The use of legal definition has become a common strategy for legislatures to fund special interests that contribute to political parties. Most people became aware that legal redefinition was going on at some level when marriage was redefined from its biological definition of a union of male and female, to a social definition of two individuals committed to a partnership. But the legal redefinition of marriage could be defended on the basis of equal rights, despite its ultimate objective related to financial redistribution to a new class of people.
However much legislation, like Minnesota’s recent aid and tax omnibus bill (HF677), uses new definitions to target funding for special interests that is opposed to equal treatment under the law:
the bill defines a “medical business entity” as a business that “collectively employs more than 30,000 persons in the state.
LEA President John Augustine has published a commentary on moving up primary elections in the St. Paul Pioneer Press: http://www.twincities.com/opinion/ci_23251645/john-augustine-minnesota-why-i-oppose-an-earlier
(Disclaimer: The article represents the views of the author and not necessarily the views of LEA)
by John Augustine
Over 60 people gathered on Feb. 21 for the occasion of the 40th annual Legislative Evaluation Assembly of Minnesota Legislative Awards Banquet. Keynote speaker Anthony Sanders from the MN chapter of the Institute for Justice (IJ) talked about the merits of judges taking action to preserve our constitutional framework, and IJ’s role in the legal battles for economic freedom. The event was held at the Kelly Inn next to the MN State Capitol.
Award Presentations Video (click for video)
Nine people (Reps. Steve Drazkowski, Sondra Erickson, Kathy Lohmer, Duane Quam, Linda Runbeck, and Peggy Scott; also, former Reps. Mark Buesgens, Keith Downey, and Doug Wardlow) were honored for their voting records in the 2012 Minnesota House. Eight of the nine were able to give remarks to the crowd while picking up their awards.
Rep. Mark Buesgens holds up the LEA 2012 report on the legislature. LEA President John Augustine standing to his left.
One of the most memorable acceptance speeches came from Mark Buesgens, who retired from the MN House after the 2012 session. He was even more blunt than usual about the leadership opportunities that were squandered: “A plethora of political consultants are going to take a lot of money from a lot of very wealthy people to figure out what went wrong in 2012—I can answer that. [Last biennium], the state of Minnesota for the first time had a GOP-led Senate. How many Senators are in this group of LEA honorees? It’s not too hard to figure it out.” Continue reading
By John Augustine, President of the LEA of MN
Invitation letter, p. 1
Members and guests will honor and hear from people committed to waging the battle for economic freedom at the 40th annual Legislative Evaluation Assembly legislative awards banquet on Thursday night, Feb 21, at the Kelly Inn next to the MN state capitol. Nine legislative defenders of freedom will be awarded plaques honoring their outstanding 2012 voting records as members of the Minnesota House. The keynote speaker will be Anthony Sanders, who is an attorney with the MN Chapter of the Institute for Justice (IJ), a legal organization that has been successfully fighting to protect ordinary citizens from governmental attacks on their economic freedom. Since the start of the year, tree trimmers and motel owners have won legal victories with the help of IJ.
The LEA members’ meeting and awards banquet will also include a tribute to Walter Klaus and K. J. McDonald, two conservative statesmen and important figures in LEA’s history that passed away during the past year. Click here for the full announcement and registration information (print and mail the registration form). Advance registration must be received or postmarked by February 14.
Nine Representatives Receive Honors
Mark Buesgens, Keith Downey, Steve Drazkowski, Sondra Erickson, Kathy Lohmer, Diane Quam, Linda Runbeck, Peggy Scott, Doug Wardlow
Honorable Mention Senate:
Al DeKruif, Gretchen Hoffman, Benjamin Kruse, Warren Limmer, Julianne Ortman, Dave Thompson, Ray Vandeveer
Honorable Mention House:
Bruce Anderson, Kurt Bills, Kurt Daudt, Tom Hackbarth, David Hancock, Mary Kiffmeyer, Ernie Leidiger, Tara Mack, Joyce Peppin, Chris Swedzinski
Click this link for a copy of the 2012 report in PDF format.
LEA GROUP EXPOSES INCREASED DISREGARD FOR PROPER PROCEDURES
Most Surprising and Least Surprising Legislative Outcomes of 2012:
LEA President John Augustine contends that one of the most surprising outcomes was “the people’s representatives abdicating much of their appropriation authority on bonding decisions to one of the governor’s unelected bureaucratic agencies.” However, most who have studied the matter would probably conclude that the biggest surprise was what happened to the bill authorizing a Voter ID constitutional amendment. Continue reading