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Fun-raiser and more

It’s 2014 and conventions are underway. As fellow supporters of inclusion and equality, it is more important than ever that we get involved in the process and hold our elected officials accountable for watching out for our civil liberties as well as our wallets. Marriage Equality may have been accomplished, but at what cost? The state is enjoying a rather large surplus as the result of the previous Republican congress’ balanced budget approach to governing. The DFL budget is kicking in and we are already seeing them doubling down on taxes and spending, treating a projected $1 billion surplus (our money!) as a bonus check for more toys. The irony is that they are claiming that their policies have resulted in this surplus, but their budget did not start kicking in until the end of 2013. They raised taxes and requested bonding totaling more than $2 billion, appropriating nearly $100 million on a new senate office building that would only house 42 members. Think about that for a minute. Some DFL legislators are now poising themselves to repeal some of the taxes they passed, including medical device, warehouse, and others. They want to be able to claim they are cutting taxes during this re-election cycle, taxes they passed! Republicans have introduced the Give It Back Act intended to rebate the surplus. This is something to watch this session.

Speaking of things to watch, the senate race against Al Franken is heating up. You may recall that Franken was the final vote that put the nail into the coffin that created this monstrosity we know as Obamacare. Come hear one of the candidates, current SD 47 senator Julianne Ortman will be the guest speaker at a Fat Tuesday Fun-Raiser for SD 59.


The cost for the event is $62.50,  of which $50 is eligible for the PCR refund program. That makes this a fun and affordable event to attend.




Cost: $62.50 per person – $50 is eligible for MN State Political Contribution Refund (PCR).
Please make your check payable to Senate District 59 Republicans.

Please RSVP by calling Dan or Cindy Niesen at 612-522-3551, or see you at Broadway Pizza!

Hosted by SD 59 Republicans

Join SD 59 this Tuesday, 6:30pmThis is a great opportunity to network with fellow Republicans!Guest speaker: Julianne Ortman, candidate for U.S. Senate
Speaking at 6:30pm
Pizza, salad and soft drinks begin at 7:00pm.
Broadway Pizza, 2025 West River Rd N Minneapolis, MN > MAP


Twin Cities Pride is just around the corner. LCR MN always maintains a booth at Pride because it is important to show that the LGBT community is diverse and spotlight the hard work that LCR does to fight for inclusion and equality within the Republican Party.  We need your help to set up or work the booth. If you are interested in helping develop theme or materials, your help is greatly appreciated! Please respond to this post if you are able to help!!

Other News:

With all the work LCR has been doing to repeal DADT, DOMA, and now working on ENDA, it is increasingly important that our legislators hear from everyone who supports non-discrimination efforts. We will be working this year to approach MN legislators representing us in DC to garner additional support on the ENDA legislation in the House. More to come on this.

We thank you for your continued support and look forward to hearing from you. Please stay engage, for the only way to advance true inclusion and equality is to be heard AND seen.



Please join us for a fundraiser to support State Representative Pat Garofalo on Tuesday, July 16 from 5:00 – 7:30pm!
“I am co-hosting this event for Rep Garofalo to thank him for his vote on marriage equality but also because I support some of his ideas (ie Right Size MN, Sunday liquor sales, to name a few) and because he is a great guy if you have ever met him. I hope you will join us.” – Ken Smoron

Louis Ristorante is the new restaurant located above Cossetta, 211 West 7th St, Saint Paul, and we’ll be in the private dining room. Afterwards, look forward to gathering outside on the beautiful rooftop patio!

Hosted by:
Log Cabin Republicans of MN Chairman Ken Smoron • Jake Loesch • Minnesota College Republicans Chairman Andrew Hasek • Todd Hill • Dale Carpenter • Andrew Wagner • Rebecca Peichel • Kevin Zabel • Daniel Wolter

As you might know, the Minnesota Political Contribution Refund (PCR) is once again available. This means that you can apply for a refund of one $50 contribution per person (or $100 per married couple)!

This is an excellent opportunity to help support great candidates like Pat at essentially no cost to you, and I hope you’ll take advantage of it.

For more info on the MN PCR Program, click here:

Find out more about Pat here:
http://patgarofalo.com/Suggested minimum contribution: $50.00

For further information, please contact Jake at jake.loesch@gmail.com or Ken Smoron at info@mnlogcabin.org , subject line “Pat Fundraiser” or 612-236-3455

Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota would greatly appreciate your willingness to help staff the LCR MN booth at this years Twin Cities Pride festival. Spreading the Republican message and encouraging people to get involved in the process is extremely important, especially as we continue to promote inclusion within the party. With bi-partisan support on the passage of the marriage equality bills, the festival will be very exciting this year.

Festival booth hours are Saturday June 29 and Sunday June30 from 10a-6p at Loring Park, Minneapolis MN

2013 pride logo

We like to have at least 2 people present at all times with overlapping times in case someone is running a little late. We like to staff in 2 hour increments so you can have time to enjoy the festival if you wish. Of course if you are able to devote more time than 2 hours, that would be great! 

Refreshments will be provided.


10-12p (parade will be approximately 11-12:30, the bigger need is for after this time)

We appreciate any and all time you can commit. Please reply with the time slots you can participate. Plan ahead, parking can be cumbersome at times!

If you are unable to attend or volunteer, a donation to help us cover the costs of the event and continue spreading our message at future events would be greatly appreciated! DONATE HERE

Feel free to email, call, or text with any questions. 

Contact Name: Ken Smoron
Telephone Number: 612-236-3455

Marriage equality was approved in Minnesota with the recent Republican amendment to the bill, submitted by Rep.David Fitzsimmons, but not without criticism. Spurring debate over the legislation leaving religious institutions and private citizens vulnerable for litigation, social conservative Republicans and Democrats around the state are already crying foul.

A friend of LCRMN and supporter of same sex marriage, Richard Painter, wrote a blog about this issue on the Legal Ethics Forum.  Read Article Hear.

Richard is currently a S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota, has served as Associate Counsel to the President in the White House Counsel’s office under Pres. George Bush, and the White House Christian Fellowship, and is also an active member in many Christian groups.

We understand that those courageous Republicans who supported the bills will face some backlash from their peers, their constituents, and most likely the new party leadership (though the house and senate leadership indicated there wouldn’t be any reprisals for supporting the bills in caucuses, that does not mean the state party won’t have a say).

It is imperative that we reach out to those legislators and show our support verbally, via email, with contributions to their campaigns, or even helping with volunteerism.  Now is not the time to breath a sigh of relief, at least not yet.


Today the MN Senate passed the marriage equality bill SF925 with a vote of 37-30. The lone Republican vote was cast by the bills co-sponsor Sen. Branden Petersen

senate vote

This vote makes Minnesota the 12th state to pass marriage expansion legislation.

As proponents debated, it is important to remember that the legislation presented in MN is only an expansion of participants in marriage, not a redefinition of what marriage means. No religious institution that was protected under existing marriage and human rights laws, will suddenly be vulnerable. If they were protected before, they are protected now. Jewish temples will not suddenly be forced to marry Catholic couples. The same will apply with same sex couples.

Votes tracked along party lines. In some instances, it appears that because they already had enough votes in the DFL run body, the Republicans who felt they would face tough challenges in their districts decided to just vote no, ducking for cover.

This shows there is still a lot of work to do!  But, that is an issue for another day.

We want to thank all senators who voted for this bill today, and especially want to thank Sen. Dibble for all of his hard work on this issue over the years and Sen. Petersen for his courage. We wish to thank Minnesotans United for their work on the Vote No campaign as well as this campaign, and we also want to thank all of our LCR members, friends, and allies who have showed their support and who have actively participated in advancing this cause. MN is truly blessed to have you all!

Today, we celebrate!

The MN House has ended debate over the marriage equality bill HF 1054. With a final vote of 75-59, a bi-partisan passage was achieved. Republican Representatives Loon, Fitzsimmons, Kieffer and Garofalo voted for the bill. Republican support as of a mere 48 hours ago appeared to be zero. Rep Fitzsimmons introduced an amendment to the bill that helped solidify religious institutions protection language, which helped secure the Republican votes.

LCR MN would like to thank our representatives for having a thoughtful, respectful, and at times, emotionally charged debate today. We especially want to thank Rep Fitzsimmons for his work on the amending language and the additional votes of Kieffer, Garofalo, and Loon for their support. They have made us proud.

See more here .. MPR News

The next vote is scheduled in the Senate on Monday. The current expectation is that the Senate will pass the legislation, the governor has already vowed to sign it. Currently only one Republican, sponsor Sen. Branden Petersen, has voiced his support.  Please contact your legislators to show your support, and let’s get a few more R’s on the board!


Minnesota House scheduled to vote for Today at noon! Senate tentatively scheduled for Monday. 
As we await the floor discussion and vote at noon, we urge Republicans to support the HF1054, especially those that live in districts who defeated the marriage amendment.
In 33A 50% voted NO – Rep. Jerry Hertaus should vote Yes today
In 33B 58% voted NO – Rep. Cindy Pugh should vote Yes today
In 34A 50% voted NO – Rep. Joyce Peppin  should vote Yes today
In 34B 54% voted NO – Rep. Kurt Zellers  should vote Yes today
In 36A 51% voted NO – Rep. Mark Uglem should vote Yes today
In 37B 50% voted NO – Rep. Tim Sanders  should vote Yes today
In 38A 50% voted NO – Rep. Linda Runbeck  should vote Yes today
In 38B 54% voted NO – Rep. Matt Dean  should vote Yes today
In 39A 51% voted NO – Rep. Bob Dettmer  should vote Yes today
In 39B 55% voted NO – Rep. Kathy Lohmer  should vote Yes today
In 44A 58% voted NO – Rep. Sarah Anderson  should vote Yes today
In 47B 54% voted NO – Rep. Joe Hoppe  should vote Yes today
In 48B 58% voted NO – Rep. Jennifer Loon  should vote Yes today
In 53B 56% voted NO – Rep. Andrea Kieffer  should vote Yes today
In 54B 52% voted NO – Rep. Denny McNamara  should vote Yes today
In 55A 52% voted NO – Rep. Mike Beard  should vote Yes today
In 56A 53% voted NO – Rep. Pam Myhra  should vote Yes today
In 57A 54% voted NO – Rep. Tara Mack  should vote Yes today
In 57B 55% voted NO – Rep. Anna Wills should vote Yes today
In 58A 50% voted NO – Rep. Mary Liz Holberg  should vote Yes today
Here is a great article from LCR friend Dale Carpenter regarding the discussion of marriage as a rite vs right.

DFL leadership has already begun to use rhetoric with undertones of letting this issue slide by eluding that the issue of legalizing gay marriage will be taken up after they resolve the budget concerns. “We have to do other things first,” Senate Majority Tom Bakk said. This is the same rhetoric and action, or lack there of, we have seen over the past few decades. Campaigns are won on this very issue in many of the metro areas and failure to follow through, yet again, only highlights the continued cooping of the GLBT community by those candidates.

If history serves to teach us anything, it’s that a DFL run legislature should never focus on the budget (destined to hurt everyone as it is sure to be laden with taxes and “revenue streams” and no common sense expenditure cuts); They should not ignore the same sex marriage issue.

Let’s hold our Senators and Representatives accountable and ask them to support the legislation. This legislation helps to ease the concerns by private religious organizations regarding their fears of being forced to marry same sex couples if it is against their doctrine. It would also help ease pressures on businesses who must now pay extra taxes when providing same sex couple benefits (currently treated as a gift and taxed heavily).

Seems to me that this would positively impact the budget and may even help ease talks on other budget items.

In the Senate, the bill SF 925 will be heard by the Judiciary Division of the Finance Committee at noon on Tuesday, March 12. These are members of that committee, with links to their legislative pages and contact information:

In the House, the bill HF1054 will be heard by the Civil Law Committee at 8:15AM on Tuesday, March 12. These are members of that committee, with links to their legislative pages and contact information:

Thursday, March 07, 2013
Patrick Connolly, 612.669.2296

GOP Group Launches in Support of Individual Freedoms

Republicans United For Freedom launches Website and Announces Chairs & Steering Committee

Saint Paul, MN – Republicans United for Freedom, a group of Minnesota Republican Party members, launched today with a stated mission to “defend individual liberty, promote strong families, and secure the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Minnesota.”

Richard Painter, S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law, University of Minnesota Law School and former Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush will chair the new organization.  The organization will also be led by a steering committee of notable Republican leaders in Minnesota, including Dale Carpenter, Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law, University of Minnesota Law School; Susan Kimberly, former Deputy Mayor, City of Saint Paul, Administration of Mayor Norm Coleman; Ken Smoron, President, Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota; Alex Whitney, Republican Party Activist.

“It is time to move our Republican Party into the 21st century. Republicans United for Freedom will support and campaign aggressively for Republican leaders who stand on principle and conviction and vote in favor of the freedom to marry,” Chair Richard Painter said. “The Republican Party needs to refocus on bread and butter issues such as sound fiscal management, individual freedom and personal responsibility, and Republicans United for Freedom will work to return our Party to its core values and principles.”

Republicans United for Freedom is positioned as a leading conservative voice for individual freedoms and plans to be a key player in the marriage debate at the Minnesota State Capitol during the 2013 legislative session. The group launched www.republicansunitedforfreedom.com today, which will serve as the online home for the growing majority of Republicans who support the freedom to marry.

The group has the backing of prominent national figures as well. “We can strengthen the institution of marriage by allowing all Minnesotans the freedom to participate in it and pursue happiness, free from government roadblocks. Now is the time to do the right thing,” said Margaret Hoover, a veteran of the Bush White House and current CNN Political Contributor. “True freedom means freedom for everyone, and continuing to exclude certain people from marriage simply because of who they are is not in the best interest of the future of Minnesota or our country.”

Republicans United for Freedom works to defend individual liberty, promote strong families, and secure the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Minnesota. They can be found online at www.republicansunitedforfreedom.com,www.facebook.com/mngopfreedomtomarry, and on Twitter at @MNGOPforFreedom.

As the anticipation of a same-sex marriage bill being introduced this year in Minnesota builds, both sides are beginning to take posture on the issue. The GOP leadership, though some not necessarily supporting the measure personally, has “ruled out reprisals” against GOP members who support the measure in their caucuses if they choose.

What does that mean, specifically stating that you are ruling out reprisals? Does this suggest that reprisals have been a way of the past? An observant spectator would probably say you would be correct. Though the issue may not have been articulated clearly in the open, conversations had with voting representatives, and their last minute voting flip during the constitutional amendment battle, would seem to support much backroom influence had taken place. Whether this was direct from the state party leadership, house or senate leadership, special interest (i.e. MFC, NOM, M4M), or some well funded super PAC of a ultra social conservative, the ultimate result was a devastating miscalculated gamble by many in the GOP.

2013 conventions are now underway and Congressional and Senate District leadership appears to be all over the board on the issue. 

In spite thereof, you are beginning to see more and more support emerge among the GOP ranks, such as MN GOP Deputy Chairman candidate Corey Sax.

The following is a post from prominent GOP activist Pat Anderson and her take on the issue.

Pat Anderson: A GOP activist in support of same-sex marriage in Minnesota

By Pat Anderson
Posted:   02/26/2013 12:01:00 AM CST
Updated:   02/26/2013 09:18:38 PM CST


 In light of the somewhat dismal 2012 election results for Republicans in Minnesota and across the country, many are rightfully asking: What went wrong? And perhaps more importantly, how do we move forward?

We’re not losing elections because our principles are weak, and we’re not losing young voters because our message isn’t relevant to them; indeed, conservative principles of limited government, individual liberty and personal responsibility are more important now than ever. We’re struggling as a party because we continue to dangerously alienate significant groups of Minnesotans — including same-sex couples and the people who know and love them.

I applaud Republican State Sen. Branden Petersen for expressing his support of legislation that would extend the basic freedom to marry to same-sex couples in Minnesota, and I urge other Republican legislators and Minnesotans to join him.

I have been involved at nearly every level of Republican politics for more than two decades. I deeply believe in our party’s core principles, and I want to see the Republican Party succeed. It is for that reason that I feel compelled to speak out and urge other Minnesota Republicans to follow Sen. Petersen’s leadership.

The activists who make up our party are divided on this issue. While our antiquated party platform states very clearly that the Republican Party opposes gay marriage, many Republican activists feel otherwise. The so-called “Liberty” delegates especially, who are on the rise within our party, either support gay marriage or believe government has no role in dictating the issue. In either case, our platform seriously misrepresents many Republicans’ true views on marriage.

Last year, Republicans put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would have permanently deemed gay and lesbian couples as unworthy of marriage. Many of the Republican legislators who voted to add that amendment did so against their better judgment and personal feelings on the issue, and our party paid for it at the polls in November. Along with my husband and four voting-aged children, I proudly voted “no” on that amendment.

If we are truly the party of freedom and limited government, what justification is there to use the power of government to restrict people’s lives?

Overwhelmingly, younger generations support marriage for same-sex couples, and I agree with Sen. Petersen that it is inevitable. As a mother of generally Republican-leaning children in high school and college, it was difficult to explain to them why our party took the position it did. The philosophical double standard was troublesome, to say the least.

I believe it is time for Minnesota state law to finally reflect the fact that marriage is about the love, commitment and responsibility that two people share. Marriage is good for children, and it strengthens families and communities. If we truly believe these things, I cannot think of any valid reason for our state to continue to exclude same-sex couples from having the opportunity to marry and pursue happiness like anyone else.

Furthermore, I believe that it is time for the Republican Party to seriously address this issue. Public polls continue to show increasing movement in Minnesota and across the country towards understanding that the basic freedom to marry the person you love should no longer exclude gay and lesbian citizens. In fact, recent polls show that only 23 percent of Minnesotans still believe same-sex couples should have no legal recognition. Our Republican Party needs to recognize that as generations age, the world changes, and that supporting government intrusion into Minnesotans’ personal lives is antithetical to being the Party of limited government and individual liberty.

The fact is that tens of thousands of same-sex couples live in Minnesota — they may be your neighbors, family members, or fellow churchgoers. Same-sex couples are raising children — successful, healthy and happy children — in communities all across our state. Gay and lesbian Minnesotans pay taxes, vote, and serve in the military on behalf of their fellow citizens. They take care of each other, their families and their children — and ultimately, aside from whom they fell in love with, they are no different than anyone else.

There is no substitute for marriage in society. I cannot imagine being told that it was illegal to marry my husband. Same-sex couples who have made lifelong commitments of love and fidelity to each other deserve the recognition, responsibilities and protections inherent to marriage, and the children of same-sex couples deserve to grow up in stable homes with married parents. It is not the role of government to discriminate based on gender or sexual orientation.

In the end, Minnesota will be a stronger, better place when we acknowledge that even though our families don’t all look the same, we all matter. All Minnesotans deserve the freedom to marry the person they love, and I urge the Republican Party to recognize that.

After all, protecting freedom and liberty — and removing unnecessary government intrusion from our lives — is, at its core, the conservative thing to do.

Pat Anderson served as Minnesota State Auditor from 2003-07 and as the Republican National Committeewoman from 2011-12. She has also run as a Republican candidate for governor and currently serves as the chair of the Fourth Congressional District Republicans.

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