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This weekend, I wrote this article about another dishonest ad by the Alliance for a Better Minnesota. It’s important to remember that ABM has a lengthy history of running intentionally dishonest ads against Republicans.

Two years ago, ABM ran a series of TV ads that featured nearly identical scripts against 5 Republican senators and 4 Republican representatives. Here’s one of the transcripts:

How we solve our state’s budget problem will say a lot about our values. Rep. Woodard is choosing to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class with drastic cuts in education and health care and his plan will eliminate jobs and increase our property taxes, all just so the richest 2% don’t have to chip in. Gov. Dayton’s plan will protect the middle class and 98% of Minnesotans will have no tax increase.

That’s a blatantly dishonest ad. It makes a series of allegations without citing proof for any of their allegations.

The budget passed by Republicans and signed by Gov. Dayton increased per student spending, which means ABM’s statement about “drastic cuts in education” was intentionally dishonest. They know what was in the 2011 budget because ABM lobbied against it in the summer of 2011.

It isn’t a stretch to say that dishonesty is ABM’s specialty. Similarly, it isn’t a stretch to think of ABM as tightly connected with the DFL. In fact, Alida Messinger, the woman that writes the biggest annual checks to the DFL, writes similar sized checks to ABM.

While it hasn’t been documented that ABM and the DFL communicate and coordinate with each other, it’s clear that they operate seamlessly with each other. Their smears are often identical in their dishonesty.

What’s galling is that the Twin Cities media hasn’t put the pieces of the puzzle together, at least not in an article. I suspect they’ve personally figured it out. I’m certain, though, that they haven’t done a feature article about it.

For instance, I wrote this post showing how much influence Alida Messinger has within the DFL:

Most of the criticism of DFL state party chair Brian Melendez in the wake of Election Day has been confined to the liberal blogosphere. The three-term incumbent could likely survive those barbs.

But a much more important DFL supporter, wealthy donor Alida Messinger, is also apparently opposed to Melendez remaining as party chair. According to a reliable DFL source, there won’t be any checks arriving in DFL coffers from the Rockefeller heir if Melendez remains in the post.

Of course, Ken Martin, the person most often cited as a potential rival for state party chair, is closely aligned with Messinger. He chaired the Win Minnesota Political Action Fund, which played a key role in the governor’s race. The group’s largest individual donor: Messinger.

While it’s true that the Twin Cities media reported that story, I’m wondering why it didn’t tell people that ABM’s messaging is almost identical to the DFL’s messaging. Why didn’t they report that Alida Messinger’s influence on ABM is as great as her influence on the DFL?

Why haven’t Rachel Stassen-Berger, Brianna Bierschbach, Tom Scheck, Tom Hauser and Pat Kessler done articles showing ABM as having a lengthy history of intentionally smearing Republicans? The information isn’t difficult to find. A short trip to FactCheck.org would give any of these reporters the proof they need that ABM’s ads consistently received failing grades.

We’ve already seen how willing liberal organizations have started smearing Republicans. TakeAction Minnesota already is teaming up with AFSCME PEOPLE to smear Stewart Mills. If we had political reporters interested in connecting the dots in their reporting, Mark Dayton wouldn’t get away with his nice guy act. Instead, we’d see that he’s a willing participant in ABM’s vicious smear campaign.

Lefties went apoplectic this week after the DC Circuit issued its ruling in the Halbig v. Burwell lawsuit. Their initial spin was that it was “a drafting error.” Sean Davis’ article laid out the foolishness of their spin. While Davis’ article buried the administration’s spin with irrefutable facts, something that Jonathan Gruber said might hurt them in a court of law even more. Here’s what Gruber said that’s so damning:

What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges.

Gruber isn’t an outsider:

Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist who helped design the Massachusetts health law that was the model for Obamacare, was a key influence on the creation of the federal health law. He was widely quoted in the media. During the crafting of the law, the Obama administration brought him on for consultation because of his expertise. He was paid almost $400,000 to consult with the administration on the law. And he has claimed to have written part of the legislation, the section dealing with small business tax credits.

In other words, Gruber admitted, after working on the ACA, that the subsidies were made available for people who bought their insurance through state-established exchanges to put political pressure on reluctant governors and legislators to establish state-run exchanges.

That’s supported by the legislative language of the ACA:

The statutory authority for state-based exchanges comes in section 1311 of Obamacare. The statutory authority for a federal exchange in the event that a state chose not to establish one comes from section 1321(c) of Obamacare. Right off the bat, we have two discrete sections pertaining to two discrete types of health exchange. Was that a “drafting error”?

Then we have the specific construction of section 1321(c), which allows for the creation of a federal exchange. Nowhere does this section say that an exchange created under its authority will have the same treatment as a state-based exchange created under section 1311. At no point does it say that section 1321 plans are equivalent. Why, it’s almost as though the exchanges and the plans offered by them were not intended to receive the same treatment. Was that another “drafting error”?

Most important, we have the sections of the law providing for tax credits to help offset the cost of Obamacare’s health care plans: sections 1401, 1402, 1411, 1412, 1413, 1414, and 1415. And how do those sections establish authority to provide those tax credits? Why, they specifically state ten separate times that tax credits are available to offset the costs of state health exchange plans authorized by section 1311. And how many times are section 1321 federal exchange plans mentioned? Zero.

I’ll repeat myself. Gruber’s quote matches up with the legislative language of the ACA. The good news is that there’s a legislative fix for this problem. Congress can pass legislation that makes the subsidies available to anyone making less than 400% of the federal poverty level, aka FPL.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that House Republicans won’t include things like repealing the medical device manufacturers tax and the individual and employer mandates.

Therein lies the Democrats’ real problem. They’ve gotten their way on every single item in the bill thus far. They aren’t interested in compromising with Republicans on a single provision in the ACA. That’s tough. It’s time for them to stop acting like spoiled brats. It’s time for Democrats to implement some of the Republicans’ good ideas.

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If there’s anything that can be gleaned from Juan Williams’ article, it’s that he’s exceptionally gullible. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Last week, however, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) invited me and a few other columnists to his office to deliver a message: The paralyzed, polarized government is not due to the president’s failure to win friends in Congress. Nor is it because Reid is a “dictator.” In his view, the stalled Senate is the result of an intentional strategy pursued by the Republicans.

Reid pointed to constant filibusters by the GOP minority. Republicans also refuse to allow the use of unanimous consent to move along Senate business, he charged.

Reid asserted that after President Obama was first elected, the GOP met with Frank Luntz, the political adviser, who told them to block everything Obama and Democrats tried to accomplish and then tell voters that Obama was a failure and government could not get anything done.

First, let’s address the issue of whether Reid is a dictator. There’s no question that he is. Since Republicans took over the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections, Sen. Reid hasn’t brought a single bill passed by the House of Representatives come up for a vote in the Senate. Many of the bills sitting on Sen. Reid’s desk got overwhelming support, some getting more than 350 votes in the House.

There’s no justification for Sen. Reid’s actions.

Second, Sen. Reid’s legislative tactics are best described as my-way-or-the-highway. Republicans rarely get to offer their amendments. When they do, which is rare, they’re shot down on a party line vote.

That sounds rather dictatorial, doesn’t it?

Next, let’s tackle the part about Republicans blocking everything President Obama proposed. In 2009-2010, Democrats had a filibuster-proof Senate for well over a year. They didn’t have the ability to block anything President Obama proposed. Further, there’s overwhelming proof that Democrats ignored the people’s will. That overwhelming proof comes in the form of the worst “shellacking” in recent midterm election history. It isn’t just that Republicans won 63 seats in the House. It’s that they flipped 680 seats in state legislatures, too, which helped them flip 19 legislative majorities and 5 governorships.

Wave elections are rare enough. Wave elections of that magnitude don’t happen much more than once a century. They only happen when the people get utterly pissed with DC. That’s what happened in 2010. Democrats ignored the people on health care reform. People were reading the bills, then reciting them to Democrat politicians at August townhall meetings. Many of those who spoke out had never taken the political process seriously. Many of those who spoke out were women.

Harry Reid didn’t care what they said. He passed the ACA, aka Obamacare, anyway.

Most of the people who spoke out for the first time in their lives didn’t know Frank Luntz. They didn’t listen to Republicans. They attended TEA Party rallies that were filled with like-minded people who simply wanted politicians to pay attention to them. Many of the TEA Party activists that were created were upset with Republicans, too, though not nearly as upset as they were with Democrats.

Finally, people don’t need Republicans telling them that HealthCare.gov failed. They didn’t need Republicans telling them that the IRS was attacking the organizations that simply wanted their voices heard. They didn’t need Republicans telling them that the VA crisis was proof that the federal government is inept.

Reid’s frustration led him to announce last week that he is considering a vote to change Senate rules and break the power of the GOP filibuster. After the midterm elections, he wants to expand on the so-called ‘Nuclear Option,’ approved by the Senate last year. Under that rule, only 50 votes are required to confirm most judicial nominees. Reid is considering applying the same standard to bills.

Reid isn’t frustrated. He’s pissed that Republicans haven’t rolled over to President Obama’s demands. Further, the question must be asked how President Obama’s policies have worked. Thus far, President Obama’s policies have failed, whether we’re talking about the economy, the ACA, foreign policy or national security.

Finally, let’s look at the destructive role President Obama plays in this mess. Let’s remember him inviting Republicans to the White House for their ideas on the Stimulus bill. When Eric Cantor made some suggestions, President Obama brushed them aside, saying that “We won.” The tone was set. Harry Reid’s marching orders became clear at that point. His job was to shove as many things down Republicans’ throats as possible.

Now Sen. Reid is peddling the BS that all he wants to do is legislate. That isn’t credible coming from the man who’s repeatedly called the Koch brothers un-American, who’s lied on the Senate Floor that he has word that Mitt Romney hasn’t paid taxes in over a decade and who’s been President Obama’s protector since 2011.

The Senate will be a far better place the minute Harry Reid is run out of office. He’s a despicable low-life who isn’t capable of doing what’s right for the nation. He’s only capable of doing what he’s told to do by the worst president in the last 75 years.

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Yesterday, I wrote this post to highlight how the media is letting the people down. In this instance, I criticized the St. Cloud Times for their kid glove treatment of SCSU President Earl Potter III. This part especially upset me:

The struggle to fill St. Cloud State University’s Coborn’s Plaza, high-end student housing, needs to be viewed as an opportunity, not a blame game.

In my commentary, I said that that type of thinking is what helps people continue making terrible decisions. Anytime the media doesn’t question decisionmakers’ decisions, the media breaks their trust with We The People. That’s unacceptable. In fact, it’s downright dangerous.

It’s aggravating that the Times couldn’t even publish accurate information before making their editorial statements:

To the former, from fiscal 2012 through fiscal 2015, the annual subsidy is projected to decline from $1.348 million to $937,800. While that’s progress, it only amounts to an annual decline of about $105,000. So how much longer will it take to break even?

Had the Times read my post on that matter, they wouldn’t have asked that question:

At the April 30, 2013 meeting of the Budget Advisory Committee, Patrick Jacobson-Schulte, Associate Vice President for Financial Management and Budget, informed the committee that, even under the best scenario of 100% occupancy, Coborn’s Plaza would lose between $50,000 and $150,000 annually.

This brings us to two important questions. First, why didn’t the Times learn about this information? Second, why did the Times hesitate in affixing blame on President Potter? They certainly didn’t hesitate in criticizing former SCSU President Saigo.

This isn’t meant as a critique of Dr. Saigo. Frankly, I didn’t pay that much attention to St. Cloud State prior to Potter’s administration. I won’t use this post to praise or criticize him. I’ll just use this post to highlight the fact that the St. Cloud Times frequently criticized Dr. Saigo but they refuse to criticize President Potter. What’s up with that?

It isn’t like President Potter hasn’t made lots of questionable decisions. For instance, he spent $50,000 on the Great Place to Work Institute’s Trust Index Survey. Here’s what the Trust Index Survey found:

Even after seeing these results, the Times insisted that both sides needed to ask themselves what they can do to make SCSU a better place to work. When 26% of respondents say that management delivers on its promises, there isn’t much that the faculty can do to change that figure, with the exception of lying. When 24% of respondents say that “management’s actions match its words”, it’s management’s responsibility to fix that crisis.

It isn’t the Times’ responsibility to say that ‘both sides can do better.’ It’s the Times’ responsibility to accurately state that it’s President Potter’s responsibility to fix the problem. Each time that the Times takes a on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand approach, it lets President Potter off the hook.

More importantly, the Times lets down the community by not giving people the information they need to make informed decisions. Each time the Times deflects attention away from President Potter, it’s taking sides. That, in turn, helps him pretend that he’s doing a good job.

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This Our View editorial is breathtaking in how the Times operates…again…as President Potter’s PR firm:

The struggle to fill St. Cloud State University’s Coborn’s Plaza — high-end student housing — needs to be viewed as an opportunity, not a blame game.

The reality is this: The roughly $30 million plaza undoubtedly helps St. Cloud State attract and retain a segment of students it would otherwise lose to the countless other universities that offer this housing option. As such, that benefits the entire metro area.

First, the Times’ editorial accepts as fact that high-end student housing is popular. While it’s possible to find some students who prefer this type of housing, it’s impossible to find many students who want this type of housing, at least without some enticements thrown in.

Second, “the entire metro” benefits isn’t taking everything into account. The property is owned by a 501(c)(3). That means that property isn’t paying property taxes.

An equally compelling reality: The 453-unit plaza was overbuilt. That was evidenced again in a Monday Times news report about how occupancy rates, while increasing, are not growing fast enough to help St. Cloud State cover its costs.

Here’s a dose of reality. President Potter signed a contract that should’ve gotten him fired. Patrick Jacobson-Schulte told the Budget Advisory Committee that Coborn’s Plaza can’t break even:

At the April 30, 2013 meeting of the Budget Advisory Committee, Patrick Jacobson-Schulte, Associate Vice President for Financial Management and Budget, informed the committee that, even under the best scenario of 100% occupancy, Coborn’s Plaza would lose between $50,000 and $150,000 annually.

If the Times is going to offer its opinions on something, they should at least get their facts straight.

This paragraph is stunning:

To the former, from fiscal 2012 through fiscal 2015, the annual subsidy is projected to decline from $1.348 million to $937,800. While that’s progress, it only amounts to an annual decline of about $105,000. So how much longer will it take to break even?

Answer: It’ll never break even during this lease. Though that’s stunning, this is breathtaking:

At a growth rate of 17 units annually, it will be fiscal 2020 or longer before 100 percent capacity. That’s too long and too expensive.

Therein lies the opportunity: Open those vacancies to nonstudents.

This isn’t an opportunity. It’s a disaster. The ‘solution’ isn’t any better. What the Times is proposing is opening the taxpayer-subsidized apartment complex to non-students. Why didn’t I think of that? That’s what we need. Government subsidizing private foundations’ housing projects.

Again, community and university leaders need to see this is an opportunity, not a blame game.

That’s stunning. Here’s another term for blame game: professional accountability. Thus far, the Times has worked overtime to make sure President Potter wasn’t criticized for making terrible, expensive, decisions. There’s no reason to think that’ll change anytime this decade.

There’s an old saying that says “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” I’m creating a different saying that dovetails with that saying. “Those who don’t affix blame on people who make terrible decisions allow those people to continue making terrible decisions.”

I know that isn’t a snappy one-liner but it’s the truth. It’s time to start affixing blame on the Teflon President, aka Earl Potter. Signing that contract with the Wedum Foundation was stupid. Telling the Times’ Editorial Board that it’s a great success is pure spin.

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The select committee tasked with finding out what happened in Benghazi is an intellectual mismatch. On one side, you’ve got MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff, (D-Calif.) On the other side is Rep. Trey Gowdy, (R-SC). While it’s a mismatch in terms of intellectual heft, it wouldn’t improve if the sides were evenly matched. Chairman Gowdy would still win the debate.

Make no mistake about this. Chuck Todd didn’t attempt to hide his bias:

CHUCK TODD: Congressman Gowdy, you’ve heard that Nancy Pelosi would like it to be an even number on the select committee. Obviously some Democrats are even talking about boycotting it. But if you’ve got the House Democratic leader already willing to negotiate on the size of the committee, why not take her up on it? Why not–doesn’t it help the credibility of your investigation if it is truly an even split between the two parties?

TREY GOWDY: Well Chuck, do you challenge the credibility of the Senate Judiciary Committee because it’s certainly not evenly split? Neither is the House Judiciary.

TODD: Well this is different though. This is a select committee and select committees are different. Look I know what the previous history is. I understand that, but my point is–don’t you want to — this has a whiff of politics to it. To some people more than a whiff. Don’t you agree that if you accept her terms you actually get more credibility, which I assume is something you’d want.

It’s sad that Todd bought into Ms. Pelosi’s gimmick, though it isn’t surprising. Democrats will consistently criticize the work of this committee because they want people distracted from the fact that
President Obama and Hillary Clinton couldn’t be found while the terrorist attack was happening. Democrats certainly don’t want people to notice that the Obama administration didn’t properly deploy the military prior to the anniversary of 9/11.

Finally, Democrats can’t afford to have it get out that President Obama and Secretary Clinton ignored Christopher Stevens’ urgent cables asking for more security. If people notice that, they’ll know that Hillary isn’t qualified to be the next commander-in-chief.

The early signals from Chairman Gowdy indicate that there won’t be lots of open hearings for the committee. Instead, it sounds like the committee’s work will focus on getting important documents from the administration, then deposing witnesses based on the information they get from the administration.

I’m betting that most of the reporters covering Chairman Gowdy’s press conference could answer Chairman Gowdy’s questions:

Chairman Gowdy’s last statement has some bite to it. The media deserve every bit of it.

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It was impossible to do a proper critique of the Times article in a single post so here’s Part II. First, let’s start with more Potter spin:

Potter said he was proud of the university community for the way it responded to the questions, and he noted that St. Cloud State was one of only a few higher education institutions to participate in this type of survey.

“It’s a risky thing to do. We knew that we would get some hard messages back,” he said. “We knew that we would not be near the top, that we have a long way to go. But (we) felt it was absolutely essential to take the step and move our culture forward.”

Fortunately for President Potter, the Times buried those hard messages from employees under a pile of manure. When the vast majority of employees think that the boss is incompetent and untrustworthy, those aren’t the ingredients for a great place to work. As damning as those things are, this might be the worst criticism of the Potter administration:

The survey was the idea of Holly Schoenherr, the university’s human resources director. Shortly after she started two years ago, she began to hear about employees who felt they were being bullied in the workplace and about concerns regarding civil discourse.

I’ve spoken with several SCSU professors. They won’t go on the record for fear of retribution from President Potter, corrupt members of the faculty or both. The pervasive atmosphere amongst faculty is that retribution is considered a management tool by the administration and their apologists.

What’s puzzling is that Mr. Unze didn’t ask Ms. Schoenherr whether the survey showed if the bullying had persisted. Also, why didn’t Mr. Unze ask whether the discourse had improved from being hostile? These are questions that should’ve been asked. These are questions that the public has a right to know.

As amateurish as the Times’ reporting is, that isn’t the focus of this post. What’s important is that this post highlight President Potter’s management (mismanagement?) style, the on-campus bullying and whether steps have been taken to improve on-campus morale.

Based on the information contained in this post, I’d argue that nothing concrete has changed:

The statistics speak for themselves. People don’t trust President Potter because his actions don’t match his words, because “management isn’t approachable” and because they think he’s incompetent.

There’s no reason to think President Potter will change. Absent him changing dramatically, the problems at SCSU will persist. No amount of spin from the administration and the St. Cloud Times will change that fact.

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For the umpteenth time, the St. Cloud Times treated disastrous news for President Potter like it was a minor bump in the road. Most importantly, the article showed how lazy Times reporter Dave Unze is:

The survey was offered to all 1,582 university employees and generated a response from 40 percent of them. The university released the answers to two questions that were asked of those employees: What makes St. Cloud State a great place to work, and what would make the school a better place to work?

That’s pathetic ‘reporting’. Why didn’t Unze ask for the other questions in the survey? This is the type of ‘journalism’ I’d expect from TMZ. Jon Stewart asks harder hitting questions than this. But I digress.

The survey’s findings are devastating to President Potter. Just look at this graphic:

Here’s what I wrote when I got the full results of the GPTWI survey:

When asked if “management’s words match its actions”, only 24% of respondents said yes. When asked if “management is competent”, only 32% said yes. When asked if “management makes sound financial decisions”, only 28% said they did.

Instead of digging into the meat of the survey, the Times picked out two softball questions that doesn’t get to the heart of the survey. That isn’t reporting. That’s insulting to the point that I should question whether President Potter is paying the Times to be his off-campus PR firm.

The graphic titled the numbers tell the story raises some important questions about President Potter’s competency and trustworthiness. In addition to the questions in the above paragraph, there are other damning questions. Here are some examples:

  1. Only 20% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management shares information openly and transparently.
  2. Only 29% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management is approachable.
  3. Only 26% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management delivers on its promises.
  4. Only 25% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management has a clear view.

The Times is cheating its readers by not asking hard-hitting questions. Apparently, the Times’ goal is to take whatever information President Potter gives them, then turns it into a story that praises President Potter.

President Potter’s decisions have taken St. Cloud State from being the flagship university in the MnSCU to being a distant 2nd place and fading fast. The only thing more disgusting than SCSU’s decline during President Potter’s watch is how the St. Cloud Times has refused to challenge President Potter’s spin.

The damning information is there for those willing to look for it. It’s apparent that Dave Unze isn’t willing to look for that type of information. It’s apparent that the Times management isn’t interested in holding Mr. Unze accountable for not digging into the story the way a real reporter would do.

This paragraph is insulting:

“As in any complex organization, there are folks that think that St. Cloud State is a great place to work. There is strong agreement among them about why they think that’s true,” Potter said.

When only a third of SCSU employees think management is competent, that’s a sign that there aren’t many folks who think SCSU is a great place to work.” When a fourth of SCSU’s employees think that management’s words match its actions, it’s impossible to think that SCSU employees trust President Potter and his senior management team. In the private sector, those survey results would get the CEO terminated immediately.

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This article sickens me because it’s intellectually dishonest. Baird Helgeson is intent on portraying the DFL as heroic tax cutters. That’s BS. The DFL is the party that taxes first, then waits to see if there’s a backlash. If there’s a backlash, they pass a Tax Repair Bill like they did Friday.

“This is a monumental victory for the DFL leadership in the Legislature and just shows that we have a balanced approach to Minnesota,” Dayton said during a celebratory news conference with DFL House and Senate leaders. “That’s what people wanted.”

Despite Gov. Dayton’s attempt to praise the DFL leadership in the House and Senate, it’s just proof that Gov. Dayton is intent on painting over his criticism of Sen. Bakk earlier this week. Here’s what he said earlier this week:

I’m very disappointed that we have not been able to reach a bill and frankly, we’ve got a meeting this afternoon with House and Senate leaders. I just have to say that the impasse isn’t around the tax bill. It’s about the Legislative Office Building and the Senate’s insistence that they have the building and they aren’t willing to let a reasonable tax bill proceed on a timely basis until they get the building and the House’s unwillingness at this point to agree to that. So I hope that Minnesotans will communicate with their legislators, and these are Democrat legislators, I’m sorry to say, that this is inexcusable and unacceptable.

Which is it, Gov. Dayton? Does Sen. Bakk deserve praise for stalling a bill to pressure the House into approving Bakk’s Palace? Does the DFL deserve praise for passing the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history last year, then repealing a tiny fraction of them this year? Does the DFL deserve praise for raising taxes and fees by $2,400,000,000 last year, then giving $440,000,000 of that back this year?

Minnesotans shouldn’t be happy that the DFL finally listened to them. They shouldn’t be happy that the DFL did the right thing only after the DFL started worrying about this year’s elections. That isn’t representing the people. That’s voting the DFL’s ideology.

It’s proof that the DFL will always do the right thing…when it’s the only option left.

The House and Senate passed the bill overwhelmingly on Friday. Nearly every Republican joined most DFLers in backing it, but GOP members criticized the majority for a provision in the bill that adds $150 million to state budget reserves. That brings the state’s rainy-day fund to more than $800 million, but Republicans said that money should go back to taxpayers too.

Putting that much money into the state’s rainy day fund is criminal. That’s stealing money from businesses that would create jobs with it. The DFL is putting money aside so the DFL won’t have to spend money efficiently. They’d rather pay off their special interest allies with the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. The DFL wouldn’t be able to pay off their special interest allies with taxpayers money if money was spent efficiently. It’s time the DFL stopped feeding their special interest allies and started representing their constituents.

Thus far, the DFL hasn’t proven that they’re interested in doing the right thing the first time. They’ve proven quite the opposite. This week, the DFL proved that they’ll do the right thing only when they’re worried about the next election.

That isn’t leadership. That’s called brinksmanship, which shouldn’t be rewarded with praise. This isn’t tax relief:

Much of the tax relief is delivered by conforming to recent changes in federal tax law, and about $57 million of it is retroactive to taxes paid in 2013.

Typically, tax conformity is the first bill passed by the legislature each year. It’s typically the first bill the governor signs each year. By waiting until after thousands of people have filed their tax returns before passing the tax conformity bill, the DFL just caused taxpayers the headache of filing an amended return. The DFL didn’t give thousands of people the opportunity to do their taxes once. Instead, Sen. Bakk opted to force thousands to file amended returns.

That isn’t cause for celebration. That’s cause for criticism. The DFL, specifically Sen. Bakk, put a high priority on getting the Senate Office Building approved. The DFL, especially Sen. Bakk, didn’t put a high priority on passing what I’m calling the Tax Repair Bill. Sen. Bakk said that the Senate couldn’t be rushed into passing the Tax Repair Bill because they were studying the impacts the tax repeals would have.

Sen. Bakk said that until he was exposed as playing political games with the Tax Repair Bill. Then he went into warp speed.

The GOP deserves praise in this for not supporting the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history. The GOP deserves praise for not buying into the DFL’s counterproductive tax increases. Minnesotans deserve praise for passionately criticizing the DFL’s tax increases.

UPDATE: This video is sickening:

Speaker Thissen spoke about tax relief for possibly 1,000,000 Minnesotans. Sen. Bakk praised the DFL for working at warp speed to get these tax ‘cuts’ passed. Isn’t it interesting that Sen. Bakk conveniently omitted the part about how he tried holding the tax repeals hostage to force the House to approve his Senate Office Building project? He didn’t budge until Gov. Dayton threw him under the bus because the political backlash was threatening a second Dayton term.

Sen. Bakk deserves criticism for playing politics with this Tax Repair Bill. Speaker Thissen and Gov. Dayton deserve criticism for passing the original tax increases which they repealed Friday. The DFL ‘leadership’ deserves criticism for putting a higher priority on voting their ideology than representing their constituents.

The good news is that we can fix two-thirds of the problem this November.

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I wrote this post to highlight the Agenda Media’s willingness to parrot the DFL’s ‘tax cut’ rhetoric. Frankly, it’s insulting intellectually to hear them say that the DFL is cutting taxes. A little history lesson will illustrate the intellectual emptiness of the DFL’s claims.

Let’s start with 2010, when voters swept in a class of reformers, giving Republicans majorities in the House and Senate. That group of legislators started with a $6,200,000,000 deficit. Gov. Dayton immediately proposed the biggest tax increases in Minnesota history.

When the February budget forecast came out, the projected deficit had ‘dropped’ to $5,030,000,000. Immediately, Gov. Dayton took several proposed tax increases off the table. Here’s a list of Gov. Dayton’s tax increases:

Taxes: Largest Increase in History; Highest Rate in Nation -

New fifth tier of 13.95% for anyone earning over $500,000.
New fourth tier of 10.95% for single earning $85,000 or married filing jointly earning $150,000.
State property tax on Home Values over $1 million.
Closing Corporate and other Loopholes
Health Care Surcharges including the Granny Tax.
Other Tax Revenues including a car rental tax to help fund Minnesota tourism.
No complete payback of K-12 shift until 2023.

Spending: A 22% Increase

When the dust settled after the Dayton Shutdown, taxes weren’t raised. As a result, Minnesota’s economy rebounded. When the DFL took over the legislature, Gov. Dayton again proposed huge tax increases. He did this despite the fact that the projected deficit had dropped to $600,000,000. That’s quite the difference from the $6,200,000,000 deficit Republicans inherited.

Despite the tiny deficit, Gov. Dayton and the DFL proposed $2,400,000,000 in tax and fee increases. Gov. Dayton and the DFL included new business-to-business sales taxes in its ‘tax reform’ package. They also included increased LGA, allegedly to provide property tax relief.

Immediately, the business community criticized the B2B sales taxes and the income tax increases. Quickly, Gov. Dayton and the House DFL dropped those tax increases. The Senate DFL refused to play along with that. The Tax Bill that House and Senate Democrats voted for and that Gov. Dayton signed included those B2B tax increases along with money for Sen. Bakk’s Legislative Office Building.

Fast forward to this week. Gov. Dayton criticized Sen. Bakk for playing games with what I’m calling the DFL’s Tax Repair Bill. As a result, Sen. Bakk caved and eventually passed the Tax Repair Bill.

When a thief plunders a home, taking jewelry, high tech electronics and kitchen appliances, that’s a theft. If the thief returns the kitchen appliances, it’s still a theft. Similarly, raising taxes, then repealing a tiny portion of those taxes still means that the DFL raised taxes.

The reality is that Minnesota families will have a greater percentage of their paychecks confiscated because of the Dayton-DFL tax increases than they paid when this legislature was sworn in. That’s the verifiable reality.

Whether Heather Carlson, Mary Lahammer and Tom Scheck parrot the DFL’s chanting points, the plain truth is that Gov. Dayton and the DFL have raised taxes on every Minnesotan since taking office in 2013. No amount of tap-dancing by the DFL and the Agenda Media will change that.

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