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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

House GOP Rural Emphasis Still A Mystery

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 12/10/14 10:25

by Dave Mindeman

The "new" House GOP majority seems to be comfortable with divisive politics. In fact, they seek it out and exploit it at every opportunity.

This new metro vs rural meme is going to be the new normal at the state capitol, but as yet, it is hard to understand what it means.

Rural issues lean heavily on transportation funding, but Republicans have never been serious champions of meeting that need. The only way that the House GOP can meet the present reality is to extract it from suburban support of light rail and BRT. Which will further divide the legislature and probably solidify the new DFL suburban beach heads.

Here's another monkey wrench in this new found GOP rural attention.....

The latest numbers from the nonpartisan Minnesota House Research Department show the seven-county metro area pays 64 percent of the state's taxes and gets back 53 percent of the major tax aids, credits and refunds. By comparison, the 80 non-metro counties pay 36 percent and get back 47 percent.

A lot of the LGA money that Republicans complained about in the recent past have a very heavy rural flavor to it. Small communities would get a disproportionate share of local government aid....and the GOP would cry foul at every opportunity. Does the new "rural reality" mean that outstate LGA money will get a different look?

Talk of PolyMet's mining operation is getting lip service as well. Is the GOP majority going to circumvent environmental processes to speed this along and establish a precedent that could have future ramifications? Are they willing to risk future environmental costs that will most likely end up in the general fund?

And what does the re-establishment of an Agricultural Committee in the House really mean outside of "symbolism"? Are there high profile items in the Ag community that are not getting done? or not addressed? There has never been a lot of detail in that regard....probably because no one knows yet.

The reality of the matter still has the fact that over 60% of Minnesota's population is metro. If you prioritize the budget to funnel more funding into the outstate 40%, you are naturally going to cause inefficient use of funds.

The legislature would use the bonding bill to try to balance the needs of outstate Minnesota - especially when DFL majorities were present. But it has always been the GOP that blocks the smaller outstate projects and uses them in their election year campaign ads as "pork barrel spending".

Where is that "renewed rural focus" going to land?

I expect the GOP rhetoric to take a big reversal in tone this session.

We shall see.
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On Stanley Hubbard and #Pointergate

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 11/15/14 01:20

by Dave Mindeman

MPR had an interview with Stanley Hubbard of Channel 5 about #Pointergate. In their news post they listed highlights of the interview....allow me to translate:

Hubbard on whether KSTP should apologize:
This isn't something we did. You can blame the police and you can yell at them. Don't blame us. We're only reporting the news, and we will continue to report the news. We're very sorry if somebody was offended. The facts are the facts. We only report the facts, and the facts are that multiple police agencies said this was a bad thing.

Translation: The "Facts" were nobody else would report it....so we had to.

On feedback KSTP has received on its reporting:
A lot of positive -- boy, the day of we had positive phone calls and emails, yes ... by the general public.

Translation: My GOP donor buddies thought it was great.

On whether or not KSTP has reached out to Mayor Hodges:
We tried to but she wouldn't talk to us. And if she'd talk to us in the first place, this story might not have ever come about.

Translation: If we insisted on talking to her, she might have given us a logical explanation....and that would ruin the story.

On future coverage on the topic by KSTP:
I think we're doing a story next week, because every time we check the facts we find out more.

Translation: When we dig ourselves a hole, dammit, we keep digging.
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Talking About Women's Bathrooms At The State Capitol

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 07/11/14 20:16, Edited: 07/11/14 20:19

by Dave Mindeman

The MN GOP sent out one of those bulk emails trying to promote the GOP version of a "we're good for women" newsflash.

I thought this was kind of funny....

We have come a long way from the days when there were no womens restrooms at the Minnesota Capitol.

Well, have we? Current GOP politics wants to go right back to that era.

The bathroom thing came up because the GOP e-mail mentioned the first elected woman State Senator in Minnesota, Rochester's own and IR Republican Nancy Brataas.

In 1975, Nancy Brataas was elected Minnesota's first woman Senator. Brataas, a Rochester Republican, first became involved in her local party by helping with grassroots organizing. She was Republican state party chair from 1963 to 1969. Brataas' election to the Minnesota Senate six years later was so revolutionary that there was a need to build a separate restroom for women at the State Capitol.

My wife and I lived in Rochester many moons ago, but we actually knew Nancy Brataas. Not well, but enough to have a political conversation. She was a very popular Republican Senator in Rochester and championed the local sales tax which has helped Rochester prosper. When she retired, she endorsed Sheila Kiscaden as her successor and proceeded to fight a number of battles within her own party over MCCL endorsements and a takeover by social conservatives. As you know, Sheila Kiscaden ended up moving to the Independence Party and later she became a Democrat to continue her legislative work in representing Rochester.

Unfortunately, Nancy Brataas passed away recently. A real representative in the old school sense in which she always worked across the aisle and looked for consensus on issues. And she was once denied Party endorsement because of her pro-choice views. The internal battle for the local GOP led to Rochester being a DFL stronghold in later years.

So it is interesting that the GOP would use her name to promote their record on women.

The Republican Party is not the party of women. It has worked to limit women's reproductive choices. They have blocked legislation on equal pay. And they still have problems dealing with the definition of rape or finding solutions for rape in the military.

The GOP may try to namedrop the name of great Republican women, but those same women could not be a part of today's GOP.

THIS is the face of Minnesota's GOP:

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