No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

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Archive for the 'Politics – Minnesota' Category

November 2, 2010

Election Night 2010 liveblog

I will eventually be at Ron Johnson’s Election Night party in Oshkosh, but the races will start closing well before 8 pm. With that in mind, we at No Runny Eggs, or at least those of us who are not at Drinking Right, will be kicking off election night live coverage at about 6 pm Central.

Depending on who is here when, comments may take a while to show up. Because this will be picked up by FreedomWorks, please keep it clean.

November 1, 2010

Soon-to-be-Elected Candidate Hot Read – Erick Erickson’s “An Open Letter to the Freshman Republican Victors”

RedStae head Erick Erickson has a reminder for the soon-to-be-freshmen Congresscritters and Senators that, while focused on them, is also a very good read for those about to be sent to Madison, St. Paul and Frankfort:

When you get to Washington you will be told you need a professional staff of lobbyists, careerists, etc. to help guide you. You will be told that “you just don’t understand” or “you are naive” or “the School House Rock version of how a bill becomes a law is too simplified for the real world.”

The people telling you this are the people the voters hate and you should not trust. Largely they will be people in leadership, particularly staffers, who will soon depart for K Street where they hope to profit off their relationship with you. They will work with people like Trent Lott to try to co-opt you.

Fight.

Fight them.

Fight the idea that you must yield to their ways instead of them yielding to your ways. You, after all, have not been driven from power like these men have….

If you fight them you will be rewarded. If you succumb, the tea party will come for you in just a few short years.

April 13, 2010

A taxing proposition

If it’s tax time, it’s time to talk taxes. There are four interesting items that popped up the last few days, a Rasmussen poll, a CBS News poll (H/T – Allahpundit), a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story series, and a video from the Center of Freedom and Prosperity (H/T – Ed Morrissey). Before I get to the meat of the post, I’ll present the video which explains how even those who don’t think the tax code doesn’t impose a significant drag on the economy are ensared by the massive amount of work that is required to comply with a code that requires a handcart to make just the federal portion portable.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX8EswfGKQw[/youtube]

In the CBS poll, very few people across all income levels think they’re undertaxed. Overall, 50% said they pay their fair share, 43% said they pay more than their fair share, and 1% said they pay less than their fair share, the worst fair-share/more-than-fair-share split in that poll since 1997. Interestingly, of those making less than $50,000 per year, despite many having no net federal income tax liability (47% at last count), only 2% said they didn’t pay their fair share. Of course, the 7.65% FICA tax, whatever portion of the federal excise taxes (mostly gasoline, alcohol and tobacco, a total of 0.46% of income in 2007), and whatever state/local taxes they pay put a drag on that.

That ties with the Rasmussen poll, where 66% believe that America is overtaxed, with 25% not believing so. In that poll, a plurality (34%) believe America pays around 30% between federal, state and local taxes, while 26% believe it’s around 20% and 15% believe it’s around 40%. Further, an overwhelming majority (75%) believes the total government take should be under 30%, and a near-majority (43%) believe it should be under 20%. In reality, as of 2007, it was over 37%, not including water bills or state-level unemployment/worker’s compensation.

That leads me to the big enchilada – the Journal Sentinel story, which uses Census data to compare Wisconsin state and local taxes to those in other states, and includes a sidebar story comparing Wisconsin and Minnesota. Dave Umhoefer noted that, once crosses the $30,000 threshhold in Wisconsin, or buys property, the hammer really comes down, and doesn’t stop coming down at a harder and harder rate. My biggest gripe is that he and the rest of the staff didn’t put the taxation in terms of income, so I’ll do that.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2007, the per-capita income in Wisconsin was $36,271, which ranked 26th-highest among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and was a bit lower than the national per-capita income of $38,615. According to the Census Bureau, the state and local taxes were $23.340 billion, not counting water bills or unemployment/worker’s compensation taxes (which the Census Bureau counts separately). That took 11.49% of income in Wisconsin, which ranks 11th-highest and compares poorly to the average of 10.96% nationwide (note – I sent an e-mail to Dave last night asking whether he added water bills into that, which would make Wisconsin 15th because water bills in Wisconsin are far lower than the national average; I haven’t received a response yet). Specifically, property taxes took 4.14% of income (10th nationally, far higher than the 3.29% national average), sales taxes took 2.19% of income (34th nationally, lower than the 2.57% national average), the gas tax took 0.49% of income (9th nationally, higher than the 0.33% national average), individual income taxes took 3.12% of income (13th nationally, again far higher than the 2.49% national average), the corporate income tax took 0.45% of income (25th nationally, marginally below the 0.52% national average), and vehicle license fees took 0.18% of income (24th nationally, essentially the same as the 0.18% national average).

Fees in Wisconsin, ranging from tuition to school lunch, from hospitals to sewers, but not including utilities or mass-transit, took in $6.079 billion, or 2.99% of income. That was 31st nationwide, and just under the 3.02% national average. Overall, taxes and fees took $29.419 billion in 2007, or 14.49% of income. That ranks 19th, and is significantly higher than the 13.98% average.

Spending by the state of Wisconsin and local governments, which includes $7.166 billion in federal money transfered to the state and local units of government, was $46.612 billion in 2007. While the 22.95% of income ranks 28th, it is still higher than the 22.93% national average. Moreover, because that federal money is not quite what other states received, the $39.446 billion ex-federal-funding spending, which represents 19.42% of income, both ranks 16th-highest nationally and is significantly higher than the national average of 18.91%

Let’s compare that to Minnesota. The per-capita income was $41,108, which ranked 13th and was significantly higher than both the national per-capita and Wisconsin per-capita income. The tax take was $23.665 billion (11.11% of income, 20th nationwide, compared to 10.96% nationwide and 11.49% in Wisconsin), with property taxes taking 2.87% of income (31st, compared to 3.29%/4.14%), sales taxes taking 2.13% of income (36th, compared to 2.57%/2.19%), gas taxes taking 0.30% of income (39th, compared to 0.33%/0.49%), individual income taxes taking 3.39% (9th, compared to 2.49%/3.12%), corporate income taxes taking 0.56% (15th, compared to 0.52%/0.45%), and vehicle license fees taking 0.24% (15th, compared to 0.18%/0.18%).

Fees took in 3.01% of income in Minnesota, which puts the state 30th nationally, and slots between the nationwide average (3.02%) and Wisconsin (2.99%). Overall, the 14.12% of income taken by Minnesota and its locales puts it 24th, a few ticks above the national average (14.12%) and quite a bit better than Wisconsin (14.49%).

Spending in Minnesota follows a similar pattern because like Wisconsin, Minnesota is a “federal net donor” state. The $47.222 billion, including $7.333 billion from the federal government, represents 22.17% of income, good for 35th nationally and well lower than the national average of 22.93% and Wisconsin’s 22.95%. Backing out the federal money brings spending closer to the national average (18.73% versus 18.91%), ranking Minnesota 24th and placing it far better than Wisconsin’s 19.42%).

March 3, 2010

First partisan endorsement of 2010 – Dave Thompson for MN-36

by @ 11:47. Filed under Politics - Minnesota.

For those of you around the Twin Cities who don’t know who Dave Thompson is, I’ll point you to the bio page for his State Senate campaign. Dave won the Republican endorsement for District 36, where Sen. Pat Pariseau is retiring, last week. He is solid on the issues, from taxes to school choice.

I’m sure Shoebox can, and will, provide a better rundown than I can. Good luck Dave, and may we be calling you Sen. Thompson this time next year.

December 22, 2009

You’re An Egotistical Boor

And you’re stupid too!

I chronicled last week, how Al Franken is easily the most egotistical, boorish member of the Senate. In less than 6 months, Franken has managed to alienate more Senators than President Obama has alienated world leaders in almost a year. While Franken is egotistical and boorish, we find out today that these are not his worst traits. No, his worst trait is that he’s plainly stupid.

As the light begins to shine on Harry Reid’s disaster of placebocare, we find that several states including Nebraska, Louisiana, Vermont, Conneticutt and Massachusetts received sweat heart deals to secure the vote of their senators. We also see that several special interest; AARP, longshormen, under construction private hospitals as examples, received sweat heart deals to secure the votes of the senators that were lobbying for them.

Seeing all the money tossed about to secure votes for Reid’s abomination, I started looking to see what goodies Minnesota received. I looked in the first 500 pages and found…..nothing. I looked in the second 500 pages and found….nothing. I looked through the entire bill for something good for Minnesota and found….nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. I did find one thing that Senator Franken was able to obtain.

In one of his few position statements about placebocare, Franken stated that the implementation of a medical device tax:

will seriously threaten thousands of American jobs and deter innovation

With that brief statement, Senator Franken put his large foot down. He wasn’t going to stand for taxes on an industry that has over 300 companies in Minnesota and is the core of a significant state industry not to mention thousands of jobs. Senator Franken stood for the principle right up until the point where he had to choose between his principles and being a member of the good ol’ boys club. Guess which he chose?

Oh, Al will tell you he got something for Minnesota. Yeah, he managed to get an entire year delay in the implementation of the tax! I fail to understand how a tax that “could threaten thousands of American jobs” doesn’t threaten those jobs if it is implemented a year later! Maybe the jobs that will exist for one more year will now be counted as “saved” jobs?

Al, you’re amazing!

Even Harry Reid agrees with me that Al Franken is a pathetic senator. In discussing why all the pork and special interest provisions were in the placebocare bill, Reid justified it by saying:

“That’s what legislation is all about,” said Reid at the press conference. “It’s the art of compromise.”

Later, in explaining why some senators got a lot for the vote while others didn’t, Reid said:

“If they don’t have something in important to them, it doesn’t speak very well for them.”

So, there you have it. While other senators negotiated for millions, nearly billions of dollars for their constituents, Al Franken gave away jobs, just not immediately. I never thought I’d say it but Harry Reid and I have one thing in common; we both believe Al Franken is stupid!

Oh, BTW, Senator Klobuchar, while you may have a slightly less grating personality, you too are stupid!

December 18, 2009

And The Winner Is….

At the end of each sport’s season, the end of each school class, the end of the film season, the end of each pageant, awards are given for various achievements.  Some of the awards are for “the best….”  These awards are often based on objective criteria.  Other awards are for “most….”  These awards are typically more subjective i.e. most liked, most likely too etc.

As the year comes to an end it seems appropriate to offer the DC legislative awards. 

You are entering at the end of the awards show with only one award yet to be given; the award for the Senator most likely to feud.

Al Franken, the junior senator from Minnesota, had barely made it out of the swearing in ceremony when he had his first, publicized, anger management issue.  Not even a month after entering office, Franken was noted dressing down T. Boone Pickens at the end of a lunch.  According to reports, T. Boone stepped to Franken to introduce himself whereupon Franken started a tirad over the issue of Mr. Pickens’ financial support of the swift boat ads against John Kerry.  What makes this incident most ironic is that T. Boone Pickens is a big support of wind farms and other alternative energy which is a pet project of Franken’s.

Franken stayed mostly out of the limelight for the next several months.  Actually, he nearly didn’t make it as a nominee in this category except that he’s had a stellar December!

In the first couple of days of December, Franken had a senate floor exchangewith Senator Bob Corker.  The issue was over articles and stories that ran and claimed that Republicans had voted against an anti rape law that Franken championed.  Franken claimed he had nothing to do with the articles but also did nothing to stop them or correct the record.  When Corker and Lamar Alexandar wrote an op-ed explaining their side of the vote, Franken verbally attacked corker on the Senate floor.

Less than two weeks later, Franken was involved with his next Senate feud.  This time the recipient of his anger was Senator John Thune.  During the Placebocare debate, Thune showed a graph that represented how the taxes started immediately while any real benefit of the plan didn’t start for several years.  Franken became indignant over Thune’s representation and, in his best representation of the childish Stewart Smalley, refused to answer Thune’s question or yield time to Thune.

Not to rest on his laurels, Franken got one more performance in before votes were tabulated this evening.  Today, as he was offering comments during the Placebocare debate, Senator Joe Lieberman was cut off by Franken without being able to finish his remarks.  The Senate has a long standing practice that allows Senators to complete their comments by the granting of an extra minute or two by the person currently presiding over the senate.  Franken was that person today.  When Lieberman’s time was up, Franken abruptly cut him off and refuse to give Lieberman the nearly always automatic extra minute or two.

With all the enormous egos in the Senate, one would think that Franken’s brand of boorish behavior would be fairly commonplace.  In fact, Senate members are hard pressed to remember a senator who was as abrasive, rude and intentionally vindictive as Franken. 

It’s really no contest.  Al Franken is this year’s unanimous pick for senator most likely to pick a feud!

You just stay classy Al, so all us Minnesotans can continue to be embarrassed for you!

December 15, 2009

Fool Me Once….

I’ve recorded for you the, at best, hypocrisy or, at worst, out right lying of Christan Romer. 

Ms. Romer has been an economist for a number of years.  Ms. Romer was selected by President Obama to be chair of the Economic Council of Advisers.  In this later capacity, Ms. Romer was one of the co authors of that fondly remembered document that promised that if we spent a bunch of money on a stimulus package, the unemployment rate would not move above 8%.  If you need a reminder, re look at this document.

Ms. Romer is also the person who as I pointed out here, argued on behalf of the administration, that stimulus spending would have a greater effect on the economy than tax cuts.  Of course, as I pointed out in the same post, Ms. Romer’s own published research showed just the opposite was the truth!

Yesterday, Ms. Romer pontificated on the cost saving efficacy of Placebocare.  As reported at Politico.com, Ms. Romer held a conference call that claimed:

health insurance reform legislation will lower health care spending in both the public and private sectors, reduce premiums, increase wages and provide substantial benefits to the economy. From a CEA report out today: “Reform will slow the growth rate of public sector health care spending and reduce the federal budget deficit over the long run: CEA estimates that by 2019, total Federal spending on the Medicare and Medicaid programs will be lower than it would have been absent reform. … CEA estimates that reform is also likely to reduce private-sector health care cost growth by approximately 1 percentage point per year.”  (CEA = Council of Economic Advisers)

So, we have Ms. Romer and the Council of Economic Advisers, who were wrong about unemployment and wrong about the effectiveness of the stimulus, now telling us that they have the benefits of Placebocare all figured out.  Not only that but they tell us not to believe the CBO.  They tell us that not only will Placebocare reduce the deficit but it will actually substantially bend the curve on health care cost increases!

What?  You’re having trouble believing that?  Just trust them, they’re economists!

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me!

October 30, 2009

Oh, This Will Help!

Queen Nancy unveiled her new version of Placebocare today.  Amongst the more than 1900 pages is a nice little gem:

Under Pelosi’s bill, anyone earning up to 150 percent of the poverty line will be eligible for Medicaid. This is an increase on previous iterations?and the Senate bill?which only covered people up to 133 percent of the poverty line.

I can’t tell you for sure, how many additional people this is going to put into the Medicaid ranks.  I have read various reports suggesting that the total numbers will increase 20% to 30%.

Medicaid?  We’re relying on an expansion of Medicaid to get more people health care?  I seem to remember that there were concerns about Medicaid….what were they?  Oh yeah, I remember!

According to Medicalnewstoday.com, in 1996-1997, 29% of solo practitioners did not accept Medicaid.  In 2004-2005, that number had increased to 35%.  The same analysis showed that group practitioners rejected Medicaid at the rate of 16% and 24% in the respective years.  The total number of practitioners who rejected Medicaid was less than 13% in the first period and 14.5% in the second.

Healthcarefinancenews.com reports that in a recent survey, 35% of all medical offices now refuse medicaid while only 17% refuse Medicare.

Why is it that more physicians are refusing Medicaid?  There’s a simple answer:

84% of physicians who did not accept new Medicaid patients in 2004-2005 said reimbursements were a factor; 70% of physicians said billing requirements and paperwork were a factor; and two-thirds said delayed payments were a factor (HSC release, 8/17).

Let’s see if I have this right.  Nancy’s plan significantly increases the number of people on a program that has fewer care providers each year.  For the rest of us, her plan lowers the reimbursements, increases the requirements and paperwork and will further delay or deny reimbursement payments.

If the definition of insanity is to repeat the same action over and over and expecting a different outcome, then Nancy Pelosi and anyone who supports her version of Placebocare certainly fit the definition of insane!

October 28, 2009

They’re Doing What?

With all the challenges our country faces, one would think that Congress might want to focus its attention on any of a number of issues….Placebocare, cap and trade, energy policy, Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, Iran, Russia, Social Security, the economy, the deficit, the budget etc. etc. etc.  These are all topics worthy of focused time by Congress.  Rather than dealing with issues that might impact the country, Congress has meetings scheduled for this:

Congress has scheduled a hearing next week to scrutinize a controversial Minnesota law allowing Kevin and Pat Williams to fight their suspensions in Hennepin County and thwart the NFL’s authority to discipline the Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl tackles.

The hearings stem from a situation where the Williams boys tested positive for an NFL banned substance.  The players say the banned substance was in an off-the-shelf supplement they took that did not have the substance listed as an ingredient.  The NFL said “too bad.  Ignorance is no excuse!” 

The NFL tried to get the players suspended last season but in an interesting legal maneuver, the players turned the tables and got accused the NFL of violating Minnesota’s drug testing laws.  The NFL is now running to Congress in an attempt to get them to back the NFL, under the guise of “we’re just doing what you told us to with steroids!” and getting a law that gets around Minnesota’s testing laws.

It seems completely preposterous that Congress should spend even a minute on this topic, they’ve got some serious issues to deal with!

Last week the Obama administration told the Justice department not to enforce any of the controlled substance laws if a State had laws allowing medical marijuana.  While I don’t believe in using illegal drugs under any circumstances, I do believe in State’s rights and thus support the administration’s position. 

In the same fashion as the administration’s position on marijauna, I believe Congress should keep their noses out of the fight between the Williams’ and the NFL.  The NFL has some really difficult and arcane rules in their zero tolerance drug policies.  In the case of the Williams’, it’s hard to rationally argue that anyone should be accountable for every ingredient in each and every item they consume if there is no information about the product that should cause them concern.

It’s time for Congress to get their act together.  Our country is in trouble and we have no leadership that seems to have any notion how to correct the problems.  If this is really what they think rises to the level of requiring Congressional intervention it’s time to change out the entire lot!

October 27, 2009

Different Movie, Same Ending

Sometimes it’s tough for Mrs. Shoe to watch movies or especially, TV shows with me.  You see, I’m very much a believer in the formulaic approach to watching media.  In my world, 95% of most TV and movies follow the same, generally predictable plot lines.  In my world, all of the “whodunits” boil down to; someone dies, the investigator has some “ah ha” moment which results in someone being caught for the murder. 

One big advantage to watching media believing they are formulaic is that it allows me to “experience” an hour of television while only actually watching 5 or 6 minutes of the show.  In my world, I can’t always tell you who the killer will be but I can tell you that the show will end with a killer being caught.

The reason I tell you about my media watching experience is that it is much like my experience with government; government is very formulaic.  First, government tells us that a program is good for us in some way.  Then, government tells us that the program will cost only a minimal amount.  The ending of every government program results in the program not accomplishing it’s goals and costing multiple times its anticipated costs along the way.

A new study is out on Amtrak.  The study says that Amtrak’s required subsidy was $32 per passenger.  While that doesn’t sound bad on the surface, Amtrak’s analyzed study was 4 timeswhat the pseudo government agency said that its subsidies were.

If you think that the discrepancy may be just two groups of bureaucrats fighting over arcane kinds of analysis, nope:

Subsidyscope says its review counted certain capital expenses that Amtrak doesn’t consider when calculating the financial performance of its routes, namely wear and tear on equipment, or depreciation.

Wow, what a concept!  Taking depreciation into account with a capital intensive business like railroads!  Not including depreciation in the costs of a railroad would be like looking at your household budget needs without considering what it costs you to live in your house! 

The apologists for Amtrak were quick to justify Amtrak in light of the new study:

“Let’s not hold rail up and say it needs to make money when highways don’t make money, transit doesn’t make money and a lot of small airports don’t make money and they all get subsidies,” Van Beek said.

This is the same canard brought to you by folks who are into light rail and other forms of transit funding and it’s wrong.  None of these areas need to “make money.”  It’s usually coupled with “but my pet program doesn’t lose as much money as this other government program so my pet program deserves funding.”  This is the same mentality that has bureaucrats screaming that their budgets are “being cut” when in fact, the “cut” is cutting back from an automatic increase in their budget, an increase that is rarely justified.

Admittedly, in the scheme of things, Amtrak’s annual subsidy of $2.6 billion is small.  My point is that even with this relatively small subsidy the government can’t really figure out what the true costs are.  This, with a service that has a long history to analyze and draw conclusions from.

Placebo care continues to wind through Congress.  No one knows what it will eventually become but we all know it will be some freakish parody of what Nancy Pelosi claims it is.  In fact, I think the new name for Placebo care should become Frankenstein care.  Back to topic…Depending upon who’s telling you, Frankenstein Care will cost anywhere from $900 billion to $1.5 billion but remember our experience with Amtrak and the formulaic approach to government.  The chances of Frankenstein Care’s actual cost coming in under $1.5 billion are equal to those of President Obama supporting a right to life amendment in the Constitution; neither will happen!

October 23, 2009

Does A Party Toady Dither In The Media?

That should be answer that replaces “does a bear shit in the woods” as the response to all obvious answers.

In case you haven’t been watching, there is an interesting race shaping up in NY-23.  Dede Scozzafava is the Republican backed candidate, Bill Owens is backed by the Democrats.  Doug Hoffman is running under the banner of the Conservative Party.

While the Republicans have backed, and are providing significant financial support for Scozzafava, there is significant concern not just whether Scozzafava is a conservative but, as the The Jawa Report lays out, wether she shouldn’t actually be running as a Democrat.  On the other hand, there is no doubt about Hoffman’s conservative credentials. 

In a move I’m afraid we will see even more in 2010, the Republican establishment chose to support Scozzafava, the person they believe is “more electable,” than the person, Hoffman, who clearly supports Republican principles.  Who the party is supporting has become so contorted that you have

Fred Thompson, Club for Growth and Bill Kristol on one side, Newt Gingrich, Daily Kos and Michael Steele on another side, and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama on yet another side

One of the things that has been interesting in watching the race is that as it bits conservatives against “the establishment,” non of the purported Presidential hopefuls had taken a position or supported a candidate in this race.  That is they didn’t until yesterday.

Yesterday, Sarah Palin came out in support of Hoffman.  Her reasoning was clear and sound:

Our nation is at a crossroads, and this is once again a “time for choosing.”

Doug Hoffman is committed to ending the reckless spending in Washington, D.C. and the massive increase in the size and scope of the federal government. He is also fully committed to supporting our men and women in uniform as they seek to honorably complete their missions overseas.

Palin goes on to point out the problems with the establishment within the Republican party:

Political parties must stand for something. When Republicans were in the wilderness in the late 1970s, Ronald Reagan knew that the doctrine of “blurring the lines” between parties was not an appropriate way to win elections. Unfortunately, the Republican Party today has decided to choose a candidate who more than blurs the lines, and there is no real difference between the Democrat and the Republican in this race. This is why Doug Hoffman is running on the Conservative Party’s ticket.

Republicans and conservatives around the country are sending an important message to the Republican establishment in their outstanding grassroots support for Doug Hoffman: no more politics as usual.

Another Presidential hopeful was asked yesterday, what his position on NY-23 was.  While he does have positions on the VA and NJ Gubernatorial races, Tim Pawlenty claimed to be unaware of a race that has become an icon for the future of the Republican party:

“You know I haven’t been following that, I haven’t studied the race at all,” he said. “It’s not that I would or wouldn’t, I just don’t know anything about it. I haven’t taken the time to study their positions, their records, so I haven’t taken a position on it.”

Yeah, right, Tim. 

Mark Tim’s response in your note book for the 2012 Presidential campaign.  For all the talk about a Pawlenty Presidential run, it really should be that, just talk.  Pawlenty has been successful in his vow to keep taxes down.  However, on the social side, think George Bush’s passionate conservatism. 

It should be clear to all Republican politicians that the political landscape has shifted.  Running a party under the header of “we’re not the other guys,” is a strategy that will not work in 2012.  A significant portion of what has traditionally been the Republican base are asking for representation that is specifically and concretely committed to the principles of smaller government.  We (I’m one of them) believe that much of the problem with the last few election cycles is that allowing the “electability” factor to outweigh the “principle” factor has brought us a party that is rapidly and consistently brought us to our current state of “Democrat Lite.”

For Pawlenty to miss this opportunity to firmly endorse the candidate who clearly represents the “government = bad” part of the Republican platform, should show to all that he is too beholden to the “status quo” of the Republican machine to be considered a serious candidate for 2012.  

I don’t hold out much hope for a 2012 Presidential run by Pawlenty.  While he’s my Governor and I appreciate his ability to out fox the Democrats and keep a lid on taxes, there are too many times where he has shown that he is just another “Compassionate Conservative.”  If Pawlenty wants to change this image he will need to find sound, principled reasons to vocally buck “the machine.”  If he doesn’t, he’ll end up behind Huckabee and Romney in the “next in line” and behind Palin or someone else as the “True Conservative” on the ballot

September 24, 2009

Forbes weighs in on the business climate

R&E part 2 (10:38 pm 9/24/2009) - How can I forget my hat-tips? Patrick and Huckleberry Dumbell were all over this before I got to it.

Shoebox reported on the Tax Foundation’s 2009 Business Tax Climate report, which put both Wisconsin (43rd) and Minnesota (44th) in the Doghouse Ten. Forbes has some relatively-good news for one of those states, and some really-bad news for the other:

– Minnesota, buoyed by its 6th-best quality-of-life and top-10 labor rank, ranked as the 17th-best state for business. However, the news isn’t all good; its growth potential was the only other of Forbes’ 6 criteria to rank in the upper half (20th), with its regulatory climate (30th), business costs (32nd) and economic climate (35th) below par. Worse; it slipped from 11th just last year.

– Wisconsin, on the other hand, is the third-worst state for business, behind only Michigan and Rhode Island. The only above-average item in Wisconsin is quality-of-life (11th), with business costs ranking 35th, labor rank 36th, regulatory climate 37th, economic climate 41st and growth prospects 45th. Like Minnesota, Wisconsin slipped from last year; unlike Minnesota, the fall was from 43rd to 48th.

Why do I get the feeling that weighed in on Ron Kind’s decsion to stay in Congress?

Revisions/extensions (10:35 pm 9/24/2009) - Corrected the 2008 Wisconsin rank.

Some Of These Things Are Not Like The Others

Take a look at this image that shows how business friendly the tax status is of each state.

tax climate

Hey, Minnesota and Wisconsin, do you see which end of the spectrum you’re on?

Hey, Minnesota, how are those two neighbors to the west, the one’s who have no unemployment problem doing?

Hey, Minnesota, how do the state budget problems of those two neighbors to the west compare to yours? (hint, they do have any problems)

Hey, Minnesota and Wisconsin, want to be more depressed?  Read more at the Taxprof!

Revisions/extensions (3:20 pm 9/24/2009, steveegg) - Allow me to ask a few questions for the Wisconsin half of the readership:

Hey Wisconsin, you see that state to the east and the state to the south? That’s right; Michigan and Illinois are more open to business than Wisconsin.

Hey Wisconsin, how do the budget woes of that state to your west compare to yours (note to Shoebox, that’s one thing in Minnesota that isn’t as bad as it is in Wisconsin)?

Hey Wisconsin, how does it feel to be highlighted as one of the states that got it wrong in Tax Foundation’s report (see page 26)?

Hey Wisconsin and Minnesota, how is the individual-income AMT working out? Related to that, hey Minnesota, how is the corporate-income AMT working out?

Hey Wisconsin and Minnesota, what are you going to do about the politicians who admit that their confiscatory tax policies are driving jobs away (see page 7 of the report), yet make them more confiscatory?

Revisions/extensions (3:39 pm 9/24/2009, shoebox) One more….Hey, Minnesota, Wisconsin and any other state or Federal Government that thinks you can tax the “rich” with impunity without repercussion, read this!

September 21, 2009

Well, There You Go Again!

by @ 17:25. Filed under Health Care Reform, Politics - Minnesota.

Why is it that the man who is supposed to have been the brightest, best spoken, deepest thinker and yes, clean, has so much trouble with something as simple as a dictionary?

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, President Obama refused to admit that his tax was a tax:

STEPHANOPOULOS:  That may be, but it’s still a tax increase.

   OBAMA:  No.  That — that’s not true, George.  The — for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase.

   What it’s saying is, is that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you any more than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance.  Nobody considers that a tax increase.  People say to themselves, that is a fair way to make sure that, if you hit my car, that I’m not covering all the costs.

   STEPHANOPOULOS:  But it may be fair, it may be good public policy…

   OBAMA:  No, but — but, George, you — you can’t just make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase.  Any — if I — if I say that right now your premiums are going to be going up by 5 percent or 8 percent or 10 percent next year, and you say, “Well, that’s not a tax increase,” but, on the other hand, if I say that I don’t want to have to pay for you not carrying coverage, even after I give you tax credits that make it affordable, then…

   STEPHANOPOULOS:  I — I don’t think I’m making it up.  Merriam- Webster’s dictionary:  Tax, “a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.”

   OBAMA:  George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now.  Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition.  I mean, what…

What?  “You can’t just make up that language?”  How can the use of Webster’s definition of the very word being debated be “making up language?”
OK, well, if the actual definition doesn’t count, can we look at how the item functions to determine its definition?
In an AP article, Clint Stretch, head of the tax policy group for Deloitte, a major accounting firm said:

If you put something in the Internal Revenue Code, and you tell the IRS to collect it, I think that’s a tax.  If you don’t pay, the person who’s going to come and get it is going to be from the IRS.

Well, that seems pretty obvious and conclusive.

Politicians have always played loose with definitions.  I have no doubt that if we looked hard enough we would find a Southern Democrat of the time claim that the Civil War was fought over the issue of state’s rights rather than the final resolution of an issue that wasn’t resolved at the founding of the country and had finally ripened within the enlightened nation to a point where its implications could no longer be ignored!

Yes, politicians have always been challenged to stay within the bounds of Webster’s definitions.  However, I don’t think it was until Bill Clinton told us that “sex” wasn’t “sex” that Democrats viewed dictionaries as yet another tool perpetuated by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.  So now we know, that because of Webster’s work, “sex” isn’t “sex” and a “tax” isn’t a “tax.”

August 28, 2009

Al You Ignorant Slut

During one of his closed, invitation only, small group “town hall” meetings this week, Senator Al Franken made the following argument for why he insists a government option must be a part of any health care reform bill:

In case you missed it, Angry Al’s rationale is:

  1. Minnesota only allows non profits to be health insurance companies
  2. Minnesota has 90% of premiums paid go to health care
  3. All other states have only 70% to 80% of premiums go to health care
  4. Minnesota insurance is cheaper
  5. Therefore, non profit is cheaper.

While Al’s logic may follow from one point to the next, it exists in some fantasy land and not the real world.

Based on Al’s logic, if we looked at average insurance rates by state, we should expect to see Minnesota as one of, if not the cheapest state.  We would also expect to see most other states in the range of 10% to 20% higher than Minnesota.  We would expect to see state’s like Massachusetts where there is government run insurance, as the cheapest of them all.  Finally, we should expect to find that “profit” for insurance should amount to somewhere between 10% and 20% of premiums paid.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a research and advocacy group, has this study that looks at average insurance rates.  Flip down to page 9 where they compare family insurance rates by state.

In the study, rather than being one of the cheapest of states, we find Minnesota 17th most expensive, just barely out of the top third.  We also note that at $5,508, Minnesota is only5% cheaper than the national average.  Hmmm, that’s weird, shouldn’t they have been at least 10% and maybe higher?

As you look across the remainder of the study, where Al’s claims would have us expecting nearly all other plans to be 10% to 20% more expensive, we find only 11 states are at least 10% more expensive than Minnesota.  In contrast, we see that 15 states are at least 10% cheaper than Minnesota.

Al’s implied assertion that government run things are best because they run cheapest, also bites the dust.  Note that the highest cost state in Massachusetts.  Not only are they the highest cost, they are highest by a margin that would make the most dishonest loan shark blush.  Now, to be fair, this analysis was taken in the first year of Massachusetts state run plan, perhaps the rates have dramatically lessened…NOT!

Finally, another analysis done by AHIP shows where your (and my) premium dollar goes:

health dollar

Contrary to Al’s implied assertion, average profits amount to only 3% of the entire insurance premium. In fact, on average, the entire SG&A cost is 13%. Clearly, even a non profit or government plan would have administrative overhead to operate the plan so the argument that non profits are cheaper by 10% to 20% because they don’t have to make a profit is completely specious.

Earlier this week Al stated that a government option must be a part of any health reform bill:

“I’m favorable to the public option, a strong public option which will provide competition for private insurance companies.

Al’s attempting to look Senatorial by inserting “facts” to support a decision he has already made.  The problem with Al’s facts is that they are completely wrong.  Given Al’s history with SNL, the next time Al asserts that government plans are cheaper because they don’t have to make a profit, the appropriate response would be “Al, you ignorant slut!”

August 21, 2009

This is Not a Question That We Think About

On a conference call on Wednesday, President Obama took on the “myth” that the House bill contained death panels saying:

Let me give you just one example, this notion that somehow we are setting up death panels that would decide whether elderly people would live or die. That is just an extraordinary lie.

(emphasis mine)

There is no such thing as a death panel, at least that’s what those who refuse to read the plain language and implication of HR 3200 will tell you.  No, the provisions that mandate end of life counseling are just one of the ways of “I’m from the government and I’m here to help!”

Folks, let’s be clear, call it what you want, but anytime you marry a limited ability to pay with an unlimited demand there will be rationing.  Some of it will be subtle i.e. long wait times, some not so subtle i.e. procedures denied.  The question is, would you rather deal with an employee of a health insurance company where you have legal and other options or would you rather deal with an employee of the DMV who tells you to shut up and sit down until it’s your turn?

Still not convinced?  Watch this video.  Pay particular attention to the question that they don’t think about:

H/T Dan McLaughlin

Do you suppose that proponents of Oregon’s government plan were telling opponents that a “death panel” was just an “extraordinary lie” as that bill was being debated?

“Is it cheaper to pay for someone to die than to help them live?”

This was the question that received the answer:

“That is not a question that we think about.”

Well of course it’s not!  At least not anymore than:

Is it cheaper and less inconvenient to murder this unborn child than to allow it life?”

August 1, 2009

Atta Boy Al!

The three greatest lies ever told:

  1. Barack Obama is a centrist. Um no!
  2. I’ll love you in the morning
  3. Al Franken has the demeanor to be a Senator.

Good ol’ Al.  It took him less than a month to confirm for all the world that he is the egotistical bore.  This is something  that people who actually take note of candidates and don’t just look for an “R” or a “D” behind a name on a voting ballot, knew quite some time ago.  

Here’s the account from the Politico:

Five years after he put his money behind the Swift Boat ads that helped tank John Kerry’s presidential campaign, Senate Democrats gave T. Boone Pickens a warm welcome at their weekly policy lunch Thursday.

Or at least most of them did.

Kerry skipped the regularly scheduled lunch; his staff said the Massachusetts Democrat “was unable to attend because he had a long scheduled lunch with his interns and pages.”

Sen. Al Franken managed to make time for the lunch — but then let Pickens have it afterward.

According to a source, the wealthy oil and gas magnate and author of “The First Billion Is the Hardest” stepped up to introduce himself to Franken in a room just off the Senate Floor after the lunch ended

Franken, who was seated talking to someone else, did not stand when Pickens said hello. Instead, Franken began to berate him about the billionaire’s financing of the Swift Boat ads in 2004.

According to a source, the confrontation grew heated.

The incident highlights not only Franken’s inability to control his emotions but also his lack of intellectual capability.  While his emotion may have led him to despise the methods that Picken’s supported, a minuscule amount of intellect would have told him that if John Kerry isn’t able to disprove the facts of the Swift boat ads then he ought to keep his nose out of it.  The problem with Al is like all folks on the Left who’s ability to reason facts ends with “this is how I want it to be,” Al couldn’t let the facts get in his way.

I remember cringing the night that Jesse Ventura was elected Governor of Minnesota.  I knew, having looked into Jesse’s history as mayor that his ego and inability to control his emotion, was going to make his term fun to watch.  However, I also knew that these same items were going to severely his ability to be any kind of an effective leader for the state.  Seeing Al Franken sworn in as Senator is Jesse Ventura Deja Vu all over again!

July 21, 2009

Hey, GOP, Are You Taking Note?

Census: Voter Turnout in 2008 Lowest in 12 8 Years

For all the attention generated by Barack Obama’s candidacy, the share of eligible voters who actually cast ballots in November declined for the first time in a dozen years. The reason: Older whites with little interest in backing either Barack Obama or John McCain stayed home.

The decline in percentage turnout was the first in a presidential election since 1996. At that time, voter participation fell to 58.4 percent — the lowest in decades — as Democrat Bill Clinton won an easy re-election over Republican Bob Dole amid a strong economy.

Class, what did we learn?

1.  Give us “the next guy in line” again and we’ll sit out again!

2.  Give us someone who looks no different than a Democrat on many issues and we’ll sit out again

Oh and:

Minnesota and the District of Columbia had the highest turnout, each with 75 percent.

3.  If you have a crappy GOP candidate, even if we don’t sit out we won’t vote for them.

Revisions/extensions (8:12 am 7/21/2009; steveegg) - Newsmax didn’t exactly fact-check the numbers, which caused the error struck through above. According to the Census Bureau, the 2000 turnout percentage was lower than 2008’s. It still is, however, the first drop in voter turnout percentage since 1996.

Related to that, I’m sifting through the Census Bureau’s turnout numbers going back to 1980.

June 29, 2009

But Isn’t That My Ox Being Gored?

The Republican Party claims to stand for principles.  Amongst the principles they claim to stand for are limited government, personal liberty and free markets.  However, too many in the Republican Party believe that principles are not absolute.  They believe that principles can, shall we say, be flexible.  The rationale of these Republicans is that limited government is good, if I’m not in power, personal liberty is good unless my party says otherwise and free markets are good unless our party says there’s a problem.  Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota is a perfect example of one of these flexibly principled Republicans.

As a result of Governor Sanford’s confusing personal life, there have been several articles this weekend promoting Pawlenty as a rising spokesperson, perhaps even now, a strong contender for the 2012 Presidential bid…yeah, whatever.  I don’t know if it’s some of that thinking or just because he’s a lame duck Governor and is working on his next meal ticket but, Pawlenty is quickly becoming to Governor’s what Michele Bachmann is for the House of Representatives; in the media all the time talking about things that they shouldn’t be talking about. 

A perfect example showing Pawlenty in the media saying things he shouldn’t and showing his flexible principles, was his appearance on Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”  On the show, Pawlenty argued that the recently passed cap and trade bill was bad policy.  OK, I’m with him so far.  It’s when he tells us why it’s bad policy that I give him my patented “Ron Paul talking about the gold standard” look.  According to American Pravda’s version of the interview, here’s why Pawlenty believes Cap and Trade is bad policy:

In an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning, the Republican governor said he shares the goal of reducing pollution and emissions. But he says the best way to do that is through conservation, more fuel-efficient vehicles and improving base-load power with nuclear energy.

They add:

Pawlenty says the cap and trade emissions regime in the bill would send U.S. jobs to other countries.

Funny, in 2007 the Minnesota Legislature passed a renewable energy bill.  That bill requires that energy producers in the state generate specific and increasing percentages of their energy through things like wind, solar or hydrogen.  The mandates are high enough that it will make Minnesota the state with the most renewable generated energy in the nation.  An amendment to remove Minnesota’s restriction on nuclear plants, the only State one of a few, with Wisconsin being another, to have such a restriction, failed.  Likewise, an amendment to waive the renewable requirements if they cost more than 10% more than existing methods also failed.  Finally, the bill contained a provision that allows utilities that exceed their required amounts of renewable energy to sell credits to other utilities.  Sounds a bit like the sale of carbon credits doesn’t it? 

Governor Pawlenty signed this bill and in many corners, was seen as a cheer leader for the bill.  Today, he decries a national version of what he gladly burdened Minnesotans with just two years ago. 

To too many Republicans like Pawlenty, principles only matter when it’s not their ox being gored.

Revisions/extensions (8:37 am 6/29/2009, steveegg) - Made a correction, as Wisconsin also has a complete moratorium on new nuclear power plants.

June 19, 2009

Pawlenty – Just Boring Enough to be President

At least that’s what the author of this article believes. Somehow the author concludes that the US voters swing from one extreme of personal characteristics to the other: 

This has happened several times in the last 20 years. George H.W. Bush was seen as non-empathetic. Bill Clinton was full of empathy, and could capitalize on the contrast. Clinton came to be seen as lacking moral rectitude. George W. Bush seemed upright, and could again capitalize. Finally, the younger Bush came to be seen as overly certain. Obama took advantage by emphasizing his ability to see shades of gray.

If Obama utterly fails the author believes that the next President to be elected will be the opposite of Obama i.e. the blandest of bland:

In other words, when incumbent presidents lose their luster, those with qualities opposite theirs can stand to gain. If the public sours on Obama, his pizzazz and speechifying abilities could be rebranded as a negative – “all sizzle and no steak.” In that situation, the GOP might do well to have somebody who can’t make a political rally look like a Beatles concert. Boring could be pitched as competent, sensible, and able to get the job done.

The conclusion…TPaw:

Of course, it’s still very early. My point is simply that the contrast between Obama and Pawlenty might be a beneficial one for the GOP to offer if the public has soured on the incumbent. If it hasn’t – it really does not matter what the party does. Popular incumbents never lose.

And that’s where this author, along with many others lose all credibility.  Once again we have an author who believes that running as the anti Democrats is somehow an answer.  It’s not.  If we learned nothing from watching McCain’s debacle it is that running as Democrat lite or “I’m not him” or any other flavor that doesn’t run for something is a losing proposition.  On top of that, if Obama does crash and burn, running as anything other than having a positive, solution oriented candidate will be a complete failure. 

Maybe TPaw has a shot.  I’m from Minnesota and can say I’m not convinced.  He’s done a number of good things in restraining reckless Democrat spending.  However, he has far too many tendencies to flop around in the mushy middle i.e. ethanol, global warming and the like.  For TPaw to have a shot, including getting support from his home state, he’s going to need to shore up his conservative bona fides.  We’ve tried milquetoast and it’s failed.  Hopefully we’ll learn from our mistakes…then again, maybe not.

June 18, 2009

The Fly of Evil

First, in case you haven’t see it, the video:

Note President Obama’s fixed stare. Note the unblinking eyes. Note how he focuses all of his thoughts and his entire being on the fly that had dared to invade his personal space.

As Russia unilaterally rolled in Georgia, than Senator Obama, was unable to determine the oppressive side and said:

“I think it is important at this point for all sides to show restraint and to stop this armed conflict.”

President Obama and his team were caught surprised and flat footed as North Korea test fired three rockets and test detonated a nuclear device.  The best President Obama could muster was this statement:

“We will work with friends and allies to stand up to this behavior.”

In the past week another sham election was held in Iran.  At least 7 Iranians have been killed in protests focused on demanding fair elections.  Obama’s response:

“It is not productive, given the history of US-Iranian relations to be seen as meddling – the US president, meddling in Iranian elections.”

Three examples where human rights and human lives were/are clearly being destroyed.  Yet, President Obama can barely manage a frown of discouragement let alone clear and concise statements in support of those being oppressed.  When it comes to human life, President Obama seems unable to recognize evil or attain a level of righteous indignation on behalf of those oppressed or yearning for freedom.

No, no indignation for humans but let a single fly invade his personal space during his time, in his interview and Obama becomes singularly focused like Tiger Woods with an eagle attempt for the win on the final hole of the Masters. 

President Bush saw three countries that promoted evil in the world.  President Obama only sees a fly.

June 15, 2009

I’m Back and Itchin’ For a Fight!

I’m back!  I’ll tell you more about why I’ve been gone (if you care) at the end of the post.  First, on to the lie of the day:

Over the weekend Joe Biden started building the case of excuses for the Obama administrations inept handling of the economy.  In an interview Sunday Biden said:“everyone guessed wrong.”

Ummmm, excuse me Vice President Biden but not “everyone” guessed wrong. In fact, the very economists who you claim “guessed wrong” knew that what Obama advocated for would have a dismally ineffective impact on the economic situation.

At the risk of saying “I told you so” loudly enough so as to be heard over the cacophonous echoing that is the noise of an empty political head like Joe Biden, let me say “I told you so” and Christina Romer, one of the very economists that Biden refers to, told you so!

Please reread this post where I provide the link to Romer’s own research that showed that “stimulus” at best gets a 1X multiplier while tax cuts provide a 3X multiplier.  Also, please reread this post where I link to Romer’s own research that showed that stimulus packages don’t work because the government applies them to the wrong things and does so too late to have any effect.

Well, now that I think about it maybe I have to agree with Joe that everyone did “guess” wrong!  But isn’t that just the problem?  Regardless of the issue the Obama administration doesn’t want to be constrained by facts.  The Obama administration is more focused on what they want the world or the particular situation to be rather than the reality of it.  The result is that they continue to bumble and stumble their way around “guessing” at what they can do rather than using knowledge, facts and the information their very own people have, to deal with the issues they confront. 

Perhaps the greatest irony of this whole issue is that Obama claimed his administration would be one that really focused on the facts and not emotion as he stated in his inauguration speech:  “We will restore science to its rightful place.”   Stay tuned for a lot more problematic “guessing” as Obama tries to solve the health care “crisis” and the global warming “crisis.”

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Where have I been?  Well, if you must know (we must, we must (my homage to “Blazing Saddles”)), I have been working on an intraparty campaign in MN.  I worked for the Dave Thompson campaign as he ran for the State Party Chair of the Minnesota Republican Party.

Dave was a fantastic candidate who really connected with the grassroots of Minnesota.  He forced the entrenched machine candidate to commit to an open and inclusive party process, something the machine candidate has personally fought for years.

In the end, we didn’t prevail.  However, Dave’s message, charisma and candor reinvigorated a large number of folks who had nearly given up on the MNGOP.  We’ll now wait and see whether the new chair keeps to his campaign commitments and embraces all activists who believe in liberty and conservatism.  If not, we’ll see if he reverts to his previous exclusionary approach which will cause the MNGOP to fracture and allow a blue state that should be red to be permanently dyed blue.  Stay tuned, the state convention is in September, we’ll know then!

May 28, 2009

Minnesota GOP leadership debate – tonight

by @ 17:03. Filed under Politics - Minnesota.

(H/T – Chief)

Sorry about the late notice, but the Minnesota Senate District 45 Republicans are hosting a debate between the candidates for Republican Party State Chair and Deputy State Chair tonight at 7 pm at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School (10635 36th Avenue N) in Plymouth. The quick details via Freedom Dogs:

– State Party Chair candidates Tony Sutton, Carrie Ruud and Dave Thompson will be debating during the Party Chair portion of the debate.
– State Deputy Chair candidates Dorothy Fleming (incumbent), Michael Brodkorb, and Robert Swinehart will be debating during the Deputy Chair portion of the debate.
Ed Morrissey and Annette Meeks, founder of Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, will be moderating the event.

The public is invited to both the mixer at 6:30 and the debate at 7. There is a cost of $5.

Matt Abe of North Star Liberty will be live-blogging the debate.

April 8, 2009

Some Shakin’ Goin’ On?

by @ 5:25. Filed under Politics - Minnesota.

Note this press release from today:

Dave Thompson Announces Candidacy to become next State Chair of the Minnesota Republican Party

The Republican Party needs a leader who can clearly communicate the Party vision, champion a Republican majority in the legislature and return the Party to its core principles.

When asked about the current political climate in Minnesota, Thompson replied, “I believe Republican Party principles reflect the values and priorities of most Minnesotans. Unfortunately, the Republican Party principles have not been clearly communicated in a way that allows this majority to see that Republican principles are the same as the principles that guide their own lives. As a result, a large Democratic majority controls the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Senate, thus not having enough Republicans to sustain a gubernatorial veto. We cannot afford more of the same.”

Dave is uniquely qualified to undertake this important leadership role as State Chair. For the last 7 plus years Dave has hosted “The Dave Thompson Show”, a program aired on locally owned, AM1500 KSTP. In addition, he has been part of a debate segment known as “Face Off” on KSTP TV’s Emmy Award winning news program, “At Issue with Tom Hauser”. Both of these high profile positions have afforded Dave the opportunity to cultivate and hone his understanding of the issues necessary to lead the Republican Party.

Dave is a life long Minnesotan. He graduated in 1984 from the University of North Dakota with majors in economics and political science. He received his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1987 and has been a practicing attorney representing businesses in workers’ compensation disputes, contract negotiations and estate planning.

Dave and his wife have been married 23 years, and live with their 2 children in Lakeville.

The two other candidates for party chair are Tony Sutton and Carrie Ruud. 

Tony is a party insider who has served as Treasurer under current Chair Ron Carey, as Republicans have watched their seats drop to a point where they can barely sustain a veto from Pawlenty.  Nuff said! 

Ruud is a former State Senator who has some difficulty figuring out what it means to be a conservative.  Along with voting for both the Twins and Gopher stadiums she also voted to support a sales tax increase that would have the funds dedicated to the environment and cultural programs.

Thompson has held to conservative principles for as long as I’ve heard him.  He’s not afraid to congratulate the folks who take the principled stance or to take down the folks who have strayed.  Perhaps most importantly, Thompson is an outsider to the “insiders club” of Minnesota politics and understands that the Republican party can not be a top down organization but needs to support and enable the local organizations that put their souls and sweat into getting their candidates elected.

Stay tuned, I think some shake up in the Republican Party at all levels, may be the only thing that ultimately save it and avoid a third party split.

April 3, 2009

If At First You Don’t Succeed

Earlier this week, the three judge panel reviewing the Coleman/Franken contested case, issued a ruling that appears to have negative implications for Coleman, at least in this phase:

 

As a result, Harry Reid is looking again to seat Al Franken as Senator for Minnesota:

Upping the ante in his crusade to anoint Democrat Al Franken the next senator from Minnesota, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is blaming Senate Republican leader John Cornyn for the impasse that has left Minnesotans minus one senator for five months now.

Harry, via his spokesman, goes on to explain that his desire has nothing to do with him personally.  You see, Harry is just looking out for us poor Minnesotans who are short a Senator:

Reid spokesman Jim Manley told Politico.com on Thursday: “It’s not fair to the people of Minnesota to be represented by only one senator, and it’s about time a senator from Texas stop telling the people of Minnesota what’s best for them. Enough is enough.”

Hey, Harry, I know you read our blog.  I just want you to know as one Minnesotan who doesn’t think it really matters whether you have anywhere from 57 to 60 Democrat votes, I’m in no hurry to get a second Senator.  The one we have now is horrible at her job, why would I want to double down on that?  I’m sure with as quickly as you’re expanding the Federal Government payroll you could put the office space of our second Senator to some good use!

 

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