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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.

One of the things that Angie Craig criticizes Jason Lewis about is cutting the corporate tax rate. Like a good DFLer, John Croman wrote this article, saying “She said the historic tax overhaul signed into law by President Trump missed the mark. ‘I’m all for tax reform if it’s for middle class families and small businesses but Jason Lewis voted for a tax bill that put $2 trillion in additional debt on the backs of my children and was a tax giveaway to large corporations and the top one percent.'”

Let’s explain something to the mathematically- and economics-challenged, aka the DFL, especially Angie Craig. President Obama’s corporate tax hike triggered a mass exodus of US-based multinational corporations. Simply put, these multinational corporations left. While leftists like Angie Craig and President Obama flapped their gums about Warren Buffett’s secretary paying a higher tax rate than Buffett himself, companies left, causing economic growth to stagnate.

President Obama famously said that manufacturing jobs had left “and are never coming back”:

Jason Lewis helped pass the Republicans’ Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, which President Trump hastily signed right before Christmas, 2017. Suddenly, manufacturing jobs returned. The economy grew faster. Wages started rising.

Angie Craig sees what’s happening. Despite that, she wants to tear down the policies that’ve built the strongest economy in 50 years or more. People should ask Angie Craig why she’d want to wreck this high octane economy. I’d love hearing that answer.

Craig’s pat answer is to say that the best way to grow the economy is from the middle class outward. Obama said the same thing. The economy grew at a 1.9% rate per year during his administration. In 2 years under President Trump, the economy is growing at a 3+ percent clip. Consumer confidence and small business confidence are soaring like they never did under Obama.

If you want to return to the stagnant Obama economy, vote for Angie Craig. If you want to keep this high-octane Trump economy going, voting for Jason Lewis is imperative.

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.

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.

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.

The DFL has kept saying that Angie Craig is a top-tier candidate. For the sake of this article, let’s stipulate that that’s true. Let’s further stipulate that, for being a top-tier candidate, she isn’t too bright. In 2016, Ms. Craig told KSTP’s Tom Hauser that, if elected, she’d “fight” to expand Obamacare. From that point forward, Ms. Craig’s support dropped like a lead balloon.

In 2018, Ms. Craig has shown that she still hasn’t learned her lesson. The Washington Free Beacon is reporting that “Minnesota Democrat Angie Craig bragged during a weekend candidate forum that she has been working on a way to move healthcare forward with Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.), who last month took the reins of single-payer healthcare legislation in the House.”

Why would a supposed top-tier candidate in a supposedly swing district essentially admit that she’s working with the most radical progressive in the Minnesota delegation on single-payer health care? That isn’t just foolish. That’s downright stupid:

“We are going to have to figure out how we move our healthcare system forward,” Craig said. “I’ve talked to a lot of members of Congress who have a lot of bills—I’ve talked to Keith Ellison who’s got a particular bill he just took over.”
“I just left Keith a little bit ago and I told him, ‘Let’s figure out how we move forward with healthcare.’ ‘And he said to me, ‘I want you at the table when we’re figuring this out.'”

Don’t be surprised if the NRCC highlights this in an ad this October. Ms. Craig can prepare her spin now but it won’t matter. That’s one of those things that you just can’t spin.

The latest Cook Report rated this race as a toss-up. That might be right but Jason Lewis is perfectly positioned to win. I wouldn’t want to be Angie Craig’s campaign manager.

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The media bias that Jason Lewis is running against is stifling. For instance, this MinnPost article said “Yet Lewis was on the floor of the House on March 24, they day of the scheduled vote, railing against Obamacare and urging his colleagues to do the “right thing” by dismantling it, something he’d been saying for weeks. Ultimately, Lewis was one of the last speakers to take to the House podium that day: he spoke minutes before Speaker Paul Ryan decided to pull the bill because it didn’t have enough votes to pass. That episode is emblematic of the approach that Lewis, a former pundit on right-wing talk radio, has taken to Congress in his first year on the job. Instead of tacking to the center on key issues or keeping a low profile, as some vulnerable lawmakers faced with a difficult election might, Lewis has been an outspoken advocate for conservative policy priorities like gutting the ACA, slashing taxes and undoing scores of federal regulations.”

It’s appalling that the media would think that voting against repealing the ACA is “tacking to the center.” The ACA still isn’t that popular, though some low-profile GOP improvements have made the ACA less onerous on families. As for “slashing taxes and undoing scores of federal regulations”, the US economy is doing better than at any time during the Obama administration.

It’s interesting to see the left’s explanation for how purple MN-02 is. This is a good example:

On the congressional level, former Rep. John Kline, a Republican, represented CD2 for seven terms. But the plurality of CD2 voters chose to send former Sen. Al Franken to Congress in 2014, and a 30-point majority voted to grant Sen. Amy Klobuchar a second term in 2012.

It isn’t surprising that then-Sen. Franken garnered a plurality of the votes in 2014. His opponent wasn’t a top-tier candidate. As for Sen. Klobuchar’s victory, that’s typical. Most people ignore the substance of her votes and vote for the personality.

Lewis’ belief is that being clear and unambiguous about his policy stances will position him well for the election, and that voters will reward his authenticity even if they disagree. “Sincerity goes a long way,” he said. “It’s the difference between those members that are constantly dictated by the polls, and people who just say, I came here to do something, I’m going to do it. I just think having convictions is a real asset in politics.”

The reason why American institutions have terrible favorability ratings is because people don’t trust their institutions. People that find a politician who actually believes something are thrilled. People want to find a politician who believes something and can explain why they believe that.

That’s Jason Lewis. That isn’t Angie Craig. Look at how significantly she’s changed on health care. This is from Ms. Craig’s campaign website:

We must work to repair our healthcare system, starting with immediate fixes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and work toward universal health coverage. It’s time to stop playing politics with people’s lives. Many families, particularly those who are self-employed as small business owners and family farmers, cannot afford the healthcare available in the individual marketplace, but Washington has done nothing to help. Congress needs to work across the aisle immediately to stabilize healthcare costs for these families.

We can do this without giving up the good things that have come from the ACA. Current law has eliminated the penalty for pre-existing conditions, ended lifetime limits, allowed young adults to remain on their parent’s insurance, and given tens of millions of Americans access to healthcare who didn’t have it before.

I wrote this post to highlight this NRCC ad:

That NRCC ad cost her the election in 2016. Just 2 years later, bold Angie Craig has morphed into timid, calculating Angie Craig. A year from now, who knows how she’ll portray herself? This is what a calculating career politician that’ll sell their soul does. This isn’t about “tacking to the center.” It’s about selling out.

This is another thing that career politicians do:

Third, we need to stop suspected terrorists on the no-fly list from purchasing firearms and reinstate a rule recently repealed by Congress that stopped some people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns.

Banning people on no-fly lists from buying guns sounds sensible — until people find out that those no-fly lists included Stephen F. Hayes, the Editor-in-Chief of the Weekly Standard, and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. Had Ms. Craig gotten her way, law-abiding citizens would’ve had their civil rights violated because the federal government was incompetent. As for “people with mental illnesses” purchasing firearms, it’s more likely that the federal, state and local governments will miss warning signs. That’s what happened in Parkland.

Assuming that the federal or state government will promptly update their data bases is like assuming that career politicians will keep each of their campaign promises.

That’s why sincerity, honesty and consistency are cherished by voters. That’s why Jason Lewis stands a good shot at getting re-elected.

Thus far, it’s seemed like big multi-national corporations have been the only companies that have spread the wealth gained through the Trump/GOP tax cuts. Apparently, that’s coming to an end. According to this article, Minnesota companies are getting into the action.

According to the article, “Data Sales Co. said it will benefit from a cut in the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent. The rate cut is part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Republican majorities in Congress and signed in December by President Trump. ‘With the majority of our 80-plus-strong workforce here in Burnsville, I’m pleased that the benefits of tax reform will be felt at home,’ Data Sales CEO and Burnsville resident Paul Breckner said in a news release.”

Breckner praised Rep. Jason Lewis, praising him “for his consistent advocacy of tax reform and seeing it through to becoming law.” Lewis replied, saying “Critics said the business cuts ‘wouldn’t help the hardworking middle-class families that work for these businesses,’ Lewis said in a Jan. 22 message to constituents. ‘Thankfully, it’s actually the case that making American businesses more competitive is very good for our families. Across the country, employers have responded to tax reform by giving a combined total of over $1 billion in bonuses to their employees over the past month. That’s over 1 million Americans with approximately $1,000 more in their pocket today!'”

The American Action Network put together this ad thanking Congressman Lewis for voting for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Congressman Lewis is a rising star in the Republican Party. He’s principled, articulate and conservative. Congressman Lewis’s intellectual heft is impressive, too. I’d love to see him debate nonentities like Betty McCollum or Rick Nolan. Frankly, it’d be a mismatch.

The rematch between Congressman Lewis and Angie Craig, if it happens, would also be a mismatch. Lewis is already hitting her:

“It seems the Erdmann campaign is feeling the Craig hypocrisy we saw regularly last cycle as the same Democrats who claim to be working to get money out of politics seem more interested in someone who can raise money than someone to represent their values,” his campaign manager, Becky Alery, said in a statement. She added: “In 2016, the country made it clear they didn’t want Hillary and this year Minnesota will (once again) make it clear they don’t want Angie Craig.”

Angie Craig would be a good fit in Minnesota’s 4th or 5th districts because she’s exceptionally liberal. She’s a terrible fit for Minnesota’s 2nd District because she’s too liberal for the district. Lewis didn’t vote for the Schumer Shutdown. Angie Craig would’ve voted for the Schumer Shutdown.