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DFL Talking Points – August 24, 2012


Voter Restriction Amendment

The Voter RESTRICTION Amendment is designed to lure Minnesotans into voting for something that:

• Creates an UNFUNDED MANDATE that will cost state and local governments upwards of $50 million to implement and INCREASE PROPERTY TAXES on city residents.

• Seeks to dismantle our 40 year history of Election Day registration

• Sets up a complicated new system of provisional balloting (the “PROBABLY WON’T GET COUNTED VOTE”). City residents don’t have time to take hours off work to go back and cast a ballot down at the county after the election is over.

• And unlike other states, this amendment – as written – FAILS TO SAFEGUARD THE VOTING RIGHTS of our seniors in nursing homes and our troops protecting our democracy overseas.

- We may not know exactly how much this will cost our cities, and counties. But one thing is clear. IT WILL RAISE PROPERTY TAXES.

- Voting is a uniquely American activity, one that should be FREE, FAIR and ACCESSIBLE. Voting should be equally accessible regardless of income, race or disability. But this amendment makes it HARDER for eligible Minnesotans to vote.

- It’s WRONG for legislators who placed this on the ballot to MANIPULATE VOTING LAWS FOR THEIR OWN GAIN.

- State legislators who put this on the November ballot are UNNECESSARILY RESTRICTING THE VOTING RIGHTS of eligible MN voters, making it harder for hundreds of thousands to vote. This is wrong and Minnesotans should vote it down -- Vote NO on November 6.

Q: But opponents say we need to make sure eligible voters are IDd BEFORE they vote.

(Acknowledge and pivot) “Of course we only want eligible MN voters to cast ballots! That’s what our system does here in MN, why it’s #1 in the nation. The problem with this amendment is that it RESTRICTS ELIGIBLE MN VOTERS FROM VOTING – putting significant hurdles up in front of 100’s of thousands of them. This isn’t the way to do it. There are other ways (electronic poll books, etc.) and this isn’t it.”


A: If someone votes that shouldn’t, that’s ineligible voting. It’s wrong and we prosecute that aggressively here in MN. But let’s be clear. It’s not “fraud.”

Our county attorneys are REQUIRED to investigate. And they’ve had to do a lot of extra work that’s turned up next to nothing, costing our counties thousands of dollars in unnecessary investigations promoted primarily by one organization – MN Majority.

Re: Attacks on our elections system

- MN Is unique. We have the highest turnout in America. MN has a proud history of FAIR and ACCESSIBLE elections. A system that makes sure the right to vote of EVERY eligible voter is protected.

- We have the best, most effective elections system in the country – leading the nation in voter participation, the hallmark of a thriving democracy.

Senator Klobuchar:

- Republicans wrongly claim that Congress hasn’t passed a budget.

• The Budget Control Act of 2011 caps spending and cuts the deficit by at least $2.1 trillion dollars over 10 yrs.

• The Budget Control Act also goes further than a budget resolution because it has the force of law since it is signed by the President.

- Senator Klobuchar believes we need to responsibly reduce the deficit in a meaningful and balanced way.

- Last fall she was part of a bipartisan group of 45 senators to get a balanced debt reduction plan through Congress.

- She was one of 14 Senators that fought for the creation of the Fiscal Commission. She has said she does not agree with every single recommendation included in the final report, she believe it provides a good starting point.


- Romney and Ryan’s voucher plan to end Medicare as we know it would raise seniors’ health costs by thousands of dollars to cut taxes for the wealthiest. They’d repeal Obamacare, which is helping millions of seniors save on their prescription drugs.

- President Obama’s $700 billion in Medicare savings didn’t cut benefits, and health reform is extending the life of Medicare for eight more years – which is why Paul Ryan included those exact same savings in his budget.

- Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would end Medicare as we know it and voucherize it so they can give more tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. Ryan also proposed a plan – which Romney said he would sign – to privatize Medicare, which would raise seniors’ health costs by nearly $6,400 a year. Even Newt Gingrich called that plan “right-wing social engineering.”

- Fiction vs. Fact: Romney and Ryan know that seniors don’t like their extreme plan to raise health costs and end Medicare as we know it, so they’re attacking the President and lying about their own plan. They’ll say anything to get elected.

• Fiction: “Obama cut Medicare by $700 billion.” Fact: The $700 billion in savings that are extending the life of Medicare through 2024 came from cutting unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies, waste and fraud – which is why Ryan put it in his budget, too. Under President Obama, fraud prosecutions are up 75 percent and we’ve recovered more in health care fraud than ever before.

• Fiction: “Current seniors won’t be affected.” Fact: Romney and Ryan would repeal Obamacare, which would raise Medicare premiums for all seniors, raise prescription drug costs and force seniors to pay out of pocket for cancer screenings and other preventive services.

• Fiction: “It’s like Medicare Advantage.” Fact: Romney and Ryan would radically change Medicare by taking away guaranteed benefits and instead giving seniors a voucher that wouldn’t keep up with health costs or ensure they can get the same health care they have today.

• Fiction: “It’s a bipartisan plan.” Fact: Senator Wyden voted against Ryan’s budget and said it was “nonsense” to claim that he supported the Romney-Ryan budget or its extreme plan to end Medicare as we know it.

- President Obama is strengthening Medicare and helping seniors save money, which is why the AARP supported Obamacare in the first place. It extended the life of Medicare by eight years without cutting benefits, and it’s helping millions of seniors save through lower premiums, free preventive care, and less expensive prescription drugs.

President Obama and Education:

- President Obama believes a good education is an economic necessity for everyone and a key part of creating an economy built to last. He’s spurring reform across the country and relieving schools from No Child Left Behind’s unworkable, top-down mandates so students can achieve and compete.

- Romney and Ryan would gut investments in education – which means fewer teachers and more crowded classrooms – so they can cut taxes for the wealthy, like Romney did in Massachusetts.

- President Obama believes education is critical to creating an economy built to last, keeping America competitive and growing our economy from the middle class out.

His Race to the Top initiative spurred 46 states to raise their standards without any new mandates. It’s also making sure local schools have the right tools to help students learn and achieve for 1 percent of what we spend on public education.

He’s offering relief from No Child Left Behind’s top-down mandates for states that will use local solutions to improve schools and prepare students for success.

He supported more than 400,000 teacher jobs, preventing layoffs that would’ve increased class sizes. He’s urging Congress to support another 325,000 jobs to speed up the recovery and keep classrooms from getting even more crowded.

- In Massachusetts, Romney made cuts that led to teacher layoffs and crowded classrooms but cut taxes for some of the wealthiest.

He forced Massachusetts schools to take the second-largest percentage cuts in the country during his first year in office, which led to teacher layoffs.

He cut taxes for 278 of the wealthiest people, costing taxpayers $78 million.

- Romney wants to cut taxes for millionaires but says we don’t need more teachers and that class sizes don’t matter. He thinks he knows better than parents and teachers what’s good for their students.

- Romney and Ryan would cut critical investments and reforms when students need them most so they can give budget-busting tax breaks to millionaires like Romney.

Romney-Ryan means more belt-tightening for schools across the country. They would gut investments in education to cut taxes for the wealthiest, risking up to 65,000 educators’ jobs so millionaires like Romney can get bigger tax breaks.

Romney and Ryan would abandon a national commitment to improving the lowest-performing schools. Instead they would expand private-school vouchers, which have been tried and studied for decades but fail to help students achieve.

Romney’s Welfare Lie

- Romney is lying about the President’s support for welfare-to-work requirements. President Obama has a long record of making sure work is part of welfare, and his waivers – requested by Republican governors – require states to strengthen work requirements by at least 20 percent.

- Romney wanted to go further and allow waivers of time limits, which would undercut the central idea of welfare reform.

Mitt Romney’s latest welfare ad is a complete and utter lie. If Romney wants to talk about issues, he should start by taking his own advice.

• Both The New York Times and The Washington Post disputed Romney’s claims.

• President Clinton, who reformed welfare, said Romney’s claims are “not true.”

• The Republican author of welfare reform says Romney is wrong.

• Even Newt Gingrich said there’s “no proof” that Romney’s ad is accurate.

- The Facts: President Obama’s waivers don’t weaken welfare-to-work requirements. They strengthen them and require states to move at least 20 percent more people to work.

The waivers won’t be approved if they weaken or undercut welfare reform or try to avoid time limits on assistance. They’ll be given only to states that test ways to moving more people to work.

President Obama has a long record of making sure work is part of welfare. As an Illinois State Senator, he was the lead Democrat on welfare reform and supported work requirements. He worked with Republicans to pass welfare reform, and they later praised his “bipartisan support and work” that helped get it done.

- Romney’s Blatant Hypocrisy: As governor of Massachusetts, Romney requested the same kind of waivers that President Obama provided. Romney wanted to go further and allow waivers of time limits, which would undercut the central idea of welfare reform. That wouldn’t be approved under the President’s plan.


Carlie Waibel

Deputy Communications Director

Minnesota DFL Party

O: 651.251.6383

C: 612.990.7399


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