Archive for the ‘Election 2014’ Category
Rep. Thissen just posted this tweet in an attempt to criticize Republicans to distract attention away from Gov. Dayton vetoing a series of middle class tax cuts. In his tweet, he said “I bet those Republican House members wish they’d voted w/ us for 24 hrs. to review bills. That’s how you avoid $100 million mistakes.”
Rep. Thissen is a man living in a glass house who throws stones recklessly. In 2013, Rep. Thissen joined with Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton to pass a tax bill that raised taxes on farmers, warehouse operators and telecommunications equipment. In 2014, Rep. Thissen joined with Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton in admitting that Republicans were right in voting against those sales tax increases. They didn’t admit it in a press release. They admitted it by repealing those sales taxes.
Rep. Thissen, Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton reached agreement on these tax increases a week before the end of the 2013 session. They passed these sales tax increases the last day of the session, which meant the DFL had tons of time to read through the Tax Bill.
Those sales tax increases weren’t the only mistakes made by Rep. Thissen, Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton in that 2013 Tax Bill. That year, Rep. Thissen, Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton and the DFL included $90,000,000 to build Bakk’s Senate Palace. To be fair, though, Rep. Thissen, Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton haven’t admitted that was a mistake. Minnesotans admitted it, though, when they threw out Rep. Thissen as Speaker of the House. In 2014, it wasn’t coincidence that the DFL returned to being the minority party in the House.
Between the sales tax increases that were later repealed and $90,000,000 spent on Bakk’s Palace, it isn’t a stretch to think that Rep. Thissen’s mistakes added up to much more than $100,000,000. It’s more likely that the DFL’s mistakes made in 2013 and admitted in 2014 topped $300,000,000. Though I don’t have the spreadsheet in front of me, the article I linked to earlier talks about “a $443 million tax reduction bill.” Add $90,000,000 for the Senate Office Building to the $443,000,000 and you’re easily over $500,000,000.
Rep. Thissen shouldn’t shoot his mouth off about $100,000,000 mistakes after he joined Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton and the DFL majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate in making a series of far bigger mistakes in 2013 and 2014.
The DFL’s intentional deceptions are disgusting. Minutes ago, they posted this tweet:
Remember: #mnleg had large surplus last yr too, but GOP budget produced increases in prop taxes, tuition & health care costs #SurplusChoices
— Minnesota House DFL (@mnhouseDFL) December 3, 2015
It’s time that the DFL stopped lying about property taxes. The DFL’s budget didn’t prevent property tax increases. I wrote this post in 2014 to highlight that fact. In that post, I linked to this post, which talked about the Princeton School Board voted to raise “the school district tax levy by 25.16 percent for taxes payable 2015 to fund the 2015-16 school year.”
That happened before Kurt Daudt was elected as Speaker of the House. That didn’t happen until January, 2015.
St. Cloud school district has imposed its largest tax levy increase in six years for 2015. The district’s property-tax levy will increase by $3.3 million, or 14.75 percent, to nearly $26 million. The school board voted unanimously Thursday night to approve the 2015 levy.
This happened during 2014, too. It’s difficult to blame the MNGOP for those property tax increases, especially considering the fact that Paul Thissen bragged about the DFL’s “Historic Investment in Minnesota’s Future.” After the DFL significantly raised K-12 spending, shouldn’t we have the right to expect a year or 2 of no property taxes from the school districts? Instead of getting stable property taxes, we get historic property tax increases.
The thought that the DFL is now lying about Republicans driving up property taxes is disgusting but predictable. The DFL isn’t in the business of telling the truth. They’re in the business of lying to people if they think that’s what will help them win elections.
It doesn’t surprise people that know him that Rep. Paul Thissen is telling whoppers again. In his op-ed in the St. Cloud Times, Rep. Thissen insists that Republicans promised to expand broadband during the 2014 campaign. That’s a whopper and Thissen knows it. What’s worse is that he knows it. What’s worst is that he knows it’s a whopped but he doesn’t care that he’s repeating the lie all throughout outstate Minnesota.
Thissen’s op-ed is filled with BS. First, Rep. Thissen said “Many people in greater Minnesota began this year with high hopes given the promises Republican legislators made on the campaign trail.” What’s noticeably absent from that statement was that Republicans promised a massive investment in outstate broadband. Next, Rep. Thissen said “Despite a $2 billion surplus, the Republican-led House did not continue this commitment to rural broadband access in 2015. They initially zeroed-out our state’s broadband investment and ended up putting just $10 million into our broadband program. They also proposed to eliminate the Office of Broadband Development.”
Republicans put a higher priority on fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges than they put on outstate broadband. Still, Republicans invested $10,000,000 in expanding broadband service. It’s intellectually dishonest to say that Republicans don’t care about an issue because they won’t spend as much money on a budget item as the DFL will.
What’s disgusting, though utterly predictable, is Rep. Thissen’s claim that Republicans’ “top priority last session was massive tax breaks that benefit large corporations and businesses…” That’s total BS. I contacted Greg Davids, the chair of the House Taxes Committee. He literally wrote the House tax bill. Here’s what Chairman Davids said when I told him about the DFL’s statement that his tax bill benefited “large corporations”:
“My bill does not do that. Eighty percent goes to individuals. Tax relief is for the middle class…. My tax bill is tax relief for the poor and middle class.”
If Rep. Thissen isn’t willing to state in print that Chairman Davids is a liar about this, then he should stop with this “massive tax breaks that benefit large corporations and businesses” shtick.
Minnesota deserves principled, honest leadership. Rep. Thissen isn’t honest. He’s repeatedly proven that he won’t hesitate in telling whoppers if he thinks that’ll return him to the majority. It isn’t a stretch to think that he’s jealous of the positive press Kurt Daudt received this year as Speaker. Rejecting Thissen’s lies would be a great first step to maintaining a Republican majority in the House of Representatives.
Speaker Daudt was a profile in leadership last year. That’s how he and Sen. Bakk put together a bipartisan budget agreement. That’s a budget that the House DFL didn’t vote for. The House DFL voted nearly in unanimity against the Daudt-Bakk bipartisan budget.
That makes Rep. Thissen and the House DFL the extremists who didn’t even agree with their DFL colleagues in the Senate.
UPDATE: Rep. Ron Kresha’s op-ed demolishes Rep. Thissen’s accusations. First, there’s this:
Led by a strong coalition of Greater Minnesota GOP legislators, rural broadband access will continue to be a priority. In 2015, Minnesota invested $10 million for the first half of the biennium (compared to $0 invested by the DFL in the first year of their two year term in 2013-2014) and recently $80 million in Connect America funds were announced for Minnesota.
GOP legislators, private broadband companies, and federal funds are coming together to strengthen our rural broadband and I anticipate Minority Leader Thissen of Minneapolis will have an opportunity next session to support additional investments—I hope this time Democrats will join us in supporting additional resources.
Rep. Thissen’s getting a lesson in ‘facts are stubborn things’. It’s a way of highlighting the fact that Rep. Thissen doesn’t put a high priority on honesty, which supports my contention that he’s qualified to work for the Alliance for a Better Minnesota.
Rep. Thissen said that the Republicans’ “top priority last session was massive tax breaks that benefit large corporations and businesses…” Here’s Rep. Kresha’s response was to that:
The tax bill that Democrats blocked earlier this year would have provided tax relief aimed at middle-class families, college students, farmers, and parents with young children. Our bill repealed the state tax on social security and military benefits so our retirees and veterans can keep more of the money they rightfully earned.
The last I looked, middle class families and college students aren’t the same as “large corporations.”
If there’s anything I didn’t expect to hear this session, I wouldn’t have expected Tom Anzelc to criticize Gov. Dayton. That’s exactly what Rep. Anzelc did, though:
Several were skeptical an agreement could be reached in time to avoid a partial government shutdown.
“Historically, governors don’t call a special session unless there is rock-solid agreement among the leadership,” said Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Township. “Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, and Speaker Daudt have a cordial relationship. But the governor doesn’t seem to be in that triangle. That’s going to make this very complicated.”
Gov. Dayton certainly doesn’t fit into that triangle, though it’s fair to say that he’s admitted that he trusts Speaker Daudt.
To be fair, though, it isn’t accurate to think that Sen. Bakk has suddenly turned over a new moderate leaf. The reason he’s getting along with Speaker Daudt is mostly due to the fact that he’s worried that there’s something to the Republicans’ advantage in outstate Minnesota. A politician’s greatest instinct is to get re-elected. After seeing Paul Thissen get fired as Speaker in 2014, Bakk is doing his best to play to outstate Minnesota as much as possible.
But I digress.
The reality is that Gov. Dayton remains the biggest impediment to these negotiations. That’s why Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk pushed Gov. Dayton aside after spending the last week of the session trying to hammer out a budget deal. After 4 days of intense negotiations, the trio had reached agreement on 2 bills. After they pushed. Gov. Dayton to the side, they finished the other bills in 2 hours.
Now, Gov. Dayton is whining after taking his ill-advised pre-K initiative off the table:
“I’ve given up on my version of pre-k and that’s a huge concession on my part to try to get this resolved, to try to get this wrapped up, to try to give 10,000 public employees that they’re going to have their jobs on July 1st,” Dayton said. “I’ve gone a long ways on this to accommodate their concerns.”
It isn’t a concession considering the fact that legislators of both parties and both bodies of the legislature rejected Gov. Dayton’s proposal. It isn’t a concession considering the fact that school boards across the state oppose it. It isn’t a concession considering it’s hiding more than $3,000,000,000 in property tax increases in it because of the unfunded mandates hidden throughout Gov. Dayton’s bill.
When the Senate, which has a DFL majority, rejects Gov. Dayton’s proposal by a 52-14 margin, that’s a pretty strong indicator that it’s a terrible idea.
Gov. Dayton is opposing the bill because Republicans are demanding a common sense reform in exchange for increased spending:
The House GOP released an offer sheet that put $125 million more in the mix but called for changes to the “last-in, first-out” teacher layoff law.
Simply put, this is a sensible reform. Education Minnesota hates the idea, which is enough to earn Gov. Dayton’s wrath. If you asked parents if they’d want the teachers with the most seniority teaching their children or whether they’d prefer that the best teachers teaching their children, it wouldn’t be a fair fight.
The recently-announced framework between Iran and the P-5 + 1 is an interesting situation that’s having significant political consequences. What’s at stake is whether senators should support a freedom-loving democracy or whether they should support a terrorist-financing nation led by aging religious fanatics that chant ‘Death to America‘. That’s essentially the heart of this debate.
While Israel’s critics criticize Israel’s settlements in the West Bank, the truth is that these criticisms are pretty feeble, especially compared with the complaints Israel can make about the rockets launched by Iran-funded terrorist organizations into the heart of Israel. The Iranian-funded terrorists launch missiles into the heart of Israel. The Israeli settlers are building homes in the West Bank. The notion that there’s a moral equivalence between the 2 things is absurd.
Senators supporting the deal between the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany and Iran best be ready to defend a terrorist regime whose first ambition is to terrorize America’s most reliable ally in the Middle East and to create a region-wide hegemon with nuclear weapons. That’s what Iran’s first set of goals are. When Iran’s leader shouts “Death to America”, I’m certain he isn’t joking. Iran’s mid-term goal is to expand its hegemon into western Europe. That’s because their ultimate goal is to establish a worldwide caliphate that would give people the ‘option’ to either obey the Iranian mullahs’ dictates or die.
Here in the United States, Jewish voters are noticing who’s on Israel’s side and who isn’t:
Republicans currently in the Senate raised more money during the 2014 election cycle in direct, federally regulated campaign contributions from individuals and political action committees deemed pro-Israel than their Democratic counterparts, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics and analyzed for The New York Times by a second nonprofit, MapLight. The Republican advantage was the first in more than a decade.
The alliances in Congress that pro-Israel donors have built will certainly be tested as they lobby lawmakers to oppose the deal with Iran and perhaps even expand sanctions against the country, despite objections from the Obama administration.
Donors say the trend toward Republicans among wealthy, hawkish contributors is at least partly responsible for inspiring stronger support for Israel among party lawmakers who already had pro-Israel views.
President Obama can’t hide his feelings for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Lately, he hasn’t bothered trying to hide his contempt for Prime Minister Netanyahu. If President Obama’s hostility continues, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that Jewish support for Republicans would increase.
If you’re an Israel-loving Jewish voter, there’s no reason to support the Democratic Party.
This Strib article left the impression that Republicans outspent Democrats this cycle. Here’s the opening paragraph:
Republicans and their campaign allies, often financially outmatched in recent years by a cash-rich DFL machine, focused their resources on a relatively small number of key and expensive state House races and the gamble paid off, according to campaign finance reports made public Tuesday.
First, the slant to that paragraph sounds like Republicans finally overtook the DFL in campaign spending. Here’s what I would’ve written had I written the article:
Republicans and their campaign allies, financially outmatched in each election for the last two decades by a cash-rich DFL machine, focused their resources on a relatively small number of key and expensive state House races. The perfectly predictable political strategy, which the DFL also followed, paid off, according to campaign finance reports made public Tuesday.
The next paragraph is equally misleading. It read:
The reports show that of the 10 most expensive statehouse races in 2014, Republicans won seven, the exact number they needed to take the majority, plus four others for good measure. The price tag on a couple of those races topped $750,000 in independent expenditures alone, not counting what the candidates themselves spent.
Here’s what I would’ve written:
The reports show that, of the 10 most expensive (i.e., “targeted” by both parties) state legislative races in 2014, Republicans won seven, the exact number they needed to take the majority, even though the GOP coalition was outspent plus four others for good measure (That makes the entire “most expensive” races narrative irrelevant). The price tag on a couple of those races topped $750,000 in independent expenditures, not counting what the candidates themselves spent. In both races where that was true, the DFL candidate benefitted from significantly more spending than the GOP candidate, including an $83,000 advantage in the state’s most expensive race. In that race, the DFL candidate benefitted from tens of thousands of dollars from outside Minnesota.
It isn’t until the third paragraph that Mssrs. Coolican and Howatt admit that the DFL outspent Republicans:
The DFL retained its overall fundraising advantage, with Democratic-aligned groups spending $10 million to the approximate $6 million of their Republican counterparts, but the data does not show so-called dark money spending by groups that do not have to report expenses, which is where Republicans may be catching up or surpassing Democrats.
This is what I would’ve written:
The DFL retained its overall fundraising advantage (in direct contrast to the headline of this article), with Democratic-aligned groups spending $10 million to the approximate $6 million of their Republican counterparts (meaning $6 of every $10 dollars in Minnesota races were spent to benefit DFL candidates), but the data does not show so-called dark money spending by groups that do not have to report expenses, which is where Republicans may be catching up or surpassing Democrats. Then again, Republicans might not be catching up since it’s impossible to track so-called dark money.
Here’s the next paragraph:
All told, the parties, candidates and political action committees spent an estimated $66 million on the 2014 contests.
Does this include state house races, constitutional officers and congressional races? Does this include the “dark money” that Democrats reflexively decry…when it isn’t being used to elect Democrats?
Republican-aligned groups spent $1.26 million to help GOP gubernatorial nominee Jeff Johnson, who trailed in the polls from the day he won his primary, while DFL groups spent $4.5 million to help re-elect Gov. Mark Dayton, swamping Johnson with negative ads before he could get his campaign off the ground.
Here’s where the DFL spending advantage is best highlighted:
Republican-aligned groups spent $1.26 million to help GOP gubernatorial nominee Jeff Johnson, who trailed in the polls from the day he won his primary, while DFL groups spent almost 4 times as much as the GOP, or about $4.5 million, to help re-elect Gov. Mark Dayton, swamping Johnson with negative ads before he could get his campaign off the ground.
That’s quite a contrast.
In the House races, however, Republicans and their allies approached parity, spending $4.3 million to the DFL aligned groups’ $5.4 million. The Republican-leaning Minnesota Jobs Coalition, for instance, funneled at least $325,000 from the Washington, D.C.-based Republican State Leadership Committee into targeted races that helped put House Republicans over the top. Ben Golnik was hired away from the Jobs Coalition after November’s election to the House Republicans’ top staff job.
Here’s the more accurate version:
In the House races, however, Republicans and their allies were ‘only’ outspent by the DFL by $1.1 million. The Republican-leaning Minnesota Jobs Coalition funneled at least $325,000 from the Washington, D.C.-based RSLC into targeted races that helped put House Republicans over the top. The Washington, D.C. Based DLCC Victory Fund spent $300,000 on an identical effort through the House DFL Caucus. After November’s election, Ben Golnik was hired away from the Jobs Coalition to the House Republicans’ top staff job.
This paragraph is rich:
Although $66 million was reported spent in 2014, what’s not known is precisely how much was spent by so-called dark money groups — nonprofit organizations that can spend unlimited sums on elections without disclosing their donors. They have become much more active in politics since the U.S. Supreme Court 2010 Citizens United decision gutted campaign finance rules. Minnesota House Democrats complain bitterly about this spending and have offered legislation this year attempting to close loopholes.
Democrats won’t stop whining about Citizens United. That paragraph is completely misleading and false. These groups can’t spend a dime on elections. They can educate voters about issues. Often, these ads are confused with election ads. They’ve become much more active in politics since the U.S. Supreme Court 2010 Citizens United decision gutted campaign finance rules that violated the First Amendment. If anything, the “issue ads” are less prevalent since Citizens United (at least in Minnesota) precisely because corporate and labor spending can now be used for express advocacy. Minnesota House Democrats complain bitterly about this spending and have offered legislation this year attempting to “close loopholes”, which is code for saying eliminating some First Amendment protections. What’s interesting is that many of the DFL’s allies, including the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, labor unions such as SEIU and AFSCME and Planned Parenthood, take advantage of the same “loopholes” to educate Minnesotans on issues important to them, which is their constitutional right.
Minnesota DFLers were helped by reliable allies: The Alliance for a Better Minnesota Action Fund spent more than $4.5 million. Big labor union PACs also pitched in, including Education Minnesota with more than $400,000 and big totals from AFSCME, SEIU and the nurses union also came to the DFL’s aid. This was in addition to nearly $2.9 million by the state party and more than $900,000 by the DFL House caucus.
Here’s more details that the Strib didn’t include in their article:
Minnesota DFLers were helped by reliable allies. The Alliance for a Better Minnesota Action Fund spent more than $4.5 million, over $1.2M of which was contributed by “Win Minnesota,” a 501(c)(4) which is not required to disclose its donors. Big labor union PACs also pitched in, including Education Minnesota with more than $400,000 and big totals from AFSCME, SEIU and the nurses union also came to the DFL’s aid. This was in addition to nearly $2.9 million by the state party and more than $900,000 by the DFL House caucus.
Finally, there’s this:
On the Republican side, the party spent $1.3 million. Minnesota Action Network, with which former Sen. Norm Coleman is affiliated, spent $657,000; Pro Jobs Majority spent more than $1 million, with several similar, business-backed groups chipping in six-figure chunks. The House Republican caucus spent $440,000.
On the Republican side, the party spent $1.3 million. Minnesota Action Network, which former Sen. Norm Coleman is affiliated with, spent $657,000 (which didn’t have to disclose all of its individual donors); Pro Jobs Majority spent more than $1 million, with several similar, business-backed groups chipping in six-figure chunks. The House Republican caucus spent $440,000.
The biggest difference between the speech Joni Ernst delivered and President Obama’s SOTU speech, other than the fact that Ernst’s speech dealt with reality and President Obama’s speech didn’t, is that Sen. Ernst said that Republicans will listen to the American people:
Tonight though, rather than respond to a speech, I’d like to talk about your priorities. I’d like to have a conversation about the new Republican Congress you just elected, and how we plan to make Washington focus on your concerns again.
We heard the message you sent in November — loud and clear. And now we’re getting to work to change the direction Washington has been taking our country.
The new Republican Congress also understands how difficult these past six years have been. For many of us, the sting of the economy and the frustration with Washington’s dysfunction, weren’t things we had to read about. We felt them every day.
President Obama’s speech was different in that he couldn’t admit to the truth:
Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999. Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis.
The economy is doing better than the first 6 years of the Obama economy, mostly despite President Obama’s best efforts to hurt the economy. We’re benefitting from the private- and state-lands fracking boom. The Bakken Boom happened despite President Obama’s attempts to prevent it. It didn’t happen because President Obama’s policies encouraged it. That isn’t speculation. That’s indisputable fact based on statistics from the Obama administration’s Energy Information Administration.
During last night’s SOTU address, President Obama pretended that al-Qa’ida didn’t exist, that the economy is booming and that the 2014 elections didn’t happen. The bad news for President Obama and the Democratic Party is that al-Qa’ida is gaining strength, the economy is doing so-so and he experienced another butt-kicking in the 2014 midterms.
Brian Beutler wrote this article after last night’s speech. Apparently, he suffers from the same mental disorder President Obama suffers from:
If Democrats controlled Congress, Congress wouldn’t have treated Obama’s address like a dead letter and Obama might have tailored it more narrowly, careful not to ask for more than Congress could plausibly deliver.
BULLETIN FOR BRIAN BEUTLER: The reason Democrats don’t control Congress is because the American people rejected President Obama’s agenda. The American people saw the agenda. The American people saw President Obama’s policies fail. In 2014, they said ‘I’ve had it’ and threw Democrats out.
The verdict from the American people was that they’d had enough of President Obama’s failed policies.
Joni Ernst didn’t offer a lengthy list of Republican solutions. Instead, she said something more important. She told the American people that Republicans were listening to the American people. Then she told them that Republicans would act on the things that the American people’s priorities.
That’s why Joni Ernst’s speech was consequential over the long term and why President Obama’s speech will be forgotten before the Super Bowl is played.
Juan Williams’ column is filled with faulty premises. Here’s the first of Williams’ faulty premises:
Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) strategy for defeating Democrats in the final two years of the Obama administration is clear: divide and conquer.
There’s no doubt that Democrats are divided over Keystone. What Williams didn’t detect is that the people are incredibly united on the issue. Almost 70% of registered voters support building the Keystone XL Pipeline. A pathetic 25% of registered voters oppose building it.
If Democrats want to listen to the environmental activist wing of the Democratic Party, that’s their right. If Democrats want to ignore the will of the American people, that’s their option, too. Just don’t try telling me that that’s divide and conquer. That’s giving people the option between doing the right thing and playing partisan politics.
Now he is testing Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) ability as minority leader to hold Senate Democrats together in opposition to a Republican agenda favoring the pipeline, halting immigration reform, lowering corporate taxes, and seeking to destroy Obamacare.
If significant numbers of Senate Democrats are willing to join with Republicans to force presidential vetoes, McConnell wins. He gains the power to paint himself as the good guy working across political lines. And he will smear the remaining Democrats as members of an out-of-the-mainstream party in the grips of leftist ideologues — Obama, Reid, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and possibly Hillary Clinton.
Sen. McConnell’s agenda this year consists of passing lots of things that 70+ percent of the American people support. Pundits call that picking off the low-hanging fruit. It’s the stuff that President Obama and Sen. Reid ignored the past 4 years.
It isn’t surprising that Republicans have a different agenda than President Obama and Sen. Reid. President Obama and Sen. Reid frequently thwarted the will of the American people. They weren’t just characterized as out-of-the-mainstream ideologues. It’s that President Obama and Sen. Reid have been out-of-the-mainstream ideologues.
In 2010, the American people spoke with a clear voice that they didn’t like President Obama’s and Sen. Reid’s agenda. This past November, they spoke with an even clearer voice. They rejected President Obama’s and Sen. Reid’s agenda.
Rather than listen to the American people, President Obama said that he isn’t interested in the American people’s agenda. President Obama and the Democrats have forcefully said that they’re interested only in their agenda.
Hooray for Sen. McConnell for putting the Democrats’ feet to the fire. It’s time to find out if they’re aligning with the American people or with the Democrats’ special interest allies.
Karen Cyson’s monthly columns are consistently intentionally misleading. This month’s column definitely fits that description. Here’s proof:
Previous Rep. Michele Bachmann had a 75 percent rating of spewing falsehoods (mostly false, false, or pants-on-fire), according to [Politifact], and missed 10.3 percent of her voting opportunities. The median absence rate in the House of Representatives is 2.5 percent. To represent a group, one of the most basic things a representative can do is show up.
I’m not here to defend Michele Bachmann’s statements, though I’ll definitely agree with her statements that the Muslim Brotherhood has tried infiltrating the State Department. There’s tons of proof of that, including the statement of a former terrorist who is now a Christian.
What I’m here to defend is Ms. Cyson’s statement that Michele missed “10.3% of her voting opportunities,” that’s true but misleading. That statistic is true because she ran for president in 2012. It’s inevitable that people running for president miss votes. Ms. Cyson, forever the partisan, intentionally omitted that important fact.
This information is technically accurate and intentionally misleading:
Also of note: The sole piece of legislation introduced by Bachmann that passed the House and Senate and was signed into law by the president was a bill to rename the Cold Spring Post Office.
While Rep. Bachmann’s legislation to replace the Stillwater Bridge wasn’t signed into law, there’s no question that she was the driving force behind getting that bridge built. That project had been stalled for a decade. It was indisputable that the bridge needed to be replaced.
Jim Oberstar didn’t get the thing built. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken couldn’t be bothered with pushing the project. Gov. Dayton didn’t put a priority on the project, either. It wasn’t until Michele started pushing the bridge project that Sen. Klobuchar got interested.
This paragraph is stunning:
I am hopeful Emmer takes it upon himself to introduce and support legislation that backs those Minnesota values we support: quality education, safe infrastructure, environmental stewardship, affordable health care, equality under the law for all citizens.
TRANSLATION: I hope Emmer becomes a good liberal.
First, the federal government’s involvement in education has been disastrous. They provide a tiny percentage of per-pupil funding but impose the majority of regulations. Next, it’s virtually guaranteed that Rep. Emmer will fight hard for transportation funding. That’s because expanding highway capacity is one of the top priorities for the district. Third, it isn’t likely that Rep. Emmer will fight hard for the excessive federal environmental regulations that President Obama is famous for. Thank God for that. Finally, based on the campaigns that I’ve watched, social issues aren’t a high priority. It isn’t that Rep. Emmer doesn’t have opinions. It’s that increasing economic opportunity within the district is Rep. Emmer’s highest priority.
One question that Gov. Dayton and the DFL have continually refused to answer is where the proposed pipelines are. Gov. Dayton, the DFL and their allies in the environmental movement constantly cite the need for additional studies to make sure the pipeline won’t hurt Minnesota’s supposedly pristine waters.
Whatever their arguments, the truth is that Gov. Dayton, the DFL and environmental organizations don’t want pipelines built. As a result, farmers are getting hurt and cities along rail lines are at greater safety risk. The Anoka County Watchdog highlighted the problem:
One of the most prolific offenders in this regard is Governor Dayton, whose incompetence creates numerous problems he then attempts “solve,” mostly by wrongly blaming others for starting the fire.
Such was the case this week, when the Governor showed up in Coon Rapids for a roundtable discussion on rail congestion in the city and the attendant problems it is causing.
The city is home to two mainline tracks which carry a large volume of freight to the West Coast. These tracks have become congested, mostly because of oil trains, which is causing not only an inconvenience, but is creating safety issues as trains block intersections and the oil trains remain a risk for derailment.
I don’t often give advice but I’ll make an exception this time. If the GOP majority in the House of Representatives want to put the DFL in a difficult position, they should vote on legislation that puts a time limit on how long it takes from initial application to final up-or-down vote.
That doesn’t mean all pipeline projects be approved in that time period. It simply means the regulating bodies have to vote up or down. The regulating body would have to explain why they rejected a pipeline company’s application. For instance, the Public Utilities Commission couldn’t just call for examining different routes. If the PUC rejected the application, they’d have to give a substantive, point-by-point explanation for why they rejected a pipeline company’s application.
If the DFL majority in the Senate rejected the House bill, then they’d have to explain to voters why they voted against freeing up railcar space for farmers. That’d expose the DFL as being anti-farmer and/or anti-outstate Minnesota.
In 2014, the DFL insisted that they weren’t anti-outstate Minnesota. In 2016, they couldn’t make that argument because Republicans would have substantive proof for their accusations..