DFL48 | Restoring Common Sense Minnesota Values

* Rightwing Watch *

Sep/14

3

Jenifer Loon’s Conservative Values

Don’t confuse Minnesota Nice and Jenifer Loon’s values

While her job training has given Jenifer Loon a strong skill of listening to people who hold positions different from her own without letting what gamblers call a “tell” to creep into her voice, face and body language, don’t believe that skill means her views are moderate.

Don’t believe us?  Here are mailings from earlier this year. We think they speak for themselves.

This mailing and the next come from Jenifer Loon’s own campaign and, as you can see from the headline, state she hold conservative values and is fighting for them.

Loon Conservative Values 2

Loon Conservative Values 1

As we noted before, for the first time ever, Jenifer Loon went to MCCL for endorsement. That gave her this support:

Loon MCCL Endorsement

And, then, we have these pieces from Freedom Club Minnesota:

Freedom PAC Loon Conservative 1

Freedom PAC Loon Conservative 2

Freedom PAC Loon Conservative 2-1

 

These are independent expenditures to support Jenifer Loon in her primary battle against her Tea Party opponent and former supporter Sheila Kihne. While they don’t come from the campaign, they do tout what they believe to be her best activities supporting her activity as “a conservative we can trust.”

Can the rest of those of us living in Eden Prairie trust her? We wonder.

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Aug/14

15

Rep. Loon’s Run to the Right

No one who’s really looked at her record would call it moderate. But, this year, we’ve seen Rep. Loon do a strong “run to the right.” What do we mean by that?

At the Senate District 42 endorsing convention in 2008, she stated she favored allowing abortion in the case of rape and incest. In 2012, for the first time since running for office she completed the MCCL (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life) questionnaire and received their endorsement. She must believe this is a position her constituents agree with because on July 7 of this year, she posted that endorsement on her website. Here’s a screen shot:

14-07-07 Loon MCCL Endorsement

 

The MCCL is Minnesota’s oldest and most vocal anti-choice organization. You probably received mailings from them in the August primary this year. We’ve never totally understood how anyone or any organization could assume that people are “pro death”, which would be the opposite of “pro life”.  But, this organization and we can only assume Rep. Loon as well, seem to believe that a woman and her doctor are incapable of knowing what’s best for that woman’s health

In looking at this organization’s rating, even without their endorsement, they gave her a 95% rating in 2012. Their voting guide showing this is available online.

 

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Aug/14

15

Rep. Loon’s 2014 Conservative Voting Record

220px-JeniferLoonRep. Loon has painted herself as a moderate. What do her votes last session say about that:

  • She voted against equal pay for women
  • She voted against increasing the minimum wage
  • She voted against establishing a school bullying policy
  • She voted against restricting loan sharks from giving payday loans to anyone who already owes more than 41% of their income to other debt and obligations — like housing
  • She voted against screening newborns to check for congenital conditions and disorders that aren’t always apparent at birth.

In fact, Rep. Loon voted a party line vote well over 90% of this session’s votes. Doesn’t sound very moderate to us.

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Throughout the summer GOP candidates for governor have pointed to isolated cases of businesses moving out of Minnesota as proof positive that Minnesota’s business climate is “anti-competitive.”

While such claims fly in the face of economic rankings that routinely place Minnesota as one of the best places in the country to do business, including 6th in CNBC’s “Best State to do Business,” 3rd in Forbes’ “Best Places to Earn a Living” and being named best manufacturing state in the Midwest by Creighton University, these candidates have stuck to their claim as an article of faith.

On Monday Scott Honour was the most recent GOP candidate to play this game, joining Jeff Johnson in invoking the move by Advanced Auto Parts earlier this summer to relocate as justification for giving tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations.

This time, though, a reporter fact-checked the claim. The results?

“A spokeswoman for Advance….said in an e-mailed statement that the company did not leave because of the state’s business climate. The company said in a statement this summer that the move was intended in part to ‘strengthen collaboration among corporate team members’ and ‘facilitate more efficient decision making.’”

When pressed to name a company that left Minnesota based on the state’s tax and business climate, Honour mentioned a software company that moved its headquarters from New Hope to Dallas. Again, the claim didn’t stand up to scrutiny:

“The move did not surprise analysts, who said last spring that the company’s revenues had been sliding for years and that it relocated in part to focus on its e-commerce business.”

Honour isn’t the only GOP governor candidate to grab at headlines in a desperate attempt to try and make the case that Minnesota’s economy isn’t improving and our state isn’t a great place to do business. Marty Seifert, Jeff Johnson and Kurt Zellers have been playing this game all summer. Unfortunately for Honour, he’s the one who got caught.

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Aug/14

7

Truth on the Johnson Senate Office Building Ad

Jeff Johnson, MPR Capitol View

Jeff Johnson, MPR Capitol View

Today Jeff Johnson is holding a media event criticizing the new senate office building.

Republican legislators Rep. Matt Dean and Sen. David Senjem had the opportunity to raise concerns and instead they helped hand pick the architect and construction company.

If Johnson is so outraged about the building than what does he think of the fact that his fellow Republicans moved the project forward? Does he think Republican senators and their staffs should boycott using the building?

PoliGraph: Freedom Club’s Senate building ad misleads

Catharine Richert, MPR

Construction begins this week on an office building in St. Paul, an unremarkable bricks and mortar project that has become one of the hottest campaign issues of the 2014 election season.

For months, Republicans have portrayed the new Minnesota Senate office building as an example of runaway spending by the DFL-controlled Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton.

The topic is such political red meat that it was the subject of a recent six-figure ad campaign paid for by the Freedom Club, a conservative group backed by business interests and wealthy GOP donors.

Here’s a key passage from the Freedom Club’s spot:

“They’re building a new luxury office building – for themselves. A building that will cost taxpayers $77 million. To pay for their new luxury office building, they passed a record setting tax increase. And our property taxes went up.”

There are some truthful statements here. But taken together, the ad paints a misleading picture.

The evidence

According to invoices filed with the Federal Communications Commission, the Freedom Club’s ad ran through the end of July on several major broadcast networks in the Twin Cities. The group has spent more than $400,000 on the spots so far.

The ad focuses on the cost and funding for the new Senate office building. The building complex, which includes the building and parking, will cost a total of $90 million. Taxpayers will cover $77 million for the building, with the rest coming from parking fees. However, Dayton administration officials recently said  the cost of the building may be less than expected.

The project was initially authorized in a 2013 tax bill. That bill included no price tag for the project and allocated no funding for construction, only planning, but it also raised taxes on Minnesota’s highest incomes. Only this year did the Senate and House rules committees approve the $77 million tab for taxpayers.

In addition, a specially convened committee approved the project’s architect and the construction company.  That vote was both bipartisan and unanimous.

The Freedom Club ad misleads by implying the DFL-controlled Legislature raised income taxes specifically to pay for the new building. That is not the case.

The Legislature has authorized borrowing to pay for the new building, and it is expected to appropriate money every year to pay for that debt. But so far, no appropriation has been made.

As for whether property taxes went up, that’s a complicated story, too

It’s true that property tax collections have gone up by about $125 millionbetween 2013 and 2014 — largely because voters approved higher school levies in most school districts in 2013.

But in the most recent legislative session, lawmakers approved property tax relief, lowering property taxes by about $50 million between 2013 and 2014.

new House research report shows that property taxes are predicted to rise again between 2014 and 2015, largely because a boom in new construction is fueling an increase in the tax base, not because of higher rates.

The verdict

Aspects of the Freedom Club’s ad are accurate. For instance, it’s true the new office building will cost $77 million and that it will ultimately be paid for with taxpayer dollars.

But all these bits and pieces of information are packaged in such a way that details about the building and taxes distort the facts.

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