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Kurt Daudt

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Kurt Daudt

SWLRT: Spring 2017 Update

by JeffStrate on May 15, 2017 · 0 comments

 

The new edition of Democratic Visions features an update on the funding status of Southwest Light Rail (SWLRT) from local sources and the Federal Transportation Administration. It’s complicated, but Met Council Member and public transit champion Jennifer Munt makes it understandable. Munt represents Met Council Dist. 3 which includes west metro cities in the Lake Minnetonka area including Eden Prairie and Minnetonka through which the Green Line extension and its passenger stations will be built.

 

I here share a few thoughts of my own. The snippy cult of opponents to the Southwest Light Rail project, based along what had been a freight rail line and switching yard between Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles (Minneapolis), with its nuisance environmental law suit continues to generate copy for MinnPost and the StarTribune. The NIMBYs, some of whom are, reportedly, influential Democrats, are encouraged by Republican legislators including House Speaker Kurt Daudt, Senate President Michelle Fischbach, and transportation committee chairs Paul Torkelson, Linda Runbeck and Scott Newman. For their own purposes, these GOPers have deceitfully re-branded SWLRT into a wedge issue about the cost of light rail, funding priorities and urban/rural inequity. Their shenanigans have generated even more copy at MinnPost and The Strib whose news and editorial sections love to show renderings of various plans of the new bridge that will cross the channel between Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake.  It’s as if Southwest Light Rail has no other importance.  Here’s one of those renderings.

One of several design plans that have been considered or the light rail transit bridge in the Kenilworth Corridor.

One of several design plans that have been considered for the light rail transit bridge in the Kenilworth Corridor.

Would that the photo editors at the StarTribune and MinnPost select other SWLRT images.  There are scores of them: stations, bridges, parking ramps and landscaping plans along the alignment through Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie. Believe it or not, the Green Line Extension beyond the Kenilworth Corridor actually edges North Minneapolis and penetrates job rich centers in the south west ‘burbs.  But maybe selecting images from a Met Council or city website on a desktop or laptop is really, really difficult, maybe even exhausting.  But maybe not.   I found these pics earlier today in about 15 minutes.

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No judicial disaster on Minnesota primary day

by Dan Burns on August 10, 2016 · 0 comments

Minnesota-State-CapitolThe incumbent, supremely qualified member of the Minnesota Supreme Court, Natalie Hudson, won without difficulty. But it is nonetheless an unpleasant reality that many voted for people who are even more supremely un-qualified, and who in the case of Michelle MacDonald (who will be on the general election ballot, again) is a serious head case. The legislature needs to institute judicial retention elections. That would require a public referendum vote to amend the state Constitution. I’m confident that with some voter education that would pass.
 

Jason Lewis kicked butt in MN-02. He will likely get no help from the national party for November. They’ll be mostly playing defense, in places that they never expected they would have to pre-Trump, and they’d apparently rather have a Democrat than another Freedom Caucus type win anyway.
 

In the state GOP contests that I blogged about:
 

– House Speaker Kurt Daudt won easily but not overwhelmingly.
 
– From the same link, Rep. Tom Hackbarth (R-Cedar) was defeated.
 
So was Sen. Sean Nienow (R-Cambridge).
 

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kurt-daudtState House minority leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, took his sweet time talking to the press about his weird adventure with the gun and the Bronco (the SUV sort, not a horse or football player) and even then, seemed to be reluctant to say much. I can’t tell if one screamingly obvious question was asked, but it sure wasn’t answered: why did Daudt bring a loaded gun to go car shopping?

 

I don’t care that Daudt has a hobby restoring old vehicles. That’s common, and driving to other states to acquire desired vehicles, a 1966 Ford Bronco in this case, is something such hobbyists do. That he brought someone with him makes sense since somebody needs to drive his car back. I’m not even that concerned about the particulars of the argument with the seller because accounts of the participants will conflict and memories are pretty fungible sometimes. In other words, I’m offering no comment on who said what or who was right. If you want to look at court documents, they’re here, but whether the seller misrepresented the vehicle as Daudt says or there was something else they argued over, isn’t really the question.

 

Here’s the question: why did Daudt bring a gun just to go look at a vehicle? Actually, that begs a couple more questions. Why was he carrying the gun loaded? Why was he bringing a loaded gun in easy reach of a traveling companion who has had multiple problems with the law?

 

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Kurt Daudt would repeal health care reform

by The Big E on December 17, 2013 · 3 comments

kurt-daudtHouse Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) is one of those far right wing politicians who swept into office in the 2010 Tea Party wave. Moderation, cooperation and bipartisanship are anathema to Tea Party Republicans like Daudt. So it’s no surprise he would repeal Obamacare.
 
Not that he can do much in the State Legislature controlled by the DFL, but, you know, a right wing lunatic can dream, can’t he?
 

But the MNGOP has done what it can in Minnesota to make sure that our implementation, http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2013/12/gop-leaders-dayton-representative-spar-over-mnsure-performance-criticisms, wouldn’t go well. Mainly through neglect. They did nothing when they ran the legislature.
 
When reporters pushed the Republicans on their role in the exchange’s missteps, they demurred. The GOP blocked or ignored exchange legislation during their time in the majority, when Dayton pushed ahead on his own.
 
“Would I love to repeal this? In a heartbeat,” House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt said, noting that the federal regulatory atmosphere made such a move unlikely.
 
Dayton called the exchange’s performance “unacceptable” last week. On Monday, his administration was critical of the new GOP attacks.
 
“No one has ever gotten health care via press conference, so it is unsurprising that today’s round of GOP rhetoric was so unproductive,” Dayton administration Spokesman Matt Swenson said in a press release.
(MinnPost)

So remember this during the 2014 legislative session when Daudt complains that the DFL majority won’t work with him. Work with him on what exactly? Repealing Obamacare? Preventing the DFL majorities from doing anything? That’s the only compromise he’s interested in.
 
Photo: MinnPost

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Assessments of Governor Dayton’s proposals

by Dan Burns on January 23, 2013 · 0 comments

First, knowledgeable and rational, from one of the best think tanks that you’ll find, if you ask me.

However, all things considered, the Dayton tax plan is the most comprehensive and thoughtful reform initiative since the turn of the century and represents a major move forward in terms of promoting tax fairness, revenue adequacy, and budget stability.

Then, precisely what’s to be expected from dogmatic intellectual featherweights.

Senate and House minority leaders Sen. David Hann and Rep. Kurt Daudt found nothing to like and everything to fault. They characterized Dayton’s proposal for a lowering and broadening of the sales tax as a middle-class tax increase and job killer…

Hann…had a realistic take on the Republicans’ loss of power in budget negotiations: “We don’t have the votes.”

Furthermore, Hann and Daudt hinted that Republicans may even be content to let the DFL take the budget lead. “We’ll certainly invite the public to come to the Legislature and voice opinion on the increased taxes,” Hann said.

The public has consistently had no problem with making the rich man start to pay up.  Incidentally, it’s past time that more media started paying attention to Hanngate.

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If the MNGOP calls this regrouping

by The Big E on January 8, 2013 · 2 comments

David Hann Kurt Daudt

Can we have more please?

In the fallout to the resounding electoral defeat, the Minnesota Republican Party is in shambles.

They’re nearly bankrupt and donors haven’t been giving. The brains that won them majorities in both legislative houses was ousted over a sex scandal. The Photo ID and Marriage Amendments that were supposed to excite the base and protect their majorities, failed utterly. The amendments galvanized the left and ensured the MNGOP’s electoral demise.

You would think the MNGOP leadership would do some soul-searching, reevaluate and come back with a new plan and stream-lined messaging. If you thought that, you’d be wrong.

Thankfully, it’ll just be more of the same:

Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, incoming Senate minority leader, said that while they lost the election, “philosophically, we don’t think our ideas are wrong.” Republicans’ task, he said, is doing “a better job of communicating those ideas.”

That includes holding down taxes and spending, promoting free-market solutions in health care and other areas, making the state more business-friendly and retaining the traditional legal definition of marriage.

Sen. Hann is going to be the gift that keeps on giving. Unless he joins Steve Gottwalt and resigns over his conflict of interest scandal.

“We like the opportunities that we’re going to have to point out the differences,” said Rep. Kurt Daudt, the incoming House Republican leader, who lives in rural Isanti County. “We think you’re going to see stark contrasts between what liberal Democrats believe and what conservatives believe.”

Yup. Daudt wants to explain how all the policies that got us into our current mess are better for Minnesota than responsible governing.

With leadership like this, the 2014 elections should be good for the DFL.

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Who Is Election Energy, And Why It Matters

by TwoPuttTommy on November 28, 2012 · 2 comments

Last week, we discussed Verified Twitter Accounts – specifically, that Minnesota Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson had one.  On Monday, we looked at Chief Justice Lorie Gildea’s expenses on her Campaign Finance Reports (“CFB”) for her campaign website – well, specifically, the lack thereof.  

Today, we’re going to look at website expenses for the campaign of Supreme Court Justice G. Barry Anderson – and several other prominent Republicans.  We’ll start with one such prominent Republican, the soon-to-be former GOP Senate Caucus Leader Dave Senjem – a screenshot from Senjem’s CFB report is above.  On Sen Senjem’s CFB report, you’ll note the expenses of $250 and $12 on 31 July and 17 September 2012 for website related fees to “Election Energy” to a street address in Apple Valley.  That street address matches the address listed which was found during a Domain Search for www.ElectionEnergy.com; link to screenshot here.

Justice G. Barry Anderson also used Election Energy as a vendor; on his latest CFB report it’s his largest vendor – accounting for almost 30% of his campaign’s expenditures (almost $19k).  Except, on Anderson’s CFB report, there’s a different address for Election Energy; it’s listed as a P. O. Box.

Hmmm…. Time to check property tax records for the address reported by Senjem’s campaign!  And what do we find?  It seems the address used by Senjem, and NOT used by Anderson, is owned by: “Grant B. and Louise H. Anderson”.

Sources have confirmed the address used by Senjem, but NOT by Anderson, is indeed Justice G. Barry Anderson’s home.

Of course, it’s possible that “Election Energy” – using a business address of State Supreme Court Justice Grant B. Anderson, who goes by “G. Barry Anderson” – isn’t owned by Justice Anderson; it’s possible it’s owned by his son, Grant Anderson, who is acting as Justice Anderson’s digital director.

Better check with the Secretary of State’s Office, and find out who is the registered owner(s) of “Election Energy”!  

Hmmmm…..  An on-line search, via the Secretary of State’s office reveals: “No results match the criteria entered.”.  Hmmm, maybe I’m doing something wrong?  No, said the nice person at the Secretary of State’s Business Services Section – they couldn’t find any record of registration either.

Does a website company that’s physically located in Minnesota, has customers in Minnesota, and is soliciting for more business need to be registered?  Well, according to the nice person at the Secretary of State’s office, who did NOT know the nature of the people involved – a sitting State Supreme Court justice, for one – said while not an attorney, it appears that under statutes 303 and 331 – the short answer is yes.

To recap: what we appear to have is an unlicensed business being run out of the home of a Supreme Court Justice that has said Justice as a customer.  Additional customers include current GOP Senator Senjem, former GOP State Rep Keith Downey, soon-to-be GOP House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, and fellow Supreme Court Justice David Stras, whose campaign sent $5,000 to Election Energy’s P.O. Box.

Here’s what I wrote in the post about Gildea:

If there is anyone who’s campaign finance reports should be squeaky clean and transparent, it’s a judge running for re-election – especially the judge running to retain the seat for Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court.

Consider that said about Justice G. Barry too.  There’s some ‘splainin’ to do….

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…and once elected, they prove it.

Do poor people cheat?  Of course – just look at Denny Hecker, Tom Petters, Frank Vennes – the last two, noted pals of Michele Bachmann (well, Norm “Smokescreen” Coleman, too).  People on welfare?  Not so much pals of Bachmann (nor Norm), but yes, some of them have been known to cheat.  And the State has been diligent in finding ways to prevent cheating, such as going from actual paper “stamps” in the “food stamp” program to using plastic “debit cards” – EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) Cards.  Diligent as the State is, cheaters are equally diligent in finding ways to beat the system – which is why, for instance, that years ago the State quit allowing cash deductions from EBT cards at casinos.

I bring this up, because I saw this tweet:

It has to do with this map, that the GOPers hauled out at the State House yesterday:

That map shows that of almost $500,000,000 in assistance, about $10,000,000 was spent outside of Minnesota – with about half of that in neighboring states.

That map allegedly “supports” a bill introduced yesterday by Kurt Daudt, GOP=GreedOverPrinciples that is, in essence a solution in search of a problem.  In other words, a waste of time.  GOPers want to pass a law that money in an EBT account can only be spent in Minnesota – even though Federal Law says, for instance, that Food Stamp money, even in an EBT account, can be spent anywhere.

Tentherism” ring a bell, here?

The amount of money that could – and should – be tightened up out of that $10 million is only about $3 million, according to federal law.  My point is that the time to take time and tighten that $3 million up, is AFTER the GOP has put their budget plan forward AND put their plan to put Minnesotans back to work.

It’s about priorities – and so far this session, the GOP priorities have been anything but putting a budget plan forward and planning to put Minnesotans back to work.

We are staring at a budget deficit of about $6 Billion, and these GOPer Tenthers are wasting time with a $3 million stunt like they did yesterday.  But hey, why work on the big problems, when you can trot out the ol’ “welfare cadillac” canard?

Which is why I have to say, once again:  Republicans run on the platform “Government doesn’t work!” – and once elected, they prove it.

 

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