Governor Walz Signs Executive Order Activating National Guard to Protect the People of Minnesota

Minnesota Report

Governor Walz Signs Executive Order Activating National Guard to Protect the People of Minnesota

Order will help maintain safety in wake of George Floyd’s death

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-65, activating the Minnesota National Guard to help protect Minnesotans’ safety and maintain peace in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Local leaders have requested National Guard resources after extensive damage to private property occurred and peaceful protests evolved into a dangerous situation for protesters and first responders.

“It is time to rebuild. Rebuild the city, rebuild our justice system, and rebuild the relationship between law enforcement and those they’re charged to protect. George Floyd’s death should lead to justice and systemic change, not more death and destruction. As George Floyd’s family has said, ‘Floyd would not want people to get hurt. He lived his life protecting people.’ Let’s come together to rebuild, remember, and seek justice for George Floyd,” said Governor Walz.

“The anger and grief of this moment is unbearable. People deserve to be seen. People deserve to be heard. People deserve to be safe,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “While many Minnesotans are taking extensive safety precautions while exercising their right to protest, the demonstration last night became incredibly unsafe for all involved. The purpose of the National Guard is to protect people, to protect people safely demonstrating, and to protect small business owners.”

“As Governor, I will always defend the right to protest,” Governor Walz continued. “It is how we express pain, process tragedy, and create change. That is why I am answering our local leaders’ request for Minnesota National Guard assistance to protect peaceful demonstrators, neighbors, and small businesses in Minnesota.”

The National Guard Adjutant General will work with local government agencies to provide personnel, equipment, and facilities needed to respond to and recover from this emergency.

Additionally, the Minnesota State Patrol will assist in public safety efforts for the next several days. Approximately 200 troopers will work with state, county, and local community and public safety partners. State Patrol helicopters and fixed wind aircraft will also be available to assist law enforcement officers on the ground.

This Executive Order also declares a peacetime emergency, which activates the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to help coordinate the state’s response. As the SEOC is already activated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will concurrently support the COVID-19 response and the City of Minneapolis and surrounding communities during this situation.

 On May 27, 2020, George Floyd died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. The Walz-Flanagan Administration is committed to addressing the systemic inequities and discrimination that led to this incident and seeking justice.

South Minneapolis Ablaze

Minnesota Report 

The intersection of East Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue is the outer edge of the Longfellow neighborhood, and is now a war zone in the aftermath of the suffocation killing of George Floyd by Police Officer Derek Chauvin who knelt on his neck while Floyd lost consciousness and became unresponsive. The protests began calling for Justice for George right away, and demanding charges be filed against the four officers involved in addition to Chauvin, Tou Thao, Chauvin’s partner who stood by and watched, along with Thomas Lane, and J Alexander Kueng, who kept people away from the scene as Floyd died in the street. This set the stage for the mounting frustrations for lack of charges now in the hands of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman (DFL).

Last night, violence erupted. On the Southeast corner of East Lake Street sits the Minneapolis Police 3rd precinct, across East Lake is a Target store now looted, the Cub Foods across the parking lot set on fire, on the Northwest corner is a burned-out Wendy’s and AutoZone, across Minnehaha Lake Wine and Spirits looted and new apartment construction was burned to the ground. All the while, the protestors and the vandals are somewhat protected from identification because they are wearing masks to hide their identities as per the COVID-19 pandemic instructions.

This is a scene reminiscent of Watts Riots in the 1965 or the LA Riots after the police beating of Rodney King in 1991, but not the common occurrence here in Minnesota. Protests here are usually nonviolent, and block traffic, but in this case the public rage has boiled over and of course opportunists take advantage in the chaos.

Mayor Jacob Frey (DFL-Minneapolis) has called on Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) to call out the National Guard to protect the population, while at the same time recognizing Chauvin as a killer.

Walz addressed the Floyd death at the start of his latest COVID-19 update press conference and also expressed his support for peaceful protests in light of the tragedy and more than once called for justice for Mr Floyd. He was joined by Lt Governor Peggy Flangan (DFL-MN) remotely, Attorney General Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) and Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington for this portion of the announcement and later by Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

Walz’ statement begins at 2:21 and ends at 5:15 in the following link In it he said, “Like so many Minnesotan’s and so many people across the world, I was shocked and horrified by  the video of George Floyd’s death. It’s very clear to anyone, what happened to George Floyd is wrong and the lack of humanity in the video, as I said, made me ill and even more difficult to understand. I want to be very clear, my heart goes out to Mr Floyd’s family and friends. Gwen and I express our deepest sympathies to those who knew and loved Mr Floyd. I can never know what you are experiencing right now. I can only imagine the loss and enormous hole in your life is unbearable…”

We are beset is this time of tragedy to find ways to ease the pain which is emblematic of the oppression felt by members of the black community. One interesting fact is, Chauvin is like many members of law enforcement who fail to live in the areas they police, protesters gather outside his home in Oakdale and call for his arrest.

US Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) joined with Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-MN05) and Betty McCollum (D-MN04) in sending a letter to U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman calling for accountability for George Floyd’s death. McDonald has started an investigation.

Donald J Trump (R) put out the following Tweet “
At my request, the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd….”

Walz Announces COVID-19 Response #4

Minnesota Report

In spite of not having fourteen days of a consistent downward trend on the number of cases, currently there have been 18,200 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 809 deaths, nor do we have a process for contract tracing in place, yesterday Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) announced the next steps forward. Catholic Archbishop Bernard Hebda is calling on is parishioners to defy to order and the clergy to hold normal services without adhering to Walz’ order. The conservative Lutheran churches of the Missouri and Wisconsin synod are following suit. The entirety of Walz’ order follows.

Governor Tim Walz today announced the phases in his Stay Safe Plan, including a cautious, strategic turn of the dial to allow limited outdoor dining at restaurants and bars starting June 1, 2020. The Governor also announced that salons and barbershops will be allowed to open June 1 at 25 percent occupancy to ensure the safety of both the employees and the customers inside. In both industries, customers will be either strongly recommended or required to wear masks, make reservations, and adhere to social distancing requirements to keep themselves, other customers, and employees safe.

Our restaurants and bars are an integral part of the social fabric of Minnesota, and it has been heartbreaking to see this pandemic wreak havoc on our hospitality industry,” said Governor Walz. “While the virus won’t yet allow for business as usual, let’s do what we do best after winter in Minnesota and head outside. Whether it’s a Jucy Lucy, a plate of tamales, or a walleye dinner, Minnesotans can support their local restaurant by enjoying a socially distanced meal outdoors.”

Outdoor dining can begin on June 1, with restaurants maintaining social distancing and seating no more than 50 patrons at a time. In addition to outdoor dining, restaurants and bars will be able to continue to offer takeout, curbside, and delivery services, which have been permitted throughout the pandemic in Minnesota. While Minnesota has ranked first in the nation for takeout and delivery patronage during the outbreak of COVID-19, restaurants and bars have been closed for in-person dining since March 17. Since then, the State of Minnesota has worked with the health care sector to expand health care capacity and procure ICU beds, ventilators, and personal protective equipment.

This is a measured approach that matches the thoughtfulness and generosity of our restauranteurs, who have found creative ways to safely feed their neighbors throughout this pandemic – but making this work relies on all of us,” said Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan. “Supporting your favorite businesses means following health and safety rules at all times – making an appointment or reservation, maintaining social distance, washing your hands, and wearing a mask. It also means that workers are protected if they report concerns about the health and safety practices of their workplace. That’s how we can keep each other healthy so we can continue safely turning the dial in Minnesota.”

It’s important for all Minnesotans to remember that they have a big role to play in making this reopening process successful,” said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “By continuing to follow social distancing guidelines, wearing masks, washing hands, and staying home when sick, we can limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect our most vulnerable friends and family members.”

On May 13, Governor Walz replaced Minnesota’s Stay Home order with a Stay Safe order as Minnesota continues to safely turn the dial back towards normal life. The Stay Safe order includes a plan for a phased reopening of society as well as a plan to dial back based on the rate of testing, new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Governor Walz has stressed the importance of reopening cautiously and strategically, which is why salons and barbershops will be allowed to reopen on June 1 with only 25 percent occupancy and additional safety measures in place.

While all Minnesotans are eager to get a haircut, we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our salons and barbershops that put their businesses on hold in order to allow the state time to prepare for COVID-19,” Governor Walz continued. “With the addition of safety measures like personal protective equipment and a limited number of people inside, it’s safe to say we’re not going back to normal. But we can cautiously turn the dial back as Minnesotans continue to do their part to stay safe. Make a reservation, wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay home if you’re feeling sick.”

Now is the time for innovative solutions as we navigate a new normal, support our favorite businesses and ensure the safety of workers and customers,” said Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove. “This phased approach to reopening our economy is rooted in safety for everyone, and will ensure we can continue to put more Minnesotans back to work and make data-driven decisions at every turn of the dial.”

Outdoor dining and limited salon occupancy are part of phase II of Governor Walz’s Stay Safe Plan. This phase will go into effect on June 1 and will include the opening of campgrounds and other recreational activities. More information on the actives included in the various phases within the Stay Safe Plan can be found here.

As the Walz-Flanagan Administration works to cautiously adjust the dials in Minnesota, the Governor has taken steps to ensure workers are being protected as more businesses reopen. The Governor signed an executive order preventing workers from being fired for refusing to work in unsafe conditions. Business must continue to protect their employees while also taking steps to protect their customers. More information on worker protections can be found here.

In response, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) sent a letter, signed by all of the members of the majority caucus to Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) raising concerns over the administration’s interpretation of peacetime emergency powers and the use of enforcement action.

20200519 Letter to Gov Walz and Atty Gen Ellison




Republicans Irked by State Employee Raises Going Forward

Minnesota Report

When the Senate Republicans passed the State Employee Contract, they did so with an amendment to only agree to the increase or the first year of the contract, but the interpretation of Office of Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans is they are only allowed a an affirmative or negation vote without substitution. Since the matter passed both houses the contract as written is ratified.

In response, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) fired off the following. “There is no room for a reasonable person to ‘interpret’ the recent action of the Minnesota Senate when it comes to the state employee contracts. The plain language in the bill was clear: ratify the first year of the contract but forgo the 2.5% raise for the second year. The Walz administration would look very tone deaf if they interpreted this action as full ratification of the contract, even if they invent a legal framework to justify their decision. It’s impossible to justify asking the 650,000 Minnesotans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own to help shoulder the burden of the extra costs of this contract. In fact, there are 12 unemployed Minnesotans for every state employee who would receive a raise this July.”

It’s clear this will put a huge monkey wrench into the negotiations for a future special session. Especially, when some Republicans want to curtail Governor TIm Walz’ (DFL-MN) executive authority. The problem is there is not a similar disposition in the house and so not legislation will emanate from it, but it will definitely impact negotiations.

What the House Retiree Districts Look Like Numerically

Minnesota Report

We have looked at the thirteen house districts in which the incumbent is retiring and have seen an interesting picture. There are nine DFLers, two are freshmen, and four Republicans. Each of the Republican seats are in rural districts and are veritable safe Republican seats. The two retiring freshmen are in swing seats and the bulk of the other DFL seats should remain in DFL control with the excepting of 25B, in Rochester which should prove to be a challenge for retention, but likely will remain in DFL hands if the candidate works hard.

We see seats 25B, 56A and 56B all being on the DFL target list. Based on this list there isn’t much of a threat to the DFL Majority.

We have listed the election results for the 2016 Donald J Trump (R) campaign and the 2018 results for Tim Walz in each locality to provide a better understanding of the political landscape, in each of the districts.

Retiree Party Open Seat DFL Endorsed Candidate Republican Endorsed Candidate GLCP Candidate LMN Candidate Election Result 2018 Election Result 2016 Trump Factor Walz Effect Notes
Dan Fabin R 01A Connie Lindstrom John Burkel N/A N/A 71.14% 74.24% 64.60% 36.15% Rural District/Good Republican Seat
Ben Lien DFL 04A Heather Keeler Edwin Hahn N/A N/A 65.45% 62.20% 41.27% 56.08% Rural District-Regional Center/Good DFL Seat
Bud Norness R 08A Brittany Johnson Jordan Rasmusson N/A N/A 59.77% 65.19% 62.50% 37.92% Rural District/Good  Republican Seat
Jack Considine DFL 19B Luke Frederick Joe Steck N/A N/A 63.40% 59.55% 40.51% 63.13% Rural District-Regional Center/Good DFL Seat
Bob Vogel R 20A Erina Prom Alan Mackenthun, Marko Popovich, Brian Pfarr* N/A N/A 63.55% 60.81% 62.17% 39.18% Rural District/Safe Republican
Bob Gunther R 23A Open Christian Bjorn Olson,  Michael J Sukalski* N/A N/A 61.26% 68.14% 65.92% 38.61% Rural District/Safe Republican
Duane Sauke DFL 25B Liz Boldon Steve Wilson N/A N/A 60.10% 51.79% 39.79% 58.63% Rural District-Regional Center/Swing Seat
Mary Kunesh-Podein DFL 41B Sandra Feist Open N/A N/A 65.77% 63.24% 28.81% 68.06% Suburban District/Safe DFL
Lyndon Carlson DFL 45A Cedrick Frazier Jesse Pfliger N/A N/A 65.35% 56.80% 33.19% 62.02% Suburban District/Safe DFL
Hunter Cantrell DFL 56A Jess Hanson Open N/A N/A 52.74% 55.96% 43.74% 51.90% Suburban District/Swing Seat changed to DFL 2018
Alice Mann DFL 56B Kaela Berg Roz Peterson N/A N/A 52.64% 52.37% 43.48% 52.90% Suburban District/Swing Seat changed to DFL 2018
Jean Wagenius DFL 63B Emma Greenman Open N/A N/A 80.83% 76.19% 18.41% 78.45% Urban District/Safe DFL
Tim Mahoney DFL 67A John Thompson Open N/A N/A 96.41% 76.34% 21.38% 72.53% Urban District/Safe DFL
*Registered w/ Campaign Finance


When we looked on the Republican Party website looking for their endorsed candidates we saw some revisionist history. The MN GOP is still displaying the state house member list from 2018 and they were listed as senate members.

The Best Example of the Legislative Chasm: Bonding Bill

Minnesota Report

DFLers and Republicans are at odds over whether or not a Bonding Bill is a Jobs Bill. The two sides are also at loggerheads over whether or not long-term spending through bonds is a prudent fiscal decision. The cost of spending for a government backed General Obligation bond is 30-years in length and the cost born comes with a debt-service component to be paid the bondholder. This interest backed security gives government the leverage to borrow into the future for projects buildable when shovel-ready and the money to pay for the capital expense is paid for through a bond purchase.

The House, which is where spending bills start presented its bonding bill on Saturday.  Capital Investment Division Chair Mary Murphy (DFL03B, Hermantown) brought forward HF2529 which appropriates almost $2.03 billion in general obligation bonds, and a additional $495.9 million appropriations, for a grand total of $2.52 billion. It has been roundly argued in this time of a pandemic a large bonding bill may help jumpstart the economy once our state is fully back up and running. In spite of the legislation containing a provision in his own district House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-31A, Crown) called for opposition to the bill as too costly.

The failed to receive the 3/5ths supermajority receiving a vote of 75-58 falling 6 votes short.

The Senate Capital Investment Committee Chair David Senjem (R-25, Rochester) brought forward SF3463 with an $998 million price tag. This failed on a recorded vote of 38-29 vote. With Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09-Nisswa) blaming the DFL and saying, “This is the last train leaving the station for bonding,” said Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake). “It’s disappointing that we couldn’t come together tonight on this responsible, important bill. All four leaders and all four caucuses- including Senate Democrats- and the Governor, have to work together for Minnesota.”

The inability for Senate Republicans to bring forward a bill exceeding $1 billion is an example of how the two sides see the world in dramatically different ways.

Legislative Session Ends with a Flatulence in a Wind Funnel or FWF

Minnesota Report

 When competing political ideologies are at play, the ability to achieve consensus is a far way island, and reaching it, is a distant, remote and implausible likelihood. The reason being political people are hard-pressed to see beyond their own vested interests—especially in an election year—and fail to envision any collective outcome different than beating the opposition political party. In February, at the beginning of the legislative session, the members of the legislature sequestered at the University of Minnesota, without public scrutiny to learn lessons intended to foster compromise, which in the end failed.

In spite of attending the One Minnesota Legislative Policy Conference—which discussed negotiation skills and tools and an end-of-session redesign—at the onset of the legislative session, in the end in May, it was an all too familiar routine result and the host of good intensions were sacrificed on the altar of political partisanship. What likely was missing, was a buying in of all parties to the fundamental premise of One Minnesota, since this was the slogan of Governor Tim Walz’ campaign (DFL-MN). We doubt there is a universal idea of what this means, especially since most perspectives are determined by where one sits.

More apt, in our opinion, we are a Fractured Minnesota, a state where we are on the verge of a significant election during a global pandemic, we all witness differing ideologies on how to respond to this crisis. The pressures have been juxtaposed as a choice between saving lives and livelihoods, but we believe there is a different aspect in play and the competing tensions are saving lives over maintaining lifestyles.

A substantial issue as a backdrop is the legislative majorities are essential in determining the legislative political boundaries which remain in effect for the next ten years. Through the US Census, Minnesota will see the amount of impact Greater Minnesota has shrink in a major way through redistricting and the 2020 election is the last opportunity for this constituency to flex its proverbial muscles, but only if the Republicans maintain control of the state senate, regain the majority in the state house or both.

At the top of the ballot is the most influential element in the 2020 election, Donald J Trump (R). He is both a divisive and unifying factor depending upon your particular perspective. When he began his assessment of the COVID-19 epidemic, he first dismissed it as a hoax, then downplayed it as something that will magically end, proposed treating it with hazardous chemicals, like drinking bleach and finally pressed for a resolve of acceptance of the loss of life in order to get the economy back up and running. The sacrifice to be made by those who are unable to survive the experience.

The nostalgia he projects for before COVID-19 is a bizarre approach to denial it ever occurred and he is seeking a V-curve surge in the economy to save his reelection. As he touts the improbability of a magic vaccine, or if no vaccine manifests, then people just need to move forward lacking one we are left without any guidance from the Chief Executive.  Since our economy is so heavily dependent upon consumerism.

In this time of the pandemic and the Trump approach it brings to mind Thorstein Velben and his societal critique of what he called Conspicuous Consumption, which at the turn of the 20th Century warned of “This boom has seen a binge of consumption that for the first time human longevity might turn down because we are eating ourselves to death. Death by consumption used to explain a fatal case of tuberculosis, now it could explain the rise in obesity, diabetes and cancers.”

This sets up the structured differences. Those who seek to protect and save lives through stay-at-home orders, social distancing, mask wearing and increased hygiene techniques are prescribing their beliefs on others through government dictates. The oppression of a single set of standards is in direct opposition to a more lassez faire economic approach, less government involvement in personal decisions, accept abortion, and a more NIMBY (Not in my backyard) perspective.

The Minnesota response to COVID-19 was determined by Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN), who is not up for reelection in 2020, through Executive Orders in mid-March. This unilateral approach was tacitly accepted by Republicans initially, but began to lose acceptance and stableness as time wore on. People who were forced to contend with staying-at-home, homeschooling their children and lose of economic stability became greater pressures than public health.

Now the sharp divides have returned and the two sides will now battle this out at the ballot box in November, the question is will Walz by fiat present his own magic bullet and declare the November election to be applied through a Universal mailed ballot and all eligible citizens be mailed a ballot whether or not they are preregistered. Again, as we have often said, its not the election process Republican fear, it’s the impact of turnout they are unable to contend with.

Legislative Return/Special Session 2020

Minnesota Report

We are hearing the legislature will likely be recalled for Special Session June 12th, which is just before Governor Tim Walz’ (DFL-MN) last peacetime emergency declaration is set to expire. In order to declare another one, he will need to receive legislative approval, and with the two sides so diametrically opposed it is not likely.

Walz Announces Minnesota Supreme Court Appointment

Minnesota Report

Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) announces his first appointment to the Minnesota Supreme Court Judge Gordon Moore as the replacement for retiring Justice David Lillehaug.

Judge Gordon Moore currently serves as a judge in the Fifth Judicial District chambered in Worthington in Nobles County, where he presides over a wide variety of criminal, civil, juvenile, probate, and child protection matters. Previously, Judge Moore served as the Nobles County Attorney, where he managed the office and was the county’s chief prosecutor. Prior to becoming the Nobles County Attorney, Judge Moore was an associate attorney and assistant city attorney at the Worthington law firm Malters, Shepherd & Von Holtum. He also was a special assistant and assistant attorney general under Attorney General Hubert Humphrey. Judge Moore’s community involvement has included service on the Worthington First United Methodist Church’s Board of Trustees, as a member of the Worthington Hockey Association’s Board of Directors, a youth hockey and soccer coach, founding director of the Worthington Futbol Club, and roles as chair with the boards of School District 518 and the Worthington Area YMCA.

Walz Set to Announce Minnesota Supreme Court Appointment

Minnesota Report

Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) announces his first appointment to the Minnesota Supreme Court Judge Gordon Moore as the replacement for retiring Justice David Lillehaug.

Judge Gordon Moore currently serves as a judge in the Fifth Judicial District chambered in Worthington in Nobles County, where he presides over a wide variety of criminal, civil, juvenile, probate, and child protection matters. Previously, Judge Moore served as the Nobles County Attorney, where he managed the office and was the county’s chief prosecutor. Prior to becoming the Nobles County Attorney, Judge Moore was an associate attorney and assistant city attorney at the Worthington law firm Malters, Shepherd & Von Holtum. He also was a special assistant and assistant attorney general under Attorney General Hubert Humphrey. Judge Moore’s community involvement has included service on the Worthington First United Methodist Church’s Board of Trustees, as a member of the Worthington Hockey Association’s Board of Directors, a youth hockey and soccer coach, founding director of the Worthington Futbol Club, and roles as chair with the boards of School District 518 and the Worthington Area YMCA.

Mayo Clinic Challenging Trump’s Push of Malaria Drugs

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76 Days After Wuhan Lock Down

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What the House Looks Like During COVID-19

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Gas Prices Falling Slowly, with Reduced Travel

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Walz State of the State 2020

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