Ranked Choice Voting - Not in Bloomington’s Best Interests

Small_Cropped_image_only_Logo_No_Ranked_Choice_Voting.jpgThe once well-managed cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul switched to ranked choice voting (RCV) to elect their mayor and city council members. If the recent actions of city government in these two major Minnesota cities are any indication, RCV doesn’t appear to have served the public’s interest in electing qualified candidates for city offices.

Ranked choice voting is promoted by a political activist group known as FairVote Minnesota. Their website promotes RCV using glowing terms like inclusive and representative, showing photos of groups of smiling citizens. RCV advocates falsely claim that switching to RCV will increase voter turnout.

In reality, RCV is a convoluted system of voting in which voters are expected to understand the differing positions of potentially large numbers of candidates for each particular office and then rank them in the voter’s preferred order in the voting booth. This incorrect assumption about voter motivation by RCV advocates represents a practical impossibility for the vast majority of voters and further weakens the case for adopting ranked choice voting.

Under RCV, election officials will evaluate the election results, and, if no single candidate has a clear majority of the votes, then election officials will initiate a scheme of reallocating votes based on voter’s second, third, fourth, fifth and so on, choices until one candidate achieves a 51% majority. FairVote claims that this process will always yield a winner that has majority voter support – a highly misleading assertion.

The candidate with the most votes in the first round could lose and the winner could ultimately be a candidate who started out with a much smaller number of votes but survived several rounds of vote reallocation to be declared the winner.

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Time for MN COVID-19 Reality Check

Covid_7_day_positive_test_rate_Oct_2020.jpgGov Walz is expected shortly to call another special session of the legislature to endorse his extension of his pandemic emergency powers. And for the seventh time, the DFL-lead Minnesota House will defeat any attempt by the Republicans and concerned Democrats to deny him that extension. Small businesses will remain shut down, most public schools will continue struggling with distance learning, and public discourse will remain hobbled by restrictions on open meetings.

A sizeable portion of our population remains gripped by the fear that has grown around the COVID-19 virus. Is it time to address that fear and assess if it is reasonable and appropriate to remain in lockdown until it disappears?

When the virus first broke out in the US, fear was a natural reaction. Little was known about it, less about how to treat it. Patients were experiencing severe breathing difficulties. Cases were spiking rapidly. Hospital intensive care units in other countries were being overwhelmed. Health experts were pointing to models predicting millions of deaths in the United States alone. In Minnesota alone, even with a stay-at-home order in place, the model being used in late March predicted that the state would experience 50,000 to 55,000 deaths. Draconian measures were needed to “flatten the curve” and buy time to prepare up to 3,000 ICU beds in our hospitals.

So, in the intervening seven months, what have we seen? Despite a few tragic missteps early on, Minnesota has done much better than we were told to fear. The following statistics are from the daily briefing given by the MN Department of Health.

- Rather than 50,000 deaths, Minnesota is approaching 2,100. Three-quarters of those deaths have occurred to patients in nursing homes and assisted living centers. This was largely due to the early and unfortunate decision to release infected patients from hospitals to nursing homes to free up hospital beds.
- As the graph shows, the curve has been flattened. The rolling seven-day average of the positive test rate is hovering just over 5%.
- Utilization of ICU beds has remained low enough that the MN Department of Health no longer reports on that statistic.
- 26% of Minnesotans have been tested for the virus. Over the course of seven months, about only 1.5% of Minnesotans tested positive. At this time, 0.2% of Minnesotans have an active case -- that means one out of 500 Minnesotans is known to be sick at this time.

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Minneapolis is Adrift and Ranked Choice Voting is the Culprit

Small_Cropped_image_only_Logo_No_Ranked_Choice_Voting.jpgAnnette Meeks, the CEO of the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, recently wrote an opinion piece  that was published in the Star Tribune on August 10. Meeks, who lives and works in Minneapolis, warns that other cities, like Bloomington and Minnetonka which both have RCV amendments on the ballot this fall, should be wary of following Minneapolis in adopting Ranked Choice Voting.

“Recently I’ve heard from friends across the country who ask the same question,” she writes “How did Minneapolis, once known as an innovative, trendsetting city, so quickly become a city adrift without bold leaders? It’s an easy question to answer if you consider how Minneapolis elects its mayor and City Council. In 2009, Minneapolis adopted an untested method of electing city officials called ranked-choice voting. RCV is now partly responsible for the demise of our once-great city and threatens the vibrancy of others who are following in our footsteps.”

Meeks goes on to counter many of the arguments given by supporters of Ranked Choice Voting. It does not simplify the voting process. It has little positive effect on voter participation. Unlike those elected using the primary method, the winners of elections conducted using RCV can succeed with far less than a majority of the votes. In fact, progressive cities like Aspen, Colorado, and Burlington, Vermont, have repealed RCV because it delivered the opposite of what its promoters promised it would.

Annette Meek’s words are well-worth reading in full. Bloomington and Minnetonka citizens are urged to consider them carefully before voting this fall.

Ranked Choice Voting - Why Vote "NO"

By Kathy Kranz, Co-Chair, Senate District 50 Republicans

Small_Cropped_image_only_Logo_No_Ranked_Choice_Voting.jpgQuestion 3 on the Bloomington Ballot will read: "Should the Bloomington City Charter be amended to elect the Mayor and City Council members by the Ranked Choice Voting Method?”

The Ranked Choice Voting method has been marketed to our City Council and our voting masses to appeal to all the heightened emotions of our turbulent times. It is a proposed solution in search of problems that it cannot address. Make sure you are an informed voter about what RCV really is, a redistribution of your votes.

In previous articles we have worked to keep you up to date with this issue.

Today, let’s look at the emotional advantages pro-RCV supporters will try on you:

RCV supporters say that it "Ensures winners with broad majority support" - Untrue. Minneapolis' Mayor Frey for example, won with far less than a single candidate majority. The inexperienced mayor won in the 5th round and was the top choice of fewer than 25% of the voters. Minneapolis made the outrageous claim that the mayor won with a "broad majority." An intentionally misleading claim, especially given the number of disqualified ballots. The number of votes needed to be "a majority" diminishes with each round of vote redistribution.

RCV supporters say that it "Eliminates the low-turnout, unrepresentative primary" - A better alternative is easily available. By simply changing the election cycle from odd to even years (when state-office primaries are already held), low turnout goes away. Prof. Schultz of Hamline Univ. spoke to the City Council and said that even-year primaries are the “silver bullet.” The fastest way to increase interest in something is keeping it simple; not anything RCV will do.

RCV supporters say that it "Saves taxpayers’ dollars"Untrue. Bloomington can’t really quantify yet, but Santa Fe, similar in size to Bloomington, spent $350,000 on RCV education in a mayoral race that had 20,000 voters turn out. Is Bloomington underestimating the additional cost to its taxpayers? Minnetonka estimates that it will pay $106K annually to run RCV. They will pay for new machines, new counting processes, legal challenges, and various miscellaneous expenses.

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At Last - Vote Yes/Yes on Organized Trash Ballot Questions

Trash_Collection.jpgSD49 is recommending that Bloomington residents vote Yes/Yes on the two Ballot Referendum questions (1 and 2) relating to Organized Trash.  This will return to you the freedom and direct-control of choosing your family's trash hauler. It will also reduce, if only slightly, the scope of city government.

Five years and multiple court-hearings later, after the city council voted to impose city-controlled trash collection, these referendum questions are being presented to voters at last. 

For more information visit the website www.yourchoicebloomington.com or their Facebook page.

The wording of the two questions can be confusing, so below we’ve included the question and what each vote will mean.

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No to Ranked Choice Voting Campaign Kick Off

By Kathy Kranz, Co-Chair, Senate District 50 Republicans

No_RCV_volunteers_Aug_15.jpgSaturday, August 15th, Bloomington Patriots volunteers visited the Farmer’s Market at Bloomington Civic Plaza to educate about the pitfalls of Ranked Choice Voting replacing our long-standing traditional voting opportunities. Yes, we had our masks with us, and we wore them at various times, but it was a beautiful fresh air kind of day outside. We were very encouraged by the number of people who wanted to know more and spread the word.

A brochure can be found at the RCVscam website for those who want to understand what RCV is and why it is not a good idea. 

More volunteers will be needed for various pop-up campaigns like the one at the Farmer’s Market, phone calling, neighborhood lit drops and sign placements. Please let us know how you can help. We need to “Save Our Vote”. Lawn signs should available by August 22. Please contact Kathy Kranz with your location if you are willing to host a lawn sign.

Small_Cropped_image_only_Logo_No_Ranked_Choice_Voting.jpgThe highly organized and sponsored FairvoteMN has raised $100,000 recently to convert Bloomington and Minnetonka to Ranked Choice Voting. Email Kathy Kranz at SD50Minnesota@gmail.com for more information on how you can help oppose that change.


Say No to RCV: A Fight Worth Having

Rank_Choice_Voting_Reality.jpgKathy Kranz is Co-Chair of Senate District 50 Republicans (Eastern portion of Bloomington, Richfield).

We have a group of residents who are going to be campaigning against RCV adoption in Bloomington.

WE NEED YOUR HELP. We will be treating this as a serious campaign from signage to neighborhood engagement to phone calling. We have approximately 41 days until early voting to get the word out. If you are interested in helping us protect our current voting system and shutting down the scheme known as Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) we need you.

Email me (Kathy Kranz) at SD50Minnesota@gmail.com and let me know you want to help. If you can’t help with phoning or door-knocking, you could host a sign location. And as always, I am available for any questions or discussions.

This is a fundamental fight for Bloomington election integrity.

But it isn’t stopping with Bloomington (SD49-50). Minnetonka residents (SD49, SD44 and SD48) just reached out to us. Their RCV change scenarios are eerily the same. This is a movement that must be stopped.

For more information please follow locally on facebook: No to Ranked-Choice Voting

And a new National Campaign against RCV: Protect My Ballot

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Polling: Conservative Responses, Edina Focus Group

If you're like me it's hard to not look at polling and because of that our emotions are all over the map when it comes to the Presidential race but please don't fret.

CATO_Institute_Logo.JPGThe CATO Institute recently released a study that concluded 77% of Conservatives self-censor themselves when it comes to expressing political beliefs, meaning there are a lot of Conservatives that don't tell the truth or the full truth when talking to pollsters.

Some more factors to consider on polling:  

  1. Some polls are released to serve agendas differently from accurately representing what people are thinking - meaning the news media use public opinion polls to drive stories.  Heck, the news media pays for the polls.    
  2. A poll is only a snapshot in time.  A lot will happen between now and election day.  
  3. There are National polls and State polls.  You have to keep in mind the outcome of the popular vote doesn't necessarily indicate the winner of the electoral college.  If you're looking at a national poll look at the sampling size.  1,200 is a good sample size for a National poll.  Having said that, when I do have to look at polls, I'm looking at State polls.  
  4. There is a difference between registered voters and likely voters.  Just because someone is registered doesn't mean they are going to vote.  Likely voters are more likely than registered voters to vote.  

Putting that aside I wanted to share a story that is very much unreported and it just so happened to involve Edina.  

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Qualls Responds to Dean Phillips’ “Parenting Advice”

By Kendall Qualls

Qualls_Family.jpgKendall Qualls is the Republican-endorsed candidate for US Congress in the 3rd Congressional District.  He has been particularly effective in making clear the distinction between his views and those of Dean Phillips regarding the importance of the American family and personal responsibility.

Here we go again. On June 23, Congressman Dean Phillips emailed his supporters and stated that "Racism is deeply ingrained...in our institutions, and in our everyday lives." He also created a “resource guide” on his website for “racial justice allyship” to “understand our nation’s” black experience and combat “systemic racism” in America.
Now, Dean has doubled down on his lectures on race in America and is offering parenting advice to Minnesotans because raising your kids not to be racist is a “daunting task” for everyone. Don’t worry though, Dean graciously expanded his reading list, including “Raising White: Bringing up Children in a Racially Unjust America.”

As a parent, and, yes, as a Black-American, I am bewildered by Dean’s foray into parenting advice. Do Third District residents need advice from Dean Phillips to raise their kids? Will their children grow up to be racists because “racism is learned” and the only way to stop it is to follow the advice of Dean Phillips? 
Despite what Dean may tell you, no amount of parenting advice or indoctrination from the far-left will resolve the significant disparities between Black-Americans and other groups until we address the single parent household crisis in which nearly 70% of black children are born into a single parent household, typically with absent fathers.

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Letter to Gov. Walz: Open Schools this Fall

School_Desks_Chalk_Board.jpgJoe Thalman, candidate for MN House in District 49B, was contacted by a local parent concerned that the closure of Minnesota’s schools under Gov. Walz’s unilateral shutdown order would be continued into the next school year. Following is the letter that the parent is trying to get published in the Star Tribune and other local papers. 

An open letter to Governor Walz,

I am writing to you as a mother of three young boys and a former high school teacher. Please reopen schools in the fall for the well-being of our children, our families, and our state.

When you initially closed schools with the Stay at Home Order, I was with you. I understood this was a necessary, temporary measure intended to flatten the curve of Covid-19. We presumed, even if kids didn’t present symptoms, that they might be “asymptomatic viral bombs” who would bring the virus home to more vulnerable adults. So, in an incredible act of solidarity, teachers, students and parents rose to the occasion to protect the common good.

Since then, we have acquired more tests and data. Data suggests that children are the least likely to contract Covid-19, the least likely to have severe symptoms, and the least likely to spread the virus. In fact, children tend to be the last in their household to contract the virus, not the first, as we originally thought. Given this information, reopening schools in the fall should be a top priority. Childcare centers, like the YMCA, that have remained open through the pandemic have successfully demonstrated that we can safely do this now. Yes, there may be some risk in sending students back to school, but there is also a great deal of risk in keeping them home.

At some point, keeping kids out of the school building could create a greater public health and mental health crisis than the one we are attempting to avoid.

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