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Many local municipal districts will be holding elections this fall for city council and school boards. The filing period for candidates wishing to be on the ballot for local school boards recently opened on July 27 and will remain open until Tuesday, August 10. The filing period is the same for candidates for local city councils in communities that hold such elections this year and utilize ranked choice voting.
Elections for City Council and School Board do not get much emphasis or attention. However, they are vitally important. City ordinances, zoning, property taxes, local spending priorities, educational excellence, childhood socialization, and young adult mentoring are several critical areas that these election positions affect. If you want to impact your local community, running for one of these offices will provide that opportunity. They are also a potential stepping stone for higher offices.
If you share our values and are passionate about serving your local community, contact us at [email protected] if you would welcome our advice on running. Do it soon, as the filing deadline is quickly approaching.
Local municipalities holding elections and candidates who have filed as of August 1 are listed below. Please check the MN Secretary of State website for updated information and additional candidate filings between now and August 10. Also, if your municipality is not shown in our list below, check out the Candidate Filings page of the MN Secretary of State website.
The Minnesota New House Republican Caucus has wrapped up their bill summaries with the final four budget bills. These included the Jobs bill, the Agriculture bill, the Transportation bill, and the Housing bill.
Summaries of each budget bill passed this year are covered on their website, newhousegop.com, CLICK HERE and our condensed versions of those are below.
MN Senate Republicans have also published initial and detailed bill summaries throughout July, as have most lobbying organizations, unions, professional associations and issue-oriented non-profit organizations. Reading a few, (search terms: MN Legislative session Republican wrap up 2021) each with slightly different focus, will expand your understanding of what was in all those bills.
Update – After we published this, AlphaNews reported that the Sartell-St. Stephen School Board agreed to cut ties with Equity Alliance Minnesota (EAM) at a special meeting the evening of August 2, amid the threat of a federal lawsuit. They’ll be seeking a refund of the $80,000 paid to EAM.
More information is being revealed related to Minnesota's Sartell-St. Stephen school district "equity" initiatives.
In a school board meeting held the week of July 22, a student shared that she and other students were required to complete a survey as part of Equity Alliance Minnesota's (EAM) "racial inequity" audit. Recall that EAM was hired by the school district to conduct the audit for $80,000.
The student claimed that her teacher said she "could not skip any questions, even when I didn't understand them". The student also claims that they were told they could not "repeat any of the questions to our parents."
Leaders of the grassroots parent-driven movement to counter the audit claim that data requests to the school district, including requests for the specific contents of the equity audit survey, have gone unanswered.
Leaders of a Facebook group called "Concerned parents and community of ISD 748" recently brought attention to group members questioning the Sartell-St. Stephen school district decision last year to fund an $80,000 "equity audit" by Equity Alliance Minnesota (EAM).
Alpha News quoted that EAM's goal is to “make the educational ecosystem across Minnesota equitable for every single student", while the progressive group's core beliefs include the tenet "race and culture fundamentally shape and influence our core values, our thinking, our policies and our practices." Sound familiar?
The Sartell parents group simply wants transparency into the audit and subsequent report.
The parents also noted the evolution of the MN Department of Education's purpose statement of updated teaching standards. In 2004, it's purpose was to “help students gain the knowledge and skills to protect and maintain freedom” and said the US was “built on ordinary and extraordinary individuals, united in an ongoing quest for liberty, freedom, justice, and opportunity.”
However, in 2020, the lens shifted to race and identity, aiming to help students “be conscious and critical of their own biases and societies” and preparing them “to address powerful culture, social and political inequities by looking at their identity through a lens of race and gender.”
It is worthwhile to reflect on and note the contrasts between the current shifting "equity" goalposts and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s goal that we "live in a nation where [we] will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of [our] character."
Indeed, in the landmark US Supreme Court case Shaw v. Reno (1993), the majority opinion of the court concluded that "classification of citizens based solely on race are by their nature odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality, because they threaten to stigmatize persons by reason of their membership in a racial group and to incite racial hostility".
If you have children in Bloomington or Edina Public Schools and are hearing new actions related to Critical Race Theory or other equity initiatives, please reach out to us at [email protected].
In October of 2019, seventeen courageous high school girls gathered in the rotunda of our State Capitol and presented speeches addressing the challenges of keeping our republic strong. How timely that would prove to be!
The idea of an oratorical competition was originally conceived as a project by the Metro Republican Women. The project became “Speaking Proudly”, a non-partisan, non-profit group of highly motivated volunteers.
Speaking Proudly has announced its second biennial oratory competition. It is open to girls in grades nine through 12 who reside or attend school in Minnesota. On Saturday, October 23 2021, this same speech competition will bring together a new group of high school girls to speak on the theme, A More Perfect Union, Rising to the Challenge.
The contest encourages girls to develop their own opinions and present them clearly and convincingly. It is an example of free speech and it couldn’t be more important in today’s climate. Taking place in the impressive State Capitol, the prizes for the best speeches will exceed $1,500, $1,000 and $500.
- This article is a follow-on to Kim Crockett's opinion piece that appeared in our last newsletter. That op-ed described why Minnesota voters should be concerned about Election Integrity in our state.
Voters of all stripes are increasingly feeling uneasy about election laws and election outcomes. Whereas Democrats raised concerns about voting equipment and “interference” after 2016, Republicans raised several alarms before and after Election Day 2020. The doubts about Trump’s loss linger and fester.
As a result, “election integrity” is of great interest to all fair-minded citizens, though there is little agreement about what that term means.
I’ve spoken to two dozen civic groups and media outlets since last November about what Minnesotans can do before 2022 to raise the level of confidence voters have in elections. People always ask me, “What can I do?” That is great because much needs to be done at the state and local level.
So where to begin at the BPOU and congressional district level? The answer is to get focused on elections; channel your inner Democrat and be a maniac about taking back the process, laws, and the jobs around elections.
Here are some achievable ideas that can be tackled by BPOUs and CD leaders working with MNGOP across the state:
These are practical, achievable tasks that can engage and energize all the volunteers who are eagerly asking, “What can I do to help?”
- MNGOP has a new Election Integrity Committee that wants to get 10,000 or more election judges signed up and trained for 2022. Volunteers can sign up at MNGOP by CLICKING HERE. You can also recruit volunteers at the BPOU level and then share the list with city and county election officials and MNGOP. City and county clerks, who are free to go outside of the party list and secretary of state’s list, provide training. Make sure your lists are up to date, with good contact data. All hands on deck!
After 19 long months of legislative activity, Minnesota's part-time legislators will only have two months back in their districts. Another Special Session is expected in September.
The regular 2021 legislative session ended May 17, and a Special Session started shortly after. Legislators, both virtually and in person in Saint Paul, spent nearly two weeks trying to work together to pass a two-year budget. They finally reached a $52 billion budget agreement before midnight on June 30, avoiding a partial state government shutdown on July 1.
In addition to the budget, legislators also came to agreement on a $900 million tax relief bill for Minnesotans. On the last day, the House and the Senate finally acted on important Paycheck Protection Program loan conformity legislation. Governor Walz signed a bill that fully conforms to the federal law for PPP loan forgiveness and deductibility. It also includes forgiveness for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Small Business Administration grants,
The National Federation of Independent Business reported that the state’s Reinsurance Program was retained for one more year. This Republican-backed plan has been successful in not only stabilizing the Minnesota individual health insurance market, but also reduced premiums by about 20% on average. Governor Walz and the House DFL caucus wanted to end this critical program and apply the budgeted money to other spending. They planned on having individuals who have benefited from this program in the state’s individual health insurance market utilize the federal tax credits that are available temporarily through 2022.
It is estimated that close to 50,000 Minnesotans may not be able to benefit from these tax credits and insurers estimated this would cause a large 25% across-the-board increase for everyone in this market. Fortunately, the Senate majority Republican caucus stood strong and insisted on funding for this program through 2022. The legislation also authorizes another federal waiver to be requested to continue the program.
Minnesota urgently needs a new and very different kind of Secretary of State working with a Republican majority in both houses, and a governor, with a serious commitment to rolling back decades of bad election policy.
Each time I meet with civic groups, I paraphrase Dinesh D’Souza commenting on Joe Biden’s capture of the White House: “Republicans focused on the campaign; Democrats focused on the election.” (I have quoted D’Souza so many times, that Randy Sutter in SD49 now insists that I said it. I wish!) D’Souza’s observation is not just true of 2020; it has been true for decades and neatly summarizes each party’s DNA.
It does not mean Republicans do not know how to win elections. Except for losing the White House, Republican results at the state and national level in 2020 were very strong (as illustrated in the attached picture).
What did D’Souza mean? Democrats for decades have focused on the hard work of registering voters, getting out the vote, keeping up-to-date data (on voters, volunteers, donors) and constant candidate recruitment. Democrats have captured election laws and the election infrastructure (office of the MN Secretary of State and city and county election-related jobs). Starting with Secretary of State Joan Growe (serving from 1975 to 1999), Minnesota shifted from having solid, commonsense election laws that made it easy to vote but hard to cheat, to a “progressive” ideal of “anything goes” approach to voting.
Minnesota’s election laws are too complicated and very sloppy--and thus an open invitation to fraud (e.g., no voter ID or provisional ballots, vouching and voter assistance, same-day registration, no-excuse absentee ballots, absentee ballots reviewed by partisan staff, 46 days of early voting, drop boxes in cities, mail-in voting replacing precinct-level voting in Greater Minnesota, and so on).
The Republican Party of Minnesota will be holding a National Week of Training and Day of Action as a part of an early investment strategy across the state ahead of 2022! The MN GOP staff will be hosting one hour training sessions during the week of July 26th-July 30th.
The purpose of these is to prepare volunteers across the state for a Day of Action which will take place on July 31st. That Saturday, the MN GOP staff will lead the volunteers in taking what they have learned in the training to their communities. Using data provided by the state party, volunteers will door-knock and engage in meaningful conversations with neighbors.
Success in an election year is built on the work done in the off-year. The training and voter contacts are intended to help positively impact local races all the way up to the governorship.
Consider attending one of the one-hour training sessions listed below.
- Monday, July 26th - 6:00 pm
- Tuesday, July 27th - 4:00 pm
- Wednesday, July 28th - 2:00 pm
- Thursday, July 29th - 6:00 pm
- Friday, July 30th - 6:00 pm
The location for these trainings will be at the MN GOP office: 7400 Metro Blvd, Suite 424, Edina, MN 55439
Sign up HERE today!
If you are unable to attend any of these trainings but are still wanting to get active, please contact Blake Paulson at [email protected] to set up an alternate training time either in-person or via Zoom.
The State Fair is back this year, and the Republican Party of Minnesota plans to continue its tradition of running a State Fair booth for the duration of the fair. The MN GOP staff has asked the leadership of the Congressional Districts and the Affiliate groups to find volunteers to support the running of the booth on specific days.
Congressional District 3 Republicans (including SD49) are teaming with the Minnesota Organization of Republican Veterans (MORVets) to work the booth over three shifts on Tuesday, August 31. The shifts are 9 am to 1 pm, 1 pm to 5 pm, and 5 pm to 9 pm.
CD3 GOP Chair Patti Meier is looking for 12 volunteers to sign up, four per shift. The first four to sign up (and show up) for each of the shifts will be entitled to be reimbursed the price of admission to the State Fair. Volunteers will be responsible for covering their costs of transportation and parking.
Volunteers will greet guests, organize and promote merchandise and assist with a short poll on issues and candidates, and other duties as assigned by MN GOP staff.
There will be virtual training via zoom in August before the fair to answer questions and go over volunteer information. There will be three different weekday evening options for this training, and every volunteer must "attend" one.
If you are willing to volunteer, please contact Patti Meier at [email protected]. Provide your name, senate district (or home address), email address, cell phone number, and shift (or shifts} to be worked. She will get back to you to confirm your shift and/or with any questions.
Facing Legislature Vote, Walz Ends Emergency Powers
No Tax Increase, $1B in Tax Relief
After nearly 16 months, Governor Walz’s COVID-19 peacetime emergency powers ended on Thursday, July 1.
The Republican-led Senate voted first on July 29 to end Walz’s emergency powers. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R, East Gull Lake) reported that after intense negotiations with the DFL-led House, the House were about to do the same – “against the governor’s wishes. With his hand forced, the Democratic governor announced in an 11:40 p.m. news release that he would end them himself.”
The Star Tribune reported that later that evening, the House voted to end Gov. Walz’s emergency powers as of July 1. Those powers had emerged as a key sticking point in budget negotiations. The legislature did not vote on any Chapter 12 reform, meaning the Governor still has the ability to declare another peacetime emergency should he choose to. Without changing Chapter 12, there is nothing stopping Governor Walz from following states like California and reinstating his emergency powers.
With the vote to end the governor’s current emergency powers behind them, legislators did pass a public safety bill that had been a key point of division in recent months. Democrats expressed disappointment that the public safety agreement that had been reached the prior weekend fell short on police accountability. Republicans rejected proposed DFL amendments that they said “would undermine officers’ ability to keep people safe”, including one that would impose limits on traffic stops. Stressing the value of the work done by law enforcement, Republicans felt that the amendments would send the wrong message about police.