Archive for the ‘Agriculture’ Category

I didn’t know that Collin Peterson was truly independent. I’m skeptical of that characterization ever since I wrote this post. I’d received an email from Lt. Gov. Fischbach announcing her candidacy to challenge Peterson. This jumped off the page at me:

“Collin Peterson no longer represents Western Minnesota values,” added Fischbach. “One of his first votes this Congress was to ban the wall, and he votes against President Trump 85 percent of the time. Unlike Peterson, I will work with President Trump to secure our borders, build the wall, fight against the Democrats’ socialist agenda, and keep America great.”

It’s important to remember that President Trump won the Seventh District by 31 points. Voting against President Trump 85% of the time isn’t proof of Peterson’s independence. It’s proof that Peterson wants it both ways. Peterson apparently is afflicted by Tom Daschle Disease. That’s where a politician votes liberal in DC, then professes his moderation the minute he enters his rural district.

This is who Peterson really is:

In 2010, I’d say that Peterson is a Blue Dog Democrat until Pelosi needed his vote.

After I got this news, the first thing I wondered was whether Collin Peterson is in trouble.

In 2018, which was a pretty strong DFL year, Peterson won by 4.26%. In 2016, Peterson won by 5.03%. In 2014, Peterson won by 8.45%. In 2012, Peterson won by 25+ percent.

There’s no question whether the district is trending in the GOP’s direction. The only question left is whether this is the year that Peterson finally meets his match. One thing that’s for certain is that this race will get tons more money pumped into it over the next year. Another thing that’s certain is that this race suddenly became one of the highest profile races to watch this cycle.

Here is Lt. Gov. Fischbach’s official statement:

PAYNESVILLE, MN – Former Lieutenant Governor Michelle Fischbach today announced she is running for Congress in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District. Fischbach will challenge Democrat Congressman Collin Peterson, who has been in Washington for nearly 30 years. Fischbach was the most recent Republican to hold statewide office in Minnesota when she ascended from her role as President of the Senate to Lieutenant Governor in 2018.

“After much consultation and prayer with my family, I have decided to run for Congress,” said Fischbach. “Western Minnesota families deserve a representative who will fight for their values in Washington and support President Trump’s agenda – not the socialist agenda of Nancy Pelosi, Ilhan Omar, and the rest of the squad. People here believe in our constitutional rights. They believe in the right to life. They believe in making sure the next generation has the opportunity to pursue the American dream right here in Western Minnesota.”

Before serving as Lieutenant Governor, Fischbach served in the Minnesota Senate. After the 2010 election, the Minnesota Senate selected Fischbach to serve as President of the Senate, making her the first woman in Minnesota history to serve in that role. After the 2016 election, Fischbach was again selected by the Minnesota Senate to serve as President of the Senate, a position she would hold until she ascended to Lieutenant Governor in 2018.

“Collin Peterson no longer represents Western Minnesota values,” added Fischbach. “One of his first votes this Congress was to ban the wall, and he votes against President Trump 85 percent of the time. Unlike Peterson, I will work with President Trump to secure our borders, build the wall, fight against the Democrats’ socialist agenda, and keep America great.”

About Michelle Fischbach:

Michelle Fischbach is a trailblazer and a proven conservative leader. She recently served as the 49th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota, ascending to that position following the resignation of her predecessor. She was the first woman in Minnesota history to serve as President of the Minnesota Senate – initially from 2011-12 and then again from 2017-18. She also served as Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. She was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1996 and served until 2018. She holds a B.A. from St. Cloud State University and a J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law. She and her husband, Scott, live in the Paynesville area and have two grown children and five grandchildren.

About Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District:

Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District is the most pro-Trump district in the country held by a Democrat. In 2016, President Trump carried the district by nearly 31 percentage points. According to The Cook Political Report, the district has a Partisan Voting Index (PVI) of R+12. According to FiveThirtyEight, in the 116th Congress, Congressman Peterson has voted against President Trump’s agenda 85% of the time.

Highlighting the fact that Peterson has voted against President Trump 85% of the time has to hurt Peterson. If he had voted with Trump 40%-50% of the time, he might be able to deflect the ads that are certainly heading in Peterson’s direction. That’s especially true in a district that Trump took by 31 points in 2016.

Further, the DFL can’t paint Fischbach as a TEA Party radical, though I’m certain that they’ll attempt that. The other thing we can count on is Nancy Pelosi’s PAC dumping $2,000,000-$4,000,000 into this race. Losing this race is something she can’t afford if she wants to keep her Speaker’s Gavel.

I won’t predict the outcome of this race at this point but I won’t hesitate in stating that Peterson’s seat is legitimately in trouble this time.

I didn’t realize just how much Gov. Tim Walz had bought into the DFL’s anti-mining agenda until now. According to this article, Gov. Walz has gone the full Al Gore on environmental stupidity.

Awhile back, Gore was in town for “the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training at the Minneapolis Convention Center.” Gore said Walz is helping Minnesota change the energy landscape, saying “What’s happening here in Minnesota represents some of the best of what’s happening all across the country. If Washington is not going to lead, Minnesota will.”

The ‘leadership’ that Vice President Gore is talking about is anything but leadership. It’s Democrat stupidity running rampant. During his presentation, Gov. Walz was interrupted by protesters who oppose the Line 3 Pipeline. When they were shut down, Gov. Walz tried winning their trust. Check out the video in this tweet:


Check this out:

Walz said even a head of state has to work in concert with lawmakers — and Minnesota is the only state in the nation where control of the legislature is divided. “We want to move to a totally carbon-free Minnesota,” said Walz, noting that the Republican-controlled state Senate has refused to hear a DFL-led climate bill modeled after aggressive plans in California and Hawaii. “We don’t have the Senate.”

Gov. Walz’s betrayal of his southern Minnesota farming roots is complete. He’s wholly owned by the environmentalist wing of the DFL. Long ago, the DFL sold out totally to the environmentalists. Further, the DFL doesn’t deserve its name because the Democratic-Farmer-Laborer Party has become the party of socialists. The DFL has abandoned farmers and laborers.

It’s impossible to picture a farm in a carbon-free environment. The protesters that interrupted Gov. Walz’s speech are protesting the Line 3 Pipeline. The DFL has already tried stopping the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects. They stopped the Sandpiper Pipeline project. If they won’t support those types of projects, how can the DFL credibly call themselves pro-labor?

California’s once-great agricultural land is virtually worthless. They’re blaming it on climate change but it’s mostly attributable to foolish policies pushed by environmental activists. The last thing that Minnesota should want is to become a cold California. That isn’t anything that any state should aspire to. California is quickly becoming the capitol of homelessness, illegal immigration and rat infestation.

Tim Walz isn’t from southern Minnesota anymore. He isn’t pro-farmer. He isn’t pro-gun rights anymore. He’s quickly becoming the most progressive governor in Minnesota history.

The sellout is complete.

It’s apparent that Democrats don’t understand that their unanimous vote against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has painted them into a political corner. Let’s start with by examining the difficult position Sen. Manchin painted himself into.

Sen. Manchin said “he’s repeatedly tried to find areas to reach across the aisle and vote with Republicans for Mr. Trump’s agenda, but said he couldn’t do it this time. ‘There’s some good in this bill. I acknowledge that,’ Mr. Manchin said on West Virginia talk radio, after host Hoppy Kercheval pointed to the tax cuts he said the state’s middle class residents stood to gain.” Why do I think that Sen. Manchin’s constituents will hold it against him for voting against their tax cuts? Why shouldn’t West Virginians, aka Mountaineers, hold it against Sen. Manchin for voting with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on the tax cuts?

Later, Sen. Manchin complained that “the bills seemed too skewed toward business, pointing to the permanent nature of corporate tax cuts, compared to the planned expiration of the reductions in the individual rate.” First, I’m reminded of President Reagan’s saying that you can’t be pro-jobs and hate the employer. Apparently, Sen. Manchin didn’t learn that lesson. Next, Sen. Manchin is whining about the Senate’s rules, which he’s repeatedly voted to approve. If the Senate’s rules weren’t so screwed up, the individual tax cuts could’ve been made permanent.

Sen. Manchin’s excuses sound like ‘the dog ate my homework’ excuses than legitimate excuses.

By contrast, Patrick Morrisey, Sen. Manchin’s likely opponent, will be able to vote for eliminating coal industry-hating regulations, great judges and never vote with Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren out of party loyalty. Hint: Anyone that thinks Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren plays well with coal miners should view this video:

Hillary lost West Virginia by 40+ points. What should frighten Sen. Manchin is that it wouldn’t surprise me if Hillary is more well liked than Sanders or Warren.

At a town-hall meeting in Missouri last week, Sen. Claire McCaskill framed her vote against the bill as disappointment that the plan favored corporations. She argued the bill betrayed the principles Mr. Trump had originally proposed. “This isn’t Trump’s bill,” she said at the event in suburban St. Louis. “Trump campaigned on the bill being about you.” But one resident told the St. Louis Public Radio before the event that he didn’t understand her opposition to the bill and hoped she’d explain it more. “I’m having a hard time finding a way that it does not benefit the people of Missouri,” said Dennis Hugo, a 32-year-old, self-described Libertarian.

Finally, there’s this:

In Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, another Democrat, told his voters he met with Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence over the tax bill. “From the beginning of this year’s tax reform effort, I’ve been willing to partner with Republicans, Democrats, and President Trump and his administration,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Indianapolis Star. “Despite this common ground, the bill produced by Sen. Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan was the complete opposite of what the president and I had discussed,” Mr. Donnelly added.

In North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who said last month she was open to voting for the bill, said that the $1.5 trillion in additional deficits piled up by the tax cuts swayed her to vote against it. But some voters in her state don’t see that as a reasonable opposition.

Sen. Heitkamp is gonna have a ton of difficulty peddling that excuse. There wasn’t a tax cut package that wasn’t going to pile up deficits according to the CBO’s scoring. That’s actually the least of Sen. Heitkamp’s worries. She, along with Sen. Donnelly, Sen. Tester, Sen. Baldwin, Sen. Casey and Sen. Brown, voted against significantly reducing the estate tax on farmers’ estates. The full expensing of equipment isn’t insignificant to farmers, either.

In DC, the spin will be that this helps corporations, not working people. In Indiana, Montana and North Dakota, big farms are incorporated. Saying that the Democrats’ messaging doesn’t exactly fit those states is understatement.

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Displaying incredible elitism, DFL gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz criticized farmers. Walz said “You see those maps. Red and blue and there’s all that red across there. And Democrats go into a depression over it. It’s mostly rocks and cows that are in that red area.”

Coming from a guy who represents tons of farmer in Washington, DC, that’s a pretty elitist-sounding statement. Jeff Johnson and Matt Dean quickly pounced on Walz’s statement. Dean quickly posted a statement on Facebook, saying in part “Rocks & Cows? I’d say Cows Rock! Dairy is an important industry in greater MN. Tim Walz should get out of DC and visit a dairy farm. We’ve had seven years of greater Minnesota being treated like lesser Minnesota. Things are going to change and we make a greater Minnesota for everyone.”

Later in the statement, Dean said “My windshield time is best spent talking to people I’m going to meet along the way. Many of those conversations are polite but short because of the unbelievable amount of harvest work that needs to be done. I’ve learned so much in such a very short time because you do need to meet people where they are when they are that busy. I thought my door-knocking days were winding down, but I’ve surprised many folks at home or on the farm. How gracious they are.”

This is pitch perfect:

Mr. Walz should do 87in87. Heck, he should just visit his own constituents. The First district has awesome farmers. They aren’t red or blue. They are hardworking people. They are getting their teeth kicked in by Healthcare costs and low prices for their crops. The corn prices are so low they can’t afford the healthcare they had last year. Now the crops are so wet, they can’t get the money or the propane to dry them out! And snow is already here.

Commissioner Johnson replied in this Facebook post “Once again, a DFLer slips up and tells us what he really thinks about Greater MN. Tim Walz says much of rural Minnesota is just ‘rocks and cows.’ As someone whose roots, family and values are all in Northwestern Minnesota, I find that statement both arrogant and ignorant. Yes, there are lots of rocks and lots of cows in parts of Greater MN, but more importantly there are lots of decent, hard-working, patriotic Americans. Let’s focus on them for a change rather than dismissing them as irrelevant or unimportant. Minnesotans deserve better than what the DFL is giving us.”

Here’s the video of Walz acting like a jackass:

That’s frighteningly insensitive. Years ago, Mike Kinsley said that “a gaffe is when you accidentally tell the truth.” This fits into that category. It’s apparent that Walz is pandering to the metro DFL activists. Don’t forget that Walz already renounced the NRA:

Walz recanted his prior support for the NRA and announced that he would donate money given to him by the pro-Second Amendment group to a charity helping veterans and their families. ‘The politics is secondary,’ Walz told Murphy on Sunday. ‘I have got friends who have been, had gun violence in their family and like so many responsible gun owners, it’s what I grew up on.’”

Criticizing farmers and gun owners is political suicide in the general election. It might help him get the DFL endorsement but it’s a killer for the big election.

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One of the things that I can’t shake in reading this article is whether the Public Utilities Commission will destroy the DFL for the 2018 election. Bear with me while I make the case for why I think it hurts the DFL.

Right now, the Public Utilities Commission is holding hearings on whether to approve the replacement of Enbridge’s Line 3 Pipeline. The reason why this is potentially devastating is because “the state Public Utilities Commission is expected to decide whether to approve the Line 3 project next spring.” The only thing that might derail the building of the replacement pipeline is the Dayton administration. If this pipeline isn’t built soon, farmers, construction workers and small towns will be upset with the Dayton administration.

Farmers will be especially upset because rejecting this pipeline project will trigger more oil to be transported via oil trains. That limits rail capacity for getting farmers’ crops to market. Whoever the DFL candidate for governor is, they’ll be pressed on whether they’ll support building the pipeline. Anything except enthusiastically supporting the building of the pipeline will be greeted with anger by rural Minnesota.

That, in turn, will spike turnout in rural Minnesota because they can’t afford to have environmental do-gooders destroying farmers’ operations. Based on the information on the PUC’s commissioners page, it’s virtually certain that the PUC will vote against replacing the pipeline. Three of the commissioners are DFL environmental activists. The lone Republican is a former DFL politician who worked as a lobbyist for Conservation Minnesota.

Republican gubernatorial candidates should lay this situation out in rural Minnesota. When they’re campaigning, they should ask farmers if they can afford 4 more years of DFL environmental policies. I’m betting the response will be an overwhelming no!

Look at the results from rural Minnesota the last 2 elections. In 2014, Minnesota Republicans rode a wave from rural Minnesota to recapture the Minnesota House. In 2016, Minnesota Republicans rode anti-DFL sentiment in rural Minnesota to flip the Minnesota Senate.

As I wrote at the time, many of those races were blowouts. In northern Minnesota, Paul Utke defeated DFL Sen. Rod Skoe by a 57%-43% margin. Many of the races weren’t particularly close, in fact. I’d recommend GOP gubernatorial candidates highlight this graphic when campaigning in rural Minnesota:

That graphic will get everyone’s attention because it’s a display of how dysfunctional Minnesota’s permitting process is under DFL control. That won’t get better if Erin Murphy, Tim Walz or Paul Thissen gets elected governor.

When I read this story, I was stunned. According to the story, the “Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) awarded Minnesota Halal Meat & Grocery, 205 East St. Germain Street, $15,308.72 through the Good Food Access Program (GFAP). The store’s owner, Badal Aden Ali, says the store plans to install a dairy cooler, walk-in freezer, produce display case, and shelving. Ali says the grant funds will help address the needs of many of St. Cloud’s refugees and immigrants.”

Later in the article, we’re told that a “total of $150,000 in grant funds has been awarded to projects to purchase equipment and make physical improvements, increasing access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods in underserved and low- and moderate-income communities.”

What I’d like to know is how many similar programs exist within the Human Services and Minnesota Department of Agriculture budgets? How much taxpayer money gets spent each biennium to buy votes? This “store” is less than a mile away from my house. It’s a little hell-hole. It’s been that way since I was in grade school. (I started high school in 1970.)

Before anyone accuses me of being biased against refugees, my position is that I’m opposed to each of these grants.

I’m told that the theory behind these grants exist because the businesses can’t afford the loan to buy the equipment they’ll purchase with this grant money. If these businesses are on that shaky of ground, they should be allowed to fail.

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This article highlights the ever-growing fight for the Democratic Party’s soul. Throughout the article, the feuding factions are noticeable. It isn’t until the end that the disagreements boil over.

That’s when Nancy Larson, a member of the Minnesota DFL, is quoted as saying the “brilliant ones at top know better. And they come down and say, ‘This is what you do, this is what you say, this is what you have your candidates do, and don’t stray from this.'”

A couple paragraphs earlier, the article quotes Ted Sadler, a Democratic political operative from Georgia, as saying “People just love it when you show up. But for us, there was zero Democratic action in the 8th Congressional District.”

This indicates why Democrats won’t get out of their fight anytime soon:

In Georgia, Sadler said the party was instead obsessed with driving up turnout in Atlanta and its surrounding suburbs at the expense of Democratic-friendly areas in other parts of the state. It was a common refrain among the Democratic strategists interviewed for this story, all of whom said they saw a party that believed it no longer needed rural votes to win elections.

When Democratic officials did show up, Sadler and others said they were ill-equipped for the nuances of a campaign in rural America.

“When they do show up, it’s 22-year-old kids from the Ivy League,” Sadler said. “And they’re telling you what do, as opposed to stopping and listening.”

It isn’t surprising that Democrats lost the Heartland, especially rural America, often by lopsided margins. Democrats kept Nancy Pelosi as their leader in the House. They picked Chuck Schumer as their leader in the Senate. They do whatever Tom Steyer and the Sierra Club order them to do. Democrats are loyal, too, to Silicon Valley and the East and Left coasts.

The thing that the media is missing is that the earth shifted with the last election. In the past, Democrats could get away with saying they’re for high-tech jobs because Republicans didn’t emphasize the importance of blue collar jobs like mining and factory work. The mining industry and manufacturing jobs are getting strangled with regulations. The Democrats don’t know how to talk to those people because, to them, it’s like speaking a foreign language that they’d have to learn against their will.

Finally, the environmental activists’ agenda is the opposite of the mining industry’s agenda. They fit together like oil and water.

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This article drives the point home that the DFL-created health insurance crisis isn’t just a story on the news. It’s about families in our city, in our neck of the woods. In this case, Rose and John Lang, farmers from Richmond are getting hurt by the ACA. According to the article, Rose said “I have been worried sick about this for weeks.” This happens to be rising health care prices.

Notice that I didn’t say health insurance premium increases. According to the article, “Rose said in 2012 their premium was $1,425 every three months. It increased to $5,000 every three months with a $2,000 deductible in 2016 for a total of $22,000 a year. The cheapest plan they can find now is a $4,000 premium every three months and a $16,000 deductible.”

Gov. Dayton and the DFL are painting the picture that it’s just health insurance premiums that are going up. Gov. Dayton and the DFL are doing whatever they can to con people that things aren’t as bad as they are. Rose Lang’s words should be thrown in the DFL’s face whenever Gov. Dayton or a DFL candidate try pretending that things really aren’t that bad:

The Supposedly Affordable Care Act is so expensive that Rose and John Lang are spending their life savings on health care while they’re still farming. The F in DFL supposedly stands for Farmer. The ACA is ruining farmers’ lives. In fact, when the DFL insists that “only 5% of Minnesotans buy their health insurance through the individual market, a high percentage of those families buying through the individual market are farmers.

The DFL is trying to salvage as many legislative seats as possible this election in their attempt to implement a radical ‘fix’ to the problem. They’re hoping to hold the few House and Senate seats they still hold in rural Minnesota. I think farmers like John and Rose Lang won’t be fooled by the DFL. That’s why I think rural DFL legislators will have a difficult night next Tuesday.

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In mid-June, Gov. Dayton pocket vetoed a tax relief bill that would’ve provided tax relief to lots of middle-class people, which I wrote about here. The editorial I quoted got it right when it said “when Gov. Mark Dayton pocket vetoed HF 848 which would’ve provided significant tax relief to the citizens of Minnesota, it sort of felt like something major was lost. Gone was tax relief for veterans, gone was tax relief for small business owners, gone was a tax break for farmers, gone was a tax break for the residents of Houston County who live in Minnesota but work in Wisconsin, gone was the forgiveness of interest paid on debt on the new school building.”

Gov. Dayton didn’t hesitate in vetoing this tax relief for farmers, veterans, small businesses and students. There’s something else that Gov. Dayton didn’t hesitate in doing. Gov. Dayton didn’t hesitate in paying his political appointees huge severance packages. Republicans are demanding that Gov. Dayton rescind those severance packages. Gov. Dayton, through his mouthpiece, has refused:

State law explicitly authorizes severance of up to six months’ salary for senior-level state employees, who make more than 60 percent of the governor’s salary, when they leave state service. We offered severances of up to three months’ salary to three agency heads, as the law expressly permits. The governor made those decisions, and in his judgement the circumstances justified those severances. Gov. Pawlenty used the same statute to authorize severance payments of $73,552 for two senior-level state employees. House Republicans are desperately trying to place a fig leaf over their failure last session to pass the bills that Minnesotans really need: a correctly-written tax bill, statewide building projects, and improved highways, roads, bridges and public transit.

WCCO’s Pat Kessler highlights this important difference:

MMB documents show Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty paid out $75,552 in severance checks to two state workers in 2005 who were not political appointees. One former employee, an administrative law judge, got $26,478. Another, a legislative audit manager, got $47,097.

They weren’t political appointees. They were public employees with lots of time on the job. Speaking of which, “Republicans say the law allows severance only under strict conditions, one of which is 10 years of service before becoming eligible. Republicans say the law allows severance only under strict conditions, one of which is 10 years of service before becoming eligible.”

The moral of this is that Gov. Dayton killed tax relief to farmers, veterans, students buried with student loan debt and small businesses without hesitation. By comparison, he’s fighting hard for illegal severance packages for his political appointees. It’s apparent that Gov. Dayton’s priorities aren’t Minnesota’s priorities.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the DFL legislative leaders, who spout off about all kinds of silly subjects, are silent about this. It’s just more proof that the DFL isn’t the party of the little guy … unless they’re government employees.

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