a nasty smear campaign against a media outlet they don’t like.

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Zach Dorholt’s statement in Mark Sommerhauser’s article is utterly laughable:

Dorholt is abiding by the public subsidy. He decried Knoblach’s decision not to as a case of campaign cash run amok. “Who out there isn’t going to say they’re sick and tired of more money in politics?” Dorholt said. “This is just another example, I think, of campaigns getting out of control with spending.”

First, Dorholt isn’t abiding by the spending limits because he’s in favor of spending less on campaigns. He’s abiding by it because he’s done a terrible job raising money. Next, Dorholt doesn’t have to raise much money because DFL front groups like the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, aka ABM, will spend tons of money to keep his seat in DFL hands. In 2012, estimates were that pro-DFL organizations dumped more than $300,000 into this district to defeat King Banaian.

To be fair, pro-GOP groups spent lots of money on King Banaian’s behalf in 2012.

The point is that Mr. Dorholt didn’t speak out while tons of money poured into the district from DFL front groups. He was silent as a mouse then because he was the winning end of the money war.

If Mr. Dorholt wants to prove he hates money in politics, he can tell his friends in DFL front groups to not spend tons of money in his district. While he can’t coordinat with ABM or other likeminded organizations, there’s nothing improper about him telling DFL front groups to stay out of his district.

That’s proof that Mr. Dorholt’s stand isn’t principled. Rather, it’s based on whether he thinks DFL front groups like ABM or pro-DFL PACs pour money into his race. A quick look at Mr. Dorholt’s campaign finance report shows that a high percentage of Dorholt’s contributors are from New York and California. Just 2 contributors are from Minnesota. Two other contributors are from North Dakota.

The other point is that Mr. Dorholt has raised $4,600 from PACs but just $500 from Minnesotans. When you’re raising 3 times as much money from PACs as you’re raising from Minnesotans, it’s easy to see who’s bought and paid for by special interests. Hint: it isn’t Jim Knoblach.

Dorholt was a rubber stamp for Gov. Dayton and Speaker Thissen. I don’t need to be represented by someone who votes like he’s representing Minneapolis. Minneapolis’s priorities are different than St. Cloud’s priorities. In fact, they’re dramatically different.

Thus far, Mr. Dorholt’s biggest ‘accomplishments’ in the legislature have been voting for the biggest middle class tax increase in Minnesota history, voting to spend $77,000,000 for the Senate Legislative Office Building instead of voting to use that $77,000,000 to repair St. Cloud’s roads and bridges, voting to force independent businesswomen into public employee unions and voting to repeal part of that massive middle class tax increase.

St. Cloud doesn’t need a rubberstamp for the Democrats’ agenda. We need a real representative who cares about St. Cloud’s priorities.

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Jeff Johnson’s interview with Bill Hanna, the editor of the Mesabi Daily News, provided Johnson’s sharpest attack on Gov. Dayton yet. Here’s the heart of Johnson’s criticism:

“I believe strongly that if Dayton wins, PolyMet will not happen. He is getting and responding to great, great pressure from environmentalists. Saw it at the DFL Convention when they got a resolution on copper/nickel tabled,” Johnson said.

I think that’s accurate. Gov. Dayton’s silence is deafening, especially considering the fact that he’s called himself the “jobs governor.” It’s more like he’s the jobs governor as long as it doesn’t interfere with the environmental activists’ anti-mining agenda.

Ken Martin breathed a big sigh of relief when a watered-down pro-mining resolution to the DFL Party Platform was tabled before it came up for debate. Martin was happy because he kept the lid on the major differences between Range Democrats and the Twin Cities ‘Metrocrats’.

In siding with Twin Cities Metrocrats, Gov. Dayton sided with people whose median household income is $63,559. What’s Gov. Dayton’s justification for siding with the Metrocrats rather than siding with people whose median household income is $46,231? There was a time when Democrats stood up for the less fortunate. In this instance, Republicans are fighting for lower income people and the Democrats are fighting for Twin Cities elitists.

Those thinking that that’s just a political cheap shot should notice who serve as Conservation Minnesota’s strategic advisors. There’s no more anti-mining organization than Conservation Minnesota. Most of the people on that list are Twin Cities elitists. That’s who Gov. Dayton has fought for.

“I will do everything I can to get PolyMet and other copper/nickel projects open up here. This has been delayed far too long and the governor helping those delays by being silent. A governor’s silence on a major project like this with so many jobs is deadly.

Gov. Dayton’s leadership on this issue hasn’t existed. He’s hidden in his little cubicle and said nothing about PolyMet. Meanwhile, Gov. Dayton has fought hard for projects like Rochester’s Destination Medical Center and the Vikings stadium in Minneapolis.

Gov. Dayton didn’t hesitate about pushing for those projects. Why hasn’t he shown the same enthusiasm in fighting for the PolyMet project? Is it because the Vikings stadium and DMC were high priorities but PolyMet isn’t one of his priorities? If that’s the case, Gov. Dayton should just admit that jobs in northern Minnesota just aren’t the high priority for him that Twin Cities jobs are.

That’s political suicide but it’s the honest thing to do. Unfortunately, doing the right thing isn’t a priority with Gov. Dayton or the DFL. They’re worried about doing what will keep them in office. Doing what’s right for all of Minnesota isn’t a priority with Gov. Dayton or the DFL.

This was Jeff Johnson’s stiffest attack on Gov. Dayton yet. He’s been the candidate who’s put together a statewide organization. He’s leveled the sharpest criticism against Gov. Dayton. That’s why he was the GOP candidate who did the best against Gov. Dayton in the latest KSTP-SurveyUSA poll.

In this interview, Jeff Johnson didn’t shy from criticizing Gov. Dayton on an important issue. Republicans are looking for a candidate that will take the fight to Gov. Dayton. Jeff Johnson certainly fits that requirement. If miners are paying attention, they’ll know that he’s fighting for them. If they’ve paid attention, they know that Gov. Dayton hasn’t fought for them.

The evidence is clear. Gov. Dayton has been silent on PolyMet. He’s shown that he’ll fight for Twin Cities projects but he won’t fight for the biggest jobs project on the Range. If the Range wants 4 more years of getting ignored, they should vote for Gov. Dayton. If they want high paying jobs, their only choice is Jeff Johnson.

It’s that simple.

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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.
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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.

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