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.

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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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