Archive for the ‘Rebecca Otto’ Category

Anyone that thinks rural Minnesota isn’t changing its voting habits needs to read Bill Hanna’s article in the Mesabi Daily News. Included in the article is this information:

But the days of blind Range voting allegiance to the DFL Party are history. Consider this: State Sen. David Tomassoni’s district is in the heart of DFL country. Yet, it was carried by Republican Donald Trump not Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

That reflects a troubling trend for the DFL and rural Minnesota, according to Tomassoni. There were 21 rural DFL senators in the Legislature in 2009. Now there are seven, he said. “The map is going ‘Red’ (Republican) and keeps creeping towards us,” Tomassoni said. “Meanwhile, rural Minnesota keeps losing ground.”

It gets worse for the DFL:

Rep. Erin Murphy of St. Paul responded to a request for comment with a general statement that we can have both clean water and mining jobs. “When it comes to questions that pit water and jobs against each other, we must ensure that we have clear science-based processes that include strong financial assurances.” State and federal processes already do that.

The Range is changing annually. They’re fed up with the Metro DFL’s answers:

They often give a standard, “Yes, I support copper/nickel, if it can be done safely” answer, even though the projects continue to meet and exceed state and federal rules and regulations for permitting and operation.

There’s less wiggle room for the DFL than there was a decade ago. In 2014, I wrote this post about the difficulties then facing DFL Chairman Ken Martin:

Ken Martin got what he had hoped for at the DFL State Convention last weekend regarding the copper/nickel/precious metals mining issue on the Range: Nothing — no resolution for or against debated on the floor. The state DFL Party chairman had said for a couple months in interviews and conversations with the Mesabi Daily News that his goal was to not have the controversial issue turn into a convention firefight. He succeeded, despite passionate feelings on both sides.

He got away with that in 2014. That won’t fly at the 2018 DFL State Convention. Sen. Tomassoni summarizes things pretty succinctly with this statement:

But the state senator said the gubernatorial election is a critical one for the region. “People are really fed up with those in the Twin Cities area lecturing us and telling us how to live our lives. We have the cleanest water in the state and we’ve been mining for more than 130 years. Yet we are told ‘do this and don’t do that’ when it comes to mining that built this great state and country. Iron Rangers are pi_ _ _ _ off. They’ve had enough,” Tomassoni said.

They should be upset. The environmental activist wing of the DFL is still the dominant wing of the DFL. They aren’t a tolerant bunch. Proof of that is how DFL environmental activists shut down a hearing on a pipeline project in Duluth last week, then threatened to disrupt another hearing on the pipeline project in St. Cloud. As a result of that threat, authorities canceled the hearing.

It’s difficult finding comment from other DFL candidates on the issue or copper/nickel mining in general. But not so Otto. As a member of the state’s Executive Council, comprised of the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and auditor, Otto voted against awarding leases for copper/nickel exploration in the region in 2013. The leases only allow companies to drill holes in the ground to extract mineral samples to judge the value of certain deposits.

She immediately used her vote against copper/nickel mining as a fundraising tool, especially in the Twin Cities area, and continues to tout her decision, which she has said was to protect Minnesotans’ welfare. She also contends she is not anti-mining.

The DFL’s credibility on mining issues is damaged. There used to be a blind allegiance to the DFL. Bit-by-bit, that’s being replaced with a ‘prove it’ attitude.

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Make no mistake about what the DFL stands for on health care. Four of the 6 major DFL gubernatorial candidates prefer a single-payer health care system. Rebecca Otto went so far as to propose her Healthy Minnesota Plan. According to Ms. Otto’s website, her plan will cover “every Minnesotan.” It will protect “the relationship between you and your care provider.” Further, it will eliminate “insurance premiums and deductibles.” Finally, Ms. Otto’s Healthy Minnesota Plan will be funded “fairly – half from redirected public dollars, and half from a package of fair and progressive taxes to be developed with bipartisan input.”

Frankly, that’s spin. There isn’t a snowball’s prayer in hell that Republicans will support that plan. Any talk of bipartisan support is delusional thinking. Either that or it’s an outright lie. Ms. Otto might attract Dave Durenberger or Arne Carlson but that’s about it.

These DFL candidates have tied themselves to a failing system. This article highlights what happens when the government runs health care:

In recent years, a number of areas have introduced delays for such patients, with some told operations will be put back for months, during which time they are expected to try to lose weight or stop smoking. But the new rules, drawn up by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Hertfordshire, say that obese patients “will not get non-urgent surgery until they reduce their weight” at all, unless the circumstances are exceptional.

Make no mistake about this. This form of health care is expensive. That’s why Ms. Otto’s plan includes a major tax increase. Further, Otto isn’t just pushing all in with single-payer. She’s all-in with Cap & Trade, too:

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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