Bloomington France Ave $5.6M Trail Public Hearing March 5

France_Ave_Trail.jpgWork on the France Ave Trail Project in Bloomington is moving forward. A public hearing about the project and expected action to “order the project” (give approval to continue with detailed design) is scheduled for Monday, March 5 at the Bloomington City Council. The Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. Now is the time for city taxpayers, as well as residents who live near or commute along France Ave., to state their views.

The estimated cost of the trail is now $5.6 million -- almost double the $3.1 million estimate cited when the 10 ft. wide, 3 mile bike path / pedestrian walkway combination concept was first floated in 2016, and as recently last fall during the sole neighborhood meeting.

The preliminary design includes an elevated boardwalk over a portion of a swampy marsh area that floods periodically, between 90th St. and 98th Street. Per Bloomington Engineering, the design has not yet been finalized and an additional neighborhood meeting is still planned.

Construction would begin in 2019, and would involve closures of some lanes on France Avenue during construction.

As reported in the SD49 Newsletter, one sparsely attended (by 25 people), “neighborhood” meeting was held November 30, 2017 and even the lower $3.1 million price tag raised some questions about cost-benefit.

More information about the project is at the city website. Click here.

Next Up: SD 49 Convention on Saturday, March 17

Convention_SD49.jpgThe caucuses have been conducted, and each precinct has elected delegates and alternates to the Senate District 49 Convention. The convention call will go out no later than February 17 to those who were eager (or at least willing) to become a delegate or alternate. As an advance look, this is what you can expect.

The SD 49 Convention will be held conveniently at Bethany Church, 6900 Auto Club Rd, Bloomington. This year, we are giving a later start time a try. Volunteers willing to help us set up registration and credentials will be asked to come at 8 am. Everyone else is asked to appear to register early enough so that you are in your seats to convene our convention at 10 am.

The main business of the convention will be to endorse our candidates to run in House Districts 49A and 49B. Dario Anselmo is the Republican incumbent in 49A and will seek our endorsement for another 2-year term.

If you want to be the Republican candidate for the Minnesota House for 49B (west Bloomington, south Edina, and some eastern precincts of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka), you are welcome to contact Mike Lehmann at or Randy Sutter at

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SD49 Caucus Straw Poll Goes for Downey

Several conclusions could be drawn from the precinct caucuses held in Senate District 49 on February 6. It is important at the start to recognize that a large number of volunteers took their roles seriously. They trained to do what they needed to do, and it was reflected in their execution. Our caucuses went very smoothly.

Straw_Poll_Results_chart.jpgThe Governor candidate straw poll did not excite the same passions as the Presidential candidate straw poll of 2016. The Republican turn-out was much less, inviting comparisons more with 2014 and the last Governor’s race. The 34 precincts of Senate District 49 attracted 336 attendees.

A special thanks goes out to the attendees who contributed during our caucuses to defray the caucus expenses. Neither the state of Minnesota nor the MN GOP cover many of the expenses involved in preparing for and conducting the caucuses. Your donations mean a lot.

Keith Downey was well-supported for Governor in his former home district, taking 43% of the straw poll voting in SD49. Jeff Johnson came in second with 32%, and Mary Giuliani Stephens polled 13%. 11% remained undecided. At the state level, Jeff Johnson garnered 46% of the votes, and Keith Downey claimed 15%.

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Governor Candidates Spoke at January Dinner

Resized_Dinner_Attendees_Discuss_Candidates.jpgSD49 had a full house to hear from GOP Governor candidates.  Over 80 people came to hear from and talk to the GOP Governor candidates on Tuesday evening, January 23. The program allowed each of the candidates or their representative to talk for several minutes. Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson led the evening off, followed by MN Representative Matt Dean, former MN GOP Chair Keith Down, and educator and Naval Reserve officer Phillip Parrish. Maple Grove mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens was unable to attend due to a commitment in Duluth, but she was representated by Gregg Peppin.

Resized_Time_with_Candidates.jpgThe program was not a debate forum. After the candidate remarks, attendees were able to approach each of the speakers and engage them directly. The format of the evening allowed more interaction, and everyone that had a question or point to make had an opportunity to do so.

On January 25, Representative Matt Dean formally withdrew as a candidate for governor. We will be posting videos of the speeches of the other candidates in future newsletters.

The candidates are trusting us to "do our homework" before the Caucus. They'll continue to meet with voters around the state.  Each has a website with biographical information, issue positions, and planned events, as well as ways to contact them. In alphabetic order:

Keith Downey

Jeff Johnson

Phillip Parrish

Mary Giuliani Stephens

Year in Review - Active 2017 Built a Stronger SD49

Eagle_FB_Logo.jpg2017 was a year of accomplishments and close calls.  For what is typically considered an “off-year,” the pace of activity stayed high.

We want to thank many of you who have served as leaders in our senate district and in our precincts.  It is your party leadership that we depend on to reach out to fellow Republicans and encourage them to vote for our candidates.  Thanks also to those of you who have come out to support our fundraisers, our dinner programs, our picnic, and our parade teams.   It is your participation that grows our reputation as one of the most dynamic senate districts in the state. 

If we remain true to each other and build on what we have, we will make a difference in 2018.

Continue reading to see 2017 highlights.

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Holiday Party Celebrated Success, Introduced 2018 Candidates

Edited_Nancy_Carlson_Mary_Doughty_Beth_Beebe.jpgSenate District 49 celebrated a memorable 2017 on Tuesday evening, December 12, with close to 70 long-time members and new participants. 

The attendees enjoyed a wide variety of appetizers, sweets, and beverages donated by the Executive Committee members.  Nancy Carlson and Beth Beebe led the organization of the evening and ensured that all of the Executive Committee members stood out with red bowties or holiday aprons.

Jim_Newberger_edited_small.jpgWe were fortunate to have several prominent guests stop by.  Jim Newberger, candidate for U.S. Senate, remarked on his campaign to unseat Amy Klobuchar.  Mary Giuliani Stephans, mayor of Woodbury and candidate for MN Governor, expressed her excitement of running to replace Mark Dayton.  Anna Peterson and Bobby Benson, volunteers on Matt Dean’s campaign for MN Governor, also urged attendees to get involved in the 2018 effort to elect a Republican governor.  Jeanne Anselmo spoke of MN HD49A Representative Dairo Anselmo’s dedication to serving as our voice. Rick Rice, MN GOP National Committeeman also spoke for a few minutes. 

Festive_Tables_and_crowd.jpgThe Holiday Party afforded our attendees a good opportunity to meet and talk with these candidates and party officials.

Mike_Lehmann_and_Noah_Harber.jpgNoah Harber was recognized by Patti Meier, Chair of Congressional District 3 (CD3) and Barbara Sutter, MN GOP Secretary.  Noah had been named as CD3’s Volunteer of the Year at State Central on December 2. 

Several volunteers provided a lot of support behind the scenes.  Our thanks to Dar Gray, Patti Brestrup, John Ward, Mary Doughty, Kim D’Aoia, Mike Lehmann, Bill Holm, and many others for their work in maintaining a seamless operation.

Carol Kerr donated 10 poinsettia centerpieces arranged by Nancy Carlson.  Kathy Frey expertly marketed them to the holiday crowd, ensuring that they all had good homes and the senate district additional donations.

See more Holiday Party photos on our Facebook page - Click Here

SD49 Precinct Leaders Step Forward, Fill Vacancies

Flag_Elephant_Ballot_Box.jpgSenate District 49 Executives and Precinct Leaders met December 11 to get an overview of events coming up shortly after the start of 2018.  These important activities include caucus training, caucus conduct, the Delegate Nominating Committee meeting, and the SD49 convention. Senate District 49 Full Committee ratified a number of appointments to senate district leadership positions previously made by the Executive Committee.  The appointments were required to fill vacancies that had occurred since the last Full Committee meeting.  With local and state-wide races coming up, we want to fine-tune our organization and build our networks.

Following is a list of the vacancies and newly-ratified officers:

  • Angie Hasek (Exec Committee 49A Vice Chair) moved out of the district.  Sean Boylan has been appointed.
  • Judith McCabe (Edina P-17 Co-Chair) moved out of the district.  Nick Morgan has been appointed.
  • Jay Corniea (Eden Prairie 08 Chair) moved out of the district.  Laura Hemler has been appointed.
  • Susan Hollenbeck (Bloomington P-16 Co-Chair) wishes to step aside to become a precinct vice chair.  Mark Stoltz has been appointed.
  • Susan Hollenbeck has been appointed to fill an open Bloomington P-16 vice chair position.
  • Trish Burnison (Bloomington P-19 Co-Chair) wishes to step aside to become a precinct vice chair.  Michael Barg has been appointed.
  • Trish Burnison has been appointed to fill an open Bloomington P-19 vice chair position.
  • Joel Quinnell has been appointed to fill the open vice chair position in Edina P-17.
  • Noah Harber has been appointed to fill the open vice chair position in Edina P-18.
  • Mary Zetzman has been appointed to fill the vacancy of the open vice chair position in Edina P-19.

Forecasted State Deficit Based on Overly-Cautious Assumptions

SD49_Budget_Info_Picture.jpgThe Dayton Administration released the November forecast, showing a projected $188 million deficit due to lower-than-expected revenues based on assumptions about federal legislation and U.S. GDP and wage growth. The forecast also reflected $178 million in state spending on the federal Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), nearly all of which would be backfilled once CHIP is renewed at the federal level.

Read the presentation from MMB here.

Read the full forecast here.

Some overly-cautious assumptions negatively impacting November’s forecast: 

1) forecast assumes no federal tax bill will be enacted despite passage in both the House and Senate last week.

 2) forecast assumes 2.2% GDP growth in 2017 despite 3.1% growth in the second quarter and 3.3% growth in the third quarter.

Simply put: November’s forecast was obsolete on arrival. Both the governor and legislative leaders anticipate stronger, more accurate revenue estimates when the forecast is updated in February.

Governor Dayton told the media the projected deficit was speculative and not a result of specific actions by the legislature or the governor, but a change in economic projections. 

Read the GOP Leaders' response here.

Republican efforts to rein in spending, provide tax relief, and make critical investments in road and bridge infrastructure are proving to be financially responsible steps. In addition, as noted in the full forecast document, Minnesota's unemployment is at its lowest level in 17 years, and wages are growing. Our outlook is positive.

Governor Candidate Forum - Part 2

Crowd_at_Governor_Forum.jpgSix Republican candidates for MN Governor responded to several questions posed by the Minnesota business community at a forum hosted by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce on Friday, December 1. 

This article continues with a summary of the second half of the questions.

The candidates present at the forum were: 

Matt Dean, Minnesota State Representative (Dellwood). 

Keith Downey, former Chair of the MN GOP and former Minnesota State Representative (Edina). 

Jeff Johnson, Hennepin County Commissioner and former Minnesota State Representative (Plymouth)

David Osmek, Minnesota State Senator (Mound)

Phil Parrish, intelligence officer, Naval Reserve, and former principal of a school for students with emotional behavioral disorders in Austin, MN

Mary Giuliani Stephens, Mayor of Woodbury, MN

Question:  “Uniform Labor Standards” – there is a patchwork of rules and regulations at the local government level

Johnson:  I’m not a big fan of the pre-emption bill, except if it will avoid a negative impact across the state.

Osmek:  My concern is where local regulations affect businesses that work across jurisdictional lines, where local regulations impact businesses operating in other jurisdictions.

Parrish:  We need to get out of the way of businesses and leave them alone.

Dean:  Some of these labor laws are really exercises in raw power.  Where certain liberal agendas could not be implemented at the state level, they are being pushed at the local level.

Downey:  I am concerned with the precedent that would be set by pre-emption.  It may open up a can of worms.  Alternatively, small businesses may well leave these local jurisdictions.

Stephens:  I would work with state legislators for pre-emption to give businesses consistency and predictability.

Continue reading to see the candidates’ thoughts on help to outstate Minnesota, education, and water quality.

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Matt Dean Tops Governor Candidate Straw Poll

The Minnesota GOP held its winter State Central meeting in Brainerd, MN on Saturday, December 2.  Over 350 delegates, alternates, and observers met at Cragun’s Resort and Conference Center to hear U.S. representatives and state legislative leaders speak and MN GOP officers report. 

Matt_and_Laura_Dean_480x309.jpgThe highlight of the conference was to hear the Republican candidates for MN Governor talk about themselves and their platforms in a forum on Friday afternoon hosted by the MN Chamber of Commerce and in extended remarks on Saturday.  The delegates and seated alternates were then able to vote for their preferred candidate in a straw poll.

No candidate received a clear majority or came out with a significant lead.  Yet the results are important in identifying how party activists are leaning.

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