This DFL ad attacks Jeff Johnson because the DFL doesn’t want parents to know that Gov. Dayton supports Education Minnesota more than he supports students:

Here’s the transcript from the DFL’s mean-spirited ad:

I think a lot of Minnesotans don’t know what Jeff Johnson stands for. It seems like schools are not Jeff Johnson’s priority. Jeff Johnson cut early childhood spending. That really bothers me. Any cuts to that would be devastating for our family. Our kids are our future so how could you do that? I would hate to see Minnesota take a step backwards in education. Students in the state of Minnesota deserve far better than that. I trust Mark Dayton. We think Gov. Dayton is the right choice for moving Minnesota’s schools forward.

That’s what I’d expect from the DFL and Education Minnesota. Everything in the DFL’s ad is about spending. There’s nothing in it about teacher quality.

That’s because Education Minnesota won’t let the DFL talk about teacher quality. In 2011, the Republican legislature passed a bill that required high school math teachers to pass a basic skills test. A year later, 4 high school math teachers for the Sauk Rapids-Rice school district got waivers from the Dayton administration’s Education Department because they couldn’t pass the basic skills test.

The DFL and Education Minnesota have always been about spending. They’ve never focused on teacher quality. There’s proof of that in what the all-DFL government (House, Senate and Gov. Dayton) did the minute they took control. At the request of Education Minnesota, the all-DFL government repealed the Dayton-signed basic skills test for teachers. That required Gov. Dayton’s signature.

That’s proof that Gov. Dayton was for teacher accountability before Education Minnesota told him he was against teacher accountability. This isn’t news. I first highlighted Education Minnesota’s domination of the DFL in this post from 2010.

The DFL’s ad could’ve been written by Education Minnesota. The DFL is the puppet. EdMinn is the DFL’s puppetmaster. That the DFL would regurgitate EdMinn’s chanting points is both predictable and disgusting.

Finally, the DFL’s ad is BS. Jeff Johnson didn’t cut K-12 spending. He just didn’t increase it as much as EdMinn wanted it increased. Jeff Johnson is committed to shrinking Minnesota’s achievement gap, something that Gov. Dayton and EdMinn have utterly failed at.

Parents want improving results. EdMinn wants more money. Thus far, EdMinn has gotten their money. Thanks to EdMinn’s efforts to stop teacher accountability, parents haven’t seen improving results.

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To conservative political junkies, the Minnesota Poll is seen as political graffiti. The Strib’s Abby Simon wrote this article summarizing the race between Sen. Franken and GOP challenger Mike McFadden. The headline will get all the attention but there’s some startling information that Sen. Franken will like. First, here’s the headline:

Franken gets the backing of 49 percent of likely voters, while McFadden gets 36 percent. Another 11 percent say they have not yet decided.

That part certainly will put a smile on Franken’s face. This part will wipe that smile off his face:

But that lead vanishes in northern Minnesota, where 55 percent prefer McFadden to Franken, who gets a little over one third. The number of undecideds also dwindles to 5 percent. The state’s Iron Range region has become politically volatile in recent elections, with fissures deepening this year over controversial issues like the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mining project that sometimes pit labor against environmentalists.

If that polling information is accurate, then it’s difficult to see Franken winning. If 55% of Iron Rangers support McFadden and those numbers have solidified, then Franken’s in some trouble. If that’s the case, then Franken’s got to outperform DFL norms in other parts of the state.

Last week, Ms. Simons called me to ask why I was supporting Mike McFadden. Here’s the quote she used from our interview:

Gary Gross, a conservative Republican from St. Cloud, says he’s indifferent to McFadden’s business background, but will back him for other reasons.

“At this point we need progrowth policies, economic policies, and Senator Franken hasn’t shown me that he’s interested in those types of things,” said Gross, 58, a self-employed blogger and researcher. “He’s pretty much gone along with the types of policies that have just kind of stuck us in the stagnation we’re in, and that would be my biggest reason for going with Mr. McFadden.”

Honestly, Franken has been a rubberstamp for Harry Reid and President Obama. The other thing about Franken is that he’s never dealt with economic issues.

Over the last 25+ years, Franken has been a mediocre comedian, a mean-spirited talk radio host and a do-as-I’m-told rubberstamp senator. There’s nothing in Sen. Franken’s resume that indicates he knows a thing about the economy.

Sen. Franken thinks that tax-the-rich is an economic plan. So does President Obama, Sen. Reid and Gov. Dayton. Sen. Franken thinks that environmental activists should have veto authority over important economic development projects. So does President Obama, Sen. Reid and Gov. Dayton.

Mike McFadden thinks that people who’ve been mining for more than a century know how to protect the environment while mining raw minerals from the ground. McFadden trusts Rangers because they’ve protected the land they live on for over a century. Most importantly, Mike McFadden knows how important the PolyMet project is to Minnesota’s economic health.

While PolyMet is the poster child for high profile economic development projects, it’s just the best example of a totally different economic philosophy between Mike McFadden, who’s helped create jobs, and Sen. Franken, who’s voted for policies that’ve kept us in this stagnation pattern.

If this race boils down to who’s most qualified to create economic growth, that headline number will disappear quickly.

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Who Would Have Thought of Winona as a Competitor to SCSU?
by Silence Dogood

The 10th day enrollments are in and while the overall enrollment may change due to the numbers of Senior to Sophomore (S2S) students still to be registered, the number of New Entering Freshman (NEF) is pretty much their final number. The NEF headcount enrollments for SCSU from Fall’07 to Fall’14 are shown in the following figure:

The data for Fall’07 through Fall’13 comes from the website for the Office of Strategy, Planning and Effectiveness. The data for Fall’14 is current as of the tenth day of the semester.

The figure shows an essentially a constant level of NEF from Fall’07 to Fall’09, which is then followed by a nearly stepwise decline. While some might like to say that it looks like the rate of decline is decreasing, over the time period from Fall’08 to Fall’14, NEF enrollment has dropped by 721 students and represents a drop of 30.0%!

Concomitantly, full-year FYE enrollments at SCSU have also been declining. The following figure shows the FYE enrollment from FY08 through FY14.

From its peak in FY10, the data shows FYE enrollment has fallen by 2,691 FYE corresponding to a decline of 17.8%. This data does not show enrollments for FY15.

The data for FY15 will not be finalized until some time late next spring. However, last March, the administration said they were projecting a 3.2% drop in enrollment for FY15. The enrollment for summer is in and it was down by 9.4% (one set of data shows a decline of 10.2%). The administration has also since revised their enrollment projection to a drop of between 4-5%. So if we assume an enrollment decline of 4.5% (the midpoint of their new projection), we obtain the following figure.

This Figure shows from its peak in FY10, if the administration’s enrollment projection is correct and there is a 4.5% drop in enrollment for FY15, the FYE enrollment will have fallen by 3,249 FYE corresponding to a decline of 21.5%!

Of course it’s easy to say it’s the demographics resulting from the decline in the number of high school graduates that is causing the decline in enrollment. This might be a valid explanation if all or even most of the MnSCU universities were experiencing the same declines. However, the problem is that not all universities are experiencing the same enrollment trends. The enrollment data for Minnesota State University—Mankato, the university closest in size to SCSU and Winona State University, the next largest university in size after SCSU, as well as SCSU, are shown together in the following figure:

Although the data labels may be hard to read because of the overlap, the enrollment trends of Mankato and Winona are clearly very different than that of SCSU. Stable or slightly growing enrollment at Mankato and Winona and significant decline at SCSU. Just looking at the time period from FY13 to FY14, Winona is down 1.8%, Mankato is up 0.2%, and SCSU is down 5.0%. These are significantly different trends!

If you start to look deeper at the data, it gets even more discouraging for SCSU. The following table shows the NEF enrollments of SCSU and Winona from Fall’08 through Fall’14.

Clearly, the figure shows the trends are very different for SCSU and Winona. NEF enrollment at Winona is only down two students from Fall’13 through Fall’14 (1,650 vs. 1,648—a drop of 0.1%), while SCSU’s NEF enrollment continues its downward trend losing 23 students (1,703 vs 1,680—a drop of 1.4%). A comparison of the one-year rate of decline shows SCSU is down 11 times more than Winona. Looking back to Fall’08 SCSU’s NEF enrollment is down 721 students or 30.0%. For the same time period, Winona’s NEF enrollment is down 229 students or 12.2%. For this time period the comparison shows shows SCSU is down 2.5 times more than Winona. While you might argue that the decline may have bottomed out for Winona, the same cannot be said for SCSU. Clearly, the difference in the enrollment statistics between SCSU and Winona is enormous and going in the wrong direction (for SCSU)!

Furthermore, the Minnesota Department of Education has the following graphic (from Minnesota Measures 2014—Report on Higher Education Performance):

This graphic indicates that SCSU has not only fallen far behind rival Minnesota State University—Mankato in attracting Minnesota High School graduates, SCSU is now behind the University of Minnesota Duluth. This data was for Fall’12 so with two additional years of significant decline for SCSU and small growth for Winona State University, it is not far fetched to expect that Winona may soon not only catch but pass SCSU as the ‘top choice’ for Minnesota High School graduates attending college in Minnesota. In fact, for this year, Winona has closed the gap in NEF to SCSU to only 32 students. In the Fall’10, SCSU had 682 more NEF than Winona!

SCSU is substantially larger than Winona because of a larger number of transfer students and graduate students. Additionally, SCSU is larger because of nearly 3,500 high school students in S2S programs. Winona does not participate in S2S.

Another factoid, Winona State University on their website lists Fall’12 to Fall’13 NEF retention at 78%. While SCSU’s retention data has not been made public in recent years, the retention rate for NEF students at SCSU historically has been nearly 10% lower than Winona.

So, not only is SCSU falling in the ranking as the top choice of Minnesota High School graduates, those that do attend don’t seem to stick around. If you keep attracting fewer and fewer students and keep losing higher and higher percentages of those that do come, pretty soon you’ll have a real enrollment problem. Wait! Just what is a decline of 21.5% over five years? President Potter calls it ‘right’ sizing.

John McCormack’s article on Sen. Paul’s change from dove to hawk exposes Sen. Paul’s temper. First, here’s Sen. Paul’s evolution:

On June 19, a week after Mosul fell to ISIS, Paul was very skeptical of airstrikes. On August 11, after Christians were forced to flee Mosul and Yazidis were massacred, Paul was ambivalent about the limited airstrikes the president had just ordered. On August 29, after the beheading of American James Foley but before the beheading of American Steven Sotloff, Paul suggested he still hadn’t made up his mind about bombing ISIS:

I think the strategy has to be that you have an open debate in the country over whether or not ISIS is a threat to our national security. And it’s not enough just to say they are. That’s usually what you hear—you hear a conclusion. People say, “Well, it’s a threat to our national security.” That’s a conclusion. The debate has to be: Are they a threat to our national security?

In a statement to the AP later that same afternoon, Paul said that he would “seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily” if he were president.

Sen. Paul isn’t a hawk. He’s a politician who got caught on the wrong side of an important issue. He’s a politician who made a political decision to be acceptable to presidential primary voters in 2016. We don’t need an unprincipled presidential candidate. We need someone who’s thought things through. Our presidential nominee needs to get national security right. We don’t need someone whose default position is to shrink American influence.

We’re already suffering through that type of administration.

Sen. Paul said that saying ISIL is a threat to our national security is a conclusion, not a discussion. This isn’t a time for a lengthy discussion. It’s time for deciding. Further, deciding that ISIL is a threat to our national security based on the beheading of 2 reporters, however tragic and shocking they were, isn’t sound thinking. It sounds more like the type of thinking that comes from getting caught.

Sen. Paul isn’t liking getting pressed by the press:

I asked Paul twice if he was no longer concerned, as he wrote in June, that bombing ISIS may simply turn the United States into “Iran’s air force.” He didn’t respond to the questions and indicated he wasn’t happy with this reporter as well as a local reporter who repeatedly suggested Paul is an isolationist.

“All right, thanks guys. Work on that objectivity,” Paul said, as he walked away.

What a snotty reply. John McCormack is one of the best reporters out there. He’s objective. His articles are filled with solid logic and verified facts. That Sen. Paul would whine about John McCormack’s objectivity speaks volumes about Sen. Paul’s temperament (temper?), not McCormack’s objectivity.

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According to this ad by the House DFL Caucus, Zach Dorholt is “delivering for St. Cloud and the middle class”:

That’s a nice-sounding chanting point. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have anything to do with reality. Job creation has stagnated. Revenues are falling short of projections.

Most importantly, Dorholt voted for spending $90,000,000 on an office building that isn’t needed instead of spending that money on fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges.

That’s Dorholt’s record. What part of that says that he’s “delivering for the middle class”? I’d argue that it’s delivering for the privileged. I’d argue that Minnesota’s economy is struggling. That certainly isn’t helping the middle class.

Zach Dorholt voted against working moms who happen to run in-home child care businesses. When he voted to support AFSCME and the SEIU’s unionization scheme, he voted against the First Amendment. That’s because the unionization legislation gives AFSCME and SEIU sole negotiating authority on matters of state funding rates and regulations.

This summer, the Supreme Court ruled that unions can’t force personal care assistants to pay union dues or fair share fees. Also this summer, a lawsuit was filed that would strip the unions of their exclusive negotiating authority. Rep. Dorholt voted against these small business women.

These women aren’t 1-percenters. They’re the heart of the middle class. When Rep. Dorholt repeatedly voted against them, he, along with the rest of the DFL, voted against the middle class.

When Rep. Dorholt voted for raising the cigarette tax, he voted against convenience stores on Minnesota’s borders with North Dakota and Wisconsin. Thanks to that tax bill, those stores are now struggling while stores in North Dakota and Wisconsin are celebrating their higher profits.

If anything, Rep. Dorholt is helping the DFL deliver a knockout punch to Minnesota’s middle class. The Dayton-DFL-Dorholt economy is delivering pain to the middle class, thanks to lower wages and higher prices on products.

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Dave DeLand’s article about the 1988 Homecoming weekend at St. Cloud State is worthwhile reading because it exposes the warped thinking of SCSU’s top administrators.

First, here’s a little information about the 1988 Homecoming weekend:

The scenario subsequently got out of hand. An estimated 1,500 people — some of them St. Cloud State students, some not — were involved in a situation that included tear gas, flying bottles, burning furniture and minor injuries.

The following night, 150 police and State Patrol officers — some in full riot gear — turned out to break up another sofa-burning crowd.

A few observations on all this:

No. 1, the sofas in most college houses probably should be set on fire.

No. 2, it was never really a “riot,” even though some of the trappings were there. That word remains a sore subject at St. Cloud State.

No. 3, SCSU has subsequently been sensitive about changing its perceived “party school” culture, and that sensitivity is often perceived as a lockdown mentality.

There’s no question that things got badly out of hand that weekend. That weekend, St. Cloud State made the national news shows and not in a positive light. After that, St. Cloud’s City Council instituted some ordinances aimed at restraining off-campus wild all-night parties.

The new ordinances worked.

That wasn’t good enough for President Potter, though:

“We’re going for something different than homecoming,” Potter said. “People would come back to St. Cloud to drink. They wouldn’t even set foot on campus. Homecoming, frankly, had become a perversion of what it should be. I would not go back to homecoming to go back to that.”

That change happened in 2011, 23 years after the 1988 Homecoming disaster. Instead of Homecoming weekends, when the city’s ‘population’ doubled (at least) and the bars did a booming business, SCSU now has 4 weekends called Celebrate!

“What we’re trying to do with the fall Celebrate! is that the alumni office takes the lead trying to encourage as many alumni as possible to come back to campus,” said John Brown, SCSU’s associate director of alumni and constituent engagement.

President Potter’s decision to shut down Homecoming weekend happened 23 years after the event that gave Homecoming a bad reputation. Had the SCSU president announced in November, 1998, that Homecoming had to stop, people probably would’ve given that president the benefit of the doubt.

Stopping it 23 years after the fact makes no sense whatsoever. President Potter isn’t getting the benefit of the doubt:

Whatever it’s called, though, Celebrate! doesn’t resonate downtown to nearly the extent of homecoming.

“Then they whine, ‘How do we get students to attend games?’ or ‘How do we get alumni to come back?'” Burns said. “It just really seems like some of the decisions are sort of a knee-jerk reaction,” Barth said, “just trying to penalize some of the downtown bars.”

Here’s President Potter’s lame explanation:

Potter said the switch from homecoming to Celebrate! was needed to help change a campus culture of binge drinking.

“We’re not talking about prettying up our reputation,” he said. “We’re talking about substantive change in the climate of the university. St. Cloud is not the party school it was. It’s not the place you go to when you can’t get in anywhere else. That’s worth celebrating. That should be the focus.”

What’s happened is that SCSU alumni got utterly disinterested in SCSU. Further, St. Cloud State went from being a party school to a school that’s ignored. President Potter’s decision didn’t cause SCSU’s enrollment declines. Still, it’s foolish to tihnk that President Potter’s decision didn’t sour relations with the University’s alumni.

It’s difficult to regain the alumni’s trust once you’ve alienated them. It’s impossible to regain their trust if you think you’ve done the right thing.

When President Potter is just a bad memory, let’s hope the new president restarts Homecoming. That’d truly be a reason to Celebrate!

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The highest profile pipeline project in the nation is the Keystone XL Pipeline project. While Republicans have fought for the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline, that isn’t the only pipeline project being delayed by environmental activists. This article highlights the impact the anti-pipelines activists are having in outstate Minnesota:

Railroads will be the key to winter heat as propane becomes a dicier commodity to secure. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recommended pre-paying for propane supplies to eliminate the uncertainty of rising prices later this winter.

But that’s not an option for some people in Park Rapids.

“I can’t afford to take the chance,” said Steve Olafson, who owns the Skelgas service in Park Rapids and ended his “pre-buy” program this year. Last year he found his business trying to fill pre-paid orders for $1.54 per gallon at $5 per gallon.

First, this shows how little thought went into Gov. Dayton’s recommendation. Gov. Dayton automatically thought that businesses wouldn’t react to higher prices and losing money. Mr. Olafson, the businessman who would get hurt by price increases, decided he isn’t willing to lose money on the pre-paid plan. That’s why he eliminated that as an option for customers.

Gov. Dayton’s ‘plan’ was more of a gimmick aimed at hiding a problem create by his political allies in the environmental movement. Environmental activists have waged war on building pipelines, whether it’s the Keystone XL Pipeline or the proposed pipeline from the Bakken to refineries in Superior, WI.

The solution is to build the pipelines. The minute that those pipelines are built, railcar availability will improve dramatically. Those things won’t happen, though, if Gov. Dayton is Minnesota’s governor. The environmental activist wing of the DFL won’t tolerate it.

The railroad capacity issue won’t change until Minnesota has a governor who will stand up to the environmental activists. That will trigger hardships for tons of Minnesotans, including farmers who can’t get their crops to market, homeowners who will get hit with paying way too much for propane and Iron Rangers who can’t get their ore to the steelmakers in a timely fashion.

The DFL insists that they’re fighting for the little guy. That’s BS. I’ve just highlighted how they’re shafting farmers and laborers, the F and L in DFL. The truth is that the DFL is fighting tirelessly for the environmental activist wing of their party.

The DFL is fighting tirelessly for the environmental activists because that’s the dominant wing of their party. Most of the leaders of that wing of the party are plutocrats and trust fund babies who don’t give a damn about Iron Rangers and farmers.

But I digress.

The DFL created this rail capacity crisis. Now they’re pretending to look for the solution, with pretending being the key word. If the DFL was truly interested in solving this crisis, they’d start building pipelines.

Unfortunately, the DFL won’t do that because they won’t stand up to the environmental activist wing of their party.

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Create a crisis, then criticize others when the crisis you created hurts a key constituency. That’s a trusty tactic frequently employed by the DFL. It’s the tactic of choice Amy Klobuchar used during her testimony about railroad delays hurting the Iron Range:

“Cliffs Natural Resources’ mines in Minnesota are among a number of industrial facilities that have been significantly impacted by the national logjam of rail services in the United States.

“These conditions create substantial and irreversible negative consequences for iron ore operations because there is a finite shipping season on the Great Lakes and our operations seek to time shipments as to ensure that our steelmaking customers’ blast furnaces at the lower end of the lakes have adequate iron stocks to continue operation during the closure of the locks at Sault St. Marie,” a company statement said.

Klobuchar spoke on the issue to the Senate Conference Committee.

“Rail service disruptions are forcing mines on the Iron Range to stockpile significant quantities of iron ore,” Klobuchar said. “These disruptions hurt business and threaten jobs not only at these operations, but also at the steel mills that rely on taconite pellets to feed the furnaces.”

St. Amy of Hennepin County would have more credibility on this issue if she didn’t keep voting against the building of additional pipelines, especially the Keystone XL Pipeline. Starting with President Obama’s rejection of building the Keystone XL Pipeline, which should’ve been approved years ago, oil companies were forced to find alternative ways of getting their product to market.

When Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2010, they voted to force President Obama to approve construction of the pipeline. Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken voted against it. In fact, it’s been put to a vote multiple times, with Sens. Franken and Klobuchar voting against the pipeline’s construction each time.

Now that trains are filled with oil cars, rail capacity is limited. Mining isn’t the only industry getting hurt by the railroad capacity shortage. Agriculture is getting hurt, too. Meanwhile, Democrats keep voting against building the Keystone XL Pipeline while complaining about the shortage they’ve created with their votes.

It’s time people started voting against these Democrats. They’ve done everything possible to prevent the building of the infrastructure needed to take advantage of the oil and natural gas boom. The Democrats’ unwillingness to do what’s right is based on their unwillingness to tell their environmental activist allies to take a hike.

The Democrats’ position is clear. Sen. Klobuchar’s position is clear. Sen. Franken’s position is clear. They’ve sided with the obstructionist in the environmental movement. They’ve refused to build the infrastructure that’s needed to move minerals and grains to market.

Building more pipelines would give us the infrastructure that’s required to take advantage of this great opportunity. Environmental activists and their allies in the Democratic Party are causing these problems. If the American people want to see prosperity again, they’ll have to flush this type of thinking from the political system.

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This article shows how the environmental left uses the regulation process to kill good-paying construction jobs:

“We don’t see where anyone’s actually said, ‘yes, you have the need to go forward. We want you to go forward, and now let’s find a place to go forward,'” said attorney Frank Bibeau, representing Honor the Earth.

Bibeau argued that a certificate of need should be requested.

“If you do the certificate of need, then we at least know we have to do a project,” said Bibeau. “Right now we’ve got everybody alarmed, and we’re worried about who else we might alarm just because we’re not sure what we’re going to do.”

Ultimately, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission sided with Bibeau and Honor the Earth, killing high-paying construction jobs. Thanks to Honor the Earth’s stunt, railroad capacity will continue to be limited, meaning farmers’ crops won’t get to market in a timely fashion:

Supporters were also quick to point to the problems caused by oil tankers dominating the railway system, and choking out agricultural shipments like grain.

Earlier this week, Gov. Dayton held discussions about how to get those grain shipments moving and to improve railroad safety. The simple solution is building pipelines.

Environmental activists apparently don’t care that farmers and construction workers are getting hurt by their scorched earth tactics. Environmental activists are the dominant part of the DFL in Minnesota and Democrats nationwide. They’ve figured out a way to shaft the F and the L in the DFL, aka farmers and laborers.

It’s time those parts of the DFL to notice that they’re getting shafted by the DFL. Why should farmers continue to support the DFL? Environmentalists continually lobby to heap regulation upon regulation on family farmers. Those same environmental activists continually shut down major construction projects.

The DFL continually talks about how important farmers and laborers are to the DFL. Unfortunately, their actions show how they’re dominated by the environmental activists’ agenda. That’s why farmers and laborers should question the DFL this election season.

Specifically, they should ask the DFL ‘what’ve you done for me lately’? It’s an especially legitimate question after the stunt that Honor the Earth and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission pulled Thursday.

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Yesterday, Martin launched a hissy fit yesterday that would make a 5-year-old proud. Here’s the heart of Martin’s histrionics:

On Tuesday, Martin also accused Johnson of being disingenuous about his connection to the Tea Party.

“This is a question of character,” said Martin. Martin said Johnson was trying to “reinvent” himself post-primary. “It’s the hypocrisy. It’s the lying. It’s the misleading,” Martin said.

As proof, Martin shared a video of Johnson saying on Tuesday that he had not asked for the Tea Party’s endorsement and questioning whether the Tea Party even endorses. The DFL compared that to a video of Johnson at an April Tea Party meeting in which he says, “I would be truly honored to earn your support and endorsement in this race.”

It’s utterly disgusting to hear Martin and the DFL to lecture anyone on character. They’re the party that stole 11 Senate elections by breaking well-established campaign finance laws:

The Minnesota campaign finance agency on Tuesday slapped the Minnesota DFL Senate campaign with a $100,000 fine improperly coordinating 2012 campaign mailings with candidates.

The result of investigation and settlement talks that lasted more than a year, the fine is one of the largest ever levied in Minnesota for campaign violations. The penalty stems from candidates and the party committee violating rules that ban coordination between independent spending and what is controlled by a candidate.

How dare Martin now question Jeff Johnson’s character after turning a blind eye toward his party’s candidates breaking the law. In fact, Chairman Martin’s statement in the aftermath of this fine shouts that he isn’t a man of integrity:

“Ultimately, it is best to set this distraction aside and allow our members to focus on governing,” Martin said.

Chairman Martin dares challenge Jeff Johnson’s character after saying that intentionally breaking well-established campaign finance to steal elections is a “distraction”? That won’t cut it with me, Chairman Martin. Shame on you for saying that the stealing of 11 state senat elections is a “distraction.”

Ken Martin’s job this election is to distract attention away from the disastrous Dayton-DFL jobs creation statistics, the impending Dayton-DFL deficit, the DFL’s insistance on stopping mining and the continuing MNsure disaster. Thus far, he’s doing a terrible job of distracting attention away from those things.

These accusations are the just the latest attempt to pull attention away from Gov. Dayton’s inability to pay attention long enough to govern. That’s something Tom Horner highlighted in his endorsing statement:

Time and again, Mark Dayton has bucked responsibility for unpopular decisions or failures—how many times, for instance, have we heard Dayton say he didn’t know a provision was in a bill?

Gov. Dayton lost track of tons of things over the last 4 years. He forgot that he negotiated a sales tax on farm equipment repairs into the tax bill he signed into law. He forgot that he negotiated a personal seat license provision into the Vikings stadium bill that he signed. Gov. Dayton forgot that kids who mowed lawns on a weekly basis would have to pay sales tax on their earnings.

Finally, before he became DFL Chairman Martin, Ken Martin was part of the biggest smear campaign in Minnesota gubernatorial history. How dare he now accuse others of not being men of integrity.

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