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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Mark Kennedy Too Chicken to Appear in a Debate with Harold Shudlick

Tony Garcia has been hammering Kennedy over this here, here and here.

Tony's really gotten Triple A's goat.

Ralph Reed and James Dobson: Charlatans

Mike Tidmus nails it.



At best James Dobson is a tool, at worst he's part of the scam.

Marvin Olasky from the World and architect of the term "compassionate conservative" is covering the Focus on the Family angle of this story (something the mainstream media are avoiding). Marvin blogs:

Transparency argument: Some evangelicals might disagree with that reasoning and argue that, pragmatically, we should support the lesser of two evils: better that gambling spread in Louisiana than it should spread everywhere. Evangelicals could have a good discussion about that -- but Reed owes it to others, particularly his friends and supporters, to allow that discussion. If he thinks it's fine to use gambling money (hey, it's all green), he should not take it upon himself to decide for others how they should act. He should have informed the pastors he organized and the ministries he lobbied that he was using casino funds, so that they could make an informed choice. Instead, he kept his funding secret and worked to manipulate them.

Effects argument: If Reed had been transparent, he would have faced disagreement but would not now be facing disgrace. He has shamed the evangelical community by providing evidence for the generally-untrue stereotype that evangelicals are easily-manipulated and that evangelical leaders are using moral issues to line their own pockets.


I'm looking forward to Ralph Reed's perp walk. Defcon is running TV ads going after James Dobson, Ralph Reed and Lou Sheldon in Washington DC and Colorado Springs, Colorado. They should be running these ads in Georgia.

MOB Parrot in Chief Gets Busted

Mitch Berg

MOBster Mitch Berg parrots the talking points.

Mr Sponge does the honors on the gasbag of the midway. Iowa Liberal piles on.

Whine in the Dark is a good place to find the recycled talking points from the Republican Party after they've been percolating elsewhere. If you want to read original conservative thought read Craig Westover, King Banain or Peg Kaplan.

Taxpayer's League on State of the State

Costing out the State of the State address...
Governor Pawlenty’s fourth State of the State address was a bit of a surprise. In addition to quoting America’s most overrated President (twice!), Governor Pawlenty held up the city of Benson, MN as a center of innovation in Minnesota’s economy. We beg to differ. The Governor cited an Ethanol plant and a turkey-dropping fueled power plant as a great examples of innovation. Here are the real facts: both of these "innovative businesses" have gotten the benefit of huge subsidies from the State and the Federal governments, and their customers are mandated to buy their products.
The state’s biomass energy mandate passed in 1994 requires Xcel Energy to generate or purchase 125 megawatts of biomass electricity. Though the turkey dropping burning plant fulfills part of this mandate, electricity from the turkey plant is so costly (currently priced at over 9 cents per kilowatt-hour (double the rate of regular electricity), it requires a massive subsidy from ratepayers estimated at $500 million over the life of the 22-year contract, or $23 million a year!.
The story with the ethanol plant is the same. The State mandates that all gasoline contain 10% ethanol, gives a 20 cent a gallon subsidy and the federal government adds a 51 cent a gallon subsidy on top of that! That works out to another $31 million a year in state and federal subsidies. In addition, the Governor has proposed doubling the mandated Ethanol content of gasoline to 20%.
Wouldn’t you like the government to pay you to produce a product, and then force consumers to buy it whether they want it or not? Sounds like a great business model!
This is a great example of innovation?

But thanks for the seven words about putting a cap on property taxes. That was swell.


Oink..... Oink...... Pork!

Lloydletta's Nooz Exclusive: Rebecca Otto and Matt Entenza Tell Different Stories on the Reason for Rebecca Otto's Bachmann Amendment Vote

According to a Stonewall DFL leader (not the Stonewall Chair), Rebecca Otto told Stonewall DFL that she had been advised by minority leader Matt Entenza that he would have no problem with her if she voted in favor of the Bachmann amendment. When AG candidate Matt Entenza screened with Stonewall he claimed that he strongly encouraged DFL legislators in swing districts that they should vote against the Bachmann amendment. A Stonewall person asked Entenza about what advice he had given Otto, and Entenza claimed that he had advised Otto to vote against the Bachmann amendment.

The question is who is more credible - Matt Entenza or Rebecca Otto?

Developing. . .

Friday, March 10, 2006

House Committee Passes a Bill Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse to Fill Prescriptions for Moral Reasons

The hearing was in Duke Powell's committee. From Minnesota Public Radio.

House Health Policy and Finance Committee approval
March 8, 2006(HF3032)

The House Health Policy and Finance Committee approved HF3032, which would prohibit pharmacists from refusing to provide a prescribed drug or device except in specific instances, and sent it to the full House. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Delano) is the sponsor. The circumstances under which a pharmacist can refuse a prescription would be: if a pharmacist determines - based on their training and judgment -- a drug would cause medical problems, the drug or device is out of stock (in which the pharmacist would offer alternatives to the patient), if the pharmacist has an objection - ethical, moral or religious - to the prescribed drug or device, and if no payment is received. (Session Daily)

Result: Passed on a voice vote


Bob Collins at Polinaut comments:

Easy enough, right? Wrong. Today, for example, I was working up a datasheet for a bill that probably is going nowhere -- HF 3099 -- which would allow online wagering. I was interested primarily because the bill died on a tie vote (which indicates something resembling a roll call) and then, the committee reconvened, a legislator moved for reconsideration, and then it passed on a voice vote.

OK? Who changed? And why? Who are the people who are for it? Who are the ones against it?

Rep. Duke Powell's committee did the same thing a few days ago on a pretty interesting bill -- the one allowing pharmacists to refuse to dispense drugs they find morally wrong. Good luck trying to find out how the members of the House Health Policy and Finance Committee feel about the bill in an instant. They threw it up for a voice vote too.


Now can't democrats on the committee call for a recorded vote? Why didn't they do so?

Puckett's Body Isn't Cold....

And Dean Johnson is already using him to promote the stadium boondoggle. From City Pages blotter:

The body snatcher: Johnson grabs lead in tasteless posthumous Puckettology

From the moment Kirby Puckett died on Monday, it was sadly just a matter of time before someone dragged his corpse into the wrestling match over public funding for a new Twins stadium and tried to pin the anti-stadium crowd beneath it. As it turned out, it took less than 24 hours. Yesterday, according to a one-line item in this morning's Strib, "Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson [said] he's received calls from constituents urging approval of a new Twins ballpark named for Puckett."

Nice bit of deniability there--he's only reporting what his constituents are saying, after all. (Are pols in the habit of publicly announcing what their constituents think, except in cases where it serves their own aims? No, they are not.)


If this ball-pork is important to Johnson and his constitutuents, I'd suggest he have his constituents help pay for the thing rather than sticking it to Hennepin County taxpayers.

Mike Hatch's Goofy Campaign

Checks and Balances is promoting a Hatch-Lourey ticket.

Today, after Governor Tim Pawlenty's (R) State of the State address former Governor Wendell Anderson (D) walked back to Hatch's office with him and on the way they stopped and spoke with Lourey. After their brief conversation Hatch and Anderson continued on to Hatch's office and Anderson suggested the idea to Hatch himself. We are not exactly sure what Hatch's reaction was, but as the idea is chewed on for awhile it seems worthwhile.

Lourey has a small busness background, which is an advantage in suburban districts. She is a rural legislator and since Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) and Lt Governor Carol Molnau (R) are both suburbanites this is also a benefit with Greater Minnesota voters. Hatch is seen as pugnacious and Lourey could help soften his image. Hatch has trouble with the pro-choice community and here again Lourey is an asset. A couple negative points some people see with Lourey are her liberal voting record and her trip to Texas to protest with Cindy Sheehan. In this case this with the war in Iraq being a political liability for Republicans it may be more of a positive thing.

Ultimately, if Hatch were to make the request he assures himself a coronation at the DFL State Convention and universal good will with the exception of the ardent Steve Kelley (D) supporters. This would remove one obstacle out of the way in the endorsement fight as well as in the DFL Primary. It would enable Hatch to keep his attention focused on Pawlenty and virtually ignore Kelly Doran. In the case of Doran, Hatch could say, "Kelly Doran is spending his fortune to tell you what he thinks and I am here to tell you want Minnesotan's have told me they want Minnesota's priorities to be with a new governor."

This one looks like a no-brainer to us.


Shawn Towle forgets some of Mike Hatch's history. He doesn't just have problems with the "pro-choice community". He has problems with women. In 2002 he threatened that he would run in the primary unless the DFL endorsed Roger Moe. The other two candidates were women - Becky Lourey was one, and Judi Dutcher was another. I doubt Becky Lourey has forgotten this.

This one won't get Mike Hatch anywhere.

Is the Center for American Experiment Going Belly Up?

Kudos to the Sponge and Matt over at Minvolved for digging into this and digging deeper and deeper.

I personally have no use for Annette Meeks - the former ED of the Center for the American Experiment. Meeks was of the opinion that a stadium tax in Hennepin County wasn't a tax, it was a user fee. Sound familiar?

Meeks still is getting $20,000 per year for her Metro Council gig - "representing" North Minneapolis on the Met Council. What a joke!

Chris Tiedeman was on the radio last weekend promoting a Center for the American Experiment initiative - promoting legislative civility. Chris Georgicas and Roger Moe were selling the same thing on Almanac last week.

So are they still having the Ward Connerly event?

Ball-Pork, JOBZ-Pork - Every Type of Pork Pork

Tim Pawlenty has some pork, E-I-E-I-O
And in his pork he had a stadium, E-I-E-I-O
With an "oink-oink" here and an "oink-oink" there
Here an "oink" there an "oink"
Everywhere an "oink-oink"
Tim Pawlenty had a bill, E-I-E-I-O

Tim Pawlenty has some pork, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had some JOBZ, E-I-E-I-O
With an "oink-oink" here and an "oink-oink" there
Here Ball Pork, there some JOBZ
Every type of Pork, Pork...
Tim Pawlenty had a bill, E-I-E-I-O

Anyone hear the state of the state address? It was truly a tribute to legislative sausage making. Over at the Minneapolis Rumors list, Dean Carlson is promoting the time tested porking things up approach to getting the stadium boondoggle through Hennepin County.

I've been touting on this list for years (check the archives) that a 1/5 cent 7-11 county sale tax could cover all three stadiums plus what ever other "social issue" (housing, child care, environment, arts, etc) that was deemed important is the way to go. That way you'd get a broad coalition of interest groups supporting the sales tax with only the Phil Krinkies and David Stroms of the world opposed.

It's too bad no one ever showed the leadership to propose and fight for such an idea at the State Legislature.

Dean E. Carlson
East Harriet

Such a bill is NOT leadership - it is typical budget busting sausage making. It's exactly how pork gets into the budget. In Minneapolis, we have voted to increase our taxes for the central library. We have voted to increase taxes for our public schools. We clearly voted AGAINST tax subsidy for stadiums. That's why Hennepin County got into this nonsense.

We elect legislators to decide on spending priorities.

The business community should step up to the plate on this one - not the taxpayers.

Eva Young

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Caucus Numbers Down for Republicans

Some GOP caucus accounts are available at Bogus Gold and Psychmeistr.

Does Mike Hatch Favor or Oppose the Bachmann Amendment?

During both of Mike Hatch's recent appearances on Minnesota Public Radio (a debate with the DFL candidates and when he was featured by himself), he was asked whether he supported the Bachmann amendment. Hatch stated that he supported the current Defense of Marriage statute, but would not state whether he favored or opposed the Bachmann amendment. Where does Mike Hatch stand on the Bachmann amendment? When interviewed by the Pioneer Press, Hatch stated that there was no difference between he and Governor Pawlenty on the issue of gay marriage, so I would assume that means that he supports the Bachmann amendment.

My post commenting on the caucus results got some comments:

Hatch says: Each of the other campaigns has at least one dozen paid professional staff members who spent months organizing for the caucuses...

Yeah, and Mike Hatch has had the entire AG's office at his disposal to promote himself and his agenda for the past how many years?
Anonymous


It sounds like Mike Hatch hasn't changed from when he worked at the Commerce Department. I had a friend who worked there then who was very unhappy with Hatch as a boss because of having the expectation that the only way to move up and get ahead in a department headed by Mike Hatch was to help with his political ambitions. That's not good government.

Our old friend STEA huffs and puffs:

"Disappointing showing"??

Lets stop with the % for a minute and look at the cold hard fatcs...

Amy Klobuchar: 19,745 votes
Matt Entenza: 19,000 votes
(according to www.dflers.org)

As for Hatch, we has a firm grip on the endorsement. He needs only 22% of the vote to go his way, while the 2nd place candidate needs 38%.

Not to mention, we do not know how many of those voting are actually delegates. In my prescient, we had twice as many people showing up as delegates. I know that at least half of the folks who are delegates in mine are voting for Hatch, yet he got only 40% of the vote overall when they counted the straw poll.

So to draw conclusions from the straw poll is like trying to see the future in tea leaves.
StopTheEvaAgenda


Well STEA, Bill Salisbury from the Pioneer Press reports that Hatch's grip on the endorsement is pretty weak. Recall that Hatch's campaign had done polling and predicted a 45% result in the straw poll. He came 7 points short of that (16% below his polls). The question is whether the trend for Hatch is downward from here.

The two senators held Hatch far short of the 60 percent majority he would need to be endorsed at the state DFL convention in June.

"This race is wide open," Lourey asserted Wednesday.

"Forty-five percent of the caucus attendees selected two state senators over a sitting attorney general. I think that's an indication that he's got some challenges," Kelley said.

State Republican Party Chairman Ron Carey added, "The air of inevitability surrounding Mike Hatch is gone."

Hatch shrugged off his opponents' assessments, saying, "Everybody spins."

But he may have lost the expectations game. Before the caucuses, he had released results of a survey that showed 45 percent of 7,000 previous DFL delegates favored his candidacy. Had he met or exceeded that number, his campaign most likely would have gained greater momentum and made it harder for the other candidates to catch up.

Nonetheless, Hatch pronounced his campaign "in good shape." He noted that he won with a volunteer organization and, unlike the other DFL candidates, he had no paid staff. He again said he is saving his money for his fall campaign against Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty.


As the commenter pointed out, who needs a campaign staff when you have the AG's office at your disposal. Salibury's article continues:

Pawlenty had no intraparty opposition, so the state GOP proclaimed him the winner at its caucuses without a straw poll.


In other words, the Republican party didn't do a straw poll because they didn't want to report on the results. This would have shown whether Tim Pawlenty has the base mobilized. I understand the base isn't mobilized. The fiscal conservatives are not happy.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Contested GOP Race Against Terri Bonoff

Matt Abe has the scoop.

Judy Johnson is the Mayor of Plymouth. She was defeated by Terri Bonoff. Judy's stance on Intelligent Design creationism hurt her in this moderate district. I don't know anything about James Seim. If I'm in town, it will be interesting to observe the Senate District 43 convention.

Amy Klobuchar Wins Big in Straw Poll

MN Publius and many other blogs have the results. Amy Klobuchar strengthened her position in the Straw poll.

Klobuchar 76.6%
Bell 16.8%


Mike Hatch got a plurality.

Governor
Hatch 38.3%
Lourey 22.7%
Kelley 22.4%
Doran 6.4%


The partisan DFL blog mnpublius notes: "this is a terrible showing for Hatch."

Hatch tries to spin this:

Unlike the other gubernatorial campaigns, ours is a volunteer-driven, grassroots effort. Each of the other campaigns has at least one dozen paid professional staff members who spent months organizing for the caucuses by operating phone banks, sending out mailings, and turning out their own delegates. Over the last few weeks, other campaigns argued that the precinct caucus ballot could not be won unless the campaign employed a large paid professional staff. Our grassroots, volunteer effort proved them wrong!


Hatch doesn't need a paid campaign staff when he can campaign from the Attorney General's office. A number of lefty blogs have endorsed Steve Kelley and two others have endorsed Kelly Doran.

Entenza had a disappointing showing. Considering that he was running unopposed, he only got 82% of the strawpoll. That's hardly a vote of confidence.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Log Cabin Republicans - Chicago Calls on Blagovich to Fire Farrakhan Advisor from Hate Crimes Panel

Here.

3/02/2006

llinois Governor Should Remove Farrakhan Adviser from Hate Crime Panel

The Chicago Chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans strongly urges Governor Rod Blagojevich to rethink his appointee Claudette Marie Muhammad from his Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes. Muhammad serves as the minister of protocol to Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan, who espouses bigotry and anti-Semitism.

Muhammad recently invited commission members to attend a Farrakhan speech in which he accused "Hollywood Jews" of "promoting lesbianism, homosexuality" and other "filth." Muhammad has failed to denounce anti-gay and anti-Semitic statements. Blagojevich said Farrakhan's comments are no reason to dismiss Muhammad as long as she believes in the panel's goals.

"Blagovich is wrong and he needs to be held accountable," said Erik Linell, LCR-Chicago chapter president. "He expects the LGBT vote and then makes such an insulting appointment. You can bet no Republican governor would ever get a free pass if they made an appointment of this nature. It makes a mockery of the fight against hatred and intolerance in Illinois."

The Chicago Chapter of the Log Cabin has launched a web campaign calling on Blagovich to remove Muhammad from the Commission.


Send a letter to Governor Blagovich through Log Cabin - Chicago's web campaign.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Marilyn Musgrave Uses Soldiers as Political Props

Marilyn Musgrave is the chief author of the Federal Marriage Amendment. I've often referred to Michele Bachmann as Minnesota's Marilyn Musgrave. It appears that there are now three blogs with the goal of defeating Musgrave. They have been swarming this story.

The Coloradoan, reporting on a GOP Dinner in held in Fort Collins, printed the following article title as well as the photo above, taken by Peter Heacox for The Coloradoan:

Marilyn Musgrave introduces Marine Sergeant Brandon Forsyth on Friday during the Larimer County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner.

Doesn't on the surface, sound like much. But consider this...

Military regulation prohibits members of the armed services on active duty from appearing at partisan rallies, meetings, etc. while in uniform. So for a moment let's consider the implications of such a heinous act, and just consider that Marilyn has now participated in breaking military regulations, along with Sergeant Forsyth. Here's the short on those regulations that have been broken. We're hoping that Sergeant Forsyth gets reprimanded for this. And we're hoping of course that at the very least Marilyn has taken one step closer to getting her pink suited butt thrown out of office.


Josh Marshall has picked up on this story.

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave fouls the pristine beauty of her area of Colorado.

Minnesota's Worst Reader Representative

Over at the Cucking Stool, Spotty explains.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Democratic Illinois Governor Criticized for Farrakhan Supporter on the Hate Crimes Commission

Pam Spaulding says it well:

Why does anyone take this man seriously, other than as a hate monger? He's no better than Don Wildmon, Dobson, or the rest of those clowns, yet too many black politicians give Louis Farrakhan legitimacy that he doesn't deserve in the slightest.


There's been quite a controversy in Illinois over a Louis Farrakhan assistant, Claudette Marie Muhammad, getting appointed to the Illinois Hate Crimes commission. Left leaning and right leaning gay blogs are outraged. Jewish members of the hate crimes commission are now resigning in protest.

Although Muhammad was appointed to the commission in August, it wasn't until recently, when she invited commission members to attend a speech by Farrakhan, that word of her affiliation with the Nation of Islam began to spread.

During Farrakhan's speech Sunday, he said "the Hollywood Jews" are responsible for promoting homosexuality and other "filth of Hollywood."

Muhammad issued a statement this week in which she said she believes in "fairness to all people regardless of race, creed, color, national origin or religious beliefs." She also said she supports human rights for gays and lesbians.

The conflict continued to gain steam when Blagojevich said Wednesday that Muhammad shouldn't be judged by a history of anti-Semitic and anti-gay statements made by Farrakhan, but rather by her own words in support of tolerance and acceptance.

Nasatir said he was "utterly disappointed" in the governor's decision to stand by Muhammad and that her statement was "wholly inadequate" and "in no way condemns or apologizes for Minister Farrakhan's hate-filled rhetoric that pervades the message and beliefs of the Nation of Islam."


The Chicago Tribune editorialized that the Governor should ask for Claudette Marie Muhammad's resignation.

Rick Garcia, Executive Director of Equality Illinois defended Farrakhan's assistant in the Windy City Times and in mainstream media.

Rick Garcia, political director of Equality Illinois, told WCT that Farrakhan's three-hour speech was a mixed bag. "At one point, although Farrakhan said that the Koran [ as well as ] Hebrew and Christian scriptures do not accept homosexuality, he also said that gays, lesbians, and transgenders should not be the victims of violence and should be respected," Garcia stated. Ultimately, according to the gay-rights activist, Farrakhan "is a little better than he used to be; he's certainly not as bad as Pat Robertson. What else is there to expect? It's vintage Farrakhan."

However, Garcia stressed that the real story centered not around Farrakhan, but around Muhammad. "The bottom line is if it's acceptable for Sister Muhammad to sit on the commission—especially when the ADL [ Anti-Defamation League ] lists the Nation of Islam as a hate group," he contended. [ On its Web site, the ADL lists quotes that Farrakhan has uttered, including, "Listen, Jewish people don't have no hands that are free of the blood of us. They owned slave ships, they bought and sold us," which the site contends was uttered during the 2005 Saviour's Day speech. ]

And what is Garcia's assessment of Muhammad? "So far, she has been nothing but the embodiment of what the committee should be about," said Garcia, who has known her for a few months and who also sits on the commission. She talks about Muslims; Hebrews; and gays and lesbians as well as the need to work together. She"s a very good commissioner."

He added that she "shouldn't sit if she demonstrated anti-gay or anti-Semitic behavior while on this commission." Garcia stated "if she should sit there as a member of the Nation of Islam [ because Farrakhan is its leader ] , then I, as a Roman Catholic, should not sit there either," alluding to the words and actions of Pope Benedict XVI.

As an example of what Muhammad has done, Garcia pointed to a proclamation involving Blagojevich and a huge, upcoming event: "She initiated the governor’s proclamation welcoming Gay Games participants to Illinois."


Dan Blatt from GayPatriot raises a good point: where are the National Gay organizations on this one?

Excerpts from Farrakhan's 2006 Savior's Day Speech as compiled by the Anti-Defamation League.

On Jews and Gays

-- "These false Jews promote the filth of Hollywood that is seeding the American people and the people of the world and bringing you down in moral strength...It's the wicked Jews the false Jews that are promoting Lesbianism, homosexuality. It's wicked Jews, false Jews that make it a crime for you to preach the word of God, then they call you homophobic!"

-- "And the Christian right, with your blindness to that wicked state of Israel...can that be the holy land, and you have gay parades, and want to permit to have a gay parade in Jerusalem when no prophet ever sanctioned that behavior. HOW CAN THAT BE THE ISRAEL, how can that be Jerusalem with secular people running the holy land when it should be the holy people running the holy land. That land is gonna be cleansed with BLOOD."

On Jewish control of the American Government

-- "Is Jerusalem surrounded by armies now? These neo-cons and Zionists have manipulated Bush and the American government and our boys and girls are dying in Iraq and in Afghanistan for the cause of Israel, not for the cause of America! Israel is the tail waggin' the dog, which is America. You may not like me, and I really don't give a damn. I'm throwin' the gauntlet down today.

-- "I'm warning you America. You better get rid of them neo-cons. That's the synagogue of Satan. They have made America weak. You're a weak nation now, and your country has been taken from you by the synagogue of Satan. They own congress. That's why the congress ain't right."

On Justifying Hate

-- "God does not love everybody. He said he loved Jacob but he hated Esau. So if God is our example and he can love and he can hate then don't be afraid to love and don't be afraid to hate."


I'd put Louis Farrakhan in the same category as Pat Robertson and Fred Phelps.