Gazelka votes to insure the insurance companies instead of the people by John King

Gazelka votes to insure the insurance companies instead of the people

This is a fair question to ask:  Who needs health insurance premium relief the most?  The insurance companies themselves or Minnesotans, you and I?  The question answers itself.  We have been inflicted by 20% premium increases with no end in sight. But our senator, Senator Gazelka, was stumped by the question and in a vote last week decided to hand over $600 million in state money to the insurance companies.  He is doing this because, “I think, maybe, this will lower our premiums.”  Unhuh.  When was the last time your insurance company decided to charge you less for anything?

To be honest, the Senator did have another reason for doing this.  He said,”Minnesota Care expansion would bankrupt health care in rural Minnesota.”  What did he means by this and is it true?

Minnesota Care (MNCare) is the State run health insurance for low income people that is 25 years old this year.  It currently has 100,000 Minnesotans enrolled in it. The program insures people through a combination reduced individual premiums and a pot of money replenished by a 2% tax on health care providers. The income cap for a family of three is currently $40,000.  That pot of money, the Health Care Access Fund, is flush right now because health care in Minnesota has been a brisk business lately.  It’s a good program that works and it doesn’t cost the State much money.  Best of all it provides low cost health insurance for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.

Governor Dayton proposed raising the income cap for MNCare thus embracing more people and taking advantage of the guaranteed lower premiums that are a part of the program.  MNCare is able to offer lowered premiums in part because it reimburses the doctors and hospitals at lower rate just like Medical Assistance and Medicare.

So Senator Gazelka had a choice, pay the insurance companies a lot of money in hopes they will lower your premiums, or buy into an existing insurance program that is thriving and will guarantee you lower premiums. Will MNCare bankrupt health care?

Shortly there will be three new hospitals in the area; Staples, Long Prairie and Melrose.  They are building these new facilities with money from MNCare, Medical Assistance and Medicare.  These three programs make up almost three quarters (70%) of the insurance income for health care in Minnesota. Our rural hospitals have always, now and in the past, profited from the money from the three public insurance programs.  Senator Gazelka, expanded MNCare will not bankrupt health care in Minnesota.  Expanded health care coverage in Minnesota will insure that we have modern hospitals and the best care in the Midwest.

I reminded the Senator of this last week and then he went and voted to give the money to the insurance companies.

John King
15125 County 38
Long Prairie, MN 56347

Your Senator Doesn’t Think You Can by John King

Your Senator Doesn’t Think You Can

The legislature has to wrap up its business in a few weeks, but in their haste to finish up, one thing is becoming clear.  Senator Gazelka and the Republican majority don’t believe in local democracy.  An astonishing number of bills that Senator Gazelka promoted and voted for, from the seemingly trivial to the truly significant, kill a community’s ability to make decisions for itself.

Does your community want to ban plastic bags?  Can’t do it now.  A real debate over the merits of plastic vs. paper was once an option, but the new legislation doesn’t even allow that debate to take place. Senator Gazelka’s vote will ensure that communities are prohibited from enacting their own ordinances on the issue.

Is there a disruptive or environmentally damaging construction project coming to your community?  Senator Gazelka voted for legislation that would limit a community’s ability to halt the project in order to conduct a review.  A city currently has the power with a simple majority vote to enact an interim ordinance halting a project while a review is conducted.  Senator Gazelka voted to require a two thirds super majority vote by a city council to force a review.  He also voted to shorten the time available for the review.

Animal feedlots have great potential to disrupt a community and damage water quality.  Current law recognizes this harmful potential by requiring an environmental review of any feedlot containing over 1000 animal units.  This review is requested by the community and the residents affected by the proposed feedlot.  Senator Gazelka voted to double the size of an allowed feedlot to 2000 animal units.  So if the feedlot down the road is tough to live with now, just wait until tomorrow when it doubles in size and you still can’t do anything about it.

Much of the debate over minimum wage was put to rest when Seattle passed a $15 minimum and none of the dire predictions came to pass.  Seattle, in fact, is doing better than ever.  Minneapolis has adopted a $15 minimum wage and it was about to go into effect when the senate, led by Senator Gazelka, slapped it down.  Under the legislation promoted by and voted for by Senator Gazelka, no city in the state can pass its own minimum wage or enact its own sick leave ordinances.  Period.

According the League of Minnesota Cities, these legislative slap downs have nothing to do with the issues themselves, and everything to do with the power grab in St. Paul.  Ann Finn, of the League, says it all:

“The bills are in conflict with the League’s long-held core value that local elected decision-makers are in the best position to determine what health, safety and welfare regulation best serve their constituents.”

Senator Gazelka is taking pot shots at democracy.  Next election, we can only hope that democracy sends the senator back to his insurance business in Baxter.

John King


15125 County 38

Long Prairie, MN


Why I Am Against Voter IDs

Why I Am Against Voter IDs

In North Carolina, there were 4,769,640 votes were cast in November there was only only 1 vote that would have been caught with voter ID. You can read more here:

There were 436 miscast votes. 435 votes were mistakes in the registration office at the state, mostly felons on probation or parole who did not know that they could not vote.

A voter ID law would be expensive. Would have to have special equipment at each polling place to verify the ID and train the polling official on how to use the equipment and verify valid IDs. State wide, the cost is estimated to be $36 million to $78 Million when estimated by anti ID advocates and $2.9 Million when estimated by pro ID advocates. This is for 1 fraudulent voter. Small voter sites (Hartford) could not afford the increase in expenses.

Now, I am a computer nerd. Based on what I know how to do, I feel that voter fraud may increase, making the fraud more expensive. Here is what one needs to make fake IDs good enough to pass 99% of various verification machines:

Fake Supplies:
• Computer with Fake ID Editing software (Adobe Photoshop)
• Inkjet Printer (A high cost item)
• Special Teslin Paper (almost identical to standard PVC plastic)
• Home ID Laminator
Fake id Hologram (optional)
• Fake Driver’s License Template (Available Overseas)

Any computer hacker worth his or her salt could print out 50 to 100 a day. A dedicated group could easily sway several districts in MN.

Now I admit, that the new government ID would be more difficult to fake, BUT, that just raises the cost and to, and the talent a forger needs..

If we raise the stakes with voter ID, we then have created an arms race in technology. The best way to prevent voter fraud is to have enough polling place where there is a good chance that people would know the voters.

Questions About the Todd County DFL positions on Agriculture

Todd County DFL on agriculture

I am trying to determine my views on our position on agriculture. I need to here cognitive agreements. Pro and Con, on various issues that effect our community. I am going to list several items that I think affect our income and quality of life. Please give me your opinions either in the comment section of this website or by email at

  1. Large Feedlots and their placement.
  2. Organic Farming
  3. Mono-culture farming
  4. Pesticides and the affect on our bee population.
  5. No-till farming
  6. Corporation Farming vs Family Farming
  7. GMOs
  8. The ability to raise your own seed when pollination comes from drift of neighbors farm.
  9. Trans Pacific Trade Agreement and trade agreements in general.
  10. Farming close to rivers and lakes
  11. regulations in general
  12. Immigrant farm workers
  13. Any farming issues not listed here.

I hope to here from a lot of people. Please educate me.

CD7 Notice – April 22nd Central Committee Meeting

CD7 Notice – April 22nd Central Committee Meeting
1:30pm to 3:30pm.
VAN Training by DFL Voter File Manager Micheal Crusinberry from 3:30pm to 4:15pm.
Fundraising Forum from 4:15pm to 5:00pm.

Please join your fellow CD 7 Central Committee members in Bemidji.


1:30pm Location: Lumberjack Room

Bemidji High School

2900 Division St W Bemidji, MN

CD7 has two more Central Committee Meetings scheduled:

Marshall, sometime is August Breckenridge, sometime in November (Rescheduling due to conflict with Farmer’s Union Annual Meeting) Please RSVP to this message and include any questions, thoughts or suggestions.

Thank you and hope to see you soon,

Jake Sanders

CD 7 Chair