Tag Archives: Minnesota

Highlights of the St. Paul Taxpayer Rally

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

Taxpayer Rally 2013 Highlights from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann, Jason Lewis and Grover Norquist headlined Saturday’s Taxpayer Rally on the Mall of the State Capitol in Minnesota. Here are some of the highlights of that event. Complete video of Bachmann and Lewis’s comments can be found at my blog at AmericanMillenniumOnline.com here. 

Bought & Paid For, Part II

solidarity-fist-210x300

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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It’s Payback Time

Pappas

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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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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Open Letter From Mills Fleet Farm on Gun Control

(Video open letter to Minnesota Representatives and Congress people from Mills Fleet Farm of Minnesota. )

I found the open letter to our Minnesota Representatives from Stewart Mills of Mills Fleet Farm to be informative and powerful. They bravely make the argument for the ownership of sporting rifles currently the target of gun ban legislation. I applaud the courage of Mills Fleet Farm in sharing this message with us, they are a great Minnesota company that employ thousands right here at home.

Take a look at this interesting companion article from Rick Kupchella’s blog BringMeTheNews.com here.

-Jeremy Griffith
Rochester Minnesota

Speaking Out After Union Violence: Americans For Prosperity Leaders

After the mob assault on the volunteers and property of Americans For Prosperity in Michigan, AFP took no time in responding via social media and the organization’s website.

“The passage of Right-to-Work is a win/win for Michigan,” said Michigan State Director Scott Hagerstrom in a statement. “Despite this victory, it took place amid union brutality and violence. I am saddened by the union protestors’ complete disregard for safety and freedom of speech, tearing down an AFP tent and stomping on peaceful AFP demonstrators trapped under the tent.”

Volunteers and staffers for Americans For Prosperity across the nation have come out in social media force to expose the violence in Michigan, but also to showcase the hypocrisy of the unions who claim to support free speech and peaceful protest.

John Cooney, State Director of Minnesota which also saw demonstrations related to proposed right-to-work legislation, had this to say.

“Disappointingly, unions have continued their pattern of violence and rejection to civil discourse today in Michigan just as they did earlier this year in Minnesota with multiple disruptions at the state capitol during a senate hearing on employee freedom. The threats and acts of physical violence, not simply intimidation, are shockingly a common tool used by union thugs to protect the confiscated wages of hard working Americans and were caught on camera today.”

Cooney joined Americans For Prosperity last summer and has been a conservative activist in various capacities for more than 13 years.

“Americans For Prosperity remains committed to free market reforms and principles of freedom and liberty,” concluded Cooney’s statement.

The video of the AFP tent being torn down and the union mob screaming profanity-laced chants has been shared by many of the individual state chapters across the U.S.

ObamaCare: MN Exchange Cost Greater than Expected

Kaiser Health News is reporting today that Minnesota’s portion of the state’s health care insurance exchange will cost far more than originally anticipated. The state estimated the cost to be between $30 and $40 million. Instead they are now looking at $54 million for 2015. In addition, the state has asked the federal government for $39 million to develop the exchange program.

Ouch.

More ObamaCare fallout.

Minnesota Facing Bigger Bill For State’s Health Insurance Exchange

By Elizabeth Stawicki, Minnesota Public Radio News

Nov 25, 2012

This story is part of a reporting partnership that includes Minnesota Public RadioNPR and Kaiser Health News.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota’s state health insurance exchange will cost $54 million in 2015 to operate, according to the Gov. Mark Dayton administration.

The cost comes in at greater than earlier estimates of $30 to $40 million. The state would not have to find the money until 2015, when the state exchanges are required to be financially self-sustaining. But the cost rises to a projected $64 million in 2016. State officials are still weighing how the exchange will pay for itself. Options include user fees, a sin tax, and selling ads.

The exchange, a cornerstone of the federal health care overhaul, will create an insurance marketplace where consumers and small businesses can comparison shop for health insurance policies starting in October of next year. Coverage would take effect in 2014.

The Dayton administration also announced it will seek an additional $39 million to fund development of the state’s exchange. If the federal government approve the additional grant, Minnesota will have received a total of about $110 million from the feds.

The new financial details emerged earlier this month when the state submitted its application for the exchange to the federal government.

Many states are behind in their plans for exchanges, and the Obama administration has already agreed to a request by Republican governors for more time to decide whether they’ll build their own state exchange or use the federal alternative. The federal government extended that deadline to Dec. 14.

This story is part of a reporting partnership that includes Minnesota Public RadioNPR and Kaiser Health News.

Reprinted with permission from Kaiser Health News.

Caterpillar Flees Minnesota

Once a backdrop for President Obama’s campaign to pass the Stimilus Bill in 2009, Caterpillar Inc. is making a mad dash for the border and they are leaving 100 employees behind.

Caterpillar’s Owatonna, MN production plant will cease production in March 2013, according to executives who met with the 100 laid-off workers just 2 days after the November 6th election.

“We value our employees’ contributions, and these actions are not a reflection of them, but rather the result of a need to make our business more efficient and competitive,” Caterpillar said in a statement.

Given the timing of the announcement and the outcomes in Minnesota state legislative races, one has to assume the move is at least in part politically motivated.

In 2010, on the wave of Tea Party and liberty-minded activists throughout the country, Minnesota’s state legislature saw a Republican led House and Senate for the first time in decades. The state had a $6.2 billion deficit at the time, despite having a Democrat governor. Just 2 years later, the Democrat party will again take control of the legislature and budget, now with a $1.2 billion surplus and no Republicans to stop the taxes and spending.

According to The Tax Foundation, a non-partisan tax research group in Washington, DC, Minnesota ranks 45th in the country on the State Business Tax Climate Index. It should be no surprise that companies will continue to leave Minnesota if the tax climate remains dismal. Others have already left or laid off thousands of employees in recent years including State Farm, Polaris and Lockheed Martin.

Caterpillar is one of many companies moving to more business-friendly states, decreasing their work force or closing shop altogether. The list of companies announcing layoffs and closings includes big names like Energizer, Bristol-Meyers, US Cellular and Boeing.

Ohio-based Murray Energy is the country’s largest privately owned coal mining company. CEO Robert Murray announced layoffs for more than 100 workers citing the reelection of President Obama and the administration’s “war on coal” as deciding factors.

Perhaps the American worker should have focused more on the Obama administration’s very real “war on jobs” and less on the manufactured “war on women.”

Kerry Gauthier Drops Re-Election Bid Amid Scandel

Kerry Gauthier, a Minnesota State Legislator, who was discovered participating in a sexual act with a 17-year-old boy at a rest stop earlier this month, has now abandoned his re-election bid for the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Kerry Gauthier a member of the Minnesota State House of Representatives

Since the news of the scandal broke, Gauthier had been insisting he would stay in the race, despite pleas from his DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party) leadership to drop-out, but he has now told the Associated Press, “I changed my mind.  Too much.  It’s just too much.”

According to a recent column at the New York Daily News, Gauthier also talked about a 30-year “chemical dependency” and he mentioned “one relapse”, although the nature of the addiction is not yet known. He is insisting that he will stay in office to serve out his term, despite calls from fellow party members to resign immediately. However, Gauthier did say we will skip an upcoming special session of the Minnesota State House of Representatives, because he feels as if his presence would be a “distraction”.

This leaves the DFL a massive headache, because it is too late to replace Gauthier on the ticket. They’ll likely have to run a write-in candidate, which could make this previously “safe” district, a more competitive one.

This hasn’t been the first suggestion to support write-in, third party candidates in the news lately. Recently, Sarah Palin suggested she would endorse Sarah Steelman for senator in Missouri, in the wake of the Rep. Todd Akin scandal.

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Voter ID Battle Rages On in Minnesota

You may not hear it on the news, but in Minnesota, the battle over requiring voters to present photo ID at the polls rages on. A constitutional amendment question posed to the voters on whether or not to require ID at the polls will appear on the ballot this November.

On Thursday Mike Parry, Republican State Senator from Minnesota spoke to Tea Party Patriots in Rochester to discuss the latest news regarding the ballot initiative. This same week, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie-DFL, who opposed the ballot question from the beginning, changed the name of the ballot question without the consent of the legislature, resulting in an immediate law suit.

On Friday, Sen. Parry scheduled a hearing to question three individuals on the voter ID matter, including Attorney General Lori Swanson, who also is campaigning against the ballot initiative, Secretary Ritchie, and Minnesota Campaign Finance Board Executive Director Gary Goldsmith. It is rumored that the Secretary of State declined to show and Senator Parry promises to ask for a vote to issue a subpoena if the Secretary fails to show.

Also on Thursday, political activist John Rouleau, field director of ProtectMyVote.com, spoke to the same group to educate them on what is going on with voter ID in the state and to dispel rumors. Below you can find videos of what was said at the meeting.

ProtectMyVote1 from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

Senator Mike Parry-R Minnesota addresses Tea Party Patriots at gathering in Rochester

Political activist John Rouleau of ProtectMyVote.com addresses Rochester Tea Party Patriots Thursday

Ellison’s Campaign Cash Hypocrisy

Representative Keith Ellison has been making a public push lately to get “money out of politics.” According to Ellison, there are far too many donors contributing money to political campaigns outside their own districts.

“In a state of only six million people, $60 million was poured into the race, $50 million of which went to Governor Walker. And almost half of that was spend by outside groups — most of them not based in the state of Wisconsin.” – Rep. Keith Ellison, Huffington Post Op-Ed, June 2012

The congressman is up for reelection this year and has raised over $1 million for his 2012 bid. Ellison holds a significant fundraising advantage over his competitor, retired Marine Chris Fields.

Ellison’s Money Problems

Keith Ellison out of state money

Representative Keith Ellison has a problem (or 2) with money in politics.

In a recent op-ed for the Huffington Post, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus blames “big money” (aka: corporations and super PACs) for Republican Governor Scott Walker’s recall win in Wisconsin. He announced plans to introduce a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United which he claims allows for unfair election funding practices.

“In a state of only six million people, $60 million was poured into the race, $50 million of which went to Governor Walker. And almost half of that was spent by outside groups — most of them not based in the state of Wisconsin,” says Ellison in his op-ed.

Back in Minnesota though, Representative Ellison is raising “big money” for his own congressional campaign and it’s not all from individual citizens of Minnesota’s Fifth District.

According to a recent fundraising letter sent by Ellison’s competitor, retired marine Chris Fields, Ellison has raised and spent over one million dollars thus far on the 2012 election, with more than 80% of donations coming from outside Ellison’s district.  FEC reports show large numbers of donors from California, New York and Washington, DC.

Ellison holds a 20 to 1 fundraising advantage over his competitor due in large part to the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised by Political Action Committees, some funded by the very “special interests” Ellison is pushing to silence with his amendment.

His own fundraising efforts seem to be in direct contradiction to his political rhetoric.

“The Wisconsin election shows that we will not have a government of, by and for the people as long as we have politicians who are bought and paid for by special interests,” says Ellison.

Using this rationale, are we to assume that Representative Ellison is beholden to his own special interest donations?

Minnesota Governor Vetoes Castle Law Reform Bill

Most states in the Union have a “Castle Law” which grants citizens the right to defend themselves with firearms in the case that an unlawful intruder enters their home. Minnesota is no different. But when the state legislature voted to for a bill to strengthen those rights in favor of the homeowner, Governor Mark Dayton thought it was a bad idea and vetoed it.

The bill in question, HF 1467, would have given a resident significantly more latitude in the authorization of deadly force in the home as well as protection from unreasonable prosecution. The bill passed both houses, which is currently controlled by the GOP majority, but the vote count was insufficient to over-ride the Governor’s veto.

Governor Dayton explained his reasoning for the veto in a public letter issued to the Speaker of the House and published today. He said he was influenced by the majority of local law enforcement officials who expressed misgivings about the potential consequences should the bill have passed into law.

“The MN Police and Peace Officers Association, the MN Chiefs of Police, and the MN Sheriff’s Association represent the men and women who risk their lives every day and night to protect the rest of us,” the Governor’s letter said. “When  they strongly oppose a measure, because they believe it will increase the dangers to them in the performance of their duties, I cannot support it.”

In addition to strengthening the homeowners rights, the bill would have recognized the carry and conceal permits from other states that issue them. Currently Minnesota accepts only a select number of permit types from states with similar permitting requirements.

Dayton’s letter acknowledged that he believed in the current state Supreme Court rulings that a homeowner in Minnesota is not required to retreat when faced with a threat in the home, but said that the bill presented went too far in giving the homeowner the benefit of doubt when faced with such a situation.

“Thus it appears clear to me that the existing Minnesota Statutes and law already provide the authorizations for law-abiding citizens to use deadly force to defend themselves or others either inside or outside of their homes, so long as that deadly force constitutes ‘reasonable force’.” The letter states.

“HF 1467,” the letter reads, “does go beyond current law by stating that an individual using deadly force would be presumed to possess a reasonable belief that there exists an imminent threat of substantial bodily harm, great bodily harm, or death to the individual or person. . .”

“That change from the current standard seems, to me, ill-advised.”

A story published today by MPRNews quotes State Senator Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergus, who was the author of the bill.

Says Hoffman, “I am very disappointed with Governor Dayton’s decision today to deny law-abiding citizens their right to defend themselves and their families. While current law enables the aggressor, my bill focused on protecting the victim.

“Unfortunately, with the Governor’s veto, violent criminals will continue to have the advantage over law-abiding citizens,” said Senator Hoffman. “I was hopeful, because Governor Dayton made such a strong statement on the campaign trail about Minnesotan’s right to bear arms and use them for lawful purposes such as self-defense, that he would follow through with his actions and sign this bill to enhance public safety.”

See the full article from MPRNews here: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/polinaut/archive/2012/03/dayton_vetoes_g_1.shtml.

Executive Director of the NRA, Chris Cox, expressed disappointment in the Governor’s veto. In a public statement he expressed his concern that under current law, lawfully owned guns could be confiscated in the event of a state-wide emergency. An article in the bill would have prevented that from happening, Cox said.

An opponent of the bill expressed her relief in the Governor’s decision to veto.

Joan Peterson, Protect Minnesota board member and member of the Brady Campaign Board made the following statement.

“This bill could give the claim of self-defense to any domestic abuser engaged in a dispute with a partner or spouse. When only two people are involved in a dispute and one of them winds up dead, who is left to disprove the claim of the shooter that s/he was the one threatened? As someone whose sister was shot to death in a domestic case in Minneapolis, I am grateful that Governor Dayton vetoed this bill that could have allowed domestic abusers to get away with murder.”

Here is the Governor’s letter to the Speaker of the House. http://www.scribd.com/doc/84021149/3-5-12-HF-1467

Rick Santorum Sweeps Trio of States

While Sen. Santorum was expected to win Minnesota and Missouri, Colorado was widely-believed to be a safe state for Mitt Romney because of the large margins he held in 2008. That turned out to be far from the truth as the Santorum campaign orchestrated a Tuesday night tsunamai for which the Romney people were totally unprepared.

While Romney decided to skip these three states for others, Santorum used retail politics as he did in Iowa to exactly the same result. Political pundits had proposed that this style of campaigning would be impossible to keep up past Iowa and Santorum has proven that kissing babies and saying hello can still get it done.

Gingrich’s campaign is said to be suffering from financial difficulties and having fared this poorly will certainly make it even more difficult for him to continue. Of the less-effective candidates in these races, Gingrich finished at or near the bottom of all three races while Rep. Ron Paul floated in the middle.

Ron Paul has cash from a very loyal following that will keep him going despite being the only remaining GOP candidate to fail to win at least one primary or caucus event.

It is widely expected that Romney will change tactics to placate the right while going heavily negative on Santorum to remove a stubborn challenger.

Colorado Results (99% reporting 1:32a)

Candidate Results
Gingrich 13%
Paul 12%
Romney 35%
Santorum 40%

*CDN is calling Colorado for Rick Santorum

Minnesota Results (86% reporting 1:03a)

Candidate Results
Gingrich 10.7%
Paul 27%
Romney 17%
Santorum 44.9%

*CDN is calling Minnesota for Rick Santorum

Missouri Primary Results (100% reporting 1:00a)

Candidate Results
Santorum 55.2%
Romney 25.3%
Paul 12.2%

*CDN predicts that Rick Santorum has won the Missouri (Beauty Contest) Primary – no delegates to be awarded (caucus to be held later)

Live Blog

1:33 – There is nothing more to see here folks.. it’s over.  Go to sleep… really (Ferris rocks!)

1:00  – Colorado GOP chair announces that with 98% of the vote – Rick Santorum wins Colorado – it’s a sweep

12:24 – Romney takes slight lead .. shortly after CDN calls it for Santorum.. figures.

12:18 – Anderson Cooper calls Colorado poll attendance “depressing”

12:15a – CDN calls Colorado for Rick Santorum.

11:22 – Colorado results begin coming in again

11:12 – Colorado results coming very slow. No new info in more than 90 minutes.

11:09 – Paul takes the stage to say “We had a strong second place and it’s going to continue”. Looking forward to results in Maine.

10:47 - Santorum takes stage in Missouri and starts with “We doubled him [Romney] up tonight in Missouri and Minnesota”. Santorum also announced “I am not standing here to be the Conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. I am the Conservative alternative to Barack Obama.”

10:21 – CDN is calling Minnesota for Rick Santorum

10:15 – Lack of entrance and exit poll data (and slow results from Colorado) will delay CDN’s call on the remaining two states

9:56 – CNN pundit says that “Santorum voters will go to Romney” counting him out of the race despite tonight’s results.

9:45 – with almost 4% in, Santorum clearly posing a challenge to Romney’s “electability” claim

9:40 – Romnemomentum could come to a halt tonight as Santorum is poised to take the middle of the country.

9:33 – CDN is calling Missouri for Rick Santorum with more than 26% of the vote, his lead is significant and accelerating (54.2%)

9:32 – MSNBC’s Maddow misstates result totals in Missouri as 1% of returns when more than 25% are in.

9:22 – CNN tries to get a Romney supporter on Camera from a caucus crowd.. no takers.

9:13 – Missouri results flying in while Minnesota’s are trickling in a bit slower.

9:01 – Herman Cain says that big win for Santorum tonight will only give him a slight “bump” not a “surge”

8:47 – Some pundits already starting to explain Santorum’s early success as a result of low voter turn-out

8:45p – Santorum holding his early lead so far. Paul showing better in MN than MO while the reverse is true for Romney

8:15p – Polls close in Missouri.

8:00pm – Minnesota Caucuses begin

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