Joe Doakes from Como Park emails in re my piece yesterday in which Sally Jo Sorenson snarked that there was no way, no how, never ever, that a Gay Marriage bill would oppress people who still exercised belief in traditional marriage:
The proposed statute says there will be no problem, so that ends it, right? Not so fast. The Courts are a separate but equal branch of government. They can snip out bits of the statute, leaving the rest operational, ignoring what the Legislature promised.
145.412 CRIMINAL ACTS.
Subd. 2.Unconsciousness; lifesaving.
It shall be unlawful to perform an abortion upon a woman who is unconscious except if the woman has been rendered unconscious for the purpose of having an abortion or if the abortion is necessary to save the life of the woman.
It shall be unlawful to perform an abortion when the fetus is potentially viable unless:
(1) the abortion is performed in a hospital;
(2) the attending physician certifies in writing that in the physician’s best medical judgment the abortion is necessary to preserve the life or health of the pregnant woman; and
(3) to the extent consistent with sound medical practice the abortion is performed under circumstances which will reasonably assure the live birth and survival of the fetus.
NOTE: Subdivisions 2 and 3, clauses (2) and (3), were found unconstitutional in Hodgson v. Lawson, 542 F.2d 1350 (8th Cir. 1976).
The Legislature passed a law but the Court snipped out parts, leaving the rest.
Just as the Court could decide the mother’s right to be free from government interference in her reproductive freedom outweighed the unborn child’s right to life, the
Court could decide the gay couple’s right to equal protection of the laws outweighs the minister’s right to practice his own religion.
The Court may decide the portion of the proposed same-sex marriage statute that protects a minister’s right to refuse to marry gay people is really an attempt to authorize discrimination against gays, which is an unconstitutional violation of the gay couple’s right to equal protection of the laws. The insulating portion of the statute could be struck down by the Court, leaving gay marriage intact and the minister on the hook for violating the Human Rights Act. And with Liberal Governor Dayton appointing Liberal David Lillehaug to the Supreme Court, Senator Osmek is right to be concerned.
The point is this; thinking the way a law is written when it’s in the legislature protects one, in and of itself, is simply delusional.
SCENE: Mitch BERG is running his snowblower down his sidewalk. Avery LIBRELLE walks by, eating a granola bar.
LIBRELLE: Why do you hate gay people?
BERG: (shuts off snow blower): Huh?
LIBRELLE: (dribbling granola crumbs onto sidewalk) Why do you oppose gay marriage? You’re a bigot!
BERG: Er, no. As we’ve discussed over and over again, I favor civil unions on libertarian grounds.
LIBRELLE: Hah. Two people who love each other should be able to marry.
BERG: Right, but marriage isn’t about love. Not entirely, anyway. It’s pretty utilitarian, actually. It’s about raising kids – and the notion of gay marriage devalues gender, which I think is a huge mistake, since gender is so hugely important in raising kids. In our society, it’s also about taxes. Personally, I think government should get out of the business of granting favors through the institution of marriage, but I think gay people should be able to sign contracts with each other.
LIBRELLE: Pfft. What are you afraid of?
BERG: Er, yeah. On the one hand, that question is an abusive strawman. I’m not “afraid” of the notion of same sex marriage. But I’m definitely worried about some of the potential consequences.
LIBRELLE: (Spit-takes, blasting granola flakes all over the place) Huh? What are you talking about?
BERG: It is inevitable than once you legalize gay marriage, government will oppress any person, business or institution that disagrees with it.
LIBRELLE: Hah! People who support marriage equality are very sensitive to diversity of opinion, you paranoid teabagger! And the First Amendment protects your observance of religion absolutely!
The lawsuit is in response to a March 1 incident where she refused service to longtime customer Robert Ingersoll. Stutzman did not return a call Tuesday night seeking comment. Ferguson had sent a letter on March 28 asking her to comply with the law, but said Stutzman’s attorneys responded Monday saying she would challenge any state action to enforce the law.
Washington state voters upheld a same-sex marriage law in November, and the lawtook effect in December. The state’s anti-discrimination laws were expanded in 2006 to include sexual orientation.
Ferguson seeks a permanent injunction requiring the store to comply with the state’s consumer protection laws and seeks at least $2,000 in fines.
Or a computer, or a mobile device. You get the idea.
Big Northern Alliance Radio Network broadcast tomorrow. We’ll have Cam Winton on to talk about the Minneapolis mayor’s race, and Senator Sean Nienow will be with us to talk about his call for an investigation into the Vikings Stadium funding fiasco.
(SCENE: MITCH is at the grocery store. He meets Avery LIBRELLE, who is also out shopping)
LIBRELLE: I’m so upset that the GOP in the Legislature has muddied the waters with their “Civil Union” proposal.
MITCH: Why’s that?
LIBRELLE: Civil unions are nothing but separate but equal.
MITCH: Yeah, that’s the cliché du jour for gay marriage supporters. The idea that having an identical civil contract that confers exactly the same rights – in the eyes of the government, which is what we’re talking about here – is somehow like Plessy v. Ferguson Jim Crow-era absurdities is completely nuts. From the perspective of government, it’s more like “Equal but Equal”.
LIBRELLE: But the word “marriage” has a status to it that “civil unions” doesn’t.
MITCH: And that remark shows what “gay marriage” proponents are really about. It has little to do with “rights”, and lots to do, I suspect, with forcing society into accepting something that it, on its own, just does not. The “status” of the word “marriage” is a matter of individual perspective and belief; is it government’s job to change that, for its own good?
MITCH: Huh. Anyway, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
LIBRELLE: No kidding. The GOP is wasting the legislature’s time with this bill, bringing it up after the deadline for policy bills.
MITCH: Right. No different than Representatives Paymar and Martens still flogging their gun grab legislation. They can’t get committee hearings, but they can still bring up their bill as an amendment to another bill during floor debate.
LIBRELLE: Well, that’s different.
LIBRELLE: I don’t know. (takes a bunch of grapes from the produce stand, picks a few, starts eating) It just is.
MITCH: OK. Well, anyway – I think this means the GOP minority sees that there’s a fracture in the DFL caucus. We know that outstate DFLers are feeling really nervous about this bill – that support for gay marriage, like gun grabs, is entirely focused in the Metro. It’d be dumb for them, as a minority, not to propose the compromise; it shows the people that, contrary to the DFL and media’s narrative, there is a compromise.
LIBRELLE: That’s so wrong. We should not play games with civil rights.
MITCH: Like Paymar and Martens and Latz are doing?
LIBRELLE: Oh, that’s different. That’s about the children.
MITCH: So is marriage.
LIBRELLE (eating more grapes) Well, the courts have ruled on this already.
MITCH: Right – the courts ruled that civil unions interactions with existing laws, and the federal DOMA law, were a problem. So the law needs to be written right, and adjustments need to be made to other laws, state and federal. That’s what legislatures do; try to pass laws that pass legal muster.
LIBRELLE: But eventually gay marriage is going to happen. Young people all support it.
MITCH: Maybe they do. Young people also made Justin Bieber and Nicky Minaj stars. More to the point? Most “young people” have no idea what marriage really is. But whatever, fine; maybe gay marriage is inevitable in the great scheme of things. And truth be told, but for one thing, I don’t really care.
LIBRELLE: (3/4 done with bunch of grapes) And that one thing is that you’re a bigot.
MITCH: Er, no. In fact, I guarantee I’ve put more on the line against genuine hatred of gays than you have or ever will. But no, the one thing is that gay marriage is one more attack on the importance of gender – the idea that the sexes are different, and different for a reason, and that reason is that each gender has a vital role in raising the next generation of children.
LIBRELLE: Gays can raise children just as well as breeders. Sometimes better!
MITCH: Right. This isn’t a dig at gays’ motivations as adoptive parents; I think gay adoptive parents are a better idea than, say, single parents if that’s the choice, which it very rarely is. And at the moment, I don’t doubt that gay parents are better parents than straight parents, as an average across all of society, if only because you have to be so superhuman-ly above average to qualify to adopt, whatever your affectional orientation. In fact, that is one of the reasons I would like to see gay marriage – so that we can drop this absurd stereotype of the Magic Gay Couple, all superhuman in their loving wisdom. I joke that Gays will have truly arrived as equals when you see a gay married couple on Cops, with a lady in a wife-beater T-shirt being dragged out to a squad car as her wife screams “I’ll be waitin’ for ya, Evangeline! Ah love yewwww!”.
LIBRELLE: That’s just weird (almost done with grapes)
MITCH: Whatever – the point is, when society grows beyond the narrative it’s been fed this past few years, the idea that gay couples are actually better than straight couples, then maybe we can talk about equality.
LIBRELLE: Oh, whatever. Hey, didn’t you predict gay marriage would die in committee?
MITCH: Yep. I win some, I boot some. I think gay marriage is worth more to the DFL as a wedge than as a few thousand married couples with nothing to be pissed off about other than…property taxes and business taxes and regulations that restrict entrepreneurship.
LIBRELLE: Huh? Well, you were wrong.
MITCH: Really? When did Governor Messinger Dayton sign the gay marriage bill into law?
LIBRELLE: He hasn’t yet.
MITCH: Huh. OK.
LIBRELLE: But they will pass it! They have to!
MITCH: OK! We’ll see!
LIBRELLE: (finishes grapes, tosses stem into trash bucket)
MITCH: Um – were you going to pay for those?
LIBRELLE: Oh, it’s not shoplifting. It’s an undocumented meal. The AP says so.
As of yesterday, 132,552 Minnesotans have current, valid carry permits.
And as the Gun Owners CIvil Rights Alliance notes, the rate of applications and issuances is zooming almost geometrically, even as the bobbleheads in our legislature try to ratchet back our Second Amendment rights:
The increase over last month (7,213), is also a record, breaking last month’s record (5,765), which broke the record set the month before that (4,800), which broke the record set a couple months after the carry law passed in 2003 (3918).
And if that nearly-vertical total line doesn’t smack you in the head, perhaps this chart – the monthly delta in permits in circulation – will:
Among Minnesotans who are over 21 and have clean criminal records, 132,552 is right around 3% of the entire population. That’s huge; the House Research staff back in 2003 figured maybe 70-90,000 Minnesotans would get permits, eventually. We’re almost double that now, and the more Michael Paymar and Ron Latz talk, the faster people sign up for their card.
And if each of them could pony up a buck, GOCRA could afford to have a full-time lobbyist at the Capitol to make sure Heather Martens’ lies were being countered in real-time.
The lessons are obvious:
Minnesotans – the smart ones, anyway – aren’t fooled. The DFL majority, despite Governor Messinger Dayton’s blandishments, is run by gun grabbers.
If you are a law-abiding citizen, you should get your permit. Even if you never plan to carry a firearm; it’s a good primer in the law, and every permit granted to a law-abiding citizen sends the right message to Senator Latz and Representatives Paymar, Hausman and Martens; we’re not the problem; we’re not fooled; we’re not going anywhere, and we’re not going down without a fight.
You should join GOCRA. The Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance is the single most successful grass-roots political organization in Minnesota (emphasis on Grass Roots; GOCRA isn’t supported by plutocrats with deep pockets, or foundation money) today. It’s like a “Spanky and Our Gang” movie come to life, a bunch of regular guys and gals who got together and have, over the past 15 years or so, moved mountains. And they need all us Real Americans (people who care about all ten amendments in the Bill of Rights) to beat back the orcs. Come on out, there’s plenty of room.
It’s a great time to become an activist. There may be things in life more fun than being in a room with a couple of hundred like-minded fellow freedom fighters, watching half a dozen bobbleheaded orc-sympathizers wallowing in their ignorance. But few of those other things are this inexpensive!
Early on, I was struck by the boilerplate language in the [assault weapon ban] and magazine ban bills … And then I read this:
From the middle of the article:
“A Cuomo administration source is flatly denying the governor’s claim that his new anti-gun SAFE Act was carefully drafted, saying the governor himself wasn’t even aware of some provisions when it was hastily enacted into law.”
“The governor thought the limit on the size of [gun] magazines would only apply to assault-style rifles, not to handguns,’’ said the source.
“That’s why there’s the big problem now with handguns, among other things in the statute.’’
The legal sale of virtually all semiautomatic handguns will soon be impossible because Cuomo’s law limits the size of bullet-holding magazines to seven shots [or, at least temporarily, not - see below], virtually none of which are manufactured for sale.
“Much of what’s in the law was drafted by people connected to Mayor Bloomberg and the Brady Center, not by the governor’s staff,” the source said. “That’s why there are so many problems with it.’’
Much like Representative Martens from 66a and the Colorado experience of having 4 MAIG full time lobbyists parachute in and haunt the halls of government, We are getting boilerplate laws that have PROVEN they don’t work.
Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing and expecting a different result? Maybe if we do it harder this time …
Oh, it’s all that.
And it’s also another example of Berg’s Seventh Law – “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.”
Remember last year, when the GOP controlled the legislature and the lefty message machine’s boogeyman-du-jour was “ALEC” and their “model bills” – no different in any way than the model bills put out by every political action group from the teachers union to the AARP, but framed as a dirty word for the low-information voter by the DFL message-bots?
These aren’t the first bills – especially in re guns – that’s looked like it was copied off the web and pasted into a Word file and submitted, so far this session.
It’s been my contention for quite some time that Heather Martens – “Executive Director” and likely sole steady member of “Protect Minnesota”, and unelected Representative from House District 66A – has never, not once in her entire career as an anti-civil-rights pundit, made a single original statement that was substantially true.
Martens (center) adjusting the leashes on Jane Kay of “Moms Demand Action” (left) and Rep. Paymar (even farther left, but to the right of the picture) last week.
NRA Lobbyists Fail — Background Checks Move to House Floor
Yesterday, the Minnesota Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee passed H.F. 285, a bill that would ensure background checks for all pistol and assault weapon purchases at gun shows. The bill passed 10-8 and will head to the House floor. Despite only covering gun shows, Rep. Paymar, the chair of the committee, has vowed that H.F. 285 will ensure that universal background checks are debated on the House floor. Click here to read the whole story.
How many ways is this story wrong?
What “NRA Lobbyists” “failed”?: While the NRA has sent a rep to put in an appearance at one hearing, all of the heavy lifting against the DFL’s gun grab bills was carried by the MInnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance – which, unlike “Protect Minnesota”, is an actual grass roots organization with thousands of actual members, hundreds of whom came out to support civil rights over this past month while “Protect MN” managed, on a good day, maybe a dozen. Martens is lying.
With More “Failures” Like This…: Martens’ posting is an attempt to put lipstick on a pig. Gun-show background checks – which are useless in preventing crime, would have saved not a single life at Newtown or Virginia Tech, and are only a burden to the law-abiding citizen – are the very last of the measures with which the extremist DFL metrocrats marched into battle last month. The Metrocrats and Martens have been decisively rebuked by bipartisan majorities on…:
Ugly Guns Untouched: Banning “Assault Weapons” – which proved useless in preventing crime from 1995-2005.
Citizens Not Hamstrung In Face Of Violent Criminals: Restricting magazine sizes – again, useless in preventing crime of any type, much less mass killings.
The Law-Abiding Citizen Prevailed: Making Minnesota’s carry permit laws more niggling and onerous – from the effort to run applications past unelected police chiefs rather than elected sheriffs, to eliminating recourse for unjust denials, the DFL tried to make law-abiding carry permittees – among the safest constituencies in all of Minnesota, with a violent crime rate a couple of orders of magnitude below the general public (including metro DFL activists)
Success Has Many Fathers: Failure Is An Orphan: Most importantly; a bipartisan majority of the entire House, including many DFLers, signed on to a bill specifically targeted as a rebuke to “Protect Minnesota” and the extreme Metrocrat left. Half of the House, over 100 total members from both parties, co-authored the Hilstrom bill; Paymar’s bill had eight.
And all of this with a DFL legislature that is fundamentally disposed to support Martens and her organization’s agenda.
Viewed against that context – which, naturally, neither Martens nor her sycophants in the regional media will never provide – the conclusion is inescapable; “Protect Minnesota’s” 2013 agenda been a complete failure.
But Martens has successfully defended her title as least truthful lobbyist on Capitol Hill. So at least there’s that.
I went to the House Public Safety Finance committee hearings on the Paymar and Lesch gun bills last night.
More on the event itself a little later.
But I thought this bit was interesting.
The hearings were scheduled for 5:30. At around 4:45, House staff started passing out copies of an amendment that Paymar reportedly planned to propose for the bill. Here’s the link to the amendment. Paymar – the committee chair – waived the Legislature’s new 24 hour waiting period on amendments to get it in for the hearings. He also passed the word that no public testimony would be taken.
Recap: 45 minutes before the committee hearings – which took place at 5:30PM on March 21 – the DFL committee chair distributed an amendment that fundamentally changed the tenor of Rep. Lesch’s bill.
Now take a look if you will at the time-stamp on the file. I circled it, so that even I can’t miss it:
9PM the night before. That’s right around 20 hours.
So I have a few questions:
Rules, Apparently, Are For Peasants: From the House permanent rules, section 6.22:
6.22 PUBLIC TESTIMONY. Public testimony from proponents and opponents must be allowed on every bill or resolution before a standing committee, division or subcommittee of the House.
Paymar’s amendment substantially changed Lesch’s bill, by adding a niggling background check restriction to a bill that largely focused on reporting information and sentencing criminals.
How does this not rate public testimony?
Ethics Are What The DFL Says TheyAre:Paymar waived his party’s own rule on the waiting period for amendments to jam down a fundamentally bill-changing amendment, sitting on it for nearly a day after reneging on his “promise” to Rep. Hilstrom before dumping it outside the hearing room 45 minutes before the hearing.
If only the ethics committee could hear about it.
If Only We Had An Institution, Full Of Highly-Trained People With Years Of Experience Asking Questions And Who’ve Convinced Themselves That They Are A Monastic Elite Apart From Society With A Mission Of Keeping Institutions On The Straight And Narrow. Perhaps With Printing Presses And Transmitters: More on this later.
Michael Paymar is going to attempt to jam down amendments wrecking perfectly good bills – like Hilstrom’s and, to an extent, Lesch’s – which are supported by a bipartisan majority of the House. He’s going to do it because the DFL’s lotus-eating metrocrat pandits find guns in the hands of the plebeians distasteful.
For a decade, I referred to former longtime Minneapolis machine senator Wes Skoglund by the sobriquet “Lying Sack of Garbage”. The reason was simple; every time he opened his mouth on the subject of firearms and the Second Amendment, he lied. Every. Single. Time.
Skoglund left office some years back, apparently out of fear that carry permit holders from the Crips were stalking him. And for the years since then, Representative Heather Martens has had to carry the load of lying about gun owners, firearms and the Second Amendment, during what were the lean years for the gun-grabbing orc movement.
But it’s a new day for the DFL, and a new leader has stepped up. Michael Paymar is everything Skoglund used to be.
Only a few hours earlier, Paymar reached an agreement with a fellow committee member, Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, that gutted his universal background checks bill. In exchange, Hilstrom agreed to a bill that would extend background checks to private sales made at gun shows — but not to other private sales, such as those made over the internet or among neighbors or friends.
Paymar said at that time that the agreement kills universal background checks for all private sales, but that closing the “gun show loophole” was a major step forward.
On Wednesday he said, “The agreement we had with the Speaker is that Rep. Hilstrom would agree to the gun show loophole language, and that the Speaker would allow a vote on the House floor.” But once that more limited bill reaches the floor, Paymar said, an amendment will likely be offered to re-insert universal background checks.
“I refuse to let the Legislature take a walk on this thing,” Paymar said. “I refuse to let the leadership not be accountable for a bill not coming to the floor.” He added, “I can’t believe we’d walk away from the Legislative session and not have a vote on it, up or down.”
Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, a member of Paymar’s committee and a leading advocate for gun-owners rights, accused Paymar of “trickery and deceit.” He said Paymar assured members Tuesday night that universal checks were dead.
“And now he’s overtly admitting, that was just for committee,” Cornish said. “I think he’s going to lose a lot of DFL support.”
Let’s hope so.
I’ll quote Paymar from the Strib piece again:
“I’m not giving up on this,” Paymar said. Once a bill comes to the floor, he said, “I am guaranteed that someone will offer an amendment that will offer each member, Democrat and Republican, the chance to vote on this issue. I want people to take a stand on this issue, up or down.”
So do I. I want to see every Martha Forging DFLer put their vote on the line on that amendment. Oh, my, yes. I surely do.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails in re a Pioneer Press piece on last nights’ House Public Safety Committee hearings and the, er, standard of logic on the DFL side:
“If we don’t believe that criminal laws deter people, than I don’t know what purpose all of you exist for here in this room. Because clearly, people do abide by laws,” [Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association boss Dennis] Flaherty said. “And this notion that if we pass this, criminals won’t by abide by it, well that could be said about everything from speeding to virtually every crime you create here in this room.”
Then where is the need for this law? Let’s outlaw gun crimes and let anyone have a gun and just be lawful.
And we can outlaw poverty and ignorance too. And bad breath.
Until you admit the reality that some people DO NOT follow the law, and identify who those people are, you can’t craft a solution to prevent those people from committing gun crimes. Democrats are still in denial. Flaherty is still a moron.
Flaherty is doing his job – shilling the line of his organization, which is itself a DFL-controlled pressure group as much as a “union”.
When the subject is the Second Amendment, the DFL has a long standing pattern of moving committee meetings around, largely to keep non-DFL constituencies from being able to drive in from Greater Minnesota.
And they’re doing it again.
The Public Safety Committee hearing originally scheduled for this morning at 10AM has been pushed to 7 tonight. Downside; people who made special arrangements to be there this morning – which most of us Second Amendment people have to do to get to these things – are screwed. They’ll be doing whatever it takes to try to find some bilious rationalization to pass the stupid Paymar bill – supported only by Metrocrat extremists – and ignore the Hilstrom bill, supported by Real Americans on both sides of the aisle.
Good news? I’ll be there. And so should you. Here are the details: the Real Americans are meeting starting at 5:00 p.m. outside the Room 10 at the State Office Building, just west-southwest of the Capitol. If you can, wear a maroon shirt, or better yet, a GOCRA t-shirt if you have (or can score) one.
And call the committee members. This info is via GOCRA; they are…:
Representative John Ward (DFL)
Thank Rep. Ward for his past support of your gun rights and encourage him to resist pressure from metro gun banners.
Representative Shannon Savick (DFL)
Rep. Savick is a rural DFLer who needs to be reminded that her constituents will not tolerate new gun control.
Representative Steve Simon (DFL)
Rep. Simon is a smart, principled lawyer. Remind him that the Supreme Court has affirmed the right to keep and bear arms as an individual right, and that stripping due process doesn’t make us more free or more safe.
Representative Brian Johnson (R)
Rep. Johnson is new at the legislature this year, and will be under a lot of pressure to cave to gun control. Tell him to stand firm for our rights.
Then, call and email your OWN senator and representative and give them the same message.
From the March 19, 2013 Pioneer Press article on Democrats’ e-bingo gamble,
“As of late February, budget planners were forecasting about $1.8 million in tax revenue from charitable gambling in fiscal year 2013 for use on the stadium. Estimates last fall had been about $15 million higher, Massman said.”
Democrats planned to bring in $15 million to pay for the Vikings stadium, but we’re bringing in less than $2 million? What a blunder!
I can’t make it, but if you’re anywhere near the Capitol I certainly hope you can. And make sure you join GOCRA – the single most effective advocate in Minnesota for the law-abiding gun owner, and perhaps one of the most powerful grass-roots political organizations in the state.
Senator Dave Osmek (GOP SD33) writes – and I’ll add emphasis:
Here’s a really bad bill: SF271 (Champion). Its not the language in the bill…it’s the repealer. We’re repealing all residency requirements for drivers licenses. Its designed to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
Of course, we all know what else you can do with a driver’s license. Vote. Not to mention that a driver’s license is one of the primary forms of ID for an I9 form or getting a passport.
It passed Transportation/Public Safety on a DFL party-line vote. I complained hard about this thing. In talking with one of the more “reasonable” DFLers after the hearing, he said: You’re making too much out of this, Besides, they all vote for US (giggle…giggle).
Remember – it won’t be “election fraud” if it’s perfectly legal by the time of the next election.
Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talkradio show – brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism, as the Twin Cities media’s sole source of honesty!
I’m back! I’ll have House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt on to talk about the Health Insurance Exchange bill, among other things – and then Senator Julianne Ortman and I will talk about the dueling gun bills in the Legislature.
Brad Carlson is back on “The Closer” from 1-3 tomorrow. Tune on in!
(All times Central)
So tune in to all four hours of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, the Twin Cities’ media’s sole guardians of honest news. You have so many options:
Latz’ bill would take most of the provisions of the Hilstrom/Hortman bill, and plop in all of the worst features of the Paymar/Hausman/Stalin gun grab bills.
According to GOCRA, the “compromise” bill would bring us:
These bills would require universal registration of pistols and sporting rifles, implemented through a “universal” background check, — twice: The bills would require every sale of such guns to go through a licensed dealer, who would charge $25 per transfer. These transfers would still require a permit to purchase, for which the House bill would charge you another $25 annually.
The bills extend the time that sheriffs and police have to process a purchase permit from five to seven business days, and allow the law enforcement official to fingerprint the applicant and extend the deadline to 30 days.
Easier Carry Permit Denials
The bad bills would allow sheriffs the judgement to deny a carry permit on the basis of a subjective “likelihood” that the applicant was dangerous.
More Difficult Carry Permit Appeals
The bad bills positively encourage abusive denials: they remove the sheriffs’ obligation to pay an applicant’s legal fees when a permit denial is overturned — a safeguard that has kept sheriffs departments honest, and bogus denials fairly low, for almost 10 years. The Sheriff’s Association has not asked for this unfair reversal of law.
The bad bills also lower the sheriffs’ standard of proof of danger to self or other others from “clear and convincing evidence” to the mere “preponderance of the evidence.”
Due Process Protections Gutted
The bad bills would remove legal protections against losing your firearm rights. Currently, before you lose your right to own a firearm, you must be convicted or committed by a court. Under the new bill, any involuntary hospitalization, even overnight, would disqualify you from owning guns indefinitely.
Making The Law Abiding Into Convicts
The bad bills set a very low standard of proof for conviction of serious gun crimes, using the phrase “knows or has reason to believe” to convict sellers who reports a gun stolen, or who sell a gun to a person who later commits a crime.
More Difficult Civil Rights Restoration
The bad bills increase the difficulty and expense for a person who has paid their debt to society to regain their civil rights.
Intersting how the DFL wants felons to be able to vote while they’re still in jail, but never have a chance of getting their Second Amendment rights back.
The Senate is holding hearings on both the Good Gun Bill and Latz’ bill – I’ll call it The Polished Turd, since that’s about what it is – tonight. Hope you can make it.
And keep on lighting up the phones at the Capitol, especially for members of the House and Senate committees involved. Sources at the Capitol tell me your efforts are making a difference. It’s not even close; pro-Second Amendment traffic from Real Americans is crushing commentary from nannystate orcs. This needs to continue, and accelerate.
Earlier today, I urged the Senate GOP to get up and get behind Rep. Deb Hilstrom’s gun bill, which I call “The Good Gun Bill”.
About an hour ago, Senator Julianne Ortman introduced a companion bill in the Senate (SF 1359).
The bill has the same objectives as Hilstrom’s bill in the House:
Cracks down on “Straw Purchases”
Improves the state’s data reporting to its own background checks and the Feds’ “NICS” system.
Improves Reporting of court records showing ineligibility to own guns due to mental health reasons – and creates the state’s first process for people to get their rights restored.
Clamps down on felons and repeat criminals who use guns to commit violent crimes.
And it does all this without addressing, much less infringing, the rights of the law-abiding gun owner.
My opinion – and it’s just my opinion? The GOP needs to get behind this. A lot of legislators – including a few outstate DFLers – have put a lot on the line to defy their party’s Metrocrat inner circle. In this case, DFL Senators Lyle Koenen, Kent Eken, Dan Sparks, Tom Saxhaug and LeRoy Stumpf have gone against the Metrocrats. This is a good thing (and having David Hann, Senator Warren Limmer, Senator David Osmek, Senator DaveThompson, Senator Jeremy Miller, Senator Julie Rosen, Senator David Brown, SenatorBranden Petersen, Senator Dan Hall, Senator David Senjem, Senator Roger Chamberlain,Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, Senator Bill Weber, Senator Eric Pratt, Senator Michelle Benson,and Senator Paul Gazelka on board isn’t chicken feed).
The Sheriff’s Association, likewise, has reversed its usual behavior, and is supporting the law-abiding gun owner; this behavior needs to be reinforced with support and success.
The Good Gun Bill is good politics. The GOP in the legislature needs to do this.
If politics were easy, everyone would be doing it.
If Second Amendment Human Rights politics were easy, Andrew Cuomo would be a poli sci professor at Lackawanna Community College.
After last week’s introduction of DFL Rep Deb Hilstrom’s gun bill – I call it the Good Gun Bill, as opposed to the DFL’s raft of gun grab legislation – there’ve been two annoyances; some Second Amendment activists have come to the opinion that it’s just another gun control bill, and some Republican legislators seem stand-offish to it.
Both are mistakes.
It’s Not Even A Compromise – Read the bill. I did. It does what all of us pro-Second Amendment people say gun bills should do; makes life harder for criminals, leave the law-abiding citizen alone.
Some might see Hilstrom’s an urban DFLer, or that the bill is supported by a major law enforcement association, and assume it’s a DFL shill. It’s not.
It increases sentences for gun-related crimes and ties up a loophole in Minnesota’s NICS data reporting that was supposed to have been tied up by the DFL legislature years ago.
That’s pretty much it.
Read the law; there is no stealth gun grab provision written in invisible ink. It’s all right there.
This is a bill that Second Amendment people should support on Second Amendment grounds. It is not an onerous compromise; it is the sort of thing Second Amendment groups have been proposing all along.
Optics – Rumor has it that some Republicans in the Senate are hinky about the bill because they don’t want to be seen to be operating with the DFL.
Let’s think this one through. There are three reasons this is just plain wrong.
For starters; as I noted above, this is a good bill. This is, indeed, the only good gun bill in the Legislature that has any chance of passing.
Second: You neglect the “security mom” voter at your own peril. They are a form of low-information or single-issue voter, all right – and there are a ton of them. And Sandy Hook freaked them out bad. Statistics – like the fact that both violent crime, including murder, including mass murder – are down 40% in 20 years don’t matter to them, and their votes count just as much as yours. They are the ones who bellow “we have to dooooooooooooo something!” after every tragedy.
And here’s a teaching moment; showing the “security moms” that “doing something” can actually be productive, and seizing the messaging on this issue – which is, by the way, one of the very few issues that seems to be breaking the GOP’s way so far this session – is a good thing.
And the fact is, you can not let the DFL come out as the unalloyed good guy on this one; do you want the DFL to be able to go to Greater Minnesota crowing that “WE were the ones with the common sense solutions on guns?” After the Metrocrats’ crimes against democracy last month?
Finally: this is a chance to throw the DFL-enabling media’s “Bipartisanship” slur back in their face. You know as well as I do the DFL only cares about bipartisanship when they’re in the minority – but working this issue, and winning it, gives you an instant hot-button to throw back into Lori Sturdevant and Keri Miller’s faces when they squirt their crocodile tears about “bipartisanship”.
Passing this bill shuts them up, it gives the low-information but not-too-addled voter their catch word, and it gives us a gun bill that actually does something useful.
If the MNGOP drops the ball on this one, it’ll be a very, very bad thing.
The Shorter Anti-Unionization Activist: “Unionization would force us to,raise prices. Forcing us to unionize to accept state aid payments would cause me to stop accepting kids who get state assistance. Providers can already join the union; in eight years, out of 11,000 providers, exactly 57 have joined. I already work hard on improving the quality of the care I provide. By the way, the stories of unethical behavior on union reps’ parts in the card check process are true and omnipresent. We are independent businesspoeple! If we wanted to work inside of a larger organization, we’d have stayed with our old careers!
The Shorter Rep. Nelson (author of the union jamdown bill, and a carpenters union activist in his per-legislative life): Unions all help provide better quality care, training, and standards.
The Shorter Response To Nelson From Providers: Um, those are the job, in order, of existing licensing authorities, and myself.
The Shorter Pro-union Daycare Provider: I’m a loving nurturing person. I teach my kids. Aren’t teachers unionized?
The Shorter Union AFSCME Rep’s Case, with the actual thought completed in parentheses This bill won’t force anyone into a union! (It’ll merely give a mass of unlicensed fly-by-night providers the right to compel all you licensed providers to unionize to if you get state money.
The Shorter Committee Chair Joe Mullery: Unions don’t skim anything.
The Shorter Mary Franson (leading opponent of jamdown, and a former provider herself):. This bill isn’t about improving care. It’s about enriching union officials and funneling dues money to the DFL-supporting unions.
The Shorter Carly Melin (27-year old second term rep who was carted directly to her district after graduating from Hamline Law just in time to meet residency requirements, and neither has kids nor any notable non-legislative post-law-school job history): Hey! Don’t insult the unions!
The Shorter Results:. Six in-the-bag-for-the-unions DFLers “yes”, five Republivans “no”.
I was down at the State Capitol yesterday for a press conference, as Representative Deb Hilstrom (DFL Brooklyn Park) introduced the gun bill/s we talked about yesterday.
The bills, as we noted yesterday, would exert the state to solve actual problems – close gaps in the background check system, add mandatory penalties for using guns in crimes or possessing them illegally…
…y’know. Controversial stuff.
At the presser, I saw a big group of legislators from both chambers and both parties lining up to support Hilstrom’s proposal. Reps, Senators, Democrats, Republicans – it was probably the most bipartisan assembly I’ve seen that wasn’t in the lounge at the Kelly Inn after hours.
Not just legislators; guys in uniform. They weren’t just there for the fun of it – guys in uniform never are. No, they were from the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association.
And I saw media. Oh, lord, did I see media.
And Heather Martens was there, naturally; where there is truth about the Second Amendment, Martens will be there. To lie. And lie and lie and lie (note to the media who bothered to speak to her; she has uttered not one substantial word of truth in her years at the capitol. Ask me).
And the “groups” she represents put out a call for their “membership” to turn out in force to oppose this bill – probably remembering the hundreds of Second Amendment supporters who turned out daily to oppose the DFL’s gun grab bills a few weeks ago.
We’ll come back to them.
One person who was not there was Doug Grow, from the MInnPost.
To be fair, I haven’t seen Grow in person in over 20 years; I might not recognize him.
Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, has discovered again that there is no comfortable middle ground when the subject is guns.
At noon at the Capitol, Hilstrom, standing with Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek and Rep. Tony Cornish, the gun-toting legislator from Good Thunder, introduced a gun bill that she said “can bring people together’’ on the volatile subject of guns.
No, no bias here.
The Astroturf Consensus
Grow, like most of the Twin Cities mainstream media, labors under the delusion that there’s a large, organized mass of people supporting gun control, and that they were out in force yesterday.
Her words were still echoing in the Capitol when critics, who had hoped for much stronger actions from the Minnesota Legislature, lambasted the effort of Hilstrom and a bipartisan group of 69 other legislators to “close gaps’’ in current state gun law.
“This is just a band-aid over a huge problem,’’ said Jane Kay of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, an organization formed in the days following the mass shooting of school children in Newtown, Conn.
Only in America can a two-month old pressure group with fewer members than there were legislators standing behind Hilstrom get the breathless adoration of the media. Which is what “Moms Demand Action” and “Protect Minnesota” both are; astroturf checkbook advocacy groups funded by liberal plutocrats with deep pockets – with “membership” numbers in the single digits.
Provided they share the goal of fluffing the left’s withering narrative on gun control.
Of course, Grow wasn’t the only offender; Pat Kessler of Channel 4 asked Hilstrom why the bill included no universal background check which, he asserted, “70% of Minnesotans oppose”.
The correct answer – the polls ask people about background checks without explaining the consequences of those checks as the DFL and Governor Messinger Dayton currently propose them; they will result in a de facto gun registry, which is a necessary first step to universal confiscation.
More on gun-related media polls in another piece soon.
The Pre-Written Story
But Grow himself is the real problem here. His piece, while short on the sort of insight that actually engaging people on both sides of the issue might have given it, is long on evidence that Grow wrote the story long before yesterday’s press conference.
There’s the inflammatory reference to every leftymedia member’s favorite boogyman:
The bill has the support of the National Rifle Association, presumably because it does nothing to require background checks on all gun sales and because it does nothing to restrict sales of military-style weapons or even the quantity of rounds in ammunition magazines.
The bill has the support of gun-rights organizations because instead of wasting time and effort putting niggling restrictions on the rights of the law-abiding that didn’t affect crime in any way the first ten years they were tried, they actually address the real problem; criminals, the insane, the addled, and the holes in the data the state sends to the Feds for the background check system.
(And while the NRA makes a nice, recognizable, stereotyped boogeyman for the lazy propagandist, the NRA actually has very little to do with the day to day heavy lifting of the gun rights movement in Minnesota. It’s the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance that turned out 500 or more people a day to attend the gun grab hearings a couple of weeks back. Grow either doesn’t know that, or doesn’t want people to know that. You know where my money is).
More evidence that Grow wrote the story entirely off of DFL and “Protect Minnesota” chanting points?
Despite the fact that it’s a bill that authors hoped would unite people, it seems to be dividing. Yes, there was a mix of Republican and DFL representatives standing with Hilstrom, Cornish and Stanek. But there were no law-enforcement organizations represented at the news conference where the proposal was unveiled.
Here’s the video of the press conference:
See all those guys in uniforms?
Scroll in to 1:12. That’s Sheriff Rich Stanek, Hennepin County Sheriff, speaking on behalf of the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association.
Either Grow is lying, or he wrote the entire story with no knowledge of the facts of the story.
Short On Fact, Long On Jamming Words Into Peoples’ Mouths
Grow follows by saying…:
There also were no DFL senators, though presumably the bill will be as attractive to outstate senators as it appears to be to many outstate DFL representatives.
Grow throws that in there as if it’s a substantive fact related to the bill itself. It’s not. While most outstate legislators no doubt remember the DFL debacle of 2002, it’s also more than plausible Tom Bakk wants to keep his powder dry.
In other words, presence of no DFL senators is a non-factor, unless you’re a low-information reader.
Grow next swerves through fact – and in so doing, undercuts his own premise. I’ll add emphasis:
Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St. Paul, and the chairman of the House public safety committee, has indicated he has no desire to have the bill heard by his committee. Paymar is pushing a bill that would require purchasers of guns at flea markets and gun shows to go through background checks.
Yet, given the large number of co-authors with Hilstrom, there likely are ways for the bill to weave its way through the legislative process.
Yes. There are a large number of co-authors; so many they had to submit it not one, not two, but three times to get them all on. Over half of the House is signed on as authors of the bill.
Michael Paymar wants to thwart the will of the representatives of over half of Minnesota’s voters?
Putting Thirty Shots From An AR15 Into A Strawman
Finally, Grow takes his whacks at some of the legislators who’ve violated the DFL’s narrative:
[Representative Tony] Cornish, usually a lightning rod in the gun debate, said he was taking a different role regarding the fate of this bill.
“Several of my statements (in the past) have been controversial,’’ he said. “Today my role is to be a peacemaker.’’
No sooner had he said that than he uttered a statement that raises the hackles of those hoping for stronger gun measures.
“I want to thank the NRA for helping (on the bill),’’ he said. He went on to say that the bill “contains nothing for gun owners to fear.’’
Er, who’s “hackles” got “raised”, here? And why?
Was it the involvement of the NRA? Your dog whistles aren’t our problem.
Or was it the quote about gun owners having nothing to fear? Is that the actual goal, here?
Hilstrom, in her seventh term, refused to talk about her true feelings of the bill. Rather, she kept speaking of the importance of “passing a bill that will solve real problems.’’
She did point out that she never has sought the endorsement of the NRA and that in the past she has received a “C,’’ “D,’’ and “F’’ from the NRA.
If she’s doing the right thing – which, for a majority of Minnesotans, is “solving problems”, rather than attacking the law-abiding gun owner – then I don’t care if she’s a life-time “F” rating. And I don’t care about her true feelings; I don’t care if she’s being used as an escape hatch by the DFL to get out of the embarassment of the Paymar/Hausman gun grab bills.
Finally: I owe the Twin Cities media an apology. I’ve said that Larry Jacobs is the most over-quoted person in the Twin Cities media. And he is. David Schultz is right up there.
But in the “single-issue” category, Heather Martens – “Executive Director” and, near as we can tell, one of less than a half-dozen members of “Protect Minnesota” (and de facto representative of House District 66A) and a woman whose entire body of public assertions is lies, dwarfs them all:
Heather Martens, executive director of Protect Minnesota, derided the bill as “NRA-approved.’’
Boo! Boogeyman! Hiss!
Listen, MinnPost-reading dogs! There’s your whistle!
“Any bill that fails to address the gaping holes in our background check law falls far short of the public’s demand for the right to be safe in our communities,’’ Martens said in a statement.
And there’s another lie. The bill does address the gaping hole that exists in the background check laws.
No, not the misnamed “gun show loophole”, which is another media myth. The real gap is the data that the state isn’t sending to the feds; the Hilstrom bill fixes it.
GOCRA’s Mountain, Grow And Martens’ Molehill
Leaving aside the fact that Grow got pretty much everything in this story wrong – and wrong in a way that suggests not only that he wasn’t at Hilstrom’s press conference but that he wrote the whole thing straight from chanting points long before Hilstrom took to the microphone – the most pernicious thing about Grow’s story is that it tries to create the impression that there’s a genuine battle between two titanically-powerful sides to this debate.
In terms of legislators? A bipartisan sample of over half of the House is on board co-authoring Hilstrom’s bill(s). A thin, runny film of metro-DFL extremists is backing the Paymar/Hausman/Simonson gun grab bills.
In terms of the public? Last month, GOCRA put out a call for people to come to the Capitol. And they did.
“Protect Minnesota” and “Moms Demand Action” put out a call yesterday for people to come out and protest against Hilstrom’s bill.
Here they are:
Well, not literally. But no, other than Heather Martens, nobody showed up.
There are literally more DFL legislators co-authoring Hilstrom’s bill than there are members of “Protect Minnesota” and the “Moms Demand Action” put together.
After a month of barbering and nattering about dim-bulb gun-grab bills, there’s a chance at returning to sanity at hand.
Over the noon hour, Representative Deb Hillstrom – a DFLer from Brooklyn Park and a prosecutor by trade – introduced a new bill. And this bill has the potential – unlike all of Hausman, Paymar and Simonson’s vacuous, time-wasting, copied-and-pasted twaddle – to actually do some good.
Hillstrom’s bill treats law-abiding citizens like law-abiding citizens, and punishes criminals for committing crimes.
It’s been submitted three times - one, two and three - although all three are identical. This, according to a second-hand source, is a way to get around the maximum number of authors.
To summarize; the bill:
Facilitates the reporting of criminal and mental health commitment data to the national NICS database (more or less as Tony Cornish’s “Stand Your Ground” bill would have done before Governor Messinger Dayton vetoed it last year. The bill also cleans up the time lag in Minnesota’s reporting of such data.
Creates a mandatory sentence enhancement for violent felons. Many cities in Minnesota have similar laws; Saint Paul has one (although Susan Gaertner pretty much always used it as plea-bargain fodder when she was County Attorney). This would provide a five year sentence for violent felons in possession of firearms; for a second and subsequent offenses, the sentence would be 10 or 15 years, respectively.
Makes false reporting of a gun theft a gross misdemeanor.
Establishes categories of people ineligible to possess pistols or “assault weapons” (and, except for kids under 18, any firearm at all), including people with records of juvenile delinquency (including those who’ve been shunted into pre-trial diversion programs for violent crimes), those who’ve been committed for mental illness or drug abuse, people with regular or gross misdemeanors in the previous three years (including gang crimes, hate crimes, building zip guns, stalking, fourth-degree burglary or rioting), cops with substance abuse issues, people with domestic assaults in the previous three years (or domestic assaults with firearms, ever).
A five year mandatory sentencing enhancement for using a pistol or “assault weapon” in a felony (with 10 and 15 years for repeat offenders).
The bill also provides a due process for people who’ve been civilly committed to get their firearm rights back.
The bill is a huge step in the right direction; it actually punishes criminals, rather than law-abiding citizens (as Paymar, Simonson and Hausman’s bills do).
Rep. Hillstrom – a metro DFLer – is to be complimented for introducing it.
Of course, it needs to get through committee. The members of the Public Safety Finance Committee (names and numbers are below the jump) need to get flooded with phone calls supporting the Hillstrom bill.
No, I mean flooded. And get your representatives, too, whatever side they’re on.
And call the members of the House Public Safety Finance Committee and tell them that the Paymar bill isn’t fit to wipe the hindquarters of a sick goat on a 100 degree day.
Via GOCRA, here’s the contact info for the committee, along with some commentary on each individual committee member:
Let’s show Rep. Paymar’s that Minnesotans oppose his assault on our rights by defeating his bill in his own committee. Ask them to SAY NO to the Paymar bill (HF237) and SAY YES to the GOCRA-approved alternate bill.
Rep. Rosenthal authored HF294, which would gut the civil rights protections of Minnesota’s Permit to Carry Law by allowing sheriffs to deny permits on the weakest of grounds. Tell him he should be working to punish criminals, not law-abiding citizens.
Thank Rep. Hilstrom for her strong rejection of registration schemes, as well as magazine and rifle bans, and thank her for supporting the alternate bill. (One newspaper has reported that she will be the alternate bill’s chief author!)
Remind Rep. Schoen that as a police officer, he knows who the real bad guys are: they’re not the law-abiding Minnesota gun owners, and they won’t follow new gun control laws any more than they follow the existing ones.
Rep. Simon is a smart, principled lawyer: he knows that the Supreme Court has affirmed the right to keep and bear arms as an individual right. He also knows that stripping due processdoesn’t make us more free or more safe. But you can remind him anyway!
So how much money did Big Labor spend along with Big Lefty Plutocrat to buy the Governor’s Office and the Legislature?
If you believe the Strib, it’s “around $3 million.
If you believe the Strib is going to tell the truth about DFL perfidy – and especially the big money behind the DFL, I’ve got a 50% stake in the next Lindsay Lohan movie to sell you.
Bill Walsh, long-time Minnesota political operative, did a little digging into the story – and he’s got something the Twin Cities’ mainstream media doesn’t want to give you; the facts:
I’m publishing his piece as a guest writer at Shot In The Dark today.
Unions Spent $11.1 Million in 2012 to Buy Friendly Legislature for Gov. Mark Dayton
Bill Walsh, Shot In The Dark Guest Writer
A few weeks ago the Star Tribune published an article about campaign spending in the 2012 election focusing on two big individual donors – Alida Messinger and Bob Cummins. The conclusion? Each party has a big donor that gave lots of money, it’s all a wash. I’m afraid this story is all we’re going to get from the Strib on campaign spending analysis. Today, in an otherwise well written article on union influence at the capitol this year, Rachel Stassen-Berger writes that unions “put at least $3 million into elections.” I guess $11.1 million is “at least” $3 million. She’s only off by $8.1 million.
I took the time to go through the campaign finance reports of 111 different union organizations in Minnesota and nationally for the 2012 election. Spending ranged from Education Minnesota at $1.8 million to the Bemidji Central Labor Body AFL-CIO Political Fund at $250. State and local unions accounted for $9.1 million in campaign spending with national unions kicking in the other $2 million.
It took some time to come to the right numbers because many unions give money to each other for joint spending initiatives. These numbers reflect the net spending after backing out contributions between unions. It goes without saying that over 99% of the money went to DFL candidates and causes.
I blame myself for not getting this research to the StarTribune before they published today’s article. It really would have added some punch to their story.
For example, when talking about the nurses union asking the legislature for new staffing ratios that will drive up health care costs, it would have been useful to point out to readers the nurses union spent over $500,000 helping DFL candidates win back the legislature last year. As a matter of fact, that probably should be mentioned every time the media covers the progress of this legislation.
Likewise, when discussing AFSCME’s attempt to force unionization on small private childcare businesses, it would inform the reader to mention that seven different AFSCME organizations gave a total of $1.6 million to DFL candidates and causes in 2012.
The list goes on – Education Minnesota is trying to resurrect their statewide insurance pool legislation, MAPE and AFSCME are getting new generous employment contracts, the minimum wage is being increased and Dayton is following through on his promise to raise taxes on the rich.
But business spends a lot too, right? Wrong. It’s hard to get anywhere near $11.1 million if you add up the business money spent in the 2012 election. A business friendly PAC called Minnesota’s Future spent $1.2 million while the Chamber of Commerce-supported Coalition for Minnesota Businesses spent just $283,000 on the 2012 election. We all know the MNGOP received little support from the business community and the two legislative caucuses combined to spend only $4.1 million, and not all of that can be attributed to business.
According to today’s Pioneer Press, however, business interests do spend a lot on lobbying. The Campaign Finance Board reported that business interests spent $17.4 million lobbying the legislature during the 2011 session.
This may be the key to understanding today’s political environment. Unions spend heavily getting sympathetic Democrats elected to office. Once they are in place, it doesn’t take much money to lobby –the jury is already selected.
Business on the other hand, spends relatively little on the nuts and bolts of campaigns and prefers to hire lobbyists to try to influence the debate after the legislature has been selected.
First, Republican legislators need to hammer away on the $11.1 million unions spent to buy this legislature for Gov. Mark Dayton. They need to remind the public and the press at every opportunity to follow the money. Pay to play has never been more obvious in Minnesota.
Second, the business community needs to shift some of its resources to where it matters: the 2014 general election. Business will never match the collective self interest and desperation of the unions, so we need to reach a higher level of cooperation if we hope to recapture the House and win back the governor’s office in 2014.