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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

If You Pay Attention, Steve Simon Is Clear Choice For SOS

Category: DFL 2014
Posted: 10/19/14 01:06

by Dave Mindeman

I realize the Secretary of State race hasn't gotten a lot of attention. The constitutional offices don't get a lot of hype. But the debate on Almanac Friday night pretty much confirmed my first impressions of this race... which means that Steve Simon is the only logical choice for our next SOS.

Frankly, with the possible exception of Bob Helland, the Independence Party candidate, the rest of the field is a bit scary. Almanac invited 4 candidates including the IP and Libertarian candidates. The Libertarian candidate, Bob Odden, was...well....odd. Seemed to have more of the demeanor of a bar bouncer than the head of a Constitutional office. And as for the GOP's Dan Severeson? Well, he quotes Minnesota Majority and as far as I'm concerned that's a disqualifier all by itself.

One telling moment in the debate is when Dan Severson was touting some imaginary figure showing only 15% of the active military voted absentee... to which host Cathy Wurzer quoted the election stats from the SOS office - showing an actual figure of over 70%. Severson had little response other than "I'll have to check on that."

As I stated earlier, Bob Helland from the IP was not quite so scary. He made some good points and even realized that the SOS office is not just about voting.

However, even though it is hard to make the public aware in this down ballot race, Steve Simon stands head and shoulders above everyone as the most qualified candidate for Secretary of State.

I know a recent poll showed that Simon and Severson were pretty much tied at this juncture, but that just confirms the fact that the electorate hasn't paid any attention to this race.

Simon has worked on election law in the legislature for several years. And he has improved what is already a very good election system in Minnesota. He has upgraded the absentee ballot system to make it very easy to "vote from home" as he put it. I think we can rest assured that Steve Simon will continue to work on improving access to the voting booth and will look to continue Minnesota's tops in the nation turnouts.

Severson, on the other hand, is still supporting the failed photo ID regulation that was defeated 2 years ago. He continues to try and convince us that voter fraud is a "problem" in Minnesota. He makes up some foolish voting issue regarding military personnel that has little factual basis. Severson, who seems locked into Minnesota Majority's rampant fraud theory, has latched onto the GOP methodology of making the office of Secretary of State a partisan weapon for voter suppression.

Let's make sure we do not go there. Steve Simon is the clear choice.
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Rep. Anna Wills Failed Her District-She Can Only Offer An Excuse

Category: DFL 2014
Posted: 10/17/14 18:18, Edited: 10/17/14 18:24

by Dave Mindeman

Here is a YouTube video of a speech given by Rep. Anna Wills, (R) - 57B, Apple Valley, Rosemount, late in the last legislative session. She is talking about the bonding bill from last session.

She voted NO. As a protest? She voted NO on the bonding bill which had $12 million in funding for the Apple Valley Zoo - a major attraction right in her own district. But why did she vote no? She says it was a protest for the removal of a $7.5 million allocation for the Dakota County Technical College.

She is upset that the MNSCU project recommendations weren't followed to the letter - as if that actually ever happens....

Let's backtrack and look at how this "tragic" oversight happened.

First, let's look at the Minnesota Zoo. When the House passed their version of the 2014 Bonding bill, the Zoo would get $7 million and the DCTC allocation was included. The Senate version had $10 million for the Zoo and the DCTC allocation also was included.

But there was still the negotiations that would reconcile the bill into final passage. On the Senate side, Senator Greg Clausen, (D) Apple Valley/Rosemount took up an intercession from the Zoo that requested an additional $2 million in funding for rennovations. Clausen went to bat for the request and got the additional money into the final bill (the Zoo would now have an allocation of $12 million and that was the figure that passed)....offsets were made from other projects.

On the House side, the leadership went hunting for Republican votes...because, remember, bonding bills need a super majority and GOP votes would be needed to pass the final bill.

Rep. Anna Wills was a NO vote on the bonding bill. This was pretty clear from the outset. She has been trying to project a conservative budget hawk personna and never hesitates to criticize the "spend thrift" DFL legislature.

So, the crafters of the bonding bill went looking for flexible GOP representatives. They found one who would agree to vote for the bill if additional money was added for a project in his district. It required some money shuffling - not uncommon in final bonding bill negotiations.

When looking for an offset, bonding negotiators decided that since Rep. Anna Wills had made it pretty clear that she was a NO vote anyway, then the DCTC project would have to be sacrificed.

When the final bill came up for passage, Wills took the floor in the speech above and said her "NO" vote was a "protest" for the removal of that DCTC funding. But the reality is that if she had shown any inclination to compromise, the funding could have been saved if she had been willing to switch her vote.

It is curious how she talks to her constituents about how she had to Vote NO on principle, but was never a YES possibility in the first place. And what is even more outrageous is that now, she touts the successful Zoo funding as if it were her own accomplishment. Ignoring the fact that her side of the Capitol had only a $7 million allocation and it was her District's Democratic State Senator who successfully included the additional $2 million that appeared in the final bill. And that it was her unwillingness to compromise that led the bonding bill negotiators to use her district as a source of money exchange.

The video of the speech above is a face saving speech. Anna Wills did not serve her district well. The Zoo funding fared better without her and the DCTC funding was lost because of her.

Her constituents only hear the excuse she gives. They don't realize that Rep. Anna Wills, in reality, failed them.

Vote for REAL representation, Vote for Denise Packard in District 57B.
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When You Accuse Someone of Lying - Don't Lie About The Lie

Category: GOP 2014
Posted: 10/17/14 16:46

by Dave Mindeman

Is there something in the MN Republican psyche that just can't stop using distortions when making political statements?

Here is the latest e-mail accusation from the state party:

Mark Dayton Lying (Again) About Insurance Costs

Dayton tried to sweep the increasing cost of healthcare under the rug with his bogus claim of a 4.5% increase.

The reality is the average person on MNsure will see double digit cost increases, and up to 60 percent if they are currently on PreferredOne through MNsure!

When you accuse someone of lying, it would be beneficial if you didn't lie about the lie!

Insurance customers who would continue on Preferred One going into next year will obviously NOT be using MNSure. Preferred One pulled out of MNSure. The carrier will not qualify for Federal subsidies. Patients that had Preferred One last year will have to choose between a) staying with Preferred One outside of MNSure and without a subsidy, or b) shop for a different insurance inside MNSure.

Again, it is called the free market. The insurance companies that stayed within MNSure going forward have an average increase of 4.5%. Preferred One is no longer part of MNSure. I know it would be a nice GOP talking point if they could use the non-MNSure Preferred One rates as part of the mix, but consumers will probably use their better judgement and switch.

Dayton's not lying - the MN GOP is.
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