Tag Archives: 2012 Elections

Minnesota needs to eliminate gerrymandering now to prevent what happened in Wisconsin

A majority of state governments right now are totally controlled by one party.  I think I heard 24 states are controlled by Republican Legislatures and Governors and 16 states are controlled by Democratic Governors and Legislatures, Minnesota is now one of those states.  Our country is so politically divided, that it seems the only way government works is if one party controls everything.

While Minnesota is controlled by DFLers, across the border in Wisconsin, Republicans recaptured total control.  With two states that are so similar, what is the difference? One word, gerrymandering.

In 2010, Republicans controlled everything, and drew new lines to help them win seats.  Minnesota’s lines were drawn by nonpartisan judges.  A couple weeks ago, Wisconsin voted for Barack Obama, even though a native son was on the ballot for the Republicans.  Wisconsin also elected a Democrat to the senate in Tammy Baldwin, over a former popular Republican governor.  Yet, the State House is controlled by Republicans with a 20 vote margin, and the State Senate is controlled, narrowly, but controlled by Republicans.

Gerrymandering has always been a tool to maintain power, and Wisconsin in 2012 is a prime example.  That’s why Minnesota needs to eliminate one party’s ability to gerrymander, and instead establish a fair and nonpartisan board to redraw district lines after the census every ten years.

Establishing a nonpartisan board would eliminate a lot of useless chatter, eliminate a lot of wasted time legislators should be working to make Minnesota better, and ultimately save taxpayers money.  So many Republicans used the phrase” it is just common-sense” to pass voter ID amendment.  That wasn’t common-sense, it was completely political and partisan.  If we change this procedure, neither side benefits from this, and neither side loses from this.  That is exactly what common-sense is.

Let your Minnesota legislators know that you want to take redistricting duties away from a political body and make it a nonpartisan practice.

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Two very different videos of Paul Thissen and Kurt Daudt

The Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services posted two Session Update videos after DFLers and Republicans elected their new leaders.  One video showed Paul Thissen, who was elected the new Speaker of the Minnesota House, flanked by a large group of DFL House members.  The other video was Kurt Daudt, the newly elected Minority Leader, by himself.

It makes sense in one way, DFLers are more excited about their results, but I also wonder if there isn’t an indication of some issues among the Republican group. Daudt said in his media availability that he didn’t think anybody saw this coming.  I disagree, DFLers were pretty confident of winning one legislative body, and were cautiously optimistic of winning both bodies.  It is only shocking because I think Republicans spend so little time interacting with people on the other side, and receiving accolades from like-minded individuals, that they were the only ones who didn’t see this coming.

I think the two videos tell another story.  There is a wide range of ideology among House DFLers, from the very liberal, to many moderates, to former Republicans.  They won’t all agree, but they are unified.  I’m not sure about the other side.  They are so like-minded, and so confident that they are always right, that they have a really hard time changing, probably even about who they support for leadership.  Kurt Daudt might have a big task to get his caucus together.  I think it is also might be a bad sign for Republicans that they didn’t elect a Deputy Minority Leader, which makes me think tensions may have been very high.

It is interesting that no information has leaked out.  It is interesting that my state Rep., Pat Garofalo, has been so quiet on Twitter.  I think it is going to be another rough week or two before they start coming back to life.  The one thing Republicans sure are all talking about is how DFLers wanted bipartisanship, and stressing that they are going to hold DFLers to that.  But what they are forgetting is that they did not just ignore those bipartisanship calls and go on with their business, they taunted the DFL and gave them the finger at every opportunity.  It is not the DFL’s job to be bipartisan now, they received a mandate, it is the DFL’s job to prove to Minnesotans that the DFL has the agenda to bring Minnesota back to where it was before Ventura and Pawlenty.

Hypocrisy from the 5/7/09 “Inside Scoop” by Pat Garofalo

Pat Garofalo likes to send out his “Inside Scoop” newsletter.  For some reason I saved one the “witty” representative sent out on May 7, 2009.  As I was cleaning out email files, I found it, read it, and laughed.

First, he commented on something he titled “NONE OF GOVERNMENT’S BUSINESS.”  He states the government has no business “controlling what web sites people visit on their own personal computer” and continues saying that it is “NOT a proper function of government.”  Apparently the proper function of government is to decide who can get married and who cannot.  Partisan priorities trump what is “NONE OF GOVERNMENT’S BUSINESS!”  Pat Garofalo either let his far-right and extremist allies lead him, or if it is his religious beliefs, he let the Pope in Vatican City make a decision for him rather than make his own decision about what is government’s business.  Reminds me of how absurd he thought it was for NYC to limit how much pop people could buy. I guess soda and gambling are more important freedoms than marriage.

Secondly, in a paragraph he titled “APPARENTLY…HOUSING PRICES AREN’T LOW ENOUGH” he lambasts the DFL controlled legislature for passing a bill to lower the amount of interest that can be claimed as a tax deduction.  Obviously, with a high value house, the richest Minnesotans couldn’t get quite as much free money returned to them.  He states “This would increase the cost of home ownership… To say this is a bad idea is an understatement.”  Hello? Eliminating the Homestead Credit?  A question for Pat Garofalo: You did vote to eliminate the Homestead Credit, right??? Was that a good idea?  Can you say hypocrite?

It is time for the smarmy Pat Garofalo to stop embarrassing the voters of Farmington.  I believe if more voters actually paid attention to how he conducts business, and how little respect he seems to have for people he disagrees with, they would demand change.  This year, voters have a great independent choice for 2012 in Jim Arlt.  Let’s try and make sure Pat has tweeted his last insult. Vote for Jim Arlt.

Below is the entire 5/7/09 Inside Scoop:

THE INSIDE SCOOP Representative Pat Garofalo 5/7/2009
-End of Session (or not) Update
When my son was younger, one of his favorite books was “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day “.  In that spirit, I’d like to describe the last week as “Representative Garofalo and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Week At The Legislature”.  Keep in mind, you couldn’t possibly make this stuff up.
NONE OF GOVERNMENT’S BUSINESS
An official with the MN Dept. Of Public Safety has ordered 11 Internet Service Providers to block access from Minnesota to 200 gambling related web sites.  Whether you like gambling or not doesn’t matter.  Controlling what web sites people visit on their own personal computer is NOT a proper function of government.  I have no idea how this could be constitutional.  Here is an article about it.
IF ONLY SPOT KNEW HOW TO READ
After an extensive debate, the MN House passed legislation that would require warning labels to be posted whenever selling cocoa bean mulch.  For a small percentage of dogs (2%), the mulch can end up being poisonous.  No word on if government is going to tell those who put the mulch down, that they need to post signs as well.  The bill passed by one vote.  Here is a StarTribune story on the issue.
APPARENTLY…HOUSING PRICES AREN’T LOW ENOUGH
The legislature recently passed a bill to repeal the home mortgage interest deduction from state tax returns and replace it with a partial credit.  This would wipe out the state interest deduction above $6,000 of interest paid.  This would increase the cost of home ownership and discourage home purchases.  To say this is a bad idea is an understatement.  How the legislature could pass such a bill given the collapse in housing prices is beyond me.  I can assure you that Governor Pawlenty will not allow this to become law.  So I guess that is good. 🙂
I’m hopeful that in the next week the legislature will get serious about balancing the budget.  Stay tuned.  As always, it is an honor serving as your State Representative.  Thanks!
Rep. Pat Garofalo District 36B 221 State Office Building 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155 (651) 296-1069 1-888-667-3337

What’s Happenin’ in DFL58

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!

I am a DFLer to build a stronger state and stronger families

At the DFL convention in Rochester on Sunday, the DFL officially voted to reject the Republicans’ Marriage Amendment that would formally place a form of discrimination against law abiding citizens into our State Constitution.

It is now an official stance for sample ballots and for DFL elected officials. For many of us, it was our official stance anyway, and this was simply an organization formality.  What makes me a DFLer doesn’t have anything to do with big government and raising taxes, as my Republican friends and family think.  Being a DFLer is about caring about people and our community, and the success of both.  I am a DFLer to build a stronger state and stronger families.

Today, I received a link to a “vote no” video that I really liked.  It isn’t an attack video filled with rhetoric, and it isn’t filled with scary music or huge red text of propaganda being stamped on the screen.  It is a simple and thoughtful family, discussing how the amendment really affects families.

I hope you will spend the three minutes to watch it.