Janus v. AFSCME

Great Decision for Public Employees, and All Americans, But No Direct Effect for Minnesota PCAs

Doug_Seaton.JPGThe June 27, 2018, Janus decision of the United States Supreme Court frees “real” public employees from forced union dues/fees deductions as a “condition of employment”.  Prior to this decision, public employees could get fired if they didn’t submit to these deductions from their paychecks.  They had been forced to pay at least 80%-85% of the dues, whether they liked it or not, under the prior Abood case and Minnesota PELRA’s agency fee “fair share” statute.  This is a great moment for Minnesota public employees, because they can now pay what they think their “union representation” is worth (or not at all).

But this freedom will still have to be defended. And Minnesota Personal Care Attendants (PCA’s), whose SEIU decertification effort I have spearheaded, are still in the same position as before, unfortunately.  This is reason for optimism, however, as there’s more favorable public sentiment and law in the background.  I explain below.

PCAs already had a similar court ruling several years before this They are covered by the earlier Harris v. Quinn U.S. Supreme Court decision, which said that PCAs (and child care providers (“CCPs”) who won their election against AFSCME in 2016 with help from me and many volunteers) weren’t real public employees and couldn’t be required to have dues or fees deducted.

However, as you all know too well, that hasn’t stopped the SEIU from dominating the PCA program, “representing” all PCAs, skimming millions of Medicaid dollars from PCAs and tricking PCAs into signing SEIU membership/dues deduction forms (or fraudulently signing for them).  Those forms also try to restrict PCAs’ rights to terminate that “agreement.”  So, even though PCAs supposedly have to “voluntarily” agree to join the SEIU and authorize dues deductions, thousands of PCAs have dues deducted in the millions of dollars every year, without their consent. The SEIU tells them that what they are being asked to sign is a “request for information,” a “petition for better benefits” or just an “address correction” for SEIU records.

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MVA - District Court Hears Voter Data Case

plus - US Supreme Court Decision on Political Apparel in Polling Places

MVA_logo.jpg

June was a singular month for Andy Cilek and Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA).  And for voter rights.  On June 15, the US Supreme Court struck down  Minnesota’s law banning “political” apparel from the polling places on election day.  In 7-2 ruling, Justices overwhelmingly sided with Minnesota Voters Alliance, finding that the law violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.  Only Justices Breyer and Sotomayor dissented.

Just one week later, on Friday June 22, Ramsey County District Court Judge Jennifer Frisch heard oral arguments in Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA) versus Secretary of State Steve Simon. The 'voter data' lawsuit was presented in front of a standing room only crowd. Andy Cilek, Executive Director of MVA, reported that the hearing went well. Judge Frisch is expected to rule in the coming weeks.

Minnesota Voters Alliance v Secretary of State Steve Simon is a landmark case involving the Secretary’s refusal to provide the public with full voting information on every voter (as the law requires), so the public can evaluate the Secretary’s performance and assess the true amount of ineligible voting.

The MVA won the first round battle back in December when Ramsey County District Court Judge Jennifer Frisch denied the Secretary’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Rather than examining indications that thousands of potentially ineligible persons voted in the 2016 general election, the Secretary has gone to great legal lengths to obstruct MVA’s attempts to analyze both the amount of ineligible voting and election officials’ performance in preventing it.

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News About Congressman Erik Paulsen

We've collected some recently published articles about Erik Paulsen. His active Representation of Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District has helped individuals and businesses. And it requires that he be away from his home and family; his Washington home is a room in a house shared with Representative Steve Scalise and 2 others. Click on the headlines below to read the articles.

Erik_Paulsen_Hi_Res_Photo_resized.jpgRep. Paulsen addresses top issues for equipment industry at visit to Road Machinery & Supplies: “Overall the tax changes implemented by the Republican Congress have been good for our industry,” RMS President Russell Sheaffer said. “There is confidence out there and we are investing in equipment and personnel. I know Rep. Paulsen understands our issues and we look forward to partnering with him to further strengthen the economy.”

When Scalise’s animal house went on hiatus : The majority whip and his roommates recount the eerily quiet months while he recovered from a nearly fatal gunshot wound.

Congressional News: House advances dozens of bills to combat nation's opioid crisis : The House moved last week to push through dozens of bills aimed at curtailing the nationwide opioid epidemic – and lawmakers said they’re not done yet.

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Update on Erik Paulsen and the Campaign for Congress

Erik_Paulsen_Hi_Res_Photo_small.jpgSummary:

  • Dean Phillips belatedly divests some of his energy investments.
  • Republican House cuts nearly $15 billion in government spending.
  • Letter writer notes many Town Hall attendees just want to hear themselves talk.
  • Paulsen co-sponsors legislation to encourage “red flag” laws.

ICYMI: Phillips Divests from Some of His Energy Investments: Phillips was heavily invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline, Exxon-Mobile, Halliburton and a load of other oil and coal companies while he was criticizing "monied petroleum interests" on the campaign trail. Dean Phillips' consultant and campaign manager both admitted Dean Phillips divested from some of his energy investments after being exposed as a complete hypocrite.

Phillips' decision to divest comes after he cashed in on President Trump's decision to grant the final permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline. How much did Dean make on his #DAPL investment?

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Republican Reforms Reduce MN Individual Health Insurance Rates

bright-cardiac-cardiology-433267_small.jpgOn June 15, the Minnesota Department of Commerce released preliminary rates for the 2019 individual insurance market, revealing that for the second consecutive year, Republican-led reforms have helped reduce or hold flat individual market health insurance rates after years of double-digit increases following the implementation of Obamacare in Minnesota.

All five of the carriers on the individual market are projected to decrease premiums for 2019. The preliminary proposals show average rates dropping between 3% and 12.4% across the five carriers.

House Republicans delivered on the promise to reform Minnesota’s health care system, reversing the skyrocketing premiums seen under Democrat policies—the news about the 2019 preliminary rates confirms that the Republican approach is working and delivering results for Minnesota families.

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Incumbents Stepping Aside in Bloomington and Richfield

Who will be on our local ballots for MN House? 

MN House Rep. Dario Anselmo (R-Edina) was endorsed for re-election by House District 49A Republicans, and he filed as expected. However, in House Districts 49B and 50A, the endorsed DFL candidates both stepped aside before filing. In the case of Rep Paul Rosenthal (House District 49B), his formal statement came after the candidate filing deadline had passed.

Sun_Current_logo.jpgAs Mike Hanks, of the Bloomington Sun Current, posted on June 12, 2018, “On the final day of the filing period, voters learned that Rep. Paul Rosenthal would not be returning to St. Paul for a fifth term next year. Rosenthal announced that he had accepted a position as the director of external affairs for Western Governors University, a nonprofit organization based in Salt Lake City, Utah.”

Rosenthal has been the House District 49B representative since 2013. “His seat will go to either Democrat Steve Elkins of Bloomington, the Metropolitan Council’s representative for Bloomington and Edina, or Republican Matt Sikich of Edina. Three Republicans had filed for the seat, but two withdrew by the June 7 deadline.”

CLICK HERE to read further about candidates in Bloomington and Richfield, as described by Mike Hanks in his June 12 Sun Current posting

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Calling for Volunteers to Elect Republican Candidates

Precinct_Leaders_June_2018.jpgPrecinct leaders within Senate District 49 have turned out to make a difference in this year’s Republican campaigns.  If you are willing to volunteer in this very important election year, you will be a part of a great team effort.

We are starting right away.  In Edina, we want to help Dario Anselmo’s campaign by distributing literature Saturday, June 23.  Please meet at 10am at Fox Meadow Park, 5251 Blake Road South, Edina.  Fox Meadow Park is just off Blake Road (north of Vernon Ave) on Fox Meadow Lane. To RSVP or if you have any questions, please email anselmo4house@gmail.com.

In Bloomington, we are knocking on doors within our own neighborhoods to identify likely Republican voters.  We have a smart phone app available to all of our volunteer canvassers that will make the process much more efficient.

Why is this effort so important this year?  Republican candidates in the metropolitan districts are clearly being targeted by DFL partisans.  The strong turn-out in 2016 of voters supporting conservative values and free-market principles has gotten proponents of “progressive” ideas concerned.   They want to counter this Republican tide with their own “blue wave”.  We need to show that the passion that drove us to vote in 2016 is still running strong.

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MN GOP State Convention Endorses 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.

Jeff_Johnson_2018_1.jpgThe 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.

During the Convention, attendees heard updates from the Democrat convention in progress the same weekend in Rochester. The outcome of the DFL vote for Governor was a surprising upset. U.S. Congressman Tim Walz and MN State Auditor Rebecca Otto were defeated by former DFL House Majority Leader and current House Rep Erin Murphy. Tim Walz has stated that he will contest Murphy in the August primary. Rebecca Otto is said to be considering her options.

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Legislative Update from Dario Anselmo – May 24

Anselmo_Preferred_Photo_2017.jpgThe 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 include 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 include:

• 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
• Measures to address our state’s troubling opioid epidemic
• School safety measures including my bill to fund suicide prevention training for teachers
• Elections security funding
• Help for people dealing with our state’s broken licensing and registration system, MNLARS
• Policies for people with disabilities and their caretakers who would be affected by a 7 percent cut to the Disability Waiver Rate System
• Forecast adjustments for schools including $77 million owed to schools in special education funding for FY18/19
• Increased penalties for distracted drivers

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Minnesota House End-of-Session Summary

On May 23, Governor Dayton vetoed the tax conformity/school funding bill, as well as the supplemental budget bill.

MN_Capital_in_Snow_527x672.jpgThe legislature made a good-faith effort to compromise: the legislature accommodated nearly 70% of the governor's state objections. Nearly all of the so-called 'controversial' policy measures were removed.

It's clear this governor had no interest in true compromise, and wanted everything his way, or nothing at all. As a result, Minnesotans will be the ones to pay the price.

People affected by Gov. Dayton’s vetoes:

• Victims of elder abuse
• Victims of opioid addiction, and medical professionals
• Victims of distracted driving
• Special education and Head Start students
• People dealing with MNLARS hassles
• Deputy registrars whose businesses are floundering after MNLARS
• People who need mental health support, particularly farmers and students
• Farmers and agribusinesses that need Section 179 conformity for equipment depreciation
• People who live in rural areas without high-speed internet
• Students who need help to afford college
• People who need job training and businesses that need skilled workers
• K-12 students who won’t benefit from school safety funding
• Taxpayers who will have a heck of a time filing their taxes next year
• Voters concerned about election security
• Minnesotans concerned about privacy, data breaches, and cyber security
• CPAs and tax professionals who will be dealing with very complex tax filings
• Parents looking to find the best school for their children
• Low-income working families who rely on federal child care subsidies
• New teachers who need licenses, and schools who want to hire them
• Children enrolled in Head Start programs
• Schools that need adjustments to fully fund special education
• Patients who care about transparent pricing for health care and prescription drugs
• People with disabilities, and their caretakers, who would be affected by a 7% cut to the Disability Waiver Rate System
• Startup businesses that depend on the Angel Investor Tax Credit to grow

House Republicans are committed to working quickly next session to address the headaches and problems caused by the governor's veto.


 

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