My Point of View: Enough is enough with the Democrats in Minn.

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2024

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My Point of View by Aaron Farris

Things have been pretty rough in Minnesota under total Democratic control, and it’s well past time for a change. That change starts at the Minnesota caucuses, where Republicans will kick off this year’s election cycle and get ready to take back the Minnesota House. The Freeborn County Republican Party caucuses will begin at Southwest Middle School on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., and I know I speak for the entire GOP leadership team when I say that we would love to see you there.

Aaron Farris

In Minnesota, Democrats took a $17 billion surplus and turned it into a $2.3 billion deficit in just one session. Minnesota currently ranks 44th out of 50 on the State Business Climate Index. Liberal nonprofits like Winona LaDuke’s (which, according to the attorney general’s office, mishandled claims of harassment and made unauthorized transactions to her family members) were almost given hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars last year at the Democrats’ direction. With that surplus money, we could have fixed many aspects of the child care crisis, invested in necessary infrastructure projects like Albert Lea’s wastewater treatment plant, invested in rural health care, invested in school safety or we could have given it back to the taxpayers. The list of good things that could have legitimately been done is endless. But instead, Democrats blew through the surplus, continued spending, continued raising taxes and put menstrual products in boys bathrooms.

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Two hundred thousand Minnesota seniors continue to be taxed on their Social Security benefits. Republicans attempted to end the tax on those benefits, yet couldn’t get any Democrats to join them. Republicans opposed $3 billion in new payroll taxes, a $423 million gas tax increase, a delivery tax that will cost Minnesotans $189 million over the next four years, a 6.87% motor vehicle sales tax increase, a $7 million increase in boat registration fees, $800 million in increased vehicle registration fees, and let’s not forget the new $729 million palace for Minnesota politicians. Despite Minnesota’s massive budget surplus, we now have $10 billion in new taxes and fees, paired with an anticipated $2.3 billion deficit. It’s time to bring some fiscal conservatism and common sense back to the Minnesota House. Imagine taking a massive $17 billion surplus, adding $10 billion in tax increases, growing the state budget by an unsustainable 40%, then acting surprised when we find out we’re staring down a deficit. Who could have seen that one coming?

With all that surplus money, you think we could have improved school safety measures, right? Nope, quite the opposite actually. Democrats passed legislation that’s forced many school districts to take their School Resource Officers (SRO) out of their schools. Despite claiming all of last summer that Republicans were blowing the SRO issue out of proportion, Democrats have finally scheduled a hearing for a SRO fix bill. I guess that wasn’t such a politically manufactured issue after all.

There’s an ongoing push to turn Minnesota into a sanctuary state (which would include giving illegal immigrants taxpayer-funded government benefits) as President Biden’s border crisis continues to allow the almost unmitigated flow of narcotics, child traffickers and foreign nationals across the southern border. Seriously, Democrats held a press conference just last Thursday to announce the “North STAR Act,” a piece of legislation that would prohibit Minnesota state and local law enforcement officials from acting to enforce federal civil immigration law. While we’re witnessing the horrific consequences of illegal immigration in real time on the southern border, Democrats are continuing their efforts to fan the flames of this nationwide problem. Democrats have a trifecta in Minnesota. They could be using their power to make Minnesota a destination location to raise a family, start a business, live the best years of your life, or, you know, simply be able to feel safe. Instead, they want to see Minnesota become a destination location for illegal immigration and the community — destroying consequences that come with it.

On behalf of the Freeborn County Republican Party, we invite you to join us on Feb. 27 at Southwest Middle School for our caucuses. This marks the beginning of the 2024 election, where we’ll continue nominating common sense candidates that Freeborn County can be proud of. Congressman Brad Finstad and Reps. Peggy Bennett and Patricia Mueller are all up for re-election this year, and all three have been incredible common sense voices for Freeborn County. Last session, Democrats stuck together on every radical vote with no defections. If we think any of the Democratic candidates locally would have been the exception to that, we’re kidding ourselves.

Please join us on Feb. 27 to say enough. Is. Enough. It’s time to bring some balance back to Minnesota’s government, and bring some desperately needed common sense back to the Capitol.

Aaron Farris is the deputy chairman of the Freeborn County Republican Party and chairman of the Minnesota 1st Congressional District Republican Party.