Quit trying to play Santa Claus with my money!
Quit trying to play Santa Claus with my money!
Reagan Day Dinner a huge success
President Ronald Reagan once said, "To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will." Chisago County Republicans gathered at Wild Mountain on Sept. 14 for the first annual Reagan Day Dinner, to begin the effort of taking back state government from tax and spend Democrats who never seem to get enough to eat.
The sold out crowd was treated to an inspiring speech from keynote speaker and KTLK talk show host Jason Lewis. And who better to talk about government spending and the economy? Lewis has a Masters degree in political science and a Bachelors degree in business. An editorial writer who has been published in newspapers from coast to coast, Lewis is an advocate of small, efficient government, and is the founder of Minnesota's Tax Cut Coalition.
Lewis described attempts to raise taxes in the last legislative session as some of the most brazen in memory. A $2 billion surplus apparently wasn't enough, and the Democrat majority supported another $5 billion in tax increases.
State spending over the long haul has resulted in Minnesota being one of the highest taxed states in the country, with one of the worst small business climates anywhere. In 2008 voters have a chance to turn the tide on wasteful spending and high taxes, and begin the process of making their state government responsible and accountable.
Also present were State Republican Party Chairman Ron Carey, Representative Rob Eastlund, House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, representatives of both Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Senator Norm Coleman. Having attended similar events around the state lately, Carey was greatly impressed by the Chisago County turnout. He told those in attendance that their presence was an inspirational message he would spread around the state. Likewise, Seifert and Eastlund were also overwhelmed with the enthusiasm of the large crowd.
Former Representative Pete Nelson emceed the sold out event, which was hosted by the Taylors Falls Republicans. Jim Stein had the honor of presenting Pastor George Cable of Lindstrom with the Distinguished Service Award, which was a very touching moment.
Another very important topic of discussion was the need to replace the tax and spend liberal Representative Jeremy Kalin, who, in his short tenure has voted in support of the public funding of abortion, in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, as well as income tax and gas tax increases.
The Reagan Day Dinner marks the kick off of the 2008 campaign for Chisago County Republicans. Not only was enthusiasm high by the end of the program, Chisago County GOP coffers were well replenished for the upcoming campaign.
To find out more about the event, the Chisago County GOP, or Representative Jeremy Kalin's voting record, go to http://www.chisagogop.blogspot.com/. Local authors will keep you apprised of what is going on in state government and provide you with the facts you need to know heading into 2008.
It's time to stop feeding the crocodile.
"In an escalating war of words, the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday said Gov. Tim Pawlenty should fire Transportation Commissioner Carol Molnau -- who is also lieutenant governor -- for what he said were numerous examples of incompetence.
A Pawlenty spokesman said the governor's office would not fire Molnau, who has faced criticism and renewed calls for her ouster since the collapse of the Interstate-35W bridge in Minneapolis on Aug. 1.
While he did not directly blame Molnau's stewardship for the collapse of the bridge, Sen. Steve Murphy, D-Red Wing, criticized Molnau and other MnDOT leaders for their actions following the collapse. He pointed to MnDOT's choice of the highest bidder for the replacement bridge, lawsuits and complaints filed by losing bidders, and the agency's emergency manager failing to return from a business trip to the East Coast for 10 days after the collapse as evidence of a need for change.
"The public has completely lost confidence in the leadership at MnDOT and so has the Legislature," Murphy said, standing near the LaFayette Bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Paul. The bridge is one of about 100 in the state with nonredundant, fracture-critical components like the I-35W bridge, and which are rated "structurally deficient."We have a serious problem in the state of Minnesota and we need serious people with serious answers. We need someone in there who is a professional, that knows engineering, that knows transportation and that is not Carol Molnau," said Murphy, with several other legislators standing nearby.
Murphy said the full Senate would likely consider refusing to confirm Molnau as transportation commissioner as one of its first duties when the legislature convenes in February and that the Senate has the votes to reject her confirmation. A commissioner may serve without confirmation, but if rejected, Molnau could be forced from the MnDOT post but she would retain her elected position as lieutenant governor.
The request for Molnau's termination comes in the midst of a larger debate over transportation funding and questions about a cash flow problem in the department, with the possibility raised of postponed projects to fund the I-35W bridge reconstruction.
Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung dismissed Murphy's remarks as personal name calling and said the governor is interested in moving ahead on a comprehensive transportation plan when the Legislature convenes in February. McClung said Molnau has been working through significant issues in a department that has historically generated controversy.
"From our perspective, Senator Murphy has been holding out this confirmation issue. We hope that legislators are going to take a fair approach to looking at her confirmation. We believe she should be confirmed," McClung said.
McClung said Pawlenty continues to express support for Molnau and that Pawlenty has had no reservations about Molnau serving a dual role as lieutenant governor and transportation commissioner."
LEADERSHIP AND HONESTY ARE SORELY NEEDED
When the 35W bridge collapsed, taking 13 lives with it, Governor Pawlenty sounded like the leader we all wanted him to be. He assured us that he would do what it takes to ensure that all of Minnesota's roads and bridges are safe, even it if meant raising taxes.
When legislators questioned Lt. Gov. Molnau and her staff on August 15 and 22, MnDOT assured us that they would have no cash problems. Other projects would not suffer, the Lt. Gov. reassured us.
Since then, we've learned of excessive bonuses going to the losing bidders of the 35W bridge contract – to the tune of $600,000 total. We've learned that MnDOT's director of Emergency Management, Sonia Morphew Pitt, couldn't be bothered to come home for 10 days after the bridge collapsed, and that up to $26,000 of her taxpayer-paid travel was for personal pleasure. And, we've learned that MnDOT management, when made aware of Ms. Pitt's excesses, failed to alert the Legislative Auditor as required by law.
To top it all off, Lt. Gov. Molnau has since admitted that she didn't tell the legislature the truth. She has asked the legislature to give her an unprecedented cash advance of almost $200 million. If she doesn't get her way, projects in the works will be delayed or halted altogether.
What's the Governor's response to Minnesotans? Don't worry. Be happy.
It's a cute slogan. But it doesn't exactly inspire confidence in MnDOT, or in Minnesota's infrastructure. The Governor and the Lieutenant Governor need to come clean regarding MnDOT's ongoing financial troubles. Only then can the legislature, and every Minnesotan, be confident that increased investment will be responsibly managed by the Pawlenty/Molnau administration. And only then will we be certain that our state is on the responsible path to better roads, safer bridges, and adequate transit options.
It’s all Lt. Governor Molnau’s fault according to Kalin, and Pawlenty’s. He does not acknowledge that the financial crunch Mn/DOT is experiencing is due to a potential veto of the transportation bill by President Bush. The bill provides $195 million to the state for the start of the I-35 bridge. But President Bush has threatened to veto it because of the “irresponsible and excessive level of spending” in it.
Because the $195 million federal money may not arrive in time, Mn/DOT may need to delay some other projects, for example see here and here to free up money for starting the construction of the I-35 bridge.
Mn/DOT has asked the Legislative Advisory Commission (LAC) for the possible approval of $195 million of state money to start the project.
The LAC is reluctant to approve this large sum because the commission deals with smaller figures. And if this would be approved, there are concerns that the federal money may not come through.
This is indeed a problem for state officials, but it would not exist if the federal dollars were there, something Kalin does not acknowledge.
Of course the Dems blame Pawlenty for not allowing transportation funding in the special session. Governor Pawlenty wisely prevented a feeding frenzy by the Dems who saw the bridge tragedy as an opportunity to spend money like drunken sailors.
Ironically, a similar feeding frenzy is occurring at the federal level as Congress (Dems and Republicans) loaded up the transportation bill with excessive pork which the President has threatened to veto.
Kalin wants leadership out of Minnesota Republicans. When will he demand leadership out of his fellow liberals who gorge at the public trough? The porkers get so greedy that they are willing to jeopardize the funding of a collapsed bridge. If the federal transportation bill were fair, Bush would sign it and Minnesota’s bridge funding problem would be solved. But liberals sense they can take advantage of a tragedy and federal funding failure to open the state floodgates for even more funding. The Governor alone holds back that flood. Keep it up Governor. You have our support.
Kalin wants honesty from the Governor. How about a wee bit of honesty from Kalin? Liberal greed at the federal level is creating a funding problem here. We’re sick of the dishonesty of liberal politicians.
It’s time for our local Representative to demonstrate leadership by actually working harmoniously toward a solution together with Republicans. “People before politics” is only a slogan; now let’s see you put it into action.
"Now that recession-warning lights have begun to blink, Democrats should give tax hikes a rest."
Minnesota Democrats, please read more... Thank you!
"Unveiling his domestic reform agenda in Paris Tuesday, Nicolas Sarkozy called for "a new social contract" for France. His proposed revision of French socialist tradition going back to Jean-Jacques Rousseau is nothing short of revolutionary. His ability to deliver will make or break his presidency."
Minnesota Democrats might learn something from the French. Please read more...
********Uncle Sam: Subprime Lender
"This week the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a plan to erase billions of dollars of subprime loan defaults in the private mortgage industry. How? By making taxpayers responsible for future losses."
FOR nearly two weeks, The New York Times has been defending a political advertisement that critics say was an unfair shot at the American commander in Iraq.
But I think the ad violated The Times’s own written standards, and the paper now says that the advertiser got a price break it was not entitled to.
Read the rest of the New York Times’s admission of guilt.
Here is a commentary on the admission by the Times.
"Department spokesman Kevin Gutknecht said the stipend increase reflects heightened expectations, including a requirement that the bridge be reinforced to accommodate a future light-rail line."
Funding for bridges served with side of pork
Senate set aside $1 billion for worn spans -- and $2.5 billion for "earmarks."
By Kevin Diaz
Bridges are aging and rusting all over the country, but if Congress has its way, Las Vegas will get a history museum out of the Senate-approved transportation and housing bill soon headed to President Bush.
North Dakota will get $450,000 for its Peace Garden on the Canadian border, while Montana will see funding for a minor-league baseball stadium in Billings. So too will Minnesota get $250,000 in the House version -- for bike trails.
The U.S. Senate bill does contain an extra $1 billion for bridge repair. But the amount set aside for pet transportation and community projects would be more than double that: In all, 843 new congressional "earmarks" totaling $2.5 billion.
Read the rest of the article.
While federal pork continues to outpace maintenance dollars for bridge repairs, the Governor of Minnesota kept the Dems from filling the special session with pork. The Dems can’t wait for the next half year to fly by before the regular session commences so they can legislate more taxes.
Click here for information on the financial aid package passed in special session for flood relief. Some state money was appropriated to get federal funds for the I-35 bridge.
See this information for a listing of private donations for flood relief, Minnesotans helping Minnesotans. And wonder of wonders, it is voluntary!
So, the president and Mrs. Bush went down to New Orleans to commemorate the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Who knows? Maybe over a latté with leading Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards they discussed spending even more money down there. After all, everyone seems to be saying New Orleans needs more cash.
Here’s a pop quiz: How much money has Uncle Sam spent on New Orleans and the Gulf region since Hurricane Katrina ripped the place apart?
I’ll give you the answer because you’ll never guess it. The grand total is $127 billion (including tax relief.
Read the rest of this disturbing article.
We expect this from the Dems, but far too many of our Republican leaders have lost their way. At one time, fiscal responsibility and Democrat were incompatible terms. Now that is true of so many Republicans.
For more of the same, check out this article by Bob Woodward. Alan Greenspan "...levels unusually harsh criticism at President Bush and the Republican Party in his new book, arguing that Bush abandoned the central conservative principle of fiscal restraint."
This is very disheartening to the Republican base, but conservatives must not throw in the towel because of this. It is time for conservatives to stand up and hold our Republican leaders accountable.
Taking a stand is not an easy thing to do for most, especially when the cost of standing out may be your life. Last week, I had the honor of meeting and interviewing Sheik Sattar. This young, vibrant leader was a rising star behind a movement that has brought peace to the area, and hope to a people.
Continue reading the next in the series by embedded reporter Sanchez.
The Chisago County Republicans enjoyed a special evening together, being energized to take our county back from leftist, liberal, Democrat representation in the Capitol. We are all visualizing the targets on the backs of the representative and senator.
We wish to acknowledge Ron Carey, our Republican State Party Chair, for his support. He was exuberant over the large number of attendees. Chisago County is on the state party’s map!
Thanks to Rep. Rob Eastlund (R-17A) for his kind words and encouragement. Sean Nienow, representing US Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, charged us with staying on target by adhering to conservative principles. Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman passed along his message through his representatives.
House Minority Leader, Marty Seifert (R-21A), rallied the troops with his economic statistics. Thank you Pete Nelson for being master of ceremonies. You made the event work!
Conservative talk show host, Jason Lewis, was on top of his game, presenting the necessity of jettisoning the leftist, neo-Marxist redistribution of wealth that enthralls so many, but will destroy us. Jason Lewis was well-received by all of us who appreciate him for articulating conservative principles via KTLK 100.3 fm radio. His humor excelled that of the laughable comedian, Al Franken, from air-head radio.
Thanks to the many fellow Republicans from Wisconsin for attending. Also a large group of Talk Spot bloggers, who appreciate Jason Lewis, honored us with their presence. It is good to see so many young conservatives.
It is greatly encouraging to see so many of our Chisago County Republican friends and neighbors rally around a common cause. Thank you for coming and making this evening special. This event was successful because each of you, individually, chose to come and so many of you sold tickets.
Thank you Taylors Falls Republicans for hosting an event that attracted the interest of so many conservatives. Thank you for a job well done. Thanks to those who donated items for door prizes and auction items.
Finally, Wild Mountain deserves thanks for the good accommodations and catering to our every need.
Success builds success. Mr. Right says, “Keep thinking right!”
Has the left no remaining ounce of shame? Its latest target: the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, whom Senate Democrats unanimously confirmed.
Remember Democrats faulting President Bush for being inflexible, not following the advice of the generals and having no strategy in Iraq – never mind that they've never had so much as a paper-napkin sketch of a clue as to what to do in Iraq or the War on Terror? Yet, when he took decisive action that can fairly be said to have addressed all of these criticisms, they reflexively opposed him again, proving once more their allegiance to party over nation.
Read the rest of his commentary.
The capitol police hauled out hecklers from the hearing. I wish they would drag out the heckling Senators. These jerks think they get to report and are above being questioned. They are supposed to ask Gen. Petraeus the tough questions. But they grandstand and recall all their tired arguments. They are a bunch of gas-bags. Who cares what the Senators think? We want to know what the General thinks; we already know what the leftist Senators think.
Yet they all went home tonight thinking they had killed the General with their special bullet(s), not being capable of realizing they had demonstrated why they should not be sitting in the honored chairs. It is disgusting to watch and listen to elected officials who think they are gods.
General Petraeus is a man. The leftist gods? Well they're not even boys and girls yet. And Hillary wants to be his boss. What a tragedy that would be.
DFL leaders seek quick special session
Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller and House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher offer to drop a gas-tax hike from their session agenda.
By Mark Brunswick
"DFL legislative leaders said Tuesday they're ready to abandon a more comprehensive special session to focus on last month's Interstate 35W bridge collapse and the massive floods in southeastern Minnesota. They also suggested a willingness to drop advocacy of a gas-tax increase."
It was obvious many liberals were drooling for pork at the thought of a special session. Governor Pawlenty has wisely refused to allow the pigs access to the public trough in an uncontrolled special session. When will liberals ever learn that "Dems gone (hog)wild" are a menace to society? Perhaps the Democrat leadership is learning a little moderation as noted in this article.
During the recent Minnesota State Fair, 58% of those participating in the 2007 House of Representatives poll support raising the state’s gas tax by a dime. But 58% also supported the medical use of marijuana, which may indicate this poll drew more liberals.
The Taxpayers League of Minnesota also conducted a poll at the state fair. The results may indicate it drew more fiscal conservatives.
Our own thoroughly scientific poll on Chisago is GOP shows 100% opposition to raising the gas tax! And we are not biased in the least! That must have convinced the Dem leaders.
But seriously, the Governor's more reasonable approach is winning the day.
God's will is for Iowa to have the first-in-the-nation caucus, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson told a crowd here Monday.
"Iowa, for good reason, for constitutional reasons, for reasons related to the Lord, should be the first caucus and primary," Richardson, New Mexico's governor, said at the Northwest Iowa Labor Council Picnic. "And I want you to know who was the first candidate to sign a pledge not to campaign anywhere if they got ahead of Iowa. It was Bill Richardson."
Clearly Richardson wants Iowa to hold the limelight it has historically had. But now we know it is also God’s will for that to continue. What is the point of appealing to God to ground his own personal desire? Is the Governor claiming he has been the recipient of divine revelation? Is he using God’s will as a trump card to get everyone in line with his own will? Since he pledged not to campaign in any state that held a vote prior to Iowa, it sounds like he is getting nervous that might happen and wants to head it off at the pass. Well, if it is God’s will, what’s he getting nervous about?
If, for example, Fred Thompson had declared the above, we would not hear the end of the ridicule heaped upon this probable Republican candidate for president. The Dems would mock any Republican man who claims to know God’s will who also aspires to preside over our country. But Governor Bill Richardson will get a pass from the liberal press.
God has spoken (his word being recorded in the Bible) about all aspects of life, but he has not said anything about when primaries should be held in Iowa. Bill Richardson should pay attention to what God has said, which we all can review and contemplate because it is recorded. For example, Richardson will find that God has spoken about abortion and it is contrary to what Richardson has declared:
"I am pro-choice and will continue to support abortion rights and medical privacy for women. I am the only candidate explicitly committing to appoint only judges who consider Roe v. Wade settled law."
See his web site.
This issue is major; the timing of primaries is inconsequential. In the first case, Richardson doesn’t want to be bothered with what God has already said. In the second, he puts words in God’s mouth for his own gain. That is called making God in his own image.
"Fact #1: Minnesota already spends more than most other state [sic] on our roads and bridges. In 2006, the state transportation budget exceeded $2.3 billion! There’s simply no evidence to suggest that state engineers have been forced to compromise bridge maintenance due to a lack of funding. We may have an issue with how spending is prioritized, but we sure don't appear to have a lack of adequate funding."
Read the highlights of this report at GAO.
"USDA also cannot be assured that it is not making improper payments to deceased individuals. For 1999 through 2005, USDA paid $1.1 billion in farm payments in the names of 172,801 deceased individuals (either as an individual recipient or as a member of an entity). Of this total, 40 percent went to those who had been dead for 3 or more years, and 19 percent to those dead for 7 or more years."
Melissa Hortman (DFL, 47B), an assistant majority leader in the Minnesota House, wrote the following:The tax questions we ought to ask
Of course Minnesotans would opt to pay less in the broadest sense. That might change if their leaders spelled out the consequences.
A poll taken shortly after the bridge collapse shows that most Minnesotans still do not want their gas tax increased. That should surprise no one. Any poll asking Minnesotans whether they would like to pay a higher or a lower price for a key commodity would produce the same result. People prefer lower prices.
Read the rest of her commentary here.
Hortman draws an analogy between the increasing need to maintain bridges and consequently the need to increase the gas tax with the need to eat and the need to pay higher food prices. She used this analogy because she thinks Minnesotans are too dumb to realize we need to be willing to pay more gas taxes.
Being willing to pay higher food costs does not translate into a willingness to accept legislator-imposed gas tax hikes. The one is our personal choice within our budget; the other is foisted upon us without respect to our budget.
Hortman fails to recognize that a different conclusion can be drawn from her analogy. Since we need to eat within our budget, if some foods cost more, we have choices to switch brands, shop another store, eat less of the higher priced food and more of something less costly.
Government has those same choices regarding roads and bridges. But Hortman limits the options to one–increase the gas tax. Families cannot by fiat increase the budget like government can. And when government increases its budget by fiat, it simultaneously decreases what is available in the budget for the family to buy food. Government must live within its means, which is the collective means of all taxpayers. Government too has choices within its budget.
In other words, whether buying groceries or maintaining bridges, we should prioritize. Hortman knows nothing of prioritizing buying groceries or infrastructure. Throwing money at it is a typical Democrat response. Whether at the local, state or federal level, far too many politicians, who live within their own personal budgets, lose their heads when they get to spend our tax dollars. Priorities fly the coop; just levy more taxes. And then suddenly when a bridge collapse reveals their prior lapses, they put it on top priority where it should have been all along.
The thinking (or lack thereof) Hortman reveals in her piece should scare all Minnesotans because we all will be affected by her legislative ventures. This is the same unthinking person who speculated, "Did the heat put extra strain on the steel?" and said, "You wonder if this bridge was built to withstand the massive heat we have had this summer." She forgot about the summer of '88.
Showing more ignorance, she wrote,
“In the United States, we have a republican democracy. Why is that? Elected officials are supposed to lead as well as listen. Lately, it seems we have been seeing a lot of listening, but now we need to exercise leadership.”
What is a republican democracy? Never heard of it and our founding fathers were terrified of democracy.
She concludes it is time to quit listening and exercise leadership. Apparently the listening is the republican part and exercising leadership is the democracy part. Well, she hasn’t done enough listen’ cuz she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.