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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Twins Ballpark Blog - No Comments Allowed Ofcourse

Let's just remind ourselves of this:


Check it out here.

Last May, in the wake of securing legislative approval for the Twins-Hennepin County ballpark bill, we offered well-deserved kudos to Governor Tim Pawlenty, Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, Speaker of the House Steve Sviggum and many others for their efforts to support the plan and resolve this important issue in a bi-partisan manner. There is no question that everyone mentioned above played a HUGE role in getting a ballpark approved and thus ensuring the long-term viability of baseball in this community.

However, the true heroes of the day are Hennepin County commissioners Mike Opat, Randy Johnson, Peter McLaughlin and Mark Stenglein. These are the gentleman who demonstrated the vision to dream about what a 42,000-seat open-air ballpark could do for Minnesota and downtown Minneapolis. These are the officials who filled the “leadership void” on this issue by coming forward with a comprehensive plan and delivering a fair, responsible solution. Most importantly, these are the leaders who showed incredible courage for standing by their convictions in the face of criticism and attack from various sectors of the public.

Yes, Mike Opat, Randy Johnson, Peter McLaughlin and Mark Stenglein deserve the credit for their unwavering leadership and support of the Twins-Hennepin County ballpark plan. They also deserve special THANK YOUs from Twins fans across the region.

In a year when players such as Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan and others have made the Twins one of baseball’s top teams, history will show that commissioners Opat, Johnson, McLaughlin and Stenglein have made the most significant contributions to Upper Midwest baseball in 2006. Well done.

Visit to the MOB

I stopped by the MOB gathering tonight at Keegans. I had some good conversations with David Strom and Margaret Martin from Ourhouse and King Banaian from SCSU Scholars. I was trying to pitch the Hennepin County Commissioner races to both of them.

Greg Gray stopped by this gathering of conservative bloggers. Greg is running against Mark Stenglein - and Greg has gotten the DFL endorsement. I believe Greg is the first DFL candidate ever to go to a MOB gathering. Jeff Johnson, Sue Jeffers, and Penny Steele also stopped by.

Is Mark Stenglein Still a PRTista?

Read Mark Stenglein's hilarious letter to a would-be PRT vendor. You can view the letter here.

"Intelligent Transportation and Taxi 2000, both Minnesota Companies, seem to be leading the world in automating transportation networks.Until I rode in the Taxi 2000 vehicle, I did not understand the power and simplicity of automating personal transit."

I think it's fair to say that the Taxi 2000 Corporation isn't leading the world in anything... the Taxi 2000 website hasn't posted any news since 2004.

That leaves Intelligent Transportation, the inventor of "J-Pods" as the only Minnesota company in the PRT business.

Here's a hilarious picture of the J-Pod. Reporters should ask Stenglein if he still thinks PRT is a great idea.

Going to the MOB Gathering

It will be fun. Michele McGaughey, the photographer with Lloydletta's Nooz will be going also. Michele has a laptop, so there might be some live blogging. (Something I normally don't do.)

Stenglein v Gray at the Urban League

I'm hoping to get a copy of the debate on tape, but I made sure an audience question got asked about the Bachmann amendment. Greg Gray said he would absolutely support getting the county on record in opposition. Mark Stenglein said he would want the county to take no position on it, but he personally believed that if gays wanted the ability, they should be able to get married, and they should also be able to have the headaches of divorce.

I talked to Mark Stenglein before the debate, and he said it wasn't fair of me to come down hard on him about the gay issue. He said he was the 4th vote on some benefits issue. I asked him to please send me the details on that. I'd actually like to know who that 3rd vote was. I recently talked to Gail Dorfman, and she told me she introduced a domestic partners resolution at the county several years ago, and only she and Peter voted for the resolution.

I told Stenglein that I understood he used anti-gay rhetoric at speeches during his 2001 mayoral campaign. He said, come on Eva, everyone grows and changes. Your mother wasn't always good on this issue. I told Stenglein, my mother has been supportive of me on this issue all my adult life.

Ember Reichgott Junge Gets Help from a DFL Legend

I live in the 5th CD, and have been puzzled by the scarcity of door knocks, phone calls and direct mail this campaign season. I've had a volunteer from Becky Lourey's campaign at my door, I received the Mike Erlandson mailing, where we goes negative on Ellison and Junge, and this morning I had an automated phone message from former Secretary of State Joan Growe, speaking in support of Ember Reichgott Junge's candidacy.

I say, good for Ember.

I've had to decide which primary to vote in, and I'm opting for the chance to cast a vote for Sue Jeffers vs. weighing in on the 5th CD DFL primary. If I'd made a different choice, I would be supporting Ember. There isn't a lot of ideological difference between the four main contenders, but I'm finding her to be the least troubling.

Pride at Work and the Mark Stenglein Endorsement

Hi Tim:

I'm Eva Young from Lloydletta's Nooz. I'm looking into the Greg Gray vs Mark Stenglein race. (I do a blog, so I do have a personal opionion in that race, and favor Greg Gray for a number of reasons). I noticed the CLUC endorsed Mark Stenglein. I assume this endorsement was because of the stadium. Your constituency group marketing material says:

Pride at Work
Pride At Work is affiliated as the newest constituency group of the AFL-CIO. The purpose of Pride At Work is to mobilize mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBT Community around organizing for social and economic justice.

We see full equality for LGBT Workers in their workplaces and unions. We work towards creating a Labor Movement that cherishes diversity, encourages openness, and ensures safety & dignity. We aim to educate the LBGT Community about the benefits of union membership for LGBT working people, and to build support and solidarity for the union movement in the LGBT community.

We intend to do this in the spirit of the union movement's historic motto, "An Injury to One is An Injury to All." We oppose all forms of discrimination on the job and in our unions based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, religion or political views.
Local contact: Tim Geelan at the Minnesota AFL-CIO,

EY: First of all, how is it beneficial to gays to join unions? Generally gays have gotten domestic partner benefits through having employee groups, who end up having top and valuable people in the company helping to make decisions on these things. The recently passed Minneapolis ordinance about requiring contractors to offer dp
benefits if they offered benefits was written in a way to exclude union contractors. A local Fortune 500 company has recently begun offering DP benefits. Why? Because one of their top researchers told them he was leaving and taking 5 or 6 people with him if they didn't.

I remember well when AFSCME dropped the negotiated DP benefits from it's contract to get it through the legislature. If they'd kept it in there, they would have put Tim Pawlenty in a tough position - because Pawlenty would have looked bad causing a strike over this issue.

The University of Minnesota has very good Domestic Partner benefits - but I believe Faculty and the Civil Service committee took the lead in negotiating those.

As county commissioner, Mark Stenglein has been hostile to gays. Take a look at his record on issues like domestic partner benefits. When Mark ran for Mayor of Minneapolis, I have heard from someone who witnessed his speeches that he was constantly gay-baiting. Greg Gray's record in the legislature and on the library board has been one of being friendly to the gay community. He will work on the county board to get equitable benefits for all employees.

I'd like to get a comment from you about Greg Gray vs Mark Stenglein, and whether you have concerns about the Unions endorsing someone who is known for his anti-gay statements and campaigns?

Eva Young
Lloydletta's Nooz

Tim responded, but does not want his reponse posted on the blog. Pride at Work is not part of the screening committees, so gays do not have a place at the table on PEOPLE screening committees. He also mentioned that Pride at Work has a table at Gay Pride - and had for several years.

I'll be following up with him with an in-person interview after the Primary.

Developing. . .

Friday, September 08, 2006

Ridiculous Candidates for Statewide Office

Tonight's 'Almanac' show featured a forum with the candidates for State Auditor. Props to the show for including the Green and Independence Party candidates, as well as the DFL and Republican contenders.

Lucy Gerold from the Independence Party acquitted herself quite well. She seems to have actually done some research and has some understanding of what the office does. The Green Party candidate wants to work for social, environmental and economic justice as State Auditor. With all due respect, that isn't what the Constitution requires. He's making up a new agenda out of whole cloth.

The same can be said for Rebecca Otto, the DFL endorsed candidate. She is a total embarassment, and seems to be hinging her campaign on the basis of a typo in one report. Ironically, the report was from the Minnesota Department of Education, an entity that the State Auditor Pat Anderson's office doesn't even audit.

I worked for the State Auditor's office when I was just out of college, and Arne Carlson was in charge. As I recall, we audited county governments, first class cities (Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth), certain pension funds, and other entities on request, if a need was identified.

As a politician, it would probably be difficult to find interesting campaign material to use, because a person can be successful and do a totally competent, professional job, and none of it would be very interesting to the general public.

Otto showed her true colors when the hosts asked what the candidates thought about the fiscal disaster facing Duluth. The city is self-insured for health benefits, and over the years the public employee unions have succesfully negotiated for free health care (no deductibles, no co-pays) for life. Cradle to grave. No accruals or other accounting for the potential liability have ever been recognized, and now the city is admitting they have an estimated $300 million problem on their hands. Bankruptcy has been acknowledged as one of the solutions.

Pat Anderson has offered advice and feedback to the city officials, but it isn't her job to 'fix it'. What she can probably do is suggest ways to face up to these problems earlier, when it happens to other government entities (and it will).

Of course, Rebecca Otto has to talk about feelings and what is owed these employees who worked so hard. The part she misses is that very few, if any, private employers offer retiree health benefits any more. The big American auto makers have historically provided those benefits, and look at their financial condition.

As a good DFL, union-bound liberal, Otta neglected to mention what the taxpayer in Duluth will have to pony up in the future. Her blind allegiance to public employee unions was quite obvious. How about watching out for the taxpayers in Duluth?

Taken as a whole, this group makes the DFL 5th Congressional district candidates look like a bunch of geniuses. I hope Pat Anderson wins in November, and wins big. She's one of the (very) few Republicans I'll be supporting this year.

Jordan Kuschner on Why Mark Stenglein Has to Go

Minneapolis Issues:

Kushner lives in Mark Stenglein's district.

Posted 08 Sep 2006 12:25 by Jordan Kushner

Stenglein has to go not only because of his individual votes for smoking and the stadium, but foremost because he is a barely closeted rightwing Republican who does not fit with his district. Stenglein's true ideological leanings were first revealed on this list when he ran for mayor in 2001 when David Brauer showed the database record of his campaign contributions to Newt Gringrich. Stenglein had Republicans working for him and supporting him and hired as his campaign manager Brian McClung, an already established Republican operative who now is a top Pawlenty aide. Stenglein has been unabashedly anti-gay all along, again on specific vote such as domestic partner benefits as well as statements about the "gay agenda." He reaffirmed his political identity as an official part of the Bush campaign in 2004 when he wrote an op-ed piece in the Strib as an "independent" supporting Bush supposedly to protect our national security. This was enough for St. Paul to overwhelmingly dump Randy Kelly. Stenglein needs to be replaced with someone who will properly represent the central city and relatively liberal suburbs. Greg Gray is a much better fit with a dedication to social needs and a broad range of relevant experience a legislature from north Mpls (prior to Keith Ellison), candidate for state auditor, and a professional background in legal and financial fields.

Jordan S. Kushner
Golden Valley - Stenglein's district

Mark Stenglein's Supporters Stop By

I can see why you printed what you call a "RESPONSE" when what it is, is a DISMISSAL of almost ALL of your complaint against STENGLEIN ! That does leave the remainder of your complaint that STENGLEIN'S COMMITTEE gave TO MUCH MONEY to a neighborhood organization ! I THINK EVEN MARK HIMSELF HOPES YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL IN FINDING HIM GUILTY OF THAT !


Six days before facing a primary election, Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein was the target Wednesday of a campaign-finance complaint from two critics of the county's decision to help finance a new stadium for the Minnesota Twins.

The complaint, filed by Eva Young and Laura Lehmann, the head of Citizens For a Stadium Tax Referendum, accused the longtime county official of violating state law by failing to keep accurate campaign records and listing questionable expenditures.

In two examples, the complaint questioned why Stenglein spent $285.19 at a restaurant two days before Christmas in 2005 -- a nonelection year -- and bought Gander Mountain gift cards for volunteers two days before Christmas in 2004, another nonelection year.

The complaint, which was filed with the state Office of Administrative Hearings and the Hennepin County attorney's office, also questioned an amended campaign report for 2005 in which Stenglein corrected a $5,620 accounting error.

Stenglein, who is facing two challengers for reelection, said the complaint was a last-minute political attack that was tied to his support for the controversial $522 million Twins stadium. Last week, Stenglein voted to help finance it with a countywide sales tax that would be levied without a referendum. "This is really kind of ridiculous," he said. "It's a cheap shot."

Though Lehmann said the complaint was not directly related to the stadium, she said there were similarities. "I would say it's about trying to hold people accountable for their actions," she said.

For me, this complaint wasn't about the stadium. It was that I have high expectations for ethical behavior from my county commissioner. Mark Stenglein is woefully lacking in that department. People are afraid to speak out against Stenglein because he's vindictive. The only people who can speak out about him are people who don't directly have county business with him.

I have heard from another county commissioner that Mark Stenglein was not happy this article was published.

Remember This?


Was Mark Stenglein nearby for this signing ceremony? There are lots of Tim Pawlenty/Mark Stenglein links over the Stadium and Twinsville.

Mark Stenglein - like Randy Kelly, supported George Bush in 2004. Now he is supporting Amy Klobuchar for Senator. One of our campaign finance complaints went to Amy Klobuchar. I hope she won't allow Stenglein's support to bias her office's efforts to dig into things.

Andy Birkey: 5th Distict Primary Candidates on GLBT Issues

This is an excellent series of blog posts that did the work Lavender Magazine should have done.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Good City Pages Article on Mark Stenglein


Officially, the project will take a four-lane east/west roadway and add dedicated left-turn lanes in some spots, narrow some stretches to one lane with parking and bike lanes, and widen sidewalks in other parts. The corridor is expected to see increased traffic—up to as many as 17,000 vehicles a day—according to a 122-page Hennepin County report called the Lowry Avenue Corridor Plan. Additionally, the plan envisions new businesses and housing (as many as 110 units at the Lowry and Lyndale intersection, for instance) and the county has bought out and relocated several businesses and residents on Lowry, and used eminent domain to take over other properties. (There is a phase II, from Girard West to Theodore Wirth Parkway—also estimated to cost some $6 million in road construction alone—slated for 2008.)

"The goal of the redevelopment project is to address the decline of Lowry Avenue by improving the livability of the corridor, as well as serving as a catalyst for regional revitalization," said Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein, who represents the area, in a press release that marked the groundbreaking. "This is a truly great, long-awaited day for residents of this part of the city."

Business owners disagree. Adil Albosaad, the owner of the property that houses Naylor's barbershop and six other businesses on the northeast corner of Lowry and Emerson, says he's never seen such bad business in the 14 years he's run the E&L Food Market on the corner. Albosaad, a 34-year-old who was born in Iraq, says his register take is down some 65 percent, but mostly he worries about vacancies. His three residential tenants above the market have moved out, and he knows that renters like Naylor probably can't hold on.

Albosaad's business tenants include a deli owned by an Egyptian immigrant, a Chinese restaurant, a nail shop owned by a Vietnamese family, and a T-shirt shop owned by an African American. He says that all are behind on rent—something Albosaad is willing to deal with at least for the short term.

Albosaad is less charitable toward government leadership, especially Stenglein—who, he says, doesn't return his calls. "Mark Stenglein is so good before an election," he says. "He will kiss our asses, but now we don't hear from him." Albossad has proposed that, at the very least, the city waive the license fees for the businesses for 2006, but so far his proposal has fallen on deaf ears.

"It's a massive redevelopment project," Stenglein concedes. "We're making the best effort to deal with those concerns."

The rationale for closing the corridor entirely, according to Hennepin County senior engineer Dean Michalko, is to save time and money. "If we kept it open, construction would go for at least two full seasons, if not longer," he says. "Our goal was to get in there and get it done as quickly as possible."

Tait Danielson Castillo, executive director of the Hawthorne Area Community Council, calls the intersection "the saddest, most devastating scene you could come across." Danielson Castillo says he has met with Stenglein and other leaders to at least ensure that part of Lowry will remain open during phase II, but it will likely be too late. "Stenglein will say we've been talking about this for years, and that every property owner knew this was coming and blah, blah, blah," Danielson Castillo says, adding that many details of the project were unknown to pretty much everyone in the area. "But the reality is the same. Things are falling apart. These businesses will close within the month."

They sure don't like Mark Stenglein. But then, they aren't showing up to his fundraisers.

Strib on Greg Gray vs Mark Stenglein

Seems like the Strib just made an independent expenditure for Mark Stenglein's campaign.


At 6 feet 4, Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein is a big man -- and, as he pushes his case for reelection, he is a big target.

He led the drive last year to scale back Hennepin County's smoking ban, drawing the ire of the state's anti-smoking lobby.

He cast a crucial vote for a new stadium for the Minnesota Twins, and faced critics who wanted a referendum on the 0.15 percent countywide sales tax that will pay for a large chunk of the $522 million project.

He is an independent who supported President Bush but now backs DFLer Amy Klobuchar for the U.S. Senate.

He represents the minority neighborhoods of north Minneapolis and is being challenged by two other candidates, including Gregory Gray, a former legislator and well-known black leader who claims Stenglein is out of touch.

In most years, running for reelection as a Hennepin County commissioner would relegate Stenglein to the back pages.

But this year, he is front and center -- largely because of the stadium -- and faces what may be the toughest challenge of the three commissioners who voted for the stadium and are now seeking reelection.

When it comes to the nuts-and-bolts of campaigning, Stenglein, who was first elected in 1996, is an old-style politician. He can be found hammering in a lawn sign under a street light after sunset, chatting with widows whose husbands served as firefighters with his dad and handing out campaign fliers that include a free Minnesota Vikings schedule.

As he knocked on doors in northeast Minneapolis neighborhoods two weeks ago, Stenglein was greeted with smiles and open arms by homeowners Mary Jo and David Nye. "Another happy customer," said Stenglein, whose district stretches from suburban Plymouth across Minneapolis to St. Anthony.

Oh give me a break. Are these the owners of Nye's bar?

But Gray said that, for all of Stenglein's gregariousness, there is little substance. "Where are the results?" asked Gray, who said he would push more transportation and public safety issues. He also challenged the African-American Men's Project, an initiative largely begun by Stenglein to help divert black adult men into more productive lives. "Nice start," said Gray, who nonetheless added that so far results have been spotty.

Gary Cunningham, the project's director who is also black, said Gray is the one off target. "We're working our butts off," said Cunningham, who said the project is helping clients "at the ground level" with everything from drug addiction to finding an apartment.

Stadium fallout?

Even those who have rallied to Stenglein's side on other issues wonder how much the stadium vote could hurt. Sue Jeffers, a bar owner who cheered Stenglein for pushing through exemptions to the smoking ban, said she told him last month that the stadium is "going to cost him the election." Jeffers, who herself is running for governor, said Stenglein simply replied, "So be it."

Hennepin County Commissioner Penny Steele, a onetime Stenglein confidante, also has become a critic. Steele said Stenglein's constituents "deserve a higher standard of ethics" than what Stenglein is delivering, and that he is disengaged with the people he represents.

"This is craziness," Stenglein said of Steele's criticism. He said she remains upset with him over the stadium, which she opposed.

This is about so much more than that. I signed on to the complaint because I was appalled by Mark Stenglein's very poor standard of ethics. Penny Steele is exactly right. As a constituent, I am embarrassed and appalled by the stories I've heard about my county commissioner. It's worth noting, I've not published most of the stories.

Andrew Borene Drops Out of SD 41 Race

Spot has the story.

Young and Lehmann v. Stenglein; OAH File 12-6326-17493-CV

I hear from a Lloydletta reader that Mark Stenglein went to the Minneapolis Park Board meeting and was seen going into a back room with Park Board lawyer/lobbyist Brian Rice. This is rather interesting. Brian Rice is the lawyer and lobbyist for the Minneapolis Park Board and was at the Park Board in his official capacity. Hopefully Rice does not bill the Minneapolis Park Board for the time spent advising Mark Stenglein. Here's my question though - Brian Rice lobbies for Hennepin County - so why is he doing work for Mark Stenglein's campaign. Mark Stenglein is a vote for his lobbying contract. Is that part of what the Hennepin Lobbyists are supposed to be doing for County Commissioners?

I got a response to the complaint that Laura Lehmann and I filed:

From: MaryBeth Gossman
Date: Sep 7, 2006 12:05 PM
Subject: Young and Lehmann v. Stenglein; OAH File 12-6326-17493-CV

Ms. Eva Young:

Attached please find Administrative Law Judge Steve Mihalchick's Prima Facie Determination in this case. If you have any questions, please call me at the phone number below.

Mary Beth Gossman
OAH Staff Attorney
[phone number redacted]


Eva Young and Laura Lehmann, M.D.,



Mark Stenglein, Hennepin County Commissioner, and Mark Stenglein Volunteer Committee





TO: Eva Young, 1308 Boardwalk Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55411; Laura J. Lehmann, M.D., 6828 Wooddale Avenue South, Edina, MN 55435-1635; and Brian Rice, Attorney at Law, Rice, Michels & Walther, LLP, 206 East Bridge – Riverplace, 10 Second Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413.

On September 6, 2006, the Complainants filed a Complaint with the Office of Administrative Hearings alleging that Respondents violated Minn. Stat. §§ 211A.02, 211A.06 and 211B.12. After reviewing the Complaint and attached exhibits, the undersigned Administrative Law Judge has determined that the Complaint sets forth a prima facie violation of Minn. Stat. § 211B.12(6). All of the other allegations are dismissed.

THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AND NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that this matter is scheduled for a probable cause hearing to be held by telephone before the undersigned Administrative Law Judge at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, September 11, 2006. The hearing will be held by call-in telephone conference. You must call: [redacted] at that time. Follow the directions and enter the numeric pass code [redacted] when asked for the meeting number. The probable cause hearing will be conducted pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 211B.34. Information about the probable cause proceedings and copies of state statutes may be found online at and

At the probable cause hearing all parties have the right to be represented by legal counsel, by themselves, or by a person of their choice if not otherwise prohibited as the unauthorized practice of law. In addition, the parties have the right to submit evidence, affidavits, documentation and argument for consideration by the Administrative Law Judge. Parties should provide to the Administrative Law Judge all evidence bearing on the case, with copies to the opposing party, before the telephone conference takes place. Documents may be faxed to Judge Mihalchick at 612-349-2665.

At the conclusion of the probable cause hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will either: (1) dismiss the complaint based on a determination that the complaint is frivolous, or that there is no probable cause to believe that the violation of law alleged in the complaint has occurred; or (2) determine that there is probable cause to believe that the violation of law alleged in the complaint has occurred and refer the case to the Chief Administrative Law Judge for the scheduling of an evidentiary hearing. Evidentiary hearings are conducted pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 211B.35. If the Administrative Law Judge dismisses the complaint, the complainant has the right to seek reconsideration of the decision on the record by the Chief Administrative Law Judge pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 211B.34, subd. 3.

Any party who needs an accommodation for a disability in order to participate in this hearing process may request one. Examples of reasonable accommodations include wheelchair accessibility, an interpreter, or Braille or large-print materials. If any party requires an interpreter, the Administrative Law Judge must be promptly notified. To arrange an accommodation, contact the Office of Administrative Hearings at 100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 1700, Minneapolis, MN 55401, or call 612/341-7610 (voice) or 612/341-7346 (TTY).

Dated: September 7, 2006

/s/ Steve M.Mihalchick__


Administrative Law Judge

On January 31, 2006, Respondent Mark Stenglein Volunteer Committee (Committee) filed its 2005 Annual Campaign Finance Report. The report listed the Committee’s total non-itemized contributions as $16,980.00 and its total non-itemized expenditures as $8,989.65.1 On June 23, 2006, the Committee filed an Amended 2005 Annual Report. This report reduced the Committee's total non-itemized contributions and expenditures by $5,620.00.2 In the Amended Report, the Committee’s total non-itemized contributions is reported as $11,360.00 and its total non-itemized expenditures is listed as $3,369.65.3

The Complaint alleges that Respondents violated Minn. Stat. § 211A.02, subd. 2, and Minn. Stat. § 211A.06, by filing a 2005 annual campaign finance report that incorrectly overstated the Committee’s non-itemized contributions and expenses by $5,620.00. According to the Complaint, the Committee was notified by Wells Fargo Bank on September 8, 2005, that it had subtracted $5,620.00 from the Committee’s account to correct an error made while processing a deposit.4 Despite this notification, the Complaint alleges that the Committee incorrectly overstated its contributions and expenditures in its 2005 Annual Report.5 On June 23, 2006, Respondents filed an Amended Annual Report, which reduced both its total non-itemized operating contributions and expenditures by $5,620.00.6 The Complainants allege that the Respondents filed an inaccurate financial report and failed to keep accurate records in violation of Minn. Stat. §§ 211A.02 and 211A.06. The Complainants contend that the Respondents simply subtracted the $5,620.00 amount from both its contribution and expenditure amounts once they realized a deposit accounting error had been made.

Minn. Stat. § 211A.02 requires candidates or committees to file periodic financial reports listing certain information including total amounts of receipts and expenditures for each reporting period. Unlike the filing requirements with the Campaign Finance Board under Minn. Stat. § 10A.025, there is nothing in Section 211A.02 that provides for the assessment of penalties for inaccurate information, false statements, or poor record-keeping. Instead, the only penalty permitted with respect to violations of Section 211A.02 is limited to those instances where a candidate or committee fails to file a required report at all. In those cases, the filing officer7 may file a complaint with the Office of Administrative Hearings alleging a violation of 211A.02; but then only ten days after the filing officer has provided written notice to the candidate or committee of their failure to file.8

In this case, because the Respondents did file the required annual report, they have complied with the requirements of Minn. Stat. § 211A.02. The Administrative Law Judge finds that the Complainants have failed to allege a prima facie violation of Minn. Stat. § 211A.02 and that allegation is dismissed. Complainants' allegations go to the accuracy of the data filed in the report and the records maintained. Those issues are more appropriately raised with the Campaign Finance Board and not this office.9

The Complainants also allege that the filing of the inaccurate information in the Committee's 2005 Annual Report violated Minn. Stat. § 211A.06, subd. 4. Pursuant to this statute, a treasurer who fails to keep a correct account of money received for a committee "with the intent to conceal receipts or disbursements, [or] the purpose of receipts or disbursements" is guilty of a misdemeanor. The Complainants maintain that the fact that the bank notified the Committee of the incorrect deposit amount in September of 2005, suggests that the Committee "knowingly filed an inaccurate report."

The Complainants have alleged no facts that would suggest that the treasurer of Respondent Committee filed its 2005 Annual Report with the intent of concealing receipts or disbursements. Instead, the treasurer filed an Amended Report on June 23, 2006, correcting the inaccurate amounts at issue. The Administrative Law Judge concludes that the Complainants have failed to allege a prima facie violation with respect to this allegation. It is not enough for the Complainants to point to the inaccurate financial information in order to allege a prima facie violation of Minn. Stat. § 211A.06. Rather, there must be some allegation that the Respondents intended to conceal the receipts or disbursements. Complainants have not alleged any facts that would support finding that the treasurer intended to conceal the Committee’s receipts or disbursements. This allegation is dismissed.

The Complainants have also alleged that Respondents violated Minn. Stat. § 211B.12 by making contributions of over $50 to charitable organizations. According to the Committee's Annual Report, the Committee made a donation of $100 to Eastside Neighborhood Services on September 9, 2005, and a donation of $100 to the St. Paul Foundation on January 6, 2005.

Minn. Stat. § 211B.12 governs permitted expenditures of money collected for political purposes. Under this statute, expenditures by a campaign committee on salaries, wages, communications, mailing, campaign advertising, printing, office space and "charitable contributions of not more than $50 to any charity annually" are permitted.

Complaints brought under the Fair Campaign Practices Act must be filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings within one year after the occurrence of the act that is the subject of the complaint. Because the Committee's $100 donation to the St. Paul Foundation was made more than a year ago, the allegation that this donation violated Minn. Stat. § 211B.12 is dismissed. The Administrative Law Judge finds, however, that the Complainants have alleged a prima facie violation of Minn. Stat. § 211B.12 with respect to the Respondent Committee’s donation of $100 to Eastside Neighborhood Services on September 9, 2005.

Finally the Complainants allege that some of the expenses reported in the Committee's 2005 Annual Report do not qualify as legal expenditures under Minn. Stat. § 211B.12.

Minn. Stat. § 211B.12 provides as follows:

Use of money collected for political purposes is prohibited unless the use is reasonably related to the conduct of election campaigns, or is a noncampaign disbursement as defined in section 10A.01, subdivision 26. The following are permitted expenditures when made for political purposes:

(1) salaries, wages, and fees;

(2) communications, mailing, transportation, and travel;

(3) campaign advertising;

(4) printing;

(5) office and other space and necessary equipment, furnishings, and incidental supplies;

(6) charitable contributions of not more than $50 to any charity annually; and

(7) other expenses, not included in clauses (1) to (6), that are reasonably related to the conduct of election campaigns. In addition, expenditures made for the purpose of providing information to constituents, whether or not related to the conduct of an election, are permitted expenses. Money collected for political purposes and assets of a political committee or political fund may not be converted to personal use.

The Complainants contend that expenditures for "meals" and "food" at three restaurants in October and December of 2005, do not "meet the standard" articulated at section 211B.12.10

Minn. Stat. § 211B.12(7) permits other expenses that are "reasonably related to the conduct of election campaigns" or "made for the purpose of providing information to constituents." Complainants have failed to allege any facts to support their claim that Respondents' expenditures on food and meals were not reasonably related to Stenglein's election campaign or made for the purpose of providing information to constituents. The Administrative Law Judge finds that the Complainants have failed to allege a prima facie violation of Minn. Stat. § 211B.12 and this allegation is also dismissed.


I have taken 4 hours of vacation in order to call in for this hearing on Monday.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mark Stenglein Uses Campaign Money to Pay His Parking Tickets and Oil Change

I've posted all of Mark Stenglein's campaign finance reports at the E-Democracy files area. These are faster to get this way, rather than going through Hennepin County's system.

So far these are the things that jump out at me.

There are lots of stadium related Union and contractor contributions.
$300.00 from Jackie Cherryhomes.
$250 from Al/Sheila Garcia.
The Police Relief Association gave $250. This is an organization associated with Hennepin County Lobbyist Brian Rice.
The Minneapolis Fire Dept Relief Association gave $200.00. I'm wondering if this was a typo, and is actually the Minneapolis Fire Relief Association which is also connected to Brian Rice.

Oil change
Parking Tickets at the state capitol for $110.00.
Rebar from Fleet Farm for $310.48.

Many of these expenditures don't have specific dates, but rather date ranges.

Now did Keith Ellison ever have his campaign pay for his parking tickets?

UPDATE: A few readers have noted that Rebar is cut up and used with lawn signs. I have yet to hear an explanation for the Oil change and the Parking Tickets at the state capitol. Stenglein was lobbying at the state capitol when he incurred those tickets. How is that a campaign expense?

Spotty Calls Out Green Candidate Julie Risser on PRT

Here. Julie Risser left the following comment.

Campaigns are an opportunity to discuss public policy and ideas for strengthening our community. That being said, I ended up on Avidor's site for pointing out that PRT costs less than light-rail and that I was concerned about the Southwest LRT line because of population density. I never said I wouldn't support it - I indicated concerns. So much for dialog!

In 2004 the City of Edina and Hennepin County conducted a study to find out if PRT was viable for the Southdale redevelopment project. The conclusion was not to use PRT here. Does this mean we should never ever ever consider this transportation form? No. But the Southdale PRT study is a wonderful precedent for how to move forward; consider a transit option carefully, conduct a study and then decide what to do. It would be wise to see how PRT pans out in other communities.

There are three PRT projects being buld as we speak. The first ground-breaking was in Uppsala, Sweden last January by a Korean company named Vectus - it should be rideable later this year. Sweden has another project in the town of Hofors started by part of the Swedish National Railroad. It is called, Skycab, It began in June and it should be completed sometime in late 2007 or early 2008. Yet another company, ULTra, is building a system for London, England's Heathrow Airport. It should be up and running in 2008. This project is the only project that I have seen with a price attached. It is coming in at $8 million per mile.
The real question - which Avidor failed to ask - is should we invest in PRT now. And the answer is no - we do not have the resources or to my knowledge a suitable well-researched project for PRT. But it is cheaper than lightrail..ha! I said that again. If the circumstances, i.e., if a study shows it is the best transit system why not use it?

What is fascinating is that the PRT dialog is extremely polarized. Apparently some lawmakers who did not want light-rail in the Twin Cities supported PRT in the hopes that it would derail light-rail. There are individuals like Avidor who condem anyone who won't completely rule out PRT now and forever. Then there are those who think PRT can solve all transit issues and could be used for getting children to school. I think PRT would be really problematic as a replacement for buses - how do you get enough pods arriving to one destination within a ten minute time period so school can start on time? Also have you seen kids on the bus where there is adult supervision? Imagine hundreds of little pods with elementary children zipping about with no parent or adult present. Then there is the issue that you would be sinking a heck of a lot of financial resources into a transit system that would be used pretty much only two times each week day and nine months out of the year.

In conclusion its not just some Greens, Mark Olson and Michele Bachmann who support PRT...the Swedes and Brits are promoting it too. But again my support is along the lines of let's not rule it out as an option and see how it works in other countries.
Julie Risser

Avidor has a point by point response to Julie over on Spotty's comment thread here.

Spot's got a follow up the describes the wackiness that is PRT titled: "Julie Jetson"....

Will the Media Ask Risser, Bachmann, Olson and Vandeveer About PRT?

Update: Julie Risser no longer promotes PRT

Spot at The Cucking Stool blog gets right to the heart of the issue:

" sure looks like the Republicans are using the Greens to oppose legitimate transit solutions."

More about this at the Dump Michele Bachmann Blog

An Invitation to Have a Beer!

Hello friends-

I want to invite you to meet Tammy Lee, the 5th Congressional District Independence Party endorsed candidate. I will only take a minute to tell you why I am supporting Tammy Lee and at the end of this note you will see some info regarding an event this week. Please take a moment to read all the way through.

As you all know, my primary concern is the well-being of my family and friends, today I write with the same goals in mind.

As you know during the past 6 years we have seen increased cuts to the budgets of the NIH and NSF. In turn, this has led to an overall decrease in the amount of funding available to institutions and departments such as the UofM Chemistry Department. Additionally, sciene for the sake of science, is getting harder to do. Virtually all grants now require that the results have forseen, long term implications. Sometimes we need to do science with the goal of learning new things which may or may not have long term benefit. The more we know as scientists the better equipped we are to make the breakthroughs of the future. Tammy Lee believes in two things:

1. Scientists should be the people guiding the direction and scope of scientific research, not Washington brearucrats.

2. Funding science, specifically by restoring funding to previous levels, to bring about innovation in medicine and alternative energy solution.

Some additional reasons I support Tammy Lee follow.

* Tammy Lee is advocating a change in "pork-barrel" spending, such that all expendiatures are debated by Congress, rather than sneaking in extra spending in other bills.

* Tammy Lee supports equality in civil rights for all people regardless of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.

* Tammy Lee wants to change our energy policy by intelligently combining alternative fuel technologies and renewable energy sources.

* Tammy Lee wants to protect our environment and encourages responsiblity by all people and businesses.

* Tammy Lee calls for RESPONSIBLE foreign policy. We can't invade countries alone, but we can't appease the enemies who wish to do us and our allies harm.

* Tammy Lee believes in a living wage for all of America's workforce and affordable health care too.

* Tammy Lee is a consensus builder, her campaign staff and supporters are prigressive minded people from both the Left and the Right. She will bring us together to move the country FORWARD.

* Tammy Lee will be an Independent voice in Washington who answers ONLY to the people of Minnesota and NOT to party leaders.

These are just a few points I wanted to make. For more information visit and take a look at the "Issues" page.

Finally, on September 6th from 5-7pm Tammy Lee will be at The Independent Bar in Uptown and I would like to invite you to come meet Tammy Lee personally. Help me make Tammy Lee the first Independent Congresswoman to the US House of Representatives!


Tim Pawlenty Leading in Rasmussen Poll, Peter Hutchinson Gets 8%

September 1, 2006
Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty

Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty now leads Attorney General Mike Hatch, the DFL or Democratic candidate, 45% to 39%. Independent Peter Hutchinson manages to earn 8% in the three-way match-up, and 8% are undecided (see crosstabs).

Pawlenty thus enjoys a lead for the second Rasmussen Reports election poll in a row. In our August survey, though, a sudden surge gave him a ten-point lead over Hatch, now trimmed a bit.

In June it was Hatch ahead, 47% to 42%. Pawlenty has been trailing the challenger most of the year, so the recent polls are good news for his reelection bid. He can hardly relax, though, with up to sixteen points that could break for either candidate on Election Day.

Democrats are more inclined than Republicans to be undecided (8%) or to prefer Hutchinson (7%), though fewer are in those categories now than were in early August. But 36% of unaffiliated voters now decline to support a major-party candidate.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Strange items in Mike Jungbauer's Campaign Finance Report

Andy from Eleventh Avenue South has the goods.

A donation of $600 from Anoka Air Charter, Inc., appears to have violated two campaign finance laws: individual contribution limits for Minnesota House and Senate candidates in an election year are limited to $500 (Minn. Stat. 10A.27), and contributions from corporations are prohibited by Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. 211B.15).

Two expenditures in the report have also raised suspicion. The Jungbauer campaign spent $812 in aviation insurance and $741 in model airplanes. Jungbauer's campaign website says that Jungbauer is a strong advocate of air transportation. The expenses could possibly be related to his campaign, and his support for air transportation. However, his campaign website also states that he is currently taking flying lessons. Minnesota Statute (211B.12) prohibits using money raised for political purposes in a manner that's not reasonably related to the campaign. The use of an airplane for campaigning in a district that small doesn't seem likely.

Andy contacted the campaign for comment. For some strange reason, they have not replied.

Developing. . .

Union Endorsements for Mark Stenglein

Mark Stenglein touts a number of Union endorsements on his website. The building trades endorsed Stenglein because of the Stadium. The strange endorsement is AFSCME. Why would County Employees endorse Stenglein over Greg Gray, who was a friend to public employee unions during his term in the legislature.

I called AFSCME Council 5 and talked with political director, Jim Niland. I asked whether AFSCME reviews campaign finance reports when deciding on endorsements. He said they did not. I mentioned there were a number of interesting items in Mark Stenglein's campaign finance report - including payment for his cable bill. Niland said "I was unaware of that." I asked if Niland was aware of Stenglein's history of hostility towards the gay and lesbian community. A former commissioner described Stenglein's attitude towards gays as "rabid". Another source who attended Stenglein speeches during his mayoral campaign remembers Stenglein making a point of standing up to the gay and lesbian community. Jim Niland said "I was unaware of that." Niland said he will give my number to the AFSCME PEOPLE committee chair, and they will contact me. This should be interesting.

Developing. . .

What's Going on at AM1500?

I didn't catch the entire show, but I heard Ron Rosenbaum and Mark O'Connell announce their imminent departure from the AM1500 line-up. I don't know when they're done, or who is filling that time slot.

That station continues to devolve - the line up is getting weaker, not stronger. The weekday morning hosts are really lame.

I always liked Mark and Ron. They both have a good sense of humor, and they knew how to present controversial topics without shouting anybody down.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Anti-Immigrant Wackiness Posted to the CCARL List

Emergency! Pro illegal march scheduled for Labor DAY!!!!

Qui Gon Jinn


Please check this out as it's happening in ST PAUL at our CAPITAL! IS it being funded by our Tax $$$. Is anyone willing to do anything about this?

You can see the flyer & link below about the illegal Alien March AND DEMANDS of YOU and YOUR WALLET. I plan on filming this but. I'll need backup including other cameras.

I mean a lot of backup, I read there list it tells me they're going to ramp it up and get a little more serious.

The dress will be incognito, and recommend hat and sunglasses and things you WOULD
NOT normally wear. I might throw on some liberal looking crap and wear a sports cap.

Also, can you send the word out to anyone who COULD MAKE IT and have them contact
me. I'm goinfg to film this and the POLICE won't be ENOUGH backup.

They are marching Monday in St Paul:

Oh my, my, my....

Getting this tip, I went to this to observe the proceedings. It was quite lefty - and there were people with video cameras video-taping the proceedings. I saw some people I knew.

A number of people on the CCARL list objected to this crap being posted on the list. CCARL is about stadium taxes, and isn't this type of anti-immigrant nuttiness.

I saw Al Oertwig from the St Paul School Board, Pam Ellison running for the Independence Party ticket in the primary, and Keith Ellison.

Did Peter LaBarbera Get Fired?

Americablog quoting a Gay Liberation News post.

Over the past few years the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) has established itself as the state's most active and vociferous opponent of equal rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people. This week it announced that its Executive Director, Peter LaBarbera, had resigned. Given his string of failures, we suspect the real truth is that he was given the axe.

Working out of their bunker in the lily white suburb of Glen Ellyn, LaBarbera has churned out ream after ream of press releases over the past few years, once even putting out a press release decrying the lack of coverage for his press releases!

His obsession with all things gay seemed to know no bounds: from his undercover "research" into the annual International Mr. Leather festivities, while dragged out in leather himself so as to "fit in," to his opposition to not just equal marriage rights, but employment, housing and access to public accommodations.

For all of his activity, Mr. LaBarbera has strung together an impressive list of failures. Here are just some of the highlights:

* When dairy magnate Jim Oberweis launched his immigrant-bashing campaign for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, LaBarbera enthusiastically signed on, even though the anti-immigrant, anti-gay combination made him look like the choice of far right haters.

* After the victorious Republican nominee, family values supporter Jack Ryan, crashed and burned in a sex scandal, LaBarbera became one of the few stalwart supporters of Maryland import Alan Keyes. As ever more unbalanced comments from Keyes cascaded into the biggest landslide defeat in Illinois senatorial history, LaBarbera became one of the few remaining Republican operatives willing to be seen in public with crazy Keyes. GLN, Church of the Open Door, and other pro-gay forces hounded Keyes and LaBarbera at their increasingly pathetic campaign appearances.

* Twice out of the box wasn't enough for Peter. When Oberweis ran for governor, distancing himself from his own, previous immigrant bashing campaign and instead highlighting anti-gay rhetoric, LaBarbera signed on again, going down to defeat as the openly homo hating fringe of the Illinois Republican Party continued to eviscerate itself before the party's moderate wing. At a GLN protest against an Oberweis debate appearance at Channel 7 studios, LaBarbera's counter-demo consisted of two people besides himself.

* Despite being bottled up in the legislature for 30 years, in January 2006 Illinois finally became the 15th state ordering equal employment, housing and access to public accommodations for gay people, and the 5th state to do so for transgendered people. Despite his vociferous opposition to any kind of equality for LGBT people, the pro-gay victory came on LaBarbera’s watch.

* This past spring the IFI attempted to schedule an anti-gay rally at a west suburban African American church, but Black people in the church thwarted it by calling the pastor out regarding his bigotry. African American gay activist Wil Lockett of Black LGBT & Allies for Equality courageously stood up during an anti-gay tirade (read "sermon") a few weeks before the scheduled rally, denouncing the pastor for his hate speech dressed up as religion. That, and the threat of pro-gay a protest outside of the church during the anti-gay rally, prompted the pastor to scuttle the IFI's event.

* When the Gay Games came to Chicago in July, LaBarbera saw it as his mission to prevent homosexual fun (& Games), trying & failing to the get the far northern suburb of Crystal Lake to ban the rowing competition, trying & miserably failing to get corporate sponsors such as Kraft Foods to rescind their endorsements, and failing to get significant media coverage during the Games themselves.

* At the start of the Games he held a press conference at the one hotel in the entire downtown Chicago area that is the subject of a long-time boycott and union picket – way to win allies, Peter! Reporters at the press conference later told us that Peter really seemed to lose it during his rambling presentation, fixating on GLN as the mother of all evils. His real problem is that GLN has made a habit of showing up at all of the IFI's public appearances with our banner that reads, "Opposition to Equal Rights is BIGOTRY," which always seemed to put a damper on whatever gay-hating festivities the IFI was conducting.

* At the end of the Games he and his crew invaded the heart of Boystown in a stated attempt to do "Christian" outreach outside of Steamworks bathhouse. GLN and the Coalition of Welcoming Churches staged a counter protest several times bigger than LaBarbera's crew, which swelled much larger again as we pointed out to passersby who the funny looking people in the matching T-shirts were. Having scheduled his appearance to run from 5:30 PM to midnight, LaBarbera & Co. left before 7 PM, as the much larger opposition taunted them with catcalls and boos.

* The crowning "achievement" of LaBarbera's reign was his failed attempt to get an anti-gay advisory referendum on Illinois's ballot this November. A multi-year campaign, pumping all of the group's resources into a measure that doesn't even make it onto the ballot, was LaBarbera's most stunning defeat yet. Despite the support of local Catholic leadership and various mega-churches in and around Chicago, LaBarbera's failure in Illinois stands in stark contrast to the achievements of his anti-gay colleagues in almost every other state.

Good documentation of Peter LaBarbera's activies from the Gay Liberation Network. And you can't get organizations like this to talk about personnel issues. I'm sorry they fired him. Peter's antics have been quite entertaining to cover over the years.

Big Business vs Big Labor

Follow the Money:


Hatch's Big Money Liberal Allies Launch First False Attack Ads Of The Year

"It's not even Labor Day yet and Mike Hatch's big money liberal allies are already throwing mud at Governor Pawlenty with the first of what promises to be many false attack ads. With our state on the right track, Minnesotans aren't going to respond well to mudslinging from a front group for union bosses and the mega rich liberal elite." - Ron Carey, Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota


Facts About The Alliance For A Better Minnesota:

Of The $944,980 Raised By The Alliance, $625,000 Came From One Mega Rich Donor: Alida Messinger Of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, New York. (Alliance for A Better Minnesota Pre-Primary Report of Receipts and Expenditures, Minnesota Campaign Finance Board, August 28, 2006)

The Alliance Raised $219,500 From Labor Unions, Including $50,000 From The MN State SEIU Council. (Alliance for A Better Minnesota Pre-Primary Report of Receipts and Expenditures, Minnesota Campaign Finance Board, August 28, 2006)

Hatch Campaign Manager Jon Youngdahl Was Director Of The MN State SEIU Council Prior To Becoming Hatch's Campaign Manager. (Patrick Sweeney, "Campaign Briefing: Hatch Gets New Campaign Manager," Pioneer Press, August 17, 2006)

Hatch Campaign Manager Jon Youngdahl Was A Registered Lobbyist For MN State SEIU Council Prior To Becoming Hatch's Campaign Manager. (Minnesota Campaign Finance Board Website, , Accessed August 30, 2006)

I live in Minneapolis. Generally I look at labor endorsements as reasons NOT to support or vote for candidates.

Bob Casey Supports the Bush Policy on Stem Cell Research


Casey: I believe that being pro-life means the right to a decent life for a mother and her child before and after birth.

I am and I have always been pro-life.

I support the current federal policy on embryonic stem cell research and would oppose the Castle bill to expand federal support of embryonic stem cell research. I believe that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for those who have committed heinous crimes.

As a U.S. Senator, I will strongly support funding for stem cell research that doesn’t destroy an embryo. There are many promising techniques under development that don’t require destroying the embryo and there’s good reason to hope that soon we’ll be able to remove the politics from this issue.

I also strongly support increased federal funding for research on stem cells derived from adult cells, bone marrow and placentas — areas where tremendous progress has already been made.

Janet Robert should love him.

And isn't this interesting, Santorum is looking for a compromise policy on this.

U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) yesterday called for federal funding of research that would involve creating an altered human embryo - one that could yield precious stem cells but not implant in a uterus.

Santorum, who has steadfastly opposed embryonic stem-cell research in the past, joined Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.), a vocal proponent of the research, in introducing a compromise bill on the politically popular issue.

The bill would require the National Institutes of Health to find and fund new methods for obtaining human embryonic stem cells in the hope of developing therapies.

Santorum said these methods would not involve destroying embryos and would be "non-controversial," but acknowledged that controversy may be unavoidable in such an ethically charged, uncharted scientific field.

"There are some who believe that... there is controversy around these new entities - these collections of cells - as to whether it is an embryo or not," Santorum said during a news conference at the University of Pennsylvania. "I feel comfortable, given all of the conversations I have had with a number of bioethicists, that these are appropriate steps to take."

The collaboration between the two senators comes at a crucial time for Santorum, who is in a tough reelection race for a third term against the likely Democratic nominee, State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr.

Casey, who is against abortion, supports federal funding only on existing embryonic stem-cell lines. He has called for more federal funding on research that does not involve destroying human embryos. Casey did not take a position on the bill yesterday, saying he needed more information.

By teaming with Specter, Santorum could gain leverage on an issue with particular appeal to voters in Southeastern Pennsylvania, a politically moderate, must-win area.

Specter has repeatedly said Santorum's reelection is his top priority because he "was indispensable in my victory two years ago."

"I am anxious to find every avenue I can to give him some political leverage which is consistent with my principles," Specter said.

Embryonic stem cells are "pluripotent" - meaning they give rise to all types of tissues in the body - and theoretically have tremendous potential to repair and regenerate tissues. Pluripotent stem cells exist only briefly in a three-day-old embryo, which is destroyed when the stem cells are removed.

Santorum, like some other abortion opponents, has opposed embryonic stem-cell research because he equates destruction of human embryos with murder.

Here's Casey's position on abortion.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Another Reason Michele Bachmann clone Marilyn Musgrave Should Be Defeated


Now Pombo is telling Musgrave that she's against wilderness designation for the park. And it's screwing over Colorado.

"I quite frankly don't understand," said Suzy Blackhurst, communications coordinator for the Estes Park Convention and Visitor's Bureau. "Every local authority has said they want it. Why are they discounting that?"

Musgrave even admits what Richard Pombo has got to say means more to her than what the citizens of Estes Park say. This was in the Estes Park Trail Gazette in August:

"I don't know exactly the reasons why they are holding this up," said Wertz.

The answer may lie far from Colorado.

"I talked to the chairman of the Resources Committee (Richard Pombo, R-CA) regarding what does wilderness designation mean," said Congresswoman Musgrave. “The Resources Committee says that when something is designated a wilderness area it restricts access. We need to be well aware of what designation means.”

It means that Pombo's buddies aren't going to be able to log the life out of it!

Opposition to wilderness designations because they will restrict access is a recurring issue within the House Committee on Resources.

Republican California Congressman and rancher Richard Pombo, who is currently running for re-election, is the chairman of the House Committee on Resources. Pombo and members of the Committee have often been criticized for being opposed to legislation that would expand wilderness areas.

Outside magazine's online edition (May 2005) described his insistence on allowing mechanized access to areas designated wilderness.

"No fan of wilderness designation, he also sent his committee members a stern memo suggesting that wilderness bills would not get past his desk unless they allowed for 'mechanized access,' which includes vehicles like logging trucks."

Pombo and the committee favor a multiuse policy for national parks.

Rocky Mountain National Park is the biggest tourist designation in Colorado, and the representative of that area won't help make sure it stays that way.

Paul Koering's Opponent, Kevin Goedker Has a Blog

In his own words:

Dear Citizens of Morrison and Crow Wing Counties,
August 31st, 2006

My name is Kevin Goedker and in April, I announced my candidacy for the Republican nomination of State Senator for District 12. In these past weeks and months, I have had the privilege of visiting with many of the residents of Morrison and Crow Wing counties. I have heard your concerns about the problems you are facing and the direction you want our state to move in. I would, therefore, like to state through this letter my views on the critical issues and problems facing our district and the State of Minnesota.

I am running for the Senate because I believe it is most important that we have a senator who will both vote for and fight for the passage of the proposed Marriage Amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution.

I believe that marriage is a faithful union between one man and one woman. I completely agree with the statement made by the Catholic Bishops of Minnesota on April 26, 2004 and December 22, 2005, which endorsed the Marriage Amendment and called for its enactment. The Catholic Bishops rightfully stated that "marriage was a union instituted by God for the procreation and education of children" and that "the principled defense of marriage is an urgent necessity for the well-being of children and families and for the common good of society."

I strongly disagree with the Senator Koering's vote against the motion on April 7, 2005, to bring the Marriage Amendment to the Senate floor. On that date, Senator Koering voted NO to this motion that would have allowed the Senate to put the measure on the ballot and give the people of Minnesota the right to decide this fundamental moral issue. Senator Koering was the only Republican state senator to vote NO on the Marriage Amendment motion. I am also in strong disagreement with Senator Koering’s statements in the City Pages magazine of Minneapolis on June 1, 2005, in which he stated his support for "civil unions" for homosexual couples, a provision that is prohibited by the Minnesota Marriage Amendment.

While Senator Koering has now voted both for and against efforts to bring the Marriage Amendment to the Senate floor for a vote, I believe that we must have a senator who will speak out forcefully and with a clear, consistent, and principled voice in support of the Minnesota Marriage Amendment. I will do that if elected to the Minnesota State Senate.

I also run for the Senate over great concern for drastically rising property taxes in both Morrison and Crow Wing counties and throughout much of rural Minnesota. I favor and would vote for a two-year freeze on all property taxes unless a vote of the people by referendum would permit an increase in property taxes. I will author and vote for legislation to achieve this. High property taxes are a deterrent to economic development and creation of jobs in District 12 and all of Minnesota. High property taxes are a burden to homeowners, senior citizens, farmers, and small businesses. I will further oppose any increase in the sales tax and the income tax in Minnesota. We must be vigilant against any attempts by liberals to increase state spending and raise taxes.

I take exception with Senator Koering's many votes to increase taxes. In the 2003 legislative session, the Journal of the Senate shows that Senator Koering voted against an amendment to support Gov. Pawlenty's plan to balance the budget without raising taxes. In the 2005 session, Senator Koering is listed by the Minnesota Taxpayers League as having a score of only 26 out of 100 on tax and spending legislation. This was the second-lowest score of all Republican senators.

On education, I support both our public and non-public schools. I favor giving parents choices in the education of their children. I support Tax Credits for parents to assist in the education of their children. When the state of Minnesota invests dollars responsibly for the education of children, it is the best investment in our state’s future. As a husband to Cindie and father of two children, I have valued my participation in the Brainerd School system through the Garfield School PTA and service on the Independent School District 181 Advisory Committee.

An issue of great importance to the future of our state and nation is the right to life for unborn babies and for every person. I believe the Supreme Court decision of January 22, 1973, ROE vs. WADE, which legalized abortion on demand was wrongly decided. I believe in the right to life of every person from conception until natural death. I will forcefully represent this pro-life philosophy in all of my votes and efforts if elected to the Minnesota Senate.

I also want to pledge my commitment and support for gun owner's rights and for our second amendment freedoms. In my five years of service as a member of the United States Marine Corps, I know how vital it is that we in this country must always be prepared to defend our freedom and preserve the security of our great nation. In working in a family owned real estate business with my father and mother Gene and Karol Goedker and my brother David, I believe in the conservative principles of limited government, support for small businesses, lower taxes, and less regulation of free enterprise. I believe this is the true path to job creation, economic development, and a strong economy. It is also the true path to the building of strong communities and strong families.

I also believe that my experience as a member of the Brainerd City Council has taught me much about the importance of local government and a respect for the proper use of tax dollars to serve the public good.

In the days and weeks ahead, I look forward to visiting with many of you and your families. I believe this election will decide what kind of a state we will have and what kind of society we want our children to grow up in. I believe I am the most elect-able conservative candidate for Morrison and Crow Wing Counties. I ask for your help, your support, your prayers and most importantly your vote. Your vote will be appreciated. Thank you.
Vote in the Republican primary election on Tuesday, September 12!

Kevin T. Goedker, Candidate for State Senate District 12

In my opinion, the differences between Koering and Goedker on the marriage amendment are minimal (like the differences between Pawlenty and Hatch). Koering doesn't push the amendment so strongly as Goedker, but he will vote for it. Goedker told me he opposed the Stadium swindle. He has said so over the radio. A woman from Brainerd at the GOP booth said he had that information on this website, but I did not see it there.

This blog entry shows that his major issue in opposition to Paul Koering is the marriage amendment, but I've always thought Paul Koering has a poor Taxpayer's League voting record (and Koering signed the Taxpayer League pledge - he should not sign a pledge if he has no intention of keeping it). Paul Koering voted in favor of the Stadium swindle. I had called him the day of the final vote and pleaded with him to respect the Hennepin County voter, but he voted to increase our taxes.

I don't think Koering's sexual orientation is the only reason Goedker is running, but it's clearly an issue in this race.

My Testimony Against the Stadium Boondoggle in the Senate Tax Committee is online

Last spring, I stopped by the Taxes committee, and they let me testify.

The testimony is available here. This was before the Senate Tax Committee April 30th.

I mention Mark Stenglein and his clear conflict of interest on this issue.

The City of Minneapolis should put at the top of their legislative agenda making sure that Minneapolis is exempt from state sales tax.

Gray vs Stenglein on GLBT Issues

Mark Stenglein, has gotten an F- rating from Actwin on Gay issues. When I asked Stenglein if he would sign onto Peter McLaughlin's resolution for the county to publicly oppose Michele Bachmann's amendment to ban gay marriage and all legal recognition of gay relationships, Stenglein responded by asking that I get a resolution passed at my local republican convention before he, Mark Stenglein would consider it. Dennis Sanders, President of Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota asked Mark Stenglein to do the same and got a similar answer.

When I talked to Greg Gray about this issue, he said "I would be introducing this resolution if I were on the county board."

If you live in downtown, Northeast, or North Minneapolis, New Hope, and eastern Plymouth, please vote for Greg Gray for County Commissioner.

The primary is September 12.

They Certainly Deserve Each Other

From Mark Stenglein's website:


The caption is:

Stenglein and the Stanek's [sic] join the Blues Brothers in St. Anthony.

Mark Stenglein is a member of the HCMC Hospital Governance Board. Does Mark Stenglein have MCCL endorsement? He doesn't like to say.

I talked with someone who has worked with Mark Stenglein in the past who stated that Stenglein was "almost rabid" on the gays. When Mark Stenglein ran for Mayor, I remember people who were tabling for Mark Stenglein at a mayoral debate refer to "those people" who were tabling for Lisa McDonald. Lisa has always excellent gay support - and deservedly so.

Mark Stenglein and Rich Stanek deserve each other.

These photos seem as bad for Mark Stenglein as the photos that Michele Bachmann had of the Vote for Pedro shirt.

Ember's Press Release on the Lavender

From her website:

Press Release - Ember receives Lavender endorsement
Thursday, August 31, 2006 at 5:10 PM

Press Release

August 31, 2006 Contact: John Wodele
Ember receives Lavender endorsement

(Minneapolis, MN) Lavender, Minnesota's GLBT magazine, has endorsed Ember Reichgott Junge in the DFL primary for Congress in the Fifth District.

In its Friday, September 1 edition, the Lavender endorsement says "Without a doubt, Reichgott Junge is the most experienced, qualified, and progressive-thinking candidate."

Reichgott Junge, who served part of the Fifth District in the Minnesota State Senate for eighteen years, has consistently fought for civil and human rights and was praised in the endorsement editorial as "instrumental" in passing a 1993 amendment to the Human Rights Act that included GLBT individuals for the first time.

The magazine chose Reichgott Junge over the other candidates for her strong record of being tough on crime and her commitment to passing a bill to provide universal health care. But most emphatically, the editorial stated that "Unlike other candidates for the Fifth District seat, Reichgott Junge’s stand on issues protecting those without a voice is not tokenism, but a real and concerned call to action from the mountaintops."

Lavender is a biweekly magazine with features on local and national news, politics, travel, arts and entertainment. Its audience is primarily, but not limited to, the GLBT community.

Minnesota has one of the largest GLBT communities in the United States. Minneapolis boasts the second-highest percentage of GLBT population in the nation, and among large metro areas, the 2000 Census ranks Minneapolis as having the third-largest concentration of gay and lesbian couples.

Lavender is an entertainment rag. Their focus on news and politics doesn't go beyond posting blurbs on items I've read elsewhere first, and they have political opinion columnists, but have never spent a dime on political reporting. When I've asked Lavender why they won't put a beat reporter at the legislature, they have told me they are primarily an entertainment newspaper. They do have good original reporting on restaurant reviews and theater reviews. There is no hard news.

Why does Governor Pawlenty of Tax Increases Bother Me?

I went down to the state fair. I saw NARN live at their booth. I had a civil conversation with Mitch Berg. We actually agreed on this point:

Governor Pawlenty of Tax Increases really bugs me - and not just for the stadium tax. That article with his infamous statement (that he supposedly never said) "the era of small government is over" was problematic not just for that statement.

I was trying to think what the rest of his statements in the article - being the angry populist fighting "big oil" and "big pharma" and whatnot reminded me of - and today at the state fair it came to me.

This article could just as easily been about Mike Hatch. I've always thought the main reason Mike Hatch would be a poor governor is that he takes an adversarial relationship with everybody to prove his fighting spirit. Well that might be good for an AG - but it's not good for a Governor - who is supposed to sell the state, not pick fights with all the states businesses.

I talked to someone at the DFL booth who agreed with me that Hatch was a huge liability - because of the way he dealt with Medica. Well why would people who liked that sort of thing vote for Tim Pawlenty, when they can have the real Mike Hatch? And why would DFLers who are concerned by Mike Hatch's tendency to pick fights with everyone cross party lines and vote for someone who sounds just like Mike Hatch?

Patty Anderson, who is running for state auditor was on the Drama Queen/King Banaian show. I'd love to see her debate Rebecca Otto there. I have always liked Patty Anderson. She's a down to earth good person. I asked Patty if she would run for governor, would she have signed a Twins stadium bill - and she said - not without a referendum - no. I was also impressed by her comeback to Sarah Janecek's article that called the Auditor position a "girlie position". Patty has always been one to say - go for me because of my qualifications - not "vote for me because I'm a woman", or "I'm one of those conservative women that the feminists hate". Michele Bachmann, Cheri Pierson Yecke, Annette Meeks and Katherine Kersten frequently play that line. Patty Anderson just takes people as they are, and doesn't worry about identity politics.

I was definitely disappointed to see Patty Anderson in that disgusting hysterical spyware video on gay marriage the GOP sent out. I'm sure that she was being a team player. Well Rebecca Otto voted for that amendment to take the issue off the table, so I can't see voting against Anderson because of her bit part in that video. Governor Pawlenty, Mark Kennedy, Mary Kiffmeyer and Michele Bachmann all deserve criticism in that area (Pawlenty the least) - but Patty Anderson just takes people as they are.