Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Yesterday, I wrote this article to highlight ABM’s willingness to publish things that it knows aren’t true. Bill Glahn picked up on that article and wrote this post, which he appropriately titled “Minnesota isn’t working.” Frankly, Bill does a better job of illustrating how terrible the Dayton-DFL economy is. This graphic shows the difference between job growth when the GOP had the majority in the House and Senate and the job growth when Gov. Dayton and the DFL controlled all of state government:

Honest people can’t disagree that significantly more jobs were created while Republicans held majorities in the House and Senate than have been created during all DFL control in St. Paul. At this point, the Republicans’ point is made. Their policies led to greater job creation than during the days of all-DFL control. But Bill didn’t stop there. He published this graphic to highlight Minnesota’s job creation numbers pre-tax increase vs. post-tax increase:

Gov. Dayton, the DFL and ABM will undoubtedly attempt to explain away the dropoff in jobs created after the tax increase went into effect as coincidence. That’s BS. It isn’t coincidence. It’s the direct, predictable, result of the Dayton-DFL tax increases.

The thing is that the totals aren’t close. Over 70,000 jobs were created before the Dayton-DFL tax increase compared with a little over 30,000 jobs being created after the Dayton-DFL tax increase.

I highlighted in my article that a pathetic 300 jobs were created in January-March, 2014. Another 2,600 jobs were created in April-July, 2014. The April-July numbers are hurt by the fact that 4,200 jobs were cut in Minnesota during July.

The reason I started looking into Minnesota’s job creation numbers is because of ABM’s dishonest video (that’s the only kind they put together) about the Dayton-DFL stewardship of the economy:

Here’s the transcript of the video:

Look across the land. On farms and in factories, in classrooms and on construction sites, Minnesota is working. For years ago, Minnesota faced a $5,000,000,000 deficit. But Gov. Mark Dayton showed strong leadership. He raised taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent so we could invest in our schools and reduce middle class taxes. Now Minnesota has 150,000 new jobs and a budget surplus.

That’s insulting to honest Minnesotans. Minnesota’s economy hasn’t created 150,000 jobs during Gov. Dayton’s time in office. It’s more like 96,000 jobs created, with the vast majority of them getting created while Republican policies were in effect. The Dayton-DFL tax increases have essentially killed Minnesota’s job growth.

There’s no question that the Dayton-DFL tax increases have led Minnesota companies to leave the state. It’s time Minnesotans told the Dayton-DFL-ABM Axis of Lies that we insist that their ads be honest or, at minimum, not this blatantly dishonest.

How can we trust Gov. Dayton and the DFL to govern when they won’t tell us the truth about what’s already happened? It’s the worst of all worlds. Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s policiess have failed, which is why they’re lying to cover up their failure now.

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Apparently, Charlie Weaver’s principles are negotiable. His statements, which I wrote about here, indicate that Mr. Weaver isn’t prone to taking principled stands on important issues. If he’s going to continue undercutting Jeff Johnson’s campaign, he should announce that he’s stabbing Jeff Johnson’s campaign in the back.

When Weaver said that “the economy is pretty strong” and that Gov. Dayton’s GOP opponent “will be forced to find other issues as contrasts with Democrats”, Weaver ignored the truth about the Dayton/DFL economy. The question is why Weaver didn’t pay attention to this year’s jobs reports.

The truth is that the Dayton/DFL economy stinks. This year, Minnesota’s economy has created 2,900 jobs in the first 7 months. That’s pathetic. Weaver’s ‘pretty strong economy’ statement was made before the July jobs report showed that Minnesota’s economy shed 4,200 jobs in July.

That’s anything but strong.

The disgusting part is that, with Weaver’s help, Gov. Dayton and the DFL pundits that litter the Twin Cities political landscape will be able to quote Weaver as ‘proof’ that the Dayton/DFL economyy is working.

The truth, though, is that the Dayton/DFL economy stinks. In addition to Minnesota’s economy losing 4,200 jobs in July, revenues for July fell 6.6% short of projections. That’s proof that the Dayton/DFL economy is a disaster.

In the last 12 months, Minnesota’s economy created 68,344 jobs. What’s sad is that 21,523 of those jobs are government jobs. Almost one-third of the jobs created by the Dayton/DFL economy are government jobs.

Does Mr. Weaver think that creating tens of thousands of goverment jobs in 2013 and creating dozens of private sector jobs in 2014 is proof of a “pretty strong economy”? Or is he just peddling a pile of manure about the Dayton/DFL economy because his job requires it?

It’s time for Charlie Weaver to exit stage left and collect his thirty pieces of silver from the Dayton campaign. It’s only appropriate that Weaver exit to the left since he’s selling Republicans out for personal gain.

Here’s hoping that contributors to Republican campaigns ostracize Weaver for his dishonesty and stabbing Jeff Johnson’s campaign in the back. Better yet, Weaver should host a major fundraiser that raises several hundred thousand dollars for Jeff’s campaign.

It won’t make Weaver more trustworthy. It’ll just make up a little bit for his stabbing the GOP in the back.

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It’s amazing that Charlie Weaver has any Republican friends left. I wouldn’t show my face for a month if I’d said this BS about the Dayton/DFL economy:

“The economy is pretty strong,” said Charlie Weaver, a veteran of state Republican politics and executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership, which represents the state’s largest corporations. “We have a low unemployment rate — one of the lowest in the country,” he said.

A former top aide under Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Weaver predicted that Republican candidates, particularly Dayton’s challenger, will be forced to find other issues as contrasts with Democrats.

Far too often, this is what happens when a Republican gives up his principles to become a lobbyist. What happened here is Charlie Weaver, lobbyist, said something Charlie Weaver, conservative, wouldn’t get caught dead saying.

Weaver’s statement is a combination of fiction and professional self-preservation. It’s impossible for an honest person to look at the July jobs report and conclude the economy is strong. July’s jobs report just confirmed the fact that Minnesota’s economy sucks:

Minnesota lost 4,200 jobs in July, disappointing news in a year so far of tepid job growth for the state. The unemployment rate remained at 4.5 percent, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The U.S. unemployment rate in July was 6.2 percent.

June’s job gains were also revised downward by 3,600, driving home the point that over the first seven months of the year Minnesota’s job market has been stuck in neutral. After adding 41,900 positions from August to December 2013, the state has added only 2,900 jobs since January. Some 133,000 Minnesotans are officially unemployed, and thousands more are working part-time jobs when they would rather work full time.

Isn’t Mr. Weaver troubled by the fact that one-third of the jobs created in the past year are government jobs? If he isn’t, why isn’t he? Certainly, Mr. Weaver is smart enough to know that government confiscates people’s money. Certainly, he knows that government doesn’t create wealth.

Over the last 6 months, revenues have fallen significantly short of projections. In July, it fell short of projections by 6.6%. This constitutes a trend. That isn’t a one-time blip.

What’s particularly disgusting is that Charlie Weaver is hurting Jeff Johnson’s campaign whenever he lies about the strength of the Dayton/DFL economy. Months of terrible jobs reports, combined with revenues consistently falling short of projections, aren’t the statistics that you get from a booming economy. Yes, 2,900 jobs created in 7 months is pathetic. By comparison, St. Cloud created 2,894 jobs in 12 months.

Over the past 12 months, 68,344 jobs were created in Minnesota. A total of 46,339 jobs were created in Minneapolis-St. Paul, followed by St. Cloud with 2,894, Mankato with 1,236, Duluth-Superior with 1,145 jobs followed by Rochester with 1,054 jobs. That’s a total of 52,668 jobs created in those cities.

Noticeably missing from the list are Moorhead, Brainerd, Monticello, Hutchinson, Willmar and any Iron Range cities. Mr. Weaver, isn’t it important to creat jobs in those cities, too? Apparently, Gov. Dayton doesn’t think so. Apparently, Gov. Dayton and Mr. Weaver think it isn’t important to create jobs in northern Minnesota cities not named Duluth.

I’m pretty certain that people in Forest Lake, Grand Rapids, Alexandria, Pierz and Little Falls think it’s important to create jobs in their towns. I’m pretty certain that they’d love seeing new businesses starting up in their cities.

Here’s the dirty little secret Charlie Weaver doesn’t want anyone to know. He isn’t looking out for Main Street Minnesota. He’s looking out for big corporations. This isn’t a criticism of big corporations. I appreciate any company that employs lots of people. It’s merely highlighting the fact that big corporations have the resources to comply with Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s regulations and tax code.

Small businesses, the kind found throughout the 6th, 7th and 8th districts, find it difficult to create wealth and expand their companies. If you only care about the Twin Cities, which Mr. Weaver apparently does, then Minnesota’s economy might look ok.

If you care about statewide prosperity, though, which Jeff Johnson does, then Minnesota’s economy isn’t doing well.

If Mr. Weaver wants to peddle Gov. Dayton’s BS that Minnesota’s economy is “pretty strong”, then he’d better expect me to highlight the truth about Minnesota’s job creation statistics. He’d better be prepared to be called out for his BS.

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This morning’s @Issue was offensive to informed voters. It started with Tom Hauser sleepily repeating the discredited DFL talking point that jobs are “coming back.” It continued when Sarah Janacek called ABM’s ads against Jeff Johnson “outside money.” Retread political hack Don Betzold kept the misinformation going by saying that “it’s too early to tell” what insurance rates will be.

Let’s start with Hauser repeating the DFL line about jobs. It’s BS. They aren’t coming back. That’s just the DFL lying through its teeth. This year, the Dayton/DFL economy has created 2,900 jobs in 7 months. The Dayton/DFL economy lost 4,200 jobs in July. The revenue projection for July was off by 6.6%, coming in $69,000,000 short of MMB’s projection.

That isn’t proof of a Minnesota economic recovery. It isn’t proof that the Dayton/DFL policies are taking us in the right direction. It’s proof that they’re failing, especially when you consider the fact that one-third of the jobs created in the last 12 months were government jobs.

It’s sad to see Sarah Janacek make foolish statements like calling ABM “outside money.” She knows better than that. She knows that ABM is funded by Alida Messinger, the public employee unions and community organizing organizations with deep ties to the DFL.

In short, ABM is the DFL’s messaging unit. Pretending that they’re an arms-length distant organization just isn’t being honest with people. Further, Ms. Janacek shouldn’t be that gentle with ABM. They’re a disgusting organization that specializes in smear campaigns. ABM is devoid of virtue and honesty. They should be treated like the parasitic political hatchet organization that they are.

Let me repeat this message to timid GOP pundits like Ms. Janacek: ABM should be exposed and ridiculed for being dishonest and untrustworthy. Tip-toeing around ABM’s disgusting tactics gives them a legitimacy they didn’t earn.

Finally, Don Betzold should’ve been criticized for saying that he didn’t know what insurance premiums would be. If he actually doesn’t know, then he should be put out to pasture. If he knows, he should be exposed as a political hack repeating the DFL’s talking points.

Honesty matters in messaging and reporting. That’s why Tom Hauser and Sarah Janacek should be criticized for their timid, misinformed statemenets.

The lone bright spot was Brian McClung. Brian was well-informed and confident in his presentation of important information.

Katie Clark-Sieben insists that Minnesota’s jobs outlook remains strong despite the fact that Minnesota lost 4,200 jobs in July:

DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said despite the July job loss the state’s economic outlook is healthy. “July’s employment change appears disappointing, however, this is the smallest percentage decline in jobs for a July since 1999,” Sieben said. “Minnesota’s economic indicators remain positive, and underlying employment data continue to look strong.”

Sieben is a politician, not a serious economic analyst. Her statement is campaign fodder. It isn’t economic analysis. If job growth is as strong as Ms. Sieben insists, money should be flowing into state coffers in large amounts. That isn’t what MMB is reporting:

Net general fund revenues totaled $982 million in the first month of FY 2015, $69 million(6.6 percent) less than forecast.

Being off by 6.6% in a month isn’t good news. In fact, it’s rather disheartening. Couple that information with this information and a person could get downright pessimistic:

The state has gained 68,344 jobs since July 2013, led by 21,513 new government positions.

Let’s remember that 2,900 of those 68,344 have been created this year, meaning that 65,444 jobs were created in August-December 2013. Creating 65,444 jobs in 5 months is quite a bit more than 2,900 jobs created in 7 months. It doesn’t take a math major to figure it out that job growth is essentially stalling in 2014.

Here’s what we know:

  1. Government is the biggest growth industry in job creation, creating one-third of the jobs in the last year.
  2. Revenues have fallen short 5 of the last 6 months.
  3. Job growth has virtually stagnated this year, with much of the job growth coming from the hospitality industry and temp jobs.

Those aren’t the signs of a strong economy. They’re the signs of an economy that’s badly underperforming.

Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s policies aren’t working. It’d be one thing if this was a one-month blip. Creating 400 jobs a month for 7 months isn’t a blip. Revenues falling short of projections 5 of the last 6 months isn’t a one-month blip. It’s a disturbing, negative trend.

There’s little question that Gov. Dayton and the DFL will continue telling Minnesota that things are just fine. They don’t have a choice in that matter. It’s either that or admit that Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s policies are failing. That won’t happen.

Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s policies are failing. The alternative is to replace Gov. Dayton with Jeff Johnson and Speaker Thissen with Speaker Daudt. Speaking of Jeff Johnson, he issued this pithy statement:

“According to the Department of Employment and Economic Development half of Minnesotans are underemployed. That means people have part time jobs, low paying jobs, and aren’t climbing the economic ladder,” said Jeff Johnson.

“Minnesotans shouldn’t be satisfied to be ‘hanging on’ to a job they don’t want. People want careers, not minimum wage jobs. Minnesota’s economy is sputtering, and now people aren’t even able keep the jobs they have,” said Johnson.

“Anemic job growth is unacceptable. Job losses are worse. Dayton is satisfied with just hanging on; I am not,” concluded Johnson.

Settling for anemic job growth isn’t acceptable, especially when we’ve just gotten hit with a big tax increase. Nonexistent job growth and higher taxes isn’t the right economic model.

It’s time to change.

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Ken Martin, the chairman of the DFL, is getting good at projection. Check out his quote in this article:

“They will forget about the Range when the election is over,” DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said in an interview prior to Tuesday’s primary.

Those are words from an expert on forgetting about the Range the day after an election. The DFL has asked for the Range’s votes, which they’ve given enthusiastically year after year. The minute that the election is over, though, the Metrocrat wing of the DFL, which is the dominant wing of the DFL, shuts things down.

It’s important that Rangers ask themselves if they’re better off now than they were when Gov. Dayton took office. Based on the high percentage of families on the Range living below the poverty line, the answer must be straightforward. These families aren’t better off now than when Gov. Dayton took office.

Let’s remember that Gov. Dayton’s first appointee to be the commissioner of the MPCA was Paul Aasen. Aasen is now a special advisor to Conservation Minnesota. He’s a passionate environmental activist who once bragged about killing the Big Stone II power plant:

Along with our allies at the Izaak Walton League of America, the Union of Concerned Scientists and Wind on the Wires, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and Fresh Energy argued, first in South Dakota, then before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), that the new plant was a bad idea. Our message was simple: The utilities had not proven the need for the energy, and what energy they did need could be acquired less expensively through energy efficiency and wind.

We kept losing, but a funny thing happened. With each passing year, it became clearer that we were right. In 2007, two of the Minnesota utilities dropped out, citing some of the same points we had been making. The remaining utilities had to go through the process again with a scaled-down 580-megawatt plant.

The heart of the DFL’s message apparently is that they don’t care about the Range but Republicans don’t either.

The DFL’s actions shows that the DFL doesn’t care about mining. A pro-mining political party doesn’t appoint an anti-mining activist to regulate mining.

It’s possible that the Range voters will ignore the DFL’s anti-mining activism. I hope it doesn’t but it’s possible. If the Range gives their votes to the DFL, they’ll deserve the stagnating incomes that they’ve lived with the last 20 years.

If the Range wants prosperity rather than the DFL’s stagnating incomes, the GOP is their only real choice.

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Gov. Dayton and the DFL have been praising themselves for implementing policies that will “grow the economy from the middle class out.” This month’s jobs report won’t help Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature sell that BS. This article isn’t what the DFL needed. This part is particularly tough on the DFL:

Minnesota lost 4,200 jobs in July, disappointing news in a year so far of tepid job growth for the state. The unemployment rate remained at 4.5 percent, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The U.S. unemployment rate in July was 6.2 percent.

June’s job gains were also revised downward by 3,600, driving home the point that over the first seven months of the year Minnesota’s job market has been stuck in neutral. After adding 41,900 positions from August to December 2013, the state has added only 2,900 jobs since January. Some 133,000 Minnesotans are officially unemployed, and thousands more are working part-time jobs when they would rather work full time.

Creating 2,900 jobs in 7 months is pathetic. Losing 4,200 jobs in a single month isn’t good news, either. Even the supposedly good news isn’t good:

The losses were offset in part by gains in manufacturing, retail, transportation and warehousing, hotels and restaurants, and administrative support and temporary jobs.

Creating service industry jobs isn’t the path to strengthening the middle class, especially when many of the jobs created are temp jobs or in the hospitality industry.

Still, the admininistration is trying to put lipstick on this pig:

Laura Kalambokidis, the state economist, said she’d feel better if job growth had been stronger so far in 2014. But other indicators, like job vacancies, the average workweek and the number of people filing for unemployment, have been positive.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell by 14 percent in July compared with a year earlier, to about 10,700. “It would be more concerning if we were seeing more people laid off,” Kalambokidis said. “Sluggish job growth is not as worrisome as people losing their jobs.”

Ms. Kalambokidis better pay attention. Minnesota lost 4,200 in July.

Katie Clark-Sieben still insists everything’s just fine:

DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said despite the July job loss the state’s economic outlook is healthy. “July’s employment change appears disappointing, however, this is the smallest percentage decline in jobs for a July since 1999,” Sieben said. “Minnesota’s economic indicators remain positive, and underlying employment data continue to look strong.”

What’s the reason for Ms. Sieben’s optimism? The fact that construction jobs were lost during the peak of construction season? Or was it the fact that many of the jobs created are temp jobs or in the hospitality industry?

One month of job losses is cause for concern. The bad news is that that isn’t the only bad news. Creating 400 jobs a month for half a year is pathetic.

That’s a pathway to mediocrity and deficits. Comparing Minnesota’s economy with North Dakota’s isn’t a fair fight. North Dakota is growing and not just in the western part of the state. Fargo is booming. Moorhead is plodding along.

The Dayton/DFL disaster is appearing. The big question is whether the Twin Cities media and the liberal-leaning punditry will admit that we’re on a glide-path to stagnation or whether they’ll pretend that everything is fine.

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Now that Jeff Johnson has won the GOP primary, it’s time to look ahead to his general election message. Late Tuesday night, I received this email from the Johnson for Governor campaign:

In his victory speech he thanked his supporters and the other candidates, and laid out his vision for a Minnesota where everybody has the opportunity to succeed:

I have a vision for a state where politicians understand that people work really hard for their paychecks, and politicians spend their money as carefully and wisely as if it were coming out of their own pockets. I have a vision for a state where every kid regardless of where they live has access to a great education. I have a vision of a state where doctors and patients make medical decisions, not insurance companies or government. I have a vision of a state where the most vulnerable people in our communities are treated with dignity and not just herded into government programs that often don’t work but given access to the same private market that everyone lives in.

And most importantly I have a vision of a state where we have ended this philosophy that the poor are poor and the rich are rich and all we can do is redistribute wealth; we, instead, are preaching a sincerely held belief that the poor can become the middle class and the middle class can become rich and anyone who starts with nothing can still accomplish anything in this great state.

That’s the type of message Republicans will quickly unite around. I suspect, too, that it’s the type of message that will resonate with independents and non-political voters.

The last 2 years, the DFL’s message has centered on the word more. As in more taxes. As in more spending. Unfortunately, Gov. Dayton and the DFL haven’t focused on spending other people’s money wisely. Unfortunately, Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature didn’t put a high priority on creating more high paying jobs or saying no to their special interest allies.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature has spent money in ways that’d make a drunken sailor blush. The Senate Legislative Office Building is the perfect symbol of Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL legislature’s reckless spending spree. The part-time legislature needed a $90,000,000 office building like President Obama needs to play more golf.

That building and the taxes that first got raised, then got repealed, symbolize what’s wrong with Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature. St. Paul needs a new sheriff to police the Capitol. Gov. Dayton isn’t the right man for that job. Paul Thissen isn’t the right man to be his deputy.

St. Paul needs Jeff Johnson to clean up Gov. Dayton’s mess. Jeff needs Kurt Daudt to help clean up Gov. Dayton’s and Paul Thissen’s spending orgy.

As Commissioner Johnson said in his victory speech, Tuesday night’s victory isn’t the end of the road. There’s still one more victory to win. Hopefully, that march to November will finally finish Gov. Dayton’s political career.

Weary taxpayers can’t afford 4 more years of Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL legislature’s reckless spending.

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Bill Hanna’s article highlights what’s wrong with today’s DFL:

Gov. Mark Dayton says a far-reaching Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Superior National Forest regarding potential copper/nickel/precious metals ventures is totally unnecessary. So, too, do Minnesota U.S. Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar and 8th District U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan.

It would be a waste of time and money and energy, say those Democratic office holders, because it would duplicate what is already being done as far as environmental review for both the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects. And Congressman Nolan goes further to say the issue was already settled with the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Act in 1978 that allowed mining in the Superior National Forest.

But it’s not that clear, according to a U.S. Forest Service official. There is not even a timeline set up to decide whether the USFS will drop the PEIS request by environmentalists or move ahead with it. In a telephone interview with the Mesabi Daily News on Thursday, USFS Public Affairs Officer Kris Reichenbach in Duluth said there “is no immediate reason to push this” one way or another.

“This is not something to rush into. We are still evaluating our options. We are not at a point of making a decision. I am not aware of a timeline,” Reichenbach said.

What’s wrong with today’s DFL is that Democrat politicians’ voices aren’t as powerful, apparently, as the environmental activists’ voices.

It’s time for Dayton, Franken, Klobuchar and Nolan to hold a press conference on the mining issue. It’s time they told the environmental activist wing of the DFL that they’re putting a higher priority on creating high-paying jobs than they’re putting on preserving supposedly pristine wilderness like this:

These environmental activists aren’t fighting to save pristine wilderness. They’re fighting to control people’s lives.

Apparently, these Democrat politicians won’t stand up to them and tell them to take a hike. Apparently, these Democrat politicians think it’s more important to not ruffle the environmental activists’ feathers than it is to create jobs on the Iron Range. (Might that be because they want the environmental activists’ campaign contributions?)

In the end, it’s my opinion that these sorry excuses for politicians will flap their gums for a little while. They won’t ruffle the environmental activists’ feathers. Then they’ll exit stage left (where else?) once people stop paying attention.

They should all be astronomy majors because they’re only good at taking up space. If families want DFL politicians to fight for them, they’re out of luck. These DFL politicians won’t fight for people if they aren’t part of a special interest group.

It’s sad that these DFL politicians will fight for special interest groups but they won’t fight for families. This isn’t Hubert Humphrey’s DFL.

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Rick Nolan must think he’s got a hot issue. From the start of this campaign, he’s railed that Stewart Mills doesn’t understand the voters in the Eighth District because he’s a “one-percenter.” This article says that Nolan is campaigning on the issue:

Increasing the federal minimum wage is front and center in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District race. “Stewart Mills is against increasing the minimum wage,” an AFSCME television ad says.

Actually, the ad was pulled because it’s dishonest and defamatory. Further, it was paid for by Nancy Pelosi’s PAC, which means that TV stations aren’t protected from lawsuits if the content is found to be defamatory.

While Nolan, AFSCME and the Democratic Party focus on minimum wage jobs, Stewart Mills and other pro-growth Republicans have focused on creating high-paying jobs:

“Stewart does not support an increase in the federal minimum wage,” said Mills campaign spokesperson Chloe Rockow. “But that’s because he thinks that the best way to create jobs, the best way to help people in minimum wage jobs is to make sure that there are better paying jobs; more jobs that require higher skills and the way to get those jobs is to grow the economy.” Mills says his company, Mills Fleet Farm, pays its employees a rate above the state minimum wage.

Voters in the Eighth District need to ask themselves if they’d rather vote for a candidate whose economic platform is raising the federal minimum wage or a candidate who has created hundreds of jobs that pay more than the minimum wage.

Further, do voters in the Eighth District want to be represented by a man who’s more worried about raising the minimum wage of existing jobs or a represented by a man who’s worried about creating lots of new jobs that pay well above the minimum wage? If they want the former, they should vote for Rick Nolan. If they want to be represented by someone whose life has centered on creating new jobs that pay significantly more than the minimum wage, then Stewart Mills is the clear choice.

Considering the fact that the median household income for the Iron Range is almost $25,000 a year less than the statewide average, why wouldn’t you vote for the candidate who wants to create lots of new jobs that pay significantly higher wages than the minimum wage?

Then there’s the fact that Nolan can’t tell the truth if his life depended on it:

“Ironically, my opponent, Stewart Mills III, is paid $570,000 a year, nearly $300 an hour, by his family firm, even though $45 an hour is the going rate for a position like his,” Nolan said. “And yet he has the audacity to oppose raising the minimum wage for everyday hardworking Americans to $10.10 an hour?”

That’s proof Nolan is a liar. He knows there aren’t any executive vice presidents of major retail chains getting paid $93,600 a year. This is further proof that Rick Nolan will say anything to get elected:

Northern Minnesota is known for its great fishing, so perhaps it’s fitting that tracking 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan’s position on a bill that deregulates the mining industry and fast tracks the permitting process for PolyMet is a bit like watching a fish flopping around on a dock: first he’s against it, then he’s for it and now he once again opposes it, this time promising to vote against the legislation if it “comes anywhere near close to becoming law.”

The reaction of the those who gathered in Bohannon Hall on that Saturday afternoon is perhaps best summed up by 32-year-old Jesse Peterson, who characterized Nolan’s responses and actions with respect to HR 761 as “incredibly deceptive and reflecting a willingness to be phony.”

First, Nolan’s solution for mining was a mining institute. Then he said he supported PolyMet “if it could be done” in an environmentally safe way. Now, he’s fully supportive of PolyMet…sorta. He supports PolyMet even though, according to environmental activists, it might pollute an entire watershed. On the other hand, Nolan opposes the Enbridge pipeline:

Citing environmental and economic concerns, the Minnesota Democrat issued a statement in which he spoke of potential threats to environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands, porous sandy soil, drinking water sources and what he termed some of the cleanest lakes in the state.

In other words, Rick Nolan supports PolyMet until the day after the election, when he’ll return to his environmental activist roots. Environmental activists haven’t said anything since the DFL State Convention. Have they gotten a wink and nod from Nolan that he’ll support them after the election? That’s certainly possible, isn’t it? It isn’t like Nolan would be the first politician to break a campaign promise.

The simple solution is to vote for the candidate who’s consistently advocated for PolyMet and who has created lots of new jobs that pay significantly more than the minimum wage. That’s Stewart Mills.

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