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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

DFL Press Release Reacting to Radio Ads

UPDATE: You can listen to the ads here. They are being paid for by the Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage. They are targetting 10 democrats (Dean Johnson and 9 others), Republican Paul Koering and Independent Sheila Kiscaden.

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006

Contact: David Ruth
(651) 251-6314

Jess McIntosh
(651) 251-6315


Statement of Minnesota DFL Chair Brian Melendez

ST. PAUL (2/28/06) - "By threatening yet again to hijack the legislative session and hold it hostage if they don't get their way, the proponents of this redundant constitutional amendment against gay marriage are destroying the civility and goodwill that legislators in both parties have fostered in recent weeks and months.

"Their divisive, angry tactics highlight the intellectual poverty of the radicals pushing the anti-gay agenda. These extremists can't attack Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson on his record as a solid, pro-active representative for central Minnesota, so instead they’ve turned to election - year fearmongering meant to distract voters from the Republican Party's failure to address the issues that matter the most to Minnesotans: education, health care, jobs, transportation and clean air and water.

"There is already a law against gay marriage on the books. Our state faces real challenges, and we deserve better than the divisive games that Governor Pawlenty and the hard-right wing of his party are playing. The DFL Party and its leaders will not be sidetracked by an issue that Minnesota has already resolved. We will be focusing on improving our schools, our economy and our health - care system. We must teach these values to our children, and leave them a better, cleaner, safer world -- a world where politics is about helping people, not dividing people."


Are these radio ads also available on a website to listen to?

One of Dean Johnson's Republican opponents is saying to the Willmar paper that this isn't his priority issue.

Gimse said on Monday that he supports placing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage on this fall's election ballot, but he doesn't think it's the most important issue facing the Legislature.

"I think probably the most important issue is the gridlock and political bickering and stonewalling that's going on," he said.

Gimse pointed to a state government shutdown last year as an example of the problems in St. Paul. There's plenty of blame to go around, including to Johnson as leader of the Senate majority, he said.

He would try to remedy the problems "by being there as a spokesman for working across party lines," he said. "Good men and women can agree to disagree and find common ground, to make good things happen."

He's also not going to sign the no new taxes pledge:

In his business, he added, he works well with many different types of people.

Many people, including Democrats, have encouraged him to run against Johnson again, he said.

Gimse said he would not sign a pledge not to raise taxes, because state government needs flexibility to deal with issues as they arise.

Other issues he hopes to address in the campaign are eminent domain and property tax reform.

Does anyone know whether Gimse was at the 2004 Bachmann amendment rally? Was he at the marriage amendment rally where Steve Sviggum came to speak?

UPDATE: A commenter notes -

Joe Gimse was on the program at the Willmar rally and spoke for the Bishop of New Ulm, reading a letter from the Bishop to the crowd.

Gimse was also part of the Kandiyohi County GOP party leadership that censured Dean Johnson for voting for the Human Rights bill.

Wouldn't call him the lesser evil compared to Diane Vlach, the other Johnson challenger--neither is at all friendly to GLBT people and their allies.

Interesting..... Then Joe Gimse is being disingenuous. To the general public he's concerned about overall state issues and to the Republican party base, he's an anti-gay activist.

I would be very interesting in getting an account of that meeting of the Kandiyohi Party when Dean Johnson was censured by people who were there. I'd also be interested in press clippings from that time. Contact me at, or leave a comment if you have more information.