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Ryan Winkler

DFL state convention live blog

by Eric Ferguson on June 1, 2014 · 9 comments

I’m at the DFL state convention, and I’ll be live blogging it, which means I’ll be posting updates below. The video above is an introduction similar to this, just for kicks. Feel free to subscribe to my channel. I may post video updates if opportunity arises, but I’ll generally be where people are trying to talk or people are trying to hear, so no promises, but I’ll see if I can show some of what goes on at a convention. Otherwise I’ll be posting what’s happening, maybe with an opinion since I’m allowed to do that. It’s a blog you know, and I’m not pretending to be a reporter or to be without biases. Jump to a preview of what’s going to happen.
Late Saturday update: The Saturday portion of this live blog got very long and made the front page a long scroll, and there are other posts worth reading. So I’m putting the “read more” below this paragraph, and the time stamped updates start on the jump. As expected, life required my presence at home, but I plan to live blog Sunday too, if I can get The Uptake’s stream working for me (quickie update: it worked). I suppose it depends on traffic, but I should have a better connection anyway. The mining resolution is expected to be the controversial part of the platform debates. Guess we’ll watch and see. Some things, like the constitution changes, might be inside baseball, but leave a question in the comments and I’ll try to answer.


Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-St. Louis Park) introduced a bill today that would ban corporations from making political donations in Minnesota. This is a response to the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling that corporations are people and that they have First Amendment protections. Since money equals speech in the United States, they are more free than the rest of us.

Currently, the bill lists Representatives Jerry Newton (DFL-Coon Rapids), Leon Lillie (DFL-North St. Paul), Zach Dorholt (DFL-St. Cloud) and Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) as co-authors.

Corporations would not be allowed to make independent political expenditures. This would mean fund a Super PAC or anything that would advocate for or against any candidate or ballot measure.

This bill does not affect lobbying.

Section 1. [302A.162] POWERS NOT POSSESSED.
Subdivision 1. Political campaign contributions.

(a) No corporation, as defined in section 302A.011, shall have the power to make a contribution or offer or agree to make a contribution, directly or indirectly, of any money; property; free service of its officers, employees, or members; or thing of monetary value to a major political party, organization, committee, or individual to promote or defeat the candidacy of an individual for nomination, election, or appointment to a political office.

(b) For purposes of this section, “contribution” includes an expenditure to promote or defeat the election or nomination of a candidate to a political office that is made with the authorization or expressed or implied consent of, or in cooperation or in concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate or committee established to support or oppose a candidate.

(c) Nothing in this section limits a corporation’s ability to lobby, to the extent otherwise permitted by law.

Subd. 2. Independent expenditures. No corporation, as defined in section 302A.011, shall have the power to make any expenditure or offer or agree to make an expenditure to promote or defeat the candidacy of an individual for nomination, election, or appointment to a political office. This includes independent expenditures as defined in section 10A.01, subdivision 18.

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What’s Happenin’ in DFL58

by mndem-dot-com on June 5, 2012 · 1 comment

It is time for DFLers in Senate District 58, and really DFLers across the state, because what DFLer doesn’t want to get rid of Dave Thompson, Pat Garofalo and Mary Liz Holberg, to step up and support the DFL candidates in Southern Dakota County.

Andrew Brobston will be endorsed by the DFL at the next meeting on June 7. Andrew is running for Minnesota State Senate 58 against Dave Thompson. If you recall, Dave Thompson is the candidate who took $70,000 in pay in 2010 from the Republican Party while he was running for state senate as a Republican. We found out there is no law against that in Minnesota. It’s unethical, but who knew it wasn’t illegal? Thompson also is the author of the Voter ID amendment which will definitely prevent some seniors from voting. I can name two who will swear up a storm against Dave Thompson if this passes, but are in no condition from a health standpoint to make the trip to go get an ID.

Even a small donation will help Andrew: CLICK HERE TO MAKE AN ONLINE DONATION

In 58A, Colin Lee is running for state House against Mary Liz Holberg. Mary Liz Holberg is a lifelong, ultra-partisan politician who thinks it is fine to shut down our government. Besides shutting down the government, what else has Holberg done recently? If you look at Holberg’s list of accomplishments on her own campaign website, even her list of accomplishments end in 2006. Being “one of 100 people to watch in 2000” doesn’t mean anything if in 2012 you did nothing but watch. Mary Liz Holberg has become such a career politician that when her district’s borders were redrawn, splitting Lakeville, she moved to the district that had a bigger share of Lakeville. I can only assume it was so she didn’t have to work very hard on her reelection with more voters who already know her.

Colin is working very hard, please send him a donation: CLICK HERE TO MAKE AN ONLINE DONATION

Jim Arlt is running against Pat Garofalo in Minnesota House district 58B. Pat is best known for being a squeaky wheel who make inappropriate comments, and whose main purpose at the capital seems to be to gain the ire of Democrats and teachers. Garofalo who constantly uses Twitter to insult Democrats, both elected Democrats and average DFL voters, hilariously has a highlighted blurb on the front page of his campaign website that says: “WORKING WITH DEMOCRATS: Representative Garofalo has worked to bring Republicans and Democrats together.” This is coming from the man who recently called all the Democratic House members “deadbeat Democrats.” I’m pretty sure if you talk to Paul Thissen, Ryan Winkler or Tom Rukavina, they might refute his claim.

Jim is a very strong candidate, and needs your help: CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION

We are very excited in DFL58, but we need your help!

Crossposted by Steve Quist (@Quist_Galaxie) on

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MN08: DFL Leaders Endorse Nolan

by keewatinrose on August 11, 2011 · 0 comments

Former Congressman Rick Nolan’s campaign to replace 8th District Representative Chip Cravaack picked up steam Thursday,with the Brainerd native receiving two key endorsements from different parts of the 8th District: Assistant House Minority Leader John Percell of Bemidji and former State Senator Becky Lourey of Kerrick.

Both Percell and Lourey stressed the importance of uniting behind one candidate in order to defeat Tea Party darling Chip Cravaack and emphasized the need for Nolan’s experience and leadership in Washington to fight the right-wing assault on working people and our most vulnerable citizens.

Lourey expressed particular concern about the gridlock surrounding the debt ceiling and stressed the need for Nolan’s expertise in finance:  

Rick Nolan is telling the truth about the balanced approach we need to control the national debt. He’s absolutely right to insist on ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, bringing wars of choice in the Middle East to a close, reducing our unnecessary military footprint around the world, cutting the Pentagon budget while protecting national security, and re-investing the trillions we’ll save into revitalizing America’s infrastructure and generating millions of new jobs in the process.

For Percell, one reason for supporting Nolan hit much closer to home – the need for someone who truly understands the 8th district and who will act in our best interests in Washington:

Rick Nolan was born and raised in the Eighth District.  He lives here.  His family lives here.  He’s created jobs here.  Rick will go to Washington and truly represent the people of the Eighth District.  

Chip Cravaack doesn’t represent the Eighth District. He represents the Republican National Committee. That’s why he’s supported putting Medicare and Social Security on the budget chopping block, voted to cut millions of dollars from rural airports in Chisholm-Hibbing, International Falls and potentially in Brainerd and Bemidji. And that’s why he’s helping lead the T-Party war on people who belong to unions, dedicated public employees and the middle class.

These enthusiastic endorsements from two well-respected leaders in the 8th district speak to Nolan’s strength as a candidate. State Representative Ryan Winkler, a Bemidji native, and former State Representative Tim Faust of Hinckley have also endorsed the Brainerd native.  DFLers in northeastern Minnesota are anxious to replace the one-term Cravaack, and many are clearly seeing the path to victory lies with Rick Nolan.


MN-08 Winkler out, endorses Nolan

by Joe Bodell on May 10, 2011 · 0 comments

State Rep. Ryan Winkler, who represents Golden Valley but was considering a run for Congress from his native home in Bemidji, is dropping his consideration of the race and endorsing former Congressman Rick Nolan.

“We are going to win in 2012 by running proudly as DFLers again. Rick Nolan is a true DFLer who isn’t afraid to stand up and fight for what he believes in – good jobs, strong unions, great schools, and a better future for Northern Minnesota.

“My parents, friends, and family still live in the Bemidji area. Everything I value comes from the hard working, caring people and community that made me who I am today. That is why I care so deeply about the future of Northern Minnesota. It is why I am strongly endorsing Congressman Rick Nolan – and I hope every other DFLer in this race will do the same.”

So far with have Nolan, Tarryl Clark, and several other folks who are considering the race but have not yet jumped in with both feet. This will be a continual state of affairs for much of this year, given the redistricting adventure that’s just begun.


MN-08 DFL endorsement race update

by The Big E on April 2, 2011 · 4 comments

Two more politicians are considering running against Rep. Chip Cravaack in 2012.  Rumor has it that Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner-Solon (Duluth) and Rep John Persell (Bemidji) are mulling it over.  They join:

  • Jeff Anderson
  • Tarryl Clark
  • Tim Faust
  • Daniel Fanning
  • Ryan Winkler
  • Anderson and Faust are officially considering, rumor has it that Clark and Fanning are thinking about it and Winkler is mulling it over.

    Prettner-Solon’s conundrum is that if she won, a Republican would assume her seat as Lt. Gov.  Specifically, Senate President Michelle Fischback would be that Republican.  

    Her advantage, like Anderson’s and Fanning’s, is that Duluth is a power base for the district.  If Anderson, Fanning or Prettner-Solon locked up all (or almost all) of the Duluth delegates and superdelegates, they’d be contenders for the endorsement or at the least king-makers.

    Persell’s problem is twofold.  First he’s from just east of Bemidji and since the western parts of the city of Bemidji are actually currently outside the western edge of the district (at western edge) it is possible that he will no longer live in the district after redistricting.  Though you can run for a seat without living in the district.

    Secondly, because Persell is from the western-most edges of the district, he may have a hard time gaining traction in places like Duluth or the Twin Cities suburbs which are really, really far away from his power base.  Especially if a Duluth resident were to run.


    Is there corruption in Kurt Zellers office?

    by The Big E on March 29, 2011 · 1 comment

    Did Kurt Zellers violate open meeting laws, engage in corruption?

    DFLers have accused Republicans of living on Fantasy Island as the MN GOP prepares and pushes their budget plans through the Minnesota legislature.  One of the reasons their numbers are so far from reality is they refuse to use the Minnesota Management and Budget office.  Instead the MN GOP relies on numbers from business groups and from out-of-state.

    Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) sent a letter to House Majority Leader Kurt Zellers (R-Maple Grove) about this:

    During your March 25th press briefing you made a surprising revelation about the fiscal projections House and Senate leaders are using to create the ominbus budget bills.  Specifically, you acknowledged that fiscal chairs are “depending on figures from private business and from other states” to create the budget rather than using the non-partisan fiscal notes from Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB).

    Your reliance on private vendors to create the public’s budget is unprecedented and deeply concerning.  With a $5 billion budget deficit, we must use facts, figures and verifiable public data to create a reliable budget for the next two years.  Fiscal notes from MMB do not always give us the numbers we want, but they do have a decades-long track record of steadiness and reliability that we have trusted regardless of political party.

    Zeller’s admission poses problems for him.  Did he meet secretly with these business special interests?  This would violate Minnesota’s open meeting laws.

    Furthermore, will any of these businesses benefit from the MN GOP’s budget?

    Here are the questions Winkler asked:

    1. Who are the private vendors that have provided House Republicans with financial consulting on the state’s budget?
    2. Do any of the private vendors with which you have consulted have a financial stake in the budget area in which they provided you information?
    3. Were any of the private vendors paid or compensated in any way whatsoever for their assistance in providing numbers for public revenue or expenditure bills?
    4. When and how often did these consultancies with private vendors occur?
    5. Were these meetings public and did they recognize Minnesota’s open meetings laws?

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    The campaign to beat Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) in 2012 is going to be exciting.  Jim Oberstar only recently left his seat and Cravaack is barely settled in his new digs in Washington, DC yet the endorsement battle seems to be beginning.  So far Tim Faust, Jeff Anderson have either expressed interest or like Daniel Fanning and Tarryl Clark are rumored to be considering.

    Today, news comes that Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) is officially thinking over moving back home to run.

    “I have had conversations about the possibility of it,” said Winkler. “I think the DFLers up there are casting a wide net for candidates and I’ve had discussions about it.”

    He said he was born and raised in Bemidji and has a lot of family in Bemidji and the Iron Range. He said he last lived in northern Minnesota through college but would move north if he made a run for it.

    Just in case you were wondering, yes, we had the scoop here at MnPP first.  

    The commentary I’ve seen on Facebook is that DFL activists living in MN-08 aren’t too happy about candidates moving up north to run for this seat.  Clark moving and Winkler returning home shouldn’t preclude them or anyone else from doing this, but it’s definitely going to be something they will need to address with the DFL base in the Eighth District.


    This morning the House State Government Finance Committee passed HF4, authored by Edina Republican Keith Downey, which dictates a 15% across-the-board reduction in state executive branch employment by 2015.

    Subdivision 1. Required reduction.

    (a) The number of full-time equivalent employees employed in the executive branch, and the costs directly associated with employing those persons, must be reduced by at least 15 percent by June 30, 2015, and thereafter, compared to the number of full-time equivalent positions and the costs directly associated with those positions on July 1, 2011.

    (b) An appointing authority may use any or all of the following to achieve this requirement: early retirement, furloughs, layoffs, a hard hiring freeze, and restructuring pension programs to defined contribution programs. The early retirement program in this section is enacted as a tool to assist in complying with the required 15 percent reduction.

    Got that? No word on how to maintain the critical services those furloughed or laid off workers provide, or how to account for the fact that they themselves are consumers in the state’s economy. Spending cuts by immolation is the name of the game.

    DFL Rep. Ryan Winker offered an amendment to this bill which would concurrently reduce legislator pay by 15%. That amendment was defeated along party lines with every Republican member on the committee voting No, and every DFLer voting Yes.

    The GOP’s Jobs Solution, Part Whatever: eliminate good-paying, critical need jobs, but keep our pay where it is, no matter what.


    I have never understood Republican logic.  They promised that their first priority now that they control the legislature is creating jobs.  So illogically, one of their top priorities, HF4, is cutting 15% of the state’s workforce.  That’s about 5,000 people out of work.  

    Maybe it all stems from them consistently demonizing government workers.  How often have we heard them say “gubamint don’t create no jobs” or “they makes a bazillion times more’n workers ina prey-vit sekter” or something similar?  As if these government employees don’t take home salaries and contribute to the economy by buying stuff.  So here’s the Republican logic as far as I can tell:

    1. We has huge deficit n don’t you dare blame Pawlenty.
    2. Gummint don’t create no jobs.
    3. We hates us some Gummint workers.
    4. therefore…

    5. Lay-off or early retire 5,000 Minnesotans.

    Here’s where Republican logic really gets perverse.

    This is the snowiest winter since 1991-92, the year of the Great Halloween Blizzard (if memory serves me well).  Because the two snowiest months are still ahead of us, Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) proposed an amendment to HF4, H0004A7, that would exempt snow plow drivers from the cuts.

    Republicans were opposed to the idea.  Their reason?  Probably because it would make sense.
    Republicans rejected it on a party line vote:

    Representative Winkler moved the H0004A7 amendment and requested a roll call vote.




    Representative Beard renewed his motion that HF4 be recommended to pass, as amended. THE MOTION PREVAILED. HF4 WAS RECOMMENDED TO PASS, AS AMENDED, AND WAS RE-REFERRED TO THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT FINANCE.

    The meeting was adjourned at 12:06 p.m.