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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Alan Fine Takes the Low Road

Here's the AP report of Alan Fine's press conference. [Audio of Press Conference at Minnesota Public Radio]

"I'm extremely concerned about Keith Ellison. Keith Hakim. Keith X Ellison. Keith Ellison Muhammad," Fine, who is Jewish, said at a Capitol news conference. "I'm personally offended that this person is a candidate for U.S. Congress. He is unfit to represent the voters of the 5th District."

The ubiquitous Larry Jacobs is quoted:

Fine's attack could backfire in a Minneapolis-area district where Democrats typically win by lopsided margins, said Larry Jacobs, a University of Minnesota political scientist. He noted that even in a competitive primary, Ellison's DFL opponents handled the issue gingerly.

"I'm just not sure how that's going to play with many voters in the 5th Congressional District," Jacobs said. "I think this is a risky proposition."

Tammy Lee is staying above the fray and acting professional:

Meanwhile, Independence Party candidate Tammy Lee stayed away from Ellison's background Thursday when she positioned herself as the business-friendly alternative and discounted Fine's chances.

And IP candidate Tammy Lee takes the high road for the 5th District race. Tammy Lee also has a blog, where she describes the bumps and blowouts on the campaign trail.

Tammy Lee's Campaign RV Stalled on 94

In the AP article, Jacobs adds that Ellison could hurt other democratic candidates.

But all the attention lavished on the liberal Ellison could work against other Democrats such as U.S. Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar and gubernatorial candidate Mike Hatch, raising fresh doubts in the minds of moderate voters, Jacobs said.

Indeed, state GOP Chairman Ron Carey was eager to tie DFL congressional candidates Patty Wetterling and Coleen Rowley to Ellison, who wants to pull U.S. troops from Iraq immediately and create a universal health care system.

But Minnesota DFL Chairman Brian Melendez said Ellison won't hurt the party's other candidates. He condemned Fine's attack, saying it was racist.

"He'll probably pick up the pigheaded fool vote but hopefully there aren't too many of them," Melendez said.

I'm sure they are. I'm sure the democrats are going to try to tie all Republicans to Bachmann. I think that's more fair to Mark Kennedy than it is with legislative leadership (Day and Sviggum) or the Governor. Mark Kennedy did put out a piece of literature when running for endorsement that suggested that passing the Federal Marriage Amendment was more important than national defense. Mark Kennedy and DFLer Collin Peterson were original co-sponsors of the Federal Marriage Amendment. Peterson told HRC lobbyists that gays did not live in his district, when he was lobbied on this issue.

It is interesting that now that he is running for the general election, Kennedy's priorities seem to have changed.

I do have issues with Senator Day, Speaker Sviggum and Governor Pawlenty of Tax Increases priorities - but those priorities were not passing the Bachmann amendment. Those priorities were sticking the Hennepin County Taxpayer with a 1.1 billion 30 year tax increase and giveaway to Carl Pohlad.

My big concern about Mike Hatch (besides his anti-gay history) is that since he has been campaigning as the suburban-rural candidate, I am concerned that under Mike Hatch, the city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County will get screwed by the state government. I hope there is an opportunity to ask both Hatch and Pawlenty whether they would support a sales tax exemption for municipalities. Minneapolis and Hennepin County would not need LGA if we could get that sales tax exemption reversed. This would also provide more transparency to the tax code. I'd think this would be the type of common sense proposal that the Taxpayers League should support.

Here is Alan Fine's campaign website.