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Should David Roe, Minnesota labor leader, be lionized?

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According to the Strib, Roe “helped engineer the DFL gains that resulted in 1972 in full DFL control of the Legislature and the governor’s office for the first time in state history. He was ready with an agenda that soon became law….” Can we treat this as darn good evidence that, as soon as the public sector was captured by unions, that labor leaders like David Roe quickly gained the upper hand over voters and elected officials in setting the agenda for Minnesota? ...

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MN Grandmother Takes on SEIU

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You could call it the story of Patricia and Goliath. The elderly rural Minnesota personal care assistant who stood up to the powerful public employee union--and won. Johansen accused Service Employees International Union Healthcare Minnesota of deducting union dues without her permission from the small Medicaid payments she receives for caring for her granddaughter with special needs. The 75 year old grandmother insisted someone evidently forged her signature on a union card and demanded her money back. I wrote about Patricia Johansen's courage a year ago. Now Patricia's story has gone national in a Wall Street Journal piece headlined "These Minnesota Workers Want...

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Secretary Betsy DeVos: The First Cabinet Pick Ever Saved by the Vice President

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We saw DeVos graciously take hits from people like Sen. Al Franken during her confirmation. Now that the confirmation muzzle is off, I would like to see DeVos land some blows of her own. If she is not aggressively making the case for educational choice, and calling out the government unions that enforce the status quo, they could succeed in making her the issue instead of advancing new policies. ...

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Kim Crockett on the Betsy DeVos Nomination as Secretary of Education

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Just in time to celebrate National School Week, Kim Crockett had a great conversation on KTLK’s “Justice and Drew” show about the Education Secretary nominee, Betsy DeVos, last week. You can listen to that conversation here. Here’s Kim: “Government union leaders are apoplectic over the DeVos nomination because DeVos has been defeating them at the local level for years. (Can we pause, just to enjoy that thought?) DeVos speaks up for teachers who see themselves as educators and professionals, not trade unionists.” And join us this Thursday! A COMMUNITY BREAKFAST IN CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL SCHOOL CHOICE WEEK (Click to register) Location: DeLaSalle High School, One...

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U.S. Senator recalls Minnesota’s historical contribution to School Choice at Betsy Devos Hearings

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School Choice Advocate Betsy DeVos was in the U.S. Senate last week for hearings on her nomination to be the new Secretary of Education. Senator Lamar Alexander, the former Secretary of Education under George H.W. Bush, made the case at the top of the hearing for the fact that school choice, and charter schools in particular, have support across a broad political spectrum and noted further that charter schools were started in Minnesota by a DFL governor by the name of Rudy Perpich. That was back in 1991. It is fair to ask, what has Minnesota done for students and teachers...

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The State of Government Union Leaders? Overreaching and Overpaid.

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  After the 2016 election, on which the SEIU spent lavish sums on very partisan, far-left candidates and issue-advocacy, Mary Kay Henry, the national president of the SEIU, put her $300 million national operation on notice. According to a memo that Bloomberg got a copy of, the SEIU will immediately cut 10 percent of its budget, and plan for a 30% reduction by the start of 2018. Henry said the union must prepare for the 2018 midterm elections in addition to the 2020 cycle, arguing that it must “focus our resources and energy on the fights that position us to retake power...

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The SEIU Hopes to Plunder the Families of Disabled People

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    Minnesota homecare workers mount historic fight against the union Summary: In an effort to help their political supporters in the unions, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and the state’s legislature classified Minnesota’s home care providers as government employees for purposes of collective bargaining. Following a highly questionable vote, these home care providers were unionized. SEIU Healthcare, part of a national union closely tied to President Obama, became their union representative. Now care providers like Kris Greene are fighting back, seeking to decertify the union, in what may be the largest decertification effort in labor law history. In Minnesota, home care providers—also known...

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DFL: Expanding Government Unions and Our Dependency on the State

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The Governor’s office and DFL leaders have made it clear that one of their top priorities remains the institution of “Universal Pre-K” in Minnesota. They want to send all four year-olds off to school, thus adding a new “grade” to our public schools (requiring thousands of new employees, as well as transportation, classrooms, etc.). I do not know what Pre-K would add to the state budget but I do know that it would cost our culture, electoral process and our economy a lot more. Dayton’s retirement, whether that happens in two years or sooner, will not end this push to change...

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The Real Story is not “Fake News” or the Russians. It’s Labor Union Spending.

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Federal filings by labor unions are in for the years 2012-2015. The good folks at Union Facts have combed through the data, finding that labor unions spent $530 million almost exclusively on left-wing candidates and issues aligned with the Democratic Party, including plenty here in Minnesota. Union Facts noted, “Yet roughly 40 percent of union households vote Republican in any given election cycle. (In 2016, the number was 43 percent.) The disturbing discrepancy points to the gradual evolution of labor unions from worker advocacy organizations to Democratic Party subsidiaries that are increasingly beholden to Democratic elites instead of blue-collar employees.” That means that almost half of union members...

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American Experiment Files Complaint: Star Tribune “Reporter” Chris Serres

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In October, we told you about a "social services" Strib reporter who writes on the news pages like a commentator or advocate. It is an old fashioned but good idea that "news" be factual and balanced while commentary has greater license to advocate a particular point of view. This is the formal complaint we sent today to his boss, Rene Sanchez, Editor and Senior Vice President at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Dear Mr. Sanchez, I left a message with Michael Klingensmith a while back, but I am told I should bring my concerns to you. I just left you a voicemail. Your “social...

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