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Rudy Takala's Columns

Kurt Zellers

Vikings Spent $350,000 on Lobbying; Action Letter Template

Campaign Finance reports filed today showthe Vikings spent$350,000 on lobbying legislators to support a new stadium between June and December. That figure doesn't include salaries paid to eight lobbyists. That data will not be disclosed until March.

If an institution has this much money to spend on political access, it should have the money to support itself without taking money from others. If an institution can only get legislation passed in its favor by paying for access and paying off politicians in a manner that normal people could never match, that isn't a capitalistic system.

W(i)lfare for Billionaires

Written for Americans for Tax Reform. Cross-posted at www.atr.org/wilfare-billionaires-a6687.  
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State [of Minnesota] not rushing to act on Vikings stadium,” fretted the January 13 headline of a column in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. New Jersey billionaire Zygi Wilf, owner of the Minnesota Vikings, is seeking about $700 million in taxpayers’ money to build his team a new stadium in the state.
 
The $700 million would be roughly split between state and local taxpayers.

Shortridge Elected Chairman; Breakdown of the Results

As reported in the media, Pat Shortridgeis the new chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota (RPM). He was elected with 224 votes, or 66% of the total delegation.Terry McCallreceived 103 votes.Todd McIntyrereceived just nine votes.
 
What I found interesting is that, while legislative leaders and party operatives (paid officials or people who are seeking to become paid officials) supported Shortridge, members of the Republican Party’s State Executive Committee and leaders within the party supported McCall by a slight edge.

"Many in GOP base angry at Legislature" in the St. Paul Legal Ledger-Capitol Report

This is a piece authored by Charley Shaw of the St. Paul Legal Ledger/Capitol Report. He graciously included my analysis in the piece. You may access it byclicking here, or, if you are not registered to access full pieces on the Politics in Minnesota Website, you may simply scroll down.
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If you hear political activists calling for change in the 2012 state House and Senate elections, you won’t be faulted for thinking that the rhetoric must be coming from DFLers.

Does Republican Rhetoric on Minnesota's Budget Affect Future Policy Outcomes?

From an unfiltered political perspective, the $35.7 billion budget signed by Governor Dayton on Wednesday served a purpose desired urgently by both Republicans and Democrats to claim some sort of victory. That appeared to be the most admirable quality of the legislation for both sides.
 
Yet what is notable is that only Republicans are touting the legislation around, calling it a "victory." The Minnesota GOP went so far as to issue a press release on Thursday titled, "Republican Party of Minnesota Hails Budget as a Victory for the MNGOP and the People of Minnesota.

Minnesota Republicans' Handling of the Budget

GOP's Handling of the Budget
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PIM Article On Emmer (Quotes Me Briefly) (4.27.11)

Politics in Minnesota's Charley Shaw did an article recapping the RNC race between Tom Emmer & Jeff Johnson that quoted me very briefly. Text of the article is below. (Otherwise view it on Politics in Minnesota byclicking here.)
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When Republicans from around the state flocked to the Ramada Mall of America last Saturday, there appeared to be little question who would win the race to replace Brian Sullivan as Minnesota’s man on the Republican National Committee.

Why Tom Emmer Lost... Again (4.18.11)

Before State  Central took place, I stated that the conservative bloc held a majority of power in the Minnesota GOP right now. That statement was absolutely correct, and unfortunately for Tom Emmer, it was one big reason he lost the campaign for national committeeman.
 
When he won the gubernatorial nomination last year, it was because he represented a break from the traditional paradigm of a candidate who had little to no personality, who voted like a moderate, and who acted only after instructed to act by his party's most out-of-touch leaders.

Bob Davis Interviews House Speaker Zellers; Sue Jeffers talks about State Spending (4.11.2011)

You can access Bob's interview with Zellers from last Friday byclicking here; you may access Sue's program of speaking about the budget byclicking here. (The headline on the segment with Bob & Zellers is wrong; so is the date. Ignore it and simply run the audio file.)
 
Asked by Bob why Republicans were increasing, spending Zellers replied,"It was the forecast.... The taxpayers of the state produced more than the bureaucrats at the capitol expected them to."
 

"GOP budget meets conservative backlash" (From Politics in Minnesota) (4.8.2011)

Paul Demko has a story in Politics in Minnesota talking about all of the budgetary issues I've been talking about here.Click here to view it.(Subscription required; otherwise simply scroll down.)
 
Speaker Zellers was on KTLK this morning with Bob Davis & Tom Emmer. He makes a really bad spokesman for the GOP. He simply cannot explain in anything but double-talk how the GOP can justify increasing spending by $2 billion. All he wants to talk about is the fact that Mark Dayton wants to increase spending as well.
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