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Saturday, June 10, 2006

More Reactions to Hatch Endorsement

PAWLENTY FOR GOVERNOR RESPONSE TO THE DFL'S ENDORSEMENT OF MIKE HATCH

"For the next three months Democrats will have a primary battle to see who's better at raising taxes, ignoring illegal immigration and resisting real accountability in education."

- Michael Krueger, Campaign Manager


DFL Statement:

ROCHESTER (6/10/06) – The Minnesota DFL Party today endorsed Attorney General Mike Hatch for governor. Minnesota DFL Chair Brian Melendez released the following statement:

"Mike Hatch will be a brilliant and effective leader for the state of Minnesota. After four years of Tim Pawlenty's costly word games and political posturing, we need a governor who knows how to get things done.

"Mike Hatch's much-deserved accolades for protecting Minnesota families, cracking down on corruption and doing his job as effectively as possible stand in direct contrast to the current governor, with his changing rhetoric and broken campaign pledges."

UDFL on Hatch's Acceptance Speech

Here
.

6:48 PM - Mike Hatch is delivering his acceptance speech. I got back to the blogger's nest half-way through the speech, so it's too late for me to blog it. On my way back up I passed and shook hands with Steve Kelley, who was thanking people in the aisle. He ran a very classy campaign and left with a lot of class as well.

6:55 PM - This is an unbelievably long acceptance speech. People in the blogger's nest are not liking it.

6:59 PM - He's STILL going. He talked about education, something else, and then went back to education.

7:03 PM - STILL going. Someone up here just said that we should make a motion to reconsider, given how long the speech is going. Oh wait he said FINALLY. I think that means he's always done

Republican Party on Hatch Endorsement

Republican Party Of Minnesota Statement On The Endorsement Of Mike Hatch For Governor

Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Ron Carey today released the following statement regarding today's DFL endorsement of Mike Hatch.

"Mike Hatch has been running for governor for nearly 20 years and broke his word this year by running for governor a third time. During that 20 years, his fellow DFLers have called him a 'chameleon,' an 'opportunist,' and 'a man willing to sell his soul just to get elected.' No matter how extreme the makeover Hatch attempts, Minnesotans aren't going to trust someone with that kind of opportunistic and inconsistent record."


MPR Political Analysis Tom Horner said Mike Hatch would be a "great candidate for an angry politician".

Democrats are worrying about Peter Hutchinson. I think they have good reason to.

Ray Vandeveer and the Personal Rapid Transit Boondoggle

Ray Vandeveer (P-Shop picture below) is running for the State Senate District 52 seat left vacant by congressional candidate Michele Bachmann. Vandeveer is one of the strongest supporters of Rep. Mark Olson's PRT boondoggle.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Article by T.W. Budig:

Exploring the use of personal rapid transit — small vehicles in which commuters can enter destinations on computers and be whisked here and there — is one item he’d like to examine further, said Vandeveer.

This is not futuristic; the technology exists today, he said. And why be so insistent on being tied to 150 year old technology: trains, he said. .


Forest Lake Times:

Ideas such as computer aided dispatch for buses, and Personal Rapid Transit (developed through the University of Minnesota) appear to offer more cost effective transit options.


In 2004, the House voted $4 million for this totally wacko boondoggle.

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It didn't get past the conference committee, but in 2005, the PRTistas tried again to stop rail transit with PRT.

Take a look at the break down of the votes on Olson's 2005 PRT amendment at the Minnesota Votes web site.

It's mostly a small bunch of anti-transit right-wingers like Olson and Vandeveer who promote PRT. They got a few clueless Democrats to vote for it (There were only 2 DFLers voting for a similar Olson PRT amendment in 2006).

The media needs to ask why Ray Vandeveer and Mark Olson still promote the wacko PRT boondoggle when 67% of their own party rejected this amendment.

Meanwhile, the PRT hucksters are still bashing LRT... this time in Wellington, New Zealand.

Steve Kelley Concedes

So Mike Hatch will get DFL endorsement.

So it will be a two person primary.

Hatch Attack Piece on Steve Kelley

Over at Powerliberal.

It's attacking Kelley for being involved with a Union Busting firm.

Ofcourse Mike Hatch said he'd sign the stadium bill that he's attacking Kelley for. In the end, the stadium will be the thing that torpedoes Kelley.

It will be interesting to see how Kelley's campaign responds.

Anybody But Hatch Sentiment at the Convention?

The question is who will the Lourey delegates go to? Hatch is going up very slowly. Will there be an endorsement or will the convention be brokered?

Lourey is going to drop out and running in the primary.

Drama Queen has second ballot

SECOND BALLOT RESULTS - CONFIRMED RESULTS

1. Mike Hatch: 543 or 41.6%
2. Steve Kelly: 382 or 29.3%
3. Becky Lourey: 379 or 29.0%


It looks like it's going to be a long day.

First Ballot Results

From a Lloydletta reader:

The official results of the fist (sic, as per Shawn Towles) ballot are in:

Hatch 512.5 votes (39.4%)

Lourey 403.5 votes (31%)

Kelley 382.5 votes (29.4%)

Savior 1 vote (.01%)


Powerliberal and the Drama Queen also have the results.

Immigration Issue Narrowly Defeats Busby

When I posted Chuck Muth's analysis of the Busby-Bilbray race in San Diego, WTM commented.

I suggest you visit RealClearPolitics.com and read Jay Cost's analysis of the CA-50 race. It's much more balanced than this pro-Democrat interpretation of the election's results.

The bottom line is this: if the Democrats can't win a special election race, or even improve over their Kerry numbers from two years ago, at "ground zero" (as they called it) of the "culture of corruption," then they'd better find a new narrative to run on because that's not going to carry them to victory in November.
wtm


Chuck Muth is a card carrying Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Republican. I'll agree on one point - corruption alone isn't a message that will win an election. Cost's analysis is just parroting RNC talking points.

Eckernet has some analysis here and here.

Bilbray's campaign was built around the illegal immigration issue. He made it clear he supported the House version of an immigration bill and opposed the Senate's amnesty bill. In fact it wasn't until he made it clear that he OPPOSED the plan supported by Bush and the Senate that polls really started rising for him. Meanwhile, his opponent felt it was fine for illegals to, at the very least, work on her campaign and supported a Senate-style solution to the immigration issue.


Eckernet links to this post at the Nation blog:

In felonious Duke Cunningham's district, another Republican, former Representative Brian Bilbray, was able to hold the seat for the GOP, beating back the Democrat 49 to 45 percent. If the Ds cannot pick up a seat when an R is nabbed on bribery charges and tossed into prison, that's a sign that the "culture of corruption" charge (see Jack Abramoff) they are campaigning upon may not do the trick in November. (Representative William Jefferson, a Democrat accused of taking $100,000 bribe, is sure not helping on this front.) Cunningham's district was a Republican area. But to regain the House, the Dems need to do well in heretofore GOP districts.


I'll agree with this. It's also true that Duke Cunningham isn't the first - or last - corrupt politician in San Diego.


Without reading too much into the results of one race, there is good reason for Democrats to worry: illegal immigration. Bilbray hyped his support for tough border enforcement, siding with the House Republicans' keep-'em-out/toss-'em-out approach and attacking the Bush-favored Senate compromise position that blends a (convoluted) path-to-citizenship with steps to beef up the border. And that might have won him the race. During the campaign, Bilbray called for building a fence "from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico." Celebrating his victory, Bilbray said, "The president proposing amnesty was absolutely a big problem. In fact, it wasn't until I was able to highlight the fact that I did not agree with my friends in the Senate or my friend in the White House on amnesty that you really saw the polls start supporting me strongly."


This issue helped Bilbray, but Francine Busby's statement at a rally that "you don't need papers to vote", suggesting that she was encouraging non-citizens to vote was what really did her in.

Now nervous-Nelly Republicans have a test-case to apply to their own races. If it's a good fit for the district, Republican candidates will surely sound the illegal immigrant alarm to drive base-voters to the voting booth. Many were probably planning to do this already. Bilbray is proof it works.

When Latinos were out in the streets weeks ago to protest the House Republicans' harsh immigration bill, there was talk among commentators about the rising political clout of Hispanic-American voters. But rallies do not make voting patterns. And that clout may not arrive quick enough to help Democrats in five months. Historically, it takes a long time for new voting blocs to vote. Over the years, the greatest predictor of whether someone will vote in an election has been whether they voted in the previous one. Even if Americans of Latin American origin are enraged by conservative Republicans, that anger may not register at the polls (particularly in an off-year election) for some time.

On the other mano, conservative voters pissed off about the trumped-up crisis of illegal immigration are already accustomed to expressing their outrage on election day. It may well be that it is not to the GOP's advantage to make illegal immigration a national issue in the election. (The Wall-only approach divides the party, puts off business supporters, and might alienate moderate voters.) But in many a district, bashing illegal immigrants will serve the party well. In these spots, if the choice of targets for voter are either a corrupt party controlling Congress or illegal immigrants sneaking into America to steal jobs, commit crimes, alter the culture, and perhaps engage in terrorist acts, guess who wins.

This week, Senate Republicans tried to play the gay-marriage card--and they failed to defeat a Democrat-led filibuster. But they did throw a chewed-up bone to their social conservative supporters. Congressional Republicans also intend to wave the flag-burning issue soon. It's possible these hot-button wedge issues don't juice up Republican-leaning voters as much as they used to. But illegal immigrants may trump gays and flag-burners as Enemy No. 1 for the GOPers this year. In some districts--maybe critical districts--Jack Abramoff will be no match for that.


Tim Pawlenty used this issue effectively in 2002. He was successful with this partly because the Democratic and IP candidates were both unable to explain why Pawlenty's proposal for making the drivers liscense expire when the visa expired was a bad idea.

Part of the reason the gay marriage issue isn't working so well any more, is that more people (though generally not Democratic politicians) are debating the issue substantively, rather than just saying "it's divisive" or "it's a wedge issue". A recent example is when John Stewart made mincemeat of high roller Bill Bennett. Video at Crooks and Liars.

Bennett: Look, it's a debate about whether you think marriage is between a man and a women.

Stewart: I disagree, I think it's a debate about whether you think gay people are part of the human condition or just a random fetish.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Bleating by the FRC

It would be interesting to find out the real story behind some of these claims:

Marriage Mockers

Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) sneers that defenders of marriage are bigots "pure and simple." Such talk is giving aid and comfort to others who publicly mock marriage. We've reported on the Truro, Mass., fire engineer who was fired because he signed a pro-marriage petition. Now we learn that in Florida, police harassed and ridiculed petition gatherers. The police officers in Sunrise, Fla., ordered Nathan Dunn to stop circulating a petition for signatures to put marriage on the ballot in the Sunshine State. Dunn is Vice President of the Florida Family Policy Council. Two of the male officers mocked the petition drive by publicly kissing each other. Worse, this incident took place at a Promise Keepers gathering. The petition effort had been approved by PK leaders. Sergeant Stephen Allen, it quickly became clear, is a backer of gay marriage. FRC is looking into these actions and will seek an appropriate legal and legislative remedy. The right of petition is fundamental. Harassment such as we've seen in Massachusetts and Florida give the lie to Ted Kennedy's slander. There is bigotry in this debate--and it's all coming from his side. Does Kennedy think his fellow Democrats in the Pennsylvania state legislature are bigots? While Mr. Kennedy was engaged in hate speech on the Senate floor against supporters of marriage, the Democratic-controlled House in Pennsylvania approved a marriage protection amendment for the Keystone State. The vote was 136-61. Michael Geer and the Pennsylvania Family Institute are to be congratulated for this important victory.


I just went over to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives page on the web, and it appears that Democrats are in the minority not the majority. How do I know? Well the speaker is a Republican, and the floor leader is a Republican.

That being said, there were clearly a number of Democrats who voted for this amendment.

Eva Young Interviews David Francis About Bachmann and Vandeveer's Memorial Day Gaffe

Republican candidates Michele Bachmann and Ray Vandeveer turn a Memorial Day observance into a campaign event. Democratic candidate for State Senator and former Navy Captain David Francis was not invited. Eva Young interviewed David Francis yesterday and you can watch the short You Tube movie here

Will the media pundits who criticized Democrats for turning
Senator Wellstone's memorial into a campaign rally go after Bachmann and Vandeveer for this?

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Is Katherine Kersten Plagiarizing the Drama Queen?

Kersten's latest column is straight from MDE. Rough drafts here.

Smartie explains.

Spotty at the Stool busted Kersten for plegiarism earlier this year. From google cache of the Norwegianity's comments on this:

OK, now I have to admit that I’m a bit disappointed. I let the Kersten plagiarism story go in midweek, thinking Kate Parry would address it in her column today. Nope.

Digging some more I reluctantly visited SwanBlog and found this "mea culpa" on the "close relationship" I cited between the involved parties.

Norwegianity also complains that Gyllenhaal fails to address the "close relationship" between Kersten, Lodoen, and Scott Johnson of Powerline. The "close relationship" is that Lodoen is a friend of Scott's coworker. Lodoen also once attended a lecture sponsored by Kersten's old employer and asked a question during the Q and A. Talk about six degrees of separation.

You can nitpick these things to death (like the fact that we're talking two degrees of separation tops), but this statement doesn't say there isn't a relationship, it just mentions two peripheral aspects of some of the relationships involved. Based on this, how on earth did Kersten ever hear of Lodoen's story? Obviously there are more ties here than SwanBlog cares to delve into.

I've never met Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft, but I actually do know her through email and it's entirely possible we could conspire together to flog a story. If you're reading a blog, you should always assume such things are possible. But when you're reading a newspaper, you expect disclaimers when there are ties between the subject of the story and the writer.

SwanBlog may not know Katherine Kersten. Or SwanBlog may have been sleeping with her since the last Institute for the American Experiment Kwanza party. Who knows? I do know that anyone who throws out crap like this is a bit suspect:

Norwegianity copies text from an e-mail by Anders Gyllenhaal (gasp). I thought copying from an e-mail was a no no!

Of all the wingnut sales tropes, deliberate stupidity is their most offensive. Quote anyone you like with attribution. If Kersten is quoting from emails, her column should mention an exchange of emails. Otherwise I assume they came from a direct interview. And if she's quoting material that has already appeared online, NOT attributing IS plagiarism. Period. I don't need to wait for Webster's to update the dictionary to know that.

Ever since I got bounced from my high school for putting out an "underground" newspaper, I've tracked stories about journalistic ethics. I have frequently heard "real" journalists rip tabloids and gossip rags for deals where the celebrity got to review the story before publication. Anders Gyllenhaal blithely admits Kersten did just that. Getting the story just right? or tweaking the shit out of it to create just the right effect?


This is standard operating procedure for Kersten's columns.

Francis on Air America

We just received this message:

Tune in AM 950 or your affiliate station today at 5:15 CDT for my 15
minutes of fame on Air America. I am being interviewed about the
shameless politicization of Memorial Day events by the right wing
Republicans.

Regards,

David Francis
Candidate for Minnesota Senate (SD 52)

The Personal Rapid Transit Con Job Continues in New Zealand

From Tom Beard in the Wellurban blog:

....for now I just want to counter the rabid anti-public transport arguments that the promoters trot out. In particular, they claim that:

Wellingtonians have a view that public transport is "for losers" and that will not change by upgrading buses and trains."


Read more here:

Sounds like the the same anti-transit baloney PRT promoters like Michele Bachmann and Rep. Mark Olson dished out for years.

Idiocy from Powerline

For some reason Powerline shows up as a news source when searching for news. Powerline is an opinion blog, not a news source. They aren't reporters.

I was searching google news for the roll call vote on the Federal Bachmann amendment and this piece of noise by the Best Meltdown Award Winner came up in my search.

June 07, 2006
More Agenda Journalism from the Associated Press

Here is how Associated Press reporter Laurie Kellman reported on today's Senate vote on the marriage amendment, in an article titled "Gay marriage ban fails by wide margin in Senate":

The Senate rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage by a wide margin Wednesday, delivering a stinging defeat to President Bush and other Republicans who had hoped the issue would rally GOP voters for the November elections.


Rather than linking to the AP article, Hindrocket links a Star Tribune article on the topic by Brady Averill in the Washington Bureau.

If you read carefully, of course, you'll find that more Senators voted for the amendment than against it. Failure to achieve the super-majority needed to overcome a filibuster is not what is normally referred to as a "stinging defeat."


It is a stinging defeat when they were expecting a gain in the number of votes for the Amendment, since several new avowed supporters of the amendment (David Vitters in Louisiana, Dave Thune in South Dakota) were elected since the last vote on the issue.

Compare that characterization to the AP's coverage of Democratic Congressional candidate Francine Busby's defeat yesterday in California's 50th District. Busby, unlike advocates of the marriage amendment, received a minority of the votes cast. That must have been a really stinging defeat for Busby and the Democrats, right?

Wrong! Busby's defeat was a "stiff Democratic challenge," and Busby made a "close showing!" Not only that, but the winner, Republican Brian Bilbray, "won't have much time to savor his victory," since Busby will run against him in the fall.

One more thing: the AP says, of the vote on the marriage amendment, that the Republicans "had hoped the issue would rally GOP voters for the November elections," as though that hope were now dashed. But why? The idea, obviously, was to force Senators to take a position so that voters, who overwhelmingly oppose gay marriage, can vote against those who went the other way. The issue may rally social conservatives even more by virtue of the amendment's failing to overcome the liberals' filibuster than if it had passed.

In short, this is another example of a common phenomenon: journalists' reports on the events of the day often tell us more about the journalists' attitudes than about the real significance of the events.
Posted by John at 07:36 PM


Hindrocket does a good job parroting RNC talking points.

Coleman's statement quoted in Brady Averill's article was just nonsense:

Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., voted to end the filibuster, saying the Senate should have a chance to vote on the merits of the amendment.

He argued that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that court judgments can't substitute judgments made in legislatures.

"Today we had the opportunity to protect states from activist judges who take it upon themselves to legislate from the bench, and unfortunately the process was not allowed to move forward," Coleman said. "This amendment would have put this issue back in the hands of the voters of each state."


Actually, since this amendment bans gay marriage at the federal level, it does not allow state voters to have a say in the matter. Is Norm Coleman saying gay couples should not have access to the courts? The amendment goes beyond banning gay marriages to also ban "legal equivalent", which invites court challenges and ultimately this makes it more likely the courts will decide this issue.

Anti-gay-Marriage Issues on State Ballots

Here.

Meanwhile, competing conservative and liberal groups are rushing to beat the clock on gay marriage and minimum wage initiatives in many states, and it may not be known for months which make the ballot. Voters in Alabama, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin will vote on banning same-sex marriage this year, and there are citizen-led campaigns seeking votes on this issue in Arizona, Colorado and Illinois.


Does anyone know of a blog that focuses on these state iniatives?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Brian Bilbray Defeats Francine Busby San Diego Special Election

Chuck Muth's DC Confidential gives astute analysis:

FIRST AND TEN AT THE 50

Republicans yesterday held on to the California congressional seat formerly held by disgraced Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham. The vote was close. The Republican, former congressman Brian Bilbray, pulled in 49.5 percent of the vote while the Democrat, Francine Busby, netted 45.3 percent of the vote. So Bilbray will finish out Duke's term through January...and the pair will square off again in November for a full term.

Republicans are cheering - gleeful that the victory prevents Democrats from claiming any momentum for massive changes in November which could turn control of the House back over to the Democrats. But I wouldn't be popping champagne corks were I them.

First, Cunningham's 50th congressional district is a GOP stronghold. Cunningham beat Busby for this seat in 2004 with 58 percent of the vote vs. 37 percent for Busby. That this vote in this district was so close should scare the socks off the GOP pooh-bahs in Washington...especially after dumping some $5 million into the race.

Secondly, Busby shot herself in the foot just days before the election by getting herself caught on tape encouraging illegal aliens to get involved in the race, telling them "you don't need papers to vote." Such a declaration in this San Diego-area district just north of the Mexican border surely cost her considerable support, and maybe even the election itself. It could reasonably be argued here that Bilbray didn't so much win as Busby lost.

Democrats should be heartened by this race and Republicans should be scared. Competitive seats in other districts which aren't so GOP-friendly, which won't get $5 million from DC-Republicans, and which don't have Democrat opponents who encourage illegal aliens to vote are apparently absolutely up for grabs in November.


I'd agree.

Mike Hatch: No Fire in the Belly for Governor Campaign

mikeunhatchedsm

Mike Hatch didn't seem to have much fire in the belly when he debated opponents Steve Kelley and Becky Lourey on Almanac. Hatch was asked whether he would have signed the screw Hennepin County Stadium bill, and after being asked several times, he finally said he would sign the bill.

He was also asked about the rumor that he was going to drop back to the AG race. Hatch denied this, and said he was running for governor.

Now the Pioneer Press has a profile on Mike Hatch.

By most estimates, Attorney General Mike Hatch heads to the Democratic-Farmer-Labor state convention this weekend in Rochester as the front-runner for his party's endorsement for governor.

He should be. Hatch is the DFL's best-known political leader, its highest state office-holder and its all-time leading vote-getter.

But he's no shoo-in. He will have to fight to win the endorsement.

Why? Because Hatch is a bare-knuckled political street fighter who, during a quarter century as a major player in Minnesota politics, has made a lot of enemies.

As state DFL chairman in the early 1980s, he waged a campaign — largely unsuccessful — to weaken the grip that abortion-rights and anti-abortion factions had on the party and shift its focus to more bread-and-butter issues.

After serving as Gov. Rudy Perpich's commerce commissioner for seven years, he ran against Perpich in the 1990 DFL primary and lost. Four years later, he challenged another DFL gubernatorial endorsee, state Sen. John Marty, in the primary and lost again.

He finally won an election in 1998 — after upsetting state Sen. Ember Reichgott Junge, the DFL-endorsed candidate for attorney general, in another primary.

Hatch, 57, of Burnsville, has a history of bucking the party establishment that will control the convention this weekend.

"Mike has burned a lot of bridges over the years," Democratic National Committee member Jackie Stevenson of Minnetonka said earlier this week.

Hatch's enemies generally fall into two categories, said veteran Democratic political strategist Bob Meek. One is powerful institutions, such as insurance companies, big banks, hospital chains and other large health care organizations. First as commerce commissioner and now as attorney general, he has aggressively battled those powerful interests, ostensibly on behalf of consumers.

The second group that Hatch has offended, Meek said, is "party insiders," especially "elitist liberals." He has challenged their endorsement process and never championed their pet social issues, such as abortion rights or gay rights. Instead, he has concentrated on issues closer to the hearts of blue-collar and rural Democrats, such as jobs, education, health care and — unlike many liberals — gun rights.

"Mike knows rough-and-tumble politics," Meek said. "He's brash, ambitious; some people call him ruthless."

But he said Hatch sees himself using that hard-hitting style to "represent folks who otherwise don't get represented." He stands up for the little guy, and that's what endears him to many rank-and-file Democrats.


Actually, in 1990, Hatch ran as a pro-choice candidate against Rudy Perpich. Then in 1994, he obtained MCCL endorsement for his primary race against John Marty. Hatch also attacked John Marty for supporting Domestic Partner benefits.

Mike Hatch has never gone on the record about his position on the Bachmann amendment.

"As far as I know, we have identical positions on gay marriage. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman," he said. But he declined to support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage that Pawlenty backs.

Source: Bill Salisbury, All Bets are on Political Clash of Titans; No Love Lost Between Pawlenty, Likely Foe Hatch, St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN)
November 14, 2005


The rumor that Hatch was thinking of dropping out of the race will be a factor during the upcoming DFL convention.

I know a number of DFLers who plan to vote 3rd party (Hutchinson), should Hatch be the DFL nominee.

Senator Dayton: This Amendment is UnChristian

Mark Dayton gave an excellent speech against the Federal Bachmann Amendment. He gets an award from Good As You.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Aravosis's Partisan Wingnuttery

John Aravosis is the blogger who started the "Dear Mary" campaign, putting Mary Cheney's face on a milk carton. This was a vile campaign, and did nothing to help the gay community - and was all about punishing Mary Cheney for being loyal to her father. Now Aravosis is crowing about the brilliance of how the Democrats reacted during the Federal Marriage Amendment debate.

It's Terri Schiavo all over again.

And kudos to Senator Reid and the Democrats for refusing to take the bait on this one. The Republicans tried to sucker punch the Dems into a three-day debate on gay marriage. So, Harry Reid is giving them a three day debate on why they're afraid to talk about Iraq, gas prices, and the war on terror. Brilliant.

As an aside, our audience on this blog, and thus our strategies, are somewhat different than Senator Reid's. He has to convince the public that the Republicans are out of touch while the Democrats want to deal with the top issues of concern to Americans.

We, on the other hand, want to teach the Republicans a lesson in what's going to happen to them when they choose to gay-bait in the future. They'll be tormented (a la Mary Cheney), outed (a la... well... you know who), and incessantly pestered by phone and at public meetings about whether they abstain from the very sexual practices they demonize us for. Our strategy is: Once burned, twice shy.


Well actually, this is the Democratic strategy - blame the republicans for distracting the public on this issue, all the while doing nothing to use the time debating this issue explaining why the amendment is a bad idea. Then keep on asking gays to give the DNC, DCCC and DSCC money. Gays should be giving money directly to the organizations fighting the anti-gay initiatives in the states.

Since we avoided an amendment fight here in Minnesota, I urge people to consider helping Wisconsin defeat this nonsense.




A Fair Wisconsin Votes No




Fair Wisconsin has an excellent blog, No on the Amendment that describes what's going on there...

It seems like unlike South Carolina, HRC is actually lending support in the fight against the amendment in Wisconsin.

I hope gay groups fighting this will ask Mary Cheney to help - and I hope Mary Cheney answers their pleas.

If Mary Cheney and her parents help defeat these amendments in Wisconsin and elsewhere, what will John Aravosis do?

UPDATE: From Pam Spaulding's comments about "Defender of Marriage", Hillary Clinton, who has taken the "brave" stand of opposing the so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment."

Hillary's traditional marriage means one husband, one wife, four cocktail waitresses, three Miss America contestants, two interns, one cashier at Red Lobster...

(EVERYBODY join in!)

And a par-trid-ge in a pear tree.

Drama Queen v Drama Queen

Michael Brodkorb has the latest in the ongoing legal drama between he and Blois Olson. MN Publius gives the money quote.

To survive Defendants' motion to dismiss, Plaintiffs must provide clear and convincing evidence to this Court that the Defendants acts are not protected by Minnesota Chapter 554. If the plaintiff cannot satisfy this burden of proof, the court must grant the motion to dismiss. See Minn. Stat. $$ 544.02, subd. 2(2); subd. 2(3)

Chapter 554 applies to speech that is aimed at procuring favorable government action. DME's [sic] website is aimed at influencing voters and is a self-professed "blog dedicated to a truthful discussion on the activities, statements, and tactics of Minnesota Democrats," which does not petition for any favorable government action. Because Plaintiffs have produced clear and convincing evidence for this Court to show that Defendants are not protected by Minnesota Chapter 554, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss is denied on this basis.


Developing...

Norm Coleman on the Federal Marriage Amendment

-----Original Message-----
From: Opinion@coleman.senate.gov
To:
Sent: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 11:35:33 -0400
Subject: Re: www_email


Dear Mr. :

Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding the Marriage Protection Amendment (S.J. Res. 1).
I support a constitutional amendment that would constitutionalize the Defense of Marriage Act, ensuring that the citizens of a state, through their legislature, have the right to define marriage as they see fit. Moreover, I believe that state legislatures and citizens, not activist judges, should determine what constitutes a marriage.

I have not, however, agreed to support the Marriage Protection Amendment which was introduced on January 24, 2005, by Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary where it was reported favorably by the Constitution Subcommittee on November 9, 2005. This resolution proposes a constitutional amendment holding that only marriages between men and women will be recognized as legal marriages in the United States . In addition, this resolution would prohibit any state or federal laws that seek to confer marital status to unmarried couples or groups.

My two chief concerns about this particular resolution are that the language may to go beyond the issue of defining marriage and interfere with things such as employer-provided health care programs, for example and that it substitutes the judgment that citizens of each state should make through their legislatures.
Though we may agree at times and disagree at times, I value your advice and will keep it in mind when the Senate returns to this topic.

I am humbled to serve as your Senator, and hope you will not hesitate to contact me on any issue of concern to you or your family.

Sincerely,
Norm Coleman
United States Senate


So why did he tell the Star Tribune differently?

Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, who favors the amendment, said proponents fear the law might be thrown out by the courts and that the only way to protect marriage is to change the Constitution.

By voting for the amendment, Coleman said, he wants to make sure that "you can't substitute courts' judgments for the judgment of the legislatures."


Developing. . .

Anti-gay Activist Group Attacks Tim Pawlenty

Here.

EdWatch Calls on Pawlenty to halt his administrations
promotion of homosexual agenda
GLBT groups receive taxpayer funds

ST. PAUL, MINN (June 6, 2006) Governor Tim Pawlenty's public stances are opposite the behind-the-scenes actions by his departments.

Although Gov. Pawlenty is publicly supporting a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, homosexual advocacy groups are being funded by grants from the state Department of Health under his authority. Additionally, under Governor Pawlenty's supervision, his administration is actively promoting the indoctrination of students into a homosexual worldview and value system.

EdWatch notified the Governor's office more than one month ago that his Departments of Health and Education have been including homosexual advocacy into policies and directives which impact impressionable children beginning with pre-schoolers.

For example, groups funded by state agencies and materials on the Governors Health Department website have supported the aggressive indoctrination of children into the homosexual agenda by advocating that pro-homosexual/bisexual/transgender values be taught in schools. This includes teaching that homosexuality, heterosexuality, and bisexuality must be viewed as morally and socially equivalent, and that people who define marriage as existing only between a man and woman are bigots.

The Governors Department of Education is using outcome measurements for preschoolers and child care providers that require teaching gender identity through stories, games, and conversation. Gender identity curricula include children experimenting with various gender roles and behaviors and questioning their own sexual orientation.

One of the groups that played a key role with Pawlenty's administration in writing Minnesota's Early Childhood Indicators of Progress has published the widely used book, The Anti-bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children. This publication and others train teachers in the gender identity curriculum. "Gender identity," as defined by this book, teaches children to question their gender identity. Their definition of ?homophobia? teaches preschoolers that social norms which value and prefer heterosexual relationships are bigotry.

Under Governor Pawlenty, homosexual advocacy groups, such as the Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP) and District 202, are financially supported with grants from his Department of Health. MAP actively opposes the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage that Pawlenty supports in public, yet 10% of its budget is from state taxpayers. MAP labels the marriage amendment "homophobic." District 202 encourages students to embrace diversity and learn about homophobia and transphobia by, for example, holding hands with someone of the same sex in public.

Additionally, a Coordinated School Health Program website (CSH), sponsored and created by the Governors Health and Education Departments, has been aggressively promoting homosexual advocacy groups, that include Out 4 Good, Out 4 Equity, and Rainbow Families. The CSH site lists two well-known homosexual advocacy groups OutFront Minnesota and Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund as their references for homosexual and transgender legal rights.

The only apparent response from the Governor to date has been to make the CSH website password protected, leaving the public in the dark about who has access to that site or what content still remains.

Governor Pawlentys state health and education departments recently promoted a Rainbow Families Conference at which teachers were trained to integrate homosexual advocacy into preschool curriculum. Teachers attending the conference learned strategies on how to interrupt heterosexism and homophobia in schools. This conference also taught seminars specifically on how to oppose the marriage amendment.

"The Minnesota Human Rights statute does not condone or promote the teaching of homosexuality in the schools," says Dr. Karen Effrem, a pediatrician and board member of EdWatch. "These programs are a betrayal of the public trust and an endangerment to the public health."

EdWatch is calling on Governor Pawlenty to stop the use of taxpayer funds for homosexual advocacy groups and to stop the integration of homosexuality into school curriculum, beginning with preschool.


This is the Michele Bachmann wing of the Republican Party. Will Outfront Minnesota defend Governor Tim Pawlenty on this?

Edwatch Attacks Governor Pawlenty

Over at Dump Bachmann here.

Edwatch filed a PAC report in 2005. Edwatch, the Non-profit arm of Michele Bachmann's campaign, does not seem to have filed lobbying disclosure reports. It's obvious from their legislative alert, they were clearly at the legislature lobbying.

President with the Forked Tongue

From Chuck Muth's DC Confidential:

PRESIDENT WITH THE FORKED TONGUE

The same man in the White House who steadfastly proclaims his "guest worker" immigration proposal is not "amnesty" this week declared that a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriages "would not take the issue away from states as some have argued."

Now you can be for gay marriage or against gay marriage...but if the Federal Marriage Amendment is adopted, it would ban each and every state from recognizing gay marriages regardless of what the people and their elected representatives of each state might decide. The FMA absolutely, positively, without question WOULD "take the issue away from states."

Just as Roe v. Wade took the abortion issue away from the states.


Duh.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Bush Moves "Marriage Protection" Speech From Rosegarden

From Rawstory:

President Bush unexpectedly yanked a press event on the Federal Marriage Amendment from the White House Rose Garden and placed it inside the Old Executive Office Building without explanation, CNN reported Monday.

After giving a prepared statement, the President did not take any questions, and instead walked off the podium.


And the anti-gay activist leaders - James Dobson, Tony Perkins etc. were hidden away from the cameras.

Neal Boortz hits the nail on the head.

THAT BUSH .. HE'S REALLY IN TOUCH, ISN'T HE?

I had yet another sleepless night last night. It was awful. I woke up at about 1:30 and just couldn't get back to sleep again. You'll hear me yawning uncontrollably today on the show. Not good radio, but whatchagonnado?

And what kept me awake? Well ... I'm sure you're like me. At night, when the mind is otherwise cleared of the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life, those problems that really count, I mean those just awful and terrible problems you have, will come visiting ---- with a vengeance. So last night I'm lying there when suddenly I'm shocked by the realization that somewhere, perhaps even within a ten-mile radius of my home, my sanctuary, there might be two men or two women who truly love each other lying in their own bed as they sleep. Then ... this horrible thought. What if they wanted to get married? Well .. that was it for me. I should have just gone ahead and gotten up to start the day about four hours early. I spent the rest of the night worrying about the devastating impact on my own marriage and on my career that would surely follow if two gays or two lesbians were actually allowed to engage in some ceremony to show their love and lifetime devotion to one another. Why, I'm just not sure I could go on! What would be the purpose in life if two homosexuals were actually allowed to make that kind of commitment to each other?

Fortunately, help is on the way. Today we're going to have a big time presidential speech from the Rose Garden today at 1:00. Frankly, I'm surprised they didn't plant a garden of pansies just for this incredible event. President Bush is going to set all of our minds at ease by coming out strongly for some sort of a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage. We've needed this for such a long time. I think that it is perfectly fitting for us to use the United States Constitution, a document that is dedicated to the preservation of our inalienable rights, to tell a certain specific group of people what they cannot do, rather than tell the government what it cannot do.

We don't need tax reform. We don't need an end to earmark pork spending in Congress. We don't need smaller government and school choice. We don't need real reform that would put medical care back into the competitive marketplace. We need none of those things. All is fine! What we need is a Constitutional Amendment that will keep two people who love each other, but who we don't consider to be normal -- not by our standards anyway -- to marry.

I know I'll sleep better tonight.


The Senate vote is tomorrow.

Stadium Boondoggle Hurts Kelley

The Pioneer Press has a profile on Steve Kelley:

Kelley's sponsorship of the Twins stadium bill in the state Senate this year elevated his profile and gave him a platform for talking about enhanced mass-transit funding, a goal most of the delegates probably share.

But his support for the stripped-down version of the Twins bill that became law, a plan that does not include transit money and does not give Hennepin County residents a vote on the sales tax that will pay for the ballpark, is certain to cost Kelley votes with convention delegates.

"That's going to be a negative," said Sen. John Hottinger, a Democrat from St. Peter who is a Kelley fan.

*************snip************

On the stadium issue, Kelley said he assumed leadership among Senate Democrats in the controversy this year because he saw the Twins and Vikings as important to Minnesota's quality of life.

"Sixty percent of my constituents wanted me to make sure the teams stayed in town," Kelley said. "And 60 percent didn't want to pay anything to do it. It was an attractive and complex problem to work on."

Kelley began the legislative session as sponsor of the bill that called for a Hennepin County sales tax to pay most of the cost of an outdoor ballpark.

But three weeks before the end of the session, Kelley and Senate Democrats made massive changes in the funding scheme.

They combined separate Twins and Vikings legislation into a single bill, added a retractable roof for the Twins and proposed financing the whole thing with a 0.5 percent metro sales tax that would have quickly paid off both stadiums and produced $12 billion over 30 years for mass transit. And the bill would have given metro residents a vote on the tax.

When the legislation came back to the Senate after a conference committee, though, the Vikings stadium was mostly gone from the bill, the Twins' roof was gone, the metro tax and transit funding were gone, and the referendum was gone.

Some senators complained that the part of the bill they liked — the transit money — or the part that made them willing to accept the legislation — the referendum — had disappeared too quickly and too completely.

But Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, a supporter of the transit money, praised Kelley's leadership on the issue, even though it may hurt him at the convention this week.

"The fact he was willing to take on the Twins bill was a gutsy thing to do," Pappas said.


This shows his priorities. Putting the transit in the bill was just to get the democratic votes to get the bill past the Senate, so it would go to a conference committee which took the house version.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Amendment Tally

Norm Coleman is listed as undecided on some tallys.

People should call his office tomorrow and tell him to vote no.

DC and State Offices

Washington Office:
320 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Main: 202-224-5641
Fax: 202-224-1152
Scheduling: 202-228-1503

Minnesota Office in St. Paul:
2550 University Ave W, Suite 100N
St. Paul, MN 55114
Main: 651-645-0323
Fax: 651-645-3110
Toll Free: 800-642-6041

Minnesota Office in Mankato:
12 Civic Center Plaza
Suite 2167
Mankato, Minnesota 56001
Main: 507-625-6800
Fax: 507-625-9427

Alexander, Lamar (R-TN)
Allard, Wayne (R-CO)
Allen, George (R-VA)
Bennett, Robert F. (R-UT)
Bond, Christopher S. (R-MO)
Brownback, Sam (R-KS)
Bunning, Jim (R-KY)
Burns, Conrad (R-MT)
Burr, Richard (R-NC)
Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA)
Coburn, Thomas (R-OK
Cochran, Thad (R-MS)
Cornyn, John (R-TX)
Craig, Larry E. (R-ID)
Crapo, Mike (R-ID)
DeMint, Jim (R-SC)
DeWine, Mike (R-OH)
Dole, Elizabeth (R-NC)
Domenici, Pete V. (R-NM)
Ensign, John (R-NV)
Enzi, Mike (R-WY)
Frist, William H. (R-TN)
Graham, Lindsay (R-S
Grassley, Charles E. (R-IA)
Hatch, Orrin G. (R-UT)
Hutchison, Kay Bailey (R-TX)
Inhofe, James M. (R-OK)
Isakson, Johnny (R-GA)
Kyl, John (R-AZ)
Lott, Trent (R-MS)
Lugar, Richard G. (R-IN)
Martinez, Mel (R-FL)
McConnell, Mitch (R-KY)
Murkowski, Lisa (R-AK)
Nelson, Ben (D-NE)
Roberts, Pat (R-KS)
Santorum, Rick (R-PA)
Sessions, Jeff (R-AL)
Shelby, Richard C. (R-AL)
Smith, Gordon (R-OR)
Stevens, Ted (R-AK)
Talent, James M. (R-MO)
Thomas, Craig (R-WY)
Thune, John (R-SD)
Vitter, David (R-LA)
Voinovich, George (R-OH)

Unclear on the Amendment
Coleman, Norm (R-MN)
Gregg, Judd (R-NH)
Warner, John W. (R-VA)


John Aravosis is requesting information about adultery/divorce records for "Marriage Protection Amendment" supporters.

So-Called Marriage Protection Amendment Reprise

WaPO quoting HRC's Joe Salmonese:

"They understand that they are in deep trouble and they need to do anything they can to appease their people, which is the right-wing base," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization. "This is an age-old political tactic, which is when everything is falling down around you -- as it is for the administration -- you go for your base."


This is a very weak argument from Joe Salmonese, who represents the most well known and well funded national gay rights organization. This is a reason why I will ignore their latest solicitation for money.

More:

In one North Carolina congressional district, for instance, Republican challenger Vernon Robinson has aired a radio ad attacking Democratic Rep. Brad Miller with mariachi music playing in the background: "Brad Miller supports gay marriage and sponsored a bill to let American homosexuals bring their foreign homosexual lovers to this country on a marriage visa. If Miller had his way, America would be nothing but one big fiesta for illegal aliens and homosexuals."

Miller voted against the Marriage Protection Amendment in 2004, saying the matter should be left to the states. "The republic has survived pretty well for 220 years with marriage based on state law," he said yesterday. "I don't think we ought to amend the constitution every time a politician wants to campaign on an issue." Miller said he supports North Carolina law banning same-sex marriage but is open to civil unions between gay partners.


This ad doesn't just discuss gay marriage, it starts out with immigrant bashing.

Every night 7000 aliens rush into our country illegally and your ultra liberal congressman Brad Miller refuses to guard the border. Instead of deporting them, he votes for amnesty and throws them a party with your tax dollars..... These aliens pay no income tax and send their money back to Mexico, then they take to the streets waving the Mexican flag and demanding more.


I can imagine this ad will just help Brad Miller raise money.

WaPO continues:


The Marriage Protection Amendment would ban same-sex marriages, but sponsors say it would allow state legislatures to approve civil unions with similar benefits for gay couples. In its entirety, it reads: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman."


Now why didn't Joe Salmonese use his quote opportunity to refute this? The amendment still includes the legal incidents language - and invites litigation to interpret the meaning. Instead, Salmonese said the amendment is a distraction, without engaging people in why this amendment is a bad idea.

It's fair to make the point that this amendment is an attempt to marginalize an unpopular minority for political gain, but it's important to state why this amendment is a bad idea. Arguing that this is a distraction from the more important issue of gas price increases is not a good argument.

South Carolina Fights Anti-Gay Constitutional Amendment

Howard Dean in his speech to Stonewall Democrats claimed that the DNC is providing help to the state organizations fighting these amendments (speech at Page One Q). A commenter calls Dean on this:

The Democratic party has not given on single f#cking dime to the glbt citizens of South Carolina. So, I call b#llsh!t on this one. Side note: the HRC, ACLU and most national organizations have not helped SC glbt citizens fight our very own Family Discrimination Amendment coming up this November.

visit: http://dumbamendment.com/

and see what we, the GLBT community in SC, have created by raising thousands of dollars from our friends and families. The only orgainzation to really step up to the plate with cash was NGLTF. The HRC gave our people $5k because one of our citizens gave the HRC a $10k contribution.

I encourage all American GLBT citizens and the str8 allies to visit: http://www.scequality.org/
and donate some $$$ to your brothers and sisters fighting the fight with little or no national support because the national organizations have already written us off as a loss.
Uncle Zoloft


NGLTF is the one National gay organization that does provide help to state organizations fighting anti-gay ballot initiatives.

My guess is that Wisconsin is getting assistance from the national gay organizations. Personally, I think HRC should be replacing their DNC, DSCC and DCCC donations with donations to these state campaigns.

Independence Party Candidate in 6th CD Race

His name is John Binkowski. MPR's website has more here.

Unlike the previous IP candidate running for the 6th District, Binkowski opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Minnesota Public Radio has a select a candidate running comparing Bachmann, Wetterling and Binkowski.