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Met Council Attempts to Explain Away OLA Audit Findings: Will the FTA Care?

For all I know, the FTA’s New Starts grant program tells applicants, “Lie to me, tell me what I want to hear so I can give you the billions in funds appropriated by Congress. Oh, and I am not going to require you to put away funds to replace the system when it wears out.” That would explain why the nation's transit system operates in the red, fails to relieve congestion and does not have the ridership it projected. How else did we get LRT in Minnesota?...

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Star Tribune Expose Omits Late Minnesotan’s DFL Connections

American Experiment posted this headline on September 12: Prominent DFL Donor, Key Figure in Corruption Scandal Commits Suicide in L.A. The piece focused on the abrupt rise and fall of Johannes Marliem, a mysterious young Indonesian millionaire who made Minnesota his home, even as authorities closed in on him in a widening political corruption probe in Jakarta. The Star Tribune picked up on the story in an expose that quickly became the most read story on the paper’s website Friday afternoon. Johannes Marliem, a young globe-trotting executive with a house on Lake Minnetonka, wasn’t shy about cutting big checks. In 2014, he gave the...

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Fighting for the American Dream in D.C.

DFL Governor Mark Dayton’s plan, like many “blue state” governors, uses “transit oriented development” or TOD, to pull money out of the suburbs and greater Minnesota to fund and re-enforce a city centric power model. That model shifts how and where people live, and how they get around, to change the political landscape in favor of left-wing control of local and state government. ...

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Thinking Minnesota Is Now On Sale at Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble book stores have picked up the Center's magazine, Thinking Minnesota, and are stocking it in their magazine sections. This photo was taken at the Ridgedale store: If you are in a Barnes & Noble and don't see Thinking Minnesota, ask for it at the desk. It seems that there are some stores that haven't gotten it or put it out yet. Thinking Minnesota is currently the second-biggest magazine produced in Minnesota, by circulation. It sells in stores for $4.95, but you can get a trial subscription for free by sending your name and mailing address to info@americanexperiment.org....

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Strong growth in physicians licensed in Minnesota

The Federation of State Medical Boards released their latest biennial report on the number of doctors licensed to practice medicine in American in 2016.  Assuming having more doctors is a good thing, then Minnesota is doing better. The number of doctors licensed in Minnesota increased from 20,174 in 2012 to 23,494 in 2016.  This represents a 16.5 percent increase, a substantial jump in just four years.  This was the eleventh highest rate of change in the country.  States with stronger growth are all either Mountain states (Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Utah) or strung down the east coast (New Hampshire, Rhode Island, D.C.,...

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$800 million bonding bill rejected by House as too small

Here is Rep. Dean Urdahl: “It is a little bit disconcerting to me to realize that there are members here who are prepared to vote against projects that are vital to their district,” he said. “I implore you to consider what you’re doing and why. We can’t say that we voted ‘no’ on local projects because $800 million isn’t enough money.”...

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Flawed survey used to support adding a second Amtrak train between St. Paul and Chicago

The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) recently surveyed students, faculty, and staff at three Winona-area colleges and universities on their usage and views of Amtrak passenger rail.  The survey supplements one administered to 30 other colleges and universities across the Midwest. The results led to this Star Tribune headline: “Millenials are all aboard for passenger rail.”   If a Google search is an accurate measure of the MIPRC media hits, then the Star Tribune is the only major news outlet to make headline news out of this survey. Maybe that’s because every other news organization decided a voluntary online SurveyMonkey survey...

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Joint Committee schedules another hearing on PCA/SEIU “Contract”

Rep. Marion O'Neil, Sen. Michelle Benson and others in the Legislature have called for hearings rather than business as usual. Normally, employee contracts are rubber-stamped. The risk next week is that the new SEIU/PCA contract will be ratified, with devastating legal consequences for PCAs who do not want the SEIU speaking for them. ...

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Quick update on transit and transportation issues at the Capitol

Revised: The end of session actions taken by Republicans are somewhat disorienting given the fact that the transportation bill coming out of the House was very good and the signals from the Senate seemed good, as well. Then it went to conference committee. What came out was very different. Before the Legislature got the bill ready to send to Gov. Dayton today, apparently leadership opted to anticipate what Dayton would do, and removed most if not all offending language....

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Tax the rich? Done. Chase them from the State? Done.

So what has Dayton done with billions in new revenue? “The net effect is still that under Dayton, Minnesota’s tax system has become meaningfully less regressive. But it should be said that this governor has taxed the rich in order to fund government, not to reduce the tax burden on others.” ...

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