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Friday, May 26, 2006

Will Hennepin County Residents Get Fleeced Again?

Here
.

Vikings rethink stadium game plan
Team says alternatives to Blaine site needed after rejection by lawmakers
By Bob Shaw
St. Paul Pioneer Press
The Minnesota Vikings are renewing their vow to build a stadium, though not necessarily in Anoka County.

After the team suffered a stinging setback at the state Capitol to its $790 million stadium proposal, a Vikings spokesman said Tuesday that the plan in Blaine might be too bogged down by politics to be viable.

"We have a great partnership with Anoka County, but we need a Plan B and Plan C. Mr. Wilf is very much a Plan B and Plan C kind of guy," said Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley, referring to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf. "There may not be an opportunity in Anoka County. Things change."

Bagley wouldn't say what other sites might be considered for a Vikings stadium.

The Vikings were left out of legislation that will provide stadiums for the Minnesota Twins and the University of Minnesota. But Bagley was encouraged by one little-noticed provision approved by the Legislature that would earmark most of the proceeds from the sale of the Metrodome site to a Vikings stadium.

Vikings officials estimate the downtown Minneapolis site would be worth about $45 million. Of that, the first $5 million would go toward the Twins stadium, and the rest would go toward the state's share of a Vikings stadium.

"We see that as a down payment," said Bagley.

Bagley said another reason for hope was that the bill rejected a referendum on a 0.15 percent sales tax to cover Hennepin County's share of the new Twins stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

Bagley assumes the Vikings will get the same break.

"There is definitely a precedent set by the Twins," he said.

Still, the state's rejection of the Vikings stadium left Blaine Mayor Tom Ryan and other supporters discouraged.

"It's pretty disgusting to have it end this way," Ryan said. "It's sad. This has been four years of work for us."

And despite the Vikings' optimism, plans for an Anoka County stadium face several complications, most notably a fight over the public's right to vote on a stadium tax.

Public opposition to a proposed Anoka County tax increase appears to be stronger than in Hennepin County, in part because the Anoka plan assumes a 0.75 percent sales tax — five times more than the tax for the Twins stadium.

Various polls have shown support for a referendum on the tax as high as 80 percent, and four cities have passed resolutions supporting such a vote.

Stadium backers admit that voters probably would turn down a stadium tax, but they say similar large projects have used public money without voter approval.

The Anoka County Board of Commissioners has supported imposing the tax without a referendum. The tax would pay the county's one-third share of the stadium's cost, with the remainder coming from the state and the team.

The two naysayers on the board — Rhonda Sivarajah and Jim Kordiak — have supported a referendum.

"I am not against the Vikings, but I want that vote," Sivarajah said. "I am not fond of public subsidies for stadiums. The owners could be building them on their own."

Four of the seven Anoka County Board members face elections in the fall. Although no new pro-referendum candidates have emerged, Sivarajah said, "I certainly have heard murmurings."

Bagley said that if the county decides to put the tax to voters, the proposal would die.

"If the political will evaporates, we have got to be prepared," he said.

Another worry is county funding for lobbying and public education.

The county has spent $600,000 on the stadium effort and earmarked an additional $300,000 for "mega-projects," including the stadium.

Stadium supporters talked about that money and the sales tax revenue as seed money — creating 13,000 temporary and long-term jobs and millions of dollars in annual tax revenue.

But in a year when the county is making cutbacks in its human services budget for such programs as child protection, Sivarajah is balking.

"On one hand we say we need to make these reductions, but on the other we have money to dump into studies and promotions for the Vikings," she said.


It will be interesting to see what Minneapolis City Officials will do about this one. Will RT Rybak go and testify in favor of this nonsense as he did for the Twins?

Ofcourse there are similar questions about what Hennepin County spent lobbying this nonsense.

Hatch Says He's Running for Governor

During the Almanac DFL governor debate, Eric Escola and Cathy Wurzer asked Hatch about the rumor he was going to fall back and run for AG.

The Drama Queen has an update on this rumor. Apparently Hatch was trying to shake down the Unions to get them to give his campaign more cash.

Ford Bell Taking it to the Primary Against Amy Klobuchar

He just announced this on Almanac. You can watch Klobuchar and Bell debate right now.

More Stupidity from the Legislature

Now the Chamber of Commerce is trying to put lipstick on this pig.

Constitution amendment needs spin, supporters say
A coalition of 700 groups begins a campaign to explain the ballot measure.
Laurie Blake, Star Tribune

Last update: May 24, 2006 - 10:09 PM

A statewide effort to motivate Minnesotans to change the state Constitution started Wednesday with a big handicap: the wording of the proposed change confuses people.

In the November election, voters will have the chance to guarantee that roads and transit get every cent of the money collected from the state's existing motor vehicle sales tax. It will happen if voters approve a proposed constitutional amendment to dedicate those funds.

By 2011, the change would channel an extra $300 million a year to roads, bridges, buses and rail transit -- without raising taxes.

But the ballot question voters will see is worded with such complexity that "a lot of people look at it and assume it's a tax increase," said John Himle, a public relations expert working on the campaign.

On Wednesday, a group of 700 businesses and organizations known as Minnesotans for Better Roads and Transit started a $4 million media campaign to erase that misconception and win votes for what it is calling "Minnesota's Transportation Amendment."

The pro-amendment campaign, starting with billboards and radio ads, has been joined by a long list of supporters, including: automobile clubs, truck associations, road builders, businesses big and small, environmental groups and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.


I'll be voting against this nonsense. Using the Minnesota constitution to dedicate funds is a stupid idea. Linda Berglin's health care amendment to the constitution is another stupid idea. Michele Bachmann's amendment to ban legal recognition of gay relationships is another stupid idea.

The same legislators that want to stick the cost of the Stadium boondoggle to Hennepin County without a referendum, want to shirk their responsibilities and pass this one along to the voters.

Have a nice vacation...
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Fergus Falls Daily Journal Says Nix the Special Session Idea Governor Pawlenty of Tax Increases

Here.

Fergus Falls, Minnesota
Friday, May 26, 2006

Special session bad idea

It is less than a week since the legislative session ended and already some lawmakers are suggesting there is a need for a special session. Although the goal of the proposed session — to raise funds for the outdoors, conservation and arts — is good, bringing lawmakers back to the Capitol is not a good idea.

Lawmakers spent much of the regular session's last two weeks working on a bonding bill and on plans to provide new stadiums for the Gophers and Twins. A plan to let voters amend the constitution to increase funding — and taxes to provide that funding — for the arts, outdoors and conservation got tied up in differences between the House and Senate, and fell by the wayside.

This was just another instance when Minnesota lawmakers could not come to agreement during the constitutionally defined limits of their annual session. Voters need to hold lawmakers accountable, on principle, when they can not get their jobs done, rather than allow yet another special session. On a practical note, special sessions are expensive and, once begun, could yield to any number of actions by the Legislature. That all adds up to a special session being a bad idea.

Our elected representatives and senators should do their jobs in the time allowed. They should not need a special session to handle routine business, even when the cause is good.


A certain Summit Avenue Resident should take note.

The PRT Dream Lives On...

Some people never give up...

Warren Anderson, a leading Republican activist in St. Paul, spoke against light rail, calling it "not fiscally sound." He said personal rapid transit, a system of small, robotic cars on an elevated guideway, would serve more of the city for the same amount of money.

"All you get for all that money is 11 miles of track," he said of light rail.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Governor Pawlenty of Tax Increases Wants to Call A Special Session

For the constitutional amendment to dedicate sales taxes to outdoors and the arts. As David Strom notes - is he NUTS?

Patrick Guerriero Leaving Log Cabin Republicans

BoifromTroy has the scoop here.

Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Guerriero will assume new responsibilities as the first-ever Executive Director of the Gill Action Fund. By the time Guerriero leaves Log Cabin in September, he will have traveled over 750,000 miles, visiting over 300 cities and towns in all 50 states. "It has been a humbling experience leading Log Cabin Republicans during the past four years," said Guerriero. "I'm proud of what thousands of courageous Log Cabin members across America have accomplished as we work to build an inclusive Republican Party and a better America."


GayPatriot is having a field day. BoifromTroy is giving as good as he gets.

The Washington Blade has more.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Westover's Column Fisks the Stadium Boondoggle

Here.

Another Entenza Hatch Rumor from the Drama Queen

Here.

Comments are hilarious:

#

I hear that Hatch had a press conference scheduled to announce exactly that, but then hesitated.

What I am hearing is that:

1) Hatch is starting to think that he cannot win the endorsement and doesn’t have it in him to fight through a primary. AND

2) He isn’t a big fan of Entenza and believes Entenza’s UnitedHealth money problems will ultimately sink his campaign.

It will be interesting to see how this develops.

Comment by Capitol Rumors — May 24, 2006 @ 11:42 am
#

Is this a Lourey and/or Kelley started rumor?

Comment by Concerned in MPLS — May 24, 2006 @ 11:51 am
#

This would surprise me. Both Kelley and Lourey conceded that Hatch is in the lead in delegates for the endorsement. Polls show Hatch leading Pawlenty. And Hatch has been gearing up for a race against Pawlenty for three years (and the governor’s race in general for decades). I therefore find it hard to believe that he isn’t up for a primary fight (which, if he ran for AG, he’d probably get from Entenza, since Entenza probably can’t go back to the House due to someone else already being endorsed).

Comment by minntelect — May 24, 2006 @ 12:51 pm
#

If this rumor is true and the post-primary DFL gubernatorial candidate is Kelley or Lourey, then I foreesee a T Paw victory, with over 60% of the vote. And, as an added bonus, no Entenza in elective office.

Comment by wtm — May 24, 2006 @ 12:59 pm
#

Even Hatch didn’t believe he was leading Pawlenty.

Comment by Gary M. Miller — May 24, 2006 @ 2:52 pm
#

2) He isn’t a big fan of Entenza and believes Entenza’s UnitedHealth money problems will ultimately sink his campaign.

Hatch is just dying to investigate that one I bet. (snicker)

Comment by triple_a — May 24, 2006 @ 3:17 pm
#

Forgot to add,

Hatch's final chapter in MN politics, destroying the career and name of a Democrat to show he isn't a partisan hack job.

Comment by triple_a — May 24, 2006


The Drama queen also reports that Mike Erlandson is back in the race. Erlandson is starting out by holding a fundraiser with George Mitchell. How is that going to help him appeal to 5th district voters? Is Mike Erlandson behind the opposition research on Ellison?

Sexism and the Pro-Stadium Boondoggle Crowd

Shane Nakerud at Greet Machine has nothing to do with this. Some of the pro-stadium boondoggle commenters over at his blog don't think much of women:

The results of the Minnesota poll are a wakeup call for legislators.
Legislators who are winning by 5 points will be paying attention to this poll.

There's a huge gender gap in this poll. Women are much more opposed to stadium funding than men. Independents are also more strongly opposed that partisans of either stripe.

There is more support for the metro tax that also includes transit than a stadium only tax.

Sid Hartman is having a cow over this. Legislators do watch these polls when they are looking at reelection.

Posted by: Eva Young at May 14, 2006 06:46 PM

Eva, the women will forget all about the stadium once the next 13-hour sale
is on at Marshall Fields.

Posted by: kevin in az at May 14, 2006 09:44 PM

This poll doesn't tell us anything new. What it does do is give legislators something to hind behind if they decide to chicken out on solving this issue.

As with any poll, it depends how you ask the question. If asked a general question, even I might be inclined to say no. If the question had been framed 'Assume that if a stadium is not built the Twins will leave Minnesota. Given that, do you favor the Hennepin county plan?' the #'s would be very different.

Posted by: David Howe at May 14, 2006 10:05 PM

"Eva, the women will forget all about the stadium once the next 13-hour sale
is on at Marshall Fields."

EY: Clearly you don't have much respect for women.

Posted by: Eva Young at May 15, 2006 07:54 PM

Eva, I actually do. But honestly. I know many women who vote for a particular candidate because, "he's cute" or "he has a nice smile and an incredible ass"....You know when I hear comments like that in the workplace, I honestly don't think most women will give a rip about the stadium. And yes, I heard those comments when i lived and worked in Minnesota. You know those women exist and they are the majority. Being that you're a woman who considers these issues quite seriously you have to be ticked that MOST women really don't care because they'll still vote for Pawlenty next election because he's better looking and not based on the issues.

Posted by: kevin in az at May 15, 2006 10:03 PM

I wouldn't quite agree with those comments. But I would say that most women don't know thier legislator's stance on the statdium issue and won't base thier vote on it. Thier real feeling on the issue is 'indifferent.' They will cast thier vote based on other issues.

So, even though the poll shows more people are opposed, legislators may lose more votes by voting against the stadium. Those of us in favor, are strongly in favor, and will vote against a candidate if they oppose it. Where the majority of those saying 'No' are really indifferent when it comes right down to it.

Posted by: David H at May 16, 2006 05:09 AM

Wow. I can't say that I agree with Kevin here. Although we all know some people (women AND men) who are shallow enough to say they will vote for or against someone based solely on appearance etc., I think it's more likely that those people don't wind up voting at all.

I will concede David's point, though, that many stadium "opponents" (women AND men) aren't likely to base their vote solely on the stadium issue. It might factor in the decision, but probably not, since there are many other issues that will likely take precedence.

Posted by: spycake at May 16, 2006 01:19 PM

I agree, the issue is not women vs. men. The only factor that play is I'm guessing a greater % of baseball fans are men. With regards to the voting, I believe women vote on issues just as much as men, just not the same issue.

Most members of my family (women and men) would probably say "No" if they had been in the Star Tribune's poll, but none of them really care that much about the issue. They would not know their legislator's stance on this issue if I didn't tell them, and they won't base their vote in November on it.

Posted by: David H at May 16, 2006 09:19 PM

thank god almighty...Spycake doesn't agree with me!!!!!

Posted by: kevin in az at May 16, 2006 09:53 PM

Rather doubtful anyone will agree with you Kevin, as even the pro-stadium responses to your post suggest. That's because it is utter nonsense, to put it kindly. The preferences of a "majority of women" have nothing to do with your chauvinistic "hot-or-not" calculus. A majority of women vote party affiliation, and the majority of the remaining independents vote on issues other than looks. That this even has to be put in black-and-white is sad.

More remarkable than the fact you'd say something so foolish is that you'd actually try to defend it. Of course, your comments come from someone who makes "joking" reference to assaulting a female Hennepin County Board member for her emotional opposition to the no-referendum stadium tax.

It is likely that many women, as well as many men, would be interested in whether, for example, legislators who support increasing taxes to pay for stadiums continue to cling to no tax increase pledges when it comes to say, education or transportation funding. Is that a single-issue vote for most women, or most men? Unlikely, as those who share different priorities than stadiums vote their parties for those
(other) reasons anyway.

In any event, a rather substantial majority of voting-aged women have a good deal broader voting perspective than, say, men who would vote against a candidate SOLELY because he or she voted against the no-referendum Twins stadium tax subsidy.

If that's what passes for broad, well-informed male "perspective," may the best-looking candidate win.

Posted by: David at May 17, 2006 02:03 PM


I'll agree with Linda Koblick - it's not about gender - it's about brainpower. Mike Opat got rolled with his "negotiation" with the twins.

From the comments to this:

Three words for you...

Margaret Anderson Kelliher.

A women from Hennepin county, who voted for both the new Twins stadium and the Gopher stadium.

She is also the minority leader in waiting, 2nd in charge currently in the House on the DFL side.

So lets not make this a boys vs girls thing. I am a guy, and I think the Twins should buy their own damn stadium. Want to leave? Sure, go to Vegas. This is a hockey and football town anyway. And we still have the Saints
StopTheEvaAgenda 05.23.06 - 1:01 pm | #

You are correct re: Rep. Kelliher.

I'm not the one who drew gender distinctions - Doug Grow did it.

I only grabbed the Koblick quotes because I thought they were entertaining.

Relax.
MarkH 05.23.06 - 1:21 pm | #

While we are at it...also on the DFL side voting for the bill:

Denise Dittrich
Patti Fritz
Deba Hilstrom
Melissa Hortman
Ruth Johnson
Jeanne Poppe
Bev Scalze
Katie Sieben
Nora Slawik

In addition to Kelliher.

So much for the boys vs the girls.

If those 10 women voted ney, the final vote would have been 61-71.
StopTheEvaAgenda


Scalze, Dittrich and Fritz all voted for the Bachmann amendment.

That being said, there was a gender difference in the way men vs women legislators voted on this.

Defeat and Victory in the Battle Against Boondoggles

At Minneapolis Upside Down Loosetrife mulls over the hype surrounding the stadium boondoggle.

Already in production, "Stadium Boondoggle II" when public officials slap their collective heads and say "Oh, crap, you can't have a baseball stadium in our frozen North Star State without a mega-million dollar retractable roof!"

I'm also curious how they are going to route the proposed Cedar Lake Bike Trail around the new stadium. I've heard that they are planning to "cantilever" the stadium over the bike trail. A dark tunnel...that's going to be real safe and pleasant for bicyclists.

One bright bit of news on the mega-million dollar boondoggle beat...

The 2006 Legislature has adjourned this year with transportation winners and losers. Northstar Commuter Line got $60 million in bonding and the Central Corridor got $7.8 million. Among the losers of this session was Personal Rapid Transit (PRT).


Read more of my story "End of an Era for Personal Rapid Transit" at the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Don't Drink the Koolaid!

Learned Foot stomps his foot and exits the blogosphere. Jeff Fecke challenged him in his comments and now the Foot is pouting and whining. Other MOB bloggers are blaming Jeff Fecke. If the foot doesn't want to deal with commenters, then he should shut down comments on his blog.

Oh, please. First off, though I think the "Online Integrity" bit is more a weapon than anything else--but I defy you to find any place that I violated it.

Second, given that I wrote, by my estimates, somewhere in the neighborhood of seven comments over three months at KAR, it's not like I was cyberstalking.

Quite frankly, I thought a site that routinely derided its opponents as "morons" could handle a comment that said, in toto, "Well, this turned out not to be true, but whatevs." I guess I was wrong.

That LearnedFoot turned out to be too thin-skinned for blogging is not my fault. Anyone insecure enough to quit based on anything I wrote is not long for this game, anyhow.


Exactly. The Foot can be funny at times. Commenters on that blog frequently impersonate me. I don't comment over there any more for that reason.

Developing. . .

Governor Pawlenty of Tax Increases Will Sign Stadium Tax Friday

Minneapolis Issues:

-GOPHER STADIUM-

WHO: Governor Tim Pawlenty
WHAT: Governor Pawlenty signs the Gopher stadium bill.
WHEN: Wednesday, May 24, 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: University of Minnesota,McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street SE,
Minneapolis

-TWINS STADIUM-

WHO: Governor Tim Pawlenty
WHAT: Governor Pawlenty signs the Twins stadium bill.
WHEN: Friday, May 26, 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Minnesota Twins v. Seattle Mariners, H.H.H. Metrodome, Minneapolis


Isn't that just ducky?

Governor Pawlenty of Tax Increases Will Sign Stadium Tax Friday

Minneapolis Issues:

-GOPHER STADIUM-

WHO: Governor Tim Pawlenty
WHAT: Governor Pawlenty signs the Gopher stadium bill.
WHEN: Wednesday, May 24, 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: University of Minnesota,McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street SE,
Minneapolis

-TWINS STADIUM-

WHO: Governor Tim Pawlenty
WHAT: Governor Pawlenty signs the Twins stadium bill.
WHEN: Friday, May 26, 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Minnesota Twins v. Seattle Mariners, H.H.H. Metrodome, Minneapolis


Isn't that just ducky?

Linda Koblick fires more missles at the stadium

Doug Grow's latest Strib column discusses the gender gap on stadium support, both on the Hennepin County Board and the Minnesota Legislature.

He went to Hennepin County Commissioner Linda Koblick for some sizzling quotes.


Hennepin County Commissioner Linda Koblick, a Republican, was even more disgusted about what she called "old, white, male power."

"Women don't turn politics into a game," she said. "They take it seriously."

Koblick said she believes the County Board didn't spend nearly enough time studying the plan that now has legislative blessing.

"Women do believe in process," she said. "They do believe in open discussion. They want more inclusiveness, wider parameters. They want to answer the question, 'If we do this, what won't we be able to do?' Men just want to get it built."

But in the end, Koblick isn't sure that gender is the issue.

"I think it's brainpower," she said.



Re-elect Linda Koblick to the Hennepin County Board. She might be the smartest person in the room.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Introducing Barbara Beniek - Running for Dan Severson's Seat in Sauk Rapids

Dan Severson has a Democratic opponent, Sauk Rapids-Rice School Board member, Barbara Beniek. I emailed Barbara and asked her for her position on the Twins Stadium boondoggle, which Dan Severson eagerly supported, and the Bachmann-Severson amendment to the constitution - banning legal recognition of gay relationships. Here was Barb's response:

On the Twins - well, first of all, I think that the organization has enough money in itself to build a new stadium. They will profit a lot of $$ from the new stadium - at SOME taxpayers expense. If it really is a statewide thing to keep the Twins, then the sales tax should have been spread out state-wide - or metro area - wide with a referendum to see what the people want. WE cannot build a school without voter approval - why should the legislature be able to agree to help build a stadium without voter approval? I have 2 daughters who live in Hennepin county - now they will pay for the Twins even though they never go to games or follow the sport.

The next issue- I would not support the Defense of Marriage amendment or the Bachmann-Severson amendment to ban all legal recognition of gay relationships. I believe that would be highly discriminatory and highly divisive in our state and country. If we want to defend the mariage of a man and a woman, then we should outlaw divorce - that would be the logical tact to take - not that I would suppport that either. I think the government has no place in our relationships and our bedrooms.

So I'll try to tune in to your blog and see what's up.


It's nice to know that there are some people running in greater Minnesota, who don't see Hennepin County as a place to raise other people's taxes.

Governor Pawlenty of Tax Increases Planning to Break His Pledge

From Centrisity:

The following elected officials have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, thereby promising to "oppose (and vote against/veto) any and all efforts to increase taxes." yet voted FOR the stadium tax increase

State Senators

Paul Koering (Fort Ripley)
Bob Kierlin (Winona)
Mike McGinn (Eagan)

State Representatives

Frank Moe (Bemidji)
Bud Nornes (Fergus Falls)
Paul Gazelka (Brainerd)
Greg Blaine (Little Falls)
Rob Eastlund (Isanti)
Bob Gunther (Fairmont)
Jerry Dempsey (Red Wing)
Gene Pelowski (Winona)
Barb Sykora (Excelsior) (Retiring)
Mike Charron (Woodbury)


Paul Koering, R. Fort Ripley, faces a Republican primary. This vote will give more ammunition to his opponent, who is saying it's not just social issues that are motivating him to run. If Senator Day advised Koering to vote for the stadium, he gave Koering very bad advice.

King Banaian comments on Tarryl Clark's vote to sock it to the Hennepin County Taxpayer.

Fiscal conservatives are being taken for a ride. David Strom's wife, Margaret Martin is in denial on this one.

More from Flash on Governor Pawlenty's Priorities:

Governor TPaw is expected to sign the legislation. A bill that carries a tax increase. Yes, we have a Governor who signed a No New Tax Pledge, and the last time he needed money he pulled out his dusty old smoke and mirror tricks and called a tax a fee. Now it is a tax, plain and simple. When City Governments were being stripped of their LGA creating difficult decisions regarding crime and safety, taxes weren't an option. When children were being cut from Minnesota Care, taxes were off the table. While public education is reeling from increased energy costs, transportation expenses, and other uncontrollable budget items, taxes were not in the mix. But when the billionaire businessman wants a new playground for his team, Gov TPaw didn't even blink an eye about taxes.

I like the idea of a new stadium, and I have always said in any negotiations that everything must be on the table to have successful debate. When you limit your options, you limit your strength at the table. Governor Pawlenty has showed his weakness once again. Crumbling before the feet of private interests, at the expense of those who are unable to have expensive lobbyists defend their goals.

Yes, I was in favor of the stadium, but I am still in favor of healthy children, an educated society, and safe streets. What were Governor Pawlenty's priorities?


That too....

UPDATE: I've linked the names of the pledge breakers to the information about campaign committees of the candidates and their opponents. I'd encourage readers to find out where the opponents stand on the boondoggle and to consider contributing to the opposition.

Hennepin County District 1

Does anybody know if there is a serious challenger to Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat's seat?

I heard him on MPR earlier today - the arrogance is painful.

I don't live in his district, but I'd be open to helping out a serious challenger.

Legislative Retirements

This list came from an e-mail blast from the JRLC (Joint Religous Legislative Coaltion). The list was labeled as 'partial'. We'll have lot of new faces in 2007.


Retiring from the House:
Abrams
Bradley
Dempsey
Ellison
Entenza
Goodwin
Johnson, Jeff
Johnson, Ruth
Knoblach
Larson*
Meslow
Newman
Samuelson
Sieben*
Sykora
Vandeveer
Westerberg
* seeking seat in the state senate

Retiring from the Senate:
Bachmann
Hottinger
Kierlin
Kiscaden
Lourey
Marko
Ranum
Skoglund


Sue Jeffers' campaign press release re: the 2nd District GOP convention


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sue Jeffers' Address to the 2nd District Republican Convention
Bucking Party Leaders, 2nd Congressional District Welcomed Jeffers to Speak

Prior Lake, Minnesota - Bucking orders from state Republican Party higher-ups, 2nd District Republicans welcomed Sue Jeffers to address their convention on Saturday. State Party chairman, Ron Carey, as well as Tony Sutton (Minnesota GOP Secretary/Treasurer) and their considerable entourage, who registered as convention guests were in attendance.

Many delegates approached Jeffers, and expressed excitement that they would finally hear the message that some party officials wanted to squelch.

Sue was introduced without incident or challenge, was met with applause from the delegates and delivered her speech. She was interrupted at one point with spontaneous applause, when she said, "My goal is to open the debate about the candidates we support. We must put candidates on the ballot that believe in the party platform and will work to further our principles. You, the delegates have the power to take our party in a better direction. Recognize that power and use it."

The roughly five-minute speech began by addressing the concerns of some Republican delegates about her connection with the Minnesota Libertarian Party. From there, she moved into failures with current leadership, and discussed some of her conservative ideas for improving state government.

Jeffers' speech was applauded, but not everyone in attendance was happy to have heard from her. Tony Sutton, State GOP Secretary/Treasurer, member of the State Executive Committee and attending the convention as a guest addressed the chair to express his discontent, saying, "I am offended that a person from another political party was allowed to address the convention and attack our Republican incumbents."

No one offered discussion to Sutton's "point of personal privilege," and Convention Chairman Mike Lindsey moved swiftly to other convention business.

A convention delegate brought a six-page piece of literature printed on blue paper to Jeffers' Campaign Manager, Dan McGrath's attention. The blue lit-piece, which attempts to discredit Jeffers' Republican credentials, had no attribution. State campaign law and Republican Convention rules forbid anonymous campaign literature. Under convention rules, any literature not containing a disclosure identifying who prepared and paid for it is to be removed from the convention, along with the party responsible for distributing it, by the Sergeant at Arms.

Delegates told McGrath said delegates told him that the blue-lit was produced and distributed by party officials. Jeffers didn't choose to make an issue of it, and left the convention shortly after her speech.

The improper literature didn't escape the delegates' notice, though. A lengthy debate about the presence of the anonymous piece began after Jeffers had departed. Party officials, attending the convention as guests were asked repeatedly if they were responsible for the piece. They denied any involvement.

Following the convention, Jeffers and her Campaign Manager stopped by the governor's mansion on Summit Avenue in St. Paul to join in the protest of a stadium tax without a referendum. The protest was organized by Citizens for a Stadium Tax Referendum.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sue Jeffers Speaks at a District Convention

I understand from sources who were at the 2nd District Republican convention that Sue Jeffers was allowed to speak. Apparently a delegate supporting her told people organizing the convention, that should she not be allowed to speak as candidate for Governor, he would run against John Kline - and Sue would give a seconding speech.

I'd be interested in hearing how the speech was received.

Will something similar occur at the State Convention?

John McCallum Decides Against Running for McCollum's House Seat

Andy from Residual Forces wrote that Republican District 52 Chair John McCallum was considering running against Betty McCollum. I talked with John McCallum the other day, and he decided against making the run.

Citizens for the Stadium Tax Referendum Press Release

Honor "No New Taxes" pledge by vetoing stadium tax bill

St. Paul, MN (May 14, 2006) — Governor Pawlenty's actual pledge was to "oppose and veto any all efforts to increase taxes" – not just state taxes, as has been incorrectly reported.

"If Governor Pawlenty signs this $1.1 billion stadium tax without a referendum – he will be breaking his No New Taxes Pledge and ignoring voters," said Laura Lehmann of Citizens for a Stadium Tax Referendum. "He will also be directly contradicting his campaign promise to oppose public funding for professional sports stadiums. Voters should remember this in November."

Many voters have been asking our citizens group: how could the legislature approve this stadium tax when voters overwhelming support the referendum law. "The stadium tax was pushed through by arrogant 4 arrongant County Commissioners, pro-stadium media, and millions spent in lobbying and political contributions by team owners," added Lehmann. "Ultimately, unrelenting power, money, and influence were more important to our many of our Legislators than was the will of the people of Minnesota. Voters should also remember all of this in November."

Please Contact:

Laura J. Lehmann, Citizens for a Stadium Tax Referendum
(Cell) 612-310-7658 (H) 952-929-0052

Governor Pawlenty of Tax Increases Plays Minnesotans for Marriage for Fools

From the Minnesotans for Marriage Thursday May 18 Elert:

Action Alert

Contact Gov. Tim Pawlenty and tell him - "Do what you have to do to let the people vote on the marriage amendment in 2006."


  • In the past, Governor Pawlenty has indicated that marriage is between one man and one woman.
  • If the marriage amendment is not passed this session, opponents will have two years to overturn marriage before Minnesotans’ get another chance to vote.
  • Call Governor Pawlenty at 651-296-3391 - and ask him to take action to pass the amendment - before the session ends.
  • Click Here to Email or Fax Governor Pawlenty.


Governor Pawlenty of Tax Increases spent his whole political capitol on increases to Hennepin County Taxes. He'll try to blame the Senate Democrats for the failure of the marriage amendment in the Senate.

I wonder how Chuck Darrell and Tom Prichard feel about being played?

August Berkshire's Oped in the Strib

August Berkshire from Minnesota Atheists has an oped in the Strib.

Our nation's founders wisely kept church and state separate, and we should do the same.
August Berkshire

Last update: May 19, 2006 – 6:27 PM

It may well be that some of our laws have parallels in religious texts. Rob Braun seems to interpret this as "from God to the Bible to the state" ("Why not cite the Bible in making laws?" Star Tribune Faith+Values, May 6).

However, it is more accurate to say that we humans evolved as societal animals, developed rules of conduct that helped us survive and then attributed these laws to the gods as celestial policemen.

The problem is that circumstances change, while ancient texts do not. For example, slavery, which is condoned in the Bible, is properly outlawed in modern society.

Laws must have a secular purpose. We have laws against theft and murder, not because of the Ten Commandments, but because we can demonstrate that these acts cause harm to society.

Contrast this with attempts to ban same-sex civil marriage. Depriving committed gays and lesbians of the opportunity to marry serves no secular purpose -- it only advances a particular religious agenda. In fact, if we believe that marriage serves a beneficial role in helping to stabilize society, then we should actively promote marriage regardless of sexual orientation.

Twenty years from now, when same-sex marriage is accepted the way other civil rights are accepted today, we can expect religions to claim they were at the forefront of obtaining this right. We know better. Almost every social advance that freed people and gave them more rights was opposed by religion. Examples include abolition of slavery, a woman's right to vote, contraception, abortion rights, civil rights and interracial marriage. Religionists remain a roadblock to the Equal Rights Amendment, same-sex marriage and (in the current administration) universal health care.

The Bible is like a Rorschach inkblot test: you can see just about anything you want in it. That is why Christians themselves cannot agree on such things as masturbation, premarital sex, contraception, abortion, divorce, homosexuality, stem cell research, euthanasia and the death penalty. The Bible or religion as a moral guide? With all this disagreement, how is that possible?


Read the whole thing. Kudos to August Berkshire.

I saw August at the Quatrefoil Library 20th anniversary party. August mentioned that the Minnesota Atheists will be publishing the controversial Danish Muhammad cartoons. Lavender Magazine passed on publishing these cartoons.

Another DC Anti-gay Black Pastor Ignites Firestorm

Pam Spaulding:

"It takes a real man to confess Jesus as Lord and Savior. I'm not talking about no faggot or no sissy...Wait a minute! Let all the real men come on down here and take a bow. All the real men -— I'm talking about the straight men."
-- DC pastor Bishop Alfred A. Owens, in a recorded sermon delivered at Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church

We've got another live one here, courtesy of Jasmyne Cannick. Instead of taking the tack of fellow homo-bigot pastor Willie Wilson, who saw a lesbian around every corner, we've got Bishop Owens, who's trying to root out the gayboys in his church with a call-out from the pulpit.

This is a prime example of the sickness in the socially conservative religious black community, and you will not see these hateful sons-of-bitches called out by the mainstream Democratic leaders. The spineless Dems won't touch this homobigotry with a one-hundred-foot pole for fear of the race card being slapped down on them. Falwell, Dobson and the white fundamentalist extremists can be held up as sick examples of conservative fear and hate, but men like Owens and Willie Wilson get a pass.


Now Washington DC Mayor Anthony Williams is threatening to remove Owens from his post on the Interfaith Council if he doesn't apologise for his remarks. WaPO:

Mayor Anthony A. Williams threatened yesterday to remove a prominent minister from his interfaith council if the minister does not issue a public apology for derogatory remarks he made about gay men during a Palm Sunday sermon last month.

Williams (D), who made his position known at his weekly news briefing, said he had been unsuccessful in trying to contact Bishop Alfred A. Owens Jr., pastor of Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church.

Owens can be heard on an April 9 church recording saying, "It takes a real man to confess Jesus as Lord and Savior. I'm not talking about no faggot or no sissy."

The mayor said yesterday: "If you can be shocked, saddened and disappointed all at once, I really am, because I really have to condemn remarks made like that whenever they're made against any group on the basis of sexual orientation, race, class, ethnicity or anything else."

Williams said he expected public contrition from Owens. "Otherwise, we would have to discontinue that relationship, and I would really regret that because he really has been a great leader in our city."


Owens responds with a letter to the editor. The Washington Blade calls for his ouster.

Owens responded in a letter to the editor in today's Washington Post. And guess what? He's not apologizing. Although he offers a half-hearted apology in his opening sentence, claiming he didn't mean to "wound anyone," the egomaniacal Owens goes on to defend his anti-gay sermon.

"I will not submit my sermons through political filters for fear of recrimination by political or social groups," he wrote. "On any given Sunday, I preach about love, faith and holiness, and, yes, about hell and sin. For that, I offer no apology."

Remember, this "bishop" stood in front of his congregation and called the gay men present "faggots."

Once again the double standard that allows public figures like Owens to demonize gays and lesbians but demands thorough public ridicule and contempt for anyone accused of racism (imagine a white pastor using the dreaded "n word" in a sermon) rears its ugly head. No big city mayor would give a white person caught on tape using a racial epithet a chance to apologize and move on. Williams should remove Owens immediately from his position on the interfaith council.

And Owens can keep his half-hearted apology. The entire city now knows exactly how he views the gays and lesbians in his congregation. How sad and ironic that those who profess to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ are always the ones acting in the ways most unlike Christ.


I remember Mayor Anthony Williams firing someone for using the word niggardly. A synonym for niggardly is miserly. That word has no connection with the "n word".

Update: Keith Boykin's take on this is here. Jasmyne Cannick has her take here.

Senate Votes to Stick it To Hennepin County Taxpayer

Paul Koering - who signed the Taxpayer League Pledge, voted yes. He just gave his primary another issue that can be used against him.

Julianne Ortman did the right thing in the end. So people should email her and thank her.

Votes Sunday as the Senate, on a 34-32 vote, gave final approval to a Twins stadium financing plan. Voting yes were 12 Republicans and 22 Democrats. Voting no were 16 Republicans and 16 Democrats.

REPUBLICANS VOTING YES

Day (Owatonna); Dille (Dassel); Fischbach (Paynesville); Frederickson (New Ulm); Kierlin (Winona); Koering (Fort Ripley); Larson (Fergus Falls); McGinn (Eagan); Neuville (Northfield); Rosen (Fairmont); Ruud (Breezy Point); Senjem (Rochester)

REPUBLICANS VOTING NO

Bachmann (Stillwater); Belanger (Bloomington); Gerlach (Apple Valley); Hann (Eden Prairie); Johnson, Debbie (Ham Lake); Jungbauer (East Bethel); Koch (Buffalo); LeClair (Woodbury); Limmer (Maple Grove); Michel (Edina); Nienow (Cambridge); Olson (Minnetrista); Ortman (Chanhassen); Reiter (Shoreview); Robling (Jordan); Wergin (Princeton)

REPUBLICANS NOT VOTING

Pariseau (Farmington)

DEMOCRATS VOTING YES

Bonoff (Minnetonka); Clark (St. Cloud); Foley (Coon Rapids); Higgins (Minneapolis); Hottinger (St. Peter); Johnson, Dean (Willmar); Kelley (Hopkins); Kiscaden (Rochester); Kubly (Granite Falls); Langseth (Glyndon); Marko (Cottage Grove); Metzen (South St. Paul); Murphy (Red Wing); Saxhaug (Grand Rapids); Scheid (Brooklyn Park); Skoe (Clearbrook); Skoglund (Minneapolis); Sparks (Austin); Stumpf (Plummer); Tomassoni (Chisholm); Vickerman (Tracy); Wiger (North St. Paul)

DEMOCRATS VOTING NO

Anderson (St. Paul); Bakk (Cook); Berglin (Minneapolis); Betzold (Fridley); Chaudhary (Fridley); Cohen (St. Paul); Dibble (Minneapolis); Lourey (Kerrick); Marty (Roseville); Moua (St. Paul); Pappas (St. Paul); Pogemiller (Minneapolis); Ranum (Minneapolis); Rest (New Hope); Sams (Staples); Solon (Duluth)


Paul Koering is facing a republican primary. If he has a smart opponent (that is doubtful), this vote will be used against him.

King Banaian asked Tarryl Clark what her position was on the stadium. She said in February that she opposed a stadium without a referendum. I wonder what changed.

Don Betzold was on the conference committee. I thought he was a firm yes vote on this. Kudos to Betzold for voting no on this nonsense.

House Vote to do the same thing:

Attorney General Candidate, Matt Entenza voted against the Hennepin County Taxpayer today. I hope Hennepin County voters remember this, this fall.

House roll call on Twins stadium bill

Votes Saturday as the House, on a 71-61 vote, authorized a new Twins ballpark. Voting yes were 37 Republicans and 34 Democrats. Voting no were 31 Republicans and 30 Democrats.

REPUBLICANS VOTING YES

Beard (Shakopee); Blaine (Little Falls); Bradley (Rochester); Brod (New Prague); Charron (Woodbury); Cox (Northfield); Davids (Preston); Demmer (Hayfield); Dempsey (Red Wing); Dorman (Albert Lea); Eastlund (Isanti); Finstad (New Ulm); Garofalo (Farmington); Gazelka (Brainerd); Gunther (Fairmont); Hamilton (Mountain Lake); Heidgerken (Freeport); Hoppe (Chaska); Lanning (Moorhead); Magnus (Slayton); McNamara (Hastings); Meslow (White Bear Lake); Nelson, P. (Lindstrom); Nornes (Fergus Falls); Ozment (Rosemount); Penas (Badger); Peterson, N. (Bloomington); Ruth (Owatonna); Samuelson (New Brighton); Severson (Sauk Rapids); Simpson (New York Mills); Sviggum (Kenyon); Sykora (Excelsior); Tingelstad (Andover); Urdahl (Grove City); Wardlow (Eagan); Westerberg (Blaine)

REPUBLICANS VOTING NO

Abeler (Anoka); Abrams (Minnetonka); Anderson, B. (Buffalo Twp); Buesgens (Jordan); Cornish (Good Thunder); Cybart (Apple Valley); Dean (Dellwood); DeLaForest (Andover); Emmer (Delano); Erhardt (Edina); Erickson (Princeton); Hackbarth (Cedar); Holberg (Lakeville); Howes (Walker); Johnson, J. (Plymouth); Klinzing (Woodbury); Knoblach (St. Cloud); Kohls (Victoria); Krinkie (Lino Lakes); Newman (Hutchinson); Olson (Big Lake); Paulsen (Eden Prairie); Peppin (Rogers); Powell (Burnsville); Seifert (Marshall); Smith (Mound); Soderstrom (Mora); Vandeveer (Forest Lake); Westrom (Elbow Lake); Wilkin (Eagan); Zellers (Maple Grove)

DEMOCRATS VOTING YES

Atkins (Inver Grove Heights); Dill (Crane Lake); Dorn (Mankato); Entenza (St. Paul); Fritz (Faribault); Haws (St. Cloud); Hilstrom (Brooklyn Center); Hortman (Brooklyn Park); Hosch (St. Joseph); Johnson, R. (St. Peter); Juhnke (Willmar); Kelliher (Minneapolis); Koenen (Clara City); Larson (Bloomington); Latz (St. Louis Park); Lesch (St. Paul); Lieder (Crookston); Lillie (North St. Paul); Mahoney (St. Paul); Marquart (Dilworth); Moe (Bemidji); Nelson, M. (Brooklyn Park); Pelowski (Winona); Peterson, A. (Madison); Poppe (Austin); Rukavina (Virginia); Scalze (Little Canada); Sertich (Chisholm); Sieben (Newport); Simon (St. Louis Park); Slawik (Maplewood); Solberg (Grand Rapids); Thao (St. Paul); Thissen (Minneapolis)

DEMOCRATS VOTING NO

Bernardy (Fridley); Carlson (Crystal); Clark (Minneapolis); Davnie (Minneapolis); Eken (Twin Valley); Ellison (Minneapolis); Goodwin (Columbia Heights); Greiling (Roseville); Hansen (South St. Paul); Hausman (St. Paul); Hilty (Finlayson); Hornstein (Minneapolis); Huntley (Duluth); Jaros (Duluth); Johnson, S. (St. Paul); Kahn (Minneapolis); Lenczewski (Bloomington); Liebling (Rochester); Loeffler (Minneapolis); Mariani (St. Paul); Mullery (Minneapolis); Murphy (Hermantown); Otremba (Long Prairie); Paymar (St. Paul); Peterson, S. (New Hope); Ruud (Minnetonka); Sailer (Park Rapids); Wagenius (Minneapolis); Walker (Minneapolis); Welti (Plainview)

DEMOCRATS NOT VOTING

Anderson, I. (International Falls); Dittrich (Champlin)

Thanks to the Pioneer Press for posting who voted how.