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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Rep. Pat Garofalo Offers More Excuses

Category: Pat Garofalo
Posted: 03/10/14 15:39

by Dave Mindeman

Rep. Pat Garofalo is back in the news.

Let's be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime

-- Rep. Pat Garofalo (@PatGarofalo) March 9, 2014

For some reason that tweet has come under some intense criticism. And Pat G. can't seem to understand why.

A lot of people look at that and see a racist comment. After all, the NBA is predominantly African-American and the word "streetcrime" is often just a euphemism for "black" crime.

But, of course, Rep. Garofalo didn't mean any of that. No, he just "meant" a reference to the high level of arrests among the league as a whole.

Yeah, right.

Actually, Garofalo may have realized a lifelong dream. He was mentioned in Sports Illustrated....

Garofalo defended his tweet to the Star Tribune, saying that he was merely "talking about the NBA's high arrest rate and that they are the only major pro league that testing positive for marijuana is not a substance abuse violation."

Of course, that explanation is complete BS, because not only is he factually wrong (Kevin Draper over at The Diss has figures that shows the arrest rate in the NBA is far below the national average), it's also nitpicking a minor issue as if it's a major one (marijuana is legalized in two states, widely available for medical use in another 18, and is generally considered not a major offense). Anyone with enough common sense can read between the lines of his tweet. The word "street," much like "thug," has a history of being associated with black American males, and the NBA is, of course, made up of mostly black male athletes.

Garofalo is no stranger to questionable statements. He had an unusual target when he complained about integration funding...

"There is simply no excuse for state government to be spending money on a six-step hip-hop program or a kindness retreat," Garofalo said, criticizing actual programs districts use the money for. "It's embarrassing these expenditures are even allowed under state law."

It almost seemed that money used for "hip-hop" particularly incensed him. Now, you might think that hip-hop is primarily an African-American form, but then maybe Rep. Garofalo is in to hip-hop in the privacy of his basement, along with his internet gambling....

I'm not going to call Rep. Pat Garofalo a racist. Only he can be the true judge of that. But the fact remains that statements like his have to have a mindset that brings them to the surface. And that kind of mindset should not be coming from a public political figure.

Garofalo likes to push the envelope. This time was probably too far.
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Rep. Pat Garofalo: Support Undeserved

Category: Pat Garofalo
Posted: 07/13/13 14:19

by Dave Mindeman

At MinnPost, Cyndy Brucato featured Rep. Pat Garofalo and his new found fame as a Republican who voted for same-sex marriage.

Apparently we are supposed to be "impressed" with Pat Garofalo's "courage".

Sorry, I'm not.

Garofalo may have been one of four House Republicans that voted for allowing same-sex marriage in Minnesota, but it wasn't because of some grandiose enlightenment on policy.

Garofalo gives us his opinion.

"My vote was in defense of religious freedom and religious liberty," he said. "Anybody knows that same-sex marriage is the direction our country is moving. People are thankful that we got religious freedom protection [an amendment sponsored by GOP Rep. David FitzSimmons] put into the bill."

The Fitzsimmons amendment clarified a marriage definition:

The amendment would insert the word "civil" in front of "marriage" in order to underscore that what state law sanctions is a civil, not a religious, designation, Rep. David FitzSimmons, R-Albertville, said.

In other words, Garofalo still believes that same-sex marriage is not a real marriage in the religious sense and the only way he could vote for it was to make sure that that distinction was set in law.

"we got religious freedom protection."...... says Garofalo.

Most people consider the Fitzsimmons amendment a minor clarification that appeases religious objections.

For Garofalo, it was the ONLY way he could have supported the bill.

But Garofalo now basks in the odd limbo land of support from Republicans and gay rights supporters. In actual fact, Garofalo is deserving of support from neither.

Garofalo is proud of his extremist connection to ALEC...

Garofalo say's he is prepared for any challenger that tries to outflank him on the right, noting that he's the Minnesota chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the conservative think tank that produces model legislation for state legislatures and is scorned by Democrats and liberals.

He is anti-union (especially teachers), anti-welfare, anti-government worker, pro-gun, pro-voter ID, anti-choice....and quite frankly, outside of this one vote for same sex marriage based solely on religion, he has been anti-same sex marriage. In fact, just a few days before the vote (before the Fitzsimmons amendment) he stated publicly he would vote against it.

Pat Garofalo has a "smart mouth" style....as exemplified by his recent Twitter musings with a liberal blogger. He has a quick temper as he has demonstrated on the floor of the House on repeated occasions. And he condescends with people he disagrees with.

He is more libertarian than Republican. More right wing than compromiser. More zealot than gay rights supporter. And just more belligerent than rational legislator.

Maybe Rep. Pat Garofalo has found support nirvana from both Republican activists and gay rights supporters. But give him time, he will soon find ways to piss off both factions.
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Warehouse Tax: Rep. Garofalo Gets It Wrong - Again

Category: Pat Garofalo
Posted: 07/08/13 20:25

by Dave Mindeman

As many of you who read this blog are aware, I am not a big fan of Rep. Pat Garofalo. His rhetoric is hyperbolic...(i.e. - after the Daycare Union bill passed, it was Garofalo who yelled, "Let them applaud, they OWN the place!" ), his reasoning is ALWAYS one-sided, and his contemptuous treatment of others is legendary.

So far in his career, his only redeeming legislative value is a vote to make same-sex marriage legal in Minnesota. And quite frankly, I still believe there was some ulterior motive for that vote.

But I digress. Today we look at Garofalo's OP-ED in the Sun/ThisWeek local paper on the "warehousing tax".

Let's start with this quote:

Last week, I stood alongside fellow legislators and business owners from around the state to call on Gov. Mark Dayton to repeal the warehousing tax. While the tax doesn't begin until 2014, it is already costing jobs and expansion opportunities in our local communities.

Already costing jobs? Oh, please Rep. Garofalo, do tell.....

Minnesota is already starting to feel the impacts of the warehousing tax, even though it doesn't begin for another year. Red Wing Shoes recently announced the delay of a $20 million warehouse facility. Other businesses I've spoken to have had to put plans on hold, taking a "wait and see" approach before deciding whether to add jobs or move forward with expansion projects.

Rep. Garofalo had this Op-Ed published on July 3rd. However on 6/28, MinnPost investigated this very situation after the GOP had their publicity stunt news conference.

MinnPost - Are GOP and businesses crying wolf over impact of new warehouse tax?

The Red Wing Shoes situation was addressed directly with John Sachen, a Red Wing Shoe executive - quote:

But, after listening to John Sachen, a Red Wing Shoe executive, it's not so clear there's a direct link between delaying the warehouse project and the tax.

"It's on hold," said Sachen of the project.

Would the project have gone ahead if there'd been no tax?

Sachen couldn't say that it necessarily would have.

Would the project definitely go ahead if the tax were eliminated?

Sachen couldn't say that was necessarily the case, either.

He did say that the company, which has a facility in Potosi, Mo., is "in talks with Potosi." But again, he wouldn't say that there's a direct link between the tax and the warehouse project.

Additionally, it should be noted that the Red Wing Shoes warehouse wouldn't create jobs -- other than construction ones in building the warehouse. Rather, it would allow Red Wing to consolidate its current the five warehouses into one facility. Those warehouses, by the way, employ about 80 people, a number that would not increase with a new warehouse

In addition, Rep. Garofalo apparently missed the June 28th Star Tribune clarification on where the tax actually applies.....

Myron Frans, state revenue commissioner, said Dayton has asked him to study the issue, and he has spoken with Red Wing officials about their concerns. He said the tax only applies when the producer or manufacturer purchases warehouse or storage services from another firm.

Garofalo offered no other examples of a potential problem. Thus the Red Wing Shoe factory will NOT be affected by this tax.

In other words, Rep. Pat Garofalo is, as usual, making it up.

I would hope this legislator will someday learn to get the facts right before making another condescending statement of inaccuracy.
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