Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Is Congress listening to the people?

By Brian W. Grogan

Is Congress listening to the people? The British didn’t during the 1770s.

Under the Stamp Act (1765) and Townsend Act (1767), the British government attempted to impose taxes on the American colonies. The colonies refused to pay the levies claiming they had no obligation to pay taxes imposed by a government in which they had no representation.

In response to the colonies' position, the King and Parliament, rather than wisely granting representation, choose instead to enact a back room deal which eliminated the taxes but imposed a duty on tea (a hidden tax). By refusing to acknowledge the American people’s fundamental right to representation, the British government encouraged our country’s act of defiance (The Boston Tea Party) and the eventual war of independence that was first started and fought in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Ironically, there are similar feelings occurring today and again it is the citizens of Massachusetts sending the signal to our elected leaders in Washington, D.C. Will our leaders in Washington acknowledge our sentiment or will they act like Britain’s arrogant leaders of 1774?

Recent polls and the election results in Massachusetts clearly show people are upset with the failure of our elected leaders to represent the American people. We sense the elected elite craving power over us rather than serving us.

We are a nation of people who want elected officials of moral character and truthfulness and who will listen and serve the people. We want minimum government interference and the freedom to pursue endeavors that offer personal and financial rewards.

We believe our economic system is the best at rewarding hard work and the opportunity to succeed regardless of background, race, religion and education. We want a government that provides the framework to succeed by putting the strength of our nation with the people not the government.

Many Americans today do not believe our elected leaders stand for these fundamental rights. Thank you, citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for once again sending a clear message to our elected leaders.

Are you listening, leaders?

Brian Grogan, Minnetonka, Minn., is running for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 43B.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's January 25, do you know where your caucus is?

If you don't know where your precinct caucus is, hint #1 is that it will be by definition close to home. A precinct is a political geographic area, like a county or school district. You can think of it as your political neighborhood. Your state Senate District is made up of a bunch of precincts.

Hint #2 is go to the Minnesota Secretary of State's caucus web site at, enter your location information, and find your caucus. Note the Senate District and precinct you are in, you will need this information when you arrive to register at your caucus, and to locate the room where your precinct is meeting.

Visit True North for detailed information on how you can help to steer our state back toward the Constitutional principles of limited government, free markets, and liberty, next Tuesday and in the 2010 election cycle.

Precinct caucus day in Minnesota is Tuesday, February 1, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bonoff, Benson announce town hall meetings

Sen. Terri Bonoff, (DFL-SD43), and Rep. John Benson, (DFL-HD43B), have announced that they will conduct local town hall meetings tomorrow and next Saturday:

Saturday, January 23rd
10:00-11:30 a.m.
Minnetonka Community Center, City Council Chambers
14600 Minnetonka Blvd.

Saturday, January 30th
10:00-11:30 a.m.
Plymouth City Hall, City Council Chambers
3400 Plymouth Blvd.

Friday, January 15, 2010

John Benson: pro business, or not so much?

With a little over two weeks until the statewide precinct caucus day on Tuesday, February 2, Republican Brian Grogan has already resumed his campaign to unseat second-term DFL incumbent John Benson from his state House seat in district 43B. Grogan first ran against Benson in 2008, falling short by 11% of the votes in that race. Benson is nevertheless a worthy candidate: well-informed, well-spoken, very hard working, accessible.

Can Grogan pull together the key elements of messenger, message, and money to unseat Benson this November? Grogan has been honing the second piece of that puzzle in the "offseason," and fired his first shot in this week's Lakeshore Weekly News:
Rep. John Benson recently expressed in this paper his desire to create a more favorable climate for small businesses and responsible strategies to lower unemployment.

I appreciate this position but his voting record stands in stark contrast to his words. The Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota's largest, small business advocacy group rated Benson in 2009 ( on 13 legislative, pro-business priorities. He agreed with only 4 of the 13 positions and has consistently scored low on the Chamber's annual scorecard. In addition, he opposed the expansion of the JOBZ program and the Minnesota Taxpayer's League has consistently scored Benson low.

Since elected in 2007, Benson has consistently voted for increasing taxes and spending and opposed job creation legislation. It would be nice to know what Benson means by favorable business climate and responsible strategies to lower unemployment because his voting record doesn't support job creation.

More evidence of Grogan's offseason due diligence (i.e., opposition research) can be seen on his web site, where he has a comprehensive listing of the lowlights of Benson's voting record on taxes and spending, health care, business, education, and more. I'll be highlighting that record and Grogan's agenda here throughout the campaign season.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Take back our state by taking back our party

SD 43 precinct caucus, 2008 (photo: North Star Liberty

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.

My able colleagues at True North have posted an excellent new 2010 Precinct Caucus guide. It includes a primer on Minnesota's precinct caucus system, definitions of terms, and an inspirational call-to-action by former Republican local party officer Andy Aplikowski.

"The beauty is that in Minnesota with our Precinct Caucus system, those who show up, actually do run the party," says Aplikowski. "We can take the party back and use it to return America to its freedom based roots, but - and this is important - we can't have a conservative and liberty based Republican Party if there is a minority of conservatives and those with libertarian leanings who show up to endorse candidates and become Delegates."

Mark your calendar now on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, at 7:00 pm, and show up informed and ready to roll at this very real and practical exercise in self-government. Your commitment at this lowest level in the party process will have an impact all the way up to the candidate endorsements, and help determine where the heart and soul of the party will be for 2010 and beyond.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Semper Fi

A recent chain of local armed robberies is testing faith, family, and loyalty to the limits.

Former United States Marine Corps Reserves Sergeant Tim Carson was charged with robbing an Apple Valley bank last week, and soon confessed to numerous other recent armed robberies in several Twin Cities communities, according to the Star Tribune and other local media reports. Incredibly, Carson is a two-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, including over a year in the elite Special Operations Division.

Fellow officers, family, and friends were shocked at the charges and stories in the newspapers and on television. The police union was quick to throw Carson under the bus. "Good luck to him in jail," said Lt. John Delmonico, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, in a Star Tribune report on the day of Carson's arrest. Delmoico called the charges "disgusting and a disgrace to the badge."

Carson, a graduate of Wayzata High School, was a former member of my church and on my church's prayer chain during his deployment to Iraq. The Star Tribune summarized his service in the Reserves as follows:
Carson was a reservist with the 4th Marine Division, headquartered in the Twin Cities, from June 2000 to May 2006, military officials said Friday. He was a military policeman and achieved the rank of sergeant.

He was deployed to Iraq from Jan. 5, 2004, to Jan. 4, 2005, said Maj. Shawn Haney, a Marine Corps public affairs officer.

According to military personnel records, Carson was honored with an Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and other honors.

Carson's Marine Corps service obviously does not excuse his recent behavior; in fact, it makes his alleged crimes all the more egregious. After all, once you are a Marine, you are always and forever a Marine.

Although I never met him in person, I have prayed for Tim Carson (and his brother, also in the military) and other troops we know during their deployments. Many details about his personal circumstances (which include a three-year-old daughter who required frequent hospitalization due to chronic illness) that have not been reported in the media, according to the family's wishes. Even as Carson should be held accountable under the law and provide restitution to his victims, my hope and prayer is that he somehow finds forgiveness and redemption in Christ, through family, friends, and colleagues.