Erik Paulsen the Edu-Entrepreneur

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Erik Paulsen is chiesling away at the educational foundations of our nation, the ‘nuts and bolts,’ the Founders envisioned that would enlighten the ‘public mind’ and ensure public liberty’ against encroachment for the benefit of private interests. James Madison said that “Learned Institutions . . . throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty and dangerous encroachments on the public liberty.”

Though Paulsen says he supports public charter school alternatives, they are in fact quasi-private, eliminating transparency and accountability and programs like Common Core, Bullying Laws, Early Education, and more…

H.R.10, the “Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act” was sponsored by Minnesota Representative John Kline (R) and supported by Rep Erik Paulsen (R), MND3. Though the bill passed the House in April of 2014, it has yet to pass in the Senate. John Kline, the chairman of the Education & the Workforce Committee in Congress, has consistently voted in sync with Paulsen and Michelle Bachmann against public education.

“H.R. 10 would amend and reauthorize both the Charter School Programs and the Credit Enhancement for Charter School Initiatives under Title V of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 through fiscal year 2020 and combine them into a single authorization. (This authorization would automatically be extended one year through 2021 under the General Education Provisions Act.) The bill would authorize the appropriation of $300 million for each of fiscal years 2015 through 2021 for grants to states to develop and expand charter school facilities and to public and private nonprofit entities to develop means of enhancing credit to finance the construction and renovation of charter schools.”

It would not, however, provide for any appropriation for ‘public’ schools.

Public and private nonprofit entities:

There is a difference between a public and a public-benefit nonprofit corporation[1] is a type of nonprofit corporation chartered by a state government, and organized primarily or exclusively for social, educational, recreational or charitable purposes by like-minded citizens. Public-benefit nonprofit corporations are distinct in the law from mutual-benefit nonprofit corporations in that they are organized for the general public benefit, rather than for the interest of its members. They are also distinct in the law from religious corporations. A strictly Public non-profit organization obtains most or all of their financial support through donations they receive from the general public.

The National Education Association weighed in on H.R. 10 requesting greater accountability and transparency. Though the NEA supports Charter Schools in addition to public schools, the NEA says it is clear that public school funding and existing public schools will not in any way be advantaged by a bill that props up one form of education against another. The NEA cited the following problems that the bill does not address:

•   Charter schools must enact stronger accountability
•   Open meetings and conflict of interest guidelines
•   Public disclosure on student attrition and demographics
•   Not penalizing states with charter caps which would prohibit funding to other public schools
•   Financial oversight and transparency

“Parents across America,” a national group opposed H.R. 10 and characterized charter schools as “mostly boondoggles that direct scarce public education dollars away from the neediest children and into the pockets of hedge funders and edu-entrepreneurs.”

Paulsen’s education votes in the Minnesota Legislature from 2006 to 2008 provide even more perspective on his education agenda: he failed to vote on one single education budget bill during those years. More telling is that he did not even vote on education budget bills for two consecutive years.

Paulsen usually refers to educational reform, which for all intents means giving public dollars to quasi private and private schools, by using buzz words like ‘smaller classrooms,’ and ‘failing schools.’ Yet, he isn’t interested in fixing the current public school system. His support for alternative educational choices like charter or voucher programs, which use public money for schools that don’t follow federal guidelines, transparency or accountability, is the direct route to privatization.

The buzz word Paulsen does not use in his forays on the superiority of ‘school choice’ and charter schools is ‘tax’ in relation to who would wind up paying for school choices like private schools, parochial schools, or home schooling. All are on the table, regardless of whether it is the choice of taxpayers, it would be at the taxpayers’ expense.

In 2013 the House passed H.R. 5 ‘The Student Success Act’ which decrees a prohibition against federal mandates and control. Kline, Bachmann and Paulsen supported the bill on a party-line vote. No Democrat in Congress supported the bill.

According to EdLibertyWatch, a conservative local Minnesota non-profit watch-dog group, they support non-public education without government interference.

Sourcewatch indicates that EdLibertyWatch was instrumental in changing curriculum in public schools and “opposes occupational and workforce retraining programs that target poor, disadvantaged, and low-skills wage earners, as well as job retraining programs that Minnesota established to help retrain workers unemployed by changes in jobs and occupations in a modernizing workforce.”

The “Sense of Congress” amendment to HR 5 introduced by John Kline (R) was passed by 231 of 234 Republicans on a party line vote which places public education in the domain of local control. “States and local educational agencies should maintain the rights and responsibilities of determining educational curriculum, programs of instruction, and assessments for elementary and secondary education.”

If we’re to acknowledge and implement Madison’s  belief that democracy is dependent on an educated populace against “crafty and dangerous encroachments on public liberty,” and fast-forward to our nation today, we would have to redefine ‘public liberty’ as a value in terms of the Republican goal to undermine it.

• The Republican goal is to use to privatize public education and divert taxpayer dollars to private education
• Erik and other Republicans are free market proponents and believe that private is inherently superior to ‘public’
• The goal of Republicans is to drastically reduce the public sector
• Privatizing public education undermines teacher unions
• Privatization rhetoric, like referring to Charters as public, is a way to attract African American and Latino voters to the Republican Party

While serving in Congress Paulsen has shown that he strongly favors voucher programs and charter schools for ‘school choice.’

• ‘Charter schools’ are publicly-funded and publicly-controlled schools which are privately run. They are usually required to adhere to fewer district rules than regular public schools.”

• ‘Vouchers’ are a means of implementing school choice — parents are given a ‘voucher’ by the school district, which entitles them to, say, $4,000 applicable to either public school or private school tuition. The value of the voucher is generally lower than the cost of one year of public education (which averages $5,200), so private schools (where tuition averages $8,500) may require cash payment in addition to the voucher.”

The ‘School Choice’ buzz related to school districts permitting parents the option of attending schools, other than public schools, which could include private schools, parochial schools, and home schooling is at taxpayers’ expense. Taxpayer funding of parochial schools violates the Constitutional separation of church and state. Taxpayer funding of private schools essentially subsidizes parents who are paying for private schools themselves, whereas the average public school family wouldn’t be able to afford it. Subsidizing families who can afford the private school of their choice represents a political, ethicial and moral conflict.

K-12 education statistics are clear: if you continue to chisel away at taxpayer funded public education, at some point in the future, control will fall into private hands. The result of that would be no U.S. standards; instead there would be state and local standards, a hodge podge of educational criteria that will be difficult to gauge on a national level.

• Total spending is $260 billion, (7% federal; the rest split state & local) rising by 5% per year.
• Student population is 50 million, rising slowly (1 million per year) since 1984.
• Public school spending is $5,200 per student, staying about even with inflation.
• Parochial school costs $4,200 per student, not discounting church-provided buildings & other subsidies.
• Private school costs $8,500 per student, not discounting scholarships or other financial aid.
• 90% attend public schools; about 6 million attend private & parochial schools.
• 78% of schools have Internet access; 97% plan to by the year 2000.
• 27% of classrooms have Internet access; lower in poor and minority schools.

This is Erik Paulsen’s goal as a free marketer whose disdain for the public sector is evidenced in his voting record. And contrary to the conservative notion that anything that’s ‘public’ is disastrous for, ironically, the public, the ‘school choice’ movement in Congress represents the “nuts and bolts” of disassembling the public school system, rather than invest/improve on the existing model. The consequences of publicly funding quasi-private, private and parochial schools would result in less control, not more, in the hands of private hedge funders and “edu-entrepreneurs.”


Our CD3 Campaign Office Opened June 21

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Thanks to everyone who turned out for yesterday’s CD3 Campaign Office opening in Hopkins. We had over 80 people there. We were joined by CD3 candidate Sharon Sund, our candidate for Secretary of State Steve Simon, Buck Humphrey, State Vice Chair Marge Hoffa and CD3 Chair Cheryl Poling, as well as many of our Minnesota State House candidates.

After our presentation, the group broke up for door knocking and phone banking.

Here are a few photos:

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Ken Martin on State Auditor Situation

“This weekend, DFLers from across the state endorsed State Auditor Rebecca Otto for reelection. In her service to our state, Auditor Otto has been recognized nationally for her work. She is president of the National State Auditors Association. The three-term Auditor was named one of the 15 most influential professionals in government auditing by the Institute of Internal Auditors. The 180,000-member worldwide organization of the auditing profession praised Auditor Otto for her ‘leadership, courage, and integrity.’ And in 2009, Auditor Otto received the national Excellence in Accountability award.

“Although he was a one-time House DFL leader, Matt Entenza has a history of running in DFL primaries. His last-minute filing is an insult to the hard-working DFLers he has to win over.

“The DFL takes the endorsements of its candidates seriously and will put the full weight of its Party resources behind Auditor Otto’s candidacy. I am confident that she will prevail in the primary and general election.”

Mike McFadden, Michele Bachmann’s pick for U.S. Senate

McFadden Bachmann ApprovedToday investment banker Mike McFadden continues Day 2 of the GOP’s “Unity” tour across Minnesota.

But let’s not forget how things played out at the Republican convention:

McFadden had the opportunity to win the endorsement outright by himself but even after seven ballots and nearly 12 hours of voting, he could not earn the support of enough delegates to close the deal.

Then in the morning when balloting resumed, Tea Party extremist Michele Bachmann swooped in to save the day, rescuing the McFadden campaign.

Bachmann’s approval was “so powerful” and so critical to McFadden desperate campaign that he rushed out her statement of support in less than 60 seconds.

Read endorsement flyer here.

And with Bachmann’s strong endorsement of the investment banker and his wholehearted embrace of the Tea Party Congresswoman came the delegates he desperately needed to cross the finish line.

McFadden was so grateful he publicly thanked Bachmann yesterday for her support during a radio interview on WCCO.

The highly-coveted Michele Bachmann Seal of Approval might have been helpful putting McFadden over the top in the delegate count, but it won’t be doing him too many favors as he tries to convince Minnesota voters that he’s on their side.

Franken CD3 Office Opening

Earlier this month, the Franken re-election campaign opened their office in Hopkins. Here’s a few photos from that night:


Later this month, we’ll be expanding the people working at the office to include our State House candidates.

Have time to volunteer? Stop by!  The office is located at 915 Mainstreet in Hopkins. It’s open 6 days a week right now.  There’s free parking in the rear.  Until our Coordinated Campaign staffers are on site, please contact Emily Alslebben at with any questions.

House DFL unveils team of candidates, officially launches campaign to retain a ‘middle class majority’ the Minnesota House

Speaker Paul Thissen and Majority Leader Erin Murphy joined a group of House DFL representatives and candidates at a press conference June 2 to kick-off the campaign to retain and grow the House DFL majority in the November election. Both Thissen and Murphy said they are eager to take their story to Minnesotans about the productive 2013-14 legislative sessions, the progress Minnesota is making, and the work still left to be done to build on that progress.


“Minnesotans will have a clear choice in this election between a legislature that stood with working families to move our state forward – by balancing our budget responsibly in order to invest in education, jobs and tax relief – or a Republican legislature that will bring back Washington D.C.-style gridlock that places the interests of the wealthy few ahead of hardworking Minnesotans,” said Speaker Paul Thissen. “We can’t wait to take that story and that choice to Minnesota voters. We are confident that Minnesotans will want to see our state keep moving forward instead of returning to the gridlock of the past.”

In November of 2012, Minnesotans rejected that approach and elected DFL majorities in the House and the Senate. Working with Governor Dayton, this DFL-led legislature turned a Republican deficit into a DFL surplus, helped create more than 50,000 jobs, made historic investments in education – including free all-day kindergarten – and closed corporate tax loopholes for big corporations while lowering property taxes for middle-class families and seniors the first time in more than a decade.


House DFLers said that although much progress has been made that they will continue to tackle the big challenges that are facing Minnesota families in the future, including:

  • Preparing every child for success by the time they reach the first grade, with universal early childhood education.
  • Tackling the escalating debt that is pricing our kids out of a college education and out of future.
  • Continuing Minnesota’s nation-leading work to level the playing field for women and families in our economy by adopting earned sick leave and eliminating childcare waiting lists.
  • Making sure no corner of our state is left behind economically with additional new investments in broadband access and training for high-skilled workers.
  • Building a transportation system that meets the demands of the 21st century.

DFL State Convention highlights progress, unity in building a Better Minnesota

The Minnesota DFL Party’s State Convention in Duluth was a celebration of the progress Gov. Mark Dayton and DFLers have made in Minnesota in the past two years.

“From an historic investment in education to tax fairness for the middle class to raising the wage for Minnesota’s lowest-paid workers, the progress DFLers made in the past two years fueled the energy and excitement felt in Duluth,” said DFL Chairman Ken Martin. “Delegates left the State Convention united and ready to talk to voters about how DFL leaders are building a Better Minnesota.”

After a weekend of talking about DFL accomplishments to build a Better Minnesota, Tina Smith, the DFL endorsed candidate for Lieutenant Governor, summed up the 2014 election best when she said, “THIS is progress worth fighting for.” Those accomplishments include:

  • Added more than 133,000 jobs: Under Gov. Dayton’s leadership, Minnesota has fully recovered all jobs lost during the Great Recession. More people are working in Minnesota than any other time in history.
  • Provided income tax relief for 1 million Minnesotans.
  • Paid back the $2.8 billion Republicans borrowed from schools to “balance” the state budget.
  • First property tax decrease in 12 years: Thanks to action by Gov. Dayton and DFL leaders, statewide property taxes for homeowners are decreasing by $161 million or 4.9 percent.
  • Made all-day kindergarten a reality for every Minnesota child – saving families $2,500 each year.
  • In 2013 Gov. Dayton signed a bill that freezes undergraduate tuition at public MN colleges for two years. He also made the largest investment in direct financial aid for college students in 25 years which will help over 100,000 MN students afford the dream of higher education.
  • Raised the wage for Minnesota’s lowest-paid workers. More than 300,000 workers, and more than 130,000 of their children, will benefit from an increase to the minimum wage.
  • Made the tax system more fair by increasing income taxes on the top 2 percent of wage earners (those making an average of $617,000 a year).
  • Passed the Women’s Economic Security Act to level the playing field for women in the workforce.
  • After becoming the first state to vote down a discriminatory marriage-restriction amendment, Gov. Dayton and DFL leaders made marriage equality a reality for all Minnesotans.

As the campaign season kicks off, Martin said DFLers across the state will reach out to their friends and neighbors about the importance of the November election and reelecting DFL leaders.

“Turnout will be the key to our success this election,” Martin said. “When DFLers vote, DFLers win.”

Congressman Paulsen Has Long Record of Voting Against VA Backlog Fixes

As House Republicans shamelessly try to score political points over the crisis in veterans care, Congressman  Erik Paulsen’s votes tell the true story of his record: when he had a chance to fix this problem, he voted against the fixes.

“It’s a shame that when Congressman Paulsen had a chance to do something to help shorten the wait time at the VA he voted no,” said Josh Schwerin of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  “Congressman Paulsen voted against a commonsense solution to this problem and our heroes deserve better.”


Voted to Block the Veterans Backlog Reduction Act. In 2013, Paulsen voted against considering the Veterans Backlog Reduction Act, which would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to pay provisional benefits for certain non-adjudicated claims.  The previous question was approved 224-195. A vote against the motion would have allowed for consideration of the veterans bill. [H Res 232, Vote #180, 5/23/13; Congressional Record, H2925, 5/23/13]

Voted Against Increasing Funds to Reduce the Backlog in Veterans Disability Claims.  In 2013, Paulsen voted against a motion that would help reduce the backlog of disability claims for veterans. The motion would have added $9.2 million in funding to hire an additional 94 claims processors to help reduce the veterans disability claims backlog. [CQ Floor Votes, 6/04/13; HR 2216, Vote #192, 6/04/13]

Voted Against Protecting Veterans Benefits During a Government Shutdown. In September 2013, Paulsen voted against ensuring veterans benefits would not be delayed during a government shutdown. He later voted against guaranteeing the processing of veterans benefits during a government shutdown. [HJ Res 59, Vote #477, 9/20/13; HR 3102, Vote #475, 9/19/13; CQ Floor Votes, 9/20/13, 9/19/13]

Voted For Extreme Plan That Would “Likely Result” In a Government Shutdown. In 2013, Paulsen voted for an extreme House Republican continuing resolution that the Associated Press reported would “likely result” in the shutdown of the federal government. The bill passed 230-189. [HJ Res 59, Vote #478, 9/20/13; Associated Press, 8/23/13]

Shutdown Delayed Training for Service Members Transitioning to Civilian Life.  In November 2013, the OMB reported that the shutdown “delayed workshops for 1,400 military service members to help them transition to civilian life and employment.” [OMB, November 2013]

Shutdown Delayed Military Death Benefits.  “But until the lapse in federal funding ends, the families of deceased military personnel cannot expect to receive the “death gratuity” of $100,000 the Defense Department deposits in their bank account within 24 to 36 hours, defense officials said […]Grieving families also cannot expect the military to cover the usual costs of travel to meet their loved ones returning home in American flag-draped coffins through Dover Air Force Base, or pay for funerals and burials, according to the Defense Department.” [Washington Post, 10/09/13]

Shutdown Forced VA to Close Regional Offices, Suspend Services and Programs. “All public access to the VA’s 56 regional offices was suspended Tuesday because of a lack of funds, the VA said […]The VA is also suspending services such as educational and vocational counseling and outreach programs, including those conducted at military facilities.” [Washington Post, 10/09/13]

Shutdown “Harmed Efforts to Reduce the Disability Claims Backlog” for Veterans. “Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki is warning that the government shutdown has harmed efforts to reduce the disability claims backlog […]Since the VA ceased paying overtime for claims processors Oct. 1, the backlog of disability and pensions claims increased by about 200 and now stands at approximately 418,700. In contrast, the backlog decreased approximately 18,000 from Sept. 23 to Sept. 30.” [Washington Post, 10/09/13]

Voted to Make it More Difficult for Veterans to Get Benefits.  In 2011, Paulsen voted for an amendment that would make it harder for low-income veterans and Social Security recipients to retain counsel in a civil action against the United States, like when fighting for benefits. The Lummis amendment imposed a seven-month moratorium on all legal fees paid under the Equal Access to Justice Act, a Reagan-era law designed to help people afford an attorney while suing the government.  “We’re in the middle of two wars right now and to make it harder for a veteran — fighting for his benefits — to have an attorney is a horrible thing. That’s not what this country is about,” Robert Chishold, a prominent veterans’ law attorney said. [Politico, 2/23/11; HR 1, Vote #85, 2/17/11]

Voted Against Protecting Mortgage Relief for Veterans and Active Duty Service Members. In 2011, Paulsen voted against a motion that would protect mortgage assistance under the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program for active duty service members and their families, veterans, and Gold Star eligible families. The underling bill would terminate the Home Affordable Modification Program. [CQ Floor Votes, 3/11/11; HR 839, Vote #197, 3/29/11]

Voted Against Increasing Housing Assistance for Veterans. In June 2012, Paulsen voted against increasing funding for veterans rental voucher’s by $75 million.  [CQ Floor Votes, 6/29/12; HR 5972, Vote #449, 6/29/12]

Voted to Slash Homeless Veterans’ Assistance. In 2011, Paulsen voted for a spending bill that would have eliminated $75 million slated to house homeless Veterans. According to CNN, the cuts would have hurt some 11,000 homeless veterans who qualified for housing in 2011 but had not received vouchers. [HR 1, Vote # 147, 2/19/11; National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, 4/12/11; CNN, 3/1/11]

Voted Against Increasing Funds for Veterans Medical and Prosthetic Research.  In March 2012, Paulsen voted against a motion that would increase funding for veterans medical and prosthetic research by $28.3 million. [CQ Floor Votes, 5/31/12; HR 5854, Vote #304, 5/31/12]

Voted Against Increasing Funds for Veterans Medical Services for Mental Health.  In June 2011, Paulsen voted against a motion that would increase funding for veterans medical services for post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide prevention by $20 million. [CQ Floor Votes, 6/14/11; Watertown Daily Times, 6/14/11; HR 2055, Vote #417, 6/14/11]


UNITY: Dahlberg, Ortman agree McFadden not who he says he is

If Dahlberg and Ortman decide to show, Republican “unity” in Senate race nothing more than a fake show

Minnesota Republicans gathering for the “Unity Press Conference” this morning are certainly united on one thing: investment banker Mike McFadden is not who he says he is.

Over the last year, St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg and State Sen. Julianne Ortman have made it clear to voters they aren’t buying what McFadden’s selling.

Dahlberg has accused McFadden of being “unwilling or unable to answer even the simplest questions,” “not respecting” the voters of this state, and waiting to give answers based on “which way the political wind is blowing.” And Ortman doesn’t know if she “can trust” McFadden, doesn’t think he can “connect well with Minnesota voters,” and doesn’t believe he “can win.”

Bottom Line: Despite any fake show of unity Republicans may try to put on this morning, Dahlberg and Ortman’s detailed history of statements tell a much different story.

Chris Dahlberg warns Minnesotans McFadden is nothing more than a politician

  • Dahlberg: McFadden’s “evasiveness is insulting” to Minnesotans and “not acceptable”. At a press conference on April 24, Dahlberg said: “Part of running for office is letting Minnesotans know where you stand on the issues, every single one of them so voters can make an informed decision.  Running for office is also part of demonstrating how you’ll perform under pressure, even if the pressure is as mild as giving a straight answer to a simple question.  But Mr. McFadden’s favorite answer to direct questions seems to be, ‘you’re asking the wrong question.’  How is a legitimate question about how you’ll represent Minnesota, Minnesotans, wrong?  His evasiveness is insulting and it’s not acceptable. “[Dahlberg Press Conference 4/24/14]
  • Dahlberg: McFadden “has consistently been unwilling or unable to answer even the simplest questions.” Dahlberg told Minnesotans: “[McFadden] has consistently been unwilling or unable to answer even the simplest questions about where he stands on issues and he apparently thinks Minnesota won’t notice, but we do.” [Dahlberg Press Conference 4/24/14]
  • Dahlberg: McFadden “not respecting anyone.” At a press conference, Dahlberg said: “[McFadden] must believe by doing nothing he won’t slip up or offend anyone.  Well that might be true, but he’s not informing or respecting anyone either.” [Dahlberg Press Conference 4/24/14]
  • Dahlberg says he’s “stunned” by McFadden’s “disregard for the intelligence of the people of this state.” In April, Dahlberg said: “As I’ve listened to the comments of Mike McFadden during his campaign, I’ve been stunned by the disregard for the intelligence of the people of this state.” [Dahlberg Press Conference 4/24/14]
  • Dahlberg: McFadden’s money will allow him to flood the airwaves and say “well, nothing.” Dahlberg told reporters in April: “Now Mr. McFadden has raised a lot of money from Washington powerbrokers. That’s going to allow him the opportunity to flood the airwaves with ads that say, well, nothing. “[Dahlberg Press Conference 4/24/14]
  • Dahlberg: McFadden waits to give answers based on “which way the political wind is blowing.” Dahlberg further reiterated McFadden’s unwillingness to be honest with Minnesotans: “I’m always going to strive to give Minnesotans clear, direct answers and not after weeks or after I’ve checked which way the political wind is blowing.” [Dahlberg Press Conference 4/24/14]

Julianne Ortman tells Minnesotans she doesn’t know if she ‘can trust’ McFadden

  • Ortman: “I don’t believe [McFadden] can win.” During an interview on the Northern Alliance Radio Network, Ortman said, “I’m concerned, of course, about Mike McFadden. He had announced for this race before I did, long before I did. And I decided to step in because I don’t believe he can win.” [NARN, 11/18/13]
  • Ortman: McFadden won’t “connect” with Minnesotans and is “more concerned about what’s happening in Washington than he is with talking to Minnesota voters…”: During an interview on the Northern Alliance Radio Network, Ortman said: “I don’t believe that he will connect well with Minnesota voters, and the fact that he’s more concerned about what’s happening in Washington than he is with talking to Minnesota voters is just a good example of that.” [NARN, 11/18/13]
  • Ortman questions whether voters “can trust” McFadden. During an interview on the Northern Alliance Radio Network, Ortman said: “I’ll leave that to others to sort out whether or not they can trust [McFadden], since he’s never had really any public experience and seems to be unwilling to talk about many of his positions.” [NARN, 11/18/13]
  • Ortman said McFadden was not giving “very clear answers” to voters’ questions about his positions. According to MPR: “His clearer positions may not satisfy his critics. That includes state Sen. Julianne Ortman, R- Chanhassen, one of the GOP candidates also seeking to unseat Franken. ‘I think it’s a fair thing for Minnesotans to ask important questions about where he stands on the issues, and from what I’m hearing they’re not getting very clear answers,’ Ortman said before McFadden remade his website.” [Minnesota Public Radio, 2/20/14]
  • Ortman: McFadden has “no record of service to the state or party” and is “too busy to care about our elections until his own name is on the ballot and paid for with a checkbook.” In an article detailing how investment banker Mike McFadden hadn’t voted in a Republican primary election for at least the last 20 years, Ortman said, “He’s got no record of service to the state or party. He’s too busy to care about our elections until his own name is on the ballot and paid for with a checkbook. It’s an ultimate disrespect to the voters of the state. The Minnesota Senate seat belongs to the people of the state and not Washington special interests and power brokers.” [Huffington Post, 5/23/14]