DFL48 | Restoring Common Sense Minnesota Values




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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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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Minnesota DFL raises more than $2.4 million in first five months of year

Party in strong position for 2014 election

Between January and May 2014, the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party raised more than $2.4 million and has about $750,000 cash on hand. The Party’s debt is $21,000.

DFL Party


Cash on Hand














This is in stark contrast to the Minnesota Republican Party.

Republican Party


Cash on Hand














“Heading into the final months of this critical mid-term election, the State DFL Party has seven times more cash on hand than the Minnesota Republican Party,” said DFL Chairman Ken Martin. “Additionally, the State Republicans are burdened with a heavy debt load – 59 times more debt than the Minnesota DFL. We are in an extremely strong position to help our candidates win elections up and down the ballot this fall.”

Martin said the Minnesota Republican Party is facing a steep uphill climb to the Nov. 4 election.

“From competitive primaries that will drain the Republican Party and its candidates of already depleted resources, a civil war which still exists between two competing factions and has prevented the party from truly unifying, and a message which seems to be all over the map – the State Republican Party is clearly not ready for this fall’s election,” he said.

Martin said donors to the DFL Party have been extremely pleased with the DFL leaders’ commitment to build a Better Minnesota for all Minnesotans and key investments in education, infrastructure and middle class families that will build on the state’s economic gains.

“After years of Republican disinvestment in the state and gridlock at the State Capitol, people see that when you elect people who care about governing you get good government,” Martin said. “Gov. Mark Dayton promised progress for the people of Minnesota and that’s what he and DFL legislators have delivered. DFLers also know that in Sen. Al Franken and our congressional delegation we have leaders looking for commonsense approaches on the issues that matter most to Minnesota families.

“We are buoyed by the tremendous outpouring of support towards the DFL Party and our candidates, which is in no doubt a testament to the hard work and success of our DFL elected officials throughout the state.”

Martin said the DFL is in a strong position heading into the 2014 election and will strategically use its resources to reelect Gov. Dayton, Sen. Franken and maintain a DFL majority in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

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Desperate Minnesota Republican Party turns to public for help

by Ken Martin, Chairman, Minnesota DFL

Yesterday the Minnesota Republican Party announced the establishment of their ‘Solution Center’ in an attempt to ‘bring together the best Republican ideas and legislative proposals, and communicate them to the public more effectively.’

At last they have finally admitted that they have been bankrupt on ideas and solutions that work, and now, ironically, they are turning to the public to have them help generate some ideas for the Republican Party.

If the Republicans were really interested in ideas from the public, they would have voted in favor of many of the DFL-led proposals which enjoy widespread support from a majority of Minnesotans. Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey declared his party to ‘have always been the party of ‘yes’’, but just this year Republicans voted no on ensuring safer schools, providing middle-class tax relief, and raising the minimum wage.

The last time the Republicans were in power their ideas included shutting down state government, borrowing billions of dollars from our schools, cutting local government aid and raising property taxes, balancing budgets through gimmicks, and putting two divisive constitutional amendments on the ballot. In 2012 these ‘ideas’ were soundly rejected by the voters in this state when they booted the Republicans from their majorities in the Minnesota Legislature.

The Minnesota Republican Party has been the party of no. No ideas, no solutions and no interest in governing on behalf of the Minnesotans looking for answers to the pressing needs of our state and country. Minnesotans can’t afford any more Republican ‘solutions’.

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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