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2014 HD38B Caucus Announcement

HD38B Republican Precinct Caucuses
(for White Bear Lake, White Bear Township, Hugo, North Oaks & Dellwood)

When: Tuesday, February 4th at 7 PM, 2014 (Sign in 6:30 PM)
Where: White Bear Lake High School – North Campus
5045 Division Ave White Bear Lake, MN 55110

Dayton and MNSure

Immediately after he was sworn in, Governor Dayton began a plan to scrap state health programs for the poor and uninsurable and move to early implementation of Obamacare. Part of that was a statewide health insurance exchange called MNSure. For Minnesotans dumped off of their healthcare and forced onto the exchange, MNSure exists as a website, promoted sarcastically by slick television commercials featuring Paul Bunyan and his blue Ox Babe.

The ads were funny. Then program lapses resulted people’s social security number being emailed out by mistake. Then people couldn’t sign up. Then they couldn’t get help. Then they started getting “Dear John” letters from their health plans. Then the Paul Bunyan ads weren’t funny anymore.

Now in the midst of a disastrous forced enrollment, the state’s program director has quit. This comes just days before many Minnesotans will lose coverage. Governor Dayton has called the problems at MNSure “unacceptable” and hopes new leadership will fix the problem.

Leadership is the problem. But it is not a problem to be blamed on state employees, or “the other party.” Governor Dayton needs to be held accountable for imposing this terrible burden on our state. Through executive order and then through his signature of legislation passed without a single republican vote, he has overseen the dismantling of state-based programs as well as the partisan implementation of the MNSure program itself.

At a time when Minnesotans are receiving letters telling them their healthcare is being turned over to a ridiculous government website, we need leaders who are willing to take responsibility and solve difficult problems. But all we are hearing is blame. Blame for state employees. Blame for republicans.

That’s right. Governor Dayton and the democrats who control the Minnesota legislature are actually blaming republicans for the failure of MNSure. No republican voted for this program because we thought it was a bad idea. We said so. We even tried to fix it. Rather than fix the mess themselves, out of touch democrats have responded to the program failure with the same partisanship that they chose to use in passing it. That seems as out of touch as the Paul Bunyan ads right now.

Minnesotans are stressed out and tapped out. Governor Dayton needs to stop criticizing and start helping the people being hurt by this disastrous program.

Rural America Slow to Recover

By Norma Cohen, Demography Correspondent
The report notes that rural job growth stagnation has coincided with the first-ever recorded net population decline in those regions, driven by a drop in the number of new migrants moving in. This means the unemployment rate in rural regions has not risen, since fewer people are seeking work.
Population loss has meant fewer jobs as demand for goods and services falls, which in turn encourages those with higher skills to move away. Lower population density also makes it more expensive to deliver vital services, the report adds, potentially exacerbating population loss.
“This apparent historic shift to non-metro population loss highlights a growing demographic challenge facing much of rural and small-town America,” the department said. “A population growth from natural change (births minus deaths) is no longer sufficient to counter net migration losses when they occur.”
The report notes that the flat jobs growth in the rural US is far from uniform. In the northern Great Plains, where new methods of energy extraction are creating a mini-boom, employment is growing much faster than the national average. But the number of jobs has fallen by 4.1 per cent in rural Arkansas and 1.8 per cent in Illinois and Arizona.
The data also show striking contrasts in poverty levels. In rural households the rate is 17.7 per cent, compared with a national rate of 15 per cent and an urban rate of 14.5 per cent. Poverty is defined as a pre-tax income of less than $23,492 for a family of four.
Nearly six in seven high-poverty counties in the US between 2007 and 2011 were in non-metropolitan areas. Many have been classified as having high poverty for decades and are in or near Native American reservations and have large non-white populations. However, a growing number of largely white rural counties

Pulling Permits to Pull Weeds

Independence Day is a time for many of us to head to one of the 10,000 lakes for recreation, relaxation.


As a kid, getting the lake ready for the 4th of July began with picking all of the sharp rocks out of the swimming area.  Next, my brothers and I scrubbed all evidence of geese and seagulls from the dock.  This would be followed by raking, cutting, hoeing, mowing and pulling all kinds of slimy, stinky, thorny and leafy seaweed, grass, and other varieties of pesky submerged, floating and emergent plants.   Read the rest of this entry »