Author Archives: EJ Haust

Could THIS Be the Bomber?

4-18-13 UPDATE: “Leaked photos” are expected to be officially released today in a news conference, accordinging to the New York Post and several other media sources. At least one photo rumored to be useful to authorities was part of this post yesterday. The New York Post is reporting the 2 young men in the “leaked” photos have been cleared of any wrong doing, though no official statement from law enforcement has been made.

4-18-13 UPDATE 2: Cleared by investigators. Multiple sources say 2 young men cleared of any involvement.
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Twitter has proven the source of breaking news time and again when traditional media outlets fail. The Representative Anthony Weiner scandal, Fast and Furious, and more recently the Gosnell death trial have all gained nationwide attention due to the mountains of information available via social media.
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We just might thank Twitter once again when it comes to the Boston Marathon bombings if David Shor is correct in his prediction.

Shor, who uses the Twitter handle @IshYimini, spent more than 2 hours last night researching, posting and trying to get the attention of media regarding a photo of a man in the crowd near the finish line carrying a large nylon bag. The bag, with thick black and grey strap, bears a striking resemblance to the one used in one of the two bombs found in the rubble.

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Shor said that he has contacted the FBI about his research, but as of the early morning hours of Wednesday hadn’t heard any updates.

Officials have not yet named a suspect in the terror attack, nor have many details been released about the person or persons who are to blame. Perhaps trolling Twitter could lead to some promising leads.

See the original crowd photo here: Flickr.com/photos
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4-17-13 UPDATE: More INCREDIBLE comparison photos here: IMGUR.com

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Leftwing Acts of Violent Extremism

bombIt took all of 45 minutes following the bombings at the Boston Marathon for leftwing pundits and media types to suggest that those responsible likely lean right politically. CNN’s Jake Tapper entertained national security analyst Peter Bergen on his new show, The Lead, in which Bergen said that the materials used in the bombs could be evidence that they were created by “rightwing extremists.” Charles Pierce of Esquire also suggested the bombs were the work of Timothy McVeigh-like terrorists. And not surprisingly, Chris Matthews of MSNBC wasted no time blaming “domestic terrorists” that “tend to be on the far right.”

Though terrorist activity has been a component in far right and Muslim extremist groups, the media tend to forget that there is no shortage of violence stemming from far left extremism. For a reminder, here’s a list of left wing acts of violent extremism from our recent American history.

Columbia professor in Brooklyn caught with a bomb-making factory in his home, 2008

May 19 Communist Organization participates in armored car robbery in 1981

Black Liberation Army responsible for numerous bank and armored car robberies in the 1970’s, murder of a state trooper, and charged in various terrorist plots that included fire-bombing department stores in New York

Weather Underground, brainchild of Obama pal and “guy from the neighborhood” turned professor Bill Ayers, responsible for more than 30 acts of violence and bombings from 1969 to 1987; bombings include police stations, the Pentagon, ROTC recruiting locations and more. Multiple Weather Underground members have been or continue to be on the FBI Most Wanted list

Harvard grad Aaron Greene and girlfriend Morgan Gliedman, arrested in January 2013 for having a “bomb-making factory” in their Greenwich Village apartment; Gliedman studied Weather Underground’s Bill Ayers and took classes with University of Illinois Chicago Therese Quinn who co-edited several books with Bill Ayers

Occupy Cleveland terrorists planned bridge bombings in 2012; Brandon Baxter, Douglas Wright, Ryan Komosinski, Anthony Hayne, Connor Stevens, and Joshua Stafford, all members of the Cleveland version of Occupy Wall Street, were stopped by the FBI in attempt to blow up area bridges

Democratic strategist Milton “Skip” Ohlsen sets a bomb in a parking garage in 2008 in attempt to murder his wife’s divorce attorney

Democrats attempt bombing in St. Paul, Minnesota at the 2008 Republican National Convention hoping for mass casualties

Though this is by no means a comprehensive list, it wasn’t that difficult to compile. Perhaps the media talking heads should take some time to pause and investigate before immediately rushing to blame. The bombings in Boston have more in common with Al Qaeda linked terrorist attacks than those of rightwing extremists, but no arrest has been made. Rushing to conclusions should only prove to discredit those who shoot off at the mouth in hopes of higher viewership.

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” – President Obama, 2011

…. or a bomb.

Background Check Filibuster Fakeout?

randpaulfilibusterA different spin on the so-called “failed filibuster” attempt by some GOP lawmakers.

The concept of requiring background checks in order to purchase a firearm is seen largely as “reasonable” according to recent polls. According to a CNN poll, more than 90% of Americans approve of background checks for gun purchases. The Huffington Post, Politico, Yahoo! News and other media outlets have cited similar polls with similar results. It makes no difference that the poll questions and subjects were skewed to produce a left-leaning result. The poll is out there. The rest of the media jumped on it, and the gun control advocates are having a field day.

Surely, the GOP is smart enough to watch the polls and the resulting media frenzy. Perhaps they decided another filibuster spectacle wasn’t necessary, or worse, would bring harsher media attention to the divided party in the contentious gun control debate.

President Obama, and the many special interest groups that support him, have set to action their incredible marketing machine in the last several months, brilliantly exploiting the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School to forward a gun control agenda that rivals Stalin or Mao. Traveling the country to share his message, and to support state legislatures, like those in Colorado and New York, the president has helped push bans on firearms, stricter background checks, and heavy restrictions on who can and cannot be permitted to own a firearm. Shockingly, the gun-grabbing left has all but won the war on America’s historical, cultural, and Constitutional relationship with firearms.

In the weeks following the massacre in Connecticut, crawling out of the D.C. woodwork were thousands of pre-written pages of legislation just waiting for their chance to be passed in powerful congressional committees. Like frantic locusts awakened from their dormancy, the anti-gun crowd swarmed the capitols of every state and took over the conversation in D.C. without haste. Committee after committee heard testimony and tear-jerking stories of how guns (not the people who use them illegally) destroy lives. The cable news media scrambled daily to air any emotional gun story they could find to make their case. State legislatures passed gun control bills in early 2013, even though prior to December 2012, no gun control legislation was being considered. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) anti-Second Amendment gun confiscation and limitation bill failed to reach a floor vote in the Senate, but the background check debate rages on. Why?

It has long been the modus operandi of the progressive left to throw out extreme ideas, thousands of pages of nonsense in bills, gin up the media, play to emotions of the left and right, and get everyone all “wee-wee’d up” for the express purpose of passing something “more reasonable,” thus gaining what they really wanted in the first place: more control.

Read that again. They are playing you.

Just as we have seen with budget battles, payroll tax holidays, and countless pieces of legislation in the past 4 years, the progressives have invoked countless conversations about extreme and controlling ideas, only to pass bills that are far more “reasonable.” And we play along saying, “It could have been so much worse!”

The failed attempt at a filibuster is just the latest case of Republicans caving to progressive ideas in a long list of disappointments for some party faithful and Tea Party types. This time, though, it may be more than simply caving to progressive ideals. It could have been a fakeout.

Had Senator Rand Paul successfully organized a filibuster on the background check vote, an issue that supposedly has 90+% approval, what would the media fall out have been? Think of the names Paul, Rubio and the rest would have been called by progressives. Wacko-bird is just the beginning of the progressive backlash on Paul. Think of the approval ratings plummeting for any who supported the filibuster attempt. Most likely the case is that the Republican caucus discussed the poll, the media frenzy, the 2014 & 2016 campaign implications, and the public perception of the filibuster, and determined it wasn’t going to help the GOP in the long run. They chose the 16 senators to “cave,” saved the embarrassment of a filibuster aftermath; thus saving face (and approval numbers) for presidential hopefuls Rubio and Paul in 2016.

This entire chain of events could have been avoided, though, if the GOP could figure out how to articulate the message that the Constitution has allowed America to experience more prosperity, more health, and more freedom than any other country in the history of the world. The GOP should listen to what Senator Paul has to say and learn from him. He articulates the message of personal freedom better than any in D.C. at the moment, as he brilliantly displayed at Howard University recently. Until the concept of liberty permeates the American culture, we will continue to see this charade coming from D.C.

To read about NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s nefarious influence on gun control proposals in several state legislatures, click here: Bloomberg Lobbyist

To read about gun control in Minnesota, click here: MN Gun Control

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Executive Order Creates Election Commission

Obama_signingPresident Obama signed an executive order last week creating the nine member Presidential Commission on Election Administration, a move he signaled as a priority during the State of the Union speech.

The Commission, co-chaired by Bob Bauer, who was Obama’s lead counsel in his 2012 campaign, and Ben Ginsberg, who held the same role in the Romney camp is tasked with studying polling locations, voter access, voting machine technology and much more.

The executive order defines the mission of the panel as follows:

“The Commission shall identify best practices and otherwise make recommendations to promote the efficient administration of elections in order to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots without undue delay, and to improve the experience of voters facing other obstacles in casting their ballots, such as members of the military, overseas voters, voters with disabilities, and voters with limited English proficiency.”

Though a very small percentage of polling locations experienced delays on Election Day 2012, locations with arguably the highest turnout in the nation had few problems to note. Minneapolis, for example, had some polling locations with more than 100% turnout, yet Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie reported the day ran smoothly. Ritchie said of the estimated 3 million people statewide (MN had an estimated 76% voter turnout), “I think people had a really good experience.”

The debate about long lines and extensive wait times rears its head every few years, but the math simply doesn’t add up. Following the 2010 census, in accordance with a law enacted by Congress in 1975, polling locations were reviewed in each state and redistricting took place. Each Congressional district, state senate district and other districts were evaluated and potentially changed, and then approved by the states. The redistricted lines are based on census numbers so that each polling location has approximately the same number of residents, and therefore, approximately the same number of eligible voters.

Though the President’s new commission intends to study and recommend changes related to the “number, location, management, operation, and design of polling places,” “ballot simplicity and voter education,” and the “efficient management of voter rolls and poll books,” there is no mention of any attempt to dissuade voter fraud. In fact, the stated purpose of the commission is to “improve the experience of all voters.” As we have learned in the last few election cycles, not all voters abide by election laws.

Voter fraud is rampant in the United States. For a few examples, click here: EJ Haust Voter Fraud and here: Voter Fraud Still an Issue

Each state has authority over its election practices including ballots, technology, and polling locations, but the recommendations of this new commission are “intended to serve as a best practices guide for state and local election officials…” according to Josh Earnest, Deputy Press Secretary for the White House. That could prove valuable to activists seeking to make voting controlled by the executive branch.

Though the commission won’t have authority to directly override state election rules, its recommendations could conceivably be used as a tool by the Department of Justice to use when persuading judges to impose changes at the state level. The President is essentially giving credibility to a group of nine of his friends to create a “study” that will later be seen as the authority on election best practices. What Secretary of State, governor, state legislature, or judge will have the instinct to deny recommendations by this panel of experts?

The commission is required to submit its final report 6 months following its first public meeting. It will have staff, though none of the nine members will have a salary. All members will be allowed reimbursement of travel expenses.

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Bought & Paid For, Part II

National and local unions have taken over the Minnesota legislature.

solidarity fistThe elections of 2012 saw an unprecedented $100 million dollars spent by large employee unions throughout the United States. More than $11 million of that money was spent in Minnesota. Bought and Paid For… Minnesota Legislature lists some of the powerful democrats who are pushing bills through legislative committees that are clearly inspired by various unions. Those same unions supported their campaigns through endorsements and financial contributions.

Expanding on the previous list, here is an investigation into the democrat members of the MN House Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee who have also been bought and paid for by employee unions.

Representative Sheldon Johnson: Chair of the Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee

Endorsed by AFSCME, MAPE, Teamsters, Education MN, MNA, IBEW, and various police, firefighter, building, trades, and transportation unions.

Johnson was a Union Steward for Teamsters 320.

Johnson has received the following campaign donations: $8,400 from public employee unions, $4,100 from civil servants/public officials, $3,000 from building trade unions, and another $3,700 from miscellaneous unions.

Representative Mike Sundin: freshman legislator and Vice Chair of the Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee

Endorsed by AFSCME, AFL-CIO, IBEW, MN Farmers Union, Teamsters, United Transportation Union, Education MN, and 11 other unions.

Sundin is a professional painter and was part of the Internation Union of Painters and Allied Tradees (IUPAT).

Representative Peter Fischer: freshman legislator

Endorsed by AFSCME, AFL-CIO, MNA, MAPE, Education MN, Teamsters.

In his final campaign finance report submitted in January 2013, Fischer reported donations in excess of $4,000 from unions including IBEW, Education MN, MAPE, Iron Workers and more.

Representative Carolyn Laine: Vice Chair of MN House Early Childhood and Youth Development Policy Committee which already passed the forced unionization bill

Endorsed by AFSCME, SEIU, IBEW, AFL-CIO, Teamsters, MAPE, United Transportation Union, various police, firefighters, nurses and farmers unions

Received 42% of campaign donations from out-of-state sources.
Received more than $8,000 in campaign contributions from unions.

Represenative Shannon Savick

Received the following donations for her 2012 campaign:
SEIU $250
Education MN $450
IBEW $700
Joint Council 32 (Teamsters) $500
MAPE $250
AFL-CIO $250
MNA $500
Laborers Council of MN & ND Pol Fund $500
United Food and Commercial Workers Union $500

Representative Michael Nelson: Professional carpenter for 22 years before working directly for a carpenters union in 2000

Representative Erik Simonson

Endorsed by AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Firefighters unions, and building/construction trades unions.

Over $3500 in Simonson’s 2012 campaign contributions were from city and state employees.

15 employee unions donated more than $6,300, including $500 from AFSCME, $250 from AFL-CIO, $200 from Public Employee Services Association, and $250 from Education MN.

Representative Sandra Masin

Endorsed by AFSCME, Education MN, SEIU, AFL-CIO, Joint Council 32 DRIVE (Teamsters), MAPE, Police and Peace Officers Union, Council of Carpenters, United Transportation Union, St. Paul Building Construction Trades Council, MNA.

Campaign contributions from AFSCME, SEIU, MAPE, Education MN and others totaled $4,000 in Masin’s 2012 campaign.

Representative Jason Metsa: currently employeed as Field Coordinator for North East Area Labor Council

11 employee unions contributed to Metsa’s 2012 campaign. Northern Central States Carpenters union contributed $500 and Virginia Eveleth Carpenters Local #606 donated $300.

The MN House Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee heard the introduction and testimony on the forced unionization of in-home child care business owners today and is expected to pass the bill onto the House floor later in the session. Both AFSCME and SEIU will see an influx of thousands of new members should the bill pass making private business owners employees of the State of Minnesota.

The information for this article was obtained via the MN Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board and individual candidate campaign websites. Some endorsement and other information was obtained from ProjectVoteSmart.org.
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Author of the MN Senate version of the child care provider unionization bill is Senator Sandy Pappas. What are her ties to unions? What happened in her committee: Read here: It’s Payback Time
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Bought and Paid For… Minnesota Legislature

solidarity fistThese are some of the democrats that control powerful committees in the State House and Senate in Minnesota. Their committees are voting on whether or not force small business owners to pay dues to public employee unions, raise the state minimum wage, and more. This is not a comprehensive list of all democrats in the Minnesota legislature. Campaign finance figures are through 2010, as 2012 campaign finance reports are not readily available at the time of this posting. According to campaign finance documents and press releases, unions spent over $100 million nationwide and more than $11 million in the state of Minnesota.

Senator Sandy Pappas: Author of Senate File 778 which would make private business owners employees of the state and allow in-home caregivers, such as those who care for their aging parents, to become MN State employees and join a public union.

Endorsed by AFSCME, SEIU, MAPE, MNA, IBEW, IFO, Education Minnesota, MN Farmers Union, AFL-CIO
Received over $10,000 in donations from public employee unions through 2010. Received approximately $10,000 more in donations from trade unions, individual government employees and other miscellaneous unions.

Senator Tony Lourey: Vice Chair of committee that voted to unionize private business owners.

Endorsed by AFL-CIO, SEIU, Educatiom MN, MN Farmers Union, MN Nurses Association, MAPE, Teamsters, IBEW, UAW, United Transportation Union.

Senator Patricia Torres Ray: Voted in favor of SF 778 in State and Local Government Committee.

Endorsed by SEIU, AFL-CIO, Education MN, Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, MNA, Minneapolis Central Labor Union Council.

Representative Joe Mullery: Chair of the MN House Early Childhood and Youth Development Policy

Endorsed by AFSCME, SEIU, Education MN*, IBEW*, United Transportation Union, MN Federation of Teachers, various trade, police, building unions*.
* Received campaign contributions from these unions

Representative Carolyn Laine: Vice Chair of MN House Early Childhood and Youth Development Policy Committee

Endorsed by AFSCME, SEIU, IBEW, AFL-CIO, Teamsters, MAPE, United Transportation Union, various police, firefighters, nurses and farmers unions

Received 42% of campaign donations from out-of-state sources.
Received more than $8,000 in campaign contributions from unions.

Representative Kathy Brynaert:

Endorsed by AFSCME, SEIU, AFL-CIO, MAPE, Education MN, various carpenters, farmers, transportation and nurses unions.

Received well over half of campaign contributions from unions and union employees.
60% of campaign contributions were from PACs or non-individuals.

Representative Carly Melin:

Raised approximately $32,000 for special election in 2011.
AFSCME donated at least $1,000 in 2011.

Representative Ryan Winkler:

Endorsed by AFSCME, SEIU, MAPE, Education MN, Star Tribune

Received approximately $8,000 in campaign contributions from lawyers and law firms, with Dorsey & Whitney contributing more than $4,000.
Received nearly $6,000 from public unions and public employees.

Senator Chris Eaton: Vice Chair of MN Senate State and Local Government Committee, voted in favor of SF 778

Endorsed by AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Education MN, Teamsters

Received over $6,000 from unions.
Among Eaton’s top campaign contributors are AFSCME, IBEW, American Federation of Teachers, American Nurses Association.

Senator Kevin Dahle: Voted in favor of SF 778

Endorsed by AFSCME, SEIU, MAPE, MNA, Education MN, IBEW, AFL-CIO, MN Farmers Union, various police, firefighters, care providers and transportation unions.
Among Dahle’s top campaign contributors are AFSCME, SEIU, Pipefitters Union, Carpenters and Joiners Union.

Senator Jeff Hayden: Voted in favor of SF 778

Endorsed by SEIU, Education MN, MNA, MAPE, Teamsters, Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, various firefighters, police, labor, and trades unions.

Hayden has received over $16,000 in campaign contributions from unions. Some of the top contributors are AFSCME, IBEW, Education MN and American Federation of Teachers.

Senator Bev Salze: Voted in favor of SF 778

Endorsed by AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Education MN, MAPE, MN Farmers Union, MNA, various police and trades unions.

Salze has received campaign contributions from AFSCME, Education MN, AFL-CIO, IBEW.

Senator Alice Johnson: Voted in favor of SF 778

Endorsed by AFSCME, SEIU, AFL-CIO, Education MN, IBEW, Teamsters, United Transportation Union.

Top 3 industries contributing to Johnson’s campaigns are public sector unions, Lobbyists, and civil servants/public officials. 85% of Johnson’s donations have been from PAC’s, 8% from individuals and 7% unknown.

Sources: Candidate campaign websites, MN Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board website, Influence Explorer, Project Vote Smart and OpenSecrets.org.

Bought & Paid For, Part II examines the democrats from the MN House Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee and their ties to powerful employee unions.

For more, READ: It’s Payback Time
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It’s Payback Time

PappasUnions like AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) spent $100 million to elect federal, state and local candidates across the country in 2012 and now they want their payback.

In Minnesota, union influence was purchased with more than $11 million. Payback is taking the form of increasing the number of dues-paying members through bully legislation.

Making its way through Minnesota Senate committees is a rehashed proposal to force private business owners and sole proprietors to join a union or be forced to pay a “fair share” penalty.

The bill, Senate File 778, states that any child care provider who accepts clients who are subsidized by the state Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) must, under penalty of the law, join the union or pay the “fair share” fee of $25 per month. There are approximately 9,000 business owners and child care providers that would be affected by this part of the law.

Minnesota Senate State and Local Government Committee met Monday and was greeted by a large crowd of both opposition and support. Chief author of SF 778, Senator Sandra Pappas, who was endorsed by AFSCME and SEIU (Service Employees International Union) in her 2012 campaign, presented her proposal along side union bosses and sobbing testifiers. Executive Director of AFSCME Eliot Seide testified in favor of Pappas’ bill. He was paid over $122,000 last year by the union. According to union members present at the senate committee hearing, both AFSCME and SEIU would see an increase in membership if the bill becomes law.

According to testimony at the hearing, child care providers already have the option to join AFSCME and a total of 57, out of more than 9,000, have already done so.

Republican members of the Senate State and Local Government Committee had harsh words and presented stiff opposition to Pappas’ bills. Senator Brandon Petersen criticized the bill saying, “…you’re talking about unionizing small business owners… Isn’t this just a plan to syphon off dues money for the unions?”

Petersen was visibly frustrated throughout the meeting. Referring to a provision in the bill that would make the State of Minnesota the “employer of record” for all child care providers, Petersen asked, “Home child care providers are not employees. Why are we trying to unionized small business owners?”

Pappas embarassed

One testifier in opposition to the union power grab took it upon herself to call child care providers in Pappas’ district to find out if they wanted to be unionized. Becky Swanson, a licensed child care professional, only found three. Swanson urged members of the committee to return to their districts and find out for themselves if their constituents are in favor of forced unionization.

Hollie Saville also testified before the committee in opposition to the bill. She quipped, “I brought a copy of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence,” as she waved the booklets in her hands, “Perhaps some need a refresher on them.”

Republican Senator Dave Thompson asked Pappas if there was any way to know how many providers who currently take CCAP clients will stop taking low income family clients because of this forced unionization. Pappas simply replied, “no.”

Consequences and the Democrat War on Poverty

Republican Senator Dave Thompson exposed a consequence of the bill. Many in-home child care providers currently take clients who receive CCAP funding. That funding follows the low income family, not the provider. CCAP is a reimbursement to the provider. Thompson wanted it on record that he finds it “unbelievable that you would suggest people give up a large portion of their income OR join a union and pay dues.” Senator Dan Hall suggested this was a form of bullying.

In response, Pappas confirmed that providers would have to pay union dues or fair share fees, or turn away low income families.

By that rationale, Pappas and those who would vote for this bill are aware that some low income families would have to find new child care providers. In theory, Pappas is encouraging the mass exodus of licensed in-home providers and forcing low income families into more expensive, union-backed facilities that will likely have higher costs. These costs will be the burden of the tax payers in Minnesota.

More to the bill than child care

Not only does SF 778 establish a new and expensive state board, a coucil, and other administrative bureaucracy, it also attempts to unionize unlicensed in-home care givers like those caring for a disabled child or aging parent.

A Star Tribune report breaks down this part of the bill accordingly.

According to Katy Chase, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Association, unlicensed providers are often relatives or neighbors who do not have to meet the requirements of licensed providers. “You’re talking grammas and grampas, families and neighbors,” she said.
“To have them included in a bill that’s talking about negotiating things that wouldn’t even come into play for them — we don’t think they should be included,” said Chase, whose organization will oppose the AFSCME-backed bill.
At the same time, a former union supporter, Kathy Stevens, who provides licensed family child care in Brainerd and was once active in the union effort, issued a statement saying the union engaged in “unethical tactics in signing unlicensed providers.” She said the reason for doing so was to win votes for the unionization attempt.
“Legally unlicensed providers are a mere pawn in the numbers game to obtain votes,” Stevens said in her statement, which was submitted to the Senate committee.

Should the unionization of small in-home child care business owners pass in the MN Senate, it will also likely pass the state House. Both senate and house are led by a democrat majority. Many of the democrats in both the senate and house were endorsed by AFSCME and SEIU in the last 2 election cycles, as was Governor Mark Dayton, who would sign it into law.

To see a comprehensive list of unions & their influence on Minnesota politics, click here:
Shot In The Dark – Unions Buy Minnesota

See others who are influenced by union campaign contributions in Minnesota here: Bought & Paid For
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Soros’ Anti-Frack Attack in MN

George_SorosLeftwing progressive organization, Land Stewardship Project bussed in activists from rural Minnesota to lobby for a “temporary moratorium” (read: 30 year moratorium that will never go away) on silica sand mining in the state, a direct attack on the natural gas industry. The silica sand has been used for decades in hydraulic fracturing – also known as “fracking” – to safely and cleanly remove natural gas from shales deep beneath the ground.

The Land Stewardship Project is funded by the Joyce Foundation and billionaire George Soros and claims to promote “sustainable agriculture.” The group’s spokesperson wouldn’t disclose the cost of the busses or the number of passengers.

As reported by KMSP Fox 9 News, “a temporary statewide moratorium on frac sand mining in Minnesota passed the Senate Energy and Environment committee by an 8-4 vote Tuesday.”

Should the proposed legislation pass the democratically-controlled state house and senate, the very liberal governor, Mark Dayton (who benefited from a Soros-hosted fundraiser for his campaign), will promptly sign it into law, sending thousands of jobs and millions of dollars into Wisconsin and surrounding states.

“It will lock Minnesota out of the energy revolution that’s going on in the country,” says Scott Sustacek of Jordan Sands.

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To learn more about fracking, what it really does, who’s making money from it, and what the real environmental & economic impacts are, watch FrackNation.

Read the FIVE REASON YOU MUST WATCH FRACKNATION here.

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With Crime Down, Mayor Calls for Gun Control?

Buckhorn Tampa MayorTampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is a vocal supporter of President Obama’s proposals to ban guns and ammunition. Though he claims to be a supporter of the Second Amendment, he also uses the common democrat talking points like “no one needs an assault weapon” and “you don’t need a to kill a quail with a 30 round magazine.”

Buckhorn recently signed a letter to President Obama and Congress along with more than 200 mayors across the country. The letter asked the D.C. elite to pass Sen Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) strict gun control proposals.

Violent gun crimes must be at an all-time-high in Tampa for Buckhorn to be so fervently supportive of gun control, right? Wrong.

According to a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office press release this month, crime is down more than 25% from 2011. The violent crime rate is the lowest it has been since recording the rate began in 1985!

Buckhorn hasn’t joined New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s multi-million dollar lobby firm Mayors Against Illegal Guns which has sent paid professional testifiers to individual states like Minnesota and Colorado pushing for state gun control measures, but says he agrees with most of what the group does.

Paid Bloomberg Lobbyist Testifies in MN

David ChipmanDavid Chipman is a paid lobbyist for Mayors Against Illegal Guns which was founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino for the purpose of imposing stricter gun laws across America. The group has also received over $1 million in funding from George Soros’ pet project, the Joyce Foundation.

Chipman was given 10 minutes at the start of Minnesota’s State Senate Judiciary Committee to share his expertise on proposed gun control legislation. He was introduced as an FBI professional speaking to the committee as an expert on firearms safety. Senator Julianne Ortman (R) offered for the record that Chipman is a paid lobbyist and therefore has an opinion. Ortman said Chipman should be considered a testifier versus a presenter and therefore asked for and received additional time for opposition testimony. Chipman recited essentially the same talking points as he has given in multiple media appearances in recent months.

When on CCTV in early February, Chipman reiterated that current laws in the city of Minneapolis have reduced gun crime, though he continues his pursuit of stricter background checks.

Chipman also had an appearance on Hardball with Chris Matthews.

Apparently, Chipman has become a professional testifier of sorts. He appeared before the Colorado state legislature “testifying” (read: lobbying) for gun control legislation earlier this month.

It is unclear who invited Chipman to testify in Minnesota or who is covering the cost of his travel.
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MN Gun Control

gun-free-zoneAfter days of hearings in Minnesota House committee meetings, the state senate is now hearing testimony on more gun control legislation for the second day at the Capitol in St. Paul. The Senate Judiciary Committee is taking input this week from experts and the public regarding proposed gun control legislation in Minnesota.

Hundreds of protestors opposed to the legislation have flooded the capitol building making it necessary for the senate to render the meetings “closed” to anyone without a ticket. Overflow rooms, including the Grand Hall, have been streaming live video of the meetings.

Bills up for public testimony include increased ineligibility for people with mental health problems, increased fees and penalties for transfers of firearms and the expansion of background checks for gun purchases.

Testimony on Thursday was nearly identical to the house hearings and included members of the NRA, the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, Protect MN, Sami Rahamim and Professor Joe Olson of Hamline University. To read what was said in the house, click here.

Senate File 458, which modifies the eligibility of legal firearms owners to transfer or sell guns privately, was highly contested and took the most testimony.

Also testifying in favor of strict controls on gun ownership and purchases was Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak who said that Minneapolis has seen a decrease in the number of gun-related crimes in his city. Ironically, the mayor is still in favor of disarming Minnesotans.

Shortly after Rybak’s testimony, Chris Rager of the NRA used the microphone to shoot holes in nearly every statistic proponents of the legislation had set forth to that point in the hearings.

“Gun purchases are at an all time high, yet gun crime is at an all time low,” said Rager. “There is no evidence to suggest that background checks diminish gun crime.”

Rager gave a lesson to Minnesota senators in how gun purchases work, including gun show purchases, and what the federal background check system truly entails. Participation in the system is voluntary by the states and is highly unreliable. Rager is in favor of more local control and says background checks aren’t likely to affect crime statistics.

“Criminals have not and will not submit to background checks. They are criminals.” said Rager, which he said will do nothing to stop violent crime.

The chairman of the Judiciary Committee and author of three proposed bills is Senator Ron Latz, a democrat from the first tier suburbs of the Twin Cities. When asked if the proposed bill #458 regarding transfer of firearms makes the case that the citizenry cannot be trusted to know whether or not a person is a felon, Latz responded, “I think in general, that’s correct. The average person doesn’t do a background check.”

More testimony is expected today as 7 more gun control bills are taken up in the committee. All proposed legislation is expected to be “laid over” for inclusion in a larger omnibus bill that is to be introduced within weeks. The omnibus bill could include legislation related to silica sand mining, education, early voting and gun control, as well as other proposals that have been in both House and Senate committees for several weeks.
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Follow the hashtag #MNGunHearings for updates from tweeters in the committee room.

MN Democrats Trying To Make Voting Easier

imagesAs if the state with the highest voter turnout in the country, nearly 76% in 2012, needed improvement, Democrat legislators in Minnesota are considering proposals to make voting even easier.

Flying under the media radar are two bills aimed at getting even more people to the polls at election time, allowing for early voting and modifying the absenteee voting process. While media attention swirls around the proposed gun control legislation, making its way through committees are proposals that open the floodgates to more fraud and mistakes, and lack any additional oversight or methods for battling Minnesota’s flawed vouching system.

Currently, Minnesota has no identification requirement for a non-registered person if someone whose name is on the registration rolls agrees to “vouch” for that person. The “voucher” signs a statement promising that the person without identification of any kind is eligible to vote. Verification of new voter registrations is not done until weeks after Election Day.

MN Senate File 535 aims to make “early voting” as easy as Election Day voting, and includes allowing vouching during the early voting time period. Early voting is done without election judges or poll watchers. Instead, a ballot board consisting of 2 people, one from each major political party, are responsible for the accurate handling of early voting ballots.

The prevailing reason democrats say Minnesota needs early voting is to make it more “convenient” for voters.

“The reason I think it’s so important is because people already think we have it… people want the convenience of early voting,” said author of SF 535 Democrat Senator Sieben.

Lucy Nieboer, Co-chair of Minnesota Public Interest Research Group at the University of Minnesota said that many students have trouble making it to the polls on Election Day. She spoke of her own difficulty with 2 part time jobs and a full class schedule. Despite her busy life, she found time to register more than 7,000 students last fall and spent nearly 3 hours in the Elections Sub-comittee meeting yesterday.

Several other testifiers in favor of the bill also cited convenience as the primary reason for their support of early voting. None of those in favor addressed the vouching system or adding safeguards against potential fraud or mistakes.

MN Senate File 564 would completely change the absentee voting process in the state and even allows for “permanent absentee voter status,” which means a voter could be sent an absentee ballot each election year without proactively requesting one.

Both bills were “laid over” for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill expected within weeks.
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More on voter fraud:
Not Just Possible, Voter Fraud Is Easy
But… There Is No Voter Fraud, Right?
Vote Early Vote Often (with video)

To combat voter fraud in Minnesota, click here.
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Trashing School Lunch

garbage-can1Another unintended consequence of the new school lunch mandates from the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act is emerging. Schools are opting out of the federal school lunch program altogether.

Fox News’ Rick Leventhal reported on a New York school that has decided to forego participating in the federal school lunch program which provides funding to districts that follow certain guidelines including calorie counts and green energy initiatives. Schools use the federal monies to allocate free and reduced lunches to students in need, as defined by federal law.

See the video report here.

Leventhal reports that kids have stopped buying school lunches in favor of bringing it from home, or in many cases, students are throwing fruits and vegetables into the trash instead of eating them. One contributor to Leventhal’s report suggested that the extremely low calorie counts required by the law may leave students so hungry they will binge when they get home from school, which could actually contribute to unhealthy eating habits.

The New York school in Leventhal’s report isn’t the only one to ditch the federal school lunch program. Superintendent Kay Salvaggio of Niskayuna told the Times Union that her school will also be dumping the program citing wasted food, smaller portion sizes and financial reasons.

Disguised as a plan to reduce childhood obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama championed the HHFKA in 2010. Included in the law, however are vast overreaches of federal government authority, higher costs for individual schools, and “green energy” demands.

Fracking Under Attack

Frack AttackHydraulic fracturing in Minnesota is about to take another big hit as environmental activists bus in from around the state to descend on the Capitol in St. Paul. A joint hearing of energy committess in the Minnesota House and Senate is expected to discuss a 30 year moratorium on silica sand mining on Tuesday, February 19th at 12:00 noon at the State Capitol. The sand is used by oil and gas drillers for hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.”

The Land Stewardship Project, an activist group heavily funded by the Joyce Foundation, a pet project of billionaire George Soros, has organized 2 busloads of activists who will travel from rural counties in Minnesota to the capitol. The Land Stewardship Project calls itself a “grassroots” community organizing group that is “organizing for change.” The group spent over $2 million in 2011.

According to Johanna Rupprecht, the contact at LSP organizing the travel details for activists from St. Charles and Rochester, there are still seats available on the 42 passenger bus, though she wouldn’t share on the record how many activists have been confirmed.

“We want to send a clear message to the legislature that this issue is very important… Local governments can’t handle this kind of thing on their own without state involvement,” said Rupprecht when asked what the group hopes to accomplish.

Rupprecht says LSP is urging the state to fund a General Impact Study and impose a moratorium on sand mining until it is complete and can be reviewed.

Rupprecht declined to divulge the costs associated with the community organization and travel for the hearings saying she would, “rather not share how much it will cost. I’m not sure how that’s relevant.”

The other bus is being organized in part by a newly formed group called The Houston County Protectors. Organizer Donna Buckbee says there are 45 confirmed attendees and she is hoping for more to reserve seats throughout the day.

LSP Executive Director George Boody is a registered lobbyist and “local foods expert” at the University of MN. LSP is also a member of Take Action MN which hosted training for the Occupy Movement. Boody did not immediately return a call for comment. LSP will hold a press conference at 11AM at the capitol.

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To learn more about fracking, what it really does, who’s making money from it, and what the real environmental & economic impacts are, watch FrackNation. Set your DVR for Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 11AM Eastern Time (10 CST) on Axs TV. Read the FIVE REASON YOU MUST WATCH FRACKNATION here.

School Lunch Price Hikes Coming

School_LunchThanks to the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, school lunches are about to get a price hike.

The HHFKA was touted as a way to include more healthy foods in school lunches from Kindergarten through high school, but it’s proving to be a very expensive measure with unintended consequences.

Wythe County schools in Virginia are telling parents they will need to pay more for their students’ lunches in the next school year. The HHFKA requires that districts charge as much for each meal as is being reimbursed to the district for free and reduced lunch program meals. For Wythe County, that means a 10 cent increase for families not on the program.

According to Dr. Wesley Poole, director of facilities and operations for the district, keeping in compliance with the Act will be difficult as the reimbursement amounts change frequently.

The new law also imposes strict rules on calorie counts and nutritional requirements. In Somerset, Pennsylvania, the Berlin school district has been feeling the affects of smaller meal sizes in order to comply.

“It’s difficult to justify raising prices when we have smaller portions for students,” school board member Terry Metzgar told The Daily American, a local newspaper.

He explained that it’s difficult to find a “happy medium” because all students are not the same size and require different amounts of food at lunchtime.

With rising food costs, many districts have had to resort to smaller portion sizes to meet the new calorie standards.

The Heathy Hunger Free Kids Act, though championed by First Lady Michelle Obama as a method to reduce childhood obesity, is laced with environmental policy, Department of Agriculture initiatives and has strayed very far from the original intended purposes of the school lunch program. Read more here and here.

Every school district in the United States has to comply with the new school lunch standards or risk losing funding for free and reduced lunches.

GET TO KNOW THE WAR ON SCHOOL LUNCH!
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