Archive for the ‘Conservatism’ Category
A number of years back, I heard a joke, part of which I can’t remember. Still, I can remember enough of it to make a point. Historic military figures were looking at the Soviet Union’s military hardware. When the tanks rolled through Red Square, Alexander the Great replied, “If I had had these chariots, I would’ve ruled the entire world.” On his left stood Napoleon Bonaparte. After Napoleon read the current copy of Pravda, he replied “If I had this as the official newspaper, nobody would’ve heard of Waterloo.”
The point of the joke isn’t to get people laughing. It’s to make the point that there’s a more insidious type of Pravda operating inside the United States. For the last 5+ years, I’ve called that operation the Agenda Media. The Agenda Media doesn’t think it’s their responsibility to get people important facts. In their minds, their responsibility is to push their politicial agenda. If that means omitting important facts, that’s what they’re willing to do. This video is a perfect illustration of the Agenda Media’s selective editing:
Thankfully, citizen journalists with cell phones are recording things as they happened. Thankfully, citizen journalists with video cameras are informing people by filming protests like this, then posting the video to Youtube, then reposting the videos to their Facebook page, then posting the links to their videos to Twitter.
There’s a more important point to this. OFA isn’t just about protesting against constitutional conservatives. They’re identifying people in communities who might vote for progressives. Conservatives will show up to counterprotest against OFA. The big question is whether they’ll get into the neighborhoods and identify people that might appreciate the conservative/capitalist message.
Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Tom Coburn, Ron Johnson, Paul Ryan and Rand Paul should be the blueprint for Republicans for 2014. They’re picking fights with President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, which is essential to winning elections. They’re framing debates. For instance, Sen. Coburn is highlighting tens of billions of dollars of duplicative spending that should be eliminated in this budget. Sen. Johnson is highlighting how government is used as a weapon against the citizenry. Paul Ryan is fighting for a pro-growth budget that will eventually balance within a decade.
It’s despicable that the Agenda Media would distort what happened at a protest. As despicable as that is, that’s only part of this story. OFA is already identifying potential Democrat voters. Republicans need to start this week at identifying potential conservative voters.
Tags: Organizing for Action, Gun Control, Protests, Agenda Media, Censorship, Voter ID, Democrats, Tom Coburn, Sequester This, Ron Johnson, Victims of Government Project, Mike Lee, Cut This, Not That, Ted Cruz, Second Amendment, Paul Ryan, Balanced Budget, Rand Paul, TEA Party Conservatives, Election 2014
Yesterday, former Rep. Keith Downey announced that he is a candidate to replace Pat Shortridge as chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota:
A former state representative says he wants to be the next head of the Minnesota Republican Party.
Edina’s Keith Downey told fellow Republicans on Wednesday that he’ll vie for the party chairmanship in early April. Current chairman Pat Shortridge is stepping down.
Downey was a two-term House member before he tried to move up to the state Senate. He lost that race in November. Downey says the Republican Party is due for a turnaround with a critical 2014 election cycle looming. The governor’s office, a U.S. Senate seat and many more key offices are on the line.
First, this isn’t an endorsement, mostly because I won’t have a vote on RPM Chair. This post is merely this activist’s opinion on what Rep. Downey brings to the table.
It’s bound to sound corny that Rep. Downey is one of the great thinkers of the GOP and the conservative movement. If Rep. Downey is elected to be the next chairman of the Minnesota GOP, the GOP’s message discipline would significantly improve. Keith Downey is a great conservative who knows why he believes what he believes.
In his letter to state convention delegates, Rep. Downey said something that’s sure to resonate with the activists:
As a businessman and recent State Representative, I hope to earn your confidence with the right combination of principle, skill and experience, and a concrete plan for the gains we need to make.
As a legislator, Rep. Downey earned a reputation as a reformer and strong fiscal conservative. I suspect he’ll have a plan to transform state GOP operations. That’s been his history as a legislator.
Good luck to all the candidates. This is a crucial time in Minnesota’s history. If the GOP doesn’t turn this state around soon, the DFL will significantly damage Minnesota for a decade or more.
Mitch Berg’s attempt to educate Dave Mindeman about economics is a hopeless situation, though it is fun watching. Mitch tried explaining that Mindeman’s “Blizzard of facts” didn’t put things in context. Here’s part of Mr. Mindeman’s argument that the economy does better under Democrats’ leadership than under the GOP:
And just in case Mr. Berg wants to highlight Obama’s tenure….
A. Corporate profits have surged an average of 51.8% under Obama, the best out of any stretch of party control since 1933, S&P said.
Mitch was right in highlighting this:
Except it’s not because business is banging along on eight cylinders. It’s because businesses are sitting on their cash. They’re laying off workers and outsourcing jobs. They are not investing in new plants, new products and new hires.
Mitch’s observation is important because it highlights the fact that businesses aren’t expanding because President Obama’s regulatory policies (Dodd-Frank, the PPACA) discourage long-term economic growth. Rather than admitting that Mitch has a legitimate point, Mr. Mindeman threw this hissy fit:
So these are the “job creators”? They would rather sit on their wealth and tank the economy than move the country forward?
Glad the Republicans take advice from these characters.
The insinuation is that business is waiting for a better “business climate”. And what is that exactly? Is there a need for more workers? Unemployment says no. Better tax rates? If they have all this cash, why would they need tax cuts?
That’s proof that Mr. Mindeman isn’t an expert in connecting economic dots. That’s why I’m putting this post together. In the spirit of bipartisanship, I’ll answer Mindeman’s questions:
The insinuation is that business is waiting for a better “business climate”. And what is that exactly?
The best explanation I have for what constitutes a pro-growth business climate is a period in time when entrepreneurs know that regulations will be relatively stable, that labor costs will be reasonable and the opportunity to make profits is good. Right now, entrepreneurs know that President Obama’s administration is a regulation-making nightmare.
Entrepreneurs have said forthrightly that they don’t know if they’ll be complying with regulations today but might be out of compliance a week from now. Why would a business hire additional people if he isn’t certain about what regulations he has to comply with?
Better tax rates? If they have all this cash, why would they need tax cuts?
Nobody’s talking about tax cuts at this point. What’s been proposed is eliminating corporate welfare, broadening the tax base in exchange for lower rates and tax simplification.
So these are the “job creators”? They would rather sit on their wealth and tank the economy than move the country forward?
First, entrepreneurs can’t wait to create jobs and wealth. With this administration’s strangling load of new regulations and the threat of massive tax increases in the immediate future, these entrepreneurs would be foolish to put their capital at risk.
Second, this administration’s treatment of capitalists like villains isn’t conducive to job, wealth and prosperity creation. Telling businesses to put their money at risk so the government can confiscate it through outrageous tax rates is the best way to guarantee miniscule job growth, which is what we have.
But let’s look at Berg’s “bonus” questions…..
Why is Paul Krugman’s wet-dream state California floating toward the surface, its belly slowly rotating toward the sky, with a private sector that is leaving the state as fast as moving trucks can be secured?
California was the victim of the Republican “wet dream”, Proposition 13….which has shackled California legislation for decades. And the idea that super majorities are required to pass tax legislation (another GOP “wet dream”.) Now that California has formed Democratic super majorities, we shall see how the state can work.
This fight’s outcome has been determined. California will be a mess for the forseeable future. Prop 13 wasn’t the problem. After Prop 13 passed, economic growth in California continued.
What’s crippling California is their pension system and their cultish adherance to insane environmental policies. Environmental policies have crippled the agriculture economof California’s Central Valley. A different part of California’s environmental policies are preventing the state from tapping into vast energy resources lying just beneath the surface.
Rather than investing in job-creating fossil fuel project that would create wealth and prosperity, California took the opposite approach. They’re investing heavily in failed green energy economies. The only jobs the green industry has created are being filled with bankruptcy lawyers.
No amount of tax increases will fix California’s economy if they continue to ‘invest in’ failing green energy projects while not tapping into fossil fuel reserves. No amount of Mindeman’s arguments will put that in better context.
The first workshop I attended at this summer’s RightOnline Conference was about reaching out to minority communities. It was titled “Preaching Beyond the Choir: Growing the Ranks of the Free Market Movement,” which I wrote about in this article. The first featured speaker was Anita MonCrief. Here’s what Ms. MonCrief said that jumped out at me:
She said that the biggest mistake conservatives make is not fighting in every minority district. Part of that, she said, is understandable, acknowledging the fact that “people won’t trust us at first.” Ms. Moncrief said that it’s important to continue the efforts so that people find out that they’re since, not just out for their votes.
Another major point in Ms. Moncrief’s presentation was saying that “If we want to take America back, it has to be block-by-block. She said there’s no substitute for being there, staying committed and building relationships.”
Ms. Moncrief said that listening is essential. That means starting conversations rather than talking to people. Ms. Moncrief said that she enjoyed “talking to the people in their neighborhoods.” She said it doesn’t take a big budget to do that. It just takes effort.
That afternoon, I had the privilege of sitting down with Ms. MonCrief for a lengthy conversation about outreach programs. She’s a bright, articulate, quick-on-her-feet, no-nonsense lady. Most importantly, she knows what she’s talking about when she says that listening is essential to successful outreach efforts. She’s also right in saying “there’s no substitute for being there, staying committed and building relationships.”
The reason for highlighting those things now is because Kim Strassel’s article talks directly about what’s wrong with the GOP election model:
Even with higher GOP turnout in key states, even with Mr. Obama shedding voters, Democrats still won. Mr. Obama accomplished this by tapping new minority voters in numbers that beat even Mr. Romney’s better turnout.
In Florida, 238,000 more Hispanics voted than in 2008, and Mr. Obama got 60% of Hispanic voters. His total margin of victory in Florida was 78,000 votes, so that demographic alone won it for him. Or consider Ohio, where Mr. Romney won independents by 10 points. The lead mattered little, though, given that black turnout increased by 178,000 votes, and the president won 96% of the black vote. Mr. Obama’s margin of victory there was 103,000.
This is the demographic argument that is getting so much attention, and properly so. The Republican Party can hope that a future Democratic candidate won’t equal Mr. Obama’s magnetism for minority voters. But the GOP would do far better by fighting aggressively for a piece of the minority electorate.
There’s no question that capitalism will lift minority families out of poverty. Similarly, there’s no question that that message won’t resonate if conservatives don’t devote tons of hours reaching out to every demographic group. PS- Progressive trust fund babies and elitists aren’t demographic groups.
Mitch Berg, one of the conservatives who gets it, has written eloquently about how the GOP can fight on the topics of charter schools and vouchers to win minority votes. Dan Severson has spent tons of hours doing outreach to various minority communities.
The point is that it’s time for conservatives to put together a well-funded outreach program. If we don’t do that on a national scale, presidential elections will become a night of misery for Republicans.
Conservatives aren’t victims so they shouldn’t spend time whining about what should or shouldn’t have happened. Conservatives are, by nature, solution-oriented opportunists. That’s why we’re entrepreneurial by nature.
Conservatives would win overwhelmingly if we fought as hard for every vote in every demographic group as we fight against tax increases.
Hispanics are pro-life, hard-working people. They’re a natural fit with conservatives. Churchgoing, middle class black families are a better fit with conservatives than with the Obama coalition. Why didn’t we do better with them? Here’s why:
Republicans right now are fretting about Mr. Romney’s failures and the party’s immigration platform—that’s fair enough. But equally important has been the party’s mind-boggling failure to institute a competitive Hispanic ground game. The GOP doesn’t campaign in those communities, doesn’t register voters there, doesn’t knock on doors. So while pre-election polling showed that Hispanics were worried about Obama policies, in the end the only campaign that these voters heard from—by email, at their door, on the phone—was the president’s.
Two cliches fit this situation perfectly. They are: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care and You can’t beat something with nothing.
Right now, minority communities don’t know conservatives want them to live a life of prosperity because we aren’t there day after day telling them that. We aren’t there day after day earning their trust or building relationships.
That’s essential in building an appealing something that will defeat the Democrats’ unappealing pandering.
There’s an important message to the activists. The DC establishment hasn’t built this outreach program so it’s up to us. Let’s start building ASAP.
Tags: GOTV, Mitt Romney, GOP Establishment, Activists, AFP, RightOnline, Anita MonCrief, Charter Schools, School Choice, Prosperity, Entrepreneurship, Battleground States, GOP, Conservatism, Elections
It was 8 years ago today that I started blogging. Rathergate caught my attention but it was the freedom movement that inspired me. The first big subject that I wrote about was the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. That’s how I first learned of a certain economics professor at St. Cloud State. I’ve been privileged to call King Banaian my friend since then.
I wrote about the massive protests that gathered in Independance Square, the Purple Thumb elections in Iraq, followed by Hezbollah’s assassination of Rafiq Harriri in Lebanon. Harriri’s assassination triggered the Cedar Revolution.
It’s been fun writing about the TEA Party movement. I’ve even helped put a couple of them together with the help of Leo Pusateri, another important conservative ally in the fight against progressives. As helpful as Leo has been in the fight for conservative principles, I appreciate his friendship the most.
I’ve learned from some outstanding bloggers along the way. Captain Ed’s (that’s what he was called in his pre-HotAir days) posts from CQ were awesome reads. When Ed published his lengthy posts, the thing that stood out for me was the depth and detail of his research.
Mitch Berg’s literary skills still continue to amaze me. Mitch isn’t just a talented writer, either. He’s a topnotch reporter, too.
Early in my blogging career, I learned about the Minnesota Organization of Bloggers. Today, many MOBsters are friends of mine. If you aren’t a MOBster, you should join ASAP. The comradery is great.
Finally, I’d like to thank the people who faithfully read my blog. Over the years, I’ve been amazed at who reads my blog. Sitemeter statistics have shown lots of state legislators read LFR. That’s why I’m proud to say LFR has had a serious impact on the policy debates in St. Paul.
With the DFL now in control, temporarily, of the Legislature and with a DFL governor, I pledge to step up my reporting.
Liberals do not grasp the distinction between Ronald Reagan and (either) George Bush. This blind spot creates a massive confusion and hazard to their ambitions. Obama defeated neither the Reagan Narrative nor Team Reagan. Team Bush appropriated, and then marginalized, both. Obama beat Team Bush, not Team Reagan. The implications are huge.
This post isn’t about trashing Karl Rove or the Bush family. Frankly, that’s a waste of time when there’s important things to be done. Instead, it’s about identifying underlying principles undergirded President Reagan’s policies. Mr. Benko is spot on with this analysis:
Real conservatives saw Reaganomics as a way of creating broad-based opportunity, not as catering to the rich. It worked out exactly that way in America and throughout the world. The blossoming of free market principles, especially low tax rates and good money, brought billions of souls out of poverty, from subsistence to affluence.
Several things worked together to make America infinitely more prosperous during Reagan’s time than during President Obama’s time in office. First, the dollar was much stronger than during President Obama’s time in office. That’s partially because President Reagan’s domestic energy policy was infinitely more robust than President Obama’s. The less money we needlessly ship money overseas for oil, the stronger the dollar is. Our trade deficit shrunk, too.
The new conservative Republican leaders are strikingly formidable. The leaders of the new generation, like Reagan, and Kemp, before them (and Kennedy still earlier), all recognize the power of the “rising tide lifts all boats”.
It isn’t a stretch to think that conservatives like John Kasich, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio will re-ignite the Reagan Revolution. Each of these men have spotless conservative credentials, which is why they fire up the base in ways Mitt Romney and John McCain couldn’t.
When President Bush won in 2004, he got 62,000,000 votes. McCain got fewer votes than President Bush. Mitt got fewer votes than Sen. McCain. Had Paul Ryan been at the top of the ticket, however, it isn’t a stretch to think he would’ve topped President Bush’s vote total.
That’s because he’s the spitting image of Reagan. The Reagan Revolution was fueled by a glut of great ideas. A Ryan Revolution would be powered by the same thing. Most importantly, he’d talk conservatism like his native language. This isn’t an attempt to trash Mitt. It’s simply stating the obvious. He just didn’t prosecute the case against President Obama the way Ryan would have.
President Bush’s spending turned conservatives off because he had a Republican House and Senate much of the time. President Reagan’s spending was done, in part, because he had to rebuild the military after President Carter gutted it, partly because Tip O’Neill controlled the House.
Everything President Reagan fought for was targeted towards creating prosperity. He didn’t back away from a fight, either. When PATCO went on strike, he fired them because they broke federal law. When Tip O’Neill accused him of not caring about the average working Joe, Reagan responded mightily. His temper flaring, he marched back to the podium, then said, essentially, that he’d made his money because he’d worked hard, then adding that it wasn’t given to him.
It’s a fight Mitt Romney backed away from too often in his attempt to win over women voters or independents. It’s a fight the next generation of conservatives will fight with vigor.
Tags: Reagan Revolution, Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, Prosperity, Pro-Growth Policies, Strong Dollar, Oil, Job Growth, GDP, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Conservatism, President Bush, Karl Rove, Mitt Romney, GOP Establishment
Bill O’Reilly touts Bernie Goldberg as an expert on the media, which says something in and of itself. Call it the Mindless Bloviator praises the Expert Pontificator. This weekend, Goldberg’s column offers ‘proof’ of a GOP civil war. At least, that’s the Gospel according to the Expert Pontificator. Here’s the Expert Pontificator’s proof:
So I’m driving in my car listening to Rush two days after the election and a caller comes who describes himself as a traditional family values conservative. He is a combination of angry and deeply depressed over how the election turned out, but mostly angry. And he’s calling, he says, to inform Mr. Limbaugh that he did not vote for Mitt Romney and will never vote for a moderate Republican. Then for good measure he adds that if he ever hears a Republican say he wants to “reach across the aisle” he will never vote for him either.
One day earlier, conservative radio talk show star Laura Ingraham tweeted this:
“Face it Repubs, you wish we had a candidate who–teleprompter or not–could speak as forcefully for conservatism as Obama speaks for liberalism” and “JUST A THOUGHT…Next time, GOP might want to think about nominating a conservative.”
And out in Middle America, Steve Deace, a conservative radio talk show host and well-known conservative in Iowa told his listeners: “There will never be another establishment candidate like that [Romney]. Mitt just killed Republicans in my home state. People are angry, especially because Matt Drudge and Karl Rove told us it was all in the bag all along, after they got done smearing conservatives in the primary and dumping on Todd Akin. It’s on like Donkey Kong.”
That Goldberg thinks that 3 callers on talk radio constitutes a GOP civil war speaks to Mr. Goldberg’s habit of overdramatizing things. If that’s the criteria defining an intraparty civil war, then the GOP has fought civil wars while winning landslide victories and while suffering humiliating defeats.
Of we could just call this what it is: a tussle that happens to all political parties after a defeat.
I’ve talked with lots of conservatives since the election. None has suggested that they’re upset with Mitt Romney’s policies. A fair number of these conservatives think he ran too cautious of a campaign, especially with regard to Benghazi and the EPA.
That isn’t the same as saying they’re ready to go headhunting. Yes, there will undoubtedly be some angry conservatives venting on talk radio. A fair number of them will have constructive ideas moving the GOP forward, too.
That, however, doesn’t constitute a full-blown intraparty civil war in the GOP.
This past Tuesday, Democrats won a decisive victory. While much of the discussion has questioned whether Republicans have to move to the center or who will win the battle for the GOP’s soul, I’ve focused on a different tactic.
With a couple notable exceptions, conservatives believe in the right things. A couple adjustments will fix things there.
Starting this January, it’s time for Republicans to pick fights with President Obama and Harry Reid. The sooner, the better. In fact, the bigger the fight, the better off we’ll be.
I’d hope the House would start with a fight on fossil fuel permitting increases and EPA regulatory relief. Send the message that Republicans won’t budge an inch on anything coming from the Senate or White House until they agree to reshape energy policy.
That’s just one thing to pick a fight over. Another fight worth picking is over the ACA. The House GOP Doctors Caucus should immediately draft legislation that increases patients’ health insurance options. It should include a provision eliminating the federal government’s ability to dictate to health care consumers what coverages must be in their government-mandated insurance policies.
I’d call for hearings that include health insurance company executives testifying that they could reduce health insurance premiums by giving consumers greater latitude and choice.
In 2014, Democrats in the House and Senate will have to run by defending their votes to limit people’s health insurance options. I’d love seeing the Democrats defend their votes to kill the fossil fuel industries. Likewise, I can’t wait seeing them defend their votes to keep gas prices high and electric bills expensive. Let’s see the Democrats explain how they sided with the militant environmentalists instead of voting for robust job growth.
Again, the House should call for hearings of oil, coal and natural gas company CEOs to highlight the fact that they’d love to create millions of new jobs if only this administration’s EPA would take their foot off the energy companies’ throats. Have them explain that, at minimum, additional exploration and production will lead to lower prices and higher wages.
With the Obama Recession heading in our direction at an accelerating rate, it’s time for Republicans to offer the most compelling alternative plan to President Obama’s policies. Highlight the fact that President Obama’s policies alone have lead to high gas prices, dropping family incomes and high unemployment.
Now that the election is over, I hope the superPACs don’t disappear until 2014 or 2016. I hope they fund outreach programs. Have these outreach programs reach into parts of society that the GOP hasn’t spent much time in. The people doing outreach must speak fluent Main Street. Technocratese won’t cut it.
Let’s start picking important fights that impact families’ ability to cope financially. If we take that path and we communicate our agenda without talking in technocratese, the GOP’s resurgence won’t take as long as the experts predict.
Tags: President Obama, Obama Recession, Unemployment, Militant Environmentalists, ACA, EPA, Democrats, Regulatory Reform, Health Care Choice, GOP Doctors Caucus, Tom Price, Phil Gingrey, Fracking, Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less, GOP
For Minnesota movement conservatives, now isn’t the time for pointing fingers and recriminations. Yes, we suffered a major defeat Tuesday night, partially because we put the marriage amendment on the ballot at the end of the 2011 legislative session but mostly because we haven’t invested in the messaging and organization that the DFL has. Let me explain.
ABM is a despicable, deceitful organization filled with people committed to lying if that’s what it takes to win elections. That said, they set the DFL’s agenda with their communications. I’m not suggesting we sell our souls like ABM and other DFL parasite organizations have done. I’m suggesting that we get more involved in proactive messaging that shapes issues, puts the DFL on the defensive and questions the DFL’s thinking and policies.
The first thing we need to do now that we’re stuck with a DFL legislature and governor for the next 2 years is figure out what their plan is. That’s pretty simple. The DFL will raise taxes, increase environmental regulations and spend money recklessly. The next thing that conservatives need to prepare for is highlighting the DFL catastrophic failures.
The DFL’s tax increases will slow the economy. The environmental regulations that DFL activist organizations will insist on will cripple the Iron Range because they’ll cripple the mining, logging and shipping industries.
The DFL will spend tons of money on education. They’ll spend tons of money on MNSCU with little regard for whether MNSCU will spend the taxpayers’ money wisely. (HINT: It won’t be spent wisely.)
It isn’t enough for conservatives to say that education is a good thing and that they support education. It’s time to highlight the appalling flaws with government schools, MnSCU and the U of M.
It’s time to highlight how much of the taxpayers’ money these institutions spend on lobbying. It’s time for K-12 activists to highlight the counterproductive programs that don’t prepare students for life after graduation. It’s time to highlight how much money is spent on administrators that don’t enhance educational outcomes.
Next, we need a party of evangelists, people that know the issues and reach out to communities that we’ve ignored. That means staying in constant contact with minority communities. That means trashing the GOP model of approaching the minority communities 6 months before an election, then asking for their support.
Remind everyone that we’re the only political party in Minnesota that celebrates the entrepreneurial movement, that praises achievers and that thinks innovators should be rewarded with tax simplification, streamlined regulations and constantly growing profits.
The DFL certainly doesn’t fit that description. In fact, they’ve spent the last 3 years villainizing entrepreneurs, faintly praising innovators, voting against a streamlined permitting process and collecting support from environmental organizations that are destroying the Iron Range.
Finally, it’s time we put in place the organization that will get conservatives moving in the right direction simultaneously while highlighting Alida Messinger’s deceitful machine. That means highlighting her funding of ABM’s smear tactics and Conservation Minnesota’s anti-mining, anti-freedom agenda.
This is doable. It’s been done in other states, most notably in Wisconsin. Let’s get started winning the future. We know that the DFL isn’t the future. It’s time to start working towards making them the Party of the failed past.
If there’s anything that jumps off the pages of this article about the candidates in HD-15B, it’s that DFL candidate Brian Johnson is a cookie cutter liberal spendaholic while GOP candidate Jim Newberger is a fiscal conservative whose first priority is to be the taxpayers’ watchdog:
Newberger and Johnson have differing views on statewide issues such as how to resolve a projected $1.1 billion state deficit for the next two years. Newberger says he’s committed to balancing the budget without tax increases, while Johnson says he’d consider tax increases on the wealthy as part of a budget solution.
The latest revenue projections for the upcoming biennium are estimated to be north of $36,000,000,000, which is almost $2,000,000,000 more than they’re spending this biennium. The thought that we’ll need to increase spending by more than $2,000,000,000 is silly. That’s a 6% spending increase. It’s imperative that we not return to the DFL’s reckless spending habits.
In 2007, the DFL legislature took over with a $2,163,000,000 budget surplus and with the rainy day fund full. When the legislature was sworn in in 2009, there was a $5,000,000,000 deficit and the rainy day fund had been drained completely. That’s a $7,200,000,000 swing.
When the GOP legislature took over in January, 2011, they were staring at a $6,200,000,000 deficit. Eighteen months later, that $6,200,000,000 deficit had turned into a $1,500,000,000 surplus. More importantly, the GOP legislature had started changing the structure of state government.
To address the state budget deficit, Johnson says he supports a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. Johnson says he favors Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposal to increase income-tax rates on the wealthiest Minnesotans.
Imagine that. A Democrat that thinks raising taxes on small business owners is smart. As revealing as that paragraph is, this paragraph is more revealing:
“I represent my party,” Johnson said. “But I know that the ultimate goal is to find a successful resolution with the other party.”
That’s stunning. Call me naive but isn’t a legislator’s first responsibility to represent his constituents? I can’t imagine that governing principle will appeal to voters in HD-15B.
This won’t sit well with the voters in HD-15B either:
He opposes both constitutional amendments going before voters this fall, calling them distractions. One proposed amendment would define marriage in the state Constitution as between one man and one woman, and the other would require voters to show photo identification, end voter vouching and make other voting changes.
“I’d prefer to focus on the real issues that are affecting Minnesotans,” Johnson said.
Apparently, Mr. Johnson thinks that this type of voter fraud isn’t a “real issue affecting Minnesotans.” Good luck explaining that during the next debate, Mr. Johnson.
I always projected this district as an uphill fight for the DFL. Based on these quotes, I don’t see a reason to change my mind on that projection.