Covering the Unreported News in Minnesota
Alpha News' Preya Samsundar to Speak at SD 49 April 25 Dinner Program
The Star Tribune newspaper and television stations like KARE, KSTP, and WCCO dominate the local media market. Their news coverage is widely considered to support more progressive political positions. The opinions that they air and their choice of headlines and leading stories appear consistently one-sided. Conservatives complain that there hasn’t been a credible countervailing source of news and perspective to provide more balance.
Alpha News is working to be that credible news source. Launched two years ago, it uses advanced social media and online technology platforms to deliver important news programming to audiences everywhere in Minnesota.
Preya Samsundar is a writer, researcher, and senior editor with Alpha News. Raised in Minneapolis, she graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya reports on issues relating to local, state and federal government, as well as the people and personalities involved.
With the support of Alpha News, Samsundar goes beyond the headlines and pursues issues of local interest that consistently go unreported. She personally covered the March4Trump rally that was disrupted by violent protesters. She dug into the murky marriage history of Ilhan Omar, the newly elected representative in District 60B, despite being called “racist” by Omar’s supporters.
Preya Samsundar will be the featured speaker at our Senate District 49 dinner program this month. Learn what it has been like to publish news and opinion that is not in line with the progressive views of the local main stream media. To reserve your spot, CLICK HERE.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 25. Doors open at 6pm. Come for the dinner at 6:30pm or just the program at 7 pm
WHERE: Calvary Lutheran Church, Edina
Spring Conversation: We have the Majority - How did We Do?
The theme of this year's Spring Conversation will be a review of the 2017 Minnesota Legislative session and an assessment of how the Republicans performed with majorities in both houses. Three knowledgeable observers of the current political landscape will join us to share their thoughts and field your questions.
Kim Crockett, Vice President, Senior Policy Fellow & General Counsel, Center of the American Experiment; David Hann, former MN Senate Minority Leader; and Kurt Zellers, former Speaker of the MN House of Representatives will provide our Senate District 49 audience their unique perspectives in the special setting of the Edina Country Club.
Date and Times: May 12, 6 pm to 8 pm. For more details and to RSVP, CLICK HERE
Jeff Johnson: Resistance is not Futile, but it's Tough Right Now
Jeff Johnson provided his unique insight on the Hennepin County government and the Metropolitan Council to a large audience at the Senate District 49 dinner program on March 28. It was clear from his remarks that both bodies are dominated by members who are not hesitant to address local issues by expanding government-funded services. Johnson, Hennepin County commissioner from the 7th District, finds himself often the lone voice pointing out the misguided initiatives that waste taxpayer dollars.
Commissioner Johnson also spoke about the on-going contention over additional light rail extensions, including the Southwest Light Rail project. To hear his remarks, please check out the SD49GOP video recording
He encouraged us to contact Rep. Erik Paulsen to express our support for proposed federal funding cuts for new light rail projects (the New Starts fund), for both SWLRT and the Bottineau Line project. At a cost of $124 million per rail mile (compared with $1-2 million per road mile), and a benefit of perhaps a 2% reduction in congestion, these projects just don’t make sense.
To read more about Commissioner Johnson's assessment of the Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County government, please CLICK HERE.
MN Health Insurance Reforms Enacted
On January 26, the Minnesota Legislature overwhelmingly approved the Health Care Emergency Aid and Access Plan. Passing with bipartisan support, the plan introduces the first reforms to the Minnesota health insurance marketplace and provides partial temporary relief to some who have individual health insurance or who were forced into a 2017 plan that doesn’t cover their doctor or hospital. It compassionately extends coverage with their current providers for those with treatment in-progress and those nearing end of life.
The Plan includes key Republican-led reforms that are intended to
- preserve care for those receiving life-saving treatments
- increase competition
- increase consumer choice moving forward.
“This is a first step in a session-long effort to address the problems created by Obamacare and MNsure,” said Susan Closmore, Director of Public Affairs, House Republican Caucus.
To read more about the plan and the reforms introduced by it, CLICK HERE.
Fall Conversation Panelists Chart Course for New Legislature
January Update: Another video segment from the Fall Conversation is available for you. This nine-minute video focuses on Regulations and Taxes in the Minnesota Economy. CLICK HERE to view.
Senate District 49’s sixth annual “Fall Conversation” once again presented some great wine tasting options and a panel discussion that took the promise of the new Republican legislature head on.
Over forty people turned out for the event at the Edina Country Club on Thursday evening, November 17. The ideas presented by the panel members were appropriately challenging.
The panel members brought their own perspectives, coming from different backgrounds within the Twin Cities. Mitch Berg is an outspoken political pundit and conservative radio talk show host on AM1280. Rep. Jerry Hertaus was recently re-elected to his third term as the representative to the Minnesota House from District 33A with 68% of the vote. Peter Nelson is Vice President and Senior Policy Fellow at the Center of the American Experiment.
NEW - A Video Sample of the Fall Conversation is online. CLICK HERE
SD 49’s own Bill Glahn was the panel moderator, and he broke the ice very quickly. To read more about what the panel members had to say, CLICK HERE.
SWLRT Key to Met Council’s Plan for Urban Densities in the Suburbs
The Southwest Light Rail Transit plan is the latest power grab by the big government planners at the Metropolitan Council. Accountable to no-one but the Governor, the Metropolitan Council is intent on re-imagining our lives through centralized planning. The central feature of this centralized planning is ever increasing levels of light rail transit. While some refer to the “dream” of light rail, the reality is more like a nightmare.
The so-called “Green Line Extension,” otherwise known as the Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT), appeared to be in jeopardy when the Minnesota legislature did not approve $144.5 million in state funding for it. However, in a calculated political move, Gov Dayton bypassed the legislature. He got three metropolitan boards to come up with the funding instead.
To read how SWLRT is critical to the central planning vision of Dayton and the Met Council, CLICK HERE.
Update: Franchise Fees, Taxes in Disguise
On August 24 the MN Supreme Court unanimously decided against the City of St. Paul and for two churches that appealed their right-of-way (ROW) fee assessments, deciding that these were indeed taxes.
That decision may, eventually, open the door for nonprofits to challenge the pass-through utility Franchise Fee schemes that have become popular ways for cities like Bloomington and Edina to fund road, sidewalk and trail repairs without constraining discretionary budgets or increasing property taxes.
While the cities of Bloomington and Edina have made no comment on the court decision, the City of Duluth is wisely not waiting for someone to file a separate lawsuit on their Franchise Fees that are directed towards general city services like road repair. Instead Duluth is responsibly and proactively making plans to adjust tax levies and their budget priorities to ensure non-Franchise Fee funding for such core city services
CLICK HERE for our article with more information.
In a 3-part series we highlighted Bloomington’s Excessive new Franchise Fees, equivalent to a 14% property tax increase, and the Utility Fee Add-On that added a half-million-dollar surplus each year to the “Solid Waste / Curbside Cleanup” program fund. Here are links to those 3 articles.