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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Right-wing Bloggers Expose Themselves

On the drive up to Saint Cloud on Wednesday Eva told me that Mitch "Grope in the Dark" Berg stomped over here and left this comment:

"Oh, yeah. Foot pretty well pantsed the both of you."

I had no idea what Mitch Berg meant by "pantsed", so I looked it up:

1. pantsed - Having one's pants pulled down.

2. pantsed - If you've lost a game of pool without sinking a ball, you are supposed to dack yourself and run around the table with your pants at your ankles.

3. pantsed - When a priest pulls your pants down to see what you got for his goodies.

Is "pantsing" something right-wing bloggers do to each other?

... anyways, I responded to that silly KAR/PRT post over at the Dump Mark Olson blog.

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Ron Abrams Appointed as Judge

It will be a huge challenge for Republicans to hold onto his seat. He represents Minnetonka (43B) which is the more liberal portion of SD 43.

Minntelect and Polinaut have more.

White House Hires Creationist Tony Snow as Spokesperson

Nick Matzke describes his experience being a guest opposite Intelligent Design creationist Stephen Meyer on Panda's Thumb.

Snow swallows hook, line and sinker this creationist canard:

It's the idea that the appearance of design is the result of an undirected process namely natural selection.

Natural selection is not a random process. Random variations are selected for based on adaptation, and that causes the change over time.

Media Matters has more on how Tony Snow parrots the creationist talking points.

Is Sue Jeffers the Only Republican Candidate Running for Governor?

Flash makes a reasonable point.

Is T-Paw Running?
Ya know, this whole Jeffers thing can be nipped pretty quickly if the Governor would formally announce his re-election plans. As of yesterday, there is only ONE announced candidate for the GOP nomination and she is being treated like a pariah by the Party.

Why wouldn't someone with gubernatorial aspirations line-up with a major party that has a similar ideology, and no announced candidate. As long as the incumbent refuses to declare his candidacy, the race is wide open. It is difficult for me to sit back and watch MDE and Andy at RF get all up in a tizzy defending the non-existent candidacy of the current Governor.

Strib Covers the Bachmann Cable Bill Story


I fisk the piece over on Dump Bachmann.

Tony Garcia vs Michael McIntee

Earlier this week Michael McIntee from Inside Minnesota Politics decided to pick a fight with Michael Brodkorb and Tony Garcia.

McIntee included this disclaimer on his podcast:

For the benefit of Michael "the thief" Brodkorb and Tony "the plunderer" Garcia of Leighton Broadcasting owned radio station KNSI-AM let me say that again. You need explicit written permission to use the material. To all of our other listeners, if you enjoy our coverage of politics, please write these two thieves and ask them to stop stealing from my podcast and stealing from the hard work and ultimately the paycheck of other journalists.

He then followed up in another post:

As always, this audio and video is provided for your own personal use. Redistribution or transmission is not permitted without explict written permission of TimeScape Productions Inc. It's a shame I have to post this disclaimer, but there are some lazy money grabbing radio hosts ("the Plunderers") and blogger ("the Thief") out there who have no ethics and prefer to steal instead of doing their own work.

Tony Garcia and McIntee commented here:

The truth is I am bored with the little man.

I have to thank him for linking to us. I got 2 hits from him since he originally posted his little tirade. The fact is he does not have the "onions" to actually come on our show at all. He is a coward and he is trolling for attention. His podcast has hit a wall due to hypocrisy and irrelevance.

I humor him now with the prospect of us talking about him, but we have more important things to talk about. I think we have Ole Savior coming on the show.
Tony 04.27.06 - 11:03 am | #

I'm not looking for traffic. Our podcast download rates are soaring to the point I'm having bandwidth concerns. with about 2,500 shows being downloaded every week. (6-12 GB of data weekly) Most people who listen to our show get it on RSS and don't even visit the site.

So I don't need more traffic, and I don't want to be mentioned on KNSI. Nothing would please me more than if Tony and Marty would stop using my material.
Mike McIntee

Since bandwidth is a major issue with podcasts, I can appreciate that for McIntee.

I also stopped by Inside Minnesota Politics and commented:

lloydletta said...

Michael M, I very much appreciate the time you put into your podcasts. You are doing a nice public service by going to public events and producing these.

At the same time, I think calling Brodkorb a thief and Tony Garcia a plunderer goes too far.

There is fair use, and if Garcia and Andrade are using segments of your podcasts on their show, with added commentary by them, as long as they are correctly attributing the podcasts to you, I think it's fair use.
6:42 PM
Michael M said...

If Brodkorb had only taken one picture from me I might agree with you. However, he continues to do wholesale reprinting of other journalists work. That's not fair use by anybody's definition. That's theft.

When Brodkorb does wholesale reprinting of an article instead of just linking to it, he deprives the newspaper of revenue. Those lost ad dollars start to ad up and suddenly you start seeing job layoffs. One of the big reasons the St. Paul Pioneer Press has been sold to a low-budget operator is because the revenue margins were too low. You can expect to see jobs cut at the SPPP when the new company takes over. Brodkorb and others like him bear part of the blame when that happens.

Tony's station owner --Leighton Broadcasting -- has revenues that are hundreds if not thousands of times larger than my business, yet Tony needs to rely on me to provide him regular free feeds of news events Leighton should be covering itself?

It's not like the CD 5 Candidates Forum was a spot news event that just suddenly happened.

So why can't Tony's station afford to properly cover the news?

Concentrating the ownership of most radio stations in the hands of just a few large corporations has forced all stations to operate on a shoestring so they can turn a large enough profit to pay for the debt run up by consolidation.

That means few if any dollars for news coverage which forces people like Tony to resort to unethical (if not illegal) tactics like this to give the impression that they actually do cover the news.

I have empathy for Tony because I've had to operate in that same environment, albeit on a larger national scale. It's frustrating. But I never crossed the line and stole stuff. I begged for news handouts from stringers and other content providers, but when I was told "no" by the owner I respected that.

What is most disheartening, is Tony takes glee in committing this crime. No moral compass. No sense of remorse.
9:20 PM

I'll let Tony speak for himself, but as I understand it, he's used small segments of McIntee's podcast on his show - for the purpose of commenting and criticizing it.

It's up to the Pioneer Press to write Michael Brodkorb to call him on that. The genie really is out of the bottle on this.

I do fisk and comment on Strib or Pioneer Press articles on this site. I consider what I'm doing "fair use".

Well Said Representative Erhardt

As quoted in the City Pages blotter.

Rep. Ron Erhardt (R-Edina) 8th Term
I have always believed that the Twins are a great asset to Minnesota and the metropolitan area and that's why in '97 I voted for the bill that was primarily fees and in 2002 I voted for the Twins bill, which was in addition to some fees it actually had a referendum required of the city that was going to put the Twins in place and it had some other things. But I am going to suggest to you that this bill is the biggest grab of someone else's property since the mid-1600s, when the Dutch settlers of New York bought Manhattan from the Native Americans for $26 and some trinkets. Then it was land and now it is money that will be stolen. You all want to pay a few trinkets in sales tax if you happen to come to Hennepin County. Let me tell you that the State raises $9.4 billion in sales and income tax. Thirty percent, or $2.8 billion, is raised in Hennepin County. And what happens to that money? The State spends $484 million in LGA [local government aid], of which 71 percent goes out of Hennepin County. Hennepin County receives $100 million, the rest of you people get $384 million. Of the $100 million we get, $93 million goes to Minneapolis, so the rest of Hennepin County gets $7 million out of sales and income tax. Now you have to remember also, to put another way, Hennepin County receives aids from the State of $2100 per capita, but it pays into the state $3200 per capita. And either to refine that a little more you will say that the sales taxes collected in Hennepin County are $1058 per capita. The State average is $689 dollars [per capita]. And now you want to lay some more sales tax on top of that. I think this bill is absolutely the most incredible exercise in selfishness on the part of you who live outside of Hennepin County and who are voting for the bill. You should be ashamed of yourselves for putting on the residents of Hennepin County the extra burden of the stadium tax. And I would suggest, Representative Demmer, wherever you are, that we have our Aunt Irenes and Aunt Glorias in Hennepin County as well. And they are going to be paying for this while yours are sitting out there and enjoying it on TV. I just think it is time that somebody stands up for the taxpayers of Hennepin County and here I stand.

Mary Liz Holberg (R, Lakeville also gave a nice speech). Remember these votes in November.

Strib is Not Amused by the Senate on the Stadium Boondoggle

They've got an editorial (again).

In football, a stunt is a pass-rushing maneuver. In politics, a stunt is what DFL senators were trying to pull off in the Senate Taxes Committee this week.

While making valid points about a new on-campus football stadium at the University of Minnesota and a new Twins ballpark, their main intent was squeezing the Republican governor into either approving new taxes that he opposes or vetoing the stadium bills.

It was the first injection of raw politics into a refreshingly bipartisan debate. Rep. Brad Finstad, R-New Ulm, was right to describe the senators' financing schemes as "pulled out of a back pocket in the ninth inning."

Committee Chairman Larry Pogemiller dislikes the commercialism of the Gophers plan and tried to yank away naming rights from TCF Bank (headed by a prominent Republican). Sen. Steve Kelley's point is more serious, but his timing is terrible. Instead of raising the sales tax in Hennepin County by a tiny amount to help build the Twins ballpark, he ponders a full half-cent increase metrowide. Thus, a ballpark roof could be added, a Vikings stadium built in Anoka County and important transit lines constructed, all financed more cheaply.

Personally, if the DFL allows the Hennepin County only stadium tax to pass, they will be too stupid to win.

The Analyst has a map of the votes on the Stadium Boondoggle.

Here's the vote.

The Strib featured some of the legislatures who switched positions on the issue. One of these was Al Junhke, who voted against this bill when it was taxing his constituents, but he voted for this bill to stick it to Hennepin County.

People should email the taxpayer league to ask them to include both Twins stadium votes (the referendum and the final bill) in this years scorecard. You can email the taxpayers league at

The Senate Tax committee will be at work on this all weekend.

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Drama Queen Gets Starring Role in the Bloghouse

He's not going to be happy with this.

No Stadium Tax Coalition Advisory on Rep. John Lesch

Dan Dobson passed around a flyer about this at a recent 4th District DFL event. John Lesch was livid with rage.

No Stadium Tax Coalition

April 23, 2006

Representative John Lesch sells out Hennepin County Taxpayers!




Yesterday the House Tax Committee in a 15 to 13 vote, voted to build a new Stadium for the Minnesota Twins with over $400 million dollars of Hennepin County taxpayer dollars, with little or no protection ffor Hennepin County Taxpayers.

Rep. John Lesch, who pledged to oppose such subsidies when elected to the House, was the key vote to this passing in the House Tax Committee. Had Rep. Lesch voted "No" this terrible bill would have died and the Twins would have had to come back to the table with a much better offer.

During 3 days of hearings, Rep. Lesch did not ask ONE QUESTION about this terrible bill, nor did he do a single thing to improve it. Over 20 amendments were put forward to protect the taxpayers of Hennepin County and very time a roll call vote was taken Rep. Lesch voted against the taxpayers of Hennepin County and voted for the Minnesota Twins. These included:

  • Requiring a Referendum

  • Making Infrastructure Cost Overruns the Teams Responsibility rather than the Taxpayers

  • Giving 20% of the new revenue from the Stadium to the taxpayers, instead of the Twins.

Rep. Lesch voted like he was a lobbyist for the Twins, rather than a Representative of the people.

Call Representative Lesch at (651) 296-4224 this IS NOT WHY we elected him or e-mail him at :

Dann Dobson No Stadium Tax Coalition 651-227-4376

Hopefully the No Stadium Tax Coalition will do a similar flyer about Matt Entenza who is running for Attorney General.

Star Tribune Interested in the Bachmann Cable Bill Story

I talked with Patrick Doyle from the Star Tribune today. He went down to fiscal services and verified that Michele Bachmann requested reimbursement from Senate Fiscal services for her cable bills on a number of occassions. He has called Michele Bachmann for comment. I will be interested in reading what she says.

Pogemiller, Betzold and Kelley Throwing a Wrench into the Stadium Boondoggle

As I've said before, I oppose using taxpayer dollars for the Twins stadium period. However, if there's no stopping this, I'd much prefer the tax be statewide - that would be fairer since we keep on hearing the Twins is a quality of life issue for the entire state. If that's the case, let the entire state pay for it. What especially irritates me about the current plan is this is great Minnesota legislators - like Al Junhke - who are voting to stick it to the Hennepin County Taxpayer on this one.

Larry Pogemiller is now proposing a 13% sales tax on sports memorabilia for the Gopher Stadium. Maybe if they'd call this a "Stadium Impact Fee" the Governor would support it.

Sara Janacek was having a cow about this on her talk show. She said that she believes Pogemiller will be taken to the woodshed on this issue. I appreciate Larry Pogemiller doing what he is doing on this.

All those so-called "fiscal conservatives" outside of Hennepin County who are voting for this are such hypocrites.

It will be interesting to see if the Taxpayers League includes the votes on the Stadium boondoggles in their scorecards. They should be including all of these votes on their score card.

A bill proposing a new stadium for the University of Minnesota Gophers failed to pass through the Senate Taxes Committee Friday for the second time in two days — even after committee members agreed to remove a sports memorabilia tax that had resulted in deadlock the day before.

"We talked to the governor’s office and they told us the votes would be there if we removed the tax," said committee chair Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis.

He said he will continue to try to push the bill through.

The bill stalled after the vote resulted in a 6-6 deadlock. Five Republicans and DFLer John Marty voted against the bill while the other Democrats on the committee voted in favor of the stadium, Pogemiller said.

Personally I think Larry Pogemiller ought to call the Governor's bluff. If Governor Pawlenty wants to have the stadiums, then he should bite the bullet and call for a statewide tax to pay for it rather than sticking it to the Hennepin County taxpayer.

This shows that the Governor is saying he prefers a referendum but quietly telling people to vote for the version without the referendum.

5th Congressional District IP Candidate to appear on tonight's 'Almanac'

Tammy Lee will be interviewed on tonight's gab fest. Almanac has done a good job of covering the bases on the 5th CD race.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bachmann Amendment Supporters Lament Decrease in Support

Andy Aplikowski over at Residual Forces is irritated.

Michele Bachmann posted the results of her 2005 legislative constituent survey.

4. Do you believe the Minnesota Constitution should be amended to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman?

Yes - 66% No - 34%

8. Should state government provide taxpayer funds or subsidies to help build pro sports stadiums?

Yes - 19% No - 81%

More of Michele Bachmann's constituents oppose public subsidies for stadiums than support the marriage amendment. Note that Michele Bachmann worded her question to address the issue of marriage only, and didn't address the issue of "legal equivalent".

Scan Of Bachmann's Letter About Koering Available On MNGOPWATCH


It is unprecidented to have 9 state senators driving to another district convention to support a colleague. In the case of Laidig vs Bachmann, Laidig didn't get support except from Dick Day.

House Votes on the Stadium Boondoggle

MPR has the votes.

Keith Ellison, my state representative voted against this boondoggle. I went to watch the DFL 5th district debate and thanked Keith for doing the right thing on this one.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher voted for this boondoggle. She was one of the only Hennepin County legislators to vote against this.

Matt Entenza voted FOR sticking it to Hennepin County Taxpayers on this boondoggle.

Text of Letter Sent By Michele Bachmann Attacking Paul Koering

I posted the full text of the letter at Dump Bachmann.

9 State Senators as well as Party Chair Ron Carey went up to Koering's district convention to support his endorsement. The state senators who went included: Sen. Dick Day, Senate minority leader, Brian LeClair, Dave Senjem, Sean Nienow, Michelle Fischbach, Betsy Wergin, Steve Dille, Mike McGinn, Amy Koch. A number of these state senators are social conservatives.

When I was at the legislature, I talked to a number of republicans - both legislators and staff - and heard from many very low opinions of Paul Gazelka, the other legislator in Koering's district who recruited the anti-gay candidate to run against Koering.

Taxpayer League Comments on Stadium Boondoggle

Craig Westover
posts the Taxpayers League Press release.

The Spending Binge Continues
Two Stadiums Down, One to Go

ST. PAUL—Today’s votes on the Twins Stadium are further proof that the Minnesota Legislature is on a spending binge that shows no sign of slowing down.

In a 64-66 vote the Minnesota House defeated an amendment that would have required a referendum before a sales tax increase to fund a new Twins Stadium would be imposed on the residents of Hennepin County. This vote makes passage of a bill building a new Twins Stadium with taxpayer funding substantially more likely than at any time in recent memory.

If the Hennepin County plan gets approved, taxpayer subsidies to fund the new development would total $696 million in principal and interest. The already approved (by the House) Gophers stadium will cost taxpayers another $235 million. If the Vikings stadium is passed as well, taxpayers would be on the hook for another $960 million in capital and interest. The total for all 3 stadiums would stick taxpayers with a whopping $1.9 billion in new debt obligations. Of that, the state would be on the hook for about $630 million, Anoka County $560 million, and Hennepin County $695 million.

"Taxpayers are getting reamed this session. The House has already passed a billion-dollar bonding bill, is on track to passing two or three stadiums, and is likely to accept nearly a billion dollars in additional liability for the Minneapolis teachers' pensions. Unless something stops this spending spree, this legislature could be piling on $3 billion or more in public debt in one session alone," said David Strom, President of the Taxpayers League.

"This is an almost unprecedented spending binge in one session, and there is no relief in sight for taxpayers. Last year seemed to be the do-nothing session, complete with a government shutdown; this session could be the do-anything session, piling up government debt at an almost unprecedented rate," Strom said.

Republicans in Washington DC are getting criticized by conservatives across the country for having lost all restraint in spending, and President Bush is taking heat for never having vetoed a bill. The most recent declines in Bush's approval ratings are being driven especially by dissatisfaction among Republicans with his performance, and approval ratings of Congress are far lower than the Republican "base" vote.

"What is happening in St Paul is duplicating exactly what has made people unhappy with the current leadership in D.C. It would not surprise me at all is the political trend that is hurting Republicans nationally is reinforced by what is happening at the State Legislature this session. I would not be surprised to see that the current spending binge we are seeing in Washington and St Paul is followed by a political purge that comes this November," said Strom.

"Adding on billions of dollars of new debt for taxpayers is going to do nothing to inspire confidence in the fiscal prudence of our political leaders," Strom concluded.

The Taxpayers League of Minnesota is the state’s largest taxpayers advocacy organization and David Strom is the group's president.

I hope the Taxpayer's League will run ads attacking Rep. Brad Finstad (R, New Ulm) for pushing this nonsense.

Koering Gets Endorsed by Republicans

Koering gets the GOP Endorsement - after 7 ballots. From the Brainerd Dispatch:

At the GOP endorsing convention Tuesday at the VFW in Little Falls, Koering outlasted challenger Kevin Goedker through seven ballots for the District 12 endorsement, finally winning by a vote of 63-42. Sixty-percent of the ballots were needed for the endorsement.

After the seventh ballot total was announced, Republicans burst into cheers and applause.

"I'm very, very happy, very honored to win the endorsement," Koering said. "And it's on to November to beat the Democratic opponent."

Goedker, a Brainerd City Council member, said he was undecided as to whether he will mount a primary challenge.

The previous six ballots were close, with Koering consistently two votes shy of the 60 percent needed for the GOP District 12 endorsement. After five ballots, the convention voted down a motion for no endorsement and they conducted a 10 minute question-and-answer session with the candidates.

At that time, an emotional Koering indicated he was in the race to stay.

"I spent seven years of my life to get this job and now I just lay over and die? I'm running for office," Koering said. In a show of support, Koering brought nine senators with him to the Little Falls endorsing convention, including Senate Majority Leader Dick Day, R-Owatonna.

Earlier, Rep. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, announced his support for Goedker because Goedker was more fiscally and socially conservative. After the endorsement, Gazelka said he needed a few days to decide whether he would support Koering.

It will be interesting to compare the Taxpayer League record on both of these. Paul Gazelka apparently is very obsessed with gays, and has problems with Koering for that reason.

More coverage at the Lake Country Echo.

So Goedker is running against an endorsed Republican candidate. Will Ron Carey do anything to defend the Republican Party endorsement on this one?

From the comments:

I don't know if you check comments after the fact...but since this post was the most pertinent, I decided to comment on it. Just FYI, and you may already know this, but Bachmann wrote a nasty letter against Paul Koering without anyone's knowledge and sent it to his House appeared on Goedker's literature table at the convention yesterday and caused a huge uproar. She has nothing invested in that race, no reason to be was completely personal against Sen. Koering. If you can get your hands on a copy it might serve this blog (or dumpbachmann) well! That's all...if you already knew that info, sorry for the repeat!

I called Paul Koering to ask about this. Koering told me he saw the piece - which was on Senate Stationary. He did not pick up a copy of this. If others were at this convention, and have a copy of this, please email me a scan at:

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Lloydletta's Nooz Exclusive: Satveer Chaudhary's Hate Mail

Click on the image for a larger version.

Senator Chaudhary also told me: "As an aside, I did NOT miss 63 votes last session."

The Senate District 38 Drama Queens

As I mentioned yesterday, Michael McIntee from Inside Minnesota Politics decided to bring up old stuff and pick a fight with Michael Brodkorb and Tony Garcia.

The poor little man at imp tried to threaten us in a blatant and brazen effort to prevent us from analyzing his hypocrisy on the air. Upon being faced with the reality of copyright infringement defense he went on instead to namecalling.

For the benefit of Michael "the thief" Brodkorb and Tony "the plunderer" Garcia of Leighton Broadcasting owned radio station KNSI-AM let me say that again. You need explicit written permission to use the material. To all of our other listeners, if you enjoy our coverage of politics, please write these two thieves and ask them to stop stealing from my podcast and stealing from the hard work and ultimately the paycheck of other journalists.

See the poor little man try to inflate his own importance.

Pretty Funny Comment Thread over on the other Drama Queen's blog:

"Exclusive multi-podcast of DFL CD 5 Candidates Forum"

Tony said...
Hmm, sounds like we're going to have to use a few clips for a coming show. You are welcome to call in to defend/redress things that are said in the analysis of the political speech which you are providing for free.

1:25 PM

Michael M said...
Not free. It costs time and money to produce. Taking things that belong to others is called stealing. All thieves eventually pay.

1:42 PM

Swiftee said...
"All thieves eventually pay."

The same can be said for weasles who engage in SLAPP's.

3:16 PM

Marty said...
You should review your copyright law regarding "fair use"

We're not stealing your work (your work ain't worth stealing).

"Fair use is based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. The fair use privilege is perhaps the most significant limitation on a copyright owner's exclusive rights."*

We are so going to get commentary on your podcasts man.

*Quote from:

4:51 PM

Michael M said...
For 25 years I made my living dealing with copyright on audio and video in broadcasting. You are so wrong it isn't funny. If what you say is true, why do broadcasters pay thousands of dollars for rights to news event video and audio from stringers? It's because it has value and because they need to pay for the copyright use.

Pay a little closer attention to Pt 4. on the government's fair use guidelines. If you check court decisions, you'll find it's the one that is given the most weight and the burden of proof is on the copyright infringer to show beyond a doubt that they did not cause commercial damage by stealing the work.

That will be pretty tough here because I have a long track record of selling audio and video of news events.

You can't even include MLK Jr's "I Have A Dream" speech in a broadcast without paying royalties.

I think it's a shame that not only do you plan to engage in illegal activity, but you openly advocate stealing from media companies and ultimately the paycheck of their hardworking journalist employees.

I also find it a bit ironic that your advocating doing something that ultimately will mean fewer dollars and fewer jobs in the radio field. I hope you have a second career choice in mind.

7:16 PM

Minnesota Democrats Exposed said...
Mr. McIntee: Did your company provide the video for the SD 38 DFL website?

7:19 PM

Michael M said...
I recorded that from the DFL feed with my own camera and edited it on my own computer with my own software. TimeScape Productions does not own any of that equipment. TimeScape Productions does not make in-kind contributions to political parties.

Why, were you planning to steal that video?

7:37 PM

Minnesota Democrats Exposed said...
Mr. McIntee: As you wrote "[i]t costs time and money to produce"

I fully expect to see expenditures to your company on the next report of the SD 38 DFL. If not, I can only assume that you and your company has donated both time and resources to a political party.

As you know, corporate contributions are not allowed in Minnesota.

The SD 38 DFL is required by law to charge you fair market value for your time and use of your equipment.

It's downright silly that you would claim you have seperate equipment for political and non-political work.

The video of Barack Obama's speech at the Humphrey Day Dinner is on the SD 38 website. Are you trying to claim you shot the video with two cameras?

If it's fair use for the SD 38 DFL, then it's fair use for me.

I may leave it up to the Campaign Finance Board to decide if a corporate contribution has been made to the SD 38 DFL.

7:47 PM

Michael M said...
Believe it or not, I do have separate equipment. You yourself know the importance of keeping "church and state" separate when it comes to political work.
I'm not dumb enough to fall into that trap so I've kept everything very above board, legal, and I haven't tried to hide who I am. Which is more than I can say for many of your past activites.

(Don't you find it ironic that a man who takes umbrage at people asking how he earns a paycheck should suddenly be essentially asking others the same questions?)

8:06 PM

Minnesota Democrats Exposed said...
So you brought two cameras to the Humphrey Day Dinner?

8:10 PM

Michael M said...
Oh and by the way... the video was not shot by any camera I own. It was fed by the DFL to a press room where I plugged my equipment into the feed.

You'd know these things if you actually went out and covered the news instead of stealing it from others.

8:10 PM

Minnesota Democrats Exposed said...
But you must have plugged it in twice to keep the equipment seperate. Right?

8:15 PM

Minnesota Democrats Exposed said...
again - you must have used two different sets of equipment. If not - that may be a corporate contribution.

8:16 PM

Michael M said...
Nope. Just one camcorder. The camcorder I used was my own personal one.

In fact, my company does not own a camera.

8:25 PM

Michael M said...
I have nothing to hide. Come on over someday. I'll show you my tax returns for the past three years if you show me yours!

8:29 PM

Minnesota Democrats Exposed said...
So why is it not free when you posted it on Inside Minnesota Politics, but when you post it on the SD 38 DFL's website it suddenly becomes a free video?

I think you're started to get caught up in your own language.

8:30 PM

Michael M said...
Because it was my personal video and I can do whatever I want to with it.

By the way, have you notified the Strib, the Associated Press and the many other newspapers you reprint entire articles from that you are now copyrighting your blog that includes their material?

8:38 PM

Marty said...
Yeah, I'm sure you're making a ton of money GIVING AWAY your podcasts on your blog.

10:41 PM

Michael M said...
No Marty,
I make my money in other markets. One segment I market to is broadcasters. (Ever hear that "internet rights" are sold separately from "broadcast rights"? Ask any sales rep from the Associated Press about that.) So when you broadcast my content, that's potential money out of my pocket. Most broadcasters are
1) Ethical enough not to steal
2) Smart enough to know that if they're caught it can cost them. So they don't do it.

It appears you aren't either of those.

4:42 AM

I think McIntee was looking for increased traffic and wanted to get mentioned on Race to the Right.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Drama Queen vs the MN Publius Boys

MN Publius has a few questions for the Drama Queen, and claim that a source told them that Brodkorb is being paid for opposition research on Amy Klobuchar. This struck a nerve and has gotten Brodkorb off the Jeffers story.

I talked to Michael Brodkorb about some of this about a month ago. Brodkorb has baggage on this topic because he started blogging when he was still working for the Republican party. When I've talked to Brodkorb on the phone about this, he sounds credible. Reading his blog, he sounds like he's using legalisms to twist the truth.

The Drama Queen recently deleted one of my comments to his blog, when I compared the overreaction of the DFL to the doctored photos in ads for the Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage with the very Klinkish overreaction of Congressman John Kline to being portrayed as Colonel Klink.

UPDATE: MN Publius backs off - and their reaction to Brodkorb's statements on his blog are less skeptical than mine.

Brodkorb has responded once more to our questions and quite decisively I might add. We hear at MN Publius sincerelely appreciate his cordial tone and willingness to answer a few questions. While we consistently disagree with MDE, we can still respect his dedication.

I'm still not entirely sure of the extent of his connections beside the fact that he works for a consulting firm closely involved with the MN Republican Party, so he does this stuff for a living. But he answered our questions pretty forwardly and I commend him for that. Let it be noted that our source is adament that Brodkorb has conducted opposition research on Amy Klobuchar in the past three weeks. But lacking any more detail from or about the source, we have to respectfully defer to Brodkorb's denial of the allegations.

You'd have to know more about the source to be able to evaluate any of this. Was this a source within Klobuchar's campaign?

In the comments, Michael Brodkorb denies deleting that comment to his blog. I remember him deleting a comment, but did not think of getting a screen shot to prove this. (I don't get screen shots every time I comment on blogs).

Paul Koering Has a Republican Challenger for Endorsement

Hat Tip: Minntelect. The Republican convention is tonight.

Developing. . .

Senator Chaudhary's Press Release

Sen. Chaudhary receives racially-motivated hate mail, death threat

State Senator Satveer Chaudhary (DFL-Fridley) said his resolve to fight for issues that matter to Minnesota families has only been made stronger in the face of recent hate mail he has received. Sen. Chaudhary’s office at the State Capitol recently received a letter sent under a false name questioning his legislative record, attacking his family's Indian-American heritage and making a crude death threat.

The letter, which is being investigated by State Capitol Security, the Minnesota State Patrol and the Fridley Police Department, was written using recent advertisements placed by marriage amendment opponents who have admitted to distorting photos of legislators.

"My conscience and my principles are strengthened in the face of such cowardly behavior," said Sen. Chaudhary, who is the son of immigrants from India and has been an outspoken proponent of Minnesota's minority communities throughout his time in the Legislature. "The disturbing part of this story for me is the fact that anti-gay groups, such as the ones placing these advertisements, have decided to use hate speech as a political tool to divide Minnesotans."

The letter asked if Sen. Chaudhary spent his time at the Captiol, "eating curry all day," and included a photo of the senator with what appears to be a bullet hole drawn on his forehead. The letter included a return address and name that was investigated by Capitol Security and determined to be false.

"The anti-gay groups have said that this kind of negativity is only the beginning, and a preview of this year's election smearing," said Sen. Chaudhary, noting that in a recent press release, Jeff Davis of Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage said, "DFLers are getting a foretaste of what's in store during this year’s election cycle."

"It is my hope that Minnesotans will reject these blatant attempts to drive a wedge between the people of our state and not sink to their level of discourse," Sen. Chaudhary said, adding that his legislative work will continue despite the personal nature of the attacks.

"One anonymous coward does not change my mission as a legislator," he said. "I'm still just as positive and hardworking as ever, and determined to fight for issues like health care, education, transportation needs and property tax relief."

For more information about the mail or the investigation, contact Sen. Chaudhary's State Capitol office at 651-296-4334 or Capitol Security at 651-296-6741.

The DFL goes too far on this one again.

Lloydletta's Nooz has contacted Senator Chaudhary requesting a copy of the threatening communication. Chaudhary has asked his staff to get us a copy which we will post.

Quite the Drama Over Sue Jeffers

As Mark H pointed out, the Drama Queen was hysterically posting breathless updates by the hour today...

Triple A from Residual Forces is also going after Jeffers.

All these attacks on Jeffers suggest that Tim Pawlenty isn't that confident of his candidacy if Jeffers getting press attention is sending the usual suspects out to attack Sue Jeffers.

There's no reason for the party to give Jeffers any lists AFTER the convention, and after Tim Pawlenty gets the endorsement. However, the party should be giving candidates for nomination access to delegate and alternate lists. This means Sue Jeffers running for Governor and Harold Shudlick and John Uldrich for Senate against Mark Kennedy.

King Banaian commenting on Triple As blog seems to agree:

Let Jeffers come and let her speak, and then let her hear how Pawlenty's view is the right view for Minnesotans. You DO think he'd clean her clock, right?

Jeffers is going to be a guest on Midday tomorrow.

MDE is having spasms over Sue Jeffers

I have to admit to also being a little taken aback by her strategy to try and get some traction within the GOP. For a number of reasons, I decided long ago that I wouldn't support Governor Pawlenty again. I didn't go any precinct caucuses this year. I've given some thought to voting for Jeffers. If I had any inking two months ago that she was going to attempt participation in the GOP process, I might have held my nose and gone to my GOP caucus and spoken in support of her.

Anti-gay activists make up their own financial reporting rules

It is a flat-out lie for them to insist they only exist and work to support a single ballot measure. If that's the case, they should not be involved in trying to influence the November 2006 elections in certain Senate districts, if a marriage amendment is not on the ballot.

Monday, April 24, 2006

DSCC and DCCC Post Non-Discrimination Statements

Mike Rogers explains.

Bachmann Amendment Supporter Sends Threatening Note to Chaudhary

Polinaut has the story. This was the anti-Chaudhary ad this refers to.

Here's the update. One of those legislators -- Sen. Satveer Chaudhary -- said he received a letter, pieced together from the ad, that said, "You didn't vote 63 times last session. What the hell are you doing? Eating curry?" He says it included a photo of Chaudhary with a bullet hold drawn on the forehead.

Capitol Security, the State Patrol and the Fridley Police Department are investigating.

Doug at Bogus Gold has an account of the convention endorsing Chaudhary's opponent.

After all the necessary formalities, we were left with the endorsement decision. Both candidates addressed the delegates. To say that neither wowed us would be a vast understatement. One demonstrated almost no public speaking ability at all. He nervously fidgeted while speaking in a high voice at rapid speed and ran out of things to say after about 30 seconds. The next gave a frankly goofy and patronizing address to the delegates, choosing a Romper-room style "give yourselves applause" gimmick that went flat from the start, but was beaten to death regardless.

Unnecessarily, I think, the delegates were afterward thrown into a state of existential ennui. If anyone else had been announced as a nominee afterward and declined to speak a word I think they would have won almost unanimous support in the subsequent endorsing ballot. However this was not only not possible by rule, it was extremely unlikely period. Running as A Republican in this Senate District is hardly a hot ticket.

But when all was said and done, in my opinion, you had two candidates who were both acceptable in terms of party ideology. Only one of them showed any public speaking ability, even if the speech offered just now was poor. To me the choice was clear. I voted to endorse the better rookie candidate and waited to hear the results.

The first ballot came back a bit later with 48% of the delegates voting to endorse the candidate I had voted for, 13% voting for the other candiate, and the remainder declining to vote for either. With 60% needed for an endorsement, this meant we would need to go to a second ballot.

The candidate who received the least votes immediately dropped from the race and encouraged the delegates to endorse his rival so that we'd emerge with an endorsed candidate. Doing the math (48% + 13% = 61%) I figured this was the end of it. We went to a second ballot and I settled in to listen to Lieutenant Governor Carol Molnau give an alternately rambling, charming, and boring speech (it was only at the very end when she talked about her grandchildren that it became charming).

The results came back. Barely over 50% had voted to endorse the only nominee left standing. The rest voted not to endorse. This was the moment I started to pace - mentally at first, physically before all was finished. The choice was no longer whom to endorse, but whether to endorse our only candidate. She'd given one speech to us, and it was admittedly bad. But it's not as if there were some White Knight waiting in the wings to swoop in and announce a candidacy. Much talk was made about the possibility of a primary or maybe a second endorsement convention later on. This was utterly stupid. The only certain choice before us was whether we'd support the only Republican left standing before us or not.

Then the period we'll call the "hashing out" began. Roberts Rules of Order were strained. A few prima donnas preened. Some cantankerous and colorful characters presented themselves as well. And this went on and on. This was the point where I most appreciated Bev Aplikowski somehow managing to steer things back into a form we could at least vote upon at moments where this seemed lost.

I did get to see one of the Boots On guys plug their blog. I wanted to get a chance to go over and introduce myself, but there simply wasn't time. As this dragged on I started fielding phonecalls from my (almost) six year old son about when I'd be home to take him to his school carnival (something I'd promised weeks before this convention date was scheduled). There was an invitation for any other bloggers in attendence to plug themselves, but I decided to pass and just focus on getting this thing over as soon as possible.

Finally, we voted one more time. And (after ever more desperately thin filler banter) the results came back and we had barely managed to reach 60% agreement to endorse our candidate.

Sen Don Betzold's opponent doesn't sound much stronger than this.

Judy Johnson Gets Republican Endorsement

Matt Abe covers the SD 43 convention.

Perhaps the most dramatic moment of the morning came when Republican activist James Seim, the first to announce a run for the SD 43 Senate seat endorsement after Terri Bonoff's win in November, told delegates that the time had come to unify behind Mayor Judy Johnson for Senate. The announcement came as a surprise to most, which turned to a standing ovation for the man who delivered such a classy resignation speech. Delegates will likely welcome him back should he run for some future office.

I had family in from out of town. Otherwise, I would have stopped by this convention to cover it.

Matt also noted:

Rep. Jeff Johnson assured me that there will be an attempt from the floor of the House to amend the Twins Stadium bill to include a referendum on the Hennepin County sales tax, but that the amendment will face strong opposition from House members (surprise) outside Hennepin County. The "Hennepin County Twins" and "Hennepin County Stadium" is sounding better and better every day (surely the Hennepin County Board will at least get naming rights in exchange for the tax revenue).

You can call the Governor at: 651-296-3391. Tell the Governor to veto any stadium bill without a referendum.

Why No Mention of Lois Quam (Matt Entenza's Wife) In Coverage of United Health CEO's Excessive Compensation?

Recently there has been a fair amount of coverage about the excessive compensation given to Bill McGruire, Chair of the United Health Board of Directors.

Letter writers to the Strib are furious:

Board lined pockets

As a former medical director, I was always embarrassed by the money Dr. Bill McGuire was sucking out of the health care system. However, I always thought the board would watch over this and keep it within reason.

Now, I understand why no action was taken. The board members were too busy lining their own pockets with millions of dollars in stock options.


Lois Quam, Matt Entenza's other half makes a killing as CEO of their Ovations division, which covers senior health and pharmacy benefits.

Stadium Boondoggle Passes House Ways and Means

17-15 according to the Strib.

Sid Hartman is having a cow about the Hennepin County House members voting against this boondoggle:

Stadium opponents take foolish risk
The seven Hennepin County members of the House Taxes Committee are worried about getting re-elected, but losing the Twins might cost them, too.

It's amazing, considering the chance this metropolitan area would lose the Twins if a stadium bill isn't passed, that seven Hennepin County members of the 29-member House Taxes Committee voted for having a referendum that would have killed the bill.

That is why it was a close, 15-13 vote (one was absent) against the referendum.

This group included Ron Erhardt of Edina, who voted for a referendum and then when that failed brought up the fact that a roof should be included with the stadium.

Those on the committee who voted for the referendum were Erhardt, Ron Abrams of Minnetonka, Jim Davnie and Joe Mullery of Minneapolis, Ann Lenczewski of Bloomington, Connie Bernardy of Fridley and Kurt Zellers of Maple Grove.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson said the attitude of the representatives of Hennepin County could be a factor in the House vote and also in the Senate.

Yes, I assume the other members of the Legislature might say: If Hennepin County representatives don't want it, why should we vote for it?

The Hennepin County tax of 0.15 cents on every dollar is 30 cents on every $200 spent, $3 on every $2,000 spent and $30 on every $20,000 spent, and these cowards who represent the baseball fans and others are worried they might not get re-elected if they support the tax.

If the team leaves, they might not get re-elected either.

Sid Hartman hasn't looked at the polls - or seen how citizens react to this nonsense at legislative town meetings. "What part of no don't you understand?" is a typical statement about the stadium from angry Hennepin County constituents. Write the Senate Tax Committee to ask them to oppose this boondoggle.

Chair: Lawrence J. Pogemiller
Vice Chair: David J. Tomassoni
Ranking Minority Member: William V. Belanger Jr.
Member: Thomas M. Bakk
Don Betzold
Debbie J. Johnson
Warren Limmer
John Marty
Mike McGinn
Mee Moua
Julianne E. Ortman
Rod Skoe

You can paste the following into an email:,,,,,,,,,,

Keep the pressure on.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Creationist Plank in the Minnesota Republican Platform

PZ Myers points it out.

Here's the one that really gets me, though.

Protecting educators from disciplinary action for including discussion of creation science, adopting science standards that acknowledge the scientific controversies pertaining to the theory of evolution.

There isn't anything in there about improving science education, or even an acknowledgment of the importance of science; just this lame stance excusing bad teachers for peddling nonsense in the classroom. It's official. It's in the state party platform. Minnesota Republicans are creationists.

What's interesting is when the creationism is pointed out, creationist politicians such as Michele Bachmann and Cheri Pierson Yecke tend to scuttle for cover.

Sue Jeffers Now Going for Republican Endorsement

Andy from Residual Forces points out an article in the strib about the Sue Jeffers candidacy for governor.

I met Sue Jeffers when she dropped by the Drinking Liberally blogger gathering. Jeffers plans with her governor candidacy were unclear. From talking to hear staff, it sounded like she was planning on going for Republican endorsement, but then if she failed to get GOP endorsement, she was running in the general election, rather than in the primary.

A feisty bar owner named Sue Jeffers has suddenly emerged as a challenger to Gov. Tim Pawlenty for Republican Party endorsement.

She faces just one big obstacle: Top party officials say Jeffers is not a real Republican and are blocking her attempts to participate in the process.

"We cannot give [Pawlenty] a free ride," said Jeffers, a 49-year-old activist who has been in the news recently leading opposition to bar-and-restaurant smoking bans and to taxpayer subsidies for pro sports stadiums.

"I am the only fiscal conservative running in this race," Jeffers said.

"It's clear Tim Pawlenty does not know how to close the checkbook," she added.

Jeffers acknowledges that few people think she has even a remote chance of knocking off an incumbent governor at his own party's convention in June. But she says she speaks for many fiscal conservatives who are unhappy with Pawlenty's compromises and reversals on a host of issues.

"Let's slap him up a bit, at the very least," Jeffers said.

But Republican Party chairman Ron Carey noted that until recently Jeffers was running as a Libertarian Party candidate and has its endorsement. The state convention "is reserved for Republicans and Republican candidates," Carey said. "We can monitor who we want there."

Carey said the party's executive committee will not provide Jeffers with the lists of some 1,500 recently elected state convention delegates, an essential tool for organizing an endorsement campaign.

Further, although convention rules are not yet written, Carey said those rules might include a minimum number of signatures from delegates for a candidate to be allowed to compete.

Jeffers has owned and operated Stub & Herb's bar and restaurant near the University of Minnesota campus for more than 25 years. She describes herself as both a libertarian and a "lifelong Republican," who has always voted for the GOP, volunteered for the Pawlenty campaign in 2002 and has served as a Republican election judge. She said she began talking to delegates and other activists a few weeks ago about switching course and plans to make an announcement of her candidacy next week.

Despite the official obstacles erected by party leaders, Jeffers said she will press on with a message that takes Pawlenty to task for what she says are numerous violations of conservative principles, especially on spending and taxes, in his first term.

'No friend of small business'

"Stadiums, health-impact fees, gambling expansion, 8 percent budget increase, $559 million in other fees, huge bonding bills, the JOBZ subsidies ... and he's been no friend of small business," she said.

David Strom from the Taxpayer League is quoted:

Many of these criticisms also have been expressed over the last three years by the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, a powerful interest group that got Pawlenty to sign a no-state-tax-increase pledge in 2002.

League President David Strom said Jeffers has "fought the good fight on a lot of things. ... She is very bright, she is not a crank by any stretch. ... But let's be honest; I don't think anyone can imagine a scenario in which she wins."

Still, Jeffers might send a signal if she's allowed to compete, Strom said. "It wouldn't be too surprising if 20 percent voted to let the governor know they don't like what he's done," he said.

Andy Lindberg - who is a Republican Party Activist in South Minneapolis is also quoted.

Jeffers said she has been underestimated all her life and is gathering a lot more support than party leaders expect. She produced the names and numbers of several convention delegates who confirmed that they were sympathetic to her cause.

One of them, Andy Lindberg, of south Minneapolis, said Jeffers' affiliation with Libertarians, who are in tune with Republicans on fiscal issues, shouldn't be held against her. Lindberg is chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus, which he describes as "a bunch of Libertarian-minded Republicans."

"The party apparatchiks don't want to hear any dissent from the peons and the masses, and they do this at their own peril," said Lindberg. "They are in danger of having a lot of [activists] sit on their hands this fall."

The Republican party has clearly decided to stick it to the fiscal conservatives and cosy up to the Leviticus crowd. David Strom from the Taxpayer League isn't happy, but he's also not out there making it difficult for Republicans to dis fiscal conservatives.

Stadium Boondoggle Update

Kate Parry, the Reader's Representative asks why no Minnesota Poll this year:

Strib Editorial Writer Lori Sturdevant seems to think the Stadium Boondoggle faces one more hurdle in the Senate.

This is a rare year when the Star Tribune is not conducting a Minnesota Poll during the legislative session. In a perfectly bad bit of timing, the Pioneer Press hasn't published a statewide poll about public issues so far this year either.

The result is a muffling of the sentiments of the average citizen during the session, when debates on stadiums, immigration and the amendment to ban gay marriage and its "legal equivalent" would sure be enriched by knowing what the taxpayers think. Although there are old polls available on those topics, opinions can change in a year. Those old data don't wield the same clout at the Capitol as a fresh poll on what Minnesotans think. . . .

The lack of polls is another matter. If the newspapers don't do statewide polls, there is no one who steps in to fill the void -- in print or online.

Part of this is because polls are expensive. To do them right means an investment of time to craft unbiased questions and sampling carefully designed to get at the truth and not merely a desired answer. There are internal polls conducted by political parties, interest groups and lobbyists, but their methodology can be questionable and their questions sometimes are intended to elicit the response they want -- which is why newspapers often don't publish those polls.

Most years, the Star Tribune conducts a poll toward the beginning of the legislative session, when Capitol reporters make their best guesses at what the top issues will be. This gives lawmakers guidance about what the voters want in case they want to hold onto their jobs in the next election. Then, about a month before adjournment, the paper conducts another poll when the true issues become clear.

This year, the paper had a spring poll planned, according to editor Anders Gyllenhaal. But it was delayed as editors worked on a plan to "expand the poll and invite partners into the paper's polling to give it more reach." That planning continues, but a poll during the session appears unlikely.

"This particular set of circumstances set it back," Gyllenhaal said. A full schedule of polls is planned later this year, with a major election coming in the fall.

I'm missing the Minnesota Poll most this session around the stadium issue. For years, as well-paid lobbyists and team owners weighed in at the Capitol, citizens have roared back via polls that they don't want to spend public money on stadiums for wealthy ballplayers and team owners. I can't remember an issue where the Minnesota public has sent such a clear and unequivocal message through the years.

But here we are in a session with no poll and suddenly the bills to build stadiums appear to be on a fast track.

Not giving Minnesotans the usual chance to weigh in on the stadium debate looks particularly bad for this newspaper when it has so consistently supported stadium deals on its editorial page.

A poll isn't a moneymaker for a newspaper. It's an expensive piece of public service. But it's one of those investments in our community that sets the business of newspapers apart from most other businesses.

There's still time to conduct a quick poll before the gavel comes down and the deals are done. I hope the newspaper changes its mind and gives the people the voice they deserve.

The Readers Representative is finally doing something to represent the readers.

The Senate has traditionally smiled on megabuck capital projects like stadiums. With Johnson in the leader's seat, the Senate should be the easier sell for stadium proponents.

But within the Senate DFL caucus abides a core of bitterness over the fact that Gov. Tim Pawlenty, running as a stadium opponent, defeated then-Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe, a stadium supporter, for governor in 2002. The DFLers so afflicted won't let Pawlenty win one or two, let alone three, stadiums without trying to make him squirm first.

So, those of us on stadium politics watch are keeping an eye on Sen. Larry Pogemiller and the drama he directs in the Senate tax committee. Look for a move there to alter the proposals' financing. These are state facilities, he will argue, and should be paid for with an increase in state taxes.

And then look to see if Johnson and the rest of the Senate are more interested in irritating the governor or building some ballparks.

I oppose public funding/financing for professional sports. However, if the state is going to do this, I much prefer a statewide tax rather than sticking this to the Hennepin County Taxpayer.