DFL upset about Lincoln portrait in House chamber

On this edition of Capitol Watch:

DFL upset about Lincoln portrait in House chamber

Cancel culture has now reached President Abraham Lincoln, the man who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation declaring enslaved people “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” Democrat Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL-Roseville) complained about Lincoln’s presence on the House floor this week during a debate on an education bill.

“We are asked to serve, we serve in this body, we have to look at President Lincoln every day we are in this space.”

Rep. Becker-Finn describes herself as a Leech Lake Ojibwe descendant, so we assume her objection to Lincoln is based on his role in the Dakota War of 1862. American Experiment’s John Phelan recently called the end of the Dakota War, “One of the most controversial and misunderstood episodes in Minnesota’s history.” President Lincoln personally reviewed the case files of hundreds of Sioux who were sentenced to death for their roles in the uprising. After his review, Lincoln commuted the sentences of all but 38 of them after determining they were simply soldiers fighting in battle. He reduced the list to those “guilty of individual murders and atrocious abuse of their female captives.”

Becker-Finn gives no credit to President Lincoln for his discretion in sentencing and apparently believes Lincoln should have acquitted all of the men convicted of these heinous crimes.

The next logical step for House Democrats will be to remove Lincoln’s portrait from the House chamber and put it in storage next to the statue of Christopher Columbus. Don’t laugh — they might do it!

Senate Democrat has long COVID and apparently, it’s Scott Jensen’s fault

Sen. Lindsey Port (DFL-Burnsville) recently announced she’s suffering from long COVID, and this week it caught up to her on the Senate floor as she experienced a medical situation. It was a scary moment at the Capitol as Port was taken to the hospital where she later released a statement saying her condition was stable and expected to be discharged soon

After a short recess, the debate resumed and Sen. Matt Klein, voice shaking with emotion, offered an amendment to punish licensed medical professionals for speaking their minds on the COVID pandemic. He raised concerns about medical practitioners who have “spread misinformation” about the COVID virus. And by medical practitioners, he really means Dr. Scott Jensen, a leading candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor.

This is not the first time Democrat Klein has lashed out at Jensen for his views on the pandemic. In fact, Jensen has been investigated several times for complaints brought against him by anonymous people that are not even his patients. Sen. Klein would like to join other states and punish doctors for what he considers dangerous speech:

“In other states, practitioners have been punished and their licenses removed when they spread canards such as the ones we encountered. We should do the same.”

In his floor speech, Klein criticized practitioners (Jensen) for questioning the effectiveness of masking, saying anyone who held their medical license with dignity or respect could not believe such a “canard.”

To rewind:

  • A liberal Democrat Senator has long COVID
  • She had a medical episode on the floor of the Senate
  • Her DFL colleague immediately responds with an amendment blaming Scott Jensen for spreading lies about COVID

Does Matt Klein believe Lindsey Port listened to Scott Jensen’s advice on COVID and that’s why she came down with the virus? Or did he just exploit Sen. Port’s illness to take another shot at Jensen?

Either way, having the government punish doctors for spreading “misinformation” in the public square about medicine or any other topic is antithetical to a free and open society. Liberals like Matt Klein support regulating speech as long as they or perhaps President Joe Biden’s Committee of Public Information is in charge of deciding the definition of misinformation.

Deal on Unemployment Insurance trust fund and hero pay favors Senate

After weeks of inactivity at the Capitol, a major deal was struck on two big issues: unemployment insurance and hero pay. While both sides had to give a little to get the deal done, it’s hard not to give the edge to Senate Republicans in the negotiation.

First, the unemployment insurance trust fund was fully restored using mostly federal money. So Republicans got what they wanted on the total amount and the source of funds. Using federal money was particularly important because it frees up state surplus money for tax cuts and limits what Gov. Tim Walz can hand out during his reelection campaign this summer.

Second, the hero pay amount will be $500 million, much closer to the $250 million put forward by the Senate. The House will get to decide who gets a check, but they will not get to hand out $1 billion as they proposed.

Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) is off to a good start replacing Paul Gazelka in session negotiations with Speaker Melissa Hortman and Gov. Tim Walz.

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