Archive for July, 2014

After a group of 9 people from Minnesota filed a federal lawsuit to stop a unionization vote of home care assistants, a spokesman for Gov. Dayton accused them of being right wing crazies:

“This is just another extremist right wing group trying to tell Minnesotans that they cannot decide for themselves whether to vote to form a union,” Matt Swenson, a spokesman for the governor, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Tell that to Heidi Highet of Rochester. Here’s what she wrote about forced unionization:

As a licensed child care provider and Democrat, I resent the implication that opposition to this union is a right wing issue. I am as far from the right as you can get! This is an issue that crosses all political boundaries. I have spoken with providers from every side of the political spectrum and none of them support this. The only ones speaking out in favor of this are the highly paid union representatives.

I voted for Mark Dayton. He will not get my vote again.

This is about political payback for large amounts of money given to legislative campaigns. As a Democrat, I am outraged our legislators sold us out to the highest bidder.

Perhaps Mr. Swenson should talk with Robyn Kamps Kim. Here’s Robyn’s story in her own words:

I am a registered Democrat and have been a Democrat all my life. That is what I have found so disheartening that my own party is doing this. I have even messaged my fellow Democrats telling them essentially they are pissing off their own party, but they do not seem to listen. Although I am TOTALLY against unionization, I remain a Democrat.

If Heidi and Robyn can’t set Mr. Swenson straight, then I’d just direct him to read Jenni Branchaw’s op-ed:

I am normally a DFL voter just in general. I do vary once in a while depending on certain things I feel strongly about. Like I knew Alice Johnson was for the union and she didn’t not understand what this union meant to do and not do.

It is rather shocking how many people voting do not know all the facts. They keep saying everyone needs the vote, well then let everyone have a vote. Alice wouldn’t not listen even before being elected and so I did not vote for her. I voted for Pam Wolf.

I knew Pam was against the child care union and understood why a lot of providers are against it and how it wasn’t set up fairly. But she lost, I thought it was a sign to stick with my party. Boy was I wrong. I did vote (regrettably now) for Dayton. I do not know if I can vote straight party ever again.

Whether he knew it or not, Mr. Swenson just pissed off a bunch of women. Most of the people who fought against unionization of child care providers and home health care workers are women. Swenson’s diatribe is typical DFL insult. The DFL’s first instinct when people publicly oppose the DFL’s policy initiatives is to characterize them as right wing crazies. Clearly, that isn’t the case with Heidi, Robyn and Jenni.

Rather than actually find out the pertinent details before insulting people, Gov. Dayton and the DFL just jumped to the conclusion that the people opposing them are Democrats themselves. Gov. Dayton and the DFL apparently think that you’ll support everything in the DFL’s agenda if you’ve ever voted Democrat. Gov. Dayton and the DFL are wrong about that, especially when it comes to forced unionization.

I don’t know if any of these women will vote for another Republican this year. It’s quite possible they won’t. I don’t know. What’s clear, though, is that they won’t be voting for Gov. Dayton or the DFL legislator that represents their district.

The DFL calls itself the party of the little guy. Apparently, the DFL means that they’re the party of the little guy until the DFL’s special interests says otherwise.

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Thanks to Israel’s insistence on doing the right thing for their people, Israel’s security cabinet told the IDF, aka the Israeli Defense Forces, to keep hitting Hamas hard:

Amid mounting diplomatic pressure on Israel to agree to a ceasefire, the security cabinet on Wednesday instructed the IDF to continue to “forcefully hit Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza,” and to conclude its mission to destroy the tunnels leading from the Strip into Israel, diplomatic sources said.

The army’s actions in locating and destroying these terror tunnels have brought about significant strategic achievements in an area in which Hamas has invested much effort over the years, the sources said.

Israel should ignore world opinion when it comes to decimating Hamas. Hamas is committed to eliminating Israel as a Jewish state. They’ve frequently used students as human shields to protect their missiles, which are then used to kill Israeli citizens, including children. (The world apparently doesn’t experience outrage when Israeli children are killed. That’s apparently used only when children in Gaza are killed.)

I’m totally in favor of Israel destroying Hamas’s missiles, then demolishing their tunnels. I’m totally in favor of Israel doing these things to protect their people.

What’s particularly disgusting is the fact that ‘the world’ reflexively criticizes Israel when a child is killed or injured in Gaza but there’s silence when Israeli citizens are brutally and intentionally killed by Hamas. Why doesn’t the UN blame Hamas for the violence? Is it because the UN, especially UNRWA, is exceptionally corrupt? Is it because the UN isn’t really about resolving disputes but in affixing blame against the US and/or Israel?

The US is pressing Israel to halt the fighting. On Sunday, in a phone call to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Barack Obama urged an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. The UN Security Council also urged a ceasefire. On Wednesday, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond warned: “Israelis have to understand that, while they are defending their security in seeking to root out these rocket launchers and deal with the attack tunnels, they are also undermining the support for Israel that exists in the West.” Netanyahu on Monday told Israelis to be braced for what he called a prolonged operation.

Mr. Hammond’s statement is talking in circles. While he’s saying that Israel sshould “root out these rocket launchers”, he’s also saying that Israel is “undermining” international “support for Israel.” Why shouldn’t Israel gain support for defending themselves? That’s what they’re doing. Why shouldn’t Hamas lose support for using children as human shields? Why shouldn’t the interational community condemn Hamas for trying to destroy and terrorize Israel?

Israel is used to international criticism. Personally, I’d modify the old cliche that there’s only 2 things that are guaranteed: death and taxes. I’d modify that to 3 things: death, taxes and the international community condemning Israel for defend itself.

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Reading this LTE was painful, though I’m certain reading it isn’t a tenth as painful as writing it or living through it. Here’s the opening of the letter:

In March, while still enrolled at the university, I was physically assaulted by a fellow student. In addition to pressing charges, I filed a complaint against the individual through the appropriate university channels.

In May, he was “found responsible for violations of the Student Code of Conduct No. 3 (physical harm) and No. 4 (harassment)” and sanctioned to one year of university probation, “a written reprimand specifying the violation for which the student has been held responsible. According to University policies, participation in some University activities and programs may be restricted while on University Probation.”

I appealed the decision on the basis that I believed the sanction was far too lenient. In my appeal letter, I explained the sanction would have little, if any, impact on my assailant. I also described the debilitating psychological effects of the trauma and expressed my sincere belief the individual would reoffend. My appeal was denied. My story is not unique.

The punishment is too lenient. This is the university equivalent of Boko Haram getting a harshly worded letter from the UN. This student was assaulted. Charges have been filed. You’d think that President Potter would do something other than play the part of not-that-innocent bystander.

This is proof that he isn’t a leader. The probation, complete with written reprimand, was handed down in May. It’s now the end of July and President Potter hasn’t seen fit to change university policies regarding physical assaults on campus. What type of man doesn’t act when one of his students is physically assaulted?

This is the closing of the SCSU student’s LTE:

With Elliot Rodger’s fatal misogyny still fresh in our minds, and the increasing amount of criticism colleges are facing for not handling sexual assault cases appropriately, one would think colleges would be doing everything in their power to protect females. That does not seem to be the case.

Something needs to change.

I heartily agree, starting with harsher punishments for the perpetrators. It isn’t enough to put a student on probation. The student who allegedly committed this heinous act needs to be suspended from classes until this case is brought to court or is dropped. While he’s suspended, he shouldn’t be able to either leave the state or enroll at another MnSCU university or at the U of M.

The other thing that needs to change is that Chancellor Rosenstone and the Trustees need to bring President Potter into a meeting to find out why he didn’t act decisively to protect this young lady. The meeting shouldn’t brief. It shouldn’t be gentle, either.

President Potter needs to find out that he didn’t live up to his high office. He needs to hear that he failed this young lady. He needs to know that his behavior in this matter wasn’t decisive enough. He needs to know that his actions need to restore justice. President Potter needs to know that SCSU’s policies need to protect victims, not coddle people who allegedly commit assaultss.

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Last week, House Majority PAC, Nancy Pelosi’s PAC, started running an utterly dishonest ad, which was also paid for by AFSCME. Todaay, WDIO and KSTP took those deceitful ads. According to a letter sent to both stations by the Mills campaign, the ads were defamatory because they spliced together 3 separate sentences to make it sound like Stewart Mills say something he’s never said. Here’s what the ad says:

HMP/AFSCME Advertisement: “…folks saying that ‘the wealthy, the wealthy are not paying their fair share.”

Full Context (11:22): “What happened in the last round of elections, where you had folks saying that ‘the wealthy, the wealthy are not paying their fair share, that there’s all these loopholes and they don’t pay any taxes and we have to make them pay more.”

HMP/AFSCME Advertisement: “…the 2%, the 1%, whatever percent you want…”

Full Context (14:48): “How come we are not generating the jobs in Northeastern Minnesota that we otherwise would? Well I can tell you why. Because the overwhelming group of people that run businesses, that have the ability to employ
people are taxed at that personal rate. They are the villains, they’re the bad guys. They’re the ones that quote are not paying their fair share. They’re the ones quote that ‘the 2%, the 1%, whatever percent you want.”

HMP/AFSCME Advertisement: “…is personally offensive.”

Full Context (12:10): “To be singled out as a deadbeat is personally offensive.”

Simply put, Nancy Pelosi is a deceitful, despicable person. This ad took words from three separate paragraphs and spliced them together to look like a single sentence.

The letter outlines the Mills Campaign’s complaints:

The advertisement then goes on to suggest that Stewart Mills opposes raising the minimum wage but provides no documentation to support that assertion. In fact Stewart Mills’s family business, Mills Fleet Farm, pays all its workers above minimum wage and he has been repeatedly on the record raising all workers’ wages in actuality by growing the economy.

The advertisement next falsely claims that Stewart Mills, “wants another tax break for the wealthy.” Again the advertisement provides nothing to backup this assertion. Stewart Mills doesn’t believe that and has never said that. His position is that we need broad based tax reform to make a simpler, fairer tax code which creates jobs on Main Street Minnesota.

Finally, the advertisement ends with more slander by again clipping the “personally offensive” line and claiming “because paying his fair share is ‘personally offensive.’” As shown above the “personally offensive” clip is taken from a sentence which had nothing to do with “paying his fair share.”

After outlining the complaints, the Mills campaign highlighted the legal justification for pulling the ad:

The false ad bankrolled by AFSCME/House Majority PAC against Stewart Mills does not constitute a “candidate use.” Under Columbia Broadcasting Sys., Inc. v. Democratic Nat’l Comm., 412 U.S. 94 (1973), and Nat’l Conservative Political Action Comm., 89 FCC 2d 626 (1982), your station is not obligated to air any advertisements from third parties, such as the AFSMCE/House Majority PAC, as third parties have no guaranteed right of access to air their advertisements on your station.

Finally, the Mills campaign highlights the fact that the stations aren’t protected legally if they run the ads:

Thus, broadcasting stations are not protected from legal liability for airing a false and misleading advertisement sponsored by the AFSCME/House Majority PAC. Moreover, broadcast licensees have a legal responsibility to review and to eliminate any false, misleading, or deceptive materials contained in advertising.

That’s likely why WDIO and KSTP dropped the ad so quickly.

There’s no indication that the Nolan campaign coordinated their activities with Ms. Pelosi’s PAC. That isn’t the point, though. Pelosi’s PAC clearly won’t hesitate in putting together some dihonest ads together. This isn’t the only ad that HMP paid for that’s been criticized for its dishonesty:

The nonpartisan stamped the “bogus” label on a House Majority PAC ad in West Virginia that accused Republican candidate Evan Jenkins, a state senator trying to unseat Democratic Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, of vowing to repeal black lung disease benefits for coal miners.

The watchdog group also questioned a TV spot by the super PAC in Arizona that heaped praise on Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, calling her an Obamacare whistleblower.

This month, AARP in West Virginia disavowed the super PAC’s use of the AARP logo in another TV ad attacking Mr. Jenkins. The ad suggested that the seniors group opposed the Republican and said he wanted to privatize Social Security.

“AARP had no prior knowledge of, nor authorized, any ad from the House Majority PAC that mentions AARP and uses the AARP logo, and we did not participate in its production,” West Virginia AARP State Director Gaylene Miller said in a statement.

Saying that Ms. Pelosi’s PAC isn’t that concerned with accuracy is understatement. Putting it as succinctly as I know how, Ms. Pelosi will say or do anything to flip a Republican seat or protect a Democrat seat. She’s shown that she didn’t hesitate in lying in these ads. Why would anyone think she’ll change now?

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Jim Knoblach, the GOP-endorsed candidate for House District 14B, issued this press release on his fundraising totals thus far:


Jim Knoblach (St. Cloud), the Republican candidate for State House District 14B, announced today that he had raised $57,249 in the four months since he filed for office, and that he had $41,941 in the bank as of July 21, the preprimary reporting date.

This contrasts with his opponent, Zachary Dorholt, who reported raising $19,820, and reported having $8,626.61 in the bank. The vast majority of Knoblach’s funds were raised from Minnesota individuals. Over 60% of Dorholt’s funds were raised from out of state individuals, PACs, or lobbyists.

“I am gratified at the support of my many contributors,” said Knoblach. “This is a campaign funded by Minnesotans who care about our state, not out of state individuals and special interests.”

Knoblach also announced that he would not be accepting public subsidies for his campaign, for which he is eligible. This includes both a state check of approximately $3,000, as well as eligibility for the state political contribution refund.

“This move is necessary to allow me to combat the special interest money that already flowing into this race,” said Knoblach. “District 14B was the most expensive State House race in the state in 2012. My opponent beat King Banaian in large part because outside special interest groups poured over $300,000 into this race against Banaian. It would be crazy to agree to abide by the spending limit of $62,600 in exchange for receiving public funding, knowing this will likely happen again. It is an added bonus that by not agreeing I will not be spending taxpayer funds.

“I truly regret the enormous sums spent on these campaigns,” said Knoblach. “However, with my opponent likely to again benefit from hundreds of thousands of dollars of out of state special interest money, I need to be able to respond to his negative attacks.”

This is a shot across Mr. Dorholt’s bow. I’m sure Dorholt expected Jim Knoblach to be well-financed. I’m betting, though, that he wasn’t expecting this fundraising total from Jim.

What’s interesting is reading Mr. Dorholt’s campaign finance report. The reason it’s interesting reading is because it has a lengthy list of out-of-state special interests contributions. That begs the question of who Mr. Dorholt represents. Does he represent his district or does he represent the DFL’s Metrocrats? At this point, there’s little question that Dorholt represents Speaker Thissen’s wishes. He voted with Speaker Thissen 99% of the time on issues of importance.

The Twin Cities doesn’t need another representative. St. Cloud, however, needs a real representative in the worst way. HD-14B needs a legislator who’s interested in the important local issues. Zach Dorholt’s press releases don’t read like they’re written by someone interested in St. Cloud. They’re mostly about touting Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s so-called accomplishments.

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When the Halbig v. Burwell ruling came out last week, lefties like the New Republic reached out to Jonathan Gruber after their initial spin failed. Their initial spin consisted of this being a drafting error which should be excused by the courts.

When conservative bloggers found a video of Jonathan Gruber saying that health insurance subsidies were only available to people buying health insurance through state-established exchanges, TNR called Gruber. Dr. Gruber immediately backtracked by saying what he said was “a speak-o”. Michael Cannon’s op-ed blows that spin out of the water:

The administration’s defenders responded to the Halbig case by insisting that Congress never intended to withhold subsidies from residents of states that did not establish exchanges. Like the Obama administration, Gruber told the D.C. Circuit that this idea is “implausible.” The D.C. Circuit disagreed when it ruled for the plaintiffs last Tuesday.

Gruber then became part of the story on Thursday when a video surfaced in which he espouses the very interpretation of the law he now publicly derides as “screwy,” “nutty” and “stupid.” In 2012, Gruber told an audience: “If you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.”

Frankly, this appears to be proof that Dr. Gruber is willing to say anything to save his greatest legislative achievement. There’s no question what the legislative language says, which is the only thing the courts can go by.

As damning as that is, this is the part of Cannon’s op-ed that sinks Dr. Gruber:

The problem with his explanations is that Jonathan Gruber doesn’t “flake.” He knows this law in and out. He knew what his words meant, with all their implications, when he spoke them. He knew the feature he was describing essentially gave each state a veto over the PPACA’s exchange subsidies, employer mandate and to a large extent its individual mandate. He knew that could lead to adverse selection. To claim Gruber didn’t know what he was saying is as absurd as saying a conductor might fail to notice that the brass section suddenly stopped playing.

It’s rich that the guy who boasts that he knows “more about this law than any other economist” suddenly left to dissembling when he’s caught spinning.

Richard Epstein’s explanation of the ruling is compelling and succinct:

Do the words an “exchange established by a State” cover an exchange that is established by the federal government “on behalf of a state”? To the unpracticed eye, the two propositions are not synonyms, but opposites. When I do something on behalf of myself, it is quite a different thing from someone else doing it on my behalf. The first case involves self-control. The second involves a change of actors. It is not, moreover, that the federal government establishes the exchange on behalf of a state that has authorized the action, under which case normal principles of agency law would apply. Quite the opposite: the federal government decides to act because the state has refused to put the program into place. It is hard to see, as a textual matter, why the two situations should be regarded as identical when the political forces at work in them are so different. Under the so-called “plain meaning approach”, there is no need to look further. The text does not authorize the subsidies for these transactions, so it is up to Congress to fix the mess that it created in 2010.

The only context needed is the text itself. It’s clear that language agreed upon means that the only people who are eligible for subsidies are people who bought them through state-established exchanges. There’s no question that the federal government used this carrot-and-stick approach to coax states into creating exchanges. There’s also no question that the federal government couldn’t force states to create these exchange.

That’s considered commandeering by the federal government, which isn’t allowed in our federalist system of governance.

This is enlightening information, too:

Last year, seven career Treasury and IRS officials told congressional investigators that they knew the PPACA did not authorize them to issue tax credits in federal exchanges, and that their regulations had originally confined tax credits to exchanges “established by the State.” At the direction of their political-appointee superiors, however, they dropped that language and announced that tax credits would be available through exchanges established by the federal government as well.

Isn’t it interesting that the rules didn’t change until after President Obama’s political appointees ordered the rule changes? That clearly shows the IRS regulation changing the clear intent of the ACA was an act of political mischief.

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Some governors are expressing surprise and outrage after gun manufacturers left their state:

Beretta USA announced last week that it will relocate from Maryland to Tennessee, explaining that stringent gun laws supported by Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley would make it nearly impossible for the company to manufacture or sell many of its products in the Old Line State.

“During the legislative session in Maryland that resulted in passage of the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, the version of the statute that passed the Maryland Senate would have prohibited Beretta USA from being able to manufacture, store or even import into the state products that we sell to customers throughout the United States and around the world,” Jeff Cooper, general manager for Beretta USA, said in a statement.

Lefty Gov. Martin O’Malley is sticking to his guns:

And although Beretta has no plans to move its administrative staff in Accokeek, Md., to Tennessee, O’Malley is apparently unhappy with the company’s decision to move much of its business to Tennessee.

“We’re disappointed with this decision, but the common-sense gun safety law we passed, which includes licenses for handgun purchases, is keeping schools, communities and law enforcement personnel safe,” said a spokeswoman for O’Malley, Nina Smith.

Here’s a question for Ms. Smith. If the bill just passed, how does Gov. O’Malley know that it’s keeping anyone safe? Have crime rates dropped? If they haven’t, then the claim is essentially spin. If they have, how do you know it isn’t attributable to other things?

Meanwhile, another southern governor is happy:

Beretta will reportedly invest around $45 million to set up shop in Tennessee, Fox News reported, and plans to employ about 300 people during the next five years.

“Beretta is one of the world’s great companies, and its commitment to excellence and Tennessee’s rich history in manufacturing make a great match,” Dave Smith, a spokesman for Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, told Fox in an email.

Here’s another situation where capital goes where it’s welcome. Maryland essentially said that Beretta wasn’t welcome in the state. Tennesssee stepped forward and said that they’d extend some southern hospitality to Beretta. This isn’t that complicated. It’s pretty straightforward, in fact.

Here’s a list of gun manufacturers who’ve left states after those states passed strict gun control laws:

Beretta USA
Colt Competition
Kahr Arms
Les Baer Custom
Lewis Machine & Tool
Magpul Industries
O.F. Mossberg & Sons
PTR Industries
Remington Arms
Stag Arms
Sturm, Ruger & Co.

States that aren’t hospitable to gun companies are finding out that they’re essentially shooting themselves in the foot. Will they ever learn?

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Minutes ago, I received this email alert from the Johnson for Governor campaign:

July 28, 2014 Ph: 612-209-9351

NEWS RELEASE: Johnson Campaign Raises $169,595 Since June Report

GOLDEN VALLEY—Jeff Johnson, the Republican-endorsed candidate for Governor, has raised $169,595 since the June 16th campaign finance report.

His campaign had $122,886 cash on hand as of July 21.

“Our campaign is on track for a victory in the primary,” said Scot Crockett, Johnson’s campaign manager. “We have an active voter contact program with primary voters, television ads are being released, and we are working with the Republican Party to get out the vote on primary day,” Crockett said.

“I am confident that we will win in August, and beat Mark Dayton in November,” Crockett concluded.

While this isn’t a blockbuster total, it’s definitely a significant improvement over Johnson’s last fundraising report. Johnson’s trend is definitely heading in the right direction.

The Johnson campaign is heading in the right direction, too. Over the weekend, they hit Gov. Dayton with their sharpest criticism of the campaign:

“I believe strongly that if Dayton wins, PolyMet will not happen. He is getting and responding to great, great pressure from environmentalists. Saw it at the DFL Convention when they got a resolution on copper/nickel tabled,” Johnson said.

Hitting Gov. Dayton with this criticism in the Mesabi Daily News will have an impact. I’ve been reading MDN for about 4 years now. If I had to give MDN a nickname, it’d be the ‘Miners Daily News’ because their editor, Bill Hanna, focuses like a laser beam on mining issues.

While I wish the MNGOP had more cash on hand, the fact is that they’ve helped their endorsed candidates with their Victory Centers throughout the state. That’s likely helped Jeff Johnson’s GOTV operation. While this doesn’t guarantee a Johnson victory in the primary, it’s definitely helping unite the party.

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Al Franken’s fundraising e-letters are getting more dishonest by the day. This is Franken’s latest dishonest e-letter fundraising appeal:

Dear Cindy,

There are tell-tale signs when a race is heating up. And all the signs in Minnesota point in that direction.

Polls have been getting closer and closer, prompting the Rothenberg Political Report to take Minnesota off its “safe Democrat” list. Outside money is funding attacks against Al. His opponent’s ads distort Al’s record of fighting for Minnesota families.

By themselves, each of these facts is alarming. Taken together, they can only mean one thing: the GOP is coming after Al big time, and he’ll need our help to fight back.

Team Franken needs to reach $200,000 in the next 3 days, and they’re about $15,000 off the mark right now. Help me help Al by contributing $5, or whatever you can, today.

Al is a middle class champion in the Senate. Which means he’s a special interest nightmare. That’s why a super PAC was formed with just one purpose: attack Al.

And in today’s post-Citizens United politics, where there is one super PAC spending money, there will probably be more.

There’s only one way to successfully beat back outside spending in today’s politics — solid grassroots support. That’s what Al needs right now.

And that’s why I’m writing today, to help Al get the grassroots support he needs and deserves. Give $5 or more to make sure Team Franken reaches $200,000 in the next 3 days.

Reading the signs is easy when you’ve been at it long enough. Fighting back against the special interests is hard.

Thanks for doing your part today.

Donna Brazile

Unles Ms. Brazile is talking about internal Franken polling, she’s lying. I’ve watched this race as closely as anyone who isn’t working for the Franken or McFadden campaigns. I’ve only seen a couple of polls on the race. I wrote this post about the KSTP-SurveyUSA poll, which was done in early June. We’re almost to the end of July. There hasn’t been another public poll since the KSTP-SurveyUSA poll.

For the record, I don’t doubt that it’s still a tight race.

Here’s another blast of dishonesty in this fundraising e-letter:

His opponent’s ads distort Al’s record of fighting for Minnesota families.

Thus far, Mike McFadden’s ads have focused on either policies or his biography. I might’ve missed something but I haven’t even seen any of Team McFadden’s ads mention Franken by name.

More importantly, though, Sen. Franken has fought for middle class families if they live in the Twin Cities. He hasn’t fought for middle class families on the Iron Range. In fact, Sen. Franken ignored the Iron Range on his campaign website and in his acceptance speech at the DFL State Convention in Duluth.

That isn’t the definition of fighting for the middle class on the Iron Range.

Based on what I’ve noticed, I’d say that Franken’s frantic fundraising e-letters specialize in dishonesty and paranoia. I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

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If there’s a message we should take from this article, it’s that Rick Nolan is an environmentalist first and foremost:

BRAINERD, Minn. — U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan voiced opposition Thursday to Enbridge Energy’s proposed Sandpiper oil pipeline route, which would cut across northern Minnesota.

Citing environmental and economic concerns, the Minnesota Democrat issued a statement in which he spoke of potential threats to environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands, porous sandy soil, drinking water sources and what he termed some of the cleanest lakes in the state.

Rick Nolan will say anything to not upset environmental activists. Chloe Rockow, Stewart Mills’ communications director, highlighted that in this statement:

“It looks like once again, Rick Nolan wants to have his cake and eat it too,” she said. “We’ve seen too many instances where Rick claims to support projects like Keystone, Polymet, or Twin Metals but then turns around and supports the very regulations that stop them from moving forward. This is just another example of Rick’s extremism stopping a project that could really benefit the 8th Congressional District.”

I’d put things differently. Here’s what I would’ve said: Rick Nolan likes most of these big projects in the theoretical sense. It’s just that Nolan, like most Democrats, won’t pull the trigger so they’d become reality. It’s just that Nolan, like other Metrocrats, aren’t interested in improving people’s lives. They’re more worried about talking a good game.

The truth is that this project would bring lots of jobs to the Eighth District. Another truth is that Nolan, like other Democrats, wants to talk like he supports these projects without supporting these projects. That leads to an important question of great import.

Nolan supposedly supports PolyMet, which, according to environmentalist organizations like Conservation, might pollute entire watershed districts. How can Nolan support the PolyMet mining project but oppose the pipeline project? Further, why would Nolan support rerouting the Enbridge pipeline through important, productive agricultural properties? Is it that he doesn’t put a high priority on agricultural properties?

If the truth was told, it would be that Nolan’s taking his position on Enbridge and his position on PolyMet for purely political reasons. It doesn’t have anything to do with setting solid public policy. That’s why a vote for Rick Nolan is a vote for politics-as-usual in DC.

Minnesotans deserve better than that.

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