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PR stunt: “SuperRINOman” (4:45) -- UPDATE: Good News! — Eric Greikens, the MO GOP Senate candidate who pitched “RINO Hunting Permits”, lost badly in the 8/2 GOP primary

bobagain asks Tom Steyer about Pence

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The Republicans at their State Convention endorsed an extreme right—wing ticket for Governor of Minnesota: Jensen/Birk.

The Jensen/Birk extreme positions include seeking to abolish the State Income Tax. That‘s like candy for some Republicans — but here is the reality: it is one of the “big three” taxes in our state budget (the other two are the property and sales taxes) and Minnesota‘s government can‘t run without it.

Dr. Jensen thinks our Secretary of State, Steve Simon, should be in jail for ignoring election laws in 2016. But everything Simon did had been approved by a Judge.

Dr. Jensen has also promised to re—erect the Columbus Statute at the State Capitol if he is elected.

Dr. Jensen said he wanted abortion to be illegal in Minnesota even in cases of rape and incest. He has backed off that position — but can his “flip—flop” be trusted?

This is why I‘m asking you to vote for Bob “Again” Carney Jr. — “bobagain” — for Governor of Minnesota in the August 9th Republican primary.

Bobagain is running against the Republican Convention-endorsed ticket of Jensen/Birk in the Republican primary.

Bobagain believes women have a 13th Amendment Constitutional right to abortion — something never considered in Roe vs Wade.

The August 9th Minnesota Republican primary is open to all voters. You can just show up at your polling place — register to vote if you are not already — and vote for Bob “Again” Carney Jr. to stop the extreme Jensen/Birk ticket.

Both Minnesota and the Republican Party need help. Please vote for Bob “Again” Carney Jr. in the August 9th Republican primary. And forward this message. Let‘s make this go viral!

Bobagain“s campaign website is www.VoteBobAgain.com.

IMPORTANT: If you are in the 5th Congressional District, bobagain and I encourage you to vote for Don Samuels for Congress in the DFL primary. Samuels is a better choice than Ilhan Omar.

Thanks for doing this.

Minnesota in trouble— “Dangerous Opinions” and Civil War — America’s Constitutional Emergency

My 2021 campaign for Mayor of Minneapolis led to both of my two current campaigns in 2022. Here’s ny take on our current State and national political situation, including reflections on what my 2021 Mayoral campaign was about:

by Bob “Again” Carney Jr.

Commentary: about 3,000 words, a 14 minute read

Minnesota and America are in big trouble today — this is why I‘m running for Governor of Minnesota as a Republican. The “Dangerous Opinions” of ex-President Trump and the prospect of him running again in 2024 are a Constitutional emergency. Many people still don’t realize how Constitutionally radical he is.

Unfortunately, many in the 2022 version of Minnesota‘s Republican party today hold views that are both radical and incoherent. I believe the Minnesota Republican party can be and must be restored to the openness and integrity it was once known for. This is vitally important to both Minneapolis and Minnesota. But to do this, “Trumpism” in the Minnesota GOP must be exposed for the threat it is. As a self-described “Candidate-Journalist” I‘m working hard to do both. In this article I‘ll be critiquing the current GOP endorsed candidate — but in the historical context of what‘s come before.

For starters, here‘s a quick critique of Dr. Jensen‘s campaign:

First, let‘s start on a positive note. Both Dr. Jensen and his running mate Matt Birk are good people. I personally share a lot of their values and beliefs, and believe they are well-intentioned. But I also believe they are trying to “fit in” to a toxic political environment. Our situation is so bad today that however “practical” this may seem, it is a fatal mistake in judgment. There comes a point when you must simply stand up and say “no!” We are way past that point.

Second, Dr. Jensen has actively cooperated with the current Trump-dominated Republican party — and in my view anything short of continuing, active opposition amounts to active cooperation. Unfortunately, active cooperation with Trump and his political machine has become the norm for almost all Republicans. That must end.

Third, It is inexcusable that Dr. Jensen has suggested that Steve Simon, our current Secretary of State, should be put in jail (he did not flat out say this, but talking about how Mr. Simon would “look in stripes” is a traditional rhetorical device for implying it.) Due to COVID the 2020 election was a uniquely challenging situation. But I‘m convinced that Minnesotans who served as election judges and officials did the best they could under the circumstances, and have been wrongfully attacked and abused. We should be grateful to the men and women, many seniors, who do this work each election. I‘m supporting Steve Simon‘s re-election, not based on any assessment of that political contest beyond the fact that he has been so wrongfully attacked by Dr. Jensen. I trust Steve Simon and wish him well — hopefully in future elections a more nuanced approach to looking at the choice for Secretary of State will again be possible. In past elections I've supported good Republican nominees like Dan Severson. This time I can‘t.

Fourth, Dr. Jensen has said it is his “aspirational goal” to phase out the State income tax. I have two huge problems with this. First, because it pays for a third of our state budget, I think it‘s completely unrealistic, and it is therefor wrong to suggest this even as a possibility. But second, it is wrong, and would be unjust, to even “aspire” to this. To understand why, let‘s hearken back to the idea of a “flat tax” -- more specifically the notion that everyone should pay the same percentage in the federal income tax. There used to be a lot of talk about this in the Republican party — to his credit Donald Trump ended that in 2016 when he supported a “graduated” income tax (apparently he could not bring himself to say “progressive income tax” — the more commonly used phrase for the same thing.) Here‘s our current reality. As a percentage of total income, when you add up all state and local taxes paid, Minnesota already has a de facto “flat tax” across the board. When compared to other states, this puts us fairly high on the list of “progressive” states — in most states poor people actual pay more than rich people in all forms of state and local taxes as a percentage of income. The reason Minnesota has a de facto state-and-local “flat tax” system is because the income tax component (remember, about one third of the state-level total) evens things out. This is why it is wrong for Dr. Jensen to suggest that we should “aspire” to eliminate the state income tax, it contributes to making the overall tax burden more fair to everyone.

Fifth, Abortion — With the overturning of Roe v. Wade Minnesota and the United States are in a new legal environment. I am personally pro-life — but having now been forced to think about and study this legal issue, I have reached the conclusion that there is a federal Constitutional right to abortion. However, I believe that right is properly founded on the 13th Amendment — something not considered in the Roe v Wade decision. It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court did not take the approach advocated by Chief Justice John Roberts, which would not have immediately overturned Roe v Wade, and which in my view would have paved the way for a reconsideration that would have included arguments about the 13th Amendment (see my separate essay on this.) But more immediately, the positions of both Dr. Jensen and Mr. Burk regarding both a federal Constitutional right to an abortion, and their opposition to legal abortions even in cases of rape and incest, represent a direct threat to what is still recognized (by “Conventional Wisdom”) as a Minnesota State Constitutional right to abortion. Please note: I am not convinced the current state-level Constitutional right to an abortion is well-founded in State precedent. In short, if Dr. Jensen and Mr. Burk are elected, together with a Republican majority in both houses of the State Legislature, I think a likely and possibly almost immediate result would be the end of legal abortions in Minnesota. All voters should consider this.

On the other hand -- Minnesota is also challenged by other legitimate issues. Public Safety is certainly a big one — I‘m sure this issue will favor Republicans. Climate Change is another big one — this is an area where I‘ve got some great plans — including a patent pending “Global Thermostat” that can actually manage the temperature of our planet, and can generate all the solar electricity we need. See an excerpt from my campaign book on this one. What our students are being taught in schools about controversial issues is of course also on the list.

My bottom line on Jensen & Burk

Overall I don‘t think Gov. Tim Walz has been that bad. More specifically, he worked constructively with the Republican Senate to come up with a first two-year budget compromise that I thought was quite reasonable, avoiding a state government shutdown in the process. The fact that Gov. Walz has a proven track record of working in a bi-partisan way is the single best indicator to me that he should be preferred to Jensen and Birk in the general election, should I lose the GOP primary. While I‘m willing to take a second look at Jensen and Birk during a general election campaign, at this point my strong inclination is to favor continued divided government. This means a Democrat in the Governor‘s office and at least one house of the Legislature controlled by Republicans. This is what Minnesota has had for 30 of the last 32 years — only in 2013-2014 did Democrats control both houses of the Legislature and the Governor‘s office. Under our present circumstances I think one-party control of both the Executive and Legislative branches should be avoided — and complete GOP control would be dangerous. That sums it up.

Looking further back

We are in a crazy situation. Let me emphasize: an American Civil War II a real danger — As just one example, in his book, 2020 GOP Senate candidate Jason Lewis proposed a Constitutional amendment that, if ratified, would make it almost inevitable. His amendment would legalize secession and would remove the Constitutional provision authorizing Congress to promote the general welfare - the Constitutional basis for both Social Security and Medicare.

In 2020 I ran against Jason Lewis in the GOP Senate primary as an “Openly Sane Republican.” Resisting a vacuous Trump “Cult of Personality” and working to prevent an “American Civil War II” were THE issues that year, and they are unfortunately also the two central issues this year. This is why I continue to address them. But a big part of our problem in Minneapolis is that the Republican party has basically shriveled up and died. “Political Homelessness” is a big problem in Minneapolis, and all over. For years the party has consistently allowed me to speak and participate in Conventions, and in seeking endorsements. That continued this year in the First Congressional District when I ran in the Republican Special Election primary. But more generally at the State level I have been shut down and shut out by the current party machine this year. If you have been driven out from the Republican party by the recent insanity, I want to work with you, to take back the party, especially in Minneapolis. I plan to be declaring periodic “ Peaceable Assembly Zone ” meetings for “Politically Homeless” people at the Hennepin County Government Center North Plaza. That is where the Minneapolis Occupy movement met in 2011. If you are as worried as I am about the future of Minnesota, I invite you to come and talk with me there. We need to examine more closely how far from truth and reason many Republicans have moved. Minnesota has had a great tradition of moderate, reasonable Republican leaders. That has been lost — and it is a real question whether it can ever be restored — but I believe we must at least try, for the good of Minnesota and America.

By the Way — to gain a perspective on what has been lost, you might want to take a look at the Star Tribune May 20th 2020 Op–Ed page — an image of it is shown below, followed by a link you can click on to download the page as a .pdf file (suggestion, open it in a separate tab — when you use the .pdf Zoom it’s quite readable). This features three articles — one by Jason Lewis, one by me, and one by former Gov. Tim Pawlenty. It is a response to an earlier article by former Sen. Dave Durenberger and his former Chief of Staff Tom Horner, who went on to be the Independence Party’s candidate for Governor in 2010. I concluded my article by asking Mr. Horner to challenge Jason Lewis for the GOP Senate nomination — we spoke by phone, but he declined, so I filed — someone had to at least try! Jason’s article is quite a contrast to the tone and temperament Gov. Pawlenty advocates for.

(Commentary continues below image…)

Download the Strib Op–Ed page

(… Commentary continued)

“Dangerous Opinions” was a category originally believed by some to be grounds for impeachment and removal from office — that view was expressed and argued for at the time of the 1805 impeachment trial of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase.

Today our country is so divided that it’s essential for everyone to try to find ways to listen and work together. If we don’t, we face the real danger of an “American Civil War II.” That could not and would not be anything like America’s first Civil War, simply because at that time we were divided along State lines. However, today America has undergone what has been called the “big sort.” We have become geographically clustered into communities of like–minded people within states. In Minnesota, a rural–urban divide has developed.

We simply cannot let this level of division continue unchallenged. This is another reason why it is so vitally important to start rebuilding a reformed Republican party in Minneapolis.

During the 2020 U.S. Senate primary campaign I read Power Divided is Power Checked: the Argument for States Rights, published by Mr. Lewis in 2011. Frankly, I was both shocked and surprised. Shocked by the “Dangerous Opinions” Mr. Lewis holds… but also surprised that they don’t seem to have ever been challenged by anyone in either of two Congressional campaigns when he was on a Minnesota general election ballot. When starting that campaign, my main focus was on what Trump has done to America and to the Republican party. I assumed that anything extraordinarily dangerous about Mr. Lewis would have been surfaced and publicized in his earlier campaigns — and hadn’t heard anything that I thought was in that category.

Unfortunately I was horribly wrong about that assumption!

Let’s take a closer look. First, Mr. Lewis does demonstrate foundational knowledge supporting a limited role for the federal government, with checks and balances, and residual state sovereignty. Republicans look first to well administered State and local government.

However, while the Founders believed governments can and should “promote the general Welfare,” they knew that all government power is dangerous. Safeguarding We the People from misused government power is foundational to our Declaration of Independence and the Constitutional Convention. They also knew that unity is vital. This is why the preamble of our federal Constitution names our country the United States of America.

Unfortunately, Mr. Lewis — who clearly should know better — blatantly ignored both President Trump’s long history of testing and overstepping all limits of any kind, and our vital need for national unity.

Lewis concludes his book by promoting his inconceivably disastrous “American Civil War II” Constitutional amendment.

In Article I, Section 8 our Constitution gives Congress an explicit “General Welfare” power — here’s what it says (emphasis added): “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States;…” Both Social Security and Medicare are Constitutionally founded on this explicit power; (Helvering v Davis, a 1937 New Deal Supreme Court case.)

Mr. Lewis’ proposed amendment says: “The general welfare clause in the preamble and in Article 1, Section 8, of this Constitution shall not be construed to grant the federal branches of government any extended powers not previously or subsequently and specifically enumerated in this Constitution.” Here’s the inescapable conclusion: Mr. Lewis proposes a Constitutional provision to abolish both Social Security and Medicare!

The amendment also establishes a Constitutional right to secede from the Union: “It is also hereby established that any state whose inhabitants desire through legal means and in accordance with state law to leave this union of the several states shall not be forcibly refrained [“refrained” is not a typo] from doing so by the federal government of these United States.”

Secession is what President Lincoln and men of Minnesota’s 1st Infantry Regiment died to prevent. Read it carefully! How would it prevent seceding states from leaving behind their share of existing federal debt?

Jason Lewis’ proposed amendment, if ratified, would trigger secession and destroy the Union — the United States of America.

This is why I’m supported Joe Biden for president and opposed Jason Lewis in 2020. Unfortunately, today President Biden is heading in the same dangerous, unconstitutional direction that Trump seemed to be heading in.

To see this from the perspective of the “Dangerous Opinions” of President Trump, consider what Trump said about Presidential and federal power April 14th.

“When somebody’s the President of the United States the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s gotta be… You can look at [it] constitutionally, you can look at federalism, you can look at it any different way…” While Trump said “I don’t want to exert my power…” he then repeats: “The federal government has absolute power. It has the power. As to whether or not I’ll use that power, we’ll see.”

At the time Trump’s claim was widely rebuked, even ridiculed. But former Sen. Gary Hart’s contemporaneous article spotlighted “virtually dictatorial powers” a President can claim -- simply by declaring an “emergency.” These powers are deeply rooted in federal law going back to the Insurrection Act of 1807. More recently, the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) authorizes asset seizures, tariffs and other preemptive responses — with no requirement to first prove wrongdoing — for a national security or economic threat that “has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States.” When President Trump said “China virus” it appears this wasn’t just a political “dog whistle” — it’s was his foundation for invoking IEEPA again, as he had done five times already.

We watched impeachment fail to rein in an out–of–control chief executive. (Disclosure: As suggested, I have a new Constitutional theory on impeachment, demonstrating that it is actually far more powerful and flexible than “Conventional Wisdom” would have us believe.) We’ve also seen how ponderous and ineffective the judicial process can be when trying to rein in even Presidential illegality. Very simply, at this point — after Congress and the Judiciary have both failed to rein in Trump — it’s up to us; We the People!

During the 2020 campaign I wrote: “Shortly after a close, disputed election — or even before — it is simply impossible to predict what President Trump might do on a claimed emergency basis — or what the ultimate result might be. Under our current incredibly dangerous circumstances I believe there is no reasonable alternative but to support Joe Biden and oppose Jason Lewis. Minnesota must continue to investigate and challenge the Dangerous Opinions of both President Trump and Jason Lewis from now to November. ”

Unfortunately, the case for overreaching Executive power made by then-President Trump seems to be a foundation that President Biden seems more and more likely to rely on. This just brings me back to my original claim: we need an open Minnesota Republican party with the kind of integrity it was once widely known and respected for.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. We must all use our best judgment in deciding what to do --

Bob “Again” Carney Jr. (“bobagain”)

Contact: votebobagain@gmail.com

Our Republican heritage requires the impeachment or resignation of President Trump.

Video for 2018 Cannon Falls speech

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