Fox 9 News / Rasmussen Reports Poll – 7/20

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

The latest Fox 9 News / Rasmussen Reports poll shows all three DFL Candidates leading both Tom Emmer and Tom Horner.


Fox 9 Questions

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Fox 9 News posed 9 questions to all major candidates and posted their responses this morning.

Tom Horner and Rob Hahn

Dean Barkley - Email

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Dear Fellow Independence Party Supporter,
I am reaffirming and announcing my official endorsement for Tom Horner, Independence Party candidate for Governor.
First, I support Tom Horner because I feel he has the best solutions to resolving the massive budget deficit the state faces this next biennium. Tom offers the most comprehensive plan to balance the budget and create a more favorable environment for jobs in Minnesota. He is committed to improving the educational system in our state through sufficient funding and by empowering competent teachers in their classrooms.
Today, Tom Horner announced an innovative Community Vitality Program to help create jobs throughout Minnesota, allowing our children to remain in their hometown communities if they choose. Healthy economic communities means healthy local school systems and a healthy state overall. Fixing our budget and our state requires a comprehensive plan, not just easy slogans like "tax the rich" or "cut the budget."
Our next governor cannot accomplish these goals by coming too far from the right or left. Democrats and Republicans are staked in keeping the other from being successful. Only an independent leader will be able to break through the political gridlock to enact the types of initiatives we need to move "Four Years Forward."
JULY 19 – Public Subsidy Deadline
Monday, July 19th is the last day a candidate for state office can qualify for public financing. By sending Tom a contribution today you can put him over the top and make him eligible to receive an additional $450,000 in public subsidy funds from the state. This money is vital for cutting through messages Republicans and Democrats will saturate the airwaves with this fall. I need you to make your secure online contribution now by going to
AUGUST 10 – Primary Election
You have the opportunity to "Send A Message" to incumbents by voting for Tom in the August 10 primary election. Every vote counts, and the greater the support for Tom, the louder the message that Minnesotans are ready for change.
If you are not available to vote on August 10, visit the Secretary of State’s web site and download an absentee ballot. Make your voice heard by voting now. Or vote on August 10 and be certain to cast your Independence Party ballot for the most qualified, honest and ethical candidate running for governor this year, Tom Horner.
I am proud to offer my endorsement to Tom Horner for Governor. He stands for the common sense solutions that we need to balance our state’s budgets, reduce the state’s deficit, and get our state back on its feet. We cannot sit back and take four more years of legislative inaction. Take action today! I look forward to seeing many of you again along the campaign trail.
U. S. Senator Dean Barkley

Tom Horner visits Menahga

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

It is not very often that a gubernatorial candidate takes the time to visit the folks in towns between the county seats in our area, but this past weekend Independence Party candidate Tom Horner and his son Kevin took the opportunity to meet and greet people at numerous community events in Wadena, Hubbard, Otter Tail and Cass counties. Their schedule included a parade and community picnic in Pelican Rapids, a meet-and-greet event in Park Rapids, touring the tornado damage and cleanup in Wadena, a Sunday morning pancake breakfast in Menahga, and the pig races Sunday afternoon in Nevis. (By the way, the "Independent" pig won the Governor's Race against the porkers in Democratic and Republican clothes.)

A tour of the school facilities was supposed to be part of his visit to Menahga on Sunday, but apparently miscommunication resulted in school officials and the candidate not connecting. Horner made the best of the situation by remaining at the Senior Citizens Community Center to visit with people enjoying the Gateway Lions Pancake Breakfast and to talk with the media.

Tom Horner is a Republican-turned-Independence Party candidate running for the office of governor. His father, Jack Horner, was one of Minnesota's first radio and television personalities.


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Pioneer Press – Horner Lays out plan for slimming the budget

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson

Independence Party candidate Tom Horner offered a series of initiatives Thursday that he said would create jobs and revitalize local communities.

But Horner and his running mate, Jim Mulder, didn't put price tags on their broad-based mix of tax breaks and spending proposals, saying those would be worked out later.

At a St. Paul news conference, Horner outlined what he described as the first of a series of efforts aimed at turning around the fortunes of the state, which is looking at another multibillion-dollar budget deficit. Under questioning, he said he also would consider capping tax deductions that homeowners can claim.

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Rob Hahn posts Budget Solution

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    Income Tax Reform

    New bracket for the über-rich
    Create a new 9 percent bracket for taxable income over $250,000 for a married couple filing jointly. This would raise approximately $468 million in the next biennium. This is merely one-half a percent more than the highest bracket was paying in 1998.1

    Capital gains tax reduction
    Reduce this tax to half its current level, when the gains result from long-term investments in Minnesota-based companies. This will encourage more people to consider investing in both existing, but more importantly in start-up companies, at a time when banks are not lending money freely like they once did.

    Corporate Tax Reform

    Cut and eliminate corporate income tax
    Make Minnesota really business-friendly. Cut the corporate income tax, currently 9.8%, in half and eliminate it entirely for businesses who invest 2.5% of their profits in PIE2 (Partners In Education – details of program to be announced later in July) and agree to certain parameters (i.e. purchase equipment from Minnesota dealers, make some investment in training and hiring unemployed, penalty for outsourcing or moving business out-of-state). This will encourage existing businesses to expand in Minnesota and allow them to pay better wages. Additionally, it will offer incentives for start-up companies to base themselves in Minnesota and help lure existing companies to Minnesota. More jobs mean more income tax. By investing in PIE, Minnesota businesses will help train and employ Minnesota students and recent graduates while simultaneously defraying their tuition costs.

    Get rid of loopholes and other needless protections
    · Close the loophole that allows companies to assign profits to a subsidiary in “tax haven” countries, essentially shielding it from taxation.
    · Discontinue the current Foreign Royalty exclusion, which exempts from taxation any income from when a multinational receives royalty payments from its foreign subsidiaries.
    · Repealing the special tax treatment of Foreign Operating Corporations (FOCs) and treat income earned from foreign sources the same as income produced domestically.
    It’s projected the savings from these reforms would raise $283 million.3


    Health Care - Switch to total cost of care model
    The focus of health care needs to be switched to health outcomes and not fees for services, according to the Bush Foundation. Under this plan, providers would decide on the cost of a year’s worth of services, and while teaming up with other sectors, essentially create a state portfolio of publicly paid health care. This is real health care reform, not just health coverage reform. The savings to the state would be $2.6 billion per biennium.5

    Provide health insurance subsidies, not health care services and payments
    Combine the four medical assistance programs for efficiency and provide an annual subsidy to a Health Savings Account (HSA). This has the potential to cover all currently uninsured Minnesotans, allowing them to purchase health insurance on the open market. The Legislature might need to remove the restriction for purchasing health insurance only within Minnesota. Projected savings is $2.85 billion per biennium.6

    Opt-in to Medicaid
    Capture federal dollars by “opting-in” to early expansion of Medicaid. Net benefit to the state over next biennium could be $1.2 billion.7

    Reform the Social Security Title IV-D program
    This would ensure that child support services are paid only to parents who qualify for public assistance. This is a component of Rob Hahn’s family law reform proposal. Estimated savings are $258.3 million per biennium.8

    Switch from county-delivered to region-delivered services
    Instead of 87 counties, there would be six regions to deliver services. By “combining funding streams, reducing administration costs and eliminating unnecessary rules, regulations, reports and advisory groups,” this reform will save an estimated $355 million per biennium.9

    Redefine state-county relationships
    Counties would be given more leeway by lifting levy limits and other property tax restrictions. Such changes would also make the counties more accountable to their citizens for money spent and services rendered. The state would provide a framework for as well as results expected from the property tax system and also work with counties to identify outcomes and associated dollars for services administered by the state but delivered by the counties. Approximately $267 million would be saved by redefining these relationships.10

    (All figures, unless otherwise noted, are the total for a biennium)

    New Forms of Revenue

    Riverboat Gambling
    Legalizing state-sponsored riverboat gambling on waterways throughout the state would generate between $800 million to $1.2 billion per biennium with six boats in operation and create 3,000 jobs. Under the Hahn proposal, 50% would go to the General Fund, 20% to K-12, 20% to LGA and 10% to promoting tourism. There will also be a financial benefit (pre-tax formula) for host cities and counties not to mention the boon to their local hospitality businesses.11

    New tax bracket for über-rich
    By creating an additional tax bracket for families making $250,000 or more, it is projected the state would earn an additional $468 million per biennium in income tax collections.

    Fat Tax
    Place a tax on fast food restaurants (possibly 3-5%) and on soda pop (possibly a one-cent tax on every four ounces). Conservative estimates suggest this would take in approximately $100 million or more every two years, some of which will be used to offset the additional $1billion we Minnesotans pay in health care costs related to problems that result from obesity. 12

    Cut corporate loopholes
    By repealing three basic loopholes, which currently benefit some companies, the state would add $283 million to its coffers.

    New Revenue from Redesigns

    Health Care - Switch to total cost of care model
    The savings to the state would be $2.6 billion per biennium.

    Provide health insurance subsidies, not health care services and payments
    $2.85 billion

    Reform the Social Security Title IV-D program
    $258 million

    Switch from county-delivered to region-delivered services
    $355 million

    Redefine state-county Relationships
    $267 million would be save by redefining these relationships.

    Total Revenues from new sources and reform
    More than $6 Billion

    About The Proposal

    As sourcing indicates, we culled information from studies conducted by different groups from both the left, right and middle of the political spectrum. In addition, we also did our own in-depth analysis of various figures and proposals. Current revenue streams and other economic adjustments might affect some of the projected figures slightly. We provided these figures to third parties, who agreed most, if not all, figures provided in these proposals, though approximate, could theoretically be accurate. While the total amount of revenue generated from new sources and redesign of the system exceeds $8 billion, we’ve accounted for some loss of revenue that would result from the reforms to capital gains and corporate income tax reductions. However, the cut in corporate income tax will generate the creation of new jobs, which will increase the income tax base.

    The proposals are not absolute and most likely need some refining. But they represent a strong and innovative starting point to balance our budget and plan for the future. There are no short-term fixes in these proposals but rather long-term solutions.


    1 Minnesota Budget Project based on House Research.

    2 Rob Hahn For Governor PIE Initiative. Details to be unveiled separately.

    3 Ibid.

    5 The Bush Foundation, “Minnesota’s Bottom Line”

    6 The Minnesota Budget Solutions Coalition

    7 Minnesota Budget Project and others

    8 The Minnesota Budget Solutions Coalition

    9 The Bush Foundation, “Minnesota’s Bottom Line”

    10 The Bush Foundation, “Minnesota’s Bottom Line”

    11 Rob Hahn For Governor study and analysis

    12 Ibid.; Minnesota Health Department Study

Can't Buy me Votes ....

Posted by Jeffrey Johnson Labels:

A number of stories this week on the vast amounts of money being stock piled for the upcoming election season.

Bloomberg Businessweek


Rob Hahn proposes Fat Tax

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Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Rob Hahn proposes a 3- to 5-percent tax on foods with high fat and high calories, and a 1-cent tax on four ounce soft drinks. (File)

It's not always healthy to eat, but is fast food bad enough to tax? That's what one Minnesota governor candidate wants to do.

This is one issue almost every Minnesotan will understand. Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Rob Hahn is proposing what he calls a "fat tax" on fast foods, soft drinks and even high calorie coffee drinks.

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Mankato News on Tom Horner's Plan to keep Youth in communities

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View it here

Star Tribune looks at Rob Hahn

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People on their way to the office last Thursday couldn't help but notice Rob Hahn jogging through downtown Minneapolis in a black suit.

When you're an Independence Party gubernatorial candidate with no endorsement, no money and no name recognition, it's best not to be late when a law firm wants to learn more about your candidacy.

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Interview with Steven Wilson in Pipestone County Star Newspaper

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The Independence party has two seats in the U.S. Senate, but zero seats in the U.S. House.

Independence Party candidate Steven Wilson is hoping to breach that Republican/Democratic stronghold with his bid for Minnesota’s First Congressional District — a district that spans southern Minnesota from South Dakota to Wisconsin.

“We’re in the right place at the right time,” Wilson said. “I’m the independent voice that’s conservative and that I think 40 percent of the voters are looking for.”

Wilson, who received the endorsement from his party, is running against DFL incumbent Tim Walz; Republican candidate Randy Demmer; and Lars Johnson, a party-free candidate.

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Survey USA – MN 6th Congressional District

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Survey USA has released a new survey covering the Minnesota 6th Congressional District, in which Republican Michelle Bachmann is the incumbent and is running against Tarryl Clark (D), Bob Anderson (IP) and Aubrey Immelman (I).

The first thing which caught my eye in the results is that only 5% are listed as undecided. I actually noticed this before looking at the other numbers. This is an awfully low mark for this early in the season and while we are talking the 6th CD so it is possible that people have made up their mind whether or not they are voting for Bachmann it seems much too low.

The next thing that caught my eye was Bachmann's 48% and if the undecided seemed off, to me it clearly seems that Bachmann's numbers are also seem off. There are a couple of reasons for this, first the Democratic Party believes that Bachmann is vulnerable and a number like 48% doesn't equate to that possibility. Second, living in the 6th CD, albeit in a fairly "liberal" section if such a place exists, much of the discussion is on the millions both major candidates have amassed and when we start seeing the ads in full force.

When I look at Party Affiliation 36% Republican, 28% Democrat, and 31% Independent seems in line so it doesn't appear that the sample is tilted one way or the other.

Then of course I see how the results appear to be skewed in Bachmann's favor, 57% of the respondents own at least one fire arm. The largest number I have seen is around 42% for the state as Gun Owners tend to be more conservative that is a benefit for Bachmann. So while the rural 6th CD might have a slightly higher percentage of Gun Owners than the state average I doubt it is 15% higher.

So what do we do with these numbers?

There is little question that Bachmann is in the lead at the moment, the size of her lead in the election is probably smaller than the stated 9 percentage points. So at this point it something to watch.

What to Watch in upcoming polls?

The first thing to watch is the percentage of voters in the +/-50 age band. Currently the number of voters is 53% below age 50, the change in that number will be interesting, in the 6th CD I believe the more +50 voters there are as a percentage the better off it will be for Bachmann. In the latest numbers by the US Census bureau on age ranges only 15% of the population or 32% of the eligible voters. As these voters (especially in the more rural settings) a) tend to vote more often and b) tend to be more conservative in said situations. It will be interesting to watch.

The next thing to watch is percent undecided. I would have expected that number to be about 10% this early, but this is the 6th CD, if that number changes upward it will diminish the "trustworthyness" of this poll.

And finally percent Gun Owners. I thought this number was too high, a number closer to 47% would be more realistic for this CD.

What About Bob?

Bob is in a unique situation, I would expect Bob to draw around 10 to 12% in the general election, that number is going to be driven up or down by the actions of the Two Major Parties. If one or the other of the Two major Candidates has a major issue that number will increase, and if both parties go extremely negative (beyond the usual name calling) it could really drive his number up. It will really depend on how close to the election it happens.

Star Tribune looks at Tom Horner

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Introducing himself to 200 people at the India Association of Minnesota political forum in Bloomington, Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner paused to take a swipe at the man seated next to him.

"It's good to see Rep. Emmer," Horner said drily of Republican endorsee Tom Emmer. "Some of us had forgotten what he looked like."

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AP - Timid on taxes? Not in Minnesota governor's race

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ST. PAUL, Minn. — One Minnesota governor hopeful framed his open concession to raise taxes as his "Walter Mondale moment." Another contender is fond of saying "Read my lips: Tax the rich" and makes a pro-tax pledge in TV ads. Two others don't shy either from tax calls.

At a time when the tea party and its had-enough message have politicians nationwide treading carefully, Minnesota's race stands out as a stark test of the public's appetite for government services versus a willingness to pay for them.

Voters will decide whether to veer left, a path that includes new taxes, or opt for another Republican vowing to rid the state of a budget deficit approaching $6 billion by attacking spending even more aggressively than departing GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty did in his eight years. Pawlenty blocked nearly every tax increase, but Democrats say the state can't rely on spending cuts alone.

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Ballot Access

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Minnesota has three ballot-qualified parties, all of which will choose their nominees on primary day, August 10. On July 2, TPT, a public television station in Minnesota, sponsored intra-party gubernatorial debates. See the one-hour broadcast here.

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Mankato Press – Rob Hahn on Divorce changes.

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MANKATO — Rob Hahn, an Independence Party candidate for governor, admits that divorce law is personal for him.

A father of two young boys, his divorce was finalized last year.

"It was probably at that time that I first gave serious consideration to running for governor," Hahn said during a stop in Mankato to promote his proposal to reform family law.

He describes his custody arrangement as not ideal but "pretty good." And since his divorce decree has been finalized, the proposed changes wouldn't affect him personally.

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AP Reporting Large Scale spending against Tom Emmer

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Associated Press

The first substantial infusion of interest group money in the Minnesota governor's race is a half-million-dollar TV ad buy from a left-leaning group criticizing Republican Tom Emmer.

The Alliance for a Better Minnesota said Tuesday the ads would air statewide. The group said the spot dissects Emmer's voting record and compares the state legislator to Gov. Tim Pawlenty. A copy wasn't immediately available.

Past campaign reports show the alliance gets its money from labor unions, environmental groups and American Indian tribes.

Minnesota voters are expected to see plenty of advertising from groups not officially connected to candidates. That's because recent court rulings eased restrictions on how money could flow into the system.

A coalition of business groups says it too will be more active in the 2010 campaign than it has been in previous elections.

KSTP on Rob Hahn’s request for the IP to pull back endorsement

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Independence Party Candidate for Governor, Rob Hahn, is asking his party to take back their endorsement of Tom Horner for Governor.

Hahn claims a recent poll conducted by Decision Resources Limited broke campaign ethics because the company is owned by Horner's deputy manager.

Hahn also claims the results were shared with Horner before they were released.

Those results gave Horner a stronger showing than previous polls.


Rob Hahn on Tenure

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Grand Forks Herald

"Tenure a joke'"

Independence Party governor candidate Rob Hahn may not have won many friends when he said teacher "tenure is a joke" in an education forum mostly populated by a pretty liberal crowd.

"It is a license to be lazy and unproductive," he said at a forum whose main sponsor was the liberal think tank Growth and Justice.

Some quiet gasps were heard in the audience when Hahn said that.

The candidate said people may not agree with everything he says, but they will understand where he stands.

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Star Tribune – GOP Complaint Tossed

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Star Tribune

A judge dismissed a Republican Party complaint Thursday that alleged endorsed Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner illegally profited from a poll he didn't pay for.

Despite the ruling, Independence Party gubernatorial challenger Rob Hahn called on Horner to withdraw from the race, saying Horner's involvement with the polling firm showed a lapse in judgment.

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Administrative Judge Dismisses Complaint against Horner’s Campaign

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Bill Salisbury – St. Paul Pioneer Press

An administrative law judge on Thursday dismissed a Minnesota Republican Party complaint against Tom Horner, the Independence Party-endorsed candidate for governor, for accepting what the GOP alleged were illegal corporate campaign contributions.
State Republican Chairman Tony Sutton said the party would appeal the ruling.
But Horner campaign manager Stephen Imholte said the ruling confirms that the Republican complaint was "bogus."

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