MN GOP State Convention Endorses Six State-wide Candidates
Over 2000 Minnesotans attended the Republican endorsing convention in Duluth that took place Friday afternoon & evening (June 1) and much of Saturday (June 2). The convention ran almost 15 hours of speeches, deliberations, and vote-counting, split roughly evenly between Friday evening and Saturday.
The most anticipated event was the Saturday afternoon endorsement for MN Governor. Jeff Johnson, former MN Representative and current Hennepin County Commissioner, went three ballots against Woodbury mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens and Navy intelligence officer Phillip Parrish. Jeff Johnson won every Congressional District on both the 1st and 2nd ballots. By the third ballot, Johnson was 170 votes shy of the 60% threshold needed for endorsement. At that point, both Stephens and Parrish conceded, and Johnson won the endorsement to a standing ovation. His running mate for Lieutenant Governor, Donna Bergstrom from Duluth, is pictured above beside him at the convention.
Former governor Tim Pawlenty did not appear at the convention and did not contest the endorsement, but has stated his intention to go up against Johnson in the GOP primary August 14. Early voting for that primary opens June 29.
CLICK HERE to read about the additional 5 endorsing contests.
And CLICK HERE for more photos and to read about SD49's active delegation, 43 strong, to the State Convention.
Legislative Update from Dario Anselmo – May 24
The Legislature adjourned on Sunday, May 21, marking a very productive two years at the Minnesota Capitol.
The 2017-18 biennium included the largest tax cut in nearly two decades, the largest investment in roads and bridges in state history without a gas tax increase, major funding boosts for education, and reforms to lower health care costs and boost health care choices for Minnesota families.
This session, we worked to build on those successes passing a critical tax conformity package, more funding for our schools, measures to increase school safety, investments in our transportation infrastructure, and more. The legislation we sent to the governor’s desk before the session was adjourned included a tax/education bill, supplemental finance bill, bonding bill and pension bill.
Unfortunately, Governor Dayton has vetoed our tax/education and supplemental bill which included a number of important, bipartisan provisions that would have benefited Edina taxpayers and families. Some highlights included in vetoed bills:
• A tax conformity package that held 99.8 percent of tax filers harmless, conformed Minnesota to our federal tax code, and provided the first income tax rate cut in nearly two decades
• $225 million in available funds, including new money, to help schools facing budget shortfalls
• Reforms to address vulnerable adult and senior maltreatment and abuse
CLICK HERE to read more highlights of the vetoed bills, and learn what did get signed.
Leitner Makes Compelling Case for “Going 4 the Heart”
Lonny Leitner spoke to a large contingent of local Republicans as the featured speaker at the SD49 program on May 22. He pointed out that Republicans too frequently think that our positions are intuitively obvious. Unfortunately, our intellectual analysis fails to work against the arguments of the Left. We need to start defending our positions from a moral and emotion-filled standpoint.
When it comes to mobilizing emotions, Democrats beat Republicans hands down. Year after year, Democrats accuse Republicans of
• Waging a war on women
• Not caring about minorities
• Inflicting pain on working Americans to benefit the wealthy
We know this is not true, yet we have not been effective in countering these attacks. We know that women today are more empowered, that the minority unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in years, and that working Americans are more optimistic about their futures. Yet these are impersonal and unpersuasive abstractions. We need to put a “human face” on our arguments. As David Horowitz said, “[We] need to stop talking like accountants and administrators and start speaking to the voters’ hearts.”
CLICK HERE to continue reading about how we have failed to convince and what we need to do better.
April Dinner: Andy Cilek Advocates for Voters to have a Meaningful Voice
SD49 Republicans who got together for our Dinner Meeting on April 24th were both treated to and encouraged by a spirited presentation from Andy Cilek, MVA’s Executive Director. Minnesota Voters Alliance, is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization of attorneys, located in St Paul whose primary mission is to use the courts to advance the cause of free and fair elections in Minnesota.
The presentation focused mainly on their most recent case, “Minnesota Voters Alliance v Mansky”, that concerns a Minnesota law that allows polling place officials to demand that potential voters remove any badge, button or insignia that shows a political message and prevent them from voting if they refuse. MVA has filed suit in Federal Court claiming that the law is grossly over-broad and allows partisan election officials to apply the prohibition unevenly and suppresses the 1st Amendment right of free speech, as well as even the right to vote itself. Lawyers for both sides of the issue presented arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court this last February 28th. Recordings and videos of several of the Justices questions and reactions were part of the dinner meeting presentation.
The overall impression that was left on almost everyone who witnessed the arguments, including even many of the most liberal observers, was that the Court would very likely decide in favor of the MVA position, and declare that the Minnesota law is unconstitutional.
The remainder of Andy’s talk covered MVA’s ongoing legal crusade to open up the Minnesota election process to a more public examination of something that every adult Minnesotan knows is real, but the DFL and their allies in the news media have been stone-walling for decades: voter fraud!
The Minnesota law that provides for same-day voter registration allows anyone to vote who fills out a form. Their ballot is counted, along with everybody else’s, before any verification effort is made. Attendees at the dinner meeting were given statistics from the Federal Social Security Administration data base that is commonly used to verify the ID of voters registered in all 50 states. Statistics showed that almost 17% of voter IDs checked against the system could not be verified. In fact, 124 came back “Deceased”! And yet, the StarTribune’s editorial page, and every other liberal and Progressive voice, steadfastly insist that there is no voter fraud in Minnesota.
Last July MVA submitted a request to the Minnesota Secretary of State for public information on all Minnesota voters, and was refused. On August 10, 2017 MVA filed suit to force the release of the requested data and in their 1st hearing gained an initial victory when the Court refused the Secretary’s motion to dismiss MVA’s suit.
As one would fully expect, the evening was filled with questions and conversation about how vital and hopeful the work of MVA can be to the future of not only Minnesota, but to the cause of self-government and even America itself. America as “The last best hope of Earth” is over if we lose a pervasive and wide-spread faith in free and fair elections, and the idea that we all have a meaningful voice in making the laws that govern us.
Republicans Should Stand for Cleaner and Cheaper Energy
Mike Franklin, from the Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum (MNCEF), spoke to an attentive group of SD49 Republicans at our March 27 dinner meeting.
He spoke passionately, advocating that Republican candidates would have a winning message if they pushed for cleaner and cheaper energy. It would also be an economic benefit for Minnesota households & businesses.
The public utilities monopoly on energy production and the distribution grid can be compared with the telephone system of the 1960's when, if you wanted a telephone, you leased it from the phone company, and you had no choices (other than "call / don't call") for the high long-distance calling rates. Energy production and distribution has also been managed based on a sole-source, over-regulated, protected-pricing model. MN CEP believes that technology has advanced to the point that it is possible to instead use a free-market model. "All of the Above" is both cost-effective and a winning message when it comes to energy sources.
Clean energy has been a winning issue for progressives in Minnesota, because they trapped Republicans with a "false choice" of competing values (clean vs cheap, hart to the environment vs proven energy sources). Only the government and large energy monopolies could successfully manage these choices. Increasingly, younger Americans feel the priority should be to develop alternative energy sources, and only conservative Republicans believe that the priority should go to expanding production of oil, coal, and natural gas.
Franklin argues that, as Republicans, we should
- Ask if a market-based model can deliver energy more efficiently than the sole-source model
- Assume that those who stand to benefit should bear more of the risk than the tax-payers do now
- Eliminate regulatory constraints that clash with the first two points
- Be skeptical of those who believe that the Government should bear the risk of failure
- Be open to clean energy under acceptable circumstances, without subsidies
CLICK HERE to read further about the MN CEF presentation.
SD49 Learns: Local Police & Community Mental Health Issues
Senate District 49 Republicans listened intently February 27 as two local police officers spoke of the growing role that they and their departments are playing in responding to people in our community suffering from mental health crises.
Edina Police Officer Kevin Rofidal (left) and Minnetonka Police Officer Scott Marks (right) spoke about the sharp growth in the mental health calls for Service that their departments have been getting. Edina has seen such calls go from 49 in 2013 to 163 in 2016 and 154 in 2017. The trend in Minnetonka is similar, growing from 83 calls in 2005 to 391 calls in 2017, with only 6 of those resulting in an arrest.
The increase in calls is attributed to:
• people more willing to request help
• child protection calls due to parent drug use/mental health
• therapists calling 911 when a patient is a threat to self or others (handled as a medical emergency for hospitalization rather than an arrest).
• perhaps, in part, the nonstop TV news, with 24 hours repetition of bad events.
The 1963 Community Mental Health Act was intended to base treatment in more community-oriented settings rather than inpatient / institutionalized care. Laws to protect civil rights were strengthened and 90% of psychiatric hospital beds were eliminated. But people ended up in jails instead. Currently 1/3 to 1/2 of all MN inmates are on medication for mental health.
Police officers aren’t mental health experts by trade. To deal with the growing number of mental health calls, our police forces are
• offering training courses to allow officers to hone the skills needed in mental health situations
• developing partnerships with metropolitan organizations better equipped to deal with the underlying issues
CLICK HERE to continue reading about actions being taken by our Police Departments to respond to the growing number of mental health calls.
Year in Review - Active 2017 Built Stronger SD49
2017 was a year of accomplishments and close calls. For what is typically considered an “off-year,” the pace of activity stayed high.
Review the year with us. Click Here.