The Potluck

Socialism for me, but not for thee

By: - December 4, 2020 11:28 am
Sceengrab of Andrew Wommack and Paul Gazelka

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, right, appeared on a livestream interview with conservative minister and media personality Andrew Wommack.

Ricardo Lopez scoops that Rep. Steve Drazkowski, the most small government conservative in the Minnesota House, got CARES Act PPP money for his shoe store. Meanwhile, he voted against a June bill that provided $55 million in emergency small business loans. (PPP money was federal; he voted against state money.) When asked about it, he hung up on Ricardo. 


Senate Majority Paul Gazelka, talking to some faith healer televangelist, in an interview unearthed by Ricardo Lopez back in the early days of the Reformer

“Rural people like to take care of themselves,” said Gazelka, whose district is in the Brainerd Lakes region. “They’re not interested in government helping them. That’s their last resort. In the inner city, it’s definitely — there’s higher concentrations of people that are on welfare, that are used to that, and our welfare system has basically entrapped them.”

Who got some welfare in the form of forgivable PPP loans, to the tune of nearly $28,000? Paul Gazelka Insurance Agency Inc., Ricardo found. 

How can we help Paul escape his crushing dependence on government? 

(Other lawmakers and notables whose companies received PPP money: GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan; Sens. Ron Latz and Melisa Franzen, both DFL; Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls [he voted against that June relief package, too.])

The point here is not to condemn people for taking the money. By all means, take the money. 

But consider this episode the next time you hear the mythologizing about John Galt and the heroic individuals who built America while fending off the oppressions of government. 

Not so. Generations of American taxpayers (and creditors!) helped build our civilization — from railroads to the interstate highway system to the microchip — and now they maintain it. 

This riff was ripped from Daily Reformer, our morning email newsletter, free to your in-box. Sign up here.

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J. Patrick Coolican
J. Patrick Coolican

J. Patrick Coolican is Editor-in-Chief of Minnesota Reformer. Previously, he was a Capitol reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for five years, after a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan and time at the Las Vegas Sun, Seattle Times and a few other stops along the way. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and two young children