DFL48 | Restoring Common Sense Minnesota Values

* Kirk Stensrud *

Jul/14

9

What Did Kirk Stensrud Do in the Legislature?

This year’s election is a rematch between Rep. Yvonne Selcer and Kirk Stensrud, the person she defeated in 2012.

Mr. Stensrud wants to go back to St. Paul. But, what did he do when he was there?

Bill What Stensrud Did

2012 Jobs Now Tax Credit

Hid behind a procedural maneuver rather than vote to close corporate tax loopholes for out-of-state corporations and support the Jobs Now Tax Credit for Minnesota businesses that hire veterans, recent graduates or the unemployed. It would have created over 10,000 new, private-sector jobs.

 

2012 $500 million bonding bill

As the State was coming out of the worst recession in decades if not ever, he voted against a bill that would have created 14,000 jobs by funding improvements to roads and bridges (remember the one that collapsed?), regional economic development projects and invested in our colleges and universities.

In 2011, he voted to cut 30,000 Minnesota jobs.

•  6,500 jobs (SF1047, HJP 2094)

•  20,968 jobs (SF760, HJP 2128)

•  1,400 jobs (HF1101, HJP 1628)

•  232 jobs (SF859, HJP 1709)

•  754 jobs 9sf887, HJP 2068)

•  1,735 jobs (HF42, HJP 1279)

•  608 jobs (HF1140, HJP 1228)

•  194 jobs (HF1010, HJP 1619)

He did champion a bill that benefitted the window washing industry. What does his business do?  Window washing.

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Jul/14

9

Stensrud Mailer Debunked

Some of you living in HD48A may have received a mailer from Rep. Yvonne Selcer’s challenger. Reading it, we thought a lot of the statements didn’t pass the smell test. So, we did some checking.  And, here’s what we found:

 

Stensrud “Misstatements” The Facts

State spending has gone up over 12%. This equals $2,900 per Minnesota family.

•  Non-partisan analysis from MN2020 shows that inflation-adjusted, state government spending per capita (the most accurate measure) has actually DROPPED dramatically since 2002. (1)
•  Even after accounting for all the new spending added back during the 2013 and 2014 Sessions, annual per capital state spending will still be about $400 LESS per person (11 percent) than it was in 2002. (2)
•  In the 2014 Session, the Legislature also reduced state taxes and property taxes by a total of $550 million. (3)
•  Also in 2014, because of Tea Party intransigence, Minnesota was forced to spend $198 million on various capital projects, instead of issuing general obligation bonds for the projects (which would have cost taxpayers about $170 million less in General Fund costs).

Sources:

(1) MN2020 — 2013 Budget Replaces Small Portion of Past Cuts

(2) MN2020 — General Fund Expenditure

(3) MN2020 — Smart Use of Surplus – You

(3) Minnesota Senate Overall Budget Balance

A lavish Senate Office Building was approved at a cost of $89 million. This money could be better spent on employing 1,474 teachers, 2,427 paramedics, or filling 3.6 million potholes.

•  This statement is totally false.

•  The Minnesota Legislature appropriated $3 million in General Fund dollars for the public financing of a new Office Building and the House later reduced its 30-year, projected cost to $77 million. (1)

•  Renting space outside of the Capitol complex would require a “convention center-type” accommodation to hold all senators.  In the short term, renting space could cost up to $32.5 million, but over 30 years it could cost up to $220 million [apples to apples]. (1)

•  None of the items listed by Stensrud can be purchased over 30 years except for potholes (which would be far slower than the $11 million in pothole relief that the Legislature ACTUALLY passed this year). (2)

•  None of the amenities Stensrud mentions were included in the project – there are NO reflecting pools or workout facilities.  (3)

Sources:

(1) MinnPost – House Advances Plans for $77 Million Senate Office Building

(2) MinnPost — Transit You Can’t Even Really Call It a Band Aid 

(3) House Session Daily  

50,000 Minnesotans will owe ObamaCare fines for not having health insurance, even if they can’t afford it or were not able to sign up before the deadline.

•  No one knows for certain how many Minnesotans will pay a penalty for failing to take personal responsibility for their health insurance. We won’t know that information until 2014 taxes are paid (in April 2015), during which many of these people may be eligible for exemptions or waivers.

•  A non-partisan research study found that the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) has reduced the number of uninsured Minnesotans by 180,500, a reduction of 41 percent.

•  The number of uninsured Minnesotans (264,000) is at the lowest level in recorded history – 4.9 percent of the population.

•  Although many people did have problems accessing coverage through MNsure due to technical challenges and ALL of them were given extra time, through May 15th, to enroll in a health plan by simply showing they had tried to obtain coverage.

•  Families with lower incomes (individual under $23,000 or a family of four under $48,000) can access Medicaid or MinnesotaCare at any point during the year.

•  The penalty for refusing to buy your family health insurance is about $95 or 1 percent of income – estimated to be about $300 per year for the median Minnesota family.

Sources:

Shadac.org – Minnesota Coverage Report 

MPR – MNsure Retroactive Coverage 

MNsure.orge — MNcare 

Wall Street Journal — Obamacare Penalty to Exceed 95 for Many Americans

MCHA was phased out and families who get sick will have to pay out of pocket for the rest of the year until 2015.

•  MCHA is now closed to new enrollment because Minnesotans now have a much more affordable option through MNsure.

•  The program provided very HIGH COST insurance to about 25,000 very sick Minnesotans prior to the existence MNsure.

•  MCHA was phased out because premiums and deductibles were very expensive (as much as 125 percent above market) and did not qualify for federal tax credits. Individuals had to be denied coverage by an insurance company and then apply for MCHA coverage separately – a lengthy and complex process.

•  Stensrud is ostensibly advocating for continuation of a tax on small businesses – (the funding mechanism for the MCHA program that was phased out) and in doing so, actually opposes a stated 2014 policy handbook priority of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce (e.g., phase out of MCHA).

•  The health care costs of the MCHA population were assessed/taxed back to the entire health insurance industry each year at around the 3% range, costing individuals and businesses $100-$200 million PER YEAR.

•  By contrast, the MNsure premium withhold will cost Minnesotans about $12 million in 2015. 2014-04-16-budget-report and this Minnesota Council of Health Plans fact sheet

•  The business community actually complained aggressively about the unfairness of the MCHA assessment in 2012 (PRIOR to enactment of MNsure legislation):

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce July, 2012 Newsletter

Sources:

MCHA and Other Options – MCHA Basic Facts

Minnesota Chamber Executives File

Gov. Dayton won’t release the 2015 MNsure rates before the election.

•  Prior to open enrollment in 2013, the Commerce Department approved health insurance rates on a rolling basis. Companies would make policies effective as soon as they were approved (but anyone could be denied for preexisting conditions). Open enrollment is a new and unique feature of the ACA.

•  Commerce felt it was important to give consumers as much information ahead of time in 2013 for a brand new program.

•  The 2014 open enrollment is different because most people will be shopping for renewal of existing policies, not for a brand new policy in a brand new program. There may be some level of totally new enrollment, but it is likely far lower than it was during 2013.

•  The timing of the rate release is very important for health plans because any rate increase (or decrease), needs to reflect actual health care utilization of current enrollment. The more time that health plans have to put together products based on actual 2014 utilization data (rather than projections), the more accurate the 2015 rates will be for consumers.

•  Even if rate increases do occur for 2015 plans, it’s important to keep the historical perspective. Prior to the ACA in Minnesota, individual insurance premium rates increased on average by 8% per year from 2000 to 2010, and that was WITH denials for preexisting conditions. In some years, rates went up by as much as 16%

Source: 

Minnesota Department of Health Chartbook

We saw in 2012 how Mr. Stensrud played fast and loose with things. So, we’re not surprised that the truth is also something he doesn’t pay much attention to.

 

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May/14

3

2014 Candidate Comparison Chart

Oct/13

22

Kirk Stensrud Receives Hennepin County Cease and Desist Letter

Stensrud-12-09In response to Rep. Stensrud’s use of the County’s logo on his campaign literature, Hennepin County has sent him a cease and desist letter.  Here’s a copy of that letter:  Hennepin County Cease and Desist

The City of Eden Prairie has also advised his campaign that using their logo for campaign purposes wasn’t appreciated by the Eden Prairie City Council. It advised the City Attorney to send a letter that campaign event usage of the logo was unacceptable.

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Oct/12

29

GOP Rep. Kirk Stensrud Misuses City Logo

originally posted by Twoputttommy on the mnprogrssiveproject.net website October 17, 2012:

Stensrud-12-09Stensrud-12-09In early January of 2011, the GOP took control of both the House and Senate in the Minnesota Legislature.  By the end of the month, the first of what would become many Republican scandals erupted.  It seems GOP Senator Scott Newman’s office decided they wouldn’t meet with the Minnesota Nurses Association because they had the audacity to support someone else in the preceeding election.

The email from the newly hired, two weeks on the job Legislative Assistant was quite clear.  Let’s look!

Hi Eileen-Unfortunately, Senator Newman will not see any organizations that donated to/supported his opponent Hal Kimball. After some careful checking, I discovered that the MNA had donated to Kimball’s campaign. Your association will be unable to schedule an appointment with Senator Newman.

Kim Kelley
Legislative Assistant

In the ensuing months, not only Republicans, but the Republican Party managed to stay in the news – and not for good reason, but the old-fashioned reason:  they EARNED it.

Who can forget the months and Months and MONTHS of the State GOP stiffing Minnesota Counties on their recount debts?  This resulted in an Editorial from The Winona Daily News in June: “Our view: GOP, practice what you preach”.

In August, news of the Federal Elections Commission nailing the State GOP with a massive fine for campaign finance violations broke.  How massive?  $170,000 – the 2nd largest ever to a State Political Party (Arkansas GOPers hold the record).

The end of the year’s shame and disrepute brought four GOP State Senators – Gerlach, Senjem, Michel and Hann – sitting at a table at a Press Conference, with one – Michel – later explaining, essentially:  “I only lied because I had to.”  Of course, while Michel smiled at the camera and lied through his teeth, Gerlach, Senjem and Hann said not a word to correct the record.

And what a “record” year Minnesota Republicans had!

The December 17th, 2011 Star Tribune headline and story said it all: “State GOP staggered by debt, scandal”

In 2012, State Republicans continued their Sessions of Scoundrels.  Most notable were Republicans in August 2012 again caught telling whoppers to the media; this time to Fox9 TV Reporter Tom Lyden.

Lyden had the email; he had the video.  And was basically asked “who ya gonna believe – us, or yer lyin’ eyes?” (see MnGOP State Senate: “…we are in this together…” and MnGOP State Senate: We Are In This Together Part 2).

So it came as no surprise that I found myself in Eden Prairie’s City Council Chambers last night, covering a story about Republican shenanigans – this time concerning Incumbent GOP State Representative Kirk Stensrud.  See that picture, up in the far right of this column?  That’s a small part from one side of a Stensrud flyer – let’s look!

Stensrud-1

The story told last night, at Eden Prairie’s City Council Meeting, is a local resident was at Eden Prairie’s Senior Center, utilizing the wood shop when he saw the above.  And most notable, in the above, are all of the logos on the flier.  Logos for groups attending what Stensrud told the resident, at the time, was a purported “senior forum.”  And said flier, on the reverse (in much smaller font), said: “Prepared and paid for by Friends for Kirk Stensrud”.

In other words, Stensrud’s re-election campaign.

Now, about those logos?  Eden Prairie’s is trademarked.  That was made clear last night at the City Council meeting.  And the Mayor and Council members were not amused that Stensrud used it without permission; used it without permission for a campaign flier; used it without permission for a campaign flier for a campaign event.  And the discussion among the Mayor and the Council Members made it very clear:  it was, by definition of election laws, a “campaign event.”

The Council instructed the City Attorney to send a letter to Stensrud’s campaign about this.  What it said isn’t yet known; when a copy is obtained through Data Paractices, I’ll update.

What also isn’t known – yet – is if the other organizations – including Hennepin County – have similar concerns about their logo being used on a campaign flier for a campaign event.  So, stay tuned.

What is known, is that a Lawmaker didn’t follow the law.  While Stensrud’s level of transgressions clearly don’t reach/sink to the levels cited above, it’s clearly a pattern.

It’s a pattern clearly displayed by Minnesota Republicans over the last two years.  That pattern is exactly why GOPers such as Stensrud – and David Hann – need to be voted out.

And remember:  You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different.

Here’s a link to the original post.

 

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