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President Trump hasn’t been bashful in calling Nancy Pelosi the “Republicans’ secret weapon” in the 2018 election. Perhaps the President needs to rethink that opinion. It isn’t that Pelosi has quickly gotten popular. She’s still as unpopular as ants at a picnic. It’s that Chuck Schumer’s popularity has taken a significant dip recently.

The latest Quinnipiac University Poll “found that 53 percent of voters approve of the job the minority leader is doing in the Senate, while 35 percent do not approve. That is the lowest approval rating Schumer has received since 1999, just months after he was first elected to the U.S. Senate.”

Sen. Schumer is a major drag on battleground state Democrats. How many Democrat senators he’ll hurt remains to be seen but his decisions have already contributed to the Democrats’ vulnerable situation going into 2018. The #SchumerShutdown hurt immensely. The only thing that’s hurt Democrats more was unanimously rejecting the Trump/GOP tax cuts. As a result, Democrats should consider a net loss of less than 5 seats in the Senate a moral victory.

The latest Democrat mistake is rejecting President Trump’s immigration plan. The Common Sense Coalition’s plan isn’t serious about border security, which I explained in this post:

On Pg. 51 of the amendment, we learn that $1,571,000,000,000 is appropriated to build President Trump’s wall in 2018. Further, $2,500,000,000,000 is available to be appropriated in each year starting in 2019 and going through 2027. Further, the legislative language states that “the amount specified in subsection (d) for each of fiscal years 2019-2027 shall not be available for such fiscal year unless (A) the Secretary submits to Congress, not later than 60 days before the start of such fiscal year a report setting forth a description of every planned expenditure…, (B) a description of the total number of miles of security fencing… etc.

The money isn’t appropriated all at once, meaning that future congresses can stop the building of the wall. Don’t think President Trump won’t campaign against red state Democrats on that issue this fall. I’d bet the proverbial ranch that will be a major thorn in the Democrats’ sides.

Democrats shouldn’t think that they have political cover on this, either. Just because Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham and Bob Corker signed onto the bill doesn’t provide cover. It simply means the American people reject them, saying a pox on all their houses. The American people want real border security. They aren’t interested in political gamesmanship, which is what the Collins-Durbin-Graham bill was. This video is misleading:

Just $1,571,000,000 is appropriated to build the wall. The rest of the money is promised but not appropriated. Sound familiar?

Democrats are playing a risky game. Don’t bet on it turning out well for them this fall.

UPDATE: This video exposes Democrats:

If Bob Corker decides to not retire and to run for the seat he currently holds, it wouldn’t be surprising if he’d get soundly defeated. According to “the latest survey from a group backing Blackburn, Senate Conservatives Fund, she led the senator 49 percent to 26 percent. Former Rep. Stephen Fincher garnered 9 percent.”

Corker’s career is essentially finished. Just “before he announced his retirement,” Corker feuded openly with President Trump, “referring to the White House as an adult daycare center.” That isn’t the way to win friends and positively influence people. In fact, it’s a way to permanently imperil a political career.

Much of this is created by DC. According to David Drucker’s reporting, “But Corker allies insist that Blackburn is more vulnerable than she appears and that the movement to recruit the senator into the race is deeper than it appears. (Republicans connected to leadership argue the effort is basically a creation of Corker; Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-TN, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC. That trio of squishes should be squashed ASAP. I can tolerate Alexander but Corker and Graham are almost as worthless as Flake and McCain.

Replacing Corker with the candidate in this video will be a major upgrade:

Then there’s this:

“She is the best fundraiser in the country and is beating Phil Bredesen in several polls. We aren’t worried about these ego-driven, tired old men,” Blackburn campaign spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said.

I don’t have a vote in Tennessee’s primary but if I did, I’d vote for Marsha Blackburn. It’s time to get squishes like Bob Corker out of the Senate. It’s time to replace them with solutions-oriented people like Marsha Blackburn.

It’s truly amazing what good policy will do for a political party’s fortunes. Put differently, good policy makes for great politics. It always has. It always will. The Democrats’ lead on the generic ballot question has officially disappeared.

That’s the verdict of “a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that, for the first time since April, also shows President Donald Trump’s approval rating equaling the percentage of voters who disapprove of his job performance. Fully 39 percent of registered voters say they would support the GOP candidate for Congress in their district, while 38 percent would back the Democratic candidate. Nearly a quarter of voters, 23 percent, are undecided.” With almost 9 months left until the midterm election, there’s time for several dozen more swings.

Still, there’s no disputing that Democrats lost ground after voting unanimously against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. What’s worse is that they’re caught in a difficult situation on DACA/immigration reform. If Democrats don’t make a deal on immigration, a major part of their base will be upset with them. What’s worse is that another significant part of their base will be upset if they do cut a deal with President Trump on immigration.

That’s what a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation looks like.

I never took the ‘building blue wave’ talk seriously for multiple reasons. First, Democrats haven’t done enough to win back blue collar voters to expand their bi-coastal base. Until Democrats start taking blue collar workers seriously, they’ll be the minority party. It’s that simple.

Next, Democrats made huge strategic mistakes by unanimously voting against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. I can’t emphasize enough how that’s killing Democrats. What’s making that worse is Nancy Pelosi’s bone-headed “crumbs” statement:

That’s what being tone deaf sounds like. It’s this cycle’s “basket of deplorables” moment:

Later, Democrats made the mistake of unanimously voting for shutting down the government. Then Democrats compounded that by voting to re-open government by voting yes for the exact same bill that they voted against on Friday night. Talk about Keystone cops. This can’t make Tom Perez happy:

The new year has also produced a Trump polling bump. In the new poll, 47 percent of voters approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while the same percentage disapprove.

Just 6 short weeks ago, President Trump was in the upper 30’s. Now, he’s in the upper 40’s in terms of approval rating. These statistics can’t leave the DCCC smiling:

“Not only have Republicans increased support on the generic congressional ballot, they are now trusted more to handle the most important issue when voters head to the polls: the economy,” said Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult’s co-founder and chief research officer. “In mid-December, 39 percent of voters said they trusted Democrats more to handle the economy, compared to 38 percent who said Republicans. Today, 43 percent say Republicans and 32 percent say Democrats.”

That’s a huge swing in 2 months. With the economy growing and showing no signs of slowing down, it isn’t foolish to think that the generic ballot question might cast the Republicans in a more positive light by Memorial Day.

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It’s clear that Heidi Heitkamp, the junior senator from North Dakota, has some difficult decisions ahead of her. More importantly, she doesn’t have much margin for error after voting against the Trump/GOP tax cuts that are working so well. Now that the Senate is debating DACA/immigration reform, the decisions will get tougher.

Sen. Heitkamp wants to portray herself as a moderate, something that’s getting increasingly difficult considering her support for the Common Sense Coalition’s bill.

I’d say that Sen. Heitkamp knows she’s in a tight spot based on her saying ” know that people want to get some certainty for these kids. We’re being asked to make some tough compromises.” Later, she admitted that she’d support “the Common Sense measure.”

Sen. Schumer has a crisis on his hands, too, though he didn’t admit it yesterday morning, saying “The American people know what’s going on. They know this president not only created the problem, but seems to be against every solution that might pass because it isn’t 100 percent of what he wants. If, at the end of the week, we are unable to find a bill that can pass, and I sincerely hope that’s not the case due to the good efforts of so many people on both sides of the aisle, the responsibility will fall entirely on the president’s shoulders and those in this body who went along with him.”

Coming from the guy who got blamed for the government shutdown, that’s rich. Yesterday, Sen. Schumer tried limiting the discussion. He failed. Republicans will keep offering bills that build the wall, provide a DACA fix and end chain migration. (I’ve come up with a new nickname for chain migration. It’s called ‘anything goes migration.’)

If Sen. Schumer wants to keep pretending that Democrats hold the upper hand in this debate, that’s fine. The longer the delusion, the harder the fall. That fall for the Democrats isn’t a matter of if but when. The media tried blaming the government shutdown on President Trump. The American people, through social media, defiantly declared that it was the #SchumerShutdown.

Thanks to the Schumer Shutdown and Sen. Schumer’s strategy on the tax cuts, Sen. Heitkamp is in a difficult position for re-election. If she gets this wrong, she might not be able to recover.

The Common Sense Coalition’s amendment is pretty much a bait-and-switch con job piece of legislation. For starters, amnesty for DACA recipients is immediate. That isn’t surprising. Next, building President Trump’s wall isn’t a priority. On Pg. 51 of the amendment, we learn that $1,571,000,000,000 is appropriated to build President Trump’s wall in 2018. Further, $2,500,000,000,000 is available to be appropriated in each year starting in 2019 and going through 2027. Further, the legislative language states that “the amount specified in subsection (d) for each of fiscal years 2019-2027 shall not be available for such fiscal year unless (A) the Secretary submits to Congress, not later than 60 days before the start of such fiscal year a report setting forth a description of every planned expenditure…, (B) a description of the total number of miles of security fencing… etc.

In other words, they’re limiting the speed with which the wall can be built. Further. they’re making it possible for future Democratic administrations to kill the building of the wall.

Simply put, this bill has no chance of getting 6o votes. It doesn’t stand a chance of getting signed into law, either. Here’s a picture of most of the members of the Common Sense Coalition:

It’s worth noting that a significant percentage of these senators are either retiring or will be defeated this fall. Sen. Donnelly fits that description. Jeff Flake definitely fits that description. Joe Manchin is inching closer to fitting that description. Heidi Heitkamp definitely fits that description. Claire McCaskill and Bill Nelson fit that description. The senators from New Hampshire don’t exactly fit the description but they’re getting there. Bob Corker fits that description.

Simply put, most of the senators in the Common Sense Coalition won’t be in the Senate a year from now. That doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to vote. That’s their right until their replacement is sworn in, either after their retirement or their defeat. What it means, though, is that members of the Coalition don’t care about national security. They certainly aren’t interested in listening to the people. Thus far, they haven’t listened to the people.

This coalition isn’t made up of principled politicians. It’s made up of elitists who aren’t interested in listening to the people. Chuck Grassley is the senior senator from Iowa. He isn’t part of that Coalition. He’s just a politician who’s interested in doing the right thing, both for DACA recipients and for national security. He’s the chief author of a bill that’s been endorsed by President Trump. It’s the only bill that the Senate will debate that President Trump will sign or should sign. Listen to Sen. Grassley’s speech explaining why senators should vote for his legislation:

The text of Sen. Grassley’s bill, known as the Secure and Succeed Act, is significantly different than the CSC’s legislation. The biggest difference between the 2 bills is that the Grassley bill appropriates the money for the wall right away. In the section titled “Subtitle C—Border Security Enforcement Fund” the following appropriations are made:

The Secretary shall transfer, 8 from the Fund to the “U.S. Customs and Border 9 Protection—Procurement, Construction and Improvements” account, for the purpose described in 11 subsection (a)(1), $18,000,000,000, of which— 12 (A) $1,571,000,000 shall be transferred in 13 fiscal year 2018; 14 (B) $1,600,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2019; 16 (C) $1,842,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2020; (D) $2,019,000,000 shall be transferred in 19 fiscal year 2021; (E) $2,237,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2022; (F) $1,745,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2023; 177 (G) $1,746,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2024; (H) $1,776,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2025; (I) $1,746,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2026; and (J) $1,718,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2027.

Barring an act of Congress, the money for President Trump’s wall will be appropriated this year.

The Common Sense Coalition’s bill appropriates approximately $1,700,000,000,000 this year, then requires separate appropriations in the years following to build the wall. The Grassley bill appropriates the money immediately.

It’s worth noting that Democrats have the proverbial gun pointed at their heads. If Democrats don’t agree to President Trump’s conditions, DACA collapses and the recipients hold Democrats responsible. Remember this?

The chances for a repeat of that scene is high if Democrats don’t deliver.

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When it comes to political wisdom, Lindsey Graham isn’t too bright. The NYTimes is quoting Sen. Graham as saying that “The president’s going to have a vote on his concept. I don’t think it will get 60 votes. The bottom line then is: What do you do next? You can do what we’ve done for the last 35 years — blame each other. Or you can actually start fixing the broken immigration system. If you came out of this with strong border security — the president getting his wall and the Dream Act population being taken care of, most Americans would applaud.”

Sen. Graham isn’t too bright if he thinks he’s on the winning side in this fight. Americans want a DACA fix as long as it comes with the wall and an end to chain migration. Each of those issues have approval ratings of 70%. If Sen. Graham thinks that President Trump is on the losing end of that fight, he isn’t too bright.

The American people understand that bad bipartisan deals are really just bad deals. They’ve seen DC pass bipartisan deals for years while things got worse. They’re upset with elitists in both parties. They’re demanding that these elitists do something different this time. It’s a revolutionary concept but it’s worked in the past. It’s called listening to the people. Don’t tell us that the things that the American people want done in their name is complicated.

It’s only complicated trying to explain why politicians ignored the will of the people. Then it gets real complicated — for the politician. That’s their problem.

Meanwhile, politicians in the “Common Sense Coalition” who are up for election this year better prepare to get their comeuppance in November. Watch Sen. Schumer’s speech, then ask yourself whether he’s bothered to listen to the American people:

After watching that speech, I’m left wondering whether Sen. Schumer thinks the American people are simply an inconvenient afterthought. Lost in his political spin is whether the bill the Common Sense Coalition is putting together is something that the American people would reject. Also lost in Sen. Schumer’s spin is whether the Common Sense Coalition’s bill would fix anything or whether it would just be another bipartisan bill that doesn’t do what the American people expect it to do.

Thanks to President Trump’s populism and his commitment to the American people, Democrats and wayward Republicans are finding out that resisting the American people isn’t a great way to earn a living in politics. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s speech summed things up perfectly:

My Democratic colleagues have spent months demanding the Senate take up this issue. They even shut down the government, unnecessarily, I might add, in order to secure this very week of debate. But now that the time has come to make law instead of just making points, they’re stalling.

Why? Why, after months and months spent demanding that the Senate take up this issue, do they now object to even starting the debate? Because they know, no matter how long they spend in closed-door negotiations, they can’t change the fact that the president has spelled out a fair and generous framework that will be necessary to earn his signature. They cannot take ‘yes’ for an answer. So, instead of moving to fulfill their promises and address the DACA issue, they haven’t even allowed the debate to begin.

It’s clear that Sen. McConnell listened to the people. He’s kept his promise. When he kept that promise, Democrats shut down debate. That’s the indisputable fact.

If Democrats want to face the American people after shutting down the government so they could debate immigration policies, then shut down debate when Sen. McConnell scheduled a week of debate on immigration/DACA, that’s their option. They shouldn’t be surprised if the people, including DACA activists, take brickbats after them when Democrats campaign on immigration/DACA.

Finally, I’d put together ads for each of the members of the Common Sense Coalition that starts with Republicans wanting to fix DACA and border security, then transitions into a frame where the narrator asks these immigration liberals which side of their mouth they want to talk out of.

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No matter whether people have lots more money in their paychecks, Democrats still insist that the Trump/GOP tax cuts are hurting the middle class. Rep. Brian Higgins, (D-NY), said “The American people are being bamboozled by rhetoric that doesn’t match the reality. The reality is that this tax cut disproportionately, clearly, unequivocally, benefits the very, very, wealthy. And this is a continuing ploy, scheme, scam on the part of House Republican leadership to deliberately mislead people into believing that these tax cuts will go toward middle America.”

Try telling that to the people who’ve received bonuses of $1,000, $2,000 and sometimes $3,000. Try telling that to the people who’ve just gotten their first pay increase since the 2006 midterms. Try telling that to the people whose companies just improved their benefit packages as a direct result of the Trump/GOP tax cuts.

Democrats hint that the Trump administration is fudging the tax tables. What’s worse is that they’re making the accusation without a hint of proof. It’s increasingly obvious that Democrats will say anything to win control of the House of Representatives. This is an example of the Democrats’ dishonesty:

Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Richard Neal (D-MA) have asked the Government Accountability Office to take a look at the new withholding tables. “The real question with respect to withholding is being straight with the American people, and if you play games with this in order to advance a political agenda, [then] Americans get hurt,” Wyden said.

Sen. Wyden doesn’t have anything to go on that suggests the Trump administration is fudging the withholding tables but he’s stopping just short of accusing the Trump administration of dishonesty. It’s worth remembering that Sen. Wyden is the idiot that said this:

Sen. Wyden foolishly said that “There is no magical growth fairy.” Apparently, Sen. Wyden hasn’t heard about this thing called capitalism. Whenever it’s been tried, it’s produced growth that’s pulled people out of poverty. This isn’t to be confused with crony capitalism. When crony capitalism is tried, government gets involved. When profitable markets are identified, there’s no need to provide a government incentive to get entrepreneurs to invest in those products.

Sen. Wyden is a socialist so he isn’t familiar with the wealth-creating principles of capitalism. Don’t forget that Democrats insulted everyone’s intelligence, first by telling people that they weren’t getting a tax cut, then by insisting that the big increases they were seeing in their paychecks were “crumbs.” Let this be a reminder of the difference:

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I’ll start by admitting that other publications have written about DFL candidate Leah Phifer. This MinnPost article is one such article.

What’s interesting is how strident Ms. Phifer is in her environmentalism. It started with this:

Fresh tensions over mining in CD8 began at the end of 2016, when the outgoing Barack Obama administration moved to deny the company Twin Metals a renewal of leases it held on a valuable trove of copper, nickel, and other metals in the Superior National Forest, a few miles from the protected Boundary Waters Area Canoe Wilderness.

That also set in motion a process to potentially impose a 20-year moratorium on any mining exploration or activity in a quarter-million acres of land. The U.S. Forest Service stated that the kind of technique that would be used to extract these metals, sulfide mining, is unlikely to be conducted in a way that does not seriously pollute the water and soil of the surrounding area.

Nolan, fresh off another close election victory, condemned this move harshly, and framed it as a “slap in the face and a punch in the gut” to the Iron Range and its economy. The Democrat joined 6th District GOP Rep. Tom Emmer in sending a letter to Trump, asking him to reverse the Obama decisions; the duo has met with the relevant Cabinet secretaries, Agriculture Department chief Sonny Perdue and Interior Department boss Ryan Zinke, to urge them to reverse the decisions as well.

It quickly transitions to this:

The Timberjay newspaper of Ely, in a recent editorial, pointed out a notable moment from May, in which Nolan appeared at the Twin Metals office on the Iron Range alongside Emmer and a handful of Republican congressmen from the so-called Western Caucus, a group that pushes strident right-wing views on resource extraction and public lands, to advocate for action to reverse the Obama decisions on the Twin Metals leases.

“His recent alignment with some of the Republican Party’s most radical anti-environment and anti-public lands members of Congress has left Nolan incongruously positioned to the right of the Trump administration on the environment,” the Timberjay wrote.

That didn’t sit well with Ms. Phifer:

“Certainly,” Phifer says, “the legislation the congressman has pushed forward, especially throughout the summer, that has been the last straw for a lot of folks willing to overlook militant, pro-mining stances that could put the regulatory process in jeopardy. It’s gotten to the point where we’ve lost quite a few people,” Phifer says of Nolan’s stance.

For her part, Phifer believes the Obama decisions should stand, and she is against defunding the U.S. Forest Service’s two-year study evaluating whether or not to place a lengthy mining moratorium on the swath of Superior National Forest identified by the government. Nolan supported an amendment onto a spending bill that would have defunded the Forest Service’s study, effectively killing it.

It isn’t a stretch to think that Ms. Phifer is a strident anti-mining environmentalist. She isn’t a bashful politician, either:

Phifer said she was “disappointed” in the characterization of the mining communities on the Iron Range, but that she has a broad perspective of life in the 8th District since growing up in Two Harbors and now living and working in Isanti. She hopes the two sides warring over the proposed copper-nickel projects can come together to talk about what is best for the 8th District.

“Really, acknowledging the divide and then moving on is a good plan because we need to start looking at this in a broader perspective and not letting these wedge issues completely suck the oxygen out of the room,” Phifer said.

Though she isn’t a typical politician, she is a politician nonetheless.

Don Davis’s article puts forth an interesting question with multiple ramifications. In the article, Davis wrote “On Tuesday night, Feb. 6, Democratic precinct caucus attenders in the 8th favored State Auditor Otto 1,072 to 729 in a governor race straw poll. It may have been the only congressional district U.S. Rep. Tim Walz did not win in his effort to become governor (the party reported Friday with most, but not all, votes counted that Walz led Otto by three votes in the 6th District, in the northern Twin Cities suburbs and northwest to St. Cloud). From all accounts, many of the DFL caucus sites were heavy with environmentalists who backed Otto. The same type of liberal may not be as happy with Nolan, who supports mining in the district.”

Had he not retired, Nolan would’ve faced a primary challenge from Leah Phifer. It’s clear from Ms. Phifer’s environment page that she’s a hardline environmentalist. It says “Minnesota has a complex, layered practice of permitting and protections designed to safeguard the public, the economy, and the environment. It is a process of which Minnesotans should be proud and one that Leah will fight to protect. Similarly, the federal government has due process – a system built upon three coequal branches that provide checks and balances to one another, protecting citizens from exploitation and unfair application of our laws. Leah has seen the crucial importance of due process throughout her career and opposes the use of legislative power to circumvent the role of the judicial or executive branches.”

It then continues, saying:

For these reasons, Leah opposes H.R. 3115, a bill that passed the U.S. House in early December 2017 to push through a land swap needed for the completion of the PolyMet mine in Hoyt Lakes. Enacting this legislation will void four pending lawsuits on the matter, preventing Minnesotans from questioning the legality of the land swap and eliminating the judicial branch’s role. Leah also opposes the MINER Act (HR 3905), which will prevent the completion of a two-year Forest Service study related to economic and environmental issues associated with mining near the Boundary Waters. It also designates Minnesota as the only state in the nation unworthy of public lands protections, requiring Congressional intervention into decisions regarding public lands in Minnesota. Leah believes politicians should not use their legislative power to place their thumbs on the scales of these important projects, as it prevents the regulatory process from working as intended and erodes our system of due process. She will fight to preserve Minnesotan’s trust in our procedural systems and work with all Minnesotans to build a strong, sustainable economy for many years to come.

Pipeline Removal

Minnesota has two petroleum refineries and an extensive system of pipelines transporting crude oil and refined petroleum across the state. Some of these pipelines contain deteriorating infrastructure, causing companies to seek their replacement. Leah supports exercising corporate responsibility through the removal of decommissioned pipelines where appropriate and requested by landowners. In addition to respecting individual property rights, such removal could have significant positive impacts on Northern Minnesota’s economy. A current proposal for the removal of Enbridge’s Line 3 has the potential to create 8,000 jobs and a inject over a billion dollars into the local economy. Furthermore, Leah will ensure discussion surrounding pipelines includes and respects Native American voices, a community that is disproportionately affected by the location of these pipeline routes.

Phifer doesn’t support rebuilding the Line3 Pipeline. She supports decommissioning and tearing out the Line3 Pipeline. Then, to throw a little pandering into her politicking, she said “Leah will ensure discussion surrounding pipelines includes and respects Native American voices, a community that is disproportionately affected by the location of these pipeline routes.”

I’ll expand on Ms. Phifer’s campaign later today.

Today, Tina Smith will be in St. Cloud for the latest stop in her grandstanding tour. Nothing says grandstanding like hearing that “U.S. Sen. Tina Smith and U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer will meet Saturday in St. Cloud with local leaders, economic development officials, and some Electrolux employees and union representatives to discuss the company’s plans to close its St. Cloud manufacturing facility. The meeting, which will be closed to the public, is set for 1:45 p.m. at St. Cloud City Hall. Smith, Emmer and others are expected to be available for questions from the media after the meeting.”

It isn’t that Electrolux employees don’t have questions. It’s that those questions are best answered by the people who deal with this every day. (Unfortunately, Minnesota is getting too good at this.) What’s stunning is that the meeting is closed to the public. What’s being told to these workers that can’t be discussed in public?

One thing that might’ve hurt Minnesota is the skilled workforce issue. Years ago, a study was commissioned that said this:

Robert Ady was a longtime executive of Deloitte & Touche/Fantus Consulting, a leading site location firm. He is said to have assisted more site locations than any living person. He concludes that it is the quality of the work force, not low wages, that is decisive in the site location decision: “The single most important factor in site selection today is the quality of the available work force. Companies locate and expand in communities that can demonstrate that the indigenous work force has the necessary skills required by the company or that have the training facilities to develop those skills for the company.” (Ady, 1997, p. 81).
– A report from the Higgins Labor Studies Program, University of Notre Dame, March 2011

The truth is that many of the workers didn’t have the required skills. That required Electrolux to hire extra workers, which drove up labor costs.

Tina Smith’s empathy is situational. She hasn’t lifted a finger to help create mining jobs at Twin Metals or PolyMet but she’s willing to secretly meet with employees in St. Cloud. What a farce.