Yard Sign Days - No Limits - Now Through November

All_the_signs_photo_credit_John_Alexander.jpgIt's OK now to put up ALL the candidate yard signs – no limits. And leave them until shortly after the November election, although you'll probably rotate them as you rake leaves this fall.

Per the MN Secretary of State website, state law regarding political campaign signs overrides local sign ordinances.  Local laws that otherwise limit the number of signs or how long they may be up cannot be enforced for a designated time during even-numbered years.

Resized_YardSignDay_photo_credit_David_Pasco.jpgWe distributed all the signs we had on-hand at our last several SD49 events, and don’t yet know whether we’ll have more by the Oct 23 dinner meeting. So if you still need an endorsed-candidate yard sign (or a few), please contact the candidate’s campaign - we’ve listed their websites HERE  - and be prepared to go to a local campaign office to pick them up.

photo credits: 6 signs John Alexander, 3 signs David Pasco

Sept Dinner Speakers Reject Identity Politics in Education

Resized_L-R_Chuck_Li_Jun_Yang_Sifang_Wu_Sheng_Zhong_Dongfeng_Qi.jpgMinnesota collects data on K-12 student performance, often by broad ethnic or racial origins in compliance with Federal guidelines. In the last decade, a study funded by the federal government concluded that the data should be “disaggregated”, broken into sub-populations on the assumption that resources should be focused on students of ethnic or racial groups that were under-performing.

On September 25, Chuck Li, President of the Chinese-American Alliance, (at left in photo) spoke at our dinner program. He told us why he and many other Chinese-Americans in Minnesota do not believe that ethnic identity should be the basis for setting school policies, assigning education resources, or defining student quotas.

He was joined by (L-R) Jun Yang, Sifang Wu, Sheng Zhong and Dongfeng Qi from Education Policy Observers. They described why they've transformed into activists since last year when the MN Legislature passed a bill for disaggregated reporting at a more detailed level and the Dept. of Education announced plans for pilot-implementations. They highlighted the evidence that focusing on ethnic identity avoids the real causes (30 factors in 8 categories)  of poor educational performance. They also noted the expected costs to MN Taxpayers (more than $75 million per year) and the lack of data-security / data-privacy tools and standards for school computer systems. These leave both parents and students at high potential risk for exposure of sensitive information.

These MN parents strongly believe the planned information collection risks dividing us along ethnic and racial lines and does not promote the common good. As reported in 2017, Minnesota has already proven to be really good at collecting some student data, just not the best at using it.


Educators May Exit Union Sept 24 – 30

Union_Contract_Wordcloud_credit_Michael_Van_Beek.jpgAre you considering resigning from your union? Kim Crockett wrote a helpful article for teachers and Education Service Professionals (ESP’s), posted at the Center of the American Experiment website. There’s a narrow one week each year window for these professionals to not-renew their union membership. That’s now – September 24 – 30.

Crockett acknowledges that making the decision has both emotional and practical considerations, and provides answers to frequently asked question such as alternative sources for liability insurance, assurance regarding pension protections (pensions are school, not union, benefits) and the specific steps needed to opt-out.

illustration credit: Michael Van Beek, Mackinac Center for Public Policy


Bloomington Parade Was a Hot One


Thanks to everyone who walked in the Bloomington Heritage Days Parade with us Sept 15, or who cheered us from the curbside. John_Howe_Kirsten_Housley_small.jpegThe near-record 92-degree heat didn't slow down our energetic Republican-endorsed candidates who shared the street, moving from side to side to greet voters and kids alike: Kirsten Johnson for MN House 50A (pictured below on her motorcycle), Chad Anderson for MN House 50B (pictured below), Karin Housley for US Senate, and John Howe for Secretary of State (pictured together at right).

Supporters in colorful t-shirts, carrying signs and handing out stickers also helped boost recognition for our other endorsed candidates - US Representative Erik Paulsen, Jim Newberger for US Senate, Jeff Johnson for Governor, Doug Wardlow for Attorney General, Pam Myhra for Auditor, and Sheriff Rich Stanek.


Who's Funding Those Ads, Calls, Mailings?

Forming_a_PAC.jpgWhen a candidate's campaign puts out an ad, makes a call or sends a mailing, the "I approved this message" tag is clear. So who's funding all those other ads, calls and mailings? In a pair of informative articles, MinnPost has provided information about groups behind the political spending in Minnesota.

" ... one phenomenon is crystal-clear: there will be a tidal wave of political spending by outside groups hoping to influence key races for U.S. House and Senate.

Call it the “green wave,” if you like — and there’s no question it’ll be crashing down hard on Minnesota. The state is home to four top-tier House contests and a nationally-watched Senate race, making it one of the country’s biggest battlegrounds as Democrats and Republicans fight for control of Congress. It’s possible no single media market in the country will be saturated with more political communication than that of the Twin Cities, where TV and radio stations reach voters in virtually every competitive race.

Many of those ads will inform you that they’re paid for by a group you may not recognize: maybe their political bent will be clearly identified, like with the National Republican Congressional Committee; other times, they’ll have a generic name..."

To read the first MinnPost article, CLICK HERE  And to read their latest one with yet more groups for the list, CLICK HERE 

Paulsen Strong in First Debate

Erik_Paulsen_Hi_Res_Photo_small.jpgErik Paulsen and Dean Phillips faced off in the first debate of the cycle on Tuesday, August 21.

Congressman Paulsen touted his work on important issues, like tax reform, that are leading to great economic growth. Dean Phillips, on the other hand, avoided answering questions and spent his time talking about the gimmicks that are driving his campaign.

Major takeaways:

• Dean admitted that he supports sanctuary cities.
• Dean lied about providing healthcare to his employees after calling it a right. Dean said he's always provided healthcare to his employees. But just last year, he admitted that he doesn't provide healthcare for his employees because "it would cause him to lose money." 
• Dean said he wouldn't vote to repeal the tax cuts. But before it passed, he said he'd vote against it.
• Dean said he doesn't support new taxes. But last year, he supported a new carbon tax that would severely hurt the economy.

If you missed the debate you can read about it/watch it on the MPR News site .

Erik challenged Dean Phillips to real debates, where candidates will answer questions from the audience and where both sides will have their chance to be heard. Should Phillips agree to such debates, we will post the times and dates.

Door-knocking Essential in 2018 Republican Election Effort

By Jim Bowen, Precinct Co-Chair, Bloomington P-17

Starting early this election season, we are emphasizing “door knocking” over “literature dropping”. The simple reason is that actual human-to-human contact provides better election return results and can be the difference between winning and losing in close election races. There are expected to be a number of close races this year, so Republican volunteers have the opportunity to directly influence the results in these races.

Door_Knocking_Noah_and.jpgNoah Harber, pictured here with me on a beautiful summer Saturday, is one of 18 other SD49 Republicans that have been willing to devote time to knocking on doors in our senate district. Mike Barg, Sean Boylan, Nancy Carlson, Steve Curry, Kathleen Dick, Noah Harber, Tom and Linda Hulting, Dennis Hykes, Sheri Johnston, Ted Lockhart, Mike McNeeley, George Mueller, Al Muerhoff, Vince Riehm, Linda Steen, Randy Sutter, and Penny Walters have walked at least one stint for our endorsed candidates.
Several of these volunteers turned out in support of the Republican National Committee’s “Day of Action” on July 29. Aaron Waaraniemi, the RNC Field Director in Congressional District 3 (CD3) reported that “the state director of our field program and the Executive Director of the Minnesota Republican Party were very pleased and impressed with the work you all put in.”

“We set the new statewide 2018 record for voter contacts in a day.” CD3 was the single largest contributor, and SD49 turned out the most volunteers within CD3. “We can do great things when we have that many people giving even a couple hours over the course of a weekend.”

Read more

Picnic Featured Fun, Food and Candidates

Balloons_and_banner_at_picnic_small.jpgThe 2018 annual SD49-SD50 Family Picnic on Sunday, August 5, enjoyed beautiful weather, fresh-grilled food, and a number of kid-friendly games. Ninety to 100 Republican voters and about 20 kids took full advantage of all that the day had to offer.

Dario_at_picnic_small.jpgEleven Republican candidates stopped by to greet and speak, including U.S. Congressman Erik Paulsen, MN House Rep. Dario Anselmo, and candidates Jenn Zielinski (U.S. Congress, CD5), Pam Myhra (State Auditor), Doug Wardlow (MN Attorney General), John Howe (Secretary of State), Rich Stanek (Hennepin Co Sheriff), Chad Anderson (MN Rep, 50B) Kirsten Johnson (MN Rep, 50A), Ellen Cousins (MN Rep, 48B), and Brad Aho (Eden Prairie Mayor). In addition, Danny Nadeau spoke for Jeff Johnson (candidate, MN Governor), and Mary Amlaw spoke for Jim Newberger (candidate, US Senator).

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Decision Requires Voter Data Release but Simon Stalls

Sec_of_State_Simon.jpgRamsey County Court Judge Jennifer Frisch has ordered Secretary of State Steve Simon (pictured at right) to comply with the Minnesota Data Practices Act and provide the Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA) with millions of voter registration records he has refused to make public. (view the court opinion, posted on the MVA website)

“As a partisan, elected official who presides over the elections of himself and fellow party-members, the secretary of state should be held to the highest standards of transparency and accountability,” said MVA communications director Dan McGrath.

MVA_logo.jpgDuring proceedings, the MVA presented to the court a large body of data from government sources that suggest that tens of thousands of voters may have voted ineligibly in 2016. The Secretary made no objection to the validity of any of those data.

Calling the secretary’s position “untenable,” the court's analysis found no basis in the law for any of the arguments presented against the release of public election information and ordered the secretary of state to produce the requested data without delay. Secretary of State Steve Simon stated that he would appeal.

Republican John Howe is challenging Simon, the DFL incumbent, for the Secretary of State office in the November election.

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Chinese-Americans Pushing Back on Identity Politics

Chinese_Americans_gathering.jpgThe room was filled to capacity earlier in July when a large group of Chinese-Americans from across the Twin Cities shared a pot luck dinner at the Kang Le Adult Day Care Center in Edina and listened to invited candidates for local and statewide office. Significantly, most of the candidates were Republicans.

Not all of the remarks were made by the candidates.  Those remarks made by members of the Chinese-American community underscored the values that we share.

The Chinese-Americans present were particularly concerned with how “data disaggregation” is being applied to education in Minnesota and in the nation.  Data disaggregation refers to the collecting of information about students in schools, broken out by such factors as race or ethnic group.

While “data disaggregation” may benefit certain statistical analyses, it can also lead to identity politics. The Chinese-Americans can point to where their community has been hurt by policies rooted in identity politics, and they are firmly against the use of data disaggregation in schools.

Read more

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