Archive for the ‘Melissa Hortman’ Category

It’s been clear for months that the statutes pertaining to the governors’ Peacetime Emergency Powers needed reforming. Currently, the authorities get extended if the governor says they’re required and either the House or Senate agrees with the governor.

What’s required is for these authorities to be limited to 30 days initially. If the authorities need to be extended, then both the House and Senate must be required to approve of the extension. In this instance, a Democrat House is protecting a DFL governor. There might be a time when an extension is required. I’m not disputing that. What I’m disputing is the situation that we’re currently in. The current situation includes the governor unilaterally shutting down cafes and restaurants:

Five more Minnesota restaurants have been issued cease-and-desist orders and license suspension notices from the Minnesota Department of Health. A press release from the MDH claims Long Pine Store in Pine River was observed on Dec. 18 serving beverages in person, and Jamieson’s on Main in Oslo was found serving food for in-person dining on Dec. 21.

Investigators determined “that the facilities had violated executive orders designed to protect their employees, customers, and communities from the COVID-19 pandemic.” The governor’s Executive Order 20-99 prohibits restaurants and bars from offering dine-in options. Cease-and-desist orders were issued to both within the last week, as well as notices of “license suspension.” The news release does not specify which licenses MDH plans on suspending.

Gov. Walz unilaterally decided to shut these restaurants down. He didn’t consult with the legislature. He didn’t seek testimony from the restaurateurs or their worker. He just issued EO-99. He didn’t even talk with these owners.

The DFL is complicit in this by extending the not-that-limited DFL lockdown by not ending Gov. Walz’s shutdown. That means that the DFL, from Gov. Walz to Melissa Hortman, own this recession and deficit. This borders on the dictatorial:

The Declaration of Independence emphatically states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Gov. Walz isn’t issuing these executive orders with the consent of the governed. He’s issuing them because he’s trying to look like he’s doing something while the ship sinks. Yes, the ship is sinking under his watch. Life savings have been lost. He’s turned a surplus into a significant deficit. He and the DFL are threatening people with crippling fines for trying to make a living. He’s done these things without listening to the people.

That’s the definition of a tyrant!”

Dan Wolgamott is my representative in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Unfortunately, Wolgamott has represented the DFL and Gov. Tim Walz the vast majority of the time. That’s why Paul Brandmire is running to replace Wolgamott. When Wolgamott ran for the legislative seat, he told voters that his expertise at “bringing people together” would help him in the legislature. Wolgamott has failed at that.

With the second special session underway, it’s time to check into what Wolgamott is working on. According to his e-letter update, “Now is the time to pass a robust jobs and local projects bill to not only create jobs in St. Cloud, but to also update facilities and resources that are a boon for the entire region. In our current House proposal, I fought for the inclusion of local projects like the Municipal Athletic Complex, the NorthStar extension to St. Cloud, the St. Cloud Correctional Facility, the Becker Business District, Foley Wastewater Treatment Facility, and Asset Preservation at St. Cloud State University and St. Cloud Technical Community College. Investments in local resources like these are exactly the type of action needed to help revitalize our economy. When we return to the State Capitol for special sessions, Minnesotans expect us to get the work done, and that’s what I’m committed to doing.”

That’s rubbish. Bonding bills are mostly pork. Extending NorthStar to St. Cloud is a lobbyist’s dream but a waste of the taxpayers’ money. It’s something that will require tons of money to subsidize its operation. It requires millions of dollars to build. Asset preservation at St. Cloud State is normally a good idea but it’s a loser this year except if it’s used to fix buildings that aren’t structurally solid.

The bonding bill is being halted by Kurt Daudt. The bonding bill needs 60% of House members voting for it to pass. It needs 60% of the Senators voting for it to pass, too. Melissa Hortman just notified the House that they’d vote on the bonding bill this week:

There’s a strong chance it won’t pass. Further, it shouldn’t pass, especially if the DFL wants to keep giving Gov. Walz virtually unlimited authority.

The crisis has passed. Over the past month, COVID-related deaths have dropped from an average of more than 100 per week to less than 30 per week. Despite that dramatic drop in COVID-related deaths, the DFL insists that we’re still in the midst of a crisis. What a bunch of BS that is. That’s intellectually insulting.

Jessie van Berkel’s article starts by saying “Minnesota lawmakers returned to the State Capitol on Monday hoping to resolve continuing partisan differences on police accountability, a major public works package and several tax and spending measures. But first they faced off over Gov. Tim Walz’s decision to extend his emergency powers for another 30 days to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, a move that prompted the second legislative session of the summer, just four months ahead of the November elections.”

Frankly, Republicans should issue an ultimatum. Either vote to end this autocracy or we’ll make this the campaign issue this fall. House Republicans don’t have a ton of power but they’ve essentially got a veto over a bonding bill. If the DFL won’t vote to strip Tim Walz of his peacetime emergency powers, then Republicans should make that a major issue this fall.

Under DFL rule, we’ve seen rioting, the unnecessary strangulation of Minnesota’s economy and government of, by and for the DFL. The people of Minnesota have lost their voice. Families, both in downtown Minneapolis and across Minnesota, have lost their life savings. The Walz administration’s Department of Health kept shipping COVID-positive cases back into long-term care (LTC) facilities. Then they tried blaming these unnecessary deaths on the Trump administration.

Shame on the DFL for spreading that lie. The CDC said that LTCs “may” send COVID-positive patients into LTCs if they quarantined those COVID-positive patients away from the general population. The CDC didn’t say shall send.

The DFL is insisting on keeping Gov. Walz’s peacetime emergency powers intact with the flimsiest excuses:

Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman said she believes the governor’s emergency powers are critical as COVID-19 cases rise nationally, a trend that has prompted intensifying national debates about face masks and opening schools in the fall.

Honestly? That’s the best the DFL can do? The number of cases are rising nationally? That means nothing by itself.

Hortman and the DFL insist that King Timmy might need those emergency powers further down the road. Given the DFL’s history of wildly overestimating the impact of COVID-19, I’m betting he won’t need them. I’m betting that the DFL, like King Timmy, just loves the power trip.

But Hortman pointed to the spike in Southern states like Texas, where refrigerated trucks are needed to store bodies because morgues are at capacity. “We have to very seriously consider what it could be in the future for Minnesotans,” she said. “So the emergency is in no respects over.”

Walz characterized the COVID-19 pandemic as an evolving emergency. “The peacetime emergency has provided us tools to save lives and mitigate the devastating impacts of this pandemic,” he said in a statement Monday extending his emergency powers. “As cases skyrocket in other states, we can’t let our guard down now.”

I agree that we can’t let our guard down. We don’t need King Timmy’s emergency powers intact to keep our guard up, though.

Something that’s happened with the peacetime emergency powers is that King Timmy and the DFL have stopped listening to Minnesotans:

The Declaration of Independence emphatically states that governments derive “their just powers” by “the consent of the governed.” King Timmy isn’t asking Minnesotans for their consent through the legislature. He’s just issuing one decree after another.

It’s time for the legislature, especially the DFL House, to strip Gov. Walz of his peacetime emergency powers. It’s time because the COVID crisis doesn’t exist anymore. We know that thanks to this article, which reports “Sunday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported there are 523 new cases that have tested positive for COVID-19, creating a total of 35,549 cases in the state. MDH reports there are 1,425 total deaths, with eight additional deaths reported Sunday.”

Sunday morning, At Issue With Tom Hauser reported that there were 1,411 COVIDS as of Friday’s report. Further, Hauser reported that Friday’s report marked the sixth straight day of single-digit deaths. That streak has now hit 8 straight days. A month ago, Minnesota was averaging 25-30 COVID deaths per day.

It’s clear that there isn’t much to be worried about with COVID if you don’t have underlying health issues or if you’re living in a long-term care facility. If you’re 50 or younger and don’t have diabetes or respiratory problems, this just isn’t a problem.

If the DFL House doesn’t vote to eliminate Gov. Walz’s emergency powers, the DFL House should own, along with Gov. Walz, the economic catastrophe caused by COVID-19. There isn’t an emergency anymore.

Shutting off Gov. Walz’s emergency powers and passing a bonding bill should be the only things on the agenda if there is another special session. Everything else is irrelevant. There shouldn’t be any money appropriated to rebuild Minneapolis. Twin Cities politicians did nothing while the riot erupted and Antifa and BLM anarchists demolished neighborhoods. But I digress.

The bottom line is simple. The COVID emergency doesn’t exist anymore. More than a week straight of single-digit deaths proves that. Gov. Walz shouldn’t have special authority for a situation that might or might not happen. The definition of emergency is “a sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action” or “a state, especially of need for help or relief, created by some unexpected event.”

Notice that both definitions describe an existing situation. They don’t talk about something that might happen. In fact, it talks about the “need for help or relief” caused by “some unexpected event.”

It’s inconceivable that Minnesota’s Constitution would give a governor such sweeping authority to prepare for an event that might not happen. Further, I don’t see the usefulness of giving any politician the authority to act unilaterally, especially for extended periods of time. If Melissa Hortman, Ryan Winkler and the House DFL don’t cut off Gov. Walz’s autocratic authority, they’ll own Gov. Walz’s idiotic decisions that’ve ruined people’s lives. Make no mistake, either. There’s a ton of economic damage that Gov. Walz and the DFL have caused, as this report shows:

It’s time for the legislature to start acting like a co-equal branch. It’s time for the DFL to stop acting liking a rubberstamp to Gov. Walz’s decisions, especially considering that the crisis is behind us.

The DFL Speaker of the House keeps preventing the people from being heard. She’s assisted Gov. Walz in maintaining autocratic rule over the state of Minnesota. Now that there’s a special session underway and she wants to pass some DFL bills, she’s suddenly in favor of hearing from the people. Hortman doesn’t really want to hear from the people of Minnesota. She just wants to pass some leftist anti-police legislation that Gov. Walz wants passed.

At this point, Gov. Walz’s initiatives shouldn’t be taken seriously. Too often, his policies have failed Minnesotans. Letting COVID-infected patients back into long-term care facilities literally killed people. Gov. Walz’s Department of Health turned a blind eye toward programs that illegally shipped money to the DFL’s special interest allies while cheating taxpayers.

Senate Republicans are supposed to have a say in how the state is governed. Instead, Gov. Walz has insisted that he make all the decisions without advice from the legislature. That’s how banana republics in Africa operate. That isn’t how things work in the United States. If Walz wants something, he’ll need to do something he hasn’t done much of. He’ll need to a) relinquish his autocratic authority and b) do some good-faith negotiating.

If Gov. Walz insists on playing the part of a dictator, then Republicans should tell him that they don’t take orders from dictators. If Ms. Hortman insists that Republicans listen to the people, Republicans should tell her that listening to the people isn’t a situational thing. Legislators are the people’s voice. Walz doesn’t speak for each different city or community. That’s the legislators’ responsibility.

Gov. Walz shouldn’t turn the dials on which businesses open and which businesses get financially ruined. If we had a legitimate leader, Minnesota’s economy wouldn’t have tanked like it has. It’s time to turn the page on Tim Walz. He’s a failure. He mishandled the COVID pandemic, with hundreds of our most vulnerable dying needlessly. He utterly failed with the Floyd riots, with minority neighborhoods getting destroyed because of Walz’s and Frey’s inaction. Walz failed by letting vandals demolish a statue of Christopher Columbus while state troopers stood by.

After the statue was toppled, Walz said that he’s upset and that there will be consequences. I’ll believe it when I see it. Thus far, Walz has been a wimp. We don’t need people who promise consequences after-the-fact. We need proactive leaders who do the right thing the first time. That person isn’t Tim Walz. It’s time for him to be shoved off the stage.

As for Ms. Hortman, I suspect that she’s serving her only term as Speaker. She’s represented the Twin Cities only. She hasn’t represented the other parts of the state.

It’s still too early to tell but today’s statistics give us reason to hope that we’re putting COVID-19 behind us in Minnesota. The article starts by saying “Minnesota reported 435 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and 24 deaths, but also a sharp rise in the number of people who have recovered and no longer need to be isolated. The number in isolation declined by 618 people, including the 24 who died. Even after removing those, Sunday saw the largest single-day increase in the people released from self-isolation since the earliest days of the pandemic in Minnesota.”

That’s a cheerful statistic from a releasing people from self-isolation standpoint. Still, it’s just one day. I’ll feel better after we’ve strung 3-5 days in a row together like that. This is worth looking into:

In Winona County, residents of the Sauer Health Care facility for skilled nursing and hospice services accounted for at least 14 of the county’s 15 deaths from COVID-19, Malcolm confirmed last week.

How do we know that those people didn’t die because of the disease they were in hospice for? Knowing that people with life-threatening illnesses are prone to catching COVID-19 isn’t news. If that’s news, then so is finding out that the sun rising in the east is news, too.

Besides age and underlying health conditions, residing a in group-living facility can be a risk factor. Just over 80 % of the fatalities in Minnesota have been residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities. Twenty-one of the 24 deaths reported Sunday occurred in long term care facilities.

What has Gov. Walz, Commissioner Malcolm and the DFL done to fortify nursing homes and assisted-living facilities? The DFL has complained about testing virtually every day. Testing has its place but it isn’t as important as protecting the elderly. Depending on the type of test, that tells you whether the person has the virus or whether the person has antibodies. What has the DFL done to protect vulnerable adults? If Gov. Walz wants to act like a monarch, then he’ll take the blame for decisions he made or should’ve made.

Republicans are willing to shoulder part of the responsibility for those decisions. Unfortunately, Gov. Walz, with protection from the DFL House, isn’t willing to relinquish those special emergency powers 2 months into this crisis.

Gov. Walz and Speaker Hortman are playing purely partisan games in an attempt to pressure Republicans. House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt has said that “his caucus will block passage of a public infrastructure borrowing package until the peacetime state of emergency Gov. Tim Walz has used to enact the stay-at-home order and other coronavirus response measures comes to an end.”

Predictably, Speaker Hortman responded, saying “it is ‘disappointing to see the minority leader threaten to block much-needed investments in local jobs and projects in our communities.'” Ms. Hortman, there’s a simple solution to this impasse. It’s found by letting the people have a say in matters. Leader Daudt laid it out pretty simply:

The Legislature is in session. We believe we should be working with the governor on the response to COVID-19 and keeping Minnesota safe.

I’ll put it in simpler terms. Minnesota isn’t a monarchy. Tim Walz isn’t an emperor. He was elected to be Minnesota’s governor, not Minnesota’s king. It’s time he dropped the monarch act and provided servant leadership.

Speaker Hortman apparently favors monarchies:

Governor Walz and his Administration have served the people of Minnesota well during this crisis, and his thoughtfulness is why Minnesotans overwhelmingly approve of his actions. Ending the peacetime emergency declaration before the emergency has passed would be reckless.

Actually, letting Gov. Walz do whatever he wants is reckless. Power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely. Right now, Gov. Walz is acting like he’s got total authority to do whatever he wants. If Hortman wants to campaign that Gov. Walz has the authority to make unilateral decisions and that he’s made nothing but good decisions, I can’t wait to see her surrender her Speaker’s gavel this November.

Gov. Walz and Speaker Hortman, if you want to run as an autocrat and the chief supporter of an out-of-control autocrat, don’t expect a gentle reception outside downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul this November. People with common sense don’t like authoritarianism. This about it this way. Gov. Walz has decided to ‘let’ more businesses open. Gov. Walz has ‘let’ people start fishing again. Gov. Walz has ‘let’ golf courses open after being pushed by protesters into that decision.

If this is right, the law needs changing:

The state of emergency, currently to end May 13, does not require legislative sign off, though lawmakers can vote to end it. House Republicans have made several unsuccessful attempts to pass legislation rescinding the order. The governor can extend the measure every 30 days with approval from an executive council of statewide elected officials, though he must call back the Legislature if he acts again after it has adjourned. Daudt said he would rather see the Legislature remain in session without a state of emergency past May to approve any virus response measures.

The legislative branch, not the executive branch, is where political disputes should be settled. Further, giving the governor the authority to extend his autocratic decisions theoretically gives him the ability to extend it indefinitely if there’s a divided legislature. Giving a governor the ability to make decisions without consulting the legislature is a recipe for disaster. Nobody should ever have that type of authority. The people must have a say in the matter.

Now that he’s been dumped by the DFL, people must wonder what’s next for Sen. Tom Bakk. I’ve thought about that subject myself and I’ve reached the conclusion that Sen. Bakk would look fantastic with MNGOP after his name. What’s left within the DFL that fits Sen. Bakk?

It can’t be disputed that:

  1. today’s DFL has decided that Iron Rangers aren’t welcome within the DFL;
  2. today’s DFL is the metrocentric party;
  3. today’s DFL hates pipelines, mining and blue collar workers;
  4. today’s DFL is the gun grabber caucus;
  5. today’s DFL is the party of socialists.

Sen. Bakk, I haven’t always agreed with you but you’ve worked to make PolyMet and Twin Metals a reality. Susan Kent and John Marty won’t help make those things a reality. Paul Gazelka, Kurt Daudt and other Republicans would enthusiastically team with you on those initiatives.

It’s clear that today’s DFL isn’t interested in rural Minnesota. Sen. Bakk, you know this is BS:

“What I know about the DFL Party is that whether in the Senate or in the House or statewide offices, we’re the only party that represents Minnesotans from the Canadian border to Iowa and from the Dakotas to Wisconsin,” Hortman said.

That’s BS on steroids. When’s the last time a metro DFL politician voted for building a pipeline? That’s right, Sen Bakk. It’s been a decade+. Sen Bakk, when’s the last time a metro DFL politician enthusiastically supported precious metals mining? That’s right, Sen Bakk. They’ve never supported precious metal mining. They haven’t even half-heartedly supported precious metal mining.

Sen. Bakk, you have a chance to establish a different legacy for yourself. There’s an opportunity for you to send a signal that you’re an Iron Ranger first, last and always. Think of the message of statesmanship first that fighting for the people, not a political party, would send. That legacy is a powerful thing, something that would permit you to say that people, not party, matter most to you.

Sen. Bakk, it’s time for you to put your constituents, not the DFL, first. Your constituents want to build things, work hard and be rewarded for doing the right thing. Sen. Bakk, you have the opportunity to send a message to metro DFL politicians that the Range fights for Rangers.

Sen. Bakk, carpe diem. Carpe diem.

Rep. Nick Zerwas has had it with the DFL’s unseriousness about rampant fraud at the Department of Human Services.

Rep. Zerwas issued this statement to highlight yet another case of uncaught fraud:

Rep. Nick Zerwas, R-Elk River, who serves on the House HHS Finance Division and has been outspoken on the issue of waste, fraud, and abuse at the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), issued the following statement regarding this morning’s Pioneer Press report that DHS overpaid the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and the White Earth Nation by $25 million for Medicaid services. Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles will be soon opening an investigation into the overpayments. According to a statement from Governor Walz, the overpayment issue had been occurring for five years.

“Republicans have been sounding the alarm about waste, fraud, and abuse across DHS for years—this is an agency that seems to have a blatant disregard for taxpayer dollars, and is simply not doing enough to stop activity that is costing taxpayers tens of millions each year,” Zerwas said. “It’s time for House Democrats to stop ignoring the turmoil at DHS, hold hearings, and get answers to the questions we all have about Minnesota’s largest state agency.”

All 55 members of the House Republican Caucus sent a letter earlier this week to House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, requesting hearings on the leadership shakeup at DHS.

It’s apparent that Gov. Walz and Speaker Hortman haven’t taken this expanding scandal seriously. Jim Nobles has already issued a report that highlights rampant fraud within DHS. Apparently, he’ll soon be starting another investigation into this scandal.

At what point will the DFL, Gov. Walz and Speaker Hortman put a higher priority on fixing this mess than they’re putting on playing CYA? Gov. Walz ran on the slogan of One Minnesota. Apparently, if you’re part of the government, he’ll fight for you and protect you. If you’re a taxpayer, Gov. Walz will let your hard-earned taxes get stolen by government grifters. Doesn’t it feel great to know that this administration protects cronies while shafting taxpayers?

This is just the latest incident where cheating was exposed. Nobles’ report is filled with other examples of fraud that weren’t detected until well after the fraud was committed.

This is just proof that the Party of Big Government, aka the DFL, is also the Party of Unlimited Slush Funds to their special interest allies. The DFL has proven that they just can’t be bothered with governing with integrity.

This article contains some frightening information. It says that the “largest budget bill was not publicly released until several hours after the special session had begun.” I’m guessing that they’re talking about the HHS bill though I don’t know that for certain.

This highlights the DFL’s failures on multiple fronts. First, the House DFL leadership wasn’t ready for primetime. Kurt Daudt highlighted how various bills didn’t have spreadsheets whatsoever while other bills had the spreadsheets intended for other bills. That’s disgraceful, especially for a special session. It’s one thing if these mistakes were made at the start of a session with a new majority. It’s another when the DFL majority had the entire session to learn how to make the ship run right.

The DFL failed miserably.

Second, the DFL promised unprecedented transparency. Having the governor, the speaker and the Senate majority leader negotiate the budget when they’re the only ones in the room isn’t the portrait of transparency that Minnesotans were looking for. Blame DFL Speaker Melissa Hortman for that failure.

In most years, the negotiation includes the House and Senate majority leaders, the House and Senate minority leaders, the commissioners and committee chairs in both the House and Senate. That didn’t happen this year. That’s another DFL failure.

This GOP press availability highlights the DFL’s failures:

That’s before talking about the DFL’s tax increases, especially the DFL’s proposed $12,000,000,000 tax increase over the next 4 years. That’s before talking about the DFL’s unsustainable spending increases.

It’s time to fire these DFL jackasses. The DFL’s policies were terrible and ill-advised. The DFL’s managerial skills were horrible. What’s worth keeping?