Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ersatz Republicans

Rep. John Benson (photo: Minnesota House)Sen. Terri Bonoff (photo: Minnesota Senate)After years of governing from the left, SD43 Sen. Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka) and HD43B Rep. John Benson (DFL-Minnetonka), like many of their DFL colleagues, are campaigning toward the middle. Bonoff has gained endorsements from business groups (which are becoming increasingly anti-free market), at least one of her parade appearances featured a costumed actor as the Statue of Liberty, and Republican door-knockers have heard from some SD43 voters who think that Bonoff is the Republican endorsee. Benson is endorsed by former Republican governor (and current RINO) Arne Carlson.

Yet their voting records, very closely following DFL leadership Sen. Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller (DFL-Minneapolis), House Majority Leader Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL-Minneapolis), and even Congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama, belie these canny yet misleading efforts at partisan makeovers for the 2010 elections. Voters in other districts should also evaluate their DFL incumbents' claims against their voting records now for an informed vote on November 2.

For example, if Benson is on-board with Tom Emmer's emphasis on jobs as he claims in his latest campaign literature piece, then why is he authoring the Minnesota Health Plan bill, which eliminates 1100 health insurance jobs in Minnetonka and Plymouth? If Benson is all about jobs, why hasn't he addressed the onerous regulatory environment in Minnesota for the last four years he has been in office? This effort alone would have kept thousands of jobs in Minnesota. If Benson is for jobs, why does he vote for a fourth income tax tier on families earning $150,000 or more, which hurts small business owners? If he is about jobs, why does he support billions in tax increases on businesses and high income families?

If Bonoff is such a fiscal watchdog, why does she favor an expansion of the sales tax so that state government can spend even more of Minnesotans' money? If she is such a "moderate" Democrat, why has she voted with the liberal DFL caucus almost 9 out of 10 times, and consistently scores among the lowest on scorecards from the Taxpayers League of Minnesota and Minnesota Majority?

The DFL has finally recognized that Minnesotans are tired of the runaway spending and insatiable taxation that has forced businesses and jobs out of The Gopher State. To save their seats, these DFL incumbents may have had deathbed conversions on taxes and spending, but I wouldn't count on it lasting much longer than the day after Election Day, regardless of the outcome.

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