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Legislature New

Manure_spreader_Record_2Because to not go with one final piece of petty, infantile crap – and a piece that is bad for public health, at that – just is not in Minnesota legislative Republicans’ playbook. A**holes to the end.
 

A new state rule aimed at reducing groundwater contamination by farm fertilizers could be delayed by a legislative move made formal on Monday…
 
The so-called Groundwater Protection Rule has been several years in the making and looks to reduce the amount of nitrogen reaching groundwater aquifers, which many Minnesotans rely on for their drinking water. In delaying the rule, the Legislature tapped an obscure 2001 law that appears to put a check on administrative rules by giving the next Legislature a chance to weigh in on it in 2019.
 
But Dayton said he has instructed the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to proceed as planned and has called the Legislature’s move unconstitutional.
 
It’s possible the matter will end up in court. On Monday, Dayton reiterated that he thinks the Legislature overstepped its bounds.
(MPR)

It’s important to understand that those referenced above would quite honestly view my remarks as unfair and offensive, if they saw them. Their motivated reasoning is such that they really do see themselves, in this, as heroically “combating government overreach” and “letting the markets work.” After all, Almighty Reagan would approve. So would Donald Trump.
 
My gut feeling, based on nothing specific, is that this one doesn’t really stink of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), either. I figure they did it on their own.
 

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Weird happenings with DFL Convention and Filings

by Eric Ferguson on June 6, 2018 · 1 comment

Pelikan pelican from outside DFL state conventionSo by now, you’ve likely had your head spinning from the news from the DFL side regarding who is running for what, and lots of candidates coming out of the woodwork to run for this and switch to that, and run for something when they were running for something else. It’s interesting, at least to a politics junkie, and you’re reading this web site, so…

 
You were likely looking at the governor race, and this involves that to be sure. You may not have been following closely enough to know the candidate filing period just closed, or you heard but didn’t care what that meant. The weirdness has a whole lot to do with that however. It all starts, however, with the race for state attorney general (AG). Yes, an office a lot of people haven’t even heard of.
 
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mnsenateOn behalf of all Minnesotans, even if too many don’t realize it. It’s now Lieutenant Governor Michelle Fischbach.
 

Her decision splits the Senate evenly at 33 Republicans and 33 Democrats. Fischbach said she waited until the end of the legislative session to resign from her seat because she felt her Senate District 13 constituents needed a representative at the Capitol.
 
Dayton’s office said the governor will call a special election to fill Fischbach’s Senate seat to coincide with the November general election. Fischbach said she will not run in the special election.
(MPR)

There will be nothing easy about winning this district. In the wake of the 2016 horror show, Minnesota’s peerless electoral stats guru has it at R+13. But overcoming big challenges is one of the things that makes life rewarding.
 

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319484_10150274658633247_1013005_nPlease, please stick to your guns on this.
 

Gov. Mark Dayton issued an ultimatum Monday as the Legislature’s session entered its final week: Without emergency funding for schools he won’t cut a tax deal. Republicans said they wouldn’t meet his demand…
 
“My position is that I will not engage in any negotiations on a tax bill or sign any tax bill until we have an agreement to provide emergency school aid,” Dayton said, stressing that his proposal is needed to stop schools from shedding staff or ditching programs.
(MPR)

Update: As of Thursday morning, Governor Dayton is indeed sticking to his guns. Which is a great thing, for all Minnesotans, even if too many haven’t the sense to realize that.
 
A reality check on Minnesota school funding, and other remarks, below the fold.
 
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MN lege: GOP gun bills are a feeble ploy

by Dan Burns on May 8, 2018 · 0 comments

minnesota_state_capitolSome Republicans in Minnesota are trying to cover their electoral behinds. Indications so far are that suburban GOPers will be at particular risk, nationwide, in November.
 

Two Republican lawmakers from Minneapolis suburbs proposed bills Wednesday that encourage private gun sales to go through background checks and would tighten gun access for people convicted of domestic assault.
 
Rep. Sarah Anderson of Plymouth and Rep. Jenifer Loon of Eden Prairie are co-sponsoring the bills, which they say are an effort to keep guns out of the hands of ineligible and potentially dangerous people. One bill would shield private sellers from criminal liabilities if they sell a gun later used in a crime.
 
The other involves several small tweaks to how guns can be taken from people after a court order, including requirements for sheriff’s offices to follow up with the court. Courts would also be required to hold hearings for people who have their guns taken and also are guaranteed a hearing within three days under the proposal…
 
Rep. Dave Pinto, a Democrat from St. Paul, said the recent proposals were “mildly encouraging.” But he said they fall short in addressing gun violence compared to requiring background checks and creating legal paths to temporarily remove guns from dangerous or mentally unstable people that he and other lawmakers have pushed for.
(Pioneer Press)

Also note:
 

A work requirement for many people receiving Minnesota’s version of Medicaid: To the surprise of some, Republicans left their proposal out of the budget bills that passed off the House and Senate floors.
(MPR)

 
There are plenty of assertions out there that Minnesota will somehow be the big exception to the blue wave. Many seem to be based on a poll back in January showing Trump job approval barely underwater in the state. Anyone at all familiar with the history of Mason-Dixon polling for the Star Tribune knows about how seriously to take that.
 
That being said, Trump in the White House is a vile, obscene indicator of just how degraded and corrupt our politics (and the corporate media that “cover” them) have become, and I won’t be truly confident of a blue wave until I see it. But based on the above, Minnesota Republican legislators don’t seem to share that view.
 

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The fine mess that Enbridge Line 3 has become

by Dan Burns on April 30, 2018 · 1 comment

enbridge2The saga of the highly controversial Enbridge Line 3 replacement/rerouting proposal took another turn last week.
 

Administrative law judge Ann O’Reilly issued a non-binding recommendation on (April 23) that Minnesota regulators should approve the pipeline, but only if it runs along the current route and not Enbridge Energy’s preferred new path.
(MPR)

 
– Also from that article, Gov. Mark Dayton says that is not feasible. (Dayton is not opposed to the project. Though he has, bless his heart, said he’ll veto a bill from the GOP-controlled Minnesota legislature that would allow Enbridge to basically bypass the rest of the review process and start whenever they want to.)
 

– The ruling would likely strengthen the positions of affected Native Americans.

 
– Enbridge very much wants to stick with its plan.

 
So we’ll see.
 
Comment below fold.
 
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abortionThis new study is really disturbing.
 

Doctors and nurses should never fear losing their jobs simply because they treated patients seeking abortion, or because they support abortion access. Yet across the country clinicians are fired, threatened, and otherwise punished for providing abortion services, seeking abortion training, or engaging in advocacy around abortion. This kind of discrimination is unacceptable, but it is little known or addressed.
(National Women’s Law Center)

During every legislative session in Minnesota forced-birth fanatics come up with a new focus. TRAP laws, requiring a doctor’s presence for medication abortions…this year it’s ultrasound.
 

HF3194/SF2849 This bill requires providers to offer patients the option of having an ultrasound just prior to an abortion. This is unnecessary as patients already have the right to an ultrasound. Doctors should determine the health care needs of patients, not legislators. This bill is about shaming women who choose to have an abortion by implying they do not have all the information they need to make that decision.
(Women’s March Minnesota)

Comment below fold.
 
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Panic, on the part of the MN GOP? Or what?

by Dan Burns on April 13, 2018 · 1 comment

mncapitol2This proposal would be a good thing for people who are not engorged with unearned privilege. Which makes it very out of character for Minnesota legislative Republicans. So you wonder if their own people are telling them that this November could indeed be massively ugly for them, if they don’t try to do something that actually affects most Minnesotans’ lives for the better. (It’s also interesting to consider, in this context, that one of Tim Pawlenty’s “legacies” as governor was slashing LGA.)

 

Minnesota cities that rely on local government aid to fund a number of crucial government services have seen appropriations follow a downward trend for 15 years. But those appropriations could reach their highest amount since 2002.
 
Sponsored by Rep. Paul Anderson (R-Starbuck), HF3493 would raise the appropriation for city local government aid from $534.4 million to $564.4 million beginning in calendar year 2019.
 
The bill was held over by the House Property Tax and Local Government Finance Division Wednesday for possible omnibus bill inclusion. Its companion, SF3082, sponsored by Sen. Bill Weber (R-Luverne), awaits action by the Senate Taxes Committee.
(Session Daily)

(Just a reminder that all MN House seats are up this year, but the state Senate is not.)
 
Comment below fold.
 
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fransonI suppose that the four names that come to mind quickly, for me, these days, when you’re talking about the worst – and most offensive – right-wing insanity in the Minnesota House are Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa), Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R-Glencoe), Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover), and Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria). It’s the last of those who is drawing the wrong kind of headlines, this time.

 

As if launching sexist and racist attacks against Parkland student activist Emma Gonzalez over the weekend wasn’t enough, one pro-gun conservative is now bolstering her attack on young activists by likening their demands for gun control to Nazism.
 
In a series of tasteless Facebook posts, Minnesota Republican Rep. Mary Franson compared March For Our Lives protesters to Hitler youth. She then apparently deleted her Facebook account.
(AlterNet)

Franson’s DFL-endorsed opponent in 8B is Gail Kulp.
 

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mncapitol2Namely, with Medicaid work requirements. A tiny, perverse part of me kind of wishes that Governor Mark Dayton actually would sign it (not really, but you know what I mean), presuming that it gets through the Senate with its big old 1-vote GOP majority. Because, for example, from last July:

 

James Acker is a Donald Trump supporter deep in Minnesota Trump country. Cass County voted two-to-one for Trump over Hillary Clinton in last fall’s presidential election.
 
Acker and some of his neighbors, however, are not sold on what they’ve heard from Trump and other Republican lawmakers on Medicaid. The federal health safety net plays a crucial role here and many residents are worried now about the GOP’s push to remake health care and how that will affect them and their communities…
 
Many in Cass County are watching intently. Despite the overwhelming support for Trump, people are wary about changing a program that for many is a life-or-death necessity.
(MPR)

This is about another really intellectually stellar proposal:
 

OK, Minnesota State Legislators: What is going on with SF 2487? It requires schools to adopt a “written academic balance policy” that must “prohibit school employees, in their official capacity, from requiring students or other school employees to express specified social or political viewpoints for the purposes of academic credit, extracurricular participation, or as a condition of employment,” among other things.
 
On its face, this seems simple enough. But what does it mean? I understand that, as a professional educator, I won’t be telling my students that they should vote for a specific candidate. I don’t know any professional teacher who would do that. Of course we wouldn’t say “only conservatives are allowed on the debate team,” or “only socialists are allowed to try out for the basketball team.”
 
But what is a “social viewpoint?” Is Black Lives Matter a social viewpoint? Because that’s not really negotiable: the lives of my black students, friends, colleagues, and fellow citizens do matter, unequivocally. How about supporting LGBTQ students’ rights to have a safe place to learn, or that their lives matter? Is that a social viewpoint? Because that’s not really negotiable either. How about “women are equal to men?” There are so many different things that fall under the idea of “social viewpoint” that are basic rules of safe classrooms and healthy schools.
(Adventures in Distraction)

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