Who pays cigarette taxes? Hint: it’s not just Smokers

In the debate at Hamline University, there was an interesting exchange between Republican Candidate Jeff Johnson and Governor Mark Dayton.

 

JOHNSON: Governor you didn’t just raise taxes on the top 2%, you keep saying that but it’s not true. You raised taxes on every Minnesotan.  There was a health care tax increase; there was a huge cigarette tax increase, there were new wheel age taxes that were passed through to counties, that if you own a car or a truck. It wasn’t just the top 2%

DAYTON: Commissioner, not everybody in Minnesota smokes, fortunately.

After that remark Dayton went on to talk generally about partisan differences between Republicans and Democrats and the debate turned to other topics, which is unfortunate. Not only was the impact of these three taxes not discussed, in particular, the effect cigarette tax was treated  dismissively  as if it  it didn’t even register.

But it is registering, in several different ways that will continue to reverberate long after Election Day, no matter which candidate prevails. 

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Alida Messinger’s post-election agenda: kill PolyMet?

There’s all sorts of buzz around St. Paul of post-election plans by radical environmentalists to launch an offensive to kill copper-nickel mining in Minnesota. That’s been the stated goal of environmental organizations like the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Friends of the Boundary Waters, Conservation Minnesota and MCEA. It’s verified fact that Alida Rockefeller, one of the DFL’s biggest contributors and Gov. Dayton’s ex-wife, is responsible for much of the money that goes into these anti-mining organizations while supporting Gov. Dayton’s political activities.

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Home is Where the Money Is

Embattled Democrat state senator Jeff Hayden was back in the news yesterday.  The former Community Action of Minneapolis board member has been insisting for weeks that he took no perks from the now closed anti-poverty agency.
 
Star Tribune reporter Alejandra Matos has found a Community Action receipt for airfare for Sen. Hayden and his wife to travel to New York back in 2012.  So his previous denials are, as they say, no longer operative.

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Profile In Courage

The DFL Legislature raises business taxes.  Governor Dayton scuttled away from his party.

The DFL legislature’s idea for plundering taxpayers to pay for Zygi Wilf’s real estate improvements – “E-pulltabs” – raised roughly 1/1000% as much money as it was supposed to.  Governor Dayton huffed and puffed and blamed it all on other people. 

The DFL raised the minimum wage, without adding a tip credit for restaurant workers who frequently make many times more than a “living wage” from tips.  Governor Dayton quietly tossed the idea partly under the bus when his sons pointed out it was hurting their restaurant. 

When people started talking about legalizing marijuana, Governor Dayton was for it before against it before he was for it before he was whatever he is today. 

Dayton favored releasing sex offenders, before he opposed it, before…oh, hell, I don’t know.

And Dayton took great pride in MNSure before he washed his hands of it.

Oh yeah – and although the administration he largely appointed and which reports to him was busted trying to jockey MNSure’s premium rates, Governor Dayton apparently pleads complete ignorance

It’d be great if someone in the Minnesota media would press the Governor on this – but of course, he isn’t talking with the press this week.  Not that anyone in the press would ask him if he were talking to the press. 

The GOP has been railing – correctly – on Dayton’s competence. 

The competence of MInnesota’s press may be the bigger issue.

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Politico: ObamaCare still not a boon for Democrats at the polls

Remember when Democrats insisted they’d run in the midterms on the success of ObamaCare? Good times, good times. Granted, the last time Debbie Wasserman-Schultz uttered that bon mot was almost a year ago, and it was so ridiculous a notion even at that time (while the rollout melted down) that the DNC chair had to reiterate it three days later. Her Democratic colleagues in the House tried following through in January with an ad filled with anecdotes about all of the successes of the Affordable Care Act, which ran for, oh … sixty-six seconds.  By April, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer backtracked to an argument that ObamaCare would have no impact on the election at all. Hoyer also said that Democrats would pick up seats in November.

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Dorholt’s dismal debate

t’s difficult to determine how much Zach Dorholt’s dismal debate performance last night will affect his race against Jim Knoblach. Still, for people watching the debate either on TV or from the City Council Chambers got proof that Zach Dorholt is an empty suit. The gravitas gap between Dorholt and St. Cloud businessman Jim Knoblach was frequently on display.

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LWV candidate forum, Wolgamott edition

Wednesday night, the League of Women Voters’ St. Cloud Chapter hosted a candidate forum at the St. Cloud City Council Chambers. While a number of topics were discussed, this post will focus on the empty answers of Dan Wolgamott, the DFL-endorsed candidate running against Tama Theis.

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A brief note on the local scene

I've not written anything about the local race for house in 41B; initially I'd hoped to get involved in this race but this year life has been far too complicated to find time for any political activity. My district is heavily DFL, primarily because most of Columbia Heights is in the district, along with St. Anthony and the southern half of New Brighton, which are both purplish at best. As a result, there's been little doubt that the incumbent, Education Minnesota rubber stamp Carolyn Laine, will win easily. She's barely had to campaign.

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Great new media meme: Big win for GOP will fracture the party

What’s the best metric to determine whether a wave election is coming? The generic Congressional ballot margins in polls certainly can give us an indication, as can presidential approval ratings and pollingfromdifferentstatesSudden changes in policy direction might be another signal for those paying attention. Chris Cillizza wonders how one even defines a wave election:

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Political speech leads to policy problems

One benefit we can expect from Tuesday's election is that some misleading, hyperbolic, and outright fradulent 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 harder to fix outstanding problems. I would give some examples, but they all blur together at this point. So I say, "bring on election day!" On Wednesday morning, we will stay face misleading, hyperbolic, and outright fradulent advertising. But it will be limited to advertising put out by commercial interests, which, unlike government, we are often free to ignore.

 

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The Praetorian Guard Guards Most Praetorianilly

According to numerous sources on Facebook, Gov. Dayton bailed on a get out of the vote rally in Mankato yesterday because he was “ill”.

As of 6 AM, not a single word about it anywhere in the Twin Cities media.

Please let me know if you see anything. But I’m going to guess we don’t.

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