Glencoe's Glenn Gruenhagen is the only co-author for Rep. Mike Benson's bill to ban Class III gambling and nullify any existing compacts with tribes in Minnesota. (It's the party platform's take, as this article in today's Strib points out).
He's also speaking at Mystic Lake Hotel on August 15 for the Agents Driving Change gathering staged by the Agents Coalition for HealthCare Reform. Sponsorships are being sold for those who want access to the Agents Driving Change, possibly 500 of 'em.
Never heard of them? It's the coalition of the Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors-Minnesota (NAIFA-MN), the MN Independent Agents and Brokers Association, and the Professional Insurance Agents of Minnesota. According to the event web site:
The Coalition is actively pursuing market based health insurance reform in Minnesota, and working to advance the interests of licensed producers.
I'm not sure where they were when Barb Goodwin proposed an amendment requiring state legislators to buy health insurance on the free market with vouchers on Tuesday, but perhaps their presence on the floor of the state senate isn't quite what they would like. Or maybe everyone doesn't need to be based in the market.
Here's a bit more about the Gruenator's speech at the "Day for Agents to Secure their Professional Future:"
Glenn Gruenhagen, Insurance Agent and State Representative
Minnesota State Representative Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe (25A): Gruenhagen has more than 30 years experience as a licensed insurance agent. In 2010, Gruenhagen decided he had had enough of watching elected officials weaken the U.S. health care system.
Gruenhagen ran for the legislature to reform health care - his primary objective. He even wrote a small book about how he would change things if he had the power to do so. District 25A voters sent him to St. Paul and in his first term, he has aggressively pursued the Agents Coalition for Health Care Reform agenda.[emphasis ended]
Gruenhagen learned quickly it is tough to change laws. But he is committed to doing so. Gruenhagen's story is perfect for this event, as it will help clarify not only how important the issues are, but just as important to have a plan to accomplish legislative goals. He will help you understand your role and why it is essential.
That's curious. Was Gruenhagen elected as an insurance agent to pursue the Agents Coalition agenda--presumably that will help his own private busness out--or as the state representative of his district?
But Glenn won't be the only state legislator there, the Agents Coalition event site promises. With details TBA, there's going be a panel:
Legislative Panel and Professional Moderator
We won't know which State Representatives and State Senators will join us as of yet. But we do know this. These are the women and men that hold your future in their hands. We promise that the legislative panel will include key Majority and Minority Party leaders from each body, that you will hear them explain their views on your value to the distribution of insurance products; most importantly, we promise you will have ample time to ask them direct questions.
And then there are the Coalition's lobbyists (actually, they're registered to lobby for the coalition's indvidual trade associations): Ralph Weber, Greg Sailer, Greg Dattilo and Dave Racer (who is managing the event).
Only the last name rings a loud-sounding bell, since he's something of a honcho on the right.
In 2010, Racer headed Minnesotans for Personal Choice and Competition in Health Care, an independent election campaign committee (IECC) which endorsed candidates and toured the state to put on Town Hall Meetings Scheduled to Inform Insurance Agents about Impact of New Federal Healthcare Law, warning about HCR, which would:
lead to the demise of the insurance markets, increased costs and federal control of health care, and the potential for health care rationing.
Racer attracted scornful attention while speaking in St. Louis in 2008 when he said "no one dies because they don't have insurance." Of course not: they die from the diseases or accidents they can't afford to have treated when they don't have insurance.
And Racer once chaired the old Reform Party when it backed Pat Buchanan ( a candidate who prompted Jesse Ventura and other Minnesota moderates to bolt and form the Independence Party). (Greg Aamot, "Buchanan speaks at convention to renew Minnesota's Reform Party,"The Associated Press State & Local Wire, April 7, 2000, Nexis All News, accessed May 11, 2010).
He managed Alan Keyes 1996 Presidential bid ("Speak up! You can be heard!" U.S. News & World Report, February 19, 1996, Nexis All news, accessed 5/12/2011).
Minnesota Majority's Web site features an issue paper on health care, which backs consumer-driven health care and claims that racial diversity and single-parent households negatively affect health in the United States.
"Black women, for a variety of reasons, are more prone to underweight babies than are Caucasian and Asian women. It is not surprising that Sweden has a lower infant mortality rate, or that Japan has a longer life expectancy than the United States does. They are nearly racially pure; we are not," says the Web page, written by public speaker and former radio talk show host David Racer.
The Agents Coalition's event site claims that "[t]he lobbyists that represent the Agent Coalition's members are tops at the State Capital."
Are the rest of them at the level of Dave Racer? If so, the backgrounds and beliefs of the architects of the market-driven health care reform now being promoted by the new Republican majorities in the Minnesota legislature might be worthy of a closer look. Who has Glenn Gruenhagen's ear?