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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bleating from the FRC

Not a Good Time for a Vacation . . .

FRC's Government Affairs staff and I will be working triple overtime next week trying to keep up with the flurry of activity that will be occurring up on Capitol Hill. No less than seven votes that are important to families are expected and your help is vital. The big vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment is scheduled for Tuesday on the House of Representatives side and your phone calls are urgently needed. Meanwhile the Senate will be debating a three-vote bioethics package that includes a bill that prohibits fetus farming, a bill on alternative pluripotent stem cell research (both sponsored by Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)), and legislation that authorizes the National Institutes of Health to use further taxpayer funds for research that requires the killing of human embryos (the House has already voted on this last bill). Once the Senate votes on this bioethics package the House will immediately vote on Senator Santorum's legislation. Then all three bioethics bills will go to President Bush, who has vowed to use his first veto against the taxpayer-funded expansion of destructive embryonic stem cell research. Add to this mix a possible vote in the House on the Pledge Protection Act and vote in the Senate on the Child Custody Protection Act and you can understand we won't be getting a lot of sleep next week. Thoroughly confused? That is why we have made a checklist for you to take to church this weekend and share with your friends on the bills pending next week. Let your voices be heard on these important issues.


Stem cell research is being used against Republicans by DFLers in a number of Minnesota campaigns.

Sue Jeffers Names Running Mate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sue Jeffers to Register for Republican Primary and Announce Running Mate at Press Conference

Ruth Hendrycks selected as Lt. Governor Candidate. Kiffmeyer expected to accept registration personally.

St. Paul, Minnesota - Sue Jeffers will enter her registration as a candidate for Governor of Minnesota on Monday July 17, 2006. Declaring her party affiliation as Republican, Ms. Jeffers will face Tim Pawlenty in the September 12 primary.

Jeffers said her registration is intended to give voters a clear choice against the status quo. "Tim Pawlenty has abandoned Republican principles and disenfranchised those of us who believe in limiting government growth. He was the leader of a legislative spending binge on Minnesota taxpayers, delivering the largest budget in State history topped off by a billion dollar bonding bill. It's time to give the voters a choice and a reason to come out and vote," Jeffers declared.

Sue Jeffers, and newly announced Lieutenant Governor Candidate Ruth Hendrycks, will file personally with Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer. Jeffers' press conference announcing her official candidacy and introducing Hendrycks as her running mate will take place in room 118 of the state office building at 10:30 AM. Jeffers and Hendrycks will register immediately following, and will be available for interviews afterwards.

Hendrycks is the president of an immigration reform group that advocates for reasonable legal immigration. She is a resident of Hanska, Minnesota, where she lives with her husband, Scott, of 26 years. They have three children. Hendrycks serves in a New Ulm civic organization and has been involved with several professional and volunteer organizations such as the 4-H and Girl Scouts, and is a certified mediator.

Jeffers said she asked Hendrycks to join her because of her passion for helping people, and her firm convictions. "Ruth has tremendous energy and enthusiasm," said Jeffers, "I'm thrilled to have her on the team. We're ready to go to work for the taxpayers."

Hendrycks said she was honored to have been chosen to run with Sue Jeffers. "Not only do I share her points of view," she said, "but I also feel that Minnesotans deserve to have important issues we care about front and center this election year. I look forward to serving Minnesota for the upcoming term."

Flag on the Play

Eric Black from the Strib goes after the NRSC's latest press release on his blog the Big Question and in the strib.

In a press release last week, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) quoted three politically prominent Democrats and one Republican -- attacking the crime-fighting record of Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar, the DFL candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Slight problem: None of the four was talking about Klobuchar, although the NRSC said they were.

The author of the press release doesn't dispute that those he quoted weren't referring specifically to Klobuchar when they described criminal justice problems. But he said that since Klobuchar emphasizes that her job is to hold people accountable for crimes, it's fair to hold her accountable for crime problems.

If there were rules of straightforwardness in political discourse, the referee would throw a flag on this press release and penalize the NRSC for context fabrication.

There is no such referee. But as the 2006 campaign season heats up, the Star Tribune will scrutinize the candor and honesty of political communications. This story is the kickoff of an occasional series named "Is That A Fact?"


From the Big Question blog:

I’ll just start with a comment of mine own: I don’t get why anyone thought it necessary to do the context fabrication gag. If the NRSC had simply said something like:

Klobuchar is a prosecutor, running on her record. Yet all of these people, including her party friends and allies, seem to think there are problems with the crime picture in Hennepin County. So she needs to take accountability for the recent increase in crime.

Wouldn't that have done just as much good for the Republican cause as the press release did, without risking getting slammed for context fabrication?


Well duh!

Eric Black's blog is getting better over time, and I think this is a good example of how a reporter can use his blog and reporting to compliment each other.

More Bad Press for Entenza

Here and here.

On Almanac, Republican party chair, Ron Carey should have won the debate easily with DFL party chair Brian Melendez - and Jim Moore from the IP staying above the fray. Brian got in a zinger when Carey was getting high and mighty about the Democrats fighting each other, when Melendez responded by referring to when Governor Pawlenty campaigned hard for Carey's opponent for GOP party chair, and now Carey and the governor are getting along fine.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Keith Ellison - the #1 Worrier in the 5th Congressional District

I watched the 'Almanac' fracas with the DFL 5th CD candidates.

Mike Erlandson name dropped at every turn. Mine might have been the only name in Minneapolis that he didn't cite. I feel slighted.

Ember Reichgott Junge talks at length, and says very little. As an overused panelist and commentator on various media outlets, she used to get paid to run at the mouth. Now she has to collect donations to fund her talking.

Paul Ostrow won't win this primary, but he'd get my vote. He isn't flashy, but speaks to the issues with some credibility and comes across as thoughtful and serious. I've always appreciated his work on the Minneapolis City Council.

And then we have the endorsed candidate, Rep Keith Ellison.

In the great, shallow tradition of President Clinton, he kept reminding us of how concerned he is about everything. It may win voters if you stand around around and recite a litany of woes, and explain how worried you are about everything. What we're missing from him are credible solutions. I also find it incredibly arrogant when public figures tell me how much they care (like the rest of us don't).

Jeff Kouba Responds - and So Do I

Jeff Kouba from Bachmann v Wetterling commented on this post:

The first paragraph I included from the AP story mentioned it, which is why I included it.

"a proposed constitutional amendment to ban future same-sex marriages can be placed on the ballot, if approved by the Legislature"
Jeff


It's true, that Jeff included this in the AP quote. It didn't appear he understood that piece because this was his summation of the situation.

Gee, if Massachusetts can have a vote, why can't Minnesota vote? Oh yeah, because my district sent Don Betzold to the Senate. Go Pam Wolf!


Actually in both Minnesota, and Massachusettes the legislature needs to give approval before things go to the ballot. In both cases, the amendments were bottled up.

Gay Liberal Blogger Unhappy with DFL Governor Candidate Mike Hatch's Poor Record on Gay Issues

Andy at Eleventh Avenue South isn't happy with the DFL endorsed candidate for Governor.

When asked about Gov. Tim Pawlenty's view on same-sex marriage and his own, gubernatorial candidate Mike Hatch had this to say:

"'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."

That's from the Mike Hatch's campaign site.


I just noticed this article on Hatch's website also, and meant to comment on it. It seems that Andy has beaten me to the punch.

Andy adds:

Also, Lloydletta says: "When Mike Hatch ran against John Marty in the 1994 Democratic primary, he attacked John Marty for supporting domestic partner benefits."

It doesn't seem that the top DFL candidate for the Governer's Office is a supporter of LGBT people. The Stonewall DFL, Minnesota's LGBT Democratic caucus has not endorsed Hatch and found Becky Lourey 'acceptable." Hatch also, apparently didn't fill out the Stonewall DFL questionaire, but he did play a part in the Ashley Rukes Pride Parade with Stonewall DFL.

Contrast that with what candidate Becky Lourey has to say on her campaign website: "For me, this is not just a political issue but a deeply personal issue. One of my children is gay and in a committed relationship. I have been fighting for the civil rights of GLBT folks for over thirty years - since the early domestic partnership fights at the University of Minnesota in the early 1970s. My business provides domestic partnership benefits for our GLBT employees. Many members of my campaign staff and leadership are members of the GLBT community."

On LGBT issues, Becky Lourey seems to be the leader between Hatch and Pawlenty.


It's also worth noting that Peter Hutchinson says this:

No I'm not going to support this constitutional amendment. I think it's a terrible idea. I think it gets the government in the middle of something it doesn't belong in. If as I believe the proponents of this amendment say is to protect marriage in our state. The real threat to marriage in Minnesota isn't from loving people who want to get married. The real threat to marriage in our state is divorce. - Minnesota Public Radio 1/25/06


Hutchinson's website repeats this but is less direct.

Compare this to Mike Hatch:

Mike Hatch:
Well I uh believe marriage is between a man and a woman and uh however, I also believe we shouldn't be discriminating against people because of their orientation.

Gary Eichten: So you would oppose the amendment?

Mike Hatch: No I would support the current law. The current law basically says - we have I believe 3 statutes - all of which have been upheld as being constitutional. There's absolutely no danger in Minnesota of anyone claiming that these statutes are unconstitutional. They have already been challenged. And these statutes basically indicate I think there are 3 different statutes, 3 different provisions indicating that marriage is between a male and a female and I support those statutes. Those statutes are constitutional - that's it. We're not going to get involved with the PR going on at the capitol and playing games on this. Source - MPR 2/27/06


When Governor Pawlenty was in the state house, he voted in favor of including gays in the Human Rights Act. He later said he regreted that vote - but he also said publicly that was because the language included transgender people. He was not opposed to the law including gays. I happen to disagree with Governor Pawlenty on that point, and told him so personally during a discussion during the 2000 campaign. It would be interesting to see what Mike Hatch would say about that point. So Hatch and Pawlenty have identical positions on discrimination - since both oppose discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Contrast this with Hatch's DFL primary opponent, Becky Lourey:

I do not support that proposal. I think it's absolutely ludicrous. It goes against human rights, it goes against civil rights. Why would anyone try to interfere between a committed relationship between two adults. I think we have no business in the private life of individuals... I equate the arguments with the arguments against interracial marriage in this country. MPR, 2/21/2006


How well with Mike Hatch do with getting the personal endorsements of openly Gay elected officials?

Stonewall DFL will be considering the Hatch endorsement at their upcoming board meeting this weekend. It will be interesting to see what they do. The DFL State central committee will be meeting tomorrow to discuss the endorsement of Lt Governor candidate, Judi Dutcher.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Possible Moderate Republican Alternative to Kelliher

Another blog asked me about the rumor that Alex Whitney will be throwing his hat in the ring for 60A. I checked around with some of my republican sources. Alex is coy, and says that he is holding off. Another source tells me he's confirmed with the state party that Alex is running. This should make things interesting.

Ron Carey not the brightest bulb

He's united Entenza and Hatch. No need to throw gasoline when things are already up in flames.

Wisconsin Anti-Gay Marriage Activist Uses Marital Privilege

Andy from Eleventh Avenue South has the scoop.

Bay Windows Blogs the Massachusettes ConCon

Here. The Michele Bachmann supporting blog, Bachmann v Wetterling has been posting regular updates on this issue. They posted about the Massachusette's high court finding that the petitioned amendment to the constitution could go forward. They didn't add the crucial piece, that the Massachusette's elected legislators had to vote to put this on the ballot.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Drama Queen's Story on Entenza Hiring Detecting to Spy on Hatch Makes Strib and Pioneer Press

11 months ago, Michael Brodkorb broke a story that Matt Entenza had hired a Chicago Private Investigator to dig up dirt on Mike Hatch. Now the Strib has confirmed the story. The Pioneer Press isn't happy about being lied to.

This was excellent work by the Drama Queen.

Interesting quote in the Strib piece.

In recalling the inquiry, Hatch this week talked about his desire that whoever succeeds him as attorney general aggressively oversees the health care industry. While he didn't specifically criticize Entenza, he implied that health care was a concern as he tried to recruit other candidates for attorney general during the past year.

"It's not whether [a candidate other than Entenza] would be better or not," [Hatch] said. "The idea was, I love the office and frankly, health care was why I ran [when first elected in 1998]. It's the signature of the office."

Former U.S. Rep. Bill Luther would make a good attorney general, Hatch said. Luther said he hasn't ruled out running in the primary against Entenza. The filing deadline is Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Cookie Cutter Campaigns

There's a good article by Patricia Lopez in today's strib on how the campaigns are getting the cookie cutter treatment from the national party campaign committees...

A Democratic Senate candidate accuses her Republican opponent of concealing his ties to President Bush. Republicans reply that to the Democrat, a far-left party member is a "hero."

The Democrat is "handpicked by national liberals," in some GOP eyes, while Democrats say the Republican is a tool of corporate lobbies.

It's all happening in Minnesota -- and in Missouri, Michigan, Washington, in fact, everywhere.

Political campaigns have become a coast-to-coast echo chamber, with the same lines of attack and the same indignant retorts -- a franchising of American politics that risks making political debates as interchangeable as Big Macs.

"We are seeing a very important shift in campaigns this year, with both parties sending out a uniform national strategy for candidates in the field," said Larry Jacobs, director of the Humphrey Institute's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. "It's like McDonald's saying here's the special sauce to use.

"If you're a Republican you're talking about flag burning, immigration and defeatist Democrats who want to 'cut and run' in Iraq," he said.

"If you're a Democrat you're running against the corruption in Washington," Jacobs said. "Attack lines are developed in Washington, poll-tested and shipped out to candidates, like a product."

So Minnesota Democratic Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar says it's "time for a change in Washington" with "solutions that work for Minnesota." Rival GOP candidate Mark Kennedy, an incumbent Sixth District representative, counters that "it's time to change Washington" with "common sense solutions that reflect our Minnesota values."

Meanwhile, in another battleground state, Missourians are being treated to the contest between Sen. Jim Talent (a Republican member of Congress since 1992), who is "Changing Washington for Missouri," and Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill, who wants to "Clean Up Washington."


For some reason this reminds me of Sir Joseph in HMS Pinafore's song "When I was a Lad":

SONG -- SIR JOSEPH

When I was a lad I served a term
As office boy to an Attorney's firm.
I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor,
And I polished up the handle of the big front door.
I polished up that handle so carefullee
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS. -- He polished, etc.

As office boy I made such a mark
That they gave me the post of a junior clerk.
I served the writs with a smile so bland,
And I copied all the letters in a big round hand--
I copied all the letters in a hand so free,
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS. -- He copied, etc.

In serving writs I made such a name
That an articled clerk I soon became;
I wore clean collars and a brand-new suit
For the pass examination at the Institute,
And that pass examination did so well for me,
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS. -- And that pass examination, etc.

Of legal knowledge I acquired such a grip
That they took me into the partnership.
And that junior partnership, I ween,
Was the only ship that I ever had seen.
But that kind of ship so suited me,
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS. -- But that kind, etc.

I grew so rich that I was sent
By a pocket borough into Parliament.
I always voted at my party's call,
And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.
I thought so little, they rewarded me
By making me the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS. -- He thought so little, etc.

Now landsmen all, whoever you may be,
If you want to rise to the top of the tree,
If your soul isn't fettered to an office stool,
Be careful to be guided by this golden rule--
Stick close to your desks and never go to sea,
And you all may be rulers of the Queen's Navee!


Indeed.

Lack of Bike Parking at The Midtown Exchange

Minneapolis has signed onto the U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement:

Climate disruption is an urgent threat to the environmental and economic health of our communities. Many cities, in this country and abroad, already have strong local policies and programs in place to reduce global warming pollution, but more action is needed at the local, state, and federal levels to meet the challenge. On February 16, 2005 the Kyoto Protocol, the international agreement to address climate disruption, became law for the 141 countries that have ratified it to date. On that day, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels launched this initiative to advance the goals of the Kyoto Protocol through leadership and action by at least 141 American cities. Mayor Nickels, along with a growing number of other US mayors, is leading the development of a US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement ; our goal was for at least 141 mayors to sign onto the Agreement by the time of the U.S. Conference of Mayors June 2005 meeting in Chicago.


Under the Agreement, participating cities commit to "... Strive to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets in their own communities..."

This is what Minneapolis Mayor Rybak has to say:

"Minneapolis has set high standards for CO2 reduction and we're meeting them - a strategy that has earned our City tremendous environmental and economic benefits. Climate disruption is a global problem but we feel the effects locally. We are thrilled with Seattle and Mayor Greg Nickels' initiative and will work hard to challenge our nation through our example." -- Mayor R.T. Rybak, Minneapolis, MN


One very effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to encourage bicycling. Is the City of Minneapolis doing everything possible to encourage bicycling? Are they providing an abundance of quality bike parking facilities? The Minneapolis company Dero has some excellent examples on their web site.

I wrote an article last week for the Twin Cities Daily Planet about the lack of bicycle parking at the opening of the Midtown Exchange at Lake Street and Chicago Avenue. Several bicyclists e-mailed me or posted comments to the Minneapolis Issues forum about the article.

The City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County have done many things to make Minneapolis a good city for bicycling, but there is a great deal more it could do to make it a example to "challenge our nation", to use Mayor Rybak's words.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Well Duh....

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

"It was stupid and gross. They have this obsession to satisfy conservative Republicans who will probably be re-elected no matter what happens. They get job satisfaction, but they are making it more difficult for me to win my race."

-- Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT), on the GOP's new American Values Agenda


For the Leviticus Crowd Republicans, Shays is a RINO, and they'd be just as happy if he lost.

Fair Wisconsin News

This weekend was the hottest Wisconsin has seen so far this year. And I'm not just talking about the weather. The campaign trail at Fair Wisconsin gets hotter every day.

Yesterday, a poll released by WisPolitics.com showed that state residents are evenly split on the civil unions and marriage ban. Of 600 randomly selected Wisconsinites, 48.5% said they would vote for the ban, and 47.8% said they would vote against it.

The poll suggests that all of the conversations we're having with voters are making an impact. The people of Wisconsin are taking a closer look at the two sentences of the ban and its negative consequences for families. This ban hurts real families and the more we communicate this to voters, the more they agree that this ban goes too far.

It's exciting news, but remember: the only poll that matters is the one they take on Election Day.

We only have 120 days to continue fanning out across the state in churches, on doorsteps, and at community events.

Today we're taking our grassroots campaign to the next level. Thanks to the thousands of you who helped raise over $1.2 million so far, we will begin airing television ads in the western, central, and northeastern regions of the state.

You can view the first ad and learn more online.


I viewed the ad. I think it's a good ad. I'd be interested in hearing what others think of it.

The polling results are excellent news, but this measure will require a sustained effort to defeat it at the ballot box. Fair Wisconsin will need volunteers and money to do this.

If this amendment does get defeated in Wisconsin, I doubt it will be an issue in upcoming legislative sessions in Minnesota. I encourage Lloydletta readers to consider volunteering at the upcoming Hudson Door Canvas.

Keith Ellison's Self-Inflicted Wounds

This and this are self inflicted bad press for Keith Ellison. It's not just getting parking tickets or moving violation tickets, when they pile up unpaid. Generally there are numerous reminders people get about unpaid tickets before the matter gets to the stage of suspended driver's liscense.

Opponent Paul Ostrow is pouncing.

Bush Planning to Veto Stem Cell Research Bill

Denver Post:

President Bush will likely cast the first veto of his presidency if the Senate, as expected, passes legislation to expand federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, White House aide Karl Rove said today.

"The president is emphatic about this," Rove - Bush's top political advisor and architect of his 2000 and 2004 campaigns - said in a meeting with the editorial board of The Denver Post.

The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed the legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, and Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del. If the Senate approves the bill it would go to the president's desk.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., who backs the bill, has said he will try to bring it up for a Senate vote soon.

"It is something we would, frankly, like to avoid," Rove said when asked if the White House would welcome, or dread, vetoing legislation passed by a Republican Congress, especially on so emotional an issue as embryonic stem cell research.

But Rove said that he believes the legislation will pass the Senate with more than 60 votes this month, "and as a result the president would, as he has previously said emphatically, veto the Castle bill."

"I'm appalled that Bush would use the first veto of his presidency to veto a bill that could help 110 million people and their families," DeGette said today after being informed of Rove's remarks.


If embryonic stem cell research is destroying human life, so is In Vitro Fertilization. Why isn't Bush pushing to make In Vitro Fertilization illegal?