After redistricting placed both state Sens. Al DeKruif and Julie Rosen in the same legislative district, DeKruif announced he would step down and allow Rosen to hold the seat without a challenge. That is unfortunate for conservatives. Julie Rosen has been promoting the growth of government since she joined the Senate in 2002.
Legislators like Mary Franson who consistently advocate for less government are taking the hits for Republicans while legislators like Julie Rosen spend their time in office actively trying to raise taxes and spending. The most recent example, of course, was Rosen trying to double cigarette taxes from $1.23 to $2.52 per pack last month.
If then-state Sen. Michele Bachmann was the legislator taking the hits back in 2005, Julie Rosen was the one doing the hitting. When Bachmann proposed a legislative amendment to repeal Tim Pawlenty’s “Health Impact Fee,” the 75-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes, the amendment failed in the Senate by 19–47, with Rosen being one to vote against it.
Rosen is also a proud member of Al Gore’s cult on climate change. She joined Democratic Sens. Prettner Solon, Metzen & Anderson in co-authoring SF0145, also known as the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007. (Senjem was the only other Republican co-author.) It mandated that statewide greenhouse gas levels decrease by 15 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2015, and by 80 percent by 2050.
As now-Republican National Committeewoman Pat Anderson pointed out in 2009, the act was an effort by misguided Republicans to “‘move to the middle’ by buying into the left's agenda.”
In addition to supporting higher taxes and liberal social initiatives, Rosen has also encouraged the government to spend more -- preferably without input from voters. With help from Rep. Morrie Lanning during the 2011 legislative session, Rosen introduced legislation that would have allowed local governments in Hennepin and Ramsey counties to raise sales taxes to pay for a Vikings stadium without holding referendums, which would otherwise have been required.
Now-Republican National Committeeman Jeff Johnson condemned the action, saying, "We have a [state] law in place that if a locality wants to [raise its sales tax] they can, but they have to have a referendum. Skirting it is wrong," he said.
Similarly, when legislation passed the Senate in 2006 allowing Hennepin County to raise its sales tax without holding a referendum, Rosen joined the 34–32 majority voting in favor. Sen. Bachmann joined the minority, as did conservative legislators like Sen. Hann and Sen. Jungbauer.
It’s hard for conservatives to make progress when they are faced by a vocal, wealthy establishment on the left.It’s even harder when their resources are wasted on Republicans like Julie Rosen. This is one race where Republicans can only shake their heads and save their support for more worthwhile candidates.
Cross-posted and comments welcome at Rudy Takala's Columns