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This Mike McFadden ad hits Al Franken right between his eyes:

Here’s the transcript of the ad:

I’m Mike McFadden and we need an honest debate about our future. [Graphic: Al Franken voted with President Obama 97% of the time, the most partisan senator in America.] I won’t vote 97% with any president or party. [Graphic: Al Franken is rarely seen in Minnesota.] I’ll work for Minnesota, not Washington, not Hollywood. I’m Mike McFadden and I approve this message. Minnesota just can’t afford an invisible senator with invisible results.

That’s a great ad because it turns Sen. Franken’s strategy against him. Thus far, Sen. Franken has worked hard to look like the no nonsense senator who gets things done.

McFadden turns Franken’s carefully crafted image against Franken by rightly characterizing Sen. Franken as an “invisible senator with invisible results.” Franken can’t point to anything where he’s worked with a Republican to bring people together. That’s why he’s the most partisan senator in the US Senate, which is quite a feat considering the fact that Elizabeth Warren is in the same Senate.

Perhaps Franken has kept his head down because of embarassing things like this:

After talking with a Supreme Court nominee about Perry Mason during a confirmation hearing, you only have 2 choices. Either you keep talking about frivolous things like that, which will lead even ardent supporters to stop taking you seriously, or you put your head down and not say anything to anyone until you’ve been re-elected.

Franken chose the latter option. He’s still keeping his head down, avoiding debates with the hope that he won’t embarass himself during a primetime debate that’s televised statewide.

There’s no disputing the fact that Franken has kept his head down. There’s no dispute, either, that Sen. Franken isn’t the brightest bulb in the DFL’s chandelier. He’s kept his head down because it’s the only way he’s avoided damaging himself politically.

If the real Al Franken appeared, Franken’s charade would be over. He isn’t a serious politician. He’s a lightweight who isn’t qualified to solve the biggest problems facing Minnesota and the United States.

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This ad, paid for by the House DFL Caucus, says that Zach Dorholt is “delivering for St. Cloud and the middle class”:

Like I said in this post, the DFL dances to the tune that Education Minnesota tells them to dance to. Zach Dorholt is no different. Like the rest of his DFL colleagues in the House of Representatives, Zach voted against teacher accountability because that’s what Education Minnesota told them to do. Rather than doing what’s right for Minnesota’s students and parents, Zach Dorholt and the DFL decided they couldn’t risk Education Minnesota pulling their campaign contributions or their Get Out The Vote (GOTV) operations.

When it’s a fight between doing what’s right for parents and students or doing what’s right for Education Minnesota, Zach Dorholt and the DFL will always fight for Education Minnesota.

The best way I can illustrate who the DFL fights for is to ask everyone when the last time was that the DFL picked the people instead of picking one of their special interest allies. Take your time. Do your research. Go through all of the DFL’s votes. That includes Zach Dorholt’s votes. Check out their votes in committee. Check out their votes on the GOP’s amendments to bills.

I’d bet that the DFL sided with the people less than 5% of the time when it was a fight between the people and one of the DFL’s special interest allies.

Let’s take this from the theoretical to the concrete. At their State Convention, did the DFL side with the blue collar workers of the Iron Range or the Twin Cities plutocrats and trust fund babies on mining? Did Dorholt and the DFL side with the women who ran in-home child care businesses or did they side with their friends in the SEIU and AFSCME instead?

The simple answer is that the DFL didn’t side with blue collar miners or the women who run in-home child care businesses. The DFL took the side of their special interest allies. Not once but twice. Unfortunately, those weren’t the only times that Zach Dorholt and the DFL didn’t take the people’s side.

In the spring of 2013, convenience stores lobbied the DFL legislature not to raise the cigarette tax, saying that raising the cigarette tax would hurt convenience stores on the Minnesota borders with North Dakota or Wisconsin. Zach Dorholt and the DFL couldn’t resist the ideological pull. They raised the cigarette tax, which led to Minnesotans driving to North Dakota or Wisconsin to buy their cigarettes.

Thanks to Zach Dorholt’s and the DFL’s decisions, middle class Minnesotans are getting squeezed. Despite significant increases in LGA and school funding, people’s property tax bills are going up. The jobs created during the time when the DFL controlled the entire state government are mostly part-time jobs or they’re low-paying jobs.

The unemployment rate on the Iron Range is 64.3% higher than the statewide average, thanks mostly to policies advocated for by environmental activists.

Zach Dorholt and the DFL are delivering. Unfortunately, they’re delivering for Education Minnesota and their other special interest allies, not for the middle class.

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According to this ad by the House DFL Caucus, Zach Dorholt is “delivering for St. Cloud and the middle class”:

That’s a nice-sounding chanting point. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have anything to do with reality. Job creation has stagnated. Revenues are falling short of projections.

Most importantly, Dorholt voted for spending $90,000,000 on an office building that isn’t needed instead of spending that money on fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges.

That’s Dorholt’s record. What part of that says that he’s “delivering for the middle class”? I’d argue that it’s delivering for the privileged. I’d argue that Minnesota’s economy is struggling. That certainly isn’t helping the middle class.

Zach Dorholt voted against working moms who happen to run in-home child care businesses. When he voted to support AFSCME and the SEIU’s unionization scheme, he voted against the First Amendment. That’s because the unionization legislation gives AFSCME and SEIU sole negotiating authority on matters of state funding rates and regulations.

This summer, the Supreme Court ruled that unions can’t force personal care assistants to pay union dues or fair share fees. Also this summer, a lawsuit was filed that would strip the unions of their exclusive negotiating authority. Rep. Dorholt voted against these small business women.

These women aren’t 1-percenters. They’re the heart of the middle class. When Rep. Dorholt repeatedly voted against them, he, along with the rest of the DFL, voted against the middle class.

When Rep. Dorholt voted for raising the cigarette tax, he voted against convenience stores on Minnesota’s borders with North Dakota and Wisconsin. Thanks to that tax bill, those stores are now struggling while stores in North Dakota and Wisconsin are celebrating their higher profits.

If anything, Rep. Dorholt is helping the DFL deliver a knockout punch to Minnesota’s middle class. The Dayton-DFL-Dorholt economy is delivering pain to the middle class, thanks to lower wages and higher prices on products.

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The highest profile pipeline project in the nation is the Keystone XL Pipeline project. While Republicans have fought for the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline, that isn’t the only pipeline project being delayed by environmental activists. This article highlights the impact the anti-pipelines activists are having in outstate Minnesota:

Railroads will be the key to winter heat as propane becomes a dicier commodity to secure. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recommended pre-paying for propane supplies to eliminate the uncertainty of rising prices later this winter.

But that’s not an option for some people in Park Rapids.

“I can’t afford to take the chance,” said Steve Olafson, who owns the Skelgas service in Park Rapids and ended his “pre-buy” program this year. Last year he found his business trying to fill pre-paid orders for $1.54 per gallon at $5 per gallon.

First, this shows how little thought went into Gov. Dayton’s recommendation. Gov. Dayton automatically thought that businesses wouldn’t react to higher prices and losing money. Mr. Olafson, the businessman who would get hurt by price increases, decided he isn’t willing to lose money on the pre-paid plan. That’s why he eliminated that as an option for customers.

Gov. Dayton’s ‘plan’ was more of a gimmick aimed at hiding a problem create by his political allies in the environmental movement. Environmental activists have waged war on building pipelines, whether it’s the Keystone XL Pipeline or the proposed pipeline from the Bakken to refineries in Superior, WI.

The solution is to build the pipelines. The minute that those pipelines are built, railcar availability will improve dramatically. Those things won’t happen, though, if Gov. Dayton is Minnesota’s governor. The environmental activist wing of the DFL won’t tolerate it.

The railroad capacity issue won’t change until Minnesota has a governor who will stand up to the environmental activists. That will trigger hardships for tons of Minnesotans, including farmers who can’t get their crops to market, homeowners who will get hit with paying way too much for propane and Iron Rangers who can’t get their ore to the steelmakers in a timely fashion.

The DFL insists that they’re fighting for the little guy. That’s BS. I’ve just highlighted how they’re shafting farmers and laborers, the F and L in DFL. The truth is that the DFL is fighting tirelessly for the environmental activist wing of their party.

The DFL is fighting tirelessly for the environmental activists because that’s the dominant wing of their party. Most of the leaders of that wing of the party are plutocrats and trust fund babies who don’t give a damn about Iron Rangers and farmers.

But I digress.

The DFL created this rail capacity crisis. Now they’re pretending to look for the solution, with pretending being the key word. If the DFL was truly interested in solving this crisis, they’d start building pipelines.

Unfortunately, the DFL won’t do that because they won’t stand up to the environmental activist wing of their party.

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Create a crisis, then criticize others when the crisis you created hurts a key constituency. That’s a trusty tactic frequently employed by the DFL. It’s the tactic of choice Amy Klobuchar used during her testimony about railroad delays hurting the Iron Range:

“Cliffs Natural Resources’ mines in Minnesota are among a number of industrial facilities that have been significantly impacted by the national logjam of rail services in the United States.

“These conditions create substantial and irreversible negative consequences for iron ore operations because there is a finite shipping season on the Great Lakes and our operations seek to time shipments as to ensure that our steelmaking customers’ blast furnaces at the lower end of the lakes have adequate iron stocks to continue operation during the closure of the locks at Sault St. Marie,” a company statement said.

Klobuchar spoke on the issue to the Senate Conference Committee.

“Rail service disruptions are forcing mines on the Iron Range to stockpile significant quantities of iron ore,” Klobuchar said. “These disruptions hurt business and threaten jobs not only at these operations, but also at the steel mills that rely on taconite pellets to feed the furnaces.”

St. Amy of Hennepin County would have more credibility on this issue if she didn’t keep voting against the building of additional pipelines, especially the Keystone XL Pipeline. Starting with President Obama’s rejection of building the Keystone XL Pipeline, which should’ve been approved years ago, oil companies were forced to find alternative ways of getting their product to market.

When Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2010, they voted to force President Obama to approve construction of the pipeline. Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken voted against it. In fact, it’s been put to a vote multiple times, with Sens. Franken and Klobuchar voting against the pipeline’s construction each time.

Now that trains are filled with oil cars, rail capacity is limited. Mining isn’t the only industry getting hurt by the railroad capacity shortage. Agriculture is getting hurt, too. Meanwhile, Democrats keep voting against building the Keystone XL Pipeline while complaining about the shortage they’ve created with their votes.

It’s time people started voting against these Democrats. They’ve done everything possible to prevent the building of the infrastructure needed to take advantage of the oil and natural gas boom. The Democrats’ unwillingness to do what’s right is based on their unwillingness to tell their environmental activist allies to take a hike.

The Democrats’ position is clear. Sen. Klobuchar’s position is clear. Sen. Franken’s position is clear. They’ve sided with the obstructionist in the environmental movement. They’ve refused to build the infrastructure that’s needed to move minerals and grains to market.

Building more pipelines would give us the infrastructure that’s required to take advantage of this great opportunity. Environmental activists and their allies in the Democratic Party are causing these problems. If the American people want to see prosperity again, they’ll have to flush this type of thinking from the political system.

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This article shows how the environmental left uses the regulation process to kill good-paying construction jobs:

“We don’t see where anyone’s actually said, ‘yes, you have the need to go forward. We want you to go forward, and now let’s find a place to go forward,'” said attorney Frank Bibeau, representing Honor the Earth.

Bibeau argued that a certificate of need should be requested.

“If you do the certificate of need, then we at least know we have to do a project,” said Bibeau. “Right now we’ve got everybody alarmed, and we’re worried about who else we might alarm just because we’re not sure what we’re going to do.”

Ultimately, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission sided with Bibeau and Honor the Earth, killing high-paying construction jobs. Thanks to Honor the Earth’s stunt, railroad capacity will continue to be limited, meaning farmers’ crops won’t get to market in a timely fashion:

Supporters were also quick to point to the problems caused by oil tankers dominating the railway system, and choking out agricultural shipments like grain.

Earlier this week, Gov. Dayton held discussions about how to get those grain shipments moving and to improve railroad safety. The simple solution is building pipelines.

Environmental activists apparently don’t care that farmers and construction workers are getting hurt by their scorched earth tactics. Environmental activists are the dominant part of the DFL in Minnesota and Democrats nationwide. They’ve figured out a way to shaft the F and the L in the DFL, aka farmers and laborers.

It’s time those parts of the DFL to notice that they’re getting shafted by the DFL. Why should farmers continue to support the DFL? Environmentalists continually lobby to heap regulation upon regulation on family farmers. Those same environmental activists continually shut down major construction projects.

The DFL continually talks about how important farmers and laborers are to the DFL. Unfortunately, their actions show how they’re dominated by the environmental activists’ agenda. That’s why farmers and laborers should question the DFL this election season.

Specifically, they should ask the DFL ‘what’ve you done for me lately’? It’s an especially legitimate question after the stunt that Honor the Earth and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission pulled Thursday.

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Over the weekend, Gov. Dayton’s apologists twisted themselves into virtual pretzels in their attempt to justify Gov. Dayton’s not doing any high profile debates. Chief amongst those apologists was Ember Reichgott-Junge, who virtually twisted herself into a pretzel while attempting to justify Gov. Dayton’s unwillingness to agree to any high profile debates.

The following are the five debates Johnson and Dayton have agreed to participate in:

Coalition of Greater MN Cities/Rochester Post-Bulletin/Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Wednesday, October 1, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Rochester
Forum News Service/WDAY TV Wednesday, October 8, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Moorhead
Duluth News Tribune/Duluth Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, October 14, Duluth, 8:00 a.m., Duluth
KMSP/FOX 9, Hamline University Sunday, October 19, 9:00-10:00 a.m., St. Paul
TPT/Almanac Friday, October 31, 7:00-8:00 p.m., St. Paul

There isn’t a high profile debate in the bunch. Normally, the Duluth debate would grab the biggest audience. It won’t this time because it’s scheduled for 8am on a Tuesday morning.

KSTP, KMSP, KARE11 and WCCO should announce that they’re taping these debates, then replaying them that evening. We The People should demand that candidates that want our vote participate in high profile debates that are a) broadcast statewide and b) held in the evening to attract the biggest audiences possible.

Further, we should demand that journalists who aren’t afraid to ask the candidates tough questions be the panelists. That eliminates DFL apologists like Esme Murphy, Cathy Wurzer and Eric Eskola. (I’m sure Mitch can think of others that fit that description.) I’d also recommend that thoughtful bloggers like Ed Morrissey, Scott Johnson and John Hinderaker be panelists. Throw in traditional journalists like Bill Hanna, Don Davis and Tom Hauser and we’d have some fine debates.

Minnesotans have always prided themselves on the level of civic participation by its citizens. When career politicians refuse to answer tough questions from serious journalists, We The People don’t just have the right to question what that politician is afraid of. We The People have the obligation to question what that politician is afraid of.

I strongly suspect that Gov. Dayton will have a difficult time answering questions about his economic policies, the MNsure disaster and how incompetent his Department of Human Services have been in administering the MinnesotaCare program and manually changing health insurance policies to “life events” like having children, changes of addresses or marital status and others.

Gov. Dayton’s handlers/apologists want to limit Gov. Dayton’s exposure. They want to limit the damage that would come from high profile scrutiny versus an intelligent adversary. It’s easy to picture Jeff Johnson questioning Gov. Dayton’s statements on the health of Minnesota’s economy or what a great thing MNsure is. It’s easy picturing Jeff Johnson’s sharp pictures of how Minnesota’s economy isn’t nearly as good as Gov. Dayton and his apologists claim.

It’s natural for Gov. Dayton’s apologists to do everything to hide his weaknesses. That’s their job. It’s the people’s job, though, to demand a series of high profile debates.

Finally, it’s time to tell Gov. Dayton’s apologists that watching Gov. Dayton give a scripted speech to a group limited to top partisans isn’t the same as seeing 2 candidates go toe-to-toe, challenging each other. A scripted speech requires a speechwriter and a teleprompter. To win a lively debate between adversaries requires a candidate with a strong grasp of the issues and the ability to think on their feet.

Gov. Dayton is missing both of those attributes.

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This article highlights the disparity between Gov. Dayton’s talking up the economy and reality:

The annual “Household Food Security in the United States” study, released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, finds that on average from 2011-13, 10.8 percent of Minnesotans lacked consistent access to food needed to stay healthy (they were “food insecure,” by the report’s definition).

The report also found that 4.4 percent of households had “very low food security,” in which the “food intake of one or more members was reduced and eating patterns disrupted because of insufficient money.”

Let’s compare those statistics with these statistics for St. Louis County:

According to the most recent Census statistics, 1 in 6 people are living in St. Louis County are living below the Federal Poverty Level compared with 1 in 9 Minnesotans living below the Federal Poverty Level. Let’s compare that with the most recent statistics for Anoka County:

According to these statistics, 1 in 14 people living in Anoka County are living below the Federal Poverty level. As good as Anoka County’s poverty rate is, Dakota County’s poverty rate is better:

The point is that people living in poverty aren’t likely to have a high ‘food security rating.’ It isn’t coincidental that metro areas have the lowest poverty rates.

Dayton’s ‘economy that works’ is more accurately described as the ‘economy that works in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and Rochester but stinks everywhere else, especially on the Range.’

The reality is that the Dayton-DFL economy isn’t working for the vast majority of Minnesota cities. All too frequently, people with MBAs are working part-time jobs instead of having a career in HR or elsewhere in management. That isn’t an economy that’s working.

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Friday, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce endorsed Jeff Johnson in the Minnesota governor’s race:

In announcing the endorsement, the chamber’s interim president Bill Blazar said Johnson best represents the chamber’s “pro-business, pro-jobs agenda.” He said Dayton has enacted some of the highest tax rates in the country and increased labor regulations on employers that “seriously inhibits their ability to succeed and compete regionally and globally.”

Naturally, the Dayton campaign issued a statement on the Chamber’s endorsement:

Dayton campaign manager Katharine Tinucci said the governor wasn’t counting on the chamber’s backing despite participating in the screening.

“We’re going to continue to make the case that the progress that we’ve made the past four years has been good for workers, for working people, for families and for businesses,” she said.

TRANSLATION: We didn’t expect to get this endorsement because Gov. Dayton has waged a nonstop war against Minnesota’s small businesses:

After Teresa Bohnen pointed out concern by the business community on the impact of Governor Dayton’s 4th tier income tax on S-Corps I felt his response was disrespectful. He implied that businesses are “OK” with disparities in tax rates of businesses compared to middle income earners. He called the Minnesota Chamber destructive. Then he implied that Teresa and other businesses were unrealistic about the facts.

The fact that Gov. Dayton attempted to get the Chamber’s endorsement indicates he’s either delusional or desperate. When a former member of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce board of directors says that Gov. Dayton called the Minnesota Chamber “destructive”, that’s a pretty good sign that he doesn’t stand a chance of getting the Chamber’s endorsement.

As for Ms. Tinucci’s statement that they’ve made progress the last 4 years that’ve “been good for workers, for working people, for families and for businesses,” she must be either a topnotch spinmeister or she’s using some expensive drugs. Gov. Dayton has fought the Chamber every step of the way. He’s raised taxes on the vast majority of the Chamber’s members. He signed, then repealed, some business-to-business sales taxes that would’ve caused iconic Minnesota companies like Red Wing Shoes, Polaris and DigiKey to move out of Minnesota.

That Gov. Dayton and his apologists in the DFL punditry have the audacity to say that they’ve passed bills that’ve made Minnesota’s economy better says that they’re willing to lie if that’s what’s needed to win this election.

Rural Minnesota’s economy isn’t great. It’s far from it. It’s worth noting that when the DFL insists that Minnesota’s economy is doing well, what they really mean is that the Twin Cities is doing ok. The dominant wing of the DFL is the Twin Cities Metrocrat. If they’re doing well, everything’s fantastic because, in their eyes, the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and Rochester are the only cities that matter.

There’s no doubt that the DFL/ABM/Team Dayton axis of spin will attack the Chamber’s endorsement of Jeff Johnson. ABM will undoubtedly characterize the Chamber as a bunch of rich, out-of-touch, white guys. While that’s likely to be their mantra, that isn’t reality.

The Chamber represents small businesses and entrepreneurs. What’s good for big corporations is entirely different than what’s good for small businesses. While both are established to make profits, that’s pretty much where the similarity ends.

Charlie Weaver’s Minnesota Business Partnership represents big corporations. Weaver’s sold out for his thirty pieces of silver. The Chamber, though, has sided with Jeff Johnson because he’d best represent the small businesses that drive all successful economies.

It’d be nice to have a governor who actually thought our economy extends beyond the Twin Cities. Gov. Dayton has shown he won’t pay attention to the economy outside the Metro.

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The highlight of Bill Hanna’s article about his interview with DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin is this quote:

“I think we’re in a good position to close out the election. But we can’t be too cocky. That’s how we lose.”

Here’s a hint for Martin. The DFL doesn’t lose when it’s too cocky. It’s always too cocky. The DFL loses when it pays too much attention to its special interest allies and ignores the people. It loses when it goes hard ideological. That’s what happened in 2009-2010. That’s when the DFL legislature insisted on passing a budget filled with tax increases that paid for its payoffs to its special interests.

Tom Bakk, the Senate Majority Leader, has said that Minnesotans “don’t mind paying a little more in taxes” because they get their money’s worth from those taxes. That’s the DFL’s Achille’s Heal this year.

  1. Minnesotans aren’t getting their money’s worth from those increased taxes when DFL plutocrats take $90,000,000 to pay for an office building for part-time politicians instead of paying to fix Minnesota’s pothole-riddled streets.
  2. Minnesotans definitely aren’t getting their money’s worth from those increased taxes to pay for the utter incompetence at MNsure.
  3. The DFL can’t claim that Minnesota’s entrepreneurs were helped by raising their taxes. Job creation has virtually stopped since the Dayton-DFL tax increases hit these small businesses.

The only thing that’s helping the DFL right now is that the Twin Cities media’s coverage has changed since early summer. Back then, they actually talked about the negative effects the DFL’s policies were having, especially on the Iron Range. Now they’ve returned to talking only about the race to the finish.

DFL pundits, from Larry Jacobs to Ember Reichgott-Junge to Mindy Greiling, praise the strength of the Dayton-DFL economy because Minnesota’s unemployment rate is artificially low. They don’t talk about things like how many people have quit looking for work or how many “Starbucks MBAs” are employed in jobs that they’re vastly overqualified for.

The DFL promised jobs during their campaigns. They didn’t promise careers, with the exception of a career as a government bureaucrat. During the past 12 months, the Dayton-DFL economy has created 21,523 public sector jobs. That’s compared with the Dayton-DFL economy creating 2,900 total jobs in the last 7 months.

Chairman Martin’s job is to elect as many Democrats as possible, regardless of how much that’d hurt Minnesota. With outstate Minnesota’s unemployment rate high, it’s safe to say that the Dayton-DFL economic policies are hurting Minnesotans.

That’s especially true for the Range, where the region-wide unemployment rate is 8.02% compared with a statewide unemployment rate of 4.88%. Doing nothing while a major region of the state stagnates isn’t doing what’s best for the state. That’s the result of the DFL telling the Range that they’ll pay attention to the environmental activist-elitist wing of the DFL while ignoring the blue collar wing of the DFL represented by the Range.

It’s time for the Range to wake up and realize that the DFL is playing them for fools. It’s time they realized that Ken Martin’s DFL isn’t the Iron Range’s friend. It’s its enemy.

If the Iron Range realizes that, it’ll result in a happy ending for the Range because it’ll mean an end to DFL reign in St. Paul.

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