Jason Lewis’s Met Council Reform Bill is Wrongheaded; We need Elimination Not Reform


By Andrew Richter

Ah…..Minnesota; the cold weather California! Taxes and big government are simply here all the time with no end in sight. Political “leaders” simply don’t have the stomach to change that. And when they do propose something they almost make it worse. Nothing symbolizes that more that efforts to “reform” the Met Council.

Our opposition to the Met Council has been well documented on this blog and on our podcast. Republican politicians have long promised to rein this government monster in, yet they never deliver. They won’t this year and I don’t believe any of the governor candidates that say they will. And when they do have ideas, they almost make the situation worse.

This is the case with the “reform” proposal by  Minnesota Congressman Jason Lewis. First of, let me say that I’m a long time fan of Mr. Lewis going  back to his days on local radio here. I’d vote for him if I lived in District 2. But his proposal to reform the Met Council is wrong on so many levels it’s hard to see anything positive about it.

From Alpha News:

U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) is taking on the Metropolitan Council, proposing a provision that would require a majority of the governing members to be elected officials.

Lewis’ proposal, an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 2018, would end the noncompliance and require the Met Council to have locally elected officials on the governing board. Lewis highlights the Met Council’s independent authority to raise taxes, saying having local elections is a necessary step to increase the accountability of the governing board.

Now that all sounds great but there are several problems with this. First off, having locally elected officials “appointed” to be Met Council would be a disaster. These folks have been trained by the League of Minnesota Cities that “smart growth” is the way forward so look for the same polices to be pushed ; high density housing, transit, roundabouts, complete streets etc. there is little diversity of opinion.

Also this is not possible due to conflicts of interest. How does one represent their city or county and at the same time represent a regional board? How can you work for the Yankees and the Red Sox? You can’t serve two masters; either you are on a regional board and represent the “region” or you are on a city council and represent a city.

Lewis goes on to assure big government proponents that he has no interest in reining in the Met Council’s power.

Our amendment does not seek to change the operations or scope of the Met Council,” Carter Moelk, Deputy Press Secretary for Rep. Lewis, said in a press release. “It does not attempt to change the activities of the board. It simply requires that for a board to be in compliance they need to have locally elected official representation consistent with every other MPO in the country.”

In other words, the Met Council can continue to tax, have authority over local planning, and push their agenda to destroy suburbs and make every place the same with their new urbanism. If Mr. Lewis wants something to do how about you repeal the 1960’s laws that require regional planning boards? How about you refuse to give federal money to these boards? How about you get rid of the Department of Housing and Urban Development? No such luck there…..

This is not the right solution. Furthermore, I’m worried that this may take some steam out of the movement to eliminate this unconstitutional body. The Met Council needs to be eliminated. Hold the Republicans accountable if they fail to do this yet AGAIN!

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May 3, 2018 at 7:00 pm 1 comment

Phillip Parrish Interview


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We had a chance to sit down for an interview with Minnesota Governor candidate, Phillip Parrish. Phillip is the third out of four candidates left in the race that we’ve had the opportunity to get on the podcast. Phillip is a former teacher, principal, and Naval Intelligence Officer. He talks to us about how he came to get into the governor’s race, some of the threats we face, and how we’ve strayed from the U.S. constitution. We also discuss ways in which the state government interacts with local government and how groups like the Met Council have challenged local control.

Also in the Local Lowdown, we discuss the most recent Eden Prairie city council meeting, where they discuss banning assault weapons across the city. They are following the lead of cities like Deerfield, Illinois and Highland Park, Illinois in waging a campaign against residents’ right of self protection. The preemption battle is only beginning to heat up at the local level. We’re going to see a lot of fights over this in the upcoming years surrounding things like gun control, minimum wage, minimum tobacco age, local sales taxes, climate change legislation, etc, etc… The time to get involved is now, not after these changes are made.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We just launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast“! You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, or go out to the PodBabble Podcast Network!

May 2, 2018 at 11:53 am Leave a comment

St. Louis Park Nightmare Part 1; Mayor Jake Spano


By Andrew Richter

Well, St. Louis Park is quickly overtaking New Hope as the worst city government outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul. This is the first in a series of articles on the matter starting with the politics and ambitions of their mayor.

Feom the city website:

Jake Spano was elected as Mayor in 2016 after a four-year term as Councilmember At Large B (2012-2016). His day job is as Deputy Secretary of State to Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.

What? He serves as the deputy Secretary of State as well as mayor? How is this not a conflict of interest? Can the Education or MNDOT commissioner serve as mayor somewhere? You can’t serve two masters.

Prior to that, he was the marketing director for the City of St. Paul in Mayor Coleman’s administration and before that he served with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar overseeing statewide policy and leading her four state offices and staff.

In other words, he’s a DFL rising star. Look for this guy to run for higher office…..maybe soon.

To prove this we can see him speaking everywhere to promote his left-wing City. Here he is speaking at the CD5 DFL convention on St. Louis Park’s radical carbon cutting program.

 

Spano is also obsessed with liberal buzz words like “racial equity.” I’ll get into that in a future post but check out this statement from him:

As we conduct city business and make decisions that affect our community, we want to hear from the full range of people who represent our community.  To make that happen, it is important that we are deliberate and intentional about reaching out for input from people who were historically not part of the decision-making process. The result of St. Louis Park’s work on racial equity will result in more effective delivery of city services to all of our neighborhoods and make our community a more equitable, inclusive and welcoming place to call home.”

Huh? Is there a racial aspect to city services? Do whites have priority over 911 calls or do their roads get plowed first? This is just politically correct garbage that means nothing. Is this in your charter?

Mayor Spano is well-financed as shown HERE

So he has raised serious money and you can bet that he is seeking the support from the usual left-wing environmental groups, unions, and supporters of rannked choice voting.

This guy is a dangerous radical and needs to be stopped. Mr. Spano you will be watched here!

 

 

April 30, 2018 at 9:50 am Leave a comment

Initiative and Referendum


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In this episode, we discuss the local initiative and referendum process. We’ve seen two extremes occur where local city councils have nullified petitions in dubious ways to stifle the voice of it’s residents. Then there are cases like California that seem to have an endless number of referendums on the ballot every election. So, when is it good to employ and when is it not? Is there a healthy way to employ this strategy to keep the government close to the people without overthrowing the representative republic we’ve been gifted with? We try to tackle that question on this podcast.

We also do a Local Lowdown segment on our new (least) favorite city government, St. Louis Park. They have done a lot of things that we disagree with. They have used questionable methods to pass controversial ordinances. They have violated their charter, or at least the spirit of it. Now they have passed the first reading of an ordinance to implement Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). We discuss how they got here, where the city council stands, and how we anticipate this going down if you don’t stand up and confront them.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We just launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast“! You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, or go out to the PodBabble Podcast Network!

April 25, 2018 at 1:40 pm Leave a comment

Mind the Achievement Gap


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In this episode, Jason and Andrew address the “mysterious” achievement gap in our public school system. Is the achievement gap real, perceived, or manufactured? How can it best be measured? Is every child created the same? It is the go-to issue that our schools claim is holding back minorities and children raised in poverty. Is our current system of educating best serving our children or the public appearance of the school districts that claim to serve them? How much is actually aimed at helping our students verses some sort of territoriality to keep alternate forms of education in the shadows? For a group of folks that say they hate monopolies, their monopoly is among the most fierce. So what do we do? How do we better equip our kids to succeed, because the system most of them are in now is failing them. It’s antiquated and has no real answers other than raising more money, of which untold amounts go into facilities, pensions, and programs that don’t seem to provide any results. There has to be a better way. Join the conversation, and let’s give them a solution to make the future as bright as possible for our children.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We just launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast“! You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, or go out to the PodBabble Podcast Network!

April 18, 2018 at 10:05 am Leave a comment

Home Sweet Home


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In this week’s episode, Jason and Andrew interview Tom Slupske from RE/MAX Results and Kim Edwards from CorTrust Bank. We’ve long contended that Crystal is one of the best cities in the metro to live in. It’s current city council has made life in the city more enjoyable for its residents, removed unnecessary regulations, and become more business friendly. Our guests have taken a liking to it as well. That is why they are hosting the inaugural Home, Life, and Family Expo in Crystal, MN on April 28th at the Crystal Community Center from 9am to 3pm. Why does this podcast apply to you? Well, the most obvious reasons are that you might be looking or know someone that is looking to buy an affordable home, close to the city, but with a small town/suburban feel. Another reason is that you’ve thought about purchasing a home, but don’t know where to start. Or… you don’t know how the MN Housing Finance Agency might be able to help you. These guys have some ambitious goals, and this expo is just the first step. So listen in. The information alone is well worth it.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We just launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast“! You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, or go out to the PodBabble Podcast Network!

April 11, 2018 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

Local or State Control?


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This week Jason and Andrew discuss some of the issues that both local and state government seem to be fighting over lately. In some instances, its a race to the bottom, and in other cases the state oversteps its bounds in putting regulations upon local entities. We talk about gun-free zones, school suspension/expulsion policies, Tobacco 21, and the looming omnibus bonding bill that funds a ton of local and regional projects that have no statewide implications.

Should these issues come from the state or be decided locally?  How much local control is gladly ceded for grant money, or being able to push the blame of failure on someone else?

Have you checked out our new Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We just launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast“! You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, or go out to the PodBabble Podcast Network!

April 4, 2018 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

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