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Sunday morning, Ember Reichgott-Junge repeated the chanting point she recited Friday night. On @ Issue With Tom Hauser, Ms. Reichgott-Junge characterized Minnesota’s economy as strong, which it clearly isn’t.

An economy that just saw 4,200 jobs disappear in July isn’t strong. An economy where revenues came in 6.6% short of the state’s projection isn’t strong. An economy where the unemployment rate for an entire region of the state is 64.3% higher than the statewide average isn’t a strong economy.

This confirms the DFL’s metrocentric focus. It also confirms the fact that the DFL’s policies are designed to promote metro growth, not outstate growth. Twin Cities businesses don’t worry about regulations. Rural businesses, however, worry about regulations every day. Regulations are what’s suppressing the Iron Range economy.

Ms. Reichgott-Junge hasn’t factored those things into her calculations. The Twin Cities’ unemployment rate is 4,92%. It isn’t surprising that she either didn’t know or didn’t care that Grand Rapids’ unemployment rate for January was 11.6%, that February’s unemployment rate was 11.9% and that March’s unemployment rate was 11.2%. That’s more than twice as high as the statewide average.

I triple dog dare a DFL politician to explain how that type of chronic unemployment is proof of a vibrant, expanding economy. For the last 3+ years, the unemployment rate has been next-to-worthless as a benchmark of economic vitality. That’s because millions of people (literally) nationwide have quit looking for work, thereby artificially lowering the nation’s unemployment rate.

Another reason why the unemployment rate has become unreliable in terms of how strong the economy is is the number of people who’ve had their hours cut thanks to Obamacare. These are known as 29ers.

Minnesota hasn’t been immune from these trends. There are lots of people who’ve quit looking for work. The workforce participation rate is on the verge of dropping below 70% for the first time since October, 1980. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, aka DEED, the percentage of people who are underemployed is almost 50%.

When people quit looking for work, that’s proof the economy isn’t vibrant. If they’re working a part-time job in the hospitality industry after being a manager in a manufacturing company, that’s proof that the economy isn’t producing the high-paying jobs Minnesotans need to pay their bills.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL chanting puppets will undoubtedly keep chanting that Minnesota’s economy is strong. That’s their choice. It just isn’t the truth.

The workforce participation rate is proof of a stagnant economy. The fact that Minnesota’s economy has created only 2,900 jobs in 2014 is proof of a stagnant (or worse) economy. The fact that a major part of the state (the Iron Range) is suffering through a higher-than-normal unemployment rate (8.02%) is proof that the policies passed by the DFL legislature and implemented by Gov. Dayton aren’t working.

The revenues that Gov. Dayton and the DFL need to come in to balance the budget aren’t coming in. In July, revenues fell $69,000,000 short of projections. Thus far this year, revenues have fallen short of projection in 5 of the 6 months we have statistics for. The Dayton-DFL economy is heading towards the Dayton-DFL deficit.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL are satisfied with an economy where unemployment rates are artificially low and stagnant wages and part-time jobs are real.

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This article highlights the intelligent fight Torrey Westrom will fight in Congress if he defeats Collin Peterson:

“The Keystone pipeline needs to be built, I am here to tell you, and it should have been built last year, not delayed another several months as we are seeing under this current Administration,” Westrom said. Without the pipeline, oil producers are using an increasing number of railcars to transport their supply, which is squeezing out farmers and propane suppliers.

“[Grain] elevators from the south end of the 7th District to the north tell me they are still going to have last year’s crop when this year’s crop comes in, and they can’t get enough extra cars to ship it out,” Westrom continued. “That’s unacceptable. We need to build energy and infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline. That’s something I will advocate for.”

When it comes to getting things done in DC, Collin Peterson is about as worthless as a potted plant. He didn’t stand up to President Obama and the environmental activists that run the EPA or the spineless diplomats in the State Department.

Thanks to Congressman Peterson’s spinelessness, grain elevators in Minnesota’s 7th District are hurting. Minnesota’s 7th District doesn’t need a DC insider with ‘influence’. Minnesota’s 7th District needs someone who gets things done.

Collin Peterson is rich with DC insider influence. Unfortunatly, he isn’t the type of congressman who gets important things done that help his district.

If voters in Minnesota’s 7th District dump Peterson, they’ll immediately see the difference in the number of important things that get done compared with Peterson’s potted plant routine.

The panel also asked the 7th District candidate what can be done to reduce government regulatory delays. “Indecision is very paralyzing for industry and for farmers,” Westrom said about the overregulation that effects Minnesota’s farmers. “Some sort of cap on decisions, so people can count on a yes or a no, or at least know what needs to be changed in a timely period, is something we should aim for.” Westrom emphasized that we should “not have unelected bureaucrats continue to delay processes.”

Peterson loves DC’s ineffective status quo. He doesn’t really have to do anything. All he has to do is talk about how much institutional influence he has. What Peterson can’t talk about is how his presence in DC is helping reduce regulations or improve life in Minnesota’s 7th District.

Throughout the forum, panelists expressed concern about government overreach, asking other candidates about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule on navigable waters and delay on the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The EPA is a farmer’s worst nightmare. Daily, they micromanage what a farmer can and can’t do. Their new rule will get struck down by the Supreme Court because it goes far beyond the legislative language of the Clean Water Act, aka the CWA.

Not that Collin Peterson cares but the EPA can’t implement a rule that goes beyond the legislative language. That language currently says the EPA can regulate navigable waters. The EPA’s rule would allow them to regulate waters not considered navigable.

At one point, Collin Peterson was a tolerable congressman. Those days have passed. In 2009, Nancy Pelosi corrupted him. He hasn’t been a Blue Dog Democrat since. That says one thing: it’s time for a change.

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This year is the first time in seemingly forever that I’ll be voting in a GOP primary. That’s why this i the first time I’ve written a post announcing who I’m voting for in the primary.

The biggest reason why I’m voting for Mike McFadden is because he’s an unapologetic capitalist. While Al Franken was a mediocre comedian, a mean-spirited talk show host and a rubberstamp US senator, Mike McFadden was creating jobs. Mike knows the importance of regulation reform and tax reform.

Mike’s also been steadfast in calling for starting over on health care reform, this time implementing a patient-centric system rather to replace the government-centric plan that’s an outright failure. Mike wants a system that gives the federal government the authority to tell people the coverages their health insurance policies must have.

That’s because Mike knows that families, working in consultation with their physicians, know what’s best for them. Mike understands that distant bureaucrats can’t possibly know what’s bet for your family or your co-workers’ families.

Mike’s worked with enough small businesses to know that compliance costs, whether they’re tax or regulation compliance costs, hurt small businesses more than they hurt big corporations. The vast majority of manufacturing companies started as small businesses. Regulatory reform is essential to growing the economy.

While Mike McFadden has advocated for regulatory reform, his opponent this November has voted for the biggest federal regulatory overreach in 50 years.

Finally, I’d like to take time to say a little something about Jim Abeler. Most bloggers know him as part of the Override 6, a small group of GOP legislators who voted to override Gov. Pawlenty’s veto of a massive transportation tax bill. While it’s fair to remember that about Jim, it isn’t the only thing we should remember about Jim.

Jim worked with Steve Gottwalt to produce real health care reform before the Affordable Care Act wiped out their reforms. We’d be far better off if their reforms hadn’t been toppled by the ACA’s top-down, government-centric plan.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet Jim a couple of times. He’s a man of faith who’s had to endure what no parent should be forced to deal with — the tragic death of a child. Through that tragic event, Jim leaned on his faith, which helped his family persevere.

Jim, I personally wish you nothing but the best. I hope God blesses you in the days ahead.

Bill Hanna’s article highlights what’s wrong with today’s DFL:

Gov. Mark Dayton says a far-reaching Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Superior National Forest regarding potential copper/nickel/precious metals ventures is totally unnecessary. So, too, do Minnesota U.S. Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar and 8th District U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan.

It would be a waste of time and money and energy, say those Democratic office holders, because it would duplicate what is already being done as far as environmental review for both the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects. And Congressman Nolan goes further to say the issue was already settled with the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Act in 1978 that allowed mining in the Superior National Forest.

But it’s not that clear, according to a U.S. Forest Service official. There is not even a timeline set up to decide whether the USFS will drop the PEIS request by environmentalists or move ahead with it. In a telephone interview with the Mesabi Daily News on Thursday, USFS Public Affairs Officer Kris Reichenbach in Duluth said there “is no immediate reason to push this” one way or another.

“This is not something to rush into. We are still evaluating our options. We are not at a point of making a decision. I am not aware of a timeline,” Reichenbach said.

What’s wrong with today’s DFL is that Democrat politicians’ voices aren’t as powerful, apparently, as the environmental activists’ voices.

It’s time for Dayton, Franken, Klobuchar and Nolan to hold a press conference on the mining issue. It’s time they told the environmental activist wing of the DFL that they’re putting a higher priority on creating high-paying jobs than they’re putting on preserving supposedly pristine wilderness like this:

These environmental activists aren’t fighting to save pristine wilderness. They’re fighting to control people’s lives.

Apparently, these Democrat politicians won’t stand up to them and tell them to take a hike. Apparently, these Democrat politicians think it’s more important to not ruffle the environmental activists’ feathers than it is to create jobs on the Iron Range. (Might that be because they want the environmental activists’ campaign contributions?)

In the end, it’s my opinion that these sorry excuses for politicians will flap their gums for a little while. They won’t ruffle the environmental activists’ feathers. Then they’ll exit stage left (where else?) once people stop paying attention.

They should all be astronomy majors because they’re only good at taking up space. If families want DFL politicians to fight for them, they’re out of luck. These DFL politicians won’t fight for people if they aren’t part of a special interest group.

It’s sad that these DFL politicians will fight for special interest groups but they won’t fight for families. This isn’t Hubert Humphrey’s DFL.

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Brian Beutler’s article attempts to make the case that Republicans might ultimately lose if the Supreme Court upholds today’s ruling:

An adverse Supreme Court ruling would throw the ACA into chaos in three dozen states, including huge states like Florida and Texas. The vast majority of beneficiaries in those states would be suddenly unable to afford their premiums (and might even be required to reimburse the government for unlawful subsidies they’ve already spent). Millions of people would drop out of the insurance marketplaces. Premiums would skyrocket for the very sick people who need coverage the most.

But that’s where the conservatives’ “victory” would turn into a big political liability for red- and purple-state Republicans. An adverse ruling would create a problem that could be fixed in two ways: With an astonishingly trivial technical corrections bill in Congress, or with Healthcare.gov states setting up their own exchanges. If you’re a Republican senator from a purple Healthcare.gov state—Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and others—you’ll be under tremendous pressure to pass the legislative fix. If you’re a Republican governor in any Healthcare.gov state, many thousands of your constituents will expect you to both pressure Congress to fix the problem, and prepare to launch your own exchange.

Conservatives would like to believe that they could just leave something as deeply rooted as Obamacare permanently hobbled, or that they could use the ensuing chaos as leverage, to force Democrats to reopen the books, and perhaps gut the law in other ways. I think they’re miscalculating. Just as government shutdowns and debt default threats don’t create leverage because the public doesn’t support inviting chaos in pursuit of unrelated goals, I don’t think an adverse ruling in Halbig will create leverage for the GOP.

I think Beutler isn’t just wrong about the leverage. I think he’s kidding himself if he thinks this puts Republicans in a difficult position.

By the time the Supreme Court rules on this lawsuit, it’s quite possible that there will be Republican majorities in the House and Senate. If that’s the case, think of this scenario:

Congress might well change Section 36B as part of a bigger bill that’s sure to include other provisions that Republicans like and that President Obama doesn’t like.

For instance, a new bill might include a change to 36B along with a change that eliminates the medical device tax, another change that changes the definition of a Qualified Health Plan, aka QHP, and a change that reduces the penalties for the employer and individual mandates.

Employers and families would certainly love a tiny penalty for not obeying the law. Young people would love being able to buy a catatrophic policy with a HSA to cover other expenses. There’s no question that eliminating the medical device tax would make medical device manufacturers happy.

At that point, President Obama signs the bill that’s essentially a fresh start that dramatically improves the ACA or he vetoes a popular bill that forces families to pay higher insurance premiums, that doesn’t repeal an unpopular tax and he alienates major parts of his base. In my opinion, that’s ‘Rock meets hard place’ territory for President Obama. The good news is that it’s great news for employers, families and young people.

All that’s required is for Republicans to pass a bill that’s filled with popular provisions. Since a majority of people don’t like the bill’s specifics, that shouldn’t be that difficult.

Finally, Beutler insists that this is judicial activism. There’s nothing activist about the DC Circuit’s ruling. They said that Section 36B meant what it said. For the record, here’s the specific language of Section 36B:

monthly premiums for such month for 1 or more qualified health plans offered in the individual market within a State which cover the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or any dependent (as defined in section 152) of the taxpayer and which were enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under 1311 [1] of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The judiciary’s first responsibility is to determine whether a law is constitutional. If it passes that test, the next test is to determine whether the statute gives the executive branch the authority to take action.

In this instance, the DC Circuit ruled that the ACA didn’t give the executive branch, in this case the IRS, the authority to change a major provision of the statute.

It isn’t radical to think that the executive branch doesn’t have the authority to rewrite specific provisions of existing statutes. If the Supreme Court validates this ruling and if President Obama wants that provision changed, there’s a simple remedy: work with Congress to change that part of the ACA.

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About an hour ago, I got this email notification from the Torrey Westrom for Congress campaign:

Sen. Bill Weber Endorses Torrey Westrom for Congress

Cites Westrom’s Integrity and Common Sense in Endorsement Statement

(ALEXANDRIA, Minn.) – Today, Torrey Westrom, candidate for Minnesota’s 7th congressional District, announced the endorsement of Sen. Bill Weber (R-District 22), who has served with Westrom in the Minnesota Senate and cited the integrity and common sense Westrom would bring to Washington, D.C.

“I am honored to support Torrey Westrom for the Seventh District Congressional seat. His knowledge of the issues, his experience in St. Paul and his personal values make him an excellent choice to represent the people of the 7th District in Washington D.C.,” Sen. Weber said in his endorsement statement. “Serving with him in the Minnesota Senate makes me confident that Torrey has the integrity and common sense that is sorely lacking in our nation’s Capitol and which is needed now more than ever!”

“I am honored to have the endorsement of my friend and Senate colleague, Bill Weber, who knows that Washington could use a lot more of our Minnesota values,” Westrom said. “The 7th District needs a representative who will fight government waste and overreach, while standing up for a balanced budget and common sense policies.”

Westrom is a top recruit in the race to replace Collin Peterson, and was named one of the first “Young Guns” in the 2014 election cycle by national Republicans. Westrom was dubbed “Collin Peterson’s worst nightmare” by the examiner.com, and Politico said, “Peterson is expected to face a tough race in Minnesota’s 7th District.”

It isn’t that Collin Peterson’s voting record is as far left as Keith Ellison’s or Nancy Pelosi’s. It’s that he’s a Blue Dog Democrat until Ms. Pelosi tells him to vote for a bill. That’s why he flip-flopped on cap & trade legislation in 2009:

Peterson, the chairman, said Tuesday he voted for the bill only because he knew it wouldn’t become law immediately. He had urged support for the bill after winning concessions that he said would benefit agriculture and ease the impact of higher energy costs on rural residents. “In spite of the fact that they gave me everything I wanted in agriculture…it needs some more work,” he said.

Like I said then, how can a bill still need some work if then-Speaker Pelosi gave him everything Peterson wanted? Taking that sentence literally will give people intellectual whiplash. What’s exceptionally understandable is that Cap & Trade would’ve sent electricity prices skyrocketing for hard-working farmers in the 7th District.

Rather than trying to figure out what Peterson is saying, the 7th would be better off with a straight shooter like Torrey Westrom. People won’t need a decoder ring to figure out what Westrom is saying. With Westrom, what you see is what you get. That’s just one reason to vote for him.

Yesterday, I wrote this post about Westrom’s DC priorities:

There’s the Westrom agenda: regulatory reform, coupled with starting over with patient- and family-centered health care, followed by rebuilding America’s outdated energy infrastructure.

Those are three things that the 7th District needs badly. What it doesn’t need is a congressman who’s resting on his laurels instead of fighting for his district.

Federal regulators are hurting farmers in the 7th District. Collin Peterson hasn’t fought the regulators. Torrey Westrom will. That alone is enough justification to vote for Torrey Westrom.

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One thing that I’m finding impressive about Torrey Westrom’s campaign is that he isn’t afraid to lay out his agenda. This article offers a glimpse into what Sen. Westrom’s priorities in DC will be:

Westrom said he has heard from Minnesotans again and again about their concerns with the federal government. He has heard about the Affordable Care Act forcing employers to only offer short-term solutions while they wait for quotes from agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency reaching for control of water ways vaguely connected to navigable waters, and an increasingly invasive National Security Agency.

“It’s government overreach,” he said. “Smaller government runs better.”

While on the campaign trail, Westrom said he has heard a fairly consistent complaint from Minnesotans. “People are really fed up with the regulations,” he said during a visit to the Leader on Tuesday, before speaking at the Minnesota Republican Women’s annual picnic in Hutchinson. “That has been the dominant theme. I spoke with a 58-year-old woman forced to buy maternity coverage. I heard from a computer parts creator that was told … they had to put up a fence around their building.”

It isn’t that Collin Peterson’s voting record is that bad. It’s that he chaired the powerful House Agriculture Committee but didn’t push back against the EPA’s regulations. When you’re in a position of leadership, people in your district need you to lead.

If Sen. Westrom is elected, there’s no question whether he’ll fight the EPA against some of these idiotic regulations. I’d bet the ranch that he’ll go toe-to-toe with the EPA…and win most of the time. That’s just who Torrey Westrom is.

There’s no question whether he’d want to start over on health care reform. He’s seen MNsure work like crap. Similarly, he knows that HealthCare.gov failed, too. Most importantly, he’s heard from people in the district that the ACA isn’t affordable. Whether the website works or doesn’t is irrelevant if the policies are too expensive.

With an insufficient energy infrastructure in place, Westrom wonders why the Keystone Pipeline hasn’t been built. “It’s so common sense I don’t know why it isn’t built yet,” he said.

Westrom said the pipeline will also help move propane and grain, which will be valuable with rail cars harder to connect to, especially now that the Benson Pipeline is no longer in use. “I”m worried that the propane crisis could come again, and worse,” he said.

There’s the Westrom agenda: regulatory reform, coupled with starting over with patient- and family-centered health care, followed by rebuilding America’s outdated energy infrastructure.

Those are three things that the 7th District needs badly. What it doesn’t need is a congressman who’s resting on his laurels instead of fighting for his district. This November, people in the 7th will have their opportunity to correct that.

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I’ve written ad nauseum about how environmental activists hate mining on the Iron Range. Rep. Jim Newberger’s Strib op-ed highlights how environmental activists hate coal-fired power plants in Central Minnesota, too:

Last year, the DFL majority forced Xcel Energy to adopt a 30 percent renewable energy standard by 2020. Now the Obama administration wants to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The war on coal has come home to Minnesota. Now let’s consider the cost.

Sherco, located in Becker, Minn., produces enough energy for almost half of our state and is the largest coal power plant in the Midwest. It produces 2,400 megawatts of electricity for more than 2.5 million people. That’s more power than both of Minnesota’s nuclear plants combined.

That’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, though. Here’s more:

Sherco already meets or exceeds federal clean air standards, and it plans to spend hundreds of millions more for emissions scrubbers to further reduce its environmental impact. Leadership from the organization leading the charge to close Sherco, Beyond Coal, has publicly admitted that Sherco is “unbelievably clean.”

Beyond Coal is part of the Sierra Club’s war on energy:

Sierra Club Programs

Priority Campaigns

Beyond Coal
Beyond Oil
Beyond Natural Gas
Our Wild America

Check out this picture:

The Sierra Club isn’t hiding the fact that they’re pushing for a no-fossil-fuel energy world. That’s just the start. The Sierra Club’s North Star Chapter Executive Committee reads like a Who’s Who of the DFL:

John Hottinger

John Hottinger is a former Minnesota state senator and majority leader, representing constituents in Mankato. He brings a long history of public service and a deep interest in environment and conservation issues, particularly global warming, to the ExCom.

Javier Morillo-Alicea

Javier Morillo-Alicea is the president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 26, which unites more than 5,000 property service workers in the Twin Cities metro area. Prior to being elected president of SEIU Local 26, he was a political organizer for the SEIU Minnesota State Council and served as State Director for the AFL-CIO’s Voter Protection Program. Morillo was previously a historian and anthropologist, teaching courses at Carleton and Macalester College. He is a Fulbright Scholar and has a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Yale University. He lives on the West Side of St. Paul with his partner of thirteen years.

Last Friday night, Javier Morillo-Alicea told his Almanac Political panelists that environmentalists and miners were “having a discussion” about precious metals mining. I suspect his definition of “having a discussion” on mining is what most people would call a step short of a civil war in the DFL.

The DFL’s alliance with organizations like Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness and the Sierra Club should tell voters that, on issues like energy and mining jobs, the DFL is far outside Minnesota’s mainstream.

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Thanks to Twin Metals-Minnesota’s FOIA request and the Ely Echo’s investigative reporting, Becky Rom was caught lying about her organization’s role in proposing a programmatic environmental impact statement, aka a PEIS. Here’s the key part of the Echo’s reporting:

So we called Rom and asked her if she or any of the groups she is affiliated with formally requested a PEIS from the Forest Service. As a former attorney, Rom is skilled at not answering questions. So we pressed and pressed some more. Here’s the best of answers we could get:

  1. “I’ve encouraged the agencies to do what’s required under the law and using the best science.”
  2. “Nobody is pushing for an extra layer or extra delays or costs or more money. I’m just saying this is really important and doing right is following the law and basing decisions on the best science.”
  3. “I did not pen any letter but I’ve had these discussions.”
  4. “As far as I know there’s no formal process for a request like a petition.”

We specifically asked if Rom had approached U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Robert Bonnie (who oversees the USFS).

“I never talked about this to Mr. Bonnie.”

We put a phone call into the USFS office in Duluth but weren’t able to get any answers prior to deadline on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day weekend.

We checked the news releases of the various groups who have been accused of asking for the PEIS and found nothing. Nobody wants to claim they asked for this. Then, late Thursday a Freedom of Information Act request by Twin Metals-Minnesota was granted. Upon request, they shared those documents with us. If anyone would like a copy, just send us an email.

In the documents provided by the Bureau of Land Management was a letter asking for the PEIS. The agency requesting the PEIS? Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness. And who is the vice-chair of NEMW? Becky Rom.NEMW and Conservation Minnesota have both lied to Minnesotans about precious metals mining. Meanwhile, Gov. Dayton has sat idly by while CM, NEMW and other militant environmental activist organizations have spread their lies in their attempt to stop the PolyMet and Twin Metals-Minnensota mining projects dead in their tracks.

Gov. Dayton has tried walking the same perilous political tightrope that Sen. Franken is attempting to navigate. He’s tried to say as little as possible in his attempt to keep the miners and environmental activists on his side. For those who haven’t paid attention to this issue, miners and environmental activists interact together like oil and water.

Several times, Gov. Dayton delayed action on mining leases. State Auditor Rebecca Otto sent out a fundraising appeal after the Executive Council voted to delay approval of mining leases. In that fundraising appeal, Otto bragged how she stood up to the miners.

While Gov. Dayton wasn’t foolish enough to do that, he did vote against approving the leases. That clearly demonstrates who he’s sided with on mining. Here’s what Kent Kaiser wrote about Gov. Dayton’s delaying tactics:

This month, Minnesota’s State Executive Council, which includes the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and state auditor, voted to delay 77 leases to explore for copper and nickel on private lands in northern Minnesota. This short-sighted action was initiated by Gov. Mark Dayton and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.

If Gov. Dayton won’t actively side with the miners against these dishonest environmental activists, then it’s time that Iron Rangers help elect a pro-mining governor and pro-mining senators.

I wrote here how important this issue is to the mining families of St. Louis County. If Gov. Dayton doesn’t change direction on this important issue soon, he should be fired this November.

Hard working Iron Range families can’t wait.

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Most recent college grads are too young to remember the last time government ran efficiently. Bill Clinton was president and John Kasich was chairman of the House Budget Committee. The reason I mention that is because Byron York’s column about the Obama administration got me thinking.

In 2016, we will have suffered through 8 years of utter incompetence. The Obama administration, apart from their misguided priorities, has repeatedly shown that they’re utterly incompetent of running government. First, I’ll start by saying that things weren’t all rosy during the Bush administration. President Bush’s mishandling of Katrina was embarassing.

That being said, President Bush’s handling of the war on terror, back when government admitted that terrorists were dangerous people, was pretty good. During Bush’s administration, the intel agencies actually talked with each other. Fast forward to the Obama administration, when the Secretary of State didn’t even talk with her ambassadors serving in dangerous parts of the world.

But I digress.

Prior to the Republican landslide of 1994, Bill Clinton was mostly unfocused, adrift on policies. Enter Chairman Kasich. Shortly after Kasich got the Budget Committee’s gavel, he floated a radical idea, namely balancing the federal budget. Suddenly, President Clinton got engaged.

The end result was that Clinton didn’t expand the federal government’s regulatory reach like the Obama administration did. They didn’t have any moments when people wondered if Clinton had the basic skillset to run the federal government.

Fast forward to 2014. John Kasich is now Ohio’s governor. He’s turned the state around. First, he defeated the incumbent governor, Ted Strickland, campaigning on a reform agenda. Once he was sworn in, he started implementing that reform agenda.

Not surprisingly, Ohio’s economic health has returned. At least, it’s returned as much as possible while President Obama’s policies are still in effect. Gov. Kasich’s ideas, unlike President Obama’s, actually make sense. Gov. Kasich’s ideas have actually been used before and worked.

Gov. Kasich’s Office of Workforce Training, aka OWT, is brilliant on multiple levels. Check it out here. Here are the key takeaways:

Marketing Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs
Update in-demand jobs data regularly
Market in-demand jobs to students, job seekers, business and local workforce

Align Training Programs to Ohio’s Workforce Needs (Implementation)
Increase career pathway opportunities in our education system, from K-J (Kindergarten to Job)
Increase experiential learning opportunities
Expand and enhance career tech opportunities

Unify and Align State’s Workforce Programs
Improve support of businesses struggling to find workers
Prioritize veterans as a ready workforce by providing support to transitioning veterans and marketing opportunities to veterans and businesses

In other words, the system is integrated. That eliminates the possibility of duplicative programs and excessive overhead, aka an overglut of bureaucrats. Best of all, it fits training with verified needs.

That’s the approach we need to make government work again. Please understand this. I don’t want government reaching into places that it doesn’t belong. Higher education is something that state governments are involved with. Here’s part of Gov. Kasich’s plan for implementing his OWT initiative:

Create a dashboard to highlight aligned workforce success measures:

  1. Expand business resources center currently housed at Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
  2. Create virtual online access and single point of entry for business and job seeker
  3. Enhance online tools and access to the tools for career pathway exploration for Ohio students

In other words, it’s an integrated system that’s user friendly and focused on Ohio’s workforce needs. That’s what government looks like when it works.

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