Congratulations, Edina. Your taxes have been increased, again, by a secretive and anti-democratic administrative mechanism known as Tax Increment Financing (TIF). Like public financing for all of our local sports stadiums, TIF allows public funds to be paid to the few, mostly large corporations, by the many, in this case the tax-payers of Edina. Earlier this month, the Edina City Council voted to grant a future developer of the Grandview site a get-out-of-tax-free card for a minimum of 26 years.
A bit of background about TIF is in order. The concept of TIF has been around since the late 1960’s but was first codified in Minnesota in 1979. The concept began benignly enough: encourage the development of environmentally or economically “blighted” property through the use of tax incentives for the developer. The original idea was that an inner city property owner would use tax funds to clean up contaminated property and would then return the formerly blighted property to the tax rolls, resulting in a net increase of taxes.
Sadly, the idea has been so twisted and abused by city governments like Edina that it bears little resemblance to its original purpose.Read more
The record-setting turnout at caucuses around the state has people talking about changing Minnesota’s system to hold an all-day Presidential Preference Primary vote. MN Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey wrote a thoughtful article last week outlining the benefits of having both a primary and the caucuses.
For SD49, our caucuses this year were crucial to connecting with interested voters and volunteers. More than 1500 voters attended a SD49 caucus for the first time. This included dozens of voters new to our area. They got to meet neighbors who agree with their GOP Principles.Read more
Bloomington Council Ignores Petitions, Proceeding Without Vote
In its February 11 edition, the Bloomington Sun Current reported that the “effort to put [organized trash collection] to a vote of the city’s residents appears to have been a lost cause.”
This statement may be a bit premature. The reporting was certainly incomplete.
The Bloomington City Council adopted its organized trash collection ordinance in mid-December on a simple vote of the city council members. By the City Charter, residents had 30 days to petition the city to put the question to a vote of citizens. Less than 1,250 signatures were required; approximately 1,400 were collected prior to the deadline.
On January 15, a representative of the petition drive met with the City Clerk to discuss the Charter requirements and to review and turn in the petition. The clerk did a cursory review and indicated that the petition forms looked good and the quantity of signatures looked sufficient.Read more
January 15, 2016
Tuesday was a historic day for our country - it was the final State of the Union address by Barack Obama.
We are all aware of the disastrous impact of the President's tenure on America's leadership and our economy - it's real and significant. There is a decline in the belief of the American Idea. Today, only 27 percent of Americans believe that their children or future generations will achieve the American Dream.
By Mitch Pearlstein ** November 8, 2015
I won't say it doesn't exist. I will say that an excessive focus on it is an obstacle in addressing very real achievement issues.
When people say they believe a particular institution is racist, or are convinced that they their children or others have been treated unfairly for reasons of color --by educators or the police or anyone else -- I'm in no position to disagree with what's in their hearts. My history is not theirs; their shoes are not mine, and if that is what they sincerely believe, that is what they sincerely believe.
What I can do, however, if I disagree with their views about the presence or power of race in particular situations, is to explain, with full appreciation for centuries of sinful American history, why I believe their arguments are faulty on the facts or excessive in gravity.Read more
Special Report ** November 14, 2015
“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” -Vladimir Lenin
Like Comrade Lenin, Governor Dayton understands that the key to controlling the hearts and minds of Minnesotans to is control education and that the longer the government can control education, the “better”. In that vein, Governor Dayton, with the committed support of SD49 Senator Melisa Franzen and Representatives Paul Rosenthal and Ron Erhardt, has been working tirelessly to expand the size and scope of Minnesota’s government, insisting that we all provide what he calls “free” education to younger and younger Minnesotans. Governor Dayton, of course, prefers to claim that he is trying to close the “achievement gap” and that he is doing it “for the children.” In truth, he and his legislative minions are trying to move Minnesota even closer to Lenin’s paternalistic dream of cradle to grave big government.
In 2014, the legislature, at Governor Dayton’s urging, voted to dramatically expand the role of government in the lives of our children by providing “free” all-day Kindergarten for all Minnesota children. Previously, Minnesota families had the option to choose either all-day or half-day Kindergarten for their children and only 54% chose to send their children to all-day Kindergarten. Beginning in 2014, the first year of implementation, our Big Government liberals took away this choice, herding all of Minnesota’s children into all-day Kindergarten. In 2014 these new mandates drove 99.6 percent of all Minnesota Kindergarteners into all-day Kindergarten. Governor Dayton is very proud of this, as are his supporters in the education unions.Read more
The numbers show the need for systemic change.
Devin Foley | October 17, 2015
As you can see by the statistic shared on our billboard above, which is located directly across the street from the Minneapolis Public Schools' district headquarters, the plight of Black students in the district is absolutely unacceptable. Minneapolis has given all manner of excuses, promises, and "new" plans for years and years, yet little changes. And that's while spending an average of $21,000 or more per student each year.
The truth of the matter is that between the years 2001 and 2014, the average reading proficiency of black students was only 33%. Again, absolutely unacceptable.Read more
Special for Senate District 49 * October 31, 2015
Katherine Kersten was the featured speaker at our SD49 Dinner Meeting on October 27th, part of our monthly scheduled Dinner & Conversation Series. Kersten drew a full house to hear her description of the Metropolitan Council’s Thrive 2040 Plan.
Nancy Carlson, SD49 Executive Committee vice chair, introduced Katherine Kersten. The audience perched at the edge of their seats and remained fixed throughout the narrative.
Ms. Kersten outlined the four goals of the Met Council-high density, racial equity, inclusivity, and affordability. She stated that one of the intents of the Council was to “spread poverty equally throughout the 7-county Metro area in one grand homogenizing brushstroke.”
Clearly opposed to the Met Council’s Thrive 2040 Plan, Ms. Kersten reiterated the Council’s lack of elected representation. She pointed out that the Citizen’s League, the organization that originally spearheaded the drive to form the Met Council, now is reevaluating its support for the council.Read more
Special for Senate District 49 * October 15, 2015
The Metropolitan Council is a 17 member regional super-government appointed by the governor and accountable to no one else. The Council has full taxing authority and a new mandate to change housing, transportation and the environment; in short, how you and I live our lives every single day. The prospect of an unelected board of apparatchiks micro-managing how we live is a chilling consequence of the radical expanse of governmental authority.
The Council was founded in the mid-1960s as part of a then-popular move toward “regional planning.” In essence the Council was sold on its promise to make sure that intra-county resources like roads and utilities are developed in a cooperative and efficient manner. As originally conceived, the Council’s charter to encourage efficiency by minimizing duplication among counties made a great deal of sense. After all, it made no sense if Scott County installed a system of waste-water pipes that failed to connect with the waste-water treatment facility maintained by Hennepin County. Over the past half century, however, the Council has gobbled up more and more power, gradually expanding its scope and size. In the process, the Council has gained full taxing authority and has dramatically expanded to the point that, under Governor Dayton, these 17 unknown bureaucrats have virtual plenary power over every single person living within the seven county metropolitan area.
At the end of 2014, the Council adopted its most audacious power grab ever, adopting the innocuous sounding “Thrive MSP 2040.” This plan, reminiscent of the great centralized plans so popular in the former Soviet Union, will dramatically reshape how every person in the metro area lives and gets around. Like other grand governmental programs, the Thrive plan is full of vague and lofty sounding goals. In reality, however, the Thrive plan imposes a host of new ideologically-motivated criteria for municipal control; control that will be the exclusive domain of the central governmental authority unchecked by elected representatives and unaccountable to the taxpayers of the region.Read more
By Katherine Kersten * September 25, 2015
Impositions on municipalities. People moving out farther to find home prices they can manage. Subsidies. Affordable housing that’s not. A mentality of entitlement, not choice. All of this is what we’ll get from our unelected regional government.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area is a great place for ordinary folks to buy a house, put down roots and pursue the American dream. For now — but likely not for much longer.
Today, fully two-thirds of homes in the metro area are affordable to a family of four making $63,900 — which is 80 percent of the 2014 area median income for such a family, according to the Metropolitan Council.
But a new, top-down “housing policy plan” from the Met Council, our unelected regional government, now threatens to drive up housing costs for everyone — ironically, in the name of creating more affordable housing.Read more