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Archive for the ‘Cronyism’ Category

The Iron Range branch office of the DFL, aka the IRRRB, just announced that it’s spending taxpayers’ money on a bankrupt business venture:

EVELETH, Minn.— Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) Commissioner Tony Sertich today announced that New Partners Consultants, Inc. will operate a call center for its customers at Progress Park in Eveleth. The company is finalizing plans to lease the space that formerly housed Meyer Associates, Inc. New Partners will utilize some equipment from the Meyer operation, which is currently under IRRRB’s ownership. Staffing will begin as soon as all agreements are in place, possibly as early as next week.

“We are pleased to have played a role in facilitating the reopening of the center,” said Sertich. “This project will result in new job opportunities, particularly for those displaced by the Meyer closing.”

Sertich recognized Gilbert native Jerry Samargia of New Partners, stating, “I am thankful to Jerry for investing in the center and the people of the Iron Range.”

He also praised Virginia Eveleth Economic Development Authority representatives and Gary Owen, former owner of Meyer, for putting a deal together in such a short time.

New Partners isn’t well-known. I think it’s time it got some notoriety. Here’s what New Partners is in their own words:

New Partners is more than just a new firm with new people and new ideas. We also represent a new way of doing business. Whether the goal is to win an election, affect reputation, organize an advocacy campaign, raise money, or build a movement, our extensive expertise and groundbreaking strategies will get results.

We are all operating in a new environment based on a fundamental shift in how we organize, how we communicate and how we advocate. From the campaign that defeated President Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security, and implementing Governor Howard Dean’s landmark 50 State Strategy, to spearheading an innovative and successful development effort for the One Campaign, and the unprecedented Iowa caucus campaign that led to President Obama’s breakthrough victory, the team at New Partners has been at the epicenter of that shift.

What we have learned from our experience is that no two issues, organizations or campaigns are the same. Each requires a unique approach based on new ideas and new strategies that will lead to new results.

That means that the IRRRB is spending taxpayers’ money on a company committed to electing Democrats. The list of New Partners’ leadership reads like a who’s who from the Obama campaign.

If the Democratic Party want to put an organization together, that’s their right. It’s just that this type of operation shouldn’t be paid for by taxpayers. And there’s no question it’s being funded by taxpayers. That’s the IRRRB’s way. The IRRRB hasn’t met a project benefitting the Democratic Party that they didn’t like.

The DNC should finance this operation. Minnesota taxpayers shouldn’t finance it. Having taxpayers finance the DNC’s operations is the definition of crony capitalism meeting single party government. That’s the definition of corruption.

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After watching this video, it’s apparent that Gov. Dayton is attempting to hide something from Minnesotans:

This article has more than a whiff of desparation to it.

Gov. Mark Dayton vowed Tuesday not to cooperate with a legislative panel that wants to question top officials in his administration about technical problems that marred the Oct. 1 launch of MNsure, the state’s health insurance exchange.

If Gov. Dayton doesn’t change his attitude ASAP, this will hurt him. Here’s why:

Legislative Auditor James Nobles, who is conducting a review of MNsure, said Todd-Malmlov has so far declined to discuss her stewardship of the agency. Nobles said he will take the unusual step of issuing a subpoena and using the courts to compel her testimony if she does not come in voluntarily for an interview.

“We think there are a lot of questions that need to be answered in a thorough and objective way,” Nobles said. “We want to hear her perspective. … She was at center stage, so to speak, and knows more than probably anybody.”

Mr. Nobles has subpoena power, meaning his questions will get answered. If that means compelling Tina Smith’s and Lucinda Jesson’s testimony, then that’s what he’ll do. Gov. Dayton’s contrived diatribe sounded exceptionally desparate:

During a news conference Tuesday, Dayton said Republicans are “making a mockery of the word oversight” and engaging in a “propaganda campaign” aimed at destroying MNsure.

“It is really irresponsible,” Dayton said. “The fact that they can pretend this is part of the oversight process is just ludicrous. They want to trash MNsure. … They want MNsure to fail.”

Gov. Dayton’s faux outrage isn’t convincing. Gov. Dayton insists that Republicans are “making a mockery” of the oversight process. That won’t last long:

State Sen. Tony Lourey, the DFL co-chair of the oversight panel, said Republicans have “legitimate questions” that deserve to be answered.

“We do need to answer for how the rollout occurred, and we certainly will,” Lourey said. “I am totally open to that.”

This is political trouble for Gov. Dayton. Jim Nobles, the much-respected Legislative Auditor, launched an investigation into MNsure’s disastrous rollout. Sen. Tony Lourey, the DFL co-chair of the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee, just said the Republicans’ questions are “legitimate” and that they deserve to be answered.

Most importantly, Gov. Dayton is acting like a monarch, telling the uppity peasants what he will and won’t do. If Gov. Dayton continues acting like royalty who can ignore legitimate questions, he’ll be in for a difficult re-election campaign.

It’s difficult to picture this turning out well for him if he continues acting like this.

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After I wrote this post about how the IRRRB, which is essentially run by the DFL, granted 2 loans to Meyer Teleservices, I started thinking things through about the corporation. First, let’s review what this company did:

The company was founded in St. Cloud in 1977; opened its Little Falls office in 1999; and then launched on the Range in Eveleth in 2007.

It was a company with direct ties and allegiance to the Democratic Party. After Republican President Richard Nixon’s resignation over the Watergate scandal the business created an “… innovative small donor fundraising program called the Dollars for Democrats program,” according to the Meyer Teleservices website.

At this point, taxpayers are footing the bill for a company that received taxpayer-subsidized loans to run a fundraising operation for Democrats. It’s more than that, though. Here’s more:

The St. Cloud-based company also leaves behind a debt of about $250,000 to the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board, which had issued two loans totaling $650,000 to the business for its Eveleth facility.

I’d ask which idiots were stupid enough to make a second loan to the company but we know which idiots made the second loan. I even think we know why they made that second loan. The IRRRB, aka DFL North, made that second loan to keep the fundraising operation going through the last election.

Wasn’t it clear that the company was failing? The taxpayers are on the hook for $250,000 in debt that Meyer Teleservices hasn’t repaid. Surely, somebody should’ve noticed that when Meyer applied for the second loan. Certainly, this information should’ve sent red flags into the air into the air if the IRRRB was paying attention:

Fundraising through telemarketing was its major service and revenue source. But the business model proved too outdated in recent years for today’s mobile phone society.

“Land lines are decreasing eight to twelve percent per year. And because of court rulings we can’t, we can’t consciously dial cell phone numbers. And a lot of politicians are now using the Internet to raise funds,” Owen said.

The owner said, “We did everything we could to stay open. I went all in. I basically lost all my retirement and took out mortgages on two houses. And the former owner put in $380,000 last year to try to keep us afloat. He’s out that now, too.”

Notice that Owens’ and Meyer’s money went to prop up a business destined for failure. It didn’t go to pay off the debt. That’s because fundraising for Democrats was more important to Meyer, Owens and the IRRRB. Taxpayers shouldn’t get shafted because the IRRRB, which is the DFL’s office on the Range, didn’t care about taxpayers. These 2 sentences should’ve been the brightest red flags imaginable to the IRRRB:

But the business model proved too outdated in recent years for today’s mobile phone society. Land lines are decreasing eight to twelve percent per year.

The first question that I have is simple. It’s impossible to think that the IRRRB cared about taxpayers if they knew this information. And it’s impossible to think they didn’t know this information. They aren’t that ignorant.

Legally, the DFL doesn’t owe Minnesota’s taxpayers a penny for this. Morally, they’re guilty of shafting Minnesota’s taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Additionally, Mssrs. Meyer and Owens should’ve paid back the loan rather than keeping the fundraising operation afloat.

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Charles Koch’s op-ed in Thursday’s WSJ is a fantastic fact-filled defense of himself and his corporation.

Koch companies employ 60,000 Americans, who make many thousands of products that Americans want and need. According to government figures, our employees and the 143,000 additional American jobs they support generate nearly $11.7 billion in compensation and benefits. About one-third of our U.S.-based employees are union members.

Koch employees have earned well over 700 awards for environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009, many of them from the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. EPA officials have commended us for our “commitment to a cleaner environment” and called us “a model for other companies.”

Harry Reid said Charles Koch was “un-American.” If winning awards from the EPA for environmental excellence is un-American, then we need more of that type of un-Americanism. If winning awards for safety from OSHA is Sen. Reid’s definition of being un-American, then let’s have a new wave of that type of un-Americanism.

Let’s be blunt, though. This won’t stop Sen. Reid from criticizing the Koch Brothers. This op-ed won’t stop Al Franken from using the Koch Brothers as villains in his fundraising emails. That’s because they don’t care about facts. That’s because facts are irrelevant to dishonest people like Sen. Reid and Sen. Franken. This information isn’t relevant to Sen. Reid either:

Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs—even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished.

It’s indisputable that Koch Industries are good corporate citizens. The top Obama fundraisers got guaranteed loans for green energy initiatives, then went bankrupt. Koch Industries asked for corporate welfare to stop. That comparison proves that Koch Industries’ priorities are the American people’s priorities.

It’s instructive that the Democrats villainize a corporation that’s a great corporate citizens. It’s instructive that Democrats sat silent when corporations that raised millions of dollars for Presiden Obama gets a guaranteed loan from the taxpayers, then files for bankruptcy.

It’s time for this nation to turn the page on this chapter in American history. It’s time to chart a new direction. It’s time to trust in the American people again. It’s time to stop listening to dishonest politicians like Sen. Reid and Sen. Franken. Finally, it’s time to start praising good corporate citizens like Koch Industries.

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Stories like this prove that the DFL is built on cronyism and taxpayers’ money. Here’s a little background first:

EVELETH — Meyer Teleservices in Progress Park has closed its doors on the Iron Range, leaving 104 people unemployed.

The St. Cloud-based company also leaves behind a debt of about $250,000 to the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board, which had issued two loans totaling $650,000 to the business for its Eveleth facility.

“It was a pretty tough day (Monday),” said Gary Owen, company owner and CFO, in a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon. “I went up there and talked with the good people working for us. They are good employees with warm hearts. Some of them even said they were more concerned about me.”

Meyer Teleservices also on Monday shuttered its other Minnesota offices in St. Cloud and Little Falls.

According to Kevin Allenspach’s article, Meyer Teleservices was started in 1976 by Larry Meyer. I haven’t confirmed that the Larry Meyer mentioned in this article is former St. Cloud Mayor Larry Meyer but I’m betting it is. After all, there can’t be many St. Cloud businessmen named Larry Meyer, much less that are capable of this:

Owen bought the company from employee ownership last October and said he subsequently lost all of his retirement savings and took out two property mortgages in an effort to keep the business going. Meyer also infused the business with $380,000 last year, to no avail.

“Larry was very gracious and you can only go to the well so many times,” said Owen, who worked for Meyer Teleservices for 25 years. “We just weren’t able to turn a profit.”

Here’s where the cronyism comes in:

The equipment is collateral for the IRRRB loans, but Commissioner Tony Sertich said in a telephone interview Tuesday evening that he is right now more concerned with the workers who lost their jobs.

“We’ll sort that out in the coming weeks,” he said about the financial situation and where the agency will line up regarding the money it is owed. “It’s always hard to see job losses. This week it’s about empathizing with families who lost their jobs.”

The company was founded in St. Cloud in 1977; opened its Little Falls office in 1999; and then launched on the Range in Eveleth in 2007.

It was a company with direct ties and allegiance to the Democratic Party. After Republican President Richard Nixon’s resignation over the Watergate scandal the business created an “… innovative small donor fundraising program called the Dollars for Democrats program,” according to the Meyer Teleservices website.

The IRRRB gets tons of cash in taxpayer appropriations each biennium. Here’s the IRRRB’s alleged mission:

Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) is a State of Minnesota development agency located in Eveleth, Minnesota. IRRRB’s mission is to promote and invest in business, community and workforce development for the betterment of northeastern Minnesota.

IRRRB provides vital funding, including low or no interest loans, grants and loan guarantees for businesses relocating or expanding in the region. Additionally, a variety of grants are available to local units of government, education institutions, and nonprofits that promote workforce development and sustainable communities.

How does lending money to a DFL phone bank “promote workforce development and sustainable communities”? How does lending money to a DFL fundraising operation provide for “the betterment of northeastern Minnesota”? How many other DfL operations has the IRRRB loaned to other companies? How many pro-DFL operations have received “a variety of grants” available to “education institutions and nonprofits”?

The loan to Meyer Teleservices was approved in 2007, which means that David Dill and Tom Bakk almost certainly voted to approve this ‘loan.’ Aside from the cronyism, it’s worth noting that the IRRRB ‘invested’ taxpayer money in an outdated system that was designed to benefit the DFL. It’s also worth noting that this venture in pro-DFL cronyism lost the taxpayers money before going bankrupt.

Is this the type of Minnesota you want to live in? Are these the type of people we want running state government? I’d passionately argue that Mssrs. Sertich, Bakk and Dill are the last people who should have their hands on the levers of state and local government.

This is a taxpayer rip-off that specifically benefited the DFL. That type of cronyism/corruption must end ASAP.

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For the umpteenth time, the St. Cloud Times treated disastrous news for President Potter like it was a minor bump in the road. Most importantly, the article showed how lazy Times reporter Dave Unze is:

The survey was offered to all 1,582 university employees and generated a response from 40 percent of them. The university released the answers to two questions that were asked of those employees: What makes St. Cloud State a great place to work, and what would make the school a better place to work?

That’s pathetic ‘reporting’. Why didn’t Unze ask for the other questions in the survey? This is the type of ‘journalism’ I’d expect from TMZ. Jon Stewart asks harder hitting questions than this. But I digress.

The survey’s findings are devastating to President Potter. Just look at this graphic:

Here’s what I wrote when I got the full results of the GPTWI survey:

When asked if “management’s words match its actions”, only 24% of respondents said yes. When asked if “management is competent”, only 32% said yes. When asked if “management makes sound financial decisions”, only 28% said they did.

Instead of digging into the meat of the survey, the Times picked out two softball questions that doesn’t get to the heart of the survey. That isn’t reporting. That’s insulting to the point that I should question whether President Potter is paying the Times to be his off-campus PR firm.

The graphic titled the numbers tell the story raises some important questions about President Potter’s competency and trustworthiness. In addition to the questions in the above paragraph, there are other damning questions. Here are some examples:

  1. Only 20% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management shares information openly and transparently.
  2. Only 29% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management is approachable.
  3. Only 26% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management delivers on its promises.
  4. Only 25% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management has a clear view.

The Times is cheating its readers by not asking hard-hitting questions. Apparently, the Times’ goal is to take whatever information President Potter gives them, then turns it into a story that praises President Potter.

President Potter’s decisions have taken St. Cloud State from being the flagship university in the MnSCU to being a distant 2nd place and fading fast. The only thing more disgusting than SCSU’s decline during President Potter’s watch is how the St. Cloud Times has refused to challenge President Potter’s spin.

The damning information is there for those willing to look for it. It’s apparent that Dave Unze isn’t willing to look for that type of information. It’s apparent that the Times management isn’t interested in holding Mr. Unze accountable for not digging into the story the way a real reporter would do.

This paragraph is insulting:

“As in any complex organization, there are folks that think that St. Cloud State is a great place to work. There is strong agreement among them about why they think that’s true,” Potter said.

When only a third of SCSU employees think management is competent, that’s a sign that there aren’t many folks who think SCSU is a great place to work.” When a fourth of SCSU’s employees think that management’s words match its actions, it’s impossible to think that SCSU employees trust President Potter and his senior management team. In the private sector, those survey results would get the CEO terminated immediately.

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This morning, Rep. Matt Dean and Sen. Roger Chamberlain submitted a bill that would strip funding for Sen. Bakk’s Office Building:

Republican legislators are pushing a bill that would block construction of the much-maligned new Senate office building complex. Already a source of criticism from many conservatives, the building is now the subject of legislation brought by Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, and Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, that would strip the crucial language from the 2013 tax bill, leaving the $90 million project unfunded.

Dean and Chamberlain highlighted their bill with a Monday morning Capitol press conference. Joined by numerous other GOP lawmakers, they spelled out a number of complaints with the construction plan, which they say is unpopular and unnecessary.

“Republicans’ priorities are family first, people first, before the needs of politicians,” Chamberlain said.

I can’t see Speaker Thissen letting this bill get a hearing, which means passing this bill is virtually dead in the water. Thissen can’t afford to let the bill get out of committee and to the House floor for a vote on final passage. If it gets a vote on final passage, his vulnerable members would have to choose between voting against the bill, which is political suicide or voting for the bill, which would put the Senate in a difficult position.

Frankly, this is a political hot potato for the DFL. Most DFL legislators in the House and Senate voted for the Office Building. Some, like Zach Dorholt, have said that they voted for the bill because they wanted to vote for the tax increases. If this comes up for a vote, Rep. Dorholt would have to decide whether he’ll leave Sen. Bakk and other DFL legislators hanging or if he’d vote against the Chamberlain-Dean legislation.

If the Chamberlain-Dean bill passes the House, Sen. Bakk will be in a predicament. If he tables it, it’ll create an anti-DFL backlash across the state. Every DFL legislator will be tagged as part of the party that puts politicians first. Voters won’t make a distinction between senators and representatives just like they don’t differentiate between DC politicians and state legislators.

The prevailing storyline will be DFL legislators looking out for each other. Either that or it’ll be politicians putting themselves first, families way down the list. This is a heads, the DFL loses, tail and the DFL can’t win situation. This is brilliant from a tactical standpoint.

That’s before talking about Jim Knoblach’s appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. The first judge essentially ruled that anything could be included in the Tax Bill because it finances state or local government operations. In other words, that judge gutted the Single Subject Clause of Minnesota’s constitution.

If the Supreme Court rules the way the first court should’ve ruled, the Chamberlain-Dean bill will be moot.

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President Potter’s monthly editorial for the SC Times hits all the right-sounding notes. Unfortunately, there isn’t much in the key paragraphs that match with reality. Here’s an example:

Students and their families are seeking educational opportunities that offer the greatest value, and campuses are putting greater focus on containing costs while maintaining high-quality educational programs.

That isn’t at all in touch with reality at St. Cloud State, where they’re spending millions of dollars each year on their lease with the Wedum Foundation, the contract with the St. Cloud Police Department, the Confucious Institute and the Community Garden.

President Potter’s response will be that he’s cut millions of dollars in spending, which is true. Unfortunately, what’s true is that he’s cut viable programs that were generating revenues through large enrollments. (Think Aviation program, the 10th largest program at the University at the time it was closed.) Cutting major programs while spending money on things the University doesn’t need is the definition of foolishness.

There’s no question parents and students alike are looking for the best value for their higher education dollars. It’s that St. Cloud State is on the verge of retrenchment, which wouldn’t be needed if President Potter had spent money wisely.

Can anyone say that paying Earthbound Media Group almost $500,000 for rebranding was smart? Was it smart to pay $50,000 to the Great Place to Work Institute for the right to use their logo? I’m betting the answer to both questions was an emphatic no.

For vibrant campuses such as St. Cloud State University, which offers broad and accessible educational opportunities for today’s students as well as future generations, keeping tuition costs affordable is of vital importance. This is not a job we can do without help.

President Potter should be frog-marched off the campus for saying something this dishonest. SCSU’s enrollment has shrunk 17.9% since FY2010. This year’s enrollment figures still haven’t been finalized but they’re declining again. Next year will be another year of decline.

What part of that suggests SCSU is a vibrant campus? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This graph shows how dissatisfied the faculty is with President Potter’s administration:
they’re either corrupt or totally clueless. This graphic contains the results of the Great Place to Work Institute’s survey conducted at St. Cloud State:

According to that graphic, only 26% of faculty thinks President Potter “delivers on its promises.” Only 24% think that management’s, aka President Potter’s, “actions match its words.”

Enrollment is declining, the administration is deleting students’ failing grades from the students’ transcripts and people don’t trust President Potter’s administration. If that’s the definition of a vibrant campus, I’d argue that there isn’t a definition for a failing campus.

It’s decision time for the St. Cloud Times. Either they start reporting on what’s actually happening on campus or they should announce on the front page that they’ve volunteered to be President Potter’s off-campus PR firm. Publishing this type of BS is why the Times is a dying newspaper.

If people appreciate hearing the truth about SCSU, they can show that appreciation by dropping their spare change in my tip jar. Otherwise, they’ll be stuck with the St. Cloud Times publishing President Potter’s spin while refusing to publish the truth about St. Cloud State.

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Last week, the DFL Senate’s spin about passing ‘tax relief’ was that the DFL added money to Minnesota’s Rainy Day Fund while providing tax relief to the people:

Nearly every Republican joined most DFLers in backing it, but GOP members criticized the majority for a provision in the bill that adds $150 million to state budget reserves. That brings the state’s rainy-day fund to more than $800 million, but Republicans said that money should go back to taxpayers too.

This puts the DFL in a difficult position. When they talk about a bonding bill, their predictable mantra is that spending x amount of dollars in a bonding bill creates thousands of jobs. When they’re talking about tax relief, though, taking $800,000,000 out of the private sector’s hands, the DFL’s argument essentially is that this doesn’t hurt job creation.

Having some money in the Rainy Day Fund is appropriate but having almost $1,000,000,000 in the Rainy Day Fund is criminal because it’s taking money that should be used for creating jobs and putting it away to maintain government spending longer than government spending should be maintained.

The other thing that the DFL has to be exposed on is the myth that the surplus is proof that Minnesota’s economy is booming. That’s BS. The government is wealthier than it was with the GOP legislature but that’s it. The surplus is proof that the DFL’s tax increase is stealing too much money from families and small businesses.

The DFL is ok with that because the DFL has sworn its allegiance to growing government to the point that it’s intruding in people’s lives too much. The DFL objected to PolyMet until recently. They’re still objecting to the silica sand mining in southern Minnesota. They’re objecting while chanting ‘the environment’. Nowhere in their chanting points is there a mention about families needing the high-paying jobs that silica sand mining and PolyMet would provide.

The DFL’s Rainy Day rip-off is proof that the DFL’s highest priorities are feeding government while appeasing militant environmentalists. Those aren’t the average Minnesotan’s priorities. They want policies that create jobs that don’t require raising taxes to create. At this point, the DFL doesn’t champion policies like that.

The DFL’s policies promote intrusive, expensive and inefficient government. How many people know that taxpayers’ money is being used to lobby the legislature to spend more of the taxpayers’ money? The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities spent $840,000 lobbying for the legislature to spend more of the taxpayers’ money. While they’re the biggest in that classification, they weren’t the only organization doing that. The League of Minnesota Cities spent $628,945 lobbying the legislature to spend more of the taxpayers’ money on cities.

The definition of corruption is using the taxpayers’ money to convince legislators that they aren’t spending enough of the taxpayers’ money. In that scenario, the taxpayers are getting shafted twice. How isn’t that corrupt?

That’s before talking about the millions of dollars being paid to legislative liaisons. Legislative liaisons is government-speak for taxpayer-funded lobbyists. State agencies are littered with legislative liaisons. If that position was eliminated from state government, government spending would drop dramatically.

It isn’t that legislative liaisons get expensive salaries. It’s that they convince DFL legislators to spend tons of money they don’t need to spend.

If Minnesotans want a real economy, the DFL is the worst option. If Minnesotans want money spent efficiently, the DFL is the worst option. If Minnesota families want government dictating to them what they can and can’t do, then the DFL is the right choice. If Minnesota families want government ripping them off and putting productive money into a dead fund, then the DFL is the only choice.

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I just started watching Almanac’s Roundtable but I had to stop and write about what panelists Heather Carlson, Mary Lahammer and Tom Scheck said. Frankly, what they said is insulting. They’re disgraces to the reporting profession because they aren’t telling the whole truth.

When Cathy Wurzer asked Heather Carlson if passing these tax cuts was politically necessary to the DFL, Ms. Carlson said it was. Scheck followed up by saying that it was because the DFL “just raised taxes by $2.1 billion dollars.”

These aren’t tax cuts. A tax cut is when you lower the rate at which something is getting taxed. For instance, if income is getting taxed at 7.85% by the state, a tax cut would be lowering that rate. If farm equipment repairs aren’t subject to Minnesota’s sales tax, then the legislature passes their a bill that subjects farm equipment repairs to the state’s sales tax, then the legislature repeals the sales tax on farm equipment repairs, that isn’t a tax cut.

That’s returning things to where they were before the DFL legislature waged war on taxpayers. Another key portion of the Tax Correction Bill is tax conformity. That saves Minnesotans money but tax conformity is something that’s typically the first bill passed each year.

The truth is that the DFL raised taxes because Sen. Bakk insisted on punishing farmers, telecommunication companies and warehousing businesses. That’s where those B2B sales taxes came from. The truth is that the DFL raised other regressive taxes last year, too.

Now they’re trying to portray themselves as tax cutters when they’re really admitting that they raised taxes too much last year. What’s disappointing is that media personalities like Carlson, Lahammer and Scheck are playing along with the DFL’s storyline.

It’s disappointing from the perspective that societies that don’t get the whole truth make difficult decisions based on incomplete or faulty information. That’s a recipe for disaster. It’s also why the MSM is held in such low regard.

If Scheck, Lahammer and Carlson want to be DFL shills, that’s their right. In that case, however, taxpayers should insist that funding for TPT and MPR be cut dramatically because taxpayers shouldn’t pay for the DFL’s operations. If MPR and TPT can’t make it without taxpayer funding, that’s tough. That’s called the marketplace working perfectly.

The notion that MPR and TPT are the only real reporting outlets because they aren’t owned by corporate interests is insulting. They’re just as biased as Esme Murphy or Lori Sturdevant.

It’s time Minnesotans raised hell on this. They’re getting cheated by DFL spinmeisters pretending to be reporters. These reporters bought the DFL’s storyline without hesitation. A reporter’s job is to question people in authority. Carlson, Lahammer and Scheck apparently don’t think that’s part of their responsibility.

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