Beating the air for Dario | Steve Timmer photo
by Steve Timmer
Oct 3, 2016, 1:00 PM

Who the [blank] is “The Northstar Leadership Fund?”

Update: It is always gratifying when a newspaper article is published subsequently that confirms what you wrote, here about the EpiPen price gouging.

This lit piece arrived in my mailbox this weekend:


It was sent, not by Anselmo’s campaign, but by a group that lists its address as on the 48th floor of the IDS Building. If you go and look at the building directory at IDS, you probably won’t find The Northstar Leadership Fund. But you will find a listing at that address for the Minnesota Business Partnership. Charlie Weaver is the treasurer for both groups.

Want to know who paid for the lit piece? Good luck. You could ask Charlie, but I doubt he’s saying. Anyway, this little flight of fancy is interesting for a couple of reasons.

First of all, the DFL incumbent in the House in District 49A, Ron Erhardt, authored a couple of bills, HF43 and HF2727, that would have required Charlie to cough up where he got the money. A divided legislature has not managed to get electioneering and disclosure legislation passed in the wake of Citizens United.

The first time Erhardt and Anselmo appeared in a League of Women Voters forum last cycle — Anselmo ran last time, too, and lost to Erhardt — a question was asked about electioneering and disclosure legislation. Erhardt, of course, said he was for it, and Anselmo said he didn’t know what it was. Courtesy of the LeftMN wayback machine: here’s a video clip from that debate:

This year at the same forum, Anselmo waffled on the question — at least signaling that he understood it better — and Ron Erhardt repeated that he was for it.

Really, though, the reason I’d like to know who produced this lit piece is so I could make fun of them for such a stupid, sophomoric effort. According to our chums at Northstar, MNsure isn’t the solution, and Dario Anselmo will, as a complete backbencher, lead the fight to to make health care affordable.

At the recent LWV forum, there was a question about MNsure, and Anselmo took an extravagant but ill-informed swipe at MNsure as the cause of our problems.

Ron Erhardt said that the real problem with rising healthcare costs has been the inability to bend the cost trend curve downward, and that wasn’t because of MNsure. And Ron is right.

The problem with Obamacare is not that it went too far, but that it didn’t go far enough. Six hundred dollars for a pair of EpiPens is not MNsure’s fault.

But on top of that, asserting that Dario Anselmo and the Republican House Caucus have any interest in controlling health care costs is ludicrous. There isn’t much they can do anyway, because health policy is a federal matter, and Congressional Republicans don’t want Medicare to negotiate or set drug prices. (Which would have an effect on prices elsewhere in the system, too.)

So, as usual, this is just another bit of unserious gum flapping by Republicans.

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