Election day 2014- years of voting a straight Democratic ticket are coming to an end.
I’m a liberal in my heart of hearts but I’m also pragmatic and I am NOT an ideologue. I like to think that I consider issues thoughtfully and do my bestest [sic] to avoid partisanship. And with that in mind here’s what I’m thinking about Tuesday’s elections in Minnesota.
Governor- Jeff Johnson. Actually I would more likely vote for Hannah Nicollet, the Independence Party candidate but, and this is after years of support IP candidates by volunteering and voting for them, I have come to the sad conclusion that voting for a third party today, despite what Ralph Nader would say, is in fact, throwing away my vote.
Why Johnson, why Republican? Bottom line, Mark Dayton can’t lead. Never could. Not since he evacuated his Senate office in 2004 because he was afraid of a terror threat which oddly no ever Senator felt compelled to react too.
Dayton has dropped the ball on a bunch of stuff
- Vikings stadium. In his debate with Johnson a few weeks ago he made the following comments 1) The Vikings were going to move I had no options to negotiate. and 2) We told that we would not let the team go. Worlds worst negotiator or just stupid? Or both? Either way he cost taxpayers $600M by pandering to the NFL Cartel. Then to make it worse, he was “surprised” his scheme to raise $200M in a shitty bar gambling came, pulltabs, hasn’t paid off. Lame.
- And since it’s not his money, he gave them another $90M in tax breaks, plus a general ass raping of Minnesota businesses to “let” the NFL host their biggest annual party of the year here the Super Bowl. Go read the Star Tribunes published report on what we had to give the non-profit NFL to buy a Super Bowl. . No responsibility.
- MNSure. I’m a supporter of European style not for profit heathcare. I wish we could figure out how to do it here. Matter of fact so much so that I think my son is better off staying in Israel where he can get decent health care rather than move back to the US where the privilege of real care is for the privileged. But the way MNSure was rolled out.. disaster. System problems all over the place because the company charges with bringing it online, failed. And who was supposed to be checking to make the sure the contractors who we paid to do the work could actually do the work? Dayton was in charge when that happened and to his credit he as said, “I won it”. To late Mark.
- Minnesota’s economy is dong quite well these days, unemployment below 5%, 1.2B surplus. But even in this environment the only campaign issue Dayton has been consistent on in the last two elections- the need to raise taxes to pay for programs and infrastructure. The Vikings stadium BTW, doesn’t count as infrastructure.
- MetCouncil/Transportation. Here in Apple Valley we have the Red Line- and dedicated express bus line from Apple Valley to the Mall of America. $113M cost to build the line, current ridership, according the local paper 113 per day. That’s 5 people per bus. Surprised? No parking allowed at any stop except the two transit stations. Now way to cross Cedar to get on a opposite direction buses. Why? Because the Met Council forgot to include the cost of overpasses, another couple million, in the original contract. While Dayton wasn’t directly involved in the design and development of the line, the Met Council was, the majesty of Public Transport outweighed the reality that the line was a dead end, on both ends. And BTW the spending isn’t over, this has become it’s own self serving industry what millions allocated for more studies, more facilities and literally everything except building a route that someone wants to ride. What a waste of taxpayers money.
Senator- Al Franken
I have to admit I’ve been really shocked by Al Franken the Senator. He’s done a decent job, which frankly I didn’t think he’d do given his SNL experience. Al’s taken the right positions on local issues like the farm bill, mental health coverage. He opposed wall street bailouts i like that. Was very supportive of Israel in their war with Hamas.
End of the day, he deserves a trip back to the Senate.
Congress- Mike Obermuller. Our current congressman John Kline has been disaster. He’s as partisan as they come. The last several elections the Democrats have run shitty unelectable candidates against Kline and he deserved to beat them, he was a far better candidate. Now however, Obermuller has a sold plan of attack for education and health care. Klein has a history of avoiding debates, he doesn’t like to talk about issues. After listening to his debate with Obermuller, a week ago, I know why, he can’t talk to issues. It’s time for John to come home, we need a change.
Mayor- Anyone but Mary. She’s a disaster. Transit boondoggle, she hasn’t met a project she didn’t like and now we have a bus to nowhere. New business? Apple Valley’s center core is mess. Half filled lots, dying strip malls, roundabouts to nowhere. She’s terrible and no one holds her accountable. 10 years of happy talk for nothing. She’s got to go.
There you have it. My thoughts on election day 2014. Get out and vote, and tell I told ya so.