• Letter to the Editor: Are Minnetonka Voters Aware of Who is Running for Council and Mayor?

    From Concerned Minnetonka Citizen (name withheld by request)

    Family_Enters_Voting_Building.jpgMinnetonka has odd year elections so people don't vote...most likely because they aren't aware there is an election and Minnetonka has been running smoothly and people trust that this will continue. It won't. The radicals are organized and show up in droves.

    Please read the following:

    Are you aware of who is running for council? (They haven’t filed, but they have submitted campaign finance reports). Candidate filing starts on July 27.

    First up: Candidate Iola Kostrzewski: She is running for council as an act of “active defiance” against Deb Calvert. She has a Nextdoor app post background that makes Antifa look tame. Iola currently and actively protests with Jeremiah Ellison, Minneapolis Council Member and Keith Ellison’s son.  Here’s her website: http://iola4minnetonkacouncil.com/

    Kimberly Wilburn is another candidate: She’s running to be a part of the current system to dismantle the current system.  Apparently to her, America is the system.  Kimberly’s words: “we need to acknowledge the existence of systemic and institutional racism and intentionally work to dismantle those systems.”  Here’s her website:  https://kimberlycaresmn.com/

  • Bloomington Tobacco Shop Phase-Out Enacted for “Equity”, Not Science


    A recent op-ed in the Star Tribune highlights findings in a new Journal of the American Medical Association article that San Francisco's ban on flavored tobacco products "was associated with increased smoking among minor high school students relative to other school districts."

    This is not surprising given a number of studies pointing to contradictory results with tobacco bans, e-cigarette bans, flavor bans and minimum age laws when it comes to alcohol and tobacco products.  For example, one study points to e-cigarette minimum age laws actually increasing youth smoking participation.

    Recall that the Bloomington City Council recently voted to sunset all tobacco licenses in the city.  Sadly, this will have a devastating effect on small business owners (tobacco shops, convenience stores, gas stations, etc.) as these entrepreneurs will no longer be able to realize the full value of their business should they choose to sell at some point in the future.  In late April of this year, Bloomington's Public Health Administrator Nick Kelley said "the sunset would eliminate the presence of tobacco in the city and the risk of tobacco use among youth.“

    With a variety of outstanding issues over the last year and a half, it is telling that the Bloomington City Council has chosen to focus on restricting the ability of adults to obtain legal products should they choose to do so.  The Minnesota Department of Health's 2020 Youth Tobacco Survey admits that "Minnesota teens are overwhelmingly rejecting cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco."  Prevalence of tobacco use among high school students in Minnesota is at a historical low (only 3.2% prevalence of cigarette use, and even lower for smokeless tobacco products).

    In doing so, Bloomington has joined just two California cities with similar license sunsets, according to the Star Tribune.  Welcome to the progressive utopia!

  • House Votes for the 21st Time on Ending the Emergency Powers


    (YouTube video above- Credit: House New Republican Caucus)

    This past week, the Minnesota House took up a vote for the 21st time on ending the Governor's emergency powers. Even though there is clearly NO emergency, House Democrats continue to support Governor Walz in keeping his peacetime emergency powers.

    Walz spokesperson Teddy Tschann responded that the Republican plan is not serious. “It would slow down vaccination, jeopardize hundreds of millions of dollars in hunger relief, and end the eviction moratorium overnight with no plan to provide an off ramp for renters or landlords as we come out of the pandemic.”

    Tschann claims that “Gov. Walz is committed to working with the Legislature and finding bipartisan solutions to improve the State’s response to emergencies,” but has not shown any evidence of that commitment.  Instead, Walz has chosen to rule by decree over the past 15 months, rather than work with the legislature on a transition plan

    Republicans have introduced bills, including one passed by the Senate in May, that would end the emergency in an orderly way. “We have a path to dramatically reduce emergency powers,” Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) said. “Our preference would be that we remove them totally. But if it just focuses on the things that receive the federal money, specifically related to COVID, that would be a good thing.”

    Rep. Barb Haley (R-Red Wing) authored a bill to take away emergency powers but still allow the governor to distribute vaccines and receive federal money. “The emergency is over. We’re going to provide the governor the things he needs to do to manage COVID, and we’re going to restore the Legislature as a co-equal branch of government.”

  • A Witness to Bloomington Police in Action

    Bloomington_Police_Car.jpgOn June 15, I had the pleasure of doing a ride-along with one of Bloomington‘s finest. My host was Officer Kyle Maitrejean, a six-year veteran of the Bloomington Police Department.

    I was impressed with the calm and professional demeanor Officer Kyle exhibited in every situation. During those three hours, he interacted with 10 individuals. While there was no violence involved, I could see that everyone he talked to felt better after their conversation with him. I’m certain it’s due in large part to his training and experience. I would expect the same of his fellow officers.

    Having had this experience, I feel better and more secure as a Bloomington resident. I’ve lived in Bloomington for 49 years and I have always had respect and pride for our Police Department. My ride-along today confirmed that.

    I hope that every elected official in Bloomington including the Mayor and City Council does a ride-along with their police officers. In fact, I think it should be a requirement. This will give each of them a better understanding and appreciation for the tough and dangerous work our police officers do every day.

    And a note to the Mayor and City Council members: If you encounter any person (activist, etc) who demands that you not show any public support for our police, just ask them this: Have you done a ride-along with your local community police? If they answer yes, ask them to describe their experience and how they feel about it. If they answer no, tell them to do that before they speak any further about their concerns and demands. Then invite them to share their experience with you. Doing this will likely change the entire conversation.

  • Behavior Controls are Ineffective

    To the editor of the Bloomington/Richfield Sun Current

    Attempts to micromanage human behavior usually fail because the governing entity does not have total control over the behavior they want to stop. This is why ordinances designed to break behavior deemed by officials as being unhealthy or bad are ineffective.

    Blm_City_Council_July_27.JPGTwo ordinances passed by the Bloomington City Council, the conversion therapy ban and the flavored cigarette ban, fall in this category. There are ample opportunities elsewhere to seek similar sexual orientation therapies or buy flavored cigarettes. Furthermore, the internet offers several ways to circumvent these local ordinances. At its heart, bad or unhealthy behavior can only be broken when the individual has the willpower and determination to change that behavior.

    The fact that the government does not have total control over ingrained bad behavior is clearly illustrated in its attempt to prohibit liquor sales in the 1920s and 1930s. For all practical purposes, the conversion therapy and flavored cigarette bans are window-dressing meant to mollify special interest groups.

    Finally, Bloomington voters should wake up to the fact that decisions made at city hall will impact their daily lives more than those made in St. Paul or Washington, D.C.

  • Rep. Phillips Supports Legalized Marijuana, Ignoring Police Concerns

    Dean_Phillips_1.JPGRep. Dean Phillips wrote in a letter to his constituents on May 19 that he “believes that it’s time for us to … recognize the benefits of legalizing, regulating, and taxing cannabis.”  He made that belief known by sending a letter to Minnesota’s legislative leaders endorsing House File 600.  This bill, one of the few to be pushed this legislative session in the DFL-controlled House, would legalize adult use of cannabis in the state.

    Ironically, in the same letter to constituents, Rep. Phillips reflected on his endorsement of Minnesota’s law enforcement officers on the House floor.  Dean apparently is not aware of the opposition of many in law enforcement to the sweeping nature of HF 600.

    Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson is one.  Rochester’s Fox 47 News reported that Torgerson spoke at a House committee hearing on behalf of the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association.  The Association has raised multiple concerns about legalization.

    Torgerson’s primary concern was with the lack of an accurate roadside test for marijuana.  Unlike with alcohol, “There is yet no way for law enforcement to test and confidently know when a driver is under the influence of marijuana at the time of contact, other than by observation,” Torgerson said. “Testing can only determine if the drug is in the system of an individual but cannot determine the level in one’s system.”

    The sheriff said “we should all agree” to ensure better testing before going forward with the measure.

  • Kendall Qualls "Takes Charge" Against Critical Race Theory

    Qualls.jpgKendall Qualls is leading a new organization, TakeCharge, which is committed to countering the prevailing narrative in popular culture that America is structured to undermine the lives of black Americans.  TakeCharge's objective is to inspire and educate the black community and other minority groups in the Twin Cities to take charge of their own lives, the lives of their families, and their communities as citizens under the rights fully granted to them in the Constitution.

    TakeCharge also denounces the idea that the country is guilty of systemic racism and white privilege.  It also denounces the concept of identity politics and the promotion of victimhood in minority communities. 

    TakeCharge will build a coalition of community champions, academic professionals, and business leaders to ignite a transformation within the Black community of the Twin Cities by embracing the core principles of America – not rejecting them. These principles are embedded in the belief of hard work, education, faith, family, and free enterprise in the personal pursuit of dreams that can be realized by anyone regardless of race or social standing.  These core principles include the following:

    • The promise of America is open and available to all individuals regardless of skin color or station in life.
    • The private sector and free enterprise are the fastest and most financially rewarding routes to a better life for the Black community.
    • A quality education is the gateway to prosperity.
    • Restoring the two-parent Black family should be a priority both locally and nationally.
    • The first duty of government is to ensure public safety of its citizens.

  • UMLC Fighting for Liberty and Rule of Law

    Seaton-Dickey.JPGThe Pints & Pent-up on-line forum held on May 19 featured the impactful work being done by Doug Seaton and James Dickey.  These two attorneys are the litigating power behind the Upper Midwest Law Center.  

    The UMLC is a center-right, non-profit, public interest law firm willing to take on legal battles in Minnesota when public officials and government unions exceed their authority and infringe on personal liberties.  Their work is particularly important when officials, elected to uphold our laws, act counter to those laws.

    The UMLC is 100% donor-funded.  Their mission is to take cases that they believe advance values of liberty, equality under the law, the rule of law, constitutional limitation on government authority, and limitation on government union abuses.  The forum highlighted the important cases that are being pursued on behalf of individuals who would not be able otherwise to seek redress due to the ever-increasing expense of attorney fees. 

    Attorney James Dickey summarized seven of their recent legal actions:

    Stop the Defunding of the Minneapolis Police (Spann v. Minneapolis City Council) – The Minneapolis City Charter requires that the City fund and employ a minimum number of employees of the “police force” equal to a specific percentage of the population of the city. Based on that formula, Minneapolis should be employing 751 officers.  Currently, there are fewer than 650 officers active and enforcing the laws.  The judge in the case ruled that the Mayor Frey and Council President Lisa Bender may be deposed.  UMLC found that the number of officers will continue to dwindle absent Court intervention.

  • Why I Am Voting NO on Edina’s Levy and Bond

    By Jeff Northrup

    Ballot_image_Edina_Bond.jpgEditor Note: Voters in Edina School District 273 are being asked to vote on two questions in a special referendum culminating on Tuesday, May 11.  One question deals with a new $7M bond bill intended to fund repair of the bus garage and improvements to various school parking spaces.  The second question seeks approval of a ten-year, $70 million Capital Project Levy Authorization for Technology in the Edina Schools.

    The following is an open letter urging voters in Edina School District 273 to use the opportunity of this referendum to send a message. Jeff is non-partisan, not affiliated with SD49 Republicans or any political entity.

    It would be difficult to find a bigger “homer” for Edina than me: I was born at Fairview Southdale, attended K-12 here, own every piece of Edina apparel available, named my company after my grade school (Concord), sat on the Facilities Task Force (the most recent big district referendum for $124.9M), played a big role in the Braemar Dome, and have put 4 daughters through EPS. I am fully invested.

    And I am a hard NO on the Levy and Bond. We need a change. Edina Public Schools are not trending well and the School Board and Administration need to get the message: If you put a good product out there, one that is Excellent through and through, we will embrace your Levies and Bonds.

    But if the product is bad, we will vote down your requests for more money. Especially when our concerns have little to do with money.

    Here are my big three concerns:

    1. Declining Enrollment. When kids who live here don’t go to school here, that is a major red flag. Something isn’t working. We are currently at our highest level of non-resident enrollment ever, and it has been trending in the wrong direction for years. They used to say that 15% was the goal, with no more than 20%. We will likely be over 25% by next year! Declining enrollment impacts budget, staffing, programming, test scores and athletics. I have watched as some of my kids’ best friends disappear from the district in large numbers. One thing I can assure you: many of your kids’ classmates in 1st grade will be learning elsewhere by the time they are in High School. This is a problem.

  • Governor Imposes Curfew on 4 Counties After Brooklyn Center Riot


    Picture credit: Twin Cities Pioneer Press

    Bad mistake: Shoot a young black man instead of tasing him at a traffic stop.

    Bad reaction: Protesters pelted police officers with concrete blocks and frozen cans of pop.

    Reporter interpretation: “There was no riot.”

    Brooklyn Center Police Chief Gannon’s rational response: “I was front and center … at the riot.”

    “Protests” grow: 20 businesses broken into, some destroyed (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

    A prudent Governor’s possible responses: Deploy enough police and National Guard to arrest anyone who riots and loots. Ban gatherings of more than 20 people.

    Governor Walz’ actual response: Declare a four-county curfew. Lockdown 2.6 million people.

    Take away: Rather than condemn the riots and the looting, Governor Walz chooses to make the whole metropolitan area suffer.