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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Strib on Blogger Gatherings

Jon Tevlin visits both Drinking Liberally at the 331 club, and the MOB gatherings at Keegans and lives to tell the tale.

It seems like a number of the MOB parrots are putting a sock in their blogs. Swiftee hasn't posted in almost a month.

Eric Black at the strib recently started a blog. A recent entry suggests the DFL is retaliating for the phony outrage by Kline's campaign for the Colonel Klink character of Kline.

It would be nice if Black would cover the 6th District shenanagans.

April Fools


Republican Party of Minnesota Announces Acquisition of Minnesota Republican Watch

Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Ron Carey today announced the Party's acquisition of popular political blog site Minnesota Republican Watch.

"This blog site will allow our supporters to always have the most up-to-date information on the Republican Party. At Minnesota Republican Watch, Minnesotans will be able to find updates on Republicans' legislative activity, our party's efforts to protect the sanctity of marriage, and my own personal cooking tips," Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Ron Carey said.

The new blog site will be officially launched on April 4, 2006.

"I am very excited that our party will finally have a voice in the blogosphere. Although this blog will be operated by the Republican Party of Minnesota, we hope to provide the kind of hard-hitting, yet non-partisan commentary people expect from blogs. To that end, I have already asked popular local bloggers Michael Brodkorb and Corey Miltimore to join the new Minnesota Republican Watch blog. I believe our decision to hire these two bloggers will show Minnesotans that Minnesota Republican Watch will be more than just a mouthpiece for the Republican Party," Carey concluded.

Vin Weber and former RPM Executive Director Corey Miltemore have now joined the blogosphere here. This one is no April Fool. The latest post is fawning praise for Minnesota's worst writer's latest column which regurgitates the points made by Craig Westover about Dean Johnson.

Justice Scalia makes Offensive Hand Gesture to Critics

From the Boston Herald:

Minutes after receiving the Eucharist at a special Mass for lawyers and politicians at Cathedral of the Holy Cross, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had a special blessing of his own for those who question his impartiality when it comes to matters of church and state.

"You know what I say to those people?" Scalia, 70, replied, making an obscene gesture, flicking his hand under his chin when asked by a Herald reporter if he fends off a lot of flak for publicly celebrating his conservative Roman Catholic beliefs.
"That's Sicilian," the Italian jurist said, interpreting for the "Sopranos" challenged.
"It's none of their business," continued Scalia, who was the keynote speaker at yesterday's Catholic Lawyers' Guild luncheon. "This is my spiritual life. I shall lead it the way I like."
The conduct unbecoming a 20-year veteran of the country’s highest court - and just feet from the Mother Church’s altar - was captured by a photographer for the Archdiocese of Boston newspaper The Pilot, whose publisher is newly minted Cardinal Sean O'Malley.
Although one of his sworn duties is to uphold the freedom of the press, a jocular Scalia told the shutterbug, "Don't publish that."

Scalia wrote an angry letter to the editor denying this story.

The photographer then gave his photo to the Boston Herald which documented the gesture. I urge readers to check out the photo and make their own conclusions.

"It's inaccurate and deceptive of him to say there was no vulgarity in the moment," said Peter Smith, the Boston University assistant photojournalism professor who made the shot.
Despite Scalia's insistence that the Sicilian gesture was not offensive and had been incorrectly characterized by the Herald as obscene, the photographer said the newspaper "got the story right."
Smith said the jurist "immediately knew he'd made a mistake, and said, 'You're not going to print that, are you?' " ...

Smith was working as a freelance photographer for the Boston archdiocese’s weekly newspaper at a special Mass for lawyers Sunday when a Herald reporter asked the justice how he responds to critics who might question his impartiality as a judge given his public worship.
"The judge paused for a second, then looked directly into my lens and said, 'To my critics, I say, 'Vaffanculo,' " punctuating the comment by flicking his right hand out from under his chin, Smith said.
The Italian phrase means "(expletive) you."

The Boston Herald is the conservative Boston Daily. They published an editorial on the gesture-gate story.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Minnesota Republican Party Exploits Dean Johnson's troubles to push the Bachmann Amendment

From the Minnesota GOP Newsline:

Dean Johnson Controversy Continues As Senate Judiciary Committee Is Set To Take Up Defense Of Marriage Amendment

On Monday, DFL Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson apologized to the Minnesota Senate for his comments to a group of pastors that he had received assurances from members of the Minnesota Supreme Court that the court would not hear a challenge to Minnesota's definition of marriage. While he apologized for making the comments, he did little to address the continuing discrepencies between what Dean Johnson said happened, and what the justices said happened. Be sure to contact Senator Dean Johnson to let your thoughts be heard on the matter.

Senator Dean Johnson, 651-296-3826, email:

Meanwhile, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Don Betzold has promised to hear Senator Michele Bachmann?s marriage amendment bill in Judiciary Committee this Tuesday. If passed in committee, the amendment will go to the full Senate to be debated.

Please contact the DFL members of the Senate Judiciary committee and urge them to allow a full Senate vote on the marriage amendment. The marriage amendment must be passed by the Senate so all Minnesotans decide the definition of marriage, not a select few judges.

Here is the contact information for the DFL members of the Judiciary:

Senator Don Betzold: 651-296-2556,

Senator John Marty: 651-296-5645, email:

Senator Wes Skoglund: 651-296-4274, email:

Senator Satveer Chaudhary: 651-296-4334, email:

Senator Ann Rest: 651-296-2889, email:

It's funny. They left off the names of Republicans on the Judiciary committee:

Senator David Hann

Senator Tom Neuville:

Senator Julianne Ortman

Senator Warren Limmer

You can contact the Republican Party at:



Contact the Republican party to let them know what you think of this latest newsline from them.

I called the party to talk to them about this. I told them they needed to focus on other issues. It seems that since Ron Carey has become chair of the party, the Bachmann amendment is the only issue they are focusing on.

The Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage has a radio ad urging people to call the DFL Bachmann amendment supporter Jim Vickerman, and ask him to lobby other DFL senators on this subject. His phone number is: (651) 296-5650. I'd suggest people call and leave a message on his machine in opposition to the Bachmann amendment. The calls generated from the Gang of 12 are coming from all over the state. So don't worry about living in his district.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Gopher Stadium Plan

Spotty has a good post about the Gopher Stadium plan that is going through the legislature. Spotty also fisks Captain Fishsticks.

Interesting votes on this one. All but three voted to increase student fees to pay for this stadium. Jim Knoblach along with Phyllis Kahn and Alice Hauseman voted against the plan. Will another Republican 6th District candidate put out a piece of lit putting Knoblach in the same category as Kahn?

New London-Spicer Ministers Ask the Minister who Taped Dean Johnson for Public Apology

From the West Central Tribune:

Letter: A letter from ministers
Rev. Simon G. Fensom, Rev. Kathy R. Hartley, Rev. Matthew T. Peterson, West Central Tribune
Published Tuesday, March 28, 2006
As members of the (now infamous) New London Spicer Ministerium, we would like to communicate the following:

To Senator Dean Johnson: Thank you for your apology in the Senate regarding statements that were made at our January meeting. It is appreciated.

To all the politicians in St. Paul: Please know that we often pray for your work at our regular ministerium meetings and in our worship services. However, please, please hear us as we ask you to move on from the legislation of human sexuality to the more pressing issues of poverty, health care, education, gambling (and our ever-increasing reliance on its profits), to name but a few. You have very important work to do. Please get on with it!

To Brent Waldemarsen of Harvest Community Church in Willmar: Given your statements to the media over the past 10 days, we would like you to know, without any confusion, how disappointed we are in your behavior, and more so, in your arrogance at “not having done anything to apologize for”. Make no mistake, you have much to apologize for, including: the deceitful pre-meditation of your actions; the secret taping of our conversations — and if it were not secret, why did you not place the recorder in plain view or inform us of what you were doing; the removal of trust from our ministerium; and ultimately your own obfuscation of the truth.

It is disingenuous at best to claim that this is a moral issue and not a political issue. If it were a moral issue, why did you choose to expose Senator Johnson’s comments through a political organization? Why did you, or they, choose to hold on to the tape for two months before sharing the “selected” snippets? Are you, or they, not culpable in furthering immorality for yet eight more weeks?

And finally, why do you limit yourself to this single issue? If morality is your bailiwick, one would expect to see similar passion around the more pressing issues of poverty, affordable health care, the effects of gambling, and racism — subtle and not so subtle, all of which exist in Kandiyohi County.

We wait with bated breath for your apology as we attempt to rebuild trust in our community and among our colleagues, and as we wait, please know that the sins of pride, anger and self-justification that cause us to write this letter and enter the fray will be forgiven in and through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ — the same grace that is afforded to all hypocrites.

Rev. Simon G. Fensom

Rev. Kathy R. Hartley

Rev. Matthew T. Peterson

Matthew Peterson was on Lambert and Janacek today. Sarah Janacek said on the air that she had had conversations about political issues with supreme court judges. Craig Westover is still still obsessing over Dean Johnson. Minnesota's Worst Writer regurgitates the points made in Westover's recent columns in her Strib collumn. Westover says:

Kersten is a little late to the battle, but she's got it right, except for the shot at the press. It's not the press quitting on the story. It's readers. This is a case where the press can only sustain a story so long, and two weeks is an awfully long time for a political story to play the big room. If there's no public outcry to pursue the truth, there's no news peg, however, to keep it going.

This would be a year long - or more - story if it was a Monica-gate type story.

Bachmann Amendment Update

From Outfront Minnesota:

A Flurry of "Anti-Marriage" Amendments Introduced in the House; Senate Hearing Scheduled

New Developments in the Minnesota House of Representatives:

In recent days, proponents of measures to amend the state constitution to prohibit any form of legal recognition of same-sex couples and their families have introduced more than a half-dozen bills proposing different language to place on November's ballot, all of which have the same general, discriminatory purpose as the originals. Click here for links to the text of those bills. We await information on when the House Civil Law Committee will schedule hearing(s) on these bills. It is thought that the sudden flood of new amendment bills is a tactic being used in light of recent poll results showing diminishing support for the amendment, the People of Faith rally last week, and the possibility that the Senate might not approve any amendments at all.


Please contact your state representative and express your opposition to these proposals to write discrimination into the state constitution! Visit the Legislature's website to locate phone, mail, fax and email information for your representative.

Don't know who represents you in the Minnesota House? Visit our website to identify your House district and representative. You can also find tips on writing your legislators and talking points.

And don't forget to take part in this year's justFair Lobby Day at the State Capitol! Visit our website to register or learn more. With an unprecedented number of bills designed to strip same-sex couples and their families of any hope for legal recognition, we need an unprecedented turnout on Thursday, April 27! Don't forget - the legislative session is not expected to end until May 22, and we will need to be vigilant through then!

New Developments in the Minnesota Senate:

At the same time, the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing on Senator Michele Bachmann's proposed amendment (SF 1691), which has been pending there since 2005. The Committee hearing will take place Tuesday, April 4, from 12:00-2:30pm in Room 15 of the State Capitol. OutFront Minnesota will once again coordinate testimony against the bill, while the Minnesota Family Council coordinates speakers in favor. Testimony on both sides will likely come from a relative handful of people with particular familiarity with legal and other aspects of the proposals.

While community members are encouraged to attend, please be aware that Capitol security forbids bringing signs attached to sticks. Given the likely high attendance at this hearing, most people may find themselves in designated overflow spaces in the Capitol. Parents, grandparents, and other relatives and friends of GLBT individuals are encouraged to bring with them photographs of their family members who are likely to be harmed by the amendment were it to pass.


Plan to attend the Senate committee hearing on April 4!

If you have not already done so, please contact your state senator to express your opposition to these proposals to use the constitution to impose second-class citizenship on same-sex couples and their families! Click here to locate phone, mail, fax and email information for your senator.

Don't know who represents you in the Minnesota Senate? Visit our website to identify your Senate district and senator. You can also find tips on writing your legislators and talking points.

Ask five friends to contact their senators and representatives on these issues.

Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper expressing opposition to these amendment proposals. (Click here for tips.)

Plan to take part in this year's justFair Lobby Day at the State Capitol! Click here for more information and to register. With an unprecedented number of bills designed to strip same-sex couples and their families of any hope for legal recognition, we need an unprecendented turnout on Thursday, April 27! Don't forget - the legislative session is not expected to end until May 22, and we will need to be vigilant through then!

Special Note: GLBT Families Event at the Capitol

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender parents and their children have a lot at stake in this amendment battle. Rainbow Families is hosting an event on the State Capitol front steps at 11:30am on Monday, April 3rd to help generate awareness about the impact of the proposed anti-marriage amendment on REAL FAMILIES. Children, youth, parents, allies, and all community members are invited to hear speakers share their stories and raise their voices in song to thank the legislators who support fairness, and to educate those who do not. A free tour of the Capitol for children will follow the rally.

I'm glad that Rainbow Families is doing this event at the capitol.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Knoblach Defends Hit Piece Against Krinkie

I asked Jim Knoblach to comment to the claims made in Krinkie's newsletter. Knoblach responded:

The piece was completely fair. It highlighted a vote Phil took that puts him on the opposite side of 90+% of Minnesotans. Running against Patty Wetterling this Fall, he cannot win being the man who sided with sex offenders.

Nobody has ever brought up the gunowner rights issues Phil mentions in regard to
this bill. This is just spin.

Regarding the budget, Phil's statement that it means "no new spending" is completely incorrect. Without the passage of the budget resolution, there are no caps on spending. Any bill that comes to the floor can have spending added to it without any requirement showing the source of the money for the new spending. This will unquestionably drive up spending. Incidentally, the largest item of additional spending in my proposal, which proposed to spend less than half what our Republican Governor recommends, was for additional funding to incarcerate sex offenders.

As the stomach turns..... the drama continues.

DFL Catfight

The DFL governor campaigns are going at it on MNCR.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Alberto Monserrate Commenting on the Illegal Immigrant Issue

From the St Paul Issues List:

My experience has been that the closer an individual gets to people who are uninvited border crossers the more open they are to finding ways to legalize the 12 million undocumented human beings in the US.

This weekend we saw what was probably the largest demonstration the US has ever seen in recent history. Over half a million people, according to police figures, rallied in LA protesting anti-immigrant legislation and in favor of legalizing undocumented people.

Tens of thousands more protested this weekend in cities all over the country. A few weeks ago 200,000 People demonstrated in Chicago and as in LA they paralized the city for a day "without Mexicans"

There are several things worth noting about these demonstrations. An overwhelmimg number of these protestors are Latinos. They are waving American and Mexican flags in these protests and chanting USA, USA, Mexico, and Si se puede (yes we can). Don't confuse these protesters. They are about the most pro US patriotic demonstrators in these numbers this country has ever seen. These compare to the pathetically small counter demonstrations the white supremacist infiltrated minutemen have been organizing.

These marches have been overwhelmingly bigger than any anti war protests we've seen recently. This is the civil rights issue of our time.

Latino radio station morning show hosts are key in rallying people to these marches. Just to put things into perspective these are entertainment morning shows geared towards every day blue collar Latinos. To compare to something readers in this list can relate too this would be the equivalent of the the KQRS morning show rallying blue collar listners to protest. These stations are owned by multi billion dollar companies like Univision (with a market cap of over 10 billion). Believe me if these radio stations are rallying latinos to protest is because their marketing machines are convinced that their listners are over 90 pct in agreement. In LA a Spainish radio station is the number one station in the market. In Chicago the two main Spanish stations add up to the number one station in the market with almost identical formats.

These protests will continue and will impact St Paul and Minneapolis in the next few weeks. April will see national mobilizations like this country has never seen before. Minneapolis and St Paul will be part of this action and Latino Media will be side by side with these efforts like it has been nationally.

Republicans and DFL'ers better pay attention. Think of which side you would have liked to be in during the sixties civil rights struggles, and were you are today on immigration civil rights struggles. DFL'ers in St Paul have been voting overwhelmingly in favor of Pawlenty's anti immigrant proposals. They're still on time to do the right thing before thousands rally in Minnesota.

Chris Coleman has gone way and above in fighting Pawlenty's proposals and so has St Paul's excellent police department. The mayor of St Paul will go into history as being a leader on the right side of immigration civil rights.

More to come.

Alberto Monserrate

As I said before, what's going to be important is to clearly state why Pawlenty's legislation is a bad idea.

Alberto Monserrate owns La Gente and La Prensa plus a Latino radio station.

Krinkie's Campaign Responds to Knoblach's Attacks

Campaign Silly Season Has Begun

It appears that ?Silly Season? has started in full force in the race for Congress in the Sixth Congressional District. (Note: Silly Season is the term used in campaigns when candidates begin to throw anything they can at the wall in the hope that something will stick) Phil?'s opponents in the race have launched two recent attacks that warrant a response.

At the conventions last weekend and now in the mail, one of the campaigns put out a ?hit piece? insinuating that Phil Krinkie is not tough on sex offenders because he voted against the Omnibus Crime Prevention Bill in 2000. To say Phil Krinkie voted against ?Katie?'s Law? is simply not true.

The reason Phil voted against this huge omnibus bill had nothing to do with ?Katie?s Law? or sex offenders. The bill contained the creation of a huge government computer database called CRIMNET that cost millions of dollars to implement and put the privacy rights of individual citizens in jeopardy. In fact, private information about regular citizens was collected and stored in this government database, even the names of suspects, witnesses and people who sought handgun permits.

The last thing Phil wanted was for state government to compile a database that would track gun owners!

The bottom line: Phil Krinkie votes against boondoggles and government intrusion into our lives, even when it?s not politically expedient. That?'s just what we need in Congress.

On Monday, Rep. Knoblach tried issued a press release charging that Phil?'s vote against the House Budget Resolution authorizing $88 million in new spending was actually a vote to increase spending. Nothing could be further from the truth. The vote against Jim Knoblach?'s budget resolution means that state government will have to spend the same amount next year as this year. No new spending!

As we continue through the Silly Season, don'?t believe everything you read, check the facts, and call the Krinkie Campaign with any questions at 763-717-2222.

We appreciate your interest in the Krinkie for Congress campaign. Please forward our e-Update to your e-mail address books and visit often.

I've forwarded this to Jim Knoblach for a response.

Craig Westover Proposes An Amendment that would be a Full Employment Bill for Lawyers

Here's Craig's proposal.

The legislature of this state shall have the sole authority to define the legal requirements of a civil contract of marriage and the sole authority to define, by legislation, all other marriage-like relationships to be formally recognized by the state, as regards number and sex of the parties involved. Such definition shall not be subject to review by the judiciary of this state.

This provision does not prohibit any two or more individuals of any sex from engaging in independent contractual arrangements to achieve a marriage-like relationship. The recognition by the state of such a relationship extends only to the validity of the legal contacts in force, and no other rights or obligations of the state to the parties can be assumed.

This one would ensure that the meaning would go through litigation - and those evil activist judges would rule on it.

Zimmermann in Court Today


Today, attorneys and FBI agents talked about an informal recorded interview with Zimmermann. The judge heard and dismissed a number of defense motions to suppress evidence. Some of that evidence was gathered on Sept. 8, when FBI agents raided Zimmermann's home.

"This is something that was totally manufactured by the FBI, totally out of character for me, that's clear and obvious to everybody," Zimmerman told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

More Details Emerge in City Hall Corruption Case

From the Strib

The "cooperating witness" told the FBI last May that Zimmermann sought campaign contributions in exchange for supporting zoning changes that would aid Chicago Commons. Zimmermann allegedly took $7,200 from the witness during three meetings in June and August, court documents said. The meetings were secretly recorded. Those recordings have not been made public.

Zimmermann ultimately joined in the unanimous council vote to reject the proposal to allow more retail in the project. He allegedly explained to Carlson that he had tried, but failed, to round up council support.

In September, Zimmermann arrived at Chicago Commons for another meeting with Carlson. The developer walked out of the meeting as two men in dark suits walked in, Zimmermann said. He figured by their look they were FBI agents.

Indeed, the agents questioned him on the spot. In January, Zimmermann was indicted.

He declined to discuss much about the case, except to say the bribery allegations are not true. He said he tried to help Carlson as he would try to help any constituent. When Carlson said he wanted to donate money to Zimmermann's campaign, Zimmermann said, he suggested Carlson contribute to a legal fight over redistricting. "Where's the crime?" he said.


Whether he is guilty of extorting a bribe or not, one important question ought to be why Zimmermann allowed himself to be caught in so compromising a situation in the first place when two of his predecessors on the council were caught and convicted of corruption.

Meanwhile, according to Insight News, Dean Zimmermannn is joining the lecture circuit:


Zimmerman on speaker's circuit

Former Minneapolis Sixth Ward City Council Member Dean Zimmermann has announced that he is available to talk to school groups about petroleum-free transportation systems and the history of civil rights.

Zimmermann will include personal reminiscences of working on voter registration in Mississippi during the 1960s.


The "petroleum-free transportation systems" are no doubt Personal Rapid Transit... or as one Republican up at the convention in Blaine called it "Chairlifts for the Masses".

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

Image Hosted by

Zimmermann'court case can't be welcome news for another prominent Republican PRT promoter, Senator Michele Bachmann.

From April 23, 2004, Minnesota Public Radio:


Supporters range from Minneapolis City Council member Dean Zimmerman, a Green Party member, to Republican Sen. Michelle Bachmann of Stillwater. Bachmann says personal rapid transit, like many political issues, creates strange bedfellows.

"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," she says.


Too bad Bachmann's opponent, Phil Krinkie supports PRT. Maybe Knoblach or Esmay will make something of Michele Bachmann's support of Zimmermann's PRT boondoggle.

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

Monday, March 27, 2006

SD 43 Caucus Heavy on the Edwatch Resolutions including a strongly worded resolution against the International Baccalaureate Program

Matt from North Star Liberty has a report.

International Baccalaureate (IB):

Whereas: IB has formed a partnership with UNESCO, the educational arm of the United Nations, and
Whereas: Both IB and UNESCO promote world citizenship as superior to U.S. citizenship; and
Whereas: IB regards the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights as being superior to our own Bill of Rights, and
Whereas: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that education "shall further the activities of the United Nations"; and
Whereas: The role of American public education is not to promote ├Čthe activities of the United Nations"; and
Whereas: IB student assessments are scored in Geneva, Switzerland -- not in the local classroom, and parents are not allowed to review the assessments; and
Whereas: IB has signed on as partners to the Earth Charter, an international environmental plan promoting legalized abortion, socialized medicine, Pantheism and global governance;
Therefore, be it resolved that we oppose state and federal support of International Baccalaureate (IB) and the adoption of IB by local school districts.

Lloydletta's Nooz discussed the Upper St Clair Pennsylvania IB controversy extensively. In this case it was Edwatch exporting their Minnesota home-grown poison to Upper St Clair, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Pittsburgh).

Hopefully wiser heads will prevail at the SD 43 district convention. Minnetonka had it's own IB controversy which catalyzed the formation of Tonka Focus.

Eileen Scallen on AM1500

Rosenbaum and O'Connell interviewed William Mitchell law professor Eileen Scallen on Monday's show. I only heard the last few minutes of the segment, but it sounded like she was doing a very effective job of shutting down the current inept rationale offered by Chuck Darrell, Michele Bachmann, Katherine Kersten et al for amending the Constitution when it comes to marriage.

At the end of the segment, Ron Rosenbaum again stressed that nobody has effectively made the argument for the amendment. Amen.

Eva Young Interviews Knoblach and Krinkie

Eva Young interviewed Minnesota Representative Jim Knoblach, candidate for Congress in the 6th District.

The interview took place Saturday, March 25, 2006 at the Republican SD 51 Convention. Watch the Knoblach interview here.

Eva Young also interviewed Rep. Phil Krinkie to get his response to Jim
Knoblach's claims about "Katie's Bill" and more.Watch that movie here.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Jim Knoblach Does Hit Piece on Phil Krinkie

Knoblach's campaign made sure all delegates had a copy of this hit piece:

Click on the images to see a larger view of the piece.

Phyllis Kahn is referred to as "extreme Minneapolis liberal".

Photos from the SD 51 Convention (Blaine, Minnesota)

Eva Young with Ron Carey, Chairman, Republican Party of Minnesota

This complex is huge - and it took us a while to find the right building within the National Sports Center campus.

Michele Bachmann's table. Andy Parrish, her campaign manager refused the opportunity for an on camera interview.

Poll Shows Opposition to the Bachmann Amendment

I talked to GOP Party Chair Ron Carey at the SD 51 convention. I said I thought the single minded focus from the state party on the Bachmann amendment was both morally wrong and also a poor strategy that is backfiring.

Now the Pioneer Press is reporting on a poll that shows major opposition to the Bachmann amendment. Hopefully the Republican Party will listen to reason and find some other issues to run on. The poll was commissioned by Equality Minnesota. Ann Viitala is chair of the board of directors of Equality Minnesota.

Poll: Voters oppose marriage amendment
But recent survey also finds majority are against gay marriage
Pioneer Press

A majority of Minnesota voters oppose a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman, according to a statewide poll to be released today.

The survey found 54 percent of registered voters were against the proposed amendment, while 40 percent supported it.

If the amendment also makes same-sex civil unions or domestic partnerships illegal, support for it drops from 40 percent to 28 percent.

The poll was released as the Minnesota Legislature considers a constitutional amendment that says marriage and "its legal equivalent" can only be between one man and one woman. Most opponents and proponents of the amendment agree the "legal equivalent" language would ban civil unions or other same-sex partnerships that would grant gay couples the same rights and responsibilities as marriage.

Decision Resources Ltd., a Minneapolis polling firm, conducted the poll of 625 registered voters Jan. 11-19. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points. It was commissioned by Equality Minnesota, a nonprofit organization supporting the rights of same-sex couples.

Although an advocacy group sponsored the poll, a national polling expert said it appears to be impartial.

"My impression is it's a very carefully done survey. In terms of question wording, it is not misleading or biasing," said Cliff Zukin, a professor of public policy at Rutgers University and president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research.

Last year, a poll conducted for Marriage for Minnesota, an organization that supports a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, found that 61 percent of Minnesota residents would vote for the amendment. That survey, conducted in February 2005 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, a national firm that also polls for the Pioneer Press and Minnesota Public Radio, found 63 percent of the respondents believed Minnesotans should have the right to vote on the amendment.

Nationally, 51 percent of Americans oppose legalizing gay marriage, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. But that number has "declined significantly from 63 percent in February 2004, when opposition spiked following the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision (allowing gay marriage) and remained high throughout the 2004 election season," said a report on the Pew poll of 1,405 adults conducted March 8-12.

Constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage passed in all 11 states where they were on the ballot in 2004.

But since then, the Pew report said, "opposition to gay marriage has fallen across the board, with substantial declines even among Republicans."

In the Equality Minnesota poll, Democrats oppose the marriage amendment by a 2½-to-1 ratio, while Republicans support it by a 2-to-1 ratio. Independents also oppose the amendment but by a narrower 3-to-2 ratio.

The poll results indicate that while most Minnesotans disagree with the proposed constitutional amendment, they also oppose gay marriage. Seventy-five percent support the current state law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, with 19 percent opposed to it. And 48 percent say permitting same-sex marriage would damage traditional marriage.

Most polls on gay marriage ask only a few questions about the issue. The Equality Minnesota survey asked more than 100 questions on that and related issues.

"The group wanted not only to know where voters are on that issue but how they see gay and lesbian rights in totality," said Bill Morris, president of Decision Resources.

Equality Minnesota decided to release the poll results now, two months after it was completed, because it took the group time to analyze the results. The group also didn't want to fuel the gay-marriage debate, said Ann Viitala, chairwoman of the organization's board of directors. As the debate became more prominent in recent weeks, "we thought the results could help inform the debate,'' she said.

The results suggest Minnesotans have reservations about the proposed amendment. By a 61 percent to 29 percent margin, they agreed with the statement: "Minnesota already has a law banning same-sex marriage; we don't need a constitutional amendment."

Seventy-seven percent said an anti-gay-marriage amendment "could be a distraction from other important issues facing Minnesota." And 60 percent believed such an amendment "could divide us, and we need to work together for the good of Minnesota."

By more than a 3-to-1 ratio, the respondents said gays and lesbians "should have the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else." An even larger proportion said government shouldn't treat people differently because of sexual orientation.

Voters were more closely divided, however, on legalizing same-sex partnerships. By a margin of 48 percent to 38 percent, they said it would be all right for government to "allow something like civil unions," but not same-sex marriages.

The poll showed that 40 percent of Minnesota voters have a close friend or relative who is gay and 52 percent know or work with a gay person.

Patrick Sweeney contributed to this report. Bill Salisbury can be reached at or 651-228-5538.

75 percent say they support the current law that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

54 percent oppose amending the Minnesota Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage.

I have never heard of Equality Minnesota. Ann Viitala is an attorney who used to work for Outfront when they were known as the Gay Lesbian Community Action Council. I did a google search and didn't retrieve a website. I retrieved an MPR article which talked about the money that would come into Minnesota on this issue.

Yet another new group, Equality Minnesota, would embark on a separate public relations campaign to link protection of the rights of gay and lesbian people, which they believe most people support, to the right to marry.

I'm very glad Equality Minnesota did what they did. It's too bad they don't seem to have a website - because I would contribute to their campaign.

A Plethora of Bachmann Amendments

Other Republican State Senators are introducing wannabe Bachmann amendments.

Andy from Eleventh Avenue South comments:

Republicans at the Minnesota Senate have submitted 7 bills for a constitutional amendment to end domestic partnerships and ban civil unions and same-sex marriage over the past week.

On Thursday, Senators Chris Gerlach (R-Apple Valley), Mady Reiter (R - Shoreview) with Michele Bachmann (R - Stillwater), Warren Limmer (R - Maple Grove), Michael Jungbauer (R - East Bethel), Thomas Neuville (R - Northfield) with Reiter again, and Betsy Wergin (R - Princeton), all introduced amendments. On Monday, Amy Koch (R - Buffalo) has an amendment pending for first reading.

Each of the amendments are slightly different from the one already introduced by Michele Bachmann last session and the other one introduced by Sean Nienow (R - Cambridge) and Neuville on March 13.

This follows the attempt by Bachmann and Nienow to circumvent the Senate process and force a vote.

These Republicans are acting like children who don't get their way. Violating Senate procedures and flooding the Judiciary committee with bills is not exactly a responsible way to act as an elected official.

I'm not sure this violates Senate procedures. The amendments are worded differently. They all seem be geared towards banning legal recognition of gay unions (not just marriage).

DFL Senator Betzold has his amendment proposal in there also.

S.F. No. 1958, as introduced - 84th Legislative Session (2005-2006) Posted on Mar 28, 2005

1.1 A bill for an act
1.2 proposing an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution
1.3 by adding a section to article VI; restricting the
1.4 judicial power to define marriage.
1.7 An amendment to the Minnesota Constitution is proposed to
1.8 the people. If the amendment is adopted, a section shall be
1.9 added to article VI, to read:
1.10 Sec. 14. The judicial power of this state does not include
1.11 the power to define the gender of parties who may enter into a
1.12 civil contract of marriage. The gender of parties who may enter
1.13 into a civil contract of marriage must be defined by law as
1.14 enacted by the legislature.
1.15 Sec. 2. [QUESTION.]
1.16 The proposed amendment shall be submitted to the people at
1.17 the 2008 general election. The question submitted shall be:
1.18 "Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide
1.19 that the gender of parties who may enter into a civil contract
1.20 of marriage must be defined by law and that the judicial power
1.21 of this state does not include the power to define the gender of
1.22 parties who may enter into a civil contract of marriage except
1.23 as provided by law enacted by the legislature?
1.24 Yes .......
1.25 No ........"

Betzold's proposal is more limited than a similar proposal he made a couple years ago. If the concern was really activist judges, the Republicans would support Betzold's version.

Senator Dick Day appears to answer his own phone when you call him early in the morning on a weekday. I encourage Lloydletta readers to call Dick Day and let him know what you think about these shenanagans. Be polite.