The gloves are off

Who says conservatives can’t win?

It’s no secret that at the moment, Minnesota’s political climate is not conducive to good public policy. But here is the good news: despite that political landscape, American Experiment has scored a series of big wins not only in Minnesota, but on the national level and in other states.

For example, our modeling showing the exorbitant cost of the Clean Electricity Performance Program played a key role in defeating Pres. Joe Biden’s original, $4 trillion Build Back Better bill in the U.S. Senate. North Dakota has twice retained our energy team, Isaac Orr and Mitch Rolling, to file public comments on the grid reliability impact of power plant regulations proposed by the Biden administration’s EPA. These analyses will play a key role in litigation over the implementation of the regulations. Notable energy reports and cost and reliability modeling in North Carolina, Michigan, North Dakota, and Colorado brought about major policy wins to combat the green energy coalition that threatens reliable and affordable energy.

American Experiment’s Peter Nelson provided the U.S. House of Representatives detailed advice in drafting health care price transparency legislation that has now passed the House and is likely to pass the Senate.

These are examples of the work American Experiment policy fellows do to enact real change at the state and national level. But it’s not the only thing we do. We have a proven track record of mobilizing a base of supporters — average Minnesotans, not big-money out-of-state donors — to action that capture the attention of legislators and politicians. Led by policy fellow David Zimmer, we motivated our activist base of more than 122,000 Minnesotans to drive public comments successfully opposing a proposal in the Sentencing Guidelines Commission that would have made criminal sentences lighter for thousands of offenders.

Our opposition to the so-called energy Blackout Bill drove 38,000 emails to legislators opposing it. Our campaign stripped away all Republican support and laid the foundation for accountability as electricity prices continue to rise and the grid becomes less reliable.

On the education front, we are winning our battle against Education Minnesota, the number one obstacle to improving education in the state — at one time an almost insurmountable challenge. Due to our efforts, the union’s teacher membership declined by 3.1 percent in a single year. Additionally, we have waged a three-year battle against proposed changes to Minnesota’s K-12 social studies standards, which are full of Critical Race Theory indoctrination and rampant anti-Americanism. Our campaign has resulted in more than 34,000 public comments being submitted in opposition to the standards, implementation of which was delayed by the legislature. In addition, education policy fellow Catrin Wigfall advocated for the school choice bill that passed North Dakota’s legislature.

On the ever-important economic front, American Experiment economists John Phelan and Martha Njolomole successfully opposed proposed legislation that would have increased Minnesota’s personal income tax rates and added a new capital gains tax. Had it passed, that measure would have made Minnesota the highest-tax state in the U.S.

No one would say that 2023 was a great year for conservatives. But more than any other organization, American Experiment delivered concrete, tangible policy wins. When the political landscape shifts, as it always does, the sky will be the limit.