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Category Archives: True North

Initiatives and referenda: The overlooked part of elections

Initiatives and referenda are often overlooked in the red shirt/blue shirt post-game analysis. But I find them fascinating. USA Today has a quick review of some ballot measures across the nation. I see that Mary Jane did well, winning approval in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington DC, though not in Florida. Oh well. It’s getting to […]

Political speech prolongs policy difficultiles

One benefit we can expect from Tuesday’s election is that some misleading, hyperbolic, and outright fraudulent advertising will come to an end. Granted, political speech is an essential part of our form of government, so you might say it’s a cost of democracy. Unfortunately, though, campaign speech shapes the political culture, making it that much […]

Outrageous moments in cash giveaway to the NFL

This week, the state government of Minnesota pledged to take $1 billion (give or take) of taxpayer money and spend it on … a gift to the 1 percent. Specifically, the money is meant to buy a stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, a team owned by a multimillionaire real estate developer, and the NFL, a […]

Wear Facepaint for Commerce, not Sports Welfare

The sight of people donning replica jerseys to lobby their elected officials to force some taxpayers to pay for their hobby makes me a bit sad: “Don’t you have a life,” I quietly ask. But I think I’ve found the hints of a silver lining in that passion: Perhaps this is a point for us […]

Close Calls in the Minnesota Senate

If you’re a state senator who got less than 52 percent of the vote, you’re part of the vulnerable 8. Of those, 6 are Republicans, and 2 are Democrats. Republicans with less than 52 percent of the vote: Paul Gazelka SD12 John Pederson SD15 Jeremy Miller SD31 Ted Daley SD38 Don Hall SD40 Ted Lillie SD56 […]

Close Calls In The Minnesota House

Of the 134 seats that were up for grabs in the Minnesota House, 10 were won by candidates who received less than 52 percent of the vote. Of those, 8 were Republicans, while 2 were Democrats. Republicans who just got by: Debra Kiel, 1B Carolyn McElfatrick, 3B King Banaian, 15B Glenn Gruenhagen, 25A Kelby Woodard, […]

DFL Wins Governorship; Republicans Win Legislature: Here’s How

How can Minnesota Democrat (in Minnesota-speak, DFL) Mark Dayton win the governor’s office even when his party loses its majorities in the Legislature? Sure, the Independence Party, which captured almost 12 percent of the vote, is likely one factor. But another factor, which is easy to overlook, is the fact that the rule for counting […]

Religious Faith Is Not A Policy Handbook

A preacher-turned-politician is accused of disregarding his faith by opposing this or that expansion of government-financed health care. Put aside the obvious question–whatever happened to the separation of church and state?–the criticism is based on the invalid assumption that there’s an indisputable link between “Love thy neighbor” and a specific government program. Making this assumption leads […]

Can I get a competitive race?

If past performance is in any way related to future results, all of the congressional races in Minnesota–and most in the nation–are over before they even begin. (Hint: In Minnesota, all the incumbents will win.) So says the work of 538, a project of the New York Times. Of 435 seats in the House, only 37–less than 10 percent–are truly in play. Cartel, anyone?

40 Percent of Minnesota House Democrats favor single-payer

Even though Congress enacted ObamaCare over the strenuous objections of the American people, Minnesota’s political leaders may enact something even worse. During this biennium, 35 members of the House DFL caucus–2 out of every 5 members–were cosponsors of HF135. ObamaCare establishes laws and regulations that are likely over time to mean the end of private health […]