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In Part I of this series, I highlighted the Times’ sloppiness with basic facts. In this post, I hope to highlight the wishful thinking found in the Times’ article. Here’s the first bit of wishful thinking in the Times’ article:

In addition to leading the Legislature to shore up transportation funding, Dayton should give serious consideration to tax reforms aimed at making Minnesota’s business climate more competitive with other Upper Midwest states.

That’s pure fantasy. The last 2 years, we were afflicted with a DFL legislature and a DFL governor. They could’ve done anything they wanted to do. They chose not to implement “tax reforms aimed at making Minnesota’s business climate more competitive with other Upper Midwest states.” Instead, the DFL legislature and Gov. Dayton worked together to pass tax increases on “the rich” because, in their own words, “the rich” weren’t “paying their fair share.”

With the Times explicitly stating that they want Gov. Dayton to continue and with the Times implicitly stating that they’d prefer keeping a DFL legislature, why would anyone think that the DFL would repeal the tax policies the DFL governor and the DFL legislature just implemented?

This statement is frightening:

The past four years leave little doubt that under his leadership, the state’s budget situation has stabilized.

While government is fat and happy, families that don’t live in southeastern Minnesota are getting hit with skyrocketing health insurance premiums and unaffordable deductibles. The Times’ preference that government funding is stable while families struggle is perplexing. Government’s first priority should be to put in place policies that get government out of the way so businesses can do what they do best: create prosperity. Gov. Dayton’s administration and the DFL have specialized in telling families they know what’s best for them.

When the DFL legislature passed the bill forcing unionization on child care providers and Gov. Dayton signed it into law, Gov. Dayton and the DFL told those small business ladies that they knew what was best for them. When the DFL legislature passed the legislation enabling the creation of MNsure and Gov. Dayton enthusiastically signed it into law, Gov. Dayton and the DFL told Minnesota families that Minnesota families weren’t smart enough to make informed decisions on what they needed for health insurance.

The Times’ endorsements this year have emphatically stated, albeit implicitly at times, that they believe government knows best. It’s apparent that the Times thinks its readers aren’t that bright:

Plus, while he’s certainly been aided by DFL majorities, he’s also demonstrated an ability to compromise. Look no further than scuttling proposals involving major sales tax reform along with repealing the minor ones that did pass in 2012.

The only reason why the DFL repealed the tax increases they enthusiastically passed is because not repealing them would’ve led to a political bloodbath this election. Their decision didn’t have anything to do with compromising. It had everything to do with saving their political hides after they’d overreached.

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Proving that they’re most interested in pumping up the DFL, the St. Cloud Times didn’t even bother interviewing Jim Knoblach, the GOP-endorsed candidate for HD-14B. Meanwhile, they positively gushed about “impressive DFL challenger Emily Jensen.” Ms. Jensen is still a student at St. Ben’s while running for Jeff Howe’s seat.

Saying that the Times lack of professionalism is showing is understatement. This afternoon, I confirmed with Jim Knoblach wasn’t contacted by the Times. Consequently, he wasn’t interviewed about the Times’ endorsement. Here’s what they wrote about the candidates for HD-14B:

Two very strong candidates, DFLer Dorholt and former GOP Rep. Jim Knoblach, are vying in a marquee race to represent a diverse district that covers mostly the eastern half of the St. Cloud metro area. Through his personal, business and community experiences, Dorholt is best positioned to represent a district that’s home to a diverse mix of young people, new residents, and deep-rooted homeowners and businesses.

Reflective of that constituency, Dorholt has been part of a DFL legislative majority that has enacted many changes benefiting most of those constituents. Look no further than the minimum wage hike, expanded health coverage, and investing more in B-12 education while curbing the costs of higher education.

Challenger Knoblach served in the House from 1995-2006, including as chair of the powerful House Capital Investment and House Ways and Means Committees. In those roles, he proved himself to be a business-minded fiscal conservative, even when it sometimes meant minimal support for measures that directly benefited his district and the St. Cloud area.

Again, both candidates are well-qualified. Dorholt gets the nod, though, because his priorities better match the diverse needs of this district.

The Times didn’t just refuse to interview Jim Knoblach. When they published their endorsement, they threw in this cheap shot, too:

In those roles, he proved himself to be a business-minded fiscal conservative, even when it sometimes meant minimal support for measures that directly benefited his district and the St. Cloud area.

Never mind the fact that Dorholt did nothing to question St. Cloud State’s questionable financial decisions while he was the Vice-Chair of the House Higher Ed Committee. That isn’t setting the right priorities for his district. Dorholt’s willingness to ignore what’s happening at SCSU while he’s vice-chair of the House Higher Ed Committee stinks of irresponsibility.

Further, Dorholt’s vote for sales taxes on warehousing services and farm equipment repairs weren’t in the interests of his district or St. Cloud. Dorholt’s vote for the Senate Office Building definitely wasn’t a vote for this district’s priorities. His silence during this year’s session on fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges and the DFL legislature’s refusal to fix Minnesota’s potholes was disgraceful.

Simply put, Zach Dorholt didn’t show leadership during this session despite his being a vice-chair of an important committee.

Finally, the Times calls this “a marquee race.” If that’s true, why didn’t they even bother interviewing one of the candidates? From what I’ve seen, and I can only base this on the Times’ actions, the Times decided long ago who they were endorsing. That’s likely why they didn’t bother interviewing Jim Knoblach, the most qualified candidate for the job.

The Times has a history of doing this type of thing. In 2008, the Times endorsed Rob Jacobs when he ran for Dan Severson’s seat. That year, Jacobs said he wasn’t an expert on transportation issues or health care. The Times endorsed him anyway. 2008 was a strong year for the DFL. Dan Severson defeated Jacobs by 10 points.

The Times has a bigger readership. I just wish that they were professionals.

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It’s still too early to say that the Franken-McFadden race is a top opportunity to flip a seat from blue to red. Still, MSNBC’s Mark Halperin seems to think it’s a possibility:

Here’s the transcript of Halperin’s commentary:

The other one to look at is Minnesota. It isn’t talked about much. You always see at the presidential level and statewide races a natural tightening at the end. It is a politically divided state even though it’s normally thought of as a blue state. Al Franken has gotten a visit from Bill Clinton, other big Democrat surrogates. I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw television money pour in there from both sides at the end to make that race competitive.

This race will tighten dramatically towards the end. McFadden’s finishing kick has started on a positive, uplifting note, starting with this promise:

Here’s the transcript of the clip:

KTTC ANNOUNCER: Well, US Senate candidate Mike McFadden made a stop in Rochester to sign a contract with the people of Minnesota. With a background in business, he said that drafting a contract detailing his agenda just made sense. In the contract, McFadden promises to visit all 87 counties each year, to hold quarterly townhall meetings and to post reasons behind every vote that he casts on his website if elected to the US Senate. After signing the contract, he talked about the Ebola virus. He says he supports additional screenings at Minneapolis International.
MCFADDEN: I think this is a huge issue. It’s the role of the federal government to keep our citizens safe. That’s why I think we need to be much more proactive on Ebola screening. It’s a big, big issue.

That’s the type of contract that will appeal to Minnesotans. We love hands-on democracy. We insist that politicians mix and mingle with the people they represent. That isn’t what Sen. Franken has done. He’s done the opposite, in fact.

Earlier this week, McFadden introduced plans to help middle class families:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden said Wednesday tax incentives for parents with children in day care should be consolidated and made available to parents who choose to care for their kids themselves.

McFadden cited the financial squeeze on middle class parents as he unveiled his child tax proposal. He said consolidating credits and making tax benefits available to parents who stay home with their children makes sense.

“A working mother may want to work part-time or may want to care for her child directly rather than to use a child care program. And right now under the current program, she doesn’t have that option if she wants to avail herself to some of these programs,” McFadden told reporters after touring a business in Mounds View.

Anything that helps parents spend more time directly raising their children is a positive thing. It’ll be interesting to hear Sen. Franken explain why he didn’t think of this during his time in office.

After all, he’s been telling everyone in Minnesota that he’s the champion of the middle class.

The reason why Sen. Franken didn’t propose this is because this initiative would kill AFSCME’s attempt to force unionization down Minnesota parents’ throats. If parents suddenly had the ability to raise their own children, AFSCME’s ability to grow their union would disappear instantly.

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Watching all the ads being run by Nancy Pelosi’s PAC, the Franken campaign, the Nolan campaign and all the anti-business rhetoric coming from the Dayton campaign, DFL chairman Ken Martin and other anti-business parasites, there’s only one conclusion you can draw. The DFL and its candidates hate employers. Joe Soucheray’s column highlights the DFL’s silliness perfectly:

It’s to the point of comedy that the national Democratic Party has raced to Minnesota to help Nolan out with television ads that feature yachts and private airplanes and white sand beaches. I guess the voter is supposed to believe that Mills sits around all day and has grapes fed to him as he pages through the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog pining for a new Maserati Ghibli S Q4.

Whether it’s Nancy Pelosi’s superPAC or Rick Nolan’s campaign, the hard left’s disdain for companies is unmistakable. It’s in each of their ads against Stewart Mills. What’s most appalling is that the DFL’s agenda doesn’t have a thing in it that says they’re pro-capitalism. In fact, when the DFL held their state convention, Iron Range Democrats wanted the state party to ad a simple sentence to their party’s platform. That simple sentence was to say that the DFL supports mining.

After hours of negotiations, aka Metrocrats intimidating the Iron Range delegation, that simple sentence was dropped because Alida Messinger declared that statement was too controversial. Nolan isn’t the only 1970s reject that thinks companies are evil:

The Franken camp says that as an investment banker, McFadden has brokered the sales of companies that have resulted in the loss of jobs. Well, that can be true in some cases. In other cases, there will be a gain of jobs. Besides, once a company is bought or sold, what does McFadden have to do with it? The Franken camp also insists that McFadden has been involved with companies that have committed the mortal sin of tax inversion by moving their headquarters overseas. No. McFadden’s company represented a foreign company being bought, not the U.S. company moving abroad. That’s business, however unfamiliar Franken might be to business.

In Franken’s thinking, the problem isn’t that the tax code is filled with special favors. It’s that small businesses, aka the rich, aren’t paying a high enough tax rate. The thing is that Franken and Nolan haven’t started a business that requires sound judgment. That’s why they don’t know that many of these small businesses owners work 60-75 hours/week to build a business, paying their employees first, then paying their bills before they can start funding their retirement and their kids’ college education.

After sweating through tough times before getting to the point of profitability, then idiots like Dayton, Franken and Nolan accuse them of being greedy and of “not paying their fair share.”

The truth is that Stewart Mills and Mike McFadden have done more to improve middle class families’ lives in 5 years than Dayton, Franken and Nolan have done in a lifetime. Long-winded politicians haven’t paid for their employees’ health insurance or contributed to their employees’ retirement accounts or paid them a good wage that put a roof over their employees’ families’ heads. Stewart Mills and Mike McFadden have.

When Dayton, Franken and Nolan do that for a generation, then I’ll listen, not a minute before.

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This LTE isn’t rooted in historical fact or reality. Here’s proof:

After the 2012 election, District 14B Rep. Zachary Dorholt and the Legislature had the tough task of cleaning up our state’s finances, which had been left in shambles. Previous Legislatures had passed along a $600 million budget deficit and nearly $1 billion in debt to our schools.

That isn’t accurate. The DFL legislatures of 2007-2010 left behind multi-billion dollar deficits and about $2,000,000,000 in school shifts. Republicans inherited a $5,000,000,000 deficit when they became the majority party in 2011.

They passed tons of reforms, including permitting reform, budget reform while insisting that high school teachers pass a Basic Skills Test. All of these things became law thanks to Republicans sticking to their principles of accountability and efficient government that works for people.

It’s worth noting that Republicans passed a bill that would’ve paid off the school shifts, too. The disappointing part is that the DFL legislature voted against repaying the school shift. Then Gov. Dayton vetoed the bill that would’ve paid off the school shift.

That’s verifiable historical fact. It’s indisputable.

When the DFL took total control of state government, the deficit had dropped to $600,000,000. That’s one-eighth the size of the deficit Republicans inherited in 2011.

By the time the 2014 session finished, the all-DFL government had repealed the Basic Skills Test reform and the budget reforms the GOP had passed. That’s inexcusable. Education Minnesota opposed the Basic Skills Test so Zach Dorholt and his DFL colleagues voted to repeal it. Nobody in the DFL, starting with Gov. Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Bakk and Speaker Thissen, liked the budget reforms so they repealed those reforms.

These paragraphs are total propaganda:

But Dorholt did not back down. He helped pay back every penny owed to schools and used new revenue (largely from closing corporate tax loopholes and asking the wealthiest 2 percent to chip in a fair share) to eliminate the deficit and make long-overdue investments in priorities Minnesotans broadly share.

Those priorities included all-day kindergarten; a two-year college tuition freeze; bigger property tax refunds; more funding for nursing homes; and resources to help small businesses. As a result, our economy is growing, Minnesotans are going back to work and more children have an opportunity to reach their full potential.

Dorholt the ideologue fit right in, voting against his constituents in raising a) income taxes on “the rich”, b) sales taxes that hit the middle class and c) the cigarette tax that hits low income Minnesotans.

All-day kindergarten wasn’t a priority for most middle class families but it was a priority for Education because they saw it as a way to increase funding to their members. It doesn’t have anything to do with providing a better education to students. Property tax relief is mostly a mirage. Yes, there will be refund checks on the back side but there’s also property tax increases on the front side. As for helping small businesses, that’s a myth. Many small businesses are either expanding in other states, starting in other states or moving to other states.

Rep. Dorholt and his all-DFL legislature have made a total mess of things. They should be fired this November.

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The thing that stood out during Tom Hauser’s interview with Gov. Dayton was Gov. Dayton’s insistence that some official government reports were totally accurate while other official government reports were rubbish.

For instance, Gov. Dayton insisted that health insurance prices were going up a paltry 4.5%, a statistic that’s been frequently discredited. Here’s what I wrote Sunday:

The Minnesota Senate Republicans put together this interactive map showing how much insurance premiums were increasing in each of Minnesota’s 87 counties.

For instance, Benton County’s least expensive health insurance premiums will increase by 22% in 2015. Stearns County’s least expensive health insurance premiums will increase by 22% in 2015, too. Ditto with Sherburne and Wright counties.

They should consider themselves lucky that they aren’t in Meeker, Kandiyohi, Chippewa or Yellow Medicine counties, where their least expensive health insurance premiums will jump by 43%. (Does that sound affordable?)

Cottonwood, Lyons, Nobles and Murray counties’ least expensive health insurance premiums hit a less-than-happy medium, increasing by 34%.

Gov. Dayton should be ashamed of himself for being this dishonest. The Dayton administration’s report saying that insurance premiums are only going up 4.5% is an outright lie.

Gov. Dayton wasn’t done lying with that, though. When Hauser brought up the BLS report that showed Minnesota was last in the Midwest in private sector job growth, Gov. Dayton started reciting the BS that Minnesota’s economy has created 160,000 jobs during his administration. Government jobs don’t create wealth. Private sector jobs are the only jobs that create wealth, which strengthens the economy.

The Dayton-DFL economy is a sugar high economy propped up by big bonding bills. The fundamentals are weak. Taxes are too high. Regulations prohibit or, at minimum, limit private sector job growth. MMB’s rosy scenario revenue forecasts are falling short on a near monthly basis.

Further, Minnesota’s economy hasn’t created 160,000 jobs. It’s closer to 110,000 jobs, 20% of which (21,523) are public sector jobs.

Later, Hauser questioned Gov. Dayton’s ad that says he’s cut taxes, asking whether it’s fair to question that considering the fact that Gov. Dayton campaigned on raising taxes. Gov. Dayton said that it’s fair to say because he only “raised taxes on the richest 2%.” Does this mean that Gov. Dayton thinks it’s ok to ignore raising taxes on “the rich” because they’re greedy and they don’t really count like the saintly middle class?

Seriously, Gov. Dayton’s thinking is warped, if it can be called thinking. Tax increases aren’t tax increases if they’re increased on people who Gov. Dayton disagrees with. Health insurance premiums are going up at 4.5% because his administration decided to use gimmicks to arrive at a figure that put the Dayton administration in the most favorable light. Families whose health insurance premiums were increasing by 20%-43% aren’t real because Gov. Dayton’s Commerce Department used deception to determine in putting together a political document rather than putting together a document that accurately reflects the increases that families will get hit with.

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Jeff Johnson’s latest ad is causing quite a stir:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson released a new television ad today that questions the competence of DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

Johnson’s ad is titled “Unaware.” The narrator contends that Dayton was unaware of bonuses paid to “failed Obamacare bureaucrats,” the contents of bills he signed and the legal issues facing the owners of the Minnesota Vikings.

Johnson then appears, saying Minnesotans deserve a “governor who knows what’s going on,” and promising that he will to be a 24/7 leader.


WCCO’s Reality Check on the ad provides the text from the ad:

Johnson Ad Text:
“Unaware of bonuses for his failed Obamacare bureaucrats
Not even knowing what’s in the bills he signed
Half-a billion taxpayer dollars to the Wilfs after they committed civil fraud and racketeering.
‘I was not aware at all’
What is Mark Dayton aware of?
Minnesotans deserve an engaged governor who knows what’s going on and what’s in the bills he signs. I’ll be a 24-7 leader who owns his decisions. The buck stops with me.
Jeff Johnson for Governor”

The Dayton campaign quickly reacted to Commissioner Johnson’s ad:

A spokesman for the Dayton campaign, Linden Zakula, described the ad as a “desperate attack” from a candidate who is far behind in the polls. “Commissioner Johnson offers no real ideas to improve education, create jobs, or help Minnesota families,” Zakula said in a statement.

What Zakula means is that Commissioner Johnson doesn’t have the special interest-approved pseudo-solutions that Gov. Dayton has. HINT to Zakula: That’s the point. Jeff Johnson won’t be beholden to list of special interests that Gov. Dayton has been his entire public life. The DFL doesn’t do anything that their special interest allies don’t sanction.

As for “real ideas that improves education, creates jobs or helps Minnesota families”, Zakula is lying. Jeff Johnson’s ideas will help miners on the Iron Range (PolyMet), farmers everywhere in the state (Sandpiper Pipeline) and will strengthen families by creating high-paying jobs. Gov. Dayton is a pathetic advocate for raising marginal tax rates. Jeff Johnson is unapologetic in his desire to grow Minnesota’s private sector.

Jeff Johnson will fight for a new K-12 funding formula that reduces the gap between metro schools and outstate schools. I suspect Jeff Johnson will fight to restore the Basic Skills Test for high school math and science teachers that the Republican legislature passed and that Gov. Dayton signed and that the DFL legislature repealed and Gov. Dayton signed. That’s accountability I can believe in.

Zakula’s response is predictable. Gov. Dayton’s litany of things he supposedly didn’t know about is lengthy. Gov. Dayton shut down the government because he supposedly didn’t know that the GOP had removed some provisions that he objected to right before the shutdown. When told in July that they’d been removed, Gov. Dayton acted surprised. Right before FarmFest 2013, Gov. Dayton ‘discovered’ that the Tax Bill expanded sales taxes to include farm equipment repairs, warehousing services and telecommunications. In 2013, Gov. Dayton was outraged that the Vikings stadium bill included a provision for PSL’s, which are standard in every stadium bill that’s been passed in the last 15 years.

Being ignorant might work within the DFL but hard-working families expect their governor to pay attention to the details of major bills. Gov. Dayton said that he thinks MNsure is working “phenomenally well”:

That’s stunningly out of touch. Tell that to families everywhere in Minnesota that are seeing huge increases in their insurance premiums. Tell that to the 140,000 families that had the policies they liked cancelled and replaced by “better” policies they didn’t want.

Gov. Dayton’s policies aren’t growing Minnesota’s private sector. They aren’t making K-12 education the best it can be, either. Gov. Dayton’s policies reflect Education Minnesota’s wish list.

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There are times when I can’t help but wonder if some of the LTEs weren’t written by space aliens from a different planet. This LTE is one of them. Here’s what’s got me scratching my head in disbelief:

  1. Minnesota is among the national leaders again in low unemployment and growth of jobs that provide good wages.
  2. Dorholt helped put Minnesota’s economy back in high gear.
  3. A budget surplus brought property tax relief to homeowners.
  4. And he helped fix taxes that made doing business here better.

That’s pretty stunning. If Minnesota’s economy is “back in high gear”, why have revenues fallen short of projections 6 of the last 7 months? Growing economies produce significant increases in tax revenue. Period. If Minnesota is a national leader in growing “jobs that provide good wages”, why did Gov. Dayton’s Department of Employment and Economic Development issue a report saying that nearly 50% of the jobs are filled by people who are underemployed and overqualified. People with college degrees are working jobs that don’t need college degrees.

The DFL’s mythical property tax relief is mostly campaign chanting points. It isn’t real because property taxes are going up despite a significant increase in LGA. That’s because school districts across the state pushed for and got levy increases.

Finally, saying that Rep. Dorholt “helped fix taxes that made doing business here better” is like saying the arsonist stuck around the scene of the crime, then handed the fireman his fire hose. Rep. Dorholt raised taxes on businesses despite these businesses telling him they’d kill jobs. He voted for the tax increases, then came home at the end of the session to hear businesses criticizing him for voting for the warehouse services sales tax, the telecommunications sales tax and the farm equipment repair sales tax.

After getting the proverbial earful, Rep. Dorholt voted to repeal the taxes he’d just voted to create. It’s fair to say he voted to fix the destruction he caused in the first place. It isn’t fair to say that Rep. Dorholt “made doing business here better.” If Rep. Dorholt and the DFL made doing business here better, why did iconic Minnesota businesses leave Minnesota? Advanced Auto Parts closed its Bloomington, MN office. Nash Finch left Minnesota, too.

Cargill decided to expand operations in another state, too:

Dan Dye, Horizon’s president and Ardent’s CEO-to-be, said in a statement that the decision “will allow us to offer great quality of life for employees, provide excellent service to our customers and position the business for long-term growth.”

Does that sound like Cargill sees Minnesota as a great place to do business?

Thought experiment: If Rep. Dorholt and the DFL says that Minnesota is a great place to do business but iconic Minnesota businesses leave, who should you believe?

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This report puts MNsure’s solvency into question. Here’s something from the report’s opening paragraph that caught my attention:

Whether or not licensed professional insurance agents interact with MNsure will greatly affect whether MNsure succeeds in selling commercial health insurance. MNsure must attract and retain commercial insurance customers to pay its overhead expenses beginning in 2015. More than 27% of MNsure’s certified agents say they do not plan to become recertified for 2015. Another 56% said they will be certified but plan to market hard in the private, non-MNsure marketplace first.

If one-fourth of MNsure’s agents plan to stop interacting with MNsure, MNsure’s revenues will drop significantly. If another 56% of MNsure-qualified agents will interact with MNsure only after trying to sell clients insurance without MNsure, MNsure’s revenues will drop precipitously.

While that’s certainly noteworthy, it isn’t the only concern for MNsure:

MNsure must do all it can to increase its sales volume of commercial health insurance – Qualified Health Plans (QHP). In 2015, MNsure must be self-sufficient, without any financial assistance from the federal or state government. The MNsure fee of 3.5 percent (a tax on insurance premiums generated through MNsure’s sale of commercial health plans) is necessary to pay the organization’s operating expenses. If its commercial sales are too low, MNsure will not be able to pay for its overheads unless Minnesota taxpayers allow for additional taxes to be to subsidize its cost; or MNsure finds other insurance products and employer benefits to sell.

TRANSLATION: MNsure’s financial viability is in question.

If transactions are done apart from MNsure, they aren’t subject to the 3.5% “tax on insurance premiums generated through MNsure’s sale of commercial health plans.” That revenue is needed to pay for MNsure’s incompetent staff and MNsure’s still-broken website. If those revenues don’t come in, Minnesota’s taxpayers will be on the hook for the Dayton-DFL deficit. There’s no other way of putting it.

That isn’t the only frightening part of the report. The section titled MNsure may lose more than 25 percent of its current licensed agents is worth considering, too, especially this part:

Only 7.4 % see MNsure as their primary marketing tool.

Then there’s this:

Agents Are Strongly Opposed to Giving MNsure More Insurance-Related Products to Sell

We asked if agents agreed with the statement that MNsure should be allowed to sell other, non-health insurance products if it will help them pay their overhead expenses.
90% of certified MNsure agents disagreed with the idea of letting MNsure sell other non-health insurance products, and of these, 73% strongly disagreed.

TRANSLATION: Agents hate the thought of MNsure stealing a significant portion of their business away from them to pay for MNsure’s bills.

This information is totally not surprising:

MNsure, as have other government insurance exchanges, realizes that without agent participation, they face huge challenges persuading individuals to enroll in QHPs, and without QHP enrollment, MNsure cannot pay its operating expenses.

We believe that without a successful recruitment effort to secure new certified agents, and convince current agents to recertify, MNsure will fall farther behind in meeting its necessary enrollment in QHPs. This would leave the state citizens vulnerable to having to provide additional public funding to prop up MNsure.

Simply put, MNsure’s viability is in question. Certified agents don’t like it and there’s no proof that nonparticipating agents are interested in participating or getting recertified. Without sales of QHPs through MNsure, MNsure’s office won’t have the money to function.

This proves that it isn’t just the nonfunctioning website that makes MNsure a disaster. It’s that the only people who like it are the people that voted to create it. It’s unaffordable. It’s inefficient. It’s unsustainable. Most importantly, it’s likely to need a tax increase to pay for MNsure’s deficit.

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Recently, I got another smear campaign mailer from the DFL smearing Jim Knoblach. It isn’t shocking that the DFL is into smearing Republicans. It’s that the DFL’s mailer has a picture of a senior citizen with the caption “Tell Jim Knoblach to keep his hands off our Social Security and Medicare.”

It’s painfully obvious that the DFL knows that state legislators don’t have anything to do with Medicare or Social Security. Just because the DFL is without character and can’t be shamed because they don’t have a conscience, that doesn’t mean that they’re stupid.

They’re just disgustingly unprincipled and utterly without virtue.

While it’s true that Jim Knoblach supported giving people the option of putting a portion of their FICA taxes into a government-approved equity account when he ran for Congress in 2006, that’s utterly irrelevant in this race. Jim Knoblach, if he’s elected, will never cast a vote on Social Security or Medicare because they’re federal programs.

This DFL’s intent with this mailer is to scare senior citizens into voting for Zach Dorholt. If’s apparent that the DFL doesn’t care that it’s fearmongering at its worst. It’s important to remember what Howard Dean said after being elected chair of the DNC:

It’s a battle between good and evil…and we’re the good.

In Dean’s mind, the ends justified the means. If that meant smearing people with lies, that’s the path he’d take without hesitation. That’s the mindset that Ken Martin brought with him from ABM to the DFL.

In Martin’s mind, the only thing that matters is winning elections and checking items off the DFL’s ideological checklist. It’s irrelevant if it helps Minnesotans. It’s only relevant if it makes their special interests’ lives better.

The DFL insists that it’s for the little guy. That’s BS and it’s verifiable. The Metrocrat wing of the DFL, made up mostly by plutocrats and elitists, has done everything to prevent PolyMet from getting built. If the DFL cared about Iron Range voters, they wouldn’t say that building the mine is important but dragging the regulatory review for 9 years is more important.

If the DFL cared about the little guy, they wouldn’t have shoved forced unionization onto child care providers.

Zach Dorholt voted for the forced unionization of child care providers. He voted for major business-to-business sales tax increases and the Senate Office Building. After the session, he caught hell from St. Cloud businesses for creating these new taxes. These businesses lobbied him hard during the session. He ignored them then. It wasn’t until after the session that he started listening to these businesses.

Dorholt is chair of the House Higher Ed Committee. That’s a position of authority yet he hasn’t lifted a finger to investigate the wasteful spending at MnSCU’s Central Office nor has he looked into the financial mismanagement at SCSU. Despite the fact that SCSU is facing $8,000,000-$10,000,000 of budget cuts this year and despite the fact that the Potter administration hasn’t published a budget report yet, Zach Dorholt hasn’t looked into these issues.

All he cares about is whether he can report that he increased spending on Higher Education.

How does that qualify as helping the little guy or middle class families? That’s before asking Mr. Dorholt how the Dayton-Dorholt-DFL budget is creating part-time, low wage jobs helps grow the economy from the middle class out?

The truth is that the DFL doesn’t care about prosperity. They don’t care about great jobs throughout the state. They don’t care if public institutions foolishly spend the taxpayers’ money. How dare they send out mailers that frighten senior citizens while smearing a great policymaker.

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