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Jim Knoblach didn’t waste time correcting the St. Cloud Times’ misstatements about him. Here’s what Jim said:

I was puzzled by one line in the recent St. Cloud Times endorsement editorial. It said I sometimes provided “minimal support for measures that directly benefited his district.”

During my time in the Legislature, I successfully authored more than $100 million in bonding projects for the St. Cloud area. This is far more than any representative in local history. St. Cloud State University and St. Cloud Technical & Community College each received tens of millions of dollars from my efforts. Other projects like Quarry Park, the Beaver Islands Trail and various transportation projects also benefited.

Unlike past years, the Times Editorial Board never gave me the courtesy of an interview before announcing its endorsement. I was thus unable to respond to whatever concerns it had on this subject. Many other local candidates were granted interviews.

I hope in the future the Times gives the courtesy of an interview to all local candidates for endorsements.

Jim Knoblach is a House 14B candidate from St. Cloud.

Jim Knoblach is running for the state legislature, though you wouldn’t know it based on the Times’ reporting. The average citizen wouldn’t have known that Jim Knoblach wasn’t even asked if he’d like to be interviewed for the Times endorsement. I wrote here that the Times decided that they were endorsing Jim’s opponent long before they conducted a single candidate interview.

This year’s Times endorsements were utterly unprofessional. The Times endorsed Joe Perske to replace Michele Bachmann in Congress. Fortunately, he’ll get beaten like a drum next Tuesday. Here’s one of the Times’ rationalizations for endorsing him:

Voters need to elect the person who can begin to restore district credibility while improving the return district residents get on the tax dollars they send to Washington.

Here’s another:

While Emmer is the likely favorite because of the district’s conservative demographics, voters need to seriously consider whether his political persona will help the district. He’s similarly conservative to Bachmann and he is known as a political bully, which makes his House strategy is “building relationships” a tough sell.

Summarizing, the Times endorsed Joe Perske because they think he’d bring home the pork the district is losing out on and because Tom Emmer is a political bully.

At this point, it’s difficult picturing the Times Editorial Board as anything more than gossip columnists. They aren’t professional. They didn’t do their due diligence. They didn’t even treat one of the major party candidates with respect. That isn’t just shameful. It’s disgusting.

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Kirsten Powers’ latest column apparently was written while she wore rose-colored glasses. Here’s what I’m talking about:

A year ago, few would have expected the GOP would be on the ropes in Kansas, Kentucky and Georgia. Kansas Republicans haven’t lost a Senate race since 1932. Now, Sen. Pat Roberts is nearly tied with businessman Greg Orman, an independent. GOP minority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, who hails from a deep red state, has been in a fierce battle with Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Calling the McConnell-Grimes race as a “fierce battle” is wishful thinking. McConnell hasn’t had a big lead but he’s maintained a steady lead since a little before Labor Day:

As for Georgia, that race is tight but it’s misleadingly so. Noah Rothman’s post provides some interesting late-breaking information on that race:

Compared to a WXIA-TV pre-election tracking poll one week ago, Democrat Michelle Nunn is upside down. One week ago, Nunn led Republican David Perdue by 2 points, 46% to 44%. Today, in a dramatic reversal, Perdue is on top, 48% to 45%, a 5-point right turn in one of the nation’s most high-visibility contests. Polling for Atlanta’s WXIA-TV 11Alive was conducted by SurveyUSA.

That’s a significant change but that’s just part of the story. This is eye-popping information:

Worse for Nunn: among voters who tell SurveyUSA they have already returned a ballot, Perdue leads by 10 points.

That’s terrible news for Michelle Nunn because she’ll have to win a significant majority of votes on Election Day to win. While this race is likely heading for a runoff, the runoff isn’t Michelle Nunn’s friend. This is wishful thinking, too:

Republicans should be alarmed they’ve had to marshal so many resources to win in an environment that so overwhelmingly favors them. The number of baked-in advantages for the GOP this election cycle is remarkable.

There’s the landscape: Democrats are defending 21 seats; the GOP 15. Only one of those GOP states, Maine, went for President Obama in 2012. But the Dems are struggling to hold on to seats in seven states: Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia, that Obama lost.

Democrats gave up on West Virginia and Montana months ago. They thought they had a chance in South Dakota for a brief moment but that moment disappeared quickly. Alaska was competitive but that’s definitely a seat that will flip from blue to red soon after the polls close. Here’s a picture of the last couple of months worth of polling:

Arkansas isn’t that competitive, either:

It’s important to remember that Tom Cotton is a first term congressman and that Mark Pryor inherited his father’s political machine. I’d be stunned if Rep. Cotton opened up a double-digit lead against Sen. Pryor. In fact, I’d be predicting a major Republican sweep if Cotton led Pryor by 10+ points.

While South Dakota, Montana and West Virginia seem to be lost causes for Democrats, the most recent NBC/Marist poll shows Senate races in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas and North Carolina within three points. In Georgia, recent polls favor Democrat Michelle Nunn, who is fighting Rep. David Perdue. Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu leads her Republican opponent by a point, but is likely headed for a runoff. A Friday poll showed the Alaska Senate race in a tie.

That’s top-rate spin. Colorado and Iowa weren’t on any consultant’s list of potential blue-to-red flips at the start of the year. Treating these races like they were expected to be tight races is a bit disingenuous. Cherrypicking one poll out with the Democrat leading while ignoring the other 4-6 polls showing the Republican leading is a nifty trick but it’s misleading.

While I think Georgia is heading for a runoff, I wouldn’t be totally surprised if Purdue won it outright. If that happens, Republicans will be celebrating by midnight West Coast time.

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Thanks to articles that Michael Brodkorb posted at Minnesota Democrats Exposed in 2008, I’ve known about Al Franken’s disgusting behavior for years. I suspect, however, that there’s a bunch of voters that haven’t heard about Sen. Franken’s disgusting background. Let’s dig into it a little. Here’s what Al Franken said in the 1970s:

He recalled writing a skit called “Seamen on Broadway” that was rejected from the Hasty Pudding show “by some preppie so they could take some other preppie’s skit.” Franken started to smile again, but his tone was serious, too serious. “It’s not preppies, cause I’m a preppie myself. I just don’t like homosexuals. If you ask me, they’re all homosexuals in the Pudding. Hey, I was glad when that Pudding homosexual got killed in Philadelphia.” The smile became so broad it pushed his eyes shut. He couldn’t stand it any longer. “Put that in, put that in,” Franken laughed, leaning over the desk. “I’d love to see that in The Crimson.”

That’s the ‘before’ Franken. The ‘after’ Franken is ultra politically correct…except when he isn’t:

As New York magazine reported in 1995, from a writing session that the reporter sat in on:

Franken: “And, ‘I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.’ Or, ‘That’s why you never see Lesley until February.’ Or, ‘When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her.’”

Franken’s progressive allies will undoubtedly defend Franken with excuses like ‘Lighten up. He’s a comedian. It’s just humor.” Or they might say that he’s changed since his cocaine-using days with SNL:

Franken’s own words/direct quote from pages 108-109:

“There was not as much cocaine as you would think on the premises. Yeah, a number of people got in trouble. But cocaine was used mainly just to stay up. There was a very undisciplined way of writing the show, which was staying up all night on Tuesday. We didn’t have the kind of hours that normal people have. And so there was a lot of waiting ’til Tuesday night, and then going all night, and at two or three or four in the morning, doing some coke to stay up, as opposed to doing a whole bunch, and doing nitrous oxide, and laughing at stuff.

“People used to ask me about this and I’d always say, ‘No, there was no coke. It’s impossible to do the kind of show we were doing and do drugs.’ And so that was just a funny lie that I liked to tell. Kind of the opposite was true, unfortunately, for some people, it was impossible to do the show without the drugs. Comedians and comedy writers and people in show business in general aren’t the most disciplined people, so the idea of putting the writing off until you had to, and then staying up all night, was an attractive one. And then having this drug that kept you awake in an enjoyable way was kind of tempting too. But I only did cocaine to stay awake to make sure nobody else did too much cocaine. That was the only reason I ever did it. Heh-heh.”

Sen. Franken is anything but a serious politician. He’s a deeply flawed person. He isn’t a comedian. He’s got a temper. What he doesn’t have is dignity or character.

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I’m hoping that Dan Severson will defeat Steve Simon next Tuesday and become Minnesota’s next Secretary of State. To help in that effort, Dan’s running this ad:

Here’s the transcript from the ad:

NICOLE PELZER: I’m Nicole Pelzer and I support Dan Severson for Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, his job would be to oversee elections, work with businesses and administer the Safe At Home program. As a Navy commander and Top Gun fighter pilot and former state legislator, Dan has the leadership, integrity and discipline to succeed in all that he does. He isn’t just a great candidate. I’m also proud to call him my dad.
DAN SEVERSON: I’m Dan Severson and I would be honored to have your vote on November 4th.

I’ve known Dan for almost a decade. I can verify that he’s a leader and man of integrity. This isn’t just about personal character, though Dan’s got that in abundance. It’s also that Dan’s a man of ideas. It’s also that his opponent is Mark Ritchie in a more expensive suit.

Dan’ proposing a pair of initiatives if he’s elected. The first initiative would make it easier for Minnesotans serving overseas in the military to vote. Ken Martin’s biggest criticism at the time was that Dan hadn’t introduced that legislation when he was a legislator. (Of course, the technology that’s used wasn’t reliable then as it is now but why let important points like that get in the way of a DFL hissy fit, right?)

The other initiative that Dan’s proposed is something that’s called Express Lane Voting. People that are already registered and who have a valid photo ID would be able to hop in the voting equivalent of an express lane at a grocery story. People using EDR, aka Election Day Registration, would use the other lane. Dan’s opponent already is throwing a hissy fit over that:

To me, and all I have to go on are his words, it’s a way to marginalize and ostracize and exclude people who don’t have the type of ID that he and others like him think they should have. I think this is a warmed over version of the Voter ID proposal that Minnesotans have rejected.

Minnesotans don’t need a politically correct Metrocrat from the perpetually offended wing of the DFL. They need a man with a lengthy leadership history. They need a man of integrity.

Minnesotans need Dan Severson as their next Secretary of State.

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This article highlights what’s wrong with Steven Rosenstone’s administration of MnSCU. It also highlights what’s wrong with administrators’ practice of cronyism. Here’s a prime example:

Citing suspicions of administrative secrecy aroused by the system’s initially undisclosed hiring of McKinsey & Company, a prominent consulting firm, the leadership of the two unions voted unanimously on Thursday to tell the system’s chancellor, Steven J. Rosenstone, that the unions would no longer participate in the planning of Charting the Future, a systemwide reorganization effort.

The Inter Faculty Organization and the Minnesota State College Faculty, “which represents faculty members at two-year institutions”, have legitimate concerns about Chancellor Rosenstone’s secrecy. If this happened to me, I’d be both paranoid and upset:

When union officials sought a copy of the contract given to McKinsey, the system provided them with a version that was heavily redacted at McKinsey’s request, saying the system needed to respect the firm’s desire to protect trade secrets.

That isn’t all of it. Here’s more:

The system subsequently offered to let university officials see the full contract in private, on the condition it not be relayed elsewhere, but they refused to view it under such a restriction.

I hope the IFO and the MSCF take MnSCU and McKinsey to court to have a judge determine what parts of the contract contain McKinsey’s legitimate trade secrets and how much was improperly redacted. It’s just a hunch but I suspect that the contract’s redactions don’t have much to do with trade secrets, just like the US Department of Justice isn’t releasing documents on Fast and Furious because of executive privilege.

With the Fast and Furious documents, I suspect that the documents aren’t getting turned over because they’re embarrassing to President Obama and AG Holder. The suspicious side of me thinks that MnSCU isn’t releasing the unredacted contract because they’d be ridiculed for the provisions Chancellor Rosenstone agreed to. I’m suspicious that a contentious document has more information redacted than it has readable information:

In the McKinsey proposal, most of the 133 pages were blacked out as trade secrets, including information about past projects, employee bios and a section that starts, “McKinsey is the best partner for MnSCU because of our …” Experts on the state Government Data Practices Act such as former state information policy director Don Gemberling said “there’s no way” so much of McKinsey’s proposal fits the state’s narrow definition of a trade secret.

That’s just part of it. Here’s why I’m particularly suspicious:

Dean Frost, a professor at Bemidji State University and a former management consultant who reviewed some of the documents McKinsey produced, said the playbooks feature general, common-sense instructions on conducting a task force. He said the supporting research mostly includes publicly available materials rather than reports generated specially for MnSCU.

Based on MnSCU’s past actions, the IFO and MSCF have legitimate reasons for not trusting Chancellor Rosenstone.

Trust is earned. At this point, Rosenstone has lost more trust than he’s gained. This incident alone justifies people’s suspicions:

Kari Cooper, president of the Minnesota State University Student Association, said Rosenstone and a campus president attacked her suggestions and questioned her leadership at a recent meeting. “I left that meeting in tears,” she said. “I wasn’t going to sit there as a student and be talked to like that from people who are supposed to be supporting me and supposed to be collaborating with me.”

I won’t accuse President Potter of being that “campus president” who “attacked [Kari's] suggestions and questioned [Kari's] leadership because I haven’t confirmed that information. I certainly can’t say it wasn’t President Potter, though. It wouldn’t be the first time President Potter viciously attacked a student.

Rosenstone is secretive. He’s hired companies that think they’re out of the Minnesota Data Practices Act’s reach. What’s worst is that he’s kept people hired who verbally attack students. That’s the type of cancer than needs to be eradicated ASAP. If it isn’t eliminated ASAP, the Rosenstone cancer will metastasize.

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Demographics Be Damned!
Declines Can Happen All by Themselves
by Silence Dogood

Who says demographics project declining higher education enrollments? According to an article in the New York Post

“With students heading to college in record numbers, local institutions are constructing everything from new dormitories to academic buildings, hoping to attract the best and brightest students and professors.”

The article further cites:

“Since 2003, the City University of New York’s student population has increased by nearly 50 percent, requiring an expansion.”

Clearly, this is not what has happened at SCSU. The website of the Office of Strategy, Planning & Effectiveness shows the FYE enrollment from FY2000 through FY2014.

The figure shows that, with a small decline in enrollment from FY04 through FY06, the overall enrollment increased by 6.3% from 2003 to 2010. Then things changed significantly. From FY2010 to FY2014, enrollment decreased 18.0%. Over the time period from 2003 through 2014, while the City College’s enrollment increased 50%, SCSU’s enrollment decreased 12.8%. The real question is was the decrease in enrollment avoidable?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics annual report The Condition of Education

http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cha.asp

“While total enrollment increased overall between 1990 and 2012, enrollment in 2012 was nearly 2 percent lower than in 2010.”

If SCSU followed the national trend you might have expected a decline of 2% between 2010 and 2012. Unfortunately for SCSU, enrollment declined 7.7%, which is nearly four times the national decline.

“The Condition of Education” report began with this statement:

Clearly, enrollment in higher education is set for an increase over the next ten years. The following figure shows the actual and projected enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions by level of institution: Fall 1990-2023.

From the graph, it looks like postsecondary undergraduate enrollment in 4-year schools will rise from 10.6 million in 2012 to 12.0 million in 2023, which corresponds to a growth of 13%. Dividing by 10 projects that this enrollment increase averages 1.3% per year. While this is certainly not a large rate of growth, it is not a decline. It certainly appears that SCSU’s substantial enrollment drop is due more to an inability to compete and secure market share rather than the impact of demographics.

The biggest question going forward for SCSU is this: can it reverse its fortunes? The expensive rebranding from a couple of years ago certainly didn’t work to stem the decrease in enrollment, but perhaps the mantra “Think, Do, Make a Difference” can be the guide for planning for change. Optimistically, many people at SCSU remain hopeful that a turnaround can happen. However, many “think” the current leadership at SCSU is not up to the challenge. In fact, the results of the Great Place to Work Survey clearly show a lack of confidence in the Potter Administration to “Do” anything that will “Make a Difference”. An overwhelming majority of faculty, staff, and administration that participated in the survey (634 of 1,582 of those invited responded—39% response rate), distrust President Potter and his administration. Any hope for a turnaround lies in a different kind of change. If those who are to do the thinking and doing to make a difference at SCSU remain uninspired because of failed leadership, it is time for a change in the leaders.

Looking 185 miles Northwest up Interstate 94, a new university president is making a difference. Just three months into her presidency, Anne Blackhurst led a fundraising campaign that raised $1,200,000, the largest amount of funds raised in a single event in Minnesota Stat University, Moorhead’s history. Through her efforts, the faculty, staff and students have been energized. The first steps turning around MSU, Moorhead have begun and the university with the second largest enrollment decline since 2010 is moving quickly. Given Blackhust’s contagious enthusiasm, it’s hard not to believe their turnaround is under way!

At SCSU, it seems that the administration has been asleep. Until recently, they even denied that a decline was occurring! Now that the decline has led to a projected $9,542,000 deficit for FY15, which was only documented after 25% of the fiscal year had already passed, the administration is now awake and struggling to find ways to close the deficit. SCSU is faced with trying to close a deficit equal to 6.3% of its $151,734,000 general fund budget. Given that a large percentage (78%) of the budget is due to personnel costs, there isn’t any doubt that the solution will result in fewer employees at SCSU. Unfortunately, during reorganization in 2010, $14,000,000 was eliminated from the budget and MANY positions were eliminated. Any relatively painless reductions have already been made. It is going to be a very painful process to reduce spending $9,542,000 and bring the budget back into balance.

One single decision made by President Potter, his contract with the Wedum Foundation for the Coborn’s Plaza Apartments, has cost SCSU $7,400,000 during the era of declining enrollment. Last spring, SCSU had already lost $6,400,000 on the first four years of operation of Coborn’s Plaza Apartments. Despite that, during a February 20th interview with the SCTimes editorial board, Potter declared Coborn’s Plaza a “success.” Losing $6,400,000 isn’t a ‘success’. It’s a failure. Calling it a success is just spin.

In the Potter budget for FY15, it is estimated $1,000,000 will go to cover the loss for Coborn’s Plaza. This means the loss on the Coborn’s Plaza apartments represents 77.6% of the total budget shortfall faced this year. Thus, without the loss on Coborn’s Plaza, the budget would only need to cut just over $2,500,000 this year to restore balance. Even cutting $2,500,000 would be significant and painful. However, cutting $9,542,000 instead of 2,542,000 is something that will be incredibly difficult. It certainly will not lead to an improvement in the morale on campus because so much of the cut is a direct result of poor financial decisions by President Potter. Does anyone really think that if the Great Place to Work survey was to be repeated, the results for the administration would improve? Does anyone think the administration that has led SCSU to this point can provide the motivation and leadership to turn things around?

Unfortunately, it looks like the university with the largest enrollment decline in MnSCU’s history seems to be following the same path that led to the decline in the first place—a big dose of crisis management with dash of wishful thinking and happy talk. President Potter, enjoy your trip to China.

In Part I of this series, I highlighted the Times’ sloppiness with basic facts. In this post, I hope to highlight the wishful thinking found in the Times’ article. Here’s the first bit of wishful thinking in the Times’ article:

In addition to leading the Legislature to shore up transportation funding, Dayton should give serious consideration to tax reforms aimed at making Minnesota’s business climate more competitive with other Upper Midwest states.

That’s pure fantasy. The last 2 years, we were afflicted with a DFL legislature and a DFL governor. They could’ve done anything they wanted to do. They chose not to implement “tax reforms aimed at making Minnesota’s business climate more competitive with other Upper Midwest states.” Instead, the DFL legislature and Gov. Dayton worked together to pass tax increases on “the rich” because, in their own words, “the rich” weren’t “paying their fair share.”

With the Times explicitly stating that they want Gov. Dayton to continue and with the Times implicitly stating that they’d prefer keeping a DFL legislature, why would anyone think that the DFL would repeal the tax policies the DFL governor and the DFL legislature just implemented?

This statement is frightening:

The past four years leave little doubt that under his leadership, the state’s budget situation has stabilized.

While government is fat and happy, families that don’t live in southeastern Minnesota are getting hit with skyrocketing health insurance premiums and unaffordable deductibles. The Times’ preference that government funding is stable while families struggle is perplexing. Government’s first priority should be to put in place policies that get government out of the way so businesses can do what they do best: create prosperity. Gov. Dayton’s administration and the DFL have specialized in telling families they know what’s best for them.

When the DFL legislature passed the bill forcing unionization on child care providers and Gov. Dayton signed it into law, Gov. Dayton and the DFL told those small business ladies that they knew what was best for them. When the DFL legislature passed the legislation enabling the creation of MNsure and Gov. Dayton enthusiastically signed it into law, Gov. Dayton and the DFL told Minnesota families that Minnesota families weren’t smart enough to make informed decisions on what they needed for health insurance.

The Times’ endorsements this year have emphatically stated, albeit implicitly at times, that they believe government knows best. It’s apparent that the Times thinks its readers aren’t that bright:

Plus, while he’s certainly been aided by DFL majorities, he’s also demonstrated an ability to compromise. Look no further than scuttling proposals involving major sales tax reform along with repealing the minor ones that did pass in 2012.

The only reason why the DFL repealed the tax increases they enthusiastically passed is because not repealing them would’ve led to a political bloodbath this election. Their decision didn’t have anything to do with compromising. It had everything to do with saving their political hides after they’d overreached.

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In the St. Cloud Times’ endorsement article where they endorsed Mark Dayton, they made some sloppy statements that simply aren’t factual. Here’s one of the Times’ sloppy statements:

Republican challenger Jeff Johnson’s strongest arguments seem rooted more in attacking Dayton than detailing exactly what government programs and priorities he would change and cut.

The Times apparently didn’t interview Commissioner Johnson. In fact, it isn’t clear that they even visited Commissioner Johnson’s campaign website. If they had, they would’ve gotten this important insight into Commissioner Johnson’s agenda:

I will initiate a top-to-bottom audit of the programs that Minnesota taxpayers fund. We will celebrate those that can prove they produce the results we claim to want; we will end those that cannot. From the first day I am in office to the day I leave, I will work to put government back into its place as a servant of the citizens, not their master.

Apparently, the Times hasn’t figured it out that you can’t list programs and departments that will be dramatically changed until you’ve initiated “a top-to-bottom audit” of state government programs and departments. Finding out which programs and departments are working and important is the essential first step. Apparently, the Times didn’t grasp the importance of that first step. Either that or they just weren’t interested because they’d already decided that they were endorsing Gov. Dayton. This statement is laughable:

Yet those details are important amid his broad push for lower taxes and less regulations.

Actually, those details aren’t important at this point. It’s only important to tell voters that government won’t waste their money like the Dayton administration has. It’s only important to highlight the ways that the Dayton administration has spent money foolishly. This statement is driven either by total ignorance or blind partisanship:

Plus, unlike Dayton, it’s hard to see compromise emerging from his rhetoric and record.

At last week’s debate, the candidates were asked by Don Davis how they could work with the other party. Gov. Dayton’s answer was highlighted in several articles as essentially being ‘I can work with the other side as long as I have a DFL legislature.’ During his answer, Gov. Dayton launched into a lengthy diatribe about how Republicans’ ideas were unreasonable, which forced him to work only with the DFL.

How is that proof that Gov. Dayton will work out compromises with the GOP? In fact, we have proof that he won’t work with Republicans. Gov. Dayton intentionally shut state government down while rejecting Republicans’ lights-on bills that would’ve kept government open. Gov. Dayton wouldn’t even keep transportation projects going even though those projects have little or nothing to do with general fund revenues.

Check back later today for Part II.

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Last week, Alex Friedrich reported that MNSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone made this provocative statement:

While the heads of the unions may have made the regrettable decision to walk away from the table, their seats will be there for them whenever they decide to return.

That’s from Rosenstone’s letter. That wasn’t all he said. This comment from Chancellor Rosenstone is intellectually misleading, if not dishonest:

Charting the Future is an unprecedented effort to engage students, faculty, staff, and all of our campuses in seeking creative solutions to significant threats to our future. The effort is nothing short of the most broadly consultative initiative in the history of the system, involving more than 5,000 students, faculty, and staff across the state.

I’d agree with Chancellor Rosenstone if he meant that CtF is consultant-driven. I’d especially agree if he was referring to McKinsey & Co. If he’s implying that they value other people’s contributions, I’d argue that this quote ends that fallacy:

Others, however, says Rosenstone appears angry and aggressive when he gets suggestions over things such as power-sharing.

Kari Cooper, president of the Minnesota State University Student Association, said Rosenstone and a campus president attacked her suggestions and questioned her leadership at a recent meeting. “I left that meeting in tears,” she said. “I wasn’t going to sit there as a student and be talked to like that from people who are supposed to be supporting me and supposed to be collaborating with me.”

It’s been rumored that Rosenstone has a temper. If Ms. Cooper’s statement is accurate, then that’s a verification that he’s got a temper. Whether he’s got a temper, though, isn’t as important as whether he’s up to the job of running MnSCU. Both questions, though, fall short of the most important question, which is whether MnSCU leadership is capable of consistently making the right decisions.

At this point, there’s little reason to think that they’re capable of managing anything more complex than a hotdog stand. Friday, I wrote about the Davenport-Hoffner fiasco in which Mankato President Richard Davenport terminated Head Football Coach Todd Hoffner. Davenport terminated Hoffner after charges were dismissed by a Blue Earth County judge. Add to that the IFO’s bill of particulars that I wrote about in this post. This was the highlight of that post:

It is time to re-focus on the present realities of our state university campuses instead of turning out a stream of planning documents that purport to chart the future.

I don’t want an administration that intimidates students and that doesn’t discipline university presidents when they make major mistakes charting anything, much less charting the future. I certainly don’t want an administrator who said this:

“Change is hard, and is always accompanied by high emotion and complication. Without a doubt, some things could have been handled differently, and some handled better. I remain committed to doing my best to make sure all opinions are heard and all people are treated respectfully.”

then intimidate or belittle students working on the project charting anything. Officially, Chancellor Rosenstone has the authority. Being a boss is different than being a leader, though. Based on this information, I’d interpret the information to mean that Rosenstone is a boss, not a leader.

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I know it’s a high expectation to hope that a Democrat politician to tell the truth about Obamacare but Sunday morning’s free-for-all featuring Al Franken and Mike McFadden was too much. Here’s the video of that part of the debate:

One of the first things Sen. Franken said was that 95% of all Minnesotans are now insured, which is misleading but statistically true. It’s misleading because 93% of Minnesotans were insured in 2012. Another 60% of Minnesotans were eligible for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance, either through medical assistance, which is Medicaid in Minnesota, or through MinnesotaCare. Based on a population of 5,300,000, that means 97.2% of Minnesotans would’ve been insured or eligible for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. It’s worth noting that it wouldn’t have required spending $160,000,000 on a failed website, too. It would’ve only required an advertising campaign that would’ve cost less than $5,000,000 to highlight these programs.

Another of Franken’s chanting points was that Mike McFadden wants to totally repeal Obama, “which means people with pre-existing conditions” wouldn’t get covered. That’s BS on multiple levels. First, it’s impossible to believe that people with PECs wouldn’t get coverage if 97.2% of Minnesotans were insured or eligible to be insured. I know Minnesota is a healthy state but I’m betting that more than 2.8% of Minnesotans have PECs.

Then there’s the myth that Republicans were unwilling to vote for legislation that would’ve guaranteed insurance for people with PECs. If a bill would’ve been written that guaranteed that people with PECs couldn’t be denied insurance, 95%-99% of House and Senate Republicans would’ve voted for it.

If we were to start over and do health insurance reform right, there’s no question that covering people with PECs would be in the bill.

Next, Franken was questioned about health insurance premiums going up. Predictably, he said that “some people’s rates are going up but some people’s rates are going down”, suggesting that there was just as much a chance of a person’s rates going down as there was of them skyrocketing. That’s extremely dishonest and Sen. Franken knows it. Almost 75% of people will see their premiums go up dramatically while less than 25% of Minnesotans will see their premiums shrink marginally.

Franken said this after McFadden talked about a woman he met in Rochester who told him that her premiums are going up 50% and that her deductibles were increasing by 220%.That’s why McFadden called the ACA a “train wreck.” That’s why Minnesotans are increasingly calling it the Unaffordable Care Act. McFadden added that this woman “had a look of fear and anger” on her face.

One thing that came through clearly was Franken’s dishonesty. His faux outrage was contemptible. Major industry organizations like MAHU, aka Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters, have testified under oath to the MNsure board that health insurance premiums are skyrocketing.

If Sen. Franken wants to ignore the truth, then that’s proof that he’ll say anything to get elected. That immediately disqualifies him from elected office. It’s one thing to make statements with statistically accurate information that’s misleading. That happens during a campaign. Franken started by telling outright lies. Those lies were quickly discredited statistically. That didn’t cause him to stop the lies. He’s just continued repeating his refuted lies.

The simple solution to this is to elect Mike McFadden. He’s got a pro-prosperity plan to get Minnesota heading in the right direction. He’s got a plan to do health care reform right. Finally, he’s honest so we won’t have to worry whether he’ll lie to us.

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