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As certain as death and taxes, Democrats have started attacking Jason Lewis a year before he’s re-elected. In her LTE, Rachel Garaghty of Cottage Grove said “Lewis also consistently votes against our values. He voted to strip health care from 28,500 people in Washington and Dakota counties. He voted to loosen restrictions on banks that gamble with our savings and investments. He voted to let pollution clog our lakes and rivers. Lewis is voting against the very things that keep us healthy, wealthy and happy.”

It isn’t surprising that Democrats’ criticisms of Lewis are dishonest. That isn’t just what Democrats do. It’s who they are. Saying that any Republican has “voted to let pollution clog our lakes and rivers” is over the top in the extreme.

Later in her LTE, Garaghty said “The people who were brave enough to stand up to Lewis through their peaceful protest were just local moms and dads, grandparents and young people who are rightly concerned about Lewis’ undemocratic tendencies.” That’s utterly dishonest. Jason Lewis’s neighbors called the police. They obviously felt threatened:

But my neighbors saw 20, 25 people, nobody knows the real count, outside. Their daughters were home alone, got scared, called their dad. He called the police, which, by the way, in the suburb I live in, it’s a violation of a city ordinance to what, not to mention trespassing.

Jason Lewis isn’t afraid of debating people. It’s a strength of his. Lewis said he won’t waste his time, though, providing DFL activists the opportunity to create a “spectacle.”

TakeAction Minnesota activists aren’t civic-minded people who want to start a dialogue. They’re hard-core activists who want to create a spectacle. As we’ve seen in the past, if they have to frighten people and trespass to make their point, they won’t hesitate in doing that.

Nancy Pelosi wants to be speaker in the worst way. If she has to use political mercenaries to bully Republican congressmen and women and their families, she won’t hesitate in using that tactic. This article highlights how ruthless Pelosi’s Democrats are in pursuing their goal.

The article highlights Indivisible’s tactics, saying “The group says the guide is now used by ‘over 5,800 local groups’ and has at least two groups in every congressional district. The guide tells activists how to work as a team to hector a representative. It says after one activist asks a question at a town hall, ‘Other group members around the room should amplify by either booing the MoC [Member of Congress] or applauding you.'”

Further, these activists are taught to “go further and refuse to give up the microphone after their question. It gives them a script to follow: ‘If [Congressional staffers] object, then say politely but loudly: ‘I’m not finished. The MoC is dodging my question. Why are you trying to stop me from following up?'”

The goal isn’t to engage the congressman. The goal is to “‘record everything,’ the guide advises. ‘Unfavorable exchanges caught on video can be devastating for MoCs.'”

What these anarchist lefties haven’t figured out is that the nation rejected these tactics when they elected President Trump. They voted to blow up Washington’s system because they were sick of it. These idiots are playing right into Republicans’ hands. Indivisible hasn’t figured out that Trump’s supporters are extremely motivated to vote in the next midterm. Any tactic seen as an attempt to delegitimize President Trump or stop his agenda won’t be treated with kid gloves. Actions like this will strengthen Jason Lewis’ re-election bid:

This is clearly an Astroturf operation:

Indivisible bills itself as “grassroots,” but is funded mostly by wealthy foundations and anonymous donors who give through a complex web of left-wing groups, making it hard to identify donors.

On its website, Indivisible advises potential donors that they can make a “large gift” tax deductible if they go through an intermediary group called the Tides Foundation. The foundation funnels more than $100 million a year to left-wing advocacy groups; liberal billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations is one of many groups that gives money to projects through the Tides Foundation, though there is no evidence his group supports Indivisible in particular.

Whether it’s Indivisible or another organization with a different name, the objective is the same: harass, then defeat Republican members of Congress. It’s clear that they’ll be as ruthless as they need to be.

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Hearing Angie Craig and Rebecca Otto talked about education should be considered cruel and unusual punishment. First, I have to talk about a statement Ms. Craig made during the event. She said “I’m running for Congress in 2018 and I’m coming back to claim our seat.”

Though she wants to focus on education, Ms. Craig apparently isn’t interested in history. It’s been quite some time since a Democrat represented MN-2 in Congress. According to Wikipedia’s history of CD-2, Republicans have held the seat 66 of the last 74 years. That’s a pretty red district. But I digress.

During her presentation, State Auditor Rebecca Otto sounded like a typical far left liberal, saying “A lot of the politics that end up getting passed by the politics of greed end up running over our interests and the common good. The people’s interest and our values, 2018 will really be defined by the politics of greed versus the politics of people and the common good. The politics of greed say all taxes are bad and need to be slashed. That all regulation is bad and must be repealed. That all government workers are bad and must be privatized – that’s our roads, our airports and our schools. As your governor, no public funds are going to private schools.”

Translation: I’m owned by Education Minnesota. The achievement gap will continue or get worse.

I’d describe Ms. Otto’s messaging as scorched earth messaging. There isn’t a hint of nuance to it. The implied message behind Ms. Otto’s words is simple: Republicans are evil. They only look out for themselves. Initially, I thought that this was her messaging to be the DFL gubernatorial candidate. I’m not certain that’s the case anymore. I think there’s a possibility that that’s just who she is as a candidate.

If Republicans get to run against Ms. Otto, it’ll be a gift. She’s an environmental extremist who voted against mining leases, then tried fundraising off of that vote. She’s suing the legislature for limiting the State Auditor’s responsibilities. That lawsuit is costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. What’s worse is that she’s going to lose that case.

Finally, she’s a Metrocrat that hates mining. Considering the fact that Donald Trump thumped HRC on the Iron Range last year, that’s a significant gift to the Republican candidate.

Minnesota is one of several states in the nation leading in education with one of the worst achievement gaps in the nation. As Alpha News reported in 2016, Minnesota led the nation with the highest achievement gap when it came to science scores between white and black eighth grade students.

Ms. Otto needs to work on her presentation skills:

That’s brutal. She won’t get another chance to make a first impression with that audience.

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TakeAction Minnesota is trying to spin this disaster as a good faith effort to talk about the issues. That’s a lie. In fact, when TakeAction Minnesota trespassed onto Jason Lewis’ private home, they used a tactic that Democrat fringe groups have used before.

Alpha News wrote “A group of about 15 protesters from a progressive advocacy group called TakeAction MN planted themselves on Lewis’ front steps with a goal of making their presence known to the neighborhood at large. They were there accusing Lewis of stripping away Medicaid, and claiming that ‘healthcare is a human right. We are here to make sure the Congressman Lewis’ neighbors know exactly why we are here,’ said a woman leading the demonstration. ‘So let me hear you cheer, let me hear you cheer so loud that the entire community here will hear us and know exactly why we are here.'”

It isn’t difficult to paint Democrats as extremists. Here’s why it isn’t:

One of Lewis’ challengers, Rosemount high school teacher and football coach Jeff Erdmann, remains quite skeptical of all of these claims, and sent some mixed messages out regarding the incident.
‘TakeAction MN had a peaceful protest outside of Jason Lewis’s residence. Jason’s campaign doctored TakeAction’s video and put that doctored video on his YouTube page, then posted about the incident on Facebook,’ Erdmann’s campaign wrote in a press release according to Blois Olson’s Morning Take. ‘The Erdmann campaign would never condone people protesting on a person’s private residence.'”

It isn’t difficult to paint Erdmann as a conspiracy theory fanatic. What proof does Erdman have that Lewis’ “campaign doctored TakeAction’s video” before posting it? If he doesn’t have proof, then he should be ridiculed mercilessly for making that type of accusation.

Nina Easton’s article highlights how similar TakeAction Minnesota’s militant actions are to other Democratic fringe groups’ actions:

Last Sunday, on a peaceful, sun-crisp afternoon, our toddler finally napping upstairs, my front yard exploded with 500 screaming, placard-waving strangers on a mission to intimidate my neighbor, Greg Baer. Baer is deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), a senior executive based in Washington, D.C. And that, in the minds of the organizers at the politically influential Service Employees International Union and a Chicago outfit called National Political Action, makes his family fair game.

Waving signs denouncing bank “greed,” hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer’s steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer’s teenage son Jack, alone in the house, locked himself in the bathroom. “When are they going to leave?” Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.

Compare that with what happened at Lewis’ home:

“Suffice it to say it is more than a bit disturbing to get a call from your neighbor saying his daughters were afraid and called him to contact the police.”

These aren’t frustrated people trying to contact a politician about an important issue. They’re people who didn’t think twice about intimidating young women in their own homes. That isn’t acceptable. That’s what playground bullies do.

Jason Lewis isn’t your typical politician. First, he isn’t afraid to highlight other people’s bad behavior. When TakeAction Minnesota, aka TAM, sent protesters to his house, Lewis replied, saying “They don’t want dialogue or to let other constituents speak, they want to turn them into a spectacle. I have responsibility to represent all my constituents. I don’t have to hold a spectacle for my partisan political opponents.”

TakeAction Minnesota wasn’t established to bring civic-minded people together. It was put together by hyperpartisan progressives to shout down conservatives and criticize center-right policies. Listening isn’t TAM’s strong suit. Keeping an open mind isn’t, either. People that insist that organizations like TAM and MoveOn.org are just interested in speaking to their congressman or senators are lying. More often than not, the goal is to produce videos that go viral.

Ask yourself this: would you attend a townhall meeting if you knew partisan activists wanted to use the meetings to create campaign ads? I definitely wouldn’t participate in such a kangaroo court. CBS reported that lines extended out of the meeting hall and into the parking lot:

That doesn’t sound like a grassroots event. That sounds like a partisan ambush. Before you think that’s unprecedented, think again:

Dear Reps. Benson, Ruud, Winkler, Peterson and Simon and Sens. Bonoff, Rest and Pappas,
Thank you for participating in the Plymouth town hall meeting this Thursday. I anticipate there will be additional members participating but have so far not yet been notified. Meeting details are listed below and directions from the Capitol are attached.

Plymouth Town Hall Meeting
Thursday, Feb. 26 7:00 pm
Plymouth City Hall
3400 Plymouth Blvd.

I have also attached the list of people who have signed up to testify as of 9 a.m. this morning. Because we will be meeting for approximately 2 hrs., we will not be able to hear from everyone. (140 have submitted their names.) We will be limiting testimony to 2 minutes and encouraging individuals to submit their comments in writing or online. If there are any individuals listed who you think would provide particularly compelling testimony, please let me know. We will be working to hear from a variety of individuals covering a wide range of topics. Please contact me with any additional questions or suggestions.

Then there’s this:

From: Gene Pelowski [mailto:Rep.Gene.Pelowski@house.mn]
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 10:13 AM

We would ask you to focus your comments on the impact of the Governor’s budget including what is the harm to your area of government or program. Please be as precise as possible using facts such as number of lay offs, increases in property taxes, cuts in services, increases in tuition, elimination of programs.

In other words, the DFL is skilled at manipulating the media to achieve its political goals. If that means picking only the saddest stories to make it sound like there’s a crisis, that’s what they’ll do. Throughout the years, the DFL have been firm believers in Rahm Emanuel’s saying:

You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.

TakeAction Minnesota is an extremist organization. I applaud Jason Lewis for not participating in their manipulations.

In 2018, expect the DFL to experience a difficult election season. For years, the DFL, led by Gov. Dayton, has patted themselves on the back profusely for how strong the economy was and how their policies were working, etc. Those days, like Gov. Dayton’s time in office, are slipping away. Last week, I cited this article as showing the DFL’s economic policies aren’t that great.

The article starts by saying “New data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) shows that Minnesota was one of only seven states in the country to experience a shrink in its gross domestic product (GDP).” In the next paragraph, it states “In the first quarter of fiscal year 2017, Minnesota’s GDP shrank 0.3 percent. This is the seventh worst mark in the United States, ahead of only Montana, Kansas, Hawaii, Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska.” While Minnesota’s GDP shrinks, consumer confidence in President Trump’s policies keeps growing.

As of July 25, 2017, consumer confidence was recorded at 121.1. It was projected to be a still-healthy 116.5.

What’s worse for the DFL’s election chances is that “North Dakota’s GDP increased by 1.6 percent, while Wisconsin’s increased by 2.1 percent in the past quarter. This was the fifth best mark of any state.” Gov. Dayton has frequently talked about how much better Minnesota’s economy was doing than North Dakota’s or Wisconsin’s.

By the time that the conventions end next spring, it’s a distinct possibility that the DFL’s talking point of having a stronger economy than North Dakota or Wisconsin won’t be true anymore. Likewise, it’s possible that Republicans will be able to say that Minnesota’s economy is underperforming compared to the national economy. Consumer confidence was at 98.6 as of Oct. 25, 2016. Since then, consumer confidence has been 15-25 points higher.

Considering the DFL’s difficulties in rural Minnesota, it isn’t a stretch to think that the DFL and their special interest allies will sink their money into holding the governor’s mansion. If the US economy is doing well and Minnesota’s economy is faltering, it isn’t a stretch to think that the DFL might have their worst election cycle in a generation.

Tim Walz’s seat in Congress is likely to flip into the GOP column. It’s difficult to picture the DFL defeating Paulsen, Emmer or Lewis in their races. If Minnesota is underperforming the US economy, it’ll be virtually impossible to pin that on Republicans. That makes things plenty difficult for the DFL gubernatorial candidate, especially if their candidate is Tim Walz.

Let’s be blunt about something right upfront. Tim Walz is probably the DFL’s best candidate in a lackluster field of candidates. He isn’t charismatic. He won’t drive turnout. In 2010, Democrats were thirsty because President Obama had just led them to their holy grail of universal health care and because they’d been shut out of the governor’s mansion since 1991.

By contrast, Minnesota Republicans are hungry this cycle. They want unified Republican state government. They don’t just want to hold their majority in the Minnesota House. (The Minnesota Senate isn’t up for re-election.) They’d love to take over control of the congressional delegation, too.

Barry Casselman’s article said that “Trump’s strong showing came in the rural and blue-collar exurban areas, which responded to his antiestablishment message, and in the northeastern Range area, usually a DFL stronghold, where the vote was as much anti-Clinton as it was pro-Trump.” That’s actually wrong. President Trump’s message was a perfect fit for the Iron Range, just like it was in other parts of blue collar America. That President Trump won the Iron Range by 12 points isn’t surprising. Further, the Range was littered with Trump lawn signs all summer long.

Simply put, you can’t explain that away as simply rejecting Hillary.

First-term GOP congressman Jason Lewis in the 2nd District could be vulnerable next year. He represents a swing exurban district.

Jason Lewis will win re-election. Angie Craig has announced that she wants a rematch. The NRCC put together this devastating ad late in the campaign:

After that ran morning, noon and night, Angie Craig became synonymous with ‘toxic waste’. To be fair, the DCCC will dump tons of money into this race. The good news for the good guys is that she’s a bad fit for the district. She’s a crony capitalist who fought for special exemptions for her company while pushing unpopular policies on Minnesota.

Divided state government has produced some epic clashes, the most recent being Governor Dayton’s line-item veto of the entire budget passed by the legislature for the next two years. Republicans have sued the governor over what they assert was his unconstitutional use of the veto. The state supreme court will hear arguments later this month. Voters next year will try to resolve this stalemate.

That’s perplexing. The Minnesota Supreme Court will settle this soon. It won’t turn out well for Gov. Dayton or the DFL.

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This article announcing Gov. Dayton’s appointing of a new chairperson of the Met Council highlights the possibility of that appointee facing pushback when her committee hearing is held.

According to the article, “The Met Council has new leadership. On Tuesday, Gov. Mark Dayton announced that current Chair Adam Duininck will step down from his role as head of the Met Council. In his place, Dayton announced the appointment of Minnesota State Rail Director Alene Tchourumoff to head the Met Council.”

Further into the article, Alpha reporter Preya Samsundar reports “Sen. Dave Osmek of Mound, who is expected to announce his candidacy for governor this summer, had been pushing pieces of legislation to reign in, and more recently, abolish the Met Council. On the last day of session, Osmek turned in a 214-page piece of legislation which states, “A bill for an act relating to local and state government; abolishing the Met Council.” Osmek has been pushing for reformation of the Met Council since 2015.”
Sen. Osmek’s credentials as a reformer are high. Jason Lewis’ reformer credentials are pretty high, too. Rep. Lewis is working hard in DC against organizations like the Met Council:

In Washington, Rep. Jason Lewis is also doing his part to ensure the council goes no further. In March, a bill authored by Lewis passed through the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in the United States House of Representatives.

“Under the rule, the Met Council, a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), could have expanded their boundaries and taxed the suburbs to help fund downtown projects,” Lewis told Alpha News at the time. “We’re protecting the ability of local decision makers to do what works for their own communities.”

Thank goodness for Jason Lewis for protecting suburbs like Prior Lake, Shakopee and Chanhassen. Let’s hope we elect a Republican governor and keep our GOP majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate so we can, at minimum, stop the Met Council’s authority to tax people without representing people.

Right now, the Met Council ‘represents’ Gov. Dayton. They don’t represent the people. Still, they’ve been given the authority to levy taxes. There’s no way that’s right.

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In this article, DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin says that “Democrats will focus more on policy as they try to hold Lewis to just one term. ‘It certainly will be a huge target for national Democrats and, of course, for us here at the DFL. It’s still on paper a 50-50 district.'”

That’s a point of contention. Technically speaking, CD-2 should be a 50-50 district in normal times, it isn’t a 50-50 district operationally because the Democratic Party has gone nuts. The DFL isn’t a centrist party anymore. They’ve abandoned blue collar workers and farmers. They’ve gravitated toward top-down-government-knows-best policies like Obamacare. They’re trying to kill the fossil fuel industry. Angie Craig raised lots of money. She ran an aggressive campaign. What happened is that she wasn’t a good fit for the district.

In CD-2, the DFL’s standard-bearer, Angie Craig, promised to expand Obamacare. As a result, she lost after leading going into the final month.

Once Rep. Lewis starts voting for welcome reforms and the results start coming in, he’ll be in a stronger position for re-election. Now that Lewis has gotten sworn in, he’s rolling up his sleeves and getting to work. There’s no reason to think he won’t represent the district well.

That should make Ken Martin plenty sad.