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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Unofficial - Just Thinking About It - SOS Candidate Debate

Category: Pat Garofalo
Posted: 06/13/13 11:47, Edited: 06/13/13 11:48

by Dave Mindeman

It has been nearly a week since this Almanac segment aired, but the more I think about it, the more ridiculous it seems.

Last Friday Almanac aired a debate regarding the Republican "potential" Secretary of State candidates. Nobody was declared, nor did they intend to declare. Just that their names have been "floated" out there.

These 3 were Rep. Pat Garofalo, Rep. Joyce Peppin, and former SOS Staffer Kent Kaiser.

It was weird enough to see them labeled "Possible Secretary of State Candidate"....but in addition, nobody would officially say they were running and even though no one was running, only one of them (Peppin) stated a preference (if she would run) of seeking the endorsement.

Amidst all of this "possible" and "maybe", the other strange thing was Rep. Pat Garofalo's idea of his "possible" campaign. With the first question, about why he is thinking about this, Garofalo goes into one of his patented partisan rants...."Democratic control not working"...."the inmates running the asylum"...."a need for adult supervision". That is a reason to run for Secretary of State????

Then on to the second question about whether or not the Secretary of State office should be non-partisan....first words out of Garofalo is another rant about Dayton and union daycare (what?)....then rant #2 about Mark Ritchie trying to "manipulate" the ballot....and a final touch about being "proud to be a Republican" -- in other words he's against it.

And another weird thing....Kent Kaiser was asked to explain electronic poll books and proceeded to note that Mark Ritchie had "blocked" the idea during his tenure. Excuse me, wasn't it Ritchie who recommended the poll books in place of the Republican insistence on a Photo ID amendment?

And of course, Garofalo has to go into rant #3 in regards to this. Railing against the Democrats for not bringing up any hearings on Photo ID. Sorry G-Man, Photo ID was defeated by the voters. The Democrats were working on actual fixes to real problems. Still, Garofalo states right here, early on, that he will make Photo ID an SOS campaign issue - just so we can rehash the whole thing all over again.

The next question was about the business part of the SOS office. And, once again, Garofalo had to attack the Democrats. This time his rant was about how the "Democrats went nuts regarding fees".

It was a little surreal to watch an "undeclared, just think about it" candidate debate. And even more strange to watch a "thinking" about it candidate Garofalo go through a litany of partisan campaign issues that he already seems prepared to use. He has even set his own deadline (June 15th) to move this forward.

Truly, it was an odd performance and an odd debate.

Good news though - tomorrow we get to hear from possible, potentially thinking about it, candidates for Secretary of State from the Democrats.
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Sorry Rep. Garofalo - "Snot" Is Not A Measurement

Category: Pat Garofalo
Posted: 04/16/13 20:01, Edited: 04/16/13 20:02

by Dave Mindeman

Rep. Pat Garofalo was on Almanac again. This time he was there to argue against the minimum wage.

But he couldn't resist a dig at Democratic budget policy...

A lot of bad ideas moving forward that increase costs on business. Obamacare is being implemented; we see a higher sales tax being revived by the Senate this year...on things like hair cuts and spa services; we see extra burdens of the income tax on small business. You can't look at just one thing in the silo(?) -- all these things are adding up and you can't just simply-- you can't just tax the snot -- you can't just punish the snot out of small businesses and not expect there to be some sort of negative effect on either prices to the consumer or on reduced employment.

Yes, people, the Democrats are taxing the "snot" out of small business.

Rep. Garofalo seems to have interesting tax measurements. Taxing the "snot" out of business is apparently on the higher end of the scale.

But Garofalo was there to talk about the minimum wage and of course, he is against it. And he wants to know "who is going to pay for these costs?" Outside of the obvious which would be business would need to actually give their minimum wage employees a raise for the first time in years, Garofalo had a different idea.

Adjust the Minnesota Working Family Tax Credit. And as Rep. Winkler pointed out during the discussion, this is certainly a part of it - but this tax credit is just another give away to business. Instead of paying their employees an "almost" livable wage, they get the government to supplement these low wage jobs.

So, Rep. Garofalo answers his own question. Who pays? The Minnesota taxpayer. Business gets to keep paying wages that don't even come to subsistence level and we, as taxpayers, supplement the income.

Thanks for the heads up, Rep. Garofalo. And by the way, I don't think "snot" has much to do with it.
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Rep. Garofalo Conveniently Leaves Out The Details

Category: Pat Garofalo
Posted: 03/07/13 15:54

by Dave Mindeman

Republicans like to criticize without context when it comes to taxes.

For instance, Rep. Pat Garofalo puts out a monthly newsletter and one of his recent paragraphs went like this:


At the beginning of the year, every person who is working experienced a 2% reduction in take home pay as a result of the federal government increasing the social security tax from 4.2 to 6.2%. Contrary to some news reports, this tax increase impacts more than just "the rich". A family making $50,000 a year experienced a $1,000 increase in their taxes. Unfortunately, this is already having negative effects on the economy as savings and consumer spending rates both decline.

Garofalo leaves out some important context.

The Social Security payroll tax cut was negotiated with Republicans in 2010 as part of the Bush Tax Cut extensions, and as a means of economic stimulus. And in that regard, it was successful. However, it was never meant to be permanent. Originally it was supposed to be a 1 year event; but it was extended into 2012.

Another point that Garofalo leaves out is that in order to pay for this payroll tax cut, which is how Social Security is funded, the government borrowed $112 billion for that first year (and at least another $112 billion for 2012) to keep Social Security funds on track.

If we had continued that 2% reduction, as Rep. Garofalo insinuates that we should have, all we would be doing is adding more to the national debt. Which Rep. Garofalo contends will destroy this country.

So which is more important? Tax cuts or debt reduction?

Maybe Rep. Garofalo will explain that in his next newsletter.
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