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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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This article makes it pretty clear that farmers aren’t fond of Gov. Dayton. It isn’t a stretch to think that farmers aren’t happy with DFL legislators, either.

Farmers are upset with Gov. Dayton because “farmers were not happy when Dayton tried to do an end-around the legislative intent of the new buffer law and make it apply to private farmland as well as public bodies of water.” As always, Gov. Dayton tried siding with the environmental activist wing of the DFL.

Gov. Dayton wasn’t satisfied with just that. According to the article, Gov. Dayton “followed that with an executive order aimed at restricting the use of certain pesticides that some scientists have implicated in the decline in pollinators, such as honeybees.”

Gov. Dayton still wasn’t finished. According to Becker County Board Chairman Barry Nelson, “the new buffer law will also cost farmers money, because areas now enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program will no longer qualify because of state-mandated buffers.”

TRANSLATION: Farmers get shafted because Gov. Dayton couldn’t resist appeasing the DFL’s environmental activist wing. Gov. Dayton didn’t consult with the farmers though it’s virtually certain that he gave the environmental activists all the time they needed to make their case for this law.

It isn’t a secret that the DFL’s reputation with farmers is dropping. Rep. Thissen thinks that expanding broadband in rural Minnesota is the way to attract additional voters. Apparently, Gov. Dayton thinks that farmers won’t notice him siding with environmental activists. It isn’t that farmers don’t care about other things. It’s that they care most about making money through farming.

Thus far, Gov. Dayton and Rep. Thissen haven’t figured that out. That’s why Republicans will hold onto their majority in the House. That’s why they have a shot at flipping the Minnesota Senate.

Technorati: Mark Dayton, Paul Thissen, Tom Landwehr, Department of Natural Resources, Buffer Zones, Environmental Activists, DFL, Farmers, MNGOP, Election 2016

Ron Kresha represents Little Falls in the House of Representatives. Rep. Kresha is the incumbent running for re-election in District 9B. (The main cities in Rep. Kresha’s district are Little Falls, Long Prairie and Pierz.) It’s safe to say that HD-9B is a district with tons of farmers. Though the district has changed since I last visited the area, I’m still able to identify most of the cities and towns in the District.

Now that I’ve laid out the history of the district, let’s dive into the editorial Rep. Kresha’s opponent wrote. Rep. Kresha’s opponent made a point of saying “I will listen to farmers. I will stand up for our farmers, and I will fight for our farmers because I know that without them, our communities would not survive. As state representative, I will make sure our farmers are not forgotten in St. Paul. That is why I am running as the Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate. I want to shed light on the struggles our farmers deal with and thank them for their hard work.”

Of course, Rep. Kresha’s opponent had to throw in the cheap shot of saying “My opponent in Minnesota House 9B has done very little to preserve farms and to make certain farmers are treated like the first-class citizens they are.”

With all due respect, the DFL hasn’t done much to help farmers. The DFL opposes building pipelines that would free up rail space so farmers could get their crops to market faster. In fact, the DFL is ruled by environmental activists who love regulating farms to death. Metro Democrats tried and succeeded in killing a major proposed farming operation in western Minnesota through the use of the now-defunct Citizens Advisory Board. The DFL killed this proposed farming operation so Republicans killed the advisory board because “the Citizens Board had stopped projects that had gotten their MPCA permits.”

Does anyone seriously think Rep. Thissen will let Rep. Kresha’s opponent fight for farmers? There’s a better chance that the king’s horses and king’s men will put Humpty Dumpty back together again than there is of Rep. Thissen will let any pro-farmer legislation get a committee hearing. If you’re living in rural Minnesota, voting for the DFL is a wasted voted.

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Yesterday, negotiators from the Minnesota House and Senate theoretically met in the hopes of hammering out a bonding bill agreement. That wasn’t the DFL’s goal. DFL senators, led by Jeff Hayden, blamed Republicans for not getting the bonding bill passed.

The DFL used the same misleading arguments they’ve been using since the DFL Senate sabotaged a bill that had broad bipartisan support. Here’s what’s important to know. The House passed a $1,000,000,000 bonding bill without funding for SWLRT. SWLRT funding wasn’t part of the agreement reached by Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk. Simply put, it didn’t have the votes to pass in the House.

Key questions: Why does the DFL insist on pushing a controversial project that didn’t have the votes to pass? Isn’t that a definition of insanity? Isn’t that what you’d do if you wanted to prevent a bill from passing while blaming the other side for your obstruction?

Another tactic that the FL is using to deflect criticism from Gov. Dayton’s veto of the tax bill is talk about the $100,000,000 drafting error. The minute Gov. Dayton brought it up, Speaker Daudt agreed to fix it the minute a special session was called. Problem solved, right? In Sanityville, yes. In Dayton-DFLville, that molehill turned into a mountain. At least, that’s how some of Twin Cities media are playing it.

Simply put, Gov. Dayton vetoed a tax bill that a) provided tax relief to farmers, small businesses, students will college loan debt, veterans and parents saving for their kids’ college education and b) passed 178-22 in the House and Senate.

Key question: Doesn’t real leadership accept yes for an answer and move onto bonding bill negotiations?

Gov. Dayton and the DFL aren’t about fixing things, though. Their word salad automatically talks about ‘bringing people together’ and ‘making progress’. The DFL never talks about fixing problems. The DFL doesn’t talk about doing the right thing.

There’s a reason for that. The DFL doesn’t want to get to a point where things are running smoothly. The DFL doesn’t want to fix things. If that happened, people might expect that. If that happened, people might notice that they prefer limited government that gets the important things right all the time and worries about peripheral things once they’ve gotten the important things right. The day that that happens is the day that progressives are out of a job.

The DFL’s whining is aimed at one thing: regaining control of the House so they control state government again. Thoughtful people should reject that possibility ASAP. The last time the DFL ran St. Paul, taxes got raised, including property taxes, spending went through the roof and they checked off tons of things from their special interest allies’ wish lists.

As a result, capitol flight accelerated and young, productive, people left the state at a greater rate. If losing the border battle brain drain sounds appealing, vote DFL. If you want statewide prosperity, vote GOP. It’s that simple.

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The Senate DFL held out against the Metrocrats longer than I’d expected. Unfortunately, Sen. Bakk caved to the environmental activist wing of the DFL when they put John Marty in charge of “environment, water and energy issues.” It’s a dark day for Minnesotans living in exurban and rural Minnesota.

Sen. Marty is one of the most out-of-touch environmental activists in the state. I wrote about Sen. Marty’s environmental extremism in this post. During the special session last summer, Sen. Marty tried sabotaging a deal made by Sen. Bakk and Speaker Daudt. That deal included getting rid of the so-called Citizens Board, which is part of the MPCA, aka the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The Citizens Board was anything but what its name implied. One of the seats on the Board was reserved specifically for someone from a union. I questioned this at the time because I don’t see what expertise a union member brings to the table of a board that had the authority to shut down projects that had received the proper permits from the MPCA. I wrote then that “lots of businesses have followed the law and gotten their MPCA permits, only to have the Citizens Board reject the approved permit.”

The impact of the so-called Citizens Board was significant and negative:

They’re most famous for sabotaging 2 major dairy farm projects. Thanks to the anything-but-Citizens-Board, those farms are now located outside of Minnesota. Though these were the highest profile cases of environmental sabotage, they weren’t the only cases.

There’s a solution to Sen. Marty’s environmental fanaticism but it won’t happen during this session. The solution is to install a Republican majority in the Senate and to take away Chairman Marty’s gavel.

In exurban and rural Minnesota, the truth is that voting for a DFL state senator is a vote for John Marty’s environmental extremism. Talk with farmers and other rural businesses. They’ll tell you whether they miss the Citizens Board of the MPCA. I’m betting that the overwhelming majority of rural Minnesota businesses wish that it would’ve happened sooner.

This isn’t Hubert Humphrey’s DFL anymore. Today’s DFL is dominated by environmental activists that’ve tried shutting down mining in northern Minnesota and who’ve stopped major farming projects that had gotten their MPCA permits. It’s one thing to be a good steward of Minnesota’s resources. That isn’t what’s happening with Sen. Marty and his activist allies.

They’re attempting to shut down major industries in the state. That’s unacceptable.

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