October 26, 2017


Sonia Neculescu 

DFL House Members Condemn Minneapolis Mayoral Candidate Tom Hoch's Contributions to GOP and Sherif Stanek


Remarks as prepared: 

Rep. Ilhan Omar:

“In the 2017 municipal elections in Minneapolis, there is increasing evidence of connections to Republican campaigns not usually associated with Minneapolis politics.  We DFL Legislators are here to remind our residents what the House Republican Caucus stands for.  This is urgent because one of the candidates for Mayor, Tom Hoch, donated $500 dollars to the House Republican Caucus in October of 2016.

It impossible to understand why anyone who claims to be a progressive could donate to the House Republicans.  This organization is anti-Progressive, Anti-Minneapolis and pro-Trump.

How far from progressive are the House Republicans?  Let’s review:

House Republicans oppose our efforts to address inequality;

House Republicans oppose legislation to protect our environment;

House Republicans oppose allowing cities to raise wages or protect workers;

House Republicans oppose a woman’s right to choose;

House Republicans oppose marriage equality and the freedom to marry;

House Republicans oppose transit even though it brings people to jobs;

House Republicans oppose raising real revenue to repair our roads, preferring to steal money from schools and nursing homes and push costs onto property taxpayers;

On the other hand, House Republicans support tax cuts for the wealthy and Big Tobacco;

House Republicans support for profit HMOs;

House Republicans support sabotaging solar to benefit Big Oil;

House Republicans support needless restrictions on immigrant driver’s licenses which means people end up driving with insurance or training;

House Republicans support unnecessary restrictions to voting;

House Republicans budgets force tuition increases and cuts to E-12 education and health care by pretending inflation doesn’t exist;

House Republicans don’t just oppose our progressive Minneapolis values, they oppose the City itself.  Instead of uniting one Minnesota, they seek political profit from sowing division.

Even though downtown Minneapolis is the engine of economic growth for our region, House Republicans scapegoat or attack the City and its residents at every opportunity.

Even though Minneapolis is a net contributor to the state budget, House Republicans oppose allowing Minneapolis get back its fair share of state funding for our City.

Whenever House Republicans want to fund something (including a tax cut for the wealthy or some program that benefit another part of the state), they regularly single out Minneapolis or Minneapolis schools for special or disproportionate funding cuts.

That’s why we’re here Matthews Park around the corner from Seward Montessori, one of our Minneapolis elementary schools.  Funding for this park and funding these kids’ education (or any child’s education) should not be a political football but that’s exactly what happens whenever House Republicans are in the majority.

Our residents are regularly demonized by House Republicans, both in governing and on the campaign trail:  They oppose social services that help Minneapolis residents get a lift up.  They oppose sources of education funding that helps Minneapolis students. They oppose transit if they think it serves Minneapolis riders, even when outstate Minnesota pays nothing.

How could Tom Hoch not care that to House Republicans, the City of Minneapolis and its residents are nothing but targets?”

Rep. John Lesch:

“Everything Rep. Omar just said about Minneapolis is sadly true of St Paul as well.  Instead of supporting the whole state, House Republicans make my City and our schools into a punching bag.

In October of 2016 when Tom Hoch donated $500 to the House Republicans, there was no mystery to what they would do with the money:

House Republicans were coordinating with Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign to turn out their base voters using the most sexist and racist campaign in modern times.

House Republicans defeated Democrats in swing districts both in greater Minnesota and the Metro area running campaigns of scapegoating and division.

How could Tom Hoch donate to House Republicans in October of 2016 just a few weeks before the election when they were helping, and being helped by, Donald Trump?”

Rep. Susan Allen:

“Rich Stanek supports Trump’s immigration policies, even standing with him after the inauguration and praising his push for ICE and more deportations.

Sheriff Stanek unabashedly cooperates with ICE to deport our neighbors, and gutted legislation against racial profiling

Rich Stanek served as Public Safety Commissioner under Governor Tim Pawlenty but had to resign that position after his history of using racial slurs was revealed.

Rich Stanek is a potential Republican Candidate for Governor in 2018 who according to the Pioneer Press in speaking to the Republican Central Committee, “fired up the delegates in attendance with calls to “eliminate every ‘sanctuary city’ in the state of Minnesota” by withholding state aid, to give “tax credits for private school and home school” and to fund roads and bridges without raising taxes. Stanek also defended his decision to send Hennepin County deputies to an oil pipeline protest in North Dakota, and took an explicit shot at Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, a frontrunner for the DFL gubernatorial nomination.” Pioneer Press Dec 3, 2016

Sheriff Stanek used our tax dollars to send his deputies to Standing Rock…

Donating to the Republican Sheriff Rich Stanek is donating to someone with a long history of right wing politics long before Stanek supported Trump. Nobody can claim to be surprised at by Rich Stanek’s recent actions.”

Rep. Jean Wagenius:

“To prepare for his event, we compiled a list of the “Worst Legislation Passed by House Republicans in 2017” so you would know what kind of return Tom Hoch and other 2016 contributors got for their investment. (hand out copies)

It is important to note a few things about this list:

Some of these bills were thankfully vetoed by Mark Dayton, like pre-emption, but many others became law. Since Republicans now control both the House and Senate they were able to hold the session hostage to their terrible legislation.

This is a list of legislation passed by House Republicans in just one year.  We could have developed a similar list for 2015 or 2016.  

We could have included just a few years ago, when House Republicans approved two constitutional amendments for the 2012 ballot to outlaw marriage equality and damage the right to vote.

With a long record of an increasingly conservative agenda, nobody can claim to be surprised at how radical this legislation is.”