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Saturday, September 24, 2005

More Names in Plymouth Race

Judy Johnson is the only Republican running.

Matt from North Star Liberty gives an account of Judy Johnson's campaign so far:

SD 43's annual golf tournament, held under yesterday's brilliant if breezily cool sunshine at Elm Creek golf course in Plymouth, turned into a launch of Judy Johnson's campaign for the Gaither Senate seat. Johnson is Plymouth's effective and popular mayor and President of the Minnesota League of Cities. She has excelled in her current nonpartisan office (even some of her neighbors had no idea she was a Republican) by setting a more cooperative tone on the City Council, and overseeing a vibrant, growing, and well-run city. She intends to run a strong campaign for the SD 43 Republican endorsement and work hard to keep the district's seat in the Republican caucus. Although the endorsement is up for grabs until the soon-to-be-announced endorsing convention, possible contender Bruce Lambrecht is now said to be out of the race, and SD 43 co-chair John Knight is co-chairing Johnson's Senate campaign, with SD 43's other co-chair, Planning Commission member, and civic activist Frank Weir serving as Johnson's campaign treasurer.

This will be interesting since Frank Weir was behind the effort to oust Knight from his SD 43 Republican Executive Committee post.

On the Democratic side Terri Bonoff is running. I talked Terri and she supports good science education and believes science - not supernatural explanations and pseudoscience - should be tought in science classes. Terri Bonoff is a member of the Minnetonka Planning Commission and co-chairwoman of the Hopkins School District's Legislative Action Coalition.

Matt mentions a couple more Democratic candidates:

Tony Wagner, Director for Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Minnetonka City Councilmember.

Buck Humphrey, son of former Minnesota attorney general Skip Humphrey, would connect with Gold Coast DFLers via his work on the Kerry campaign.

Judy Johnson and Terri Bonoff are clearly the more qualified candidates. Buck Humphrey is a political hack and the only substance to him is the Humphrey name.

John Knight is having a party tonight at his house and I'm planning on attending. It will be interesting to hear John's perspective of the race so far.

UPDATE: John Knight is not Chairing Judy's campaign. From Judy Johnson:

Thank you for copying me on your email. I want to correct something...I have filed last week with the campaign finance board and Tim Bildsoe is my Chair. John Knight is the Minnetonka B side co-chair of our senate district and he is involved with my campaign, as is anyone who wants to be part of the effort.

People are welcome to have differing views on issues and still support my candidacy. I hope to bring people together and work hard for our senate district if elected.

If you have any other particular questions on this mattter, please check with me and I would be happy to get you the facts.

Judy Johnson

Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition

Frank Weir's Letter to John Knight

$150,000 Runway Party

The Minnesota Airports Commission is having a $150,000 party to celebrate the opening of the new runway:

Pioneer Press here:

Runway party invites censure

Officials say it rubs salt in noise-weary residents' wounds

On Thursday, three Democratic lawmakers criticized the Metropolitan Airports Commission for daring to throw a $150,000 party to inaugurate it.

"The fact that a party is being held is insensitive and wrong, and we think it ought to be canceled," said Rep. Dan Larson, DFL-Bloomington.

The runway has been under construction since 1999 and is needed "to provide adequate runway space,'' said MAC spokesman Pat Hogan. It developed out of the legislative battle in 1996 over whether to expand the airport or build a new one in Dakota County.

That's true. Most of the increased air traffic from this runway will be directed towards the burbs.

The lawmakers think having a party to celebrate the opening of a runway while residents near the airport are suffering from noise pollution is "tactless."

Making matters worse, lawmakers from districts near the airport said, the MAC isn't just holding a simple ribbon cutting ­ they're throwing a massive party Saturday and paying for most of it with public money. The $150,000 event, including three bands and a 5-kilometer run, will be paid for through $40,000 in corporate contributions and $110,000 in airport concession fees.

"By the MAC having a public event to celebrate this is essentially dancing on our grave," said Larson, shouting to make himself heard over the airplane noise in Richfield.

I can see a ribbon cutting party - but $150,000 is overspending it by quite a bit. The Airports commission defends themselves:

Hogan said the MAC does not plan to cancel the party, designed to let the public get their first ­ and perhaps only ­ chance to walk on the new runway's tarmac and celebrate the near completion of a $3.1 billion airport expansion.

"I think it is too bad that anybody would want to take a positive community event and use it for political gain," Hogan said.

This is definitely over the top. If folks want to go, the Pioneer Press provides details:

The Metropolitan Airports Commission will hold its free community runway event Saturday. It begins at 8 a.m. with registration for a 5K race and continues until 5 p.m. with bands, food, planes and other aviation equipment.

Free parking is available in lots on the airport's west side, along Longfellow Avenue (the street immediately east of Cedar Avenue and accessible from 66th Street and 24th Avenue) and on 82nd Street between 24th and 28th avenues near the Mall of America.

What are those Airport commissioners thinking?

Ciresi is in the Senate Race


Friday, September 23, 2005

Welcome Kool Aid Report Readers

The gangrenous Learned Foot is angry.


He's rather irritated that I asked whether Michael Brodkorb is Minnesota Democrats Exposed and Michael Nelson.

With all due respect the spite I can muster, Ms. Looser, that's just plain irresponsible. To name someone to be MDE - a person who has been subjected to threats of violence - without any substantive evidence whatsoever is not only irresponsible, it borders on defamation. Off your meds today Eva?

I asked MDE about the "threats of violence" when I interviewed him here a while ago.

MDE: What I said was "I have had threats of violence, lawsuits, and getting my house burned down."

To be more specific, the threats of violence discussed "kicking my ass" and
the person who emailed me about burning my house down never mentioned that
he/she wanted me inside of it.

I also said that I didn't take it seriously. I did not report them to the

Democrats are an emotional group of people.

Concern for personal safety is not the reason MDE remains anonymous.

Hat Tip: Michael Brodkorb.

MDE puts his foot down:

Minnesota Democrat Exposer said...

Someone falsely posted on Minnesota Democrats Exposed under the identity of an actual person. I was contacted by the real person, informed of the post and I removed it.
10:20 AM
lloydletta said...

Swiftee has done this on my blog. The KAR blog is full of this crap on their blog.
10:21 PM
Minnesota Democrat Exposer said...

You are one post away from being the first blogger to be banned from MDE.
10:27 PM

We'll see how long I last over there.

Be careful Learned Foot or you may end up like Rumplestiltskin!

Martha Robertson, David Gaither and John Knight - Oh My!

Dan Dobson explains how David Gaither was part of a Kangaroo Court Hearing by the Senate 43 Republicans.

Three weeks ago, John who is co-chair of the Republican Senate District 43, out in Minnetonka / Plymouth, where Gaither was State Senator, received a
letter from his co-chair, Frank Weir, trying to strip him of his position as co-chair, because it was alleged that he misused his position as Senate District Co-chair, opposing the Govornor's stadium funding plan and because John opposed Ron Carey as the new party chair. I will try and attach a copy of Weir's letter below.

I went to this meeting also and spoke on John Knight's behalf. After the meeting, I talked with several board members and agreed not to break this story on my blog or elsewhere. I have kept my word. I called John Knight when I saw this - and he was surprised to hear about this. I read him the email. However now that this story has been broken by Dan Dobson, I will report and correct Dan's report:

The letter said that John was supporting Ron Carey - and took issue with that. John testified that he was undecided coming into the meeting, and that he didn't campaign for either candidate at State Central. I saw John at the State Central meeting - and he was passing around no stadium tax literature.

Here's the letter:

Dan continues:

A hearing was held and at least dozen people spoke in John's behalf, including me, a good DFL'er.

Actually this was a Senate District 43 meeting - not a hearing. Since 19 people came, the chair agreed to hear John Knight's response and testimony supporting Knight.

There were 19 people speaking on Knight's behalf at that hearing. I was one of those people. I've gotten to know Knight through the effort opposing the effort to tax Hennepin County residents 1.1 billion dollars without a referendum. Knight asked me to speak on his behalf at the meeting - and I told him that I'm rather unpopular among some establishment republicans because of my vigorous criticisms of the Michele Bachmann wing of the GOP. There were two or more College Republican or Young Republican leaders. (I'm ccing John Knight on this message so he can send me a list of people who testified on his behalf.)

When I testified, I mentioned that I would cover this meeting in my weblog.

Virtually everyone who spoke in John's behalf said that they HAD NEVER heard John mention that he was chair of Senate District 43 when doing anti-stadium
work. Several board members personally castigated Knight for bringing me, a DFL'er, to this "private" Republican meeting.

I can't speak to this. I've talked to Knight several times since this meeting, but did not hear this story. He did have a meeting with David Gaither (who didn't show up to the meeting, preferring to let Frank Weir do the dirty work) and Frank Weir - Republican Party Chair for Senate District 43. I know that Knight was worried about going to the recent Republican convention to pass out literature opposing the stadium because of "SD 43 wierdness". I told him at that time that I had agreed to keep the issue quiet because it appeared that the SD 43 committee did the right thing. However if they were pressuring him not to speak up, my deal was off.

Frank Weir refused to discuss "the charges" in public or who made them, but after an hour and half closed door hearing John was exonerated and retained his
position as District Chair. But the question remains why would Frank Weir want to remove John, especially on trumped up charges. Informed sources told me that it really was former State Senator David Gaither, now Pawlenty's Chief of State who pushed Frank Weir to try and purge Knight.

After the hearing, I talked with Frank Weir and several other people in the senate district. I told them that since they had handled this in an adult way, I would not blog about it. Frank told me he had apologized to John for the letter at the meeting. Frank sounded sincere to me - and I believe that he was used by Gaither and Lambrecht - who was too cowardly to show up at the meeting - to do the dirty work.

I had heard that it was Bruce Lambrecht - the guy who stands to gain big time with the Twins Stadium - who was behind this effort.

But the question was, why would David Gaither want to depose John Knight? One of two answers became clear, after Gaither was appointed Pawlenty's Cheif of Staff.

Knight has been constantly pointing out the Governor's inconsistencies about stadium taxes. That as a leader in the House he was constantly against Stadium taxes,
but as Governor he has vowed that no team will leave the state undre his watch and has yet to come out against a second special session. The other option was
that Gaither did not want Knight, using his position as Senate District Co-chair, to run for Gaither's Senate seat and possibly further embarrass Pawlenty.

John Knight was urging Judy Johnson to run for this seat. Judy is running for this seat as a strong opponent of the Stadium Tax without a referendum.

So while I can't prove that Gaither has behind the move to depose John Knight as Senate 43 co-chair, his fingerprints are all over the effort. Gaither has a
history of trying to force Republicans from the party who are not ideologically pure enough. I have told John that he is welcome in the DFL. I hope he will soon join us as Mr. Bernstein has done.

In this case, David Gaither and Governor Pawlenty are the ones not following the Republican party - not John Knight. David Gaither is the one who should be recruited to join the DFL.

What is rather ironic is the Democrat running for this seat is very weak on the stadium issue. She hasn't decided what to do on this topic. If you care about opposing the stadium tax, Republican Judy Johnson is the stronger of the two candidates.

UPDATE: Frank Weir told me he acted on his own. He explicitely told me that David Gaither and Bruce Lambrecht were not behind this effort. He also mentioned that Karl Rove wasn't part of this either.

Making your own Decisions

There is some written conversation about the fact that
despite high powered educations and positions, some women are
opting to stay home and raise their children themselves. This
is happening in Minnesota too. What's the big deal? Even France is offering money for persons who have babies, and will stay home with them for a year - though some people say that the money France is offering is stingy and does not recognize the real value in staying home.

All of this is beside the point: women get to make their own decisions. The rest of us can only hope that
that all of that education is translated into the aqbility to weigh all the factors - pro and con - and a decision is made that is good for that family.

Playing politics again

House Speaker Dennia Hastert has named 11 GOP lawmakers to what was originally intended as a bipartisan investigation into "what
the government did wrong in its response to Hurrican Katrina". The Dems. won't play. The House Minority leader calls it a "sham"
investigation, and is calling for in indepent commission (similar to the 9/11 Commission - which most polls suggest the public supports. Meanwhile Sen. Susan Collins is chair of a separate investigation by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. She said that she sould be reluctant to coordinate with a House select committee unless it is bipartisan.

I know there are many factors involved, and of course some posturing. But, doesn't it seem as though none of them ever learned to play nice with others?
Playing nice doesnt meant giving in, it only means standing your ground nicely.


The Senate is scheduled to vote today on an amendment to the camp-
aign finance act that would allow the Leadership PAC monies
(usually used to help pay for duties associated with being a member of Congress, such as travel for speechmaking, etc) to be transferred to political parties, who can then use that money to support the candidacy of the incumbent who tranferred the money. This amendment if sponsored by Senate Majority leader Bill Frist
(R-Tenn)and Majorty Senate Whip Mitch Mcconnell (R-Ky). Leadership PACs can only be created by incumbents, not challengers.

I think that in this time of so many crises facing the people of our country the Senate has directed its attention to making
it more likely that incumbents can be re-elected. I think it is ridiculous and rather disgusting.

It is always disturbing to learn that those whom we trust to take care of us in the political arena are in fact
seduced by power and have feet of clay.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

PZ Myers Speaking at Minnesota Athiests

From Pharyngula:

On Saturday, 24 September, I'm going to be speaking to the Minnesota Atheists, 1:30-2:30, at the Roseville Public Library (2180 Hamline Ave. N., Roseville, MN). The announced title is "Unintelligent Design", but we came up with that a while back, when I was still a bit vague on what I was going to talk about. A better title now would be "Biology as a superior historical narrative"—I'm planning to tell some stories from evolutionary genetics, in the context of whether religion and science conflict (short answer: yes. And science is right.)

PZ laments that he will have to miss a Creationist event in Morris. Commenter Dave Puskala suggests that he stop by the KKMS Creationist festival this weekend:

Dave Puskala — 09/22 at 08:35 AM
Not to worry PZ. There are plenty of creationists to go around. The local ChristianTalkRadio® station is sponsoring an official D. James Kennedy Creation Weekend.

You would need a ticket to go to the Saturday morning session, but it sure would get you juices going for you early afternoon presentation. I am doing safety/support for a whitewater canoeing trip this weekend or I would be there for entertainment.

The presenter has been featured on the afternoon show all week. Yesterday, he fumbled questions on the evolution of sexual reproduction and the development of air breathing by the first land animals. He kept wanting to talk about whales. Email me if you are interested in adding a little color to your creationist weekend. I'll arrange a ticket for you.

#41237: Samuel Crane — 09/22 at 08:54 AM
Well, so long as you don't mind driving to catch all the crazy fundi action, then it looks like there is no shortage of creationism there in MN:

I'd especially hate to miss Behe when he speaks at UM-East Bank.

Dang.... I have something else I wanted to do September 30. This looks much more entertaining.

Blogger Berg Responds

Or would it be his evil twin?

Yesterday I posted the results of a quick email interview with Monica Meyer at OutFront Minnesota. As an aside I pointed out:

I responded with some follow up questions. (Blogger Berg should take note).

That's got Mitch Berg (or someone impersonating him) coming over to say "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in".


Because goodness knows in 13 years of working as a reporter and producer I've never interviewed anyone, or done a followup question. (Speaking of which - I'd love to hear you try to do an interview with a hostile subject sometime).

Hey, "Blogger" Young: Has it occurred to you that it is, and always was, in my best interest for MDE's identity to stay secret?
globber berg | 09.22.05 - 12:26 pm | #

This is rather curious. This comment looks like Mitch Berg's writing style. However blog buddies of Mitch - the Kool Aid Report people especially - are known for impersonating others in comments. If this really is Mitch Berg posting as "globber berg" over here, it raises an interesting question. Why is it in Mitch Berg's best interest that Minnesota Democrat Exposer's identity remain secret? Does this mean that Mitch Berg is participating in MDE's little web of deceit? I can look this up in the IPs to make a comparison, but it might be worth while to stop over at Whine in the Dark and ask Berg whether this was him - and whether Globber Berg is his new preferred moniker.

Berg had a total melt down about me and my other blog, Dump Bachmann last week.

Speaking of MDE, I believe that Michael Brodkorb, the person running the group Citizens for St Paul's future is Minnesota Democrats Exposer (MDE). I also suspect Michael Brodkorb was behind this political subterfuge.

UPDATE: I looked at the IPs. The IP of the "Globber Berg" comment isn't the typical ip that Mitch Berg has used to comment here. Well Mitch, I thought you didn't read this blog, but if you are reading this, please clear this up. Was that you posting the comment?

John Jordan claims to have talked with Dan McElroy

This is following up on the rumor swirling around the capitol about Pawlenty pushing out Dan McElroy reported on Lloydletta's Nooz earlier this week...

Over at Minnesota Democrats exposed here.

John said...

I spoke with Dan later in the same day this happened. Unless he was lying to me - which I doubt very much - he wasn't "pushed out" and it didn't happen the way that other web site claims. I think Dan was just burned out from the 80 hour weeks and it literally was a mutual decision.
7:51 AM
the party opposite said...

You don't think McElroy would lie to protect Pawlenty? Are you familiar with this thing called politics?
8:46 AM
John said...

Do your friends lie to you?
11:31 AM

I don't know Dan McElroy enough to call him and get the real scoop on this. I also don't know John Jordan. He has been carrying some water with Pawlenty bashing the Taxpayer's League for opposing Pawlenty's plan to increase Hennepin County sales taxes to build a twins stadium.

Word on the Street is Lambrecht is Out

I'll be calling Lambrecht tomorrow to confirm this.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

What Will OutFront Minnesota Do About the Senate District 43 Special Election?

I sent Ann DeGroot and Monica Meyer of Outfront Minnesota the following:

Monica and Ann - this is for a story on my blog, Lloydletta's Nooz.
I'd like to write this up early next week (Monday or Tuesday evening).

Sen David Gaither - R, Plymouth - is resigning his senate seat to become Tim Pawlenty's chief of staff.

Is OutFront Minnesota PAC planning on screening/endorsing for the open seat in Plymouth? This is David Gaither's seat. David Gaither defeated Martha Robertson at the GOP convention a few years back. Robertson then switched to the Independence Party.

I talked to both possible republican candidates - Plymouth Mayor Judy Johnson and Bruce Lambrecht. They both wish to look at Bachmann's amendment in more detail before taking a position pro or con.

Sandra Peterson won one of the house seats in this area. I believe OFM endorsed her.

Monica Meyer responded:

Hi Eva. Thanks for contacting us about OutFront Action's plans for the open Plymouth seat and thank you for your second email about Bonoff's stance on the amendment. I will talk with Ann about what we are planning for this open seat and the couple of others that may open up.

Most likely, we will send out a list of questions to the candidates asking their stance on several GLBT issues so that the PAC Board will have information they can use to plan our next steps. Can I get back to you tomorrow with more details for your blog story? Are there any other questions you like us to answer for the story? Thanks again for the info. I hope you are having a great day. -Monica

Yup it was a good day. I responded with some follow up questions. (Blogger Berg should take note).

What would you plan to do for the candidates you endorse? Would you provide money, volunteers or both?

Will Outfront be present to observe both the Democratic and Republican endorsing conventions?

Will you be asking candidates whether they will list your endorsement on their lit or website?

Monica responded:

Hi Eva. OutFront Action is going to send out a questionnaire to all of the candidates about a range of GLBT issues. One of the questions in the survey asks the candidate to let us know if she or he is seeking our endorsement. OutFront Action will meet soon to determine its next steps and review any of the returned surveys. In the 2004 elections, OutFront Action recruited volunteers for campaigns and helped educate and turn out GLBT and allied voters for candidates who supported GLBT equality. I will keep you posted on the direction of OutFront Action's role in the Plymouth race. Additionally, I assume OutFront will attend all of the conventions. I will talk with you soon. -Monica

This is very good news. I am hoping that Rainbow Families will also send some people to observe these endorsing conventions.

Tomorrow or Friday I will post my interview with DFL candidate, Terri Bonoff. Terri is running as a candidate who believes that abortion should be legal, and also opposes the Bachmann amendment and supports full equality under the law for gays. Terri mentioned she has a gay brother - so this issue is personal for her. I gave her the contact information for Stonewall DFL and OutFront Minnesota Action.

Another Stadium Boondoggle

This time the Vikings.

House Minority Leader Matt Entenza, DFL-St. Paul, said Wilf has gotten off on the right foot.

"There's always going to be a lot of uneasiness about funding stadiums, but Zygi is doing a good job by making it clear we won't be blackmailed by the threat of a team leaving,'' Entenza said.

How the plan will fare though is another matter, and Entenza said he'd withhold judgment until seeing it in writing.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty's spokesman, Brian McClung, said the governor is "open to finding a reasonable way to ensure their long-term presence in Minnesota.''

"The governor will be communicating with legislative leaders regarding stadiums and other issues shortly,'' McClung said. "We will evaluate the Vikings proposal in that context.''

Interesting, John Jordan - a former representative from Brooklyn Park - has a blog - which has been up since June - similar to Republican Minnesota. He's trying to defend the stadium boondoggle and fisks the Taxpayer's League Elert.

Governor should call Special Session for stadiums

And now a post to tick off my more conservative friends....

The Governor should call a Special Session, just before Thanksgiving, to pass bills to build stadiums for the Twins, Gophers and Vikings.

Phew. There, I said it.

Doing the Governor's bidding. At least he's being honest - this is a stadium session. The other items on the agenda are being added to provide political cover. Personally if they wanted to do the Gopher stadium and call it a day, I wouldn't have any objection. I think there are more important priorities than a Stadium at the University - but I'm not opposed to the U getting state funding for a stadium.

Jordan goes on to huff and puff about the survey:

I know, the "survey" done at the fair showed overwhelming opposition to this idea. Of course, little is said about the fact that it wasn't a scientific survey. It was just done by any schlep who walked by their booth in the Education Building. I went there for one reason, get my free St. Thomas bag.

That's a reasonable survey method. The people coming up to the legislator booth are people who are more likely to vote.

The Gophers deal is easy - they're raising most of it themselves through private contributions. Only the most hardened anti-anything person can be against this one.

As I said, I think there are more important priorities at the University and I resented getting an email from the Alumni Association urging me to sign their petition in support of the stadium session. However, I think the U Stadium bill from what I know of it isn't so bad.

The Twins deal is where it starts to get interesting. Supporting this deal is not supporting a tax increase, it's allowing the elected officials of Hennepin County to pass or not pass a micro-tax increase. This gives the Governor his way out of the Taxpayers League non-sense.

This is supporting a tax increase - 1.1 billion dollars worth of a tax increase.

In the Taxpayers League email this afternoon, they had this to day [sic] (relating both the Twins and the Vikings):

Dear Mr. Wilf,
Thank you for your recent purchase of the Minnesota Vikings. I sincerely wish you the best of luck for the rest of the season (at least the Bucs weren't the Packers). Now that you've remedied the team's kicking problems, I see you intend to tackle an even greater problem - building a new stadium. Believe me when I say there are very few fans who will miss the Metrodome. That being said, if it comes down to the Dome or a sales tax sans referendum, I'll take the HHH (that goes for you too, Carl).

Minnesota's recent history with team owners isn't great (Norm Green still can't set foot safely inside the state and Pohlad's lucky we let him back in after scheming with Bud Selig), but it isn't hopeless. Follow the lead of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who turned down a publicly financed stadium to build his own in Foxboro, MA. Not only will you then be able to charge whatever you want for concessions and parking spots (what true Vikings fan isn't going to tailgate in December?), but you will instantly create a surplus of goodwill that will allow to draft and sign all the petty criminals you could ever want.
Thanks again and Skoal Vikes!

This was a letter to the Taxpayer League from a reader of their action alerts.

The key line is this: That being said, if it comes down to the Dome
or a sales tax sans referendum, I'll take the HHH.

What this means is that the Taxpayers League is attempting to influence public policy with a personal position that they'd rather let the team leave our state than pay an extra, what, $.02 on their $30 meal? Isn't that nice of them to make that decision for me.

That's a straw man argument. The Taxpayer League's position is that they oppose this deal which leaves the taxpayers holding the bag.

I will give you this fact - the way the Taxpayers League and rabid anti-anything people like that Knight fellow portray it has influenced people to generally be opposed to this deal.

Yup, and Knight the Taxpayer's League and Dan Dobson from No Stadium Tax all have done due dilligence to help stop the fleecing of the taxpayers on this deal. I appreciate John Knight - because he convinced me it was worth my while writing letters to the editor and blogging about this issue. I'd pretty much given up on this issue - but now I think the taxpayer fleecing of the Hennepin County Taxpayers - without a referendum can be stopped. What really torks me off is that we voted to limit the city of Minneapolis contribution in any stadium boondoggle. In Minneapolis we have voted to increase our taxes for libraries and for schools. The voters in Minneapolis clearly spoke against this boondoggle.

But I guarantee you this - the day the Twins leave the state these people would be run out with them. And if that ever happens, I will lead the public trial and tar and feathering of these short sighted people.

Is he seriously calling for tarring and feathering? I'd hope not.

The Twins deal, as negotiated by Mike Opat, is a good one and should be implemented. It will cost the average person almost nothing and will bring a world of good to our region. It will also re-invigorate the Twins and the area where the Statium is built.

This deal is a bad one - especially for the Hennepin County Taxpayer - and it really sticks in my craw when I hear rural legislators on talk radio saying that since this doesn't tax their constituents, and they want to keep the Twins, they are fine with sticking it to the Hennepin County Taxpayer.

I have a suggestion: let's amend this Hennepin County proposal and take Minneapolis out of this. Then replace the money with taxes on Dakota County (where Pawlenty lives), Goodhue County (where Sviggum lives), Owatonna (where Day lives) and Kandiyohi County (where Dean Johnson lives). I'll be glad to write my legislators in support of that proposal. I'll talk to John Knight to see what he thinks about it. He might want to get Minnetonka - where he lives - and trade it for another county where one of these "let's stick it to Hennepin County" legislators live.

That't [sic] a fact, my friend, not just rhetoric like the anti's like to say. All one has to do is visit Coors Field in Denver to see it in action. I've been to maybe a dozen Rockies games and love the stadium. Around it you see an area that once faced blight but is now full of people, restaurants and shopping.

The economic impact argument has been shown to be bogus. The Twins have dropped that reason to support a Stadium.

Regarding the Vikings stadium, Anoka County is poised to jump on this. A referendum taken there would likely pass for a variety of reasons.

Last spring I golfed with Steve Novak, the point man for Anoka County on the Vikings issue. He felt confident they had a good deal in the works and from the way it sounds from a variety of sources it's about ready to be announced soon.

The Metrodome is a lousy stadium. It's bad for football and it's worse for baseball. I once had partial season Twins tickets maybe 20 rows up from First Base. Prime seats, right? I left every game with a sore neck. It's a lousy place to watch America's pasttime.

Now I've never heard that one. How does the Dome cause sore necks.

Try being a male over 150 lbs and squeezing into those corner, upper deck seats for Vikings games. Ever wonder why so many people are drunk? It's so they forget they are uncomfortable and can't see.

It's time to end a decade of stadium talk and do it right. Work the deals, prepare for the future, and save us from becoming a Cold Fargo (which is worse than Omaha).

Why don't you put your energy into selling this deal to the business community? There's no reason that these stadiums can't be built with private money. Why should the taxpayers be left holding the bag on this.

What really sticks in my craw about this sales tax increase for the twins stadium is that Twins Tickets are exempt from this sales tax.

Just say no to the stadium session.


Senator Harry Reid announced that he will vote against Judge
Roberts for Supreme Court Chief Justice. The White House,
forever spinning things to make them seem different than they
are apparently accused Reid of intending to vote against Roberts
because he was appointed by a person from a different party.
What hogwash. Reports that I have read indicate that Reid
truly intends to vote his conscience: he does not think Roberts will make a good Chief Justice.

I think it is time to take people at their word, and not always
try to attribute some squirrely notion to their decision.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

RUMOR: Tim Pawlenty and Dan McElroy

I've talked with a well placed source with knowledge of goings on at the capitol. Pawlenty was looking at two possible candidates to replace McElroy - Cal Ludeman and Sen. David Gaither. Cal Ludeman is "universally respected" and was the strong choice of most of Pawlenty's advisors, but Pawlenty went against their advice and chose Gaither. It's Pawlenty's perogative to chose his own staff, and this doesn't upset my source or others at the capitol. What has people upset is that McElroy had no inkling that he was about to be canned - and according to rumors - Pawlenty called McElroy into his office at 9:30 a.m. on September 15, 30 minutes prior to the press conference announcing the staffing changes, to tell Dan McElroy that he was out and David Gaither was in. Apparently David Gaither meanwhile was telling people he had the job before McElroy knew anything.

My source is infuriated about this because he or she feels this is not the way to treat a friend. Pawlenty and McElroy go way back in the legislature and McElroy is thought of as "one of the best minds at the Capitol in generations."

According to my source, Pawlenty's Office released the media advisory at 10:07 AM. Reporters who are on the Governor's Press list can verify this. This was a few minutes AFTER the conference was supposed to start. Press conferences and other meetings at the capitol rarely start on time, but typically media advisories are sent in advance of a press conference.

I'd be interested in hearing from more people at the capitol who can confirm some of this.

SD 43 Candidates Throw Their Hats into the Ring

On the Republican side, Judy Johnson announced. I understand she had a press conference today.

On the Democratic side, Terri Bonoff has filed to run.

Other names have been mentioned as good candidates for this seat: Kathleen Murdoch (who ran against Mark Stenglein as a moderate republican) and Martha Robertson (running as an independent).

Pat Robertson Blames Katrina on Choice of Ellen Degeneres to Host Emmys


Fact is stranger than fiction when it comes to Pat Robertson.

UPDATE: This was a parody article. In this case, this article WAS fiction. So much of the wacky things Robertson says and does isn't fiction.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Marie Hauser FlyerGate

Britt Robson at City Pages tells the story here. 8th Ward candidate Jeff Hayden came in third in the 8th ward race. He was defeated by Marie Hauser, the Park Board commissioner who came in first, and Elizabeth Glidden who came in second. Hayden isn't happy about a flyer Marie Hauser put out.

What has Hayden steamed is a piece of literature put out by the Hauser campaign, featuring three smiling faces and a message urging residents to vote "for Your 8th Ward Team." The black face right beside Hauser's white face belongs to Mary Merrill Anderson, a candidate for the Minneapolis Park Board. Hayden has two problems with that. One, Anderson never approved or endorsed this show of sisterhood with Hauser. Two, Anderson happens to be Hayden's aunt.

"Yup, the sister of my mother," Hayden says. "I want to clearly state that Marie crossed a line. She not only used a potential supporter of mine against me, she used family against me, and I find that to be unconscionable."


Complicating matters is that Hauser, the city council candidate, is currently on the park board and Anderson, the park board candidate, once served under her as the board's superintendent. The park board has been beset by a nasty 5-4 schism in recent years, with Hauser a fairly reliable vote for the majority.

"This hurts Mary as well," Hayden insists. "It makes it look like Mary is alligned with the same people Marie is alligned with. What happened is that Marie created this 'slate' of candidates, and none of them authorized her to do that. That's beyond dirty politics. It is certainly unethical and it may be illegal. It is up to Aunt Mary to figure out what she wants to do about it." (Anderson could not be reached for comment.)

One might think that the biggest beneficiary of this whole controversy would be Elizabeth Glidden, who by finishing second in the primary has earned the right to face Hauser in the runoff election for the 8th Ward council seat in November. Hayden and Glidden are both considered to be more "progressive" than Hauser, who enjoys substantial backing from organized labor. Hayden received many high-profile endorsements and was the only prominent African American candidate in a ward that has been represented by people of color since Sharon Sayles Belton was elected in the late 70s. His ire at Hauser, then, may well translate into crucial support for Glidden.

Well, not so fast.


Whether or not Hayden does confer his endorsement on Glidden however, one thing is certain. "I won't be endorsing Marie Hauser," he says. "She and [her campaign manager and former councilman] Tony Scallon took a chance. I think they knew word wouldn't get out about this until after the election. In lieu of what's going on with Dean [Zimmerman, whose campaign files were recently seized by FBI agents looks at potential corruption] and the issues of integrity the council has had over the past couple of years, I think people need to know this about Marie. I know this is kind of going for the jugular on this. But that's how I feel."

I called and talked to Jeff Hayden about this. He told me that he had seen Marie Hauser's volunteers dropping this piece on Sunday, even though Marie claimed that she was called about this on Saturday and stopped dropping the piece. 8th ward candidate, Donald Bellfield also told me that he had gotten the piece on Sunday night.

I also contacted Marie Hauser and asked her whether she had gotten Tom Nordyke's permission to use his photo on her lit piece. She said she did not get his permission. She said she "thought she was doing the DFL and Labor Park Board candidates a favor" by listing them on her lit piece.

I asked her whether she was planning to apologise publically for this piece. She said she had already done so in the City Pages. I read her quote in the City Pages and there was no apology in that paper.

This is what she said to the City Pages:

"In hindsight, it probably would have been better to talk to Mary [Merrill Anderson]," Hauser conceded, when confronted with Hayden's charge. ... "We just chose DFL candidates endorsed by labor who were running for at-large positions on the park board. There are so many running we thought it a concern that the good ones get through. We thought it would help them, and in the precincts where we dropped the literature, it did help. Mary called Saturday night and wanted me to do a retraction. She also demanded that we not drop on Sunday, and so we have thousands of them in our basement."

Buyers should beware when reviewing Marie Hauser's lit pieces.

I contacted Tom Nordyke for comment, and he said that he did not give his permission to be used on Marie's piece, and did not support her candidacy for the 8th ward. Nordyke also said his campaign will be putting out a press release on this topic later this week.

This piece was clearly a piece to show Marie Hauser standing with a black and a gay.

Developing. . .

Interesting debate going on over at Eleventh Avenue South regarding gay conservatives.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Will Stonewall DFL Endorse in the Plymouth Seat?

I asked Stonewall DFL Chair Paul Skrbec this question. Here's his response:

Since this is for a special election, then yes. We will screen candidates that are members of the DFL party if they request a screening.

Our constitution restricts us to performing candidate screenings only for the current year's election cycle. Therefore, if the election is to be held in 2005, we are allowed to screen for that race.

Please feel free to use my updated comment for the record. I did not understand that you were talking about a race that would be in 2005. We have gotten several requests for the 2006 cycle and I have had to defer all of those inquiries until January.

Paul R. Skrbec
Chair, Stonewall DFL
Inver Grove Heights, MN

Paul won't comment on the 6th congressional district race where there is a DFL candidate running who supports the Federal Bachmann Amendment, Elwyn Tinklenberg. He said he cannot comment on that race "until January."

I asked him to comment on the St Paul Mayor's Race. Here was his comment:

Regarding our endorsed candidate Chris Coleman in St. Paul; our caucus
was very pleased with the outcome of the primary results on Tuesday night. When Chris first won the DFL endorsement, he credited the many contributions that members of the GLBT community made in volunteer efforts and contributions. We are pleased that his campaign has continued to look toward members of our community for support in his campaign and advice on community issues. We look forward to working with him and his administration.

I didn't ask for Paul's comment on the Minneapolis Mayor's Race. In that race, Stonewall endorsed Peter McLaughlin didn't do so well against RT Rybak. After tussling with Stonewall, Rybak came out with an acceptable rating.

Are the Sabris Implicated in the Dean Zimmerman Bribery Case?

Pioneer Press here.