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Before the legislature returns to session for 2024, it is useful to review the massive changes passed by the legislature in 2023 that became law. A number of organizations have created lists; this comprehensive list was put together while doing research for the 2023 LEA Report.– Compiled by – John Augustine – LEA board VP
Annual LEA 2024 Awards Banquet
VIP registrations are SOLD OUT
Full price after Feb 19th.
Thursday, March 7th, 2024 at the Mermaid Event Center, Mounds View 2200 County Hwy. 10, Mounds View, MN 55112
Check-in and Social Hour Begins at 6:00 P.M. — Dinner 7:30 P.M. — Program 8:00 P.M.
Featured Speaker: Steve Deace
“Lessons from Iowa and the New Conservative Media”
Our speaker this year is the nationally recognized author and podcaster Steve Deace. He will be sharing some of the successes and setbacks he has seen in Iowa and nationally for advancing a principled conservative movement, as well as some of the challenges emerging from candidate/personality-dominated conservative media.
Steve Deace is on BlazeTV radio and video podcast for two hours each weekday, right after Glenn Beck. He is an author/co-author of several non-fiction books (including Do What You Believe and Rise of the Fourth Reich) as well as a fictional book, A Nefarious Plot, which was made into the major motion picture Nefarious in 2023. National media coast-to-coast recognize Deace as an influential voice in his home state of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. He’s frequently been quoted on political issues, especially presidential politics.
Deace lives in Iowa with his wife, Amy. He has three children and one grandchild.
Steve has agreed to pose for photos and sign copies of his books or videos brought to the event by guests, both before and after the dinner and official program. A donation is strongly encouraged to help defray the travel costs associated with this rare opportunity to bring Mr. Deace to Minnesota for LEA. See https://lea-mn.org/donateContinue reading →
LEA reports on 2023 session, announces honorees
Download 2023 LEA Press release (.pdf)
Download 2023 LEA Report (.pdf)
Senators Bruce Anderson, Cal Bahr, Steve Drazkowski, Justin Eichorn, Steve Green, Eric Lucero, and Jordan Rasmusson; Representatives Josh Heintzeman, Harry Niska, and Isaac Schultz
2023 Honorable Mention:
Senators Glenn Gruenhagen, Jeff Howe, John Jasinski, Mark Koran, Bill Lieske, Warren Limmer, Jason Rarick, Paul Utke, Nathan Wesenberg, and Torrey Westrom; Representatives Pam Altendorf, Ben Bakeberg, John Burkel, Ben Davis, Marj Fogelman, Walter Hudson, Jim Joy, Jon Koznick, Shane Mekeland, Tom Murphy, Tim O’Driscoll, Brian Pfarr, Joe Schomacker, Peggy Scott, Chris Swedzinski, Paul Torkelson, and Mike Wiener.
St. Paul, MN, October 11, 2023 — Legislative Evaluation Assembly of Minnesota (LEA) is releasing its report on the Minnesota legislature’s 2023 session. The 2023 LEA report rates the votes of all 201 legislators on 23 selected bills. The report summarizes these bills and analyzes them in more depth and detail than seen in the popular press. In 2023, LEA calls particular attention to the many reckless, unsustainable and unwise decisions of the 2023 session..
In 2023, LEA felt the need to expand its printed report by four pages to allow us to adequately summarize and evaluate 23 bills. “Even after expanding the report from 12 to 16 pages, we struggled to include mention of the large number of major, radical changes in policy, statutes and appropriations,” noted LEA President Don Lee.
The 2023 Minnesota legislative session is over May 22nd, and with the last few bills passed or defeated, the Legislative Evaluation Assembly has a complete list of legislative actions to evaluate on its report and scorecard. Below is the press release that has been sent to over 200 media outlets to announce our efforts and give a sneak peek of what is to come.
The press release can be found here.
Our 2023 LEA awards banquet was held on February 21st 2023, and despite the snowy weather, we had a good turnout and enjoyed the presentations by our speakers, and a good dinner. Only one of our 5 honorees attended the banquet. The reason is that three of our honorees are now in the Minnesota senate, they were caught having to be present in St Paul, in the senate, voting on tight votes. They did their jobs rather than attend our photo-op. The LEA approves.
You can see below a few photographs of our banquet
.Many thanks to Mark T Bitner Photography for the great images
Video was taken of the entire banuet, which is on our YouTube channel here.
Come to the 2023 Awards banquet, where we honor the top scoring legislators in the 2022 LEA report. Meet the honorees and hear Kendall and Sheila Qualls talk about their work.
HONORING: Representatives: Ca; Bahr, Steve Drazkowski, Eric Lucero, Eril Mortensen, and Jeremy Munson
Annual LEA 2023 Awards Banquet
VIP registrations are closed
Early Registration ends Feb 6th.
Tuesday, February 21st, 2023 at the Mermaid Event Center, Mounds View 2200 County Hwy. 10, Mounds View, MN 55112
Check-in and Social Hour Begins at 5:30 P.M. — Dinner 6:30 P.M. — Program 7:00 P.M.
Featured Speakers: Kendall and Sheila Qualls
Topic: The Subversion of Quality Education
Our guest speakers are Kendall and Sheila Qualls, founders of Take Charge Minnesota, an organization committed to supporting the idea that America works for everyone regardless of race and station in life. They champion meritocracy, personal responsibility, free enterprise and the private sector as the fastest and most equitable way to lift people from poverty to prosperity.
Though his parents never finished high school, Kendall Qualls served as an Officer in the US Army, earned a Master of Business Administration, and became a Vice President for major corporations. He ran for Congress in 2020 and Governor of Minnesota in 2022. Sheila Qualls earned a Master’s in Human Communications Theory and worked as the civilian editor of an Army publication. She is currently reporting on education for Alpha News. They have been married for 37 years and have five children. The Qualls also are champions of religious freedom, a core tenet of America’s foundation.
Register At the Door:
LEA dues of $10 are required to participate in the brief business meeting during the banquet. Registration at the door will be $45. VIP seating is CLOSED. Questions: call 651-234-0052
Coming from Out of Town?
The Americinn Wyndham is adjacent to the Mermaid and is offering LEA banquet guests a rate of $106 (plus tax). Please call by 02/13/23 to 763-786-2000 if you want to make a room reservation.
LEA highlights legislative activity; announces honorees.
St. Paul, MN, August 6, 2022 — Legislative Evaluation Assembly of Minnesota (LEA) is releasing its evaluation of the Minnesota legislature’s 2022 session. The 2022 LEA report rates the votes of all 201 legislators on selected bills. The report summarizes these bills and analyzes them in more depth and detail than seen in the popular press. LEA calls out the abuse of legislative process in 2022 resulting in an overwhelmed legislature that is increasingly unaccountable. “in a non-budget year, the legislature continued to accept multi-subject omnibus bills to change policy, making an overwhelmed legislature that is increasingly unaccountable “ says LEA president Don Lee. “Legislators and citizens have both failed to retrieve self-government from the authoritarians, bureaucrats, and special interests who are all too willing to take citizens’ money and run their lives.”
Five legislators with the highest LEA scores are honored in the 2022 LEA report.
Sixteen House bills and eighteen Senate bills were selected by LEA for scoring. The report is dominated by the same unconstitutional omnibus bills that dominated the sessions. Omnibus bills on Agriculture, Environment, Health and Human Services, and Government Finance are included. Bills addressing Competency Restoration, COVID Relief Payments, SW Light Rail, Off-Road Vehicle rules, and Opioid Settlement funds are also covered.
2022 Honorees: Representatives Cal Bahr, Steve Drazkowski, Eric Lucero, Erik Mortensen, and Jeremy Munson. (No Senate honorees.)
Honorable Mention: Representatives Jeff Backer, Steve Green, Jerry Hertaus, Jon Koznick, Joe McDonald, Shane Mekeland, and Tim Miller
Gordon L. Anderson, Past President, LEA Minnesota (2007-2011), owner of Integral Society blog. (The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily the members of LEA)
Today political parties have become the vehicles of political power for special and moneyed interests, displacing a consensus of the governed. They have subverted processes of legislation through pork, omnibus legislation, and negotiations between party leadership and government officials. The legislators, once elected, usually become accountable to their party leadership and vote in partisan blocks, rubber-stamping party-negotiated legislation without meaningful citizen feedback.
In drafting the Constitution, the US Founders worked hard to prevent moneyed interests from gaining control of the government. They did this through sets of checks and balances on the process of legislation designed to only produce laws that reflected both a consensus of the people in the House of Representatives and a consensus of the States in the Senate.1The original Constitution directed the states to appoint two Senators each to represent them. In this way, both the interests of the states and the expertise of their seasoned experts in governance had to agree with something the people desired. This arrangement was abolished by the 17th Amendment, which removed this check, by having citizens vote for senators. This removed the representation of the states in their own federation and allowed political parties that vied for citizen allegiance to escape a check on the tribalism they produced by seasoned Senators representing State interests. But the Founders failed to check the power of political parties as vehicles for moneyed and special interests to usurp power.
In his 1796 Farewell Address, composed with the help of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, George Washington lamented that the Constitution did not constrain the power of political parties:
All obstructions to the execution of the Laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and modified by mutual interests.
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However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterwards the very engines, which have lifted them to unjust dominion.George Washington, Farewell Address.
Come to the 2022 Awards banquet, where we honor the top scoring legislators in the 2021 LEA report. Meet the honorees, and hear Dr. Jeff Johnson talk about Refugee resettlement and the Law. On-line registration has ended. The at-the-door price … Continue reading →
On Dec 18th, 2021 at 2 PM, LEA board member John Augustine will be on Mitch Berg’s Northern Alliance radio program to talk about the 2021 LEA Report on the MN Legislature, and some positive and negative developments in MN state government this past year. Tune in and join the conversation!