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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Fourteen Years of Broken Promises. No Problem. Denny McNamara Wins Republican Endorsement

Denny McNamara won the republican party endorsing convention tonight over Leilani Holmstadt who had the republican nomination in last year's race and lost by just 6 points last year to Dan Schoen. They did not disclose the final vote tally; but they counted it in a room with a glass window for those to look in. From what I could see the count was close as both stacks appeared equal in height as they counted all 116 delegate votes with only about ten votes for Bob Anderson who did not provide sufficient proof that he lived in the district but was allowed to run. Before the vote only McNamara said he would not respect the delegates and the endorsement outcome if he lost. Indicating he'd run with or without the party endorsement. Insulting his delegates seems to be his thing as 18 months ago he slighted them when he bypassed their voice by resigning with only minutes left for his apparent choice of Tony Jurgens to file in his place.

The McNamara win is disappointing for those who have concerns about Denny McNamara's 14 years of broken promises of very moderate voting. Not to mention his reputation after being charged in 2015 for an ethics violation for yelling at the 80 year old former State Representative Phyllis Kahn. She said she "never felt so threatened and domineered by a fellow legislatorin her 43 years in the House. The case was later dismissed. See more:

South Washington County Republicans Will Decide if they want McNamara, his Baggage, and Terrible Legislative Record

Before the vote McNamara had a woman named Faye Hatch introduce him. Her speech was mostly dedicated to calling my article linked above false and inaccurate attempting to discredit it simply by the fact I don't live in their district. The truth is the article is essentially a summary of the objective data from the Tax Payers League who posts the voting record of all the legislators in MN for the last twenty years and rates them yearly. Hatch did not name an example of anything specific in the post that was false, instead just went on for 3 minutes on how it was disappointing to question McNamara's voting history and what a great person he supposedly is.

When McNamara spoke he commanded the stage. It was impressive how he spouted all the talking points so flawlessly like the seasoned career politician he has made himself. Things like lowering taxes and reining in government spending...  Things he's never championed in his 14 years. He even went into talking in the third person a couple times. Stating in his own words that no one would fight harder than Denny McNamara. He talked about how he "crushed" the competition in his very first race first race nearly 16 years ago and "knocked on 12,000 doors." It was like watching an exciting speech from a pro-wrestler before a big match. 

I would have been impressed myself had I not familiarized myself with his voting record. Also the fact he interrupted his speech to yell at me standing in the back the instant I took a picture. He said it was against the rules to take a picture and demanded I put the camera down (which I did). This happened after the BPOU chair had started out the meeting reading the rules that said pictures were allowed just no video recordings. Another embarrassing moment for the McNamara camp was when they asked the delegates to disregard the handout on McNamara's voting record because it did not have a campaign disclaimer on it. The fact is you don't need a disclaimer on material for an endorsing convention, especially if a private citizen is handing it out.

How anyone can any self respecting person go around a room and look people in the eye saying they will do the opposite of what they've done for the last 14 years? 

Politicians rarely do 100% of what we'd like them to do, yet we support them with our votes and overlook the fact they don't do exactly what we like. But will voters draw the line with broken promises? 

-Matt Behning

Monday, December 11, 2017

South Washington County Republicans Will Decide if they want McNamara, his Baggage, and Terrible Legislative Record

update: Fourteen Years of Broken Promises. No Problem. Denny McNamara Wins Republican Endorsement 

Democrat Senator Dan Schoen of district 54  will be resigning December 15th after multiple sexual harassment allegations see Minnpost article

Denny McNamara
Schoen ran for senate after serving two terms in the House. He narrowly defeated first time candidate GOP nominee Leilani Holmstadt who got 46.7% of the vote. Holmstadt had swept her Republican district endorsement with a 65 to 13 victory over the alternate by vowing to adhere to core party principles with a platform that included lower taxes and to cut Government wasteful spending. She hopes to earn the party nomination again at the December 12th endorsing convention followed by the special election on February 12, 2018.

Holmstadt will face off in the SD54 Endorsing convention, December 12th, against Denny McNamara who stated in 2016 that he would not seek reelection for an eighth term in the MN house of representatives. He may have saw the writing on the wall reflecting on his increasingly self destructive political career. 

Before I get into his alarming voting record and 50% rating from the Tax Payers League of Minnesota where many republicans obtain 100% ratings by adhering to party platform there are additional concerns voters may have and consider more important than failed platform promises. A year before he quit in 2016 he was accused of an ethics violationThe (now retired) 80 year old representative Phyllis Kahn reported McNamara was red in the face shouting at her in his office. She stated in the complaint she had "never felt so threatened and domineered by a fellow legislator" in her 43 years in the House. The violation accusation was later dismissed.
Phyllis Kahn

This shouting incident was related to Denny McNamara's disagreement with a representative of the Minneapolis Parks and Rec board. The board has a general operating fund of over $80 million. He was under the impression the board may no longer be using his family's landscaping business he had handed down to his son. According to a Pioneer Press post the Hoffman and McNamara tree farm made over $80,000 a year off the Park board in sales from at least as far back as 2010.  

Thirdly, McNamara's apparent rage was so intense a park board activist felt it threatened her job and she sued McNamara for defamation
After a drama filled career, McNamara told the Hastings Star Gazzette in a 2016 article why he was supposedly done for good in politics... for family. 
“I’m done working,” he said...“What my wife Lynne’s given up over the past 14 years is tremendous,” McNamara said... McNamara said he’s looking forward to being a bigger part of his grandchildren’s lives. It was his 4-year-old grandson who inspired him to hang up his hat this year. Over Memorial Day weekend, he said, he went fishing with his grandson and realized he was ready for more of those moments.

Apparently the temptation to become a State Senator is too much for McNamara, who after less than 18 months desires to jump back into politics. 

What's more, McNamara worked against his delegates by deciding his own successor. The SD54 BPOU had the expectation he'd run for an 8th term. He threw a curve ball with what appeared like a pre-planned stunt. Literally minutes before the May 31st filing deadline he announced that he would not run for reelection whereupon his friend Tony Jurgens then filed for the "open" seat uncontested. This secured Jurgens the spot on the ballot without the checks and balances of the selection process. Since being elected Tony Jurgens has been a disappointment. I can't find any bills he's authored to cut taxes, spending, or to cut red tape that strangles businesses in his district. Like McNamara, Jurgens has legislated the opposite to his party principle by seeking to bring home pork to his district. 

As a House of representative's member he only had a 50% rating with the Tax Payer's League in 2015 and 2016. During several years before that he had even lower ratings. 

Noteworthy is he's refused to sign the Tax Payer's League pledge to oppose measures that increase taxes EVERY SINGLE YEAR asked it appears from data on their website.

What's more shocking than highlights of these bills he chief authored was the bills he failed his constituents on authoring. I could find no bills he championed to lower taxes, spending, the size of government, etc in any meaningful way.

Given the current optics in SD54 after the resignation of the disgraced Schoen, the logical choice to run against the DFL female candidate is Leilani Holmstatdt. The climate is fed up with ill tempered, career politicians who have demonstrated a history of disrespect for peers. It's time to select a candidate who will abide by the Republican party's platform.

The Republican endorsing convention is on December 12th at 7pm at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Cottage Grove

If the information above is not enough please take a look at his Legislative record on the bills he chief authored. Following that is the summary of the Tax Payers League of Minnesota's objective rating of McNamara based on his terrible voting record where many democrats score higher than he does. 

Who do you want representing you Senate District 54?

-Matt Behning

HF1473 to fund the boondoggle Met Council run "mass transit" Red Rock Corridor more info here:  Red Rock Corridor Faces Delays as 7 Facts Become Undeniable and the corridor's Newport Transit Station, $6.45 million, No Riders, and No Surprise
HF2046 to fund $5.5 million to Inver Hills College to expand buildings with no strings attached for anything such as lowering tuition.
HF1676 to fund $1 million dollars for an "interpretive center" in Hastings
HF2538 another $1 million for the Hastings "interpretive center"
HF2537 another bill to fund the massive failure that is the Red Rock Corridor. Another post on it: Red Rock Corridor Plan Falls Apart Now Wants to be Called Route 363
HF1370 Red tape for plumbers and licenses.
SF0909 growing government and expanding medicare purchase rights
HF0776 growing medicare supplemental coverage 
HF0435 increased the pork to Inver Hills College from $5.5 million to $6 million
HF3612 looks like $1.8 million in pork for wind turbines who's cost and inefficiency make them unable to self fund themselves apparently
HF3354 $700,000 to Inver Hills College to remodel the "fine arts" building with no strings attached for anything such as lowering tuition.
HF2560 $1.1 million to Dakota County for property development to make "green spaces and low income housing"  a job the private sector is willing to do without tax money!
HF3117 a handout to decrease the "carbon footprint" of legislative employees
HF0423 another bill to decrease the "carbon footprint" of legislative employees
HF2516 $26.5 million in spending for walking trails
HF0471 the unaccountable "Heritage Fund" for outdoors 
HF2636 $2,000,000 small trail connection between Washington and Dakota County 
HF1472 Watercraft surcharges increased
HF2667 $1.5 million in pork to pay for Hastings "riverfront renaissance project" 
HF2595 another bill to fund the failed Red Rock Corridor. See another post on a bus stop along the corridor:  Newport Transit Station, $6.45 million, No Riders, and No Surprise

-Voted against the "no new taxes" omnibus tax bill.
-voted in support of a silly bill to ban dishwasher detergent with phosphorus
-Voted in support of a government chartered casino
-Voted in support of a bill to prevent school districts from hiring non-union labor and save money on construction
-Voted in support of forcing businesses to pay a higher minimum wage rather than letting market competition determine the wages (House Journal p.6603)
-Voted in support of a ban on lawn fertilizer that contains phosphorus (HJ p.6756)
-Voted in support of growing government with the creation of a propane council (HJ 7556)
Refused to sign the Tax Payer's League pledge to not increase taxes on residents in his district
Refused to sign the Tax Payer's League "Tax payer's bill of rights" 
-Voted in support of a $400 million dollar tax increase (HJ 148)
-Voted against the bill that would have removed funding of the Met Council's $350 million dollar Northstar Corridor from deep inside the bonding bill as attached pork (HJ 592)
-Voted in support of more handouts to the ethanol industry to double the required content in gasoline from 10 to 20% where many cars can't run on that high content of ethanol (HJ 3290)
-Voted in support of the nanny state law banning over the counter purchases of Sudafed (HJ 2598)
Refused to sign support of a bill that would have required a local referendum vote anytime local government wanted to increase property tax levies (HF 1660)
Refused to sign the Tax Payer's League pledge to oppose and vote against measures to increase taxes
-Voted against allowing the tax payers in Hennepin County decide if they wanted to fund the $1.1 billion dollar sales tax increase to fund the Twins Stadium (HF 7119)
-Voted to allow Hennepin county to tax their residents $1.1 billion dollars to fund the Twin's Stadium aka subsidies for billionaires (HJ 7142)
-Voted to approve the conference report for the twin's stadium funded by tax payers (HJ 8192)
-Voted in support of the $1.1 billion dollar pork filled bonding bill (HJ 8531)
-Voted against requiring the riders of the failed Northstar corridor fund the operating costs of the white elephant (HJ 6647)
-Voted in support of raising the state sales tax for the "arts and environment" that we now know is greatly abused and recklessly distributed to pet projects (HJ 7110)
-Voted to give $1 billion tax dollars to the teacher's union retirement fund they have mismanaged and underfunded (HJ 8632)
-Voted in support of medical market monopoly bill for certain diagnostic medical services and raising the cost to consumers (HJ 6368)
-Voted in support of raising the state sales tax for the arts, entertainment, parks, and public broadcasting (HJ 7263)
-Voted in support of a energy cost raising mandate to require 25% of Minnesota's energy to come from unproven renewable resources by 2025 (HJ 446)
-Voted in support of putting the Outdoor and Heritage tax increase on the ballot that passed and is well known to be abused and recklessly distributed to pet projects (HJ 7684)
-Voted in support of spending $500 million tax dollars for a "budget balancing bill" HF 1812 that only reduced spending by $268 million (HJ 12723)
-Voted in support of a  job killing bogus global warming bill on cap and trade in MN (HJ 12151)
-Voted in support of government health care bill to put more Minnesotans on the State's health insurance plan and pay groups to get people to sign up that did nothing to address the factors that add to costs of healthcare. (HJ 12431)
-Voted in support of another Met Council transit line called the "Central Corridor" aka the BILLION dollar Green Line (HJ 12914)
-Voted against lowering property taxes with a law that would have required state property taxes to be less than 30% of total state revenue (HJ 11303)
-Voted in support of a $4.3 billion dollar transportation bill that had tens of millions to start and continue to fund the boondoggle white elephant light rail and BRT corridors we have today (HJ 4438)
-Voted in support of a $20 million spending increase on pork environmental programs (HJ 4450)
-Voted in support of a government growth bill to allow local government to increase the sales tax and permit unelected local governments to issue debt (HJ 5858)
-Voted in support of adding $300 million in spending to the bonding bill (HJ 5966)
-Voted in support of distributing the nearly $900 million from the Outdoor Entertainment tax to numerous special interest projects of questionable value (HJ 7234)
-Voted in support of HF 2680, a bill adding funding to an out of control general assistance medical care program that was in need of reform not added funding. (HJ 7865)
-Voted in support of HF 2695 a "jobs bill" that was actually a bill to pick winners and losers with tax credits for "angel investors" and no incentive for current employers to create jobs (HJ 9761)
-Voted against an amendment that would have allowed state employees a choice and portability with their retirement investment and it would have saved tax payers money (HJ 11929)
-Voted in support of HF 2624 that passed and dolled out $26 million legacy fund tax dollars to special interest groups for worthless endeavors like $1.8 million for landowners to protect rocks (HJ 12688)
-Voted in support of Governor Dayton's version of the Bonding bill with an additional $500 million in pork added on (HF 23)
-Voted in support of HF 14 that continues to enable the city of Minneapolis' unfunded pension promises to their employees. The bill funded Minneapolis' pension problem instead of letting the city pay for it themselves.
-Voted in support of HF 6 of nearly $500 million in pork for Outdoor Entertainment. The legacy bill included ridiculous spending such as $35.2 million to "overcome barriers to accessing the arts" 
-Voted in support of HF 2958 the final version of the bill to fund the Viking's stadium that ended up costing tax payers $1.2 BILLION dollars from the general fund
-Voted in support of HF 1752 for $566 million more in bonding debt when it wasn't a year to pass more bond debt (the previous year passed $531 in bonding). 
-Voted in support of HF 2430 for a "legacy bill" to provide $100 million in "arts and entertainment" where $600,000 of it went to the Minnesota Film and TV board.
-Voted in support of HF 1070 for a bonding bill during the budget year. The bill that added $180 million more in debt.
-Voted in support of HF 489 to spend $26 million for the teacher's union who have mismanaged their pension program and have put the tax payers on the hook.
-Voted in support of HF 0663 a bill to force businesses to recycle despite Minnesota having one of the highest recycling rates in the Country
-Voted in support of HF 2536 adding more red tape on businesses to report and prove compliance with "woman's economic security"
-Voted in support of the house version of SF 1951 to bail out failing teacher pension program, further hide the problems, and kick the can further down the road with further unfunded liabilities.
-Voted in support of HF 2490 the BILLION dollar pork filled bonding bill 
-Voted in support of the house version of SF 1952 to continue automatic pay increases and no pay for performance reform discussed the prior two years.
-Voted in support of HF 1 to add $3 million more for the failed public education bureaucracy on top of the scheduled budget increase for them for a bill with no reform of the education system.
-Voted in support of HF 2 for more bonding debt spending in a non-bonding year at the legislature. There was no emergency funding in the bill.
-Voted in support of HF 1679 to add more unnecessary regulations for networked ride-sharing businesses that Uber and Lyft.
-Voted in support of the house version of SF 280 that funded automatic pay increases for state workers and no pay for performance reform.
-Voted against MNsure reform by voting in support of the house version of SF 1458 despite news that people were dying because of the screw ups in the system.
-Voted in support of the house version of SF 844 to pump more money into the education bill with no reform or accountability to the public school system.
-Voted in support of HF 2749 the "Garbage bill" for extra spending for everything they didn't provide funding for the previous year
-Voted in support of HF 3467 the $1.5 billion dollar bonding bill that was closest to what Governor Dayton wanted.
-Voted for a raise for the state's pension directors with the house version of SF 2626
-Voted in support of HF 3589 on "real ID" while concerns for privacy are still ongoing