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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Wetterling "Engaged in talks" with CD 6 Democratic Leaders

From Politics 1:

MINNESOTA. As we predicted yesterday, child advocate Patty Wetterling (D) quit the open US Senate race Friday afternoon. She also endorsed Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar, who is now a safe bet to win the Democratic nomination. Wetterling did not announce any future plans, but party officials confirmed she's already engaged in talks with the leaders of the CD-6 Democratic organization. Sounds like Wetterling is going to make a second run for the Congressional seat. Congressman Mark Kennedy is the GOP candidate. Also running is nurse Michael Cavlan (Green) and public access TV group executive Robert Fitzgerald (Independent).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger

On Almanac, Hatch's appearance at Wetterling's press conference was attributed to his tendency to grandstand in the media.

Overheard at Keegans

Best Meltdown award winner John Hinderaker aka Hindrocket: "Gary, you know I think Mark's a great guy, but he's not going to . . ."

IDiocy Getting Promoted in Utah

KUTV has more here.

The Utah Senate gave its first blessing Friday to a bill that would make schools teach that evolution is not the only scientific theory about the origins of humans.

Sponsored by Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, the bill was passed by a 17-12 vote after nearly an hour of debate. The bill needs one more affirmative Senate vote before moving on to the House for consideration.

Buttars amended his own bill, inserting the word ``scientific'' in several places to clear up what he said were misperceptions that he was trying to push religion into public schools.

"I've never advocated for, never included anything about intelligent design, creationism or any faith-based philosophy," he said. "(Opponents) say what you're trying to do is sneak the camel's nose inside the tent. By inserting these two words, it becomes 100 percent clear that we're talking about various scientific views."

Regardless of the change, Buttars' supporters spoke about religion in defending their votes for the bill. Some criticized what they called a rise of the "religion of secularism and atheism" in society, which they say squelches expressions of religion in public life.

"It seems like for a long time we've been quiet and allowed these things to happen," Sen. Parley Hellewell, R-Orem said. "I think it's important that we stand and fight for what we believe."

But it was religion that ultimately tipped the scales against the bill for Senate Majority Leader Pete Knudsen, R-Brigham City.

"I thought I heard in (Buttars') statement that if one doesn't vote for this, then one could be considered an atheist. If that was the implication, that concerns me greatly. That is not the spirit in which we should discuss this legislation," he said. "There is a place for evolution in life, it's a part of life. It saddens me that one's faith would be challenged on a vote of this bill. I vote no."

Joining Knudsen on the losing side were three other Republicans, and all eight Senate Democrats, who argued that that decision about specific curricula should be left to locally-elected school boards and education experts.

Early in the debate, Sen. Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake City, offered an amendment to ensure that schools also teach that all areas of science have opposing theories, not just biology.

"If our purpose and our concern is that we want our children to critically analyze and be presented with opposing viewpoints and differing theories, we should apply this across the board," McCoy argued. His amendment failed.

It seems like this issue will probably go up to the Supreme Court for Review at some point. Kansas, Utah, Ohio and Texas all seems to be promoting curriculum with a specific religious bent that will be challenged in the courts on first amendment grounds.

Heat is on anti-gay Democratic Virginia Governor Tim Kaine

As Lloydletta reported earlier, the Democrats have chosen the anti-gay Democratic Virginia Governor Tim Kaine to give the response to the State of the Union address. Pam Spaulding has more. From the Washington Blade:

Kaine clarifies stance on marriage ban
Va. governor disagrees with amendment's scope but will sign

A spokesman for Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine clarified today that he opposes the scope of the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage working its way quicklty through the Virginia legislature, but will nonetheless sign the measure as written if it is adopted, putting it to a referendum.

Va. Gov. Tim Kaine (D) is supporting a referendum on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage even though he does not support the it's language. (AP file photo)
"He was not comfortable with [the current amendment] language," said Kaine spokeswoman Delacey Skinner. "He preferred language that was not as broad."

Skinner told the Washington Blade for reports earlier this week and in today's print edition that Kaine supported the amendment. She did not mention his reservations about the scope of the language.

Kaine, a Democrat sworn into office just this week, agrees with the first line of the amendment, which limits marriage to a man and woman, but does not support the additional language, she said. Kaine wants to discuss measures "to make sure people can still be able to contract with each other," Skinner said.

However, she added, "he does plan to sign the bill to take it to referendum."

The amendment's broad language has alarmed legislators, gay rights supporters and domestic violence advocates who fear the amendment could strip unmarried couples of domestic violence protections and other rights.

Virginia's marriage amendment moved closer to the November ballot when, on Jan. 17, the Senate Committee on Privileges & Elections gave the measure its blessing. The Virginia House voted 76 to 20 in favor of the gay marriage ban.

Before Virginia voters have their say, the full Senate must decide the fate of the bill.

Josh Israel, president of the Virginia Partisans Gay & Lesbian Democratic Club, which endorsed Kaine, said he hopes the newly installed governor will at least work to make the ballot language more reflective of the amendment's wide scope.

"We would certainly hope that the governor will consider using his power to make sure the language and process is fair," Israel said.

Israel should have a stronger statement that that. I'd suggest that gays who gave this creep money should call up his campaign and ask for a refund. Generally campaigns do give refunds to angry contributors when they ask for the money back.

Pam Spaulding notes:

If this statement is supposed to take the heat off of the Virginia governor, his shill is sorely mistaken. I see the PR weasel is squirming and Tim Kaine is desperately trying to have it both ways, soothing the bigots and trying to get the gays off his back.

Let's see, if Tim Kaine doesn't like the language of the current marriage amendment making its way to his desk, but will sign it anyway, what is the point of blowing this hot air? Your legislature is going to send it to you, Tim, and you could decide not to sign it, but that's not politically palatable is it? All the efforts in the legislature designed to limit the scope of the amendment were defeated. You're on your own.

Unless, of course, the governor is planning on engaging his state's Senate before it takes the final vote to send it to him. Highly unlikely, as Kaine is counting on raising his national profile during the SOTU response as a "new face of the Democratic party."

The Senate's ballot language, by the way, prohibits anything that "approximates marriage," so it's pretty muddy and broad territory, vague enough to leave gay Virginians twisting in the wind. Kaine is already on the record opposing same-sex marriage and civil unions, so it's pretty ridiculous at this point for him to suggest there is something about the amendment's scope he objects to.

These games about what he's "comfortable with" are not going to change the fact that Kaine's about to let the voters of his state relegate its gay citizens to second-class status. You hate it, you own it, Tim.

I was looking for Kaine's campaign finance reports on the web but was unsuccessful in finding them.

From Pam's comments, it appears that Kaine went to gay events and sung a different tune.

What a shame.

I met Tim at an Equality Virginia fundraiser during his campaign and he really talked the talk, saying that most fair-minded Virginians understand the fundamental unfairness of HB751 and other measures that VA has passed which "leave us twisting in the wind."

He spoke quite sincerely. I have a harsh e-mail to fire off to his office, putting my disappointment very bluntly. Mark Warner refused to sigh HB 751, though he did not symbolically VETO it. Tim could at least say that its unfair and give it a veto.

Come on Equality Virginia.... you raised a TON of money for this man, speak up!

Dan sent an email to Kaine which he published on his blog.

Dear Governor Kaine, I heartily supported you in your run for Governor of our state. I donated to your campaign, asked my significant other to do the same, and made phone calls at the local democratic party office on your behalf. I support your notions of balanced and well-planned growth, pre-K schooling for children, and share your fundamental opposition to the death penalty with a pragmatic acknowledgement that it is the law of the land, and something I must live with but work to change. I was distressed to hear news that you plan to sign the amendment working through the legislature which would prohibit marriage and "similar arrangements" in Virginia for same-sex couples. I met you at an event hosted by Equality Virginia in Alexandria, and organization that raised money for you and helped organize phone banking for you (for which I also volunteered). At that event, during a discussion of HB 751, you spoke eloquently about the fundamental fair-mindedness of Virginians, and the likelihood that it would be repealed in the not-too-distant future. I was impressed by your sincerity, by our brief one-on-one exchange about education in Virginia (I am a school administrator), and went forward to ask my friends who said things like, "oh he is another republican-lite," or "he'll never win in Virginia," or "he will leave us twisting in the wind like Clinton," to change their minds, turn out and vote, and even donate to you. Many did. Please do not sign the marriage amendment. Even if the legislature overrides a veto from you, what does it matter? Your veto would put forward the message that this enshrines discrimination in a most unpleasant manner, not consistent with a forward-moving democracy. It would give meaning to your words when you say that you don't approve of the scope of the amendment. Send it back to the legislature with your disapproval. If they override your veto, so be it. At least you will have taken a stand. Governor Kaine, please don't let us down. So many of us worked so hard to see your elected. So many of us carried hope forward that Virginia would be saved from the worst excesses of the far right for four more years under your leadership. Be a leader. Veto this mean-spirited, nasty amendment.

Tim Kaine: Used Politics Salesman.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Anti-Gay Democrat Chosen to Give Response to the State of the Union

When will the HRC start yanking their donations to the DCCC and DSCC?

Pam Spaulding has more.

I ask you -- why was Tim Kaine picked to represent the Democratic Party's "American values" in the official response to Bush's State of the Union address? The Dems have sent a loud and clear message re: 2006/2008 to its gay voters with this selection.

Kaine ran an unnecessary gay-baiting campaign against an even-worse homo-bigot Jerry Kilgore in the Virginia governor's race, and Kaine has pledged to sign off on an onerous marriage amendment that enshrines bigotry into the state's constitution.

That said, I'm willing to take the gay-baiting of Kilgore issue off of the table, since it's noise that's distracting some people from the larger issue, which is what Kaine represents as the new face of the party. The gay residents of Virginia were stuck with two pro-marriage amendment choices for governor because it reflects the political lay of the land there. I feel for folks there.

Any gay Dem should be sick to their stomach at this pick. Kaine is just another Republican-lite clone from a Red state, and that's where the Dem leadership has indicated it wants to move the party. We are on notice -- homos are going to be tossed overboard -- again -- in search of the elusive win. They haven't figured out that voters need and want to see a party that has values it actually believes in and is willing to defend -- and they won't get a dime from me with this bullsh*t.

Kudos to Pam Spaulding for speaking up about this. Democratic partisan John Aravosis passes.

Sue Jeffers Running for Governor

Stub and Herbs owner and vocal smoking ban opponent Sue Jeffers has thrown her hat into the ring for Governor. Triple A at Residual Forces got lots of mileage by teasing his readers about this story.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty may have a challenger for the Republican Party endorsement in his re-election bid. Sue Jeffers, owner of the Minneapolis bar Stub & Herbs, will officially announce Monday that she is running for governor.

Although Jeffers is seeking the state's top office as a Libertarian Party candidate, she may bid for the GOP endorsement as well. "Let's not give Pawlenty a free pass just because he is our sitting governor," she says. "I think he's let us down."

While the chances of Jeffers actually succeeding in wresting the GOP endorsement away from Pawlenty are pretty much nil, she could prove meddlesome to the Governor's re-election plans. She describes herself as a "lifelong Republican" who has grown disaffected with the party's inability to control spending. "I met with so many Republicans who were trying to get me to run as a Republican," she says. "And I was too embarrassed. The Republicans have let us down."

Jeffers is best known as one of the most vocal opponents of a smoking ban in Minneapolis. But she also cites the government's seizure of private property through eminent domain and high taxes as primary reasons for running.

She argues that the two major parties are largely indistinguishable. "You can't even tell who's a Republican and who's a Democratic," she says. "It boils down to is it a faster road to hell or a slower road to hell."

I applaud her position on Hate Crimes legislation. I assume this means she opposes the Bachmann amendment:


I believe marriage is between one man and one woman, but each couple should make that decision, not the government.

The race to the right guys - Tony Garcia and Marty Andrade - seem impressed with Jeffers.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Will Wetterling Move Over to the 6th District Race?

Shawn Towle at Checks and Balances thinks so:

Pending Wetterling Announcement


U.S. Senate candidate Patty Wetterling (D) has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in room 125 of the State Capitol. She is prepared to announce her withdrawal from the U.S. Senate and we are hearing there is a possibility she will even support Amy Klobuchar. It bears watching who is present at the announcement and we know, but are not telling just yet.

It is not clear whether Wetterling jumps directly into the 6th Congressional District race, we understand she plans to take some time to listen to people in the area. This because she wants people of that district to express their feelings on the issue. The decision to remove herself from the contest for U.S. Senate gives Klobuchar an open runway for the DFL endorsement. The choice made by Wetterling is the best of all options for Democrats in 2006. If Wetterling runs in the 6th, which we think is likely, she makes that open seat a hotly contested race and lends strength to both Klobuchar's campaign and all other statewide DFL candidates.

Wetterling's decsion is the most impactful, selfless act we have seen from a political person in our experience and is a testiment to content of her character. By her actions she proves that it is more about doing what is best for the people of Minnesota and not about her. Prove of this is seen in the result of the new Zogby/Wallstret Journal Poll that shows Wetterling out polling Congressman Mark Kennedy 50.8% to 39.9% compared to Klobuchar 48.6% and Kennedy 42.8%.

Removing the division of loyalties between supporters Wetterling and Klobuchar enables the opportunity for the DFL to regain a U.S. Senate seat and also a U.S. House seat. It also creates an opportunity for two other women to join Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) in Washington, D.C.

Drama Queen
Blogger, Michael Brodkorb pushed this rumor almost 6 months ago. If Wetterling does move to the 6th District race heavy hitters like Emily's List will move in on this race big time. Tinklenberg's campaign over there seems to be going no where fast. Tinklenberg's website still has little to show for it.

UPDATE: From the comments:

As giddy as you may be about the possibility of Wetterling in the 6th, perhaps you should take a deep breath and realize how wrong you usually are.

MNPublius reports that the most likely place for he to land is as Hatch's running mate (Checks and Balances reported this last October, also.)

Since it is rumored you are supporting Krinkie in the 6th (a pro-life pro-gay marriage GOP'er)it is hard to ubderstand how you can dig on Tinklenberg the way you do.

Or could it be that you are a big old GOP'er? Yep.
schoolsout Edit comment Delete comment | Email | Homepage | 01.19.06 - 8:36 pm | #

Krinkie is opposed to gay marriage--in fact he was a sponsor of the Bachmann Amendment in the Hose and posts about supporting "traditional marriage" on his campaign blog.

Neither fact clarifies Ms. Young's rumored support for Krinkie, other than the fact that she's a Republican.
Wayne Tedrow Jr. Edit comment Delete comment | Email | Homepage | 01.20.06 - 2:52 pm | #

Ahhhh, I stand corrected. Yep, Krinkie is against Gays getting married. So, why is Miss Young supporting him and slammin' on Tinklenberg?

Again, her GOP ties are pretty strong. She is reall no better then MDE in her overt/covert tactics.

First of all, I'm not supporting any candidate in the 6th District Race. The reason I slam Elwyn Tinklenberg is that the first thing he said when he announced was that he supported the Federal Bachmann amendment. No republican except for Michele Bachmann has taken an on the record position on the Federal Marriage Amendment. All the Republican state legislators support the state Bachmann amendment. Anyone who is familiar with my history knows that I strongly and regularly condemned the late Paul Wellstone for his support of the anti-gay DOMA legislation. I used to call Wellstone, Paul DOMA Wellstone.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Homewrecking Parrot


LONDON, England -- A computer programmer found out his girlfriend was having an affair when his pet parrot kept repeating her lover's name, British media reported Tuesday.

The African grey parrot kept squawking "I love you, Gary" as his owner, Chris Taylor, sat with girlfriend Suzy Collins on the sofa of their shared flat in Leeds, northern England.

But when Taylor saw Collins's embarrassed reaction, he realized she had been having an affair -- meeting her lover in the flat whilst Ziggy looked on, the UK's Press Association reported.

Ziggy even mimicked Collins's voice each time she answered her telephone, calling out "Hiya Gary," according to newspaper reports.

Call-center worker Collins, 25, admitted the four-month affair with a colleague called Gary to her boyfriend and left the flat she had shared with Taylor, 30, for a year.

Taylor said he had also been forced to part with Ziggy after the bird continued to call out Gary's name and refused to stop squawking the phrases in his ex-girlfriend's voice, media reports said.

"I wasn't sorry to see the back of Suzy after what she did, but it really broke my heart to let Ziggy go," he said.

Personally I think he should have kept the bird.

Governor's Bonding Bill

As far as I can tell, it doesn't include that boondoggle otherwise known as the Colin Powell Youth Center this time. I'm not sure what turned Pawlenty off of the Urban Vultures.

Conservatives Call for Investigation into Bush's authorization of the NSA FISA Violations

From Chuck Muth's News and Views:


Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances (PRCB) has called upon Congress to hold open, substantive oversight hearings examining the President's authorization of the National Security Agency (NSA) to violate domestic surveillance requirements outlined in the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Former Congressman Bob Barr, chairman of PRCB, was joined by fellow conservatives Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR); David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union; Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, in urging lawmakers to use NSA hearings to establish a solid foundation for restoring much needed constitutional checks and balances to intelligence law.

The Democrats want to use this issue just to beat up on President Bush. But there are thoughtful and responsible conservatives who recognize that this is a legitimate and important issue deserving further scrutiny and discussion. We shouldn't let Howard Dean's mouth or the moonbats over at stop us from doing what's right and in the best interest of the nation in this regard.

Zimmermann Indicted

Former Minneapolis councilman Dean Zimmermann Indicted.

Zimmermannn spent a lot of time in office promoting Personal Rapid Transit or PRT. Sometimes he would join up with right winger Representative Mark Olson (16b) at City Hall or the Capitol for a weird and wacky PRT dog & pony show.

Zimmermann's indictment can't be welcome news for other prominent Minnesota PRTers like Mark Olson and Senator Michele Bachmann who said the following about promoting PRT along with Zimmermann back in 2004:

"People on the right, people on the left, we have the common goal of moving people with transit, but doing it in the most cost-effective manner, in fact, in a manner that may end up costing no government subsidy, it may end up paying for itself,"

Learn more about the PRT scam at the PRT is a Joke web site.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Welcome City Pages Readers

Lloydletta's Nooz is "Blog of the Day" over at City Pages.

Eva Young, Mary Tambornino, David DeGrio, and Ken Avidor contribute commentary on national and Minnesota politics at Lloydletta's Nooz and Comments.

Mark Hanson is also a contributor here. I still need to update the template to reflect that.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Listen to I have a Dream by Martin Luther King


am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Mike Hatch: Grandstanding Self-Serving Opportunist in the Michele Bachmann Tradition

A couple weeks ago I went to a meet and greet event for Jeff Johnson who is running for Attorney General. Johnson's biggest criticism of Hatch was that he ran the Attorney General's Office as a tool for his gubanatorial ambitions. Johnson mentioned that Hatch was big at grandstanding in the press at the expense of actually doing things of substance. In this, Hatch is much like the notorious Senator Michele Bachmann who constantly grandstands in the press at the expense of representing her district.

A good example of this grandstanding is Hatch's recent efforts to blame Pawlenty on the release of Driver's License data to the public. As the Mankato Free Press said in a recent editorial:

Thumbs down

To Attorney General Mike Hatch for putting politics into the serious issue of identity theft.

The Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force recently discovered that hundreds of identity theft cases were probably aided by the legal sale of the state driver's license database.

Hatch immediately blamed the Pawlenty Administration for the release of the information and the rise in identity theft crime. Hatch may as well blame the DFL Senate and other DFL governors and legislators who've been in office as long as that information has been made publicly available for sale - which is years.

The data has been classified as public for years. It's political hacksmanship to say Pawlenty's at fault for the identity theft cases.

Lori Swanson, who was representing Mike Hatch at the DFL Feminist Caucus debate mentioned the sale of Driver's license data by the state and tied it to Governor Pawlenty. Mike Hatch has no shame.

MCCL to Unveil Their Legislative Agenda

This will be a good time to ask the MCCL about their position on Mary Ellen Otremba's bill to force pharmacies to keep pharmacists on staff who refuse to fill contraceptive prescriptions. It would also be interesting to ask them about stem cell research and in vitro fertilization techniques - which produce excess embryos which get discarded.

Join MCCL's March for Life on Sunday, Jan. 22!

Speak out with thousands of other citizens on behalf of Minnesota’s most vulnerable persons

The upcoming MCCL March for Life offers a rare opportunity for families to demonstrate their support for protective legislation for unborn babies, their mothers and other vulnerable people.

The March for Life will be held on Sunday, Jan. 22, allowing families to attend together without the difficulties of traffic or parking, and without the conflicts of work or school.

Your voice is needed!

"We want the 2006 MCCL March for Life to be the largest one ever!" said MCCL President Leo LaLonde. "Minnesota’s vast pro-life majority needs to express in sheer numbers and in compassion its solidarity with the most defenseless and dependent among us."

Public support is growing for legislation that provides protection for pregnant women, unborn children and others in need. MCCL’s 77,000 member families were able to pass two pro-life bills into law in the 2005 legislative session—the Positive Alternatives Act and the Unborn Child Pain Prevention Act. Momentum is growing for greater protections to be put in place for persons threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia.

Urge lawmakers, others to come

Even though the Legislature will not be in session in January, citizens are encouraged to strongly urge their legislators to attend the MCCL March for Life. State lawmakers need to see and hear the pro-life movement’s call for the Legislature to enact further protections for our most vulnerable citizens.

"Make this the year that you and your family and friends come to the state Capitol and speak out on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves," LaLonde said. "Abortion is still the greatest killer of Minnesotans and the most common medical procedure in the state. Come to your state Capitol and call for the right to life to be restored!"

Hear MCCL's 2006 agenda

The 2006 MCCL March for Life on Sunday, Jan. 22, will begin at 2 p.m. at the Capitol grounds in St. Paul. A short program will follow at 2:30 p.m. on the Capitol steps, including an announcement of MCCL’s 2006 legislative agenda.

Carpool with friends or plan for a bus to bring your MCCL chapter, church youth group or other organization to the Capitol on Sunday, Jan. 22. Those whose lives you are defending will be glad you were there!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Our "Friends" the Democrats

Anti-gay Democratic Virginia Tim Keane lost no time in putting gay Virginians in their place. From Pam's House Blend:

The state also saw the swearing-in today in of a new governor, Democrat Tim Kaine, who opposes both same-sex marriage and civil unions. He has promised to sign the measure that places the amendment on the ballot after the Senate passes the proposal once more. Even more depressing is that measures that would have limited the scope of the amendment's discrimination were deep-sixed. (WashBlade):

Kaine spokeswoman Delacey Skinner said that the governor-elect will sign the bill to call for a referendum. Kaine supports the amendment and opposes civil unions, she said. She added that he is interested in discussing measures "to make sure people can still be able to contract with each other."

However, efforts to limit the scope of the vaguely worded amendment were defeated. Del. Kristen J. Amundson's (D-District 44) amendment, which received only 35 votes, would have eliminated all language except for: "Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions."

Del. Vivian Watts' (D-District 39) amendment was also rejected by a vote of 36 to 60. She proposed including a clarification that the amendment would not change "any other right, benefit, obligation or legal status pertaining to persons not married."

Developing . . .

Will Stonewall Democrats publicly condemn Keane? This is the same guy who used gay-baiting ads against his Republican opponent.

DFL Feminist Caucus Debate

I stopped by the DFL Caucus Screening which had been advertised by Michael Brodkorb of Minnesota Democrats Exposed. Michael was sitting in the back along with Republican Party Communications Director, Mark Drake. I met Michael McIntee who works with Peter Idusogie on the Inside Minnesota Politics Podcast website. Inside Minnesota Politics was podcasting this event.

Mike Hatch was ill - and sent Lori Swanson - the state solicitor general to represent him on this panel. This seems a bit inappropriate to me - should Hatch be able to use a Attorney General employee in this way?

Michael Brodkorb has some "live-blogging" posts of the event.

Several people at this event told me that the "rumor going around today" is that Mike Hatch was planning to abide by the endorsement. Mike Hatch's word doesn't mean much on this issue. He has run against endorsed DFL candidates 3 times - and in the case of Perpich, Hatch had said he would abide by endorsement, but then went to the primary anyway. Mike Hatch will abide by endorsement should he get the endorsement.

Since I got to the forum a little late, I did not hear what Mike Hatch's current stand on abortion is. In 1990, Hatch ran as the pro-choice candidate. In 1994, Hatch ran with MCCL endorsement in the DFL primary.

On DFL Endorsement - Steve Kelley said he would abide by endorsement. Lori Swanson, Hatch's surrogate said she couldn't speak for him on this issue, but read what he said in the press - which is that he would abide by the endorsement. Actually what Hatch has told the press is that he would abide by the endorsement if there was a large enough caucus showing in the DFL. Kelly Doran and Becky Lourey both said they were planning on running in the primary.

It is going to be important to get Hatch to publicly explain his reasons for threatening to run in the DFL primary in 2002 if the party didn't endorse Roger Moe for Governor. The other two DFL candidates running for Governor at that time were Becky Lourey and Judi Dutcher.

UPDATE: MNObserver comments:

To be honest, the DFL Feminist Caucus forums I've attended had questions so screened that each and every one of them was a version of "Ok, so HOW much do you support abortion rights?" with little regard for bread-and-butter issues that hit women every single day. Not a good insight into their minds.

Mike Hatch has some problems with DFL women. We all know that four years ago, he insisted that he'd only abide by the endorsement if a woman wasn't nominated, but he's never ever been asked about that publicly. Today would have been a good time to do so, but he doesn't seem too interested in what women think this time around, either.

I agree - Hatch needs to be asked this question in a public forum. There's no point in asking him this question in private.

I have not been to a DFL Feminist Caucus forum for a long time. This forum was much more professionally run than anything I've seen by them. This forum did have questions on a variety of subjects - immigration, transportation, choice, domestic violence - and a number of other topics. I'm looking forward to listening to Michael McIntee's podcast of the forum.