Bureaucrats hate accountability

It isn’t likely that you’ll hear Denise Specht criticize Jeff Johnson’s plan to audit every government agency, though you might hear Specht rail against teacher testing. Scott Leitz isn’t publicly complaining about Jim Noble’s audit of MNsure but that’s mostly because whining about it won’t sit well with the public.

MNsure is a mismanagement disaster. The website doesn’t work. The vast majority of health insurance renewals through MNsure will be processed manually. Most importantly, MNsure is costing Minnesota’s taxpayers untold millions of dollars by putting children on Medicaid whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid. There’s even proof that the Minnesota Department of Human Services knew about this but didn’t fix the problem.

Continue Reading

 Print  Email

Potentially helpful, yet still irritating

Tom Horner, who took just enough votes away from Tom Emmer to hand the governorship to Mark Dayton in 2010, now endorses Jeff Johnson:

Minnesota still is a state of great strengths, thanks to the innovation of earlier leaders. But we are a very different state today than we were three decades ago when Mark Dayton first ran for office. We can’t solve tomorrow’s challenges with yesterday’s solutions.

Yep. Mark Dayton's platform, much like that of his party, hasn't changed in any substantive ways since the days of Floyd B. Olson. Back to Horner:

Continue Reading

 Print  Email

The lawless Dayton administration

Jeff Johnson is taking the fight to Gov. Dayton, this time in Virginia, MN:

Johnson has been a persistent critic of MNsure created under Gov. Dayton. But his opposition reached a new and higher level when PreferredOne, which had 60 percent of the MNsure market pulled out for business reasons.

Johnson even alluded to a possibility that Dayton’s Department of Commerce may have allowed PreferredOne to participate in MNsure even though it couldn’t sustain the low rates. “The Commerce Department’s role is to make sure that the rates are actuarially sound. It doesn’t appear that they were,” Johnson said more than a week ago when PreferredOne left the exchange.

Continue Reading

 Print  Email

Where’s Minnesota’s booming economy?

I’ve written several posts highlighting the fact that the DFL won’t stop yapping about Minnesota’s supposedly great economy. See herehere and here. Though this article won’t prevent the DFL’s spinmeisters from telling everyone within earshot that Minnesota’s economy is fantastic, it gives me this chart to prove the DFL spinmeisters wrong:

The key statistic to pay attention to is the 1 year change percentage in terms of private sector jobs created. The number of private sector jobs in Minnesota grew by a pathetic .8% over the past 12 months. That’s the worst in the Midwest. The other noteworthy stat is that the 2-year change for Minnesota is 2.9%. That means job growth in Minnesota totally stagnated in the last year. That’s the direct result of the Dayton-DFL policies put in place in 2013.

The DFL’s statements that the Dayton-DFL economy is flying high aren’t substantiated by the facts. Let’s remember, too, that 21,523 of the jobs created by the Dayton-DFL economy are government jobs. That isn’t proof of a healthy economy. That’s just proof that the DFL’s default position is growing government.

The DFL has spent the last 3 years fighting amongst itself on whether they should create mining jobs or if they should fight the creation of mining jobs. The anti-mining wing of the DFL, unfortunately, is the dominant wing of the DFL. Part of that wing of the DFL is located in the Arrowhead and Duluth. Most of the people who fit into the anti-mining wing of the DFL live in the Twin Cities.

At some point, the Iron Range will wise up and realize that the DFL isn’t their home. I hope this is the year that the pro-mining activists choose to vote for the no-excuses pro-mining party. They’re known as the Republican Party of Minnesota.

 Print  Email

Doing Well by Doing Good, Part 5

Now that the state has raided and shut down the controversial nonprofit Community Action of Minneapolis, it may be useful to take a look at some of the similar nonprofits operating around the state.
 
The agency is part of a network of a couple of dozen that serve throughout the state, operating programs funded by taxpayers aimed at helping low income households.

Continue Reading

 Print  Email

Eddie’s Blame Game

Elliot Ness is the pseudonym for an associate of the Sherriff Stanek Volunteer Committee who also has 15 years of experience working on Public Safety issues at the Legislature. -ed


Do we really need another political leader who blames everyone else for his own failures? 

Eddie Frizell wants to be sheriff, but he doesn’t want the responsibility or the authority to lead the Agency.  He says he won’t be a “top down” leader but a “grass roots” leader.  Top down or grass roots, his recent actions prove he’s not ready or inclined to lead the Agency:

Continue Reading

 Print  Email

How Democrats Keep Winning Elections

The formula for winning elections is completely straightforward:  get more of your voters to show up and vote for your candidates.
 
After losing close elections at the national level in 2000 and 2004, and at the state level in 2002 and 2006, Democrats got together and figured out how to start winning again.  The approach they developed was, again, simplicity itself:  discourage Republicans from voting and get Democrats who rarely vote to show up and vote.

Continue Reading

 Print  Email

Slipping Through the Cracks

Events happen with such haste in Mark Dayton’s Banana Republic that every now and then one slips through the cracks of my otherwise comprehensive reporting.
 In late 2013, Mark Dayton’s MNsure health insurance exchange awarded a series of “outreach grants” to local community groups in the state.  One such group receiving a $50,000 grant in December 2013 was the Minneapolis-based Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota
 Around the time the group was receiving the grant (based on an earlier application), board member Mohamud Noor was named as the group’s new leader.  As you know, Noor serves on the Minneapolis School Boardand has twice run (unsuccessfully) for the Democrat nomination to serve in the state legislature.In the future, I'll try to keep up.
 
 
 

 Print  Email

Testing Reality Check’s statements

After reading Pat Kessler’s Reality Check article, I thought a test of Reality Check’s statements were in order. Let’s start here:

“A few years ago, things in Minnesota weren’t going very well,” says the narrator, a thick-Minnesota accented hockey player. “So we got a new coach.” In fact, Gov. Dayton won re-election after Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty decided not to run again.

But the ad accurately describes an economic turnaround. “We’ve added over 150,000 new jobs and have one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation,” according to the ad.

It’s true.

Let’s check whether that 150,000 jobs figure is accurate. Bill Glahn’s post is the definitive source on Minnesota’s job creation statistics. Here’s what Mr. Glahn said:

Let’s start with the 150,000 jobs claim. There is simply no support for that figure. Based on data at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, if you give Dayton credit for the high-water mark for jobs while he has held office (May 2014) and subtract the employment level from before his election (October 2010) you get only 111,626 net jobs created, a far cry from 150,000.

More to the point, if you take today’s figure (July 2014) and subtract the figure prior to his inauguration (December 2010) you get only 96,515, less than 2/3 of the amount claimed by ABM.

Continue Reading

 Print  Email

University Avenue: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

Businesses along University Avenue – the ones lucky enough to survive the light rail construction process – are getting tax notices for “streetscape improvements“.

[Insurance salesman and Uni avenue businessman Doug] Nguyen was surprised to discover Thursday that he’s being assessed $3,200 by the city of St. Paul for light-rail related street work — “above-standard lighting” and “streetscape improvements” — in front of 1539 W. University Ave…Nguyen said he already pays roughly $15,000 a year in property taxes for his business, and there are still two road work signs on his block, including one directly outside his window.

 And after four months, how are all those new-urbaneriffic benefits shaking out?

Continue Reading

 Print  Email