After President Trump’s Refusal to Denounce White Supremacists, Will Minnesota Republicans Campaign with the President and Vice President, Continue their Silence?

Despite Trump-Pence emboldening white supremacists, Republicans in Minnesota refuse to denounce the leaders of their party by name 

Will Minnesota Republicans campaign with President Trump and Vice President Pence? Will Chair Carnahan invite Trump to campaign with Republican candidates across the state?

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Chairman Ken Martin is calling out Minnesota Republicans’ silence and refusal to forcefully condemn the Trump-Pence Administration for its disturbing reaction to last weekend’s violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and asking whether they will campaign with the ticket in the weeks and months ahead. Read More

Minn. Republicans want feds to deny $900M in Southwest rail funds

The following article by Brian Bakst was posted on the MPR website March 22, 2017:

Minnesota Republicans want President Trump’s transportation secretary to deny Minnesota almost $900 million in requested funding for the Minneapolis-to-Eden Prairie Southwest Corridor light rail project.

It would upend a project that has been working through stages of approval for almost a decade.

Opponents of what would be the biggest-ever public works project in Minnesota have done everything they could to stop it. They fought Southwest light rail before city government, blocked clearance at the state Capitol and went to court.

But this might be the biggest threat yet. Read More

Republicans, Trump campaign try to tamp down MN ballot panic

The following article by J. Patrick Coolican appeared on the StarTribune Hot Dish blog August 25, 2016:

Ballot PhotoAfter hours of ringing alarm bells in national GOP circles over whether Donald Trump is in danger of not getting on Minnesota’s presidential ballot, the Trump campaign says everything is in working order and voters will have a chance to cast their ballot for the brash tycoon in November.

As of this morning, Donald Trump’s name did not appear on the sample ballot on the website of Secretary of State Steve Simon.

Michael Brodkorb, a former GOP political operative and Star Tribune blogger, reported on Twitter last night that the Republican Party of Minnesota had failed to properly submit the name of its presidential and vice presidential candidates, as well as electors and alternate electors for the Electoral College. The deadline for submission is Monday August 29.

A spokesman for Secretary of State Simon said Thursday the filing is complete and that the Republican ticket would be listed on the office website shortly.  Read More

House Republican budget targets provides tax cuts for businesses, the wealthy

The House Republican Caucus released its budget targets last week. The targets appear to propose that of the $900 million available to spend in FY16-17; $898 million will be spent on tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy. Their targets also confirm that the Speaker’s plan is to cut education, health care, and other critical needs to pay for their transportation plan.

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Speaker Daudt and House Republicans have used Wall Street Math to craft proposals that look good on paper, but their proposals ignore sound accounting principles and would drive our state budget into deficit in just over a year.

Counterpoint: Let Minnesota Republicans run on their records

The following commentary by House Minority Leader Paul Thissen appears in the StarTribune September 4, 2015 issue:

They won’t have much to brag about in earnest. Maybe that’s why one of their promoters is trashing Hillary Clinton.

Paul ThissenMark Drake, president of the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, recently took to these pages to lay out the case for electing legislative Republicans in 2016: Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers (“For Minnesotans, Clinton may end up being damaged goods,” Aug. 28).

Noticeably absent was any mention of the current House Republican majority’s record, or any ideas they’ve presented for the future of our state.

It’s exactly the kind of politics that most Minnesotans hate.

But the fact that Drake’s entire argument for returning Republicans to the Legislature in 2016 is that Hillary Clinton has — in his clearly biased view — run a bad campaign so far also tells you something about what Republicans have to run on next year.

Which is to say, not much.

Despite making big promises in the 2014 election and in the months leading up to the legislative session in 2015, the Republican majority in the Minnesota House has incredibly little to show for its time here.

In fact, most of the accomplishments Republican legislators are currently touting in their districts — from increased funding for schools to new money (albeit very little) for broadband grants — are thanks only to Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative DFLers.

In reality, legislative Republicans failed at nearly every turn to deliver for the hardworking Minnesota families they so often mention in canned talking points and political speeches. Read More

Top 10 Missed Opportunities of the 2015 Legislature

The following commentary by House Minority Leader Paul Thissen appeared in the May 23, 2015 StarTribune:

From oil trains to kids, it’s no laughing matter.

With a healthy budget surplus thanks to a growing economy, the 2015 legislative session began with great opportunity to keep Minnesota moving forward. Unfortunately, the session ended in chaotic fashion this past Monday and with few accomplishments.

With David Letterman having read his final top 10 list this week, I thought I would share the (not-so-funny) top 10 failures of the 2015 legislative session:

10. Failed to finish the work on time

Given a $2 billion budget surplus, most believed that the Legislature would be able to work with Gov. Mark Dayton and finish on time. Unfortunately, the Republican majority chose to send us into a special session over their unwillingness to compromise with the governor on his top priority: investments in our youngest learners.

9. Failed to adequately invest in long-term care workers

GOP: Education veto overshadows successes of 2015 Legislature
The Legislature did increase funding for nursing homes this session. However, the insistence by House Republicans on cutting health and human Read More

Statement from Ken Martin

“Just 10 days ago the Speaker of the Minnesota House, Kurt Daudt, the highest ranking Republican elected official in the State of Minnesota, laid out hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending for things like tax cuts, transportation infrastructure, nursing home funding, and K-12 higher education spending. And while his math didn’t quite add up, the fact of the matter is that there hasn’t been a single bill introduced by Republican House members to cut spending this year. Clearly, Speaker Daudt and House Republicans agree with DFLers that we should use this surplus to invest in the critical unmet needs facing Minnesotans throughout the state. 

“Now today the Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota is calling on the legislature to send every surplus dollar back to Minnesota residents in the form of a $350 per person check.  Not only is this shortsighted, it ignores recent history that proves that the Ventura rebates helped create the financial difficulties we faced during the early 2000s. If we do as Chairman Downey is suggesting and return every dollar of the surplus to Minnesotans we will not be able to make the investments in Minnesota that even Speaker Daudt and House Republicans agree need to be met – like repairing our roads and bridges and investing in our education system throughout the state. Read More

GOP gubernatorial candidates pledge to try and pass divisive and defeated Voter ID amendment

At a Tea Party debate last night in Rochester, GOP gubernatorial candidates Marty Seifert, Jeff Johnson and Dave Thompson pledged to actively work to pass voter ID – the same divisive amendment that Minnesota voters rejected on the 2012 ballot and similar to what was just declared illegal in Wisconsin.

“The Republican party and their candidates still don’t get it,” said DFL chairmen Ken Martin. “They are still trying to pass old divisive issues that the majority of Minnesotans have already rejected.

“Minnesotans want to strengthen the middle class, invest in education and create a state where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, not take away the voting rights of seniors, college students and veterans.”

The Voter ID Amendment was defeated in 2012 by a 6 point margin, 52-46.