This weekend, Gov. Dayton said that he’d campaign around the state before he called a special session. It looks like he’s started campaigning already:

He’s charging up his rhetoric, too:

“I’m doing what I believe is the best for Minnesota. Again, this is not about who gets wins and losses – and gets their number one priority or anything else. This is about what’s right for Minnesota. This is what’s best for people who have got to drink the water. Right now, it’s declining in quality all over the state as both the Department of Health and Pollution Control Agency have documented in the last couple weeks.

This is about four-year-olds and their parents and giving them a better chance in life. And giving kids from disadvantaged backgrounds a chance in life. That’s what I’m fighting for. I’m fighting for the kids of Minnesota. I’m fighting for the parents of Minnesota. I’m fighting for the parents of those kids. I’m fighting for the people who need to drink quality water and think they are but will be horribly shocked that they’re not. That’s what I’m fighting for.

“My wins and losses are not important to me anymore. Doing what’s right for Minnesota is what’s important to me. I’m not running again. I’m not here to win or lose political points for myself. I’m here to win for people of Minnesota.”

That’s BS. Gov. Dayton should be ashamed of himself peddling this as a policy that helps children and parents. Art Rolnick, who dedicated his life to improving early childhood learning, opposes Gov. Dayton’s bill, saying that the program should be targeted to those most at risk and delivered through scholarships. Dr. Rolnick says that the alternative to Gov. Dayton’s plan is less expensive and is more effective.

The Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) opposes Gov. Dayton’s initiative because it’ll raise their operating costs and force them to add onto schools, which will drive up their citizens’ property taxes.

Gov. Dayton, what part of those concerns says that your initiative will improve 4-year-olds’ lives? Gov. Dayton, how will raising property taxes on parents improve their lives?

The simple truth is that Gov. Dayton’s speech is Education Minnesota-approved spin. Anyone that thinks this is about brilliant public policy is kidding themselves or they’re incredibly ill-informed. This initiative, in its current form, is payback to Education Minnesota. Period.

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If the universal pre-K bill that the Dayton-Tina Smith administration supports got votes based on what’s good policy, it wouldn’t have made it out of committee. It certainly wouldn’t still be alive with 20+ hrs. left in the session. This article just adds to the policy justifications for killing the Dayton-Smith bill:

Rolnick, now a policy fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, has made researching early childhood education a big part of his life’s work. He argues that the earlier kids start a good education, the better off they will be in life. But he doesn’t back the governor’s universal preschool plan for 4-year-olds.

“It’s not cost effective,” Rolnick said. “There’s a much better way of doing this.” Rolnick prefers an existing scholarship program that pays for needy children to attend Head Start, a child care facility or a public school program that meets quality standards. He said Dayton’s plan is misguided because it would subsidize early education for all kids rather than target low-income children who need early education the most and are the least likely to have access to it.

Unfortunately, people who like great public policy have one strike against them. This paragraph highlights what’s missing:

The governor’s plan is backed by the state teachers’ union, Education Minnesota. But some early education groups and experts are skeptical, which may not bode well for Dayton in the Legislature.

Dr. Rolnick has a way that’s more effective and less expensive. If the Dayton-Smith administration’s highest priority is to eliminate the achievement gap and help children, then they should be for plans that are effective and inexpensive. If their goal is to pay off another DFL special interest ally, then they should shut down the government again and admit to Minnesotans that their highest priority is to pay off Education Minnesota.

To find out more about who opposes the Dayton-Smith-EdMinn plan, check out this audio of Sen. Carla Nelson talking on the subject.

Here’s a partial transcript of Sen. Nelson’s statement:

It’s very frustrating for me as a legislator and I can only imagine for Minnesotans all across this state to know that, as of Thursday night, just 4 days out from adjournment, there was still no budget agreement on the individual targets for the individual conference areas. Quite frankly, there is no excuse for that. We should have had those targets early, in late April. So, first of all, it was frustrating getting those targets so late and then to add to add fat to the fire, so to speak, there was this agreement between Democrat Senate Majority Leader Bakk and the Republican-controlled House Speaker Daudt and them the Governor is suddenly threatening a veto of the Education Bill. I find that worrisome for a number of reasons. Minnesotans want bipartisanship. We got that here and then the Governor is concerned about one provision in the Education bill and, quite frankly, I understand his concern. He’s very concerned about high quality early learning, making sure kids are ready when they get to Kindergarten and are prepared to learn. I support that, too, but I believe the Governor’s initiative, which is universal pre-Kindergarten, is very premature at this time and is not what Minnesotans want or the school districts need. They just don’t want to build wings of Kindergarten wings onto their buildings for all-day Kindergarten. They are not wishing to now go out and build wings of pre-Kindergarten rooms. Those would be additional property taxes. Also, interestingly enough, early education advocates throughout the state, including myself, a person like Art Rolnick, a person who has pushed early childhood learning to the head of our state, is saying that the Governor’s plan to implement is wrong. We should be targeting resources to those kids most in need.

Let’s be clear about this. The Dayton-Smith-Thissen pre-K bill is a massive property tax increase waiting to happen. Schools throughout the state will have to build onto their existing schools to house all of the extra children. That’s inescapable.

Dayton, Smith and Thissen know this. They don’t care. Their allegiance isn’t with the students, as they’ve insisted. It isn’t with the school districts that’ve protested this throughout the state. The Minnesota School Board Association opposes the program, too. Check this out:

Some school districts indicated to the House Education Finance Committee that they don’t have space to add “basically an entire new grade in our public school system,” its chair, Rep. Jenifer Loon, an Eden Prairie Republican, told us.

There’s concern about facilities, equipment and transportation, she said. “There may be money the governor is proposing per pupil, but there’s no money there to help districts if they have to build classrooms,” for example. “That’s a huge cost that would largely fall on local property taxpayers.”

TRANSLATION: There’s money in this bill for Education Minnesota but there’s a major tax increase in the bill for parents and other taxpayers.

This video shows that Lt. Gov. Tina Smith is driving the DFL’s shutdown train:

Check out this partial transcript of Lt. Gov. Smith’s interview with WCCO’s Esme Murphy”

ESME MURPHY: Not all lieutenant governors are at the negotiating table. You, as I understand, have been. What has happened with the Majority Leader here, Sen. Bakk? I mean, obviously, a very fractured relationship earlier in the year and the previous spat. The Governor called Tom Bakk a “conniving backstabber who couldn’t be trusted.” What does he have to say about him now?
LT. GOV. SMITH: Well, you know, I think it is the…um…at the end of the session, there is always lots of personal interaction back and forth. I have to say, sitting at the table with Sen. Bakk and the Speaker the last 5 days, there was no animosity at all, very little personal animosity. It’s just a fundamental disagreement.

Lt. Gov. Smith later said that “it’s really just a matter of getting the Republicans to support it.”

That’s a telling interview in that it shows how much authority Tina Smith has. The rumors that she’s really been the one running the day-to-day operations of the office were virtually confirmed when it was established that she was at the table. Yvonne Prettner-Solon certainly wasn’t given that type of authority.

She was picked to push Dayton over the top in the 2010 DFL primary by bringing in Range votes. After that, she was treated like a potted plant. Tina Smith had more authority over legislative priorities as Gov. Dayton’s chief of staff than Prettner-Solon had as the lieutenant governor. Isn’t that exceptionally odd?

That isn’t the only oddity in Gov. Dayton’s office. Bob Hume is married to Carrie Lucking, Education Minnesota’s Policy Director. Hume joined “the Mark Dayton administration as a senior communications adviser.”

With Smith planning on replacing Dayton as governor some day, there’s no way she’ll fight Education Minnesota, especially when important players in the Dayton administration has strong ties to Education Minnesota.

Sunday night, Republicans started pushing back hard, saying that Gov. Dayton had 4 months to make his case for universal pre-K. They highlighted the fact that the DFL Senate defeated the Dayton-Smith-Education Minnesota bill a month ago.

Rest assured that Education Minnesota will push their legislators hard until and through the end of session. Smith saying that it’s really a matter of getting Republicans on board verifies the fact that Education Minnesota will push DFL legislators until they crack. It’s just a matter of time before Education Minnesota and Tina Smith get the DFL to crack. That will prove beyond a doubt that the DFL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Education Minnesota.

Republicans should stand strong against the coming PR battle. First, they should highlight the fact that they negotiated in good faith to reach a bipartisan budget agreement. Next, they should tell Gov. Dayton that they won’t budge on universal pre-K that requires school districts to build new school buildings, mandate class size and staff-to-student ratios, parent participation requirements and coordinate professional development with community-based early learning providers.

Demand that the DFL explain how they’ll pay for those things. Specifically, ask them if they’re planning on raising taxes to build new schools to meet the class size and teacher-to-student ration requirements or if it’s another unfunded mandate that the DFL will dump in school districts’ laps.

I’m betting that the DFL focused so intently on getting the legislation passed that they haven’t identified the hidden costs associated with universal pre-K.

If there’s a government shutdown, Tina Smith’s, Gov. Dayton’s, Paul Thissen’s and Education Minnesota’s fingerprints will be all over it…again.

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Gov. Dayton continues to insist that he’ll veto a bill that doesn’t fund universal pre-K. Though he’s been the point person, the personality in front of the cameras, on this issue, Gov. Dayton has had plenty of support from Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, House Minority Leader Thissen and Education Minnesota. This Pioneer Press article puts the blame for this impasse at the legislature’s feet while exempting Gov. Dayton, Lt. Gov. Smith from recriminations:

Dayton, who claimed he was cut out of the final deal-making, said he would not sign the education bill that lawmakers planned to send him. The deal doesn’t adequately fund the state’s education needs, the governor said.

“I’ll say it again and I’ll say it again and I’ll say it again: I’m going to veto $400 million because it’s wrong for the people of Minnesota, for the parents of Minnesota, for the schoolchildren of Minnesota. It’s wrong,” Dayton said early Saturday. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor said the state should increase state funding for E-12 education by a minimum of $550 million, $150 million more than the Legislature is willing to spend.

The governor had significant support for his demand. Several DFL senators, nearly five dozen DFL House members and the DFL Party all said Dayton is right to push for more education funding. “I still think we should do and can do better,” said Senate Assistant Majority Leader Katie Sieben, DFL-Newport.

FYI- This officially verifies that the DFL has declared war on Sen. Bakk and outstate Democrats. This is now officially the Metro DFL, with Tina Smith and Paul Thissen leading this new party.

I wrote this post to highlight what’s wrong with the Dayton/Tina Smith/Paul Thissen/Education Minnesota universal pre-K plan:

  1. the elimination of the school readiness program;
  2. requiring that 4-year-olds be in school longer than other students;
  3. limited facility resources;
  4. mandatory class size and staff-to-student ratios;
  5. parent participation requirements;
  6. requiring that early childhood teachers be paid comparable to K-12 teachers;
  7. coordinated professional development with community-based early learning providers;
  8. requiring school districts to recruit, contract and monitor early childhood programs for fiscal and program quality.

What’s wrong, Gov. Dayton, is shoving a program down school districts’ throats that requires them to dramatically increase staffing levels, build bigger schools to accommodate additional students and pay pre-K teachers virtually the same as K-12 teachers.

But the powerful Education Minnesota teachers union, which would add members if pre-K became universal, as well as many education experts say the cost is worth the result. They say it would mean better outcomes for students, particularly minorities who have lagged behind Minnesota’s white majority.

TRANSLATION: We want our cut. We’re the DFL’s GOTV operation and we demand our payoff.

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I remember this video where Hillary officially announced that she was running for president:

It feels like Hillary has only 10 answered questions since then. Then again, for Hillary, that’s just a month ago. But I digress. Here’s what Hillary personally said in that video:

HILLARY: I’m getting ready to do something, too. I’m running for president. Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion and I want to be that champion so you can do more than just get by. You can get ahead and stay ahead because when families are strong, America is strong.

Hillary won’t be everyday Americans’ champion. The only time the Clintons think about everyday Americans, it’s when they momentarily pretend to care about “people who work hard and play by the rules.” Let’s first set the foundation, starting with Hillary’s “Politics of Meaning Speech” in April, 1993. Here’s snippets from that speech:

America suffered from a “sleeping sickness of the soul,” a “sense that somehow economic growth and prosperity, political democracy and freedom are not enough — that we lack at some core level meaning in our individual lives and meaning collectively, that sense that our lives are part of some greater effort, that we are connected to one another, that community means that we have a place where we belong no matter who we are.”

She spoke of “cities that are filled with hopeless girls with babies and angry boys with guns” as only the most visible signs of a nation crippled by “alienation and despair and hopelessness,” a nation that was in the throes of a “crisis of meaning.”

“What do our governmental institutions mean? What do our lives in today’s world mean?” she asked. “What does it mean in today’s world to pursue not only vocations, to be part of institutions, but to be human?”

Hillary didn’t answer those questions. Instead, she turned to a lifestyle where she made money while peddling influence. That’s the Rodham way. It’s the Clinton way.

Hillary hasn’t driven a car in 25 years. She and Bill own a mansion in a gated Georgetown community that’s worth almost $3,000,000. They also own a mansion in Chappaqua, NY, that’s worth almost $2,000,000. In the past 16 months, the Clintons have made $30,000,000 giving speeches while travelling the world.

There was a time when the Clintons didn’t own property and weren’t rich. Unfortunately for Hillary’s storyline, that was in the 1980s. The Clintons of the 21st Century are a) ridiculously wealthy, which I don’t have a problem with, and b) auction off their positions of power for personal income or for contributions to their slush fund foundation. The woman who’s insisting that she wants to be the champion of “everyday Americans” is the same woman who once said “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas.”

We’re supposed to believe that the elitist that said those is now a commoner. We’re supposed to believe that the woman that’s making $200,000 per speech is suddenly the foremost expert on “everyday Americans.”

That’s as believable as 2 Patriot locker room employees deflated footballs without Tom Brady’s permission. It’s utterly laughable to think that a woman as disdainful of commoners as Hillary is suddenly their champion.

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If Hillary wasn’t worried about the Clinton Foundation’s donations-for-influence scandal, she’s worried now. This time, though, it’s personal:

Almost a decade ago, as Hillary Clinton ran for re-election to the Senate on her way to seeking the presidency for the first time, the New York Times reported on her unusually close relationship with Corning, Inc., an upstate glass titan. Clinton advanced the company’s interests, racking up a big assist by getting China to ease a trade barrier. And the firm’s mostly Republican executives opened up their wallets for her campaign.

During Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, Corning lobbied the department on a variety of trade issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The company has donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to her family’s foundation. And, last July, when it was clear that Clinton would again seek the presidency in 2016, Corning coughed up a $225,500 honorarium for Clinton to speak.

In the laundry-whirl of stories about Clinton buck-raking, it might be easy for that last part to get lost in the wash. But it’s the part that matters most. The $225,500 speaking fee didn’t go to help disease-stricken kids in an impoverished village on some long-forgotten patch of the planet. Nor did it go to a campaign account. It went to Hillary Clinton. Personally.

First, the fact that Hillary supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership won’t sit well with Elizabeth Warren’s wing of the party. In the interest of being proactive, please forgive me for being a sexist pig for calling Sen. Warren by her first name. But I digress.

Lanny Davis, James Carville or, perhaps, George Stephanopoulos will undoubtedly pop out of the Clinton’s mansion and defend Hillary to the death, insisting all the while that she didn’t commit a crime and that there’s no quid pro quo involved.


Charismatic speakers like Hillary frequently command 6-figure-per-speech honoraria. There’s no doubt that Hillary’s a spell-binding, charismatic speaker who’s worth every penny of that $225,500 stipend. The fact that Hillary’s running for president and the company wants to influence Hillary on trade deals is totally immaterial. Everyone knows that the Clintons are the most altruistic people in the world. People questioning Hillary’s honoraria must be sexist, too.

The latest episode in the Clinton money saga is different than the others because it involves the clear, direct personal enrichment of Hillary Clinton, presidential candidate, by people who have a lot of money at stake in the outcome of government decisions.

Hillary’s always been known as having chutzpah but this time takes the cake. There’s nothing she can say that would get Hillary out of this mess.

From there, things get messier for Hillary:

Corning’s in good company in padding the Clinton family bank account after lobbying the State Department and donating to the foundation. Qualcomm and did that, too. Irwin Jacobs, a founder of Qualcomm, and Marc Benioff, a founder of, also cut $25,000 checks to the now-defunct Ready for Hillary SuperPAC. Hillary Clinton spoke to their companies on the same day, October 14, 2014. She collected more than half a million dollars from them that day, adding to the $225,500 had paid her to speak eight months earlier.

And Microsoft, the American Institute of Architects, AT&T, SAP America, Oracle and Telefonica all paid Bill Clinton six-figure sums to speak as Hillary Clinton laid the groundwork for her presidential campaign.

Vox’s reporter on this nailed Hillary with this commentary:

By this point, most Clinton allies wish they had a button so they didn’t have to go to the trouble of rolling their eyes at each new Clinton money story. The knee-jerk eye-roll response to the latest disclosure will be that there’s nothing new to see here. But there’s something very important to see that is different than the past stories. This time, it’s about Hillary Clinton having her pockets lined by the very people who seek to influence her. Not in some metaphorical sense. She’s literally being paid by them.

I could turn this post into a much longer post with all the material I have here. Instead, think of this as laying the foundation for Part II.

The sad truth is that, with the Clintons, their excesses are the norm.

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The best news from the Capitol this weekend is that transportation conference committee members have given up on reaching a grand bargain:

With a grand transportation compromise all but dead, lawmakers on Saturday moved to pass a so-called “lights-on” bill to fund the Department of Transportation next year.

Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis said that unless “something incredible happens, say the clouds parting and heavens starting to sing, which I hope happens before midnight on Monday,” the best lawmakers can hope for in transportation is minor changes and spending. Just in case that miracle does occur, the conference committee the issue will stay open until late Monday waiting for an unlikely deal by senior leaderships. But in the meantime, the lights-on proposal seems likely to become law.

The proposed measure does include a collection of smaller spending items and policy proposals, including:

  1. $140 million in trunk highway bonds for rerouting Highway 53, for $12.1 million in debt service
  2. $5 million for Greater Minnesota Transit
  3. $5 million for rail grade crossing safety
  4. $12.5 million to help small cities with fewer than 5,000 residents with their roads
  5. An increase in the fine for repeat texting-while-driving offenses to $225
  6. Changing the distribution of County State Aid Highway funds such that 68 percent is based on construction needs and 32 percent on that county’s share of motor vehicles registered. The current formula is 60 percent and 40 percent respectively.

This all but officially ends consideration of the gas tax until 2017. There’s no way Sen. Bakk will bring the Dayton-DFL tax increase up in an election year. Sen. Bakk might be a Democrat but he isn’t foolish. He’ll push a tax increase if he’s got the political cover. This year’s dynamic (DFL Senate, GOP House right after a major tax increase) has people tired of tax increases. If Move MN and Brian McDaniel could’ve talked a couple Republicans into voting for a gas tax increase, Bakk would’ve gone forward with it.

The thing that’s got to have the DFL worried is that next year’s session will be the bonding and policy session. Republicans will have tons of time to push their transportation bill. It’ll get tons of headlines, too, because it’ll be the highest priority item on the agenda. With the transportation bill being the first legislation that the House will pass, they’ll be able to ask why the DFL hasn’t started debating the House transportation bill.

One of the safe members of the DFL, like Scott Dibble, will likely chief-author a bill but that won’t go far. Vulnerable DFL legislators will vote against it because they can’t afford to vote for a Dibble bill.

Once that’s dispatched, Republicans will ask why the DFL is opposed to the Republican bill. Eventually, that’ll turn into a lit piece in every vulnerable DFL senator’s district. Considering the fact that Minnesotans have made this their highest priority since 2013, they’ll be fired up to vote for people who support the Republican plan.

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The Bible says that a house divided cannot stand. I’ve never known that to be wrong, which means the DFL is heading for a collapse. The DFL, or more specifically Tina Smith, has declared war on Tom Bakk and the state of Minnesota. Whenever there’s a press conference, Tina’s right there, acting as Dayton’s keeper. Here’s proof of the Metro DFL’s turning on Sen. Bakk:

Tina Smith clearly controls the Metro DFL. It isn’t surprising, then, that the Metro DFL has put its stake in the ground over half-day universal pre-K even though studies show it isn’t great policy. Customized pre-K plans are cheaper and they produce better results. Look at all of the requirements the Smith-Dayton-DFL plan imposes on program operators:

  1. the elimination of the school readiness program;
  2. requiring that 4-year-olds be in school longer than other students;
  3. limited facility resources;
  4. mandatory class size and staff-to-student ratios;
  5. parent participation requirements;
  6. requiring that early childhood teachers be paid comparable to K-12 teachers;
  7. coordinated professional development with community-based early learning providers;
  8. requiring school districts to recruit, contract and monitor early childhood programs for fiscal and program quality.

That reads like a union contract, not education legislation. How much money would be saved if “early childhood teachers” weren’t “paid comparable to K-12 teachers”? Why does the Smith-Dayton-Metro DFL legislation mandate “class size and staff-to-student ratios”?

What’s happening here is that Education Minnesota is pushing for a mandatory program that a) all parents have to use, b) requires teachers to be paid union scale wages and c) requires new schools to be built. That isn’t a program built for “the kids.” It’s a program that’s “for Education Minnesota.”

If I had $10 for each tweet I’ve seen this weekend that talks about this program being for the children, I’d be wealthy. Tina Smith, Paul Thissen and most Metro DFLers are machine politicians. Their agenda is focused on satisfying their special interest allies. They aren’t focused on solutions. They’re about doing whatever they need to do to gain and maintain power.

When Sen. Bakk pulled his stunt about Gov. Dayton’s pay raise for department commissioners, he started a civil war within the DFL. Tina Smith and the Metro DFL haven’t forgiven him for that. Gov. Dayton certainly hasn’t. He’d rather bury the hatchet and leave the handle sticking out than forgive Bakk.

During his first term, speculation spread throughout the Capitol that Dayton’s chief of staff ran things, not Gov. Dayton. Tina Smith was Gov. Dayton’s chief of staff.

Smith worked in marketing for General Mills, ran her own marketing firm, and served as a Vice President of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.[3] She served as Chief of Staff for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, and as senior advisor and Transition co-chair for Dayton’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign. Dayton appointed Smith as chief of staff when he took office in 2011.

When Dayton’s running mate from 2010, Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon, announced she would not seek re-election, Dayton passed over better-known political officeholders, citing Smith’s work on shepherding the new Minnesota Vikings Stadium through the legislature, as well as her work on supporting the Destination Medical Center Project with the Mayo Clinic and the City of Rochester, MN.

Smith and Thissen were the people who talked Gov. Dayton out of accepting a deal that would’ve prevented the state government shutdown. Sixteen days later, Gov. Dayton signed the budget that Tina Smith and Rep. Thissen told him not to sign in June.

If there’s another shutdown, it’ll be because Smith and Thissen will have gotten to Gov. Dayton and given him terrible advice…again. In 2011, the Republican negotiators were different (Amy Koch and Kurt Zellers) but the DFL negotiators were the same (Gov. Dayton, Tina Smith, Sen. Bakk and Rep. Thissen). This time, Sen. Bakk negotiated a bipartisan deal with Speaker Kurt Daudt. Gov. Dayton, Lt. Gov. Smith and Rep. Thissen are still pushing policies that appear to be driving us into another shutdown.

That isn’t surprising. It’s just disappointing.

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Gov. Dayton is refusing to listen to people’s concerns about universal pre-K. Here’s a list of concerns from the Minnesota School Board Association:

These concerns include 1) the elimination of the school readiness program; 2) requiring that 4-year-olds be in school longer than other students; 3) limited facility resources; 4) mandatory class size and staff-to-student ratios; 5) parent participation requirements; 6) requiring that early childhood teachers be paid comparable to K-12 teachers; 7) coordinated professional development with community-based early learning providers; and 8) requiring school districts to recruit, contract and monitor early childhood programs for fiscal and program quality.

Check out this study’s conclusion on universal pre-K:

My research examines two critical questions: the costs and benefits of these programs. The results are fairly clear – targeted programs could have better results at much lower cost.

What part of lower costs and better results does Gov. Dayton disagree with? During his press conference, he said that it was unacceptable to not fund his universal pre-K program at his levels.

That sounds like a dictator. That doesn’t sound like Gov. Dayton is interested in keeping the government open. If he wanted it to stay open, he wouldn’t have repeatedly said that the ball is in the legislature’s hands, that they had to send him bills he “could sign.” He repeatedly insisted that this wasn’t about him, which is insulting. Bakk and Daudt have done their work. If Gov. Dayton isn’t happy with their bipartisan agreement, that’s Gov. Dayton’s problem.

Apparently, he’s willing to shut Minnesota’s government down again. He apparently thinks that his is the only voice that matters. If the government is shut down again, it will be a) Dayton’s fault and b) a major hit against Gov. Dayton’s legacy. Acting like a spoiled brat doesn’t enhance a leader’s image.

The RNC should pull the plug on the Republican presidential debate that ABC is hosting. It isn’t just that George Stephanopoulos didn’t clothe himself in glory with his nondisclosure of his donations to the Clinton Foundation. It’s that ABC is caught in another controversy that proves ABC isn’t trustworthy:

Games may have been played yesterday in connection with the week’s resounding media story. On Thursday morning, Politico media reporter Dylan Byers broke the story of George Stephanopoulos’s big-money donations to the Clinton Foundation (at first they were reported as $50,000 but grew to $75,000 by day’s end). The headline of Byers’s story: “George Stephanopoulos discloses $75,000 contribution to Clinton Foundation.”

Big deal. The Internet exploded with commentary, criticisms of Stephanopoulos, liberal-media slams and claims that the PR department of ABC News had done something untoward in handling the story.

In other words, ABC issued a statement to a newspaper that they thought would write a friendlier story about the Stephanopoulos story rather than let a real journalist write the story he’d discovered. That’s a pretty scummy thing to do. I don’t think it’s coincidence that ABC gave the Washington Free Beacon a comment … 10 minutes after the Byers Politico article broke. Here’s why:

When the Washington Free Beaconers put their heads together Thursday morning, there was still no comment from ABC News. “I say, ‘Let’s begin to move this story,’” recalls Continetti. The piece wasn’t complicated: A network news anchor had contributed to a charity run by the first family of the Democratic party and hadn’t told viewers when that charity emerged in news coverage. What was complicated was its landing. “Literally as we were about to hit ‘post,’ we are alerted to the Dylan Byers piece that just went up,” says Continetti, who moved to publish their piece without the ABC News statements. Those arrived later.

This sounds like Stephanopoulos and the ABC PR department trying to direct the story to a friendlier media outlet. They know that the Washington Free Beacon is a right-of-center newspaper. Stephanopoulos might’ve suspected that Stiles’ article would’ve been harder hitting than Byers’ spoon-fed article.

The RNC shouldn’t be in the business of fighting reporters’ fights. Still, it shouldn’t let networks host debates if they’ve shown themselves to not be trustworthy. It isn’t just that Stephanopoulos isn’t trustworthy. It’s that ABC has proven that they aren’t trustworthy. They’re more trustworthy than MSNBC but they’re far from trustworthy.