Archive for the ‘Corruption’ Category

When it comes to dishonest DFL politicians, Paul Thissen is in the conversation. Though he isn’t at the top of the list, he’s certainly part of the conversation. Yesterday, Rep. Thissen issued this statement. To be fair to Rep. Thissen, there were fragments of truth in his statement.

For instance, Rep. Thissen was sort of right in saying “Republicans have refused to provide any compromise offers to get needed tax, bonding and budget bills passed in a special session.” I say sort of right because they’re sticking with the House bill, which included lots of DFL priorities in it. I wrote this article to highlight the amount of compromise included in the House bonding/transportation bill. I included a lengthy quote from Sen. David Hann in the article. He was clearly and justifiably upset with Gov. Dayton’s refusal to drop any of his demands. Here’s what Sen. Hann said:

I would just reiterate that the bills that we had on the last day of session were compromise bills. Go back again. Look at the tape. Look at Sen. Stumpf talking about the bonding/transportation bill. He called it a “true compromise between Republicans and Democrats.” The Speaker has pointed out that half of that bill, more than half of it, had the Governor’s priorities in it. And now we’re supposedly at a point where all of those compromises are off the table and we’ve got another $243,000,000 of additional spending that we are being asked to do without any backing away from that number — an additional couple hundred million in bonding.

And all of this is kind of in complete denial of all of the compromise work that had gone on this entire last session. This is what I find so remarkable. I think it is a setback. Why, after a whole session and actually going back to the session before of talking about some of these issues, to now have a bill get killed at the last minute with a request for a light rail project that no one had ever seen a hearing on and now, that becomes a must have and they say we have to start over and renegotiate everything, I think it is a setback.

Rep. Thissen, why should Republicans offer additional compromises when Gov. Dayton refuses to move a square centimeter from his post-session positions? Rep. Thissen apparently thinks that Republicans should always compromise and that DFL politicians don’t ever have to compromise.

Later in his statement, Rep. Thissen said “If House Republicans were serious about doing the job they were elected to do, they wouldn’t be bringing controversial new policy into the discussion at this stage.” That’s rich. The only reason we’re in this position is because a handful of DFL senators amended the House bonding/transportation bill with less than 10 minutes left in the session to include a provision for funding for the Southwest Light Rail project. That provision was controversial. It wasn’t discussed in any House or Senate committee hearings. As Sen. Hann points out, “now it becomes a must have and we have to start over and renegotiate everything.”

It’s time Speaker Daudt and Sen. Hann turned up the heat on Gov. Dayton for killing the Tax Bill, then refusing the legislature to fix it. Gov. Dayton said he wouldn’t hold the Tax Bill hostage. I guess he meant he wouldn’t hold it hostage until he started using it as leverage in negotiations. Here’s why that’s important.

Gov. Dayton wants to increase the size of the bonding bill by more than 40% over the House bonding/transportation bill. Further, he wants $243,000,000 worth of additional spending for the Twin Cities added to a new supplemental appropriations bill after signing a major supplemental appropriations bill a month ago.

In other words, Gov. Dayton is insisting on getting everything he’s wanted from the start of the regular session. Republicans need to expose him for the autocrat that he is. Similarly, they need to expose the DFL as the party who hasn’t negotiated in good faith and that aren’t interested in doing what’s right for Minnesotans. Here’s Rep. Thissen’s statement:

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At the end of the day, DFL corruptocrat Bill Davis pled guilty “to all 16 counts against him, including mail fraud, wire fraud, theft from a program receiving federal funds and conspiracy to commit such theft.”

Former DFL gubernatorial candidate Susan Gaertner represented Davis. She said that Davis would do something rare for a DFL bureaucrat. She said “Davis decided to take responsibility for his mistakes”, adding that Davis “did so with a heavy heart. He is very sorry for the conduct that you heard about in the courtroom today.”

Apparently, corruption is the Davis family business. According to the article, “Davis spent 24 years as chief executive of Community Action of Minneapolis, which provided utility assistance and other social services to low-income people. He and his son, Jordan, were indicted last year for allegedly siphoning at least $250,000 from the organization for personal use.”

That’s not all. Davis “admitted that he used funds from Community Action of Minneapolis to pay for a vehicle in his name and personal expenses, including trips to the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. He also admitted directing the organization to pay his son a consultant’s fee for work he wasn’t doing.”

Davis’ son is pleading not guilty:

Jordan Davis, a Minneapolis police officer, has pleaded not guilty to six counts, including conspiracy to commit theft. His trial is scheduled to start next week.

I’m not a lawyer but I can’t picture Jordan Davis’ trial going well. He’s a police officer. Why would he think it’s ok to get paid to do a job he wasn’t doing?

The best thing coming out of this investigation is that the Davis family business is out of business forever.

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It’s well-established fact that Donald Trump isn’t a man of integrity. Trump’s integrity was questioned when Erick Erickson disinvited Trump from the annual RedState Gathering for Trump’s statement about Megyn Kelly. Trump’s integrity was questioned again when he made his infamous derogatory statements about Carly Fiorina’s looks.

This article was written after USA Today investigated Mr. Trump’s business practices. It paints a disgusting picture of a man who uses the courts to stiff his workers. It paints a picture that hasn’t hesitated in bankrupting small companies to save money. The Trump that’s outlined in this article explains the Trump who said he didn’t think he needed to ask God for forgiveness.

In 2012, I voted for Mitt Romney because, though I knew he was flawed, I knew he was qualified. Some evangelical Christians said that they couldn’t vote for a Mormon. I explained that I was voting for a president, not a pope. Anyone who’s read this blog knows that I’m part of #NeverTrump. Unlike others who were part of the movement, I won’t change my mind. I didn’t make this decision without first thinking this through.

USA Today’s article just reinforces my decision. Here’s a refresher of Trump’s statement about Megyn Kelly:

Now, onto the USA Today article:

Trump’s companies have also been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage, according to U.S. Department of Labor data. That includes 21 citations against the defunct Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and three against the also out-of-business Trump Mortgage LLC in New York. Both cases were resolved by the companies agreeing to pay back wages.

These aren’t allegations anymore. They’re actual findings of facts. Mr. Trump isn’t repentant. He gloats about stiffing people:

Trump and his daughter Ivanka, in an interview with USA TODAY, shrugged off the lawsuits and other claims of non-payment. If a company or worker he hires isn’t paid fully, the Trumps said, it’s because The Trump Organization was unhappy with the work. “Let’s say that they do a job that’s not good, or a job that they didn’t finish, or a job that was way late. I’ll deduct from their contract, absolutely,” Trump said. “That’s what the country should be doing.”

That’s worrisome on multiple levels. First, it’s troubling that Mr. Trump is the sole determiner of what is or isn’t a good job. Second, there’s the matter of whether these terms were agreed to when the bid was let. Then there’s the worry that Trump doesn’t care because he isn’t afraid of wearing the subcontractors down in court until they’re crying uncle or they’re bankrupt.

Trump tried passing things off as ancient history. That storyline got shot down, too:

In the interview, Trump repeatedly said the cases were “a long time ago.” However, even as he campaigns for the presidency, new cases are continuing. Just last month, Trump Miami Resort Management LLC settled with 48 servers at his Miami golf resort over failing to pay overtime for a special event. The settlements averaged about $800 for each worker and as high as $3,000 for one, according to court records. Some workers put in 20-hour days over the 10-day Passover event at Trump National Doral Miami, the lawsuit contends. Trump’s team initially argued a contractor hired the workers, and he wasn’t responsible, and counter-sued the contractor demanding payment.

Like the saying goes, once a dishonest thug, always a dishonest thug. In terms of respect for the rule of law and integrity, there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Trump and President Obama.

That’s why I’m steadfastly staying #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary.

Pat Buchanan has been an isolationist for decades. He’s a natural fit for Donald Trump. Buchanan’s also a longtime political hack, which explains why he’s turned into a Trump apologist. This column offers examples of Buchanan’s limited intellect and his substantial dishonesty in the cause of Trump.

It’s breathtakingly dishonest for Buchanan to say “Stated succinctly, Donald Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over a class-action lawsuit against Trump University, is sticking it to him. And the judge’s bias is likely rooted in the fact that he is of Mexican descent.” Apparently, it hasn’t dawned on Buchanan that Curiel’s rulings are terrible because he’s liberal, not Mexican.

Buchanan also asked “Before the lynching of the Donald proceeds, what exactly was it he said about that Hispanic judge?” Specifically, Trump said “I have a judge that is a hater of Donald Trump. A hater. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel.” During an interview this past weekend with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Trump said “He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico. The answer is he is giving us very unfair rulings, rulings that people can’t even believe.”

Apparently, Mr. Buchanan is willing to ignore Trump’s bigotry. It’s clear that Trump’s statements to Jake Tapper highlight (lowlight?) Trump’s bigotry. This statement is breathtakingly stupid:

The judiciary is independent, but that does not mean that federal judges are exempt from the same robust criticism as presidents or members of Congress.

The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a fair trial. When a presidential candidate attacks a judge, he’s attempting to tip the scales of justice. There’s nothing fair about that. Buchanan should know better. I suspect he knows that. I also think that Buchanan knows that presidents and presidential candidates have to be careful in not doing anything to tip the scales of justice.

Pat Buchanan is a fossil from a bygone political era. He should leave the arena of ideas because he’s a has been.

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Last night, I noticed several tweets from the DFL side from Susie Merthans. After the session ended, a loyal reader of LFR sent me the link to ABM’s statement. According to the statement, Merthans is identified as “the Communications Director at Alliance for a Better Minnesota.”

That’s an attention-grabber because Ms. Merthans’ Twitter profile says “Communications Director for @ABetterMN by way of @mnhouseDFL.” Taxpayers shouldn’t pay the salary of someone who draws a salary as the communications director for the DFL’s campaign messaging unit. That’s what ABM is. If I had a $10 bill for each time I wrote about ABM’s role in DFL campaigns, I’d be living the life of luxury.

The DFL is a different operation. Their campaign communications are run through ABM’s offices. The DFL hasn’t been involved in campaign communications in years. ABM is as dishonest as they are corrupt. Check this paragraph from ABM’s statement out:

Republicans will be eager to start campaigning in their districts on the merits of this session. However, their record shows that they prioritized a Trump-like agenda that focused on tax giveaways to corporations and the wealthy, restricting women’s healthcare access, and denying that issues like climate change are a concern for Minnesota’s future.

First, as a proud member of the #NeverTrump resistance, I can’t figure out what Trump’s agenda will be beyond building a wall on the Tex-Mex border and stopping refugee resettlement programs from Muslim nations. I’m certain that the House GOP didn’t try enacting legislation making those thing the law in Minnesota.

Second and more importantly, the GOP fought for middle class tax cuts. If it was left to the DFL, they didn’t want to pass tax cuts. They wanted the money spent on broadband and on programs aimed at reducing racial disparities. Here’s Greg Davids’ statement on the GOP tax cuts:

“Over the past two years, I’ve continued to say ‘don’t stop believing,’ and today I’m proud that we can deliver significant tax relief for Minnesota families,” said Davids. “From a farmer in southern Minnesota, to a family in the suburbs, to a small business owner on the Iron Range, to a recent graduate at the U of M, this plan provides targeted relief to the middle class throughout the state.”

In the next three years, the plan provides tax relief in the amounts as follows:

  • $90.6 million in agriculture property tax relief for Minnesota farmers
  • $110 million in tax relief for college graduates paying off student loans through a refundable tax credit up to $1,000, the first of its kind in the country.
  • $49 million in tax relief for families who contribute to 529 Plans to save for their children’s college costs.
  • $146 million in property tax relief for every small business in the state by exempting the first $100,000 of commercial-industrial property.
  • $13 million in tax relief for veterans by raising the income eligibility threshold, and increasing the total credit from $750 to $1,000.
  • $150 million in tax relief for working families by expanding the working family tax credit
  • $32 million to reduce the cost of childcare; by expanding the childcare tax credit, families could earn a tax credit up to $960.

Those aren’t “tax giveaways to corporations and the wealthy.” They’re middle class tax cuts. The DFL spinmeisters at ABM aren’t interested in the truth. They’re interested in savaging Republicans at all costs. If they have to make things up, that’s what the DFL will do. ABM isn’t there to tell the truth, as I’ve pointed out multiple times. ABM is there to be the DFL’s hatchet against Republicans. If the DFL and ABM need to lie about Republicans, then that’s what ABM will do because that’s what the DFL wants them to do.

That’s hardball politics. What I have a complaint with is when the DFL expects the taxpayers to pay part of their communications director’s salary. There should be a constitutional amendment prohibiting people like Susie Merthans from ever working for as a legislative staffer. There should be a bright line between campaign shills and taxpayer-funded positions.

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I knew that the DFL and ABM would start spinning things after they created a mess but this is ridiculous. While the legislature was still in session, Susie Merthans started spinning things. She quoted Paul Thissen as saying “Modest victories are due to Gov Dayton & DFL Senate dragging GOP kicking and screaming across the finish line.” Then, as though that wasn’t enough, she added “Paul Thissen: GOP beholden to corporate special interests, it’s time for a change.”

First, it’s frightening that Ms. Merthans admits in her profile that she’s the “Communications Director for @ABetterMN by way of @mnhouseDFL.” Why should ABM’s communications director get paid by Minnesota taxpayers? That’s the definition of corruption. ABM doesn’t change when the session ends. It’s the same dishonest messaging as they used during the legislative session. The only difference is that ABM will spend more money on mailers and ads during the campaign. The dishonest themes remain pretty much intact.

That’s before talking about the dishonesty of Thissen’s statements. The DFL is the party that does whatever the environmentalists tell them to do. Actually, they don’t do what the environmental activists tell them not to do. Think about the DFL’s opposition to the Sandpiper Pipeline project. Think about the DFL’s opposition to a resolution at their State Convention in 2014 that said the DFL supported mining. At the DFL’s State Convention in Duluth in 2014, that timid resolution was pulled by Ken Martin said it was too controversial. Seriously.

Another example is how the DFL rammed through forced unionization on in-home child care providers at the end of the 2013 session. Despite a massive lobbying effort organized by in-home child care providers, the DFL ignored the in-home child care providers and sided with public employee unions. Again, the DFL didn’t care about the people. The DFL sided with their special interest allies. It isn’t surprising. That’s their habit.

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Saying that Laura Ingraham isn’t honest isn’t easy for me to say. Still, it’s what I must do after reading her latest pro-Trump spin piece. It isn’t that I disagree with everything in her article. I’d be lying if I said she’s constantly dishonest. Still, I can’t sit silent after she said “I, too, would have preferred an ideal candidate who would unite us and cruise to an easy win over Hillary. Unfortunately, the conservative movement failed to field such a candidate. Much of this is due to the fact that many so-called conservatives, and their enablers in the donor class, wasted their time and money promoting the candidacies of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, two men who were, and are, utterly unacceptable to almost all actual voters in the Republican Party.”

While there’s no disputing the fact that large parts of the GOP rejected Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, it’s equally true that they were significantly more qualified, and more honest, than the GOP’s presumptive nominee. Further, Trump has been rejected by a large percentage of “actual voters in the Republican Party.” He just wasn’t rejected by as many people as Bush or Rubio.

This paragraph can’t go unquestioned:

First, some NeverTrumpers (like the Bush family) violently disagree with Trump on issues relating to immigration, trade, and foreign policy. In each of these key issues, however, Trump represents the traditional views of conservatives like Ronald Reagan, while the supporters of Bushism are locked into an extremist ideology that makes no sense in theory, and has been a disaster in practice.

That’s breathtakingly dishonest. The only other explanation is that Ms. Ingraham is just stupid. Since she once clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas, it’s a safe bet that she isn’t stupid.

Saying that Trump’s foreign policy is identical to Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy is like saying that an arsonist’s goals are essentially the same as the firefighters’ goals. First, when did President Reagan ask President Gorbachev to squash America’s enemies? When did President Reagan think it was wise to give the Soviet Union free run in the Middle East? When did President Reagan insist that we were getting screwed by other countries? When did President Reagan insist that America couldn’t compete with the world if our taxes were low and our regulations were reasonable?

The answer to these questions is simple: never.

Further, saying that Trump’s foreign policy is virtually identical to President Reagan’s is saying that Trump has carefully thought through what he’d do. How does that square with Trump telling a rally that he’d “bomb the s—” out of ISIS, then telling a national audience during a debate that he’d get President Putin to take ISIS out?

The reality is that Ms. Ingraham isn’t being honest with her readers or with us. That’s a sad thing because she used to be a person of integrity. I wish that woman hadn’t disappeared.

Walter Hudson’s Facebook post is a brilliant call-to-arms for principled conservatives and Republicans. At a time when the thoughtful center-right are despondent, Walter’s battle cry is inspiring. I can’t recommend Walter’s post enough. If you aren’t a Trump cultist, it’s today’s must reading.

Walter’s post starts with him laying out the stakes, saying “Civil war has broken out within the Republican Party. Long-standing divisions have led us to this point.” While that paragraph defines what’s at stake, what follows is a brilliant battle plan. For instance, Walter rightly said that “In war, the rules which govern in peacetime go out the window. In war, the object is the destruction of the enemy and the preservation of our way of life. These are the metaphorical stakes we face now. That is why the traditional expectation that Republican officers and delegates fall in line behind Trump will not be met. We will not cede our party to a leftist authoritarian pretender. We’ve worked too hard to build it. We’ve fostered too many relationships. We’ve created too much value to let it all disintegrate on account of one man.”

Let’s be clear about something. Trump’s supporters made it exceptionally clear that their primary goal is to blow the GOP up and rebuild it in Trump’s own warped image. Constitutionalists and principled conservatives like Walter Hudson and, to a lesser extent, me have gotten accused of being part of the GOP establishment. That isn’t a joke. That’s proof of the Trumpians’ own intellectual dishonesty.

Trump has already abandoned conservatism from a policy standpoint. He’s backing away from his own tax plan. This week, he’s come out in favor of raising the minimum wage. He’s always opposed entitlement reform. In all the talk about party unity, activists have never been told what they’d be uniting behind. Uniting behind a left-leaning vulgar authoritarian isn’t appealing to me. Based on the fact that Trump still has only garnered 40% of the primary vote, uniting behind Trump isn’t appealing to a huge part of the GOP.

From a founding principles standpoint, Trump’s never been part of the GOP. I’ve written about how Trump is anti-free speech. Trump isn’t a fan of the Second Amendment, either:

It’s often argued that the American murder rate is high because guns are more available here than in other countries. After a tragedy like the massacre at Columbine High School, anyone could feel that it is too easy for Americans to get their hands on weapons. But nobody has a good solution. This is another issue where you see the extremes of the two existing major parties. Democrats want to confiscate all guns, which is a dumb idea because only the law-abiding citizens would turn in their guns and the bad guys would be the only ones left armed. The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions. I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within seventy-two hours if a potential gun owner has a record.

Trump isn’t a fan of the Fifth Amendment, either:

Trump, Coking and the casino authority pounded away at one another in court. Then, one day in the summer of 1998, the Superior Court of New Jersey put an end to the conflict. The court ruled that the casino authority and Trump were wrong. The government couldn’t take Coking’s house and let Trump have it.

The widow had won.

She lived there for about another decade, happy to boast about her triumph over a man she despised. From across a parking lot, she saw Trump’s casino fizzle. Last year, Trump Plaza closed its doors, another in a long line of casualties in the precipitous decay of a once-sizzling casino strip.

In addition to supporting eminent domain abuse, Trump’s fight with Vera Coking highlighted another thing conservatives should run from. Trump’s casino went bankrupt. It’s virtually impossible to bankrupt a casino but Trump ‘accomplished’ it.

These cries for party unity ring hollow in light of the fact that Trump’s flip-flops happen at a faster rate than Mitt Romney’s happened. Trump’s supporters don’t care because, apparently, a significant portion of them want to blow the Republican Party up. Thanks to principled conservatives like Walter Hudson, the Branch Trumpidians will have to fight to win that battle.

What’s happening in Prior Lake-Savage school district needs to be highlighted to the rest of Minnesota. This article asks 3 important questions, each of which deserve answers. The first question in Hannah Jones’ article asks “Is the district trying to influence students to vote ‘yes’ by giving referendum presentations during the school day?”

What’s appalling is that the answer is “During the senior meeting, much of the time was devoted to issues like prom safety and graduation ceremony preparation, but during the last six minutes or so of the program, Superintendent Teri Staloch introduced herself to the students, congratulated them on their impending graduation and showed them the district’s four-minute video presentation on the upcoming election. She also asked how many students in the audience were 18 and old enough to vote. It may not be typical for the school to show informational material on a referendum election during a student meeting, but that, Lund said, is because it’s not typical to have a referendum question on the ballot during springtime.”

Then there’s this tasty tidbit:

If they happen to meet during a fall election season, Lund said, he will encourage students to vote.

This sounds like the school district’s attempt to railroad high school students into voting for the bonding referendum. The bond is for $129,000,000. If that sounds like it’ll lead to a huge property tax increase, that’s because it’ll lead to a huge property tax increase. Here’s an additional question that the school district hasn’t answered: has the district looked into whether this could be done less expensively? Here’s another question: Has the district just accepted Nexus Solutions’ influence into this project? They’ve got an interest in this, a very big interest in this:

Nexus Solutions will be compensated at 2.25 percent of the total cost of program management, 7.95 percent of the cost of architectural services, 8.95 percent of the cost of engineering services, 2.5 percent of the cost of commissioning services and 5.75 percent of construction management services.

The reason why this question is important is because of how the school board reacted when their contract with Nexus was questioned:

When “Prior Lake-Savage Area School Board, Member Melissa Enger asked to re-examine the Nexus contracts,” the board “tensely shut down the conversation by taking a quorum on the subject. A majority voted to go with the day’s agenda rather than getting into the contract.”

Prior Lake-Savage voters should reject the referendum just on the basis that their school board is attempting to hide important details from making their way into the discussion. Why else would they shut this line of questioning down that quickly?

Another reason to reject this referendum is highlighted by this question in Hannah Jones’ article: Why is the referendum in May? The spin from Superintendent Staloch is insulting:

Spring is a less expected time to hold an election, which some residents have questioned. Staloch said district officials chose May 24 for the date to expedite the construction process, given that the referendum passes.

“Due to the current and projected rise in student enrollment, coupled with the fact that building construction for a new elementary school would take two years, the school board made the decision to place the referendum question before voters as early as possible,” she said. “If voters approve the referendum, a new elementary school would open for the 2018-2019 school year. If we waited until November to place the question before voters, we would not be able to open the new school until 2019-2020.”

Simply put, that’s rubbish. The reason the school board opted for a May 24th vote is to keep turnout as low as possible. They don’t want the vote to happen in November because that means they’d have to deal with lots more voters. They’d prefer keeping turnout low so that those in the ‘education industry’ will outnumber citizens.

Every 4 years, the same people argue that we have to unite around the GOP presidential standard bearer. They’re doing it again this year. In the past, I’ve been guilty of uniting around the GOP standard bearer. I won’t be guilty of that this time.

Mitch Berg wrote this thoughtful piece explaining why he will support Trump. I’ve known Mitch to be a thoughtful, principled conservative with a strong libertarian streak in him for over a decade. That’s why this discussion deserves to be done in a respectful, point-counterpoint fashion.

I can relate to Mitch when he started with saying “I’m sick of holding my nose and voting for the lesser of two evils.” We’ve all heard that too often lately. We’ve been there, done that, especially in 2008. Mitch made a legitimate point when he self-replied “And I’m sick of people wishing things would get better on their own. They don’t. They won’t. They never will. Sack up. This is life. The best thing that happens is the conservative ‘movement’ will grow up and realize that it can’t win by speaking to the echo chamber any more than the Paulbots could.”

Honestly, I’m not into talking only to the echochamber. While I write posts for LFR, LFR isn’t the only tool I use to influence people. I write articles for Examiner. I frequently write LTEs and op-eds for the St. Cloud Times, the Duluth News Tribune and the Mesabi Daily News. Further, I don’t just pontificate on the latest political happenings. I write about important reports that highlight the things that happen when progressive/socialist policies are implemented.

Most importantly, I won’t vote for Trump because he’s a pathological liar who’s questioned John McCain’s patriotism, who’s accused Ted Cruz’s father of being part of the team that assassinated JFK and who’s bragged that a convicted rapist (Mike Tyson) had endorsed him. I won’t vote for someone that’s quite possibly the most immoral presidential candidate in my lifetime. And remember, I followed Nixon’s fall in Watergate and I watched Bill Clinton try explaining away a stained blue dress.

The difference between a leader and a bully is about the same as the difference between a bank robber and a police officer. They both carry guns but that’s where the similarities end. Trump’s bullying of the press is frightening for any First Amendment- and Constitution-loving person. Overlooking a person’s squishiness is one thing. Ignoring a tyrant’s actions are unforgivable. It’s the line I won’t cross. Period.

I’m not interested in being a loyal Republican if all I get from it is aggravation. If the GOP machine isn’t interested in my ideas, then it doesn’t get my vote or activism, either. As for the bad things that will happen if Hillary’s elected, I’ll simply say that that’s what needs to happen. An addict doesn’t turn their life around if they don’t hit rock bottom. A call to unity is a call to not let the GOP hit rock bottom.

Finally, Trump has bought into more conspiracy theories than Ron Paul. Remember that Dr. Paul once said during a debate that he didn’t want a wall built on the Tex-Mex border because he was afraid it would be used to keep people in the United States. Based on the things that Trump has said about Sen. Cruz’s father, Dr. Paul looks virtually sane compared with Trump.

What won’t change is that I’ll work hard to keep Republicans in control of the Minnesota House, the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. I’ll work tirelessly to flip the Minnesota Senate, too.

As for my presidential vote, I’m wholeheartedly opposed to Hillary and Trump. It’s that simple. They can both go to hell.