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State Auditor Rebecca Otto just proposed a state “price on carbon”, becoming the first gubernatorial candidate to propose a tax increase this campaign season. According to Ms. Otto, all “of the revenue from the tax would be returned to residents, both in direct payments and rebates, the campaign noted, so there’s no net cost to residents or the state’s economy.”

What Ms. Otto didn’t say is that she’d first steal the money from somewhere. It isn’t like a person can snap their fingers and make that money instantly appear. Instead, the “plan would charge fossil fuel companies a price for the carbon their products put into the atmosphere.” That isn’t the infuriating part, though. That comes when Ms. Otto says “Otto said her plans allows residents to make their own free market decisions about whether they want to pay for a product that pollutes the atmosphere or if they want to switch to clean energy. The plan calls for “quarterly clean energy cash dividends,” direct payments to residents of about $600 per year for each Minnesota resident. Some 25 percent of the revenue would fund ‘clean energy tax credits’ offering 30 percent back on the costs of electric cars, solar panels, heat pumps, home weatherization and other energy-saving devices.”

That isn’t how free markets work. Free markets don’t need to put a gun to a person’s head to get them to buy a product. What Ms. Otto describes is what I’d call crony capitalism, which is corporate welfare by a different name. It’s possible that that’s how a socialist might envision free market capitalism working.

Minnesotans will reject Otto the minute they hear this:

According to a 2013 report paid for by the National Association of Manufacturers, a Minnesota carbon tax would force state residents to pay up to 40 percent more for natural gas, 5 percent more for electricity and 20 cents more per gallon of gas. “The increased costs of these critical fuels will impact every person and business in Minnesota. … “Many Minnesota companies that compete internationally will be placed at a disadvantage as their foreign competitors operate without similar costs.”

This proposal is clearly meant to excite the DFL base. The good news for Republicans is that this decision essentially paints a bull’s-eye in the middle of Ms. Otto’s chest in terms of other voters.

Ms. Otto is fighting an uphill fight. That explains why she made this Hail Mary attempt. Finally, let’s take time to realize that Ms. Otto, like Gov. Dayton, isn’t a free market capitalist. She’s a socialist who has voted against a return to prosperity on the Iron Range. Then she tried leveraging that no vote with a fundraising appeal.

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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