Minnesota’s Premier Think Tank Ramps Up Efforts to Expose ‘Bad Ideas’ at Minnesota Capitol

The Center of the American Experiment, Minnesota’s leading think tank, has launched a new Capitol Watch project to monitor the radical bills and the people behind them at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Since the start of the 2019 session, the Minnesota House and Senate have already introduced a combined 1,482 pieces of legislation. As The Minnesota Sun has reported, among these bills are proposals to make Minnesota a sanctuary state, ban plastic straws across Minnesota, legalize marijuana, and the like.

“The idea of Capitol Watch is to shine a light on what’s happening over at the Capitol. There are a lot of very silly legislative proposals, there are a lot of very bad ideas, some of which are probably going to pass, that really need to be exposed as they get introduced and as they work their way through the system,” Center of the American Experiment President John Hinderaker told The Minnesota Sun.

As an example of the sort of thing Capitol Watch will seek to expose, Hinderaker pointed to a DFL legislative priority to introduce a 50 percent renewable energy mandate in Minnesota. One bill, Senate File (SF) 425, wants to make Minnesota the first state in the nation to use only renewable energy.

“It’s a terrible idea. We’re going to release a paper probably around the middle of February that calculates the cost of doing that, the number of jobs that would be lost due to the impact on electricity rates, which would be immense,” he said.

“So we want to write about legislation that gets introduced, legislation that’s working its way through the House and the Senate, and talk about why it may or not be a good idea. But we also want to expose some of the follies. You know, the idea is for this email, this website, to have some entertainment value,” Hinderaker added.

A section of the website called “A Little Birdie Told Me” features the daily scuttlebutt “we’re picking up from people over at the Capitol,” Hinderaker explained. Currently, it showcases a blurb on Rep. Jack Considine (D-Mankato) missing his alarm and showing up late for a House Corrections Subcommittee hearing.

Another article on Capitol Watch highlights the false claims made by a group of purported climate experts who recently testified before the House Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division.

“So many of these things they go without opposition, or without critique,” Hinderaker said. “There’s a lot that goes on over there that needs to have the light of day shone on it, and we intend to do that.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “John Hinderaker” by Center for the American Experiment







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