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The RNC should pull the plug on the Republican presidential debate that ABC is hosting. It isn’t just that George Stephanopoulos didn’t clothe himself in glory with his nondisclosure of his donations to the Clinton Foundation. It’s that ABC is caught in another controversy that proves ABC isn’t trustworthy:

Games may have been played yesterday in connection with the week’s resounding media story. On Thursday morning, Politico media reporter Dylan Byers broke the story of George Stephanopoulos’s big-money donations to the Clinton Foundation (at first they were reported as $50,000 but grew to $75,000 by day’s end). The headline of Byers’s story: “George Stephanopoulos discloses $75,000 contribution to Clinton Foundation.”

Big deal. The Internet exploded with commentary, criticisms of Stephanopoulos, liberal-media slams and claims that the PR department of ABC News had done something untoward in handling the story.


In other words, ABC issued a statement to a newspaper that they thought would write a friendlier story about the Stephanopoulos story rather than let a real journalist write the story he’d discovered. That’s a pretty scummy thing to do. I don’t think it’s coincidence that ABC gave the Washington Free Beacon a comment … 10 minutes after the Byers Politico article broke. Here’s why:

When the Washington Free Beaconers put their heads together Thursday morning, there was still no comment from ABC News. “I say, ‘Let’s begin to move this story,’” recalls Continetti. The piece wasn’t complicated: A network news anchor had contributed to a charity run by the first family of the Democratic party and hadn’t told viewers when that charity emerged in news coverage. What was complicated was its landing. “Literally as we were about to hit ‘post,’ we are alerted to the Dylan Byers piece that just went up,” says Continetti, who moved to publish their piece without the ABC News statements. Those arrived later.

This sounds like Stephanopoulos and the ABC PR department trying to direct the story to a friendlier media outlet. They know that the Washington Free Beacon is a right-of-center newspaper. Stephanopoulos might’ve suspected that Stiles’ article would’ve been harder hitting than Byers’ spoon-fed article.

The RNC shouldn’t be in the business of fighting reporters’ fights. Still, it shouldn’t let networks host debates if they’ve shown themselves to not be trustworthy. It isn’t just that Stephanopoulos isn’t trustworthy. It’s that ABC has proven that they aren’t trustworthy. They’re more trustworthy than MSNBC but they’re far from trustworthy.

Earlier tonight, I wrote this post that said a budget deal had been reached. This picture of Sen. Bakk and Speaker Daudt seemed to confirm that a deal had been reached:

Since then, though, Gov. Dayton has tried sabotaging the deal. Here’s the first tweet I saw announcing his opposition to the deal hammered out at his mansion:


Thankfully, some people are relatively sane:


Others are trying to pay off the special interests:

In an exclusive interview with the Pioneer Press Friday night, Gov. Mark Dayton said lawmakers reached their budget deal without checking with him and stood by his demand that they give early childhood through high school funding at least $550 million more over the next two years.

“If I’m not able to agree to anything that’s in there, including the E-12, I do not take responsibility any more than either of them for the fact that we couldn’t reach an agreement,” Dayton said as he closed out a long day of negotiations at the governor’s residence.

Now that’s a shocker. Gov. Dayton saying he isn’t taking “responsibility” for something. Minnesota, this is why Gov. Dayton was given the title of being the worst senator in the United States Senate. The House and Senate rejected Gov. Dayton’s universal pre-K proposal. Gov. Dayton’s response to the bipartisan rejection was to insist on an additional $550,000,000 for the K-12 formula:

The governor said he had few objections to the budget plan as lawmakers laid it out other than its level of education spending. “I won’t accept anything less than $550 (million),” for education, he said. “If they agree to that….I’m not aware of anything else that could stand in the way of the overall agreement.”

That means Gov. Dayton is willing to shut down the government because the legislature won’t increase K-12 funding that Gov. Dayton first proposed tonight. What type of lunatic would attempt to pull a stunt like that at the eleventh hour?

If there’s a shutdown, it’s because Gov. Dayton engineered it at the eleventh hour. That isn’t statesmanship.

That’s acting like a spoiled brat.

UPDATE: Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk agreed to spending targets. Follow this link to find out more about the agreement.

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I’ll cut straight to the chase. Nan Madden’s op-ed in the St. Cloud Times is disgustingly dishonest. Check this lie out:

Large tax cuts passed at the end of the 1990s and 2000s proved to be unsustainable, and were followed by deep cuts in higher education, affordable child care and other services.

That’s total BS. First, the “large tax cuts passed at the end of the 1990s and 2000s” weren’t unsustainable. What happened is that the US economy took a major, lengthy hit because of 9-11, then the first banking crisis. If not for that major recession, the Jesse Checks would’ve been totally sustainable. Madden’s disgust with tax cuts is based more on misinformation and misguided ideology than by facts.

Her ideology is hard left. First, Madden is the director of the Minnesota Budget Project. MBP is part of an organization called Invest in Minnesota, an organization that “was founded by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition(JRLC) and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN).”

According to IIM’s website, “Invest in Minnesota is united around two core principles:

  1. Revenue-raising must be a significant part of the solution to resolving the state’s budget deficit.
  2. The overall package of fair revenue-raising must make the tax system fairer.

It isn’t difficult to figure out why The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the Minnesota Budget Project hates tax cuts of any kind. Check out MCN’s agenda page:

I’d also argue that the tax cuts were large. Here’s some details on the Jesse Checks program:

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

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

Nan Madden is the type of person that thinks the government and the NPOs they support should get first dibs on the money Minnesotans earn. She thinks that because she can’t envision a world where NPOs don’t get first dibs on the taxpayers’ money.

Minnesota Budget Project, like Invest in Minnesota, pushed hard to pass a major minimum wage increase that includes cost of living adjustment. They’re currently pushing for a law that would require companies to pay for sick leave for their employees. It isn’t surprising that businesses have left Minnesota.

For nearly two decades, the Minnesota Budget Project has analyzed state tax and budget choices, and called for policies that propel Minnesota toward a future where all of us have access to opportunity and economic well-being.

That’s similar to the truth but it isn’t complete. Here’s the whole truth about the Minnesota Budget Project. The Minnesota Budget Project supports economic policies that support intrusive, ever-growing government. If that means intruding on businesses’ decisions for ‘the greater good’, they’re fine with that.

They aren’t a pro-growth organization any more than the Obama administration is a pro-growth administration.

When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1991-92, their war room operations were second to none. Hillary’s press operations are second to everyone. Check out this video:

Here’s the transcript of what Bill Clinton, Brian Fallon, John Podesta and James Carville said:

BILL CLINTON, 42ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Even the guy that wrote the book apparently, had to admit under questioning that he didn’t have a shred of evidence for this. He just sort of thought he would throw it out there and see if it’d fly.
BRIAN FALLON: It’s full of sloppy research and attacks pulled out of thin air with no actual evidence.
JOHN PODESTA: It’s a book that’s written by a former Bush operative. He’s cherry-picked information that’s been disclosed and woven a bunch of conspiracy theories about it.
JAMES CARVILLE: There’s everything here but that she did anything — this is spaghetti journalism. There’s throw spaghetti at the wall and hope something sticks.

Here’s the transcript for Peter Schweizer’s response to Team Clinton’s ineffective response:

KELLY: Joining us now is the spaghetti maker, Peter Schweizer, author of “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”

Peter, good to see you. So, I mean, obviously, what those clips show is they are a little worried about you. And that’s obvious. But their main line of attack seems to be, there’s no there there, there’s smoking gun. Something you’ve admitted yourself.
PETER SCHWEIZER, AUTHOR, “CLINTON CASH”: Well, what I argue is the smoking gun, I don’t have an e-mail that says, do this and we’ll give you money. What I do have is a pattern of behavior that I think is very troubling. And the pattern is revealed in dozens of examples where there’s an influx of money to the Clintons. Hillary Clinton and shortly thereafter takes favorable actions for the individuals who are giving them the money. You can look at one of two of these, Megyn, and say, come on, it’s a coincidence. But when you see it replicated dozens of times, I think it warrants serious investigation by people that have subpoena power that can look at e-mails, that can look at correspondence.
KELLY: They don’t seem to think it counts unless there is direct proof. They don’t seem to believe in circumstantial evidence when it comes to their behavior.
SCHWEIZER: Yes, that’s exactly right. I mean, here’s what I like to say, Megyn. Imagine three years from now we have a secretary of defense not named Clinton and she has a private foundation with her husband and a small company has business before the Pentagon, needs Pentagon approval for something and the shareholders in that company send $145 million to that family foundation. Are people going to just ask them, did anything happen here and we’re going to take their word that everything was good? Of course not, we would investigate and look into it except for the fact that when it involves the Clintons they seem to operate on a level that’s very different than anybody else in American politics.
KELLY: What should happen though? Because now she is going to testify before the Benghazi committee, at least. So, I mean, that she’ll get asked and she will have to answer, correct?
SCHWEIZER: Yes, you know, I don’t know in terms of the committee what the scope of their questioning is going to be, but look, I think we need to have somebody that has subpoena power look into some of these deals. We need to look at some of the inflated speaking fees that Bill Clinton got as she was considering everything from the Keystone Pipeline to issues related to sanctions on Iran.
KELLY: Who would look into it? Who specifically? I mean, O’Reilly is looking for the FBI to do it. Who specifically?
SCHWEIZER: Well, I think the FBI is an excellent suggestion. You could have Congressional committees do it. Frankly, I think I’d like to see somebody with subpoena power that is a prosecutor, possibly even convene a grand jury. I mean, look, you look at the Menendez case, you look at the case down in Virginia, you look out in Oregon with Keith Saber (ph), the pattern of behavior here is somewhat similar. And it is crying out for further investigation.

This is the part where Schweizer blows Bill Clinton out of the water:

I don’t have an e-mail that says, do this and we’ll give you money. What I do have is a pattern of behavior that I think is very troubling. And the pattern is revealed in dozens of examples where there’s an influx of money to the Clintons. Hillary Clinton and shortly thereafter takes favorable actions for the individuals who are giving them the money. You can look at one of two of these, Megyn, and say, come on, it’s a coincidence. But when you see it replicated dozens of times, I think it warrants serious investigation by people that have subpoena power that can look at e-mails, that can look at correspondence.

Like Schweizer said, if this happened once or twice, chalk it up to coincidence. When the same thing happens dozens of times and the outcome is always the same, that’s a pattern. Patterns aren’t coincidences. Here’s the definition for coincidence:

a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance.

Here’s the definition for pattern:

a combination of qualities, acts, tendencies, etc., forming a consistent or characteristic arrangement.

Hillary’s rapid response team aren’t top notch. They’re leftovers who’ve hung around long after their sell-by date. John Podesta? James Carville? Lanny Davis? Seriously? They belong in the political geriatric ward, not on the campaign trail.

Thus far, Hillary’s campaign has been a blast from the past. She isn’t a fresh face peddling fresh ideas. She isn’t energetic like Obama was. She’s overstaged and overchoreographed. All of the queen’s horses and all of the queen’s messengers can’t put Hillary’s campaign back together again.

What’s worst for Hillary is that she isn’t the dynamic candidate Bill or Obama was. She’s just Hillary.

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This Strib article is an excellent piece of reporting in that it explains what the Met Council is:

“It’s not about simply griping about allocation of transportation or parks money or housing in any given particular funding cycle,” said Dakota County Commissioner Chris Gerlach.

“We look at it and say, there is a fundamental problem with the way the Met Council functions. You think it’s one thing, but it’s really not,” Gerlach said. “You think that a Met Council is made up of 16 individuals and a chair appointed by various districts and therefore you have a diverse group that is going to advocate for the region. It’s not that at all. What it is, it’s a state agency.”

I can’t disagree with Gerlach’s statement. The Council is appointed by the governor. Political appointees don’t work on the behalf of these counties. In this instance, they work for Gov. Dayton and the DFL’s special interests. The Met Council either needs to be changed or gotten rid of.

Counties still aren’t happy, though. Four years ago, they were angry enough to take their case to the Transportation Department, which eventually affirmed, via a letter, that the current makeup is legal. That 2011 letter is still used by the Met Council to justify its decisionmaking process.

Changing the Met Council’s board would require a change in state statute; several proposals pending in the Legislature would examine the issue. The way the Met Council operates is extremely rare: A 2010 report paid for by the Federal Highway Administration found that 94 percent of organizations like the Met Council are made up of elected officials.

A government agency that doesn’t answer to the people is unaccountable. I wouldn’t trust them.

Of course, Gov. Dayton is upset because he didn’t pay attention to what’s happening:

Dayton ‘appalled’

Quarrels between cities and suburbs about how to spend public dollars are as old as the cities and suburbs themselves. But the decision by the four counties to hire a federal lobbyist, before checking with the governor, is viewed by Dayton as a nuclear option.

“It’s really, really reprehensible on their part to be sneaking off to Washington behind the back of, I don’t know if the people on the Met Council were aware of it, but at least behind my back,” Dayton said. “And then come to the state of Minnesota for funding for their projects and the like? If we have a disagreement within our family, then the place to resolve that is within our family. To go out to Washington behind our backs and trash our situation here in Minnesota, and denigrate Minnesota in front of federal authorities, and try to turn the federal government against Minnesota is really, really irresponsible. I’m appalled to just learn this.”

First off, this isn’t just a fight “within our family”:

WASHINGTON – Four suburban Twin Cities counties say they are agitated with the way the Metropolitan Council is making decisions and have hired a federal lobbyist in hopes of gutting the regional planning organization’s appointed board of directors. The lobbyist, who represents Anoka, Carver, Scott and Dakota counties, will work to make the case to the U.S. Department of Transportation that the Met Council, the seven-county regional agency whose 17 members are appointees of Gov. Mark Dayton, is violating a federal rule by distributing more than $660 million a year without appropriate input from elected officials.

Secondly, it isn’t these counties’ fault that Gov. Dayton is frequently asleep at the switch. It’s time to either restructure the Met Council or tear it all down.

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The past 4 years have provided Minnesotans plenty of proof that the DFL is the party of corruption. Simply put, the DFL will do anything to increase or regain political power. During the 2012 campaign, 13 DFL state senate candidates coordinated their advertising campaigns with the DFL Senate Campaign Committee, which is illegal. Republicans filed a complaint about the DFL’s campaign committee hijinks. The end result was the DFL Senate Campaign Committee getting fined $100,000, the biggest fine in Minnesota campaign history.

Unfortunately, 11 of those 13 DFL state senate candidates won their election. In essence, these politicians bought their senate seats. Rather than apologize for their unethical actions, DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin characterized the incident as a nuisance before declaring the need to get back to governing. That makes sense in Chairman Martin’s world because this was just a financial transaction to him.

DFL State Sen. Jeff Hayden is tangled up in multiple messes, starting with the corruption that shut down Community Action of Minneapolis. He’s also had ethics charges filed against him for pushing the Minneapolis school board into funding a program run by his friends and associates.

I’m not surprised. The DFL is as interested in providing oversight of their political allies’ nonprofits as Hillary is interested in turning over Bill’s email server.

During the final days of the 2013 session, hundreds of in-home child care providers of all political persuasions descended on the Capitol to tell the DFL not to pass the forced unionization bill. Mike Nelson and the DFL waged war on these women, essentially telling them that they knew what was best. On June 30, 2014, the US Supreme Court told Mike Nelson and the DFL that their legislation was unconstitutional.

Mike Nelson, the DFL and AFSCME didn’t care about the Constitution. They didn’t care that private employers weren’t public employees. Mike Nelson, the DFL and AFSCME just deemed private small business owners public employees. That’s because their first concern was accumulating political power. That’s why the DFL sided with the special interests. That’s why the DFL didn’t pay attention to women they simply disagreed with. They only cared about their big money benefactors.

The DFL’s cronyism knows no limits. Senate Minority Leader Hann’s op-ed shows how invested the DFL is in special interests:

Dayton recently awarded his commissioners salary increases as large as $30,000 each. He gave the chair of the Met Council an $86,000 increase, and the beneficiary just happens to be married to the governor’s chief of staff. One of Dayton’s deputy chiefs is married to a top official at Education Minnesota, the teachers union. Another Dayton staffer is married to the chair of the DFL Party.

Why should I believe that the DFL is the party of the little guy? The DFL sold out Iron Range families in exchange for hefty campaign contributions from environmental activists. The DFL sold out in-home child care providers in exchange for hefty campaign contributions from public employee unions.

Worst of all, Gov. Dayton’s administration is filled with the DFL’s biggest special interest allies.

Elizabeth Warren loves telling her audiences that the game is rigged. She’s right and she’s wrong. She insists that it’s rigged by Wall Street fat cats. The truth is that it’s rigged by the Democrats’ special interest allies. The truth is that Big Government is just as corrupt as Wall Street.

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Senate Minority Leader David Hann’s op-ed highlights the DFL’s culture of corruption and incestuousness. First, there’s this pattern of DFL corruption:

  1. The DFL Senate campaign committee was fined $100,000 last year for cheating with 13 DFL Senate candidates during the 2012 election.
  2. The DFL Legislature, with Dayton’s signature, spent $90 million on an unnecessary new office building, bypassing the normal process and allowing no public hearings.
  3. DFL Sens. Jeff Hayden and Bobby Joe Champion were accused of bullying the Minneapolis school board into funding a program run by their friends and associates. Hayden is also the subject of an ongoing ethics complaint that he received free trips and other inappropriate perks while serving as a board member for Community Action of Minneapolis, a government-funded nonprofit.
  4. DFL Sen. David Tomassoni attempted to take a job as a lobbyist for the Iron Range city association, even though he is a sitting senator representing part of the Iron Range.
  5. The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) was exposed for underwriting a business whose main client was Dollars for Democrats, an organization set up to help Democratic politicians win elections.
  6. Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman refused to investigate the misuse of public funds at Community Action of Minneapolis because of “political” concerns surrounding the executive director of the organization and his financial support for Dayton. By the way, Rothman used to be the treasurer of the DFL Party.

Apparently, there’s no definition for conflict-of-interest in the DFL’s dictionaries. Then there’s the incestuous nature of the Dayton administration:

Dayton recently awarded his commissioners salary increases as large as $30,000 each. He gave the chair of the Met Council an $86,000 increase — and the beneficiary just happens to be married to the governor’s chief of staff. One of Dayton’s deputy chiefs is married to a top official at Education Minnesota, the teachers union. Another Dayton staffer is married to the chair of the DFL Party.

Apparently, the DFL in Minnesota doesn’t think government of, by and for the people is worthwhile. It’s clear from the Dayton administration’s incestuousness that the DFL believes in government of, by and for their special interest allies. Why should Minnesotans living in Lindstrom, Little Falls and Litchfield think that the Dayton administration’s budget prioritizes their needs. Minnesotans living in Wadena, Willmar and Winona shouldn’t think that the Dayton-DFL budget puts a priority on their needs.

There’s plenty of proof that there’s plenty of plundering happening in St. Paul and Minneapolis. With the exception of David Tomassoni, all the other corrupt DFLers are from the Twin Cities. That’s because they’re the metrocentric party of corruption.

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Gov. Dayton, the DFL and their allies are doing everything they can to rationalize Gov. Dayton’s decision to dramatically increase his commissioners’ pay:

Members of Gov. Mark Dayton’s Cabinet are getting raises of tens of thousands of dollars, a move the Democrat says is necessary to “keep and attract” the best candidates to the jobs. The pay hikes range between 19 percent and 58 percent, WCCO-TV reported Thursday. Lawmakers were notified of the raises 30 days after they took effect. “In state government we need to keep and attract the best, talented people. … It’s essential to pay them closer to what they are worth,” Dayton said. He added that commissioner salaries have not been raised in 10 years and said he thinks lawmakers deserve a raise, too.

The smallest raise was $22,407 to the Ombudsman for Mental Health, who will now earn $119,997. Top commissioners got 30 percent raises. Also getting a boost is the chairman of the Metropolitan Council, the regional planning agency for the Twin Cities. The job changed from part time to full time, and the pay increased by $83,577 to $144,991.

First, it’s outrageous that the ‘Party of the Little Guy’ quietly raised the pay for people making close to $100,000 a year in salary by 20-75%. House Republicans should immediately pass a bill retroactive to January 1, 2015 that rescinds Gov. Dayton’s pay increases for bureaucrats making $100,000 a year. They should immediately send the bill over to the Senate for their consideration.

When the Senate refuses to debate the bill, House Republicans should insist on its inclusion in the final budget. Let’s see if DFL legislators are willing to fight for those raises heading into an election year. The DFL might be willing to fight that fight. If the DFL is willing to fight for those overpaid bureaucrats’ raises, that’s fine. The House and Senate Republican campaign committees should hire Derek Brigham to create individualized mailers that highlights these DFL legislators as fighting for pay increases for bureaucrats and higher taxes for Minnesota’s small businesses (2013) and the middle class (2013 and 2015).

This table should be part of those mailers:

This warped thinking is what I’d expect from Gov. Dayton:

But Dayton defended the increase as necessary to keep and retain top executives given competition from the private sector.

“There’s no controversy as far as I’m concerned. They haven’t had raises for 12 years,” he said. He acknowledged the salary “are a lot of money” but added that state staffers have left state employ and been able to make twice as much in local government or at universities. The salary increases, he suggested, would stop that drain.

Put differently, Gov. Dayton just gave Myron Frans a huge pay increase:

For those that don’t remember, Commissioner Frans was the person who accepted as Gospel fact that e-tabs would produce enough revenue to pay off the state share of the Vikings stadium. He was off by a paltry 95%.

That makes Commissioner Frans the poster child for Gov. Dayton’s pay raises. Commissioner Frans is the perfect example of why we need to raise public employees’ pay to “attract and keep the best, talented people.”

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Jim Knoblach didn’t waste time correcting the St. Cloud Times’ misstatements about him. Here’s what Jim said:

I was puzzled by one line in the recent St. Cloud Times endorsement editorial. It said I sometimes provided “minimal support for measures that directly benefited his district.”

During my time in the Legislature, I successfully authored more than $100 million in bonding projects for the St. Cloud area. This is far more than any representative in local history. St. Cloud State University and St. Cloud Technical & Community College each received tens of millions of dollars from my efforts. Other projects like Quarry Park, the Beaver Islands Trail and various transportation projects also benefited.

Unlike past years, the Times Editorial Board never gave me the courtesy of an interview before announcing its endorsement. I was thus unable to respond to whatever concerns it had on this subject. Many other local candidates were granted interviews.

I hope in the future the Times gives the courtesy of an interview to all local candidates for endorsements.

Jim Knoblach is a House 14B candidate from St. Cloud.

Jim Knoblach is running for the state legislature, though you wouldn’t know it based on the Times’ reporting. The average citizen wouldn’t have known that Jim Knoblach wasn’t even asked if he’d like to be interviewed for the Times endorsement. I wrote here that the Times decided that they were endorsing Jim’s opponent long before they conducted a single candidate interview.

This year’s Times endorsements were utterly unprofessional. The Times endorsed Joe Perske to replace Michele Bachmann in Congress. Fortunately, he’ll get beaten like a drum next Tuesday. Here’s one of the Times’ rationalizations for endorsing him:

Voters need to elect the person who can begin to restore district credibility while improving the return district residents get on the tax dollars they send to Washington.

Here’s another:

While Emmer is the likely favorite because of the district’s conservative demographics, voters need to seriously consider whether his political persona will help the district. He’s similarly conservative to Bachmann and he is known as a political bully, which makes his House strategy is “building relationships” a tough sell.

Summarizing, the Times endorsed Joe Perske because they think he’d bring home the pork the district is losing out on and because Tom Emmer is a political bully.

At this point, it’s difficult picturing the Times Editorial Board as anything more than gossip columnists. They aren’t professional. They didn’t do their due diligence. They didn’t even treat one of the major party candidates with respect. That isn’t just shameful. It’s disgusting.

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Dick Andzenge’s monthly column includes this ridiculous statement:

The university’s Faculty Association complained that many student grades, given by classroom faculty, were changed by administrators without using the proper protocol for making such changes, and often without the knowledge of the professors who had assigned those grades. In some cases, the complaint was that some students’ names simply disappeared from class rosters.

While the dispute focused on faculty rights, compliance with due process and academic integrity, the investigation by the U.S. Department of Education focused on the possible violation of federal law.

It’s time to squash the administration’s BS that the US DoE investigation was about potential “violation of federal law.” First, Adam Hammer insisted that there wasn’t an investigation. Is Mr. Hammer willing to admit that he lied then? Second, when asked about the status of the transcript investigation, the administration said it wasn’t an investigation:

FA: I have a clarifying question. I heard you say this is a preliminary investigation at looking so once you do your preliminary then am I hearing you say then you will decide what your next step is going to be in terms of your going after other data collection for the past four years before this?

Admin: Sure so then we have as to what kind of data is relevant and we go there and we can collect the information so that it makes sense for you. The other thing is I won’t call it an investigation I would call analysis. So it’s a data analysis to understand if there is a spike and then understand whether it is due to factors outside our control or if it is factors of the band of discretion becoming wider.

In other words, the investigation that didn’t exist was always about whether federal laws were broken. Except when it was considered data analysis. Except when Devinder Malhotra emphatically insisted that transcript integrity was among SCSU’s highest priorities:

“Integrity of transcripts and the record is very, very important and so is the involvement of the faculty in that process,” Malhotra said. “There’s no question about that in my mind. And it’s our attempt to make sure that going forward we do our due diligence and we make sure that the faculty input is not only taken but recorded.”

Other than those things, Dr. Andzenge’s statement is fairly accurate.

This question has a simple answer:

Have the university’s administration and its academic faculty come to a mutual understanding about what actually happened regarding the grade changes and missing names class lists?

That answer is no. The administration is still spinning constantly that this was just an administrative misunderstanding. The administration insists that it wasn’t transcript corruption. It was just bureaucrats making wrong decisions.

The faculty, starting with Dr. Tamara Leenay and including Dr. Phyllis VanBuren, insist that students who did all their class work, took all their tests and who failed their classes had their participation in those classes deleted from St. Cloud State’s official transcript system. This isn’t about late drops and withdrawals, which is what President Potter and his administration have insisted. It’s about a system where the administration let students who failed their classes off the hook.

It isn’t logical to say that students who simply failed classes should benefit from administrative corruption.

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