• 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)


    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


    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



    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


    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


    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.

  • Correcting a Distortion

    By Shawn Holster, GOP Endorsed Candidate for MN Senate District 63, and Christine Bolan, Treasurer, Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota

    The following is a letter intended for MNGOP State Convention Delegates and Conservative LGBT Allies and sent to the Star Tribune for publication.   To date, the Star Tribune has yet to print it.

    Log_Cabin_Republicans.JPGThere has been a great deal of chatter and clamor surrounding the 2022 MNGOP State Convention and the status of the Minnesota Log Cabin Republicans (an organization of LGBT and allies), as an affiliate organization. There is an abundance of rumor, hearsay, and confusion. Let us provide some clarity and lay this controversy to rest.

    There is a contingent, a small contingent, within the Minnesota GOP that attempted to sever ties with the Log Cabin Republicans.  This much is true. This arises, in part, from Log Cabin Republicans’ anti-conversion therapy stance.

    Conversion therapy has been abandoned by most in the behavioral health community, due to lack of scientific credibility. It is bigotry hiding behind a veil of cognitive behavioral therapy. It is marginal theology in a lab coat. Being homosexual is not pathological, therefore, there is no “cure”. While most members of the Log Cabin Republicans personally repudiate thepractice of conversion therapy, the subject itself is not in the organization’s official platform. For clarity, the Log Cabin Republicans do support the right of parents to seek counseling for their children for any reason.

    This claim fuels and dovetails into another - that the Log Cabin Republicans support sexual/gender identity education/indoctrination for small children. Grooming. Democrats promote these policies in the name of inclusivity and acceptance, though, these very policies are especially predatory toward those that they claim to protect: LGBT youth. While these children are exploring and determining all aspects of their identities and where they fit into this world, predators, disguised as educators, groom them to be the perfect pawns in a demented game, where the winner achieves superiority through force and intimidation.  These are the tactics of predators, not the Log Cabin Republicans.

    In this deranged world, trans trumps gay, so young gays and lesbians are at the greatest risk for manipulation. It is difficult to pinpoint the origins of this misconception of the Log Cabin Republicans. We suspect that it is nothing more than effective subterfuge on behalf of these predators, themselves, as the organization has always been against these practices, publicly and vociferously through their official online media publication, getoutspoken.com.  The membership of the Log Cabin Republicans consists of gay and straight parents, gay and straight aunts and uncles, and gay and straight Godparents - No member of the Log Cabin Republicans supports teachers over parents, nor do they support any form of indoctrination in schools. The children must be protected.

  • Bloomington’s Incredible Shrinking Curbside Cleanup Program

    Trash_Collection.jpgStarting in Spring 2018, Bloomington imposed limits on the quantities of items picked up during the annual Spring Curbside Cleanup Program, while increasing the collection fees for that service.  Now in 2022, the city announced the program will only be offered every 2 years at no reduction in annual fees, effectively cutting the value of the service in half.  And, once again, it reduced what’s on the list of accepted items.

    For more than 30 years, the popular program allowed residents of Bloomington to place almost anything curbside for pickup by the city’s contracted trash collectors one week a year. 

    In fact, much of that pickup was done at no cost to the city by drive-by “scavengers” who would take the items for refurbish, reuse, or salvage.  Anything remaining on Saturday was loaded by a trash-hauler crew for disposal at the landfill.  It had been an effective, convenient, and efficient way to redistribute usable but unwanted items and also dispose of general junk.

    In 2018, residents paid $44 per year for the program. In 2019 it was just over $48. In 2020 and 2021 it was $53 per year.

    Residents now pay $106 per 2-year-cycle for a program that hauls an ever-slimmer list of accepted items and has ever-longer lists of “not accepted”.

    Instead of having residents conveniently place furniture and general junk curbside over the span of a few days, the city now plans to invite residents to haul specific potentially reusable items (sporting goods, gardening tools) to a summer community swap. The city will also host a new annual drop-off event in the fall for recyclable materials that will be open to all Bloomington residents.

    Even the language about the service reflects the city-staff misunderstanding of the dual-focus that made Curbside Cleanup so popular with residents.  Now, it’s simply “managing bulky item disposal”. 

    Prediction:  The city-wide, neighborhood by neighborhood, program will be discontinued entirely within 5 years.