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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 is in the U.S. Senate this 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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SEIU and State Ordered to Halt Early Contract Talks in Boost for PCA Decertification Drive

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The Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services has ordered the suspension of contract talks between the Service Employees International Union representing personal care attendants and state negotiators to avoid interfering with a union decertification campaign underway. “This Order is issued to preserve existing conditions and promote a free and fair environment for the resolution of this question of representation,” said Carol Clifford, a BMS Representation Specialist, in a two page order dated December 5. “…It shall remain in full force and effect until an investigation and/or hearing has been conducted and the matter is disposed of by a determination issued by the Commissioner of...

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Uber Drivers: A Preferred Way to Get Around When I Travel and a Great Income and Flexible Job for Many

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I was in D.C. last week meeting with colleagues who are focused on labor issues both in their respective states and the U.S. Congress. It was exciting to consider all the bad policies that are going by the wayside (like Obama’s overtime rule) and all the good policies that will now get a fair hearing. I had a few hours on Monday morning before my meetings began. Should I spend the morning responding to emails, or head out to Mount Vernon to commune with George and Martha? Hmm, hard choice…. When I travel I strongly prefer to use Uber to get around,...

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PCAs ask Governor Dayton for a new election today

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Today is the day that MNPCA is required under Minnesota law to demonstrate that 30 percent of the SEIU bargaining unit wants a new election. It will deliver thousands of cards from personal care attendants (PCAs) all over the state asking Governor Dayton to listen to them. MNPCA is confident that more than 30 percent of PCAs would not only ask for a new election but vote overwhelmingly against being represented by a labor union. Remember that only 13 percent of PCAs voted in favor of the union in 2014. That is why the Dayton administration, which fought so hard to get...

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Court Blocks Controversial O.T. Regs Imposed by Executive Order

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There goes another one.  Another signature Obama executive order put on hold as effortlessly as it was imposed, further underscoring the fragility of a presidential legacy that could be determined in great measure by the courts. A federal court in Texas this week blocked implementation of a sweeping set of controversial white collar overtime provisions that were set to take effect within days.  Critics called it a "ham-handed attempt to raise wages through regulation" and harmful to the middle class. Meantime, one media outlet noted the irony that the federal judge who rebuffed the Administration got his black collar job as a result of being selected...

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