consultants are sandburs

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mike Jungbauer aiming to set up a cash flow stream from the energy industry, while on the Senate energy committee. Recall that there is Landform, with a cash flow from City of Ramsey.

The latest Jungbauer saga.

Start with this link and screenshot, Jungbauer aiming to establish a substantial personal cash flow out of Connexus Energy:


While on the Senate Energy Committee!

It is a clear conflict of interest situation where Connexus might rightly feel pressured to allow an influential Senator a cash flow, i.e., where Energy Committee help or hindrance can be exerted over future needs.

Recall that in annual meetings where board elections are held, Connexus controls the proxy machinery, and hence its insiders control a disproportionate say over who is elected (or reelected) to sit on its board.

Jungbauer, to gain a board seat, does not need to convince many cooperative members he has merit, he realistically has only to lean on the insiders for a position on board, with its personal perks and cash flow.

One must hope that Connexus, as a public responsibility step to avoid an obvious potential for mischief, has and retains bylaw provisions of some kind disqualifying serving politician - office holders from holding board seats. If not done already, then every person buying electricity from Connexus should demand it be done. (It's an uncertain thing because Connexus does not publish bylaws on its website for its ratepayer-member-owners.)

Two terms ago, (the 2007-08 85th Legsilative Session) Jungbauer gained his first appointment to the Energy Committee, and was sole author for bill, SF 3546, 85th Session, (introduced March 6, 2008) favorable to the pecuniary interests of distribution co-ops buying energy from generation-and-transmission co-ops, (see Sect. 85(a)(2) bill language, "(2) be owned by an electric generation and transmission cooperative;"). This link, this screenshot:



The specificity of bill language, as to aspects subsidized via exemption from taxation into Minnesota's general fund, has to have contemplated a single genco cooperative, probably Great River, which has a history of adaptive peak load gas turbine capacity (an ideal generation mode for adding power to the grid during summer peak air conditioning demand - quick startup, low capital cost but unfit for continuous operation because of higher per-kilowatt operating cost). Most recently, and possibly the Jungbauer tax exemption target, there was installed Elk River peaking capacity, online summer of 2009.

Consider this scenario: The biggest distribution cooperative in the state, by far, is Connexus; and it buys its power wholesale from Great River, marks up the price, and distributes it retail within a seven county service area. That is how Connexus makes money. Expenses such as payroll, capital debt service, and maintenance materials are deducted - payroll including, especially, the top dogs. What's left is distributed via annual adjustments to ratepayer-member-owners of the cooperative.

Connexus is a big money thing, no mom and pop operation, but multi-million, (from that link you get quick numbers and a link to read the latest annual report).

Continuing scenario: Great River, presumably the unnamed benefactor, stands to gain money via the SF 3546 tax exemption bill. It could pass through the gain on wholesale sales, or keep it internal for more lavish board and management pay. Connexus, if getting a pass through from Great River, could pass through the saving to retail ratepayer cooperative members, or keep it for more lavish boss-pay, just as with Great River.

Ah, but abuses, the PUC would police things and never allow abuses, you say.

Simple fact: The PUC has no regulatory authority over cooperatives. Nobody regulates them against abuse. They regulate themselves. Go figure. Contemplate the largely unconstrained license the big-wigs and top bananas in play at Connexus have to take care of their pecuniary needs and desires. Putting faces on things:




That's the unregulated, unpoliced, upper-echelon Connexus cozy club that our Senator Jungbauer wants to join - for motives he's aware of but you and I can only guess at, with money probably a factor.

As an experiment, find out what the residential cost per kilowatt-hour in Xcel Energy territory [PUC regulated], and compare it with the residential cost per kilowatt-hour paid by those having to buy power from Connexus [free from PUC oversight and policing]. Might those buying electricity from Connexus be better served, were it PUC regulated? That's a separate issue from Mike Jungbauer. For another post, perhaps.

Our Hon. Sen. Michael Jungbauer, while on the Senate Energy Committee with all the interlocking mischief possibilities implied, wants a seat on the board (arguably better called a place at the feeding trough).

Ramsey - Landform parallels:

That SF 3546 - 85th session bill reminds me of SF 2500, for this most recent 86th session (2009-2010), where Jungbauer again was sole author, with SF 2500 specifically aimed at pecuniary benefit for City of Ramsey, (where Landform is a firm with Jungbauer as a key water-resources insider having a lucrative ongoing monthly five-figure cash flow from Ramsey coffers). For that parallel bill, this link, this screenshot:



SF 2500 was, if you recall, put into play Feb. 2010 (after Landform, with Jungbauer a key employee on water resources, was given an ongoing contract status to receive money from Ramsey).

I see a parallel, though not identical, set of facts and circumstances, disturbing to me. In two instances, each having an aim to attain a cash flow for Jungbauer either directly [the Connexus ploy], or for a business venture Jungbauer relies upon for a personal cash flow [the Landform ploy], the legislative office was used to introduce solely authored bills, each for the pecuniary interest of an entity tied into one of the separate Jungbauer cash flow boosting maneuvers.

I wonder if now young Niska, reelection campaign treasurer for Jungbauer as reported to the CFB, wishes he had hitched his wagon to a different star. Wife Jen, getting snug trust built with Emmer seems to have set a better direction for that family to pursue.

May voters get out the broom for a sweep-out. Peter Perovich is the DFL challenger to Jungbauer in SD 48. I support and voted for Perovich. I had never met him before he doorknocked the home before the DFL primary. I cannot say how he would discharge duties if elected, and as with Jungbauer, continued scrutiny of every elected official is a requisite. What I can say, I have not seen one single thing that would suggest the things that bother me about Sen. Jungbauer's behavior, would happen if Perovich wins. So far such worries are absent from all I have seen of Perovich.

Last, contast this. I am no champion of Tom Hackbarth in his HD 48A reelection effort, and instead believe DFL challenger Laurie Olmon would be an exceptionally good replacement for that seat. Yet in contrast to Jungbauer, I cannot point to any conflicting interest situation involving Hackbarth (not to say there could be one or not, but only saying I know of none).

Hackbarth, in the 85th Session, reportedly was sole author and sponsor of the parallel House bill to Jungbauer's SF 3546 item. This screenshot:



I believe readers can confirm, the House measure was identically worded.

As yet I have seen nothing whatsoever, indicating Hackbarth seeking a Connexus directorship.

If any such effort is known to any reader, please send an email giving an online link, or other evidence.

Absent that, it appears Jungbauer is alone in the two parallel situations, Ramsey and Connexus.

Hackbarth apparently has no part of either nor is there any indication of an inclination in such a direction.

It appears that Jungbauer is alone in the local GOP in twice meandering in directions I see as troublesome.

___________UPDATE___________
One question, if a bill in the 85th session was aimed at a tax break for the Great River generation and transmission cooperative, why is Jungbauer not directly soliciting that possible board membership, and aiming at Connexus instead?

This link, opens its executive summary at p.6, with introductory language:

Great River Energy (GRE) is a not-for-profit generation and transmission cooperative corporation providing wholesale electric service to 28 member electric distribution ooperatives, who provide retail service across a large part of Minnesota and a small part of Wisconsin. Our members serve some 631,000 loads that include residences and farms, commercial and industrial facilities, and other customers, representing approximately 1.6 million people in total. We are entirely owned by our members and are governed by a board of directors elected from among our members’ boards, who in turn are elected by their own members, the end-use consumers.

GRE’s mission is to provide our members with reliable energy at competitive rates in harmony with a sustainable environment. We strive to keep these three components, (1) competitive rates, (2) reliability and (3) environmental stewardship, as balanced objectives in the development and execution of our resource and other plans.

GRE’s members currently have a peak demand of approximately 2600 MW. Ours is a summer peaking system that is highly weather-sensitive. Because of this, GRE and its members have implemented extensive load management programs to reduce the need for peaking capacity and conservation and energy efficiency programs to reduce the need for both capacity and energy.

GRE’s supply portfolio consists of owned and purchased resources that utilize coal, natural gas, oil, wind, hydro, refuse-derived fuel, and methane energy.

[italics added] That answers why Jungbauer is not attempting to gain a board seat at Great River. He can't.

First, the nature of the set-up, and the likely scrutiny given to Great River's absorption vs. flow-through of tax subsidy gains means that distribution cooperatives of considerable sophistication are the member-owners of the Great River cooperative, and are hence capable of meaningful scrutiny. Moreover, the quoted language clearly states to be qualified to be on the Great River board you have to be on the board of one of the member-owner cooperatives. "... elected from among our members' boards" being unambiguous.

So all Mike's got a shot at is the next level down, Connexus where the multitude of ratepayer-owners are unsophisticated and not overly attentive to possibilities of board or management members feathering their own nests.

So, after having carried water for Great River, there is the glomming onto the Connexus cash flow possibility instead of aiming for Great River.

It's not there, any such possibility, directly for Mike, at Great River.

__________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Because Jungbauer lives in the Connexus monopoly service area and has to and does buy home power from Connexis, Connexus is the only cash flow opportunity he could glom onto.

The entire Great River ownership-member pool is identified online, here. There are twenty-eight power distribution cooperatives.

As already noted Great River itself, and then all the other co-ops where he's not a member, are off-limits for opportunistic measures, meaning that the cash flow enhancement effort is of necessity aimed solely at Connexus.

While on the Minnesota Senate's energy committee. Having an influential legislative say on energy matters.

Give me a break. That's wrong. It might not violate any criminal statute, for all I know it might or might not, but you be the judge! Is this the best government citizens deserve?

Aims and goals of the Tea Party management money.


Back from Bloom County days, first run if I recall correctly, during Reagan years.

Current Online Background: Rerun b/w by Free Republic, here; this version from Raincoaster, here; this Google. Strangely, I could not find any link between Berke Brethed and visiting or residence in Big Lake or Wright County.

Reagan years origination, confirmed, the days of Jim Watt; per sequel.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

RAMSEY - WARD 1 -- I already have indicated I voted absentee for David Elvig for reasons apart from this post. Now there is more, and I like what David Elvig says in ending a two page letter to voters.

This ending bullet-point paragraph:

While many of us struggle to make ends meet during these economic times, I find it difficult (even repulsive) to justify raising a pile of money just so I can go out and buy some signs and stick them on your front yard. I will not buy signs and put them out during this campaign season.

I ran against Elvig last cycle, and refused to put up signs. It is a stupid practice.

You go out in cold weather and pound rebar, and then police your locations for vandalism and such, and it is a total waste of good time.

I applaud what David Elvig is doing this cycle.

If only all political candidates would take a pledge to not do signs, a terrible way to get any message across except name recognition, then the process of local democracy would be greatly improved.

Some with a livelihood based on sign making would have to find more valid and productive work outlets, but that would be okay too.

It is as if there is some rite of passage. You do not pound rebar and go into sand bur and tick environs to parade your family name along highways and such, you are somehow disadvantaged. That makes no sense. In 2004 when I ran against Gamec for Ramsey mayor, I did the sign thing, and hated it and Gamec's people put up more to spend than I could and he got and had placed big four foot by eight foot signs, as large as a sheet of plywood, and it was like a cold war arms race; in spending terms and as stupid. But, bottom line, Gamec won. Elvig put signs up in 2002, a humongo number almost everywhere; and less in 2006; and now none.

David Elvig has a good-sense learning curve. People waste a lot of good money and time on signs and the signmakers probably snicker up their sleeves when not running and making signs for themselves.

Now - again - this is not why my already cast ballot was for Elvig. I believe I have made my thinking clear; and all of that was Crabgrassed well before this two page issues-oriented mailing was received.

And by the way, all I got from Niska was a card mailing, no detail about jack, with a couple of nice pictures showing he looks younger than his years, has an attractive wife, and a not abnormal looking child. So what? His Federalist Society ties, the wife's being an Emmer insider, and Niska being Jungbauer's campaign treasurer are the facts I view as important to know who Harry Niska is, and all were omitted from his mailed little card that did nothing but bandy around a few platitudes.

See this link.

You might read the Elvig mailing, and decide whether what he says squares with your own interpretations and beliefs about past Ramsey activity and who Elvig is and what he's done, but at least he gives you a threshold level gravitas presentation to work from and judge, unlike the unhelpful Niska "trust me" thing. With that prelude, here's the Elvig mailing:


This is not saying I have overnight become an unqualified Elvig fan or booster. Far from it.

I am giving credit where credit is due.

Much of Elvig's activity in office went against things I believed were better decisions and better judgment. I am not expecting any miraculous change in who Elvig is or how he will continue on council, if reelected.

I looked at two choices, rationally in terms of all I saw and knew, and chose the better of the two, again for reasons apart from what I am giving credit for in this post.

Again the post is focused upon crediting the choice to eschew signage as a major campaign effort and factor.

I do not anticipate a groundswell of change, from others, but David Elvig making the change is both newsworthy, and praiseworthy - independent of whatever other feelings you or I might have about him as a person and/or as a public servant.

Luke Hellier is a Big Fat Idiot - Part 2.

luke hellier, babysitter at brodkorb's site while brodkorb plays GOP party big-wig, posts this:



Let's debunk the mythology of the separation-of-church-and-State haters. The pledge came into existence as a required step in repatriation of Confederates after they had lost an economic war. It was not a religious war because the founding fathers had the good sense to consider all the religion-based bloodshed throughout European history, their cultural heritage, and to want something better and more civilized for our nation - a separation between church and State embodied in the First Amendment's non-establishment clause.

In the 1950's some haters of the concept of separation had the votes to amend the thing from its historical wording to insert "under God" which was antithetical to the pledge's history and historical purpose, and antithetical to the founders' concept of separating a cause of bloodshed and discord from the legitimate limited interests of a limited federation among the states. When convenient to the separation-hater group, allied almost one to one with the choice-haters, they do mention limited government and states-rights. When inconvenient they wrap themselves in the war-winning Union flag, and pull out and wave their crosses and bleat like a herd of sheep.

hellier, for political purposes of a quite secular and obviously crass nature, is doing it now. McCollum is far from perfect in many ways - she is no Bruce Vento, whose seat she took over after Vento's unfortunate premature death - but if hellier can think of nothing better to say about McCollum he should simply shut up.

__________UPDATE_________
Here is a screenshot from the anonymous twit hellier links to, as his source for his post - waving flag imagery and Jesus based gospel quotes, plus all the other trappings you would expect to go with an anonymous separation-hater's attitude - at least hellier uses his name, unlike this clown, and unlike the way brodkorb started his MDE thing:



Is this individual ashamed to identify himself/herself, by name? Perhaps a GOP campaign staffer somewhere? Who knows?

___________UPDATE__________
I erred. The pledge was not a direct outgrowth of the Civil War. 1892 was the date of origin, reportedly, and the "under God" thing was a part of McCarthyism - which Bachmann would like to reinvent, per her wanting to have it checked out whether Obama and others are anti-American, whatever that means to her and her camp followers. This link. Sorry about the error. Readers, if you ever spot a Crabgrass post making this kind of error again, or in the past, please let me know ASAP.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Look and Steffen background info; ABC Newspapers.

For each open seat, there is a link over to specifics; starting here.

The specifics re Steffen vs. Look, here.

Check those links while they are current. I do not know how long before they get pulled and scrubbed to not be accessible again in any easy fashion. It's an innovative thing ABC Newspapers is doing with web material. As if it is costly to keep available for users. It's not.

Two good posts at Centistry. Jobs. Taxes.

Jobs, here.

Taxes, here.

I have no idea what specific underlying data is the basis for the posts, hence, reliance on them is not something I would push too strongly or blindly, but it is interesting how listening to Rush and Michele makes things look entirely different. And there's no credibility to Michele, she is pure fear mongering, publicity chasing, and loud; while Rush is a distortionist, and loud.

Here's the one chart on jobs, attributed to Bureau of Labor Statistics - a nonpartisan source.

A good post about Tarryl Clark, at the Down With Tyranny blog. And a dynamite-true Sinclair Lewis quote on the blog's top banner. But you ask, what's that to do with Ramsey?

It is a day or two old but still very, very fresh. This link.

Sinclair Lewis, Minnesota's best novelist, "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."

I do favor Natalie Steffen for Anoka County Board Distirct 1, over Look.

I favor David Elvig for City of Ramsey Ward 1 over Harry Niska.

As to Niska, there is an apparently now defunct website, "Fritz Feds," which involved Niska, if not authored by him, and this post exists saying what it says - in a know your Ramsey candidates sense, there being a strong Federalist Society aura to Niska which he strangely downplays in his effort to ingratiate himself with voters in hopes of getting onto the Ramsey City Council - as if it is not a part of the full personality, or not of importance to town voters these days.

For readers not following the link, the FritzFed site sidebar identifies itself:

Federalist Society members corresponding from the Walter F. Mondale Hall at the University of Minnesota.

This is not an official website of the Federalist Society.

The opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of each individual author and are not approved, endorsed, or denied by the National or University of Minnesota Federalist Society.

Comments? Send them here [email address = nisk0020@umn.edu which is now inactive]

With the site now defunct, and that email address, my inference is that Niska was the site; one and the same.

I have a screenshot of the entire post, should any reader have trouble accessing the page, and I post what I believe the most relevant part, below; there being references also to a Brian Lieter about whom I know nothing, Juan Cole, and a Eugene Volokh, the name being recognizable to me as an uber-right wing UCLA law prof with strong Federalist Society ties, and boring rhetoric only a like-minded uber-right wing individual would spend time reading. Since those refs, timely I suppose for the July 2005 FritzFeds grist, are not currently interesting at all, they are omitted. If you care to, read the entire screed and decide if you like it. This excerpting:


Aside from being too cute for words, that post identifies our guy, clerkship and all, as "Former President of the University of Minnesota Federalist Society and Christian Legal Society chapters," and that's what unpinned my meter.

This Google. Also, this one. Check these venerable names. There's more. Last, this.

Regard all that as you feel proper, on election day. Be an informed voter.

UPDATE - More Federalist Society member names.

Two unrelated images - or is there some tie-in?




Could it be an unfolding story?

Who gave the $550,000 to Justice Clarence Thomas' wife, in her effort to start a non-profit Tea Party type effort aimed at co-opting indignation for the GOP? How can the family have any credibility without making that public disclosure?


Read the reporting, here and here. It is unseemly. It is GOP.

Or form your own opinion. But read the two items to know it is going on.

Two gifts of half a million and of $50,000, anonymously made, and Ginni Thomas declining to identify the Daddy Warbucks players in the situation. Ginni Thomas is only saying "Arf" about the Daddy identities. Doing a generic "Sandy bark" does not pass the smell test, in this instance. Orphan Annie would not be that crass. Perhaps the money came from Punjab and the Asp, as routing intermediaries, so naming names might not reach all the way to who is Daddy anyway.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An email from Matt Look. He identified himself, and stated his case. That meets the criteria for publishing a comment. Plus point-counterpoint, there being a second Look email, as published.

[Update note: I adjusted the date-time of this post to have it atop others. It merits top billing.]

Verbatim:

From: "Matt Look" -  looksigns@gmail.com

Eric:

I was reminded by someone that you were rambling on your blog about me. I recently went there, so count me on the 6 people that actually read it.

Two points:

(1) Taxes did go down. The last two years of my tenure, by 15%. Now I understand that you don't pay property taxes and that this may not mean a hill of beans to you.
To Junbauer's statement (which I've not heard and you could be making up, knowing that your integrity is questionable), when you buy a project for 4.75 million dollars through internal loan transfer, you are in effect paying yourself interest when those funds are replaced (through land sales). That is GOOD BUSINESS. Contrary to deception that you are trying to spread, that somehow the residents of Ramsey are in anyway paying for the purchase of towncenter. You need to realize that city funds/investments right now are making .3% interest. What is the inflation rate? 2-4%? THAT IS GOOD BUSINESS...to borrow money from yourself!

(2) Why don't you tell the whole story? We bought Town Center, rebranded, retold the story and made viable again. That being said, we set Jim Deal up for success in his ability to even attract the VA. Let me see, bankrupt, near tax forfeiture story, but come on in....we don't know how or if it will ever shape up....but don't consider that, invest in Ramsey! How far would that marketing strategy have gone?
Today, we have Allina, VA, Acapulco, and signed letters of intent of 80 million dollars. Jumping ship, Changing Horses in Mid Stream? What are you stupid. Thanks for the vote of confidence...I must be the only guy that made all this happen. You must either be scared or unsure of how the future is going to continue on with the talent leaving! Or maybe you haven't seen how the county has screwed the city with decisions that have closed and hurt business, excessive tax levying for expansions of parks, park monuments, medians, 500 county employee credit cards, and political games played on the rail stop!

Wake up Eric...get back on the meds
Watch the candidate forum....pay special attention to the references to AAA bond rating. You know how bonds work right? Borrow large sums of money, sell bonds, pay for the next 20+ years. The only problem is the county budget is so tight that when they cut .8% (as the paper reported) they were cut back to barebones. How are you going to pay for the new bonds? Raise taxes? Good luck with Earhardt's support of Natalie....Godfather wants his power back! Met Council wants an insider. Can you handle a good-old-boy reign of terror?
--
Matt Look
Look Signs Inc
612.558.9111

Matt is a little unclear about this guaranteed interest thing, at three percent. I believe it is the HRA promising to pay the City back, if there ever is enough cash in HRA accounts to make good on the promise. That might strike you as the city taking money, if there, from the left hip pocket and moving it to the right hip pocket. It has that appearance to me. Counterparty risk is real, as the housing foreclosure situation demonstrates. And to make a technical distinction between Ramsey's HRA and its general fund, is making a distinction without a difference.

Also, I have yet to see any letter of intent for a dollar three eighty, never mind eighty million.

And two words Look failed to choose from, "conditional," and "unconditional."

Do you want to bet there are no unconditional letters of intent, with real money put at risk into a forfeitable escrow, under express terms and conditions, and without lots of weasel words?

Matt, if you read this, (I will send him email about publishing), could you give a bit of detail about that? I will publish letters, if you send them in scanned form, and readers can decide. And these letters, are they from newly formed and thinly capitalized LLC entities, or for real?

Finally, Matt, I put the Elk River paper's link into the post at the very top, first sentence, have a look here, so unless your chum Mike Jungbauer has the Elk River paper publish a correction, of some kind of put together qualification or redaction, it stands as reported, quotation marks and all - and as I noted in posting Jungbauer's referring to the state instead of Ramsey is a distinction as to governmental entity, but not on the underlying principle that I believe Jungbauer, if intellectually consistent, would have to admit. To deny a parallelism in principle, and insist that a State-Ramsey non-equivalence exists based on HRA - city exchanges possibly of future funds from an account to another, with or without interest, is basically drawing a distinction without any difference.

Shifting cash around, taking funds from one place to another for short term purposes, he called it stealing, a lack of vision, and burdensome upon the future:



[red highlighting added] For full context, THIS ONLINE NEWSPAPER LINK.Sorry if you cannot read well, or want to deny reality when it stares you directly in the eyeballs, Matt that is your perogative, but it's in the article and in the above screenshot, big as life and twice as ugly:

It is as it is.

________UPDATE________
Matt now says in his email, ""Jumping ship, Changing Horses in Mid Stream? What are you stupid. Thanks for the vote of confidence...I must be the only guy that made all this happen. You must either be scared or unsure of how the future is going to continue on with the talent leaving!"

How quickly the tune can change, from a boastful earlier first person usage, which I suppose I mistook as something stated to stand behind and not repudiate the very first time repudiation comes conviently knocking on the door saying, "Try me." This is Facebook, real history, underlining added, make of it what you will.



Same guy. Changing outlook.

It is as it is.

__________FURTHER UPDATE_________
In fairness to the mayor and others having a part in making the decision, Matt Look included, I believe spending down reserves when they yield less than bonding would cost, is wise to a point, but only to a point. Have the council members exceeded that point. It is too hard to say, and if (but only if) it does not not become a repeat record to dip into reserves then it is okay. Was the third water tower financed out of reserves? Perhaps Matt can clear that up. My point, if you dodge debt service in the budget by burning through the reserves so you can say you don't need to raise taxes; be fully explicit about what you are doing and do not only chest pound over keeping the tax rate down. My belief is back when the Norman Castle was built for nineteen million, it should never have been done but if done it should have been financed in whole or in substantial part out of reserves to keep expenses down. Had that been done, the current play on the reserves would not have been justified, and it would be either bond and pay the debt service, or take reserves too close to zero. Because the earlier council incurred debt and debt service expenses; there was a pot of reserves to play with. I am not as critical of using reserves as they were used, as I am of the short-term boast  about keeping tax rates down while using reserves. And then, how honest is it to talk as if it is a given that the Ramsey Town Center fiasco will reverse itself, the kissed frog will become a prince, etc., when it is equally or more likely the thing will never pay present citizens back for the tax hit they have taken so far over the thing. And I agree Steffen was a pushing force up front, when the market looked rosy and downside risk was ignored. I fault that less than being a pushing force for the purchase, when the market looks anything but rosy, with downside risk again being ignored as though it were some given on-high truth, that the spending of reserves will ultimately prove justified and not wasteful. The jury will be out on that hummer for years, and years, and years, and yes I think the entire Town Center thing was dumb from day one, and it keeps getting dumber. Opinions differ. I remember being promised shops and restaurants; as if it would be low-hanging fruit on the tree there easily for the enjoyment of all - yet the honest truth is it took a six-figure subsidy to get Acapulco to locate in Ramsey Town Center, and Tammy Sakry of the ABC Newspapers has reported it. 

A lot of shared-wall housing, empty weedfields, and one restaurant that had to be subsidized to locate there, that's the Ramsey Town Center track record, and it is not a winning-horse's track record. It's a claimer's record, and the City paid more than claimer pricing for its gamble. And, honestly calling it a gamble -


It is as it is.

________________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
A second email from Matt Look - verbatim:

Jungbauer's comments have to do with the STATE balancing their budget, "stealing" as he puts it from one fund to another, instead of reducing spending to BALANCE THE BUDGET.

You need to understand there is a difference between balancing a budget with existing expenditures on the books (committments)...STATE, and making an investment in the future of a CITY, with policy in place to return the money as land sales occur. In uncertain times, we have secured the future of Ramsey and it's tax base by spending what amounts to less than a water tower. As that future comes to fruition, we get paid back. What is so difficult to understand?

FYI, there are commitments of escrow in our letters of intent...if there weren't, it wouldn't be a big deal, certainly nothing worth talking about. BUT, because there are.....IT IS A BIG DEAL!

Is your goal is to torpedo anything the city does? You mentality is not too much unlike a drawing victim.......they desperately try to pull under and drown the rescuer. Not clear thinking in my opinion.

Publish this one!
--
Matt Look
Look Signs Inc
612.558.9111

I wish I had an infallible crystal ball to say "... with policy in place to return the money as land sales occur." My crystal ball says, "... if sufficient land sales occur." I should trade it for Matt's I guess. Mine says "gamble" while his says "don't worry, be happy."

Look argues, "In uncertain times, we have secured the future of Ramsey and it's tax base by spending what amounts to less than a water tower.". Good quote.

Was the third water tower financed out of further depletion of reserves?

Again that troublesome crystal ball I have, it says, "In uncertain times, we have gambled over the future of Ramsey and put Landform into a comfortable five-figure-per-month cash flow posture ..." and that's not what Matt's optimistic crystal ball says.

I wonder, did his crystal ball say real estate prices are only going to go up and up, without trouble, without reversals.

Mine urged caution; and said don't do dumb things as if you know outcomes that you don't.

I wonder if Natalie Steffen has a crystal ball, saying who is going to represent the Anoka County District 1 next year and onward. I have little doubt Matt's crystal ball says, "Don't worry, be happy." That must be why he is taking time to send me emails. Time to spare, for addressing minor details.

___________FURTHER UPDATE__________
Hat tip to Bob Ramsey, factual assistance, and not argumentative, in his email:

The 3rd water tower was paid for (not borrowed for) from the dedicated water utility fund. The cost of the tower was around 3.4 million and the fund had in excess of 10 million, current balance is around 6 million. Water utility funds are generated and collected from the users of city water.

...........................

A third email from Matt Look - verbatim:

EXPLAIN

Mike's chum, Matt Look has been chest pounding around everywhere about Ramsey not raising the tax rate, short-term, recently, which was an arrangement achieved by buying the failed Ramsey Town Center via depletion of reserve funds (set aside for other purposes than land speculation and consultancy hirings).

Q: How do we not raise the tax rate, rather cut the tax rate, through an arrangement achieved by buying failing RTC? Lowering the tax rate is a function of cutting the budget. Arrangement? You must be referring to the back taxes that were owed and were paid to the city from the proceeds of the sale?

--
Matt Look
Look Signs Inc
612.558.9111

Well, I might let Matt have the last word, but, taxes were not paid to the city. They were "abated" as were assessments as was interest on same.

The County got paid off on its tax lien, dollar for dollar. Per Ramsey CFO Lund (already posted once, here - strangely that Jungbauer name shows up frequently) a quote within a quote; the Lund info being the meat of the sandwich, the two bread slices being Crabgrass context:

Regarding price and terms of "buying the farm," I have this June 25, 2010 email information from Diana Lund, Ramsey's CFO [bracketed material being added in explanation and/or as editorializing]:

The City closed on the property on June 26, 2009.


The following actions transpired:


Minnwest Bank was responsible for the payment of delinquent property taxes in the amount of $1,329,212 and current taxes through June 25 of $341,284 or a grand total of $1,670,496 for property taxes related to the RTC parcels.


The net amount that Minnwest received at closing was $5,056,529 after taxes and deed tax. [Hence although the bank tendered the check to Anoka County so that it got its back taxes paid one hundred cents on the dollar, the money came out of Ramsey and was a flow-through to the County.]


The City paid $6,764,479 which was the land costs of $6,750,000, 5 days of interest(June 26-June 30) at $7,129 with the remainder closing fees & Title Insurance.


Council at an earlier date elected to abate the special assessments. At the time of the abatement, Anoka county had the special assessments recorded at $8,704,791. This was represented as such:


Principal: $5,851,197


Interest applied by the City at 6.3% from 2/22/05-Dec 31, 2009: $1,420,976


Penalties and interest applied by the county from 2/22/08: $1,432,618




Grand total: $8,704,791


[Meaning that the city not only paid nearly seven million cash for the badlands, but comprimised an additional tax and assessment arrearage of nearly nine million. Fifteen million plus, altogether, for a gambler's shot at rehabbing the thing and with Jungbauer - Landform apparently eager to do a pond scheme.]


At a HRA meeting on April 13, 2010, council chose to be paid back for the principal only of the assessments from future land sales [if any] of the Town Center parcels. The reason being, that the City did not have to bond for funds to pay for the land purchase or any projects within Town Center in which the special assessments were applicable, and the penalties and principal from the county should not be applicable as these were just additional fees. The feeling being that the removal of penalties and interest brings the land costs into a more reasonable saleable value. [Somehow, but then if there's a true and legitimate recapture intent down the line, removing the tax-and-assessment lien seems to be a difference in form but not substance.]


[They are gambling with city money, from reserve accounts and not via current bonding or taxing, and any claim of reduction of taxation in 2010 must be viewed from the perspective of a massive withdrawal from reserves, consciously done, thereby allowing the "no tax hike" claim to be made (but with the drum beating ignoring details of drawing down reserves and compromising liens). See email wrap-up, below.]


As for the funding of the RTC land the following funds were used:


Internal transfer from water & sewer funds $4,650,000 (to be repaid from future land sales)
Anoka County HRA-Reserves held by the county for City related to Savannah Oaks project: Approx: $600,000
Letter of Credit Proceeds(From original $3m LOC from RTC) $1,500,000.


I hope this helps to clarify your questions below.


Diana

More troubling still, is while all that was being before the council, an unannounced, in the background set of shadow dealings and pronouncements and inducements were being made by Landform which were material to the decision making of whether or not to buy the farm. And some of those making that multi-million dollar decision were being deliberately excluded from material information that might impact a decision - that some officials were considering not merely taking title and waiting, but were aggressively dealing with a single firm in relative secret to do otherwise and to pay that firm in the process.

Some city officials were in contact with Landform before the purchase closed. Others were kept in the dark until first learning of the Landform connection at a meeting where they were asked to vote on what then was represented as a twenty-three thousand one-shot contract. Times and terms change, and the changes were most fortuitous for Landform and its key people.

Since I give the link, go back, read that post - again, here.

It could help some decision making on election day to read it and think things over.

Aside from that, as Lund said, eight million and some change was "abated." Look was part of that pair of votes - the initial abatement, and roughly a year or so later, abatement of the interest. In simple term

CITY OF RAMSEY TAXES, ASSESSEMTS AND INTEREST = NOT PAID OFF

Any questions, children?

.........................................

Now, Matt, sorry, I forget --- what was the balance of your question aside from the city taxes you smugly but wrongly claimed were paid off from "proceeds of the sale?"

_______________FURTHER UPDATE____________
My meter just unpegged again. Was the third Look email saying that some part of city taxes on the badlands was "paid" in the account juggling? That only about nine million of assessments were "abated" but taxes were "paid" with that meaning shifted from reserves, into Minnwest's phantom hands, and then paid back over to Ramsey but not back into the reserve account they came from, but into the current account, as if general revenue and not a shift of reserves into general funds so that the pool of general funds was artificially goosed up from reserves, so that current expenses could in part be paid out of reserves (once the transaction pattern was collapsed) thus, "balancing the budget" only by moving some reserves by shell game moves out of reserves and into current general funds? I will send Look an email asking him to respond; whether I understand or misunderstand what was done, in substance, collapsing all things in between to "where reserves ended up moved into general funds to make stuff look balanced, but not so otherwise, absent such shifting of Ramsey reserve money around?" If he emails an answer I shall post it.

Legacy Christians have a vision.

Sakry of Anoka County Union reports (link not given reliable links for this site no longer exist):


Who is Robert Hageman, and what's in it for him?





He's a Michele Bachmann donor, this link.  HufPo has donor info; GOP track record going back to Mark Kennedy days; this link. Claims to be with J & B Group. Manta calls the firm a non-bank holding company, and mentions Hageman on the same page; the J & B web page says they run meat trucks; and the SoS statement gives no registered agent.

What's Hageman's ownership and management status there, you tell me.

It's hard to find online info on what Hageman Foundation of Hope does with its money; etc.; e.g., this link.Same street address as the Columbo LP. Probably out of his home in Buffalo, MN. Wright and Sherburne counties, in MN 6, are the Bachmann stronghold, strangle hold on the rest of us, so far in the last two elections. Only one tax exempt in Buffalo at that address; however I'd bet Hageman is in on this P.O. Box thing too. I could not tie Hageman to EdWatch, but I did not try too hard. He's tight with Ron Carey as another Legacy Christian, formerly a Meadow Creek Christian, but there's been a name change. Christian ya betcha, do not doubt, they will tell you.

Elvig would like the project to not be a dead end. Literally, he would not want a "cul-de-sac" there and suggests a link to Puma Street, with road improvements there to the dirt road, perhaps. Jerry Bauer owns or used to own stuff in that general area. This, online, here:


Hageman Foundation, a million buck deal, at least. Numbers vary.

 This google, for the Legacy Christians. Don't get all worked up about this tremendous addition to our place, just what Ramsey needs, since there are three sites in the stew and it appears the Legacy Christians, and/or Hageman, and or his limited partners and him, have an option on the Ramsey property - not title free and clear, keeping options open and not yet committed, not riding into town on a donkey come what may.

That's about all I can tell you, except the Legacy Christians have a sister school in Ukraine. I hope their sister school program turns out less eventful than the Ramsey sister city effort in China. That and the name Huizenga shows up in things - more uber-right GOP given the challenge to Abeler for the veto override vote. Birds of a feather flock together, the Carey family having things to say as Legacy Christians.

For more info, you tell me. In particular, what more do readers know about this Robert Hageman?

___________UPDATE___________
Here's one for readers - here's the Legacy pic of the existing campus - thirty acres, rented.


It looks to be a choice property on Bunker Lake Blvd. in Andover, and if the Christians become a historical legacy there, who owns, who profits, what differing use is at issue, and is there another Hegeman related LP at play on this hummer, tax sheltering possibilities and all such dimensions which often go with limited partnerships?

Is there any reader who knows about what the answers are?

See this link, about lease - ownership issues; and if there's state money put into leasing of premises; who is to say what is a fair lease vs. an abusive one, a sound price or an excessive one?

Another Strib item online here from about the same time states:

Legislation that would revamp the ways Minnesota charter schools can buy or construct buildings was approved Wednesday by the Senate.

A proposal introduced by Sen. Kathy Saltzman, DFL-Woodbury, passed on a 51-15 vote, she said.
State law prohibits charter schools from using state money to buy buildings, but that would change for schools that qualify under a new application process proposed by Saltzman.

The bill attempts to close loopholes that she and others say have led to abuses of state money that charter schools get to help pay their rent. Some schools have formed and paid rent to private, nonprofit companies that own school buildings, and critics say some of the projects have been financed with expensive junk bonds and received too little public oversight.

Among other changes, the legislation would create a public authority to decide which charter schools are on stable enough financial and academic footing to build or buy with state funding. It would also create a special state account to enhance the schools' credit, helping those that qualified to borrow money for building projects at lower interest rates.

And more Stirb, here:

Minnesota should rework its financial support of charter schools to prevent abuse and self-dealing by insiders and to stop traditional school districts from hoarding unused school buildings, a leading advocate of charter schools said Thursday.

Eugene Piccolo, executive director of the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools, said at a State Capitol hearing that changes are needed to protect the public's investment and ensure accountability in the fast-growing lease-aid program, which provides rental assistance to charter schools.

He presented a broad lease-aid reform proposal that would ensure state ownership of charter schools bought or built with state money if the school were to fail. Currently the facilities are owned by private nonprofit building corporations.

A Star Tribune investigation of the program revealed that some school founders benefited from questionable fees, and showed how charter school construction projects moved forward with little of the vetting that typically accompanies other public works.

Piccolo, whose organization represents 94 of the state's 150 charter schools, said building company board members and charter school officials should be banned from receiving payment in conjunction with the construction or acquisition of facilities.

He said the building companies should be required to follow the state's open meetings law and building company insiders should be banned from selling products or services to the building company.

Sen. Kathy Saltzman, D-Woodbury, who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Charter Schools, congratulated Piccolo for speaking out against lease-aid abuses and said his list of suggested changes is "a great start'' for reforming a program currently costing taxpayers $40 million a year.

Another Strib item, this link. This Google.

I am not saying there's a thing I can point to as wrong about the Legacy Christian Academy, or under its earlier changed Meadow Creek Christian School label. I expect Kathy Saltzman would know, but I doubt she reads Crabgrass.

_____________UPDATE_____________
It is unclear whether the Legacy Christians are hiving or moving.

I am aware some in Ramsey have wanted to bully the Anoka Hennepin District 11 into building a high school in Ramsey, which the district, in its judgment, declines to do. I am unsure of what changes were passed in reaction to the charter school building abuse situation Strib reported.

I expect whatever the new system is, it could be gamed. The one Strib quote above mentioning that State-funded buildings would revert to State ownership upon failure of a venture; that's an open ticket to getting a school built in a place and manner a local school board deems unnecessary, and then tanking the thing as a charter, with a building then owned by the State and with consequent pressure possible on the local independent school district to not be independent, but manipulated.

Again, I know of no evidence of any such gaming in this instance. It would be underhanded, but that's not stopped Republicans with an agenda in the past. I think it would be unwise to undermine the independence of local school boards via any such scenario. Hence Ramsey officials should not be complicit, and should instead be specially vigilant, to avoid impropriety - or the appearance or possibility of impropriety. That's it in a nutshell. No evidence of wrongdoing, but enough of an aura to things that responsible city officials would tread carefully and vigilantly, in order to spot, and disarm or avoid possible pratfalls.

Anoka County Union does a site scrubbing. Citizens benefit, from not having to be bothered by history and such.

I noted the progress, for us, when looking for the previously used link to Tammy Sakry's Sept. 9, 2009, story on how Acapulco was to be siting a restaurnat in Ramsey Town Center, with a six-figure subsity as inducement, that link being:

http://abcnewspapers.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8931&Itemid=26

Don't bother trying it, the link is dead; and in the wisdom of the ABC Newspapers empire, you get a rotor over to the current less helpful than before home page.

But Google at least remembers the good old days, when you could get a Google hit, and there was no rotor-over to junk, but you got what you were looking for - ah, those days, gone forever because of --- progress?

This screenshot:


This kind of improved service from ABC Newspapers reminds me why the family cancelled out on the Anoka County Union; and why others should do the same. Instead of serving you as they had, these learned folks decided to make the website less useful - so you'd love them more and subscribe to the tree-killer edition, I guess. Well, we cancelled. You can too.

If there is enough un-subscribing, a message might percolate to have things changed back to where they were, which was far from perfect, but better than now.

Yes, Michele Bachmann continues to ignore local media in favor of FOX and BECK. But aren't there three parties involved, each with a candidate seeking the MN 6 congressional seat? And there is Aubrey Immelman, running without party affiliation.

This link, to ABC covereage of Tarryl Clark's well thought out questionaire responses.

This link for IP candidate Bob Anderson's campaign site

https://bobandersonforcongress.com/welcome.html

It seems in noting Bachmann's declining to respond, the ABC papers indirectly note their own declining to address or acknowledge a quite viable third party candidacy. Beyond that, Aubrey Immelman of St. Cloud is a third fiscal conservative candidate running for the seat, as a candidate apart from each of the three parties. This website:

http://www.immelman.us/

Yes, among the challengers to the flawed incumbent, DFL hopeful Tarryl Clark is the frontrunner, by a substantial margin. But conservatives who've had it with the incumbent are not without an alternative or two.

_________UPDATE_________
Strib reports that Anderson will be involved in a St. Cloud debate involving Clark, and surprisingly, Bachmann, who up to now has been held, by her handlers' discretion, from saying stupid and inflamatory things in public, as is her general habit. This link.

An uncertainty. Is it a Pawlenty retrospective? Is it a browser effect from my using Adblock and blocking Flash? It seems to sum up the Pawlenty administration over two terms.

This link, this screenshot. As always, click the image to enlarge and read:


___________UPDATE_______________
Well it was a great theory, that the headline was about Pawlenty's eight years, and since the headline told the whole story on the two terms there was no need to say more - JUST AS THE SCREENSHOT HAD THE STORY, THIS MORNING WHEN I POSTED. However, subsequent Strib effort has disproven the first and most logical inference; i.e., there now is text to the story and no mention of Pawlenty whatsoever.

The link now has that change.

Well, good first impression anyway. The headline alone, with nothing more to say - Pawlenty's eight years in a nutshell - and no need to say more.

Monday, October 25, 2010

DATA: The level of poverty and dependence on government for survival after a substantial percentage of the population's been beggared by war games off budget on borrowed money, outsourcing, and the rich investing in other nations in hopes of higher returns.



Give them tax cuts, and the money trickles down in Asia, Europe, tax havens. The rich could care about having a strong and coherent nation with a prosperous population. A factory in China is as fine to them as in Detroit - better if it costs less and produces the same cash flow. That means fatter profit, after all, so screw the US of A, if there's several more bucks to doing it.

Then, after the dependence has been set, without the safety net folks would really suffer; and that is when the likes of Bachmann, Emmer, Tea Party deviant management, the Koch brothers, Fox talking heads, and all the batch of hangers-on and facilitators are earnestly at the task of dismantling the safety net.

DATA. Not bloviating in Emmer Gantry fashion. Start here, and explore where it leads you; data-wise. The flag waving faction is proud of this, and proud of where they want to take things next. They primp around as "true Patriot Americans" wrapping themselves in flags and intent on serving the interests that are depending on their aid in undoing the safety net.

Ugly? Ya betcha. Vote Dayton and Clark. As a start. But after the start, do not be lulled, and do not accept half measures and appeasement in place of reform. Demand reform. Take a Tea Party mood of dissatisfaction, and use it productively and not in the stupid fashion the likes of Palin, Bachmann, O'Donnell, and their puppeteers the Koch brothers, and friends, direct them.

Last thought, have a look at Think Progress online items, here, here and here. And be sure to have a look at the road map, and cover letter.

Clinton in Blaine for Clark. Franken and Klobuchar make it a featured foursome.


Photo from PiPress coverage, here.

Strib, here.

MPR, here.

Clinton as quoted in Strib, plus a pair of further paragraphs:

“I’d like to see [Republicans] get behind a locomotive going 200 miles an hour straight downhill and stop it in 10 seconds. You can’t do that.”

"If we could bring back all the great Republicans from the past, every Republican leader from Theodore Roosevelt to Dwight Eisenhower would be voting for [Clark] in this election,” Clinton said. “Her opponent, this crowd in Washington, they make Richard Nixon look like a member of the Students for a Democratic Society.”

He accused Republicans of running a “bait and switch” in the midterm elections by publicly defending the taxpayer but actually catering to special interest groups.

Clark touted her upbringing in a Republican family and accused Bachmann of supporting outsourcing, a frequent target of her television ads.

From MPR coverage:

Clinton said Bachmann and other Republicans' push to make tax cuts permanent for the top 2 percent of earners does not make economic sense. He said it's inefficient to give people with a lot of disposable income more money because they won't spend it. He said Clark understands the necessary solution.

"It is far more efficient to give the money to small business, to green energy, to manufacturing, to young people to go to college, to workers to get trained for new jobs. That will grow the economy," Clinton said' "She is right, her opponent is wrong."

And Clinton was correct. Robert Reich's September op-ed from NY Times, featured earlier in Crabgrass, explains things clearly and without the BS smoke and mirrors accompanying GOP voodoo economics. Hence, the item is reprinted as the post below this one.

Also, see related earlier Crabgrass posts, on economic truth vs. GOP obscuring rhetoric; here and here.

All that was noted in Blaine last night.

All that is why it is essential that the carnival barker be replaced by intelligent, hard-working, well-motivated, decent and sensible Tarryl Clark; plus the change will have the interests and needs of Sixth District citizens decently represented for a change, instead of haughtily ignored.

Stimulus money needs to be spent. And it needs to be spent on things that yield prosperity and jobs. Not on continuing to allow the rich to hold a disproportionate share of wealth and income and to avoid postulated trickle down activities in favor of high-yield overseas investment and in bidding up asset bubbles which only make things worse when they burst; and where trading in securities market assets creates no new gross national product and no new jobs, but only shuffles ownership and creates profits and losses in trading accounts of the rich who are trading to game others of the rich, as well as retirement fund accounts, so that they might gain more and more of the wealth of this nation.

They are un-American that way, with their individual personal greed being placed in front of the best interests of the nation. These folks have to be educated. The rest of us DO MATTER.

Vote Tarryl Clark and Mark Dayton, for a start at a better non-Bush, non-Bachmann world and nation. It is that simple. Vote your best interests and don't vote for glib BS from the likes of Bachmann and Emmer. Be smart. Not dumb.

____________UPDATE_____________
MinnPost coverage, this link.

Robert Reich, NY Times - Fixing the economy requires a will to revise how the pie gets sliced. Tax the Rich is a start.

(a reprint from September)



This link, for the full source article yielding this extended excerpt:


No booster rocket can work unless consumers are able, at some point, to keep the economy moving on their own. But consumers no longer have the purchasing power to buy the goods and services they produce as workers; for some time now, their means haven’t kept up with what the growing economy could and should have been able to provide them.

This crisis began decades ago when a new wave of technology — things like satellite communications, container ships, computers and eventually the Internet — made it cheaper for American employers to use low-wage labor abroad or labor-replacing software here at home than to continue paying the typical worker a middle-class wage. Even though the American economy kept growing, hourly wages flattened. The median male worker earns less today, adjusted for inflation, than he did 30 years ago.

But for years American families kept spending as if their incomes were keeping pace with overall economic growth. And their spending fueled continued growth. How did families manage this trick? First, women streamed into the paid work force. By the late 1990s, more than 60 percent of mothers with young children worked outside the home (in 1966, only 24 percent did).

Second, everyone put in more hours. What families didn’t receive in wage increases they made up for in work increases. By the mid-2000s, the typical male worker was putting in roughly 100 hours more each year than two decades before, and the typical female worker about 200 hours more.

When American families couldn’t squeeze any more income out of these two coping mechanisms, they embarked on a third: going ever deeper into debt. This seemed painless — as long as home prices were soaring. From 2002 to 2007, American households extracted $2.3 trillion from their homes.

Eventually, of course, the debt bubble burst — and with it, the last coping mechanism. Now we’re left to deal with the underlying problem that we’ve avoided for decades. Even if nearly everyone was employed, the vast middle class still wouldn’t have enough money to buy what the economy is capable of producing.

Where have all the economic gains gone? Mostly to the top. The economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty examined tax returns from 1913 to 2008. They discovered an interesting pattern. In the late 1970s, the richest 1 percent of American families took in about 9 percent of the nation’s total income; by 2007, the top 1 percent took in 23.5 percent of total income.

It’s no coincidence that the last time income was this concentrated was in 1928. I do not mean to suggest that such astonishing consolidations of income at the top directly cause sharp economic declines. The connection is more subtle.

The rich spend a much smaller proportion of their incomes than the rest of us. So when they get a disproportionate share of total income, the economy is robbed of the demand it needs to keep growing and creating jobs.

What’s more, the rich don’t necessarily invest their earnings and savings in the American economy; they send them anywhere around the globe where they’ll summon the highest returns — sometimes that’s here, but often it’s the Cayman Islands, China or elsewhere. The rich also put their money into assets most likely to attract other big investors (commodities, stocks, dot-coms or real estate), which can become wildly inflated as a result
.

And that concisely is why trickle down is a fiction that does not work but that bought and paid for politicians are always in abundance to huckster about to gullible voters - voters without a clue. That is why Reagan sold the story, and sold the bulk of us down the river to appease the wealthy who loved the old Gipper.

And that is why Dayton's sensible "Tax the Rich" policy will work. 

I have to qualify that. It will work but only if voters are not deluded by the likes of the economic charletan, "Trickle-Down Tom," aka Mr. Emmer. Dayton needs to win the election first before he can demonstrate how simple, really, the solution to things really is.

Besides being effective policy, taxing the rich is fairer than the BS we have today; things like the Helmsleys of UnitedHealth, the Lord looting of Sallie Mae before it was folded and buried.

Since the 1980's the rich have prospered greatly in our nation, and as such, they have earned the responsibility to pay their fair share to keep things going, to restore the prosperity they, (through their politicians and the MSM coverage lies), stole from the rest of us. They owe it. They should be made to pay.

Making the looters pay is not rocket science. It simply requires a will to not be decieved when being lied to ineptly about what will be helpful to the economy vs. what will only maintain a status quo the rich find comfortable.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

STRIB HAS BRAINS. STRIB endorses Tarryl Clark as the next representative to Congress, from Minnesota's Sixth District.

This link, This screenshot (click it to enlarge and read it, and read the entire item, at Strib):



Sure, voters might not follow Strib's endorsement, but whichever way the votes tally, Strib got it right that Clark is the most viable and capable and promising and hard-working of the three candidates.

Bob Anderson running as the IP candidate is also obviously several cuts better than the incumbent.

Hat tip to Gary Gross in noting [while disagreeing with] the Strib commitment. Without his linking, I might have missed the endorsement.

What is amazing is that Michele Bachmann stiffed the editors at STRIB exactly as she did the editors at ECM Publishers. What a piece of work.

__________________

Gary Gross is a GOP party activist, who also noted a Duluth paper endorsed the Republican running in MN 8 against Oberstar. Strangely, Gary seems to think belief and credibility should go with the Duluth choice, but not Strib's. Gary seems an okay guy, for a Republican. Better than many others. Never at a loss for an opinion. He's okay. I'll drop the qualification,. Go see what he says. I disagree, obviously, and await his having an epiphany on the way to Damsacus, seeing the light, becoming a DFL champion, etc., but have a look. Gary's two posts, here and here. [UPDATE - GG pic added; from this Facebook page.]

Finally note how Strib in its sense of fairness put Bachmann's picture on the left sidebar, along with Clark's. That was big of them as an online measure. And did Strib make a typo, on the verb for Bachmann and the cameras, adding an "r"?

_________UPDATE________
Dump Bachmann picked up the endorsement reporting, and excerpted a few key words. If you do not take the time needed to read the entire Strib item, and think it over, go to DB for it's excerpting.

_________FURTHER UPDATE_________
GOP blogging gets better and better. Triple A flags a Clark event I previously did not mention, where there's a chance to see a former president in person, and to cheer for the Vikings in Blaine. His take, sour grapes. He probably faults Emmer for not bringing in a fabled former president to help his sagging campaign, the renowned George W. Bush.

Why was Triple A inexplicit about saying I'll see your bet and raise you a pres of my own?

After all, George W. Bush is as Republican as they come. No RINO there. Pure GOP, head to toes. The kind a presumptuous floozy and smitten GOP hanger-on would waylay, grasp by the shoulder in an aisleway, and kiss. For sure. Some even say it happened. Sing along with the custard kids of Wayzata:

... It makes the world go 'round.

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
More on the Duluth paper, endorsing Chip What's his name. Here.

Contribute to the Clark Campaign, this link.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mike Jungbauer, if you believe he believes what he says, delivers what in effect is a stronger indictment of his chums in Ramsey than I have leveled.

Elk River Star News, this link, reports of and quotes the Senator:

He said both sides are guilty of stealing money out of other funds to balance the budget.

“Don’t say you’re not raising taxes when you’re stealing money out of other funds,” he said.

He said it’s a lack of vision.

“To not solve those problems, you’re just putting it off to the next generation of people that come in to do the work and that’s always wrong.”

Mike's chum, Matt Look has been chest pounding around everywhere about Ramsey not raising the tax rate, short-term, recently, which was an arrangement achieved by buying the failed Ramsey Town Center via depletion of reserve funds (set aside for other purposes than land speculation and consultancy hirings).

I have criticized the creation of an illusion by City of Ramsey folks of balancing things while claiming to not ultimately be raising taxes, via manipulating reserve levels, but I have never gone so far as to equate it to, "stealing money out of other funds to balance the budget - don't say your not raising taxes when you're stealing money out of other funds."

Mike the Senator said it's "strealing."

Him.

Not me.

So tell me, where does this image fit into the Senator's analysis:


___________UPDATE___________
Is Matt Look's advocating the Ramsey Town Center purchase by the city, with Matt Look then within a year deciding to leave the situation he'd championed, something that in the Senator's view was, "just putting it off to the next generation of people that come in to do the work and that’s always wrong"? Are there nuances at play in the Senator's thoughts that I miss?

_________FURTHER UPDATE_________
Read the Elk River news item. What do you find there other than platitudes?

What actual policy statements are there? I see two: Walk away from administrative rule-making. Gut permitting oversight.

Do more with less is nothing but a platitude. The GOP governor's not downsized the executive branch payroll despite tons of do more with less rhetoric.

Pawlenty instead gave high paying government jobs, the spoils of victory, to political appointees. As did every governor before him. He only dissembled over what he was up to much more than the others.

_________FURTHER UPDATE__________
For those needing more convincing, or saying I quoted the Senator out of context - he was talking about the legislature not Ramsey's council - my answer is: THINK. What's the difference in substance, if the words are accepted as believed by the speaker, when applied, in substance, to a parallel governmental set of circumstances? It is not applying "apple" analysis to "oranges." It is applying words about government integrity, good government judgment, and fair and careful honest characterization of conduct and results. It is applying those conceptual assertions about government, to a specific governmental set of steps.

And that cash cow? Well the Senator does in the article define himself as a water expert with Landform [I only mention the term "rainmaker"] where:

[1] Landform has insinuated itself into the position of drawing regular five-figure cash from Ramsey for consulting.
[2] Landform has been tub thumping with the Senator having billed Ramsey for consulting time for a Legislative tour situation that had Senate members visiting the Ramsey site about which Landform "consults."
[3] The Senator was the sole author/sponsor of SF 2500 last session intended to route over two and a half million of State money through DEED to Ramsey, without Landform disavowing an intent to ultimately be paid a part of proceeds of any such grant of funds, had it passed (and with the money intended for the site in Ramsey where Landform has been doing its consulting).

In baseball it is three strikes and out.

In addition, the Senator has not registered as a lobbyist for Ramsey, despite the business set-up, the billed hours re the "legislative tour," and the legislative process being used and aimed at getting state cash for a water-related project, in Ramsey.