Erik Paulsen: the Adult in the Room

Paulsen_at_Convention_389x425.jpgErik Paulsen is the best choice to represent us in Congress. He is hard-working and experienced. He has earned his position on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee which has jurisdiction over health care, economic and trade policy and is the chief tax writing committee in the House of Representatives. He is co-chair of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Caucus to promote trade with Europe.

Erik has authored some important legislation, combatting sex trafficking, reforming child welfare systems, and repealing the Medical Devices tax.

He has stood his ground on issues important to him, speaking against legislation that would deny the Boundary Waters Canoe Area the same environmental protections that other National Forests receive. He has been endorsed by another outstanding former congressman, Jim Ramstad.

Dean_Phillips.JPGPaulsen has been unfairly criticized for accepting PAC money. It should be noted that his opponent, Dean Phillips (photo at right in his "Winnie the Election" costume) has resorted to self-funding his own campaign out of his personal wealth. Phillips had previously issued his “Minnesota Way” pledge, and called such self-funding “Not Democratic”. He’s also broken another pledge by failing to donate to charity any of the millions he has accepted in outside ads running on his behalf funded by the same special interests he claims to oppose.

If you want to be represented by a knowledgeable legislator who is not flamboyant, who works hard for his constituents, and who is in a position to make his experience count, vote for the adult in the room. Vote for Erik Paulsen.


10 Reasons to Vote Republican

Your_Vote_Counts_Button.jpgRecent polls are showing that several of the state and local races this year are tightening. The differences in some polls are within the margin of error, meaning that the race could go either way. It is very important that we take every opportunity to talk with our family, friends, and neighbors about voting. A significant minority of the people polled say they are still undecided. Some even question why they should vote!

Cutting through all of the political advertising and media sound bites, Republican and Democratic candidates in Minnesota reflect a clear difference in governing philosophy and policy priorities. Here are ten reasons to vote Republican:

1. Republicans believe in personal responsibility. We want the freedom to make choices that affect our lives, not have a faceless bureaucracy make those choices for us.

2. Republicans believe that government regulations should be limited to the intent of the laws, not expanded to achieve a political agenda. Regulations are necessary, but over-regulation discourages the growth of business and stifles innovation. For example, we believe that proposed mining operations should be allowed to proceed once fair and reasonable environment assessments and mitigation plans have been completed.

3. Republicans believe in the value of marketplace capitalism and the role of competition. Actions that restrict marketplaces, such as single-payer health care, sustain the status quo, restrain innovation, and do little to reduce costs over the long run.

4. Republicans believe that government has an essential role to play. As Republican State Senator Julie Rosen wrote in an opinion piece in the Star Tribune on October 13, “even the most frugal Minnesotan can get behind good government spending on things like public safety, roads, child welfare and health care for the poor and elderly.”

 

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Principles Matter: Presumption of Innocence

guilty_and_innocent.jpgThe last several months, beginning with the election of 2016 and culminating in the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, have made it very plain to even the most casual of observers, that Democrats have adopted the most terrifying set of political behaviors in the last 100 years of American history. With hysterical mobs of screaming protestors in the hallways of the Senate, masked thugs in the streets and a gunman bent on slaughter at a baseball field, the American Left has openly proclaimed that it is willing to abandon even the most basic standards of civilization itself, and return to the days of Lynch Law, to regain its power.

The Kavanaugh hearings exhibited for all to see, that Amy Klobuchar and her fellow Democrats on the Judiciary Committee were perfectly comfortable with the idea that no nominee brought before them could safely rely on any right to the presumption of innocence. In fact, the mere expression of even the flimsiest allegation, without the slightest substantiation or corroboration or evidence, of an offense against any member of any identifiable victim group, was ample justification to demand endless delay, and to slander and smear the nominee beyond any hope of redemption.

When Democrats were challenged by Republicans defending the nominee’s right to due process and the presumption of innocence, they responded with the vapid rationalization that “this is not a criminal trial” so there was no reason for them to respect any such right. From that moment on, the hearings devolved into a ghastly replay of a Stalinist Soviet Show Trial.

The importance of the right of anyone accused of an offense to be assumed innocent until proven guilty, is not simply a minor technicality that can be ignored for temporary political convenience or limited to a formal criminal trial.

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Edina Transparency and Trust: Lid Project

Lid_over_Hwy100_Concept_Image.jpgI didn’t believe it when I read it. Did you?  The Edina Mayor and City Council voted to suspend spending on the “LID”. 

The good news is that the city recognizes that many citizens do not agree with their rush to develop the city and increase density without looking at the consequences.  The bad news is there was no time limit to the suspension.  If they had voted to suspend spending for 3 to 5 years I might have believed their claims that the “LID” is a long term project.

It sounds like politics as usual to make the incumbents look good just before the election.  Here are some things to consider:

  • The city has already spent $368,000 on the “LID” and Metro Transit has spent $100,000. The city has authorized spending $100,000 on lobbying efforts at the legislature on this project. 
  • Before the motion to suspend spending, the city authorized spending an additional $200,000 on the “LID” and to begin acquiring rights to property for the project.
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Early Voting May Decide the November 6 Election

I_Voted_Sticker.jpgBy Frank Lorenz

If Republican candidates are going to win office in the November 6 election, we have to turn out EVERY living conservative to vote. The DFL, as usual, will start with a 900,000 vote lead from their power base in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth.

Ballots to vote early are available 46 days before the election day, which means voting started September 21. You can request a ballot now by email to the Secretary of State, CLICK HERE  or you can vote early in person at designated voting places in your county. In SD49’s 4 cities that would be our City Halls (Edina, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, and Minnetonka).

• If you have children in college outside the metro area, make sure they get an early ballot from the Secretary of State and use it to vote.

• If you have a relative who is in a nursing home, disabled or lives far from their polling place, help them get an early ballot for sure and encourage them vote now during these last days of September. If bad weather on election day causes people to not show up at the polls, we Republicans will lose the election.

• If you have friends or relatives who will be in Arizona, California, or Florida, etc. on election day, make sure they get an early ballot and vote.

Remember… Al Franken became a U.S. Senator when he won the election against Norm Coleman by just 312 votes.

Making phone calls and door-knocking to win new support for our candidates is good. But we must also be sure that everyone who is already a conservative votes – no exceptions.

Can you (we) afford the tax increases and spending from four years of Tim Waltz as governor and Keith Ellison as attorney general? Do you want both Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar in the U.S. Senate for six more years??... of course not.

Our 2018 Resolution: Everyone who is a conservative votes – no exceptions


Is the City of Edina Transparent? Trustworthy?

By Wayne Wenger

Skyline.jpgIs the City of Edina Transparent? Trustworthy?


That was an issue raised at the last city council election. It is still relevant. I try to keep it simple. Do I trust that the city truly listens to citizens opinions? Do the mayor and city council seek input before they embark on a major change of direction, like the increase in density that will dramatically increase our population in a few years? My answer is a resounding NO. The mayor and city council seem to be listening to the Metropolitan Council and not the residents of Edina.

Here are a few of my examples. I am sure you have your own.

Have you been asked if you want the population of Edina to grow 20% in the next few years? I haven’t. I also haven’t seen how we are going to accommodate the additional traffic, additional students in our schools, the wear and tear on our infrastructure and parks, etc. If the mayor and the city council have projected the impact of this growth on our city, they haven’t shared it with anyone that I have talked to.

Part of the problem is they only look at a single project at a time. Common sense says that building an additional 100 apartments at 50th and France, 30 units at 44th and France, and 1150 units on the “LID” over Hwy 100 at 50th would impact traffic in the 50th and France area. The city looked at them as isolated projects without any impact on each other. They concluded the impact of each of these projects was negligible. That is another reason that I don’t trust the Mayor and the Edina City council.

Kevin Staunton and Bob Stewart were asked at a League of Women Voters debate whether they supported the proposed “LID”. While other candidates answered “NO”, Staunton and Stewart said it was worth studying further. They weren’t being completely truthful. They voted to include the “LID” in the 2018 city plan. They voted and have spent $368,000 to study the “LID”. They recently voted to spend an additional $100,000 to lobby for the “LID”. MNDOT, at the city’s request, has spent $100,000 on the ‘LID”. Over $500,000 is too much money to believe they are uncertain about the project. Later, they will tell us we have invested too much to cancel the “LID”.

It appears that if a resident requests a variance in the zoning laws, they are told no. If a developer wants to wants to build two stories more that the zoning laws, they are told yes.

The only way to get the city’s attention is to vote out the two incumbents—Kevin Staunton and Bob Stewart


Over-Development Can Ruin Edina

Skyline.jpgIn the September Edition of the Edina paper are listed 19 developments in Edina. It doesn’t include 4 recently completed and 14 additional projects at various stages of approval that will change the character of Edina for the worse.

Edina’s population is set to explode in the near future. The number of apartments will grow from 2,371 in 2017 to 8,230 or more in a few years. The Metropolitan Council projected Edina’s population in 2040 to be 55,100. I project population to grow to 66,000 as a result of this development, in just the next few years.

The Mayor and the City Council are rushing to approve development that will push population 20% higher than 2040 projections. They have not looked at the cumulative effects of this building boom. Do you want 20% more traffic on our streets in the next few years? Can we support 20% more kids in our schools? Are our parks and infrastructure capable of keeping up with the demand?

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In Minnesota, the Debate is Over - Tax Reform is Working

Paulsen.jpgIn late August, candidates for Minnesota's third congressional district squared off in the first debate of this election cycle. They repeatedly clashed over whether last year's tax reform has improved the lives of Minnesota workers.

Dean Phillips, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party nominee, argued that tax reform has mostly benefited the rich rather than average Minnesotans. Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen (right), who helped write the law, said it has boosted economic growth and put money back in workers' pockets.

So who's right? Well, let's look at what has happened across Minnesota since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law in late December.

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Bloomington Forward 2040 Keeps the Good

By Lew Coffey

"What the planning staff in Bloomington is proposing is modest and incremental movement along visible lines of change to accommodate trends visible today, without fundamental alteration of Bloomington’s quiet residential nature."

Somebody is planning your future, whether you know it or not. Every decade or so, every city government in the Metro Area is required by law to submit a general plan for the future of their community to the Metropolitan Council for its approval. The Metropolitan Council, receiving all these mandated community plans, has the job of putting them all together and making sure that they are all consistent and fit together into a coherent regional plan.

Bloomington_Land_Use.JPGEach city’s plan is a broadly-based comprehensive look at the strengths and weaknesses, the trends of population and development and the wide range of possible outcomes that all of that data might suggest. It’s all a sort of “Here’s where we came from, here’s where we are, and here’s where we’d like to go!” exercise that every responsible management team needs to go through periodically, to stay prepared for the inevitable surprises that all too often explode “the best laid plans” with disturbing regularity.

As it’s normal role in this process, the Bloomington planning staff has recently held a series of presentations of its “Forward 2040 Comprehensive Plan”  to elicit public reaction. As it turns out, the planning document turns out to be far more interesting as a statement of city government’s general mindset than perhaps they might have intended.

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Dario Anselmo responds to Negative DFL Campaign Ad

Heather Edelson and the DFL Party have recently launched an attack ad on MN Rep Anselmo in their efforts to unseat him as our representative on District 49A. Unable to identify positive reasons to support their candidate that will resonate in Edina, the DFL is resorting to making things up. Dario posted a response on his campaign Facebook page, and we have reposted it here.

Anselmo_Preferred_Photo_2017.jpgIt’s disappointing to see that my opponent and her party have chosen to go negative, resorting to falsehoods in order to do so. Edina deserves better. While I don’t intend to respond to every negative attempt, I want to set the record straight on a few issues that are particularly personal for me.

Education: As a father of three children in Edina schools and community leader advocating for education for 12+ years, I was the proud co-author of the bill that provides a more than $1.3 billion increase for education – putting more money in every classroom – and secures $25 million for school safety improvement.

Opioids: Having lost a good friend to opioid addiction, the opioid crisis our state and nation faces hits close to home. I was lead co-author with Rep. Dave Baker on a bill to institute electronic controls on opioid prescriptions (HF 3820) in order to help stem the tide of addiction.

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