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During their debate on KSTP, Angie Craig totally stepped in it. She brought up the fact that Jason Lewis voted with Republican leadership 96% of the time. During the KSTP debate, Jason turned that around on Angie Craig, saying “I was a lonely voice on breaking the budget caps. I’ve been willing to take on my party. I don’t know of one single issue where she can said ‘I disagree with Nancy Pelosi’, which she’s taking $30,000-$40,000 from, and whom she’ll vote for speaker for. I don’t know where you disagree there. I don’t know where you disagree with Democrats. Enlighten us.”

Angie Craig’s non-responsive response went like this:

Well, I’ll tell ya, one of the things that I’ve been disappointed in with Congressional Republicans has been on infrastructure investment. As I’ve travelled around the district, things like a new interchange at Elko-New Market, an additional lane on 35 near Lakeville. These are real issues that mayors and local officials talk to me about. I thought that this was the one area that we could agree on when President Trump ran that we could come to some agreement on, that we could push forward a $1,000,000,000,000 infrastructure bill but instead, congressional Republicans gave that $1,000,000,000,000 to large corporations that gave that money away to the top 5%.

I’m still waiting for a responsive response to Congressman Lewis’ question. I doubt that I’ll get it, though. DFL candidates don’t seem to be responsive to people. (More on that in another post.) Here’s the full video of the Lewis-Craig debate:

Why won’t Angie Craig enlighten us on where, or if, she disagrees with Nancy Pelosi or Democrats? Frankly, I’m betting that her unresponsive response says everything we need to know about her. I’m betting that she’s a lock-step, aka rubberstamp, Democrat. In the end, I’m betting that that’s Angie Craig’s Waterloo.

Saying that it was predictable that Rep. Jason Lewis was going to thrash Democrat Angie Craig in their Friday night debate on Almanac is understatement. Cathy Wurzer opened by asking Jason Lewis about Congress acting as a check “on the imperial presidency and I’m thinking that you might’ve been thinking that Hillary Clinton might be president. How’s Congress doing in its role as a check on President Trump?”

Jason replied “Well, you know, I think we did 16 CRAs taking back Article I power from the executive branch” before Eric Eskola asked “What are CRAs?” Jason then resumed, saying that CRAs are “the Congressional Review Act.” Jason then noted that those CRAs eliminated over $4,000,000,000 worth of regulations. Wurzer then said “It doesn’t really sound to some people like they’re a true check on President Trump as no one is standing up to him on things he might say.”

Jason jumped in and replied “Well, Cathy, I think we get confused between what gets said and substance. Now, if you’re talking about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which gives families in the Second District $3,000 back, I’m not going to stand up against that. I led the way in getting that done. If you’re talking about style, would I do the things that the President does? Probably not.”

That’s Jason Lewis’ opening shot against Angie Craig. It was crisp, filled with information and in a friendly, conversational tone. It was apparent that Jason felt relaxed and confident in that setting.

Whenever Angie Craig went on the offensive, Jason Lewis had a well-informed reply. When she tried attacking him on health care, Jason nailed her by highlighting the fact that she pushed for an exemption from the medical device tax for her company. While there’s no doubt that Democrats will be pleased with her performance, there’s equally little doubt as to who was the more informed, most adult candidate on stage.

While I don’t doubt that this will be a tight race, I still expect Jason Lewis to defeat Angie Craig. That’s because he constantly looked composed while she frequently looked flustered when he had substantive replies to her talking points.

It’s time to stop pretending that Antifa is the only bunch of violent actors in the DFL or the Democratic Party. I’m not disputing that Antifa and anarchist organizations affiliated with the Democratic Party don’t pose a threat to conservative politicians. I’m simply arguing that violent behavior on the left isn’t confined to anarchists and Antifa. This LTE highlights the left’s violent (and frightening) behavior:

To the editor:

Has the radical socialist left become unhinged? The latest incidents include reprehensible threats of harm against the children of Republican officeholders. Our own U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis has received threats of violence against his daughters. The threats of harm to his daughters necessitated a call to the Capitol Police.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-New York, also received threats of violence against his daughters. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Florida, was threatened by a man who said he would kill Mast’s children. Fortunately, police were able to arrest the man.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, “suggested” to her followers they verbally attack members of the White House staff and other conservatives — even when they are in a restaurant enjoying a meal!

Locally, Republican state Rep. Drew Christensen has had a campaign sign set afire and others slashed. I point out again that all these threats are made against Republicans. My resolve has thus been strengthened and I will proudly support Jason Lewis and Drew Christensen.

The latest smear against Jason Lewis for comments he made on his radio show decades ago is appalling. He was hired to be provocative and had the right of freedom of speech, the same right that liberals attempt to take away from anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

That’s before talking about the lunatic Bernie supporter who shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise last summer in Virginia. That’s before talking about the ‘comedian’ who accused Sarah Huckabee-Sanders of being a traitor of women.

People that violent aren’t capable of making rational decisions. Putting them back in power would be a terrible mistake. Giving in to the left’s violence will only embolden them. BTW, this isn’t the first time violent lefties have threatened Rep. Lewis’s family. Check this out:

This isn’t the Democratic Party of Paul Wellstone. In fact, I’m betting that most of these lefties don’t even know that Wellstone often was a guest on Lewis’s show, where they frequently debated issues. Sen. Wellstone loved discussing issues. These violent Democrat thugs aren’t interested in discussing issues. These Democrat thugs are mostly interested in shutting down debate while stirring up violence. It’s time for people of all political stripes to criticize this growing faction of Democrat thugs.

This article highlights the depths of depravity that Democrats have sunk to. Remember Michelle Obama saying “When they go low, we go high”? What BS. The truth is that Democrats frequently go as low as it gets. This article is proof of it.

It opens by saying “Republican Rep. Jason Lewis told Fox News he has contacted the police over threats to him and even his daughters in the wake of reports about controversial statements he made as a radio show host. ‘It was serious enough for my office to alert the Capitol Police,’ Lewis told Fox News. The Minnesota congressman said his daughters were threatened in sick messages received by his office. It marks the latest in a wave of threats against not just Republican lawmakers themselves but their families.”

Last August, I wrote this post to highlight the fact that TakeAction Minnesota, a far left/anarchist organization, sent protesters to Lewis’ house last August. While they were there, TakeAction Minnesota took the time to intimidate some of Lewis’ neighbors.

In other words, I wouldn’t rule out TakeAction Minnesota as being involved in threatening Lewis’ daughters. I won’t say positively that TakeAction Minnesota is behind these threats. I just won’t rule it out. They’re that depraved. Just watch this video of TAM at Lewis’ home:

I’ll just be straightforward on this. This is proof that TAM is totally depraved. They should be investigated to within an inch of their existence. There’s no question that TAM isn’t afraid to use intimidation/anarchist tactics. They simply aren’t.

This isn’t the Party of Wellstone and Humphrey. The DFL has become the home for lunatics, mean-spirited anarchists and socialists.

Earlier this week, I published this post with a photoshopped picture of Angie Craig saying something embarrassing. A quick Google search verified that the statement was made by Ms. Craig during the 2016 campaign. The NRCC published the specific quote in this blog post. The key lines state “Jeff Erdmann thinks he knows why Craig lost. He was a volunteer for her in 2016, phone banking and going door to door. That spring, a voter asked him a question about Craig’s position on an issue that he couldn’t answer, so when Craig held a Q&A with the volunteers, he asked her if it was OK to direct voters to the website for an answer. ‘No, not really,’ Erdmann recalled her saying, ‘because we haven’t developed our website yet because we don’t want the Republicans to know where we stand, and we haven’t seen end-of-summer polling yet.'”

That isn’t all, though, that Erdmann heard. Check this out:

Later, he said, he was phone banking and asked a supervisor what message he should tailor to the rural part of the district, since the script seemed aimed at city dwellers. “Just tell them the trailer-court story, they’re not big thinkers out there,” he said he was told, referring to Craig’s childhood in a trailer home.

It’s pretty apparent that the Craig campaign doesn’t have much respect for their voters, especially their rural voters. Equally apparent is that Ms. Craig’s opinions aren’t informed by her would-be constituents but by polling. Here’s the photoshopped photo of Craig with her inopportune (but revealing) statements:

The line at the bottom of the page is the most important line:

Remember the last time Jason Lewis had to wait to determine his opinion? No, me either.

In the time of Trump, people want politicians that speak clearly and who provide solutions to important issues. Jason Lewis fits that description perfectly. After he’s re-elected, his authority will grow, which will benefit his constituents and the nation.

After she’s defeated, Angie Craig will return to her cushy office.

Saying that Angie Craig doesn’t want MN-2 voters to know what she stands for is the truth. It isn’t difficult to find out what she’s against. This statement on the Trump/GOP tax reform is a perfect example of Ms. Craig telling voters what she’s against. In the statement, Ms. Craig said “Paul Ryan finally released the tax plan that Jason Lewis has been talking up for weeks and it’s just as bad as we thought. This isn’t real tax reform. This is a giveaway to big corporations and the rich, paid for by tax increases for the middle class.”

First, Ms. Craig is relying on the Democrats’ talking points. It’s worth noting that the Democrats’ chanting points are dishonest. (Go figure, right?) As people have found out, everyone has gotten a tax cut. The middle class have gotten rather significant tax cuts. That’s in addition to many of them getting significant bonuses, significantly increased benefits from employers and lower out-of-pocket health care expenses. Other than those significant benefits to the middle class, the Democrats are right. If not for those benefits to the middle class, the middle class would’ve gotten the shaft.

In terms of health care, Craig is a bit of a radical:

Before he ditched his constituents, Keith Ellison announced that he was taking over the Democrats’ single-payer health care bill. In the above video, Ms. Craig said that Keith Ellison told her that he wanted her at the table when they figured out health care. That’s what makes this so funny:

Let’s get serious. When Craig is talking to her DFL activist allies, she knows exactly what she wants. When she’s talking with John and Jane Q. Public, she’s as transparent as Rod Rosenstein’s DOJ.

As the lit piece shows, Jason Lewis’s supporters know him to be a man who doesn’t moisten his finger to figure out where he stands on the issues. That’s why he’ll win re-election this November.

Rest assured that Minnesota will have a heated race this fall. For months, pundits like Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg have predicted 4 tight US House races. I’ve been skeptical of those predictions from the start. I never thought that Erik Paulsen’s and Jason Lewis’s seats were toss-ups like Cook, FNC and RealClearPolitics were predicting. Further, I’ve thought that the MN-08 race was likely to be the most likely to break the DFL’s way while MN-01 was virtually a lost seat for the DFL.

The tight race that’s likely to happen is the Senate seat currently occupied by Tina Smith. Over the past week, she’s proven that she’s capable of making multiple unforced mistakes. Before the week actually started, Smith announced that she wouldn’t support any Supreme Court nominee. She did that before the nominee was picked. That helped her look like a partisan ideologue, which is her true identity. At the other end of the week, she campaigned with self-described socialist Bernie Sanders and cop-hating Keith Ellison.

Meanwhile, Karin Housley, Smith’s opponent, is running a nearly flawless race while touting the Republicans’ economic accomplishments. First, a comparison is required. Bernie Sanders had a strong following thanks to the pathetic Obama economy, which produced tons of income inequality. He lost that issue the minute the Trump/GOP economy took off and hasn’t looked back.

Bernie can complain all he wants but people will ignore him when they’ve got their pick of good-paying jobs. It’s hard to think that we’re in a recession when we’re at full unemployment and there are more job openings than there are people to fill them. If income inequality is going to be Bernie’s message, he’ll lose. By comparison, here’s Karin Housley’s message:

Simply put, Tina Smith’s positions on things like immigration, taxes and the Supreme Court are pretty extremist. It’s impossible to sugar coat it. According to her own campaign website, Tina Smith supports open borders ‘immigration’. As for taxes, she’s never met a tax increase she didn’t like. Finally, Tina Smith prefers outcome-based justices and judges because they won’t hesitate to change the policy portions of a piece of legislation.

The judiciary shouldn’t care what is or isn’t smart policy. If there is a statute that needs fixing, it’s the legislative and executive branches’ responsibility to fix the problem.

Karin Housley prefers judges and justices who look at the text of the legislation, then determines whether the legislation fits within the framework of the Constitution.

If this nation wants to fight the opioid addiction crisis, it’s difficult to imagine a better way than the plan Jason Lewis has put together. Earlier this week, Lewis hosted a roundtable discussion on the subject.

According to the article, the roundtable took place in Apple Valley on the afternoon of Monday, July 2. Participants were Bryan Klabunde of the Minnesota Farmers Union; Larry Bourgerie of the Society for Human Resource Management; former addict and author of ‘Six Years Lost’ Ben Schmidt, and Maura McGarry, LGSW, of the Opiate Treatment Program at the Minneapolis VA. The group talked about efforts across the state to combat the opioid crisis and possibilities for future legislation.”

Lewis isn’t just talking about the problem either. He’s introduced legislation to create the “bipartisan Opioid Advisory Committee at Department of Labor”, which “was introduced by Lewis and Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pennsylvania.” Most impressively, “it passed the House by voice vote” on June 13. To get anything passed in DC on a major issue requires dedication and skill. To get major legislation passed on a voice vote is unheard of.

This is why the citizens need to re-elect Rep. Lewis. First, this is proof that he’s a problem-solver. In case nobody’s noticed, Washington, DC has a shortage of those these days. Next, Lewis doesn’t just talk about getting things done in a bipartisan fashion. He’s now got a history of bringing people together to fix problems. Third, it requires skill to put legislation like this together.

Think about this:

The bipartisan Opioid Advisory Committee at Department of Labor was introduced by Lewis and Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pennsylvania. It seeks to create a committee to advise the secretary of labor on actions the department can take to address the impact of opioid abuse on the workplace. On June 13, it passed the House by voice vote. The Advisory Committee will discuss opioid abuse and its impact on employer substance abuse policies, employer-provided benefits, workplace safety, productivity and absenteeism, alternative pain management treatments, employee privacy, community-based initiatives and workplace policies to reduce the stigma of opioid abuse.

The Advisory Committee will issue a report on successful programs and best practices for how employers can engage with employees affected by opioid abuse.

This is what’s already possible:

At some point, the Met Council’s structure will get changed. The Met Council was created in 1967 when ” it lacked any regional perspective in governance or long-term vision. Development was intruding on such basics as sewage treatment and water supplies with untreated waste going into the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers and lakes and streams. Hundreds of individual septic systems and private wells foretold a public health disaster waiting to happen. There were no regional parks. Natural areas were under threat from haphazard housing projects and shopping centers.”

The key part of John Diers’ op-ed is the opening paragraph, which says “We recommend that the 1967 Legislature create a Metropolitan Council, directly elected by popular vote of the people, to solve the pressing area wide governmental problems of the Twin Cities in a coordinated manner. The Council would be responsible only for those area wide functions and services which cannot be handled adequately by municipalities and counties and which are specifically assigned to the Council by the Legislature.

51 years later, the Met Council is still an unaccountable body of government whose members are still appointed by the governor. That certainly wasn’t the type of government that the people who advocated for the Met Council envisioned.

Congressman Jason Lewis has introduced an amendment to legislation in Congress that would require all metropolitan planning organizations that receive federal funds have locally elected officials on their boards. The Metropolitan Council is presently exempt from that requirement having been grandfathered under earlier legislation. In a statement from Rep. Lewis:

“Our amendment does not seek to change the operations or scope of the Met Council. It does not attempt to change the activities of the board. It simply requires that for a board to be in compliance they need to have locally elected official representation consistent with every other MPO in the country.”

It’s time for the Met Council to comply with federal law. It isn’t doing that right now.

Prof. Steven Schier’s op-ed asks a fundamental question that might determine whether Minnesota Republicans will experience a good year in 2018. There’s no question whether Minnesota is a redder state now than when Tim Pawlenty won re-election in 2006. What’s still in question is whether Minnesota will return to electing Republican governors.

Buried inside Prof. Schier’s op-ed is some information that’s gotten my attention. For instance, Prof. Schier notes that “the steadily more progressive profile of the DFL is hurting the party in greater Minnesota. Minnesota Democrats are increasingly defined by strong environmentalism and assertive social liberalism that does not receive a warm response in places such as Redwood Falls, Roseau and Blue Earth and among the state’s farm population. An increasingly progressive DFL creates many electoral opportunities for the state’s GOP. That is reflected in the trends noted above. Metro DFL activists are among the most progressive in the country, and their agenda puts substantial political distance between them and residents of most counties outside of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area.”

It isn’t that Republicans have suddenly gotten popular, though it’s indisputable that they’re more popular than Democrats. What’s most true is that the DFL is much less popular in rural Minnesota than at any time in my lifetime. A look at the Secretary of State’s website shows how the DFL went from having an 89-45 majority in the House in 2008 to a 63-71 minority in 2010. Republicans go into this election with a 76-58 majority in the House. With the margin of victory being large in most of those seats, it’s difficult not picturing Kurt Daudt as speaker again in 2019.

Further, it’s difficult not picturing Republicans being super-motivated this fall to elect a Republican governor to go along with GOP majorities in the House and Senate. It might not finish that way but Republicans must have that as their goal. That’s because it’s such a realistic goal.

This is an unexpected burst of honesty:

It’s easy to miss the recent “reddening” of Minnesota because the state’s media is heavily concentrated in the heavily blue enclave of the MSP metropolitan area. Analysis and coverage of political trends in greater Minnesota receive sporadic and often superficial coverage.

It isn’t that I think Prof. Schier isn’t trustworthy. It’s that such candidness isn’t that common. To be certain, turning Minnesota from a deep blue state to a purple state on its way to being a semi-red state is taking time. There still aren’t any conservative superstars from Minnesota.

Tim Pawlenty is the closest thing to a Republican rock star but he isn’t a superstar by any stretch of the imagination. Jason Lewis has a legitimate shot at becoming a conservative superstar because of his intellectual heft. BTW, ignore the nonsense that Angie Craig will defeat him this year. He’ll have to work hard but Jason will win re-election.