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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Kudos to MN Publius

They appologised to Judy Johnson for getting it wrong.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

My nominee for Lamest Rationale for the Twins Stadium Swindle.....

..... would be the oft-repeated citations of good works and donations provided by the Twins Community Fund.

Multiple speakers used this rationale during all three evenings of public hearings.

Not to denigrate community investments and volunteerism, but a 30 year sales tax and a public investment of over $300 million to benefit private investors is a steep price to pay to maintain a charitable organization that makes annual donations in the 6-figure range.

Look through the donor list of any major arts organization, the United Way, or countless other non-profits and you'll see significant donations from private businesses, year after year.

And, um, the last time I checked, nobody was forcing a 30 year sales tax down my throat to keep Target and General Mills (to name just two) in town.

Recitations of the 'good works' of the Twins, noble though they may sound, do not justify this huge, forced transfer of wealth from the taxpaying public to a set of private investors.

My Nominee for Most Embarassing Minneapolis Politician.......

..... would have to be Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin.

On a stormy late summer evening, the 3+ hour public hearing on the Twins Stadium Swindle made for good TV viewing. My esteemed commissioner was, again, a complete embarassment.

He was late to both the Wednesday meeting in Bloomington and tonight's meeting in Maple Grove. Wednesday's tardiness was attributed to babysitter issues, and tonight's was blamed on being directionally challenged.

When Sue Jeffers got up to testify, both McLaughlin and Mike Opat headed for the door. Did they both need the restroom at the same time, or does Sue Jeffers just naturally cause them to leave the room?

At some point during the hearing, Commissioner McLaughlin decided to open real wide, and insert his foot. He tried to frame the lack of a referendum as being the fault of the legislature. 'We're creatures of the state'. He has a very distorted (arrogant) view of the sequence of events. If you didn't know anything else about this issue, from listening to his condescending babble, he made it sound like the Legislature and the Governor are forcing Hennepin County to impose a 30 year local option tax to benefit private investors and bypass the state law.

Commissioners Steele and Koblick and several members of the public corrected his bald-faced lie over the course of the evening. The public was duly reminded that it wasn't State government telling the County to tax me without a referendum - it was 4 county commissioners who asked the State of Minnesota to grant permission to tax me. And the 4 got what they asked for.

I'm going to let all members of the Hennepin County Board know that discretionary spending in Hennepin County will end for me on 12/31/06, if the vote goes as expected.

Kudos to all of the citizens who took the time and made the effort to testify. I had several guilt pangs about not being there, but there was no shortage of passionate, articulate testimony in opposition to the theft.

Getting the Scoop Directly from Judy Johnson

Matt from MN Publius attacked Plymouth Mayor Judy Johnson, who is running for the state senate in Senate District 43 (Plymouth/Minnetonka area). I was curious about this, because he implied Judy had attended the Michele Bachmann fundraiser with special guest President Bush. I wrote Judy and asked her about this, and she replied on the record:


No, I did not attend any Bachman fundraising event.

I did attend the Healthcare discussion at the Marriott - so did Bonoff by the way - we saw each other. Healthcare is an important issue in our state and I appreciated the discussion by the HHS Secretary and the other distinguished guests on the panel - no "hob nobbing" at all. I promptly returned to Plymouth to prepare for my council meeting. For the record - since MNPublius is so interested in my schedule - I was at a TwinWest Chamber meeting just ahead of the Healthcare event - again working as mayo on city issues - and I did other city business just prior to that.

My campaign volunteers attended the Minnetonka Festival on my behalf - my husband was NOT there. I was chairing my city council meeting that night as the Mayor of Plymouth - doing the important business of my constituents as I do each day. I had a study session that began at 5pm on the city budget with my council and staff. The regular council meeting began right after that at 7pm and went until about midnight. (Yep, I went home after that to sleep if they want my full daily schedule - they need to get a life)

About 200 citizens were at the Plymouth City Council meeting and it was broadcast on cable tv to thousands of people in the community. If MNPublius did their homework and cared about FACTS - they would know I have my priorities straight by serving the people of my community in my official capacity as mayor and would certainly know that is why I was not at the Minnetonka Festival. I also sat with the Mayor of Minnetonka and the former Mayor of Minnetonka at the President's Healthcare event that day and gave my regrets that I couldn't attend their festival in celebration of their 50th year, due to my city council meetings that night.

I am not "missing in action" and people who make this charge are surely uninformed and just resorting to misrepresenting my STRONG record of dedication to public service for a decade. Once again, false and negative attacks are the "item du jour" on the MNPublius menu. I am doing my job, working tirelessly, representing all citizens as mayor and working hard on my campaign, as well.

Thanks, Eva, for keeping an eye on this and for helping me get the FACTS straight. My focus is on good government and sound public policy as always.

Last year on the MNPublius blog: "My biggest beef with Judy Johnson? Well, besides the fact that she's been disaster for the balancing books in Plymouth during her time as mayor there, she is a staunch supporter kicking evolution out of public schools."

AGAIN, FOR THE RECORD: Plymouth is one of the best run cities in the state and nation with a Aaa bond rating, low debt per capita, one of the lowest tax rates of cities over 25,000 in population, the sixth largest city in the state with over 70,000 people and over 50,000 jobs - the only "disaster" is their sad efforts of inaccurate reporting of my city's fiscal strength and our sound budget which is adopted annually with expert staff advice, strong citizen input by a seven member non-partisan city council. Plymouth is smart, innovative, collaborative and award-winning when it comes to our finances. (By the way - the DFL SD43 State Rep. candidate serves with me on the Plymouth City Council and has served for six years.)

Additionally, I do NOT support teaching or mandating ID in schools - I have NEVER sought to get evolution instruction out of public schools - that is a lie - my daughter just had 10th grade science last year in our public high school school. I fully support the curriculum which includes evolution education. As a mother of four attending public schools for 13 years - I have great faith in our local school board elected officials, teachers and curriculum experts in the district and know they do a great job teaching our children - that is one of the reasons we moved to this community in the first place.

Post this on their site if you want - I welcome it.


Here's what Judy Johnson said in response to a question at the Twin West Chamber forum about Intelligent Design.


Q: Intelligent Design, where should it be taught, if at all and which school class and why?

JJ: For anybody out there who is not sure what that is I bet the people in the education community might know what it is but I will tell you I learned of this term a few weeks ago, so first of all Im going to define it and I hope Terri ????

Intelligent Design is I believe a movement where they are working on um putting in principles of creationism into the classroom um versus evolution. I just wanted to set that up for people who might not know what that is. Ah for me as a candidate and also me as a parent. Education of my children is very important. I have four children in the Wayzata school district and I can say and it (touches?) the curriculum greatly. I think the most important thing for me as a parent of children who are being taught scientific principles is that we give people the option of of learning all different points of view um I personally dont believe in evolution but Ive never been one to say that my children shouldnt be exposed to that in the school system. On the other hand I do believe in creationism and we do teach that at home and I want my children to in a classroom have those kinds of discussions about how did we get here where are we going um how is the world created what are the scientific principles behind it what are the (things?) we cant explain ah that go into ah science and our whole world so this is something I'm learning a lot about right now because I believe there are political attachments to all of this um for me its just something where I think we need to teach all points of view.

Judy is persuasive on all fronts except for her claims about her position on creationism. I continue to have reservations about her position on that issue. The MN Publius kids clearly hadn't made an effort to contact Judy Johnson prior to attacking her.

In which primary should I vote?

This question was asked by one of my friends and this person presented good arguments as to why he/she has reasons to vote in all of them.

1. Jeffers v Pawlenty
This person used to be a Republican but is more of a Libertarian in most aspects, thus, Jeffers is the logical choice and this primary can be a way to send Timmy a message about his lack of libertarian republicanism.

2. Peter Hutchinson v Pam Ellison
This person is supporting Peter in the general election regardless of who is nominated by the other parties, however, Peter has pretty much locked up a primary victory as Pam Ellison is the remains of the old Reform Party and only got the support of 20 delagates at the convention versus Hutchinson's 250+.

3. Lourey v Hatch
This person has voted for DLF candidates in the past, but also is a member of the GLBT community and Lourey is the best candidate for GLBT DFLers. Hatch isn't supportive of the GLBT community. This person also believes that if a DFL candidate is going to win in the general election he/she must be a true liberal, not a Hatch liberal.

What do you all think? Which primary are you voting in?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Conflict of Interest for Bachmann Amendment Supporting Democrat Denise Dittrich?

The Drama Queen is on the case.

More Unpleasantness at Janet Robert's Air America

Sounds like the no guns, gays or abortion rule is still on, and other hosts aren't happy. City Pages has the story.

Nearly two years after Air America Minnesota settled at 950-AM, Minnesota Matters is the only show that's locally produced by the liberal talk-radio station. The vast majority of airtime is filled with syndicated programs such as The Al Franken Show and The Ed Schultz Show. Several other attempts by Air America Minnesota, which was started by former Sixth District Congressional candidate Janet Robert, to develop unique programming have not succeeded. The company's initial foray, The High Ground, was scuttled in favor of a program featuring veteran talk-show host Wendy Wilde. Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman was subsequently added to the morning roster. But Coleman quit last August, citing repeated editorial interference from Robert. And Wilde left the station in February, complaining of chronic health problems stemming from mold in the Air America studios. (Wilde is now running for Congress in the Third District against incumbent Republican Jim Ramstad.)

Even Robert will fess up to the misfires. "None of us were radio people, so it was a huge struggle," she concedes.

Perhaps in part because of these difficulties, Air America Minnesota remains a bit player in the local radio market. The station has developed a small but loyal audience. Over the past two years 950-AM has consistently drawn around a one share in the Arbitron ratings—or just over 50,000 individual listeners per week. However, their audience is extremely dedicated, tuning in to the station an average of nearly 10 hours per week.

Air America's listeners are also wealthy, white, middle-aged, and overwhelmingly male. According to a survey conducted earlier this year by the Media Audit, 91 percent of the station's audience is Caucasian, while 83 percent is male. Roughly 70 percent of Air America's listeners are at least 45 years old, and 60 percent have household incomes of greater than $75,000.

Whatever strides Air America has made in developing an audience, the station continues to be hindered by a perception that it's nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party. Robert has repeatedly been accused of interfering in editorial content, attempting to force her moderate Democratic views on the station's broadcasters. (Robert's longtime boyfriend is former Rep. Bill Luther, who is currently running for attorney general.) There's also been continuous staff turnover from the very start of the station. There's a feeling that, no matter what the station's initial mission was, it would now do well to simply avoid being the laughingstock of local talk radio.

When 'Minnesota Matters' was started in February, for instance, there were initially five volunteer hosts. The idea was to try out an array of personalities and figure out what would work best for the long term. Among those hosting the show was Hamline University political science professor David Schultz. He had previously been a regular guest on the Wendy Wilde show, discussing politics and legal issues. "It was rough," Schultz recalls of his new gig. "I was learning to go from second banana to top banana, which is a whole different spiel."

But even more disconcerting than his inexperience as a radio host, Schultz says, were the directives he received from the station brass. About six weeks after the launch of Minnesota Matters, the five hosts were called to a meeting with Robert and Luther. "This was the worst meeting I've ever been to in my life," Schultz recalls. He says that they were directed to be the voice of the Democratic Party and to avoid contentious topics such as abortion and gay rights. "Pretty much I just clammed up," Schultz notes. "I literally walked out of that meeting and said I'm done after six weeks."

The Hamline professor expressed his concerns to Robert shortly thereafter, but ultimately decided to keep hosting the show. It wasn't long, though, before the pair butted heads again. Schultz says he wanted to have a guest on from the Minnesota Opera for a segment looking at the intersection of politics and art. Then he wanted to bring on lawyer Marshall Tanick for a monthly segment discussing issues before the U.S. Supreme Court. Again Robert intervened. She vetoed both ideas. The reason? Schultz says she didn't want to give free airtime to potential advertisers.

After another contentious meeting, Schultz and Air America parted ways by mutual agreement. Schultz, however, remains bewildered as to why Robert is running a progressive radio station when her own political beliefs seemed to skew right-center. "One day she turns to me and says that 'I'm a pro-life, anti-gay marriage, fiscally conservative Democrat,' and I'm thinking to myself, what the hell is that?"

Schultz's comments echo those voiced by Coleman when he quit the station a year ago. The Star Tribune columnist complained that gays, guns, and abortion were verboten and that he was chastised for criticizing DFL candidates such as Sen. Mark Dayton. "If I'm going to be put on a leash, I'm leaving," Coleman told City Pages at the time.

Other people who have been associated with Air American Minnesota voice similar concerns. Carla Kjellberg, a local attorney who hosted a weekend show called It Takes a Village until earlier this year, says that some of her segments seemed to offend Robert. "I certainly knew that there were some shows that I did that might have ruffled some feathers," Kjellberg says, citing in particular a program that dealt with gay marriage. "I never heard this directly from Janet Robert," she notes, however. "She never said a word to me. It was just the feeling I got."

Robert insists that there's no prohibition on flashpoint topics such as abortion and gun control. "It's not that we don't talk about them," she notes. "That's just false. Anybody who listens regularly knows we do." She says that the only guideline is not to continuously dwell on these controversial topics and to treat all opinions with respect. "I don't want to hear people ridiculing people at Planned Parenthood," she says. "I don't want people ridiculing the pro-life movement. That's our policy."

Furthermore, Robert notes that she's far too tied up with the business side of things to micromanage content. "I don't know what's going to be on today," she says. "I never know what's going to be on. I'm focusing on sales."

Minnesota Matters co-host Mark Heaney, who is Bill Luther's nephew, strongly backs up Robert's assertions. "Absolutely there are not limits on what people can say," he insists. "I wouldn't be on a show where I thought there were limits. I'm not that good at controlling what I say."

He believes Robert is simply misunderstood. "Janet is a very passionate person and argumentative," he notes. "I think people mistake Janet's passion for limits on the show."

Ultimately, Robert would like to create additional local programming, but right now she's focused on bolstering the sales side of the equation. "Our long-term goal is to try to develop progressive voices and to expand that," she says. Perhaps pitying herself for a moment, she adds, "We have not been able to do what we wanted to do just because of lack of resources. Some people with my kind of money they have seven homes in Switzerland and Vale, and I have a radio station. I have to tell you it's put a complete crimp in my life."

Cry me a river Janet.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Governor Pawlenty of Tax Increases Tries to Backtrack

From the comments to David Strom's ripping of Tim Pawlenty:

# PolicyGuy Says:
August 22nd, 2006 at 4:45 pm

Someone on Gov. Pawlenty’s staff must read blogs, for even this writer with a tiny readership (for his blog at least) got a letter from the re-election campaign. For the benefit of anyone reading this thread who didn't get the letter, here it is:

I wanted to make sure you saw the clarification that ran today in the Star Tribune regarding a quote in Saturday's paper that was attributed to the Governor.

Please note that the Governor was not declaring that the "era of small government is over", but simply discussing points made in an article by that title.

If you have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me.

We look forward to working with you to keep taxes down and hold government accountable for four more years.

Michael Krueger
Campaign Manager
Pawlenty for Governor

Compare this with the Lopez article:

"The era of small government is over," Pawlenty said in an interview with the Star Tribune. "I'm a market person, but there are certain circumstances where you've got to have government put up the guardrails or bust up entrenched interests before they become too powerful ... Government has to be more proactive, more aggressive."

When Pawlenty says "I'm a market person, but ...," it sure doesn't sound like he is giving a detached analysis of a piece of punditry.

For the record, here's a link to a blog entry (not mine) that Mr. Krueger is referring to:

Here's what the clarification said:

An article on Page B1 Saturday quoted Gov. Tim Pawlenty saying "The era of small government is over," a comment he made in reference to a point made in a 2004 column by New York Times columnist David Brooks. Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung said Monday that Pawlenty's record shows he is not a supporter of "big government" and that he was "simply talking about the need for government to be more effective and active."

In other words, blame the media.

Gays and Lesbians for Becky Lourey Website

Eleventh Avenue South has the story.

From the website:

How do the candidates feel about
Gay & Lesbian marriage?

Througout the campaign, Minnesota's candidates for governor have been asked to share their views on marriage. See what the top candidates have said about gay and lesbian marriage.

Becky Lourey (Democrat)
I believe in the equal rights of all Minnesotans?regardless of their sexual orientation. It is so important that we ensure that justice expands and includes those denied. It is so important that the rights and responsibilities in our society are extended to the members of the GLBT community.

I have consistently spoken out against amending the constitution to deny people rights based on gender, affection, or sexual orientation. It is a misuse of the Constitution?a document designed to guarantee rights to individuals. The government should not be involved in the religious institution of marriage, and the rights and responsibilities of parental guardianship, health care decisions, and property ownership should be available to all committed adult partners. I will never support putting the rights of individuals on a ballot for a popularity contest. {Taken from

Tim Pawlenty (Republican)
"Mosquitoes, when you're trying to get to sleep, are a distraction. Somebody's cell phone ringing in a restaurant when you want to have a conversation is a distraction. Marriage between a man and a woman and protecting that is not a distraction. It's important." (Taken from Minnesota Public Radio broadcast at Minnesota Pubic Radio.)

Mike Hatch (Democrat)
"As far as I know, [Tim Pawlenty and I] have identical positions on gay marriage. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman," [Hatch] said. But [Hatch] declined to support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage that Pawlenty backs. (Taken from a Pioneer Press article listed on

This is more evidence that Mike Hatch has some real problems with gay voters.

It's not clear who is behind the website. The site says:

This site is created and managed by supporters of Becky Lourey for Minnesota Govenor.

CCARL Visit to Mark Stenglein's Home

Mark Stenglein was not at home. Here are some photos of the visit.




Slideshow here.

Photos by Michele McGaughey.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Moving Politics Forward, Tammy Lee Stands Up to Irresponsible Government Spending

Tammy Lee stood up today as an Independent voice calling for an end to Congressional Earmarking, otherwise known as 'pork-barrel spending'. “This pattern of reckless, irresponsible special interest spending is the reason why Republicans and Democrats, together in Congress, have racked up nearly $10 trillion in federal debt and are predicted to blow the budget by $260 billion this year alone,” Lee said.

While discussing the need for change, Lee also highlighted what she views as three of the most egregious examples of congressional earmarks, "The 3 Big Piggies";

The 3 Big Piggies

1. $223 million for The Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska – sponsored by Senate Appropriations Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)
2. $50 million for an indoor rainforest project in Coralville Iowa - added by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)
3. $33.9 million for the Maui Space Surveillance System operations and research – added by Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)

Lee commented, “Senator Ted Stevens spent $223 million for the bridge to nowhere in Alaska. Senator Chuck Grassley spent $50 million for an indoor rainforest in Iowa. And Senator Daniel Inouye spent $33.9 million on the Maui Space Surveillance System.” Lee quipped, “Inouye is taking the illegal alien threat to a whole new level of pork spending.”

Lee added, "You can properly represent your state’s interests and fund necessary projects for transportation, public education, alternative energy and healthcare research by going through the process the right way – not sneaking in pet pork projects. All funding requests should be required to see the light of day and be discussed at Congressional hearings - not added in during secretive committee reports.”

Election year politics as usual or is Tammy Lee from a different breed of candidates? Most would say "yes, election year politics as usual," because ANY reasonable candidate would call for an end to pork-barrell spending to get votes this November. Tammy Lee is different as she is the only candidate to both stand-up against wasteful spending AND propose a way to fix it.

Lee Proposes Merit-Based Metrics for Appropriations Spending

Lee noted that Minnesota has a strong track record of solid representation from its members of Congress, and ranks 46th in “pork per capital by state” according to the taxpayer’s watch group, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW). However, she added, other states also need to be held more accountable for their pork barrel appropriations in order to reign in deficit spending and balance the budget.

To do this, Lee is proposing a new plan of Merit-based Metrics for determining the merit of appropriations projects, rather than just allowing powerful members of Congress to waste taxpayer dollars.

Lee said Appropriations spending measures should be required to meet at least one of the following requirements:

• Benefit a significant number of people, not just one special interest group, and have at least one other member of Congress co-sponsor the request.
• Advance an important policy issue (i.e. fund important pioneering medical research at the University of Minnesota to work toward a cure that will benefit many people)
• Promote national commerce (i.e. transportation funding to rural states where cross-country transit occurs for trucking and shipping)
• Require competitive bidding
• Be discussed in open Congressional hearings

Lee concluded, “Under President Bush’s leadership, with Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, pork project spending has increased every single year. Washington needs a fiscal sobriety check and a 12-step program for its addiction to pork projects. It’s time to restore fiscal responsibility to Washington and I am the only candidate who has committed to doing that – who can and will get the job done.”

Why Tammy Lee?

Tammy Lee is not your typical politician, infact, she isn’t a politician at all. Minnesota is in the fortunate position of having three major political parties. Tammy Lee is the Independence Party endorsed candidate for the 5th Congressional District. The MN IP is the youngest of the major political parties and is comprised of citizens who are tired of partisan politics and people putting Party before Principle. The future of the IP depends upon their elected officials getting results for the people, not for the party. Therefore Tammy Lee will be the first Independent Congresswoman and is bound neither to one special interest group, nor to an elite group of party officials who dictate the direction of the party. Tammy Lee answers only to the 610,000+ voters of the 5th CD. In a personal visit at campaign headquarters Tammy said “Give me a chance, it’s only a two year term. If you don’t like me or I am ineffective after the next two years, then get rid of me.”

Tammy Lee is the logical choice for the 5th CD. Her campaign is focused upon issues which members of the 5th CD find important:

• Responsible Fiscal Policies to Spend Less and Get Better Government
• Responsible Investments to Strengthen Our Public Schools
• Responsible and Affordable Ways to Reform Healthcare
• Responsible Investments in Renewable and Alternative Energy Sources
• Responsible Domestic Agenda Balanced with Rational Foreign Policies

For more information on Tammy Lee, visit, or call 612-767-3047.

Gutnecht v Walz

Democratic Blogger has an account of the debate.

Fallout for Pawlenty

"The Era of Small Government is Over" - Governor Tim Pawlenty

David Strom:

But today, I have to say, Pawlenty pretty much reached that point for me. And with one sentence: "The era of small government is over."

His words, not mine.

Tim Pawlenty, Republican Governor, has declared that the era of small government is over.

I guess, in a simply factual way, the era of small government ended sometime betweent the initiation of the progressive era and the beginning of WWII, but I somehow don’t think that’s quite what Pawlenty is referring to. Instead, he appears to be suggesting that us limited government types who have been trying to wrestle with the growing size and scope of government are passe. These days, using government’s coercive power to achieve your goals is in! The next wave. What Republicans are, or should be, about.

All I can say is, if that is where the Republican Party is going, or for that matter where our young, hip, and politically skilled Governor wants to take us, I’m not on board! Basically, the version of politics Pawlenty is hawking is one of competing interests trying to wrestle control over the power of the state to distribute the goodies. The Democrats give the goodies to the unions and public employees, the Republicans to the farmers and through new middle class entitlements like free college tuition.

In other words, the Republican Party becomes a mirror to the Democrat party: a shill for a particular group of interests, just different ones. Republicans don’t believe in limited government, but rather using government power for OUR aims, not theirs.

That's not a political movement I can belong to. Freedom, free markets, opportunity, equal rights, limited government, constitutional rights., equality under the law. Those aren't empty words, but the guiding lights of the conservative movement.

If the era of small government (as an ideal) is over, then God help us all.

Posted by David at around evening time.

Marty Andrade:

David Strom, on his radio program, made the connection that resonated with me; Tim Pawlenty is the Republican version of Bill Clinton. Clinton made the infamous statement that "The era of big government is over." The similarity between Clinton's statement and TPaw's is eery and probably purposeful.

I invite anyone to make the case for me to vote for Pawlenty in the general election. I have strived in my life to find the balance between my ideology and the necessity of winning elections. A party is useless if it has no principles and principles are useless without political influence. As far as I'm concerned right now, the positions Pawlenty has been advocating for lately are contrary to my principles. In fact, Pawlenty calls into question all of my beliefs regarding size and role of government in the economy.

Please try to do better than "Pawlenty is bad but Hatch is worse." Such arguments do have some merit. However, I have considered this argument and I'm not convinced by it right now. I would rather regain some of my principles and face a Hatch governorship then lose all I have come to believe as a fiscal conservative.

This is probably the last opportunity to send me back to the Pawlenty camp (not to add anymore pressure).

Tim Pawlenty really baited his base. Was that his intention?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sometimes a Cigar is Really a Cigar

Tony Garcia's blog is back up.

Tony's new digs look nice.

Stonewall DFL Withholds Endorsement From Mike Hatch

I talked with Matt Klaber, the Chair of Stonewall. He was found "acceptable", but was not endorsed.

This speaks volumes. Mike Hatch has real problems with the gay community.

Mike Hatch Campaign Not Answering Questions On Gay Issues

From a comment to MN Publius:

Matthew Says:

A week ago I emailed the Mike Hatch campaign regarding his positions on GLBT issues. I have yet to hear back. Not a good sign.

I will, no doubt, be casting a vote for Hatch. But doing so will require holding my nose. Not only am i disappointed with his position on diversity and inclusiveness issues, I also find him to be terribly self-serving. And I am disappointed in the party for endorsing him. He had been state party chair and was appointed commerce commissioner by Gov Perpich, and then had the nerve to challenge Perpich in the 1990 election. No doubt Hatch contributed to Perpich's loss to Carlson that year. Four year later, consumed still by being governor, Hatch used political dirty tricks to try and set up John Marty as the endorsed candidate so he could beat him in the primary. First, such tactics are mean-spirited, but second he did it to one of the few politics who really care about honesty and integrity. And now Hatch expects that we will vote for him this time around. And who knows, he may actually end up being more conservative than Arne Carlson. The silver lining is Judi Dutcher, the only Republican I've ever voted for. Too bad the convention in 2002 endorsed Moe. Had they gone with Dutcher we might all be proudly working for her reelection this year, and not holding our noses....

Hatch supporter Dan tells gays to just take the seat at the back of the bus:

Dan Says:

I went to the Minnesota Queer blogs, where your name pops up. It says that Hatch declined to support the amendment, and that he participated in the pride parade.

Look, I know that GLBT people have had to take a backseat for a long time. And I know that Hatch is not the strongest supporter -- if you want to point out where Lourey is better, that is fair. But don't misrepresent Hatch's positions and make them seem worse than they are.

The only difference between Pawlenty and Hatch on gay issues is this - Pawlenty has taken a public stand in favor of the Bachmann amendment. Hatch has taken no stand on the Bachmann amendment.

When you look at candidates in the general election, the green party candidate and IP candidate both publicly oppose the Bachmann amendment.

Tim Pawlenty was also recently attacked by Edwatch for promoting the homosexual agenda in the schools.

Gente de Minnesota Endorses Keith Ellison for Congress

Ember Reichgott Junge failed to answer their questionaire.


For the second year in a row Gente de Minnesota has decided to endorse candidates for political office in the primary election. This year we will add this endorsement to La Prensa de Minnesota which became part of the LCN Media family in January of this year. It?s more important than ever for Latinos to vote and become politically active. In the past year we have had Republicans in congress proposing some of the most anti-immigrant legislation this country has seen in a long time. Then we had Governor Tim Pawlenty and Republicans in the state House of Representatives making anti-immigrant proposals that were supported by most Democrats in the suburbs. Never mind that immigration policy is a federal issue and not a state issue.

Our community is under attack and we need to respond now. We?ve already seen what just legislative proposals can do to our community. We?ve had many members in our community deported in the last six months. The uncertainty on immigration legislation that Republicans in congress have left us with, have greatly reduced economic activity in the Latino community and will not pick up until congress passes comprehensive immigration reform. This has greatly affected home buying, car buying and has affected the general Minnesota economy. Latinos and immigrants now perceive Minnesota as unfriendly to them because of proposals by Governor Pawlenty. If these proposals have already done so much damage just imagine what would happen if their legislative proposals actually were approved.

Our community responded to these anti immigrant proposals by marching and uniting like never before. Over two million people marched in April and May of this year around the US and over 40,000 in St Paul, Minnesota. We had as many marchers as in Phoenix Arizona which has a population almost seven times as big as Minnesota?s. Marchers were overwhelmingly Latino.

But now what? Republicans in congress continue to delay immigration reform, even after the US Senate with a Republican majority passed legislation with the support of George Bush. Over 50% of Latino kids don?t graduate from high School. Latinos are the largest group of people in this country without health insurance. Many of our young people are dying in Iraq without a clear strategy to win the war or end it. And we are more scared than ever about the possibility of more terrorist attacks in the United States.

What we can do is VOTE. Over 60% of Latinos in Minnesota are US Citizens. Unfortunately we have a history of less than 50% of eligible Latino voters actually voting. The time is NOW to change this.

We will be reminding our readers in the next few weeks to vote in the September 12th primary and in the November general election. We will also be reminding our radio station listeners through La Invasora 1400 AM to vote. We will be reminding them also who our endorsed candidates are. And we will be reminding our readers where to find out where to vote, and if they are not registered to vote, what the rules are for same day registration. There is one thing we can thank Governor Tim Pawlenty and Republicans in congress this year: They have united our community like never before, and increased our political activism. Here are our endorsed candidates for the September 12th primaries. We will be making more endorsements before the general election in November.

First, our endorsement for congress in the 5th congressional district. This is a very important primary election. There are four strong candidates for this seat in the DFL primary. Three chose to answer our questionnaire and we will assume Ember Reichgott Junge never got around it or had some sort of miscommunication.

Our endorsed candidate is Keith Ellison. The main reason we endorsed Ellison is because he has been there for the Latino community over and over again. He was there marching with us in April and against the Minutemen when they came into town. He was with us by actively supporting the passage of the DREAM Act here in Minnesota. He was one of only 25 Representatives to oppose HF0001 that required immigration status be shown on drivers' licenses. In the most recent session he opposed Rep. Knoblach's bill to preempt the right of Minnesota municipalities to enact separation ordinances that prevent local law enforcement from becoming involved outside their jurisdiction, specifically acting as immigration agents.

He spoke out against Governor Pawlenty's statements attributing increased crime rates to immigration. We endorse him because he has been with us and he will continue to be with us. He lobbied very hard for our endorsement and showed the most interest in it. His answers to our questions took eight pages. His answers weren't perfect.

Some in our editorial committee had problems with what we perceived as answers that opposed increased commercial trade with Latin America. Many Latino small business owners in the US and Latin America would benefit with increased trade. We agree with some of his concerns and the concerns of the other candidates about labor and environmental consequences to some of the free trade agreements in the past with Mexico, Chile and Central America. But the future prosperity in Latin America is tied to more future trade between the United States and Latin America. There can be disagreements between friends. We were very encouraged by his pledge to do everything possible to unite the Latino Caucus and the African American Caucus more than ever, if elected to congress.

We had some concerns about mainstream media reports on Ellison's past. We asked him about his reported previous affiliation with Louis Farrakhan, political statements he made as a young man, and his past problems in paying fines and reporting his campaign expenses. But we believe he is working hard to address his organizational problems and he has rejected the teachings of Farrakhan now that he understands them better. There isn't a biased bone in the Keith Ellison we met and we feel very comfortable that the problems addressed by the main stream media have been blown out of proportion.

Mike Erlandson also impressed us quite a bit. It was actually a fairly close decision on the endorsement. He had a very good understanding of issues affecting the Latino community. He scored very closely to Keith Ellison in answering our questions. He would also have the advantage of having worked in congress for many years as congressman Martin Sabo's chief of Staff. He would represent us well if elected. He is also the only candidate other than Ellison to reach out to our newspapers. But unfortunately we hadn't seen him before working on our issues.

Paul Ostrow made the extra effort of answering our questions in English and Spanish. We also believe he had a good understanding of Latino issues and would represent us well in congress. Ellison and Erlandson though had a better understanding of our issues and took more time answering our questions.

There are two other candidates with primary opponents that deserve our support. For the first time in Minnesota's History we have a Latina candidate for the Minnesota Senate. We also have the chance of adding another Latino to the House of Representatives to join our friend Carlos Mariani.

Patricia Torres Ray won the endorsement of the DFL party to represent Senate District 62 in South Minneapolis in the Longfellow and Nokomis neighborhoods and Willie Dominguez won the DFL endorsement in Keith Ellison?s House district seat in 58 B in North Minneapolis. They are both facing opponents in their DFL primaries. Both are excellent candidates that have done a lot to help our community and they deserve our support. They would be the first Latino legislators to ever serve from Minneapolis. It?s about time.

Lloydletta Commenter Challenges Governor Pawlenty of Tax Increases

Governor Pawlenty has been asked by three outfits (including Jason Lewis) to debate Sue Jeffers. He refuses. On MPR, he said he wasn't aware of any debates scheduled with Jeffers. Well, there aren't any scheduled because he's refused all three of them. Clearly he knows he can't defend his record, and he knows sharing a stage with Jeffers would reveal his liberal, socialist nature. "The era of small government is over," he declared in the strib and, "governmment has to get more proactive, more AGRESSIVE." Does he really think the Republican base will stick with that?

Luckily, Sue Jeffers gives us another, better option, and we can still put a conservative on the ballot.

David Strom from the Taxpayer's League was ripping Pawlenty for that statement. At the same time, I was very disappointed in Jeffers choice for a Leutenant Governor.

From Pawlenty Sees Himself as a Reformer by Pat Lopez (Strib)

Those kinds of proposals for government intervention in the free market on the surface might seem unusual coming from a conservative GOP politician. But they are illustrations of the way that Pawlenty, a fiscal and social conservative, also styles himself a kind of latter-day trust buster, a reformer who is unafraid to challenge big business and wield government power to correct imbalances in the marketplace.

With subsidies for job creation through his JOBZ program, ethanol mandates and persistent jabs at the pharmaceutical industry, Pawlenty is crafting what some say is a more pragmatic brand of conservatism that sees government as part of the solution, not just the problem.

"The era of small government is over," Pawlenty said in an interview with the Star Tribune. "I'm a market person, but there are certain circumstances where you've got to have government put up the guardrails or bust up entrenched interests before they become too powerful ... Government has to be more proactive, more aggressive."

David Strom said on his show that he told Pat Lopez that Tim Pawlenty was the Bill Clinton of the Republicans. Lopez didn't use the quote in her article.

Mark Stenglein Was Not at Home when CCARL Came To Call

Michele McGaughey took photos. We'll have those up tomorrow.

Here's the report:

[CCARL] Quick Report -- Saturday and Sunday visits to the commissioners



Shar, and Ann, and Eva, and Michele, and Gayle, and Jan, and Gordon --- Thanks to all of you!!

Seven people showed up visit Mr. Johnson in Bloomington! AND he was home!! He spent about 1/2 hour with our troops, and as with the other two we have spoken with, wanted us to believe that there was nothing that could be done to give us a referendum. We are not sure of the accuracy of that, but we do know that they can choose not to impose the tax. This is a nit-picking difference in semantics, but that is what politicians are good at.

Pictures will be posted on the website soon.


SIX citizens showed to see Mr. Stenglein, but he was not home.

Shar, and Eva, and Michele, and Jan, and Eric, and Lee --- Thanks to all of you!!

Pictures will be posted on the website soon.


But we think you already know that! :D

Rich Stanek Gets Police and Fire Fighter Endorsements

Tom Scheck at MPR blogs about these endorsements.

As I've said earlier, I have serious concerns about Rich Stanek's candidacy for County Sheriff.

The Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, MPR and other big mainstream media have an obligation to look into the lawsuits that were filed - and settled - against the City of Minneapolis - naming Rich Stanek.

From the Spokesman Recorder:

In 1992, Black motorist Anthony Freeman was involved in a traffic accident with Stanek after allegedly running a red light. Freeman said that after the accident Stanek broke his window, dragged him out of his car, yelled racial epithets and beat him in the middle of the street.

Under oath, Stanek admitted to using the word "nigger" in the presence of his fellow officers on other occasions and to telling racist jokes. In denying Freeman's account, Stanek claimed that he wasn't even conscious that Freeman was a Black man until hours after the incident, when he had to fill out insurance forms. The City settled the case out of court.

A year after the incident with Freeman, Stanek was one of four officers named in another police brutality suit filed by Ronald Kennerly. In that case, Kennerly said that officers beat him, threatened him, and placed him under arrest without probable cause. A female neighbor who tried to intervene was beaten with a flashlight and also placed under arrest, according to the complaint.

Again, the City settled.

In 1996, Jerold Wahlin filed a suit against the City and a local club, claiming that Stanek, who was moonlighting as security, struck him twice in the head with a flashlight and smashed his head into the club floor a number of times. Stanek admitted to using the flashlight, but said he only did so to stop Wahlin from attacking an off-duty Drug Enforcement agent who was also working security. The City decided to settle this case as well. All tolled, allegations of brutality against Stanek have cost the City over $50,000.

There's a pattern here.