Telling The Real Stories

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Midterm Elections: States edition

I have spent a lot of time discussing the midterms at the Federal level, but we need to take a moment for the States and local government. The vast majority of governing is actually done in our backyard, not in D.C. Sure, they may be able to provide for national defense and conduct diplomacy, but if you want to clean up St. Cloud, go to City Hall. Want more funding for the arts in your school district? Go to a school board meeting. The importance of states is underappreciated. They massively affect the quality of education, various taxes, and redrawing of districts every ten years based on the census. Our census year is 2020 and those state and congressional lines will be redrawn by 2022. While Democrats have been excited about the President’s job approval rating sinking faster than the Titanic and the Congressional Generic Ballot being significantly in their… Keep Reading


Minneapolis, your vote counts!

Local elections are the most underappreciated devotions to citizenship in the United States. Nationally, only about five percent of the voting population participates in these elections and the Twin Cities are hosting theirs tomorrow so I’m willing to bet many of my fellow student-citizens have a vested interest in this mayoral race. I must admit, I have not done my duty in keeping the Chronicle’s readers focused on these local races despite their importance. In my defense, Donald Trump is the President.  The vast majority of governance happens at the local level. Zoning, affordable housing, sidewalks, road repair, and dozens of other government activities are overwhelmingly or exclusively local government actions. Politico ran a story last week about the discrepancy between what mayors believe Millennials want versus what Millennials actually need. The number one need for our generation, according to this survey, was affordable housing. I want to give a… Keep Reading


Why Gerrymandering creates political discrimination

Gerrymandering is the most useful tool for ensuring the continuation of political power. It turned my home state of Wisconsin from a blue-ish purple state into a ruby-red one, especially at the state level. Talking as a Democrat (a lover as Democracy, not a member of the Democratic Party), I see it as the biggest threat to our Republic. Every ten years, we have to take a census of the population. Based on who is accounted for, a state is awarded a number of Congressional seats. This is the same where each state redraws its legislative boundaries. Gerrymandering, in the broadest of terms, is to maximize the power of one party over the other for the next decade. The Supreme Court has struck down gerrymandering based on race in several different cases. The reasoning behind the Court’s decisions was the 14th Amendment: Equal Protection. By deliberately packing minority voters into… Keep Reading


Why Mueller’s investigation must continue

In recent days, several Republicans in the House and Senate have come forward and said that special counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation should be cut off because of the lack of indictments, political hit jobs, and secret nature of things. Democrats, on the other hand, want to protect Mueller. Let’s take these on point-by-point. The first indictments are coming down on Monday, including Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. This is not a political hit job; this is an effort to make certain that the President and his top advisers did not engage in collusion with Moscow. If they did, then they should be tried and convicted. Thirdly, this isn’t secret. The ongoing investigations are being reported on, even if all the facts aren’t released yet. Any defendants will be tried openly through the legal process. It should also be noted that when Kenneth Starr investigated President Clinton, Democrats were calling for… Keep Reading

News/Politics/SCSU News

School of Public Affairs prepares for strategic plan refresh

In the past year. St. Cloud State University has gone under what they call Strategic Plan Refresh, a way to revitalize academic curriculums to make the University adaptable to changing times. While SCSU is working on revitalizing itself as a whole, the School of Public Affairs is one of the first departments within the University to start making changes to its curriculum, as they said they want to ensure students who are in SOPA get the best education the possibly can, aligning their mission as a school with SCSU as a whole. On Wednesday, graduate students, professors, student government officials and former alumni all met at the SCSU Welcome Center to discuss the strategic plan and the schools future at SCSU. Rick Osborne, College Senator for the School of Public Affairs said he thinks it’s a good idea to revitalize how they’re doing things right now and strive for improvements. “It’s really… Keep Reading


Tax policy is a huge snooze-fest, but also really important

Especially among Republicans, you hear the promise of cutting taxes and making government run more efficiently, like a business. Democrats typically talk about making the wealthy pay their “fair share.” For the first time in sixty years, the President is trying to fundamentally change tax policy. I would love to spend pages upon pages critiquing President Trump’s tax policy proposal, but unfortunately, there isn’t much of a proposal to go off of. The President has said he wants to drop the corporate tax rate down to 20 percent, then 15 percent, continuously flip-flopping. He wants to cut the “pass-through” businesses, which includes mom-and-pop shops, law firms, and real estate development. Investments will be able to be deducted immediately, something that will help the economy. So if you’re rich, you’re fine. What about the poor and middle class? You see, these tax cuts may benefit a few middle-class families, but the… Keep Reading


Repealing and replacing Obamacare… here we go again

The Republican Party last week trotted out their latest attempt to give a tax break to their corporatist masters in the form of the Graham-Cassidy Bill. This was the latest attempt to roll back Obamacare and weaken the current healthcare system as it stands today. In the Trump Administration, preserving the current status quo is the best average Americans can hope for. The Graham-Cassidy bill would have essentially punished the 31 states that have already expanded coverage under the marketplace. By taking the same pot of money allocated for those states and spreading it to all fifty, this would decrease the funds available for families already struggling. Beyond simply moving money around, it would have essentially ended the marketplace itself. Even more revolting, it would have permitted insurance companies to sell plans that don’t meet federal requirements to sick people and charge them more for those preexisting conditions. This included… Keep Reading


Alabama State Primary: What to expect in a Trump-friendly stronghold

You might be asking why you should care about Alabama, or if I have completely lost my mind talking about the potential replacement for now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a Trump-friendly state. Have I? Let me break this down for you. The President’s approval rating in Alabama is roughly 80 percent. The primary pits incumbent senator Luther Strange against former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore. Strange has been endorsed by the President and Vice President while also being a reliable ally of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Backed by both the White House and Senate leadership, shouldn’t it be a slam dunk for Strange? Why waste precious time with this discussion? Moore has had a solid lead since the beginning of the primary over Strange. He was kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court for failing to remove the Ten Commandments off of government property after being ordered to do so by… Keep Reading


Free speech is under assault in Minnesota

In civics and history classes in our Republic, we hear the same stories so much that some of us just tune out completely, we end up forgetting things. As for myself, I lapped it all up. Civics, history, political theory, the question of citizenship, all of those are like drugs to me. I recently purchased a copy of the Federalist Papers, which I know will relegate me to “nerdy political junkie” status for the rest of my life, and I am more than happy to own up to it. In those same stories we hear, the buildup to the Revolution goes something like this: King George taxes the colonists. Colonists say “no taxation without representation.” King George and Prime Minister North said, “eat my shorts” and enacted the Intolerable Acts. Boston Massacre. Lexington and Concord. Bunker Hill. War. Declaration of Independence. America wins, the end. What’s lost but so very… Keep Reading

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