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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Lavender's Endorsement of Ember Reichgott Junge

Mark Hanson has commented on this. So has Andy Birkey at Eleventh Avenue South.

Lavender's endorsement was for Ember Reichgott Junge. As Lavender stated, Ember has an excellent record at the legislature on gay issues. She is also very willing to stray from established DFL party line at times. This is to her credit. Ember has done thankless, and tireless work for the Minnesota Women's Political Caucus. I got to know her through being on the board of the MWPC.

Ember mentioned to me that she had taken out an ad in Lavender to describe her position on Gay marriage (she supports it) during Gay Pride (I did not see a copy of that ad, so don't know how big an ad buy it was). Paul Ostrow has an ad opposite Ember's endorsement. Keith Ellison and Mike Erlandson don't have ads in Lavender. They were attacked by name in the article. I think there are some votes that Ostrow can be attacked for in the City Council. Someone who follows City Council politics more than I would know what they are.

There was a pro-Paul Ostrow letter to the editor published in Lavender.

Lavender is about marketting to the gay community. Lavender does not do due diligence and research candidates positions on gay issues. In fact, the attacks on the other candidates are not based on gay issues.

In the past, Lavender endorsed Ray Tricomo for the US Senate. I don't know of anyone who takes Lavender's recommendations seriously.

I am planning on contacting all 5th District Candidates, plus Lavender to find out how much they spent for Advertising in Lavender. Lavender's endorsement was published so there are no opportunities for letter writers to comment before the primary election. In my opinion this stinks.

Senate District 41 Candidate Julie Risser: New Addition to the Pod Squad

Update: Julie Risser no longer supports PRT

Interesting 5th CD Comments In Lavender Magazine

The latest issue of Lavender Magazine had some political content other than the repetitive 'Bush is the Devil' diatribes. In an editorial with no byline, the magazine took the bold, revolutionary step of endorsing Ember Reichgott Junge for the 5th Congressional District seat currently held by Martin Olav Sabo.

The endorsed DFL candidate, State Rep. Keith Ellison, is dismissed for the reasons that have now become conventional wisdom this summer - the parking tickets, the personal financial questions, the Farrakhan connection, etc.

Minneapolis City Council member Paul Ostrow isn't even mentioned in the editorial.

The writer drags former DFL chair Mike Erlandson's purse through the mud.....

Erlandson is another candidate who is not qualified to serve. It was a sham and a shame that Sabo attempted a fait accompli by the timing of his announcement to not run for office again, and by an attempt to anoint as his successor a member of his own staff, Erlandson. It certainly was not democratic, and was a slap to the DFL.

The Fifth District DFL convention was right to withhold the nomination from Erlandson. He then stormed out of the convention like a little boy who didn’t get his way.

Unforgivably, Erlandson is the man who engineered the Senator Paul Wellstone funeral debacle, which led directly to the election of Senator Norm Coleman, a Republican.

How much more incompetent could Erlandson be? Clearly, he is the least desirable candidate.


While the editorial as a whole is a yawner, I'm finding some smug personal satisfaction that SOMEBODY is finally reminding the public of Erlandson's role in the Wellstone funeral debacle. At the time, Mr. Mike seemed to be the only person in the United States who couldn't link the 'funeral' to the lousy election results for the Democrats.

Hurray!

Patty Wetterling's Tax Reform Plan

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 1, 2006

Contact:
Corey Day
763-323-1803

Wetterling gives hope to middle class with plan for tax reform

ANOKA, Minn. - On Friday, 6th District congressional candidate Patty Wetterling rolled out her plan to make the tax system fair to the middle class. The plan is the first proposal in her Middle Class Opportunity package.

Wetterling unveiled four major tax cuts she will support in Congress to ease the burden on middle-class families. They are:

1. Simplified Family Credit

- Combines the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Credit and the Dependent Care Credit into one credit for working families with children.

- Provides a maximum credit of $2,500 for a family with one child, $5,000 for two children, and $7,500 for three children, indexed for inflation.

- Phases out at $60,000 for individual taxpayers and $120,000 for joint filers.

- Cuts 200 pages from the tax code into one 12 question form.

2. Universal Mortgage Deduction

- Allows every homeowner, not just itemizers, to deduct mortgage interest.

- A universal mortgage deduction will enable an additional 10 million Americans, the vast majority of whom make $50,000 or less, to receive help in purchasing a home.

- Will be less complicated, more accessible, and will encourage more homeownership.

- Today, 28% of taxpayers and just half of homeowners itemize.

- Only one-fifth of households with incomes below $50,000 receive current deduction.

3. Refundable Credit for Higher Education Expenses

- A $3,000 a year refundable credit for four years of college and two years of graduate school.

- Will replace the Hope Scholarship, Lifetime Learning Credit, Deduction for Higher Education Expenses, Exclusion of Employee-Provided Education Benefits and the Exclusion for Qualified Tuition Reductions.

- It will help six million full-time students cover a significant part of the cost of tuition at a public university.

- No limit on number of students per family who are eligible.

- No income phase-down or phase-out.

- Allows those receiving Pell Grants to still qualify for the total amount of the College Tax Credit.

- Current education credits are difficult to decipher, this credit is simple and will help increase access to higher education and economic success.



4. Universal Pension

- Replaces the ?alphabet soup? of 16 existing IRA-type accounts with a single, portable retirement account for all workers.

- Contribution limits are the same as those for current IRAs.

- Will make retirement savings easier and save administrative costs.

Wetterling was joined at the press conference by concerned Minnesotans who addressed the increasing tax burden that Washington is piling on their families.

"Middle-class families are hurting," says Wetterling. "They are having a harder time paying for things like health care and college because they are being forced to compensate for the generous tax breaks being given to the very wealthy and big corporations."

Wetterling outlined the details of her tax reform strategy during a press conference at the state Capitol today, Friday, September 1.

On Saturday, Wetterling will spend the day at the Minnesota State Fair. She will be at the DFL booth from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

###


Bottom line, singles are still screwed over with the child tax credit provisions. Why not get rid of the mortgage interest deduction and make rates lower, and provide financial aid through the Pell Grant rather than through the tax code.

I'll stop by the DFL booth while Wetterling is there to ask her about her Tax policy.

Paul Ostrow's Campaign Workers

Today I stopped by Paul Ostrow's campaign office and talked with some of his young idealistic staff. I got the cards for Tara Trepanier, the Assistant Campaign Manager and Adam Faitek, who was field staff. There were 4 or 5 other people there - all staff I believe. These staffers were very dedicated to Paul Ostrow, and didn't believe that he would have known about Jason Amundsen's emails. These were the people Jason Amundsen let down. A number of them said that if they thought Ostrow was involved, they would not continue working for him. I hope their trust in Ostrow is proved correct.

This case is quite similar to the Chris Gunhus case with Rod Grams. I do think there needs to be more investigation. Chris Gunhus pleaded no contest to criminal charges.

I do have the question of what did Paul Ostrow know and when did he know it? He held press conferences benefiting from Amundsen's "british fly on the wall" leaked opposition research. Strib excerpted in Democracies Online Newswire.


Officials tracking anti-Ciresi e-mail

Dane Smith and Greg Gordon

An e-mail account that was used to send anonymous and allegedly illegal attacks on DFL U.S. Senate candidate Mike Ciresi has been linked to a telephone number and an Internet account of Christine Gunhus, a top campaign aide of U.S. Sen. Rod Grams, according to a search warrant affidavit released Thursday by the Anoka County attorney's office. The e-mails under investigation were sent from a Kinko's store, apparently one in Coon Rapids, according to the affidavit. But the account that was used also was accessed four times through a phone number traced to Gunhus' home in Ham Lake, the affidavit said. The affidavit was attached to a search warrant used in the seizure of computer equipment from Gunhus' home last week. Assistant County Attorney Bryan Lindberg said Thursday that the connection between "the e-mail account and the [Gunhus] telephone number" was "the key link in establishing probable cause to search the residence." Both Grams and Gunhus, the political director of his campaign and a longtime aide and adviser, refused to comment about the latest development in the case. Gunhus' attorney, Doug Kelley, said he hadn't "had the opportunity to carefully study what's in the warrant, and I will make no comment about the facts. But it does not change my thoughts about this case: When the dust settles, my client will be found not to have violated any laws." Grams, a Republican, has previously maintained that his campaign was not responsible for the e-mails and was not guilty of any wrongdoing in the case. The affidavit doesn't constitute a charge, but rather reflects what investigators have learned and why they believed they had probable cause to seize computers and equipment from Gunhus' home. Under a 1988 Minnesota law designed to prevent anonymous political attacks, it is a misdemeanor for a campaign to distribute literature without including the name and address of the candidate or the candidate's campaign committee. Those who act individually and spend less than $300 are exempted. The affidavit doesn't link the e-mails directly to Gunhus. But a top campaign aide for Ciresi said Thursday that the evidence is mounting against Gunhus and Grams. "This brings these e-mails into Chris Gunhus' home," said Bob Decheine, Ciresi's campaign manager. "Maybe Senator Grams has been telling the truth that it was not done out of his campaign office, but it appears it was done out of Chris Gunhus' house." Decheine added that "if additional evidence is generated now [that] they have the computers, we would expect that criminal charges would be forthcoming."


Developing. . .

Friday, September 01, 2006

PAC Started to Throw the Bums Out

From CCARL's website:

Our first need for volunteers is the
weekend of September 9 & 10.
This is the weekend before the primary election.

Sponsored by CAST (Citizens Against Stadium Taxes), a newly-formed political committee, a weekend event is being planned to help inform the public about the primary election and how the citizens can take the first step towards sending a message to these men.

This is not a CCARL-sponsored event, but we are supporting them in every one of their efforts.

Volunteers are needed with all sorts of skills, abilities, and interests.
You would need to give a time committment of anywhere from one hour on up. If you can spend the whole day, GREAT!, but any effort on your part will be greatly appreciated.

Send us your first name and a phone number (contactccarl@yahoo.com).

You will be contacted by CAST with full details about how you can help.


This is exactly what we need. A PAC so that angry Hennepin County Taxpayers can donate to help produce hit pieces on lead legislators and County Commissioners who saddled us with this 30 year tax increase for a stadium that will last 10 to 15 years before Pohlad is back at the legislator begging for a new one.

Thanks but No Thanks to the Drama Queen

I don't think posting this helped Judy Johnson's campaign.

Matt Abe's post is much more helpful to Judy Johnson's campaign. Perhaps Judy ought to see if Matt would volunteer to do all her campaign communcations. He writes well.

Not Sure Why Terri Bonoff Is Promoting the Stadium Swindle as a Reason to Vote For Her

From Terri Bonoff's website.

July 27, 2006

It isn't really about baseball, and it ain't over yet

A letter from Brian Burke, president of the Navarre Distribution Services unit of Navarre Corporation, where Sen. Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka) worked as vice president of marketing, appeared in Sun Sailor newspaper:

Stadium vote is history

To the editor:

Over the past couple of months, I have continually heard and seen individuals attacking our local state senator for her vote on a new baseball stadium. As a lifelong Republican, I stepped across party lines during the last state Senate election to vote for Sen. Terri Bonoff, DFL-Minnetonka. What caused me to make this decision? Ultimately, while I historically don't make my vote based on one issue, I did during this past election. That one issue is the funding of a new baseball stadium for the Minnesota Twins.

I grew up attending baseball games at old County Stadium in Milwaukee and at Wrigley Field in Chicago. My father, now 70 years old, talks about attending baseball games at Wrigley Field with his friends. The memories of attending those games are something that my father and I will also cherish. I want to share these types of memories with my 3-year-old son. When is the last time you've heard someone say the same thing about the Metrodome?

Unfortunately, as with politics in today's environment, certain individuals can't move forward. There are many other things that now need attention. The stadium vote is done - let's move forward.

Brian Burke
Minnetonka


You'd think Terri would want to be focusing on issues like good Science education (taking a swipe at Judy Johnson's statement at the Chamber of Commerce debate suggesting that Intelligent Design creationism should be taught in schools - because kids should be discussing their beliefs in class. Judy didn't specifically say this should be done in a science class, but that's what I came away with. Judy has been trying to run away from that position since. You'd also think that Terri would be focusing on issues like family planning and fair treatment for all Minnesotans, pointing out Judy Johnson's support for the Bachmann amendment. Instead Terri Bonoff's website is playing towards Judy Johnson's strength, which is her principled, and knowledgable opposition to the Stadium boondoggle.

This letter to the editor on Bonoff's website does explain her position in a way that does damage control, rather than hurting her more:

July 25, 2006

To the Editor:

I was surprised to see internet blogger Matt Abe's letter stating that Sen. Terri Bonoff is out-of-tune with constituents. In my work as a volunteer for sports, scouts and schools,

I've met many people of varied backgrounds and beliefs. The tie that binds politically for most constituents is that they want an effective, honest, and independent leader. Sen. Terri Bonoff fits this description.

In her campaign, she said she would be a voice for the middle and work across party lines on issues that matter most: education, health care, transportation, fiscal responsibility, and the environment.

She did just that to deliver big on early childhood education, mass transit in the western suburbs, tax relief for Minnesotans, and tough mercury emission standards.

Bonoff also made no bones that a Twins stadium was part of her vision of Minnesota as a first-class state. Nonetheless, she promised constituents she would work to make the plan better and ultimately voted for the less costly Senate plan, which broadened the tax burden and included a voter referendum.

However, when it became clear that the governor and the House Speaker would not compromise, she voted for their plan and kept her biggest constituent promise by not acting as an entrenched ideologue.

"Out-of-tune" does not describe Sen. Bonoff. It does, however, describe those who think that they can promote their cause by distorting Bonoff's record rather than running a positive campaign on the issues.

- Ellen Dustman
Minnetonka


I still think that if Bonoff was serious about getting a good deal for Hennepin County, she would have requested a seat on the conference committee, and helped Steve Kelley to have a spine and walk away from any deal that didn't extend the stadium tax out to the metro area. The metro tax didn't even need to include transportation - the important piece, would be that the tax wouldn't just be Hennepin - and it would be paid off quicker (5 or 10 years) since the Twins will be back for another stadium in 10 years anyway.

Sen. Linda Higgins (DFL, Minneapolis) was even worse about this issue - and I think CCARL really needs to demonstrate outside her house. Linda is not going to lose, but she deserves aggrevated phone calls on this issue. Linda rebuffed efforts by Scott Dibble to make the tax metro-wide during the hearing in the local government committee. In my opinion, Scott Dibble should have been more agressive about calling for a vote on his amendment, rather than politely backing down.

Pawlenty's Shell Game With Public Funds Slows Progress (again)

Thanks, Governor.

No Crosstown fix in '06
A year has been lost for rebuilding the junction of Crosstown Hwy. 62 and 35W because of contractors' reluctance to bid.
Laurie Blake, Star Tribune

The Crosstown project is officially dead for this year.
Officials thought they could rescue the long-awaited fix for the Twin Cities' biggest traffic snarl after road builders balked at bidding on the work in June.

But Thursday, Bob McFarlin, assistant to the state transportation commissioner, admitted that work on the new junction of Crosstown Hwy. 62 and Interstate Hwy. 35W has been pushed to spring 2007.

"We have been at it very hard," he said, "but we ran out of time for this construction season."

The new delay deflated commuter Aaron Laffin of Richfield, who estimates that he wastes 10 to 15 minutes each day at the notorious interchange.

"I was hoping that the DOT would be able to figure this out," Laffin said. "It's disappointing because Crosstown is probably one of the worst bottlenecks in Minnesota. There are other things that are getting cleaned up that aren't as bad."

The intertwined freeways on the border of Richfield and Minneapolis daily entangle nearly a quarter-million drivers -- who are headed to work and across town, to ballgames and cultural events, to the airport and the Mall of America -- resulting in congestion and frustrated drivers cutting ahead of each other.

Construction had been set to begin this summer after more than a decade of design and redesign.

But the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) lacked money and asked contractors to front $90 million to get it started. Funds for the project are promised by the federal government, but most would come during the latter half of construction.

Road builders initially reacted badly to that proposal and in the end declined to bid for the job because they found the state's $250 million budget for the project unrealistically low.

Feeling the weight of public disappointment, MnDOT scrambled to regroup and try to get the project ready for a second round of bidding this year. And Gov. Tim Pawlenty promised to get the project going again as quickly as possible.

But contractors want more time to gear up for the project, and the Federal Highway Administration is scrutinizing the revised budget estimate to make sure it will draw bids next time.

The upshot is that the project is not ready to go, McFarlin said.

That drew criticism from Rep. Dan Larson, DFL-Bloomington, who said he worries that MnDOT's spring start date might be too optimistic.

"I think we are to the point where we are not sure what we can believe coming from the administration on this," Larson said. "The delay is now far beyond what we had expected."

The delay also assures that the project will be a topic of discussion at the Legislature in 2007, Larson said.

"I am disappointed the governor didn't call a special session for us to address this," he said.

Funding decisions

McFarlin said that no final decisions about the financing plan, scope and duration of the project would be made until after voters decide Nov. 7 whether to amend the state Constitution to send more money to transportation.

The proposal would phase in a full dedication of motor vehicle sales taxes to roads and transit. Proponents tout it as a method that doesn't raise taxes, but critics say it would shift hundreds of millions of dollars from other services.

McFarlin said that when the project does get going again, it is likely that either the state will borrow money itself to cover costs until expected federal funds are received or MnDOT may once again ask contractors to front some of the money.

He said the delay also means that the cost of steel and fuel and other materials will rise and that the project will cost more.

Said McFarlin: "We will have to find more money somehow."


It's outrageous to expect contractors to act as a 'bank'.

Note that the Governor didn't ask the companies who might be involved in building the Twins Stadium to self-finance. He was more than happy to ask the voters of Hennepin County to pony up.

Eva adds: Actually Governor Pawlenty of Tax increases was more than happy to give the voters of Hennepin County no choice in the matter. He wasn't do interested in getting an ask provision in the final bill.

Great Sue Jeffers Quote

Okay, I'll have to paraphrase a little bit.

Sue did very well on the Jason Lewis radio show. He asked her to respond to the concern about whether anybody in the Legislature would want to work with her, if she were elected governor.

She said, well, I wouldn't have worked with them on the Twins stadium bill. I wouldn't have worked with them on a $1 billion bonding bill. Shall I go on?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Write a Letter to the Editor about Brad Finstad.

The New Ulm Journal has an online screen for letter submissions.

Let his constituents know he is no fiscal conservative.

He was the House author of the Twins Stadium Swindle Bill, with no referendum.

Letter Form

Paul Ostrow Claims He Wasn't Aware of What Jason Amundsen Did

Strib here:

The campaign manager for DFL congressional candidate Paul Ostrow resigned Thursday in response to revelations that he circulated reports of unsubstantiated 911 calls to police in an effort to smear opposing DFL candidate Keith Ellison.

Ostrow said he asked campaign manager Jason Amundsen to resign after Amundsen admitted e-mailing links to the calls to the news media this week. Ostrow said he was alerted to Amundsen's possible involvement from weblogs, or blogs, that reported on it.

"I have never and would never authorize this," said Ostrow, adding he had no hint that Amundsen was doing it.

Ellison declined to say whether he believed Ostrow wasn't involved.

"I'm not going to speculate on what Paul knew or when he knew it," Ellison said. "I'm not going to question motives or anything like that, I'm just going to leave it where it is. I'm glad that Mr. Amundsen is no longer a part of his campaign."

Ellison is the DFL-endorsed candidate in the Fifth District congressional race, and Ostrow is among three candidates challenging him in the primary.

Amundsen did not return phone calls or respond to e-mail Thursday seeking comment. But his resignation appears to link him to a much broader and mysterious e-mail campaign against Ellison since early this summer that also circulated information about his campaign finance violations over several years.

In that e-mail campaign, the anonymous writer copied campaign finance records documenting the violations and sent them in June from the e-mail address "britishflyonthewall@yahoo.co.uk."

In denying any knowledge of Amundsen's role in circulating negative information about Ellison, Ostrow said Thursday, "The policy of my campaign from Day One has been we would respond to published reports, and that's what we have done."

In July, a day after the Star Tribune reported on the campaign finance violations circulated by britishflyonthewall, Ostrow held a news conference to say he was "deeply concerned about Rep. Ellison's repeated ethical and legal lapses." Ostrow also called on Ellison to explain himself or be considered unfit for the office.


I'm sure going through the Drama Queen's archives would be an exercise in determining timeline on this.

The same day, Amundsen, in his role as campaign manager, wrote an item for Ostrow's website calling Ellison a scofflaw.

Amundsen's secret role emerged this week, shortly after the latest e-mails from britishflyonthewall were sent. Two blogs traced it to Amundsen by comparing the Internet Protocol address of a computer associated with the e-mails to an IP address on earlier e-mail Amundsen wrote in his role as campaign manager.

The blogs that wrote about the discovery are at danweinand.com and mnpublius.com.

Ostrow said he talked with Amundsen after learning of the blog reports Wednesday night and asked for his resignation. Ostrow called Ellison on Thursday to tell him about Amundsen.

The latest e-mails that led to Amundsen contained photocopies of police summaries of 911 calls in 2005 by a woman complaining about Ellison. His campaign manager, Dave Colling, said Thursday that police never contacted Ellison about the calls. Colling said the woman was disgruntled because she didn't get a job with a nonprofit group with which Ellison is associated and began harassing him. Ellison got a protection order against her, Colling said.


The Drama Queen is trying to defend himself. His blog is normally a good political gossip blog, but if he continues to get into this type of thing, I'll quit reading it.

Write Letters to Interim Police Chief Supporting Investigation of Michael Campion

Eleventh Avenue South has more.

The Illinois Family Institute is an organization that promotes "sexual conversion therapy," a harmful practice that aims to "pray the gay away." Because Campion is a psychologist and former leader of an organization that promotes "praying the gay away," it is vital that the city ensure that no bias is present in Campion's evaluations of potential and current police officers. Considering the City of Minneapolis' anti-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation, and a number of openly LGBT officers, the city is doing the right thing in investigating Campion.

And as I pointed out yesterday, the City of Minneapolis hires a lot of Christians.

Earlier this month, Renew America cam under heavy fire from LGBT bloggers for making the claim that gay people have sex with infants.

If you support the City of Minneapolis' decision to investigate Campion, let them know. The Religious Right is sending this contact info all over the web. MPD could probably use some encouraging words.

Timothy Dolan
Interim Chief of Police
350 South 5th Street
Room 130
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1389
612-673-2853
Fax: 612-673-2613
E-mail: police@ci.minneapolis.mn.us


If you live in Minneapolis, make that point when you contact him. Most of the calls and emails are coming from outside of Minneapolis.

Ember Supporter Art Higinbotham Plays the Muslim Card Against Keith Ellison

From Truth Surfer:

Ember - The Right Wing Christian Extremist?
I received a letter today from Art Higinbotham, an Ember Reichgott Junge supporter, in which there are several fairly nasty comments about everyone in the race, except Ember of course.

Here are some highlights (emphasis mine):

Her endorsed DFL opponent, Keith Ellison, has had limited political experience in the Minnesota House… While he shares Senator Reichgott's positions on key issues of importance to DFLers, we have not heard him renounce the aspects of Islam that are anathema to our American belief system, such as death for apostasy and the subordination of women.

Wow, and when did all practitioners of Islam become extremists? Oh yeah


When I sent this to Ember's campaign, her campaign manager Lori Jacobsen claimed this was the first they'd heard of this letter. I've requested a written statement from their campaign on their reaction to this campaign tactic. I'll post it should I get a copy.

Jason Amundsen resigns from Ostrow's campaign

That's according to the Drama Queen.

Call the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce to Complain about Brad Finstad

Do this on their dime: 1-888-463-9856.

Brad Finstad was the lead negotiator who insisted that this stadium tax was Hennepin County only, rather than statewide.

I called and left a message on their voice mail:

Voters in your area put Brad Finstad in office. He has worked tirelessly to increase Hennepin County sales tax (without voter approval) for a twins stadium. This was something that Finstad wanted for himself and his constituents, but he wanted to charge Hennepin County Residents. As long as Brad Finstad represents the New Ulm area, I will take my tourist dollars elsewhere. I'll drive through his district and pollute the air, but I'll buy gas before or after getting through.

I called using your toll free number so you'd understand how it feels to have people who live outside your area increase your expenses (in my case sales taxes).

I'd like to identify rural legislators who will vote against this sort of larceny.

The Drama Queen and the Ostrow Campaign Star in Another Drama

Drama Queen's posts are here and here:

MN Publius
and Dan Wienand get on the case, and trace the source of efforts to shop this story to the media. City Pages got the same tip Brodkorb did from an anonymous source, who was traced to Paul Ostrow's campaign manager's IP. The email that tipped off Brodkorb isn't available - and Brodkorb protects his sources. Many assume Brodkorb's source was also Jason Amundsen, Paul Ostrow's campaign manager.

Campaign managers for campaigns should not be hiding their identity to send tips to reporters. Candidates should not stand for this behavior should it get exposed.

Would I post similar information about Michele Bachmann, if I received it? Probably not. My blog, Dump Michele Bachmann has been about Michele Bachmann's public record. Posting stuff like this would make the blog less credible.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mark Stenglein Brags About the Stadium Tax as an Accomplishment

From Mark Stenglein's campaign website. His promotion of the Plymouth Library on his campaign website, reinforces that the purpose of the taxpayer funded piece I mentioned yesterday was a campaign piece.

Sid Hartman Calls Stenglein "Courageous"
Sunday, May 28, 2006

"Courageous"

Star Tribune Senior Sports Columnist Sid Hartman wrote this about Commissioner Stenglein and his colleagues on the Board.

"Phil Krinkie, the esteemed so-called state representative, recently described the four Hennepin County commissioners in favor of the Twins plan -- Mike Opat, Randy Johnson, Peter McLaughlin and Mark Stenglein -- as "the Four Horsemen." Well, that is very nice of him to give these courageous politicians a name, because they deserve to be remembered for the courage they showed to continue voting for the stadium. A lot of us will keep on reminding people that the quartet kept Major League Baseball here, one big reason they deserve to be re-elected."

The Ballpark issue has been very contentious and hotly debated. I appreciate all who have contacted me with your concerns. I voted for the Ballpark because great places need great civic amenities that add to our collective quality of life. The new Twins Ballpark solidifies Hennepin County's prominence as the economic engine for the entire upper-Midwest.


Full disclosure, Commissioner Stenglein - how many of your employees have gone back and forth between your office, your campaigns, Twinsville and the Governor's office?

Also this:

Stenglein Successful in Lobbying Legislature

Stenglein Scores Major Successes in 2006 Legislative Session

A weary, but pleased Commissioner Stenglein made his way home after the Minnesota Legislature voted to officially end the 2006 session.
"I can say with conviction that this was a successful session for the residents of Hennepin County. Our efforts secured funding for many large public works projects that will ultimately improve and enhance our quality of life."

Some of those projects are:

* $5 M for work to begin on the redesign and rebuilding of Lowry Avenue
* $2.5 M for the replacement of the Lowry Avenue Bridge and the
Upper Mississippi planning
* A new Twins Stadium

Other projects that Hennepin County will begin work on include:

* Silver Lake Road redesign and rebuild from 37th to St. Anthony Blvd
* Northstar Corridor from Big Lake to Downtown Minneapolis
including extensions of LRT
* Redesign and rebuilding of the Plymouth Library

"As I look to the future of Hennepin County, I want to ensure that each project we pursue ultimately brings tangible value to our citizens -- from roads and bridges to libraries, from social services to public safely -- it must bring a benefit to our taxpayers."


The Stadium boondoggle doesn't do that.

If Stenglein had been looking out for the Hennepin County Taxpayer, he'd have worked on a plan to broaden the base of this tax, and not just stuck it to Hennepin County. Instead, he worked to tax Hennepin County residents 1 billion dollars to subsidize Carl Pohlad.

I'd be curious to know how much of Mark Stenglein's time was spent at the legislature lobbying on the Twins Stadium. Time is money.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Peter LaBarbara and Illinois Family Institute Not to Happy with Minneapolis Police Department

Strib here:

The Minneapolis Police Department has temporarily suspended the use of a well-known psychologist who has been screening potential officers for more than a year after community members questioned his affiliation with a group that opposes civil rights for gays.

The issue of Michael A. Campion's affiliation with a conservative Illinois group that says it opposes the "gay lifestyle" was brought to interim Chief Tim Dolan's attention on Wednesday during a meeting with the Police Community Relations Council.


Peter LaBarbara, the recently departed ED of IFI goes far beyond that. He's the guy who makes "undercover" investigations into International Mr Leather and breathlessly writes up the results and who has been attacking Republican Governor candidate Judy Barr Topinka for having a float at Gay Pride. Pam Spaulding has covered Peter LaBarbera antics extensively.

As I said, the IFI is having a hissy fit.

IFI News Release: Smith Decries Minneapolis PD's Suspension of Christian Psychologist Due to Past Ties to IFI

8/29/2006 1:48:00 PM
By Illinois Family Institute

GLEN ELLYN, Illinois--Illinois Family Institute (IFI) Executive Director David Smith today decried the Minneapolis Police Department's suspension of Dr. Michael Campion, a former IFI Board Member, after reports surfaced of Campion's past affiliation with the Illinois Family Institute.

"Does this mean that any person with a Christian or moral belief system cannot work for the City of Minneapolis?" Smith asked. "This case has all the markings of blatant anti-Christian discrimination and bigotry. People of faith should follow it carefully, because they could be next."

Today the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the Minneapolis PD "has temporarily suspended the use of a well-known psychologist who has been screening potential officers for more than a year after community members questioned his affiliation with a group that opposes civil rights for gays."

The newspaper reported that Dr. Campion's "affiliation with a conservative Illinois group that says it opposes the 'gay lifestyle' was brought to interim Chief Tim Dolan's attention on Wednesday during a meeting with the Police Community Relations Council."

Campion served on IFI's Board of Directors from 1998 until early 2005. The Star Tribune reported that his business, Campion, Barrow & Associates, based in Champaign, Ill., has "received high marks from a consulting firm hired by the Minneapolis Police Department to evaluate his 'general procedural goodness and specific cultural fairness' of his testing procedures."

This is not the first time Dr. Campion has suffered discrimination after having his character assassinated by liberal activists. Last year, the City of Springfield, Illinois, fired Campion as psychological reviewer for police and firefighter candidates after the left-leaning weekly Illinois Times ran an article about his role with Illinois Family Institute.

"I have known Mike Campion for years, and he is a man of great Christian integrity and character," said Peter LaBarbera, IFI's Policy & Media Advisor. "Mike is a fair and decent man, respected by his peers, who honors the ethical standards of his profession. Now he is being smeared by pro-homosexual activists. The message is growing across our nation: Christians are the only group that can be discriminated against--especially if they live out their faith in the public square."

Added Smith: "It is ironic that advocates of tolerance and diversity would deny Dr. Campion's right to exercise his First Amendment freedoms of speech and association--not to mention his freedom of religion."


Update: Andy from Eleventh-Avenue South has some additional posts on this issue. His blog brought this issue to my attention.

Are there Two Gay State PACs in Minnesota?

From Eleventh Avenue South:

OutFront Minnesota, the state's leading GLBT equality organization has launched a Political Action Committee (PAC), the first in the state for GLBT issues.

OutFront Minnesota Action PAC will be working on state Senate and House races, and endorsing those that support the GLBT community and opposing those who work against full rights for GLBT people:

All of the 201 state lawmakers are up for re-election. Many of these candidates stood by our side at the Capitol during the contentious three-year battle against a constitutional amendment. They need our support to continue their courageous work. Many new candidates are running to un-seat anti-GLBT legislators. They need our support to usher in an era of equality. We have the capacity to reach all corners of the state and build a broad base of elected officials who support GLBT equality.

This is a great opportunity for the GLBT community and something that has been sorely needed in recent years.


A commenter writes:

Actually, OutFront has had this PAC for quite a few years. (They just never did anything with it ... including fundraising.)

This "re-launch" might be due to the HRC's launch of a MN PAC, which I hear has raised more than $80K. I don't think HRC would have gone through the effort of setting up a PAC if OutFront wasn't asleep at the wheel for the last few years.

Go figure.
Posted by Marcus at August 28, 2006 11:42 PM


If Lavender Magazine did any political coverage, they'd get to the bottom of this one.

Green Party Zimmermann Trial Discussion

From the Text Clips blog, Dave Bicking ( a 2005 Green Party candidate for the Minneapolis City Council):

"First of all, contrary to what Julie says, it is NOT illegal to take
large sums of cash from a developer. I would also argue (and here I would expect and respect some disagreement), that it was also not unethical in this case. The relevant issue is not the money changing hands, or whether it is cash or checks. The issue, legally and ethically, is the intent. That is what makes it a bribe or not."

-----------------

"No, and Dean is no more an idiot than you or I - he got that cash out of sight as quickly as possible."

----------------

Taxpayer Funded Mailer for the Ethically Challenged Mark Stenglein

This looks like a campaign piece to me.

Stenglein

StengleinBack

This reminds me of when RT Rybak did the same thing.

Rybak Campaign Newsletter Paid for by Taxpayers

AG Candidate Jeff Johnson Reminding Voters of Steve Kelley's Support for Twins Swindle

I caught a few minutes of the GOP Attorney General Candidate Jeff Johnson's interview with Jason Lewis on FM 100.3. Jason brought up Tuesday's 4-3 vote by the Hennepin County Board, and Jeff very skillfully and succinctly explained the role that Senator Steve Kelley played in making that happen.

Good - I hope nobody misses an opportunity to remind voters of who did what in saddling my county with a 30 year tax to benefit private investors.

Why Doesn't Peter McLaughlin mention the Twins Stadium Swindle on his website?

I just browsed his campaign website

http://www.petermclaughlin.org

Nowhere does it mention the great 'leadership' he is providing in levying a 30 year tax on voters who do not want to be taxed to build a facility for private investors.

Strange

Commissioner Mark Stenglein Should Recuse Himself from Stadium Vote

Note: Lloydletta readers can help defeat the ethically challenged Mark Stenglein by contributing to Greg Gray's campaign here.

Here's a copy of the letter I sent Stenglein yesterday asking him to recuse himself from the Stadium vote:

Subject: Please RECUSE Yourself from the Stadium Vote

Commissioner Stenglein:

Even if you are within the letter of the law, the APPEARANCE of
conflict of interest stinks. The revolving door of your campaign
staff going from your office to Twinsville, to Pawlenty's office has a
definite odor to it.

Eva Young


Then I copied this post from Lloydletta's Nooz as a
reference:

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein's conflict of interest on
the Stadium

It's ironic that MPR's midday at the Fair had the ethically challenged
Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein to push the Stadium
boondoggle. Unfortunately no caller called Mark Stenglein on his
conflict of interest.

From the Strib:

May 29, 2005, Sunday, Metro Edition

SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 1B

LENGTH: 1133 words

Stadium vote puts friendship in focus;
A political pal of Mark Stenglein is involved in ownership of the site

BYLINE: Mike Kaszuba; Staff Writer

BODY:
With the fate of the proposed Minnesota Twins stadium hanging in the balance three weeks ago, Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein cast a key vote for a plan to use a new countywide sales tax to fund the $478 million project.

Stenglein told an overflow crowd that he was "proud to support" the proposal, and that "big thinkers did big projects." What he did not tell them, although he had discussed it privately with his County Board colleagues before the 4-3 vote, was that he has a close personal and political connection to Bruce Lambrecht, a central figure in the limited partnership that owns the proposed stadium property.


This shows a serious lack in Mark Stenglein's ethical compass. He should recuse himself from future votes on this issue.

When Stenglein ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Minneapolis in 2001, Lambrecht was an influential member of his campaign - holding a
fundraiser for Stenglein at Lambrecht's home and leasing office space to the Stenglein campaign. Lambrecht, according to Hennepin County Commissioner Penny Steele, an opponent of the stadium plan, helped recruit Stenglein to run for mayor and was "probably one of his best friends." Stenglein's campaign manager during that race, Brian McClung, later worked as a lobbyist for Twinsville Inc., a company used by Lambrecht to help promote the stadium and a redevelopment plan for the surrounding area. McClung now serves as Gov. Tim Pawlenty's spokesman.


I told Stenglein his biggest mistake was to hire McClung as his campaign manager. McClung doesn't understand Minneapolis. I wasn't aware of McClung's connections to Twinsville Inc.

And last year, a Stenglein aide took a leave of absence from his county job to work as a lobbyist for Lambrecht and Twinsville Inc. The aide, Mike Sable, said he was approached by Lambrecht and others for the job, and said he cleared the three-month leave with Stenglein.

In recent interviews, Stenglein downplayed his relationship with Lambrecht and said that because they have no private financial dealings, there is no conflict of interest. Stenglein said he does not plan to abstain on any future votes on the project at the county, where his vote is seen as critical. The withdrawal of his support could scuttle the stadium proposal, which is currently waiting legislative action.


Stenglein's constituents should write him to ask him to recuse himself from this vote.

"I don't have any financial relationship with him," Stenglein said. He said Lambrecht is "not a dear confidante, by no means. It'd be more political; [I] met him through political circles."

"I've never gotten any money from him in terms of lieu of services - I've never worked for him," Stenglein said. He added, however, that with the stadium proposal now in the public eye, he has attempted to keep an arm's-length relationship with Lambrecht. "I've been kinda doing that ever since this baseball thing really kinda came to reality," he said.

Lambrecht said Friday that while he and his family "are friends with Mark and his family," he did not lobby Stenglein before the County Board's May 3 vote to pursue the stadium proposal. He also said he served only as an unpaid volunteer during Stenglein's mayoral race, and minimized his role in the campaign.

"I never urged Stenglein to run for mayor or any other office," Lambrecht said in a written statement.


Yeah, right. How much has Lambrecht raised for Stenglein's campaigns?

Though the county has not entered into negotiations to buy the stadium site - the proposal actually would leave that job for a new, independent ballpark authority - both the county and the Twins see the so-called Rapid Park property in the downtown Minneapolis Warehouse District as the preferred stadium location. Lambrecht and Rich Pogin are shareholders in Investment Management Inc., the managing entity for a series of limited partnerships that own the property. At a news conference announcing the agreement between the county and the Twins, Lambrecht joined Twins owner Carl Pohlad and others in speaking about the plan.

Under the proposed agreement, the Twins would contribute $125 million to the construction of the stadium and the county, by increasing a countywide sales tax, would pay $235 million toward the stadium. The county would also be responsible for related infrastructure costs. The additional sales tax could last for as long as 30 years and collect as much as $1.1 billion.

The plan's most controversial feature calls for the Legislature to exempt the county from having to hold a referendum on the sales tax increase.

Governor Tim Pawlenty reiterated his preference for a referendum at the State Fair today. He should be called to urge him to veto any legislation that exempts Hennepin County from requiring a referendum to increase sales taxes to subsidize a twins stadium.

Possible conflict

Stenglein said he talked with other commissioners about Lambrecht, and the issue was raised by Steele. He said she told him, "You're friends with Lambrecht. You better not have any financial dealings with him."

Asked about the Stenglein-Lambrecht connection, Steele said, "I would personally opt out of the vote." Lambrecht, she said, was "terribly involved" in Stenglein's mayoral race.


Steele should know. Thank you Penny Steele for speaking out.

Board Chair Randy Johnson, a stadium supporter, said Stenglein approached him about Lambrecht. "I said, 'Do you have any business, financial, joint interests [with him] at all?" said Johnson. "He said, 'Absolutely not.'"

"I don't see the conflict in it," said Johnson, who added however that he had received e-mails regarding Stenglein's relationship with Lambrecht. "I don't see this as even coming close."

Similarly, Commissioner Mike Opat, the county's chief negotiator on the proposed stadium, said he asked Stenglein about his ties with Lambrecht. "I think I did ask Mark, was there a business relationship?" said Opat. "I'm certain the answer was no." Opat said he brought up the topic with Stenglein "as we got closer to having an
agreement" with the Twins over the past two months.

Opat said he did not see a conflict for Stenglein. "I was never led to believe there was anything that was untoward," he said.


It's not surprising Opat would say this. Opat recently had a hissy fit in a Strib oped that suggested the world would end if the legislature exempted Hennepin County from the Referendum requirements for this sales tax increase.

Stenglein said he actually first became acquainted with Lambrecht's wife, Jeanne Braun, when Braun owned a company that competed with Les Work Inc., a company Stenglein owned that would sublet executive office space in the Twin Cities. Stenglein started his company before he became a county commissioner in 1996, and said he has since sold it.

Lisa McDonald, a former Minneapolis City Council member who also ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2001, said she remembered Lambrecht playing a key role in Stenglein's campaign. "He certainly seemed like the brains in the campaign," she said. At most of the campaign's public events, she added, Lambrecht was there with Stenglein. "He was always down in the back of the room," she said.

McDonald said she too wondered about Stenglein's relationship with Lambrecht as the stadium deal unfolded. "[I thought], 'My, my, isn't this a fine kettle of fish," she said.


McDonald would be aware of this.

Vickie Heller, a prominent Minneapolis property owner who is active in conservative politics, said she held a fundraiser for Stenglein in 2001. Though she said she does not recall Lambrecht's title, Heller said Lambrecht appeared to be running the campaign. "He was always around at every fundraiser that I had anything to do with for Stenglein," she said.

Mike Kaszuba is at mkaszuba@startribune.com.


Vickie Heller would know on this issue. Commissioners Opat and Johnson should be ashamed of themselves. It goes without saying that Commissioner Mark Stenglein is an embarrassment to his district and should recuse himself from future votes on the stadium issue. Kudos to Commissioner Penny Steele for raising this issue. It's rather odd that Minneapolis Mayoral candidate Peter McLaughlin wasn't asked to
comment.


I posted a copy of this on Minneapolis Issues also. I have to respectfully disagree with Mark Hanson. I believe Mark Stenglein is the most embarrassing of the county commissioners. He has strong competition from Mike Opat and Peter McLaughlin.

Monday, August 28, 2006

DFL Candidate Fair Schedules

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, August 25, 2006
Contact: Jess McIntosh
(651) 251-6315
jmcintosh@dfl.org
Nick Kimball
(651) 251-6334
nkimball@dfl.org

STATE FAIR MEDIA ADVISORY
Candidates to speak at the DFL booth
Friday, August 25: Tim Walz, CD1 Congressional candidate

6 pm
Saturday, August 26: Coleen Rowley, CD2 Congressional candidate

6 pm

Sunday, August 27: Rebecca Otto, State Auditor candidate

6 pm

Monday, August 28: Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State candidate

6 pm

Tuesday, August 29: Steve Kelley, Attorney General candidate
6 pm

Wednesday, August 30: Judi Dutcher, Lt. Governor candidate
11:30 am

Thursday, August 31: Mike Hatch, Gubernatorial candidate
6 pm

Friday, September 1: Betty McCollum, CD4 Congressmember
6 pm

Saturday, September 2:Patty Wetterling, CD6 Congressional candidate

6 pm

Sunday, September 3:Keith Ellison, CD5 Congressional candidate

6 pm

Monday, September 4:Wendy Wilde, CD3 Congressional candidate

6 pm

###


This seems like the perfect opportunity to ask Mike Hatch some questions. The Hatch campaign has never returned my phone calls nor emails. Mike Hatch's campaign doesn't answer the questions from other people who have written him for clarification.

Mike Hatch's record on Gay Issues:

1994: Hatch Rejected Opportunity To Appear Before Minnesota Lesbian/Gay DFL Caucus. "Hatch's troubles began when he rejected the opportunity to appear at a Jan. 22 candidate forum sponsored by the Minnesota Lesbian/Gay DFL Caucus. Every declared DFL candidate for governor attended the candidate screening except Hatch. In declining the invitation, he criticized the group's newsletter for using the word 'queer' and for what he misperceived as the group's top priority - repeal of the sodomy laws." (Editorial, "Hatch's Zeal - Double-Edged Rhetoric On The Gay Issue," Star Tribune, March 14, 1994)

1994: Hatch Accused Minnesota Lesbian/Gay DFL Caucus Of "Pandering." "After the caucus endorsed John Marty, Hatch falsely accused the group of political 'pandering' by sending a letter opposing his candidacy to party activists. 'It's hard to keep focused with the increasing demands of pressure groups who hold candidates hostage to their particular interests,' Hatch said in a Feb. 2 letter to the gay caucus." (Editorial, "Hatch's Zeal - Double-Edged Rhetoric On The Gay Issue," Star Tribune, March 14, 1994)

1994: Star Tribune Editorial Criticized Hatch's "Double-Edged Rhetoric On The Gay Issue." "Gubernatorial candidate Mike Hatch can't have it both ways. On one hand Hatch is sending critical, even strident, messages to gays, lesbians and their supporters. On the other hand, Hatch says he wants to be their friend. he flip-flop might be understandable if Hatch's chief motivation for harsh criticism of a gay political group was to foster greater unity within the DFL Party. However, his verbal and written lashings seem to have no more noble purpose than inciting Minnesotans who dislike gays and lesbians to support his candidacy. In manipulating gay rights supporters, Hatch's zeal to capture the moderate-to-conservative political ground of the DFL Party reveals a weakness that may in the end cost him dearly." (Editorial, "Hatch's Zeal - Double-Edged Rhetoric On The Gay Issue," Star Tribune, March 14, 1994 )


It's worth noting that Stonewall DFL has withheld endorsement from Mike Hatch. Stonewall did swallow hard and endorse Rebecca Otto, who voted in favor of the Bachmann amendment - but only after Otto stated publicly she made a mistake on that vote.

All other DFL Governor Candidates screened with Stonewall DFL. Mike Hatch didn't show up to their meeting, or fill out their questionaire.

Both IP candidates, the Green Party candidate, and the other DFL candidate, Becky Lourey, are demonstrably better than Mike Hatch on gay issues.

MN Publius: New Ads for Kennedy and Klobuchar

Here's the Ad. Hat tip: MN Publius. Kennedy's ad makes the "I am a CPA" claim.

Initially I assumed this meant the campaigns were dropping these ad buys. Now I think that Publius means these ads are being "dropped" onto TV.

Tim Pawlenty's Campaign Renames Press/News Section to "Blog"

No comments accepted. This isn't a blog. The URL for the "blog" is very unfriendly.

The Hennepin County Commissioners will be voting for Governor Pawlenty of Tax Increases stadium tax on Tuesday. Mark Stenglein should recuse himself from this vote, but he wont.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Rowley v Kline on Jason Lewis

Jeff Fecke partially transcribed the debate on Minnesota Monitor.

Jmjm at Dump John Kline comments:

This Friday, the fair had the added feature of a debate between incumbent Congressman John Kline and challenger Coleen Rowley. Er, well... that's how it was suppose to be but in the end it was the Jason Lewis ego show on KTLK with special guest Coleen Rowley. At a guess, Jason spoke for 30 minutes, Coleen for 20, and Kline for 5 (probably less). I suppose that means even Jason Lewis finds Kline to be boring, tedious, and un-eventful.

Jason lobbed loaded questions at Coleen like: "So you don't think the Democrats are Naderite enough on campaign finance reform?" Rowley responded that she thought the Democrats weren't "Law-enforcement enough." While John Kline showed us his leadership qualities of sitting like a bump on a log, or odd man out.

The majority of the time, Kline sat silent. The few moments he did respond, it usually was to recounting or agree to what Lewis had already said: Jason Lewis said the Bush plan is "amnesty for eleven million illegals," and that the McCain-Kennedy plan is "amnesty for anyone else who wants to come in." Kline agreed, and said the bill was "terrible."

For Kline supporters it was pathetically sad to see and hear Kline's lack luster and silent (brooding?) behavior take a back seat to Jason Lewis's partisan rants and the animated Coleen Rowley intellect and honesty.

It seemed both fitting and prophetical that afterward Jason Lewis commented to Coleen "I bet you're glad this is over", and Coleen enthusiastically answered "No, not at all, I'm ready to go again. In fact maybe next time we can talk about the war in Iraq and the economy!" Jason laughed as John Kline retreated faster than a white rabbit down the hole.


It would be nice to get this debate up on podcast.