Search
Archives

You are currently browsing the archives for the Election 2018 category.

Categories

Archive for the ‘Election 2018’ Category

There’s a penalty Minnesotans are paying for electing divided government. That penalty comes in the form of higher taxes, more intrusive regulations and a regulatory structure that gives special interests too many bites at the proverbial apple.

When the DFL ran St. Paul in 2013-14, they rammed huge tax and spending increases down our throats. That’s when Minnesota became less competitive in terms of business environment. The truth is that Minnesota has an outmigration of wealth and talent for years. It isn’t just retirees, either, moving to warmer climates. It’s young people moving to other states to start businesses where taxes and regulations aren’t oppressive.

The regulatory regime isn’t the same as the regulations. For PolyMet to start operations, they have to get approval from the DNR, MPCA, the Department of Health, the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BOWSR), the Public Utilities Commission in addition to local watershed districts and other regulators. It isn’t surprising that people — and wealth are leaving.

This is an organizational chart of Minnesota’s executive branch:

Within the executive branch, there are close to 2 dozen regulatory agencies. They include the MPCA, BOWSR, the DNR, Department of Health, Met Council, the Public Utilities Commission, the Board on Environmental Quality, the State Climatology Office, the Department of Commerce, the Board of Energy, the Minnesota Forest Resources Council, the Minnesota Geological Survey, the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Office of Energy Security, the Office of Pipeline Safety, just to name a few.

The point is that the DFL has controlled at least one part of government my entire adult life. It has created a convoluted system of government that’s stuck in the Twentieth Century. The DFL insists on maintaining a mainframe government in an iPad world.

Gov. Dayton and then-Lt. Gov. Tina Smith ignored welfare fraud, elder care abuse and overseen IT disasters like MNsure and MNLARS. When the DFL had majorities in the House and Senate and Gov. Dayton was governor, they raised taxes and raised the state minimum wage, then indexed it to inflation. Further, the DFL hasn’t reformed anything like the IRRRB or the Met Council in forever. They’ve participated in scandals like the Action Minneapolis rip-off, too.

Considering all those things, I can’t justify why they should hold any levers of power in St. Paul.

This column, which was written by a legal immigrant, makes the point that Democrats aren’t listening to the people on immigration. I’d totally agree, though I’d argue that they aren’t listening on other subjects, either.

This highlights just how crazy Democrats are:

Listening to Democratic Party leaders and their media supporters talk about immigration gives me massive cognitive dissonance. Their argument has a strange up-is-down, black-is-white quality to it:

Uncontrolled illegal immigration is no problem! Border protection is racist and offensive! Arresting and deporting criminal aliens, even those that are violent, is immoral! Enforcing our immigration laws is racist!

And now, of course, it has amped up — several Democratic leaders are openly talking about abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE.

Democrats used to listen to people. They don’t anymore. They have their ideological checklist, which is what they’re interested in accomplishing. Period.

They don’t represent people. They represent causes. That’s why they’re disconnected from blue collar workers. Whether we’re talking about miners, construction workers or heavy equipment operators, the Democrats lost that vote in 2016.

Similarly, Democrats haven’t listened to the people on immigration. They’ve listened to NCLR, aka La Raza, and other immigration hardliners. If Democrats had been sensible, they could’ve had a deal months ago on DACA recipients in exchange for funding the wall. When that didn’t happen, it said that Democrats didn’t care about DACA recipients, that they cared mostly about open borders.

Does this look like a bunch of reasonable-minded activists protesting Ms. Pelosi?

This won’t end well with Democrats. Immigration, if handled properly, can be a major winning issue for the GOP in 2018 and beyond. Let’s remember how President Trump is playing with Hispanics now that their unemployment rate is the lowest in history. Add in how reasonable President Trump looks in offering protection for DACA recipients in exchange for the wall.

As usual, Salena Zito’s latest column provides the best insight into another election that’s caught the public’s attention. This time, Ms. Zito is writing about Tuesday’s special election in Ohio’s 12th district. The special election pits Democrat Danny O’Connor against Republican Troy Balderson.

In her article, Ms. Zito wrote that Vice President Mike Pence hosted a rally for Troy Balderson on July 30 before writing that “Pence left no doubt in the packed event hall in the center of picturesque Newark. He repeated the Aug. 7 date no less than a dozen times. He even made the attendees repeat it back to him.”

The question now remaining unanswered is whether Trump’s voters will turn out in sufficient numbers to propel Balderson to victory. This provides some insight into that question:

Outside the Pence event, Democratic activists, with signs covering every issue imaginable, chant slogans and attempt to engage with GOP supporters. One gentleman with a bull-horn chants, “Balderson hates puppies,” at the folks trying to enter.

“The Trump hysteria kind of gets old,” Wade Rogers says. “Especially when you walk up here to come in line, the first time you’ve ever been this political — where we’ve come to a rally of any sort — and when you hear the opposition over there screaming, ‘Troy Balderson hates puppies.’ I mean, to me, that’s people that’s out of sync with normalcy.”

This provides more insight into the outcome of Tuesday’s race:

Wade Rogers, who had never been very political, says he knows what is at stake, not just for this special election, but also to show up in November. He addresses the question on many reporters’ minds: Is he satisfied enough with the results of the Trump presidency to take the time to vote for a member of Congress, not once, but twice this year?

Absolutely,” he says with a broad grin. “We need to keep showing up. It’s important that the president has a Republican Congress to help pass his agenda for the next two years. You don’t take these things for granted,” he said.

Statements like that tell me that the Trump Brigade won’t let Troy Balderson down. Let’s hear from Mr. Balderson himself:

These rallies don’t guarantee a Balderson victory Tuesday night. That being said, the fact that Trump’s supporters understand the importance of this special election is a positive sign for Balderson and the White House. According to Jai Chabria, this is an affluent district:

This is the type of district that isn’t filled with tons of Trump voters. If Balderson wins this race by 5+ points Tuesday nights, that will be quite the positive sign for Republicans.

Steve Rattner “served as lead adviser to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry in 2009 for the Obama administration.” This morning, the racist NYTimes published Rattner’s op-ed, which is simply a continuation of President Obama’s attempt to lie about the success of President Obama’s economic policies.

In President Obama’s attempt to spin his policies, he’s either forced to lying outright or he’s too unwilling to admit that his policies failed. Prior to serving in the Obama administration, Rattner “was a managing principal of the Quadrangle Group, a private equity investment firm that specialized in the media and communications industries. Prior to co-founding Quadrangle, he was an investment banker at Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, and Lazard Freres & Co., where he rose to deputy chairman and deputy chief executive officer.” But I digress.

In his op-ed, Rattner wrote that “For the second consecutive Friday, the Trump administration had an opportunity to point to fresh data that supposedly demonstrates the strong boost the president’s policies have given to the nation’s economy. Last week, news that the gross domestic product expanded at a 4.1 percent rate in the second quarter occasioned a presidential appearance on the south lawn of the White House. Friday’s announcement that 157,000 new jobs were added in July was marked more modestly, with a statement from the White House.”

Let’s be clear about something. There’s no disputing the fact that the economy is stronger than it was during the Obama administration. The energy sector is booming. Manufacturing is the strongest it’s been in a generation. Unemployment in minority communities is the lowest it’s been in history. Literally trillions of dollars are flooding into the United States now that the Obama tax disaster has been repealed and replaced with the Trump/GOP tax cuts. Business investments are increasing nicely.

Yes, the economy is continuing to expand nicely, which all Americans should celebrate. But no, there’s nothing remarkable in the overall results since Mr. Trump took office. Most importantly, there is little evidence that the president’s policies have meaningfully improved the fortunes of those “forgotten” Americans who elected him.

Nancy Pelosi called the tax cuts “crumbs.”

This is Rattner’s more elegant way of saying that the Trump economy is delivering crumbs to the American people. Tell that to these people:

According to the workers at Granite City Works, President Trump’s policies aren’t just providing jobs after the plant was idled on President Obama’s watch. It’s that those workers said that Granite City, IL is getting rebuilt one neighborhood, one family at a time.

Yes, Mr. Rattner, there were far too many people forgotten by President Obama’s policies. If you weren’t part of the well-connected crowd, you didn’t share in the prosperity. If you didn’t work in one of the industries that President Obama picked as a winner, you were in tough shape. Those forgotten workers aren’t forgotten anymore.

The dishonesty of people like Mr. Rattner and other Obama administration spinmeisters is disgusting. President Obama himself said that he planned on shutting down the coal industry. President Obama said that tons of jobs weren’t coming back. He’s right in once sense. Those jobs wouldn’t have come back with his disastrous tax and regulatory policies. Now that those policies have been replaced by pro-growth economic policies, things have gotten consistently better.

As a result, consumer confidence is sky-high and the economy is robust again. How do I know? I know by the amount of traffic on the highways heading out on vacation. This Friday, the traffic on Highway 10 (at 11:00 am, I might add) was bumper-to-bumper. I never saw that during the Obama administration.

That’s because people have money in their pockets to spend again. The behavior of the American people is dramatically different. That’s reflected in the consumer confidence numbers.

No amount of Obama administration spin will change that.

This incoherent scribbling in the Huffington Post highlights what desperate straits the Democrats are in. The chief scribbler says Brett Kavanaugh’s “confirmation is far from inevitable”, noting that, thanks to “Sen. John McCain’s illness, Republicans have a tiny effective majority of 50 to 49 in the Senate. If Democrats all vote against confirmation — which is not impossible — Republicans must unanimously hold the line.”

Clearly, this is a case of extreme wishful thinking. First, Chuck Schumer isn’t whipping this vote. Next, red state Democrats won’t sacrifice their seats just to keep some Indivisible/Resistance crazies happy.

Then there’s this:

Two of the Republicans who voted against ending the Affordable Care Act, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are still very much in play, despite early signals that some think may mean they are leaning toward confirmation. Three other Republican senators may also be unreliable votes for confirmation, depending on how the confirmation process plays out: Jeff Flake of Arizona, Dean Heller of Nevada and Cory Gardner of Colorado.

This writer doesn’t offer any evidence that Collins, Murkowski, Flake, Heller or Gardner are considering voting against confirming Kavanaugh. It’s entirely speculation.

Kavanaugh’s record indicates he would likely vote to reverse the narrowly decided Supreme Court ruling finding the Affordable Care Act constitutional. That allows opponents to argue that if a senator votes for confirmation of Kavanaugh, he or she is voting to take away your health care. This is the issue that caused Murkowski and Collins to dramatically break with their party last summer, and you can expect it to take a major role in efforts aimed at swaying their votes again.

There is also very little question that Kavanaugh would vote to gut Roe v. Wade, which gave women the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy. Yet a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found that 71 percent of Americans oppose repealing Roe, including 52 percent of self-identified Republicans. Even in red states like Manchin’s West Virginia, Heitkamp’s North Dakota or Donnelly’s Indiana, voters don’t want a woman’s right to make her own choices about pregnancy taken away.

Is there anything in this scribbling that suggests a connection with reality? I’ll stipulate that it has a connection with the Democrats’ talking points. That isn’t the same as a connection with reality, though.

The truth is that I hope that Democrats vote unanimously against confirming Judge Kavanaugh. It’ll make defeating them this November that much easier. ‘Uncle Orrin’ Hatch has had enough of the Democrats’ stupidity:

Good for him. It’s long past time.

Tim Pawlenty’s flier is causing quite a stir. It’s definitely gotten under the skin of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.

The flier “features several uniformed Minneapolis officers standing next to the candidate for governor in front of two squad cars.” Frey “said the mailer may have violated two city policies, calling it an unauthorized use of the Minneapolis police trademark and citing a prohibition on officers other than the union president or a designee appearing in a political advertisement.” That isn’t what’s bothering Frey the most, though.

According to the article, “Tensions are already high among the union, Frey and the City Council. Frey noted that the flier, among other claims, includes Pawlenty’s promise to crack down on so-called “sanctuary” policies meant to separate local police officers from enforcing federal immigration laws.”

“Our policy preventing MPD officers from asking about immigration status is not an advisory guideline that can be selectively ignored,” Frey said. “It is a city law that cannot be reversed by Bob Kroll or any political candidate. They don’t speak for the city. So let me make it clear: Our separation ordinance will be enforced no matter who occupies the office of governor or who is leading the police union.”

Mayor Frey apparently is under the impression that sanctuary city laws are constitutional. If he wants to pick that fight, I’m betting that a Pawlenty administration would be more than happy to have that fight.

Council Member Steve Fletcher said police appearing in the advertisement are “explicitly undermining that separation ordinance,” and questioned whether it would make people less likely to report crimes to police. “We want to preserve the intention that Minneapolis police are acting in accordance with city values,” Fletcher said. “And when they wear the uniform to assert a different set of values, they undermine public trust in their mission.”

The government can’t tell anyone that they can’t express their political opinions. There’s a strong case that can be made that this ordinance violates these officers’ First Amendment rights. Again, I’m betting that a Pawlenty administration would be happy to help with that fight.

In 2006, then-Attorney General Mike Hatch got fined for using official OAG stationery in inviting people to a Hatch for Governor fundraiser. In that case, the candidate used government resources to further his campaign. In this instance, the candidate merely is showing that “Tim Pawlenty is endorsed by the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis.”

Politically speaking, this is a win-win situation for Pawlenty. It’s a win in the sense that this police officer federation endorsed him. It’s a win because Mayor Frey’s complaint elevates the profile of that flier. Here’s the flier in question:

Thursday night, Rep. Marsha Blackburn coasted to an easy primary victory, winning with 84.47% of the vote. As expected, former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen coasted to victory in the Democrat primary, winning with 91.48% of the vote.

The telling statistic isn’t the percentage of the vote the winners got. The telling statistic is how many people turned out. The Republican candidates combined to win 717,885 votes, with Rep. Blackburn winning 606,402 votes alone. The 3 Democrat candidates combined to win 378,548 votes, with Bredesen winning 346,305 votes.

That means the 2 Republicans gathered almost 350,000 more votes than did the 3 Democrat candidates. While that doesn’t guarantee a November victory for Republicans, that margin of victory, coupled with the turnout, must have Mitch McConnell and Ronna McDaniel breathing a sigh of relief. Here’s what the races looked like:

The negative news last night was that Rep. Diane Black lost. She was backed by former Reagan economic adviser Art Laffer.

Let’s be blunt about something. Bob Casey is a lightweight compared to his dad. Tonight, President Trump held a well-attended rally for Lou Barletta in Wilkes-Barre, PA. After the rally, Sen. Casey published this tweet, saying “Tonight my opponent asked for your support so that he can help President Trump. Not so he can help working families or seniors or students. Just so he can help the President advance his divisive corporate agenda. That’s not the job of the Senator from Pennsylvania.”

During the rally, President Trump rattled off some of the things that Sen. Casey fought against. For instance, Sen. Casey voted against a) the Trump/GOP tax cuts, b) confirming Justice Neil Gorsuch and c) repealing all of the anti-mining regulations that President Obama imposed on coal mines. Further, he’s planning on voting against Judge Kavanaugh without bothering to meet with him. Finally, President Trump mentioned that Sen. Casey voted for the ACA and voted against repealing the ACA.

Call me crazy but I think Sen. Casey has cast tons of votes that aren’t in the interest of Pennsylvanians. I’d also highlight the fact that he’s been virtually invisible most, if not all, of his political life. He votes the way Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer and President Obama tell him to vote.

In other words, he’s the furthest thing from a moderate this side of Bernie Sanders.

In an interview with Stuart Varney, Barletta talked about ‘Trump Democrats’:

The truth is that this race could tighten significantly. If I was managing Sen. Casey’s campaign, I’d be worried. President Trump spent a significant amount of time highlighting Sen. Casey’s lackluster career, including his voting record on removing anti-mining regulations. That’s a potential weakness for Sen. Casey.

This Duluth News Tribune editorial endorses Tim Pawlenty as the Republicans’ best shot at retaking the governorship. Normally, endorsements don’t mean that much but I think this one matters. It isn’t because I think the endorsement itself is that impactful. I think it’s impactful because Tim Pawlenty was given the time and space to explain why he’s running. In my estimation, he made the most of that opportunity.

In the editorial, Gov. Pawlenty said “People criticize me for, ‘You held the line on this’ or, ‘You cut that.’ You bet I did. When you’re in a near depression and government’s budgets have contracted, the answer isn’t to go out to the taxpayers and say, ‘We need to raise your taxes.’ We had to tighten the government’s belt, just like every family did, just like every house did.”

In my estimation, that response was what you’d expect from the adult in the room. It didn’t stop there, though. After that, Gov. Pawlenty stated “I’m 57 years old, I have no other political ambitions. I’m not running for any national office. I’m coming back to try to run for governor not because I need the title; I already have it. And I don’t need to go to sit in the office; I’ve already done that for eight years,” said Pawlenty, governor from 2003 to 2011 and a Republican presidential candidate in 2012. “I’m coming back for one reason, which is to get things done for my state and for the state that I love. And I think that at this point we need somebody who is strong enough and experienced enough and, frankly, willing to embrace enough risk to bridge the (political) divides. I am in the best position in this race to do that.”

The difference between Gov. Pawlenty then and the conditions he’d walk into now are dramatic. When he first won the office, he inherited a $4.2 billion projected deficit from Jesse Ventura and a terrible economy. This time around, he’ll walk in at a time when the US economy is hitting on all cylinders. Thanks to that robust economy, Gov. Pawlenty will have the chance to reform the tax system that Gov. Dayton created.

What does Pawlenty want to do if elected again? He wants to slow down health insurance premium increases and maybe even reduce them. He wants to provide tax relief to middle- and modest-income Minnesotans, including by getting rid of Minnesota’s rare tax on Social Security benefits. And he wants to modernize and improve Minnesota schools and the state’s educational system to finally close the achievement gap and to help meet growing workforce needs.

Tim Pawlenty is the best choice to lead the Republican Party of Minnesota. He’s got universal name recognition. He’s got the funding network that’ll be needed to fight off the DFL candidate. Most importantly, he’s got a reform-minded substantive agenda that conservatives can rally around.

Jeff Johnson is touting the issues he wants to run on. That’s admirable. He’d be a fine governor if he got elected. The thing is, though, that he’d have a difficult time getting elected. You can’t govern if you don’t get elected.

Republicans have a fantastic opportunity to reform Minnesota’s economy. To do that, though, we need unified Republican control of St. Paul. We can’t get there with Jeff Johnson. He’s already lost 2 statewide races. I’m not willing to bet that the third time is the charm. There’s too much at stake to entrust to a 2-time loser.

Tim Pawlenty wants to focus on accomplishing sensible things. That’s been out of style the past 8 years in St. Paul. Here’s what I’m talking about:

What’s fascinating about President Obama’s list of 8 candidates running for election across the United States isn’t who’s on the list. It’s who’s omitted from the list. What’s fascinating is that the article starts by saying former “President Barack Obama weighed in on behalf of 81 candidates for federal and state offices on Wednesday, his first major batch of endorsements for the 2018 midterm elections.” Then the article states “I’m proud to endorse such a wide and impressive array of Democratic candidates – leaders as diverse, patriotic, and big-hearted as the America they’re running to represent. I’m confident that, together, they’ll strengthen this country we love by restoring opportunity that’s broadly shared, repairing our alliances and standing in the world, and upholding our fundamental commitment to justice, fairness, responsibility, and the rule of law. But first, they need our votes — and I’m eager to make the case for why Democratic candidates deserve our votes this fall.”

What’s noteworthy about President Obama’s statement is that he didn’t mention anything about creating jobs or strengthening the economy. That isn’t surprising. It’s just noteworthy. President Obama didn’t put a priority on creating jobs while he was president. Why think that he cares about building a strong economy now? Here’s the tweet with President Obama’s endorsements:


Attached to the tweet are the candidates he’s endorsing. It’s rather fascinating that he didn’t endorse any Democrats in Minnesota. It’s fascinating that he didn’t endorse Dianne Feinstein or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This was a fun interview to watch:

Here’s something that I just thought of that’s worth considering. President Obama didn’t endorse a single DFL candidate in Minnesota. He didn’t endorse Keith Ellison. He didn’t endorse Tina Smith. Question: Is that because they’re both Bernie followers? Also, as I said earlier, President Obama didn’t endorse Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She’s a Bernie candidate, too. Question: Is this the start of a fight between the establishment and the Bernie wings of the Democratic Party? Only time will tell but I can’t rule it out.

RNC Chairman Ronna McDaniel made a great point in her interview with Harris Faulkner when she asked if Democrats would highlight the fact that President Obama had endorsed them. I’m betting they won’t highlight it.