Archive for the ‘Alida Messinger’ Category
At the start of this session, I said that the DFL would sail through because Alida Messinger would give them their marching orders. When Gov. Dayton introduced his bill, businesses far and wide criticized it for imposing a sales tax on transactions between businesses and lawyers, accountants and other service providers. When the House DFL introduced their tax bill, it was criticized for imposing a gigantic, disastrous income tax increase, raising the top income tax rate from 7.85% to 12.49%. It’s difficult to imagine how the Senate DFL’s tax bill could be worse.
Difficult but no longer impossible:
Democrats in the state Senate released a plan today that increases income taxes on wealthiest 6 percent of Minnesotans, raises the sales tax on clothing and services, and increases the cigarette tax.
Republicans don’t like it and even some Democrats in competitive districts are uneasy about the taxes and spending. But DFL leaders say the $1.8 billion dollar tax increase is needed to erase the state’s budget deficit and increase spending for schools and property tax relief.
It’s incredible that the Senate DFL took the worst part of Gov. Dayton’s tax proposal, the sales tax increase on services, watered down the worst part of the House DFL’s tax increase, then added their own terrible wrinkle by raising income taxes on the middle class.
While Senate DFL leaders praise the bill as good tax policy, some of their rank-and-file members remain apprehensive about it.
“This is going to be a hard one for me to support,” said first-term DFL Sen. Melisa Franzen. Franzen, who represents the swing district of Edina, Minnetonka and Bloomington, worries the bill could harm the state’s business climate.
“If the cost of doing business in Minnesota is going to rise and small business is going to be impacted, that is something that I have to take into account,” Franzen said.
Sen. Greg Clausen, DFL-Apple Valley, worries about the income tax portion of the bill, but said he thinks many of his constituents could live with it since the bulk of the extra spending is dedicated to education.
“There certainly are people out there that say ‘no new taxes.’ Whenever they see a tax they don’t support that,” Clausen said. “But I think there is also a group of people who recognize that there are needs in our state.”
First, Sen. Rest is wrong that the Senate bill is “good tax policy.” It isn’t good tax policy raising the cigarette tax because it’ll significantly hurt convenience stores while cutting cigarette tax revenues without reducing smoking.
Hurting retailers and Minnesota’s general fund while doing nothing to tamp down smoking is a nasty negative trifecta of tax policy.
Second, there’s no way the cost of doing business in Minnesota doesn’t increase. Businesses will get hit with higher income taxes & higher business costs thanks to the sales taxes on services. That’s before talking about how the cigarette tax increase will hurt convenience store sales.
If the DFL doesn’t pull its act together quickly, they’ll find lots of complaints on the campaign trail next year.
During his 2013 State of the State Address, Gov. Dayton talked about how states with higher tax rates also had higher incomes. During the 2010 campaign, Gov. Dayton said that Minnesotans he knew were better people, that they wouldn’t object to higher tax rates. According to this article, buried in the Strib’s praise for Gov. Dayton, is information that businesses care about taxes:
Dayton endured battering criticism as business leaders weighed his proposal to tax business services. Several of the state’s largest companies said they were exploring options to relocate their headquarters to low-tax states.
It’s time for the DFL to admit that high tax rates matter, that Minnesota Miracle was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. The Minnesota Miracle didn’t happen because people didn’t care that they paid higher taxes. It happened because other states didn’t have a well-trained workforce. Once other states put a stronger emphasis on building a well-trained workforce, competitive tax rates became more important in a state’s economic viability.
It’s time, too, to say what progressives won’t admit. With higher taxes comes a higher cost of living. That higher cost of living is the result of artificially inflating the price of products to offset the cost of high taxes.
This isn’t good news for the DFL or Gov. Dayton:
More than 800 business leaders are expected at the Capitol Wednesday to press legislators to reject tax increases. David Olson, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, said tax hikes would force companies to scale back, not grow. “I want them to look [legislators] in the eye and say, these are the kind of decisions you are forcing me to make.”
This isn’t what the DFL wants to hear. In 2010, the DFL, led by union thugs and ABM’s money, intimidated businesses to the sidelines for the election. There’s no chance businesses will be intimidated this time. This time, businesses will enthusiastically support pro-growth GOP candidates for the House and governor.
Freshmen DFL legislators from swing districts will face a series of difficult votes. Will they represent their constituents’? Or will they represent Alida Messinger, Mark Dayton and Paul Thissen? If they vote against Messinger, Dayton and Thissen, it’s likely Gov. Dayton’s budget would fail, weakening him for his re-election bid. That’s why it isn’t likely they’ll let Gov. Dayton’s budget fail.
Voting for a tax-filled Dayton budget presents a different set of difficulties for swing district DFL legislators. Specifically, they’ll be voting against their constituents while angering small businesses. That’s a difficult position to put yourself into but it’s what’s likely to happen.
Gov. Dayton’s budget proposals have been disasters. He’s dramatically modified both of his proposals before they ever got committee votes. Then he engineered a state government shutdown in an attempt to force GOP legislators into a tax increase. When the public sided with the GOP, Gov. Dayton caved.
Now he’s back proposing higher tax rates again. It’s apparent Gov. Dayton won’t learn from his biggest mistakes. If he won’t learn, the business community will teach him a rather harsh lesson in 2014.
Tags: Tax Increases, Alida Messinger, Mark Dayton, Paul Thissen, Competitiveness, Special Interests, DFL, Entrepreneurs, Job Creation, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, David Olson, Minnesota Jobs Coalition, Tax Reform, MNGOP, Election 2014
During this morning’s @Issue With Tom Hauser, DFL strategist Darin Broton admitted what savvy people had been thinking. There isn’t a political appetite for Gov. Dayton’s budget. Specifically, there’s a revolt against his sales tax increase, especially Gov. Dayton’s B2B sales tax increases and Gov. Dayton’s sales tax on services.
Once the budget deficit projection shrunk from $1,100,000,000 to $627,000,000, a 43% drop, DFL legislators couldn’t justify Gov. Dayton’s sales tax increases. After Gov. Dayton admitted that his sales tax initiative didn’t have the public’s support, it was just a matter of time before Gov. Dayton would be forced to admit that his entire budget would have to be scrapped.
Gov. Dayton’s budgetting abilities are questionable at best. During the 2010 campaign, he submitted his “detailed budget plan” to the Minnesota Department of Revenue 3 times. Each time, the Department of Revenue said his plan didn’t balance Minnesota’s budget. His last proposal came closest to balancing. The Department of Revenue said that plan ‘only’ had a $1,000,000,000 deficit.
In 2011, Gov. Dayton proposed massive tax increases, including a top income tax bracket of 10.95% and a 3% surcharge for people making $1,000,000 or more. When the deficit forecast was revised down from $6,200,000,000 to $5,030,000,000, Gov. Dayton immediately dropped the income tax surcharge. Eventually, the GOP majority forced him to drop his tax increases.
When Gov. Dayton submitted this biennium’s budget, it included the aforementioned sales tax increases on babysitters and lawnmowers as well as on business services. It also included a cigarette tax increase that will create an underground economy that hurts retailers. Gov. Dayton’s budget also includes raising the top individual income tax rates.
By the time Gov. Dayton delivered his State of the State address, he inadvertantly admitted that the GOP budget and reforms were working. He said that 72,000 jobs had been created under his watch, though he didn’t admit that they weren’t created as a result of his budget.
In his State of the State Address, Gov. Dayton was distancing himself from his budget faster than a man his age should be able to move. Here’s where the backpedalling started:
My proposals have already aroused considerable controversy. Such debate is healthy in our democracy.The genius of our system of governance is that no one gets to have it all her or his way. Starting with the governor. Some will characterize any legislative changes in my budget as my loss. I don’t see it that way, at all.
The winners I care about are the people of Minnesota, whose collective best interests I was elected to represent. As were you in the legislature. Whatever outcome does the most to improve the lives of the most Minnesotans makes winners of us all.
That sounds nice but it’s the prelude to Gov. Dayton caving on the sales tax increases. All that’s left from Gov. Dayton’s first budget is Gov. Dayton’s income tax and cigarette tax increases. Warming up in the bullpen is a liquor tax increase to replace Gov. Dayton’s ill-advised sales tax increase proposal.
It won’t take long to kill the cigarette tax increase. It’s virtually on life support. If history is an indicator, Sen. Bakk will help kill the liquor tax. Here’s what he said about raising the liquor tax in 2009:
Senate Taxes Committee Chairman Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said eliminating the current mortgage interest deduction could hurt Minnesota’s high rate of home ownership and higher alcohol taxes would drive some liquor shoppers across the Wisconsin border.
It’ll be interesting to see if this Sen. Bakk will agree with the 2009 version of Sen. Bakk. I think it’s more likely that this Sen. Bakk will do whatever Alida Messinger tells him to do.
At the end of the day, the Dayton/Messinger/DFL budget will include massive tax increases because they’re needed to pay off their political allies with taxpayers money. That said, the budget that will pass won’t look much like Gov. Dayton’s first budget.
That’s what happens with mulligan budgets.
Follow this link for more on Gov. Dayton’s mulligan budget.
Additional suggested readings:
Tags: Mark Dayton, State of the State Address, Minnesota Department of Revenue, Tax Increases, Income Tax, Sales Tax, Cigarette Tax, Liquor Tax, Deficits, State Government Shutdown, Mulligan Budget, Alida Messinger, Tom Bakk, DFL, Reforms, Job Creation, MNGOP
Gov. Dayton’s State of the State speech was filled with lots of lowlights. Fortunately, there were a few things that might get classified as positives.
First, I’d like to thank Gov. Dayton for highlighting the fact that the GOP legislature put the state on the right track:
According to our Department of Employment and Economic Development, there are over 72,000 more jobs available in Minnesota today than when I took office two years ago. Almost 52,000 of those jobs were added in the past year.
Almost all of the economic policies put in place in Gov. Dayton’s first two years were GOP policies. The GOP legislature pushed for and passed budget reform and permitting reform while doing their best to limit the DFL’s reckless spending. Those reforms gave entrepreneurs some assurances to put their capital at risk and create jobs. It isn’t likely that the DFL-owned legislature and governor will match that record in the next 2 years.
In the decade after Minnesota’s income tax reductions, our economy fared worse than the nation and most other states. And at both the federal and state levels, big tax cuts followed by serious recessions produced large budget deficits, which threaten our current fiscal strength and future economic prosperity.
Minnesota’s economy suffered during the last decade because the DFL legislature wouldn’t reform Minnesota’s permitting system, which often created a bottleneck that choked off continued job creation and economic growth. Permitting reform was the first legislation in the GOP House in 2011. That bill passed quickly, which eliminated many of the bottlenecks that choked off job growth.
The other thing that hindered job growth in Minnesota were Twin Cities elitist progressives like Alida Messinger, Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, Dee Long, Arne Carlson and other environmental extremists. These elitists waged war against high-paying mining jobs. Paul Aasen, Gov. Dayton’s first nominee to be the commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, aka the MPCA, proudly bragged that he’d killed the Big Stone II power plant project that would’ve created 100 high-paying permanent jobs in western Minnesota.
That war against prosperity continues. While the need for sand increases in North Dakota for harvesting Bakken oil, the DFL is pushing for a moratorium on shipping sand from Minnesota. The Bakken will get its sand regardless of the DFL’s hissy fit. The only thing that the DFL’s hissy fit will prove is that Minnesota’s environmental extremists don’t care about high-paying Minnesota jobs. The DFL’s actions prove that they’d rather raise tax rates than create high-paying jobs that result in greater revenue in Minnesota’s general fund.
This part of Gov. Dayton’s speech should frighten thoughtful people:
In Minnesota, we have made real progress in areas like energy conservation, more efficient farming and manufacturing practices, and the development and use of clean, renewable energy, especially wind energy, instead of polluting fossil fuels.
The question is: are we progressing fast enough? Are we doing all we can to utilize other renewables, such as solar, and also to make Minnesota the best place to locate these new industries and their jobs?
Many of you, who served in previous legislatures, deserve great credit for your pioneering work to expand our use of clean energy, including Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon and former Senator Ellen Anderson, who is also here tonight.
I challenge this legislature to work again with our state’s visionary clean energy advocates, large energy providers, large energy users, other stakeholders, and my administration to use your past achievements as springboards for Minnesota’s next big leap toward a sustainable energy future.
The Next Generation Energy Act isn’t an achievement. It’s hurt families’ budgets by driving up electric prices. What’s worse is the fact that the prices are artificially lowered by state subsidies that help hide the true cost of producing electricity through renewables. If wind and solar weren’t heavily subsidized and mandated by government, wind and solar companies would be going out of business left and right. (See Solyndra to remove all doubts about that.)
The worst part is that the fix is in on these policies. Alida Messinger and her environmental extremist allies are pressuring Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature to pass counterproductive green energy policies that will hurt families when they’re still struggling.
After the next 2 years, Minnesotans will have a clear vision of 2 dramatically different ideologies. Gov. Dayton admitted tonight that the conservative blueprint works. The jury is still out on whether the DFL blueprint will work. Based on past experiences, it isn’t likely to succeed.
This MPR article talks about the fight Republicans are picking with Gov. Dayton over his proposed tax increases:
Gov. Mark Dayton and Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature are sparring over the definition of a fair tax system.
A week after the governor released his plan, Republicans are zeroing in on his sales tax and property tax proposals. Republicans in the House and Senate Tax committees blasted Dayton’s budget plan Tuesday because they say it would force middle income Minnesotans to pay more in sales taxes.
That’s the worst possible fight for GOP legislators to pick. My advice to the GOP powers-that-be in the legislature is pretty straightforward. Don’t fight the fairness issue. First, that’s DFL turf. Second, it won’t change hearts or minds. Third, it doesn’t do anything to highlight how Gov. Dayton’s sales tax and cigarette tax increases hurt retailers. Fourth, it doesn’t do a thing to highlight the established fact that cigarette tax increases shrink revenues from the cigarette tax. Fifth, fighting the fairness non-issue doesn’t highlight the fact that Gov. Dayton’s tax increases don’t strengthen Minnesota’s economy or job creation.
The GOP powers-that-be should focus like a laser on the fact that Gov. Dayton’s budget and tax increase proposals will hurt Minnesota’s economy because it chases businesses and shoppers to North Dakota and Wisconsin. They should follow Rep. Leidiger’s lead. Here’s how he drives those points home:
- Does your hand-me-down car need a tune-up? Auto repairs are taxed.
- Sick? Aspirin, cold medicine, and any other over-the-counter drugs are taxed.
- Getting married? The wedding dress and hair services are taxed.
- Need to buy your kids winter coats? Any clothing item over $100 is taxed.
- Need to make a will or get tax help? Legal and accounting services are taxed.
- Do your college-aged children need to buy textbooks online? Online purchases and digital downloads are taxed.
- Smoke? The cigarette tax is increased by nearly $1 per pack.
- Own a business? Business-to-business transaction sales are taxed.
Rep. Leidiger’s list of specific tax increases should become the GOP’s response to questions about what’s awful about Gov. Dayton’s tax increase proposals. GOP legislators should repeatedly question Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature how the middle class and working poor will pay less in taxes when all auto repairs, non-perscription drugs, cigarettes and e-books will see tax increases.
GOP legislators should repeatedly question DFL legislators and Gov. Dayton about why they think the middle class and working poor wouldn’t get hurt by these tax increases. Next, I’d tell GOP legislators to question Gov. Dayton, DFL legislators, especially Sen. Bakk, and ABM activists on why raising the cigarette tax and the sales tax won’t change people’s buying habits. Here’s what Sen. Bakk said in 2009:
Senate Taxes Committee Chairman Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said…higher alcohol taxes would drive some liquor shoppers across the Wisconsin border.
Thus far, Sen. Bakk hasn’t criticized Gov. Dayton’s proposed cigarette tax increase even though it would have the same effect on retailers as the alcohol tax increase would’ve had in 2009. He deserves a ton of needling for what he hasn’t said this time. It’s time for GOP legislators to remind everyone that DFL legislators don’t own their votes, that their special interest puppeteers own their votes. Sen. Bakk isn’t saying anything because he’s expected to say what Alida Messinger and ABM tells him to say.
Finally, I’d recommend that the GOP fight Gov. Dayton’s budget, especially the tax increases, because it won’t strengthen Minnesota’s economy. GOP legislators should tell every interviewer how many jobs were created with a GOP legislature, then use that as a measuring stick against how many jobs this legislature creates.
When Conservation Minnesota painted a bullseye on the mining industry in northeastern Minnesota, they proved that the DFL wasn’t interested in helping hardworking mining families. These mining families are the most blue collar families in Minnesota.
Twin Cities DFL elites essentially said that their agenda was more important than those families’ livelihood. There’s nothing worse than the DFL’s disinterest in these miners’ livelihoods. The DFL’s anti-mining agenda says that the miners are second class citizens in the DFL.
In St. Louis County, the median household income from 2007-2011 was $45,399. The statewide average during the same time period was $58,476. More importantly, during that same time period, 1 in 6 people in St. Louis County lived below the poverty line compared with 1 in 9 people statewide.
The other thing that’s worth noting is that the DFL’s agenda has focused mostly on 3 things: increasing spending on K-12 and higher education, raising taxes and submitting to everything on the public employee unions’ wish list.
That agenda won’t build a strong private sector economy because it takes money from people who increase Minnesota’s GDP, then transfers that money to the public sector, where too much money is spent on parasites who subtract from Minnesota’s GDP.
Some of the parasites that can be identified are PR staffers in every office, agency, panel, commission and council, ‘government affairs directors’ and the omni-present legislative liaisons. Government affair directors and legislative liaisons is just a different alias for public sector lobbyists.
These parasites get paid with taxpayers’ money to lobby the legislature to steal money from the productive private sector so it can be spent in the unproductive public sector.
The DFL’s agenda doesn’t strengthen manufacturing, agriculture or mining, blue collar industries that strengthen economies. The DFL’s agenda doesn’t diversify Minnesota’s economy, either.
Think how much healthier Minnesota’s economy would be if the Twin Metals and PolyMet mining projects took off. They’d create an estimated 1,000 mining jobs. That’s before determining how many mining support jobs they’d create. That’s before thinking about the jobs that would get created in the Iron Range as a result of a strengthened economy. Think, too, of the population boom that’d surely follow.
The Twin Cities DFL is saying with their policies that they aren’t interested in creating those blue collar jobs.
That’s why the DFL isn’t the party of the people anymore.
One thing that’s clear is that the DFL will pursue a counterproductive, anti-growth environmental policy either this year or next. It’s understood that Alida Messinger, the lady writing the biggest checks to the DFL and the DFL’s smear campaign machine, aka ABM, is pushing this agenda. History has shown that Alida Messinger won’t let the truth prevent her from getting her way.
In 2010, ABM was repeatedly criticized for outright lying. In 2012, ABM accused the GOP of shutting down state government even though Gov. Dayton could’ve prevented it from happening by signing a lights on bill that would’ve funded state government through July 11, 2011.
Alida Messinger currently sits on the Board of Directors for Conservation Minnesota, an organization whose mission is to prevent precious metal mining in Minnesota. CM created MiningTruth.org because Mrs. Messinger wants to prevent precious metal mining. Here’s a lie that CM didn’t hesitate in telling to prevent those mining projects:
Sulfide mining produces toxic waste that could irreversibly damage Minnesota’s fragile lakes, rivers and natural resources.
This picture is of the mine while it was in production:
This picture shows the restored mine site:
The point behind this is to prove that precious metal mining doesn’t produce “toxic waste that could irreversibly damage Minnesota’s” environment. If environmental damage isn’t being prevented, the next logical question is to ask what CM’s motivation is for this smear campaign.
That can’t be known without a whistleblower spilling the beans on CM’s agenda, which isn’t likely to happen. Still, this Census report shows what effect CM’s agenda is having on families in St. Louis County. From 2007-2011, 16% of the people living in St. Louis County lived below the poverty line. That’s significantly higher than the statewide average of 11%. Median household income in St. Louis County was $45,399 compared with the statewide average of $58,476, a gap of $13,077.
Retiring Rep. Rukavina, a liberal’s liberal by anyone’s standards, said this in a recent email:
I’m perplexed. I sent an email to the three who voted no, I’m awaiting a reply. Frankly, if Gov Dayton is pissed off at the DNR (hell, Ranger’s have been pissed off at them forever), he should fire some top dogs over there. But don’t take it out on the good people of the Range who have been mining for 130 years and playing by the rules that some folks now want to change.
Perplexed and pissed off would better describe my reaction. But hey, I’m a has been but I have been wondering why I’m the only member of the Range delegation who seems concerned about this. Perhaps it’s because I’m the only member of the Range delegation who represents the real Iron Range and has never represented any other constituents in my 26 year tenure.
It’s apparent that the Twin Cities DFL isn’t interested in fighting for miners like Rep. Rukavina is. According to Rep. Rukavina, miners “have been mining for 130 years and playing by the rules” all along.
The Twin Cities DFL is representing public employee unions and trust fund babies. That isn’t the same as fighting for the average Joe on Main Street.
It’s indisputable that the Twin Cities DFL has repeatedly voted repeatedly to kill precious metals mining projects in Ely and Hoyt Lakes. It’s indisputable that Iron Range DFL legislators didn’t criticize the State Executive Council when they shafted miners this week. They’ve tried spinning their votes in a variety of ways but the truth is inescapable: the metro DFL hates mining and will go to extraordinary lengths to stop future mining projects from becoming reality.
It isn’t surprising that Gov. Dayton voted to shaft the miners. As Prof. Kent Kaiser highlighted in an op-ed over a year ago, Gov. Dayton has a history of shafting miners:
Indeed, Dayton’s actions this month were more consistent with his actions two decades ago. At that time, when he was on the State Executive Council as state auditor, he called for the postponement of mining lease votes so he could consult first with the Sierra Club.
While Gov. Dayton’s actions throughout history have been disgusting, they pale in comparison to what he’s done, with the help of the DFL’s militant environmentalist allies, to miners and the Iron Range.
After the 2010 U.S. Census, it was noted that the median household income for St. Louis County, which is the heart of the Iron Range, was $44,941, compared with the statewide average of $57,243. That’s a $12,302 disparity between St. Louis County and the statewide average. It gets worse when compared against Sherburne County’s median household income, which is $71,704, a disparity of $26,763.
It isn’t just the income disparity that paints the truth about the DFL. It’s the fact that the Twin Metals project in Ely and the PolyMet project in Hoyt Lakes would create 1,000 high-paying mining jobs that would end that income disparity while dramatically lifting Iron Range’s economy from mediocre to exceptional.
Notice that I said those project would create 1,000 mining jobs. That’s before factoring in the support jobs those operations would require. That’s before factoring in the possibility of manufacturing operations moving into cities like Hibbing, Grand Rapids and Eveleth to take advantage of the minerals.
That’s before talking about how other mining projects would boost school funding through mining leases in the school land swap areas that the DFL and their militant environmentalist allies are preventing. Some estimates say that these projects could add $2,000,000,000 to the school trust fund over the life of those mining operations.
The clear message from Conservation Minnesota and Friends of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is that precious metal mining is a different, more environmentally unsafe, type of mining. Kennecott has a sterling reputation for limiting and reducing emissions. While this video is of their mining operation in Utah, they were good stewards of their Flambeau River mining operation in Wisconsin. Here’s what their Flambeau River mine:
This link includes an aerial photo of what the Flambeau Mine looks like 16 years after it ceased operations.
Conservation Minnesota, another subsidiary of the Dayton Politics family of political operations, talks the environmentalist talk. Kennecott walks the environmentalist walk.
It’s clear that Kennecott is the real steward of the land.
Tags: Conservation Minnesota, Alida Messinger, Sierra Club, Mark Dayton, Environmentalists, DFL, Kennecott Mining, Daybreak, Utah, Flambeau River, Wisconsin, Twin Metals, PolyMet, Minnesota, Conservationists, Median Household Income, Jobs
When the Minnesota Executive Council decided to postpone the approval of the initial exploration leases, the DFL denied the Iron Range’s miners the opportunity to make a better living for themselves. That wasn’t a smart thing to do. Retiring Rep. Rukavina responded to my email to him. Here’s the email I wrote Rep. Rukavina:
Rep. Rukavina, As a conservative writer, I’ve rarely agreed with your policies but I’ve always admired how you fought for the people of your district. I’d appreciate your opinion on the State Executive Council’s decision to postpone their decision on approving new leases for mineral exploration.
It pains me to see the disparity in incomes between St. Louis County ($44,941) vs. the statewide average ($57,243). There’s no reason why that disparity is that wide. Frankly, it’s disgraceful.
Rep. Ruckavina, I’m in the process of writing an article about the Executive Council’s vote for Examiner.com & I’d love getting your perspective on their decision. Just reply to this email if you’re interested. I promise to publish your statement verbatim in my article.
Good luck in your retirement. Though I disagreed with you, I always appreciated your willingness to fight for your constituents. That’s an honorable thing to do.
Here’s Rep. Rukavina’s reply:
I’m perplexed. I sent an email to the three who voted no, I’m awaiting a reply. Frankly, if Gov Dayton is pissed off at the DNR (hell, Rangers have been pissed off at them forever), he should fire some top dogs over there. But don’t take it out on the good people of the Range who have been mining for 130 years and playing by the rules that some folks now want to change.
Perplexed and pissed off would better describe my reaction. But hey, I’m a has been but I have been wondering why I’m the only member of the Range delegation who seems
concerned about this. Perhaps it’s because I’m the only member of the Range delegation who represents the real Iron Range and has never represented any other constituents in my 26 year tenure.
Sorry for not answering you sooner. I’m falling behind on emails as I have been
doing home projects that I neglected for two decades!
There’s nothing for Rep. Rukavina to be sorry about. It isn’t his fault that the DFL doesn’t consistently fight for the citizens of the Iron Range.
I didn’t hide the fact that I’m a passionate conservative from Rep. Rukavina. That didn’t matter to him. His first concern was about his constituents. I respect Rep. Rukavina for tring to put his constituents first.
Presumptive Senate Majority Leader Bakk allegedly represents SD-3 in northern Minnesota. I say allegedly for two reasons. First, he didn’t get much financial support from within the district. According to the report, Sen. Bakk got $1,000 from his district. By comparison, Sen. Bakk got $7,760 in contributions from the Twin Cities and $500 from New Jersey.
The reason why that’s relevant is because Sen. Bakk hasn’t uttered a peep about Gov. Dayton, Secretary Ritchie and Rebecca Otto decided to shaft miners in Sen. Bakk’s district. In fact, Sen. Bakk was joined in silence by David Dill, David Thomassoni, Tom Saxhaug, Tom Anzelc and Carly Melin after the State Executive Council’s decision to shaft the miners.
The Silent Six haven’t spoken out for their constituents because they can’t speak out because Alida Messinger will quit writing checks to the DFL and the House and Senate DFL campaign committees.
The Silent Six, led by Sen. Bakk, have put campaign contributions ahead of what’s best for their constituents. What proof exists that the Silent Six have passionately fought for their constituents? Fighting for a few extra dollars for the IRRRB doesn’t count because the IRRRB isn’t fighting for miners either.
A question that doesn’t need asking is whether the DFL has the cajones to tell Alida Messinger to take a hike. Selling their soul for campaign contributions might get them a legislative majority but it isn’t helping the DFL do what’s right for Minnesota’s blue collar workers.
I’ll guarantee that the GOP would approve those leases if they had a majority on the State Executive Council. In fact, they’d help create 1,000 jobs almost instantly upon being sworn into office.
Finally, the Silent Six represent what’s wrong with Minnesota politics. They didn’t pretend to care about their constituents. They sold their constituents out the minute they got their thirty pieces of silver.
The DFL isn’t the party of the people any more.