Archive for the ‘Stewart Mills’ Category

According to Pat Kessler’s latest Reality Check segment, most of the claims in Stewart Mills’ ad about Syrian refugees are true. According to Kessler, “Here’s what the Mills ad said: “Rick Nolan supports bringing 100,000 unvetted Syrians to America by the end of the year.” He doesn’t. But much what the Mills ad says is true, even if some of it is out of context. 100,000 Syrian refugees? True. By the end of 2016? True. “Unvetted”? False.”

Actually, there’s some question as to whether the refugees are vetted. The person questioning the Obama administration’s vetting abilities is James Comey, the director of the FBI. Further, Nicholas Rasmussen, the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, admitted “the intelligence that we have of this particular conflict zone is not as rich as we would like it to be” during the hearing.

Let’s connect these Reality Check dots. We know that Reality Check verified that most of the claims were “true”. Further, we now know that the only claim that they said was false shouldn’t have been categorized as false because congressional testimony from the Director of the FBI and the head of the National Counterterrorism Center both said that vetting Syrian refugees was especially difficult.

Therefore, LFR rates this Reality Check as Mostly True, with one statement rated ‘highly questionable’.

Rick Nolan isn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier. I recall thinking that when he was my congressman back in the mid-1970s. Back then, constituents knew that he’d vote the way Democratic leadership told him to vote. Nothing’s changed in 40+ years. Yesterday, Nolan joined the Democrats’ gun control sit-in. When it was his time to speak, Nolan spoke of a bygone era that didn’t exist, saying “If anybody had a good idea in the form of a bill or an amendment, they got an opportunity to offer it, and have it debated and discussed. That rarely happens anymore.”

What’s changed in those 40+ years is that Democrats went from being a party brimming with ideas to being the party of identity politics. Democrats don’t provide solutions anymore. These days, Democrats offer legislation that appeases one of their special interest allies. This week, rather than offering President Obama advice on how to destroy ISIS, Democrats have staged a faux protest aimed at getting their special interest allies frothing at the mouth over gun control. Here’s Nolan at his fruitiest:

Rep. Nolan supplied one of the dumbest arguments in favor of gun control. It deserves to be enshrined in the House of Representatives’ Hall of Shame. Here’s what Rep. Nolan said:

“I represent rural communities in northeastern Minnesota. Everybody in my neighborhood has shotguns and deer rifles—including me,” Nolan said in the release. “I’m proud to strongly support the Second Amendment. But the fact is, when you’re out duck hunting, you can only have three shells in your gun. Why? To protect ducks! That’s right—we put limits on guns to protect ducks. So why can’t we do the same for our elementary schoolchildren? For our friends and neighbors in places of worship? For our families who want to catch a Friday night movie? For our LGBTQ community who just want to go out for some fun and dancing on a Saturday night? Surely they deserve the same concern and safety that we afford to ducks.”

That’s breathtakingly stupid. Either that or he’s being breathtakingly dishonest. The Second Amendment wasn’t ratified to give people the right to hunt. Comparing hunting regulations with constitutional protections is like comparing the newest power tools with this year’s beauty pageant contestants. One has nothing to do with the other. Let me explain.

Hunting regulations were put in place to maintain healthy populations of game animals so sportsmen could go hunting. They weren’t put in place, as Rep. Nolan said, “to protect ducks.” The no fly-no buy legislation that Democrats, including Rep. Nolan, support requires the suspension of Fifth Amendment’s due process protections. Those protections protect people from start to finish. The Democrats’ No Fly-No Buy legislation only offers due process ‘protection’ after the fact. That certainly wouldn’t meet constitutional muster.

This is a gift to Stewart Mills’ campaign. Mills lost to Nolan by 3,732 votes in 2014. If Rep. Nolan keeps saying stupid things like this, he’ll get pummeled.

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Based on what his campaign manager just said, Rick Nolan isn’t living in northern Minnesota. Based on Joe Radinovich’s statement, it’s more likely that Nolan’s current neighbors include the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and some unicorns.

After the Tarrance Group released its first poll of the campaign, Radinovich said “The real takeaway from this poll and others we’ve seen is that, despite seemingly favorable conditions for Republicans, Congressman Nolan’s integrity, effectiveness and strong leadership is recognized by voters across the district and is reflected in his strong performance in this and other polls.”

Radinovich’s statements show that the Nolan campaign will rely on class warfare to win again. Radinovich also said “This poll also seems to show that voters remember Stewart Mills III and his support for tax breaks for the wealthy, while also believing that Congress should be ‘putting all options on the table’ when it comes to Social Security. Even in favorable conditions for Republicans, Mills can’t buy a lead.”

The poll that Radinovich is talking about shows some interesting things. For starters, it “has Nolan with 49 percent and Mills at 46 percent.” It also shows this:

The survey also showed 8th District voters supporting both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz over Hillary Clinton — Cruz by 49 percent to 40 percent and Trump 43 percent to 40 percent.

This isn’t good news for Hillary but it isn’t surprising either. This isn’t a tangential issue, either. If Cruz is the nominee and he’s able to maintain this lead, Nolan would have to run 10 points better than Hillary. That’s a daunting task for any candidate.

Put differently, if the presidential race tightens, which is inevitable, to a 5-point Cruz lead, Nolan would have to run 5 points better than Hillary. Another way of looking at it is to say Hillary will be a drag on Nolan.

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Stewart Mills officially announced that he’s running for Congress in Minnesota’s Eighth District. Rick Nolan, his opponent and the incumbent in the race, said that he welcomed the challenge while promising to run a positive race. Of course, Nolan’s definition of running a positive race is questionable considering he said “I welcome Mr. Mills III back into the race, and I’m looking forward to a positive campaign based on facts and issues affecting the voters in the 8th Congressional District- a campaign very much different from the negative and misleading campaign Mr. Mills III and his allies have already launched against me here in the 8th District.”

In 2014, Nolan’s definition of a positive campaign included dishonest attacks from Nolan himself. What’s more is that the Star Tribune criticized Nolan while endorsing Mills, saying that “Nolan already translates Mills’ position as wanting to “privatize” and even “abolish” the safety-net programs. It’s the kind of extravagant rhetoric that makes reasoned discussion, public understanding and progress so difficult on these issues.”

The Star Tribune added this insult to Nolan’s injuries:

On foreign affairs, too, Mills’ view is the tough-minded one. While Nolan wishfully believes America can safely ignore Mideast turmoil, Mills cautiously supports President Obama’s military intervention to roll back the advances of ISIL in Iraq and Syria, recognizing that regional chaos endangers U.S. interests.

Nolan still supports President Obama’s plan, which is a total failure. Not only isn’t ISIL defeated, it’s spreading. Russia has emerged as the leader of the Middle East, too, while Iran’s mullahs build their hegemon one step at a time.

In short, it’s clear that Nolan is blinded by partisan loyalties. It’s apparent that he isn’t a solutions-oriented statesman. He’s just another cheap politician who can be bought off.

A loyal reader of LFR confirmed rumors I’d heard that Stewart Mills, the GOP’s candidate for the MN-08 congressional race in 2014, has formed an exploratory committee. Forming an exploratory committee is often the first step in the process of running for office.

What first got my attention was buzz that I’d heard about the NRCC spending money criticizing Rick Nolan’s vote for the Iran treaty. Saying that that vote isn’t popular in the district is understatement. My thought was that the NRCC wouldn’t put money into a race they didn’t think they had a shot at winning. That’s why I contacted friends in CD-8. Tonight, I got the confirmation that Stewart Mills has officially formed an exploratory committee.

I wasn’t able to find out who he’s picked to serve on that committee. While exploratory committees are often a formality, there are serious considerations that go into putting a campaign together. Much of the work done by the committee is putting together a fundraising team. Other people deal with putting a communications team together while still others set up campaign offices and call centers.

Nolan hasn’t delivered on getting PolyMet built, which was a major promise he made during the last campaign. It isn’t just that he hasn’t gotten PolyMet built. It’s that he hasn’t lifted a finger to get the project off the ground. It’s one thing to not accomplish something. It’s another thing to not put the effort in to make a project a reality.

Nolan failed on both counts.

According to this article, Rick Nolan is upset with outside groups’ smear campaign against Stewart Mills:

But the ads were also strongly disliked by Nolan, who was frustrated that he didn’t have the authority to pull third-party ads, or even talk about them with the group sponsoring them.

That’s total BS. It’s an outright lie. It’s true that Congressman Nolan can’t coordinate anything with independent expenditure organizations, from ad buys to GOTV operations. There’s nothing illegal if Congressman Nolan had issued a statement criticizing Nancy Pelosi’s PAC for running ads that bordered on slander. It wouldn’t have been smart for him to do that, though, because his ads were exceptionally similar to the ads run by Pelosi’s PAC.

WASHINGTON — The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee decided it would fund a lot of hit ads against 8th District Republican challenger Stewart Mills. So the Washington-based group recorded television ads and sent out mailers that mocked U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s opponent for his shoulder-length hair and his wealth obtained through a successful; and hard-working family business, Mills Fleet Farm.

Now that this election is in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to say some things that I didn’t say prior to the election. First, Nolan’s statements about there being too much money in politics is typical DFL boilerplate. It isn’t that there’s too many ads on TV.

It’s that there are too many spineless DFL politicians who won’t criticize their supporters for funding smear campaigns.

If Nolan was a man of integrity, which he isn’t, he could’ve criticized House Majority PAC, the DCCC and AFSCME’s PAC for running a smear campaign. Apparently, Nolan didn’t learn that the First Amendment protects people who criticize political campaign machines.

The ads were viewed by political friends of Mills as ridiculous, offensive and personally nasty. “They’re just so absolutely not grounded in any sense of reality. They’re going after a person’s appearance and also success … and isn’t success the American Dream,” Mills said during an interview during the campaign.

Stewart Mills highlights beautifully that Rick Nolan didn’t stand up for people trying to achieve the American Dream. That’s because Nolan spent the campaign criticizing achievement. Stewart Mills spent his entire campaign showing how the company he runs has done more to help the middle class than the entire Democratic Caucus has done in the last 10 years.

It’s time for Iron Range voters to decide whether they want someone representing them who tells them he supports them until election day, then ignores them the next 22 months. They made a mistake this time. They should’ve voted for Stewart Mills because he would’ve went to Washington to get PolyMet opened.

Now that the election is behind him, Rick Nolan will likely ignore the PolyMet issue for the next 22 months. That’s how Iron Range voters will know whether Nolan supports them or if he’s just committed to paying PolyMet lip service.

After reading this LTE, there’s no question that fascism is alive and well in the United States. Here’s what the LTE proposes:

Combined, about $43,781,720 was spent on campaigning just for the governor, Senate and U.S. House elections in Minnesota. Think what that money could have been used for in the state.

I realize it’s not a lot of money in the total scheme of things, but it sure could have been used for something better than all the advertising. There should be no money allowed except from individuals living in the state or legislative district. No money should come from PACs, corporations or unions; only from people who can vote! PACs, corporations and unions don’t vote.

There also should be no negative advertising. Period! Only advertising should be about the candidate’s position on issues and what the candidate will try to do if elected. Period!

Who made this person the arbiter of what’s protected by the First Amendment and what isn’t? This is what happens when schools don’t teach their students the Constitution. It’s what happens when parents don’t teach their children the Constitution, too. It’s what happens when buffoons don’t think things through, too.

Why shouldn’t PACs, corporations and unions have the right to participate in the political process? There’s nothing in the text of the First Amendment that says it only protects individuals’ right to free speech.

What’s particularly bothersome about this LTE is that he didn’t bother mentioning the fact that the DFL and Nancy Pelosi’s ads were particularly dishonest. The other thing that’s troubling is the fact that the DFL’s ads and Nancy Pelosi’s ads outright lied. Repeatedly. Though this isn’t a Pelosi ad, it’s of a similar nature:

That ad was run by NARAL Pro-Choice USA. It accused Cory Gardner, Colorado’s new senator-elect, of banning birth control. NARAL ran this slanderous ad despite their knowing that Sen.-Elect Gardner proposed making contraception available without a prescription.

The best way to clean up politics isn’t by limiting citizens’ participation in the political process but by defeating the politicians whose ads are essentially smear campaigns. Politicians won’t stop running smear campaigns until they don’t work anymore. This isn’t that complicated.

Another key step in eliminating negative campaigning is by tying outside groups’ spending to the candidates they’re attempting to help. While it’s illegal to for politicians to coordinate with these outside expenditure organizations, it isn’t illegal to issue a heartfelt statement specifically criticizing these smear campaign ads. For instance, a man of integrity caught in soon-to-be former Sen. Udall’s position could’ve issued this statement about NARAL’s smear campaign ad:

My campaign condemns in the harshest possible terms NARAL’s ad suggesting my opponent wants to ban birth control. While my opponent and I disagree on a wide range of issues, and while I stand ready to highlight those points of disagreement during our debates and out campaign, I can’t sit idly by while this smear campaign is carried out on my behalf. I hereby demand that NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado take this ad down immediately.

In the Eighth District, there was little difference between Rick Nolan’s advertisements and Pelosi’s advertisements. In fact, the DCCC’s advertisements against Torrey Westrom and Rick Nolan’s advertisements against Stewart Mills were cookie-cutter copycats of Pelosi’s advertisements against Stewart Mills.

I’ll have more to say on Rick Nolan’s spinelessness later this morning.

Catherine Richert’s article suggests a significant anti-DCCC backlash forming against Rick Nolan:

In the end, life-long Democrat Andy Larson’s decision to vote for Republican Stewart Mills over DFL incumbent Rick Nolan came down to the ads he’s seeing every day on television. “I’m very disappointed in my fellow party members in the types of advertisements just attacking Mr. Mills for his wealth,” Larson said. “It’s completely unwarranted. It’s really turned me off.”

Larson isn’t the only Democrat disgusted with the DCCC’s ads:

Paul Lemenager, a video producer in Duluth, feels the same way about the ads, which are coming from outside groups, not Nolan’s campaign. But he also says Mills’ business experience is attractive.

“The fact that his family owns a business and understands what it takes to develop a business and jobs and to put a business into the black,” Lemenager said. “Nolan has taken on the tone of a career politician. We have so much of that in Washington. We really need someone who understands what it takes to pull out of the slump economically.”

The Obama economy is the weakest economic recovery since the end of World War II. President Obama’s policies have contributed directly to this current stagnation. There isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between President Obama’s economic plan and Rick Nolan’s voting record. Whatever President Obama wants, Rick Nolan votes for.

The thing that hasn’t gotten talked about, though, is that Stewart Mills isn’t a trust fund baby who’s never worked a day in his life. That’s just the propaganda that the DCCC and Nancy Pelosi’s superPAC have spread since the start of the campaign. Unlike our governor, Stewart Mills has had professional, private sector responsibilities for which he’s been rewarded financially. He’s made things work. He’s grown the Mills Fleet Farm chain. Lots of people are employed through that retail chain.

If it isn’t Stewart’s way to talk about his successes, then I’ll tout them. Stewart Mills is obviously doing things right. Mills Fleet Farm is growing, partially because they self-insure their employees. That means they don’t have to deal with the ACA’s regulations and taxes. Their stores are growing more profitable because they’re the ultimate blue collar retail chain. People in the Eighth District like the Mills chain because it’s got the types of things people use frequently.

It’s hard to characterize Stewart Mills as an out-of-touch rich kid when the retail chain he runs specializes in selling things that middle class families want.

Frankly, I’ve thought that the DCCC’s ads and the ads from Pelosi’s superPAC were way over the top. They aren’t substantive ads, which is what many voters are looking for. These voters aren’t looking for the Democrats’ negativity. They’re looking for solutions and common sense.

If voters elect Stewart Mills, that’s exactly what they’ll get. That’s why the DCCC’s ads are backfiring.

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During his interview with Esme Murphy, Rick Nolan reiterated his support for overturning the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United vs. the FEC lawsuit:

The Supreme Court ruled against BCRA, aka McCain-Feingold:

Independent Expenditures by Corporations

The Court overruled Austin, striking down § 441b’s ban on corporate independent expenditures. It also struck down the part of McConnell that upheld BCRA § 203’s extension of § 441b’s restrictions on independent corporate expenditures. The Court held that the “government may not suppress political speech on the basis of the speaker’s corporate identity. No sufficient governmental interest justifies limits on the political speech of nonprofit or for-profit corporations.” An analysis of this holding follows.

As Applied Challenge. First, the Court held that the case could not be resolved on an as applied basis without chilling political speech. Under an “as applied” challenge, the Court’s review of the law’s constitutionality is limited to the set of facts in the case before it. The Court therefore broadened the case from Citizens United’s initial narrower arguments, focusing only on Hillary, to reconsider both the validity of its prior decisions in Austin and McConnell and the facial validity of § 441b.

In reaching this decision, the Court reasoned that among other things:

1. Citizen United’s narrower arguments, including that Hillary is not an “electioneering communication,” are not sustainable under a fair reading of § 441b, and

2. it must therefore consider the statute’s facial validity or risk prolonging its substantial chilling effect.

The First Amendment’s protections apply to all political speech. The argument that ‘corporations aren’t people’ is laughable at best. Nowhere in the First Amendment does it say that the First Amendment protects only individuals. Does the Fourth Amendment protect only individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures? Of course it doesn’t.

But I digress.

Nolan said that he’s “the lead sponsor of new legislation in Washington to reverse Citizens United.” That means, according to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Nolan wants to reverse the chilling effect McCain-Feingold had on political speech. For those asking why that’s a bad thing, I’ll answer with a question. Do you want the government to say what’s acceptable speech and what isn’t? Before answering that question, think about this: Lois Lerner “served as associate general counsel and head of the enforcement office at the FEC“:

One of Lerner’s former colleagues tells National Review Online that her political ideology was evident during her tenure at the FEC, where, he says, she routinely subjected groups seeking to expand the influence of money in politics, including, in her view, conservatives and Republicans, to the sort of heightened scrutiny we now know they came under at the IRS.

Before the IRS, Lerner served as associate general counsel and head of the enforcement office at the FEC, which she joined in 1986. Working under FEC general counsel Lawrence Noble, Lerner drafted legal recommendations to the agency’s commissioners intended to guide their actions on the complaints brought before them.

Isn’t it frightening that a corrupt bureaucrat like Lois Lerner could be the final arbiter of what’s acceptable speech and what isn’t? If Nolan’s legislation passed, it’s possible a corrupt, hyperpartisan bureaucrat could determine which speech is acceptable and what speech isn’t.

Nolan’s legislation would make it illegal for unions to advocate for their endorsed candidates. Nolan’s legislation might be used to shut down ABM, Nancy Pelosi’s superPAC and the DCCC. Is that what Nolan wants?

I’d bet it isn’t. He’s been silent while the DCCC ran its disgusting ads. He’s been silent while Nancy Pelosi’s superPAC ran disgustingly dishonest ads. Apparently, Nolan only opposes money in politics when he’s in front of a camera. That isn’t a principled position. It’s a political position.

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This LTE fails miserably in tying Stewart Mills and the NRA to the Ebola outbreak. Here’s the heart of its attempt:

A year ago Stewart Mills signaled his candidacy with an open video “letter” to Rep. Rick Nolan. It promoted the need and right to own an assault rifle as a constitutional symbol of American freedom. Now with the Ebola outbreak, this NRA and its wider coalition doctrine is pitted even more squarely against government involvement in health, both at the preventive and care level.

We don’t have a surgeon general because the NRA effectively blocked his confirmation. The American Medical Association and NRA have been feuding for years over such things as the NRA’s opposition to a physician’s right to ask patients about guns, its killing of a CDC study on gun deaths, and medical consensus that our 30,000 annual gun deaths should be treated as a public health problem. This partisan austerity anti-government stance has cut in funding of the NIH and CDC such that the NIH director recently noted that we otherwise should have had an Ebola vaccine by now.

That’s breathtakingly ill-informed. That’s a stretch of Olympic proportions.

It’s the latest attempt by the gun control crowd to tie Ebola to constitutional conservatism. First, progressives said that the Ebola crisis was the result of Republican budget cuts to the CDC. Now they’re saying that it’s conservatives’ fault because the NRA rejected President Obama’s surgeon general nominee.

It’s long past time to mercilessly ridicule this type of thinking.

Saying that gun deaths are a “public health problem” is insanity. The vast majority of gun deaths are caused by criminal activity. How will doctors treat that? Say ‘take 2 short clips and call me in the morning’?

Next, saying that Stewart Mills’ video to Rick Nolan “promoted the need and right to own an assault rifle” is breathtakingly dishonest. The video that Mills put together that went viral showed how little difference there is between an assault rifle and other firearms. This buffoon’s attempt to frighten people into thinking that Stewart Mills is obsessed with putting automatic weapons in everyone’s hands is laughable.

Ebola exposes how attempts to use market-forces alone in health care have again failed the U.S.

The man that wrote this LTE just identified himself as Nolan’s base: pro-gun control and pro-socialized medicine.

That puts to rest the argument of who would accurately represent Minnesota’s Eighth District and who would represent Nancy Pelosi.

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