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Truth vs. Republican Spin Chapter 1

The GOP claim: The need is overstated — we don’t NEED to raise taxes to fix our roads and bridges.


150128-Transpo-Myth1-1920x1080A group of Minnesota business leaders (Target, Polaris, RBC Capital Markets), economists, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, county officials, members of the legislature from both parties, and MnDOT officials worked together to issue a report that concluded Minnesota faces a $6 billion funding deficit for Minnesota roads and bridges over the next ten years.

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Ken Martin on GOP and Money

Big Money“Just 10 days ago the Speaker of the Minnesota House, Kurt Daudt, the highest ranking Republican elected official in the State of Minnesota, laid out hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending for things like tax cuts, transportation infrastructure, nursing home funding, and K-12 higher education spending. And while his math didn’t quite add up, the fact of the matter is that there hasn’t been a single bill introduced by Republican House members to cut spending this year. Clearly, Speaker Daudt and House Republicans agree with DFLers that we should use this surplus to invest in the critical unmet needs facing Minnesotans throughout the state. 

“Now today the Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota is calling on the legislature to send every surplus dollar back to Minnesota residents in the form of a $350 per person check.  Not only is this shortsighted, it ignores recent history that proves that the Ventura rebates helped create the financial difficulties we faced during the early 2000s. If we do as Chairman Downey is suggesting and return every dollar of the surplus to Minnesotans we will not be able to make the investments in Minnesota that even Speaker Daudt and House Republicans agree need to be met – like repairing our roads and bridges and investing in our education system throughout the state.

“The fact is that Chairman Downey should do his job of building the party to win elections and focus less on taking positions such as this which are squarely at odds with the highest ranking elected Republican in the State of Minnesota. His insistence on ideological purity pits him against fair-minded Republicans who are trying to do the job they were sent to do in St. Paul. Who’s in charge here the Speaker of the House or the Chairman of the Republican Party? What kind of dynamic does this create when elected Republicans of the Minnesota House have to choose between the Republican State Party Chair or governing in the best interests of the constituents who elected them. Are Republicans in the Minnesota House going to put their oath to Minnesotans ahead of their oath to the Republican Party? 

“It is unbelievable that a party that still owes $1.5 million dollars in debt, including some $300,000 to vendors who worked in the 2014 election, would spend six figures on advertising to persuade legislators – presumably from their own party – to return the surplus and put us back on a path to financial instability.  It is the height of hypocrisy that the party of ‘fiscal responsibility’ would go further into debt to beat members of their own party into ideological submission.”

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Minnesota GOP-Party of Fiscal Irresponsibility

B87UhkvCIAATy6VRemember all the fiscal mismanagement, hiding of bad debt, etc. that our friends on the other side of the political spectrum have been involved in since 2011?

The required Campaign Finance Board reports for the end of 2014 have been released.  Here’s a tweet from Minnesota StarTribune political reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger:

Minnesota Republican Party spent $3.7m, with significant unpaid bills and still carrying old debt. Has $680 cash.

So much for learning from mistakes or really having any leg to stand on when it comes to being a party that represents any kind of fiscal responsibility.  Any language on budgeting, kitchen table discussions, etc. need to be taken with a salt lick block, not just a grain of salt.

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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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Kurt Zellers: No regrets?

photo: Tom Wallace, StarTribune

photo: Tom Wallace, StarTribune

On Friday during a debate with his other GOP primary opponents, Kurt Zellers said he had “no regrets” about anything in his legislative career.

 Really? Kurt Zellers must be suffering from amnesia. Here are a few he might want to consider from the last four years:

  • Shutting down state government.
  • Borrowing hundreds of millions against our future rather than asking the wealthiest Minnesotans to pay their fair share. Zellers’ idea to cover part of the 2011 budget deficit with tobacco bonds will end up costing Minnesotans nearly double.
  • Borrowing billions from our schools to cover the budget deficit in 2010.
  • Putting two divisive and controversial amendments—one to ban gay marriage and another to discriminate against seniors and veterans with voter ID—on the 2012 ballot.

While Kurt Zellers might not have regrets about his voting record, Minnesotans do and voted the House Republican majority out of power in 2012. Voters know that government shutdowns and borrowing from our schools need to be a thing of the past and they are looking for leaders to move Minnesota forward. Kurt Zellers has proven he is not that leader.

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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