An interesting piece came across our desk this week. Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka attached his name to a Senate resolution promoting a liberal grassroots environmental and diversity group. The resolution recognizes HeightsNEXT, a Columbia Heights organization promoting the local PRIDE celebration for the LGTBQIA+ community.
According to their website, HeightsNEXT is the local organizer behind the infamous global warming protests that were the brainchild of 15-year old Greta Thunberg. One of their big initiatives is green energy in the Columbia Heights area.
The image shows a signed resolution by Gazelka that states "the Senate of the State of Minnesota congratulates and honors HeightsNEXT for their service in initiating and leading the creation of the first PRIDE Festival in Columbia Heights."
(Source: HeightsNEXT FB page)
Here's the question, while Paul Gazelka is busy recognizing far left organizations, where is his recognition of the 2.4 million Minnesota taxpayers who have been massively overtaxed by the state. Where's the resolution stating that the Senate of the State of Minnesota recognizes $3 Billion was overcollected and will be returned to the taxpayers immediately? In fact, where's the bill that directs the state to refund that money?
With a resolution like this, Gazelka's name is being used to promote and advance the identity politics strategy commonly employed by the left which has led to civil disruption in our country and state. People should be judged by their own merits and character, not by their sexual orientation or group identity.
A lucrative deal for legislators who want to cash out on their time in the St Paul Swamp is to explore the grey areas of legal lobbying on the Minnesota books. MPR recently published an article about these troublesome areas and how the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board's proposed changes to current law face an uphill battle.
Kurt Daudt, House Minority Leader of the Old House Republican Caucus, made headlines in November when he announced that he was taking a new position with an infamous DC lobbying firm as the Director of Public Affairs. In the firm's press release, they stated that Daudt was hired because he enables the firm "access to elected and appointed leaders in all 50 states” and Daudt has a “deep knowledge of the legislative process.”
What's most troubling about Daudt's move is that he will remain an elected legislator while also serving in his new lobbying capacity. How that is not a conflict of interest in the minds' of most of his Republican colleagues in St Paul is troubling to small government advocates like us.
Perhaps the silence from members in his caucus is due in part to a swampy tradition that precedes Daudt and continues on to this day. Keep in mind that former Majority Leader Joyce Peppin did not seek re-election in 2018 because she was also taking on a new role in public affairs.
Shortly after Daudt's announcement, Nick Zerwas (R-Big Lake/Elk River) announced his resignation from office which forced a special election to fill his vacant seat this February. During the Christmas break, Zerwas snuck a tweet in declaring that he also would be going to work in the public affairs realm for a lobbying firm.
Rep Jim Nash, a fellow member of the Old House Republican Caucus, quickly took to twitter to joke about Zerwas' new lobbying gig. Nash tweeted, "so do I keep candy in my desk drawer in the SOB for meetings with you now?"; making fun of the newest legislator-turned-lobbyist scam at the Capitol.
Action 4 Liberty advocates for reducing government control, while expanding individual freedoms. Is it any mystery why we continue to see government grow even while Republicans are in positions of power? Most of these legislators, Republicans and Democrats alike, have no interest in limiting government. Instead, they are just part of the swamp that continues to grow its power and erode our freedoms. Meanwhile, it's all one big joke to them.
A popular story covered by the local media emerged in the New Year about a brand new program in St Paul that gives all newborns born in St Paul $50 in a college savings plan. The program on its merits is ridiculous considering how it's another classic socialistic redistribution program spawned from the heads of metro Democrats. On top of that, the money gets put into a low yielding savings account by Bremer Bank, instead of invested in the stock market where it may stand a chance to grow to $200 by the time the kid is 18. Will that even buy a book?
We were shocked to learn that the program was not just funded by St Paul taxpayers. The media reported it was part of legislation that passed in May of 2019 and that all state taxpayers are on the hook. So we decided to investigate.
Turns out, the pilot program that is now being used by liberal Mayor Melvin Carter, passed in the Omnibus Education bill (HF1) during the Special Session on Memorial Day weekend. The bill appropriates $500,000 of your money in the next two years to redistribute to newborns in St Paul.
Here's the interesting part. Debate over this omnibus bill occurred in the middle of the night during the Special Session. It was brought to a vote by Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and voted by all 67 Senators. That's right, Republicans and Democrats all voted for this program which takes your money and funds this program.
The bill passed the Minnesota House by a vote of 112 to 13.
It's the New Year and the 2020 legislative session is a month away. Since this year is also an important election year, you can imagine that every move by Republicans and Democrats will be measured based on how they will be perceived by voters in November. High amongst their evaluation is what they do with the massive budget surplus.
What is a budget surplus? When politicians in St Paul set a budget of how government is going to collect and spend your money, they are suppose to make sure there is a budgetary balance. In other words, the amount collected = the amount spent. Anything more means they overtaxed you.
Similar to a waiter overcharging you for dinner, the remedy is to immediately return the money to you. Of course greedy politicians look at surpluses in a completely different way. They look at the money as more opportunity to waste your money on pointless government spending projects.
If you pay attention to the media or your local rep, you've probably heard there is a projected $1.3 Billion surplus in the current biennium. But that number is completely understated. The hidden secret your media and legislators aren't telling you is that the number is much larger.
(Source: Minnesota Management & Budget)
Our state government is sitting on an unprecedented, massive budget reserves of your money. While it may be prudent for a family to have rainy day funds in case of an emergency, government should not extract large sums of money out of our private economy to hold for future spending. If you add the $2.358 Billion of budget reserves to the available balance of $1.332 Billion, we actually have over a $3 Billion budget surplus.
Action 4 Liberty calls for every penny of that surplus to be returned immediately to the taxpayers. Minnesota is one of the worst tax states in the country and we lag behind the national average in employment statistics. Putting that money back in the hands of taxpayers and jobs creators will give a significant boost to our economy.
Giving the surplus back is unfortunately a partisan issue. Modern Democrats seem hell bent on taxing and spending with no regard to reducing the heavy tax burden on job creators in our state. The only hope for us is that Republicans stop following the Democrats' lead of taxing and spending, and instead side with Minnesota taxpayers for once. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka would be wise to spend his energy writing and promoting a $3 Billion tax cut this session and not agree to work with Democrats on anything else unless the money is returned to its rightful owners. Voters in November would likely reward him and his caucus for that move.
(Photo credit: MPR)
From the king of the “fair share” community, came one of the most atrocious ideas in modern politics. Bernie Sanders and Ilhan Omar led a coalition of socialist legislators to push for eliminating student loan debt yesterday. Their plan would institute a “tax on Wall Street” to pay for the program that aims to retire college debt and publicly fund future college students.
There’s an initial attraction to the idea of paying down the massive $1.6 Trillion of student debt that has accumulated over the last couple decades. Young workers are entering the workforce with mountains of debt that makes a big impact on their personal budgets. It’s understandable why people with college debt would gravitate towards such a plan.
But if one peels back the layers of this rotten onion of a plan, it’s quite evident that fairness is not at the core of Bernie and Omar's belief systems. The plan is paid for by a tax on stock and bond transactions. People have this idea that only the wealthiest Americans would be affected by such a tax, but the vast majority of securities are actually owned by regular folks. We all invest using popular investment vehicles like 401ks, IRAs and insurance products like annuities.
How many of the small investors hit by Bernie and Omar’s new tax worked hard and paid off their student loan debt previously? They get hit twice as hard. Not only did they get no relief for their debt, but now they are the providers of the relief to the new generations of indebted college grads.
In the press conference, Bernie mentioned how the debt has accumulated to these college kids at “no fault” to themselves. But how does that resonate with the millions of blue-collar workers out earning a living for themselves who didn’t waste 5 years and tens of thousands of dollars chasing a college degree?
Bernie and Omar seem to think the solution to out-of-control education costs is to double down on government's involvement in that sector of our economy. But that is the precise cause of the mess we're in. Similar to the housing market bubble, government has steadily increased its role in the marketplace by financing college education grants, backing student loans, and encouraging more kids to attend universities. This government distortion of the marketplace has led to rising costs due to lack of price controls and has sent more kids to college who would have been better off entering the workforce earlier.
The Bernie/Omar plan is an awful idea and leads this country more towards the failed socialist states that our country must avoid. We here at Action 4 Liberty will fight tooth and nail to stop socialist ideas from being implemented in this country and Minnesota.
Minnesota's great embarrassment Ilhan Omar generally gets a pass by the overly sensitive Minnesota news media. However, it appears Omar has crossed the line when it comes to the editorial board of the Star Tribune.
The Campaign Finance Board's investigation of Ilhan Omar's state campaign committee was made public last week. They concluded that she committed many violations and is required to pay back over $3,400 to the committee and was fined $500. The evidence suggested that she used campaign funds for personal use.
Among the personal uses of funds was the development of a "crisis management" team led by Omar's divorce attorney. The Board looked into allegations that campaign cash was used to pay for her divorce. They could not find evidence of that, however, they did uncover that Omar filed joint tax returns with a man that was not her legal husband.
The Star Tribune writes: "It’s against the law in Minnesota to file jointly unless one filer is legally married to the other. Last year Omar told the Star Tribune that she had married her partner “in her faith,” and had earlier divorced her first husband “in her faith.” That’s fine for religious purposes. But for tax purposes, only civil marriages qualify. It’s not known whether she benefited materially by filing jointly. That is something that voters, who are obliged to follow tax laws no matter how painful, are entitled to know."
The sloppiness of Ilhan Omar's compliance of finance law and her apparent violation of tax law led the editorial board of Minnesota's largest paper to come out against her. The Strib concludes with: "As an elected representative for Minnesota and one of the first Muslim women and Somali refugees elected to Congress, Omar is helping to break new ground. But more is expected of her than the symbolism attached to her victory."
Read the Star Tribune editorial here
Minnesota's greatest political embarrassment is back in the news again. This time because the Campaign Finance Board found Ilhan Omar in violation of campaign finance laws. Omar used campaign funds illegally for personal travel and to use a divorce attorney. The CFB ordered her to deposit $3,469.23 into her state account and fined her $500. A mere slap on the wrist.
But the bigger news may have come from a tiny piece of information obtained in the CFB's investigation. According to her tax returns in 2014 & 2015, she filed a joint tax return with her current husband Ahmed Hirsi. At the time, she was legally married to a gentlemen by the name Ahmed Nur Said Elmi until petitioning for divorce in 2017. That means she would have filed fraudulent tax returns.
This is where it gets interesting. There's a lot of evidence that suggests Ahmed Nur Said Elmi is actually her brother and the marriage was done to allow him to obtain U.S. citizenship. Alpha News did the extensive researchon her questionable marriage last year, which was dismissed by the mainstream media in Minnesota. Apparently they aren't interested in potential immigration fraud of someone running for U.S. Congress. It's also against the law to marry a biological sibling.
Ilhan Omar has a sketchy past of skirting the laws and it is unfortunate that she is now in a powerful position in our country's capitol. Action 4 Liberty will keep you informed about developments in this story.
The 2019 Legislative Session is finally over and very little has been done about the rampant fraud in the Dept of Human Services regarding the Child Care Assistance Program. Republicans and Democrats passed a massive omnibus bill in the middle of the night last week that fully funds the fraudulent program for the next two years.
As we reported months ago, Carolyn Ham, the person overseeing the Inspector General's office at DHS, was placed on administrative leave back in March. The child care fraud issue which occurred under her watch, was never brought to the public's attention by DHS. Instead, we had to learn about the fraud by an investigative report on Fox 9.
Now we've learned from Fox 9 that Carolyn Ham is still employed and earning a salary at the taxpayers' expense. In fact, she's getting paid to not work!
When asked about moving the investigative work outside of DHS, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka conceded defeat on getting that implemented in his secret deals with the Governor. Yet another area that Republican Senators completely let down taxpayers on ensuring the fraud no longer continues in this state.
Watch the Fox 9 story here.
Got $100 Million in cash from ripping off the taxpayers in the Child Care Assistance Program? Want to send it to Somalia? Then come aboard Scam Am Airlines and we'll ensure your cash gets to East Africa and safely in the hands of terrorists.
That was our message at the MNGOP State Convention this past weekend. Our team was on the ground getting signatures for our petitions and going up to politicians to get them to pledge to end the fraudulent CCAP program.
Here's the good news. Four legislators signed the pledge to include two of the candidates we helped get elected: Jeremy Munson (23B) and Shane Mekeland (15B).
Here's the bad news. No Senator would sign our pledge. Especially Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (Nisswa).
Sen Gazelka already refused to sign the pledge earlier in the week, so we had a couple of our teams do a lit drop in Nisswa, the Gull Lake area and Little Falls this weekend.
Senate Republicans are punting on this issue until after the next election. They don't want to take the hard, and correct stance, to end the fraudulent program. $100 Million of money is being fraudulently taken from taxpayers and shipped overseas.
That's why we demand action immediately. End the fraudulent child care program NOW!
We need to spread the message far and wide. Every Republican Senator needs to hear from us about ending the program and you can help make that possible.
Tell the voters in Paul Gazelka and your Senate District what these politicians are up to. Donate now:
We must spread the message immediately. There's only 3 weeks left of the legislative session remaining. After May 20th, if Republicans don't act, more of our money will be ripped off and sent overseas.