Search
Archives

You are currently browsing the archives for the Tina Smith category.

Categories

Archive for the ‘Tina Smith’ Category

Saturday, Sen. Klobuchar, Sen. Tina Smith and Rep. Emmer brought their dog and pony show to St. Cloud to talk with Electrolux employees. This isn’t a criticism of Electrolux employees. It isn’t even a criticism of the federal government, though I’m not thrilled with the fact that Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Smith voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

It’s mostly a criticism of the Dayton administration and the DFL. The DFL are the idiots who’ve created a hostile environment for companies. The DFL raised taxes. The DFL implemented unreasonable regulations. The DFL put in place systems that give special interests multiple bites at the same apple in terms of granting permits.

I can blame Sen. Klobuchar for wanting to accept more refugees than Minnesota can handle. That matters because of this information:

There’s also a segment of Somali workers, about one-quarter of the Electrolux workforce, Klobuchar said. One of the workers who spoke in the meetings is part of that community. Many of them don’t have a high school degree or came here for this job. “This is their whole life, the life they’ve known,” she said “Losing that community of the people you’ve worked with forever, you’re not going to be able to replace that and that was really heartbreaking.”

It was utterly predictable. Why would a company stay in a place and accept workers who weren’t considered part of a well-trained workforce? South Carolina has a better tax environment, a more skilled workforce and it’s a right-to-work state. Why would Electrolux choose to deal with union negotiations when it doesn’t have to?

Companies (and wealth) have been fleeing Minnesota for a couple decades. The DFL keeps pretending that everything’s just fine when things aren’t fine. It’s time for the DFL to finally admit that their policies aren’t pro-growth policies.

Today, Tina Smith will be in St. Cloud for the latest stop in her grandstanding tour. Nothing says grandstanding like hearing that “U.S. Sen. Tina Smith and U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer will meet Saturday in St. Cloud with local leaders, economic development officials, and some Electrolux employees and union representatives to discuss the company’s plans to close its St. Cloud manufacturing facility. The meeting, which will be closed to the public, is set for 1:45 p.m. at St. Cloud City Hall. Smith, Emmer and others are expected to be available for questions from the media after the meeting.”

It isn’t that Electrolux employees don’t have questions. It’s that those questions are best answered by the people who deal with this every day. (Unfortunately, Minnesota is getting too good at this.) What’s stunning is that the meeting is closed to the public. What’s being told to these workers that can’t be discussed in public?

One thing that might’ve hurt Minnesota is the skilled workforce issue. Years ago, a study was commissioned that said this:

Robert Ady was a longtime executive of Deloitte & Touche/Fantus Consulting, a leading site location firm. He is said to have assisted more site locations than any living person. He concludes that it is the quality of the work force, not low wages, that is decisive in the site location decision: “The single most important factor in site selection today is the quality of the available work force. Companies locate and expand in communities that can demonstrate that the indigenous work force has the necessary skills required by the company or that have the training facilities to develop those skills for the company.” (Ady, 1997, p. 81).
– A report from the Higgins Labor Studies Program, University of Notre Dame, March 2011

The truth is that many of the workers didn’t have the required skills. That required Electrolux to hire extra workers, which drove up labor costs.

Tina Smith’s empathy is situational. She hasn’t lifted a finger to help create mining jobs at Twin Metals or PolyMet but she’s willing to secretly meet with employees in St. Cloud. What a farce.

Electrolux, St. Cloud’s fifth biggest employer, just announced that it’s leaving Minnesota, saying in a statement that “Electrolux announced Tuesday they are planning to close their plant here in St. Cloud. The freezer maker says production is expected to continue through the end of 2019. Electrolux spokeswoman Eloise Hale says they have about 900 employees in St. Cloud. She says all impacted employees will be eligible for jobs elsewhere in the company.”

King Banaian commented that “The unemployment rate is quite low. A 17-year low is correct. So there’s a very tight labor market. Our employers keep saying to us in our surveys that finding qualified workers is one of the most serious issues.” That’s the good news. The bad news is that Minnesota keeps losing high-quality employers and employees each year. The outmigration of wealth from Minnesota is devastating. It isn’t just retirees fleeing for warmer climates, either.

According to Minnesota’s State Demographer, people of all age groups are leaving. It’s the chief reason why Minnesota will lose a congressional district after the next census.

Under Gov. Dayton’s ‘leadership’, the Twin Cities have done well while the rest of the state has regressed. Gov. Dayton’s anti-wealth policies, coupled with Minnesota’s oppressive regulations, are driving businesses away while making Minnesota less competitive with other states.

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce President Teresa Bohnen says it’s good news that the community has two years to prepare for the job losses. And, she says the local Workforce Center will start working with those workers that are affected as soon as possible.

We have the jobs in St. Cloud, that’s the great news. And, we’ve already been approached by Senator Smith’s office this afternoon to talk about what they can do to help us. So we’re hoping for grant money, workforce grants, those kinds of things to get us help to get these people retrained and into new jobs as soon as possible.

Sen. Smith’s former boss, Gov. Dayton, is part of the problem. The DFL’s economic policies aren’t pro-growth. The regulations strangle investment.

There’s no doubt that Sen. Karin Housley is a strong advocate for seniors, especially those living in elder care facilities. Last week’s hearing on elder care abuse proved how passionate Sen. Housley is about the issue. Rather than speak like a politician spewing policy, Sen. Housley sounded like a relative looking for justice for a parent who’d gotten abused. She also sounded like a skilled litigator trying to get to the bottom of this crisis.

During the hearing, Sen. Housley said “How long did the Minnesota Department of Health know this was going on and cover it up? I have to say it’s been disappointing to learn what’s been happening for the last I don’t know how many years.”

Daniel Pollock, the acting commissioner of the state Department of Health, replied “We openly acknowledge that in recent years the Office of Health Facility Complaints really has not met the reasonable and appropriate expectations of Minnesotans when it comes to investigating maltreatment complaints in a timely way.”

TRANSLATION: I admit that we didn’t give a damn because our pay isn’t tied to our performance.

This weekend, Sen. Housley stopped past WCCO studios to be interviewed by Esme Murphy:

The part that stung Esme was when she said “The economy though — U.S. News and World Report named us the third best state in the country — 2017 the blistering pace of construction in the Twin Cities in recent years is one sign of an economy firing on all cylinders. Don’t they deserve credit for that?” Sen. Housley replied “There’s still a lot of room for improvement. You know, you go up to the Iron Range and those people are suffering up there. They need jobs up there and they really need to have their voices heard.”

Sen. Housley is an impressive candidate and an impressive legislator. She isn’t the type of legislator that’ll let bureaucrats off the hook. When they come before her committee, they’d better be prepared and they’d better tell the truth from start to finish.

By comparison, I can’t see Tina Smith being much more than Sen. Schumer’s shill. That isn’t to say that Smith isn’t smart. I’m just saying that she’s like most Democrats in that they do what they’re told.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, I wrote this post about Tina Smith’s misguided attention towards the Special Counsel. I wrote that post right after writing this post about Thad McCotter’s delightful tongue-in-cheek article about the Special Counsel.

In my post about Tina Smith’s attention to the special counsel, I highlighted something that Sen. Karin Housley said during a hearing on abuse at elder care facilities. Sen. Housley said “It snowballed over the Dayton administration and was completely ignored and was brushed completely under the table so I think there needs to be some apologies made and some accountability taken.” This crisis was serious business. At least 1 person died. Other elderly people were sexually assaulted or ignored.

For 7+ years, Tina Smith was nowhere to be found to deal with this crisis.

While Tina Smith plays politics with the special counsel issue, a serious senator who initially dealt with the issue is abandoning his push for legislation that would’ve tried to protect the special counsel because Daniel Keylin, Tillis spokesman, said that the “chatter that the administration is considering removing Special Counsel Mueller has completely come to a halt. In fact, the president and his administration have spoken favorably of Special Counsel Mueller’s professionalism and integrity, and recent reports indicate the investigation may soon come to an end.”

Tina Smith isn’t a serious legislator. While it’s too soon to call her a political hack, it isn’t too soon to question whether she’s more than Sen. Schumer’s shill.

On Friday of the Schumer Shutdown weekend, Smith voted to shut government down. On Monday, Smith voted to re-open the government by voting for the exact same bill that she voted against to start the shutdown. By comparison, Thom Tillis voted twice to keep government open and to extend the CHIP program.

Apparently, Tina Smith thinks that she can win her special election by peddling the latest DFL BS about the Trump-Russia nothing burger. She might be able to gin up enthusiasm with the DFL’s far-left base with that but I’d doubt that thoughtful people care a whit about the investigation. I’m betting that people will be more interested in interrogating Ms. Smith over why she voted for shutting down the government on Friday night, then voting to reopen the government on Monday, especially considering that the votes were literally on the identical bill.

Further, I’m betting that voters will want to know whether she supports President Trump’s immigration framework that would give 1,800,000 illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship in exchange for the appropriation of money to built President Trump’s border wall and ending chain migration. Will Ms. Smith represent the DACA recipients she claims to care about or will she vote to keep the issue alive for this year’s campaign? In other words, will she represent her constituents? Or the special interests that fund her campaign?

“The report that President Trump sought to fire Robert Mueller—the man leading the Trump-Russia investigation—is profoundly disturbing, to say the least,” Smith’s statement continued. “I plan to support measures that would help protect this investigation from further political interference.”

First, the firing didn’t happen. Why be worried about something that didn’t happen? It isn’t like Smith doesn’t have truly important things to do. She’s got immigration reform to think through. She’s got to decide whether she’ll support lifting the spending caps on the military. BTW, the military got hollowed out thanks to Sen. Franken’s votes. Will she fix what he broke?

The New York Times reported Thursday night that Trump had ordered a White House lawyer to fire Mueller, but backed down after the attorney, Don McGahn, threatened to resign. If carried out, the firing would likely have created an extraordinary political crisis.

A significantly different version of the story is now making the rounds. In that newer article, it’s being reported that President Trump asked McGahn what would happen if he fired Mueller. McGahn replied that it would create more headaches for the President. McGahn then recommended that President Trump drop the idea, which apparently happened.

It isn’t a big deal for the President to have expressed frustration with the Mueller investigation. Mueller’s team is filled with biased ‘investigators’ who wanted Hillary Clinton to be president. It’d be a miracle if a person wasn’t upset with the team Mueller picked.

Here’s a point worth considering: Smith is more upset with something that didn’t happen than she’s been about the abuse of residents in Minnesota’s elder care facilities. Forgive me but why isn’t Smith upset about something that’s actually happened? Why isn’t she upset about that crisis? When you watch this video, I want you to think about the questions you’d ask if your parents were subject to this abuse:

Ponder what Sen. Housley said:

It snowballed over the Dayton administration and was completely ignored and was brushed completely under the table so I think there needs to be some apologies made and some accountability taken.

I’ll be clear. Much of this happened while Tina Smith was Lieutenant Governor, a time when she paraded around the state doing ribbon cuttings, etc. Why didn’t Smith dig into this crisis rather than be Gov. Dayton’s PR person? Is it because Smith prefers the role of PR spokesperson over the responsibility of fixing things?

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

Friday night, I wrote this post to highlight how Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar voted against extending CHIP, voted against funding the military and the border patrol and didn’t give the military the pay raise it needs to defend us. At the time, I said that “Sen. Smith (and other Democrats) voted against funding CHIP, funding our military and funding other national security considerations. Tina Smith said that protecting 700,000 illegal immigrants was more important than providing health insurance to 9,000,000 vulnerable children or paying 2,000,000 troops serving worldwide.” I’ll stand by that statement.

What a difference a weekend makes. According to this NY Times article, Klobuchar and Smith voted this time to reopen the government. These weren’t principled votes. Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Smith did what they were told.

The other thing that’s been exposed during this shutdown is that Democrats, Klobuchar and Smith included, didn’t put a high priority on properly funding the military. The chief function of the Senate is to fund the government. The highest responsibility in the list of funding responsibilities is funding the military. Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Smith failed miserably on both counts.

Minnesota deserves better than this. Minnesota deserves senators that take their constitutional responsibilities seriously. Minnesotans don’t deserve a pair of senators that campaign, saying ‘vote for me, I’m a moderate’, then vote like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren one time, then vote like Joe Manchin another time. It wouldn’t be so bad if the legislation they voted with Elizabeth Warren on Friday was different than the legislation that they voted with Joe Manchin on Monday. The truth is that both pieces of legislation were virtually identical.

Stuart Varney got this exactly right:

Since Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Smith voted with Sen. Schumer both times, they’re just as wrong as he is.

Technorati: , , , , , ,

Spoken like a true cookie cutter Democrat, last Friday night, newly minted U.S. Senator Tina Smith said that she’s opposed to building the wall, saying that “the wall is just a dumb idea”, adding that “most people don’t think it’s a good idea.” It’s good to know that Democrats think it’s smart to set national security policy based on public opinion rather than on what works.

I’d love hearing Democrats explain why they’re opposed to the wall after people read this article about El Paso. In the article, it says “Tell that to the residents of El Paso, Texas. Federal data show a far-less imposing wall than the one Trump envisions — a two-story corrugated metal fence first erected under the Bush administration — already has dramatically curtailed both illegal border crossings and crime in Texas’ sixth-largest city, which borders the high-crime Mexican city of Juarez. In fact, the number of deportable illegal immigrants located by the US Border Patrol plummeted by more than 89 percent over the five-year period during which the controversial new fence was built, according to Homeland Security data reviewed by me. When the project first started in 2006, illegal crossings totaled 122,261, but by 2010, when the 131-mile fence was completed from one end of El Paso out into the New Mexico desert, immigrant crossings shrank to just 12,251.”

In other words, a wall has already significantly reduced illegal border crossings in El Paso. That isn’t the only benefit of building the wall:

And crime abated with the reduced human traffic from Juarez, considered one of the most dangerous places in the world due to drug-cartel violence, helping El Paso become one of the safest large cities in America.

Let’s summarize. The wall in El Paso dramatically reduced illegal border crossings and it helped reduce drug-related crime, too. Let’s hear Democrats explain their opposition to something that dramatically reduces illegal border crossings and drug-related crimes.

Before 2010, federal data show the border city was mired in violent crime and drug smuggling, thanks in large part to illicit activities spilling over from the Mexican side. Once the fence went up, however, things changed almost overnight. El Paso since then has consistently topped rankings for cities of 500,000 residents or more with low crime rates, based on FBI-collected statistics.

Democrats opposed to the wall need to explain why they’re opposed to stopping violent crime and drug smuggling.

Another core promise made by Trump to justify constructing a massive wall spanning from Texas to California is that it will slow the flow of drugs coming across the border from Mexico. “We need the wall for security. We need the wall for safety,” Trump said last week while answering questions about the sweeping new GOP immigration bill. “We need the wall for stopping the drugs from pouring in.”
On that score, El Paso already has exceeded expectations.

Drug smuggling along that border entry point has also fallen dramatically. In fact, since the fence was completed, the volume of marijuana and cocaine coming through El Paso and seized by Border Patrol agents has been cut in half. The year before the wall was fully built in 2010, the volume of illegal drugs confiscated by the feds along the El Paso border hit 87,725 pounds. The year after, the amount of drug seizures plummeted to 43,783 pounds. Last year, they dropped even further to a total of 34,329, according to Border Patrol reports obtained by The Post.

Obama, Schumer and Feinstein all voted for building a wall in 2006:

I don’t doubt that Democrats will insist that things have changed since 2006. That’s true. Since then, large portions of the wall have been built. The FBI and ICE have had time to accumulate crime data. Since those sections of walls were built, illegal crossings have dropped, illegal drug confiscation has significantly increased and crime has dropped.

In other words, we now have proof that walls work. This isn’t theory anymore.

Ladies and gentlemen, Tina Smith gave us proof that she’s a typical Metrocrat when she was interviewed by Almanac’s Eric Eskola and Cathy Wurzer. During the interview, Cathy Wurzer asked Smith if she thought the Senate was close to a DACA deal. Sen. Smith replied that she thought there was a good chance of senators coming together on a deal on DACA. Then Eskola essentially asked why Democrats weren’t willing to trade funding for President Trump’s wall for protection of DACA-protected illegals.

That’s when Sen. Smith said “Well, you know the wall is just a dumb idea. To try to pay for a big wall is just — most people don’t think it’s a good idea. At the same time, we have to have really strong border security and so I hope that a compromise can be reached that makes sense so that we can have strong border security.” Eskola jumped in, saying “That’s a compromise — wall- DACA”. Sen. Smith then countered, saying “I don’t think a wall is — I think a wall is — what? $18,000,000,000? I think we need to focus on border security and not the idea of tons and tons of cement, which doesn’t really work.”

There’s reason to question Sen. Smith’s commitment to border security. She recently participated in a DACA rally that featured her and Keith Ellison.

At the rally, Smith told the crowd of about 200 people “Minnesota Dreamers are American in every way except their immigration status. They work hard to improve our communities and to make our state better, not just for themselves and their families but for all of us. So the notion that we would turn our backs on Dreamers now … it’s just disgraceful.”

In other words, Sen. Smith thinks that there’s no problem admitting lots of illegal immigrants into Minnesota. On Almanac, Smith talked repeatedly about needing to secure the border. At this rally, Smith talked about how DREAMers were “American in every way except their immigration status.”

Which is it, Sen. Smith? If DREAMers are “American in every way except their immigration status”, why do we need tight security at the border? If we need tight security on the border, how can DREAMers be “American in every way except their immigration status”? It’s apparent that Sen. Smith is already adept at talking out of both sides of her mouth.

Smith’s interview is the first segment of Friday night’s show:

It’s understatement to say that it didn’t help improve her trustworthy rating.

Technorati: , , , ,

At her first official stop since getting sworn in as a U.S. senator, Tina Smith “promised to take a message about Minnesota’s labor shortage back to Washington, D.C.” The problem is that lots of Minnesotans are leaving the state. According to Minnesota’s Department of Higher Ed, of “the % of MN students choosing to go to a public 4-year university/college”, 57% of all graduating seniors from Minnesota who choose a 4-year college “choose to stay in” Minnesota. Compare that with 78.2% of South Dakota graduates attending a college/university in South Dakota, 81.5% of Iowa HS graduates attend an Iowa 4-year college or university, 83.4% of North Dakota HS graduates attend a college or university in North Dakota. 84.9% of Wisconsin graduating seniors who choose a 4-year college or university attend a 4-year college or university in Wisconsin.

What can Washington do about this? This is a state issue. The dirty little secret is that people are deciding to move out of Minnesota. No federal government program will fix that. Throwing a little money at the situation won’t fix anything. It’ll help Smith say she did something but it won’t help her honestly tell people that she fixed anything.

In 2013-14, there was a DFL governor and DFL majorities in the House and Senate. Rather than make Minnesota a more attractive state for workers, the DFL raised taxes, making the state less attractive for workers and employers. That’s part of why state “economists have warned of shortages as baby boomers retire, shrinking the state’s workforce. Economic development partnership Greater MSP projected that by 2020 the state will have a shortage of 114,000 workers.”

In her role as Dayton’s No. 2, and as his chief of staff before that, Smith was regarded as a tough but kind facilitator. Many people said she has a knack for finding solutions while working with opposing groups. She was involved in DFL politics in Minnesota long before joining the Dayton administration.

“She has been in politics for a lot of years and she understands she needs to start her job running,” said Chaffee, who has worked with Smith on other issues over the years, and is confident she will work hard to accomplish things over the next 10 months.

Comparatively speaking, Smith is a better negotiator than Gov. Dayton. Then again, Gov. Dayton’s negotiating skills have led to 3 government shutdowns in 4 budget sessions. How difficult is it to be better than the worst negotiator in Minnesota’s history?

Tina Smith is a cookie-cutter Twin Cities Metrocrat. There’s nothing worthwhile about that. She’s anti-mining and anti-blue collar worker. She’s opposed the various pipeline projects, which means she’s been at odds with the private sector unions most of her time in office.