Archive - May 2013




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Monday Morning Quarterback – 5/27/13

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: May 28th, 2013 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Grassroots Advocacy, Data Driven Marketing, Strategic Communications. Happy Memorial Day: One of the benefits of writing for Monday's is it is often a Holiday, thus over the last year I have spent more time studying the history of certain "Monday" holidays.  If you want to know the history behind Memorial Day, and you should, learn more (Here).  Hint: it is not the official, unofficial start to summer. Madden's: Thanks to the great folks at Madden's on Gull lake for a fun holiday weekend, including some sun!  This is our first summer without our own cabin so we will be checking out Minnesota hot spots throughout the summer.  If MMQ readers have any recommendations please send them my way. Shocked: I was truly shocked and honored to be named the 2013 Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year by The TwinWest Chamber of Commerce.  A special thanks to my team, Kelsey and Ben, our great clients that put their faith and trust in us, and of course my wife Keri and our boys Connor and Preston.  This means so much to me to be recognized with so many other great community leaders and civic minded companies. Local Watering Hole: We heard a lot about Minnesota being at a competitive disadvantage with neighboring states during this legislative session.  Turns out it is true.  Have a cold one and find out where North Dakota is #1, Wisconsin is #3, South Dakota is #4 and Minnesota lags way behind at #17.  Trust me this is something both Republicans and Democrats will want to fix. (Click)
WORTH A READ
Here are a few of our favorite articles and commentaries from the past week: The Ritual of Dressing America's War Dead: This is a powerful piece from the New York Times on the meticulous preparation given to soldier's bodies as they head to their final resting place.  This is a must read on this Memorial Day: "The process has to be “100 percent perfect,” said William Zwicharowski, Dover Port Mortuary branch chief, because “a lot of times, families are in denial and they want to find something that gives them hope that it wasn’t their son or daughter.” Cpl. Landon L. Beaty, Marine Corps liaison, recalled receiving a hard lesson in uniform assemblage when he first came to the mortuary last year. After inspecting a Marine’s uniform for loose threads, he thought he had found every one — until his boss found 73 more. Beaty voluntarily did three pushups for each missed thread...(Read) Minnesota Requires Fewer Classroom Hours Than Other States, Does It Matter? The Pioneer Press takes a look at how Minnesota ranks in terms of classroom hours and achievement.  MMQ reader and MN Chamber Lobbyist Amy Walstien is quoted: "Amy Walstien, director of education and workforce development policy for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, said her group recognizes the benefit of more instruction time but hasn't taken a position because longer school days or years often collide with workforce needs. Minnesota is one of a handful of states that prohibit most schools from starting before Labor Day.  "There has to be a balance," Walstien said, "and we haven't found it yet." (Read) End of Legislative Session Means Its Campaign Time: Just hours after the legislative session ended leaders in both parties took to the road to get their message out: “There was no balance and there was no compromise this year, and we feel our policies are better for Minnesota,” said House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown. “That’s the case that we are going take to Minnesotans, and we are not going to let up for one minute between now and [2014] Election Day.”...We told the people of Minnesota … that we were going to raise taxes progressively. And we did,” Dayton said in an interview Thursday. “We were going to balance the budget honestly, fairly, no gimmicks and shifts, etc. And we have.”...(More) New Poll Shows Dayton Approval Dropping, Franken with Lead: Public Policy Polling released a new statewide poll showing Governor Dayton's approval dropping 12 points and Sen. Franken ahead of would be challengers. The poll also looks at some of the key legislative initiatives and DFL and GOP approval ratings from the session.  Check out the complete poll (here) By The Numbers A latest look at the poll numbers:
Grades: Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Business Pulse Poll gave legislature and Governor Grades for the session: A=8% B=12% C=5% D=22% F=53% (guess those tax hikes hurt) You can vote too (Here) Dayton Approval (According to PPP)
Real Clear Average
49% Approval 47% Disapprove A 12 point drop since the last poll DFL Legislator Approval: 36% Approve 49% Disapprove Cigs For Zygs 35% Supporting using Cigarette Tax Dollars for Stadium 53% Opposing using Cigarette Tax Dollars for Stadium
Have a great week! To learn more about the how The Rouen Group can help grow your organizations grassroots program please call Noah at 612-419-6909.

Monday Morning Quarterback – 5/20/13

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: May 21st, 2013 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

 The Rouen Group: Grassroots Advocacy, Data Driven Marketing, Strategic Communications. Listen for the Latest: Legislative Leaders will be on MPR Daily Circut at 9AM today to discuss the latest deals. (Listen) Sleep Deprived: As the Minnesota Legislature votes on and negotiates the intricacies of a $30 billion budget on very few hours of sleep I offer the 8 scary side effects of sleep deprivation. (Read) A Night With Prince: As he prepares to turn 55 on June 7, the Minnesota music legend is turning a new page with a 23-year-old manager and his new female backup band. Star Tribune reporter Jon Bream, got a rare opportunity to sit down with the legend.  This is a must read for Prince fans. FYI he will be doing 2 shows in the Twin Cities this weekend.  (Read) Under The Radar Thanks to BePollen.com and Lars Leafblad for naming me one of the "under the radar leaders" Congratulations to all of the other nominees as well. (Read) Did High Cigarette Taxes Create Governor Scott Walker: With the MN Legislature raising cigarette taxes $1.60 per pack to fund a stadium I thought I would share this timely article from progressive publication The Daily Kos: "For two years in a row, former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle proudly signed TWO increases in Wisconsin's state cigarette tax with the help of both houses of the then Democratic Legislature.  The Wisconsin tax increased by $1.75 a pack in a little over a year, not counting the federal tax hike during the same time period.  Doyle cynically rationalized that his motivation was not a path-of-least-resistance, soak-the-poor revenue gimmick for the state, but him playing both doctor and take moral ownership of his state's people with the hope of "getting them to quit".  And judging by the 2010 election in Wisconsin, Doyle was right....if by "getting them to quit" he meant "quit" voting Democrats...." (Read)
WORTH A READ
Here are a few of our favorite articles and commentaries from the past week:Budget in Limbo As Midnight Deadline Looms: MPR Reporter Tom Scheck provides the latest on what happened over night at the Legislature and what do expect in the remaining hours: "The House passed the tax bill that finances that spending earlier Mondaymorning after a six-hour debate by a 69-65 margin. The plan increases income taxes on top earners, raises cigarette taxes and applies the sales tax to some business services..." (Read)Who Is The Highest Paid Employee In Your State: In Minnesota this person just left, but this is a cool graphic.  (Look) Head of AP Speaks Out Of all of the scandals to hit the Obama administration this week, the one I believe has not received enough attention is the Justice Department's secret seizure of 2 months of The Associated Press phone records.  On Sunday the head of the AP spoke: Gary Pruitt told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the government has no business monitoring the AP’s news gathering activities. “And if they restrict that apparatus … the people of the United States will only know what the government wants them to know and that’s not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment,” he said...(Read/Watch) Change The World And Get To Bed By 10:00 PM This is an interesting piece from the Harvard Business Review.  Something good for those of us parents of small children or even our legislators: "Getting sufficient sleep is a need that every human on the planet shares. And for many people, the ability to do that is increasinglyunder assault, as daily rhythms are disrupted by the changing nature of work and always-on technology...(Read)President Obama's Bad Week in One Chart It doesn’t take a political genius to grasp that President Obama has just weathered one of the worst weeks of his time in office. This chart is for the visual learners.  (Look) By The Numbers A latest look at the poll numbers:
If you love numbers and polling like I do, please visitwww.pewreasearch.org and follow @pewreeasech on twitter for some of the more insight data around.Taxes: MN New 4th Tier Income Tax: 9.85%, 4th highest in the nation New Cigarette Tax: $1.60 per pack increase, 6th Highest in the Nation $2.1 billion in new taxes in MinnesotaDirection of the Country
Real Clear Average
Right Direction  32.2% Wrong Track  59.2%
Have a great week! To learn more about the how The Rouen Group can help grow your organizations grassroots program please call Noah at 612-419-6909.

Monday Morning Quarterback – 5/13/13

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: May 14th, 2013 | 0 Comments

Monday Morning Quarterback

The Rouen Group: Grassroots Advocacy, Data Driven Marketing, Strategic Communications. Happy Mother's Day: A special happy Mother's Day to MMQ editor and the best looking wife and mother in town, Keri Rouen. When You Are an Entrepreneur You Decide What Type of Work Life You Model For Your Children: The Wall Street Journal has a great post for working moms, entrepreneurs and parents: "you really do fake it ‘til you make it. It’s part of the discipline of being an entrepreneur — and being a parent. And the two work wonderfully together..." (Read) Honored I am proud to be recognized among the 2013 Emerging Entrepreneurs by Twin West Chamber of Commerce.(read) Ice: If you haven't seen the video of ice creeping up on the shore of Lake Milacs over the weekend you should.(Watch) How to Make A Graduation Cap Drinking Flask: It is the start of graduation season, so as a public service announcement to MMQ readers I bring you the graduation cap flask.  For parents you know what to look for and for Rouen Group intern Ryan Lyk who graduates this month, you can thank me later...(Learn)
WORTH A READ
Here are a few of our favorite articles and commentaries from the past week: The Disappearing White Vote: The Washington Post looks deeper into who voted in the 2012 election.  A must read for all politicos, and all of the people that pontificated about why Obama won and Romney lost: "or the first time since the Census starting collecting this data in 1996, white voters voted at a lower rate (64.1 percent of eligible voters) than black voters (66.2 percent). That’s only part of the story, however. The total number of white voters decreased by roughly 2 million in 2012 as compared to 2008, the first time since 1996 that a “race group” (as they describe it) has seen a diminution in net votes cast...(Read) Budget Deal Reached? While there are still more questions than answers, Democrat leaders in the House and Senate and the Governor announced Sunday a " budget framework" that includes higher income taxes and higher tobacco taxes but the increases are yet to be determined. (Read) It Gets Worse For The IRS The AP exclusive article says senior IRS officials knew tea party groups were being targeted for IRS investigation as early as 2011...(Read) By The Numbers A latest look at the poll numbers:
Wayzata's Tim Herron -6: His score at the Players Championship 15: The place he finished $156,750: The Prize money he won $500,000: The amount Sergio Garcia lost by hitting 2 in the water on 17 Direction of the Country
Real Clear Average
Right Direction  32.2% Wrong Track  59.2%
Have a great week! To learn more about the how The Rouen Group can help grow your organizations grassroots program please call Noah at 612-419-6909.

Monday Morning Quarterback – 3/6/13

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: May 9th, 2013 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

The Rouen Group: Grassroots Advocacy, Data Driven Marketing, Strategic Communications.
You Are Not a Terrible Parent:
Minnesotan Steve Wiens article from the Huffington Post is a must read for any parent of small children, and still funny even if you are not. (Read) Why Mexico Matters Yesterday was Cinco De Mayo, so if you want to know why you were eating enchiladas and drinking tequila, click (Here). President Obama just finished a trip to Mexico (business, not pleasure). So why is Mexico so important to the United States?  Here are a few facts: The U.S. is Mexico’s largest trading partner, buying more than 80% of Mexican exports during 2010.  Mexico is the third largest U.S. trading partner after China (1st) and Canada (2nd).  Bilateral goods trade reached $362 billion in 2010 and in 2009 they totaled $278 billion.  To put this in perspective, Mexico and the U.S. do as much business in goods and services in just over a month as Mexico does with all 27 countries of the European Union combined in a year. (More) Why Smartphones Aren't Making Us More Productive: If you are reading this on a smartphone, that thin slab in your hand has roughly the same computing power as the powerful desktops of 2005.  So why aren't we more productive?  The Wall Street Journal has a great article on the subject: "The official U.S. productivity numbers are low when compared with the stunning 3% yearly gains of the first Web era, roughly 1995 to 2004. In fact, annual productivity growth since 2004 is about 1.5%, below even the long-term average of 2.25%. It's as if a time-wasting flock of Angry Birds has buried productivity like a worm..." (Read) Take Action Clothing Tax is Back A tax on clothing was passed by the Minnesota Senate last week.  This is a tax that harms many Minnesota small retailers like my in-laws clothing store, The Foursome in Plymouth Minnesota.  It also unfairly impacts the young and middle class.  Thankfully the Minnesota Retailers are fighting against this tax increase.  Please join the cause by visitingwww.noClothingTax.com Save Good Paying Jobs The Minnesota Restaurant Association (client) is making a final push to protect good paying jobs at table service restaurants.  Their proposal lost on a tie 65-65 vote in the House.  The same proposal is up in the Senate this week.  If you enjoy good local restaurants please learn more about our proposal (here) and contact your legislator.
WORTH A READ
Here are a few of our favorite articles and commentaries from the past week: Education Debate Puts Spotlight On Institutional Racism: Nekima Levy-Pounds has a very thought-provoking article in MinnPost on education reform: "The gap that exists is not one of "achievement" or capability of children of color to learn, the gap has to do with access to equal opportunity and equity within the systems designed to enhance and shape the learning outcomes of all children. This gap also has to do with the structural and institutional racism that is deeply embedded within our public education system and is perpetuated from one generation to the next..." (Read) I didn't know that: I will admit I had no idea about the "total price rule" for airlines until I read George Will's column this week: "The government’s total price rule forbids the airlines from calling attention to the tax component of the price of a ticket by listing the price the airline charges and then the tax component with equal prominence. The rule mandates that any listing of the tax portion of a ticket’s price...The government is trying to prevent people from clearly seeing the burdens of government..." (Read) Civic Engagement in a Digital Age Pew Research publishes a must read on civic engagement and social media.  If your campaigns aren't engaging people in social media, they should be.  "Social networking sites have grown more important in recent years as a venue for political involvement, learning, and debate. Overall, 39% of all American adults took part in some sort of political activity on a social networking site during the 2012 campaign. This means that more Americans are now politically active on social networking sites (SNS) than used them at all as recently as the 2008 election campaign. At that point, 26% of the population used a social networking site of any kind...(Complete Study) By The Numbers A latest look at the poll numbers:
Number of RBI Aaron Hicks: 9 Joe Mauer: 9 Twins Wins April 2012: 5 April 2013: 11 Playoffs Wins Wild 1 Blackhawks 2 Next Game Tuesday Direction of the Country
Real Clear Average
Right Direction  32.0% Wrong Track  59.6%
Have a great week! To learn more about the how The Rouen Group can help grow your organizations grassroots program please call Noah at 612-419-6909.
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