Archive for the ‘Election 2018’ Category

Last Tuesday night, Keith Ellison was elected to replace Lori Swanson as Minnesota’s Attorney General. In this post, I wrote about Skip Humphrey and Walter Mondale’s op-ed endorsing Ellison for the AG position.

Prior to that op-ed, I’d thought of them as terrible on policy but somewhat of a family legacy. After that op-ed, I’m forced to admit that they’re just like most DFL politicians. They’re a pair of political hacks who put the DFL ahead of what’s best for Minnesotans. They’re a pair of losers, too.

Skip Humphrey’s biggest claim to fame isn’t that he’s Hubert Humphrey’s son. Skip Humphrey’s biggest claim to fame is that he’s the politician who finished last to this clown:

Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura defeated Norm Coleman but he thrashed Skip Humphrey. After that thrashing, Skip had gone into hiding. He would’ve been better off if he’d stayed out of the limelight.

Walter Mondale’s biggest claim to fame is that he’s the only politician who’s lost elections in all 50 states. In 1984, he lost 49 states in President Reagan’s re-election victory. Mondale won Minnesota’s 10 electoral votes and DC’s 3 electoral votes that year. President Reagan won the nation’s other 525 electoral votes. After Paul Wellstone’s tragic death in a plane crash in northern Minnesota, the DFL recruited Mondale to run against Norm Coleman. That’s when Mondale lost in Minnesota. BTW, everyone my age and older remembers this moment:

Those moment have been eclipsed by Skip Humphrey’s and Walter Mondale’s endorsement of a man who has frequently supported cop-killers. Keith Ellison is a low-life who isn’t qualified to be Minnesota’s AG. It’s quite telling that the DFL hasn’t shown any remorse for endorsing a man credibly accused of beating his ex-girlfriend and who has begged the Castro government not to release Assata Shakur back into US custody.

It’s amazing that 2 men with legitimate legacies would throw them away for a politician like Keith Ellison. Still, that’s precisely what Skip Humphrey and Walter Mondale did in this counterpoint op-ed.

It proves beyond a doubt that there aren’t any moderates left in the DFL. Humphrey and Mondale open their counterpoint op-ed by saying “The Star Tribune Editorial Board erred in its decision not to endorse in the Minnesota attorney general’s race (“Two deeply flawed AG candidates,” Nov. 2). As two former Minnesota attorneys general, we can say with confidence that Keith Ellison is well-prepared to fulfill the important duties of this essential constitutional office and is the only reasonable choice for Minnesota voters in this election.”

Here’s a question for Mssrs. Humphrey and Mondale: What makes Ellison “well-prepared”? His frequent support for cop-killers?

Keith Ellison has always told Minnesotans exactly where he stands, and has acted on his word. He has been a strong advocate for equal opportunity and justice for all in Congress. He has the legal experience necessary to lead this public interest law firm. Over a 16-year career of civil rights and defense law, Ellison headed the state’s premier nonprofit public defense organization, the Legal Rights Center, for five years. He has real experience trying dozens of cases before the court and juries, experience that Mr. Wardlow lacks. Keith Ellison has the right priorities for the office, pledging to protect consumers and workers, and to enforce Minnesota’s strong civil rights laws to protect the rights of all.

Mssrs. Humphrey and Mondale, is it a Minnesota priority to file lawsuit after lawsuit against the federal government because you disagree with a president? Mssrs. Humphrey and Mondale, is it a Minnesota priority to support cop-killers like Assata Shakur and Sharif Willis? Mssrs. Humphrey and Mondale, is it a Minnesota priority to you to support a man credibly accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend?

As far as I’m concerned, Mssrs. Humphrey and Mondale are just typical politicians who put the DFL first and Minnesota last. How disgraceful.

Friday night, Tim Walz tried being the ‘I’m all things to all people’ candidate during his debate with Jeff Johnson on Almanac. On one of the first questions, Walz talked about single-payer health care being where most people finally arrive at. Then Walz went into a long-winded spiel about how preventive care drives down health insurance premiums, which is why we need single-payer.

That’s BS. What drives up premiums is aging. As we get older, we reach our high-use years. Preventive care is a worthwhile thing to do because, theoretically, it keeps us healthier longer. Still, it doesn’t drive down health insurance premiums. Then Walz totally stepped in it, saying “everyone knows that there’s no plan to protect people with pre-existing conditions unless you have the ACA in place.”

Johnson jumped in at that point, saying “That’s utterly ridiculous. We did it for 30 years in Minnesota before the ACA and we did it better before the ACA. But let’s be honest about what single-payer is. Single-payer means that everybody loses their insurance. There is no private insurance and we’re all forced onto one government plan.”

That’s true. I wrote about the DFL’s single-payer bill in this post. That bill has 31 coverage requirements for each policy. Think of it this way. It’s the ACA except that it’s totally run by bureaucrats. After the rollout disaster of the ACA, that can’t sound appealing.

Next subject up was immigration. Mr. Walz went first, saying this:

I spent 24 years on national security and numerous trips to the border to actually witness how we do security in-depth and how we do it electronically and with surveillance. Every sovereign nation has the right and the need to control its borders but the issue is about stoking fear and telling us we’re not stronger because of immigration. It doesn’t matter what your plans are. The next governor of Minnesota must have the capacity to bring people together to solve problems. Immigration has always been an issue that has bound us together and what we see is this fear of telling people that they are in danger instead of coming up with real solid plans like comprehensive immigration reform that passed in the Senate but was never heard in the House.

Notice that Walz criticized President Trump, criticized House Republicans, tossed out the Democrats’ favorite go-to phrase on immigration but didn’t actually tell the moderators whether he’d advocate for turning Minnesota into a sanctuary state. Eventually, Walz admitted that he’s for turning Minnesota into a sanctuary state before lying about what a sanctuary state or city is.

Jeff Johnson immediately highlighted the fact that “there are only — what — 5-6 states in the nation that are sanctuary states in the country. We’d be the only one in the upper Midwest and what that means is that we would prohibit our law enforcement officers from cooperating with law enforcement from the federal government in any way.”

Walz denied that description, insisting that violent felons would go to prison. That isn’t at question. What’s at question is what state law enforcement officials would be allowed to do when these violent felons are released from prison.

After hearing Walz insist that Republicans have been stoking fear amongst citizens on immigration, I’d love hearing how Tim Walz would “bring people together to solve problems.”

At other points in the debate, Walz’s answers were more word salad than serious policy prescription. At one point, I hit pause on the DVR and told my roommate that “this guy is ‘The Babbler’.”

I highly recommend you watch the entire debate. Tim Walz was all over the place. Jeff Johnson’s answers were short, concise and actually fixed problems.

This article outlines President Trump’s positions on the major issues.

  1. People know the president said he would move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – and he did.
  2. President Trump said would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico – and he did.
  3. Trump stands for lower taxes, stronger law enforcement, cutting government regulation and eliminating red tape.
  4. The president thinks the Federal Reserve shouldn’t raise interest rates as fast as it is or it will cause a recession.

If you think about it, you probably know President Trump’s positions on almost every major issue. And obviously, he has doubled down on immigration as the make-or-break issue for him and his party. Then we’re treated to some criticism of Democrats:

What exactly does Barack Obama stand for? Bernie Sanders at least has free college as an idea you can remember, albeit vague. What about House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., or Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.?

Other than investigations and impeachment, what are the Democrats running on? They have made an issue of health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions. Trump has said he too would cover them. The Democratic idea is not a health-care plan, but an attack. Nor do Democrats have an economic plan many people can remember. Nor a plan on immigration. Nor a plan to deal with jobs migrating to China and Mexico.

Republicans in swing districts should spend the last few days constantly asking these questions. It isn’t because they’ll flip hard-core Democrats. The goal should be to excite and entice independent voters to vote.

If I asked who made these comments, who would you bet made them? Karl Rove? These criticisms weren’t made by Rove or any other Republican. They were made by Mark Penn, Clinton’s old pollster. Here’s how he finished out the article:

It looks like the Democrats will likely win majority control of the House in the midterm elections. So the battle of insults vs. issues may be moot in today’s rough-and-tumble politics. But if the Republicans win more seats in the Senate, that will be a victory compared to what happened in 1994 or 2010.

As surprising as it was in 2016, there’s only one candidate really running on detailed issue positions and he is not even on the ballot this year. Given how the presidential election turned out, it’s all the more surprising that the Democrats would again leave themselves open on the ideas front. Voters want progress, not just partisanship.

Frankly, I’m skeptical of the Democrats winning the House. Still, while I disagree with Penn on that prediction, I wholeheartedly agree with him when he says “voters want progress, not just partisanship.” I’d also add that nonpartisans see something in Trump that Democrats don’t see. It isn’t that nonpartisans think he’s a nice guy that they want their son to emulate. It’s that they appreciate the things he’s accomplished.

This MPR article highlights what happens when politicians dabble in economics.

The article starts by interviewing a couple of business owners about the effect that the Trump/GOP tax cuts have had. Ultra Machining president Eric Gibson told MPR that he’s happy for the tax cuts, saying “From a business owner perspective, we’ve got a lot of great things going on right now. From a tax perspective, as an example, a lot of what we can reinvest in the business is from those tax reductions.”

At Yeager Machine in Norwood Young America, company president Mike Yeager said “I like what the Republicans and President Trump have done for me personally and my business. I will vote for people that support the current administration’s policies.”

Rather than listening to her constituents, Tina Smith thinks that she knows better, saying this:

“It doesn’t feel like a difficult position to me.” Smith said she would not have voted for the bill because it showers wealthy people with tax breaks at the expense of the middle class and will add more than a trillion dollars to the national debt.

“It’s not like that money was sitting in a bank somewhere waiting to be passed out. That’s money that we borrowed from our children and our grandchildren. I do not think that’s responsible.” Smith said increasing investment in workforce training and innovation would help more people get ahead.

How stupid is that? Tina Smith wants the government to “invest” our taxes in government workers because … government has such a great track record of “workforce training and innovation”? Let’s get a little serious. Then there’s this:

President Trump inherited a growing economy, and the tax cut has helped sustain the growth, said College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University economics professor Louis Johnston.

Technically, the economy was growing but it was the worst growth rate during a recovery in 75 years. The average annual growth rate during the Obama years was 1.9%. That’s pathetic. Since President Trump got rid of President Obama’s policies, the economy has been growing at a 4% average annual growth rate.

Republican Karin Housley (right) is a big fan of the Republican tax cut and is convinced that campaigning on it will help her win. Democrat Tina Smith said she’s not a fan because it showers wealthy people with tax breaks at the expense of the middle class. Mark Zdechlik | MPR News
Also, wages are rising during the Trump administration. They were stagnant during the Obama administration. Finally, small business confidence, which had been trending downward during President Obama’s second term, are skyrocketing under President Trump’s administration.

This is why leftists like Tina Smith and Prof. Johnston aren’t qualified to be economists.

In 2014, Dave Steckling was Dave Masters’ campaign manager. The times have definitely changed since then. This evening, the St. Cloud Times published Mr. Steckling’s LTE, which endorses Dr. John Palmer, Masters’ opponent.

In his LTE, Steckling wrote “Two years ago I was campaign manager for Dave Masters’ St. Cloud City Council re-election. Masters says his primary council job is “public safety”— what a joke. His lackadaisical attitude the past 11 years has done nothing to solve the serious problems facing our city; yet he continues to utter useless dialogue at council meetings. I no longer feel safe to walk downtown or in certain neighborhoods, or to drive certain streets. For a fresh, much-needed change we welcome John Palmer. Palmer comes fully qualified to sit on this council.”

First, Masters is an empty suit. When Liz Baklaich handed out hats that had a logo on them, Masters took offense. What did the logo say that so offended Masters? “Make St. Cloud Great Again.” Masters’ complaint? “St. Cloud is already great.” Right.

Electrolux is leaving. Herbergers has shut down. The neighborhood west and south of Tech High School isn’t safe. More properties are being turned into rental properties each year as the middle class abandon St. Cloud. That isn’t the average middle class voter’s picture of living the American Dream.

Frankly, that isn’t the portrait of a thriving city. That’s the portrait of a city that needs new leadership. I’ve spoken with friends of mine who live in the First Ward. They’ve told me that there’s a 2-tier system in the First. The people living near Lake George get treated like royalty. The people who don’t live near Lake George don’t get treated very well by Masters.

If you believe that everyone is entitled to being treated respectfully, voting for John Palmer is your only option.

It’s pretty clear that Keith Ellison knows a thing or two about being slippery. With a week left before Election Day, Keith Ellison is still attempting to slip away from Karen Monahan’s accusations.

It’s fun reading that “Keith Ellison stood in front of reporters this week desperate to redefine the attorney general’s race as his poll numbers slide. The Democratic congressman’s campaign has been overshadowed for the two months since his ex-girlfriend accused him of physical and emotional abuse.” As the candidate with near universal name recognition, he’s fighting a difficult problem:

Ellison has denied the allegations, but the damage was done. Once leading Republican opponent Doug Wardlow in polls, Ellison trails by 7 percentage points in the most recent Minneapolis Star Tribune/MPR News survey. Still, Ellison has hope: the same poll shows 16 percent of voters say they’re not sure who they’ll choose. So there he was Thursday in the basement conference room at the state Capitol, imploring voters to examine Wardlow’s record instead of his own troubles.

Ellison doesn’t have much hope. Most undecideds break away from well-known candidates. If they know who you are but are still undecided, that isn’t a vote of confidence. That’s a sign that voters aren’t satisfied with their options.

Here’s mathematical proof that Ellison is in trouble. Let’s suppose that 1,000 likely voters were polled. If Ellison is getting 36% of the vote, then convinced 2/3rds of undecideds to vote him, which is highly unlikely, Ellison would finish with 467 votes. Wardlow is getting 43% of the vote. If he convinced 33% of the undecideds to vote for him, he’d finish with 483 votes.

The reality is that Ellison isn’t likely to win 67% of undecideds. He’ll be lucky to convince 50% of undecideds to vote for him. If Ellison and Wardlow each won half of the undecideds, Wardlow would finish with 51% of the final vote. Frankly, Ellison’s support of Assata Shakur should disqualify him from being Minnesota’s Attorney General:

Then, too, so should Ellison’s statement that he wouldn’t uphold Minnesota laws he doesn’t like. It’s time to end Keith Ellison’s political career.

In this article, Keith Ellison, the DFL’s disgraced candidate for Minnesota’s Attorney General’s office, is quoted as saying “I value and honor all members of law enforcement and am grateful for the work they do every single day.”

With all due respect to Rep. Ellison, that’s a pile of BS. This letter supports #BlackLivesMatter, not law enforcement:

In the letter to the Bloomington City Attorney, Ellison is quoted as saying “I am writing in response to reports that you are considering issuing charges against the organizers of the Black Lives Matters protest at the Mall of America on Saturday, December 20.”

He then adds this:

I request that you reconsider using your prosecutorial discretion to issue such charges. The purpose of the protest was to draw attention to concerns about police-community relations in light of the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and others in confrontations with police.

Ellison finished his letter by saying this:

The demonstrations didn’t damage property and protesters remained peaceful the throughout the demonstration. Many Minnesotans were inconvenienced during the holiday shopping season and I understand their frustration. Nonetheless, I encourage you and city leaders to consider the broader context of what the protest represented…

Does that sound like a letter who “values and honors all members of law enforcement”? It sounds more like something that a Black Lives Matter activist might say.

I had to pinch myself to be certain I’d read this article right. I wasn’t imagining things. Sure enough, it really opened by saying “Two of the largest trade unions in Minnesota are backing the reelection campaign of Republican representative Jason Lewis against a Democratic business executive. The carpenters’ union and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, both of which endorsed Hillary Clinton, will support the first-term congressman in the midterm elections in his rematch against former health care executive Angie Craig. Labor leaders praised Lewis’s record in Congress, highlighting his support for domestic energy development as well as his willingness to buck his political party. Lewis has supported Davis-Bacon, which favors union wage levels in federal projects despite the push in the conservative movement to abolish wage mandates.”

Here’s their explanation:

“In Jason’s time in Congress he has cast repeated votes in support of Davis-Bacon prevailing wage and has led on the issue of changing school curriculum to encourage more people to look at careers in the construction industry,” carpenters’ spokesman Adam Duininck said in a release.

First, if the name Adam Duininck sounds familiar, it’s because he was Mark Dayton’s chair of the Met Council. Then there’s this:

“Jason Lewis has made an effort to get to know our Union, understand our issues, and has taken politically tough stances in support of good paying Union jobs,” George said in a statement. “We don’t always agree on every issue, but we know that when it comes to supporting our jobs, he has stood with us, and that is why we are standing with him.”

Lewis offered this reply:

“I’m working hard to make certain we get Enbridge so we get the Pine Bend refinery in the second district … the oil it needs to grow the economy,” Lewis said in the Oct. 21 debate. “My opponent says, ‘well Sierra Club won’t let me endorse that.'” Lewis pledged to continue advocating for local laborers in Congress. He said he will continue to focus on workforce training and revamping the apprenticeship system, one of the Trump administration’s priorities, “so labor groups are able to thrive with adequately trained laborers.”

“This nation was built on the backs of hardworking Minnesotans like those belonging to these two groups and it is important we support them with our policies in Washington,” he said in a statement. “I am proud to have supported them in my first-term in Congress and look forward to continuing to work on their behalf.”

This is a major victory for Lewis. This can’t help Angie Craig.

For months, we’ve been told that the Democrats’ blue wave would swamp Republicans. We’ve known for awhile that this was more wishful thinking than reality but that’s what we’d been told. Salena Zito, the woman who accurately predicted Trump’s victory, wrote this article, which states a contrarian theory.

She asked “But what if, in all of those details working against the Republicans, experts and pollsters missed that this midterm isn’t the brake-pedal that midterm elections typically are in a president’s first term? What if voters weren’t thinking Left/Right or stop/go as much as they were thinking in/out?”

She then wrote “For a lot of people, very little has changed in Washington since President Trump was elected. The swamp, the chaos, and the elites who know best are still there. And there’s only one thing standing between them and their betters — and that’s Trump.”

The Swamp is still intact. Democrats are getting more insane by the day. Those are things working in the Republicans’ favor. Something changed, though, during the Kavanaugh hearings:

The Kavanaugh fight might have re-sparked the old torches. As Democrats and the press came after the Supreme Court nominee and things looked bleak, Trump picked up the fallen flag of a Republican Party in retreat and charged the Establishment. And then, Lindsey Graham and the Republicans on that committee said, Follow him! And voters all around the country said, Follow them!

Like it or not, you have to view sentiments through the eyes of the voters who live outside D.C. and New York, who live in the swing districts and states that voted for Trump. They saw, for the first time, Republicans grow a spine and actually stand up angrily and loudly against Washington.

It was sort of like a Hell yeah, that’s why we sent Trump there moment. The un-energized Trump voters who don’t particularly like Republican or Democratic members of Congress decided they did like the party that stood up and fought against a mob leading a very Washington character assassination.

The blue wave died because Republicans, thanks to Trump, grew a spine and started standing up to Democrats. More and more each day, Republicans are going on the offensive. They’re highlighting how nutty the Democrats’ policies are.

It doesn’t hurt when people see this:

President Trump has done a great job of painting the Democrats as the ‘Open Borders Party’. When people are polled about immigration, they usually say that Democrats do a better job. When they’re asked who does a better job with border security, Republicans win handily. With a migrant mob approaching, people understand that they’re trying to overwhelm the system. They’ll oppose that 100% of the time.