In Peculiar postcards hit mailboxes in greater Minnesota House districts flipped in 2014 and Peculiar postcards II: MN Jobs Coalition doubles up in Willmar, heads west to praise Backer, we examined the blizzard of junk postcards from the Republican front group Minnesota Jobs that residents of West Central Minnesota are shoveling out of our mailboxes.
We've learned of some pushback--and a snowstorm of more cards in MN17B, the Willmar side of the senate district.
"Don't fall for this fraud"
A friend sent us a photo of a letter from Appleton attorney Brian Wojtalewicz, Please don't fall for this fraud. The small town paper has no website, so here's a transcription:
You recently may have received some flyers in the mail from the MN Jobs Coalition thanking Tim Miller for increasing education funding by $500 million dollars [BSP: image above]. These flyers are deceptive and dishonest.
In the 2015 legislative session, Tim Miller and his House Republican colleagues did not fight for $500 million in increased education funding. The Republican majority’s education finance bill that Tim Miller voted for did not even keep pace with inflation. Had Tim Miller had his way, it would have led to teacher layoffs and would have short-changed our schools and particularly our pre-schools.
At the end of the legislative session, Governor Dayton vetoed the education finance bill. He sent it back to the legislature stating that his approval required a real investment in our schools. Due to Tim Miller’s actions, we were forced to pay for a costly special legislative session; which brought us about a week away from a government shutdown. Governor Dayton fought for and won this increased funding in the special session education finance bill despite Tim Miller; not because of Tim Miller, as the MN Jobs Coalition would hope to have you believe.
So who is the MN Jobs Coalition? And why are they out to deceive you the voter? The MN Jobs Coalition is the negative attack ally of the (Minnesota) House Republican Campaign Committee (HRCC) used to funnel special interest and corporate money into deceptive and misleading attack ads. Remember all those awful mailers that flooded your mailbox last fall - you can thank the MN Jobs Coalition for that. In 2014, Ben Golnik did the MN Jobs Coalition's dirty work and he was rewarded by being named the executive director of the GOP House Caucus at the MN Capitol after the election. Your tax dollars now pay him a salary of $125,000 per year plus generous benefits.
Who funded the MN Jobs Coalition's work? According to 2014 public campaign reports, the Jobs Coalition's largest contributors funneled money from big tobacco (Reynolds American and Altria), big oil (Exxon Mobile), and big insurance companies as well as the Koch Brothers and Las Vegas casino operators into Minnesota legislative campaigns like Tim Miller's. Is it any wonder when the MN Jobs Coalition is heavily funded by out-of-state corporations and big businesses looking for special favors that Tim Miller voted in their interests rather than looking out for our interests and those of our kids?
Of course, carrying the water for big corporate special interests is not popular - and so you get misleading mailings like the ones you just received. And undoubtedly, you'll be seeing more and more of those mailings as huge flows of non-Minnesota special interest money floods into our state over the next year. Please don’t fall for this fraud.
Here's the photo we were sent of the letter in the Banner:
Blizzard of Baker BS buries Willmar mailboxes
But the fraudulent flacking isn't confined to the A side of District 17. Indeed, multiple sizes of the education and transportation postcards are hitting mailboxes in Willmar, which freshman representative Dave Baker won by a margin of 214 votes in 2014.
At least five mailings--all with the same text about education and transportation--have been sent to the swing district, so it's possible by the time of next November's election, the Minnesota Jobs Coalition may have sent more pieces of junk mail to each voter than Baker's margin of victory.
Here are three of them:
Lovely. As Wojtalewicz wrote: " Remember all those awful mailers that flooded your mailbox last fall - you can thank the MN Jobs Coalition for that."
They're back, with a vengeance.
Wojtalewicz has dismantled the education argument for Miller; the case is true for Baker as well. As for the transportation "vote," we wrote in Peculiar postcards hit mailboxes in greater Minnesota House districts flipped in 2014:
Dave Baker voted on that hot mess, but it didn't become law--and the original plan on the part of Baker, Miller and the rest of caucus was to shift some education money to pay the tab.
The Star Tribune reported in Minnesota House passes $7 billion transportation bill after contentious debate:
"DFL leaders in the House Tuesday criticized the plan as a shortsighted “house of cards.” House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, and a parade of DFLers complained that it siphons off general fund dollars that would otherwise be used for education and health care."
In the end, the proposal died, and Governor Dayton signed a bare-bones transportation funding bill, as the League of Minnesota Cities put it.
So there you have it: the Minnesota Jobs Coalition is praising Miller for securing education funding Governor Dayton had to pry out of the legislature, while lauding Baker for voting for a failed partisan effort that defied compromise.
We can't make this up--but can take some joy that this is what MJC is investing its money "on."
Since the mail pieces don't say, "vote for" the legislators, no disclosure of the funding is required. Former Representative Ryan Winkler's legislation would have changed that situation. When the mail begins to be sent by the MN Jobs Coalition Legislative Fund as independent expenditures, the PAC will have to file campaign finance reports with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
Photos from top to bottom: Tim Miller; the pro-Miller education mailer; the letter in the Kerkhoven Banner; three of the mail pieces sent to Willmar.
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