This morning’s @Issue was offensive to informed voters. It started with Tom Hauser sleepily repeating the discredited DFL talking point that jobs are “coming back.” It continued when Sarah Janacek called ABM’s ads against Jeff Johnson “outside money.” Retread political hack Don Betzold kept the misinformation going by saying that “it’s too early to tell” what insurance rates will be.

Let’s start with Hauser repeating the DFL line about jobs. It’s BS. They aren’t coming back. That’s just the DFL lying through its teeth. This year, the Dayton/DFL economy has created 2,900 jobs in 7 months. The Dayton/DFL economy lost 4,200 jobs in July. The revenue projection for July was off by 6.6%, coming in $69,000,000 short of MMB’s projection.

That isn’t proof of a Minnesota economic recovery. It isn’t proof that the Dayton/DFL policies are taking us in the right direction. It’s proof that they’re failing, especially when you consider the fact that one-third of the jobs created in the last 12 months were government jobs.

It’s sad to see Sarah Janacek make foolish statements like calling ABM “outside money.” She knows better than that. She knows that ABM is funded by Alida Messinger, the public employee unions and community organizing organizations with deep ties to the DFL.

In short, ABM is the DFL’s messaging unit. Pretending that they’re an arms-length distant organization just isn’t being honest with people. Further, Ms. Janacek shouldn’t be that gentle with ABM. They’re a disgusting organization that specializes in smear campaigns. ABM is devoid of virtue and honesty. They should be treated like the parasitic political hatchet organization that they are.

Let me repeat this message to timid GOP pundits like Ms. Janacek: ABM should be exposed and ridiculed for being dishonest and untrustworthy. Tip-toeing around ABM’s disgusting tactics gives them a legitimacy they didn’t earn.

Finally, Don Betzold should’ve been criticized for saying that he didn’t know what insurance premiums would be. If he actually doesn’t know, then he should be put out to pasture. If he knows, he should be exposed as a political hack repeating the DFL’s talking points.

Honesty matters in messaging and reporting. That’s why Tom Hauser and Sarah Janacek should be criticized for their timid, misinformed statemenets.

The lone bright spot was Brian McClung. Brian was well-informed and confident in his presentation of important information.

One of my favorite reads each week is the Mesabi Daily News’ Onions and Orchids column. Here’s the highlight of this week’s edition:

Onions: Smelly ones to the same old same old by our Minnesota union executives endorsing Al Franken and the new Democratic Party. The Steelworkers, Carpenters, AFL-CIO, AFSCME … once again bow down to the party they send our dues to. The new Democratic Party would not endorse mining in northeast Minnesota a few monthThe s ago when they attempted to construct a platform to run on. Franken has done nothing for the real working middle class at all. He votes against things like Keystone Pipeline and has not strongly supported mining. He supported the minimum wage increase but that in reality does nothing to the working middle class being more of a political move than a real help to anyone. Franken has gladly gone along with everything Obama has pushed for, including Obamacare. Unions are supposed to support its members and the work they are trained to do. Our unions once again let us down supporting a candidate like Franken who is part of the elite left against mining, logging, fossil fuels, etc. He has no real clue about what a middle class family endures watching our median income drop by almost 18 percent over the past six years. Think on your own and vote your conscious. Our way of life depends upon it.

A few days ago, Ken Martin said that Republicans would forget about the Range the day after the election. I wrote this post to highlight the fact that the DFL has forgotten the Range the day after each of the last 5 cycles. The closest Al Franken’s gotten to supporting miners is telling them he’s pro-union.

That’s BS.

You can’t be pro-egg and anti-chicken. You can’t be pro-jobs and anti-businessman. In this instance, you can’t be pro-mining and pro-environmental activist. That’s who Al Franken is.

The writer is right. The “new Democratic Party” didn’t endorse mining at this year’s state convention. That necessarily means they’re anti-mining. Saying that you’re for mining “if it can be done in an environmentally safe way” is code for saying ‘I don’t have the spine to tell Conservation Minnesota and the Sierra Club to take a hike.’

That’s Al Franken. He’s spineless. He’d rather have environmental activists send him campaign contributions than fighting for good paying mining jobs. That isn’t opinion. It’s what he’s done the last 5+ years.

As for the “new Democratic Party”, they’re owned by Alida Messinger, Conservation Minnesota and the environmental activists living comfortably in the Twin Cities. They don’t just run the DFL. They own the DFL. They’re the people who’ve antagonized the blue collar workers of the Range.

Check back later this weekend for more on the “new Democratic Party.”

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Katie Clark-Sieben insists that Minnesota’s jobs outlook remains strong despite the fact that Minnesota lost 4,200 jobs in July:

DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said despite the July job loss the state’s economic outlook is healthy. “July’s employment change appears disappointing, however, this is the smallest percentage decline in jobs for a July since 1999,” Sieben said. “Minnesota’s economic indicators remain positive, and underlying employment data continue to look strong.”

Sieben is a politician, not a serious economic analyst. Her statement is campaign fodder. It isn’t economic analysis. If job growth is as strong as Ms. Sieben insists, money should be flowing into state coffers in large amounts. That isn’t what MMB is reporting:

Net general fund revenues totaled $982 million in the first month of FY 2015, $69 million(6.6 percent) less than forecast.

Being off by 6.6% in a month isn’t good news. In fact, it’s rather disheartening. Couple that information with this information and a person could get downright pessimistic:

The state has gained 68,344 jobs since July 2013, led by 21,513 new government positions.

Let’s remember that 2,900 of those 68,344 have been created this year, meaning that 65,444 jobs were created in August-December 2013. Creating 65,444 jobs in 5 months is quite a bit more than 2,900 jobs created in 7 months. It doesn’t take a math major to figure it out that job growth is essentially stalling in 2014.

Here’s what we know:

  1. Government is the biggest growth industry in job creation, creating one-third of the jobs in the last year.
  2. Revenues have fallen short 5 of the last 6 months.
  3. Job growth has virtually stagnated this year, with much of the job growth coming from the hospitality industry and temp jobs.

Those aren’t the signs of a strong economy. They’re the signs of an economy that’s badly underperforming.

Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s policies aren’t working. It’d be one thing if this was a one-month blip. Creating 400 jobs a month for 7 months isn’t a blip. Revenues falling short of projections 5 of the last 6 months isn’t a one-month blip. It’s a disturbing, negative trend.

There’s little question that Gov. Dayton and the DFL will continue telling Minnesota that things are just fine. They don’t have a choice in that matter. It’s either that or admit that Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s policies are failing. That won’t happen.

Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s policies are failing. The alternative is to replace Gov. Dayton with Jeff Johnson and Speaker Thissen with Speaker Daudt. Speaking of Jeff Johnson, he issued this pithy statement:

“According to the Department of Employment and Economic Development half of Minnesotans are underemployed. That means people have part time jobs, low paying jobs, and aren’t climbing the economic ladder,” said Jeff Johnson.

“Minnesotans shouldn’t be satisfied to be ‘hanging on’ to a job they don’t want. People want careers, not minimum wage jobs. Minnesota’s economy is sputtering, and now people aren’t even able keep the jobs they have,” said Johnson.

“Anemic job growth is unacceptable. Job losses are worse. Dayton is satisfied with just hanging on; I am not,” concluded Johnson.

Settling for anemic job growth isn’t acceptable, especially when we’ve just gotten hit with a big tax increase. Nonexistent job growth and higher taxes isn’t the right economic model.

It’s time to change.

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This LTE is just another helping of DFL gibberish:

Joe Perske, who is a candidate for the 6th Congressional District, is the kind of person we need to represent us in Washington.

Joe has worked in local politics for the past 10 years and has advocated diligently for workers and families in this area. He has an incredible gift of being able to relate to people from all walks of life. He has the integrity we are lacking in Washington today.

Recently he was endorsed by the Minnesota AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education for his positions and record on issues of importance to workers and their families. The endorsement is based on his steadfast support of working families.

The notion that a DFL congressional candidate getting endorsed by the AFL-CIO isn’t news. Based on their list of endorsees, if you had a D behind your name, you were endorsed.

Simply put, Perske is just another tax-raising liberal. His history is littered with raising propert taxes and spending money foolishly.

In 2010, I wrote that Tarryl faced an uphill climb against Michele Bachmann. Tarryl lost by 13 points, the biggest winning margin in Michele’s congressional career. If Republicans work hard this year, the DFL will look at the Michele vs. Tarryl as the good old days.

Tom Emmer is a great fit for the district. He’s fiscally conservative, which is important. Most importantly, he’s a reform-minded conservative.

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Ken Martin, the chairman of the DFL, is getting good at projection. Check out his quote in this article:

“They will forget about the Range when the election is over,” DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said in an interview prior to Tuesday’s primary.

Those are words from an expert on forgetting about the Range the day after an election. The DFL has asked for the Range’s votes, which they’ve given enthusiastically year after year. The minute that the election is over, though, the Metrocrat wing of the DFL, which is the dominant wing of the DFL, shuts things down.

It’s important that Rangers ask themselves if they’re better off now than they were when Gov. Dayton took office. Based on the high percentage of families on the Range living below the poverty line, the answer must be straightforward. These families aren’t better off now than when Gov. Dayton took office.

Let’s remember that Gov. Dayton’s first appointee to be the commissioner of the MPCA was Paul Aasen. Aasen is now a special advisor to Conservation Minnesota. He’s a passionate environmental activist who once bragged about killing the Big Stone II power plant:

Along with our allies at the Izaak Walton League of America, the Union of Concerned Scientists and Wind on the Wires, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and Fresh Energy argued, first in South Dakota, then before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), that the new plant was a bad idea. Our message was simple: The utilities had not proven the need for the energy, and what energy they did need could be acquired less expensively through energy efficiency and wind.

We kept losing, but a funny thing happened. With each passing year, it became clearer that we were right. In 2007, two of the Minnesota utilities dropped out, citing some of the same points we had been making. The remaining utilities had to go through the process again with a scaled-down 580-megawatt plant.

The heart of the DFL’s message apparently is that they don’t care about the Range but Republicans don’t either.

The DFL’s actions shows that the DFL doesn’t care about mining. A pro-mining political party doesn’t appoint an anti-mining activist to regulate mining.

It’s possible that the Range voters will ignore the DFL’s anti-mining activism. I hope it doesn’t but it’s possible. If the Range gives their votes to the DFL, they’ll deserve the stagnating incomes that they’ve lived with the last 20 years.

If the Range wants prosperity rather than the DFL’s stagnating incomes, the GOP is their only real choice.

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Gov. Dayton and the DFL have been praising themselves for implementing policies that will “grow the economy from the middle class out.” This month’s jobs report won’t help Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature sell that BS. This article isn’t what the DFL needed. This part is particularly tough on the DFL:

Minnesota lost 4,200 jobs in July, disappointing news in a year so far of tepid job growth for the state. The unemployment rate remained at 4.5 percent, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The U.S. unemployment rate in July was 6.2 percent.

June’s job gains were also revised downward by 3,600, driving home the point that over the first seven months of the year Minnesota’s job market has been stuck in neutral. After adding 41,900 positions from August to December 2013, the state has added only 2,900 jobs since January. Some 133,000 Minnesotans are officially unemployed, and thousands more are working part-time jobs when they would rather work full time.

Creating 2,900 jobs in 7 months is pathetic. Losing 4,200 jobs in a single month isn’t good news, either. Even the supposedly good news isn’t good:

The losses were offset in part by gains in manufacturing, retail, transportation and warehousing, hotels and restaurants, and administrative support and temporary jobs.

Creating service industry jobs isn’t the path to strengthening the middle class, especially when many of the jobs created are temp jobs or in the hospitality industry.

Still, the admininistration is trying to put lipstick on this pig:

Laura Kalambokidis, the state economist, said she’d feel better if job growth had been stronger so far in 2014. But other indicators, like job vacancies, the average workweek and the number of people filing for unemployment, have been positive.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell by 14 percent in July compared with a year earlier, to about 10,700. “It would be more concerning if we were seeing more people laid off,” Kalambokidis said. “Sluggish job growth is not as worrisome as people losing their jobs.”

Ms. Kalambokidis better pay attention. Minnesota lost 4,200 in July.

Katie Clark-Sieben still insists everything’s just fine:

DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said despite the July job loss the state’s economic outlook is healthy. “July’s employment change appears disappointing, however, this is the smallest percentage decline in jobs for a July since 1999,” Sieben said. “Minnesota’s economic indicators remain positive, and underlying employment data continue to look strong.”

What’s the reason for Ms. Sieben’s optimism? The fact that construction jobs were lost during the peak of construction season? Or was it the fact that many of the jobs created are temp jobs or in the hospitality industry?

One month of job losses is cause for concern. The bad news is that that isn’t the only bad news. Creating 400 jobs a month for half a year is pathetic.

That’s a pathway to mediocrity and deficits. Comparing Minnesota’s economy with North Dakota’s isn’t a fair fight. North Dakota is growing and not just in the western part of the state. Fargo is booming. Moorhead is plodding along.

The Dayton/DFL disaster is appearing. The big question is whether the Twin Cities media and the liberal-leaning punditry will admit that we’re on a glide-path to stagnation or whether they’ll pretend that everything is fine.

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AFSCME Council 5 didn’t waste time to start their smear campaign against Jeff Johnson. Tuesday night, they issued this statement. Wednesday, they took to Twitter to smear Johnson:

In their Tuesday statement, AFSCME Council 5 called Jeff Johnson “a right wing extremist.” That’s likely because Jeff Johnson has specialized in highlighting the times when government has spent the taxpayers’ money foolishly.

That’s something that AFSCME Council 5 can’t tolerate. In fact, the DFL can’t tolerate a politician, whether he’s at the top of the executive branch or a member of the legislative branch, who spends the taxpayers’ money wisely. A politician who highlights the legislature’s spending of $90,000,000 on an office building that’s used 3 months a year might make life uncomfortable for a union like AFSCME.

AFSCME supported creating MNsure, which still isn’t working after the Dayton administration spent $160,000,000 on creating that website. AFSCME was the union that insisted that child care small businesses be unionized, too. If there’s a politician that AFSCME would fight for, it’s Gov. Dayton.

Most Minnesota families vehemently oppose spending $90,000,000 on a palace for part-time politicians. Jeff Johnson opposed the building, too. Gov. Dayton supported it. Most Minnesota families think that health care decisions should be made by physicians and families. Jeff Johnson agrees with them. Gov. Dayton thinks government should tell families what types of coverage they have to buy.

Gov. Dayton will spend this campaign telling people he helped the middle class. If he was honest, though, he’d tell them that he strengthened special interest organizations like AFSCME.

Minnesota needs a governor that sides with them. Minnesota doesn’t need a governor that agrees with Eliot Seide all the time.

While reading the Strib’s article on Jeff Johnson’s primary victory, I came across this bit of information about Gov. Dayton’s campaign:

Dayton’s campaign says it will hit three main themes come Sept. 1: strengthening the middle class, improving education and making government more efficient.

There’s no question that Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature spent tons of money on education. Education questions arise, though, when you start asking whether we’re getting our money’s worth. Appeasing Education Minnesota isn’t the same as improving education.

In 2011, Gov. Dayton signed a Republican reform that teachers pass a basic skills test. In 2013, Gov. Dayton signed the repeal of that reform because too many teachers failed the test, then got waivers from the Department of Education that let them continue teaching.

Let’s see how Gov. Dayton defends that.

As for strengthening the middle class, I’d simply ask whether families in Hibbing, Chisholm, Eveleth and Virginia are better off now than they were 4 years ago. The answer is an emphatic ‘Hell no.’ In fact, those cities have some haves and tons of have nots.

Finally, on whether Gov. Dayton has made “government more efficient”, eliminating a few archaic laws doesn’t make government more efficient. Spending $90,000,000 on an office building to house part-time legislators definitely isn’t making government efficient. Spending $200,000,000 on a health insurance exchange website didn’t make government more efficient. Those projects could’ve been used to fix roads and bridges.

Q: What has Gov. Dayton done to fight for high-paying mining jobs in northeastern and southeastern Minnesota? A: He’s said that Republican gubernatorial candidate were “highly irresponsible” for promising to open PolyMet. He thought about imposing a total moratorium on frack-sand mining, too.

Minnesotans need to learn that Gov. Dayton doesn’t know what’s in the bills he’s signed. Gov. Dayton claims he didn’t know that the Vikings stadium bill had a provision in it that allows the Vikings to sell personal seat licenses, aka PSLs, on season tickets. Gov. Dayton supposedly didn’t know that the tax bill he negotiated included a sales tax on farm equipment repairs.

Gov. Dayton supposedly didn’t know that the Senate Office Building was in the tax bill that he signed. At least, that’s what he said.

At what point should we aay that our CEO should know what’s in the bills he’s signing? At what point do people say we can’t afford 4 more years of reckless DFL spending? I hope it’s soon.

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The St. Cloud Times published my LTE on Nancy Pelosi’s PAC ad against Stewart Mills and TakeAction Minnesota’s spin.

They softened some of the verbiage that I originally used but the message still comes through loud and clear.

Now that Jeff Johnson has won the GOP primary, it’s time to look ahead to his general election message. Late Tuesday night, I received this email from the Johnson for Governor campaign:

In his victory speech he thanked his supporters and the other candidates, and laid out his vision for a Minnesota where everybody has the opportunity to succeed:

I have a vision for a state where politicians understand that people work really hard for their paychecks, and politicians spend their money as carefully and wisely as if it were coming out of their own pockets. I have a vision for a state where every kid regardless of where they live has access to a great education. I have a vision of a state where doctors and patients make medical decisions, not insurance companies or government. I have a vision of a state where the most vulnerable people in our communities are treated with dignity and not just herded into government programs that often don’t work but given access to the same private market that everyone lives in.

And most importantly I have a vision of a state where we have ended this philosophy that the poor are poor and the rich are rich and all we can do is redistribute wealth; we, instead, are preaching a sincerely held belief that the poor can become the middle class and the middle class can become rich and anyone who starts with nothing can still accomplish anything in this great state.

That’s the type of message Republicans will quickly unite around. I suspect, too, that it’s the type of message that will resonate with independents and non-political voters.

The last 2 years, the DFL’s message has centered on the word more. As in more taxes. As in more spending. Unfortunately, Gov. Dayton and the DFL haven’t focused on spending other people’s money wisely. Unfortunately, Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature didn’t put a high priority on creating more high paying jobs or saying no to their special interest allies.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature has spent money in ways that’d make a drunken sailor blush. The Senate Legislative Office Building is the perfect symbol of Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL legislature’s reckless spending spree. The part-time legislature needed a $90,000,000 office building like President Obama needs to play more golf.

That building and the taxes that first got raised, then got repealed, symbolize what’s wrong with Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature. St. Paul needs a new sheriff to police the Capitol. Gov. Dayton isn’t the right man for that job. Paul Thissen isn’t the right man to be his deputy.

St. Paul needs Jeff Johnson to clean up Gov. Dayton’s mess. Jeff needs Kurt Daudt to help clean up Gov. Dayton’s and Paul Thissen’s spending orgy.

As Commissioner Johnson said in his victory speech, Tuesday night’s victory isn’t the end of the road. There’s still one more victory to win. Hopefully, that march to November will finally finish Gov. Dayton’s political career.

Weary taxpayers can’t afford 4 more years of Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL legislature’s reckless spending.

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