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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