MN Woman Charged With Voter Fraud

i-voted-sticker_closeup.jpgThe Star Tribune and Alpha News have both reported that a woman in Minnesota has been charged with voting twice. Zameahia J. Ismail voted in her home district of St. Louis Park. Then she voted again in Minneapolis “after being instructed to support Minneapolis City Council member Abdi Warsame.”

Ismail said the reason she chose to knowingly commit voter fraud was that Warsame was “going to help Somalian community”. It is not known who else Ismail voted for.

How was she able to vote in Minneapolis? Someone vouched for her and she was able to register and vote on the same day. Ismail says she did not have any proper identification when she went to register to vote in Minneapolis.

The person who vouched for Ismail has not been charged.

Secretary of State Steve Simon does not believe that voter fraud materially affects Minnesota voting. Yet he will not release the voting information being sought by the Minnesota Voters Alliance that may be able to determine if it does or not. And if there are no consequences for people that enable voter fraud through inappropriate vouching, it’s likely this will happen again.

This Week in the MN House: MNLARS, Mandates, Health, Gun Bills

bright-cardiac-cardiology-433267_small.jpg• This week, the Ways & Means Committee will hear DFL Rep. Rick Hansen's bill (HF861)  for Gov. Walz's MNLARS deficiency request. The bill now includes $10 million in funding for Deputy Registrars after it was amended in committee.

• The Ways & Means Committee heard an overview Monday of Governor Walz's budget recommendations from Commissioner Frans and State Budget Director Britta Reitan. This was the first opportunity that the House will have to discuss the governor's budget in committee and question members of the administration on his proposals.

• The DFL's business mandate bills continue in the Government Operations Committee on Tuesday with HF5 (Paid family leave) and HF11 (Sick/Safe time). Chair Mike Freiberg (DFL) is apparently tired of the great testimony they've heard from various small business owners and stakeholders about the harmful impact of these bills, because the hearing notice states that testimony will be limited.

• On Tuesday the HHS Finance Division will hear the Department of Human Services budget presentation. This will be a great opportunity to discuss the Governor's ONEcare Buy-In proposal, the provider tax and the billion dollars it will add to health care costs over the next two years, and fraud in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). Here's a link to the Governor's DHS budget recommendations  if you'd like some (not very) light reading.

• The Public Safety Division will be hearing both major gun bills on Wednesday: Background Checks (HF8) and Red Flags (HF9) . Time and location for the gun bill hearings are 7 PM, Location: Capitol 120. This event will be ticketed on site by the Sergeant of Arms; an earlier-announced hearing location in Edina was rescinded over the weekend.

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.

SD49 Convention Elects New Officers, State Central Delegates

For_Newsletter_Exec_Officers_Nomination_edited.jpgCongratulations and thank you to new co-Chairs Russ Burnison and Joel Quinnell, and the others (listed below) who stepped forward to accept leadership roles for SD49.

Edited_Jennifer_Carnahan_addresses_convention.jpgAbout 55 delegates and alternates turned out on Saturday, February 23, for our 2019 convention. While attendance was roughly 43% of  our 2018 endorsing convention, the dedicated 2019 participants supported three hours of local party business. The delegates and seated alternates listened to speeches by party officers and candidates, discussed and approved senate district bylaws, and elected senate district executive officers and State Central delegates and alternates.

We greatly appreciate the 36 volunteers who helped plan, set-up and run the convention. Volunteers contributed in a number of ways, from chairing and recording the convention to greeting and registering attendees, checking the credentials of delegates and alternates, counting votes, updating rules, and maintaining security. Because of their efforts, the convention ran very smoothly.

For_website_edited_Carol_Brumwell_accepts_award_from_Randy_Sutter.jpgOur esteemed Crystal Eagle award went to Carol Brumwell (at left) for her insightful leadership and skillful editing of the Senate District 49 newsletter for more than three years.

Randy Sutter and the Convention on behalf of the Senate District also recognized outstanding volunteer efforts in 2018 by Jim Bixby, David Clynes, Noah Harber (left, below), Bill Holm (next image), and Al Muerhoff (3rd image).


Continue reading for more convention photos and election results.

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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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