While Other States Take from Feds, Minnesota Gives More Than It Gets

Categories: Politics, Taxes

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Susan Lesch via Wikimedia

We've all heard the story before (like in the2012 presidential election): A whole lot of Democratic voters are freeloaders, living where they can just take from the government and never have to work. With its relatively high taxes and blue-leaning government, Minnesota would seem to fit right in.

But if anybody's freeloading off the government, it isn't us. According to various studies, it's actually, ironically, mostly right-leaning, anti-government states that are raking in the benefits from feds. And in the supposedly overtaxed lands of Minnesota, we're actually one of only 15 states that's giving more to the government than we're getting.

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"No New Quagmires" Protest Takes Aim at U.S. Involvement in Syrian Conflict

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"It was the U.S. invasion and occupation that destroyed Iraq and brought about the current crisis," MPAC says. "Nothing the Pentagon does can undo that or bring about peace."
The Minnesota Peace Action Coalition (MPAC) is organizing a "No New Quagmires" protest tomorrow, scheduled for 4 p.m. along the sidewalks at Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue in south Minneapolis.

In the wake of Congress approving President Obama's request for authorization to train and equip Syrian rebels for a war against Islamic state militants, protesters plan to demand "No New Iraq War!" and "No U.S. War in Syria."

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Tom Emmer Campaign Signs Weren't Allowed at Target Field, Twins Officials Say

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Emmer enjoys a Twins game while one of his campaign signs hangs in the background.
As photos of what appeared to be a Tom Emmer event at Target Field during a game on the afternoon of Sunday, September 7, circulated online, we asked Twins officials if Emmer's camp had approval to display his campaign signs at the ballpark.

Turns out they didn't, but just went ahead with it anyway.

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Racist, Homophobic Posts Force Wisconsin Republican Jacob Dorsey Out of Race

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Jacob Dorsey screencap via Digital Journal
Think Minnesota Republicans have a hard time with social media? Consider the case of young Wisconsin GOPer Jacob Dorsey.

Dorsey, 19, took a semester off from his studies at Brigham Young University-Idaho to run for a Janesville seat in the state assembly, which is the Wisconsin equivalent to the Minnesota House. But he's headed back to school after screencaps of racist and homophobic online posts he wrote surfaced.

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Franken, McFadden slug it out over Minnesota's connections to radical Islam

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On the same day news broke about the second Minnesotan who died fighting for ISIS in Syria having a security clearance at MSP, Sen. Al Franken wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder dinging Obama for not doing enough to prevent Minnesotans from traveling to the Middle East and putting their lives on the line for the cause of radical Islam.

"I was troubled by the President's recent suggestion that the Administration has not yet developed a comprehensive strategy to address the growing threat of ISIL's activities in Syria," Franken wrote earlier this week (ISIL and ISIS are both acronyms for the same group). "The Justice Department should focus its resources and efforts in places where terrorism recruitment efforts may be happening at higher rates, such as Minnesota. In addition, the Justice Department should coordinate with the State Department and the Homeland Security Department to prevent Americans from traveling abroad to join forces with ISIL."

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Johnson supporter vandalizes bike trail to get out the message

Categories: Bicycle, Politics

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The infamous Cedar Lake Trail graffiti

The ride from St. Louis Park to Minneapoils along the Cedar Lake Regional bike trail is normally uneventful -- a few twists and tunnels are all the excitement you'll get. But lately, you'll find something different among the gravel and debris a few hundred feet from Target Field. A message has sprouted up on the pavement, spelled out in big, white, spray-painted letters, from a graffiti artist with a point to make.

"DUMP DAYTON," the message reads, sprawled out in all caps. Underneath it sits a big white checkmark, and another hastily spray-painted name: "JEFF JOHNSON."

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GOP may hate the export-import bank, but Minnesota small businesses love it

Categories: Business, Politics

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Wikipedia

The town of Princeton, Minnesota, is tiny, holding fewer than 5,000 people. But head to its southwest corner, a few blocks north of the town's auto shop and welder, and you'll find U.S. Distilled Products. From this tiny town, the company churns out all sorts of alcohol: bourbon, brandy, gin. Nearly everything a bar owner could ask for.

These are products that go around the world, to dealers in places like China and Australia. But to get them there, and to convince new foreign buyers to really jump in, the company sometimes needs a little help. So it often turns to the government, and in particular, a program called the export-import bank.

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Erik Paulsen takes "Ice Bucket Challenge" for ALS research after voting to cut ALS research

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Screengrab via New York Daily News
Paulsen helped raise money for ALS research as a private citizen, but not as a congressman.
Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen, along with 15 of his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives, has been singled out by the Huffington Post for taking the "Ice Bucket Challenge" this summer to raise money for ALS research despite voting to cut government funding for that same sort of research back in 2011.

Sure, that sounds hypocritical on its face, but it's not necessarily so simple. The bill Paulsen supported that cut ALS funding -- the Budget Control Act of 2011 -- cut a number of federal agencies' budgets by 5 percent, including the National Institute of Health. In other words, it took a cleaver to spending, not a scalpel.

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GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson: A primer

Categories: Politics

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Screengrab of Jeff Johnson

After a crowded but largely uneventful primary season, Gov. Mark Dayton finally found out who his general election challenger will be late Tuesday night. Jeff Johnson, the former Hennepin County commissioner and GOP-endorsed candidate, snagged the nomination with 30 percent of the vote, beating out former Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers by about seven points.

Now the race is down to Dayton and the GOP-endorsed Johnson, with a few third-party candidates as well. But after debates that largely featured the GOP candidates arguing over who was the most conservative, what can we expect from Johnson's policies in the general election?

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Meet Vance Opperman, Minnesota's top Super PAC donor

Categories: Politics

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401(K) 2012

The 2014 midterm elections may not be considered as important as the presidential race we saw two years ago, but don't tell that to millionaires.

Wealthy businessmen are still spending like crazy on Super PACs in the 2014 race, led by former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, who's already given more than $20 million. And the cream of the crop in Minnesota is Minneapolis businessman Vance Opperman, who's already thrown $260,000 to Super PACs this election, making him one of the top 100 super PAC donors in the country, according to data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

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