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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Seven Reasons Rep. Kelly Fenton was a Terrible Choice for a Republican Assistant Majority Leader

3/2017 here's a fifth reason: Representative Fenton's New Woodbury Lodging Tax Bill is a Slap in the Face to New Hotels and GOP

4/2017: here's a sixth: Four GOP Legislators are Silent After Attempt to Sneak Funding for Mass Transit in Omnibus Bill  

4/2017 here's a seventh: Representative Kelly Fenton's Proposal (HF463) Threatens Voting Integrity with "Alternative Procedure"
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As a fiscal conservative, not beholden to any political party: overall I can say I'm proud of the work from the 2016 Republican run house. For one: They listened to the voters to hold the line on direct funding for more failed transit lines by killing the bills in the house (like SWLRT). At least for the 3 terrible corridors being planned in Washington County. Unfortunately Met Council still got their $80+ million dollar blank check to back door fund whatever transit line their unelected hearts desire. But they were working with a DFL controlled Senate and Governor so they couldn't pass a dream budget that would impress fiscal conservatives.

Most fiscal conservatives understand that no politician can meet expectations 100% of the time. However, it doesn't take long to spot a politician that completely abandons you and even the party principles they promised to uphold. 

Therefore, I don't take calling out a republican lightly. By their party definition they are supposed to be fiscally conservative too. One in my position should caution calling one out. Yet I will not abandon my promise to hold all political parties in check. All the volunteer moderators on Washington County Watchdog agree to this. With that, I must warn everyone about one of the newly appointed Republican Assistant Majorirty Leaders, Representative Kelly Fenton. She does talk the talk; but her brief record in the house absolutely doesn't reflect it (just finished her first term). Actually her record is the opposite; here are four facts from her own record:

1.) Fenton is anything but a fiscal conservative Republican. Simply print out the list of bills she's authored, cover up the name, and show it around and ask if it was a democrat or a republican's record... you'd be like the dozens of her delegates at the GOP District 53 primary convention I asked this very question... they all guessed democrat. Probably based on all her education bills (10 of them) to fund do nothing school programs rather than reform our broken school system or support school choice. Plus her eight bills on different election laws. Then there was only ONE bill to fund a road project that she hardly spent anytime fighting for. This road bill didn't even pass, to my knowledge it's tied up in HF622 that failed to pass in final moments of session. (more on that on page 2 of this report www.taxpayersleague.org/scorecards)

2.) Fenton was the chief author for a request for the Gateway Corridor (Gold Line) Transit Funding in 2015, meanwhile in her district she is nearly silent in comparison about THE MOST deadly freeway interchange in the state (694/494/94) that needs study, engineering and construction funding: 
At Her Own Crossroads: Will Representative Fenton Lead or Appease 
This corridor is a waste of a half a BILLION dollars to take AT MOST 5% of traffic off the I94 freeway:
The Gateway Corridor, Big Promises, Little Evidence

3.) Fenton is not a good supporter of small government. She was the Chief author of a bill last session to strip Economic Development rights away from cities and hand it over to pro-mass bus transit Counties like ours who can now supercede the will of it's cities (the bill passed): 
Representative Fenton's Bill to Give Washington County Final Say Over it's City's Economic Development
This strategic move was taken in response after Lake Elmo Kicked the Gateway Corridor Out because it requires "Transit Oriented Development" which they don't like in their small town.

4.) Early in the 2016 session Fenton refused to withdraw her carry over bill to provide $189,000 to a park that had already fully funded itself! Senator Housley listened to my request and she removed her name from the bill immediately:


Fenton is a great politician as far as doing anything it takes to get elected. She talked her way into office repeating the beliefs of her party. Small government, cutting taxes, responsible spending, roads before transit, pro-life, pro-2nd amendment, etc. As you can tell she authors bills to do the complete opposite in most of these fields. She has wrote ZERO bills to support the core things citizens in her party would strongly support. Sad thing is this list only scratches the surface. 

Hopefully House members will not be distracted by Representative Kelly Fenton's personal quest to grow government programs and fund half a billion dollar bus rapid transit lines that have all the evidence against them.

-Matt Behning




Tuesday, December 6, 2016

List of the Tens of Millions in Pork in the Dec. 20th 2016 Special Session Bill

Most of this Pork is in the 2017 bonding bill!
Check out the story and why it's important to get the ridiculous spending out:
List of Tens of Millions in Pork in 2017 Bonding Bill


Response from Legislators was not good:
$1.6 BILLION 2017 Bonding Bill. Legislators Say They Refuse to Cut Any Pork. Call to Action.

Also:
GOP Senate Passes $5.8 Billion Transportation Bill with $180 Million to Met Council & Mass Transit a Huge Raise





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The Bill is the BILLION dollar HF622. It is now the infamous bill that failed to pass in the final moments of the 2016 session. The list below includes just some of the items I feel are ridiculous pork items in the bonding bill that have no business being in any State funding bill. Let alone a bill that would come from republicans.  
(correction: HF622 was not the bill the Governor recently almost signed. That bill was HF848)

I understand we need government spending. Roads, bridges, public safety, and all the functions of government included in our constitution... sure, you need to fund it. But parking ramps, dentist facilities, garden boards, sea lion exhibits, and little parks in cities we don't live in to name a few is insane... even for democrats who never say no.

Please review the list of things I am shocked came in this bill from our republican majority House... Given the fact they now took the Senate too perhaps they can take to their claim of being "fiscally responsible" and take a ton of this stuff out.

Please take this information and contact your state reps to say you want this pork out before the final language is set on December 16th. The special session meeting is on "about" December 20th according to: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/sessiondaily/SDView.aspx?StoryID=12333

see who represents you: http://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/

-Matt Behning
fb.com/WCwatchdog

The 12 republicans who voted no on the final reading of the bill should be recognized for honoring their party's fiscal conservative campaign promise :
rep.sarah.anderson@house.mn
rep.mark.anderson@house.mn
rep.bob.barrett@house.mn
rep.matt.dean@house.mn (Washington County)
rep.steve.drazkowski@house.mn
rep.steve.green@house.mn
rep.dave.hancock@house.mn
rep.tim.kelly@house.mn
rep.kathy.lohmer@house.mn 
(Washington County)
rep.jenifer.loon@house.mn
rep.marion.oneill@house.mn
rep.nick.zerwas@house.mn
(there were 27 democrats who also voted no, perhaps for not enough spending)

Only 9 Republican senators voted no on the senate version of the bill:
sen.bruce.anderson@senate.mn
sen.david.brown@senate.mn
sen.roger.chamberlain@senate.mn (Washington County)
sen.karin.housley@senate.mn (washington County)
Dan D. Hall (56, R) 
sen.david.hann@senate.mn
sen.eric.pratt@senate.mn
sen.warren.limmer@senate.mn
sen.dave.thompson@senate.mn


The numbers to the left of the item are the page you will find the item. in red are my comments
more details on the bill:
https://legiscan.com/MN/bill/HF622/2015

 We hand out hundreds of millions to our colleges. They build ridiculous buildings and facilities with the money and sponsor outrageously expensive sports programs... and at the same time charge ungodly rates on tuition... Coincidentally the Government offers the loans and makes even more money on the credit card level of interest they charge! My wife and I's student loan payment is more than our mortgage payment!!!
2.10 Sec. 2. UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA $81,567,000 
3.21 Sec. 3. MINNESOTA STATE COLLEGES $107,487,000

32.29 Subd. 8. St. Paul - Dorothy Day Opportunity Center for homeless people $12,000,000  
YET there's only $5 million in funding for VA facilities for our vets.

Why is the unelected Met Council getting tens of millions to build more failed transit lines in omnibus funding? How about we fund these ridiculous white elephants like many road projects in dedicated bills with a floor vote.
27.8 Sec. 17. METROPOLITAN COUNCIL 
27.12 Subd. 2. Metro Orange Line BRT $12,100,000
27.22 Subd. 3. Mall of America Station $8,750,000 For just ONE train stop!

37.32 Subd. 13. St. Paul - Science Museum of Minnesota Building Preservation $13,000,000 Why not raise the money from private donors like all the private owned museums do.
38.14 Subd. 14. St. Paul Port Authority - Minnesota Museum of American Art $6,000,000
28.24 Subd. 5. St. Paul - Como Zoo $12,000,000 for fancy new sea lion exhibit 
18.25 $4,000,000 To the Minnesota Zoological Garden Board

Why is government in the business of funding airports? If anything the local tax payers... not the entire State should be paying for their failed airports that can't apparently earn the money themselves.
52.29 (1) $4,985,000 for a grant to the city of Rochester for their Airport,
53.35 (2) $5,900,000 for the Duluth International and Sky Harbor Airports 
25.25 Koochiching County Airport Commission $3,000,000

35.7 Subd. 5. Bemidji - Regional Dental Facility $4,500,000 
35.20 Subd. 6. Hennepin County Center for the Arts $5,000,000
36.14 Subd. 9. Minneapolis - Norway House Event Center $5,000,000     These cities and counties should pay for their own unneeded crap
37.4 Subd. 11. Red Wing - River Town Renaissance Area $4,480,000
77.7 Subd. 6. Inver Grove Heights - Heritage Village Park $2,000,000
77.27 Subd. 12. West St. Paul - North Urban River Pedestrian Bridge $2,000,000
26.25 Subd. 9. Grand Rapids Pedestrian Bridge $750,000
20.16 Subd. 6. Granite Falls - Pioneer Public Television $1,950,000

19.33 Subd. 3. Centennial Parking Ramp at the capital $10,878,000

12.27 Subd. 6. Trail Development $11,490,000 Seriously look at the list of trails. they are trails from nowhere to nowhere mostly. Let the cities and counties build them if they want them so bad

15.12 Subd. 5. $9,250,000 for Polk County to complete a "regional integrated solid waste management system." 
A waste because it's a garbage burning system. These things are a HUGE waste of money and if we're bailing out all 87 counties that want to do this it's an unsustainable precedence. Washington County is going to hit the legislature up next... this just passed the county board last year:
The $170 Million Dollar Washington/Ramsey County Plan to Take Over Private Sector Garbage Processing
Not to mention the fact they are extremely harmful to the environment: