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)

…Can Reasonably Assume GOPers Are Telling The Truth

Mitch Berg is taking a turn carrying water for Boardroom Tycoons over at his blog; “right” now the water he’s carrying has to do with LGA (local government aid).

And there’s no point in trying to refute Berg with “facts.” After all, Reagan told the faithful that “Facts are stupid things” – and Berg is nothing if not faithful. IOW – Reagan said it; Berg lives it.

“Facts” simply won’t change the minds of those that couldn’t care less.

Instead, let’s take a look at what then-candidate Tim Pawlenty said while running for the corner office at the Capital, and what’s happened (can you say “Flip-Flop”?) since TBag moved into it:

It’s really rather pathetic, how low today’s Greed Over Principles party has sunk.

Reasonable people no longer can reasonably assume GOPers are telling the truth.

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

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…are: “Property Taxes Payable – 1st Half” and “Property Taxes Payable – 2nd Half”.

And yesterday was the 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 Gov. T-Bag’s “stewardship” of the great state of Minnesota. In 2001, I paid $2,316 in property taxes; as a result of the Property Tax Reform Bill enacted in 2001, and signed by then-Gov. Jesse Ventura, I paid $1,845. Under now-Gov. T-Bag, I paid $3,451 in property taxes this year.

The State House Research Department prepared an eleven page slide show in January of 2007 explaining what the 2001 Property Tax Reform Bill was supposed to accomplish; it’s available here.

According to the House Research Department, 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. While researching this post, I noted that MN2020.org has a new report out; published just this morning 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 $3,451 in 2009 – 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.

(crossposted and comments welcomed at MnProgressiveProject)

It seems that ol’ Smokescreen’s Landlord, the Chair of the GOPer National Convention, STILL has property tax problems. I just checked in with the W.D.C. property tax people, and Larson is still delinquent on property taxes for the place ol’ Smokescreen (allegedly) stays . I called, because here’s what the W.D.C. website has to say:

Property Detail – 0140 NORTH CAROLINA AV SE
SSL:0734 0085

Below is the most current billing information for the Real Property Tax on this property.

Current Balance $927.09

*The outstanding amounts displayed here reflect payments and credits which have been applied to this account as well as some Homestead Audit charges (emphasis added); however, the balance due may not include updated penalty and interest.
*For billing information contact OTR Customer Service at (202) 727-4TAX. (TaxpayerServiceCenter)

Well, well, well. The Chair of the RNC Host Committee, owing property taxes, because he in-fact was claiming a Homestead Exemption for his rental property that he was not entitled to.

And even though he knows about the problem, Jeff “Landlord” Larson doesn’t know enough that he ought to PAY HIS TAXES, and pronto.

Then again, republiCons are shameless, and Jeff “Landlord” Larson is simply proving again that:

“Hypocrisy, Thy Party Is GOP”

(originally published at MnBlue.com)

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