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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Air America Owner, and Democrats for Life Funder Janet Robert Gets Called Out

Check it out over on MN Publius.

Eva Young's is incorrect in her comment that I would not allow stem cell research to be discussed on Air America Minnesota. Al Franken talks about embryonic stem cell all the time. What little time we have to focus on our local show, Minnesota Matters, we try to talk about Minnesota issues that are not being discussed on the nationally syndicated shows. Democrats for Life of Minnesota strongly supports the great successes that the University of Minnesota has had with ADULT stem cell research. However, it does not support embryonic stem cell research because why take a life for research when a life affirming alternative exists? More importantly, there has not been one single scientificly recorded success with embryonic stem cell research but over 55 successful cures using adult stem cells. What a waste of taxpayers dollars. 95-10 is not bogus - it is about funding programs to stop violence against women (the single largest cause of death among pregnant women is domestic violence, funding health care, equal pay for equal work, child care and alternatives that allow pregnant women make the choice they want to make, not the choice their partners or society forces on them. 95-10 is the difference between pro-life Democrats and Republicans. Janet Robert


I've talked to a number of people who worked at Air America. A former Nick Coleman producer told me about Janet quashing a stem cell discussion on Nick's show.

Janet Robert has no editorial control over Al Franken.

As long as 95/10 includes pushing the erroneous information that there is an "abortion-breast cancer link", they don't have much credibility with me.

Rew from Powerliberal responds to Robert in MN Publius comments:

The Women's right to know bill is an unsubstantiated and untrue scare tactic. Democrats for Life support it. Hence, I don't see any reason to support Democrats for life.

I like my democrats honest. Most people do.

Posted by: rew


Hopefully Elwyn Tinklenberg will get asked whether he is going to be a rubber stamp for all Democrats for Life positions - opposing embryonic stem cell research, supporting federal efforts to intercede in the Terri Schiavo case, and promoting bogus "research" about the abortion-breast cancer link.

Many legislators who oppose legal abortion, support embryonic stem cell research. Orin Hatch, R, Utah is a prominent example.

Sen. Linda Higgins who represents me at the legislature stopped by and commented on this:

And El Tinklenberg has Absolutely Nothing to do with this! Why are you trying to attach some nasty republican amendment in the MN house to a candidate running for Congress?

Eva, go after the republicans for republican antics. Remember them? That's your party doing this dumb stuff. Own up. Don't try and lay it off on someone else!
linda higgins


I did. I went after the Republicans on this committee who supported this nonsense. I also pointed out that Jim Knoblach, a candidate for the 6th District congressional seat, voted in favor of this amendment.

When Elwyn Tinklenberg was interviewed by MNPublius he said this:

MNP: Do you think Roe v. Wade should be overturned?

ET: My position on the choice issue has been distorted by some of my opponents. I don’t believe that the most effective way to reduce the number of abortions in this country is by criminalizing private decisions between a woman and her doctor.

I guess where my views are more moderate than some DFLers is that I strongly believe that the Democratic Party should take the lead on reducing the number of abortions in America. We must be more outspoken in our support of programs like the 95/10 initiative and improved pre and post-natal care for women and children. Abortion must be made a last resort in this country. It's Democrats that support the programs and policies that will lead to a real reduction in abortions in America. Abortions went down under President Clinton and have come back up under President Bush.


Since Elwyn Tinklenberg is promoting the Democrats for Life 95:10 plan, it's worth asking him more about details in that plan. For example, he should be asked if he takes their claim that there is an abortion-breast cancer link as factual. It's also worth getting Tinklenberg on the record on embryonic stem cell research. Is he going to parrot the Janet Robert-Democrats for Life line on that one? He should be asked if he agrees with Democrats for Life that it was appropriate for congress to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case.

Excellent Strib Editorial On Nonsensical Tax Policy Coming from the Legislature

Editorial: Leave Constitution out of budget-making
No amendment is needed to give natural resources their due.

Published: April 07, 2006

Editorial: A safe downtown needs to feel safer
After languishing for seven years, a constitutional amendment to set aside sales-tax revenue for natural resources has won floor passage in a Minnesota legislative body, the Senate. A wide array of conservation and sporting groups are gratified by this triumph in behalf of their values.

This page usually shares these values, as well as concerns over state government's almost reflexive willingness, year after year, to shortchange conservation, environmental protection and outdoor recreation programs. Alas, we cannot share in the glee over Monday's vote.

Sequestering tax money for special purposes is a bad idea. So is amending the state's fundamental document of shared purpose to patch over an ordinary problem of governance -- budget-making -- which properly and unavoidably rests with the Legislature.

Even leaving aside such broad principles, the history and particulars of this proposal illustrate most amply why it has no place in the Constitution.

In its original form, the amendment embodied an idea that Minnesota's natural resources (with an emphasis on hunting and fishing) were of such paramount importance that they deserved a special funding flow, untouchable in legislative horse-trading. But even then it was promoted partly as redress for various legislative diversions from an earlier, constitutionally dedicated stream with headwaters in the state lottery.

This year's version, on the Senate side, hitches natural resources to the arts and public broadcasting. An odd marriage, but politically convenient; it helped pull 42 votes behind a sales-tax increase of three-eighths of 1 percent, which would bring in $277 million per year.

The House has considered a few competing versions, which disagree over such details as whether the Minnesota Constitution should raise the sales tax a little or a lot, or simply leave the rate as is but carve out a special share for hunting and fishing. One version would also sequester funding for transportation programs and, what the heck, ban same-sex marriage.

If this sounds like the usual legislative sausage-making, as opposed to the nobler breed of process that ought to underlie constitutional evolution, then your hearing is akin to ours. Which only underlines this key point: If lawmakers wish to raise the sales tax as a way to finance cleaner water, more parks and better public TV, they can do so in the normal course of business.

One chief difference is that they'd have to stand before voters with a tax-hike vote on their records, as opposed to a vote to let the public decide. But that public has voiced strong support for the amendment's aims, various polls show, suggesting that either vote could be a campaign plus.

Another difference is that lawmakers would have to protect the new revenue from raiding in each budget cycle. But that's their job, and might well remain so even if the amendment is adopted. Legislatures can always find ways to reduce, redirect or offset special revenue streams -- a reality that can't be averted by writing a spreadsheet into the Constitution.


There is also an editorial suggesting that the Legislature call the Tobacco "fee increase" a tax rather than risking losing in court.

Report from the DFL Convention in Michele Bachmann's District

A Lloydletta reader sent me a report of the Senate District 52 Convention.

Rob Rapheal is running for Ray Vandeveer's seat (who it's strongly rumored to almost have a lock on Bachmann's seat if she wins the 6th). He launched a blistering attack on Ray and the religious right and described the Gopher stadium-stem cell amendment in detail. Rapheal has run once before but could have a shot if it's an open seat. And if Vandeveer runs for Bachmann's seat, we may have a better shot at it as he's not well known in Stillwater. Francis just retired so he's running full-time.


Also, David Francis got endorsed over Don Mitchell. From Francis's website:

Vision and Values
What ever happened to the Minnesota Miracle? Remember when Minnesota was a national leader in education and healthcare? My dream is to see Minnesota become a creative thought leader again in investing in the future. Let's lead the nation again, not lag behind it. We need to invest in people, in our children, our schools, healthcare, in our environment and in job and business creation. Let's stop being just another conservative, "No New Taxes", red state. Let's become blue, progressive and a national leader again.

Schools
We need to invest in our schools so that we can prepare our children to compete in a global economy. Our public schools are significantly under-funded. Minnesota should be a thought leader in education with ideas like E-14. Let's lead the nation again, not lag behind.

Health Care
We need to invest in affordable and portable healthcare. Healthcare needs to be affordable and available. Rising healthcare costs are causing working families financial hardship and loss of jobs and benefits.

Human Rights
We need to ensure equal human rights regardless of age, gender, religion, physical or economic condition, or sexual orientation. Legislating discrimination is bad public policy. Our social commitments and contracts are vital. We have promises to keep!


Thanks to Karl for this information:

David Francis campaign info:

651-275-1082
capfrancis@msn.com
Committee to Elect David Francis
PO Box 2235
Stillwater, MN 55082


David Francis should put this information on his website.

There were a number of areas where delegates disagreed at this convention. They all agreed on one thing ..... Michele Bachmann needs to be retired from the Minnesota Legislature and stopped in her effort to become a congressperson from that area.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Democrats for Life on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

I just got off the phone with Pat Mullen from Democrats for Life. The position of Democrats for Life is to oppose embryonic stem cell research on principle because it destroys life. I asked about their position is on In Vitro Fertilization. Pat wasn't sure about that.

They haven't looked at the specific amendment to the Gophers Stadium bill.

It's Getting Tougher to Save Those Souls

Pam Spaulding has more.

Lavender's New Columnist Attacks Dean Johnson

I can't understand attacking Dean Johnson about the Bachmann amendment.

Johnson's attorney was ready to bring witnesses to one of the discussions with a judge - and the ethics committee decided not to go there with trying to figure out the truth of this with he said, he said, she said.

There are a number of DFLers who I believe deserve criticism on this one - Johnson isn't one of them.

If folks want to write letters to the editor, it's editor@lavendermagazine.com.

Maybe this Lavender column will cheer Captain Fishticks up, who was rather despondant when this story started to go away. Spotty from the Cucking Stool gives some lessons in what constitutes evidence and what constitutes hearsay.

Does anyone know what happened to Michael Krause's column at Lavender. Krause's last column - criticizing Stonewall DFL and the Kelley campaign for stacking the Stonewall Endorsement. Krause left one thing out - he was a Lourey supporter.

Really Stretching It

Despite Judiciary Committee set back, momentum to protect marriage from lawsuits and activist judges growing.

Testimony before committee unveils success of Minnesota for Marriage to keep New York based Lambda Legal out of Minnesota

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from both sides of the marriage amendment debate and voted 5-4 to defeat the bill along party lines. "We weren't surprised, but we always have faith", said Chuck Darrell, director of communications for Minnesota for Marriage. "Despite our loss today, momentum to protect marriage is growing across Minnesota. Our statewide grassroots network of churches and activists has exploded - particularly in our target districts," said Darrell. "Our list of churches and petitions continues to grow. We topped 100,000 petitions last week," he said.

"The question of marriage will be decided in Minnesota," warned Senator Michele Bachmann, the bills author. Bachmann’s testimony unveiled a plan by Lambda Legal of New York to defeat marriage statutes in selected states. "The threat to marriage is a national battle between lawsuits and amendments," continued Bachmann. Currently 19 states have passed a marriage amendment while Lambda Legal of New York has filed lawsuits in 7 states. To date, 8 states have decided to allow the people to vote on the marriage amendment in November of 2006.

"Minnesota is a prime target for groups like Lambda Legal," continued Darrell. "However, we believe our efforts have forced Lambda Legal to surrender the field and look elsewhere – like Iowa. The fact that we are still hearing testimony instead of a Lambda Legal lawsuit is a triumph," he concluded.

"We have already begun the next phase of our plan which will focus on impacting the election in November of 2006", said Justin Uran, Grassroots Advocacy Director for Minnesota Family Council. "This effort will consist of voter register registration, education and activation. We look forward to distributing voter registration packets to our growing network of hundreds of churches and activists across Minnesota." he added. Source: Minnesota for Marriage Press Release, April 5, 2006


Oh yeah, that momentum is really going in their direction.

Now This I'd Like to See



Via Anti-Strib.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Did a Steve Kelley Staffer Start an Anonoblog?

Here.

I've emailed Kelley's campaign for comment.

Polinaut has picked up on this one.

Republican Minnesota has been abandoned for a while. I'd been hearing gossip from Reporters that Republican Minnesota was Brian McClung, Tim Pawlenty's spokesperson. Michael Brodkorb denied this - and said "I know who RM is, and it's not McClung". I saw Jeff Johnson at an event, and mentioned this situation - and said that I had no idea whether this was, or was not McClung, but that the Governor should have a policy about anonoblogging - and if a staffer does that, they should become a former staffer. I don't think RM is McClung. But I do think RM is connected to Pawlenty. The blog started when Pawlenty was getting lots of criticism from David Strom, and RM went after Strom and the Taxpayer's League.

MN Publius goes after the Drama Queen on this issue.

Polinaut has a followup post about the defensive reaction from Kennedy v the Machine bloggers on this topic. Andy Aplikowski is promoting a Minnesota Organization of Bloggers fundraising fundraising blogswarm for Kennedy.



The first scheme promoted was apparently illegal. They were howling mad that Polinaut covered that.

Disclosure is the best way to address this.

John Aravosis at Americablog could use to do some full disclosure also.

Bachmannophile Ray VandeVeer Attaches Stem Cell Ban to Gopher Stadium Bill in Committee

From a reader tip:

Vandeveer amended the Gopher stadium bill to halt payments to the U of M if they ever engaged in stem-cell research. The amendment was later stripped off, but it would be good to find the audio from the committee where he pulled this and capture it for future use. What a fucking doorknob.

I'm listening to it now. Even other Republicans are hammering him on the amendment. It can be downloaded from the archives.


Go to the House Ways & Means Committee audio archives for 4/5/06. Go to exactly 1:45 (105 min.) into the hearing to hear the start of it.

Republicans Dan Dorman and Ron Abrams spoke strongly against this nonsense. Ron Erhardt suggested adding some constitutional amendments to the bill. (People laughed at that one.) Dornan strongly criticised ways and means chair, Jim Knoblach for accepting the amendment as appropriate for the committee.

Jim Knoblach voted for the amendment. Phil Krinkie missed the vote.

I'd suggest people going to DFL conventions ask Elwyn Tinklenberg for comment on this one.

Rebecca Otto: In the Michele Bachmann Tradition

Grandstanding in the media. The Drama Queen reports on the Drama Queen.

Good Transportation Column by Fecke

Over at Minvolved.

New Jersey Gay Marriage Case

Craig Westover has a link to the hearing. It's quite interesting.

If one really wants to understand how the arguments for and against gay marriage translate into legal arguments, this video is an excellent use of time.

Among the interesting things to note are first, how narrow the argument becomes in front of the court. The argument by the Lambda attorney focuses on a point of Jersey law that isn’t applicable in Minnesota, but the attorney is arguing state law, not federal law. The challenge, which is a due process/equal rights challenge, is made, however, under state law.

Similarly, the state of New Jersey makes no argument whether same-sex marriage is a “moral” issue or even whether or not it is beneficial for the state. The state attorney focuses on the content of the New Jersey constitution. He repeatedly makes the point that the state constitution implies the grant of authority to the legislature and that the court would be outside its bounds to -- again appealing to the same “balancing criteria” as defined by New Jersey law that the Lambda attorney addresses.

Further, it is interesting to watch the “inside baseball” being played by members of the court. You can pick up on a subtle secondary debate among the judges on the court during their questioning of the attorneys. One judge will ask a question and a second judge will follow-up, essentially framing the answer for the attorney, leaving him little to say except -- “Yes, you’re exactly right, your honor.” There is more to an appellate court case than meets the eye.

Bottom line, what I take away from the New Jersey argument is that (surprise) I still think I’m right on this issue. By far, the strongest case made is for same-sex marriage on all points with the possible exception of the one that counts -- how New Jersey law ought to be applied. The Lambda attorney's tactic on that point is to use the balancing criteria used in New Jersey law to put the burden of proof on the state.

(That contrasts with my view that the burden ought to be with those supporting same-sex marriage to prove benefit. The Lambda attorney's point, however, is valid under New Jersey law. It makes a tough case for the state attorney.)

By contrast, the state's attorney makes a good case that marriage definition belongs in the legislature, but when one of the judges gets him off onto the “balancing” criteria of New Jersey law -- weighing harm to the individual versus benefit to the state -- the state attorney has a tough time making a case for any benefit to the state of denying same-sex marriage. He fails to make a case for the abstract “protecting traditional marriage.” He insists such argument is not germane to the constitutional issue, but as one judge notes, by doing so he also undercuts the balancing criteria of New Jersey law that is at issue.


Chuck Darrell from the anti-gay activist group, Minnesota for Marriage comments:

Craig,

So far no one in the media is willing to print the "L" word. (Lambda Legal) Looks like you will beat them to the punch again. Even Rachel Stassen-Berger twisted herself in knots to avoid printing the truth about Lambda's efforts.

Rachel wouldn't know a story if she was handed the trascript of a tape.

Chuck Darrell
Minnesota for Marriage
Chuck Darrell


Is he upset that Rachel Stassen-Berger didn't bite when they shopped the Dean Johnson to her? Did Craig Westover ask to hear more of the tape than just the clip Minnesota for Marriage provided?

I'd like to challenge Minnesota for Marriage to release the complete tape. Lavender Magazine has an article that goes after Dean Johnson big time as anti-gay because he's said he opposes gay marriage. The question is whether the Democrats will reprint this article and get it distributed in Dean Johnson's district. I wouldn't put it past Rick Stafford to advise such a thing. It's not the first time that Democrats have done such things. Lavender's website is down, so I can't link to the article.

In my opinion Democrats like Gene Pelowski, Al Juhnke, Elwyn Tinklenberg, Rebecca Otto, Collin "no gays live in my district" Peterson and Matt Entenza are Democrats who deserve much more criticism on this issue than Dean Johnson.

DFLer Patti Fritz, who represents half of Republican Ray Cox's Senate
district in the Faribault area, campaigned with the mantle of Paul Wellstone. How ironic that a self-proclaimed Wellstone DFLer voted for bigotry, when her Republican counterpart did not.

Another disappointing vote for the amendment came from DFLer Bev Scalze from Little Canada, who had lots of GLBT and progressive help to get elected in what should stay as a winnable district for her. But when it came to standing up for equality and fairness, Scalze deserted her political supporters. It is unlikely that progressives and GLBT activists will be around to help her get reelected next time.

Four veteran DFLers in fairly safe seats could have shown some leadership, but did not mostly it seems, out of some sense of representing religious conservatives in their district, or out of some personal distaste for GLBT Minnesotans.

That list includes 22-year veteran Bernie Lieder of Crookston and 10-year
veteran Mary Ellen Otremba of Long Prairie, both darlings of the right-to-life crowd.

Two other DFLers stand out for their vote: Gene Pelowski of Winona and Al Juhnke of Willmar.

Pelowski, a 20-year veteran, won his last race by nearly two-to-one over his Republican opponent. However, he also has the Winona State campus in his district, which is not as conservative as other parts of the state. Perhaps a Green Party candidate or a DFLer in the primary will take him on, and make him defend his vote.

Now in his fifth term, Juhnke represents half of the Willmar-area district Johnson represents in the Senate. Juhnke won his last race by fewer than 1,000 votes over an unknown Republican candidate, but DFL Party members in the district have been heating up the e-list postings over his vote.

Juhnke has responded with sanctimonious calls to come together on issues we all agree with, and to stop crucifying those who vote in deference to our own personal worldviews.

Time will tell whether the voters of his district want Juhnke's personal worldview represented for them in St. Paul.

Certainly, more than 1,000 DFLers disagree with Juhnke's antichoice, antigay, antienvironment positions.

The House vote shows what might have happened if everyone, not just most DFLers and a few Republicans, had stood up for principle.

House DFL leader Matt Entenza said that the DFL Caucus had no position on the antigay constitutional amendment, and that members were free to vote their conscience.

Why didn't the DFL Caucus take a position on an issue that clearly has been part of the DFL Party Constitution?

With the help of three House Republicans, a caucus that stood together would have had the votes to defend GLBT Minnesotans from Sviggum's attacks. Michael Krause, the Gay Agenda, Lavender, April 2005


Remember, Michael Krause is a partisan DFLer.

Senator Betzold and the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee deserve thanks for voting this nonsense down. House democratic leadership has been missing in action on this issue.

MN Publius has an interview with Elwyn Tinklenberg. Tinklenberg was promoting the 95/10 plan from Democrats for Life. Democrats for Life sounds like an extremist, rather than mainstream pro-life group. From the website:

On February 1, 2006, Kristen Day addressed members of the media at a press conference urging members of Congress to bring Holly's Law, H.R. 1079, to the House floor for a vote. Holly's Law, named in honor of a victim who died from taking RU-486, calls for a ban on the distribution of the drug until the FDA can reconsider the potentially deadly side effects.

In her remarks, Day pointed out the dangers of the abortion drug, noting that women are at risk of serious bleeding problems and even death. Day acknowledged the Democrats who have co-sponsored this life-saving legislation: U.S. Representatives Lincoln Davis, Daniel Lipinski, Alan Mollohan, Gene Taylor and Bart Stupak.


It's the extremist anti-abortion people who oppose RU 486 and Emergency Contraception.

I'd like to hear where Elwyn Tinklenberg stands on this.

In latest news the Democrats for Life have this:

Disability Rights Advocates Mark Anniversary of Terri Schiavo's Euthanasia

I'd like to hear what Elwyn Tinklenberg thinks of the Terri Schiavo situation.

Janet Robert - who is promoting the Dems for Life in Minnesota is an extremist on this issue - she wouldn't let stem cell research be discussed on her "progressive" radio station.

That 95:10 plan sounds pretty bogus - Elwyn Tinklenberg needs to be asked if he supports bogus claims - such as the so-called "abortion breast cancer link".

Tinklenberg comes accross as a reasonable person on this issue. He should know better than to fall for nonsense such as that promoted by Democrats for Life.

MN Publius asked Tinklenberg a bunch of questions about how he felt about Patty Wetterling changing her mind and getting back into the 6th District race. I'd like to hear why El Tinklenberg thinks he's the stronger candidate. I'm really sick and tired of his whining about Patty Wetterling.

"Unlike my opponent, I know the earth is much older than 5000 years."

Other good lines from DFL candidate for 16b Jim Huhtula's excellent convention speech:

A Democrat knows that education is better than ignorance, fact is better than deception and scientific knowledge is better than faith based opinions.

A Democrat knows that the best way to stop abortions is to reduce poverty, increase education, and encourage the use of condoms and other preventative measures including abstinence.

A Democrat knows the life of a Soldier is worth more than the profits
of Halliburton or the grandiose delusions of a simple minded President.

I'm a Democrat because I know that oil is a finite resource.


...and there's much, much more.

Read about his wacky, theocratic, gadgetbahning opponent Representative Mark Olson at the Dump Mark Olson blog.

Excellent Blog that Does Wonderful Playbills

Tild. He does a great promotion for the Wege and the Koufax nomination. Rew from Powerliberal was wearing a teeshirt with the work of Tild at Drinking Liberally last night.

As Rew says, Sue Jeffers was the guest. I enjoyed getting to know Jeffers, however I happen to agree with Rew more than Jeffers when it comes to light rail. We did all agree that Governor Pawlenty is no fiscal conservative.

Hat tip: Norwegianity.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Excellent Post on Americablog

The Wege hits the nail on the head about Aravosis and Americablog.

He also answers the questions from Polinaut.

Matt Abe comments on my recent post on the Edwatch resolutions passed in a SD 43 precinct

From comments to my recent post about Karen Klinzing and the International Baccalaureate Program.

For the record, I did not propose all of the EdWatch resolutions. I presented the EdWatch-sponsored resolution on American Heritage (for) and universal preschool (against), and the one supporting a referendum for the Twins stadium tax. Another caucus attendee presented the others.
Matt Abe


Thanks for clarifying Matt.

I still say that Edwatch is political poison for Republican candidates - especially in the western suburbs. Edwatch is also ofcourse, the non-profit arm of Michele Bachmann's campaign.

The Bachmann Amendment With Pork

Here.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Bachmann Amendment Hearing

Lloydletta commenter Bob Johnson testified in favor of the amendment.

I've got more on this and a link to video of the hearing over on Dump Michele Bachmann.

The most drama from the hearing was when it became evident that Michele Bachmann's step sister, Helen LeFave was in the audience - in opposition to the amendment. The DFL blog has audio of Helen LeFave answering questions from reporters.

Stadium Boondoggle Hearing

Listen to the hearing here.

The committee voted - voice vote - to pass the bill without a referendum. The Tax committee will address the referendum issue and also a proposal by Scott Dibble to make the sales tax metrowide - and add to it transit and parks.

As I've said before - day to day quality of life in the city has more to do with a good park system and good library system than having a twins stadium. It's really annoying that so many of the Minneapolis Public Libraries have such limited hours. I've heard from one of the library directors that they are now going to some of the NRP neighborhood associations, begging them for $ to fund more library hours. There is something wrong with this system. NRP is a huge boondoggle, and I'd like to see it go away - and let the elected city council and boards make spending decisions. NRP is a popular program because many city residents have gotten help with various house projects through the program. To me, that's never been the purpose of a government program.

Rather Ironic, Considering it comes from Karen Klinzing

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM KAREN KLINZING
March 31, 2006
Greetings from the Capitol! This week I wanted to explain two pieces of education legislation that I've authored in the House. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with questions on any state legislative issue.

ACCELERATING TECHNOLOGY, MATH, AND SCIENCE IN OUR SCHOOLS
This legislation would create an advisory task force to examine the acceleration of technology, math, and science programs in Minnesota K-12 schools. In order to remain globally competitive, it is especially important that we provide a rigorous math and science curriculum for our children. The task force would be charged with developing five options for accelerated programs and ways to implement them. This bill was approved by the Education Policy and Reform Committee, and the Government Operations and Veterans Affairs Committee. It will next be considered by the Education Finance Committee.


Rep. Klinzing was the one who responded to an email I sent to the entire legislature criticizing Michele Bachmann's push for creationism in Science classes. PZ Myers fixed Klinzing's idiotic letter here.

MN Legislator Responds to the Issue of Sen. Bachmann and Creationism

Dear Ms. Eva,

Are you suggesting that public schools should not teach about the John T. Scopes trial? Most Social Studies teachers do, Ms. Young. It's in all of the text books. In order to teach about that trial in the public school history classes, the Social Studies teachers may need to define terms involved in all sides of the trial, including creationism and evolution. Sounds like your one-sided perspective about history, aka "evolution - only" perspective, might be the more skewed, (or in your terms "wacky") perspective on history.

Most mainstream parents would find it a travesty to learn that their students did not learn the DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES that created America. I have been a public school social studies high school teacher in East Bloomington for 11 years, where many Minneapolis students have taken advantage of open enrollment options to attend our public high school. Along with Minneapolis students, at least 20 % of my classes include students who grew up in East Bloomington learning about and believing in creationism. Is it the responsibility of the American Goverment to disregard their belief system any more than to disregard that belief system of an atheist or evolutionist such as yourself? How can public school teachers respect the DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES in the classroom without presenting all sides of the debate? To teach that evolution is not a debate is to choose your side of the issue.

I believe that faith in God AND believing the theory of Evolution are not mutually exclusive. Who is to say that YOUR evolution-only persepctive should prevail in the public school classroom at the expense of disrespecting 20 % or more of the students. 85% of the students, be they Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, in the public school classes have read the Book of Genesis about the creation of the world in Sunday school. Why should n't they learn about the diverse perspectives that formed the context for the John T. Scopes court trial which changed curriculum in American public schools. Would you also suggest that we disrespect 20% of the students who are a racial minority when we teach about the Civil Rights movement....probably not. You would like to pick and choose the views to fit your agenda and not present all of the perspectives. Who deemed your perspective on the world the most correct?
The point of a free-public education in a democracy is to about all of the sides of the debate not (sic)

I'm disapointed in your false representation of Senator LeClair's and Senator Bachman's viewpoints. You dishonorably smear their honorable characters by claiming that Bachman is "wacky" and "bears false witness.". Your aim to create a history that lacks diverse perspectives is dishonorable to the principles of democracy on which this country is founded. Your misguided and one sided propaganda is a danger to free, democratic, public education.


Klinzing is promoting the International Baccalaureate program.

HELPING SCHOOLS EXPAND AP AND IB PROGRAMS
This second piece of legislation would provide competitive grants to schools who wish to develop or expand advanced placement (AP) or international baccalaureate (IB) programs. Not only do we want to increase the number of advanced courses offered, but we want to ensure they are accessible to a greater number of students. Under this bill, school districts and charter schools would submit proposals and budgets to the commissioner of education. The commissioner would then use set criteria to allocate funding. Proposals would be given priority based on need for access to these programs and intent to target programs to disadvantages students, among other things.

Thanks for keeping up with our government!


She must not have been exposed to Edwatch's resolutions on the topic.

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.


Matt Abe reported that he passed this edwatch resolution at his precinct caucus in Senate District 43.

I stopped over there and suggested that should an IB resolution pass at the District convention, it will hurt the Republican candidates.



Seems like you passed all the Edwatch resolutions. That IB resolution will hurt the candidates if it gets passed at the Senate district.

It was the efforts to get rid of the IB program that catalysed the formation of the Tonka Focus group.

Both President Bush and Governor Pawlenty support IB programs.
10:54 PM
Matt said...

As Ronald Reagan observed, once elected, incumbents inevitably slide to the left, as does the party in power. The question facing individual conservatives becomes: do we stand on principle and argue the case, or do we abandon the cause and admit, "We're all Democrats now?" Shall we win the election and lose the war?


This isn't a matter of Democrats. Many moderate republicans support the International Baccalaureate program in Minnetonka. The Governor supports the program - and if this resolution gets up to the state convention, this will hurt Pawlenty's reelection campaign. Edwatch is a poison pill for Republicans.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Dedicated Sales Tax Amendment Passes the Senate

I agree with Mn Politics Guru, I hope this nonsense gets stopped in the house.

Tom Delay Drops Out of Reelection Bid

CNN:

Chris Matthews of MSNBC reported the news at about 9:15 p.m. after a conversation he said he had with DeLay on Monday night. A few minutes later CNN and the Washington Post confirmed it. The Associated Press reported that DeLay made similar statements to the Galveston County Daily News and to Time magazine.

DeLay campaign staffers could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday night.

"It was obvious to me that the 22nd District deserved more than an election that was turning into a referendum on me rather than what was important to the district," DeLay told the Galveston paper.

"He basically looked at the polling," Matthews said of a conversation he had with DeLay. "He said the (negative) trend continued. He said he expected to take a beating all summer" on news about developments in the Jack Abramoff scandal and the Texas indictments DeLay faces.

Matthews said DeLay told him he felt he had a 50-50 chance of winning re-election, "but he said another Republican could walk into that district."


Pam Spaulding posts the Freeper Response.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Where is Elwyn Tinklenberg on the Federal Marriage Amendment

On Backbone Minnesota, there is a Wetterling vs Tinklenberg thread.

# kristen Says:
March 30th, 2006 at 2:47 pm

This is a very hard question, because a DFL candidate in CD6. It appears as though El has better odds, but in reality I think they are pretty even. I say this because wetterling got pretty close last time she ran, and that is because she inspired a lot of people to vote who dont usually. Now El will certainly take some votes from the republican, but he will also lose some dfl votes due to not inspiring people, and being socially conservative.

Now I will vote for the candidate the dfl endorses, but I really hope that candidate is patty. El is pro-life, and supports a federal ban on gay marriage. These issues may help in CD6, but to me being a member of the DFL party means you help those who are being oppressed, you stand up for people’s rights and that is something El won’t be doing. So I think patty is the best candidate.
# Mike Grimes Says:
March 30th, 2006 at 2:59 pm

Let me remind you of an added factor to this race. There will be an Independence Party candidate in the race, in fact John Binkowski has already been endorsed. John seems to lean to the left of 2002 IP candidate Dan Becker who recived 7.48% of the vote
# DBDem Says:
March 30th, 2006 at 3:08 pm

El Tinklenberg does not support the constitutional amendment to ban gay marraige. He supports the federal law the defines marriage between a man and woman. It's the same law the Paul Wellstone voted to put on the books. There is a huge difference between the current law and the constitutional amendment.

I was at a county unit convention last weekend and I heard the Wettlering campaign staff telling activists he support the amendment. That is dirty politics, especially when it’s a lie.

I support Tinklenberg not only because he fits the district and shares our DFL values, but he is the only Democrat in the race that has kept his or her word.


Tinklenberg could clarify all this by posting his position on his website.

Minnesota Campaign Report suggests that folks should support democrats who take anti-gay positions just because they are democrats:

There's a factor to El Tinklenberg's support for a Federal Marriage Amendment that's missing here, and those of you who have read the first 50 or so pages of Crashing the Gates will know what I'm talking about - with a majority in the House, his positions in support of socially conservative initiatives won't matter. On the balance, he'd still be a Democrat, and would still vote for a Democrat to be House Majority Leader and another to be the Speaker, which mean that FMA would never ever ever make it on to the schedule, let alone come to a vote.


Now that helps the DFL, but are the Stonewall DFLers going to just contribute $ and shut up? Will HRC fall for this line? They always have before.

UPDATE - MNCR responds in the comments:

That's not what I was suggesting, Eva. The idea is not to empower anti-GLBT factions within the DFL/Democratic Party, it's to understand that while some elected officials (Tinklenberg, Bob Casey in PA) may not be gung-ho about gay rights as the majority within the party, their positions would never see the light of day if they helped constitute a Democratic majority, and THAT is the important goal.

Litmus tests are important for party-line goals like civil rights, but are only really important at a general level for individual candidates, who must instead be judged on the whole of their platform and their in-district electability.
MN Campaign Report 04.03.06 - 9:14 am | #


My point is that it's very understandable for DFLers to support Tinklenberg - and Collin Peterson - because they are DFLers. However it makes no sense for gay rights groups - like HRC - to be supporting either of these candidates. When Democrats had both houses, and Clinton was president, that anti-gay Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy got passed. Later on, when Republicans had both houses, and Clinton was president, DOMA was passed - with lots of Democratic support. Clinton advertised his support for DOMA on Christian radio. HRC should have - but didn't - yank their endorsement for Clinton.

excuse me, but Bobby Casey supports civil unions and opposes a constitutional amendment against gay marriage. hes campaigned on this out in the open-and recently attended a fundraiser by the HRC in Phila.

u people outta get your facts right. i bet youre just assuming that because he opposes abortion rights that hes a hater. Bobby Casey really IS pro-life, hes NOT a hateful anti-choice, anti gay rights anti immigrant type.
jcb


Casey opposes legalized abortion. Pro-life doesn't accurately describe that position because it suggests that people who oppose criminalizing abortion are "anti-life". I've always felt that gay rights groups shouldn't score candidates on the basis of their position on abortion. HRC is a big supporter of Casey - and an HRC staff member told me that Casey is a big supporter of gay equality.

Casey is out on the open on this issue, because it is politically smart for him to do so - since he's contrasting himself with Rick Santorum - who is known for his obsession for "man on dog" sex.

Janet Boynes, Michele Bachmann's African American Ex-Lesbian Sidekick Gets Featured in ExGay Watch

Here.

Janet's now got her own website up.

She has references from the usual suspects:


References
"Janet's life is a powerful testimony of the changes that Christ can bring through His healing power from the bondage of sin. To see Janet is to see the face of joy, freedom, and peace. I wish everyone could meet this dynamic, young, Christ-filled woman who has dedicated her life to spreading the joy that she had found in a deep relationship of forgiveness from the Father. I hope everyone listens closely to Janet's compelling testimony."

-Minnesota State Senator Michele Bachmann

"Janet Boynes was a blessing to have as a guest on our TV program. This beautiful, humble woman of God had the faith and the courage to share the story of how her life was dramatically changed after living a lesbian lifestyle for fourteen years. Janet's story brings hope to anyone who has suffered from destructive influences in life. She shows how a person can be transformed by giving their pain and anguish over to God as she explains how she cried out to God and said, "Go ahead God, do what you need to do in my life.""

-Mrs. Colleen Perfect- President and Producer- Catholic Parents On-Line TV Show

"I highly recommend Janet Boynes and her powerful message that people can change and leave homosexuality. Her life is a powerful testimony to this fact. Janet is articulate, enthusiastic, caring, open, and engaging. She's comfortable with herself and simply wants to share with others the hope and transformation she's found. She's great."

-Tom Pritchard (sic) - President- Minnesota Family Council


Janet spoke at the Hutchinson rally for the Bachmann amendment. Later Blue Ox reported that the McLeod County Republicans paid her $100.00 for speaking at this rally.

MPR - What if the Bachmann Amendment Passes?

Dale Carpenter and Beverly Balos are the guests on the Midday show which analyses the legal issues involved with this amendment.

Carpenter is a frequent guest on MPR to talk about this topic. Dale is, in my opinion the most articulate supporter of gay marriage. He made short work of Glenn Stanton from Focus on the Family when he debated him at the University of Minnesota several years ago.

Partisan GOP Anonoblogger Winger posts his analysis on Tinklenberg vs Wetterling

Here:

Democrats in Minnesota believe that they have a decent shot at capturing the congressional seat currently held by Congressman Mark Kennedy (R), who is running for U.S. Senate. Although the district broke 57-42 for Bush over Kerry in 2004, Democrats believe that the showing by their candidate, Patty Wetterling (D), in 2004, could help them capture the seat this year. Wetterling kept Kennedy to a 54-46 victory in 2004. In the view of the Democrats, an open seat may be easier for a Democrat to win rather than unseating an incumbent (which is the conventional wisdom). Democrats now must decide between Patty Wetterling, a Democrat with high name ID and respect (well, at least before she ran for Congress in '04) or former Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg (D), who is a socially conservative (pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-guns) Democrat. Wetterling is more liked by the base because of her more liberal views, but it is generally perceived that she can't get a majority of the vote in this strongly conservative (and strongly pro-life) congressional district. On the other hand, Tinklenberg is not as well-liked by the Democratic base because of his more conservative views on social issues, but is a more viable candidate in the general election because of those views. However, if nominated, Tinklenberg may lose the support of some of the Democratic base and possibly lose big in the general election like Janet Robert, a socially conservative Democrat, who got 35% of the vote in 2002. However, the excitement of the Democratic base in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District over Wetterling's second campaign for the House may be just enough to win her the nomination while the establishment Democrats in Washington prefer the more viable Tinklenberg.


Elwyn Tinklenberg is now saying he does not support criminalizing abortion, and that he supports civil unions. When he announced his candidacy, he talked about his support for the Federal Marriage Amendment. The FMA would ban civil unions at the federal level. Reporters have neglected to get Tinklenberg on record on this issue. He's written an oped which he posts at his website about the anti-gay protests at the funeral of Andrew Kemple.

The words "God hates" have been used to license terrible and costly events in the course of human affairs. We are witnessing evidence of this in many parts of the world even today. But the damage rarely starts with an overt or frontal attack. It begins with the quieter forms of discrimination: the labeling, the denigrating, the isolation and disgust. This is where hate grows and reprisals start.

We are having a debate in Minnesota about the definition of marriage. Part of that debate is being driven by a deep and sincere concern for the traditional understanding of marriage and family, but part of that debate is also being driven by a cynical political calculus. I, like many Minnesotans, support a definition of marriage that includes one man and one woman. But while that may be how we ultimately define marriage, it can not be used as a surrogate for how we define human, or citizen, nor can it be used to narrow America's bedrock commitment to "equal justice under law."

As painful as the images from the funeral in Anoka were, I hope they stay with the rest of us for awhile, especially as long as we're having this debate about marriage.

Because sometimes, unfortunately, it's only when we're forced to confront social ugliness in full blossom that we begin to take seriously its less obvious, but equally destructive roots and where they may have entangled our own lives.


I've emailed Elwyn Tinklenberg to ask for clarification on this issue.

Elwyn Tinklenberg is a no show on Race to the Right

He was scheduled and confirmed on Race to the Right - but he chickened out.

It was a sympathetic show for him. Tony Garcia has said that if it was a choice between Tinklenberg and Bachmann, he'd vote Tinklenberg.

SD 62 Convention Results

Minvolved has the story. Patricia Ray got the endorsement.

The Minneapolis Observer has more details.

With the endorsement in this heavily DFL district, Torres Ray is likely to become the first Latina woman ever elected to the Minnesota Senate.

The eight-candidate race was quickly cut to four after the first ballot, when Wally Storbakken, Tom Westcott, Tina Sanz, and Earl Netwal failed to gain the required 10 percent of the delegates. Torres Ray topped the field with 25.6 percent of the vote, followed by Alex Eaton (20 percent), Matt Gladue (18 percent), and Scott Benson (16 percent).

Eaton withdrew after a second ballot that saw him fall behind Gladue (22.4 percent) and Benson (21.7 percent), while Torres Ray climbed to 31.8 percent. "I believe we need to move forward," Eaton said as he released his delegates to Torres Ray.

Despite bringing the incumbent Skoglund down onto the floor to lobby delegates on his behalf, Benson made little headway on the third ballot, finishing with 24.6 percent, while Gladue (28.4 percent) and Torres Ray (46.8 percent) moved ahead. He thanked his supporters and dropped out before the fourth ballot.

Benson, the 11th Ward City Council member who chaired the city's Intergovernmental Relations Committee, was thought by some to be the favorite in the race. He admitted later that he was surprised by the strength of the Torres Ray campaign and suggested that Eaton's early release of his delegates was the turning point in the convention battle. Still, he remained philosophical about his first electoral loss. "It feels okay," he said. "You take that risk if you want to run for something."

Gladue withdrew before the announcement of the fourth ballot results, urging the convention to unite behind Torres Ray—which it did with much enthusiasm.

In an interview later, Torres Ray explained that she was able to mobilize so much political support so quickly because she decided to commit herself fully to the race. She quit her job and threw herself completely into the campaign, and that, she said, impressed local DFLers. "They understood from day one that I was serious about this," she said. "District 62 really valued and admired who I am."

It was a feeling shared by state Rep. Jim Davnie, on whom the precedent of the occasion was not lost. "When I heard her say, 'Si se puede,'" he said. "I knew this was going to be a different district."


Congratulations to Patricia Torres Ray.