The Calz Of The Walz

Governor Walz’s Very Special Session is a work of crass political manipulation.

I’m not going to try to explain it – Representative Zerwas already did it better than I could:

Every session, especially since 2011, our entire government devolves down to three people in a locked room.

That’s not what we voted for…

…well, OK. It is exactly what a slim majority voted for.

This Is What “90% Support” Looks Like

The gun control measures that “have 90% support” failed in conference committee yesterday, after having to be buried in the House Public Safety omnibus finance bill because the DFL didn’t have the votes to pass them as standalone bills, even in the Metrocrat-dominated House.

And I hope, hope, hope that the DFL keeps running with that “90% support line” in the Senate elections next year.

Habitually Fabulistic And Intellectually Slothful Nancy

I’ve said it in the past – the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence, the director of “Protect Minnesota“, has never, not once made a statement about guns, gun laws, gun owners, the Second Amendment, the history of the Second Amendment, or gun crime that is simultaneously substantial, original and true.

Not once.

Yes, I can back that up, if you want to sit down and go through her record point by point. It’s not even close.

She may have sunk to a new low today; she sent this out in her email blast to her organization.

Of course, she is (let’s give her the benefit of the doubt) mistaken; the relentlessly civil and polite to a fault Rob Doar said no such thing. She is referring to Benjamin Dorr , leader of the fraud/huckster Fundraising scam “Minnesota Gun Rights”, Who is (in my relentlessly accurate opinion) a fraud and a loathsome person to boot.

Nord Bence has been informed of her “error” and told to retract. She still has not.

This is the voice of gun control in Minnesota.

UPDATE:  As of Monday night, the statement had been removed from Facebook.  However, as yet no retraction has gone to the dozens who get “P”M’s emails.

An Idea Whose Time Should Not Come

When you’re a Republican, especially in a bluish-purple place like Minnesota, you hope you can vote for Republicans who’ll hold the line on taxes – even to the minimal level of not proposing new ones.

Sadly, we’re disappointed – as I discussed with Liz Mair on the show over the weekend. Senator Howe is proposing a tax on electric vehicles.

Here’s the interview:

I get the logic, sort of – it’s to replace some of the gas tax revenue lost by the increasing efficiency of cars the greater number of people driving electrics, and the people dropping out of the commuting force as telecommuting picks up speed.

But a Republican should be proposing fewer, not more, taxes.

And if we could see to some of that unsustainable spending, that’d be a cherry on the sundae.

More Of This

Gun grabbers had a cute little rally the other day at the capitol.

It drew about a third what the Second Amendment rally two weeks ago managed – not that the media coverage of either would convey the difference. Not honestly.

But I digress.

They – the metrocrats who took power last fall – think guns are the wedge that’ll pick up the Senate for them:

One of the loudest voices leading the charge at Wednesday’s rally inside the State Capitol rotunda came from First Lady Gwen Walz, who vowed electoral consequences if measures to expand background checks and adopt a red flag law don’t receive hearings and a vote this session.
“If they do not put it up for a vote, there are seven senators sitting in seats where Tim Walz won — and we are coming,” Gwen Walz said.

By all means do, Mrs. Walz. You may have forgotten 2002, the last time the DFL made opposing the law-abiding citizen a beach worth dying on. I sure do, though.

The GOP majority in the Senate has apparently been listening to the overwhelming majority of phone calls and emails:

But Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, has promised to stand in the way of any new gun restrictions in his chamber. Gazelka, in an interview this week, said the issue would instead be taken up next year.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, who chairs the Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee, echoed Gazelka’s wishes.
“With divided government that we have now, I think any gun bill will have to have a wide consensus in order to be seriously considered and passed in the Minnesota Legislature,” Limmer said.

If you haven’t been beating your legislators’ doors down, what are you waiting for?

Fluuussssssshhhhhhh

Reading about MNLARS – the state’s drivers license, registration and titling system – is making me nostalgic.

Back in 1996-97, I worked for a company that was engaged to do the engineering for a big, extremely well-funded startup in Palo Alto, run by a former salesman from IBM. The company’s business model: pay people to read spam. The theory was, people would set up accounts, and then get a little bit of the ad buy money for clicking on ads, and links in spam emails.

Catering to greed, of course, is never a bad business model. But by the time I left the company, we were figuring that someone clicking on six ads a minute, 8 hours a day, might make $6-8.

I wound up leaving – and was delighted to read in PC Magazine that the project had made their “Ten Dumbest Ideas of 2007” poll. By this time, I the company had folded, taking $30 million in investor funding with it (along with, I was less delighted to learn, the company that I’d worked for).

Remember when $30 million on a bad idea seemed like a lot of money?

If that’d been a government project…

Oh, wait.

The Minnesota taxpayer has spent close to $100 million on the MNLARS system – half up front, leading to a spectacular failure, and half for a “fix” that failed even worse.

And now Governor Walz wants to double down on the failure:

Walz released a budget this week that includes $94 million through 2021 to finish the system known as MNLARS, operate it for two years, hire staff, and reimburse deputy registrars who took a financial hit from the botched 2017 rollout. That’s on top of $15.7 million in stopgap funding that Walz was already seeking to get the system through June 30.

To pay for some of the costs, Walz has proposed a $2 fee every time a driver makes a vehicle license, tab or title transaction.

Via Fox9

Fearless prediction; we’ll end up spending $400 million, and end up doing the whole thing in Google Drive spreadsheets.

Open Letter To Senator Scott Jensen

To: Sen. Scott Jensen
From: Mitch Berg, Impudent Peasant
Re: Know Your Friends

Sen. Jensen,

Last year, as he got set up to run for re-election as a Republican in decaying purple district, Representative Dario Anselmo made a very visible point of cuddling up to Minnesota’s various gun control groups.

He spoke at their rallies.

He offered his own testimony (his stepmother was murdered).

He sought the grabbers’ endorsement, he could practically taste it.

And after all that, the DFL and the gun grab groups up to which he’d been sucking, endorsed the DFL opponent, who won the race surfing atop of curl of Progressive Plutocrat money. And it’s not just Anselmo. Republicans who cuddle up to Big Gun Control tend to get treated like the kid in junior high who, when the bullies and mean girls ask them to eat a bug to be accepted by the “cool kids”, eat the bug – and have the photos of them eating the bug pasted up around the school.

Don’t eat the bug, Senator Jensen.

That is all.

Ebb Tide

Jason Rarick won the special election in Senate District 11 last night, and did it with a pretty impressive margin in a district that was not only pretty much 50-50, but in which the GOP has never won the Senate seat.

Perhaps it’s a sign that the DFL wave from last fall has dissipated in a welter of the overreach I predicated. The GOP now has a two-vote majority in the Senate.

An interesting sign: organized labor, at least private-sector labor, was working the district hard.

For Rarick.

Didn’t see that coming, I gotta admit.

And perhaps it’s a sign that MInnesota’s real 2nd Amendment groups, which backed Rarick, are actually starting to get their clout back, and see the truth about the (in my opinion) fraudulent, Iowa-based “Minnesota” Gun Rights, which denounced Rarick for no rational reason other than the simple fact that winning would gut their gravy train. Side note: If you donate to Minnesota Gun Rights, you are a sucker and I’ll tell you to your face; you would do less damage giving your money directly to Michael Bloomberg.

Congrats, Jason Rarick!

Freedom Dies In “Efficiency”

Alternate title: “Ryan Winkler tries to make the trains run on time”.

The DFL majority in the House has moved all the House’s committees under the Ways and Means committee – meaning that Ways and Means chair Lyndon Carlson can can move bills around, and forward to votes, without a whole lot of scrutiny:

According to the DFLers who now make up the majority in the House, the newish method of managing the flow of budget-related bills is more efficient: a way for legislation to spend less time on the House floor and more time in committees, where the heavy lifting of legislating is really done.

But for House Republicans — both the 55-member Republican Caucus and the four-member “New Republican” caucus — those same rules constitute an anti-transparency move that puts democracy at risk. The newbie GOP even borrowed the motto of the Washington Post — “Democracy Dies in Darkness” — when discussing the rules, and one person testifying against them even drew a comparison to the casus belli of the Revolutionary War.
So is the move anti-democratic or a way of making things more efficient? Both? And does anyone outside the halls of the state Capitol much care?



Given that we now have situations with pages of bills moving through “divisions” – not even “committees”, anymore – with a single terse memo of commentary, I’d say “anti-democratic”.

Indeed, given that Ryan Winkler is behind it, I’d say “prima facie anti-democratic“.  

Consequences

To: Senator Scott Jensen
From: Mitch Berg, Obstreporous Peasant
Re: Quitcherbeefin’.

Senator Jensen,

Back in 2016, you ran as a gun-friendly candidate. You gladly accepted the endorsement of the MN Gun Owners PAC.

And then you turned around in the 2018 session, when Everytown for Gun “Safety” started pumping money into the state, and stabbed you pro-human-rights supporters in the back.

And judging by this Facebook post, you don’t seem to get why what’s left of your “base” is upset with you today:

For the benefit of those not following along at home, the Senator is talking about this photo:

It was taken the opening day of the MN State Legislature, on Tuesday. It’s Jensen, spooning with a couple of suburban gun-grabber soccer moms from Moms Want Action.

And now, Senator Jensen, you’re upset that your real supporters – well, former supporters – are taking umbrage at you for cuddling up with the Criminal Safety movement.

No, it’s not you. It’s us, naturally…: “Mean spirited pushiness has halted discussion of important issues” you say. No – the illiteracy, cowardice and inherent bullying nature of the gun grabber movement has halted discussion, Senator Jensen.

You picked the wrong side.

No, seriously – remember Dario Anselmo? The Republican who spoke at the Moms Want Action rally last fall, trying to ingratiate himself with the gun grabbers? Who went and endorsed an actual  Democrat who wound up riding into office on a wave of out-of-state money that Anselmo never had the faintest shot at, anyway?

Ringing any bells, Senator?

Repent.

That is all.

Rena Moran And The Pro-Mutilation Lobby

In the last session, legislation that would have added penalties to parents for subjecting their daughters to “female circumcision” – more accurately called “genital mutilation” – passed by a near-unanimous margin in the House, but stalled in the Senate.  The DFLers who opposed the bill carried out the wishes of the far-left “there are no bad cultural traditions in a multicultural society!” crowd, who believe that further regulating the practice of forever crushing a young female’s chance of enjoying sex would keep families from going to the doctor, lead to troubles with immigration authorities, and push the barbaric practice even farther underground.

Not sure I remember having the same deference to Christian parents who were also snake-handlers.  I’ll have to look into that.

The practice is illegal in Minnesota – but taking children to one of the 23 states where it’s not is currently a loophole under Minnesota law.

Mary Franson, the author of the last bill, is back – and pushing it into the face of the multi-culti majority in the House:

Rep. Mary Franson, an Alexandria Republican, said Friedman’s ruling underscores the need for her bill, which passed the House 124-4 in 2017, but never got a vote or hearing in the Senate in the 2017 or 2018 sessions. The Michigan case was the impetus for her bill.

“I will never stop fighting for the safety of little girls, and will keep working to put an end to this barbaric practice and punish parents who subject their daughters to these horrors,” she said in a statement.

Franson is asking for hearings on the bill with the House Health and Human Services Committee.

The committee is chaired by Rena Moran – one of the four DFLers who voted against the bill in the house during the last session.

So the question becomes:  will Rena Moran be standing up for the rights of parents to mutilate their children?

Open Letter To Paul Gazelka

To:  Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka
From:  Mitch Berg, Ornery Peasant
Re:    Line In The Snow

Senator Gazelka,

This morning on the lesser talk station, the host – Drew Lee – asked you about the approach your caucus, with its one-vote majority, was going to take regarding gun control in the coming session, given incoming Speaker Hortman’s statement that gun control is going to be her first priority.

(In a state with a muirder rate among the lowest in the nation – truly the extremist tail wagging the dog).

Your repliy seemed to indicate the proper response was to work with the opposition to find “a solution”.

I’ll make it simple;  the solution is fight crime.   Take everything that burdens the law-abiding gun owner off the table.

End of sentence.

The DFL – beholden as they are to millions of dollars in Bloomberg money for their wins in the election – will fight you on it.

We – the good guys, the law-abiding gun owners – will fight you a lot harder if you screw us.

Don’t screw us.

That is all.

The Hail Mary

The Minnesota 7th CD is the great long-term hope for the MN GOP; someday, when Collin Peterson finally leaves office, the district – I call it “East Dakota” – will never elect another Democrat again.  Ever.

But incumbency is everything in a rural district like the 7th.

But maybe lightning can strike.  I’ve had a few friends tell me “Watch out for Dave Hughes”, the second-time candidate against Peterson.   The district went for Trump by 30 points in 2016, and Hughes is a likeable and hard-working guy.

And today’s news makes for intrigueing reading.  Here’s John Hinderaker at Powerline:

Until now, hardly anyone has taken seriously the chance that Republican David Hughes can upset longtime Congressman Collin Peterson in Minnesota’s 7th. But, in a stunning move, Real Clear Politics now rates the contest a tossup.

Peterson has represented the 7th in Congress for 28 years, and has been personally popular in the district. But his vote totals have been slipping with each cycle, and the 7th went for President Trump by 30 points. Peterson has gotten less energetic over the years, and one suspects that he would like to retire. I liken him to Ruth Bader Ginsburg; the Democrats no doubt are pressuring him to stay on, knowing the seat will flip as soon as he retires.

Personal aside:  I listened to Hughes debating Peterson on MPR a few weeks ago.  Peterson sounded tired, like he was literally phoning it in.   If it were a boxing match, Hughes would have won by call.

But maybe the voters don’t want to wait that long. As a practical matter, Peterson, like all House Democrats, is little more than a vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. David Hughes has essentially no money, but door knockers in the 7th report that they are seeing five or six Hughes lawn signs for every Peterson lawn sign.

Hughes has no money to speak of – so if you have a few bucks to spare, it could go to much worse causes.

“The DFL Has Always Been The Rural Party, Winston”

What best sums up rural/urban American relations?

To me, it’s the Thomas Franks book What’s the Matter with Kansas?.    The de facto subtitle was “why do Rural Americans vote against (I’m gonna add a little emphasis here) their best interests?”

Can you think of a more arrogant bit of preening than telling someone you don’t know and whose live you haven’t – can’t! – live, what their “best interests” are?

It lives on today, of course; Democrat candidate Jeff Erdmann wrote about his time working with the Angie Craig campaign:

[Erdmann] was phone banking and asked a supervisor what message he should tailor to the rural part of the district, since the script seemed aimed at city dwellers. “Just tell them the trailer-court story, they’re not big thinkers out there,” he said he was told, referring to Craig’s childhood in a trailer home.

But when rural Americans are asked why they don’t “vote for their best interests” for “progressives”, for some reason the obvious response – “you mean “best interests” like out of control crime, society organizing itself into demographic donuts of immense wealth surrounded by misery, exquisitely expensive but utterly wretched public education, intrusive bureaucracies and regulation, and a one-party system run by a political class that holds in sneering contempt everything I believe in?  Those “best interests?”

Somehow that response never makes it in the paper.


Which brings us to Dave Mindeman.

Mindeman – DFL activist and the proprietor of the “MNpACT” blog who is, if memory serves, not a rural farmer or businessman, but a retired pharmacist from the south metro, has a piece in the MinnPost (anyone remember the MinnPost?  I still get them mixed up with the Minnesota Monitor), entitled “Democrats are the real champions of rural Minnesota”.

And it’s tempting to say that he shoots his entire premise in the foot right out of the gate:

Democrats are always on the defensive when it comes to rural or outstate Minnesota. And I fail to see why that should be.

There is this misperception that Democrats only represent urban Minnesota. And granted, since the bulk of the population are city dwellers, it is only natural to devise programs that fit that large chunk of Minnesota residents. A lot of Democrats represent that urban population and need to pay attention to it.

And that they do, pushing policies statewide that cuddle up to the DFL’s MInneapolis and Saint Paul shot-callers.   So while Mindeman is correct in saying…:

But Democrats who have represented more rural areas have nothing to feel bad about.

…that’s because those rural Democrats have either adapted to their surroundings (see:  the Iron Rangers’ pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment stance) or, as with most DFLers outside 494/694 and the Arrowhead, or been retired from politics at the ballot box.

But once you get past the thesis, where’s the free-range beef?

I would venture to say that Democrats have done more for rural Minnesota than the Minnesota Republicans have ever accomplished. Look at the record on the issues close to greater Minnesota.

Broadband. Each legislative session, Democrats propose larger funding for this rural business essential. Gov. Mark Dayton, and Democrats in the Minnesota House and Senate have all been on board with much higher investment than the Republicans. And when the majority party throws those smaller bones at rural Minnesota, they think gratitude is in order. It’s not.

This, of course, has nothing to do with “investing in rural Minnesota”, and everything to do with turning rural broadband into a public utility (to create more sinecures for the DFL political class – and, as with every other public utility, what could possibly go wrong, there?), or serve as a political cudgel…

…that the DFL desperately needs to draw attention from the simple fact that it’s Minnesota’s confiscatory business tax and regulation system, not slow internet, that’s the problem for rural business.

LGA. For several years, legislative Republicans have used Local Government Aid as a “wasteful” spending punching bag — even though smaller Minnesota towns and cities request it every session.

But it’s not the smaller towns that the DFL is fighting for.  As we showed during the 2010 campaign, while LGA was originally designed to help smaller, poorer towns afford things like water and sewage plants and new schools, it’s morphed into a systematic transfer of tax dollars from the parts of the state that work (largely the Republican controlled parts) to the parts that don’t (Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Duluth soak up an awful lot of that money, notwithstanding all the caterwauling about helping rural Minnesota).

Transportation. This is a real sore point to contend with. Republicans make a mockery of responsible transportation management.  [What about the elephant in the room – Ed]  Rural roads need fixing, but rather than increase revenue streams to meet the need, they gimmick their way through a patchwork of band-aids that have no long-term resolution.[What about the elephant in the room – Ed] And to justify all this, they demonize light rail and urban transit as taking away all the available funding – knowing full well that metro transportation has created its own funding stream with the metro sales tax, which frees up more of the gas tax for rural infrastructure.

That’s a bit of flimflam;  transit eats up all sorts of other revenue, including 40% of Minnesota’s exorbitant motor vehicle sales taxes.

But a guy’s gotta ask:  the Democrats (and a Republican, Arne Carlson, who was to the left of many DFLers then, if not now, especially fiscally) controlled most of the power in this state for decades, and (at an institutional level) still do.    Are they saying the roads suddenly went to crap in 2010?

Health care. Here is the real irony of it all. Rural Minnesota is the real beneficiary of the ACA health care provisions. Rural Minnesota has fewer insurance carriers, fewer hospitals and clinics, and less local access.

AND OBAMACARE AND MNSURE MADE IT INCALCULABLY WORSE!

People across vast swathes of Minnesota went from having several plans to choose from to, in many cases, one.   The horror stories – people having to leave their hometown clinic an drive 40-100 miles to get to an in-network facility – are so prevalent outstate, it’s a wonder any DFLer can leave the metro without getting pelted with rocks and garbage.

What the DFL, Obamacare and MNSure did for rural healthcare was a crime.  If only we had an institution, with printing presses

Child care. This is a problem that has kept getting worse in recent years. Rural residents struggle to find competent and local child care that allows them to continue to work without drowning in expenses. Some rural Minnesotans drive 50 plus miles just to drop off their kids at a place they can trust and still get to work. Instead of addressing this issue, Republicans prefer to fight unions and find fraudulent providers that they can make examples of, while doing nothing for the actual problem.

Wait – back up.

Fighting the unions?

He’s reverring, of course, to the DFL’s years-long effort to turn day care providers into unionized de facto state employees (contributing dues to DFL supporting unions, natch), while in the meantime ratcheting up regulatory requirements to a level that – are driving providers, especially rural ones, from the business at a catastrophic pace.  I’ve interviewed Rep. Mary Franson – the only sitting rep that has actually worked in the daycare industry – and it’s pretty clear – the DFL seems daycare providers as more a potential revenue source than, y’know, childcare providers.

Once again, Democrats have been discussing this issue for some time, but while in the minority, any solution gets bottled up by the majority in committee.

Which is the handy excuse of every party that has no power.

Best we keep it that way.

Karla Bigham Nailed Down The Oldies Radio And Bored Cable Surfer Vote

That noted political analysts Bette Miller and Chelsea “The Drearily Unfunny Comic” Handker sounded off on the Senate District 56 special election on Twitter yesterday:

The funny part? Endorsements from hothouse flower/has-been celebs really matter to Democrats.

Remember this when some DFLer sniffs down their nose about the influence of Fox News.

This Is The Profile In Courage That Could Be Your New Representative In 61B

Sarah Freeman is a DFLer running in House District 61B.

And she’s pretty much going to be a puppet of Michael Bloomberg.  And not “puppet” in the cool sense, like “Lambchop” or “Kukla and Ollie”.

No.   The other kind:

In response, two women posted comments.  I thought both womens’ comments were respectful and valid, but saying so would be called “Mansplaining”, so I’ll let you all be the judge:

Now, I happen to know both of these women; Sarah is, in addition to being a shooter, also a left-leaning DFLer on every other issue imaginable (also a friend of mine, as is Lisa).

But both comments were deleted, and both women blocked from Freeman’s site, in a matter of minutes.

Two of these people are gun grabbers. The “group” is another gun grabber.

Which is, of course, of a piece with the contagion of cowardice that seems to be befalling DFL pols lately; not only do they eradicate all hint of dissent from their social media, in many cases they proactively block all conservative commenters, using commercial and non-profit social media control apps, before any interaction takes place (koff koff Tina Liehling koff gutless koff koff).

Oh, other interactions âre perfectly welcome.

Now, it’s a campaign site.  Someone running, even in this stiflilngly “progressive” Minneapolis district (currently “represented” by Paul Thissen) has every right to control the conversation on their campaign website and social media.   It’s legitimate.  Gutless, but legitimate.

The problem is, many elected DFL pols actively stifle inconvenient questions on social media; my favorite example, naturally, was two years ago, when I broke the story of Alondra Cano using constituents’ private information from the City of Minneapolis website  to try to “shame” people who questioned her use of her office to support Black Lives Matter’s attempt to shut down the Mall of Amarica.   When I respectfully but pointedly brought it up on social media and on this blog, Cano blocked me.

It is, of course, because Cano is not only a coward, she is fundamentally anti-Democratic.  She is an intellectual jackboot.

And it appears Ms. Freeman is cut from the same hobnailed material.

Oh, yeah – the article she links to?  We’ll dispose of that tomorrow or Monday.  Easily, and with contemptuous prejudice.

 

Wishing

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Minnesota Supreme Court held that Governor Mark Dayton’s veto of all legislative funding was perfectly okay, because despite his attempt to de-fund a co-equal branch of government, the Legislature has set aside money to cover unforeseen contingencies.   The Legislature’s fiscal responsibility rendered Dayton’s attempted coup irrelevant so we can just sweep his little faux pas under the rug.

I’m guessing next legislative session will be . . . contentious.

Joe Doakes

Given the confrontation-aversion the MNGOP showed in the 2017 session, I think Joe may be too optimistic.

Today’s DFL: Never Waste A Crisis

Tragic shooting in South Minneapolis;  woman from Australia killed by cop originally from Somalia.

Steve Cwodzinski – the teachers union foot soldier who “replaced” Dave Hann in the MN Senate seat representing Eden Prairie, follows Rahm Emanuel’s dictum to a fault:

“Two immigrants came to the United States searching for the American dream. One came to heal; the other, to protect. Now due to the fear and violence surrounding firearms, both have realized the American nightmare.”

The mission of today’s DFL:  Deflect the glare from:

  • the problem with police powers, especially qualified immunity
  • an apparent problem with officer training (Minneapolis cops, I’m told, are trained to keep their fingers on the trigger at all times, in and among any number of other issues in the incident)
  • suspicion about affirmative action hiring in police departments
  • the extent to which the mayor and council’s embrace of Black Lives Matter has caused the police to “stand down” – taking action only when they see a felony in progress
  • the social collapse of much of Minneapolis

…by jabbering about “fear and violence surrounding firearms” that were present only in the hands of the cop, whom the DFL would have us believe are the ones who can be “trusted” with that constitutional right.

People of Eden Prairie;  you sent him to Saint Paul.  Take him back.

Open Letter To The House And Senate MNGOP Caucuses

To:  House GOP Caucus, Senate GOP Caucus
From:  Mitch Berg, ornery peasant
Re:  Focus

Dear Cauci,

Congrats on taking the majority.  I’m truly overjoyed.

Now, let’s get real.

Focus:  Ever watched someone doing karate?  When they do a strike, they focus all their energy, from their waist on down through their hands, into their knuckle.  One or two of them.  Because that’s how you inflict as much force as possible on your target – focusing the energy.

We’ll come back to that.

Focus Some More:  When the Allies landed in Normandy in 1944, it took eight or so weeks of brutal fighting to break through the German defenses.

And when the Allies forced that breakthrough, did they then pause, and redirect to the invasion of Denmark?

No!   They focused on driving to Berlin, and destroying any enemy that got in their way!

They focused on the mission at hand!

No.  Really Focus:  You have the majority in both chambers of the Legislature (if only by a vote in the Senate).

You got it for three reasons:

  1. The Dems brought us MNSure, and you were able to tie it around their necks
  2. The economy in greater Minnesota isn’t nearly as spiffy as it is in the Metro
  3. Just like nationwide – the metro “elites” are utterly disconnected with the experience of Greater Minnesota.

That is why you have the majority.  Not to protect marriage.  Not to argue about who goes in what bathrooms.

Heathcare.   Economy.   Elites.  

No more.  No less.

I Said Focus, MKay?:  It was six short years ago that voters last gave you both chambers of the Legislature.  Even with a DFL ideologue for a governor, it was a golden opportunity.   You were given that majority because:

  1. Obama overreached – on healthcare
  2. The economy in Greater Minnesota sucked!
  3. The DFL had made a hash out of the budget.

What did you – or at least the previous leadership – do?

Well, good work on the budget, to be honest.  But that wonky triumph was overshadowed by the national, media-stoked furor over the Gay Marriage issue.  The legislature bet a ton of political capital…

on an issue that had nothing to do with you getting your majority.

Nothing!

If you’re a North Dakota or Montana Republican, with a near-permanent majority and an opposition Democrat party that barely qualifies as a party at all, you can spend political capital on anything you want, and there’ll be no consequences.   It might even work (long enough to get struck down by the Supreme Court, anyway).

But not in Minnesota, the purplest of purple states.

Focus Focus Focus Focus Focus!:  This is not North Dakota.  Perhaps if you hold your majorities long enough to bring a quarter century of unbridled prosperity to Minnesota and we might become so lucky.  But we’re nowhere close to that yet.

You were elected by a fickle electorate over…what?

Let’s run the list again:

  1. MNSure
  2. The economy in greater MN
  3. Our idiot elites

You have political capital – a mandate, indeed.

And like the Allies after D-Day, you need to focus that capital on beating the enemy in front of us; MNSure, taxes, regulations, mining-phobia.

And like Bruce Lee, you need to focus that energy straight to the metaphorical knuckle, as narrowly and overwhelmingly as you can to win on the issues we, the voters, sent you there to win!

For The Love Of God, Focus!:  I’ve heard talk of legislators discussing floating some legislation:

  • Rest Rooms:  Don’t be idiots.  We already have laws making mischief in bathrooms illegal. And all it’s gonna take is one angry father or grandfather at some Target somewhere to make that issue pretty well self-enforcing.  It’s a private property issue,   And it’s a distraction.   Deal with the restrooms when the majority is rock solid safe.
  • Abortion:  It’s an important thing.  I get it.  It’s also not why you were sent to Saint Paul.  Not this time.  If you win long and big enough, you’ll get your chance.  This is not that chance.   Do not screw this up.  
  • Other social issues:  Stop.  Just stop.  Now.  Seriously. 

GOP legislators:  today, you control the agenda in Saint Paul.  It gives you a huge opportunity.  With the opportunity comes risk; if you take the GOP majority off beam, and bog the party down in a fight that has nothing to do with why you have the majority, fighting a veto you can’t win over an issue that does nothing but focus all of the Big Democrat Money, all their bottomless funding and masses of drooling droogs, over something that the voters that sent you to Saint Paul don’t care about nearly as much as healthcare and the economy, you will deserve to lose again in 2016.  

Focus.

Focus.

Focus focus focus.

Kill MNSure.  Kill regulations.  Lower taxes.

No.  More than that.  Focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus.

No.  More than that.

Sing along with me:  Kill MNSure.  Kill regulations.  Lower taxes.  Kill MNSure.  Kill regulations.  Lower taxes.  Kill MNSure.  Kill regulations.  Lower taxes.

Win the war we sent you there to win.

Oh – and focus.

No.  More than that.

Congrats In Order

Congratulations, as I write this, to two long-time friends of this blog.

Rob Doar, political director of MN-GOPAC, was also campaign director for Randy Jessup, for whom the second try was the charm against Barb Yarusso up in Shoreview.

And long-time Shot in the Dark history correspondent First Ringer was the manager of the Dario Anselmo campaign – and between the two of them, they did the state the estimable favor of ejecting Ron Erhardt from public life in Minnesota.  Maybe he’ll blow Ringer’s head off?

Hopefully not.

Anysay – salute!

Money Changes Everything

One of the issues I’ve been silent about so far is the Constitutional Amendment that would take legislative pay out of the legislature’s hands and move the decision on salaries for legislators (and many other government employees) to an independent council.

Brianna Biersbach writes an excellent piece on the subject in MinnPost.

The government-accountability hawk in me says “note no and do it now!”.    Voting for pay raises is political suicide; the limited-government spending hawk in me says “good”.

But there’s a little more to it than that.

A friend of the blog – a solid Republican – wrote me yesterday:

I am a single income, homeschooling, tithing Christian man in a [modest house in a first-ring ‘burb]. It would be tough for me be a legislator and leave my IT job for 6-9 months a year for $32-49k. Am I off base?

Not at all.  I’ve been approached to run for office.  I’ve had to respond “unless I win seats in a couple of districts, I can’t financially justify it”.

Currently, “serving” in the Legislature is effectively limited to a few classes of people:

  • People with highly remunerative jobs they can put “on hold” for weeks or months at a time.  Think lawyers.
  • People whose spouses make enough to support the political habit
  • People whose employers are really conscientious about allowing their employees to take sabbaticals for public service.  Show of hands?  That’s what I thought.
  • People working for unions who see the benefit of having members in high places.  Including lots and lots of teachers.

Oh, there are a very, very few legislators with relatively limited financial means who work for the $32K and change the legislature pays, and find pick-up work between sessions.  But they are rare indeed.

In effect, it limits “public service” to people whose entire goal is…well, public “Service”.

So there’s a theoretical case to be made for the council.

Realistically?  They’re not going to make the legislature financially remunerative enough to draw successful private-sector workers into public life.  And that’s largely a bad thing; especially in Minnesota, our legislature needs more of them.

The other option, I hasten to remind you, would be to get by with less legislature, and legislation.  North Dakota’s legislature meets every other year, for a very abbreviated session.  It pays the same as it paid 120 years ago – $5 a day (plus per diems) – so it’s nobody’s idea of the career.  And North Dakota is a much better-governed state than Minnesota.

But that’s never getting on the table; too much pork for the political class is at stake.

Pass A Buck, Get A Buck

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There is a proposal to amend the Minnesota constitution.  The plan is to take away from the Legislature the power to set its own salaries, giving it instead of an independent citizen’s committee. Sounds good on its face, will be a disaster in actual practice.  Which is why nobody is talking about it, of course, that would distract the voters from potty-mouth comments and emails.

 The proposal says the Citizen’s Committee will be staffed by the Governor (Democrat) and the Supreme Court (Liberals, except for Stras).  They must pick Democrats and Republicans.

 But they’re not required to pick Libertarians or TEA Party members.  The Republicans must be acceptable to the appointing authority – Democrats and Liberals.  I confidently predict they’ll end up being Arnie Carlson-Dave Durenburger-style-RINOs. 

 After that:

 A Liberal astroturf group will issue a media blitz complaining about the difficulty of obtaining quality legislators with the pay so low. 

 A Poli Sci professor will claim the concept of a “part-time” or “citizen” legislature is obsolete in these days of complex issues, we need a full-time professional legislature to deal with complicated issues, and higher salaries to attract competent people to take the job.

 A women’s rights group will notice that Minnesota women legislators get paid less than New York women legislators, a clear case of gender discrimination. 

 The Committee will hire a Liberal front group to perform a study of legislators’ salaries in other, richer states, which will conclude that ours is too low. 

 The Star Tribune and MPR will gravely intone that good government requires adequate resources, none moreso than the people in office, and they’ll recommend we double the pay and be happy to pay for a better Minnesota.

 The type of people who will run for these cushy government jobs will be busy-bodies who think they can solve society’s problems, i.e., Liberals, whatever their nominal party designation.  They’ll adopt more programs, which will make problems worse, which will make society more complex, requiring even higher pay and benefits and possibly lifetime appointments with personal servants and frequent retreats to Caribbean Islands, which the legislators will be able to afford even if their constituents can’t, because their strenuous labors deserve it.  After all . . .  Some animals are more equal than others.

 Joe Doakes

My two cents?  Vote no.  As many times as you can.

A Slip Of The Lip. Or Typing Finger. Whatever.

Preya Samsundar continues to beat the stuffing out of the Twin Cities institutional media in reporting on Minneapolis DFL legislative candidate Ilhan Omar’s fuzzy marital history.

DFLMinistryofTruth140

Only this time, she may have done it with the unwitting help of the City Pages’ DFLer-with-byline Cory Zurowski:

Whether or not Mr. Zurowski realizes it, he has shed new light into the Omar case. The story, which was originally published on Wednesday, October 26, Mr. Zurowski wrote that Ilhan Omar’s father is named “Nur Said Elmi Mohamed”. A day later, Zurowski’s article was changed and now Omar’s father’s name appears in the article as “Nur Omar Mohamed”.

Read the whole thing.

And then ask yourselves why nobody in the Twin Cities media is covering this story.

To use a Glenn Reynolds line, it helps if you think of reporters as Democrat operatives with bylines.  Who, in this case, don’t want to be barred from the Saint Paul Grill.

A Quick Favor

The House candidate in my district (65A), Monique Giordana, is running against Rena Moran, about whom the best that can be said is that she’s what you get when machines control cities.

Monique is a very sharp woman.  She gets healthcare – she’s a pharmacist at a cancer center, and sees the results of MNSure and Obamacare first-hand, every day.  She lives in the neighborhood (obviously).

And she got into the race late, but is running a good campaign so far.  She also needs to get to a $1,500 threshold, in increments of $50 or less, by Monday to get a subsidy from the state (I know, I know – but that’s how the game is played in this state.

So if you’ve got a buck or two, and could spare a few to help out an underdog in a race where it’d be fantastic to have a real impact, please go here and learn more about Monique, and if you can, peel off a buck or two for her over here.

She’s gonna be on the NARN this weekend, by the way, along with 65B candidate Margaret Stokely.