Get the Facts About the Extreme Conservative Politicians Running for Office
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Scott Honour's tax returns: something to hide?
Last week, GOP governor candidate Scott Honour told the Star Tribune that he would release his tax returns later in the week.It’s now the following week, and we still haven’t heard anything from him.We know it’s difficult for politicians to be transparent with their constituents. After all, in 2008 when Mitt Romney refused to release all of his tax returns, it was because he’d already released all that the law required him to. In the Republican world of finance, why release more when less is the expected maximum?There’s a theory about why Honour just can’t find it in his heart to be transparent with Minnesota: Honour profited off of firing workers and telling us just how much he profited isn’t something he wants to release.I get it, Scott – if I managed to exploit firing workers, I wouldn’t want to disclose that information to the public either.We know Honour has no qualms about cutting public employee jobs, thus we can only imagine what he’s done in the private sector.Considering Honour has already been called Minnesota’s Mitt Romney, and you know, considering Romney lost the presidential election in 2012, you’d think that someone would tell Scott about how shady this refusal to release his finances makes him appear.Perhaps there is something in the tax returns that would alienate Minnesotans from Honour’s super-rich lifestyle.Minnesotans deserve to know what their government officials do with their own money, and Honour is no exception. If he wants to represent Minnesota, he should start with being honest about himself.
Marty Seifert Runs For Governor. Again.
If you thought Marty Seifert was getting out of politics after losing the GOP endorsement for governor to Tom Emmer in 2010, you were wrong. He's running for governor. Again.Minnesotans already rejected Marty Seifert once for his wrong priorities. Seifert has a history of protecting big business at the expense of hard-working Minnesotans.Part of Seifert's 2010 gubernatorial budget plan was to abolish the Department of Labor and Industry and he hasn't changed his mind about it since then.That might seem innocuous, but the Department of Labor and Industry is extremely important in protecting Minnesota workers. The DLI protects workers by enforcing laws governing minimum wage and overtime, child labor, prevailing wage, parental leave and employee rights. It also regulates and enforces construction-related health and safety codes and laws, makes sure workers have safe and healthful working conditions, and responds to employee complaints of workplace hazards and discrimination.According to the current Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner:
"Labor and Industry is committed to ensuring equitable, healthy and safe work and living environments in Minnesota. Through outreach, education and compliance efforts, we strive to improve the quality of life for Minnesota workers and their families."Our goals are geared toward reducing and minimizing the impact of workplace injuries and illnesses; helping resolve workplace complaints and disputes; ensuring compliance and awareness about workplace requirements; and assuring quality construction, operation and maintenance of structures. We hope to continually build safer and healthier work environments in Minnesota."Workplace injuries in Minnesota increased in 2012, but Marty Seifert doesn't think that workplace safety, good working conditions and living wages are that important. In fact, this is just one instance in which Seifert put big business ahead of working Minnesotans.In 2009, Seifert rejected middle class tax relief to focus on business breaks. He rejected a DFL tax proposal to simplify the tax code and give lower-income earners a break because he wanted to "get a better sense of how this would affect business."Marty Seifert was wrong for Minnesota when he ran for governor the last time, and he's still wrong for Minnesota now. We need a governor who will stand up to big business to protect middle class Minnesotans, not another conservative politician to stick up for his big business friends.
Scott Honour fails to release his tax returns as promised
In April, GOP governor candidate Scott Honour said that he would release his tax returns, just as Governor Dayton released his.Turns out, super-rich Scott isn’t sticking to his honor.Dayton turned over his tax returns. The Star Tribune asked Honour for his tax returns Tuesday, and still hasn’t received them.This feels oddly similar to 2012 when Mitt Romney wouldn’t release all of his tax returns. It’s beginning to terrifyingly seem like Honour wants to be Minnesota’s Romney.Even extreme conservative Texas Governor Rick Perry has mentioned the importance of politicians’ transparency.
“No matter who you are, or what office you’re running for,” Perry told the Houston Chronicle in 2012, “you should be as transparent as you can be with your tax returns and other aspects of your life so that people have the appropriate ability to judge your background.”If other Republicans like Perry understand the need for politicians to be clear with their constituents, then what’s Honour’s excuse?More importantly, if Honour can’t be honest about his own income, how can Minnesotans trust him with our tax dollars?All parties aside, politicians already have a bad reputation for dodging the truth in order to get elected. Frankly, it’s dishonorable for the GOP candidate to raise even more suspicions during his run for governor.
The GOP hypocrites
The definition of a hypocrite is someone who votes to cut health and human services and caregiver jobs, but then says they want to give caregivers a raise.State Senator David Hann and State Rep. Jim Abeler (now a candidate for Senator Al Franken's seat) fit that definition.The two Republicans attended a rally Monday at the State Capitol that is gearing up to give caregivers of the elderly and disabled a 5% raise.Sen. Hann and Rep. Abeler were the Chairs of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee, respectively, and drove legislation that made deep cuts to critical funding for seniors and the disabled in 2011.Hann authored and both he and Abeler voted for a healthcare bill while they controlled the Minnesota legislature that would have cut 30,000 jobs, including 20,000 in the healthcare industry, according to MPR. Hann even sponsored and voted for a bill to allow nursing homes to sell rooms to the highest bidder. Not only that, but Rep. Abeler also said he is "proud" of the cuts he made as the Health and Human Services chair. He even bragged about it this summer, saying:
McFadden Tries to Trick Minnesotans
By opposing the Affordable Care Act, Mike McFadden opposes expanding quality, affordable health care to millions of Americans. But this time, he's trying to trick the public into opposing it as well with misleading claims.Last week, McFadden's campaign put together a video attacking Franken on the Affordable Care Act. The problem? Senator Franken isn't actually talking about what McFadden claims he's talking about.It's funny: McFadden's video claims Franken misled us, when it's actually McFadden who's misleading Minnesotans about Al Franken.In the video clip McFadden shows, Senator Franken wasn't even talking about the Affordable Care Act. According to MinnPost,
But Franken wasn’t repeating Obama’s line — in fact, he wasn’t talking about the Affordable Care Act at all. He was, instead, advocating for a public-health insurance option, a government-run insurance program to compete with private insurers, something some Democrats unsuccessfully tried to insert into the final health-care reform overhaul bill.When asked about their misrepresentation of Senator Franken, McFadden's campaign gave a lame answer defending their misleading and inaccurate claim.Minnesotans need a leader in the Senate who will fight for hard-working Minnesotans to have quality, affordable health care through the Affordable Care Act, not someone who clearly distorts his opponent's views to gain supporters.
CEO Scott Honour: I didn't win because I didn't try
What happens when you finish dead last in a straw poll? In the case of mega-rich CEO Scott Honour, you pretend like you're too cool for it.Honour said in an interview with The Bemidji Pioneer that he performed badly in the straw poll because he didn't spend any money on it.The Pioneer writes:
Honour said since his campaign didn’t invest any time or money on an effort to do well in the poll, the results don’t really mean much to him.So let's get this straight: If Honour doesn't buy your vote, then he doesn't care about you. Well, that sounds a whole lot like something an out-of-touch CEO would say.In fact, that sounds just a little reminiscent of another rich guy who liked to buy things - Mitt Romney. Remember when Romney dismissed nearly half of America as irrelevant, stating "my job is not to worry about those people..." in his now-infamous 47% comment?Honour appears to be dismissing the voters who didn't choose him in the straw poll just like Romney dismissed half of America. In Scott Honour's world, you only matter if he spent money on getting your vote:
"To me, the straw poll wasn’t relevant at all — it doesn’t faze me."Remember everyone, Scott Honour is too cool for your vote - unless he pays for it. And we know he has the mega-millions to do just that.
MNGOP scarier than Halloween costumes
What's scarier than the GOP candidates running for Minnesota governor and U.S. Senate? Nothing.Perhaps it'd be slightly more scary if they put on some costumes that display key attributes of their campaigns. Here are some ideas.Julianne Ortman: A genie. This is frightening because she would grant all her wishes for big business, continually leaving working class families behind. Frightening.Mike McFadden: A ghost. Where is he? No one has seen him for months. Sounds about right.Jim Abeler: An 80s rockstar. We all know he misses his longer hair.Jeff Johnson: Patrick Bateman. Seemingly "nice" in public, but actually pretty evil on the inside, and hires sexist staffers.Dave Thompson: Scott Walker. He already wants to be like Scott in almost every way. All he needs is a Scott Walker mask to make the transformation complete.Kurt Zellers: A wrestling coach. The resemblance is just too spot on to ignore. He also continually talks about how he is ready for the fight. I don't think that's an accidental pun.Scott Honour: Mitt Romney's clone. No costume necessary.
Johnson Should Apologize For His Sexist Staffer
We learned earlier this week that GOP candidate for governor Jeff Johnson's staffer posted sexist remarks on Facebook. The staffer, Craig Westover, said:
Nov. 16, 2012: “Poor Susan Rice. She’s the first woman in Washington to get in more trouble opening her mouth for a president than Monica Lewinsky.”Nov. 18, 2012: “I keep hearing about this fantasy football thing. I don't get it. My idea of fantasy football is where I am the quarterback and Angela Jolie is the center.”Since that discovery, Minnpost reported Westover's response to the remarks. He said:
"There’s no expectation of privacy on the Internet, there’s also no expectation of not being offended. What I put there is what people volunteer to follow. If they don’t like it, they can un-follow me."Considering that Johnson has self-proclaimed himself the "nice guy" in the race, it seems contradictory for him to associate himself with staffers who think it's acceptable to demean women.Newsflash, Johnson: you can't call yourself a nice guy (logically, at least) when the people you pay don't consider half of the American population to be human beings worthy of respect.ABM is calling on Johnson's campaign to apologize for the remarks, since Westover clearly will not offer up any remorse or acknowledgement of his hurtful remarks. According to Westover, if you don't like his comments then that's your own problem.After Westover's unapologetic and unsympathetic response, the women of Minnesota won't hold their breath. Though if they did, I don't think Craig Westover would mind--as long as "Angela" Jolie isn't one of them.
Meet Jeff Johnson's sexist staffer
GOP candidate for governor Jeff Johnson has dubbed himself the "nice" guy of the race for Minnesota's highest office. Since Johnson won the GOP straw poll this weekend, more people are paying attention to his "nice" campaign.Johnson may claim to be "nice," but his staff is anything but. Johnson campaign staffer Craig Westover tweeted extremely sexist and offensive remarks that surfaced over the weekend.Westover grossly remarked:involved with politics and the media for years: He worked for the Pioneer Press before transitioning to spokesperson for the Republican Party of Minnesota starting in 2011.If this is the man that Johnson trusts to represent his campaign, what does that say about Johnson's own views about women?As a women, I find Westover's comments reprehensible. I thought we were past the point of sexist, offensive jokes, but I guess I'm wrong. Imagine how much worse the war on women would be with someone who tolerates these kinds of comments in office. That's not a state I want to live in.
Winners and Losers from the MNGOP straw poll
It seems tons of money can't buy you everything, including support from hardcore Republicans. The results of the GOP Straw Poll this weekend reiterated that being mega rich doesn't necessarily make you mega-popular.Julianne Ortman beat out businessman Mike McFadden as the top candidate running against Senator Al Franken. Ortman took in 37 percent of the votes, with Mike McFadden scraping in 22 percent. This is noteworthy because McFadden has ten times as much money in the bank as Ortman. Her $120,000 pales in comparison to his $1.2 million, making this not such a great sign for McFadden.But, all things considered, McFadden performed far, far, far better than businessman Scott Honour in the GOP governor's race vying for a spot against Gov. Mark Dayton. Honour finished dead last with four percent of the votes. He finished worse than Rob Farnsworth, who announced his campaign more than three months after Honour and is not self funded. That's three months time and thousands more dollars to garner support, and Honour still finished last.Honour and McFadden are clearly the biggest losers of the Straw Poll. The biggest winners are folksy speeches, extreme conservative policy positions and more of the same Tea Party pandering we've seen from Republican candidates for years in Minnesota. Jeff Johnson, Dave Thompson and Julianne Ortman gathered the most support, which is not surprising because they all fit the same hurtful, extreme and cookie-cutter conservatism that protects the rich and hurts the middle class.This approach has been wrong for Minnesota for years, and this batch of GOP hopefuls continues more of the same.