DFL48 | Restoring Common Sense Minnesota Values

* Jenifer Loon *



Doug Loon non-partisan? Nope, not so much.

220px-JeniferLoonThe spouse of HD48B representative, Jenifer Loon, has a new position per Adam Belz in the June 30, 2015, StarTribune. Please take the time to read the full article.  See if your head spins, too.

We’ve included some numbers to link you to those “what the what” statements that jumped out at us.

  1. The Chamber cites the issues of importance that are strong Democratic issues:  transportation and immigration
  2. Loon gives no credit to what the DFL legislature and Gov. Dayton have done to strengthen the economy, gives lip service to “improvement” with no details (improvement like in Wisconsin?)
  3. The Chamber and Loon worked to move the House to GOP controlled and he says the next step is changing the Minnesota Senate to GOP control
  4. Before working for the U.S. Chamber, he was a GOP Congressional staffer
  5. He calls the Chamber non-partisan.

“The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce announced Monday that its new president will be Douglas Loon, a longtime Midwest regional executive for the U.S. Chamber.

He will fill the vacancy left by the death last July of David Olson, who led the state’s largest business lobby for nearly a quarter century.

“A perfect choice. He’s smart. He has a good reputation with both sides of the aisle. He knows Minnesota well,” said Charlie Weaver, executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership. “He’ll be well received at the Capitol.”

Loon, 50, grew up in South Dakota, worked in Washington for a Pennsylvania senator and has been based in Minnesota since 1998. His wife, Jenifer Loon, is a Republican state representative from Eden Prairie.

Douglas Loon will take the post in September and spend the fall months touring the state and preparing for next year’s legislative session.

The Chamber and its mostly Republican allies are coming off a strong year in which the GOP took the Minnesota House and logged a solid performance in the 2015 legislative session.

(1) Taxes and transportation were left unresolved and will be a battleground in 2016. The chamber also lists immigration reform and education as key issues, as the state struggles to deal with an aging workforce and the shifting demographics of its younger population.

Chamber members and leaders seethed over a 2013 tax hike on the wealthiest Minnesotans and a rise in the minimum wage. But the state’s economy has remained among the nation’s healthiest and unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since 2006.

“We know that Minnesota is a great place to start, build and grow a business,” Loon said. “It is not strictly the government that has built that. That is built by the private marketplace and their resiliency and ability to compete.”

Last week, the annual ranking by CNBC of the business environment in states — which named Minnesota the best state for business — provided a new moment for Democrats and Republicans to square off over what they believe is driving the state’s success.

(2) In an interview, Loon said CNBC’s accolade doesn’t mean the state can’t improve and pointed to the TV network’s finding of high taxes as a disadvantage for Minnesota businesses.

(3) The Minnesota Chamber, which represents more than 2,300 companies across the state, helped Republicans take control of the Minnesota House in 2014, and Loon said the next step is to win the Senate.

‘If you look at just the political landscape, that’s going to be a place where everybody’s going to put focus,’ he said. ‘I would describe it as protect and advance, protect the working pro-business majority that they enjoy and continue to expand it. We’re going to be looking for friends where we can find them, and on each issue you build coalitions of the willing.’

(5) But he also called the chamber a “nonpartisan organization” and said “pro-business” is not code for Republican. He rejected the notion that his appointment gives fuel to critics who say the chamber is just a fundraising and lobbying arm of the state GOP.

‘They may try to paint me with that broad brush, but the reality is I work for a nonpartisan organization now, and I expect to operate in a nonpartisan way at the chamber,” Loon said.

(4) After serving as legislative director for Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, early in his career, Loon has been at the U.S. Chamber since 1995 and based in – Minnesota since 1998.

He manages the national chamber’s seven regional offices that handle political and grass roots outreach. He also manages the U.S. Chamber’s Midwest region, which includes Minnesota.

One of Loon’s strengths is his experience working with local chambers and trade groups and the businesses that make up their backbone.

“I think he can relate well to small businesses that are the chamber’s bread-and-butter,” Weaver said.

Bill Blazar, who served as interim president and did not apply for the chamber’s president position, will guide Loon through the transition while returning to his previous role as senior vice president of public affairs and business development.”

You can read the full post here.


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Adult Depression Linked to Childhood Bullying

Karen Kaplan with the Los Angeles Times, reprinted in the June 4, 2015, Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on a recent study that “nearly 30 percent of cases of depression among adults” can be traced by to bullying during childhood.

So, thanks again to the House and Senate DFL Caucuses for their work to pass the Safe and Supportive Schools act.

And, when it comes to the 2016 election, remember that our House District 48B Representative, Jenifer Loon, and Senate District 48 Senator David Hann both voted against this bill.

Here’s a link to the above article.


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Back in July, Rep. Loon outlined her opposition to SWLRT:  “The overall return on investment of this $1.7 billion project does not warrant support. It lacks a completed environmental study of its impact on Eden Prairie. Moreover, ridership projections fall well below levels necessary to support the long-term operating budget of the line.” (July 10 letter to the editor).

I was alarmed and disappointed to learn that our state representative seems to be basing her opposition to SWLRT on very flimsy rationale. I soon realized her opposition was shared by almost every other Republican lawmaker, including the current Republican candidate for governor, Commissioner Jeff Johnson and our own Eden Prairie City Council member Brad Aho.

So I did some research. I learned that MnDOT publishes annual mass transit reports that detail the ridership and operating costs of every single mass transit system int he state. This is what I learned:

  • The average operating cost per ridership (total operating costs divided by total number of riders) for the years 2006 through 2012 for Metro Light Rail (Blue Line (LRT) $2.43; Metro Fixed Bus:  $3.42; Southwest Transit:  $7.21. Since fares run between $1.75 and $3 per ride, that means that the Metro Light Rail is the only metro transit system that is currently potentially covering all the operating costs with ridership fares.
  • In 2012, the last year data is available, ridership levels for Metro Light Rail exceeded year 2020 projections by 29 percent with 31,300 average weekday boardings.

Eden Prairie needs a stat representative who bases her positions and votes on the best interests of her community, the economy, the environment — not the deceptive and wrong ideology of her political party. Please join me in voting for Joan Howe-Pullis on Nov. 4.

Ellen Hoerle
Eden Prairie
Eden Prairie News, October 23, 2014

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Jenifer Loon (R) HD48B Trying to turn a Blue State Red

What states care the most LoonThere are lots of one issue voters on both sides of the political aisle, but it would be a mistake for Democrats not to look at the totality of Representative Jenifer Loon’s voting record to see that one vote, that outlier vote, nevertheless an important vote, is just that, one vote. One vote out-side her comfort zone, and political allegiance to her party platform, can’t possibly make-up for the countless essential and necessary ways she failed to vote to improve the lives of all people.

The entirety of her voting record, with the exception of one vote, supports the Republican predilection to govern less for people and more for businesses and top earners.

If we are to sum up Jenifer Loon we’d have to characterize her as someone living and governing in a Blue State who wants to turn it Red by disinvesting in the public sector and investing in the private sector.  That’s the strategy Republicans have been using nationally. A state-by-state analysis indicates that states using the less-is-more philosophy are trailing other states who are investing in job creation, education and health care. The results are obvious.  States who are disinvesting with low taxes, eliminating the safety net and corporate taxes, privatizing education, which is Loon’s goal, and creating a national right-to-work-for-LESS law results in more for top earners and less for everyone else.

Tom Hartman wrote that “On average, Americans living in Red states had lower wealth per capita, were more likely to be living in poverty, had shorter life expectancy, higher rates of infant mortality, and lower overall wellbeing.” Here’s the link:  http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2014/01/red-state-vs-blue-state

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We looked at Jenifer Loon’s 2013-14 voting record in the Minnesota House of Representatives. What did we find?

  • She voted on 29 billsNo
    • She voted for a bill to repeal business taxes
    • She voted for marriage equality
  • She voted against no on all 27 other bills, that means she voted
    • Against investing in:
      • Education
      • Medical research
      • School loan refinancing
      • Economic development
    • Against affordable housing
    • Against investing in improving our state’s infrastructure
    • Against renewable energy
    • Against employment services
    • Against consumers by:
      • Voting nay on a cell phone kill switch bill
      • Voting against protecting consumers from predatory lenders
    • Against accountability
    • Against transparency
    • Against investing in safety
    • Against women on equal pay for equal work and maternity leave legislation
    • Against medical marijuana to hep people with chronic pain
    • Against helping detect early detection of genetic diseases in newborns
    • Against increasing the minimum wage
    • Against students facing bullying

Seems to us she was a strong representative for the Party of No with that kind of record.

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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