MN-03 Star Tribune no endorsement based upon EFCA lie and poor research
The Minneapolis Star Tribune came out with their endorsement in the MN-03 race to replace Jim Ramstad. They decided not to endorse between the trio of Democrat Ashwin Madia, Republican Erik Paulsen and Independent David Dillon. They diss both Dillon and Paulsen, but cite the EFCA lies they have propogated as one their reason for disliking Madia.
Considering they endorsed Obama and had no problem with his healthcare plan, criticizing Madia for supporting the same basic plan is disingenuous. Furthermore, Madia believes in a pay-as-you-go fiscal responsibility and details how every spending plan is offset.
At the last debate, Madia was less polished on policy than his two rivals and repeated an error made in his endorsement interview -- that the Employee Free Choice Act would not allow a unionization drive to bypass a secret ballot.
The problem isn't Ashwin's "knowledge of the issues", but the Strib's combination of conservative bent, poor coverage of this race, lack of research and repeating debunked Republican lies.
The EFCA lies are the easiest to debunk. The main thing that the EFCA does is prevent employers from harassing and intimidating employees trying to unionize. The kernel of the Republican lies revolves on card check voting. The Republicans and the Strib claim that by allowing card check votes, secret voting will be prevented.
The truth couldn't be further from their claim. When employees are trying to unionize, they can choose any kind of voting they want. They could choose a secret ballot, card checks or whatever. What Republicans strenuously oppose is the severe penalties for harassment and intimidation.
Barack Obama's healthcare plan is very similar to Ashwin's. Ashwin frequently mentions this. When the Strib endorsed Obama, they failed to criticize him for it.
Let's be straight on this issue, healthcare is a complex issue that if you do not believe in single payer healthcare, does not provide a bumper sticker answer that the Strib seemed to want from Ashwin but not from Obama. Obama's is a "intelligent framework for progress" while Ashwin's proposals "requires more than the efficiencies he emphasizes." Apparently, the Strib is unwilling to believe the Mayo Clinic.
Finally, Ashwin education proposal. He held a press conference to detail his comprehensive plans for education. Apparently, the Strib missed it. Probably because they do not have enough reporters to adequately cover Minnesota politics ... those lay-offs are hurting now, eh?
Ashwin talked about funding early childhood education, fully funding or scrapping No Child Left Behind, adequately funding special needs education, how to make college affordable and described how to do this without adding to the deficit.
Ashwin Madia is a strong supporter of balancing the budget and his education proposals will be budget neutral. His proposals for college affordability cost approximately $7 billion per year and the full funding of NCLB and IDEA would cost approximately $14 billion per year.
Madia would pay for these initiatives by consolidating existing education credits ($2B); cutting wasteful subsidies for private student loans ($6B); getting rid of education earmarks($2B); and eliminating tax breaks for companies that shift jobs overseas ($11B).
(Madia Press Release)