OPINION

Op-Ed: More Post-Election Analysis and a Clarification

Vote_ballot_box_cube.jpgThe Nov 10 Post-Election edition struck a nerve for some readers, in particular a couple of sentences.   In retrospect, I (your Newsletter editor since early 2016) should have claimed a by-line for the Election Results article since some have presumed the SD50 Communications Chair authored it. I've updated the by-line on the website.

To clarify: No,  not everyone on your 4-person Communications Team is planning to leave MN.  That mention incensed a couple of "Never give up" and "MN is the only place worth living" readers.  The sentence has been corrected to say "some" have plans to leave.

And yes, looking at the SD50 precinct-by-precinct results and the 70% of registered voters turnout confirms that those who voted almost 2:1 for the DFL slate are, indeed, our neighbors.  If they weren't driven by opposing views and values, what was their reasoning? We'd welcome your e-mailed comments if you know reasons why folks in SD50 voted DFL.

Sure, we may be able to cordially chat with our neighbors about boating, sports, gardening or good restaurants. But delving into deeper, meaningful, issues will quickly reveal the extent of our division. Imagine how a discussion of any one of these might go: crime, taxes, education, "systemic racism", role of government, "emergency powers", election controls enforcement, gun control, state abortion laws.

Commenters asked whether voting fraud was likely an explanation for the wide margin. I've not seen or heard any allegations of that in MN.  Republicans stepped up this year as election judges to provide better balance for in-person sites, and absentee ballot numbers were lower than in 2020.  The lengthy early-voting timespan, which started Sept. 23 this year, and the use of staff rather than party-balanced election judges in some cities/counties for handling absentee ballots remain areas where "free and fair" election controls could improve.

A “never give up” caller pointed out a technique Republicans could copy.   Democrats have a strong organized strategy to take advantage of early voting, making sure absentee ballots get to and are returned by those who previously voted absentee such as nursing home residents, apartment dwellers, college students, etc. This has the effect of “nailing down” as many votes as possible before events that might sway opinions occur, such as debates (finally held in late October), heavy concentration of TV ads/counter-ads, or late-breaking news (e.g., the Sept 22 Feeding Our Futures indictments and ties).

A Nov. 9 analysis article "More of the Same Please" by David Zimmer at Center of the American Experiment garnered similar reactions, and both the article and comments make interesting reading.

Below are additional analysis article links that provide insights on "What Happened??!??"

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  • Op-Ed: More Post-Election Analysis and a Clarification

    Vote_ballot_box_cube.jpgThe Nov 10 Post-Election edition struck a nerve for some readers, in particular a couple of sentences.   In retrospect, I (your Newsletter editor since early 2016) should have claimed a by-line for the Election Results article since some have presumed the SD50 Communications Chair authored it. I've updated the by-line on the website.

    To clarify: No,  not everyone on your 4-person Communications Team is planning to leave MN.  That mention incensed a couple of "Never give up" and "MN is the only place worth living" readers.  The sentence has been corrected to say "some" have plans to leave.

    And yes, looking at the SD50 precinct-by-precinct results and the 70% of registered voters turnout confirms that those who voted almost 2:1 for the DFL slate are, indeed, our neighbors.  If they weren't driven by opposing views and values, what was their reasoning? We'd welcome your e-mailed comments if you know reasons why folks in SD50 voted DFL.

    Sure, we may be able to cordially chat with our neighbors about boating, sports, gardening or good restaurants. But delving into deeper, meaningful, issues will quickly reveal the extent of our division. Imagine how a discussion of any one of these might go: crime, taxes, education, "systemic racism", role of government, "emergency powers", election controls enforcement, gun control, state abortion laws.

    Commenters asked whether voting fraud was likely an explanation for the wide margin. I've not seen or heard any allegations of that in MN.  Republicans stepped up this year as election judges to provide better balance for in-person sites, and absentee ballot numbers were lower than in 2020.  The lengthy early-voting timespan, which started Sept. 23 this year, and the use of staff rather than party-balanced election judges in some cities/counties for handling absentee ballots remain areas where "free and fair" election controls could improve.

    A “never give up” caller pointed out a technique Republicans could copy.   Democrats have a strong organized strategy to take advantage of early voting, making sure absentee ballots get to and are returned by those who previously voted absentee such as nursing home residents, apartment dwellers, college students, etc. This has the effect of “nailing down” as many votes as possible before events that might sway opinions occur, such as debates (finally held in late October), heavy concentration of TV ads/counter-ads, or late-breaking news (e.g., the Sept 22 Feeding Our Futures indictments and ties).

    A Nov. 9 analysis article "More of the Same Please" by David Zimmer at Center of the American Experiment garnered similar reactions, and both the article and comments make interesting reading.

    Below are additional analysis article links that provide insights on "What Happened??!??"

  • Auditor Needed: State's Financial Scandals Reason to Reject Blaha

    Ryan_Wilson_Lawn_Sign.jpgby Carmelle & Tim Eickhoff, Precinct Chairs, Edina P-07

    As Edina residents and Minnesotans, we all need Ryan Wilson to be our next Minnesota State Auditor. Our state has had some of the largest financial scandals in its history under the current state auditor’s watch. We have seen news reports of $100 million in daycare fraud, $200 million (at least) in child food program fraud, and $1 billion in Met Council cost overruns and none of this was caught by Auditor Blaha. Julie Blaha’s lack of leadership in executing the role of the state auditor combined with her political bias makes her an ineffective head of a very important department. Her excuses do nothing for taxpayers concerned about the waste and abuse nor comfort those that needed this financial support.

    We have had the opportunity to speak with Ryan at multiple events in Edina. He has the necessary passion, auditing experience, intellect and integrity to serve Minnesota. Ryan Wilson is the only one on the ballot with an independent voice to restore a culture of accountability and transparency in our Minnesota Government. As he says, “it’s not always who you audit, it’s who you don’t audit that’s as important to the taxpayers of Minnesota.”

    We are tired of our hard-earned tax dollars being wasted. This keeps happening without consequences and Minnesotans never get confirmation that the fraud was stopped or where the money trail led.

    We are voting for Ryan Wilson for State Auditor in November because he has the experience running a large medical device auditing company and promises to actually fight waste, fraud and abuse. As a constitutional lawyer, he has already successfully litigated in State and Federal court. He will use the State Auditor’s subpoena power and bully pulpit to bring auditing and accountability back to the auditor’s office on behalf of all Minnesotans.

    Posted by the Edina Sun Current, September 28

  • Phillips (and DFL) Clueless About Scott Jensen Remarks

    Dr_Scott_Jensen_for_Governor.jpg3rd District Congressman Dean Phillips was recently quoted by the Star Tribune as saying, when speaking to the political division in our country, "I'll be trying to be part of the solution." Yet only a few days earlier, he lashed out at Dr. Scott Jensen, Republican candidate for MN Governor.

     On the evening of August 23, all of our state-wide candidates and the Congressional candidates in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Congressional Districts spoke to a standing-room only forum hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition. When it came time for Dr. Jensen to speak, he tore up his prepared remarks and spoke to an audience that has experienced how government overreach, coupled with the complicity of the media, can grow from little injustices to something much more insidious.

    The Star Tribune quoted Dr. Jensen as saying,

    "What's happened over the last two and a half years has parallels to what happened with the 1933 banning of books, banning of Jewish authors, burning of books, Kristallnacht in 1938. This was a sequence of events that should never have been happening. It should never have been turned away from. It should have been elevated, but the media wasn't there, and we're seeing the same thing in America today."

    The newspaper's headline? "Minn. GOP governor nominee Scott Jensen triples down on comparing COVID policies to Nazi Germany".

    Dr. Jensen gave a similar speech in April to the group Masks Off Minnesota. A video of a portion of that talk can be heard on a Twitter post by Heartland Signal .

  • Why Wasn’t the Guard Guarding?

    By Larry Frost, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret)

    MPD_3rd_Precinct_Burning_1.JPG

    The photo above  is what the Minneapolis Police (MPD) Third Precinct looked like on May 28th, 2020. Just hours before, the police were ordered to pack up their equipment and leave.

    Mayor Frey said the MPD didn’t have the manpower to control the mob, and news reports blamed him for not asking Governor Tim Walz to mobilize National Guard troops to help, with Governor Walz eagerly piling on:

    “Jacob Frey has been cast as the mayor who lost control of his city, enduring criticism from the state’s governor [Walz] that the Minneapolis response to rioting in May over the police killing of George Floyd was an “abject failure.” Star Tribune, August 4th, 2020.

    At the time, foolishly believing anything said by the Red Star Tribune and its sister propaganda organs, I blamed Frey.

    Turns out the Red Star and its sister media hadn’t done their job. Frey asked Walz for the guard the day before 3rd Precinct was burned, and again – frantically- the day of the attack, supported by his then-police Chief Medaria Arredondo.

    Walz’ response to Frey? ‘Well, your request is too vague…start over.’

    Walz claimed the National Guard could not accept a verbal request and required a ‘more detailed plan’.

  • Profiles in Opportunism: Case Study Dean Phillips

    Op-Ed by Jeff Vold

    Dean-Phillips-768x512_Facebook_2021.jpg

    This time last year, we were mourning the loss of 13 brave US service members needlessly killed in Afghanistan during the worst planned and most ill-conceived Military Operation this country has conducted since the 1970's.  Dean Phillips spent the ensuing days sticking his chest out and going on numerous local media outlets talking tough and claiming he was going to "demand accountability" for the inattentiveness and incompetence of the leaders of the Administration and others in the Chain of Command. 

    To this day, he has not named one individual who should have resigned or been fired (there are many).  In other words, he used the deaths of those service members as a political prop to gain favor with the outraged residents of this District.  

    In the end, he did what he always does.  He did the bidding of Nancy Pelosi so as not to damage the Administration. Perhaps he should get notes and calls from a few hundred of us to remind him of yet another broken promise.  His twitter feed and Facebook would also be good places to remind him.  Difficult times do not build moral courage, but they sure do highlight the lack of it.  Dean Failed.   

    Let’s redouble our efforts to support Tom Weiler and get a true leader elected as our 3rd District Congressman.

  • Rep. Phillips Fails Fact-Checks

    Opinion_Sign.jpgIn his constituent email of August 3, Rep Dean Phillips expressed his pleasure with the initial agreement in the Senate over the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

    He goes on to state “This legislation will make a historic down payment on deficit reduction to combat inflation …”

    Not so fast, Rep. Phillips. Sen. John Thune (R, S.D), speaking on the floor of the Senate, said, “Sounds like a bill that’s going to address the number one problem facing our nation, which is inflation, and then you actually look at the bill’s contents and will discover that the bill will do nothing to reduce inflation.”

    The Congressional Budget Office, as reported by the Washington Post in an article on August 7, “estimates that, over the next two years, the Inflation Reduction Act is likely to change the inflation rate by less than one tenth of one percent — but it isn’t sure whether the change would be up or down.”

    Phillips believes that “these investments would be fully paid for by making the biggest corporations and ultra-wealthy pay their fair share – with no new taxes on families making $400,000 or less, and no new taxes on small businesses.” CNBC’s Jim Cramer argues that “the Inflation Reduction Act is really a tax on companies and shareholders.” It may not raise the income taxes of many taxpayers, but it will likely reduce the return on their investments.

    Will it help reduce the price of gasoline? Sen. Lindsey Graham (R. S.C.) proposed an amendment to strike a 16.4 cent a barrel tax on imported petroleum products and crude oil refined in the United States. The Democrats in the Senate defeated that amendment.

  • Elkins Promotes Online Comparisons for Healthcare. How About School Comparisons?

    Elkins_on_Guns_(4).jpgRep. Steve Elkins (DFL, Bloomington) recently wrote about his work to enable online cost transparency sites for healthcare.

    He wrote in his official incumbent legislator’s email:

    If you want an idea of how this work would be useful to you as you shop for healthcare, visit the Turquoise Health website and enter your zip code and the name of a healthcare procedure that you’ve had performed at a hospital. You’ll be able to see the cost of that procedure at different Twin Cities hospitals, by health plan. …. The ultimate objective is to create a working marketplace for healthcare in which providers would compete on the basis of both price and quality like other businesses.

    As consumers of healthcare, we can truly see the value of sites that allow cost comparisons of providers with similar quality ratings.

    We can also see where parents of the school age children (and taxpayers, for that matter) would greatly value similar sites that would compare school systems. The Minnesota Public Schools Report Card is a starting point, but comparing schools side-by-side isn't possible. And all schools aren't included.

    To make sure the ratings were fair, they should be applied to all schools (public, private, and charter). We would suggest the use of such metrics as student performance, student-teacher ratios, teacher-administrator ratios, average teacher tenure, and per-capita school funding.

    Of course, parents may elect, after reviewing the ratings, to move their children to a different school. They should be encouraged to do so through the ability to transfer their student’s share of the per-capita school funding with them. Agree, Mr. Elkins?

  • Op Ed: Elkins Remains Out of Step with Voters' Priorities

     

    Elkins_posing_beside_Protect_Our_Kids_sign.jpg

    SD50 Rep. Steve Elkins (D) issued another newsletter to constituents on July 7, and it continued to reflect that his legislative priorities and personal alignments are out of touch with the voters in Edina and Bloomington.

    Elkins led off the newsletter with a picture showing him with sign-carrying DFL supporters. It is ironic that the closest sign carried the message that all of Minnesota’s DFL Congressional delegation protect children, while none of those in the Republican delegation do.

    Really? How have the DFL efforts to defund the police stopped the drive-by shootings of children in Minneapolis? Has Elkins and his party supported legislation to give students and their parents the freedom to go to the schools of their choice? Did Elkins and his party ever truly consider the ramifications of shutting down schools and isolating kids:  on their mental health, educational achievement, and social skill development?

    How non-partisan was the absolute DFL support for Gov. Walz’ arbitrary closure of small businesses, throwing so many of our most economically-vulnerable people out of work?

    Elkins’ newsletter goes on to say:

    "At this point, it appears unlikely that a special session will be called as Senate Republicans are unwilling or unable to make the compromises necessary to come to a final deal. After the primaries, these legislators will have more room to negotiate. This will be of little solace to school districts or personal care provider organizations that are trying to balance their budgets, now. The collateral damage from our legislative inaction is immense."

    Note that Steve Elkins never acknowledges that taxpayers have their own budget issues, facing the highest inflation in over 40 years. The largest biennial budget in the state’s history was passed and signed by Gov. Walz in 2021. This year was a year that the state legislature should focus on bonding bills. Yet, faced with a $9.25 billion revenue surplus, Republicans reached a bi-partisan agreement to a one-time expenditure of a little over $2 billion.

    After initially wanting to spend all of the surplus, the governor blatantly offered to issue “Walz Checks” while continuing to push for more spending. Elkins’ newsletter certainly shows that he personally supports the spending part.

    The Republicans are right to demand that the budget surplus be returned through tax cuts, to help mitigate the loss of buying power due to inflation. As reported in US News & World Report, the most likely way that this will happen is if Republicans are voted into the majority position in both the MN House and Senate this fall.

  • Support Endorsed and Recommended Candidates in the Primary

    Red_check_on_black_and_white_vote-g66cae8621_640.png

    Early voting starts 10 days from now in Minnesota. Yes, as early as June 24, you can cast a ballot in the Primary Election that will narrow down the candidate fields. On August 9 we will decide who the final two candidates will be in non-partisan races, such as those for Hennepin County Attorney and Hennepin County Sheriff.

    It is important that you vote in the Primary on these races to ensure that we have a conservative candidate on the ballot in November. We urge you to vote for retired Judge Tad Jude for Hennepin County Attorney and Bloomington Police Officer Jai Hansen for Hennepin County Sheriff.

    The Primary Election on August 9 also decides the party candidates that will go on to the November ballot in partisan races. In Minnesota, the political parties have the power to endorse candidates in conventions of grass-roots delegates. If Republican candidates committed to abide by this process and file for office only if endorsed, this would allow our candidates to focus on the November election without the distraction of an intra-party fight in the months leading up to the Primary.

    The Republican endorsed state-wide candidates are:

    Governor/Lt. Governor: Scott Jensen/Matt Birk
    Secretary of State: Kim Crockett
    Attorney General: Jim Schultz
    State Auditor: Ryan Wilson

    The State Auditor race, a partisan race, is not showing on the sample Primary ballot as published by Sec of State.  Note that, confusingly, a similarly-named, non-conservative, candidate is running opposite Tad Jude for Hennepin County Attorney.

    This year, virtually all of the Republican candidates for state-wide office promised to abide by the endorsement process, although the Primary ballot still shows a handful of candidates for each office  as “Republican” who did not seek endorsement; thus the Primary.

    Doug Wardlow, who sought endorsement, promised that he would abide by the process in the MN Attorney General race. Doug Wardlow did not win the GOP endorsement for Attorney General at the May State Convention in Rochester. He broke his promise and filed to run anyway. SD50’s Larry Frost addressed his OpEd below directly to Doug Wardlow.

  • OpEd:  Wardlow is a Politician that Broke His Pledge

    Time_to_say_goodbye_farewell-g7263f26ef_640.jpg

    Doug, I couldn’t be more disappointed.

    I supported you when you ran four years ago, during your campaign this year and at our GOP state convention. I supported you during your floor fight for the endorsement, including the last ballot, when you lost to GOP endorsed candidate Jim Schultz.

    Three times during the race I asked you if you would promise me, personally, that you would abide by the endorsement and not run in the primary if you lost it. You made that promise to me, Doug. Now you say you are running in the primary.

    I listened to your announcement of your Primary run. At 1:45 on that video, you say, “We should not tolerate politicians who lie, and rig the game, to subvert the people’s will.”

    You’re right. Then you lied to me, Doug. Personally.

    You broke your word to me to honor the endorsement. I was on the floor during the whole struggle to gain you the endorsement. There was no rigging of the game. In fact, you hardly had a floor fight team at all – one of the reasons you lost. You and Jim Schultz attacked one another, but Jim Schultz did not lie. Again, I was there, I read the handouts you and the winner, Jim Schultz gave out, and you were both hitting hard.

    But there was no lying. And even if there were – you did not put any conditions on your promise to me. None.

    The only lie here is your lie to me, your broken promise to honor the endorsement. In my career – as an enlisted man, NCO and officer first in the Marines and then the Army – a man’s reputation meant more than personal standing. It meant – can I trust you with my life and the lives of my soldiers?

    I hope I would never have followed a military leader who lied because I could not trust him with the lives of the soldiers entrusted to my care. Fortunately, I never had to make that choice.

    I can’t trust a candidate with the office of Attorney General if you will lie to gain it.

    My disappointment in you is profound. I can’t trust you, Doug. Start to repair that trust by forgetting your ego and keeping your word. Withdraw – and support the endorsed candidate.