USA Leads in Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Credit to The American Legion Magazine, January 2019

Greenhouse_Gas.jpg"Take a wild guess what country is reducing its greenhouse gas emissions the most? Canada? Britain? France? India? Germany? Japan? No, no, no, no, no, and no," economist Stephen Moore writes. "The answer to that question is the United States of America." Citing the latest world climate report from the BP Statistical Review of world energy, Moore notes that the United States has reduced its carbon emissions by 0.5 percent – "the most of all major countries."

How can that be, given that the United States never signed the Kyoto Protocol and withdrew from the Paris Climate Accords? The major reason, according to Moore, "is the shale oil and gas revolution that is transitioning the world to cheap and clean natural gas for electric power generation."

Equally telling is Moore’s finding that "nearly every nation that signed on to the Paris Accord and has admonished America for not getting in, has already broken its promises." In fact, "all EU countries are failing to increase their climate action in line with the Paris Agreement goal," according to Climate Action Network Europe.

This Week in the MN House: Reinsurance, SS Tax, MNLARS

  • Democrats' epic flip-flop on reinsurance begins on Tuesday, Feb. 12, with the first hearing in the Commerce Committee for DFL Rep. Laurie Halverson's bill (HF629) to extend reinsurance for three years. Rep. Greg Davids (R) is the second co-author on the bill and several other Republican members have also crossed the aisle to sign on as well. No doubt Republican members on the Commerce Committee will be reminding their DFL colleagues all of the things they've said previously about reinsurance.

In 2017, Republicans in the Minnesota House established a reinsurance plan to pool the risk for insurance companies willing to offer coverage under MNSure. It significantly reduced MNSure policy rates. Given that health plans must submit their rates to the Department of Commerce for review in April, the legislature and the governor need to approve a reinsurance plan for 2020 sometime in March. This is significantly earlier than any of the other budget decisions.

Last week, Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, chief author of the 2017 reinsurance bill, sent a letter to Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley urging the department to immediately begin modeling what would happen to Minnesota's individual insurance market if the legislature and the governor do not renew a reinsurance program.

In response to questioning last week, Commissioner Kelley stated, “I have not been asked by anybody in the Governor’s office to model that and I have not asked the staff to model that.”

  • On Thursday, Feb. 14, in the Taxes Committee, there will be hearings on four Social Security tax relief bills. One is HF56
    the bill introduced by Rep. Tony Jurgens (R), which many additional Republican members have co-authored.

minnesota-license-plate.jpg• Lastly, on Thursday the Legislative Audit Commission will hear a long-awaited Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) report titled “Factors That Contributed to MNLARS Problems.” The Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS) launched in July 2017, replacing a 30-year-old legacy system to process vehicle title and registration transactions. The system has encountered technical complications since that time and remains not yet fully functional.

Yes, elections have consequences. Tell SD49’s State Legislators where you stand on these issues. CLICK HERE to see their contact information on our website.

Barb Sutter Announces Run for Re-Election as MN GOP Secretary

Sutter___Stauber_2.JPGIt gives me great pleasure to announce that I’m running for a second term as Secretary of the Minnesota GOP. It is a privilege to have this job, and with your support, I hope to be able to continue to work on behalf of — and with — all of our Party activists & volunteers from across our state!

While our November election results shattered us, they also called for a serious time of introspection — both from a Party standpoint and from a personal one. I know many of us felt we worked harder than we ever have before…for very disappointing results.

But outcomes also present opportunities, and for us that means we need to look at new ways to engage and make a difference in Minnesota and in the 2020 elections. We have some serious catching up to do and, personally, I’m ready to get started!

The primary areas as Secretary, that I’d like to focus on are sharing & implementing best practices among our Precincts & their Senate Districts and broadening the outreach of our Affiliates.

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This Week in the MN House: Contact Your Rep

Surprised_woman_pexels-photo-1201758.jpegOn Tuesday, January 29, the Government Operations Committee will hear HF123, which would eliminate the Legislative Budget Office, undo a key GOP victory from the last biennium, and cede power over fiscal notes to the Executive Branch.

This Wednesday, January 30, the Elections Committee will hear HF94, which would allow a single person to assist an unlimited number of voters each election cycle in filling out their ballots. Current law only allows each volunteer to assist three individuals per election.

Sometime this week, the Labor Committee will hear HF5, the Paid Family Leave bill. It creates a massively expensive new bureaucracy to manage sick/parental leave/etc. benefits for Minnesota employees. It would require a payroll tax increase (the amount is still unspecified in the bill) on every employer and employee in the state, even if they already have benefits.

Yes, elections have consequences. Tell SD49’s State Legislators where you stand on these issues.

Adam Seidel to Lead MnCEF

Adam_Seidel_for_Newsletter.jpgThe Board of Directors of the Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum (MnCEF)  announced that as of January 21, 2019, Adam Seidel will serve as its new Executive Director.

“As a growing nonprofit, education-based organization, we couldn’t be more thrilled to add someone of Adam’s caliber” said MnCEF Board Chair Amy Koch. “His experience in the energy policy area and in leadership will be a critical key to MnCEF’s success going forward and should give conservatives confidence that this critical issue area is an opportunity for us, not a barrier to success” she continued.

Adam, an Eden Prairie resident and School Board member, has met many of us at SD49 events and is the son of active SD49 member David Seidel. MnCEF representatives spoke at our March 2018 dinner meeting about the fiscal importance and practicality of an “all of the above” energy policy.

It's Not (Just) Our Message, More How We Deliver It

For_Newsletter_Keith_Downey.jpgThe January 22nd Dinner Meeting first started with a thank you from Edina’s own “native son” Keith Downey, pictured at right, who represented District 41A in the Minnesota House and who became the Chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota. Keith admitted that politics could be a “dirty, dusty, feisty business” but exhorted the audience to remember that we must “fight our (political) adversaries hard” according to our principles, but we must also always “leave the field as friends.” He said that one of the greatest privileges of his life was to represent the people of both his district and the State of Minnesota. It was an altogether heartfelt and inspirational talk as he exits politics to enter another phase of his life in the private sector.

For_Newsletter_Rymer_1.jpgThe main speaker of the night was Max Rymer, at left, a fixture in local politics and self-admitted “passionate, political nerd.” As founder of his digital marketing firm “Nativ3” he was actively involved in several campaigns during the last election cycle. Max had some insightful opinions about taking a drastically modified approach to Republican politics going forward into 2020 and beyond. He believes there are inherent, solvable, structural problems for Republicans in MN.

First, he gave us a frank, and sometimes brutal, assessment of what is and isn’t working for the Republican Party, and for the DFL. He compared and contrasted several differences in how we get our message OUT (contacts – e.g., DFL had more than 17,000 trained, articulate volunteers door-knocking) and ACROSS (effectively persuading folks to vote for Republican candidates). Finances (DFL out-spent us 4:1) and fund-raising differences (DFL has a centralized, shared, list of small-dollar donors) were particularly interesting and played a big part in recent DFL success.

In addition to the need for better and deeper training of the active Republican political base, Max observed that some of the DFL structure and organizational traits can in fact be emulated. Max encouraged us all to invest in becoming more “data-focused”, with consistent shared electronic lists of voter information and effective electronic tools to support door-knocking and phone messaging as well as calling. It just isn’t our parents’ “land-line phone, literature dropping, and lawn sign” universe anymore.

Finally, Max called for more “off-cycle” digital messaging efforts, keeping pressure on all the time so as to ride a positive momentum going into the next election

Special Education Reforms Reduce Paperwork, Refocus on Students

School_Scrabble_pexels-photo-256428.jpegA bipartisan coalition of senators introduced on January 17 a series of reforms to strengthen Minnesota’s special education policies, put the focus back on students, keep teachers in the classroom, and save school districts money in the process. The proposals are expected to save special education teachers up to fifty-two hours of paperwork per student every year, or up to nineteen weeks for a class of fifteen students, by reducing burdensome administrative requirements.

“Every policy that has ever been implemented regarding special education has been well-intentioned, but we now have a complex bureaucratic process preventing teachers from actually spending time with their students,” said Senator Eric Pratt (R-Prior Lake). “These bills will make a real impact – students will get more personal interaction with their teachers, teachers will get to do more of what they love, and school districts will get some relief from costly administrative requirements.”

The bipartisan proposals will also help curtail rising costs that are eating into funding for other school programs, since special education is one of the fastest-growing areas of school districts’ budgets.



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SD49 Convention Feb 23 Will Elect Organizers: Executive Officers, State Central Delegates

Senate District 49 will hold its annual convention on Saturday, February 23, at the Bethany Church in Bloomington.

The official convention call has gone out to all of the delegates and alternates who were elected by their precincts at our 2018 caucuses. The call was issued by email to all of the delegates and alternates for whom we have email addresses and who have not opted out of receiving our notices. If you were elected a delegate or alternate by your precinct to the SD49 convention and you have not receive a convention call, please contact Randy Sutter at 952-835-8917 as soon as possible.

The Convention Call  is also posted on our website, where you can purchase tickets to attend. Guest/Observer tickets are also available.

Convention_article_photo.jpgThe primary business of our 2019 convention is to elect our senate district executive officers and our delegates and alternates to the 2019-2020 State Central meetings.

Members of the senate district who wish to run for a position on the Executive Committee need to contact Mike Lehmann at 612-839-0761. Mike and the Officer Nominating Committee are meeting now to interview candidates. Our bylaws do not allow Executive Committee nominations from the floor of the convention.

The Minnesota GOP conducts State Central meetings twice a year, in late spring and in early December. Delegates and seated alternates at State Central meetings elect state party officers, review (and vote on, as required) party business, and consider changes to the party constitution and bylaws. For 2019-2020, SD49 has been allotted 4 delegates and 12 alternates from our CD3 precincts and 1 delegate and 3 alternates from our CD5 precincts.

Members of the senate district who wish to run for delegate / alternate to State Central meetings are urged to contact Mike Lehmann at 612-839-0761. Mike and the Nominating Committee will start meeting to interview candidates in early February.

Be a Candidate for Local School Board in 2019

education-2107914_640.jpgAll four SD49 communities will be holding  school board elections this fall.  In our last newsletter article , we outlined the city council offices up for election or re-election this year and how you could register for them.  In this article, we will cover the local school board races.

If you are willing to step up and help lead your local school board, consider your options over the next few weeks.  To be successful, you will need to start soon to recruit a small but dedicated team, put a campaign plan and budget together, and consider raising some money. 

These races are generally nonpartisan, but we may be able to help you get started.  Contact us and we’ll talk.

Continue reading for more information on local school board races in Edina, Bloomington, Eden Prairie and Minnetonka, including how you can register to run.  Take note that school district boundaries aren't precisely aligned with city boundaries or Senate District boundaries, especially for Edina.

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Full Room for First Pints & Politics of 2019


An animated and friendly group of Republicans filled our room at Poor Richards Commonhouse in Bloomington on Monday evening, January 14 for our first "Pints & Politics" of 2019. Between 45 to 50 attendees enjoyed lively "let's talk politics" conversations with friends both old and newly-met.

Happy_Smiles_at_Jan_P_and_P_Resized.jpgIn addition to people from our two hosting Senate Districts (49 and 50), we were joined by some from South Minneapolis, Representative Greg Boe (47B) from Chaska (commuting and stopped in), and some from the suburbs south, west, and north of us. Don Johnson brought extra-special guests, his daughters, who appreciated the chance to meet current members and share memories of their late Mom, Donna, with folks from SD49 who had volunteered with her.

Mark your calendars to join (or rejoin) in the fun next month, February 11, 5 - 7:30, Poor Richards Commonhouse 8301 Normandale Blvd. Bloomington, MN 55437


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