Tag Archives: Steve Quist

I had to post something

I’ve written at least once a month since September 2010.  I know I was busy in 2010 with a campaign, but I have no excuse for missing a month now.

I know exactly why I might have missed a month if I hadn’t written this.  I know why nothing is boiling over for me to write about, I’m sick of partisan politics.  I’m not even getting upset at the hypocrites who could always get my goat enough to write one thing.

For example, Pat Garofalo has become more of a swearword than a goofy and arrogant twitter feed to follow and make fun of.  I recently called him a dumbass on Twitter.  If you know me, you know that is about the most vulgar I get.  Instead of laughing at him (not with him) I feel more like Red Foreman on that 70’s Show and would rather kick him in the ass so hard his nose will bleed.

Well this is a post, so I’ve met my once a month post quota.

I’ll be at the DFL Convention this weekend.  I’m sure I’ll get at least one post out of that, so I should be good for a couple months now.

So in the immortal words of Red Foreman: “Good night, sleep tight, and don’t let the bedbugs put their foot in your ass.”

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Pat Garofalo’s “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for an election win today” school payback bill

Pat Garofalo and his fellow fiscally irresponsible Republican legislators got their short-sighted and irresponsible school “payback” bill passed. Please note the extremely sarcastic air-quotes I made when I typed “payback.” Never mind that it drains the already depleted financial reserves. And never mind that Pat Garofalo still hasn’t fixed the problem that caused the Republicans to borrow $2 billion from schools in the first place. Really, what do we need reserves for anyway? Oh yeah! We have a $1 billion budget deficit to deal with next year!

It is sickening that voters actually believe Republicans are fiscally responsible when their only solution for everything is to cut taxes for the richest Minnesotans. That isn’t fiscal responsibility Mr. Garofalo, that’s graft.

Pat Garofalo called DFLers in the House “deadbeat Democrats.” How absurd is that? The DFLers in the House wanted to eliminate tax loopholes that provide the wealthiest Minnesotans with tax breaks they don’t deserve. Tax breaks you and I don’t get! And let’s not forget that those “deadbeat Democrats” were the ones who wanted to solve the school funding problem in the first place by raising income taxes a miniscule amount on people who make over a half-million dollars a year, all to ensure that Pat Garofalo wasn’t going to steal money from our school children.

The Republicans and their Popeye’s Wimpy “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for an election win today” bill is an affront to hard working Minnesotans, and the future of the children and the financial sustainability of our state for their well-being 20 years from now. The only reason Pat Garofalo and the Republicans passed this bill is because they knew that the $2 billion dollars they stole from our school children’s future and our investment in our neighborhood schools, was really going to haunt them, and probably would for sure defeat them during the 2012 November elections.

It is time to end the failed experiment Minnesota voters tried with a Republican legislature in 2010. It is time to defeat the Republican leaders who have ethics problems in how they take an income, how they regard their neighbors, how they treat their family, and definitely in who they hire as staff. In Farmington it is time to end the career of the sarcastic, snobby and name-calling Pat Garofalo, who acts friendly and jokes with Democrats, but who obviously regard most Democrats as worthless as the school children he took money from to protect the Minnesota millionaires who support the Republican Party and the agenda of no compromise.

It is time for a change, and the first thing that needs to go is Pat Garofalo!

Would MN’s version of the Stand Your Ground Castle Doctrine law lead to legal murder too?

I was given a ‘D’ grade from the NRA in 2010.  I’m a pretty typical Minnesotan when it comes to hunting and gun ownership, so I was surprised to receive a ‘D.’ Of course it wouldn’t have surprised me if the ‘D’ grade was partially because of the letter ‘D’ after my name on the ballot.  Still, I know why I got a low grade.  I have common-sense and reasoned thinking about gun ownership.  Like, I don’t believe a person should be walking through Downtown Minneapolis with an uncased hunting rifle on their shoulder.  Apparently that is OK with that infinitesimally small percentage of gun owners who actually belong to and support the NRA.

Another question I could not in good conscience answer the way the NRA would have liked me to was about the expansion of the “Castle Doctrine.”  The question on the NRA Minnesota Candidate Questionnaire asked:

11. A doctrine in common law, known as the “Castle Doctrine,” provides that a man’s home is his castle, and that he may use any manner of force, including deadly force, to protect it and its inhabitants.  Over the years, some courts have eroded this principle by ruling that there is a “duty to retreat” before meeting force with force.  Would you support reforming Minnesota laws so that: (1) a person would have the right to meet force with force to protect himself/herself and family members regardless of their location, (2) a “duty to retreat” would no longer exist in any place a person may lawfully be, and (3) a person justified in the use of force would be protected from criminal and civil liability?

I answered “no” to that question.  I absolutely believe I have the right to defend my family in any situation, but the wording seemed odd to me.  Specifically in number (1)”regardless of location” and in number (2) the part about “any place a person may lawfully be.”  Those two sections don’t seem to be about a man’s castle, they seem to be about being anywhere.  It seems vague.

The NRA got their wish and the Castle Doctrine change was not only on the agenda in Minnesota’s legislature, the Republicans passed the Castle Doctrine, despite the objections of Minnesota law enforcement agencies.  Thankfully Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed it.

Minnesota’s “Castle Doctrine Law” is similar to the Florida law called “Stand Your Ground.”  Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed the “Stand Your Ground Law” in 2005 saying “It’s common sense to allow people to defend themselves” as he signed the new law.

Defending yourself is fine and legal. In fact, Minnesota’s law already allows for justifiably taking of a life, if it is “done in the belief that it was necessary to avert death or grievous bodily harm.”  But, we’ve seen what these laws are.  These are laws permitting murder — legalizing vigilante justice.  They have not been created in an effort of one’s defense other than legal defense of murder.  We’ve seen it in Texas and Colorado, when burglars were “justifiably” killed as they run away.  And now we have an unarmed 16 year old boy, who was pursued by a man with a gun and confronted by that man apparently because he was black and wearing a hoodie.

Who was standing their ground?  Who was defending himself?  Even if a fight ensued, wasn’t it Trayvon Martin who was standing his ground?  He was the one being followed by a man with a gun.  He had no weapon.  I’m sure he felt his life was in danger.  Be realistic! Be rationale! George Zimmerman hunted down and shot a boy because of his racist paranoia.  George Zimmerman wasn’t standing his ground, he initiated the confrontation and committed murder.

Even some legislators I really like supported Minnesota’s version of the “Stand Your Ground Law.”  They should all be ashamed.  They tried to make a murder like the murder of Trayvon Martin legal.  Thank you Governor Dayton for listening to law enforcement officers and doing the right thing.

Sen. Dave Thompson’s commitment to extremist special interests

Did you read the comments on my last post titled “Sen. Dave Thompson’s dog-whistle, McCarthy style fear mongering about Sharia Law”?  The post prompted a very interesting comment by Mac Hall from Minnesota Central.

Mac asked how many questions I received during my campaign about Sharia Law.  Dave Thompson recently announced he would introduce an anti-Sharia Law bill.  That was until he realized, or maybe I should say other people realized for him, that it was unconstitutional, anti-religion and discriminatory against a group of Minnesota citizens.

I’m not sure how much of a concern it was from the people Dave Thompson talked to, but I received zero questions or comments about Sharia law.  I also don’t recall a lot gun questions or comments of any kind, although one of the other DFL candidates in the district was threatened with being shot, so maybe Dave Thompson was talking to that Lakeville resident.

I certainly didn’t hear anything about stealing money from our kid’s future by borrowing money from our schools with no plan or even willingness to repay the borrowed money.

No, these all seem to be coming from someplace else.  Honestly, I don’t know much about ALEC, and have not paid a lot of attention to all of the ALEC complaints, but maybe there is something to it.  I say that, because I talked to a lot of people who were concerned about jobs, the ineffectual legislature and its extreme partisanship, and either their threatened foreclosure or their neighbor’s foreclosure.

It’s funny because when the Pioneer Press endorsed Dave Thompson, they thought he would be a more effective legislator for his district.  Well they were right about him being a more effective legislator, but he is a better legislator for extremist special interests, not his district.

It is too bad that the Senate District DFL met for their endorsing convention yesterday and didn’t endorse a candidate to take on Dave Thompson in 2012.  If there is a Lakeville or Farmington resident willing to take on Dave Thompson this fall, I will do everything I can to help, just contact me.

Sen. Thompson’s “Right-to-Work” legislation provides no rights and no work

I submitted the following letter to the editor of the Farmington Independent, attention Editor Nathan Hansen, on Monday January 23, 2012.

Earlier that day, State Senator Dave Thompson posted on Twitter and Facebook that he intends to introduce “Right-to-Work” legislation as a constitutional amendment for voters decide on in November.

The letter that follows is the unedited version of the letter that was published January 26th in the Farmington Independent.  The MLK quote at the bottom was removed:

Letter: Legislation’s real goal is busting unions

State Senator Dave Thompson of Lakeville posted on Facebook and Twitter earlier this week that he intends to introduce what he is calling an “Employee Freedom Bill” as an amendment to Minnesota’s Constitution.  This type of legislation has been in the works across America for decades, and is more commonly referred to as “Right-to-Work” legislation.  But don’t let the phrases “Employee Freedom” and “Right-to-Work” fool you.  Those buzz phrases were carefully developed to mislead people.  “Employee Freedom” and “Right-to-Work” legislation is simply intended to bust unions.

With fewer and fewer of us as union members, unknowingly we accept the negative stereotype about unions and union members that has been constantly promoted by corporate interests and the politicians who tie themselves to those interests.  Together they have spent billions of dollars to promote an anti-union agenda.  State Senator Dave Thompson, is now tying himself to special interest groups like the MN Chamber of Commerce who spends more than twice as much to lobby our legislators as any union does.  (MSP Biz Journal, 2012)

If State Senator Dave Thompson gets his wish and puts this on the ballot for all of us to vote on in November, voters have an important decision to make.  We need to decide if we want to accelerate the downward plunge in the quality of life many middle-class Minnesotans are experiencing, the way other states that have these laws of de-unionization have reduced middle-class wages and working conditions.

Do we want more Minnesotans to be without the ability to bargain for decent medical benefits?  Do we want to risk a living wage and prevent employees from being able to bargain collectively for the pay they deserve?  Do we want corporations to decide what air is safe to breath and what equipment is safe to operate?  Do we want employees to be fired because they complain about unsafe work conditions?  Do we want the gap between rich and poor to increase even more and even faster?

Take a close look at the constitutional amendments that will or might be on the ballot in 2012.  State Senator Dave Thompson and the other politicians like him will use compelling words to use emotions to get you to support these amendments.  But, every potential constitutional amendment so far seems to be about taking rights away from people who don’t have the power to fight back. 

Vote no on any so called right-to-work amendments. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best: “We must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as ‘right-to-work.’ It provides no ‘rights’ and no ‘works.’ Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining… We demand this fraud be stopped.”

Steve Quist
Farmington, MN

Link to Letter on The Farmington Independent site: http://www.farmingtonindependent.com/event/article/id/19101/

SQ