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Let’s recount the DFL’s Eighth District Convention last Saturday. According to multiple tweets, Leah Phifer got the most votes in each of the 10 rounds of balloting. Still, she didn’t reach the 60% threshold needed to win the DFL’s official endorsement to run for the US House of Representatives. It was considered a fait accompli that Ms. Phifer would run in the August DFL primary. Why wouldn’t she? She was the frontrunner in each of the 10 rounds of balloting.

Late Wednesday night, though, Ms. Phifer dropped a bombshell, announcing that she wouldn’t run in the DFL primary.

In her official statement, Ms. Phifer said “My goal, since first declaring my candidacy in October 2017, has always been to win the DFL endorsement, bring new voices to the table and strengthen the party. A divisive primary season would only serve to weaken the party and distract from the issues affecting the people of the 8th District.”

This doesn’t make any sense. Phifer was the only environmental activist of the 4 candidates that were either considering running in the DFL primary or who had announced that they were running. Further, CD-8 was the only district where Rebecca Otto defeated Tim Walz. Clearly, environmental activists were activated in the Eighth. In a 4-way race, there’s no reason to think that she couldn’t have defeated her opponents.

Considering the fact that DFL Chairman Ken Martin said that a divided DFL that didn’t endorse a candidate couldn’t defeat Pete Stauber and considering the fact that the DFL was a divided shambles Saturday night after they failed to endorse a candidate, isn’t it interesting that they suddenly have 3 pro-mining candidates running in the DFL primary? What are the odds that the frontrunner, the candidate who stood between DFL unity and DFL division, unexpectedly dropped out?

It’s difficult to believe that someone who looked that energized in that picture voluntarily dropped out of the race. I think the more likely question is more nefarious. Which of Ken Martin’s inner circle forced Leah Phifer from the race?

Finally, let’s recall a little history within the CD-8 DFL. Chairman Martin and Congressman Nolan have fought to prevent a fight between the pro-mining faction within the DFL and the pro-environment faction. In fact, they fought that fight for years. Why wouldn’t they fight to prevent it one last time?

Yesterday, I wrote that the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously ruled against Rebecca Otto, Minnesota’s State Auditor. Otto filed a lawsuit that was doomed from the start. That was obvious from the start. That’s why the Supreme Court ruled unanimously against her. Now we’re finding out more about the lawsuit.

In writing the majority opinion for the Court, “Chief Justice Lorie Gildea said that the state Constitution does not lay out the state auditor’s duties. Rather, she wrote, the Constitution specifically leaves it up to the Legislature to define duties of constitutional offices such as the auditor. Thus, the 2015 bill did not violate the Constitution. The ruling also explains that another state office, which no longer exists, originally audited county finances.” Further, “50 counties notified Otto’s office they would not sign contracts with her office for it to conduct audits” after the 2015 law passed.

That had to sting Otto. That’s because in 2016, “the auditor’s office charged $84,000 for an annual audit, while Becker County paid just $31,000 in 2012 for an audit done by Hoffman Dale and Swenson Governmental Audit Services of Thief River Falls.” That’s more than $2,500,000 in lost revenues for Otto per year.

Back in January, 2018, she said “Fighting for this constitutional office is the right thing to do. But as you witnessed today, it’s complex.” Actually, Mrs. Otto, the justices thought it was pretty straightforward. (I’m not a legal scholar but I’m betting that justices rarely rule unanimously on complex lawsuits.)

Rep. Jim Nash, R-Waconia, might have the best understanding of what’s happened:

“It seems to me,” Nash said, “that [Otto] is using the taxpayer dollars to create an issue for her to campaign with for governor.”

If that’s what was happening, her strategy failed. Furthermore, if that was her strategy, she should be politically crucified. If that’s true, then a ton of the taxpayers’ money was wasted for that mission. If this was her Hail Mary attempt at winning the DFL endorsement, then Mrs. Otto made a major miscalculation.

What’s amazing is Otto’s misunderstanding of Minnesota’s Constitution. Mrs. Otto either doesn’t understand Minnesota’s Constitution or she, like other DFL politicians, was willing to throw Minnesota’s Constitution under the proverbial bus for political gain.

My question in the aftermath is this: are there any patriots left in the DFL whose respect for the Constitution is steadfast? I haven’t found any lately.

Julie Kelly’s article for the Federalist demolishes the Democrats’ chanting point that it’s a matter of when, not if, Democrats retake the US House of Representatives.

Digging into recent polling reveals some glaring weaknesses for Democrats. These aren’t insignificant weaknesses. They’re game-changing weaknesses. For instance, Kelly reports that “there is no ‘enthusiasm gap’ for Democrats. In fact, Republicans now seem more motivated to vote in November: 86 percent of Republicans say they are absolutely or certain to vote this fall, compared to 81 percent of Democrats.”

That’s the first time I’ve read that this cycle. If that holds, Democrats won’t retake the House. On the Senate side, that might indicate a red wave of historic proportions. Prior to this, I’ve been predicting Republicans gaining 4-5 seats net in the Senate. If the enthusiasm gap disappears, Republicans might have a big red wave staring at them. Instead of just flipping seats in West Virginia, Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana and Montana, the GOP might flip Florida, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, too.

The bad news for Democrats continues:

While white college graduates favor Democrats by nine points, non-college whites prefer a Republican congressional candidate by nearly 30 points, devastating news about a core constituency of the Democratic Party going forward.

This sums my thoughts up precisely:

A slim majority also said gun violence has no effect on whether they will vote Republican or Democrat. So it looks like the nonstop media exploitation of the Parkland school shooting did not work for the Left.

I don’t see a wave, be it blue or red. There just isn’t an appetite for a major change. The economy is getting stronger, which usually leads to not rocking the boat at the voting booth.

The political tide is turning. It’s unmistakable. It isn’t that Democrats can’t get their message out, which is their cop-out explanation for why they fell short of their goals. It’s that they’ve become the lecturing party or the ideological party rather than being the listening party or the solutions party.

Tammy Bruce’s op-ed highlights the Democrats’ tactics. In her op-ed, Ms. Bruce said “For a long time, the Democrats have been successful by scaring people into voting for them. It’s a tactic used when you can’t persuade people on policy. Americans were recently reminded of the Democrats’ usual refrain when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared President Trump’s tax cuts as ‘Armageddon.’ Mrs. Pelosi went there, relying on contrived drama, comparing a tax cut to a fight between biblical armies during the end times. When the Senate GOP was discussing Mr. Trump’s health care bill, the Democrats’ response? ‘Hundreds of thousands of people will die,’ delivered again by Nancy ‘We’re all gonna die’ Pelosi.”

In late October, 2017, Democrats thought that they were looking at a blue wave. That’s before Republicans passed the Trump/GOP tax cuts and President Trump signed them into law right before Christmas. Since then, the trend has been unmistakable. While there’ve been a few bumps in the road for Republicans, the RCP average of polling of the generic ballot question has headed in the Republicans’ favor:

Speaking of messaging, the Republicans’ message has consisted of telling people about the strengthening economy, fatter paychecks and greater financial security. The Democrats’ message, compliments of Ms. Pelosi, has sounded like fingernails across a chalkboard.

The Democrats aren’t ready for primetime. They’ve pandered to Moms Demand Action rather than putting forward plans to make schools safer. They’ve pandered to La Raza rather than getting criminal illegal aliens off the street. Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi has talked in apocalyptic terms to frighten people to vote for Democrats:

Keith Ellison, the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was handed the Grim Reaper baton when he said this to the Progressive National Candidate Training gathering last week: “Women are dying because we are losing elections,” Mr. Ellison said, Fox News Insider reported. “We don’t have the right to lose a damn election. We have to win.” Mr. Ellison was referring to a reported rise in maternal mortality rates in Missouri and Texas. The good news is, for Texas, that report has already been disproven, and explained by a computer reporting error.

And what is their argument really based on? The infantilizing of women. Underscoring Mr. Ellison’s remarks is an argument that women are so fragile, so vulnerable, that if Democrats don’t win and government doesn’t control more of your life, you’ll die. That is an inherently sexist argument, promoting the fraud that women can’t control their own lives and need a Big Brother to help them along.

Back in January, I wrote this post, which I titled “2018: No wave, barely a ripple?” At the time, I wasn’t sure if the trend towards Republicans would continue. If I wrote that article today, I’d omit the question mark from the title. The blue wave propaganda is coming from people like Chris Cillizza and other mindless lefties. The polling is clear. Nobody thinks that the improving economy and fat bonuses isn’t changing the mindset of the American people.

The DC/NY worrywarts should take a valium. The Trump/GOP tax cuts virtually sell themselves. Republicans still have to get out the vote but the policy sells itself. There’s a lesson I learned from a small business near my house. It’s legendary, actually. It’s called Val’s Rapidserv. They’ve been in business for 50+ years. I might be wrong on this but I don’t remember ever hearing a radio ad for them, most likely because their word-of-mouth advertising is exceptional.

This morning, I spoke with a person who owned a business right by Val’s. This entrepreneur told me that they “piggyback off of Val’s”, telling callers that they’re right next to Val’s.

The point is this: Val’s has 100% name recognition and the best fries in Minnesota. This translates to politics. If you’ve got a great reputation and a fantastic product to sell, you’ll win if you work hard. That’s where Republicans are at right now.

Tuesday night, Beaumont and San Diego became the latest cities to officially reject California’s SB 54 California Values Act, aka California’s Sanctuary State law. In Beaumont, the Beaumont City Council voted 3-2 tonight to approve a resolution asserting that California’s so-called ‘sanctuary state’ law is incompatible with federal law and, therefore, illegitimate. Beaumont is the first Inland Empire municipality to oppose Senate Bill 54, the ‘California Values Act,’ joining Orange County and a number of its cities in challenging the statute’s validity.”

Also on Tuesday night, the “San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 Tuesday to support the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California over so-called sanctuary laws that the state passed last year to limit its role in immigration enforcement. The county will file an amicus brief at the first available opportunity, likely if and when the case moves to a higher court on appeal, said Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, chairwoman of the board.”

I’d like to thank Agnes Gibboney, one of the Angel Moms I’ve had the privilege of interviewing, for tipping me off about the Beaumont vote.

It’s unmistakable that the tide is turning against the Sanctuary advocates. A month ago, Gov. Jerry Brown and California State Attorney General Xavier Becerra were lipping off to President Trump. Now, they’re in full retreat. According to Agnes and others, Californians are speaking up against the Democrats’ anti-safety policies. One of the ‘others’ is Kristin Gaspar, the chairwoman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. Ms. Gaspar is also running to replace Rep. Darrell Issa in the US Congress. After Tuesday night’s vote, Fox News’ Ed Henry interviewed Ms. Gaspar about their vote. Here’s that interview:

I found this snippet disturbing:

SB 54 also mandates that schools, health facilities, libraries an courthouses serve as ‘safe zones,’ where undocumented immigrants can come and go without risk of detention.

I don’t see how that’s enforceable since the sidewalks and city streets are public property. It’s possible that SB 54 could suggest those areas as safe zones. I don’t see how California could mandate that those areas be safe zones.

In the end, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors listened to their constituents:

During the announcement of the vote, Gaspar showed printouts of emails she received from each side of the debate. The stack of emails criticizing her for considering support for the lawsuit was not much thicker than a legal pad. The stack of emails asking her to support the Trump administration’s legal challenge was more than a foot tall.

On a political note, Democrats had to think that they’d flip Darrell Issa’s seat after he narrowly defeated Doug Applegate, his Democratic opponent, by 1,600+ votes. With an increase in Republican voter intensity in San Diego, a pretty red district, coupled with Ms. Gaspar’s popularity, I’d say another Republican seat is a bigger challenge for the Democrats than it was a month ago.

Based on the reports I’m getting from southern California, I’m getting skeptical that Democrats will get enough seats from California to flip the House.

Margaret Baker, who lives near the border, told the board that backing the lawsuit will discourage immigrants from reporting crime. “We see this lawsuit as an attack on our safety and the well-being of our community,” she said.

The reports I’m getting from southern California is that significant numbers of illegal immigrants are injuring pedestrians in hit-and-run accidents, with many legal residents getting severely injured. It’s impossible to make the case that shielding these illegal immigrants from prosecution is making San Diego safe.

Facts on the ground are changing the debate more than Jerry Brown can spin things. That truth should frighten Democrats.

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A week ago, Jerry Brown and Xavier Becerra, California’s governor and state attorney general respectively, were riding high while touting California’s sanctuary state law. Since then, Brown and Becerra have done nothing but backtrack on immigration. Don’t expect their losing streak to end anytime soon. Los Alamitos was the first openly defiant city to challenge SB 54. It wasn’t the last.

Last night, Los Alamitos voted for a second time to opt out of SB 54. By a vote of 4-1, “Los Alamitos Council members voted … to opt out of a state law that prohibited state and local police agencies from informing federal authorities in cases when illegal immigrants facing deportation are released from detention.”

Councilman Mark Chirco was the lone dissenting vote. Afterwards, Chirco said “the council has no legal authority to approve the ordinance and criticized the council members for what he called being irresponsible, stating that the measure will open the city to lawsuits.”

That started the Democrats’ criticism:

Shortly after the vote, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) tweeted that the ordinance is “a blatant violation of the city’s obligation to follow a state law that puts our local resources to use for the safety of our communities rather than toward federal immigration agencies.” The civil rights group previously threatened the city with a lawsuit if it passes the ordinance.

It isn’t surprising that the ACLU has it bassackwards. California doesn’t have the authority to ignore federal immigration policies. Let’s be blunt. That’s what California is doing by not notifying ICE of when illegal immigrants are getting out of jail.

The Democrats’ arguments are worthless as trash:

Omar Siddiqui, a U.S. Congressional candidate in California running to unseat Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, also spoke at the meeting, urging the council to oppose the motion as “our communities are safer when we work with each other and trust each other, not when we operate under a police state.”

Tell that to the Steinle family. This is an outright lie that’s told by Democrats. There’s no proof that verifies that as anything more than spin or theory.

Don’t be surprised if people reject Siddiqui. There’s an anti-sanctuary state backlash building in California. More people are getting tired of California’s failed liberal policies, especially with regards to illegal immigration. They’re tired of hearing how safe their communities are when they aren’t.

It doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that this controversy is increasing voter intensity on the right. People are rejecting the Democrats’ anything goes immigration policies.

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The DFL’s CD-8 food fight, aka CD-8 DFL Primary, is starting to take shape. The latest news is that “State Rep. Jason Metsa is not done yet in his bid to replace Rep. Rick Nolan in Congress. On Sunday, Metsa said he will continue his campaign, targeting the 8th Congressional District DFL primary election in August.” Sunday morning, Metsa said “With no result from the DFL endorsement process, I have chosen to continue my campaign to be the DFL nominee for Congress in #MN08. The best way to identify the strongest candidate to win in November is through a primary campaign,” Metsa said in his statement. “I look forward to running a robust grassroots campaign focused on our shared values of fairness and responsibility.”

According to the Duluth Tribune, “Metsa joins Phifer, Radinovich and Michelle Lee as candidates vying for the primary.”

Thus far, each of the candidates is staking out their territory:

“We need to make sure that equal access to healthcare, education, the right to put food on your table and a roof over your head is something that all Americans can achieve, not just those who can afford it,” Phifer said.
Radinovich emphasized the importance of education.

“I got myself elected to state legislature where I got myself on the Education Finance Committee and I passed legislation to make sure that there was no gaps between the richest and poorest schools in our state,” Radinovich said.

Phifer said she would fight for sensible gun control, climate change, DACA, protecting treaty rights as the supreme law of the land, and raising minimum wage. “The DFL is the party that fights for our safety and wellbeing. We are the party that believes in economic justice. In congress I will lead the fight for $15 an hour minimum wage,” Phifer said.

Metsa hadn’t jumped into the race at the time of the WDIO article, which was written on Saturday.

Thus far, this is the field for the CD-8 DFL Primary:

Let the food fight begin.

Per tradition, the DFL issued this statement after delegates endorsed Angie Craig to run against Republican incumbent Jason Lewis. The statement was the usual milquetoast boilerplate, saying “Angie Craig embodies the American Dream. She went from a mobile home park to a leader at Minnesota manufacturer St. Jude Medical. She will fight to ensure every Minnesotan has the opportunities she did by fighting for good-paying jobs, affordable healthcare for all, and real middle-class tax reform.”

All the statements in the world, though, won’t take away the major mistake that Ms. Craig made last week. Last week, Ms. Craig bragged that she wants to team up with Keith Ellison on health care. It’s worth noting that Rep. Ellison “took the reins of single-payer healthcare legislation in the House” last month. After making a major mistake on health care the last time she ran, Ms. Craig apparently didn’t learn.

I’m not the expert on CD-2 that others are but it’s difficult to believe that there are many John Kline voters that’d support a candidate that wants to implement a single-payer health care system. This snippet will hurt Ms. Craig this fall:

While I won’t predict a lop-sided victory for Jason Lewis, I can’t picture him winning by less than 6-8 points. The DFL recently has talked about health care being a major issue this fall. To the extent that it’s an issue, it won’t hurt Republicans as much as it’ll hurt the DFL.

Prior to Saturday’s DFL Convention, I thought that the DFL’s best chance to hold a battleground congressional district was the Eighth District. Based on Saturday’s CD-8 DFL convention outcome, I won’t predict that anymore. Based on reports like this article, it sounds like the convention ended in discord.

Sam Brodey reports that “it’ll take an August primary to determine which of these Democrats earns the chance to compete in the general election, and that primary has the potential to showcase the party’s rifts on issues like mining and immigration, which were on full display at Saturday’s convention.”

One of the early casualties was Rep. Jason Metsa. Rep. Metsa got into the race late. Still, he might run in the DFL primary. Others sure to run in the DFL primary are Joe Radinovich, Leah Phifer and Michelle Lee. Each of those candidates have flaws.

For instance, Phifer is an environmentalist who worked for the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That put her at odds with “members of the Latino DFL Caucus.” Rep. Radinovich was a one-term wonder from Aitkin before losing to Dale Lueck. After that defeat, Radinovich was Nolan’s campaign manager before becoming Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s chief of staff. When Nolan endorsed Radinovich after the 6th ballot, Frey held up a sign announcing Nolan’s endorsement.

Frey, who traveled to Duluth to work the floor for Radinovich, got on top of a chair with a hand-written sign broadcasting Nolan’s endorsement to the delegates. But ultimately, Nolan’s support was not enough for Radinovich to eclipse Phifer.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin addressed the convention:

Addressing delegates earlier in the afternoon, Minnesota DFL Chairman Ken Martin urged delegates to unite behind a candidate. “If we come out of here divided, we’re not going to win,” he said.

It’s still to be decided whether the primary will split or unite the DFL but it can’t be denied that the DFL isn’t off to a good start of uniting the party. It can’t make Martin feel good that the candidates essentially ignored his exhortation to unite.

Looming large over the convention was a candidate who wasn’t even in the room: Republican Pete Stauber, who is a lock to earn the CD8 Republican Party endorsement. Democrats are concerned that a bitter and drawn-out primary will give Stauber time to raise money and consolidate support, boosting his campaign to win this seat in November.

National Republicans like Stauber, a St. Louis County commissioner who formerly served with the Duluth Police Department, and they view CD8 as one of their best pick-up opportunities in the entire country. President Donald Trump won here by 15 points in 2016, and Republican candidates are making inroads in places like the Iron Range, which has been a DFL stronghold for the better part of the century. Nolan’s retirement, in the eyes of the GOP, only increased their chances of flipping CD8.

The biggest advantages of not getting primaried is that the opposition doesn’t get additional ammunition against the candidate, in this case, Mr. Stauber. The other advantage is the opportunity to open some deep philosophical differences. Mining is something that the DFL, especially Chairman Martin and Congressman Nolan, have worked hard at avoiding.

That’ll be difficult in the primary since Radinovich is from the ‘other’ Range, aka the Cuyuna Range. Meanwhile, Phifer is a diehard environmental activist. Those wings of the DFL mix together like the DLC wing and the MoveOn.org wing of the DNC.

At minimum, the DFL will spend this summer fighting and burning through cash while possibly dividing the party for both the congressional candidate and the gubernatorial candidate. If the DFL isn’t united this time, it will be a tough year for them up-and-down the ballot.

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First off, this year’s governor’s race won’t be a change election. It’s impossible to think of Gov. Dayton or Rep. Walz as change agents. They’re traditional non-thinking DFL establishment types. If the unthinkable happens and Becky Otto wins the endorsement or primary, she’s part of a different wing of the DFL establishment. To be fair, Gov. Pawlenty, Jeff Johnson and Keith Downey are part of the GOP establishment.

Next, it’s important to notice what’s frustrating Minnesotans lately. Topping people’s list of things they hate about government is MNLARS. People expect that renewing their drivers license, transferring the title on a car or getting new license tabs for the family vehicle is fairly effortless. The Dayton administration is the first administration to make those things all-day adventures. It’s also the first administration that isn’t serious about investigating reports of elder abuse and deaths in nursing homes.

Gov. Dayton has been a disaster. He’s raised taxes, presided over a state that’s lost wealth to other states virtually every year and seen high school graduates leave Minnesota in droves. Further, the DFL has done its best to punish businesses through regulations. Because the DFL is highly indebted to the environmentalists, they’ve proposed outrageous regulations.

First, the DFL pushed, then passed, the buffer strips legislation that hurts farmers. Next, the DFL, through the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, aka BWSR, is implementing a stiff penalty against farmers who don’t comply with the DFL’s controversial legislation. That penalty is $500 per linear foot per day. That’s a disaster waiting to happen to Minnesota farmers.

It isn’t difficult to tell that MNLARS is a mess when watching this exchange:

The answers provided were filled with hesitation. They were evasive, too. It felt like Sen. Dan Hall was pulling teeth. Finally, he got a reply.

Just based on whose administration was relatively incident-free vs. whose administration was incident-prone, Gov. Dayton is the governor with the lackluster history.