The Walk

Our thorough discussion of Ryan Winkler’s tweet established that
Democrats have a strong personal belief, perhaps even a moral
conviction, that public safety is a government responsibility.

Our thorough discussion of the lawsuit against Minneapolis established
that when citizens suffer because government abandons its
responsibility, the citizens have no recourse under existing law.

You must rely on us; but you can’t rely on us. That’s Catch-22 and it’s
not a joke, it’s official policy.

So the obvious question is: When will Ryan Winkler introduce legislation
creating a right for citizens to sue the government for failing its
responsibility to protect them? And will the new law be retroactive to
cover the riots?

Ryan Winkler talked the talk, but will he walk the walk?

Joe Doakes

No point of Rep. Winkler’s career has been about “walking” any “walk”.

It’s been about pointing at others shortcomings, real or manufactured, and jumping up and down and pointing and flinging poo.

That should clarify things.

It’s Reform Time

Imagine this: you are walking through downtown…er, Brainerd. It’s dark out, with a tinge of fog in the air. A car full of rural youth with mischief on their minds rolls up and jumps out. One has a gun, another a baseball bat. They are making loud, rural-youth-y noises. In a split second, you discern:

  1. Your life is in immediate danger
  2. They, not you, are the aggressors
  3. You being a middle-aged man or woman, and they being spry rural teens, you don’t reasonably have the means or opportunity to run away.

In a split second, you decide that your concealed handgun is the best way to resolve the situation – whether you shoot or not.

And after the episode, you call the police, lawyer up, and get ready for the process of proving to the court that your decision was correct…

…during which time a county attorney, sitting in a warm, safe office with a Keurig and stacks of law books and protected by metal detectors and deputies, will pick over the life-or-death decision you were forced, against your will, to make on a cold, dark, foggy night in Brainerd, with a grisly death potentially seconds away, to see if your attempt to flee was satisfactory enough under not only statue, but according to at least a dozen items of Minnesota case law.

Seem reasonable?

If so – in what world? Seriously?

Turnabout

After a couple of sessions of playing on the defensive on gun rights, the good guys are going over to the attack.

A Self Defense Reform bill has been introduced at the MIinnesota State Legislature.

ACTION ALERT – STAND YOUR GROUND
BILLS INTRODUCED IN HOUSE & SENATE
Our Stand your Ground bill has been introduced in the Minnesota Senate by Senator Carrie Ruud (R – SD 10) as Senate File 13 (SF13) and in the Minnesota House by Representative Lisa Demuth (R – 13A) and Representative Matt Bliss (R – 5A) as House File 131.

This bill, known as Self-Defense Law Reform, or “Stand your Ground”, legislation simplifies Minnesota’s self-defense law by codifying the 10-12 court cases that interpret our existing statutory law while removing the ridiculous “duty to retreat” concept that requires Minnesotans to retreat from an attacker before defending themselves with force.

This is our Stand your Ground legislation with bill content honed by use of force and legal experts and backed by our years of advocacy experience.

Why propose the change to law? See the example above.

But why try to pass the bills now?

Future Math

You may ask yourself “Why? What’s the point? There’s a DFL governor, and the House is controlled by Melissa Hortman and Uncle Ryan Winkler?”

Think about it for a moment: the DFL lead in the House is pretty thin, and several of those DFLers are in distant suburbs that went for Trump, or are net-Red districts in normal times. And there’s history – in 2002, the gun rights movement pretty much extincted all the anti-gun DFLers, leading in short order to passage of Carry Permit reform in 2003. And that was at a time when the state wasn’t nearly as polarized on gun issues as it is today. And if Hortman causes the bills to be tabled in the House while it passes the Senate? That’ll be remembered in 2022.

And Governor Walz? If he vetoes such a bill, it’s going to be used as an electoral sledgehammer against every DFLer outside 494 and 694. And it’ll draw blood.

Turn Out

The MN Gun Owners Caucus runs an “Action Center” with info on contacting your legislators, as well as all the other things we can do to move the needle on this. Remember – Senate File 13, and House File 131.

Eventually the Legislature is going to get tired of replacing melted switchboards.

Future Alternative

Minnesota legislature passes bill to help victims of state government, unless someone else does.

That’s not how they worded it, of course. The state legislature adopted a bill to give aid to small businesses closed by Governor Walz and to extend unemployment benefits for workers laid off by Governor Walz, but the aid is conditional. If the federal government adopts an aid package, then we use the federal money and the state does nothing. So it’s conditional virtue signaling, based on gaslighting the public that the Covid pandemic is a force of nature, not a product of arbitrary and destructive rule-by-executive-order.

I award Republicans one point for at least voicing the objection that Walz is the problem, not Covid. But I penalize them 10 points for going along with business as usual. Acquiescence is approval. Let the Democrats try to pass laws without a single Republican vote, until Walz relinquishes power to the Legislature, where it belongs. Otherwise, what do we need Republicans for? Just let Walz run everything forever and save the per diems.

In a state as Great-Sorted as Minnesota is, voters who are swingable are going to need a reason to choose GOP in 2022.

The Senate GOP has given them some little reasons. They need big ones. Stat.

Jackpine Snipers

After a session of being neutered and stripped of their leadership positions by the increasingly metro-dominated DFL, there’ve been rumors bouncing around CD8 circles that Senators Bakk and Tomassoni were going to bolt the DFL.

And according to Tom Hauser, that may be in the near offing…:

…although not quite to the point of joining the GOP.

Rumors are bouncing about as to which party the “Independent Caucus” will work most closely with – but either way, Bakk and Tomassoni are going to be the most popular guys on Capitol Hill when the session starts.

It doesn’t seem a stretch that on issues of mining and gun rights – and, likely, a few more – the Senate has gone from 34-33 GOP to 34-31-2, and the DFL agenda just got even farther out of reach.

What’ll it mean for Governor Klink’s emergency powers?

My guess – and it’s only a guess – is that the House DFL will dig in harder and get more extreme.

Thoughts?

Not The Best Look

I’d like a list of the 25 former GOP members who crossed the aisle to keep Governor Walz’ one-man-regime in power, in exchange for endorsements from trade unions who will benefit from the spending bill.

Please include home addresses, so I can send fruit baskets to thank them for selling out the people of Minnesota.

Joe Doakes

Not gonna lie – and if you are a MNGOP staffer, by all means feel free to pass this on to Jennifer Carnahan, Paul Gazelka and Kurt Daudt – but the whole “acting like DFLers” thing wasn’t amusing even before the state got swallowed up in a DFL coup.

It’s not been an easy few weeks to be a Minnesota Repubican.

Representative Molotov

Once upon a time, I got some great life advice.

“Find what you’re good at, and run with it”.

John Thompson, would-be DFL rep from District 67A, the East Side, apparently got and practices the same advice.

He does seem to like burning down suburbs. Or at least talking about it.

A lot:

Sure, that’ll solve police overreach against blacks. Run with it.

Hey, DFLers – this is the mainstream of your party.

Open Letter To House Majority Leader Winkler

To: Rep. Ryan WInkler, House Majority Leader
From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re: Timing

Rep. Winkler,

Yesterday you tweeted in re the shooting in Kenosha:

Rep Winkler, I say the following with all due respect.

I’m just spitballing, here, but maybe a white, suburban Harvard grad who called one of the leading jurists in the nation an “Uncle Thomas” because he departed the Democrat Party’s plantation, might want to sit out the whole “white supremacy” thing.

That is all.

It’s That Time Of Year Again

And now for some real gun rights news.

The DFL’s two big gun grab bills – HF8 (Universal Gun Registration) and HF9 (Red Flag Confiscation Orders) are back for their second round in the biennium.

And they’re already out on the House floor.

The MN Gun Owners’ Caucus is asking people to turn out tomorrow afternoon:

We expect the session to gavel in at 3:30 PM, but this may change.

IF YOU CAN MAKE IT, WE NEED YOU THERE.

WHERE: State Capitol – House Chamber (look for House Gallery entrance, 3rd floor)

WHEN: Arrive by 2:45PM to obtain a good seat. There is seating for around 80 people. There is a lot of standing room only space.

The bills will die in the Senate, of course.  But it’s good that the House knows who’s really going to turn out this fall.  There are a lot of mid-term DFLers from Trump districts who especially need to get the message. 

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.