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Is big business sitting out the governor’s race?

Office of the Governor
Gov. Dayton, center, participating in a groundbreaking ceremony for an office tower in downtown Duluth in June.

Will Minnesota’s business groups supporting Republican Jeff Johnson over Mark Dayton deliver an October surprise in the governor’s race?

Only if you’re surprised that those who spent heavily in 2010 to support then-gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer are now doling out a lot less money to support a far less controversial, more traditional pro-business candidate.

Conspicuously absent from the 2014 race, for example, is MNForward, a political action group primarily funded by Minnesota’s large businesses. In 2010, the group spent almost $2 million to support Emmer’s candidacy. Yet as of mid-September, MNForward had spent nothing on the Johnson-Dayton race — and is not expected to.

Credit the business groups’ reticence to the power of incumbency — and to Dayton’s somewhat surprisingly healthy relationship with local business leaders. Indeed, many business groups and their individual members have spent considerable time in Dayton’s office over the last four years. 

They’ve lobbied him on dozens of business concerns, and persuaded him to drop his business-to-business tax proposal and to support streamlining the state’s regulatory process. More directly, individual businesses worked with the governor’s office on the authorization of a new Vikings stadium and the state’s successful bid for the Super Bowl.    

As a result, compared to most of the special interest groups that have traditionally opposed Dayton and the DFL, the business community has a downright cordial relationship with the governor and his administration. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Dayton’s incumbency has given him clear front-runner status.

All of which is not to say there’s no independent, pro-Johnson paid support of substance. The Minnesota Action Network, the PAC headed by former Minnesota U.S. Senator Norm Coleman, spent roughly $400,000 on ads attacking Dayton’s record on education reform.

And starting in early September, the Freedom Club has spent almost a million dollars on an ad criticizing Dayton and the DFL about the new state Senate Office Building.

There’s also the Pro Jobs Majority, the PAC arm of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce that was sitting on almost $700,000 as of mid-September. It’s expected that some of that money will find its way into pro-Johnson, anti-Dayton advertising.

Jeff Johnson
Johnson for Governor
Those who spent heavily in 2010 to support then-gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer are now doling out a lot less money to support Jeff Johnson.

The 2014 governor’s race has not produced a torrent of spending on either side. Even amid that context, though, business groups are being substantially outspent. Alliance for a Better Minnesota, the DFL powerhouse PAC, has already spent almost two million dollars in the governor’s race, and the Minnesota DFL Party has spent about one million dollars.  

While campaign spending on both sides will no doubt increase over the next 10 days, it’s unlikely that donors on either side will come forward with six-figure contributions that could change the campaign spending patterns already in place.

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Comments (80)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/22/2014 - 10:40 am.


    Some business people are finally realizing that culture wars, recessions, slow economies, budget crises, and crumbling and inadequate infrastructure aren’t as great for business as they thought? Who’da thunk?

  2. Submitted by E Gamauf on 10/22/2014 - 11:24 am.

    What’s in a Name? Business & Stock Markets Survive

    Don’t the PACs just rebrand once their names are known – especially if the brand association is negative?

    No big earth-shaking changes for real business.
    They always do fluctuate during mid-term elections & recover immediately after, no matter the party in power.

  3. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 10/22/2014 - 11:42 am.


    Maybe business groups are starting to realize that Democrats are pretty good for the economy. Republicans…not so much.

  4. Submitted by Mike Downing on 10/22/2014 - 01:55 pm.

    Too busy growing their businesses

    Most MN businesses are highly focused on growing their top line sales in this poor economy. They are also resigned to the fact that this is a left of center state and make investment decisions to grow their businesses in more business friendly states.

    This state benefits from many large companies who located here in MN 50-100 years ago. Liberal progressives do not understand that most of these legacy companies are no longer investing here in MN and would relocate elsewhere if they had not made such large investments in MN many decades ago.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/22/2014 - 03:39 pm.

      In other words . . .

      The business community is so disgusted with Minnesota that they are abandoning the state en masse. That is why the state has an unemployment rate below the national average, and household income above the national average. In fact, over the past three years Minnesota household income has grown while the national average household income has decreased.

      Forgive me for thinking there is a flaw in your reasoning somewhere.

    • Submitted by Tom Lynch on 10/22/2014 - 04:01 pm.

      Exactly right

      Minnesoata needs to become more like Wisconsin and Kansas(or Mississippi or Alabama or South Carolina or Texas, etc.). Those are great places to be a worker.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 10/22/2014 - 04:10 pm.


      So business is just throwing in the towel because they’re too busy trying to stay afloat in a state that’s doing better than most of the country in nearly every economic metric, and despite the GOP narrative that businesses are leaving the state in droves, they’re staying because they’re too heavily invested here…as if that has ever stopped a company from moving?. That’s some seriously twisted analysis you have going there, Mike. Just curious, exactly how do you know that these “legacy” companies would relocate…have you spoke to them? Here’s a list of Fortune companies based in the state…feel free to point out which would love to leave if only they could extricate themselves from this hellish, apocalyptic business environment

      • 36: Target Corporation, $72.6 billion (36th last year)
      • 60: Best Buy Company, Inc., $45.2 billion (61st last year)
      • 62: CHS, Inc., $44.5 billion (69th last year)
      • 94: Supervalu, Inc., $34.3 billion (86th last year)
      • 101: 3M Company, $30.9 billion (101st last year)
      • 140: U.S. Bancorp, $21.1 billion (132nd last year)
      • 159: General Mills, Inc., $17.8 billion (169th last year)
      • 173: Medtronic, Inc., $16.6 billion (172nd last year)
      • 199: Land O’ Lakes, Inc., $14.7 billion (194th last year)
      • 213: Ecolab, Inc., $13.3 billion (229th last year)
      • 220: C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., $12.8 billion (237th last year)
      • 249: Ameriprise Financial, Inc., $11.2 billion (263rd last year)
      • 257: Xcel Energy, Inc. $10.9 billion (266th last year)
      • 283: The Mosaic Company, $10 billion (246th last year)
      • 311: Hormel Foods Corporation, $8.8 billion (319th last year)
      • 335: Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, $8.1 billion (325th last year)
      • 462: St. Jude Medical, Inc., $5.5 billion (457th last year).

      • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/23/2014 - 07:30 am.

        Exit Strategy

        One of those on your list, Medtronic, is bowing out. Other Fortune 500s who recently exited Minnesota include Cargill and Nash-Finch (SpartanNash). Do you see an emerging trend, huh? Remember when NWA and Delta merged, and the new corporation pretended to consider headquartering here rather than Atlanta? When 3M expands, Austin Texas is where they do it.

        When was the last time a company on the Fortune 500 list moved their HQ to Minnesota?

        • Submitted by Tom Lynch on 10/23/2014 - 10:24 am.


          The only solution is to join the right-wing race to the bottom. Wisconsin here we come. Move over Kansas.
          BTW, Medtronic didn’t “move” anywhere. They’re still in Minnesota. The only thing that “moved” was their mailing address…to a a tax haven. Apparently their record profits weren’t enough. The jobs are still here.

          • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/23/2014 - 12:25 pm.

            ‘Bout This Time Last Year

            As part of the Covidien deal to move the address:

            “Earlier this year, Medtronic announced that it would be sending out a flurry of pink slips, too. In total, Medtronic will axe 2,000 jobs, hoping to achieve $225 million in savings. In total, 500 of its job cuts would originate in Minnesota, the company’s home.”


            With the deal to change the address, jobs lost are not still here.

            • Submitted by E Gamauf on 10/23/2014 - 05:43 pm.

              Do they get tax breaks to move the postbox?

              Just wondering.

              • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/24/2014 - 09:49 am.

                Yes, that is the point

                Business flows like water to areas of lower taxes. Minnesota and the nation can choose to compete for business in the global economy with countries like Ireland, or they can throw in the towel. We can offer incentives for businesses to dwell here or let them be drawn away by incentives elsewhere. It is as simple as that.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/23/2014 - 12:21 pm.

          So what?

          Incomes are up, unemployment is down. Does it matter where the headquarters building is located?

          • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/23/2014 - 01:22 pm.

            A good question …

            A good question for Jason. He is the one touting Fortune 500 companies HQing in Minnesota.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/23/2014 - 04:53 pm.


              It’s a question for you, since you’re the one touting all the companies that are leaving the state.

              • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/23/2014 - 05:18 pm.

                Both HQ and Business Operations …

                Both HQ and business operations are important.

                In related news, reported right here on MinnPost earlier this year, S.C. Johnson, a Fortune 500 company and a perennial Fortune 100 top workplace, ceased its Minneapolis operations, moving them to Wisconsin.


                • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 10/23/2014 - 09:52 pm.


                  What’s the name of the company that’s expanding in Shakopee and adding 500 jobs? Weren’t they doing like a $50 million expansion?

                  • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/24/2014 - 08:58 am.


                    That’s good news.

                    In other local Fortune 500 news earlier this month, “General Mills Inc. will slash another 700 to 800 jobs as part of a big cost-cutting effort, layoffs announced less than two weeks after the packaged-food giant posted a bleak fourth quarter and announced two plant closings.”


                    • Submitted by jason myron on 10/24/2014 - 01:26 pm.

                      Oh No!!!!

                      They must be the only company in the country that has had layoffs…better blame Dayton. Oh wait…”Such manufacturing and distribution cuts are part of “Project Century,” as General Mills has dubbed the initiative. The job reductions disclosed Tuesday are part of “Project Catalyst,” a restructuring plan “designed to increase organizational effectiveness and reduce overhead expense,” and this…”Many big packaged-food makers have been suffering from stagnant sales — and also cutting costs. The weak economy and relatively low consumer spending power has been a factor. But some analysts have put forth the idea that consumer tastes are changing, hurting processed food makers.”…hmmmm, doesn’t sound like a bad business climate in the state to me. What else have you got?

                    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/24/2014 - 02:14 pm.

                      Ever Worked for One of These Big Companies?

                      “Project Century”, “Project Catalyst”, organizational effectiveness”, “consumer tastes are changing”. You are buying this, right? It is tantamount to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

                      They are selling food; everyone needs it. They are losing market share to more effective competitors. How about, “we were the last yogurt company to get a Greek yogurt on the shelf”?

                    • Submitted by jason myron on 10/24/2014 - 03:07 pm.

                      Struggling to equate this

                      to your mythical “unfriendly business climate.” And actually, large companies are accounts of mine.

                    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/24/2014 - 05:50 pm.

                      Struggle on

                      Sales, that makes sense.

                      Large companies purchase things in all 50 states. Even struggling large companies buy things.

                    • Submitted by jason myron on 10/24/2014 - 10:49 pm.

                      A lot less

                      when they’re having a bad quarter and business is trending downward due to changes in consumer buying habits. Still nothing that points to an unfriendly business climate that supposedly is forcing a mass exodus of companies from the state. No struggle here.

                • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/24/2014 - 11:18 am.

                  Not really

                  The race to the bottom states are not attracting corporate headquarters. There are no Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Mississippi or either of the Dakotas. Yet they continue to apply for admission to the Third World in order to attract “jobs for our working families.”

                  For all but a very few people, the important metric is employment and personal income. It doesn’t matter how many pretty office tower there are in suburban office parks if incomes are low and unemployment is high.

                  When operations are consolidated in one state ,do you suppose there could be factors other than government at work? Maybe–I’m just spitballing here–some of these job creators have concluded that it’s more efficient to have one big operation instead of two or three little ones, especially when they are all relatively close to each other.

                  • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/24/2014 - 12:39 pm.

                    Which F500 Companies Moved HQ to MN?

                    Companies like 3M were founded in Minnesota (Two Harbors) and stayed.

                    So the Dakotas aspire to the 3rd World. North Dakota ranks 6th among states for income, Minnesota is 11th, South Dakota is 18th. I think the Dakotas are doing just fine in personal income and employment. One of these states that you claim ” continues to apply for admission to the Third World” has higher personal income than Minnesota. Tell us more about that.

        • Submitted by jason myron on 10/23/2014 - 05:54 pm.

          Yet 3M is still headquartered here

          and Delta was the company that purchased NWA, not the other way around. I’m sure you would agree that it would be rare for the host company to pull up stakes and move to the state of the company they just acquired? This would also apply to SpartanNash and its acquisition of Nash-Finch. And since when did Cargill leave? They outsourced IT…hardly a unique development and one that within a few years, will undoubtedly come back to these shores as many others have. The only trend I see is the usual desperation of a dying party with no arrows left in their quiver.

          • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/23/2014 - 07:31 pm.

            Nash Finch & Cargill

            A couple quotes from the companies:

            “SpartanNash chose Western Michigan as its headquarters due to it being centrally located to the merged entities operations, the positive business climate taking hold in Michigan, including a more favorable tax environment, and the quality of life Michigan provides for its associates,” the company said in a statement.

            What Cargill said when it said bye-bye:

            Dan Dye, Horizon’s president and Ardent’s CEO-to-be, said in a statement that the decision “will allow us to offer great quality of life for employees, provide excellent service to our customers and position the business for long-term growth.”

            Both NWA and Nash-Finch were involved in mergers; Minneapolis was considered, according to the parties to the merger, that Minneapolis was considered for the HQ location.

            3M remains in Minnesota due to inertia.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/24/2014 - 10:12 am.


              In this context, the term may be defined as “I refuse to consider that my premise was not entirely correct.”

            • Submitted by jason myron on 10/24/2014 - 01:37 pm.

              Not so fast…

              Cargill, despite your insistence, has not and will not be going “bye bye.” They engaged in a joint venture with CHS and Con Agra combining their flour milling business. That Ardent picked Denver for their operation is no more an indictment of Minnesota than it is of any other state. As for Spartan, they’re a Michigan based company acquiring Nash, for the last time….not unusual in the least.

              • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/24/2014 - 03:49 pm.

                Cenex-Harvest States and Cargill are both MN Companies

                Direct from our own Strib:

                “The nation’s new flour power may be majority-owned by Minnesota companies, but it will call the Denver area home. That was the word Tuesday from Cargill, CHS and ConAgra Foods. The three firms in March announced the merger of their flour milling operations into a new firm dubbed Ardent Mills, which would be the largest U.S. flour producer by far. Currently, Cargill and Inver Grove Heights-based CHS run a flour joint venture called Horizon Milling based at Cargill’s home offices in Minnetonka.” No longer true.


                Reasons? Twofold:

                “Why Denver? Dan Dye, Horizon’s president and Ardent’s CEO-to-be, said in a statement that the decision “will allow us to offer great quality of life for employees, provide excellent service to our customers and position the business for long-term growth.”

                “It probably doesn’t hurt, too, that some economic development juice is coming Ardent’s way from the folks in Colorado.”

                Not unusual, but nonethless sad.

                • Submitted by jason myron on 10/24/2014 - 05:37 pm.

                  Not really

                  once again, a segment of their business. Cargill hasn’t moved anywhere.

                  • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/26/2014 - 08:06 am.

                    Nothing Unusual Here, Look the Other Way.

                    According to you, “They engaged in a joint venture with CHS and Con Agra combining their flour milling business.”

                    Are you using Common Core Math? Minnesota + Minnesota + Nebraska = Colorada

                    • Submitted by jason myron on 10/26/2014 - 07:16 pm.

                      Common core math

                      would be lost on someone who refuses to embrace cognitive thought. Send up a flag when you finally understand how corporate structure works. One SEGMENT of a company engaging in a merger with others does not mean that the entire corporate entity is moving to Denver. Cargill, as it stands, remains in Minnesota. Their FLOUR MILLING division will be under the umbrella of Ardent Mills.

                    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/26/2014 - 11:20 pm.

                      Part of Cargill

                      Indeed, part of Cargill remains.

                      You continue to make that point and also to press the point that it is completely natural and expected that a joint venture involving two Minnesota companies and one from Ohama leave their states to form their venture in another state.

                      No one expects them to stay here, why would they?

      • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/23/2014 - 10:00 am.

        Empty Automotive Manufacturing Plant

        While mid-Mexico is experiencing a boom in automotive manufacturing, we have a vacant automotive manufacturing facility standing on the banks of the Mississippi. It even has it’s own hydroelectric power generation plant. As we know, that was sold to a Canadian company.

        It seemed that luring another auto manufacturer to the St. Paul plant was not even taken seriously. Well, we can always claim SPAM.

        • Submitted by Colin Brownlow on 10/23/2014 - 11:27 am.

          empty automotive manufacturing plant

          Actually, we don’t have a vacant automotive manufacturing facility standing on the banks of the Mississippi. It’s now demolished and awaiting redevelopment. That’s the way of things. I dare say you’d have said the same about the once thriving coal-gas industry in this area, or the abandoned mills along the Mississippi. As to the hydro plant – once it was no longer needed for the old Ford plant, some one else purchased it. I don’t see what the problem is.

          • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/23/2014 - 12:31 pm.

            Can’t See the Problem?

            That comes as no surprise.

            If only we had not demolished the plant, we could make us of it now. Is that your point?

            The problem is that it is more economically expedient to build a manufacturing plant from the ground up elsewhere than it is manufacture things here in an existing facility.

        • Submitted by jason myron on 10/23/2014 - 06:06 pm.

          Manufacturing in Mexico is booming

          due to cheap Mexican labor. But I forgot, you expect American workers to work for a $1.00 an hour. Polaris moved a manufacturing facility from Osceola to Mexico…you know…from that state towards the East that’s “open for business?” What do you think the reason was? Oh right …here it is “The decision to build a plant in Mexico in 2010 to capture lower-wage costs has panned out as the company expects to save $12 million to $15 million in 2012 and eventually see annual savings of $30 million. In its first year of operation the plant produced 22,000 side-by-side vehicles, and it is increasing production in 2012.”

          Doesn’t exactly fit with your narrative.

          • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/24/2014 - 02:02 am.


            It seems that your ideas regarding Mexican labor rates are either greatly outdated or a complete fabrication. If interested, here is what the Bureau of Labor Statistics has to say:


            Due to automation, the labor content in modern automobile manufacturing is declining. However, “Compensation costs for auto workers were among the highest of any manufacturing industry in 2009, despite the trends of recent years in which nominal auto industry compensation costs have held steady or declined (except from 2007 to 2008), while compensation costs in other manufacturing industries have continued to climb. In real terms, private auto industry compensation costs have been falling since 2004.” Again, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even though wages have declined, still the highest of any manufacturing industry.”

            Government bail-outs, workers pricing themselves out of employment, new plants in foreign countries, empty plants in the U.S. demolished; exactly fits the narrative.

            • Submitted by jason myron on 10/24/2014 - 01:42 pm.

              Tell that to the workers

              laid off from the Polaris plant in Osceola when they moved their operations to Mexico because…well, lets let Scott Wine tell us himself…”in an interview, CEO Scott Wine said Polaris will pay its Mexican workforce one-third of what it now pays workers at its plants — all nonunion — in Osceola, Roseau, Minn., and Spirit Lake, Iowa.

              and here I thought Wisconsin was “open for business?” I guess it really doesn’t matte to these guys.

  5. Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/23/2014 - 03:28 pm.

    Credit & Blame

    While Dayton likes to take credit for the state of the state, the state of the union still gets credited to the previous administration.

    In Minneapolis, the day before yesterday, the FLOTUS reminded voters of “the mess he’d been handed” when her husband won the White House in 2008.

    Someone might need to remind her that her husband had the job last term too. Prior to this administration, such remarks were unprecedented, and were once considered un-presidential.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/23/2014 - 04:58 pm.

      Which has what to do with what, exactly?

      I don’t know if you’ve fully grasped this fact, but Barack Obama is NOT running for Governor of Minnesota. In fact, I can’t speak definitively to this, but I don’t think he’s a candidate for any office in this state.

      Why bring him up? Someone might need to remind you that the continual anti-Obama snark is pointless, at best.

      Incidentally, I could tell you tales of a long ago actor/President who liked to blame everything on his predecessor, but that would be blasphemy, wouldn’t it?

      • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/23/2014 - 05:12 pm.

        I brought him up …

        I brought him up because his wife was in town the day before yesterday laying day the blame beat. It is something that happened this week; she was here talking about pre-2009. The FLOTUS was here campaigning for Mark Dayton; he is is running for Governor of Minnesota. See how it all fits together, all except the back-blaming.

        Meanwhile, also here, Dayton campaign ads claim credit for positive economic news.

        Bring on the quotes; we’d all like to hear the alleged blaming of which you speak perpetrated by a former President.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/24/2014 - 11:11 am.

          See how it all fits together

          Actually, it “fits together” because it’s snark about a Democrat, which therefore applies to all Democrats. That’s a lot simpler than your purported explanation, and I’m a big Occam’s Razor fan.

          The Great Communicator did not mention President Carter by name, but yes, the bad things were the fault of his predecessor:

          There you go again.

          • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/27/2014 - 08:37 am.

            H. L. Mencken

            “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

            Across my career as an engineer, I have experienced a lot of Mencken and not so much Occam.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/27/2014 - 11:05 am.

              Who Also Said . . .

              “In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.”

              Would his pun on “bourgeoisie” pass moderation? Because I’ve run into them a lot.

              • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/27/2014 - 11:59 am.

                I Am Sure That He Had His Reasons

                Being a Republican is a choice as is being a Democrat. Were you a Republican, you would not be rejoicing that you were not.

                But, what were his reasons? Mencken died in 1956, only eight years before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Act outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin The Act ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public.

                The Senate version of the bill voted on by the House:


                Democratic Party: 153–91 (63–37%)
                Republican Party: 136–35 (80–20%)

                Notable Democrats voting against the Act include Al Gore Sr., Strom Thurmond, and Robert Byrd (57 day filibuster)..

                The same Congress passed the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Equal pay for women had been a part of the Republican Party platform since 1944.

                • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 10/27/2014 - 12:52 pm.

                  Disregarding that this is deviating heavily from the topic at-hand, I have to point out that political parties are not rigid constructs, but they evolve, adapt, and change over time. Just because the Republican Party used to be less offensive to women and minorities than the Democratic Party, does not make it so nowadays.

                  Strom Thurmond died a Republican (remember Trent Lott fondly recalling his great ideas?), and Robert Byrd spent much of his later years apologizing for his segregationist past. In the early part of this millennium, we’ve had Republicans blocking equal pay for women, blocking equal protection for LGBTQ communities, gutting the voting rights act, and actively working to disenfranchise minority communities. Heck, some ‘modern-day’ Republicans think that women’s bodies can ward off rape with magical enzymes.

                  There IS a reason the American South stopped voting for Democrats around that time… they were angry at them for not adhering to racist ideology. LBJ famously stated that by supporting civil rights, democrats would “lose the south for a generation.” Sadly, it’s been more than one generation, and that anger has fomented into the modern GOP.

                • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/27/2014 - 01:20 pm.

                  Further disregarding the digression

                  There is no way anyone who has been paying attention could think that the Republican Party of 2014 would have voted to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Suggesting such a notion is beyond ludicrous.

                  Furthermore, I shouldn’t have to remind you that the Republican Party abandoned support for an Equal Rights Amendment about the time the presidency was outsourced to Warner Brothers.

                • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/27/2014 - 02:17 pm.

                  Deviating from the context of the comment

                  We were discussing the Republican Party of the 50s and 60s, the one about which H.L. Mencken said “I rejoice that I am not a Republican”. RB attempted in vain to apply Mencken’s philosophy to 2014; it just doesn’t work.

                  Republicans have done nothing to block equal pay for women; it has been in the party platform since 1944 and the law of the land because of that since 1963. That notion is a page from the Democrat’s Politics-of-Envy talking points playbook; some still believe because it is repeated and repeated without substantiation.

                  “There is no way anyone who has been paying attention could think that the Republican Party of 2014 would have voted to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” I will save that one for my anthology of MinnPost comment board whoppers. Giving out Whoppers again this year to the kids for Halloween?

                  Were the ERA important, and not a redundancy, the President could have signed it into law when his party controlled both chambers. Litmus test failed.

                  • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 10/27/2014 - 02:44 pm.


                    Are you talking about the burger or the candy? Neither? Ah, if you are talking about untruths then…

                    You said that “Republicans have done nothing to block equal pay for women…”
                    Republicans have indeed blocked, using procedural moves or filibusters, equal pay bills for women. Were equal pay the law of the land, women would not make on average 77-82 cents on the dollar that men do for the same position. This has happened multiple times since 2012:



                    I’ll your statement regarding the ERA stand on it’s own… except to point out the original ratification period expired in the 80’s, and there still haven’t been enough states who have ratified the amendment anyways, so the President couldn’t have signed it into law for all sorts of reasons. “Litmus test: Irrelevant.”

                    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/27/2014 - 03:03 pm.


                      Again with the context? Halloween, children, either candy or burgers? If still challenged, the answer is in the subject line.

                      From your Politico link, “That might be the last vote this year on Democrats’ poll-driven, election-year legislation aimed at creating a national contrast between Democrats and Republicans,”

                      Politics as usual, not trying to help people, rather creating “contrast” and manipulating polls. Thanks for the link.

                      The ERA was written in 1923. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 addressed the issues of equality. Enforcement of those laws is sufficient, except for the Left’s craving for contrast in an election year.

                    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 10/27/2014 - 03:25 pm.

                      You are welcome.

                      I never said the Dems were not doing it in part to draw distinctions… it’s pretty easy to do; offer up a bill that helps women or minorities, and Republicans go on record blocking it. Simple as that. It just so happens that the Dems actually DO support those bills, and DO want them signed into law, because as a general rule, Democrats believe in enforcing, and reinforcing, equality. Besides,” drawing distinctions between political parties” is a pretty integral part of this whole democratic process.

                      (It should be pointed out, the GOP employs these tactics too, but with balanced budget amendments, troop funding, cutting NIH and food stamps, shutting down the government, etc.)

                      On candy and context, I do believe RB said it best…
                      “Only those devoid of either humor or clues would take it as an attempt to make a serious point.”

                    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/27/2014 - 04:29 pm.

                      Enforcement of Laws

                      Enforcement of laws is not as glamorous or contrasting as pretending that they don’t exist. Both 1963 and 1964 were about 50 years ago. The midterms will be a measure of how much Americans have an appetite for the left’s leftovers.

                      Did Charlie Babbitt make a joke? Does RB think he made a joke? Go ahead and explain what is funny about the Mencken quote.

                  • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/27/2014 - 03:06 pm.

                    What RB attempted

                    He was using a real quote from Mencken in an effort at levity. Only those devoid of either humor or clues would take it as an attempt to make a serious point.

                    I almost replied in detail to your post here. Then I realized that you have no idea what the ERA was, or, if you do know, you are clueless as to the process for ratifying a constitutional amendment.

                    I think that says quite enough.

                    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/27/2014 - 03:13 pm.


                      When a humorless comment comes off as clueless, claim levity; clever.

                      Amendments to the Constitution really don’t get done, as 38 states (minimum) must ratify. However, laws get passed and signed into law frequently, laws like the Civil Right Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

                    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/27/2014 - 04:03 pm.

                      Is this levity?

                      Not every amendment has a ratification deadline written into the legislation, but surely you knew that the legislation sending the ERA to the states said that it had to be ratified by 1979, and that the deadline was later extended to 1983? Which, I’m sure you realize, was many years ago, so that iteration of the Amendment did “really get done?”

                      Since you think that the Civil Rights and Equal Pay Acts established complete gender equality in America, you might explain why the Republican Party continued to support ratification of the ERA until the Reagan Ascendancy. Was that more levity? Or a leftist trick?

                    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/27/2014 - 05:08 pm.

                      Getting done …

                      Getting done would have been ratification; the amendment did not get done.

                      The Republicans figured it out for what it was, and five states rescinded their ratifications before the 1979 deadline.

                    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/28/2014 - 07:32 am.

                      Getting done, being accomplished, would be ratification for a Constitutional Amendment. That one didn’t get done.

                      Republicans figured it out for what it was. Before the 1979 Ratification deadline, five states had rescinded their ratification. Why would states pass powers reserved to states to the federal government?

                    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/28/2014 - 09:49 am.

                      “Republicans figured it out for what it was”

                      Yes, a guarantee of equality under the law for women. That would never do, would it?

                    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/28/2014 - 10:42 am.

                      Equality Already Guaranteed

                      Equality is already guaranteed under the law, as we have already discussed. It was a massive transfer of power from state governments to federal government; therefore, it didn’t happen.

      • Submitted by E Gamauf on 10/23/2014 - 05:41 pm.

        Don’t confuse us with facts

        It spoils a good rant, if the person blamed – is not at fault.

  6. Submitted by John Appelen on 10/24/2014 - 08:47 pm.


    It seems this comment belongs here also.

    “Now you do realize that the Democrats in MN did not do anything in MN until ~16 months ago, and many of the laws / taxes did not take hold until later.

    My point that no one knows what the DFL changes will mean for MN. Our current success is still a result of fiscal restraint that occurred before…”

    Since large companies take a long time to do anything, I assume the changes motivated by the DFL controlled Governor and Legislature are just coming to or soon will come to light.

    My guess the GOP is responsible for the changes until this Spring, and the DFL motivated changes will begin soon. For better or worse.

    I mean we have not even seen the impact of the minimum wage change, which is only partly implemented.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 10/25/2014 - 07:07 pm.


      Why do you think Dayton and the DFL keep trying to claim our great recovery when they did little or nothing to cause it? I especially like that hockey commercial.

      • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/27/2014 - 08:56 am.

        They do because they can

        Credit and blame are opposites sides of the same coin.

        Perhaps when the FLOTUS came to Minneapolis complaining about “the mess he was handed”, she was referring to the Harry Reid-Nancy Pelosi Congress that was in control, starting in January 2007.

  7. Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/24/2014 - 09:17 pm.

    Like an MBA Case Study

    Three behemoth companies form a joint venture; two of them are headquartered in Minnesota, the other one is in Nebraska. Where do they form the new headquarters? Colorado. You get half credit for answers indicating that the state with the best offer wins.

    Colorado offered a better package and out foxed Minnesota. No surprise.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 10/26/2014 - 09:40 pm.

      Just What Is The Point?

      That Colorado interferes in the “magic of the free marketplace” better than other states? That we need to socialize losses better than other states?

      I thought we wanted smaller government, and that it should “get out of the way”? So we should just open the public treasury to let business feed at the trough and then get out of the way?

      How about if all states just end the biggest welfare program of all, Aid For Dependent Corporations. SNAP is dirt cheap by comparison.

      • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/27/2014 - 08:08 am.

        Perhaps, get out of the way

        The Tax Foundation calculates and publishes a State Business Tax Climate Index. The link below leads to the 2014 Index.

        It should come as no surprise that Colorado (ranks #19) offers a less burdensome business climate than Minnesota (ranks #43). That is the primary way in which Colorado interferes.

        “Why Denver? Dan Dye, Horizon’s president and Ardent’s CEO-to-be, said in a statement that the decision “will allow us to offer great quality of life for employees, provide excellent service to our customers and position the business for long-term growth.”

        • Submitted by jason myron on 10/27/2014 - 07:15 pm.

          LOL….you keep repeating his meaningless corporate speak

          as if it makes your point. Quality of life could also mean…” I like the mountains and have purchased a beautiful home in the foothills of the Rockies and I have season tickets for the Broncos.” The rest is just a standard public relations blurb, repeated ad nauseam by any corporate entity. Where in his statement does he speak of Minnesota’s tax policies and business climate as a reason for their new venture to be located in Denver…oh wait…he doesn’t. Thanks for playing.

          • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/29/2014 - 08:41 am.

            “position the business for long-term growth”

            What better way to achieve long-term growth than to minimize your tax burden by headquartering in a business-friendly state. Profit feeds growth, so companies like to retain as much capital as they can. Colorado is a better place to “position the business for long-term growth”.

            Thanks for playing? Get in the game.

            • Submitted by jason myron on 10/29/2014 - 01:21 pm.

              “Position the business for long term growth”

              means nothing. Your interpretation of that phrase somehow validating your opinion that it was Minnesota’s “bad business climate” for Ardents decision is nothing but pure speculation with no basis in fact. You’re unable to show any statement by Dye where he states that it was Minnesota’s tax structure or business climate that led to their decision. The only game you’re playing and succeeding at is being completely disingenuous.

              • Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/29/2014 - 02:21 pm.

                Come back with your own theory

                I understand that you don’t like my theory about how a merger of three companies, two of them Minnesota based, ended up in Colorado. So, let’s hear your theory; that would be ingenuous.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 10/27/2014 - 11:54 am.


        Just curious… What money does the government actually pay out to these “Dependent Corporations”?

        Remembering that tax breaks are just letting private people or companies keep what is already theirs. (ie not the treasury’s money until it is lawfully collected)

  8. Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 10/28/2014 - 04:04 pm.

    Maybe they don’t have climate change in Colorado, and that’s what “positioning the business for long-term growth” relates to. I mean, if you don’t acknowledge it’s existence, it can’t harm your business, right?

  9. Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/28/2014 - 04:25 pm.

    Are you talking to me?

    Cite a quote where I have denied climate change. Happy hunting.

  10. Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 10/29/2014 - 09:21 am.

    Talking at, not talking to.

    You don’t deny that the climate is ‘changing’ because, as you say, “When in the course of Earth’s history has the climate not been in flux?” So yes, the climate is always ‘changing’ but you deny scientific consensus on the matter and insinuate a sinister agenda by a cabal of left-leaning scientists, often posting links to debunked pseudo-science in your posts, and coming to the defense of avowed climate-change deniers.

    I therefore have to look at all your other proclamations with the same lens… if you are consistently wrong and misleading about [topic A], especially when faced with loads of incontrovertible evidence, it stands to reason you will be wrong and misleading about [topic B], and employ the same tactics.

    The subject line does reveal part of the problem. We are basically talking at each other, not to each other. This presents itself when people cannot even agree on the basic facts of a situation, or worse, bring their own ‘facts’ to the table.

  11. Submitted by jason myron on 10/29/2014 - 01:26 pm.

    How’s this…

    Submitted by Steve Rose on December 10, 2009 – 1:28pm.

    Consensus? You are not being honest; there is not a consensus.

    I just came in from shoveling snow on this subzero December morning in Minneapolis.

    Snarky emails aside, it is this revelation of dumped data (timesonline story above), that is the most damning of all news for the warm-mongers. Without the raw data, the debate is indeed over. Now it is a question of faith; either you believe in global warming (known as climate change this time of year in Minneapolis) or you do not. The carbon credits are killing the opportunity for my faith; for me scam and faith are incompatible.

  12. Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/29/2014 - 02:16 pm.

    Old and Irrelevant

    That link, which no longer works, was about dumping data, the purge prevented peer review of the findings. Here is a new link that summarizes the problem.

    “SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

    It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

    The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.”

    My statement about the temperature on a particular December morning in 2009, well that is weather, not to be confused with climate. Global warming stories are easy to sell when the temperature is above average, but they are shelved for another day when temperatures are below average.

    As we all know, every IPCC forecast has been way above actual temperatures experienced. It was data like that calculated by the CRU that fueled exaggerated warming claims.

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