DFL48 | Restoring Common Sense Minnesota Values





Thank you for visiting our site. Senate District 48 DFL is made up of Southern Minnetonka and the majority of Eden Prairie. We bring together two vibrant communities with a diverse population. We believe it’s a great area to live and raise a family.

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President Obama’s speech on Cuba

president_official_portrait_hiresToday, December 17, 2014, President Obama announced the most significant changes to our policy regarding Cuba in more than 50 years.  We’ll end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests. Instead, we’ll begin to normalize relations between our two countries. 

Proudly, the United States has supported democracy and human rights in Cuba through those five decades. We’ve done this through policies aimed to isolate the island, preventing the most basic travel and commerce that Americans can enjoy anyplace else. And, though this policy has been rooted in the best of intentions, no other nation joins us in imposing these sanctions. It has had little effect.

When he came into office, President Obama promised to re-examine our Cuba policy. As a start, we lifted restrictions for Cuban-Americans to travel and send remittances to their families in Cuba. Cuban-Americans have been reunited with their families, and are the best possible ambassadors for our values.

While the President has been prepared to take additional steps for some time, a major obstacle stood in the way – the 5-year-long wrongful imprisonment in Cuba of U.S. citizen and USAID Alan Gross. For many months, the Administration held discussions with the Cuban government about Alan’s case, and other aspects of our relationship.  Today, Alan returned home – reunited with his family at long last.  Alan was released by the Cuban government on humanitarian grounds.

Separately, in exchange for three Cuban agents held by the United States, Cuba today released one of the most important intelligence agents that the United States has ever had in Cuba, who has been imprisoned for nearly two decades. (more…)

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In the Know

Minnesota DFL
Dec. 17, 2014
Events today

  • 9 a.m. – Legislative Commission on Data Practices will meet and receive an overview on the SLEDS data and data in higher education.
  • 2 p.m. – Gov. Mark Dayton convenes meeting of the Board of Pardons. Minnesota Judicial Center, Room 230, St. Paul.
  • 5 p.m. – Martin Olav Sabo Lecture featuring, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis.

“Black Lives Matter” protest could snarl Saturday shopping at Mall of AmericaFox 9
2014 election
U.S. Senate
Ortman confirms payment to rival candidateStar Tribune
2016 election
Branstad seeks to end Iowa Republican straw poll, but state party chairman not so sureStar Tribune
Franken tells TV network, ‘I’m ready for Hillary to be president,’ Star Tribune
Franken backs Hillary for presidentMinnPost
Jeb Bush declares he’ll ‘actively explore’ White House bid, first to step this far into 2016Star Tribune
Bush fire starts pistol for 2016The Hill
Good Question: Why do presidential candidates announce so earlyWCCO

Budget (federal)
Obama signs contentious $1.1 trillion spending bill that pays for government through SeptemberStar Tribune
Did the massive federal spending bill just screw up funding for Southwest LRTMinnPost
Senate debate over terrorism insurance could impact Minn. businesses, taxpayersKSTP
Congressional delegation
Colbert Report: Michele Bachmann’s extreme holiday cheerMinnPost

How did Al Franken learn to draw the 50 statesPioneer Press
Uber responds to Franken’s privacy inquiries, but senator not satisfiedPioneer Press

John Kline predicts quick rework of school law in 2015Pioneer Press
Minnesota’s business-expansion grants draw critics on right and leftMinnPost
GOP leader McConnell says approving Keystone pipeline will be at top of Senate agenda in 2015Star Tribune
Speaker to be: The education of Kurt DaudtMPR

Mike McFadden and his campaign’s finance chair, Moly Cronin, have been making the rounds with republican donors to talk about starting a SuperPAC. McFadden wants to keep his donors engaged and is eyeing another run for office, possibly governor in 2018. Morning Take
MSP airport workers win paid sick leaveTC Daily Planet
Medical marijuana
Patients, families may pay up to $500 a month for marijuanaPioneer Press
Minneapolis School District
Bernadeia Johnson out as Minneapolis schools superintendentStar Tribune
Bernadeia Johnson resigns as Minneapolis schools superintendentMPR
Minneapolis superintendent resigns, will step down Jan. 31Fox 9
Superintendent of Mpls. Schools announces resignationKSTP
Dr. Bernadeia Johnson resigns as Mpls. superintendentKARE
Be fair; extend MNsure deadlineStar Tribune
Interview: MNsure CEO talks enrollment, website issuesWCCO
Obama issues ‘executive orders by another name’USA Today
Highest taxed states: Minnesota 10th, Wisconsin, 12thStar Tribune

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Least Productive Congress in Modern History Wraps Up

Ed O’Keefe and Sean Sullivan with the Washington Post wrote an article titled “Senate abruptly wraps up, capping least productive Congress in modern history” that was posted December 16, 2014.

Steve Benen with the MaddowBlog posted on the same topic on December 17, 2014. That post included a telling graphic showing how little this group did this session:



This post also included a quote from Matt Taibbi from a 2006 piece in Rolling Stone, when voters threw out the Republican led Congress:

“These were the years,” Taibbi wrote, “when the U.S. parliament became a historical punch line, a political obscenity on par with the court of Nero or Caligula – a stable of thieves and perverts who committed crimes rolling out of bed in the morning and did their very best to turn the mighty American empire into a debt-laden, despotic backwater, a Burkina Faso with cable.”

To show how much worse it has gotten, here are some additional quotes:

The least-productive Congress in modern history drew to an abrupt close late Tuesday as the U.S. Senate extended dozens of expired tax breaks but failed to renew a federally backed terrorism insurance program supported by big businesses and major sports leagues.

“Thank God it’s over!” Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.) said as he exited the Senate chamber afterward…. Asked about the conclusion of the unproductive congressional session as he boarded an elevator,

The Washington Post’s report added, “Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) paraphrased the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein: ‘That which cannot be spoken must be passed over in silence.’”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a 32-year veteran of Congress, added that this Congress has been “disgraceful.”

Looking just at congressional productivity, it’s hard to disagree. According to the tallies published by NBC Newsand Congress.gov, the 113th Congress passed a total of 203 bills into law since early last year. As the above chart shows, that’s the lowest total since officials started keeping track several generations ago – and it breaks the record set by the 112th Congress.

Here’s a link to the Washington Post article.

Here’s a link to the Maddowblog article.

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©2014 DFL SD 48. Prepared and paid for by Senate District 48 DFL, Sharon Borine, Chair, 18285 Croixwood Ln, Eden Prairie, MN 55347