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TAG | US Senate

Apr/14

23

Ortman turns her back on women

Republican U.S. Senate candidate votes against equal pay, workplace protections for women

Julianne-OrtmanRepublican U.S. Senate candidate, state Sen. Julianne Ortman proved once again that she’s willing to put her extreme conservative values ahead of what’s best for Minnesota.

Today, Ortman voted against the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA), a measure to close the gender pay gap and increase workplace protections for women in Minnesota. The overwhelmingly bipartisan bill passed the Senate 51-14.

Ortman even went so far as to write an op-ed against the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill to make it easier for women to fight gender discrimination in the workplace that was recently filibustered in the U.S. Senate.

“Extreme conservative Julianne Ortman strikes again, this time at the expense of women and working families in Minnesota,” said DFL Communications Director Ellen M. Perrault. “Ortman’s opposition to bipartisan, commonsense protections against gender discrimination in the workplace is disgraceful. She is beyond out of touch with Minnesota voters.”

The Women’s Economic Security Act decreases the gender pay gap through the participation of women in high-wage, high-demand nontraditional work, increases enforcement of equal pay laws and allows employees to discuss pay inequities. The measure also expands family leave, provides enforcement of workplace protections for nursing mothers and addresses the economic consequences of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking.

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Apr/14

22

Mike McFadden: Let insurance companies do whatever they want

GOP U.S. Senate candidate says he wants to deregulate the health insurance industry

mc-fadden-w-250x187Investment banker Mike McFadden revealed to Minnesotans his most concrete idea for health care to date: he wants to see the health insurance industry “deregulated,” a move that would let insurance companies have free rein to do whatever they want — no matter the human or financial cost.

At a recent press conference, McFadden was asked to get “a lot more specific” on his “solution to health care.” McFadden, who wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and said last summer he was “working with a team of [health care] experts,” told reporters he wanted to deregulate the health insurance industry.

MCFADDEN: …The second is there are federal regulations that need to be looked at.  One is insurance, I’d like to see the insurance agency, industry, deregulated.

Watch the video of McFadden’s health care remarks here: http://youtu.be/e_9gV7_pqwg

McFadden isn’t the first politician to call for deregulation of the insurance industry; Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is also a strong proponent for the concept.

Politicians like McFadden and Bachmann who want to deregulate the health insurance industry would allow insurance companies to charge women more than men for coverage, allow them to impose arbitrary annual and lifetime limits, allow them to spend as much or as little of premium dollars on actual health care, and undo requirements that force insurers to cover basic services like mammograms, colon cancer screening, and prenatal care.

“Investment banker Mike McFadden’s idea to let insurance companies do whatever they want might be good for big business, but it’s a disaster for Minnesota families,” said DFL Chairman Ken Martin. “McFadden wants to turn back the clock on commonsense consumer protections that save Minnesotans money and, in some cases, their lives.”

McFadden has also said he wants to let companies sell health insurance across state lines, which according to the Washington Post would “make insurance more expensive for the sick and cheaper for the healthy, and lead to more healthy people with insurance and fewer sick people with insurance. It’s a great proposal if you don’t ever plan to be sick, and if you don’t mind finding out that your insurer doesn’t cover your illness.”

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Apr/14

14

McFadden Fallout

mc-fadden-w-250x187The fallout from investment banker Mike McFadden’s disastrous press conference has been brutal. The McFadden train wreck — which has been viewed more than 3,000 times on YouTube — is being compared to “putting a down payment on a flashy car only to discover that it doesn’t go from 0 to 60 in five seconds – that, in fact, it doesn’t go from 0 to 60 at all.” The reviews get worse. Here are the highlights: “Normally one has to consume two or three bottles of cough syrup to sound as halting and soporific as Republican fundraising wunderkind Mike McFadden did at his Capitol press conference on Thursday… A mild cerebral hemorrhage might also explain the blank, thin-lipped rictus he wore throughout his half-hour-long ordeal…” Politics in Minnesota Weekly Report, 4/11/14 “After talking for less than six minutes, in a vocal style that most resembled speaking while sleepwalking, the hapless McFadden opened up the press conference for questions. His public speaking style got worse but his substantive response should embarrass his supporters…” Minnesota Conservatives, 4/11/14 “When reporters started asking questions about other issues McFadden declined to offer specifics… Asked about his refusal to get specific, McFadden suggested specifics are not important.” MPR, 4/10/14 “Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden on Thursday avoided giving specific ‘yes or no’ answers to a variety of issues confronting the U.S. Senate.”Star Tribune, 4/10/14 “In any case, the performance of the cash-anointed frontrunner in the GOP battle to take on DFL U.S. Sen. Al Franken in the fall must have horrified his backers. It’s a little like putting a down payment on a flashy car only to discover that it doesn’t go from 0 to 60 in five seconds – that, in fact, it doesn’t go from 0 to 60 at all.” – Politics in Minnesota Weekly Report, 4/11/14 “If you’re running for US Senate and you decline to comment on what should be easy questions to answer, you might not be right for the job.” Adam Motzko, State Chair, Young Americans for Liberty, 4/10/14 “Mike McFadden, the GOP establishment’s favorite, had a rocky press conference with local Minnesota reporters on Thursday, avoiding direct answers to a number of questions on his positions.” The Hill, 4/10/14 “Businessman-turned-Republican-U.S.-Senate-candidate Mike McFadden, who had not held a press conference since the day he announced his candidacy last summer and who has remained mostly mysterious about his policy positions, faced a roomful of reporters … Thursday, dropped a few new hints of policy positions, but still evaded most efforts to pin him down to specifics.” MinnPost, 4/11/14 “Evasive, rote, repetitive and canned, the man behind the podium wasn’t simply not ready for the Senate, he wasn’t ready for his own press conference. He has only so many tapes to play before they start to loop… McFadden failed to answer almost all questions put to him by local media… A neutral observer was left mystified as to why the campaign would call such a press conference in the first place…. What we saw yesterday was a man with no presence, no convictions, no style, no sense of purpose.” Minnesota Conservatives, 4/11/14

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Mar/14

26

McFadden to skip unprecedented 5th debate, voters’ uncertainty mounts

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Once again, the GOP Senate field will answer questions while McFadden ducks the issues

Another debate, another empty podium Minnesota voters expected Mike McFadden to fill. The investment banker’s absence at the CD7 Republican debate this Friday — his unprecedented fifth-dodged debate — is poised to add to the eyebrow raising list of unanswered questions he’s left with Minnesota voters and the media.

  • What would McFadden replace the Affordable Care Act with and how would he pay for it?
  • When will McFadden share his “detailed [education] platform” with Minnesotans?
  • Why can’t McFadden cite a single specific cut he would make to reduce the long-term debt?

For the last ten months, McFadden has done almost everything in his power to avoid being honest with Minnesotans about the issues: skipping debates and public events, running (literally) away from voters, and blatantly ignoring reporters while answering questions behind closed doors for Washington insiders like Karl Rove and bigwig donors.

“Investment banker Mike McFadden’s unprecedented refusal to provide any specifics on the issues he says are central to his campaign is a testament to how little he cares about voters,” said DFL Chair Ken Martin. “Minnesotans deserve an explanation for why McFadden continues to dodge debates, the issues and in some cases, them.”

Ten months ago, McFadden highlighted health care as an issue he wanted to talk about. He told Minnesotans he was working with a team of “experts on health care policy.” However, aside from saying he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, he has refused to provide any more specifics. What would McFadden replace the Affordable Care Act with and how would he pay for it?

But, [McFadden] said [he] didn’t yet know the details of that [health care] solution. “’You’ve got to give me a little bit more time. I do commit to you that it will be substantive,’ he said.” [Star Tribune, 7/17/14]

“When asked repeatedly what a Republican solution to problems with the health care system would look like, McFadden paused for several seconds.” [MPR, 11/8/13]

“McFadden says he would repeal the Affordable Care Act and encourage market competition to bring down the cost of health care.  McFadden says those with preexisting conditions should have affordable health care options. However he does not say who would pay for the coverage.” [MPR, 2/18/14]

“On health care, McFadden’s website now commits him to repeal Obamacare… He wants those with pre-existing conditions to have access to affordable insurance (as many did not not before Obamacare) but he doesn’t say how that will be paid for while he is lowering costs for all.” [MinnPost, 2/19/14]

Ten months ago, McFadden first said education would be a key issue of his campaign and that he was going to build a “detailed platform.” However, he’s refused to provide any specifics on the subject. When will McFadden share his “detailed platform” with Minnesotans?

Since the day he announced, McFadden has emphasized education, without specifying how he would try to improve it…” [MinnPost, 2/19/14]

“McFadden took most of his announcement discussing the need to improve education… But he had no specific suggestions about what Congress should do on the subject. [Forum Comm., 6/1/13]

“’I look forward to giving you specifics,’ [McFadden] told reporters, but added that he needs to investigate first.” [Forum Comm., 6/1/13]

Ten months ago, McFadden said his campaign would focus on reducing the country’s “long term debt,” however he has refused to provide a single specific cut he would make.

“But [McFadden] does not say what programs he would trim or eliminate to reduce spending.” [MPR, 2/18/14]

“[McFadden] favors reducing debt and deficit by ‘reining in out-of-control spending’ but doesn’t specify any cuts. Not one penny.” [MinnPost, 2/19/14]

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Mar/14

20

McFadden set to skip record-setting 5th public debate

Investment banker hasn’t attended a single debate open to the public or press

mc-fadden-w-250x187Just when Minnesotans learned that investment banker Mike McFadden might actually show up for a candidate forum on April 1, state Sen. Julianne Ortman’s campaign revealed that McFadden would be skipping yet another public debate days before — his fifth absence so far — further solidifying his long record of hiding from voters and refusing to discuss the issues.

Days before McFadden finally comes clean with Minnesotans at a private organization’s candidate forum, he will skip his 5th public debate at the CD7 Republican Convention on March 29th. Ortman’s campaign manager tweeted late yesterday, “Wow! Just got word [McFadden] declines to attend the U. S.  Senate CD 7 debate at their convention.”

McFadden’s attendance at the Republican Jewish Coalition of Minnesota’s forum would break his nearly 10-month streak of only talking to donors willing to write him checks. It’s ironic that McFadden is taking this opportunity to speak out as his campaign co-chair Norm Coleman sits on the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition, the national organization.

McFadden has already refused to attend four public debates and literally ran away from a voter last month when he was asked a question. The last Republican Senate debate — the only debate McFadden has attended — was held in secret behind closed doors at the Freedom Club, an exclusive, $3,000 minimum members-only right wing group. It was not open to the public or media.

“Minnesotans should be suspicious of McFadden,” said DFL Communications Director Ellen M. Perrault. “First he sets the precedent of only taking a stand behind closed doors and now he’s participating in a debate held by an organization his campaign has intimate ties to? His behavior further reinforces the need for Republicans and the Freedom Club to release recordings from the secret debate.”

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