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The Lesson of Prohibition

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of Thinking Minnesota, now the second largest magazine in Minnesota. To receive a free trial issue send your name and address to info@americanexperiment.org. The cover of the March 29, 1926 edition of Time featured Andrew Volstead, a humble lawyer from rural Granite Falls, Minnesota. Until 1922, he had been the Representative for Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District, rising during his term to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. And, in that capacity, he gave his name to one of the most notorious pieces of legislation in American history. The Volstead Act—formally known as the National Prohibition Act—passed...

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Gov. Walz must restore Minnesota public employees’ First Amendment rights

In a press release the Center sent out earlier this morning, I called on Governor Walz to fulfill his legal obligation as governor by fully restoring public employees’ First Amendment rights in Minnesota. The state is not in compliance with the Supreme Court's decision in Janus v. AFSCME and has made no move to enforce the constitutional rights of union members. ...

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Walz Doubles Down on Deleted Video of Wife at Public TV Forum

DFL Gov. Tim Walz may have hoped to end the controversy over his administration's role in Twin City Public Television's deletion of a video of a criminal justice forum featuring First Lady Gwen Walz. But Walz's remarks in followup coverage by MPR only served to reinforce concerns over the political pressure exerted behind the scenes to destroy the video of a performance that rattled the First Lady's handlers. Public TV Deletes Video of MN First Lady Under Pressure From Top Walz Aide After stipulating he values "transparency highly," Walz made it clear he approved of the  destruction of the problematic video by the...

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Public TV Deletes Video of MN First Lady Under Pressure From Top Walz Aide

DFL Gov. Tim Walz sidesteped taking responsibility for the scandal at the Department of Human Services this summer by saying "I don't do drama." Apparently the governor's wife, Minnesota First Lady Gwen Walz, doesn't do drama either. Especially when the drama is videotaped and raises concerns with her staff over an event tailor-made to burnish her standing with the public as a leader in criminal justice issues. The controversy followed a panel discussion on corrections issues staged by Twin Cities Public Television in May which took an unscripted turn into a forum on race. The First Lady's handlers became so alarmed with...

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Minnesota Ranks #36 for How Well Public Pension Plans are Funded, Wisconsin #1

State retirement plans continue to face funding deficits nationwide. The pervasive pension underfunding not only affects current and retired public employees but taxpayers who provide the wages for government employees and help financially cover the promised benefits of defined benefit pension plans....

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WSJ Columnist Kimberley Strassel Explains Mueller Testimony, Will be Keynote Speaker at Center’s Fall Briefing

Kimberley Strassel, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, recently reported on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before two House committees this past week and how we are left with “more questions than answers.” Strassel will be the keynote speaker at the Center's Fall Briefing on October 7. ...

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Legislative Recap: American Experiment leaves an impact in St. Paul

Minnesota’s conservatives did quite well in the 2019 legislative session (read detailed report here). The legislature increased spending by six percent—too much, but less than it went up last year with Republicans controlling both houses. While the two percent tax on health care wasn’t allowed to expire, it was reduced to 1.8 percent. Otherwise, there were no tax increases, and the legislature cut the state’s second tier income tax rate by 0.25 percent. Meanwhile, many bad ideas were defeated. Socialized medicine (ONEcare) went nowhere. Proposals to increase Minnesota’s corporate income and estate taxes were defeated—American Experiment’s economist, John Phelan, testified against...

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Plymouth Steps Back From Controversial GreenStep City Program

It was supposed to be a done deal. The resolution to make Plymouth Minnesota’s newest "GreenStep City" was slipped into the city council’s consent agenda, clearing the way for expected approval by voice vote without discussion, along with no-brainer items like a temporary liquor license for the Lions “Live at the Hilde” event and minutes from the previous meeting. After all, the staff pitched it as a free, feel-good "continuous improvement framework" for the thriving suburb. The City will claim credit for having implemented and will work at its own pace toward implementing GreenStep best practices that will result in energy use...

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