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Size of Government Does Matter

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  • Amidst all of the “No Big Government” rhetoric is a lack of explanation on the actual benefits of cutting government’s workforce. On the contrary, the government should be the average persons bastion against unbridled corporate power, not a pass-through supporting it.
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  • Regulatory Capture Of Oil Drilling Agency Exposed In Report
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Scott Tempel, Minnesota 2020

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Parker and Hart

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Amidst all of the “No Big Government” rhetoric is a lack of explanation on the actual benefits of cutting government’s workforce. On the contrary, the true costs of underfunded, understaffed agencies are clear. Having fewer people to manage an increasing workload will decrease efficiency, efficacy, and ultimately the quality of the work performed. Other side-effects include worker burnout, loss of institutional memory, loss of oversight and an actual increase in costs. When the work needs to be done and there is no one there to do it, government agencies turn to private contractors.  It is in the long-term best interest for the State of Minnesota to attract and retain the best employees and to maintain knowledge, experience and institutional memory as public assets.

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According to a 2009 Mother Jones report  (Out of Service, Sept/Oct 2009), contractors outnumber staff in some federal agencies by a 7-1 margin. And any Do-It-Yourself-er knows that hiring a contractor is way more expensive than doing it yourself, especially when government staffers already have the expertise to do the job. That is one reason why government spending went up so much under the Bush administration. The MJ article cites that more than 70% of the US intelligence budget goes to contractors, who make more than double what a career civil servant would make.  But the more insidious problem is by cutting and phasing out knowledgeable staff, the expensive outsourcing is self-perpetuating. And where does that leave the taxpayer? At the mercy of the corporate bureaucracy.  Add to that the fact that these corporations are spending billions on the lobbyists that bring in those juicy contracts.  And now with the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC those corporations are free to spend billions literally buying the legislators themselves. The government should be the average persons bastion against unbridled corporate power, not a pass-through supporting it.

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Regulatory Capture Of Oil Drilling Agency Exposed In Report, Dan Froomkin, Huffington Post

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  • Rather than take issue with the report's findings, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement's (BOEMRE) new reform-oriented director, Michael Bromwich, has responded with an implementation plan aimed at fixing the problems.
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  • Uncovering the Lies That Are Sinking the Oil
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Class Warfare from the Top Down

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  • While the economy stagnates and our infrastructure crumbles, Bush's breaks for the wealthiest Americans are doing far more harm than good.
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  • "The spine of this White House," says vanden Heuvel, "is wobbly."
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  • Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong
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Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation on Grit TV
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Class warfare is not, as John McCain would have you believe, overturning Bush's tax cuts for the rich. "Class warfare is when you have corporations sitting on $1.8 trillion," says Katrina vanden Heuvel. While the economy stagnates and our infrastructure crumbles, Bush's breaks for the wealthiest Americans are doing far more harm than good. But what is Obama doing about it? "The spine of this White House," says vanden Heuvel, "is wobbly."

Meanwhile, the real class war is happening in the same direction it always has—from the top down. When people like Elizabeth Warren are demonized and deficits are a point of obsession, it's not the rich who have to worry. Vanden Heuvel joins The Nation on GRITtv to explain why the Obama administration continues to defend the rich to the detriment of the rest of the country.

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Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong, Robert Reich, RobertReich.org
The economy needs two whopping corporate tax cuts right now as much as someone with a serious heart condition needs Botox.

Whither Corporate Campaigning?

Discussing the new campaign finance paradigm in light of public disclosures of corporate partisanship and the marketplace and public relations wisdom in using that new freedom to affect electoral outcomes.

Andy Driscoll and Lynnell Mickelsen, Truth to Tell, KFAI-FM | MN

Do Target and Best Buy serve as prime examples of why corporate donations to political campaigns may not be wise investments? Is the flap over donations to Republican Tom Emmer's campaign a short-sighted result of not thinking ahead to the effect on bottom lines and shareholder discontent, not to mention customer backlash.

This may be the first inkling of the fallout over the US Supreme Court's Citizen United decision granting corporations the freedom to donate directly to political campaigns, not just to independent expenditures and phony fronts that try to undermine candidate credibility.

Guests:

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  • Mike Dean, President, Common Cause Minnesota
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  • David Schultz,  Author, Adjunct Professor of Law, Hamline University, Campaign Finance Specialist
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Broadcast: in Minneapolis/St. Paul KFAI-90.3/106.7/Streamed @ KFAI.org<http://www.kfai.org/truthtotell> 9-10AM, Monday, September 13

Archived: Click here

Campaign dirt-diggers, or just clods?

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This campaign is on the verge of being taken over by the attack dogs, dumpster divers and dirt diggers who make following a campaign smell like following a garbage truck on a 90-degree day. It's hard to pay attention to anything but the flies.

Nick Coleman, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

Labor Day marks the traditional start, in earnest, of election season. This year, it would be understandable if Minnesotans hoped that tomorrow's holiday would bring the end, rather than the beginning, of the 2010 campaign for governor.

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We can't stand much more of this.

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Last week's (August 29 - September 4) horror show included a Republican Party blogger demanding during a news conference being held by the DFL candidate, Mark Dayton, that Dayton produce papers from a 10-year-old divorce agreement. That cringeworthy moment was matched by a revelation in City Pages that the 20-year-old son of GOP candidate Tom Emmer had pleaded guilty to underage drinking (not driving), a charge that may have surprised someone, somewhere, if they are unfamiliar with 20-year-olds.

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