Why Minneapolis Needs to Balance the DFL’s Checks with a GOP Balance

The DFL is still stinging over its recent losses in the 2016 election. But if you are a Republican (supporting the man in charge or not), this reversal of fortune gives us hope that Conservative concerns will be heard at the state level. The GOP is finally able to hold the Governor and his appointees (minions) accountable. But in the Twin Cities and Hennepin County, the DFL still dominates at all levels with 100% of elected positions and 75% of the vote in any given race. Wouldn’t it be great to have even one Republican on our City Council to create a debate and break the mandate? Imagine if there was one city council member that presented a different point of view? At the recent Mayoral Debate – the candidates are all slightly different varietals from the same vineyard, making things like more bike lanes a foregone conclusion.

If you have any doubt that we need to continue to “Hold our Gains” and make more progress in 2017/18, here are some examples of what has happened recently under unchecked DFL power:

Activism vs Leadership

DFL legislators become more interested in forcing undebated social agendas rather than demonstrating fiscal competence (spending restraint that keeps taxes reasonable and focuses on efficiencies). When this happens, the city does not run well. Bike lanes sparkle while crosswalks are badly in need of paint. Criminals are empowered while police are scrutinized. Dollars pour into programs supporting “equity,” yet outcomes seem never never improve. Park Board infrastructure “needs” $20M annually for 20 years to keep Rec Centers from falling down, then once taxes go up “land bridges” between Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles are right back on the table.

Many legislators in the twin cities are not representatives of the wishes of the whole of their constituents, who support the latter positions above. They have “listening sessions” but then listen to whom they want, and then push their activist agenda. One needs not look further than the $15/hour minimum wage. Listening sessions were held, and small business owner pleas were ignored. The ordinance is coming. Every DFL mayoral candidate supports it.

DFL Leaders dehumanize Conservatives

DFL legislators, when unchallenged, become arrogant and have no fear of showing disdain for their conservative constituents. “Our” Congressman Keith Ellison gloated on January 17th, 2017 “There’s no Republicans in (Minnesota’s) Fifth Congressional District at all. We have chased them all out.” This is from the party of “inclusiveness.” How exactly does this rhetoric help the DFL? Liberals perceive Republicans as sexist, racist, ist, ist, ist. And unfortunately some are. But the “ists” aren’t getting 80% of the vote in Minneapolis, Ellison is. You all know Republicans that are reasonable people. They are your friends and family. How does it make you feel when “our” Congressman has this attitude that your family and friends should be/have been chased out of our district?

The DFL never met a tax they didn’t like, and reach beyond the top 1%.

The DFL controlled legislature said in 2010 “make the wealthy pay their fair share,” and then passes tax after tax on everyone via our overall tax burden: state/county/city income/property/sales tax. All while there is a $3.6B overcharged surplus. The GOP is trying to return the surplus to the taxpayers, and the DFL not only wants to spend it but also wants to raise the gas and sales tax on top of it. The surplus is not the government’s money, it is our money that we were overcharged, and it should be returned to us. Rather, Governor Dayton is calling for a $46B budget. When he took office 8 years ago, the budget was $34B. Are we 35% better off than we were? I do not see the return on my increased investment. All I know is our taxes are much higher. When Mayor Hodges is submitting a city budget, she says we haven’t improved outcomes enough and must tax and spend more. But when facing her opponents, she says we’ve made significant progress. Which is it?

Absolute power corrupts absolutely

An unchecked DFL over-reaches and flexes its power, because it can. It made sure that the most powerful authorities in Minnesota are appointed with DFL insiders: The Met Council, CTIB, Sports Facilities Commission, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, and more. This has led to taxation without representation, runaway spending, corruption, arrogance, and a complete lack of accountability. It is the GOP that is now working to reform these groups to ensure bipartisan viewpoints. CTIB votes to dissolve so they can increase the sales tax above current limitations to fund light rail. The appointed MCWD rubber stamps the Met Councils SWLRT permit, despite their duty to protect the Creek against disturbing contaminated brown fields in our parks during construction. The MSFC chair doesn’t see a problem with letting friends, family, and DFL buddies into luxury suites, and then the Governor has her back saying the issue is “blown out of proportion.” It is GOP Rep Sarah Anderson that led the charge to restore accountability to MSFC.

In closing, with power comes responsibility. And Power Divided is Power Checked (Thank you Congressman Jason Lewis). The next time elections roll around – all Minneapolitans should challenge themselves to send a Republican from Minneapolis to the Senate, the House, and City Council. How about just one just to see what happens! Or has the DFL done so well by us that they deserve to hold every elected office in Minneapolis? The above points would indicate they have not. Let’s balance that check.