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Sunday, October 4, 2009

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Join in the Call for an Investigation of ACORN in Minnesota
Dan's Blog By Dan McGrath on 10/1/2009

PJTV: The Destruction of ACORN, the Strategy of Breitbart & Why We Must All Remain Vigilant (9:45)

Law Enforcement, Media Asleep - Add Your Voice

Yesterday, Minnesota Majority, together with 8 Minnesota gubernatorial candidates, issued a letter to Attorney General Lori Swanson calling for a formal investigation into potential illegal activities on the part of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in Minnesota.

Recent news stories have revealed evidence of apparent systematic corruption within the ACORN organization. At least 15 other states have launched investigations into potential election law and other violations on the part of ACORN. A report issued earlier this year by the US House of Representatives Oversight Committee stated that “ACORN has repeatedly and deliberately engaged in systemic fraud. Both structurally and operationally, ACORN hides behind a paper wall of nonprofit corporate protections to conceal a criminal conspiracy on the part of its directors, to launder federal money in order to pursue a partisan political agenda and to manipulate the American electorate." Yet here in Minnesota, where we have just had a US Senate race decided by fewer than 400 votes, incredibly there has been no official statewide investigation into the ACORN organization. Senator Al Franken, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Attorney General Lori Swanson were all endorsed by ACORN and elected to their offices with their help, but it is our hope that they will place the execution of the duties of their offices ahead of any political allegiances. These officials can prove their loyalty to the voters of Minnesota by responding to your call for an official statewide investigation into ACORN's activities in Minnesota.

It is an unfortunate fact that most Twin Cities reporters have been derelict in their duty to get to the bottom of ACORN and Minnesota's election issues. In Ramsey County alone, 18 individuals have been indicted for voter registration fraud and 5 people have thus far been convicted. Election records indicate that at least two of the five also voted in 2008. There's been no reporting on these convictions and there's been no reporting on the apparent illegal votes. What has been reported in the past is that there's no evidence that fraudulent voter registrations have resulted in fraudulent votes. But now that there's evidence suggesting that illegal votes have indeed resulted from improper registrations, the press is mysteriously silent.

Take Action:

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Gubernatorial Candidates Call on Attorney General for ACORN Probe
Dan's Blog By Dan McGrath on 9/30/2009

Press Conference Calling on Attorney General Lori Swanson to Investigate ACORN (8:49)

Minnesota Majority Joined by Several Candidates for Governor to Sign Letter to Attorney General Lori Swanson

In the wake of ACORN scandals erupting across the nation, several Minnesota gubernatorial candidates joined Minnesota Majority today in calling on Attorney General Lori Swanson to investigate the embattled organization’s Minnesota activities.

Jeff Davis, president of Minnesota Majority cited numerous glaring discrepancies in election records, such as evidence suggesting dead people and convicted felons voted in the 2008 general election as well as voters registered with non-deliverable mailing addresses and a high volume of rejected voter registration postal verification post cards.
Ramsey County is investigating over 100 cases of illegal voter registration by felons and has secured 5 convictions, but there’s more to it than that, explained Davis. “We looked at the voter histories for the five felons and found that the records indicate at least two of them voted in 2008. This looks like a situation where illegal voter registrations led to illegal votes.” A comparison of Bureau of Criminal Apprehension records and voter history files conducted by Minnesota Majority produced a list of over 2,800 felons who may have illegally voted in 2008.

ACORN has claimed credit for registering about 43,000 voters in the lead up to the 2008 election in Minnesota, which they say represents about 75% of new registrations. Nationally, ACORN’s rate of invalid registrations has been reported to be nearly a third of all registrations submitted by the group. “There are investigations and prosecutions of ACORN workers going on all over the country,” said Davis, “In light of the alarming number of significant discrepancies in our election records, ACORN’s history of legal problems their extraordinary efforts in Minnesota’s 2008 election I believe an investigation into ACORN’s activities in Minnesota is warranted.”

Gubernatorial candidates from both sides of the aisle joined Minnesota Majority’s call for investigation. Representative Tom Emmer, former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, former state auditor Pat Anderson, Representative Paul Kohls, Bill Haas, and DFL candidate Peter Roess signed the letter to Lori Swanson at a press conference this morning. Senator David Haan, Senator Mike Jungbauer and Felix Montez were unable to attend but also signed the letter.

Take Action: Sign the petition calling for a formal investigation into ACORN's Minnesota activities.

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Tele-Town Hall Meeting on Health Care Reform
Jeff's Blog By Jeff Davis on 9/30/2009

On Tuesday, September 29, Minnesota Majority hosted a Tele-Town Hall Meeting for its members on the topic of Health Care Reform. Representative Michele Bachmann from Minnesota’s 6th District and Representative Michael Burgess, MD of Texas’ 26th District were our guests for the call.

Rep. Bachmann warned that current health care reform legislation amounts to a government takeover of our health care industry. As a medical doctor, Rep. Burgess expressed his concerns about what this legislation might mean to the doctor-patient relationship.

Both Rep. Bachmann and Burgess urged individuals to get involved in trying to shape the ultimate outcome of this debate. You can listen to a recording of the 1-hour Tel-Town Hall by clicking on the play button below:

TAKE ACTION: Sign our petition calling for common-sense health care reforms. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to help educate your community on the health care issues. Learn more about the truth behind ObamaCare by visiting www.HealthReformScam.com.

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Senators: Public Would Only Be Confused by the Health Care Bill
Dan's Blog By Dan McGrath on 9/25/2009
Members of the Senate Finance Committee Voted to Keep Details of their Health Care Proposal out of the Public Eye
Promises of a more open and transparent government must not apply to the United States Senate. The health care reform package being hashed out in the finance committee won’t be made public in its entirety. Senators on the committee voted against posting the actual language of the plan on the internet, opting instead to post a short summary. The reason? We’d only be confused if we simple people tried to read and comprehend the mighty documents being wrought by our incredibly superior elected officials.
It was Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning who proposed requiring the final legislative language of the bill that emerges from the finance committee be posted online for at least 72 hours before any vote on it. His amendment would have also required a final cost analysis from the congressional budget office be posted with the bill.
“It’s the most important bill I’ve seen in 24 years,” Bunning said. We the People want to know what our legislators are up to. Bunning said Americans seeking the details should be able to see the entire bill.
It took a while for Americans to read and digest the 1000 page House health care bill (HR3200), but we understood it. The problem was many of us didn’t like what we saw.
The details of the House bill drew unwelcome questions and criticism. Could that be what senators are now trying to avoid or should we simply take them at their word that they think the American people are too stupid to comprehend the legislation? With the White House and congressional leaders insisting that they will pass health care reform on a deadline, the former seems more likely, but the sheer arrogance of senators claiming we’d just be confused by the bill is truly breathtaking.
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D – MI) said, “Reading this bill will only confuse people,” and Senator John Kerry (D – MA) dismissed the notion of public scrutiny, saying, “let’s be honest about it. Most people don’t read the legislative language.” He characterized the effort to give the public time to see and weigh-in on the bill as a “Republican delay tactic” designed to avoid passing health care reform.

It seems that the major concern of congressional leaders is an October 15th deadline for budget reconciliation. That’s a process that would limit debate and allow a vote on the bill without being subject to a filibuster. If delays for scrutiny, transparency and cautious deliberation are permitted, bi-partisan support may be needed to pass health care reform – that, it seems is unacceptable to congressional leaders.

Take Action: Sign the petition for common sense health care reforms.

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Ellison and McCollum Support Continued Taxpayer Funding of ACORN
Dan's Blog By Dan McGrath on 9/18/2009

Fox News Report: Backing Acorn

Congress Voted to Defund ACORN, but some Members Continue to Support the Discredited Group

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now has come under intense fire as a result of a string of undercover videos produced by James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles being released to the media. The videos catch ACORN workers eager to help a pimp who plans to run for Congress and his prostitute girlfriend get housing to use as a brothel to be staffed by underage illegal immigrants, and file fraudulent tax documents. In the wake of these incriminating videos, the White House has terminated its plans to use ACORN to help conduct the next national census that will be used to redraw the nation’s congressional districts and set the level of representation in Congress from each state.

Yesterday the US House voted 345-75 to cut-off all federal funding for the scandal-plagued Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). This comes on the heels of the Senate's vote earlier in the week to deny housing funds for ACORN 7 Senators voted to continue the funding, though.
All Congressional votes in favor of continuing ACORN funding were by Democrats, including Representatives Keith Ellison (Minneapolis/5th district) and Betty McCollum (St. Paul/4th district).
ACORN has been tied to voter registration fraud, with several of their employees charged with election crimes. Investigations into ACORN’s election registration activities are underway in two dozen states and 70 ACORN employees in 12 states have been convicted of voter fraud. Unfortunately, in Minnesota, where thousands of irregularities including records showing votes by the dead, felons and non-citizens may have impacted the 2008 election, our ACORN-endorsed secretary of state Mark Ritchie and ACORN-endorsed attorney general Lori Swanson don’t seem at all interested in investigating.
Since 1995, ACORN has received more that $50 million in federal funds in addition to untold dollars from various state governments.

The fact that Ellison and McCollum could vote to continue funding ACORN in the face of such overwhelming evidence of systemic corruption is inexcusable and brings shame upon the state of Minnesota.

Representatives Oberstar, Kline, Bachmann, Peterson and Walz voted against continuing taxpayer support of ACORN.

Take Action: Contact your representative and let them know what you think of their vote on taxpayer-funding of ACORN.
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President Avoids Washington March, Protesters Still Found Him in Minneapolis
Dan's Blog By Dan McGrath on 9/15/2009

The President's Health Care Rally - Minneapolis, September 12th

On Saturday, September 12th, the sun was shining in a late-summer morning, downtown Minneapolis. Thousands of people were lined up outside Target Center, and down 6th Avenue waiting for the doors to open to the President Obama’s health reform rally.
In Washington D. C., the streets were already filling up with demonstrators from all around the country, but the president wouldn’t be there to witness that phenomenon.
Unions and lobbyists and special interest associations bussed people in to Minneapolis from all over for the president’s health care rally. Although the event was free, and billed as non-ticketed open admission on a first-come basis, the members of special groups received tickets affording them advance admission and preferred seating.
Demonstrators on both sides of the debate about the president’s health care plans lined up outside the Target Center. A few people shouted at each other and some supporters of the president’s plan seemed to assume that anyone opposed must be a racist. Accusing words like “Nazi,” “Ku Klux Klanner,” and good old fashioned “racist” were hurled at people protesting the president’s plan as if there was no valid reason to be concerned about the government seeking more control of our health and lives. Despite the occasional such verbal outburst, the tone outside Target Center was civil.
About 14,000 people were eventually corralled into the Target Center and the president delivered a pep talk that was essentially a rerun of his recent address to a joint session of Congress.
Although the venue never filled to capacity, hundreds of protesters chose to remain outside with their signs, telling their side of the debate to passers-by. It was a nice day for a chat about the issues on block E.
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Legislators Renew Push for Health Care Freedom
Dan's Blog By Dan McGrath on 9/15/2009
Rep. Tom Emmer (R - Delano)On Monday, three state representatives announced their renewed push for the Health Care Freedom Act (HF171), a proposed amendment to Minnesota’s constitution protecting freedom of choice in health care.
Representatives Tom Emmer (Delano), Mark Buesgens (Jordan) and Peggy Scott (Andover) announced the reintroduction of the bill in a press conference.
“Over the past few months we learned that Minnesotans have very strong opinions about what may happen to their health care. This amendment gives us the chance for a statewide town hall in the form of a ballot question,” said Representative Scott.
If adopted, the amendment aims to preserve the right of individuals to independently pay for medical services or private health insurance.
The amendment would read, “Because all people should have the right to make decisions about their health care, no law shall be passed that restricts a person’s freedom of choice of private health care systems or private health plans of any type. No law shall interfere with a person’s or entity’s right to pay directly for lawful medical services, no shall any law impose a penalty or fine, of any type for choosing to obtain or decline health care coverage or for participation in any particular health care system or health plan.”
While this seems like language that most people would find to be an obvious common-sense measure, the bill to put this amendment on the ballot has been repeatedly halted in past sessions of the legislature. It’s evident that the majority party in the legislature does not want to put this question to the people.
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Be on Guard for Fishy Lessons as School Year Begins
Dan's Blog By Dan McGrath on 9/3/2009

On Tuesday, September 8th, most of America’s children begin another school year. President Obama has prepared a special lesson for them on the first day of school. Broadcasting live from the White House via the internet, the president will speak directly to classrooms across the nation.

The federal Department of Education has put together a lesson plan to accompany the speech.The lesson plans are available for viewing at the Department of Education’s website. Some of the contents have education professionals and parents concerned (see Fox News story). One exercise in the lesson plan for elementary schools involves students writing a letter to themselves about what they can do to help the president. The letters would be returned to students at a later date “to make students accountable to their goals.” What goals? The president’s goals? Since content of the president’s speech has not yet been made public, it’s hard to say what the Education Department has in mind there.

Before the live broadcast, the lesson plan for Jr. High and High School students calls for students to hear excerpts from Obama’s past speeches on education (political speeches) and then asked how they think Obama will inspire or challenge them.

A letter to school principals says the president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. A laudable message and no apparent cause for concern, but the lesson plans prepared by the Department of Education suggest there may be more than meets the eye.

A press release from Liberty Counsel stated that federal law expressly prohibits the Secretary of Education or any Administration officer from exercising "any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system" (20 U.S.C. � 3403).

Mat Staver, the Founder of Liberty Counsel, charged Obama with subverting parental rights by pushing his "political agenda" on children at the very moment that the American people are rejecting "his expansive vision for government" and his unpopular designs for health-care reform.

Likely, the president's speech itself will be mostly if not entirely non-controversial. How the activities that suround the speech are conducted in each individual classroom could be a different matter, though. The lesson plans provided by the Department of Education could serve as a springboard for unmonitored teachers with an ideological bent to engage in some political mischief. The lesson plans seem designed with that intent.

The fight against political indoctrination in schools is nothing new. For example, just last year, some public schools played students a video called “I pledge,” wherein a number of celebrities pledge to take certain actions and to assist and support Barack Obama. It’s no wonder some parents and educators are concerned about how the president will use this unprecedented platform of a live broadcast to every classroom. To date, the contents of his presentation have not been made public.

Update: Since information about the president's speech to school began circulating, the Department of Eduation has been taking a lot of heat from concerned parents and they've responded by scrubbing some of the controversial points in the lesson plans posted on their website. For example, the line "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president" has been changed to "write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals."

Take Action: As the new school year begins, this is an excellent opportunity for parents to talk to their kids about what to be on guard for in school and how to tell when teachers may be pushing their political ideology on them. Arm your children with questions. If topics come up besides education, tell your kids to ask what that has to do with education achievement.

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4th District Town Hall Attendees Civil but Skeptical of Health Care Reform
Dan's Blog By Dan McGrath on 9/2/2009

Rep. McCollum Forum on Health Care - August 31st 2009

Rep. McCollum Health Care Town Hall at Macalester

On Monday, Rep. Betty McCollum conducted a public forum on Democrat-led health care reform proposals. The meeting was open to 400 attendees, with priority given to McCollum’s 4th district constituents (IDs were checked - I wonder where McCollum stands on voter ID). About 1,000 people showed up, but an audio feed was set up so people who couldn’t get in were able to listen from outside.

Although President Obama’s organization, Organizing for America was present in force, distributing hundreds of preprinted “Standing Together for Health Insurance Reform” signs that simply read, “Thank You” on the reverse, the majority of McCollum’s local constituents who addressed the meeting with questions or comments were skeptical of the proposed reforms.
Attendees shared their health care stories and offered ideas for reform based on their experiences. Suggestions included decoupling health insurance from employment to alleviate fear of losing coverage when out of work or changing jobs, creating price transparency so health care consumers could quickly find out how much a procedure will cost, allowing health insurance purchases to cross state lines and reducing government coverage mandates to give consumers more options and price points.
Rep. McCollum asserted that there isn’t currently a health care bill. Despite that claim, her constituents quoted passages from HR3200, citing section and page numbers when questioning or commenting on provisions in the bill. McCollum went on to explain that there’s been no rush to pass health care legislation and that only after members of Congress went home for the August recess and heard from their constituents would they begin crafting a health care reform bill. The crowd erupted in expressions of disbelief at that notion. There were few other outbursts. The overall tone of the meeting was very civil.

McCollum explained that in her view, health care is a right and she’d even offered an amendment to the Constitution to enshrine that belief last year. One health care professional thanked her for that belief, but other attendees spoke instead of personal responsibility and getting government out of the way of their health care options.

McCollum presented a stack of what she said were 4,000 petition signatures in favor of the president’s health care proposals. They were submitted via the president’s activist group, Organizing for America (my.barackobama.com), but she made no mention of how many letters and emails she may have received from opponents of the plan.

Take Action: Contact your elected officials today and share your opinions about health care reform.

Additional Resources:

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Franken, Oberstar Hiding From Health Care Debate
Dan's Blog By Dan McGrath on 8/26/2009
Minnesota Majority Calls on Elected Officials to Engage their Constituents
Senator Al Franken has been strangely quiet in the health care debate taking place in public forums around the nation. Today, Franken held two “roundtable” meetings on health care reform. But neither was open to the public. They were exclusive "by invitation only" discussions conducted behind closed doors. Instead of everyday constituents, Franken encircled his roundtable with representatives from like-minded special interest groups. During his morning meeting, Franken invited media to witness his gathering of hand-picked groups that were all in agreement with his position on health care reform. Attendees included union and welfare organization leaders. His afternoon meeting gathered together various like-minded women’s groups, like the League of Women Voters. “Al Franken clearly isn’t seeking any diversity of opinion and doesn’t appear to want to hear from citizens at large. Surrounding himself only with people who agree with him and then inviting the media to come witness all of them slapping each other on the back is a farce,” said Minnesota Majority president Jeff Davis. Representative Oberstar of Minnesota’s 8th congressional district has been similarly reclusive, eschewing calls for a public forum on health care.

“It’s apparent,” said Davis, “that some of our representatives don’t care what their constituents think. Instead of getting public input, they think they’re going to tell us how it’s going to be. I don’t think Minnesotans will stand for this kind of elitist attitude. The 2010 elections are going to be a rude awakening for officials that govern like arrogant rulers instead of carrying-out the will of the people.”

Take Action: Contact Senator Franken and your other elected representatives today. Ask them if they intend to serve their constituents, or special interest groups.

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Founder's Quote of the Week

"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death." --Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, 1776

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