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Few apolitical people know that the Democratic Party has put in place a system that chills political involvement and that buys elections. I have proof that both statements are true. Starting with buying elections, this story proves that the DFL broke Minnesota’s campaign lawss and bought 11 Senate seats:

The Republican Party of Minnesota began filing complaints in October 2012, charging that DFL campaign materials were wrongfully listed as independent expenditures, but the materials were not because the candidates were actively engaged in photo shoots in producing the print ads, thereby breaching the legal wall between candidates and independent expenditures.

For those that want to argue that this is just Republican sour grapes, I’d ask them to explain this:

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board Tuesday, Dec. 17, fined the Minnesota DFL Senate Caucus $100,000 for wrongfully working with 13 of its candidates in the 2012 election.

The $100,000 civil penalty is among the biggest in state history.

These sitting senators should be kicked out of the Senate for their actions. Further, they should be fined for their actions, as should the DFL Senate Caucus for their actions. Finally, there should be a special election to replace Democrats that broke the law.

If it’s a financial hardship for these Democrats, good. I’m not interested in making their lives comfortable. I’m interested in making examples of them. They’ve lost the right to be called public servants. They’ve earned the right to be called lawbreakers. These Democrats have earned the right to be considered unethical politicians.

While buying elections is a serious thing, it’s trivial compared with the political witch hunt that’s happening in Wisconsin:

MADISON, Wis. – Conservative targets of a Democrat-launched John Doe investigation have described the secret probe as a witch hunt.

That might not be a big enough descriptor, based on records released Friday by a federal appeals court as part of a massive document dump.

Attorneys for conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth point to subpoenas requested by John Doe prosecutors that sought records from “at least eight phone companies” believed to serve the targets of the investigation. O’Keefe and the club have filed a civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors, alleging they violated conservatives’ First Amendment rights.

While there’s no doubt Democrats will deny a connection between the IRS-TEA Party scandal and this witch hunt, they’re too similar in intent to ignore. Here’s what John Chisholm, the Milwaukee County prosecutor leading this witch hunt, obtained through his pre-dawn paramilitary raids:

Court documents show the extraordinary breadth of the prosecutors’ subpoena requests.

They sought phone records for a year-and-a-half period, “which happened to be the most contentious period in political politics,” the conservatives note. They note that prosecutors did not pursue the same tactics with left-leaning organizations that pumped tens of millions of dollars into Wisconsin’s recall elections, in what certainly appeared to be a well-coordinated effort.

Among other documents, prosecutors sought “all call detail records including incoming and outgoing calls,” “billing name and information,” “subscriber name and information including any application for service,” according to the conservatives’ court filing.

In other words, these Democrat prosecutors wanted to intimidate people they didn’t agree with. They used tactics third world dictators use to intimidate the citizenry:

Chisholm, a Democrat, launched the dragnet two years ago, and, according to court documents, with the help of the state Government Accountability Board, the probe was expanded to five counties. The John Doe proceeding compelled scores of witnesses to testify, and a gag order compelled them to keep their mouths shut or face jail time. Sources have described predawn “paramilitary-style” raids in which their posessions were rifled through and seized by law enforcement officers.

This isn’t just a fishing expedition. It’s a message from Democrats to Republicans that they’ll use their offices to intimidate their political enemies. It’s a message from Democrats that they’re weaponizing government agencies.

This isn’t just happening in Wisconsin. It’s happened in Texas, too, where a Democrat with a penchant for getting highly intoxicated abused her office to indict Gov. Rick Perry for doing what other governors have done since the founding of their respective states. She indicted him because he vetoed a bill cutting off funding for her office.

It isn’t coincidence that Scott Walker and Rick Perry are considered potential presidential candidates. In fact, I’d argue that Chisholm launched his fishing expedition into Gov. Walker to defeat him so he can’t run for president.

Check back later today for Part II of this series.

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Thanks to this article by the Wisconsin Reporter, conservatives can learn about the Democratic Party’s witch hunt machine. Anyone that thinks Democrats are nice people that conservatives simply disagree with is badly mistaken. Read the article, then tell me that:

MADISON, Wis. – Conservative targets of a Democrat-launched John Doe investigation have described the secret probe as a witch hunt.

That might not be a big enough descriptor, based on records released Friday by a federal appeals court as part of a massive document dump.

Attorneys for conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth point to subpoenas requested by John Doe prosecutors that sought records from “at least eight phone companies” believed to serve the targets of the investigation. O’Keefe and the club have filed a civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors, alleging they violated conservatives’ First Amendment rights.

That the John Doe prosecutors tried to get records from “at least eight phone companies” is frightening enough. Who needs the NSA when Wisconsin has these John Doe prosecutors. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there:

Subpoenas also demanded the conservatives’ bank records, “emails from every major private email provider” and other information in what some have described as a mini-NSA (National Security Agency) operation in Wisconsin.

“In fact, Defendants’ submissions confirm and expand upon the scope and intensity of retaliation previously demonstrated,” O’Keefe’s attorney wrote in documents ordered unsealed by the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Anyone that thinks this is just a case of some rogue prosecutors gone bad apparently hasn’t paid attention to Rosemary Lehmberg’s indictment of Gov. Rick Perry, (R-TX). These naive people should read this, too:

Chisholm, a Democrat, launched the dragnet two years ago, and, according to court documents, with the help of the state Government Accountability Board, the probe was expanded to five counties. The John Doe proceeding compelled scores of witnesses to testify, and a gag order compelled them to keep their mouths shut or face jail time. Sources have described predawn “paramilitary-style” raids in which their posessions were rifled through and seized by law enforcement officers.

If you thought that weaponized government was just a term used by paranoid conservatives, you’d better rethink things. This is proof that some Democratic prosecutors will use their office for blatantly political purposes. Again and unfortunately, that isn’t all these Democratic thugs with law degrees did. Here’s more:

Court documents show the extraordinary breadth of the prosecutors’ subpoena requests.

They sought phone records for a year-and-a-half period, “which happened to be the most contentious period in political politics,” the conservatives note. They note that prosecutors did not pursue the same tactics with left-leaning organizations that pumped tens of millions of dollars into Wisconsin’s recall elections, in what certainly appeared to be a well-coordinated effort.

Among other documents, prosecutors sought “all call detail records including incoming and outgoing calls,” “billing name and information,” “subscriber name and information including any application for service,” according to the conservatives’ court filing.

In other words, these Democrats wanted confidential information. That’s why the Wisconsin Club for Growth and Eric O’Keefe filed their civil rights lawsuit.

There’s little doubt that these Democrats would’ve used the information they gathered through their witch hunt to chill these conservatives’ desire to participate in the political process. The only retaliation against these Democrats is to a)prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law when possible, b) end their political careers by removing them from their positions of political power and c) pressure Democrat politicians into passing sweeping reforms to prevent these fishing expeditions from today going forward.

If Democrats aren’t willing to limit rogue prosecutors’ ability to conduct political fishing expeditions, then we’ll know that they approve of these Democrats’ behavior.

Thanks to M.D. Kittle and the Wisconsin Reporter, we now know that these Democrats were attempting to chill conservatives from exercising their right to participate in the political process. This needs to be stopped ASAP and it needs to be stopped dead in its tracks.

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It’s political light years away from the next presidential election season but it isn’t too early to start drafting potential GOP presidential candidates. Atop my list is Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s governor. Marc Thiessen’s article sums up Gov. Walkers qualifications perfectly:

During the 2012 recall fight in Wisconsin, a group of protesters dressed as zombies disrupted Gov. Scott Walker’s speech at a ceremony for kids participating in the Special Olympics. Walker just ignored the protesters. Afterwards, talk radio host Charlie Sykes told Walker he should have “gone Chris Christie on them.” But Walker wanted to keep the focus on the Special Olympics athletes, saying “it was their day.”

The incident is revealing. Walker and Christie, the New Jersey governor, are friends, and they have both found a way to win in purple states that have not voted for a Republican president in a quarter-century. But they each did it in very different ways.

Christie is moderate in policy, but immoderate in temperament.

Walker is moderate in temperament, but immoderate in policy.

Activists are drawn to Christie’s gruff exterior because they want a fighter. There’s no questioning whether Gov. Christie is a fighter. Still, for all his combativeness, many of his policies are what I’d expect of a New England Republican. That makes Gov. Christie significantly less appealing than Gov. Walker:

Walker is a tea party hero thanks to his courageous stand against the public-sector unions in Wisconsin. Cruz may have “faux filibustered” Obamacare, but Walker faced down 100,000 protesters outside the Capitol in Madison and won. He not only passed his reforms despite unbelievable odds, he became the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election. He’s both a fighter and a winner, a compelling combination for the conservative base.

Moreover, Walker’s appeal to the right goes beyond collective bargaining. As governor, he passed a raft of other conservative reforms that went virtually unnoticed because of the collective-bargaining fight. He signed legislation enacting voter identification requirements, permitting the concealed carry of firearms, defunding Planned Parenthood, prohibiting any health exchange operating in Wisconsin from covering abortion, reducing taxes, expanding school choice and reforming entitlements. Walker is an across-the-board, unflinching, full-spectrum conservative.

But Walker also has a proven ability to win the votes of moderates and reform-minded independents. While Walker is often portrayed as a “divisive” figure, exit polls in the June 2012 gubernatorial recall election showed that about one in six Walker voters also planned to vote for Barack Obama in the November presidential election. And, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “those confounding Obama-Walker voters of 2012…[are] still with us.” Two separate 2013 polls of Wisconsin voters, the paper reported, show that “11% approve of both politicians.”

Put differently, Christie is the bully who supports many liberal policies like gun control and global warming. Gov. Walker has a mental toughness that can’t be questioned. He stared down the thugs in Wisconsin and won the fight for important reforms. Everyone knows about the collective bargaining rights fight. Few noticed that he got other reforms passed, too.

Most importantly, I won’t have to worry whether Gov. Walker will abandon conservatism’s core principles. He won’t. He’ll pick great judges. He’ll feature a positive pro-growth agenda. He’ll be an unapologetic conservative with a lengthy history of conservative accomplishments.

George Will noted another appealing part of Gov. Walker’s in this column:

To fight the recall, during which opponents disrupted Walker’s appearance at a Special Olympics event and squeezed Super Glue into the locks of a school he was to visit, Walker raised more than $30?million, assembling a nationwide network of conservative donors that could come in handy if he is reelected next year.

It’s great that Gov. Walker is a proven fundraiser. He’d need it if he runs against Hillary in 2016. More importantly, though, he understands the value of a strong organization.

In other words, Gov. Walker a) is an unapologetic conservative, b) has a lengthy list of conservative accomplishments, c) can rally the conservative base while still appealing to independents and d) is a prolific fundraiser. That’s quite the trifecta heading into 2016.

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Ralph Benko’s op-ed is the perfect counterargument to Michael Tomasky’s silly column, which I wrote about here. Benko didn’t waste time in highlighting the flaw in Tomasky’s logic:

Liberals do not grasp the distinction between Ronald Reagan and (either) George Bush. This blind spot creates a massive confusion and hazard to their ambitions. Obama defeated neither the Reagan Narrative nor Team Reagan. Team Bush appropriated, and then marginalized, both. Obama beat Team Bush, not Team Reagan. The implications are huge.

This post isn’t about trashing Karl Rove or the Bush family. Frankly, that’s a waste of time when there’s important things to be done. Instead, it’s about identifying underlying principles undergirded President Reagan’s policies. Mr. Benko is spot on with this analysis:

Real conservatives saw Reaganomics as a way of creating broad-based opportunity, not as catering to the rich. It worked out exactly that way in America and throughout the world. The blossoming of free market principles, especially low tax rates and good money, brought billions of souls out of poverty, from subsistence to affluence.

Several things worked together to make America infinitely more prosperous during Reagan’s time than during President Obama’s time in office. First, the dollar was much stronger than during President Obama’s time in office. That’s partially because President Reagan’s domestic energy policy was infinitely more robust than President Obama’s. The less money we needlessly ship money overseas for oil, the stronger the dollar is. Our trade deficit shrunk, too.

The new conservative Republican leaders are strikingly formidable. The leaders of the new generation, like Reagan, and Kemp, before them (and Kennedy still earlier), all recognize the power of the “rising tide lifts all boats”.

It isn’t a stretch to think that conservatives like John Kasich, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio will re-ignite the Reagan Revolution. Each of these men have spotless conservative credentials, which is why they fire up the base in ways Mitt Romney and John McCain couldn’t.

When President Bush won in 2004, he got 62,000,000 votes. McCain got fewer votes than President Bush. Mitt got fewer votes than Sen. McCain. Had Paul Ryan been at the top of the ticket, however, it isn’t a stretch to think he would’ve topped President Bush’s vote total.

That’s because he’s the spitting image of Reagan. The Reagan Revolution was fueled by a glut of great ideas. A Ryan Revolution would be powered by the same thing. Most importantly, he’d talk conservatism like his native language. This isn’t an attempt to trash Mitt. It’s simply stating the obvious. He just didn’t prosecute the case against President Obama the way Ryan would have.

President Bush’s spending turned conservatives off because he had a Republican House and Senate much of the time. President Reagan’s spending was done, in part, because he had to rebuild the military after President Carter gutted it, partly because Tip O’Neill controlled the House.

Everything President Reagan fought for was targeted towards creating prosperity. He didn’t back away from a fight, either. When PATCO went on strike, he fired them because they broke federal law. When Tip O’Neill accused him of not caring about the average working Joe, Reagan responded mightily. His temper flaring, he marched back to the podium, then said, essentially, that he’d made his money because he’d worked hard, then adding that it wasn’t given to him.

It’s a fight Mitt Romney backed away from too often in his attempt to win over women voters or independents. It’s a fight the next generation of conservatives will fight with vigor.

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Ed has a great post up about MSNBC’s racist behavior. Here’s part of Ed’s commentary:

Why did they just happen to block all of these speakers? Obviously, it’s not a coincidence. They’re afraid of two outcomes by showing these speakers, the first of which is the exposure of the intellectual vapidity of their repeated accusations of raaaaaaaaaaaacism. The second is the possibility of acknowledging that conservatism appeals to a broad, diverse section of the electorate, which might encourage more people of color to consider its policies, especially with the powerful personal stories told by Mia Love and Ted Cruz. Instead of dealing with that reality, MSNBC chose to deliberately misinform their 15 14 12 viewers. Fortunately, the MSNBC lineup (with the apparent acquiescence of Comcast) is so busy marginalizing themselves that it really doesn’t matter any more.

Ed’s point that MSNBC might be frightened of the thought that “conservatism appeals to a broad, diverse section of the electorate” is worth closer examination.

This past June, I attended the RightOnline conference, where I had a fantastic time. At the Saturday night banquet, I joined Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft at a table that included at least 5-6 women, including several women of color.

The point is that the TEA Party movement has appealed to Americans from a wide array of backgrounds. This isn’t Ronald Reagan’s Republican Party, though there’s no doubt that he’d approve of it.

This is this generation’s conservative movement, a movement represented by TEA Party favorites like Michelle Malkin, Mia Love, Susana Martinez, Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin.

The racist myth that MSNBC is peddling was discredited before most people read their morning papers. Their dishonesty was that blatant.

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If there’s a theme from tonight’s convention, it’s that the GOP is filled with rising stars that aren’t anything like Reagan’s Revolution or Newt’s Rebellion.

Tonight’s speeches were magnificent. The first speech I listened to was Sher Valenzuela, the GOP candidate for Lt. Governor of Delaware. She said that her and her husband started their own business because their son was an autistic child. Here’s her powerful speech:

There were 3 powerful parts of her speech.

The first powerful part of her speech talked about why they started their small business and their unwillingness to accept the doctors’ predictions. The second powerful part of her speech talked about how they grew their business, eventually growing the company to take business away from other countries’ businesses, including China. The third powerful spot was when Mrs. Valenzuela talked about how their son had just finished his first year of college.

Later in the hour, Artur Davis delivered a powerful speech:

I suspect that he stunned people at the convention that there’s 6,000,000 people that voted for President Obama in 2008 that won’t vote for him again. He asked for the people in the hall to bear with him while he spoke to disaffected Democrats and independents. Here’s part of what he said:

DAVIS: When they say they have a duty to grow government even when we can’t afford it, does it sound like compassion to you or does it sound like recklessness? When you hear the party that glorified Occupy Wall Street blast success, when you hear them minimize the genius of the men and women that make jobs out of nothing, is that what you teach your children about work?

The CBC criticized Davis prior to his speech, possibly to dampen the impact his speech would have on those voters who’ve experienced buyers remorse.

If that was their motivation, it didn’t work. Davis gave a rousing speech that his President Obama right in his vulnerabilities.

John Kasich isn’t a rising star but his speech was important because of his accomplishments as the man with the plan that balanced the budget while creating tons of new jobs as House Budget Committee Chairman. His impact was to tell voters in confident tones that there’s a serious alternative to President Obama’s policies.

Gov. Scott Walker was a hit, partially because his reforms are working but mostly because he defeated the public employee unions and because he did what he said he’d do.

The first night of speeches got this convention off to a flying start. The GOP started on the right foot. Chris Christie’s speech was about setting the stage for a campaign on big things.

That’s Romney-Ryan turf, something that President Obama knows. That’s why they’ve attempted to make this campaign about anything but important things.

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The great parlor game in DC is the ‘pick the VP game’ for Mitt Romney. Friday night, during Hannity’s show, Frank Luntz said that “Marco Rubio is the best communicator in the Republican Party. Paul Ryan is the smartest guy on policy in the Republican Party.” That said, he thinks Rob Portman will be Mitt’s VP pick.

This op-ed, however, shows that there’s another conservative who shouldn’t be ignored. His name is Scott Walker. Here’s a sampling of what he’d bring to the ticket:

We need a turnaround agent in the White House who will put jobs first and free Americans from the burdens of debt and high taxation so we can live up to our greatest potential. Gov. Mitt Romney is that leader.

As the reformer of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Romney transformed what could have been a national embarrassment into a national success. As a job creator, he took failing businesses and turned them into job-creating success stories. Romney is known around the world for his ability to solve problems and turn things around, and those are traits we’ll need in our next president.

On Day One, Romney will begin to repair the damage done by Obama and move America in a new direction toward policies proven to work right here in Wisconsin. A President Romney will secure a future for our children and grandchildren that doesn’t leave them buried in debt. His comprehensive plan will put jobs first, reduce our deficit, cut reckless federal spending, repeal Obamacare, reform entitlements and bring fiscal responsibility to the White House.

That’s the most coherent explanation for why Mitt Romney isn’t just the best choice for president but why he’s the only choice.

Everyone who’s read this blog knows I was a gigantic Newt fan. I’m still a gigantic Newt fan and I’m unapologetic about it. Now that Mitt’s the nominee, it’s time to realize that it’s a binary choice. We can either vote for Mitt or we can cast a protest vote vote that’ll give us a fully-implemented ACA.

That’s a pretty simple choice.

Gov. Walker’s explanation casts this race in a totally different light. In this op-ed, Gov. Walker starts telling Mitt’s compelling story in a way that Mitt hasn’t done thus far. Talking about Mitt’s job of taking over the scandal-riddled Salt Lake City Olympic Games and turning it into a major success is the type of thing that people need to be reminded of.

It gives Mitt the opportunity to talk about how he took over planning of a major international event that was held just months after the biggest terrorist attack in our nation’s history. Not only did he rid that Olympiad of corruption but he installed anti-terrorist protocols that kept the world’s athletes safe.

Now that’s a success story.

This is a great shot at this administration because it’s accurate:

A vote for Obama is a vote for the same old policies that failed Wisconsin in the past, are failing America now, and will continue to fail us in the future. As our debt reaches the paralyzing levels of European nations and as China gains ground on America in the world economy, we must not accept the “just fine” attitude this president speaks of. A vote for a second term is admitting that America’s best days are behind her.

President Obama repeatedly says that we’re creating jobs but that we aren’t creating them fast enough. His policies are why we aren’t creating jobs fast enough. When this administration’s sided with the militant environmentalist organizations, he killed jobs because he wanted the campaign contributions from these organizations’ members.

The jobs meant nothing. The contributions meant everyrthing. Instead of doing the right thing, President Obama did the thing that helped his campaign the most.

It’s painfully obvious to people that businesses will keep their money parked on the sidelines until this administration’s policies are thrown into history’s dustbin of failed ideas. That $2,000,000,000,000 will stay sitting on the sidelines or they’ll invest in other countries where they aren’t subject to this administration’s policies, regulations and taxes.

With Gov. Walker on the ticket, the entire industrial Midwest becomes Romney country. Wisconsin would flip. Ditto with Iowa. Michigan might. Illinois won’t but that’s another story.

Most importantly, Gov. Walker would energize the conservative base. They’d run through brick walls for him. He’d bring to this ticket the type of energy that Sarah Palin brought to the 2008 campaign.

The biggest difference between this year and 2008 is that the Romney campaign won’t be as polite as Sen. McCain’s campaign. The next biggest difference is that the Romney campaign will spend hundreds of millions dollars more than the McCain campaign.

If Mitt wants to be a transformative president, he should seriously consider picking Gov. Walker as his running mate. Mitt should also give Gov. Walker a lengthy list of reform issues as his assignment upon taking office.

Mitt shouldn’t play it safe. Mitt shouldn’t worry about whether his pick is experienced. Mitt’s pick should be someone with a lengthy list of important reforms and great ideas.

Stumbling in first across the finish line isn’t the way to go when you have the ability to sprint across that finish line furlongs ahead of President Obama.

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Scott Walker’s never-in-doubt victory in Wisconsin was the first verification that the Midwest was changing politically. Shortly after Gov. Walker’s victory in the recall election, other signs emerged. John’s post was the first indicator that Minnesota was changing politically, too. Here’s why John’s post caught my attention:

I have learned from multiple sources that two recent polls, conducted by independent polling firms, show that Minnesota will be in play in this year’s presidential race. Even in blue Minnesota, Obama can’t get to 50%. Accordingly, watch for substantial amounts of money to flow into the state to try to close the small gap that currently exists and win it for Mitt Romney.

This is far too little information to predict Mitt taking Minnesota’s electoral votes but it isn’t too little information to argue that Minnesota has changed politically since 2008.

We’ll return to that in a minute.

Durin a Friday afternoon interview, Eric Branstad said that Democrats had more registered Democrats than registered Republicans at the start of 2012. Branstad said that Republicans turned that around before Memorial Day to int that Republicans had a 12 point lead going into the Memorial Day weekend. Now Republicans have a 21 point in voter registrations over Democrats, a 9-point jump in a single month.

That’s a gigantic swing in a single month. In fact, it’s a significant 6-month shift. It’s understatement to say that a 25-point swing in 6 months is a significant change.

Let’s get back to Minnesota because changes are happening. The first indicator that things were changing was the candidate recruitment for the 2010 midterm elections. That was the most impressive recruiting class in state history.

That opinion was proved right when Republicans swept the DFL from their majorities in the state legislature. That year, Republicans defeated 15 DFL committee chairs in the House on their way to a 25 seat gain. Though Senate Republican candidates didn’t defeat a dramatic number of committee chairs, they were impressive in that they won a net 16 seats in the 67 seat Senate.

Flipping 25% of a legislative body’s seats in a single election doesn’t qualify as a status quo election by anyone’s standards. That’s just the beginning, though.

Thanks to redistricting, several legislative incumbents are matched against each other in the Eighth District, which is undergoing significant changes, thanks in large part to Chip Cravaack’s victory in 2010.

One of those matchups pits GOP freshman Sen. John Carlson against DFL Sen. Tom Saxhaug. Another matchup pits GOP freshman Rep. Carolyn McElfatrick against DFL Rep. Tom Anzelc.

The reason why the Eighth is changing is because the DFL delegation from the north votes like the metro DFL. The DFL should be changed from the Democrat-Farmer-Laborer Party to the Democrat-Public Employee Union-Environmentalist Party.

That’s why areas that Republicans are gaining ground in many areas of northern Minnesota, both in the Seventh and Eighth districts. The metro environmentalists are causing chaos with farmers in the Seventh and miners in the Eighth.

The doorknocking results I’ve heard about thus far indicate that the Carlson-Saxhaug and McElfatrick-Anzelc matchups aren’t the only legislative races that the DFL should worry about in the Seventh and Eighth. There are at least anothe 5-6 races that the DFL should worry about.

If legislators like Tom Bakk, David Thomassoni, Carly Melin and Dave Dill don’t start consistently pushing back against the environmentalists and social liberals ASAP, which they won’t, the Iron Range will get the message that their DFL legislators are just an extension of the metro DFL.

Central Minnesota is changing, too, thanks in part to Michele Bachmann but also in part to lots of solid conservatives from Elk River to Little Falls and west to Buffalo and Alexandria.

When Election 2008 ended, the DFL held 5 of the 9 seats in SD-14, SD-15 and SD-16. Thanks to redistricting, those 3 districts have changed into SD-13, SD-14, SD-15 and SD-30.

The GOP battle cry for 2010 was ‘9 for 9 in 10′. Rep. Larry Hosch prevented that from happening. This year, the GOP battle cry in central Minnesota is ’12 for 12 in 12.’ This time, Larry Hosch won’t prevent it because he retired rather than get defeated.

There’s still a long time between now and Election Day, 2012. The good news is that positive signs are popping up from central Minnesota all the way to the Canadian border.

The Midwest is changing. The only question left is to what extent it’ll change this election.

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It was months ago that people assumed, rightly, that President Obama didn’t stand a chance of winning Indiana’s electoral votes. It wasn’t that long ago that honest pundits wrote North Carolina off for President Obama. Considering the fact that President Obama won 338 electoral votes in 2008, those states weren’t considered critical to his path to 270.

Suddenly, President Obama can’t say it isn’t a big deal. Scott Rasmussen’s latest polling shows Mitt Romney with a 3-point lead in Wisconsin:

Mitt Romney now leads President Obama for the first time in Wisconsin where the president’s support has fallen to its lowest level to date.

The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Romney with 47% of the vote to Obama’s 44%. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided.

It isn’t a big deal that Mitt’s got a 3 point lead. Presidents can make that up with 5 months to go. There are 2 things that are big deals. First, it’s a big deal that President Obama got 44% of the vote in this poll. That’s a difficult position for him to be in.

The other thing that should worry people in President Obama’s campaign is the fact that only 4% of voters are undecided. That means President Obama has to take votes from Mitt Romney to win the state. That’s a difficult task, especially for incumbents.

Ed’s post talks about the possibility of breaking the “Blue Wall”:

Earlier today, National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar warned that Mitt Romney was poised to breach the Blue Wall: Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. A new Rasmussen poll of likely voters in Wisconsin corroborates Kraushaar’s analysis.

When the anti-Walker protests started in 2011, the left gushed that the Republicans’ enthusiasm gap had disappeared. While it’s true that it disappeared, that didn’t put Democrats and Republicans on equal footing.

When footage rolled in showing the unions’ thug tactics, a different problem emerged for the Democrats. People were disgusted with the unions’ behavior. When Katherine Windels sent death threats to legislators, people were disgusted:

Katherine R. Windels of Cross Plains was named in a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Criminal Court.

According to the criminal complaint, Windels allegedly sent an email threat to State Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) March 9. Later that evening, she allegedly sent another email to 15 Republican legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau).

The subject line of the second email was: “Atten: Death Threat!!!! Bomb!!!” In that email, she purportedly wrote, “Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your families will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks.”

“I hope you have a good time in hell,” she allegedly wrote in the lengthy email in which she purportedly listed scenarios in which the legislators and their families would die, including bombings and by “putting a nice little bullet in your head.”

After that, AFSCME thugs tried threats and intimidation:

Members of Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24, have begun circulating letters to businesses in southeast Wisconsin, asking them to support workers’ rights by putting up a sign in their windows.

If businesses fail to comply, the letter says, “Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business. And sorry, neutral means ‘no’ to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members.”

If President Obama wants to lash out at anyone for his fall in Wisconsin, he should blame AFSCME’s thugs for it.

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For weeks, I’ve been refering to the upcoming election contest as a recall election. This post marks the end of that title. From this point forward, I’ll call Tuesday’s election as Wisconsin’s snit fit. George Will’s column provides the perfect context:

Like children throwing a tantrum against the rules of a game going badly, in 2011, petulant Wisconsin Democratic legislators fled to Illinois to disrupt the Legislature. Walker’s reforms included restricting the issues subject to collective bargaining. This emancipated school districts from buying teachers’ health insurance from a provider entity associated with the teachers union. Barrett used Walker’s reform to save Milwaukee $19 million.

I wrote here that this fight is really a fight between people voting for the unions’ collective bargaining rights vs. property tax cuts. That isn’t a difficult concept to grasp. That’s why there’s been little said during this campaign about the unions’ collective bargaining rights.

Much has been said, however, about how school districts and municipalities have benefited from Gov. Walker’s Budget Repair Bill. Yesterday on the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Report, Collin Levey said that municipalities and school districts had saved over $1,000,000,000 as a direct result of Gov. Walker’s reforms.

Couple that with union members opting out of paying union dues. By opting out of those dues, some members are saving $1,100 a year. Couple that with lower property taxes and some people have a big reason to smile.

So, Barrett is essentially running another general election campaign, not unlike that of 2010, except that the $3.6 billion deficit Walker inherited has disappeared and property taxes have declined. By re-posing the 2010 choice, Wisconsin progressives’ one-word platform becomes: “Mulligan!”

Though it’s doubtful that Gov. Walker will defeat Barrett by 10-12 points, it’d be surprising if Gov. Walker didn’t win by 4-6 points. Calling ‘mulligan’ just isn’t a slogan people will rally around.

Finally, there’s this stupidity:

The emblem displayed at some anti-Walker centers is an outline of Wisconsin rendered as a clenched fist, with a red star on the heel of the hand. Walker’s disproportionately middle-aged adversaries know the red star symbolized murderous totalitarianism, yet they flaunt it as a progressive ornament. Why?

Are progressives insisting on getting the vast majority of independents, conservatives and TEA Party activists upset with them? That fist of solidarity with a Marxist star isn’t the way to persuade people to vote for the progressive candidate.

In addition to acting like spoiled brats, Wisconsin’s Democrats insist on aligning themselves with Marxism. That means they’re aligning themselves against capitalism.

Good luck with that.

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