Dear Media: Fox News Blames You!

On November 7, 2012, in Candidates, Media, by tommy

To Be Clear: Locally, Fox9News does a pretty good job. This is a quick post about some of the nastiest Republicans in the state of Minnesota – the GOP SD48 – and the National Faux “Fox” News.

It’s the morning after a historic election; locally the ethically challenged Kirk Stensrud got knocked off by Yvonne Selcer in 48-A. Knowing how “classy” the local GOPers are (not), I went to their website – let’s look!

OK, see that on the bottom, middle? “• BIAS ALERT — Five ways the mainstream media tipped the scales in favor of Obama.

That’s “right” – blame the media. That’s the local GOPers excuse for possibly the worst candidate a party has ever put up for President, the “fiercely conservative” – until he got the GOP’s endorsement – “Multiple Positions” Mitt Romney (who even the Salt Lake Tribune couldn’t endorse).

“Blame the media” from the local Party of Personal Responsibility (from OTHERS). Forget Etch-A-Sketch; forget Romney Shambles; forget the non-existent tax returns; forget… well EVERYTHING – it’s the media’s fault.

These local GOPers are the ones that rallied behind disgraced former Mayor Phil Young. The ones that two years later; still vilify former DFL State Representative Maria Ruud. The ones that… well, I could go on and On and ON. The local “leaders” of the Mn GOP SD48 simply are NOT nice nor classy people.

And their very first post on their website, on the day after an election rejecting their candidate for president, saw the DFL take over the House and Senate in St. Paul (including the defeat of their endorsed candidate in SD48-A, Kirk Stensrud), saw the defeat of two State Constitutional Amendment proposals is a link to the National Fox News, whose message is: “blame the media.”

Message to GOP SD48: take some responsibility.

You know, like you’re always demanding, from everybody else.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

For more on the MN GOP fiscal scandal, click here: “By The Numbers: The MN GOP’s Cooked Books, Part 8″

For more on the Phil Young scandal, click here: “Part 6 – A Closer Look At Republican Mayor Phil Young’s Problems, or…”

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and Again and AGAIN:

Reasonable People Cannot Reasonably Believe What GOPers Say.

Even the least dishonest of GOPers admitted that; remember what former GOPer National Chair Michael Steele once said?

“You have absolutely no reason – none – to trust our words or our actions at this point.”

True then, true today, and it’ll be true tomorrow too.

Reasonable People Cannot Reasonably Believe What GOPers Say.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

Back in 2007, the Republican-controlled Eden Prairie City Council (led by the disgraced former Mayor, Phil Young) wanted to slash City funding to Meals On Wheels (along with other Social Services) – not because there was a budget crisis, but because (to GOPers) funding of Social Services isn’t a “core mission” of government. The “I got mine, Jack” GOPers lost that fight in Eden Prairie – but as usual, they continue the war on the middle class and those in need. The GOP – as a party – is doing everything it possibly can to protect their Boardroom Base at the expense of everyone else. Today, they bring their battle to the state level, and are using GOPer State Senator David Hann to lead the charge.

As noted yesterday on MnProgressiveProject – “David Hann wants to cut Gramma’s Meals On Wheels so millionaires get off easy” – Senator Hann has introduced a bill in the state legislature that not only would slash state spending on Meals On Wheels, the cuts are so severe Minnesota would lose matching Federal funding. Coverage of Hann’s draconian bill is receiving statewide attention. From WinonaRadio.com:

A minor spending cut in a sprawling Senate health and welfare bill threatens home-delivered meals for thousands of poor senior citizens and could result in lost federal dollars.

The proposal from Republican Sen. David Hann of Eden Prairie would cut $2.68 million from senior nutrition program grants, costing Minnesota another $1.9 million in federal funds. The grants help feed 70,000 seniors through Meals on Wheels programs and group dining in large senior housing facilities.

From the Marshall Independent newspaper:

Are wheels about to come off Meals on Wheels?
GOP bill would cut projected state spending on senior nutrition program grants in half

March 30, 2011 – By Per Peterson

MARSHALL – Monica Douglas, senior nutrition program director for Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, sums up the prospect of a cut to home-delivered meals in Minnesota with two words: sad and devastating.

The health and welfare bill designed to cut state spending by $1.6 billion over two years is expected to get a vote in the Senate this week as GOP majorities work to pass a plan to erase the $5 billion deficit. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Tuesday the bill would cut in half projected state spending on senior nutrition program grants to save $2.68 million.

Douglas said it would be a devastating blow to seniors across Minnesota.

“It affects a lot of people,” she said. “If they ended up cutting 50 percent of our state funding we would lose $232,731 and we would have to cut 35,805 meals out of our budget in more than just one location like Marshall.”

“Sad and devastating” indeed.

And not surprising; Eden Prairie Republican Leadership has wanted to whack Meals On Wheels for years. David Hann is simply their current waterboy. They are cold-hearted conservatives; David Hann is simply delivering the hit.

And Hann is making a name for himself across the state. For instance, consider the following Letter To The Editor in the Albert Lea Tribune:

Family metaphor just doesn’t fly
Published 9:24am Monday, March 28, 2011

I am sick and tired of Republicans such as Legislator David Hann of Eden Prairie (Eden Prairie!) claiming that the proposed cuts to Health and Human Services is what any family would do when adjusting their budgets.

Really? Not the families I know.

The families I know would not have Dad go on his annual trip to the Bahamas while his son, little Johnny, is told he will have to do without lunch for a year. Or if Johnny has an ear infection or is suffering from a fall, are we then to believe that the family decides no doctor care for Johnny? (more, here)

That letter starkly represents what today’s Republican Party’s Leadership is all about; why GOP today stands for Greed Over Principles: it’s because the GOP is asking for sacrifices from everybody but their Boardroom Base.

GOP Leaders – such as David Hann – believe in protecting the Boardroom at the expense of everyone else.

Especially little old Grannies, depending on one simple nutritious meal once a day.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

First posted on October 4th. the GOP SD42 Webmaster – Peter Bozanich – made a startling revelation yesterday in a comment on a blog in yesterday’s on-line Eden Prairie News: disgraced GOPer Mayor Phil Young’s 2006 campaign website and GOPer-Endorsed candidate for City Council Donna Azarian’s 2010 campaign website were written by the same “author”.

Here’s what I said, after the SD42 GOP webmaster made that startling revelation:

When a voter went to Phil Young’s website in 2006, researching candidate Young, the casual voter could/would assume that the website was Youngs; that the thoughts/ideas presented in Young’s website were his.

Four years later, you’re finally telling us that simply isn’t true; the website wasn’t his; the thoughts weren’t his – they were/are “the author’s.”

And you’re now admitting that Azarian’s website isn’t hers; the thoughts/ideas in it aren’t hers: the website and the thoughts belong to the “same author.”

Peter, why don’t you quit the charade, and just have one website listing the GOP Party Manifesto, and list the GOPer Endorsed candidates that fall in line?

It would be much more honest; then again, honesty isn’t a long suit in today’s GOP.

“Peter” is Peter Bozanich, webmaster for the GOP SD42, and a member of the local GOP’s “leadership.”

It’s pretty clear the following post from 04 October 2010 is correct; the local GOP “leadership” tells GOPer endorsed candidates what to say.

Well, more accurately: it says it for them; the “leadership” just doesn’t tell you that…..

Eden Prairie Republican Leadership: “Re-Elect Phil Young! No, Wait: Elect Donna Azarian!!!”
by: TwoPuttTommy Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:22:50 PM CDT

I’ve been saying this for years: “when it comes to Republican Congressmen, the people elect them, but the GOP Leadership directs them.” (see “The Hustler”, 29 Jan 08). This saying relates to changes made by Newt “Is My Wife Well Enough To Divorce Yet?” Gingich. Gingrich, of course, is the architect of 1994′s “Republican Contract On With America”, where in the GOPers promised to, and I quote: FOURTH, limit the terms of all committee chairs; which fundamentally changed how the House GOP Caucus operates, and directly led to the institutionalized corruption of the GOP Party – best exemplified by the infamous Jack Abramoff. Make no mistake, Gentle Readers: The Abramoff Scandal was a Republican Scandal. If a GOPer is in “denial of reality” mode (they usually are), remind them of this.

It was back in those days that I also started saying: “GOP now stands for ‘Greed Over Principles’”. For a scholarly review of what exactly that “#4″ above (and more!) did to the US House of Representatives, get a copy of Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein’s “The Broken Branch” (Oxford University Press).

That’s background for today’s post and it’s title. (For more background, last week, we looked at some wanna-be “king makers”.) Today’s post is a quick examination of two local (Eden Prairie) “do as your told” GOPer-Endorsed politicians: the outgoing (and could/should be going to trial Mayor Phil Young and City Council Candidate Donna Azarian. More specifically, their websites; Young’s website from 2008 2006 and Azarian’s current 2010 website.

Why look at Young and Azarian’s websites? Well, because they’re eerily similar. How similar? There’s lots of screenshots below the fold, so: let’s look!

From Phil Young’s 2008 2006 “Values” webpage:

Parks and Open Spaces: The park system drew my family to Eden Prairie and I am certain many other families say the same thing. Eden Prairie has an incredibly rich park system which benefits residents of all interests and ages. This must always be a priority.

OK, let’s look at Donna Azarian’s 2010 “Issues” webpage:

Parks and Open Space — The park system is one reason my family came to Eden Prairie and I am certain many other families say the same thing. Eden Prairie has an incredibly rich park system which benefits residents of all interests and ages. This must always be a priority.

Hmmm…. pretty dam close… any more? But of course!

From Phil Young’s 2008 2006 “Values” webpage:

Volunteerism: Eden Prairie is an extraordinarily blessed community. Proudly, our residents can claim that giving back has long been a community value. Lions, Rotary, PROP, ABC Foundation, Meals On Wheels, Friends of the Library, and the Eden Prairie Foundation are but a few of the many groups which strengthen our city through volunteerism. If you haven’t conributed to one of these groups, please do. (emphasis added)

From Donna Azarian’s 2010 “Issues” webpage:

Working with local organizations — Eden Prairie has many local organizations that add to our quality of life. Lions, Rotary, PROP, ABC Foundation, Meals On Wheels, Friends of the Library, and the Eden Prairie Foundation are but a few of the many groups which strengthen our city through volunteerism. (emphasis added)

Any more? But of course!!!

From Phil Young’s 2008 2006 “Values” webpage:

Efficient Government: Eden Prairie is a very-well run city. I want to make it even better….

GOPer-Endorsed Azarian, 2010 “Issues”:

Fiscal Responsibility — Eden Prairie is a very-well run city. I want to make it even better….

More? You betcha!!!

Young, 2008 2006:

…While every community should take steps to capture its past, our residents have told us that spending tax dollars on historical preservation is not a priority. The City Council should honor the community opinions which it has solicited.

Azarian, 2010:

…While every community should take steps to capture its past, our residents have told us that spending tax dollars on historical preservation is not a priority. The City Council should honor the community opinions which it has solicited.

I could go on; maybe someday I will. The question is, just who wrote that stuff??!?

Phil Young, or the local GOP “leadership”?

We know – KNOW – Donna Azarian didn’t; there are too many exact – EXACT – cut ‘n pastes for THAT to have happened. We also know (and if you didn’t, you know now) that Donna Azarian’s website was registered by Peter Bozanich, the GOP’s SD42 webmaster.

At the national level, as I’ve said before: “When it comes to Republican Congressmen, the people elect them, but the GOP Leadership directs them.”

It appears to be the same at the local level, too.

This November 2nd, on election day, the choice is clear:

a) Vote locally for someone endorsed with an “R” behind their name and you vote for someone responsible to the dictates of their endorser: the local GOP Party Leadership; or

b) Vote locally for someone without a party endorsement and you vote for someone responsible to you, the voter.

It really is that simple; a) or b).

And remember, as Young’s and Azarian’s websites demonstrate: “the more things, change, the more today’s GOP doesn’t.”

Here’s the links and screenshots of Young, 2008 2006 and Azarian, 2010, plus the “Who Is” screen shot of the registrar for Azarian’s website, Peter Bozanich – the GOP’s SD42 Webmaster.

Donna Azarian’s 2010 “Issues” webpage:

Phil Young’s 2008 2006 “Issues” webpage – hosted by the SD42 GOP:

Donna Azarian’s 2010 “Values” webpage

Phil Young’s 2008 2006 “Values” webpge (cached) – and again, hosted by the SD42 GOP:

Donna Azarian’s 2010 webpage registration, registered by Peter Bozanich — the SD42 GOP webmaster:

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject.com, comments welcome there)

Earlier today, the “macro” was looked at, pointing out the pathetic GOPer machine and the tragic campaign of the extreme rightwingnut the GOPers endorsed for Governor, Tom “I cannot tell the truth” Emmer. I didn’t get into Tenther Tom’s radical and illogical picking and choosing which parts of the Constitution he’d ignore; that bizarre legal “reasoning” has been analyzed at lenght by the experts over at The Cucking Stool. I did cover Emmer calling Democrats un-American, and the Facebook pictures Tom Emmer wishes you hadn’t seen.

Oh – and GOP State Party Chair Tony Sutton’s “quislings” comment, too.

Now it’s time to look at the why there isn’t an incumbent for the Mayor’s Office in Eden Prairie. The Mayor’s seat is empty due to the decision not to run by the should have been nearly indicted for felony – yes, FELONY – prosecution, incumbent (and GOPer-endorsed) Mayor Phil Young. The sordid saga became public last spring, and as it played out, local GOPers – including GOP SD 42 Vice Chair Kevin Schultz (Schultz claimed he was speaking only for himself; yeah, “right”) – defending the indefensible: GOPer Phil Young falsifying reimbursement forms by filling out for meetings he never attended. Under penalty of perjury. Well, mileage reimbursements, too. For meetings he never attended.

But, has anyone heard anyone from GOPer “leadership” speak out about Young’s behavior, behavior that almost landed lawyer Young on the wrong side of a felony prosecution?

Of course not.

After all, what’s a little perjury among GOPer pals?

A point that’s been raised, but never addressed or even acknowledged by the local GOPer “leadership” is that similar behavior by a City of Eden Prairie employee would have resulted in immediate dismissal. Do not pass go; do not collect Golden Parachute – clean your desk/locker out and get out. NOW.

But, GOPers always seem to tolerate behavior among themselves that is NOT tolerated by the working stiffs, the middle class, the lunch-bucket crowd. All too often, GOPers believe rules simply doesn’t apply to them.

So, the taxpayers of Eden Prairie are stuck with GOPer Young until the end of December, when the next mayor will be sworn in. For the closest look at GOPer Young’s objectionable activities, link here.

From it:

(Plymouth Police Detective) Hultgren filed his final report July 12.

That report shows that for 20 consecutive months, the mayor of Eden Prairie filed claims for reimbursement, $35 each time, for attending meetings of the Regional Conference of Mayors, including three meetings that hadn’t occurred at all. He attended, by his own admission according to the transcripts, “two or three.”

At the end of the report, Hultgren notes that he had heard further allegations that the mayor may not have attended meetings of the Eden Prairie Foundation for which he was reimbursed. “Due to the reasons given by both the County and City attorney for declining to prosecute, these allegations were not investigated. Finding a few more meetings not attended by the Mayor would not change the basic facts of the case thus it would not result in a different finding by the County and City attorney.”

The mayor’s seat is vacant because disgraced GOPer endorsed Mayor Phil Young isn’t running for re-election.

And the local GOP “leadership” has been awfully quiet about it.

And they’ve also been mighty quiet about the cut ‘n pastes from disgraced GOPer Phil Young’s 2006 campaign website to the GOPer-endorsed for City Council Donna Azarian website .

Over the next few days, I’ll take a look at the races for Mayor and City Council.

The point for now, is that the last candidate for mayor the GOPers gave the citizens of Eden Prairie hasn’t worked out so well.

And the local GOPer “leadership” hasn’t said squat about it.

In February 2009, Republican National Party Chair Michael Steele said “You have absolutely no reason – none – to trust our words or actions at this point.”

It was true then; it’s true today, and tomorrow won’t be any different until good and decent Republicans toss today’s GOP “leadership” out.

And two weeks from today, on November 2nd at the ballot box, is a good place to start.

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

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Two weeks from tonight is shaping up as a disaster for Minnesota Republicans; I’m going to recap a few reasons why. Sure, odds are that they’ll hold Kline’s, Paulsen’s, and Bachmann’s seats in Congress, but that’s about it. For Governor, place your bets on Dayton. And look for a clean sweep for the DFL in all of the rest of the Constitutional Offices, too. So, why is the tragc and deeply-flawed extreme rightwing ideologue GOPer Tom Emmer trailing? One reason is Emmer’s pathetic and pathological inability to tell the truth. Another reason, according to the Minnesota Conservatives blog, is:

After receiving the endorsement at the state convention, the Emmer campaign was very badly run indeed. MC didn’t stay on the sidelines because the stakes of losing were too high. We thought the month of July would never end: 100K earning servers, tip-credit, a town hall forum/seppuku replete with a shower of pennies played endlessly on tv and the internet. Some of this was called a teaching moment. We called it political malpractice if not suicide. MC can’t bring itself to recount the various DUIs that cropped up.

“…the Emmer campaign was very badly run indeed.”

Yep!

For instance, they’ve never gotten in front of Emmer calling Democrats un-American, and they’ve never gotten in front of the Facebook pictures Tom Emmer wishes you hadn’t seen.

That Minnesota Conservatives post, “MN-Gov Race: Prepositioning the Scapegoats” is a good read. One thing they missed in their discussion of the GOP Party, was Tony Sutton’s Hatch-like moment – calling the the thirteen former GOP state legislatiors that endored IP Candidate Tom Horner “quislings”.

Sutton said “There’s a special place in hell for these quislings.” Sutton later backed off by saying he only meant to call those 13, including WWII Veteran George Pillsbury and Korean War Veteran Bill Belanger “traitors”.

If the race tightens up, and Dayton wins in a squeaker, Dayton’ll have Tony Sutton to thank.

This afternoon, I’ll write a recap of the local races in Eden Prairie,
where the radicals controlling the local GOP has done their cynical worst “best” to mimic their bizarre bosses at the state and national level. How bizarre? So bizarre that it can only be mocked, ridiculed and scorned. Which, of course, Jon Stewart excells at! Stewart points out GOP “leadership” really is shameless. Let’s look!

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Postcards From the Pledge
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

This video is just another example of why I say: “reasonable people can no longer reasonably assume Republican “leadership” is telling the truth.”

(link to “The Daily Show” here)

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

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Here’s what was originally posted on 29 July 2009 here on MnProgressiveProject.com:

“I’ll take dirty politics for $200, Alex”

“Here’s the answer: In 2009, they ran the first negative ad for the 2010 Minnesota elections.”

“Who are FEC Tony and MudSlingerMike?”

“You are correct!”

Smart money was betting that with the election of Tony Sutton and Michael Brodkorb, the GOP was going down and dirtier. So far, those bets look like winners. Over 15 months out, and Sutton and Broadkorb seem bound and determined to make the 2010 elections the nastiest ever.

And these last 15 months have been the nastiest ever. The GOP gleefully dove deeper into the sewer 15 months ago, and have been swimming lower every chance they could.

The dirty politics continued yesterday, with the posting of a letter by Peter Bozanich, the GOP’s “sd42webmaster” from last Thursday’s print edition of the Eden Prairie News newspaper.

That letter was written by Bill Cullen, who as recently as 21 September 2010, was a Vice Chair with the local Republican Party.

Oh – and Bill Cullen was the 2006 GOP-Endorsed Candidate, to run against Maria Ruud; Cullen lost by 10 points.

But Mr. Cullen didn’t tell you that in his letter in the print edition last Thursday – and the Editor didn’t catch it. And Mr. Bozanich didn’t tell you that yesterday, when he reposted Mr. Cullens Letter To The Editor, entitled “Chameleon Candidates”.

Mr. Cullen’s letter to the editor starts out:

“I miss Paul Wellstone and Ronald Reagan. They were both leaders. They never pretended to be something just to get elected.”

Well, it seems to me that former GOP-Endorsed candidate AND until just a few weeks ago a GOP Vice Chair Bill Cullen is pretending, too: pretending to be “just your ordinary, average concerned citiizen” and NOT the guy that lost to Maria Ruud 4 years ago AND until recently, was a local GOP Party Officer.

That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is dirty politics. And the local GOP has a history of playing this trick; in fact, in 2006, a local GOP ViceChair – Al Bode – did the same thing for then-candidate Cullen.

One memorable “trick” the local GOP pulled a few years ago, was reprinting letters to the editor from the EP News on their local GOP website – but changing the title the Editor chose to give those letters. This gave the casual reader it was THE EDITOR that gave the inflammatory titles that the GOP renamed the letters – because the GOP was saying “as published in the Eden Prairie News”

For instance, I had a letter to the editor that read in the newspaper:

“Voter ID bill not understood”

On the GOP website, it read:

Reprinted from Eden Prairie News, Letters to the Editor, Thursday, June 15, 2006
Voter ID supporter asks “simplistic questions” . . .

Another letter to the editor was published in the paper as:

“Election safeguards”

On the GOP website, it read:

“Maria Ruud Protects Vote Fraud”
By Al Bode

Yes, that Al Bode – at that time a current Vice Chair of the local GOP, as discussed above.

When the Editor of the Eden Prairie News found out and told the local GOP to change the titles back to as they actually were titled, do you think the GOPers did?

Of course not. They simply changed the posts to “as published in the Sun Current.”

Needless to say, when the Editor of the Sun Current found out, they were not amused either. It’s a real shame when local citizens visit a local party’s website to get information, and they get DISinformation instead.

It’s that type of behavior by the GOP that causes me to say, and say often:

“reasonable people have no reason to reasonably believe anything today’s GOP “leadership” says.”

Because these are but a few examples of how low the GOP has sunk.

If you haven’t read why LTC (Retired) Joe Repya left the GOP, go read it here.

From it:

So why on Earth have I decided to leave the Minnesota GOP?

Simple: When a political party becomes so dysfunctional that it no longer can operate without tyrannical domination over the grass-roots, it is time to stop enabling bad behavior from that party. I have come to the conclusion that a majority of Minnesotans and many Republicans no longer trust the message of the Minnesota GOP. After years of ineffective party leadership resulting in a record number of defeats, lack of transparency in party dealings, alleged financial impropriety by former party employees, and numerous Federal Election Commission problems, can you really blame the electorate for abandoning the Minnesota GOP?

“…it is time to stop enabling bad behavior from that party.”

Indeed it is, Colonel – indeed it is.

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject.com; please post comments there)

My least two “favorite” days of the year are “Property Taxes Payable – 1st Half” and “Property Taxes Payable – 2nd Half”.

And yesterday was one of those two least favorite days of the year. I don’t escrow, so twice a year I see – and feel the pain – of property taxes in the great state of Minnesota. As a result of the Property Tax Reform Bill enacted in 2001, and signed by then-Gov. Jesse Ventura, in 2002 I paid $1,845. This year, after 8 years of Gov. T-Bag, I paid $3,374 in property taxes.

The goals of that 2001 Reform were:

Realign the state-local fiscal relationship:

• • Increase state’s role in funding state priorities (education, courts, transit)

• • Decrease state’s role in financing municipal services to give residents more direct responsibility for municipal service decisions

The bottom line, is Gov T-Bag accomplished the latter, while ignoring the former. MN2020.org has a report by Jeff Van Wychen. From it:

Since 2002, Minnesota property taxes, in general, and homeowner property taxes, in particular, have increased rapidly. The cause of the statewide growth in property taxes is not growth in local government budgets. These property tax hikes are the result of state policies that require more public costs to be borne by property taxpayers and a larger share of total property taxes to be borne by homeowners.

Yep – since 2002, my property taxes have increased rapidly; from $1,845 in 2002 to $3,374 in 2010 – dam near doubling during the reign of T-Bag The Terrible (a/k/a, “Worst. Governor. EVER.“).

Go to MN2020.org to find out why.

Locally, right here in Eden Prairie, the total city budget in 2002 was $31,942,977; 2010′s was $40,614,931 – no where near the near-doublling of my property tax bill.

Dan Kitrell presents himself as a “conservative” candidate for city council, and I’m sure he’s a fine hubby, dad, and swell neighbor. I briefly talked to him about municipal liquor stores after the candidate forum. I also have exchanged a couple of emails with him, about comments he made about taxes on the web at EdenPrairieNews.com

Dan Kitrell:
“Future success requires the City Council to effectively manage our limited resources and operate within our means. Eden Prairie topped Money magazine’s list of ‘Best Small Cities,’ but our residents pay taxes that are 33 percent higher than the average of the top 100, 18 percent higher than the No. 2 ranked city, and higher than all but two of the top 10 cities. ‘Quality of life’ is best defined by our residents, not the City Council.”

…and at the Candidate Forum on September 28th…

“Most people are aware Money Magazine recognized Eden Prairie as the best small city in America. But Money Magazine also pointed out that our residents pay taxes that are 33% higher than the average of the top 100; 18% higher than the number 2 city, and higher than all but 2 of the top 10 cities. We can do better as a City Council.”

Well, I asked Dan about a comment of his on his facebook page too….

“Clear differences among candidates tonight at the League of Women Voters candidate forum. I am a strong advocate for a transparent budget process and prioritized spending. Other candidates are ready to turn the “tax spigot” on again. “Experienced” candidates have a tax and spend record that will hurt Eden Prairie.”

…. asking if Dan could tell me specifically which “experienced” candidates he feels have a “tax and spend record that will hurt Eden Prairie” and which candidates will “turn the ‘tax spigot’ on again” but he didn’t get back to me on that.

Dan did tell me where he got the info to base his numbers on; they’re from Money Magazine. And he acknowledged he didn’t look at city/county/school and special districts/etc breakdown of property taxes; he just went with “total property tax” rather than “city portion” of the total.

Hence, the title of this post!

Let’s take a look at one of those percentages Dan bandied about; “…our residents pay taxes…18% higher than the number 2 city,…”

To do that, let’s go to the City’s Finance Department of that number 2 city, “Columbia, Maryland” …

… except, you CAN’T go to the “City Finance Department” of “Columbia City, Maryland” – because there ISN’T a “City Government” of “Columbia, Maryland” – nor a Mayor, nor a City Council, nor a Fire Department, Police Department, nor anything – because in Maryland, the COUNTIES usually run the city, as is the case with the number 2 city on Money Magazine’s list, Columbia – and the number 3 city on the list, “Ellicott City, Maryland” too.

Mr. Kitrell is taking data from Money Magazine, and using to compare Eden Prairie’s city government to at least two non-existent city governments. Some might call Mr. Kitrell’s comparison “Apples to Oranges” – I think “Fact to Fiction” is more accurate.

I could analyze just how wrong Mr. Kitrell’s specific “33%” and 18%” comparisons between Eden Prairie’s existing city government’s taxes compared to Columbia and Ellicott City’s NON-existent city taxes is, but what’s the point?

The relevant point is even though I’m sure he’s a fine hubby, dad, and swell neighbor, he’s campaigning on stuff that simply isn’t true.

So far, in the city races, we have GOPer-Endorsed Jon Duckstad, who denied “deficit spending” even though he voted to “deficit spend” and GOPer-Endorsed Donna Azarian, who plaigerized cut ‘n pasted exact lines from disgraced GOPer-Endorsed Mayor Phil Young’s 2006 website to her own, and now “conservative” Dan Kitrell using specific percentages to compare specifically non-existent city governments.

Which makes Dan Kitrell eminently qualified to be a card-carrying member in today’s Republican Party.

I’ve said before and will say it again because as this post clearly demonstrates, “numbers don’t lie, but Republicans use numbers.”

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcomed there)

Parents are reacting with concern, and even anger, to the proposed elementary school boundary changes in Eden Prairie. It’s obvious to me the cause is the feeling that an unpopular decision is being imposed upon them – without input; without sunlight. And I feel that pain, although my kids are grown and it won’t directly affect me – directly. That this “plan” is pulled out in an almost de facto manner causes alarm, and reminds me of an opinion piece I wrote here on 18 January 2008, about the potential for another action – potentially planned in secret, and potentially imposed in a de facto manner.

I’m talking about the GOP’s extremist right-wing control of Eden Prairie’s City Council (Phil Young, Brad Aho, and Jon Duckstad), their belief in “core mission, limited government” philosophy, and the intentional deficit spending they will vote for this coming December.

This deficit spending is not sustainable – and by creating the crisis, they enable the remedy – which is part of their “core mission, limited government” philosophy: sell the liquor stores to balance the crisis they created.

Remember, in the “core mission, limited government” philosophy, the City has no business being in the municipal liquor store business.

Also remember that today’s Republican Party is controlled by those that think a “moderate Republican” is no Republican at all. In the extreme rightwing that controls today’s GOP, a “moderate Republican” is a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only).

Which is why GOP State Party Chair Tony Sutton recently called 13 GOP former legislators (including a WWII veteran and a Korean War veteran) “quislings.” Actually, Sutton’s exact quote is: “There’s a special place in hell for these quislings.’ But, that’s a tangent. Back to the liquor stores – which contribute approximately $1,000,000 in revenue that doesn’t have to be raised via tax dollars.

We know the nearly-indicted for felony Phil Young won’t be around to sell the liquor stores; his term is up after he inflicts the next deficit-laden budget for future taxpayers to deal with. Duckstad may be around, if he wins his election (he’s running against former Mayor Nancy Lukens, who was on the Council when the City received Moody’s top rating; a rating today’s alleged “conservatives” seem (heck)bent to lose). Aho still has two more years on the Council.

Will the voters knowingly elect those that also believe in that “core mission, limited government” philosophy? Will the voters know exactly what strict adherence to that philosophy means?

A simple question has not been asked this election cycle: “Will you support and work to enact an ordinance that will only allow the City to sell its Liquor Store Franchise only AFTER the citizens have approved of said sale via referendum?”

It’s a question that needs to be asked, because like the recent proposed boundary changes, it COULD happen here…

Without further ado…

“It Can’t Happen Here?”
Submitted by TwoPuttTommy on January 18, 2008 – 9:01am.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On January 2nd, a day when many people aren’t paying close attention, the Star Tribune printed a story about municipal liquor stores, just like we have here on the prairie.

And in this story, the city of Shorewood is discussed – how a newly elected council member with a “core mission” philosophy (eerily familiar to Phil Young, Brad Aho, and Jon Duckstad) caused that city to sell it’s liquor stores.

It’s all about the “core mission” philosophy – and in the proverbial blink of an eye, extremist “conservatives” battling “socialism” sold a city’s liquor operations.

Now, to think that that couldn’t happen here, on the prairie, one has to put faith in the belief Phil, Brad, and Jon can be trusted.

Can they?

Gentle readers, make no mistake – the ol’ TwoPutter does not think so. In all of the decades I’ve lived and been associated with Eden Prairie, this is the first time I have to say I simply do not trust this city’s council.

Well, I do not trust THREE of the city’s council members: Young, Aho, and Duckstad.

Mayor Young is on record of claiming that the local GOP party would not be helping him on his last election campaign, when, in fact, they were.

Mayor Young is on record of claiming that those opposed to the drastic cuts to social services, selling the senior center, etc etc etc during budgetary deliberations were a “distraction”.

Since when in American history, are informed citizens petitioning government, a “distraction”? This “philosophy” is the philosophy of those that want to “rule”, not “govern”.

Moreso, did Phil Young and Jon Duckstad make clear in their campaigns, what they would immediately seek to do with the budget – and therefore, Eden Prairie’s quality of life – once elected?

I think not. I think had Young and Duckstad clearly articulated where they wanted to take this city, the results of the election would have been quite different.

Now, this lack of articulation is not by accident. Both Young and Duckstad are attorneys; indeed, Duckstad is a Professor of Law. And just what is “law”? To a layman, “words, and their meaning.” When a well-qualified attorney is inarticulate, or not clear on what they mean, that is by design – they are experts in words. An attorney that cannot make a meaning clear is not a good attorney.

So, here we have an issue of trust – two attorneys claiming adherence to a philosophy, but denying where that philosophy leads.

We also have a neighboring city, Shorewood, where Young, Aho, and Duckstad’s ilk reversed city direction and sold the liquor stores in just a few months.

It can’t happen here?

http://www.startribune.com/local/west/12993201.html?page=1&c=y

It can’t happen here? Well, you didn’t think that outrageous school borders plan could happen here either, did you?

(cross posted from EdenPrairieNews.com and MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcomed there)

You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard a GOPer politician claim: “Gov’t has to live within its means!” That tripe is spouted from the very top to the very bottom. Yesterday, the State Republican Party posted on it’s website GOPer and Occasional Gov. Tim Pawlenty reinforcing this:

“Republicans…agree with Tom Emmer’s central principles: government must live within its means;…

And that IS one of Emmer’s central themes; this is from GOPer Emmer’s campaign website:

To end budget deficits, you need to cut spending. Trim the fat. When a family experiences a change in its income, that family adjusts its budget accordingly. If they have less money, they spend less money. This simple form of money management is completely lost on state government. Standing in the way of real reform is how government balances its budget. It spends first, and then seeks the funding. (emphasis added)

And endorsed GOPer Candidates all the way down the line; all the way down to the local level here in Eden Prairie dutifully parrot and spew that party line. Those quotes are below the fold.

Why do I bring this up? Because of a recent story in the Strib:

Minn. GOP starts Sept. in red, Dems also on fumes
Associated Press
Last update: September 24, 2010 – 8:56 AM
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.
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Monthly financial reports filed this week with federal election regulators show both parties owed vendors hundreds of thousands of dollars at the end of August.

The Minnesota GOP’s situation was more severe. It had a negative cash balance of about $4,000 and owed about $680,000. The party took out a $200,000 loan in mid-August, putting office equipment up as collateral. (emphasis added)

To recap: GOPers believe that families and gov’t entities should tighten their belts and live within their means (but the GOP, as a Party, doesn’t have to!!!).

What you won’t hear GOPer Tom Emmer say:

“When a family experiences a change in its income, that family adjusts its budget accordingly. If they have less money, they spend less money. This simple form of money management is completely lost on the State GOP.”

Nor will you hear GOPer Tom Emmer say:

Standing in the way of real reform is how the State GOP balances its budget. It spends first, and then seeks the funding.

So when you see all those State GOP-paid negative “hit” mailers hit your mailbox (I’ve gotten three attacking DFL State Rep Maria Ruud, so far) remember that they’ve been financed by that ol’ GOPer trick they profess to oppose: deficit spending, or, just as accurate: “borrow and spend.”

Kicking the can down the road is the way today’s GOP “leadership” operates, and it’s Today’s Example Of “Republicans Believe In Fiscal Responsibility (Except When They Don’t).”

Well, it’s also another example of why reasonable people can no longer reasonably believe anything GOP “Leadership” says.

For instance, here’s essentially the same garbage from GOPer Erik Paulsen’s website:

“One of my top priorities is to bring fiscal sanity to Washington because you can’t spend more

than you have.”

Really? That’s not the way the State GOP operates, Erik! Paulsen should bring a load of that “fiscal sanity” over to GOP HQ, in St. Paul!

Paulsen is known for saying things that, charitably, defy credibility.

Like, this!

Restoring Fiscal Discipline

Reckless Washington spending and continued taxpayer bailouts are threatening the future of our country and saddling our children and grandchildren with record debt.

What makes that statement defy credibility, is the “reckless spending” of taxpayer money that Paulsen has spent – on himself. Paulsen got called out on the carpet for his excessive spending on his taxpayer-paid mailers not only in a Strib Letter To The Editor, but across this great country – from the Baltimore Sun to the Witchia Eagle to the Las Vegas Review-Journal to the…. well, a LOT of places.

The Hendersonville, North Carolina Times-News specifically took Paulsen to task:

The idea that a representative would use as much as one third of his office budget, money meant to be spent in ways that benefit constituents, on thinly veiled re-election entreaties, is unconscionable. It’s an inappropriate use of the funds, and it presents an unfair advantage for incumbents.

Such spending should be eliminated. If politicians want to send glossy, self-promoting pamphlets about themselves, they can pay for them themselves.

Indeed. And it’s not as if Paulsen couldn’t spend his own cash on himself; here’s what his website proudly proclaims:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 14, 2010

Eden Prairie, MN – Congressman Erik Paulsen (MN-03) raised $379,862 during the second quarter of 2010 to give his re-election campaign a total of $1,347,000 cash on hand.

“It is clear my message of fiscal discipline and job growth is certainly resonating with people in the 3rd District,” said Paulsen. “I will continue to work hard every day to put a lid on excessive government spending and push for greater economic prosperity for all Minnesotans. I also want to thank my campaign volunteers, who are working very hard to promote our grassroots effort. Now, with this level of financial support, we can make sure our message is heard.”

To date, Paulsen has raised $1.9 million during the 2010 election cycle.

Hmmm… Paulsen, sitting on $1.3 million of campaign cash… yet out of the 435 Members Of Congress, Paulsen spent more taxpayer dough “on thinly veiled re-election entreaties” than 432? Yes, in total mailer spending, at the time of that editorial, only 2 Members Of Congress had spent more than Postage-Stamp Paulsen.

And some people actually wonder why I say that these days, GOP stands for Greed Over Principles??!?

Now let’s take a look at GOPer endorsed Candidate for State House in 42-A, Kirk Stensrud:

Minnesota families are making tough choices every day. Let’s elect a representative who is willing to do the same for our state!

* Not beholding to special interests groups or supporters who continue to put us into debt and stifle our economy.

Now, it’s not really realistic to expect GOPer Endorsed Candidate Kirk Stensrud to criticise the State GOP’s deficit spending; the State GOP has used that deficit spending to mail at least 3 negative “hit” pieces (that I know of) on his opponent – so far. The State GOP’s deficit spending sure is working for Kirk Stensrud!

Of course, to believe GOPer Candidate Kirk Stensrud, one would also have to believe that the State GOP isn’t a “special interest group” or, after sending all those negative “hit” pieces against his opponent, a “supporter”….

Here’s what GOPer Endorsed State Senator David Hann’s website has to say:

MN State Senator David Hann tells what the state must do to live within its means during this time of economic downturn.

Now, one presumably will NOT hear GOPer David Hann criticize the State GOP for “not living within its means during this time of economic downturn” — he’s probably hoping that the State GOP spends some o’ that borrowed dough for a negative “hit” piece or three on his opponent!

GOPer Endorsed State Rep Jenifer Loon?

“I believe our government needs the same kind of fiscal discipline Eden Prairie families are applying to their own budgets, and must live within its means.”

Does anyone really expect GOPer Loon to say:

“I believe our State GOP needs the same kind of fiscal discipline Eden Prairie families are applying to their own budgets, and must live within its means.”

I sure don’t.

GOPer Endorsed Candidate for Mayor, Jon Duckstad, apparently doesn’t even know what “deficit spending” is; see “Professor Duckstad Flunks Econ. 101″. Yet Duckstad’s website chimes in with the same tired tripe, too:

“If our citizens are enduring wage freezes, layoffs and their own belt-tightening budgets, then the city should do likewise.

Let’s keep Eden Prairie on the right track with common sense leadership and responsible spending.”

Go with that, Professor. One can hardly expect GOPer Endorsed Candidate For Mayor Duckstad to say the following, can we?

“If our citizens are enduring wage freezes, layoffs and their own belt-tightening budgets, then the State GOP should do likewise.

Let’s get the State GOP back on track with common sense leadership and responsible spending.”

Now we’re going to look at what GOPer Endorsed Candidate for City Council Donna Azarian’s website has to say, but first I have to remind our Gentle Readers of Azrian’s blatant cut ‘n paste from disgraced and fellow GOPer Endorsed Mayor Phil Young. So the question must be asked: is it real, or is it Azarian? Anyway, this is from “her” website:

Using Money Wisely: We can’t afford to spend more than we have and neither should government.

And it’s pretty clear with Cut ‘n Paste Donna, that the only way SHE’D say….

Using Money Wisely: We can’t afford to spend more than we have and neither should the State GOP.

…is if GOP “Leadership” told her to say it. And, Gentle Readers, you know – KNOW – that’s not going to happen.

Why?

Well, I’ll say it again:

Kicking the can down the road is the way today’s GOP “leadership” operates, and its Today’s Example Of “Republicans Believe In Fiscal Responsibility (Except When They Don’t).”

And it’s also another example of why reasonable people can no longer reasonably believe anything GOP “Leadership” says – especially their endorsed candidates.

(cross posted from MnProgresiveProject.com; commens welcomed there)