Tag Archives: Republicans!

The Illogical Rep. Pat Garofalo

On social media today, Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) posted this simple message:

Pat1

I guess that seems logical.  Of course it is only really logical if you also say to “take money” when there is a deficit.  You know, like the many years of deficits we had under Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the Republican led state House?  That statement could be considered completely logical if he would have agreed to raise taxes a small fraction to cover our spending.

I pointed that logic out to Rep. Garofalo, but he was unable to agree with me, saying:

“the [surplus] money belongs to taxpayers”

and

“the deficit wasn’t by a lack of tax revenue, it was caused by excessive spending.”

Maybe it was excessive spending, but spending on the roads shrank, and state buildings were falling apart, but maybe he is right.  Regardless of whether it was excessive spending or not, the bills were passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, the expenses were encumbered, and we taxpayers became responsible for covering those debts.

If I were to follow Rep. Garofalo’s logic on excessive spending, I could only say that we have a surplus today, so we didn’t spend enough? That doesn’t seem quite right.  Finance is not always black and white, nor is there only one solution.  Representative Garofalo is one of the least logical representatives.  He seems to speak without thinking often.  Let me rephrase that, he hits the “post” button without thinking.  And if he is thinking, his statements can only be an illogical need for reassurance from people who think like him, or a desire to insult others.  It is time for legislators like Pat, and many others, to start being more diplomatic, and to think outside their party box.  It is time for them to stop fanning the flames of partisanship.

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Thank you Rep. Garofalo! Maybe next time Sen. Thompson…

At my office, our HR director had all the employees do the Clifton StrenthFinder project.  My top strength is “Includer.” An include is described as:

“You want to include people and make them feel part of the group. In direct contrast to those who are drawn only to exclusive groups, you actively avoid those groups that exclude others. You want to expand the group so that as many people as possible can benefit from its support. You hate the sight of someone on the outside looking in. You want to draw them in so that they can feel the warmth of the group. You are an instinctively accepting person. Regardless of race or sex or nationality or personality or faith, you cast few judgments. Judgments can hurt a person’s feelings. Why do that if you don’t have to? Your accepting nature does not necessarily rest on a belief that each of us is different and that one should respect these differences. Rather, it rests on your conviction that fundamentally we are all the same. We are all equally important. Thus, no one should be ignored. Each of us should be included. It is the least we all deserve.”

If that is true about me, is it any wonder that I believe it is horrible for government to discriminate against gay couples who are lawfully excluded from obtaining the same benefits through committing to each other that straight couples have?

That is why I am very happy today’s vote by the state Senate was a vote for equality in marriage.  Everybody who wants to marry, can be included.

A lot of people in my district were surprised when Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) voted to support the law in the state House.  I actually wasn’t.  I’ve been following Pat Garofalo for years, and I don’t believe he was against gay marriage when he voted to put the amendment on the ballot in 2012.  I just don’t think he had the political guts to stand up the way John Kriesel did.  And I called him out on that before the vote, urging him to vote what he believed, not what was good for him politically.

This time he voted for freedom, and I thank Rep. Garofalo.   And well I commend him, I am proud that the Minnesota DFL took the initiative to tackle this subject despite the impending threat by Republicans that this will divide the state like nothing since the Civil War.  That is absurd!  Anybody who follows politics today knows that topics no longer hold for more than a few months.  Where was the TEA Party in 2012?  Divisive issues holding for decades are a piece of history in politics.  People care about right now almost exclusively, and let’s face it, very few of us are going to be affected by gay marriages, other than a lot of people are going to be buying a bunch of wedding gifts soon.

This will pass and be a nonfactor in 2014.  Sure Republicans will try to use it as an issue, and I certainly hope they do, because it will carry very little weight?  I’m sure Rep. Garofalo will have a challenger, but really what’s the point?  He simply voted to let people make their own life choices without government limiting their abilities to do so.  Isn’t that what conservatives want?  That idea of letting people “make their own life choices” is why I find it funny that Sen. Dave Thompson (R-Lakeville) who regularly uses the term “nanny state” to describe Minnesota laws, voted to let our Minnesota government continue to make the decision for citizens about who they can or cannot marry.  Do you agree that is hypocritical?

As Sen. Thompson and his nanny state hypocrisy embarks on a run to try and defeat Gov. Mark Dayton, I am thankful that Gov. Dayton also supports this legislation, and that two of the three people who represent me in State government said yes to this bill giving people more freedom.  Thank you Gov. Dayton and Rep. Garofalo!  Hopefully Sen. Thompson will make a better choice next time when he is forced to choose between what he says he believes, and what he believes will work best for him on the floor of the Republican State Convention.

Republicans are huge government spending hypocrites! We need to vote with compassion.

Did you read this story in the StarTribune about Chip Cravaack’s massive pay raises to his staff after he lost the election?

StarTribune 3/31/13: Lame-duck Cravaack handed out large raises to his staff

This is exactly why I vote for people who demonstrate love and compassion for people first. You cannot trust politicians when they say they will cut taxes or spending, or eliminate waste. But when a politician has demonstrated sincere concern for other humans, and cares how people and families live and survive, you know they will vote to make their lives better, even if they eventually fail on spending promises.

Chip Cravaack was a huge government spending hypocrite! He talked continuously about “what’s best for all Americans.” He attacked Oberstar and Nolan on trust, spending, and government waste. He was a TEA Partier, which should mean he is concerned about how our taxes are spent. And he voted to cut aid and college grants for many people who needed it. I think it is safe to say, he didn’t like “welfare.” But apparently that only applied to people he didn’t know personally. People who pledged an allegiance to him were fine getting welfare. When he lost the 2012 election, he gave his full-time staff and friends a 93% government pay raise for the final two months of their government employment. And worse yet, this government spending hawk, and welfare hater, admits he gave them government welfare. Cravaack said “at the end of the year, I maxed out everybody because I had no idea how long these guys would be out of work.” He gave them extra unemployment. If any of them claimed unemployment Americans paid them twice!

It wasn’t his money to dole out to his lackeys. This is the perfect example of why you shouldn’t trust politicians who care more about taxes than people. This is why I don’t trust politicians like Chip Cravaack, John Kline, Michelle Bachman, Tom Emmer, or Dave Thompson, whose solution to everything seems to be lower taxes and less government. I want politicians whose solution is to improve lives for the next several generations, not to give me an extra $50 at the end of the year. I believe these are self-righteous politicians who want control and prestige more than they really care about their ideals. If these politicians were Doctors rather than lawyers, they would have a God Complex, and a few that I’ve met might have that anyway. In the end, I think they will do what benefits themselves and their friends not what benefits the rest of us, despite what they say.

That’s why it is so unimaginable for me to vote for Republicans these days. I think at one time, there were Republicans who cared about the future and families, and still had plans for less spending. Now it seems caring about people is a bad thing in the Republican Party, and the world and those less fortunate are jokes to them. I can’t see myself voting for anybody other than a liberal in the near future. It is about compassion first, even if fiscal responsibility is second. That’s not happening on the right side of the aisle.

Step 1: Raise the debt ceiling. Step 2: Cut spending. It doesn’t work the other way.

So I called up my bank today and told them, “we have a spending problem here, and we need to do something about it.”  I told them, “my credit card is maxed, my spending is out of control, I mean look at my statement, $29 at Panda Express, $45 at Holiday, $20 bucks for a haircut?  Unless the bank does something about my spending problem, I am not going to be paying my mortgage or my Visa bill anymore.”

Silence.

Sounds pretty ridiculous doesn’t it?  But that is exactly what Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are doing about the debt ceiling.  The debt ceiling isn’t for future spending, it is for past spending.  Congress has already agreed to spend that money, and now Republicans are basically calling up taxpayers and saying, Congress has a spending problem, and the only way we can do anything about it is to become deadbeats and do what Donald Trump keeps doing and just quit paying the bills.  Sounds pretty ridiculous doesn’t it?

Here’s how you fix it.  Step one: raise the debt ceiling to account for what you have already spent.  Step two: cut future spending so you don’t have to worry about the debt ceiling anymore.  Hello? McFLy??

It isn’t that difficult.  Well maybe you need a step 1-1/2, get corporate money out of politics so politicians don’t spend money on crap to keep donors happy.

Pat Garofalo and Per Diem – A fiscal hawk or a selfish take what I can politician?

Those of us who live in Farmington, are sure lucky to have such a fiscal hawk in Minnesota state House member Pat Garofalo representing us. Remember back in May 2011 when he said he was refusing to collect his per diem during the government shutdown because he said:

“Not getting a budget agreement with the governor shouldn’t turn into a financial windfall for legislators.”

See? That’s what I am talking about. He is absolutely standing up to his principles of helping to personally correct the state’s budget problems by doing everything he can, no matter how small, to protect the finances of Minnesota taxpayers.

Pat Garofalo 2012 - 2It’s funny, did you know House legislators get paid a per diem of $66 per day of work, on top of the $31,140 in taxpayer paid salary they make for a part-time job. It makes me wonder, with only a 25 mile commute to the Capitol compared to other legislators who have to spend the night in St Paul, Pat Garofalo must receive one of the lowest per diems in the Minnesota House.

Let’s see let’s look at the numbers… Here it is in 2012… Pat Garofalo only received $11,418 in per diem. See that’s not – WHAT!?! ELEVEN THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED EIGHTEEN DOLLARS!?! That is the most in the house, and about $1,500 more than the second highest per diem taker.

I don’t understand. I thought…

Well, at least he isn’t the highest per diem taker overall. Republican Senator David Senjem took $11,438 in per diem. Wait. Wasn’t David Senjem the Majority Leader? He must have worked a lot more than Pat Garofalo. And he only took $20 more than Pat!?! What’s that you say? Senate member receive a 30% higher per diem than House members? That means in House dollars, David Senjem’s per diem would have been only about $8800.

This just doesn’t make sense. I thought Pat Garofalo was a fiscal hawk. But he took 15% more in per diem than the next closest member, and he doesn’t even need an apartment.

This is very distressing. Well I guess we can be glad that his salary is only $31,140, so his pension doesn’t include his per diem. I mean that would be wrong if in private business, an employer was forced to contribute to a 401(k) for the employee’s expense reimbursements.

WHAT!?! FOR LEGISLATORS THEIR PENSION INCLUDES THE COST OF THEIR EXPENSES!?! SO HE GETS ANOTHER $1,700 IN PENSION ABOVE HIS TAXPAYER FUNDED PAY OF $42,558 FOR A PART-TIME JOB!?!

Funny thing is, Pat Garofalo initially said he was retiring for the legislature last session. He probably figured since he was retiring, he might as well take everything he can from the taxpayers to get his just reward for his services, including a fatter pension. The only thing this proves is that Pat Garofalo is in politics for himself. In third-world countries, people become politicians and police to get ahead and take what they can for their selfish benefit. It is pretty sad that Pat Garofalo is treating Minnesotans, and more specifically his neighbors, with the respect of a third-world dishonest politician.