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Sen. John Hoffman’s Capitol Corner


“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” — Marcel Proust

Dear Friends,

Thanksgiving is a time to be home, a place of shelter and comfort, with your family and friends. On this day of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie – let us also take a moment to reflect on what we are thankful for. I am so grateful for my family — my loving wife and daughter, and the honor of serving all of you in the Minnesota Senate. I wish that all of you may be blessed with abundant joy and love during this time.  

It is also a time to remember those who might not be as fortunate. That is why I am putting on my 4th Annual Tiny Tots Toy Drive. Please bring a new unwrapped toy for a boy or girl ranging from age 1-17, to our home at 8224 109th Place N Champlin. This will take place on December 20th from 2:00pm – 5:00pm. Toys collected during our open house will be delivered to the pediatric wing of Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids. Stop in for a cup of cheer and some yummy holiday treats. It’s a way you can put a smile on a kid’s face and ensure they have a Merry Christmas thanks to you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Corrupting of Congressman Erik Paulsen

Money in EnvelopeThe following article was posted on November 19, 2015, on the CityPages website:

For Omar Ishrak, CEO of Medtronic, these are fabulous times.

Through a flourish of paperwork, Ishrak was instrumental in turning the Minnesota company into a pretend Irish one to skirt corporate taxes. It’s one of the reasons he made $40 million in last year — a $28 million raise over the previous year.

His company’s fortunes have been equally sweet. Last year’s profits pushed $3.1 billion. Read More

Income Inequality Makes The Rich More Scrooge-Like, Study Finds

Handout ChangeThe following article by Melissa Healy with the Los Angeles Times appeared on the National Memo website, posting on November 24, 2015:

As the annual “season of giving” dawns, a new study finds that stark income inequity — a dramatically rising trend in the United States — makes the “haves” less generous toward others.

Higher-income people were less inclined to be generous both when they came from states where income inequality is high and when they were made to believe that there was a sharp divide between rich and poor, a new study found. And they were less charitable in both cases than were low-income people. Read More

5 Things To Tell Your Republican Relatives At Thanksgiving Dinner

The article  below was posted on the National Memo website on November 23, 2015. We thought it might ease some holiday interactions:

The guy your aunt met on is going to be in such a good mood. His third “Make America Great Again” hat just came in the mail. He’s certain that his prolific Internet commenting as “RINOHUNTz69” has singlehandedly dismantled the candidacy of Jeb Bush. And the last two years of off-year elections have helped Republicans… Read More

Republicans are the ones hiding behind ‘political correctness’

The following authored by Eugene Robinson appeared in the Washington Post November 23, 2015:

Donald Trump at a campaign stop Saturday in Birmingham, Ala. (Eric Schultz/Associated Press)

The Republican presidential candidates and the far-right echo chamber have made “politically correct” an all-purpose dismissal for facts and opinions they don’t want to hear.

Take Donald Trump’s claim that when the World Trade Center towers collapsed on 9/11, “I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.”

The Post’s Fact Checker columnist, Glenn Kessler, found no evidence to support Trump’s claim and gave him Four Pinocchios, reserved for the most baldfaced lies. PolitiFact gave the statement aPants on Fire rating, denoting extreme mendacity. But when ABC’s George Stephanopoulos pressed the GOP front-runner to explain himself, noting that “police say it didn’t happen,” Trump resorted to what has become a familiar dodge.

“I know it might not be politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as that building came down,” Trump said. Read More

GOP Racist Messaging

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 9.27.43 PM“Yesterday the Minnesota 7th Congressional District Republican Party posted the following statement on their Facebook page: “MN #‎DFL now propose a “special session” to deal with their self-created “#‎Negroproblem”.

 You don’t have to look far to find ignorant hate speech masquerading as acceptable party messaging.  However, this is not the first time the Minnesota Republican Party and their affiliates have posted racially insensitive material.

“The GOP is clearly out of touch on issues of race here in Minnesota and around the country.  Regrettably these comments have become commonplace in the Republican Party  and it should be no surprise that they are now an accepted and normal part of their conversation.

 While our community is still struggling with the death of a young man and trying to find answers for his family, the Republican Party of Minnesota decided to chime in with racist and bigoted comments. There is absolutely no place for this kind of ugly language in our state and we call on Chairman Downey to apologize to the people of Minnesota for the racist and bigoted comment from the Minnesota 7th Congressional District Republican Party.”  

Governor to Convene Statewide Water Quality Summit in February

800px-fort-snelling-state-park-confluence_cropThis past weekend, Governor Mark Dayton announced his plans to convene a statewide Water Quality Summit in February. The summit will focus public attention on the serious challenges facing Minnesota’s water supplies – in both rural and urban areas of the state – and continue statewide dialogue around steps that must be taken to address those challenges. The summit will include water quality experts, farmers, legislators, regulators, the business community, members of the public, local leaders, and a wide variety of other stakeholders.

“My father believed – as I believe – that stewardship is a profound responsibility of each of us. To take what we have been given – or have acquired – and leave it in better condition for those who will inherit from us,” said Governor Dayton. “This is everyone’s challenge, and everyone’s responsibility.” 

In his remarks to the Minnesota Farm Bureau this weekend, Governor Dayton elaborated on the need for a statewide Water Quality Summit, and provided some additional information about what the summit may address. Audio of the Governor’s remarks can be found here

Additional details about the Governor’s Water Quality Summit will be provided in the coming weeks. 

In the Know: November 20, 2015

Events today

  • 7:30 a.m. – Congressman Nolan speaks about the future of rural broadband at the Blandin Foundation Broadband Builders Breakfast, Minneapolis Marriott West Hotel, 9960 Wayzata Blvd., Minneapolis.
  • 1:30 p.m. – Congressman Nolan speaks at the event announcing completion of the Chambers Grove Habitat Restoration Project – and new funding for the 21st Avenue Project in the St. Louis River Area of Concern. Chambers Grove Park, 134th W Ave.,  Duluth.
  • 3 p.m. – Gov. Dayton will provide remarks at the Supreme Court ceremony for Justice Natalie Hudson. Landmark Center, Cortile, 75 5th St., St. Paul.
  • 4:30 p.m. – A rally and candlelight vigil will be held outside the Minneapolis Police Department’s precinct headquarters in north Minneapolis, where activists have been maintaining a presence since Jamar Clark’s shooting a few blocks away early Sunday.
  • 5 p.m. – Chelsea Clinton will be at Red Balloon Bookshop, 891 Grand Ave., St. Paul, to sign her new book, “It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired, and Get Going!” The book signing is free with a book purchase. Details can be found here: Read More