Minnesota’s Legislature’s Assault On Free Speech!!

IRS Targeting is not the only Avenue of Attack

 

As we’ve learned, the IRS under the Obama Administration has been weaponized against conservative non-profits in an effort to stifle opposition speech, but that’s not the only avenue of attack. A partisan bill was introduced in the Minnesota Legislature, but ultimately defeated last year that would impose onerous new regulations on grassroots organizations like Minnesota Majority, Tea Party groups and numerous other non-profits

It’s back this year and it contains all manner of vague, subjective language (like “clearly;” “reasonable;” and “biased,” that will allow a small 6-member board, appointed by the governor to determine who has violated the proposed new campaign finance laws and who has not. “Bias” is often in the eye of the beholder. In this case, it’s up to the governor to determine who the “beholders” are.

HF1944/SF1915 proposes to create “free speech zones” on the calendar, allowing the state to determine when grassroots groups can engage in unfettered speech and when such speech would be regulated.

Last year, Governor Dayton pledged not to sign any elections bill that didn’t have “strong bipartisan support” and legislators mostly seemed to respect that, but this year, it looks like Democrat leaders want to test the waters and pass bills that will alter our election laws on a purely partisan basis in hopes that the governor will break his pledge and sign them into law.

 

Take Action Now!

 

This onerous bill has just passed both the Minnesota House and Senate Elections Committees despite lack of any support from the minority party (Republicans).

 

The Democrats arecurrently fully in charge of Minnesota’s government and are still aiming to stifle free speech in an apparent effort to keep it that way. With your support, we beat this back last year and Governor Dayton pledged not to sign any election bills that lacked “strong bipartisan support.” Hold him to it and simultaneously remind your own district’s lawmakers by clicking the Take Action Link.

 

 Take Action

 

 

 

MN Senate gun control hearings next week: WE NEED YOU THERE!

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It’s time to let your voice be heard at the Minnesota Capitol!

We need you to once again show the Minnesota Legislature that real Minnesotans oppose infringements on Second Amendment rights!

Senate Judiciary Committee chair Ron Latz, a consistent voice against gun rights, has scheduled three hearings next week to discuss the numerous gun control bills introduced this session. They hearing times are:

  • Thursday, Feb. 21, Noon to 2:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 21, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 22, Noon to 6:00 p.m.

While Senator Latz delayed public announcement of these hearings until Wednesday night, he apparently tipped off anti-rights groups early Wednesday morning!

We don’t know yet which bills will be heard when, but there are plenty of bad bills to go around.

We will watch the committee schedule for any last minute changes.

Please call and email members of the committee and urge them to OPPOSE infringement of your rights:

Senator Ron Latz (46, DFL)
Chair
651-297-8065
Email form
Senator Latz is a known foe of gun rights and has earned an F rating from GOCRA.

Senator Barb Goodwin (41, DFL)
Vice Chair
651-296-4334
Email form
Senator Goodwin has earned an F rating from GOCRA, and is author of three current bills to make it nearly impossible for a former felon who has served his time to have his civil rights restored.

Senator Richard Cohen (64, DFL)
651-296-5931
Email form
Cohen is a long-time foe of gun rights and has earned an F rating from GOCRA.

Senator Kari Dziedzic (60, DFL)
651-296-7809
Email form
Senator Dziedzic has earned an F rating from GOCRA for her consistent anti-rights stance.

Senator Kathy Sheran (19, DFL)
651-296-6153
sen.kathy.sheran@senate.mn

Senator Sheran has earned an F rating from GOCRA for her consistent anti-rights stance.

Senator Warren Limmer (34, R)

Ranking Minority Member
651-296-2159
sen.warren.limmer@senate.mn
Senator Limmer has been a staunch and consistent friend to civil rights and has earned GOCRA’s rare A rating.

Senator Dan D. Hall (56, R)
651-296-5975
sen.dan.hall@senate.mn
Senator Hall is a solid supporter of your rights, and has earned an A- rating from GOCRA.

Senator Julianne E. Ortman (47, R)
651-296-4837
sen.julianne.ortman@senate.mn
Senator Ortman has often said the right things about gun rights and has earned a B rating from GOCRA.

We’ll share more details as we get them, but start planning to join us next week.

Please forward this email to gun owners and civil rights supporters, and ask them to sign up at http://www.gocra.org/join.html

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GOCRA – P. O. Box 131254 – St. Paul, MN 55113

Congressman John Kline’s Response

January 10, 2013

Dear Mr. MaddMedic:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me and share your thoughts on the unspeakable tragedy that occurred recently at an elementary school in Newton, Connecticut. I appreciate learning of your views.

As a father and grandfather, I am shocked by the enormity of the senseless slaughter of so many innocent lives, particularly our nation’s greatest treasure – our children. I believe the President struck the right tone in his remarks shortly after the tragedy, and agree with him that no single piece of legislation can prevent another tragedy.

As you may know, firearms are regulated by a comprehensive system of federal and state laws and regulations designed to assist law enforcement in their efforts to reduce crime and violence. The National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, and the Firearm Owner’s Protection Act of 1986 all combine to form a comprehensive system of regulating the manufacture, sale, transfer, and possession of firearms and ammunition. Since 1986, for example, federal law severely restricted and essentially banned the manufacture and sale of automatic weapons (better known as ‘gangster’ style machine guns). Federal law is the minimum and many states place tighter restrictions on gun possession including wait periods, semi-automatic weapons bans, and conceal and carry restrictions. A full list of Minnesota‘s laws can be found by visiting the Minnesota Legislature website at http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/firearmsgd.pdf.

I believe more gun control is not the answer. We must also recognize this tragedy deals with issues of mental health and mental illness. In 2008, I supported the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Since the enactment of this legislation, federal law now requires that when an insurer chooses to cover mental health and substance use disorder services, they must offer coverage of those services at parity with medical and surgical services. We must look at the reasons this happened and how to stop it from happening in the future. We must focus on good public policy rather than rushing to legislate.

As new details continue to emerge about the tragedy, one thing remains certain: a community – and a nation – have been forever changed by this unthinkable act. Like you, I believe we must ensure that those affected have the support they need from our nation’s leaders. We must not legislate in haste; instead, we must take a thoughtful, comprehensive approach. As the details of the appalling devastation continue to emerge, the nation and Congress will talk about school safety, and how best to protect our precious children when they leave us for school each day.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please feel free to do so again regarding any issue of importance to you.

Sincerely,

JOHN KLINE
Member of Congress

This e-mail box is unable to accept responses. If you would like to send a comment to Congressman Kline, please visit: http://kline.house.gov/.

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Pirates in Minnesota!!

Piracy is not only occurring on the high seas.  It’s happening right here in the Minnesota state legislature.
 
DFL leaders in the House and Senate have helped to pass gigantic tax increases to close a $6.4 billion budget deficit of their own creation. The Senate plan calls for an across-the-board income tax increase to collect $2 billion in new revenues.
 
The House plan is a patchwork of tax hikes on income, tobacco, alcohol, recreational vehicles, and even includes a tax on homeowners who have higher energy (natural gas) use during winter months (shame on you for using your furnace when the temperature is below zero).  Property tax caps are swept away and counties will be given the option to increase local sales taxes by .5%.  The House bill also eliminates some pretty substantial tax deductions, like the mortgage interest deduction and education tax credits.

Because the House and Senate plans are different, their next stop is a conference committee, where members of the House and Senate will put their heads together to reconcile differences in the bills (and possibly make the tax-hikes even bigger) before sending the final bill to the Governor’s desk.

These bills do nothing to address the fundamental problem of out-of-control government spending. They solely rely on the taxpayer’s wallet and accounting shifts (delaying payment until later) and one-time money, meaning the legislators will be back looking for even more tax dollars in two years when they have to make good on delayed payments and one-time money is no longer available.

In the midst of a serious economic recession in combination with the state’s record budget deficit, it is simply amazing that these lawmakers are not giving serious consideration to substantial cuts in state spending. They have spent the state into the red and now they want to balance the budget on the backs of Minnesota families and businesses.

TAKE ACTION

1. Call your Representative and let them know what you think about their vote on the House Tax Bill:
http://capwiz.com/mnmajority/callalert/index.tt?alertid=13239661&type=ST

2. Call your Senator and let them know what you think about their vote on the Senate Tax Bill:
http://capwiz.com/mnmajority/callalert/index.tt?alertid=13239731&type=ST

3. The Governor’s veto pen is the only thing standing in the way of these tax bills becoming law. The governor has said he will veto and tax increase. Contact the governor now and tell him you support his veto of the tax bill:
http://capwiz.com/mnmajority/callalert/index.tt?alertid=13239911&type=SW

4. Be sure to attend the Tax Cut Rally at the State Capitol on Saturday:

Taxpayers League of Minnesota eUpdate

1.  DFL’s Tax, Tax, Tax Plan

2.  Tax Cut Rally – Let Us Know You’ll be There!

3.  The Spend, Spend, Spend Plan

4.  Don’t Just Sit There – Do Something!

 

 

1.  DFL’s Tax, Tax, Tax Plan

With one month left to balance the state’s budget (which is currently running a $6 billion deficit), you can imagine that the tax increase proposals are popping up.  After all, for tax-and-spenders it’s an easy cop out.

 

Here’s a run down of the House DFL’s $1.8 billion tax bill just proposed Monday.

 

New 4th Tier Income Tax Bracket:  Joint filers who make $300,000 or more would pay 9%, which is one of the highest tax rates in the country. 

Sin Taxes:  Because they are “easier” to justify, the House DFL proposed tax increases on cigarettes and alcohol.  After cigarettes just got slapped with a 61 cent per pack tax increase at the federal level, this bill would increase it another 54 cents.  And alcoholic drinks would have a sales tax increase bringing the rate from 12.1% to 15.7% depending on where it is purchased. 

 

Digital Downloads:  Currently if you go to a local store to buy music you will pay sales tax on it.  However, if download music digitally online you don’t have to pay taxes on it.  The House DFL is proposing to expand the sales tax to digitally downloaded music purchases.  This would hurt Minnesota businesses because it’s so easy to purchase digital music from businesses not based in Minnesota (who don’t have sales tax) on the internet.

 

Eliminating Tax Deductions:  The House DFL also hopes to raise $275 million by eliminating several tax deductions including the popular home mortgage interest, charitable contributions, property taxes and others. 

 

The Senate DFL has also proposed their own tax bill – to the tune of $2.2 billion:

 

New 4th Tier Income Tax Bracket:  The Senate bill goes further than the House and creates a new tier for joint filers who make $250,000 or more.  The rate is 9.25%. 

 

Across the Board Income Tax Increases:  The Senate DFL not only increases taxes on the highest wage-earners, but increases every single income tax rate. 

 

Both House and Senate Democrats insist the only way to resolve the state’s budget shortfall is billions of dollars in new taxes.  In order to solve budget deficit for the long term, legislators must reform government spending.  Please contact your legislator today and tell them to read “Real State Budget Reform” which is a proposal to solve the budget deficit without raising taxes. 

 

2.  Tax Cut Rally – Let Us Know You’ll be There!

Join the Taxpayers League and Jason Lewis at the 2009 Tax Cut Rally!  On Saturday, May 2nd, from 11am-4pm thousands of Minnesotans will converge upon the state capitol grounds to tell legislators that their tax-and-spend ways have got to go.  This year the Tax Cut Rally is a full fun-filled and family-friendly day with many activities, including:

Food

Exhibitors

Emailing Legislators about not raising taxes to balance the budget!

American Freedom Display

Borders Books

Remembering Our Troops Tour

Tax Cut Rally T-Shirts

And best of all….a great line up of speakers including Governor “Veto Pen” Pawlenty and America’s Mr. Right” Jason Lewis.

 

You won’t want to miss this!  Visit our website for the latest news and to help.

 

 

3.  The Spend, Spend, Spend Plan

The first major finance bill to pass the state House and Senate this year does nothing to help balance the state’s $6 billion budget deficit.

 

In fact, it is another multi-million spending package in the form of a bonding bill.  The Senate’s version is $329 million and the House’s is slightly smaller.  Although even years are when the state legislature usually passes bonding bills, the state legislature decided to use the wavering economy as a justification for spending more taxpayer dollars this year.

 

But does the state of Minnesota really need $11 million for gorilla and polar bear exhibits, $6.5 million for a women’s hockey exposition center, and $4 million for a volleyball facility? 

 

Just like in Washington, legislators in St. Paul are creating more debt for taxpayers and their children and their tax-and-spend ways must be exposed.  What a great reason to join us at the Tax Cut Rally on May 2nd!

 

Read more about the bonding bills in Phil Krinkie’s column “There They Go Again” here.

 

 

4.  Don’t Just Sit There – Do Something!

It’s great to see thousands of you across Minnesota out voicing your opinion on government spending and taxes at the Tax Day Tea Party held on April 15th.  Maybe you feel you need to get involved in doing your part to hold government accountable but don’t know quite how.  We’ve got an answer for you!

 

Become a watchdog on your own local government!  Join the Taxpayers League and the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota as we kick off our local watchdog campaign!  On Saturday, May 9th we’re hosting a training day on starting a local watchdog group.  Now is the time to get involved, so don’t miss this event!

 

The local watchdog training will be at the Taxpayers League office on May 9th from 9am-1:30pm.  Our address is 2050 Old Highway 8 NW in New Brighton.  Email Brad for more info and to reserve your spot.