Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category
This article is rather enlightening:
“I learned some important lessons from him. First of all, the importance of a job to someone who doesn’t have one. My job as governor is to do everything I can to provide jobs for the people of Minnesota, those who are unemployed, those who are underemployed, to those who want better opportunities for those young people from Bemidji High School who were here and are going onto college and need a better job environment when they graduate.”
Dayton says, “Whatever I can do to make a difference and to be proactive” will frame his administration.
“It’s easy to say no to this and no to that and no to everything, but Perpich said, ‘What can I do?’ to try to make a difference. I hope I can follow in those footsteps. I won’t be building chopsticks factories or visiting castles in Switzerland. Rudy had, as the French said about [de Gaulle], the faults of his virtues and the virtues of his faults. We all have our faults, and we hope for a lot more virtues than faults.
First, let’s highlight the fact that Gov. Dayton isn’t being proactive in providing “jobs for the people of Minnesota, those who are unemployed” and “those who are underemployed.” In February, 2011, Gov. Dayton thought underemployment was a problem along with unemployment. Gov. Dayton in 2014 gets testy when Commissioner Johnson talks about Minnesotans who are underemployed.
When did Gov. Dayton determine that underemployment wasn’t a priority?
Next and most importantly, why isn’t Gov. Dayton interested in being proactive about mining jobs? He hasn’t lifted a finger to make PolyMet a reality. Don’t unemployed miners deserve a proactive governor who’s doing everything possible to create great paying jobs? Is Gov. Dayton only interested in being proactive when his environmental activist allies give him permission?
Finally, it’s interesting hearing Gov. Dayton talk about “hucksters who promise chopsticks factories” as though they were Republicans in 2014 while admitting that Gov. Perpich brought the chopsticks factory to Hibbing in a 2011 interview.
Comparing Perpich’s chopsticks factory with PolyMet is intellectual absurdity. The chopsticks factory went bankrupt in less than 3 years. PolyMet would create 360 mining jobs that would be there for a generation.
Clearly, Gov. Dayton hasn’t thought this stuff through. Clearly, Gov. Dayton hasn’t figured it out that his silence is giving dishonest environmental activists implicit permission to protest PolyMet, which they’re doing.
Will voters let Gov. Dayton off the hook for being a proactive jobs governor for the Twin Cities but an inactive jobs governor for the rest of Minnesota? It’s important to find out the answer to that question because that’s who he’s been.
Watching all the ads being run by Nancy Pelosi’s PAC, the Franken campaign, the Nolan campaign and all the anti-business rhetoric coming from the Dayton campaign, DFL chairman Ken Martin and other anti-business parasites, there’s only one conclusion you can draw. The DFL and its candidates hate employers. Joe Soucheray’s column highlights the DFL’s silliness perfectly:
It’s to the point of comedy that the national Democratic Party has raced to Minnesota to help Nolan out with television ads that feature yachts and private airplanes and white sand beaches. I guess the voter is supposed to believe that Mills sits around all day and has grapes fed to him as he pages through the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog pining for a new Maserati Ghibli S Q4.
Whether it’s Nancy Pelosi’s superPAC or Rick Nolan’s campaign, the hard left’s disdain for companies is unmistakable. It’s in each of their ads against Stewart Mills. What’s most appalling is that the DFL’s agenda doesn’t have a thing in it that says they’re pro-capitalism. In fact, when the DFL held their state convention, Iron Range Democrats wanted the state party to ad a simple sentence to their party’s platform. That simple sentence was to say that the DFL supports mining.
After hours of negotiations, aka Metrocrats intimidating the Iron Range delegation, that simple sentence was dropped because Alida Messinger declared that statement was too controversial. Nolan isn’t the only 1970s reject that thinks companies are evil:
The Franken camp says that as an investment banker, McFadden has brokered the sales of companies that have resulted in the loss of jobs. Well, that can be true in some cases. In other cases, there will be a gain of jobs. Besides, once a company is bought or sold, what does McFadden have to do with it? The Franken camp also insists that McFadden has been involved with companies that have committed the mortal sin of tax inversion by moving their headquarters overseas. No. McFadden’s company represented a foreign company being bought, not the U.S. company moving abroad. That’s business, however unfamiliar Franken might be to business.
In Franken’s thinking, the problem isn’t that the tax code is filled with special favors. It’s that small businesses, aka the rich, aren’t paying a high enough tax rate. The thing is that Franken and Nolan haven’t started a business that requires sound judgment. That’s why they don’t know that many of these small businesses owners work 60-75 hours/week to build a business, paying their employees first, then paying their bills before they can start funding their retirement and their kids’ college education.
After sweating through tough times before getting to the point of profitability, then idiots like Dayton, Franken and Nolan accuse them of being greedy and of “not paying their fair share.”
The truth is that Stewart Mills and Mike McFadden have done more to improve middle class families’ lives in 5 years than Dayton, Franken and Nolan have done in a lifetime. Long-winded politicians haven’t paid for their employees’ health insurance or contributed to their employees’ retirement accounts or paid them a good wage that put a roof over their employees’ families’ heads. Stewart Mills and Mike McFadden have.
When Dayton, Franken and Nolan do that for a generation, then I’ll listen, not a minute before.
Technorati: Nancy Pelosi, House Majority PAC, Rick Nolan, Al Franken, Air America, Mark Dayton, Alida Messinger, Ken Martin, Big Government, DFL, Stewart Mills, Mills Fleet Farm, Mike McFadden, Capitalism, Tax Simplification, Republicans, Election 2014
The thing that stood out during Tom Hauser’s interview with Gov. Dayton was Gov. Dayton’s insistence that some official government reports were totally accurate while other official government reports were rubbish.
For instance, Gov. Dayton insisted that health insurance prices were going up a paltry 4.5%, a statistic that’s been frequently discredited. Here’s what I wrote Sunday:
The Minnesota Senate Republicans put together this interactive map showing how much insurance premiums were increasing in each of Minnesota’s 87 counties.
For instance, Benton County’s least expensive health insurance premiums will increase by 22% in 2015. Stearns County’s least expensive health insurance premiums will increase by 22% in 2015, too. Ditto with Sherburne and Wright counties.
They should consider themselves lucky that they aren’t in Meeker, Kandiyohi, Chippewa or Yellow Medicine counties, where their least expensive health insurance premiums will jump by 43%. (Does that sound affordable?)
Cottonwood, Lyons, Nobles and Murray counties’ least expensive health insurance premiums hit a less-than-happy medium, increasing by 34%.
Gov. Dayton should be ashamed of himself for being this dishonest. The Dayton administration’s report saying that insurance premiums are only going up 4.5% is an outright lie.
Gov. Dayton wasn’t done lying with that, though. When Hauser brought up the BLS report that showed Minnesota was last in the Midwest in private sector job growth, Gov. Dayton started reciting the BS that Minnesota’s economy has created 160,000 jobs during his administration. Government jobs don’t create wealth. Private sector jobs are the only jobs that create wealth, which strengthens the economy.
The Dayton-DFL economy is a sugar high economy propped up by big bonding bills. The fundamentals are weak. Taxes are too high. Regulations prohibit or, at minimum, limit private sector job growth. MMB’s rosy scenario revenue forecasts are falling short on a near monthly basis.
Further, Minnesota’s economy hasn’t created 160,000 jobs. It’s closer to 110,000 jobs, 20% of which (21,523) are public sector jobs.
Later, Hauser questioned Gov. Dayton’s ad that says he’s cut taxes, asking whether it’s fair to question that considering the fact that Gov. Dayton campaigned on raising taxes. Gov. Dayton said that it’s fair to say because he only “raised taxes on the richest 2%.” Does this mean that Gov. Dayton thinks it’s ok to ignore raising taxes on “the rich” because they’re greedy and they don’t really count like the saintly middle class?
Seriously, Gov. Dayton’s thinking is warped, if it can be called thinking. Tax increases aren’t tax increases if they’re increased on people who Gov. Dayton disagrees with. Health insurance premiums are going up at 4.5% because his administration decided to use gimmicks to arrive at a figure that put the Dayton administration in the most favorable light. Families whose health insurance premiums were increasing by 20%-43% aren’t real because Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department used deception to determine in putting together a political document rather than putting together a document that accurately reflects the increases that families will get hit with.
Technorati: Mark Dayton, Tax Increases, Tax The Rich, MNsure, Commerce Department, Health Insurance Premiums, Premium Increases, Stearns County, Kandiyohi County, Meeker County, Dayton-DFL Deficit, Bonding Bills, Jobs, Private Sector, DFL, Election 2014
Jeff Johnson’s latest ad is causing quite a stir:
Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson released a new television ad today that questions the competence of DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.
Johnson’s ad is titled “Unaware.” The narrator contends that Dayton was unaware of bonuses paid to “failed Obamacare bureaucrats,” the contents of bills he signed and the legal issues facing the owners of the Minnesota Vikings.
Johnson then appears, saying Minnesotans deserve a “governor who knows what’s going on,” and promising that he will to be a 24/7 leader.
WCCO’s Reality Check on the ad provides the text from the ad:
Johnson Ad Text:
“Unaware of bonuses for his failed Obamacare bureaucrats
Not even knowing what’s in the bills he signed
Half-a billion taxpayer dollars to the Wilfs after they committed civil fraud and racketeering.
‘I was not aware at all’
What is Mark Dayton aware of?
Minnesotans deserve an engaged governor who knows what’s going on and what’s in the bills he signs. I’ll be a 24-7 leader who owns his decisions. The buck stops with me.
Jeff Johnson for Governor”
The Dayton campaign quickly reacted to Commissioner Johnson’s ad:
A spokesman for the Dayton campaign, Linden Zakula, described the ad as a “desperate attack” from a candidate who is far behind in the polls. “Commissioner Johnson offers no real ideas to improve education, create jobs, or help Minnesota families,” Zakula said in a statement.
What Zakula means is that Commissioner Johnson doesn’t have the special interest-approved pseudo-solutions that Gov. Dayton has. HINT to Zakula: That’s the point. Jeff Johnson won’t be beholden to list of special interests that Gov. Dayton has been his entire public life. The DFL doesn’t do anything that their special interest allies don’t sanction.
As for “real ideas that improves education, creates jobs or helps Minnesota families”, Zakula is lying. Jeff Johnson’s ideas will help miners on the Iron Range (PolyMet), farmers everywhere in the state (Sandpiper Pipeline) and will strengthen families by creating high-paying jobs. Gov. Dayton is a pathetic advocate for raising marginal tax rates. Jeff Johnson is unapologetic in his desire to grow Minnesota’s private sector.
Jeff Johnson will fight for a new K-12 funding formula that reduces the gap between metro schools and outstate schools. I suspect Jeff Johnson will fight to restore the Basic Skills Test for high school math and science teachers that the Republican legislature passed and that Gov. Dayton signed and that the DFL legislature repealed and Gov. Dayton signed. That’s accountability I can believe in.
Zakula’s response is predictable. Gov. Dayton’s litany of things he supposedly didn’t know about is lengthy. Gov. Dayton shut down the government because he supposedly didn’t know that the GOP had removed some provisions that he objected to right before the shutdown. When told in July that they’d been removed, Gov. Dayton acted surprised. Right before FarmFest 2013, Gov. Dayton ‘discovered’ that the Tax Bill expanded sales taxes to include farm equipment repairs, warehousing services and telecommunications. In 2013, Gov. Dayton was outraged that the Vikings stadium bill included a provision for PSL’s, which are standard in every stadium bill that’s been passed in the last 15 years.
Being ignorant might work within the DFL but hard-working families expect their governor to pay attention to the details of major bills. Gov. Dayton said that he thinks MNsure is working “phenomenally well”:
That’s stunningly out of touch. Tell that to families everywhere in Minnesota that are seeing huge increases in their insurance premiums. Tell that to the 140,000 families that had the policies they liked cancelled and replaced by “better” policies they didn’t want.
Gov. Dayton’s policies aren’t growing Minnesota’s private sector. They aren’t making K-12 education the best it can be, either. Gov. Dayton’s policies reflect Education Minnesota’s wish list.
Technorati: Jeff Johnson, Sandpiper Pipeline, PolyMet, Accountability, Private Sector, K-12 Funding Formula, MNGOP, Mark Dayton, MNsure, Tax Increases, Farm Equipment Sales Tax, Vikings Stadium, Personal Seat Licenses, Government Shutdown, DFL, Election 2014
There are times when I can’t help but wonder if some of the LTEs weren’t written by space aliens from a different planet. This LTE is one of them. Here’s what’s got me scratching my head in disbelief:
- Minnesota is among the national leaders again in low unemployment and growth of jobs that provide good wages.
- Dorholt helped put Minnesota’s economy back in high gear.
- A budget surplus brought property tax relief to homeowners.
- And he helped fix taxes that made doing business here better.
That’s pretty stunning. If Minnesota’s economy is “back in high gear”, why have revenues fallen short of projections 6 of the last 7 months? Growing economies produce significant increases in tax revenue. Period. If Minnesota is a national leader in growing “jobs that provide good wages”, why did Gov. Dayton’s Department of Employment and Economic Development issue a report saying that nearly 50% of the jobs are filled by people who are underemployed and overqualified. People with college degrees are working jobs that don’t need college degrees.
The DFL’s mythical property tax relief is mostly campaign chanting points. It isn’t real because property taxes are going up despite a significant increase in LGA. That’s because school districts across the state pushed for and got levy increases.
Finally, saying that Rep. Dorholt “helped fix taxes that made doing business here better” is like saying the arsonist stuck around the scene of the crime, then handed the fireman his fire hose. Rep. Dorholt raised taxes on businesses despite these businesses telling him they’d kill jobs. He voted for the tax increases, then came home at the end of the session to hear businesses criticizing him for voting for the warehouse services sales tax, the telecommunications sales tax and the farm equipment repair sales tax.
After getting the proverbial earful, Rep. Dorholt voted to repeal the taxes he’d just voted to create. It’s fair to say he voted to fix the destruction he caused in the first place. It isn’t fair to say that Rep. Dorholt “made doing business here better.” If Rep. Dorholt and the DFL made doing business here better, why did iconic Minnesota businesses leave Minnesota? Advanced Auto Parts closed its Bloomington, MN office. Nash Finch left Minnesota, too.
Cargill decided to expand operations in another state, too:
Dan Dye, Horizon’s president and Ardent’s CEO-to-be, said in a statement that the decision “will allow us to offer great quality of life for employees, provide excellent service to our customers and position the business for long-term growth.”
Does that sound like Cargill sees Minnesota as a great place to do business?
Thought experiment: If Rep. Dorholt and the DFL says that Minnesota is a great place to do business but iconic Minnesota businesses leave, who should you believe?
I don’t have many quotes to rely on but my impression is that tonight’s debate marked the night the gloves came off. Jeff Johnson went after Gov. Dayton for not knowing about PSLs being in the Vikings bill that Dayton negotiated and signed. Later, he said that Gov. Dayton’s tax increases didn’t just hit richest 2%, highlighting the health insurance tax, the cigarette tax and wheelage tax that hits everyone.
Commissioner Johnson was especially feisty on the Sandpiper Pipeline Project, saying that it was Gov. Dayton’s appointees who voted essentially to kill the pipeline project. Gov. Dayton’s smug dismissal that Commissioner Johnson probably “didn’t understand the process” was immediately greeted by Commissioner Johnson saying that he understood the process and that Gov. Dayton’s appointees to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission voted to kill the project. Johnson then said that Gov. Dayton couldn’t hide by saying it was someone else who voted on the project. Commissioner Johnson finished by saying that “Sometimes, Governor, you have to take responsibility.”
Gov. Dayton criticized Commissioner Johnson by saying that “Taxes should be low, broad and simple isn’t a tax policy. It’s a slogan.” Tonight, Gov. Dayton proposed raising taxes on the middle class again by raising the gas tax again. Then he went back to talking about cutting taxes on the middle class. His closing statement from another planet then stated that Minnesota was heading in the right direction because he’d solved the deficit problem.
The arrogance was disgusting. Again.
The question Gov. Dayton didn’t explain is why he thinks Minnesota’s economy is doing well. The unemployment rate is low but monthly revenues aren’t meeting projections. Minnesota’s economy lost 4,200 jobs in July, something Gov. Dayton didn’t address.
Hannah Nicollet got in on the Dayton bashing, too, when the subject turned to the Vikings stadium disaster, saying that when her daughter throws a hissy fit in a store, she lets her daughter’s tantrum run its course. Then she said that sometimes, a governor has to have the spine to say no when the Vikings were throwing their hissy fit.
Gov. Dayton replied, saying that 7,500 people are working, “many of them minorities”, before asking if the candidates would like to tell them that the stadium bill is a disaster. Commissioner Johnson said that he’d stand by his characterization.
In his closing statement, Gov. Dayton said that his biggest priority for another term will be education. Earlier, he said that raising taxes on gas would be his priority. When everything’s a priority, nothing is a priority.
Gov. Dayton was exceptionally dismissive tonight. When Commissioner Johnson talked about 50% of Minnesotans being underemployed, Gov. Dayton insisted that that was “nonsense.” When Commissioner Johnson said that the statistic came from Dayton’s administration, Gov. Dayton didn’t know how to respond.
This likely won’t get written anywhere else but Gov. Dayton sounded exceptionally arrogant, dismissive and in a foul mood. His response to Commissioner Johnson’s talk about underemployment essentially was that it was nonsense. That’s what an out-of-touch governor sounds like. Article after article talks about how many part-time jobs are getting created. How can Gov. Dayton say that verified facts are nonsense?
This was Dayton at his most unlikable, dismissive worst. He was snotty. He didn’t agree with anything Jeff Johnson said on the big issues. He stuck to his talking points.
Recently, I got another smear campaign mailer from the DFL smearing Jim Knoblach. It isn’t shocking that the DFL is into smearing Republicans. It’s that the DFL’s mailer has a picture of a senior citizen with the caption “Tell Jim Knoblach to keep his hands off our Social Security and Medicare.”
It’s painfully obvious that the DFL knows that state legislators don’t have anything to do with Medicare or Social Security. Just because the DFL is without character and can’t be shamed because they don’t have a conscience, that doesn’t mean that they’re stupid.
They’re just disgustingly unprincipled and utterly without virtue.
While it’s true that Jim Knoblach supported giving people the option of putting a portion of their FICA taxes into a government-approved equity account when he ran for Congress in 2006, that’s utterly irrelevant in this race. Jim Knoblach, if he’s elected, will never cast a vote on Social Security or Medicare because they’re federal programs.
This DFL’s intent with this mailer is to scare senior citizens into voting for Zach Dorholt. If’s apparent that the DFL doesn’t care that it’s fearmongering at its worst. It’s important to remember what Howard Dean said after being elected chair of the DNC:
It’s a battle between good and evil…and we’re the good.
In Dean’s mind, the ends justified the means. If that meant smearing people with lies, that’s the path he’d take without hesitation. That’s the mindset that Ken Martin brought with him from ABM to the DFL.
In Martin’s mind, the only thing that matters is winning elections and checking items off the DFL’s ideological checklist. It’s irrelevant if it helps Minnesotans. It’s only relevant if it makes their special interests’ lives better.
The DFL insists that it’s for the little guy. That’s BS and it’s verifiable. The Metrocrat wing of the DFL, made up mostly by plutocrats and elitists, has done everything to prevent PolyMet from getting built. If the DFL cared about Iron Range voters, they wouldn’t say that building the mine is important but dragging the regulatory review for 9 years is more important.
If the DFL cared about the little guy, they wouldn’t have shoved forced unionization onto child care providers.
Zach Dorholt voted for the forced unionization of child care providers. He voted for major business-to-business sales tax increases and the Senate Office Building. After the session, he caught hell from St. Cloud businesses for creating these new taxes. These businesses lobbied him hard during the session. He ignored them then. It wasn’t until after the session that he started listening to these businesses.
Dorholt is chair of the House Higher Ed Committee. That’s a position of authority yet he hasn’t lifted a finger to investigate the wasteful spending at MnSCU’s Central Office nor has he looked into the financial mismanagement at SCSU. Despite the fact that SCSU is facing $8,000,000-$10,000,000 of budget cuts this year and despite the fact that the Potter administration hasn’t published a budget report yet, Zach Dorholt hasn’t looked into these issues.
All he cares about is whether he can report that he increased spending on Higher Education.
How does that qualify as helping the little guy or middle class families? That’s before asking Mr. Dorholt how the Dayton-Dorholt-DFL budget is creating part-time, low wage jobs helps grow the economy from the middle class out?
The truth is that the DFL doesn’t care about prosperity. They don’t care about great jobs throughout the state. They don’t care if public institutions foolishly spend the taxpayers’ money. How dare they send out mailers that frighten senior citizens while smearing a great policymaker.
Technorati: Zach Dorholt, Smear Campaign, Special Interests, Forced Unionization, Medicare, Social Security, Tax Increases, Higher Education, Ken Martin, ABM, DFL, Jim Knoblach, Small Businesses, Prosperity, MNGOP, Election 2014
The thing that came through when KARE11 interviewed David Schultz about the just-concluded Franken-McFadden debate was how disinterested Prof. Schultz seemed in the right policies. That’s perhaps a bit harsh but that’s what I took from the interview. Here’s what Prof. Schultz said that got me thinking:
In many ways, the debate went about exactly the way both sides wanted it to go.
Dr. Schultz, was it Sen. Franken’s goal to get his butt kicked in that debate? That isn’t what was reported but that’s what happened.
One potential game-changing moment came when Franken and McFadden debated the railcar shortage, which is a huge issue in northern and rural Minnesota, Franken said that he’d talked with the Surface Transportation Board since getting to DC and that he’d worked with David Vitter of Louisiana on making it cheaper to file a complaint with the Surface Transportation Board. When it was McFadden’s turn, he criticized Franken. Here’s what he said:
Al, with all due respect, your lack of an energy policy and the lack of an energy policy from President Obama has caused the rail car shortage. There’s not been one pipeline built. You haven’t approved any pipeline. The Keystone Pipeline has been under the review process for 6 years. That is crazy. That is too long. Pipelines are proven to be the most effective, the most efficient, the most environmentally sensitive way to transport oil. Until you start passing pipelines, we’ll have a railcar shortage. I know how to fix this economy. I know how to get us back on the road to growth and prosperity and you are putting Band-Aids as opposed to going to root causes. We need pipelines in this country. I want everyone in this room and in this state I am for pipelines. I will get them built.
Sen. Franken sounded like a typical DC politician who wanted to sound like he was doing something without really fixing anything. Sen. Franken also sounded like a politician who didn’t want to cross his special interest allies.
By comparison, McFadden sounded like a person not beholden to special interests. He also sounded like a solutions-oriented leader intent on making Minnesotans’ lives better.
Sen. Franken sounded like a politician who wanted to make it easier to file complaints. That won’t get the farmers’ grain to market or the miners’ ore to the shipping port. Schultz apparently thinks it’s more important to evaluate how politicians look rather than opine on whether that politician’s policies will solve problems or make Minnesotans’ lives better.
Admittedly, that’s a harsh indictment of Prof. Schultz. This isn’t about being gentle. It’s about getting people’s priorities right. That includes high profile professors’ priorities, too.
Technorati: David Schultz, Hamline University, Political Pundit, Senate Debate, Al Franken, Surface Transportation Board, Railcar Shortage, DFL, Mike McFadden, Sandpiper Pipeline, Keystone XL Pipeline, Farmers, Miners, Economic Growth, GOP, Election 2014
It’s still to be determined if this editorial is an accurate indicator of the Iron Range’s mood towards Gov. Dayton. Still, it can’t be great news to the Dayton campaign. Here’s the editorial’s introduction:
“The minerals aren’t going anywhere.” — Gov. Mark Dayton, Mesabi Daily News Sunday, Sept. 28, interview story.
If Gov. Dayton was trying to make a positive first impression with Rangers, that fell short.
We found that to be a troubling response to a governor/reporter discussion of the proposed PolyMet Mine copper/nickel/precious metals project on the East Range. Yes, the rich deposits of minerals that are in such demand worldwide are not going anywhere while under the ground.
However, the need for jobs on the Iron Range is also not going anywhere. It’s here and not going away. It’s seemingly forever with us because of an unemployment rate considerably much higher than that of the statewide average. And it certainly won’t improve anytime soon with a comment from the state’s CEO that the minerals aren’t going anywhere.
This wasn’t written by a conservative activist. It’s a product of the Mesabi Daily News Editorial Board.
Gov. Dayton’s statement is exceptionally flippant. It exposes his disdain for Iron Range priorities. This isn’t the first time he’s done that. During Wednesday night’s debate, he accused Jeff Johnson of pandering to the Iron Range when Commissioner Johnson talked passionately about opening PolyMet. Apparently, Gov. Dayton thinks that Republicans shouldn’t have the right to advocate for the Iron Range’s priorities.
That isn’t the only shot the Editorial Board took at Gov. Dayton:
It has now been nine years of environmental review of the PolyMet venture without a final resolution that would allow the project to move forward and create 360 permanent jobs, hundreds and hundreds more spin-off positions and more than 1 million hours of construction work.
And where is that review at now? Stuck in election year limbo as comments on the supplemental environmental impact statement are looked at and studied for far too long. It’s now been months for their review by co-lead agencies, which includes the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
It’s entirely fair to criticize Gov. Dayton for slow-walking the review. Still, it’s important that they don’t let Iron Rangers off the hook. Their votes for the DFL, including Gov. Dayton, have pushed them into this situation. That’s what happens when a region or a demographic group gives monolithic support to one political party.
If that region or that demographic group keeps voting for the Democrats year after year, they’re sending the signal that it’s ok to take them for granted. If the Iron Range doesn’t stand up for themselves on this issue, then they’re getting what they’ve voted for. If the Range doesn’t become a single-issues voter this November, they’ll still be waiting for the review process to finish in 2016 and possibly beyond.
I’ve heard politicians like Tommy Rukavina, David Dill and others talk about the importance of opening PolyMet in one sentence, then say that the Republicans aren’t great on other, less important, issues. It’s shit-or-get-off-the-pot time for the Range. Either PolyMet is important enough to vote against Gov. Dayton and Sen. Franken or it isn’t.
I’ll repeat this again. If the Iron Range doesn’t vote strongly in favor for Jeff Johnson and Mike McFadden on the basis of their passionate advocacy for PolyMet, they’ll deserve 4 more years of high unemployment and rampant poverty.
It’s the Range’s time for choosing.
Technorati: Mark Dayton, PolyMet Mining Project, Tommy Rukavina, David Dill, Al Franken, Monolithic Support, DFL, Jeff Johnson, Mike McFadden, Precious Metals Mining, Prosperity, Economic Growth, MNGOP, Election 2014, Mesabi Daily News, Iron Range
Catherine Richert’s Poligraph article needs to be factchecked. This statement is especially egregious:
During the three-way gubernatorial debate between Dayton, GOP candidate Jeff Johnson and Independence Party candidate Hannah Nicollet, Johnson repeatedly said that Dayton’s administration hasn’t given enough money and attention to greater Minnesota.
That statement isn’t accurate. Here’s what Jeff Johnson said:
“Greater Minnesota in many ways has become an afterthought in this state, whether you’re looking at where we spend our transportation dollars, whether you are looking at K-12 funding formulas, whether you’re looking at some of the regulations that are killing our farmers, our miners and our loggers in this state,” said Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner.
Gov. Dayton’s reply (Richert called it pushback) was a non sequitur:
Gov. Mark Dayton: “The facts don’t support what Commissioner Johnson alleges. The bonding bill last year, 38 percent went to greater Minnesota, 28 percent to the Metro. The rest was statewide projects.”
Jeff Johnson didn’t mention the Bonding Bill in his statement. Johnson talked specifically about transportation spending, the K-12 funding formula favoring the metro over outstate Minnesota and how the Dayton administration’s regulatory overreach that’s hurting loggers and miners in northern Minnesota and farmers throughout Minnesota. Here’s Richert’s verdict:
Dayton’s claim is accurate.
It’s the most accurate non sequitur answer I’ve heard in a debate. The important point to take from Gov. Dayton’s statement is that he didn’t deny that the K-12 funding formula is weighted in the Twin Cities’ favor. Gov. Dayton didn’t deny that overregulation is hurting farmers, miners and loggers. Gov. Dayton didn’t deny that there’s a disparity in transportation funding between the Metro and outstate Minnesota.
Gov. Dayton’s defense of this egregious disparity was that the DFL threw some crumbs to outstate Minnesota in the Bonding Bill. Finally, Gov. Dayton didn’t offer proof that the economy in outstate Minnesota was strong.
Building a civic center or arena in a small agriculture town won’t help farmers make money. Commissioner Johnson is right that the outstate economy isn’t strong because it’s getting hurt by regulations on the major industries in outstate Minnesota.
I rate this Poligraph article misleading.