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Here’s the text of an email proving the DFL’s manipulation of the listening sessions:

Dear Reps. Benson, Ruud, Winkler, Peterson and Simon and Sens. Bonoff, Rest and Pappas,

Thank you for participating in the Plymouth town hall meeting this Thursday. I anticipate there will be additional members participating but have so far not yet been notified. Meeting details are listed below and directions from the Capitol are attached.

Plymouth Town Hall Meeting
Thursday, Feb. 26 7:00 pm
Plymouth City Hall
3400 Plymouth Blvd.

I have also attached the list of people who have signed up to testify as of 9 a.m. this morning. Because we will be meeting for approximately 2 hrs., we will not be able to hear from everyone. (140 have submitted their names.) We will be limiting testimony to 2 minutes and encouraging individuals to submit their comments in writing or online. If there are any individuals listed who you think would provide particularly compelling testimony, please let me know. We will be working to hear from a variety of individuals covering a wide range of topics.

Please contact me with any additional questions or suggestions.

Last week, I posted a copy of Gene Pelowski’s email with essentially the same message. That message is, simply put, “Let’s stack the witness pool.” It’s obvious that the legislator chairing the hearing cherrypicks the pro-DFL ‘messagebearers’ in an attempt to make it look like a great grassroots groundswell to raise taxes instead of cutting funding. As a reminder, here’s the text of Pelowski’s email:

From: Gene Pelowski [mailto:Rep.Gene.Pelowski@house.mn]
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 10:13 AM
This Friday, February 20, there will be a bicameral hearing held in our region. Senators and Representatives from both political parties will be in Winona from 3:30 to 5:30 PM, Winona City Hall, 207 Lafayette St. The purpose of this hearing is to get testimony from affected programs in every level of government, education, health care or service impacted by the cuts suggested by the Governor’s state budget.

I am writing you to ask that you or a designee get scheduled to testify. You may do this by going to the House website at www.house.mn and clicking on ‘Town Meetings’.

We would ask you to focus your comments on the impact of the Governor’s budget including what is the harm to your area of government or program. Please be as precise as possible using facts such as number of lay offs, increases in property taxes, cuts in services, increases in tuition, elimination of programs. To be respectful of the time necessary to hear from a large number of constituents it would be advised to use no more than 3-5 minutes to convey your message. If you choose to provide handouts or printed materials, please plan to bring approximately 25 copies, enough for committee members and media.

Sincerely,
Representative Gene Pelowski
District 31A

The DFL is playing a manipulative game. What’s worst is that they’re cherrypicking people in an effort to justify their tax-increasing, anti-reform agenda. It’s absurd to think that the DFL is interested in finding more cost-effective ways of delivering constitutionally mandated services. I don’t think that that thought is part of their thinking or mindset.

This is all just a well-orchestrated PR dance. This doesn’t have a thing to do with randomly picking people to testify. Doing that represents too great a risk to the DFL’s puppeteers and orchestrators.

The last thing the DFL wants is to let these hearings deviate from their intended script.

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