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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Good Post Over at Fishstick's Pad

Craig criticizes Mark Kennedy for refusing the opportunity to explain his social security position to Strib reporter Eric Black.

I can't fault Kennedy for not wanting to appear in a biased forum. I don’t respond to every lefty blogger that criticizes my columns simply becasue in most cases the level of conversation has proven not worth my time. And if Kennedy feels that way about Eric Black, then he's justified in not responding. He is also, however, showing poor judgment.

Sure, Eric Black has a liberal bias, but he is also one of the few liberal writers that expresses that bias in a constructive manner. He knows what he believes and that’s what he judges against. His criticisms have value in that they raise issues a conservative ought to be able to address. Refuting Black's criticism is not the same as simply countering misrepresentations or facing an endless barrage of irrelevant sniping. Black offers the kinds of criticism that forces conservatives to examine and actually defend their positions.

If a senate candidate can't stand toe-to-toe with Eric Black, can we expect him to "fight for us in Washington"?

In a back-handed way, this is a complement to Eric Black. The blogosphere suffers from a dearth of good liberal commentary. It ought to be encouraged when it exists. Whatever Kennedy’s plan, it would benefit from Black's scrutiny.

The Independence Party and PRT

From the Independence Party Platform:

We support further development of a fully integrated, multimodal transportation system that could include automobiles, light and high speed rail, personal rapid transit (PRT), and High Occupancy Vehicle, high-speed bus lanes.

It's interesting that the IP equates PRT with Light rail and commuter rail.

I am not familiar with transportation issues to the same degree Avidor is. Both the Sierra Club - Northstar and Transit for Livable Communities passed resolutions opposing PRT.

Pharyngula has more on PRT and the Discovery Institute.

Avidor raises a good point when he suggests that IP candidates should be asked whether they support or oppose this particular IP platform plank. Peter Hutchinson, John Binkowski, Tammy Lee, Robert Fitzgerald et al, please step up to the plate and explain.

UPDATE: John Binkowski responds:

I absolutely don't equate PRT with LRT, nor do I support introducing it
into the transit mix.

Debate Minnesota Schedule

Peter Hutchinson got his, but he seems to be doing nothing to help some other IP candidates, specifically Robert Fitzgerald, John Binkowski and Tammy Lee.

Tim Pawlenty (R)

Mike Hatch (D)

Peter Hutchinson (I)
Wednesday, September 27, 7:00 p.m.
Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 Fourth St. S.
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Tim Pawlenty should be asked about the stadium swindle.... Mike Hatch said on Almanac that he would have signed the bill that sentenced Hennepin County Residents to a 30 year stadium tax.

I also think all three candidates should be asked whether they support restoring the sales tax exemption for local units of government. If this was restored, Minneapolis could afford more cops, and not having our libraries closed. Hennepin County could afford to much more with their social service role.

They should also be asked whether they would sign or veto a bill allowing municipalities to decide on their own benefit structures, so that cities like the City of Minneapolis and St Paul, and Counties like Hennepin County can offer Domestic Partner benefits. This becomes an economic competitiveness issue. The University of Wisconsin just lost a top notch guy with 3.4 million dollars in grants since 2000 to Penn over this issue.

Madison, Wis. - The recent decision by a young researcher to leave the University of Wisconsin-Madison has exposed some of the financial consequences of the same-sex union debate in Wisconsin.

Rob Carpick, an associate engineering physics professor and nanotechnology researcher, has won $3.4 million in grants since coming to Madison in 2000. At the end of the year, he will take his knowledge and research with him to the University of Pennsylvania, where he says he will be treated fairly.

Carpick calls a state law preventing the university from providing health insurance benefits to his domestic partner discriminatory. His decision follows a lawsuit filed in 2005 by the American Civil Liberties Union and six lesbian couples asking the court to strike down the law as an unconstitutional violation of the state's equal protection guarantees.

"I'm going to Penn so I can get domestic partner benefits and be at an institution that has an unfettered commitment to doing top-quality research without the interference of backward-thinking legislators," Carpick said.

I think there are backward-thinking legislators all over the country. Never the less, this is part of the cost of putting these types of amendments on the ballot.

Since Mike Hatch has never gone on the record pro or con on this amendment, I'd be interested in getting him on the record here at this debate. We do know he supports the current DOMA statute. Would Hatch sign or veto AFSCME contracts that included negotiated Domestic Partner benefits? In fact, is AFSCME going to be attempting to negotiate Domestic Partner benefits into the state contract? (The model to use would be the University of Minnesota model).

From the comments by IP Senate candidate Robert Fitzgerald:

Correction: Peter and Team MN have said they will do everything apart from not attending the debate to help get Binkowski included. Lots of phone calls and arm bending thanks to their effort. It looks promising. Thanks for pushing the netroots to get active. Your efforts have been amazing - thank-you.

I have forwarded two poll results to Debate Minnesota showing that I have met the arbitrary 5% rule. The fact that there hasn't been a poll in the sixth is grounds to either cancel the entire debate or, better yet, open it up to all candidates.

House District 15A Race

King Banaian went to the candidate forum and has this report.

These are my notes from the Debate Minnesota debate between District 15A candidates Steve Gottwalt (SG) and Diana Murphy-Podawiltz (DMP) from which I've just returned.

Gay rights -- DMP -- supporter. They are civil, human rights. Upholding their rights along with everybody elses's. SG -- I support rights for everyone too. But if we're talking about special rights, we might have a disagreement. Followup on marriage amendment. SG -- yes, I will vote to move the amendment to the ballot. Dean Johnson wants to protect us from ourselves. MN voters are being blocked from expressing their views. What's wrong with letting people vote? DMP -- not a good amendment. Constitution should be reserved for very important things (like MVST??) "I believe in civil unions."

Steve Gottwalt might want to review the results in Dean Johnson's primary, where that was the issue used.

I agree with King Banaian on MVST. I will be voting NO on that nonsense. It is the responsibility of the legislature to make those decisions, and I oppose on principle, writing budgeting decisions into the constitution. The Strib wrote an editorial in support of this nonsense a few days ago.

Debate Minnesota Squelches the Full Debate Update

Below is the text of a letter sent to Will Haddeland, President and CEO of Independent Community Bankers of Minnestoa, the organization choosing to stiffle the debate in the 6th Congressional District.

Good day sir.

I would like to follow up on our earlier conversation. Per my contacts at the Star Tribune, the Pioneer Press, the Stillwater Gazette and the St Cloud times, there are NO polls planned between now and Thursday 21, Sep 2006. This means two things:

1. No candidate will be capable of providing a "credible and independent" poll showing themselves with at least 5% of the vote.
2. If you include the DFL and Republican candidates without a poll showing them at 5%, by name, you must include the endorsed candidates from all 3 major political parties in Minnesota.

I am in the process of writing my story on this issue, and as I said earlier, all your statements on the phone earlier are considered part of the record including the fact that Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota is being pressured by the Board of Directors from Debate Minnesota to exclude the Minnesota's third major party, the Independence Party.

I will be contacting you again next week to see how you have rectified this problem. Thank you very much and have an enjoyable weekend.


David Joseph De Grio

Friday, September 15, 2006

Tammy Lee for Congress

Okay, I'm convinced after watching tonight's 5th CD debate on 'Almanac'. She was great (and sane!).

Alan Fine is way out of his league. He seemed to be rattled several times. If hadn't made such epic blunders this week, I might feel sorry for him.

The People Behind Debate Minnesota

As reported yesterday John Binkowski, the Independence Party Candidate in the 6th Congressional District is being excluded from a debate on Thursday 21Sep2006. But who is behind Debate Minnesota and who is making the decisions?

Debate Minnesota was founded in 2004 by the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota (ICBM) which is headed up by Will Haddeland President and CEO ICBM. Looking at the website you can see that Mary Heller is the contact at Debate Minnesota ( 651-687-9080). All contact information is directly connected to ICBM. Ms Heller is no longer answering phone calls, all calls go directly from a secretary to voicemail. Initially Heller stated that there must be a poll showing a candidate polling at 5% to be included in a debate. It was pointed out that the only poll taken only speaks of an unnamed democrat v an unnamed republican. Ms Heller Had no comment. I then pursued, by phone, Will Haddeland. I spoke with Mr. Haddeland for about 20 minutes. He told me that he "is under a lot of pressure from the Board of Directors [at Debate Minnesota] to exclude the other party."

In the past Haddeland has severd as a senior advisor to MPR and more interestingly, was co-chairman of a tri-partisan task force in 2002 that recommended a two stadium financing deal for the Vikings and the Twins. Curiously, the process of public funding of stadiums wasn't the only venue by which Haddeland was in bed with the Pohlad family. Durin the stadium debate he was quoted saying "I hear all your arguments about general funds, but if a stadium isn't built you're going to lose all that income [tax from players' salaries],". Furthermore, Haddeland has been an advocate of a Media Tax to fund stadiums, that is taxing the media if they want to broadcast games and place reporters at the stadium. Some claimed the tax was in response to media criticism.

Additionally Haddeland, serving as Senior Vice President of MPR was involved in a lawsuit over MPR's donor list sharing practices. This lawsuit alleged that MPR improperly shared it's donor lists (over 3 million names) with over 100 organizations including the Democratic National Committee. The suit, filed by then Attorney General Mike Hatch, was later resolved in an agreement where MPR admitted no wrong.

A search upon the FEC website shows that Haddeland has contributed to Betty McCollum (D-MN), Colin Peterson (D-MN), Tim Johnson (D-SD) and the National Republican Congressional Committee. He was also the Chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota Political Action Committee which has donated thousands of dollars across the country. Seems like an odd grouping to me. Why would a businessman donate to local Democrats while funding the National Republican Congressional Committee all while being involved with a highly financed banking PAC? Perhaps it can be attributed to a hope of garnering votes favorable to Ashland Oil, Inc to which Haddeland has documented ties.

It seems to me that other banks around the State might want to reconsider their association with the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota. Actions, such as this, could lead to a decrease in numbers of customers or could lead to current customers taking their business to a more fair-minded bank.

Are people from Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota, like Will Haddeland and Mary Heller trying to stiffle Minnesota's 3rd Major Party?

Is Will Haddeland settling a personal grudge with the IP over Governor Ventura not supporting his task force recommendations?

Is this just a group of Democrats and Republicans who are trying to maintain bipartisan hegemony?

These are the questions to which I intend to find answers. Concerns about Debate Minnesota can be shared with either Mary Heller (who no longer takes calls) or Will Haddeland. They can be reached at:


5th CD Debate on MPR

Who listened today @ 11:00 am? What did everybody think? I only heard part of the show, but I'm looking forward to tonight's 'Almanac'.

From what I heard, I thought IP candidate Tammy Lee did well. She came across as more specific and articulate than Alan Fine.

It does sound like Mr. Fine had staked out some moderate sounding positions for this race, but his strategic blunders from earlier this week might do him in.

Keith Ellison will never get my vote. He's simply too far to the Left. I recognize that his views do reflect those of many voters in the 5th CD, but I just can't get on that bandwagon.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Chamber of Commerce Debate of the Governor Candidates

I heard the last half of the Governor Debate on MPR. My impression was that Governor Pawlenty sounded the most optimistic and visionary of the three. Mike Hatch sounded like the angry man. Hutchinson had lots of slogans.

I'm curious what other people's impression was.

This Weekend: 5 Opportunities to Hear Tammy Lee

It's a busy day tomorrow for Tammy with interviews/debates with the CD5 candidates on 3 major stations. Make sure to tune in for one or all of these as they air over the weekend. You don't want to miss a chance to see Tammy prove who should really be going to Washington! Spread the word about these opportunities to catch Tammy--once people see her in action, they'll know who to vote for in November. And you just never know what her opponents might do, so it's worth it to tune it for that!

1) Friday 11:00am. MPR 91.1 FM. Midday w/ Gary Eichten.

2) Friday 7:00pm. TPT ch. 2. Almanac w/ Eric Eskola & Cathy Wurzer.

3) Saturday 7:00pm. TPT ch. 17. Almanac w/ Eric Eskola & Cathy Wurzer.

4) Sunday 9:30am. TPT ch. 2. Almanac w/ Eric Eskola & Cathy Wurzer.

5) Sunday 10:00am. KSTP ch. 5. At Issue w/ Tom Hauser.

Silencing of Candidates in the 6th District

Many weeks ago, Debate Minnesota invited John Binkowski to debate his opponents on Thursday September, 21, but they are now trying to exclude him, claiming that whe must provide them with a poll showing he polls at 5%.

Of course, this cannot be done since no polls on the Sixth Congressional District race have been released. The only polls ask about Unnamed Republican v Unnamed Democrat. The Bachmann camp have released polls, but they are internal, thus not credible.

John needs your help to remind Debate Minnesota that the Independence Party has major party status in Minnesota and that any credible debate must include all major-party endorsed candidates. Call Mary Heller at Debate Minnesota (651) 687-9080 and let her know that you want John to be included in the debate. Also need you to come to the debate next Thursday at the Woodbury Amphitheater at 7 p.m. and show your support for Johh (whether they let him onto the stage or not).

Here is a prepared statement, should you not know what to say:

Ask for Mary Heller

"Hello my name is __________ and I am calling in regards to the 6th Congressional District debate. It is my understanding that you previously invited the IP candidate, John Binkowski, and now are trying to exclude him. I understand that you have a policy which requires a poll showing 5% support, however; that is impossible since no credible polls have been conducted in the district. Furthermore, those which have been done only included an unnamed democrat and republican. The IP has major party status in Minnesota. Should your organization wish to maintain any credibiliy as an impartial observer of Minnesota politics you are obligated to invite John."

Don't be afraid to make the call, and please pass this on to your friends and family. With your help, Debate Minnesota will have no choice but to let John debate.

John is a excellent candidate with fresh ideas and great appeal to voters of all stripes. He deserves a chance to stand up next to his opponents and let voters know what he stands for. You can learn more about him by visiting his website at

Now For Something Completely New and Different....

Tune in to 91.1 FM to hear a 12:30 pm debate between Pawlenty, Hatch and Hutchinson.

Alan Fine Takes the Low Road

Here's the AP report of Alan Fine's press conference. [Audio of Press Conference at Minnesota Public Radio]

"I'm extremely concerned about Keith Ellison. Keith Hakim. Keith X Ellison. Keith Ellison Muhammad," Fine, who is Jewish, said at a Capitol news conference. "I'm personally offended that this person is a candidate for U.S. Congress. He is unfit to represent the voters of the 5th District."

The ubiquitous Larry Jacobs is quoted:

Fine's attack could backfire in a Minneapolis-area district where Democrats typically win by lopsided margins, said Larry Jacobs, a University of Minnesota political scientist. He noted that even in a competitive primary, Ellison's DFL opponents handled the issue gingerly.

"I'm just not sure how that's going to play with many voters in the 5th Congressional District," Jacobs said. "I think this is a risky proposition."

Tammy Lee is staying above the fray and acting professional:

Meanwhile, Independence Party candidate Tammy Lee stayed away from Ellison's background Thursday when she positioned herself as the business-friendly alternative and discounted Fine's chances.

And IP candidate Tammy Lee takes the high road for the 5th District race. Tammy Lee also has a blog, where she describes the bumps and blowouts on the campaign trail.

Tammy Lee's Campaign RV Stalled on 94

In the AP article, Jacobs adds that Ellison could hurt other democratic candidates.

But all the attention lavished on the liberal Ellison could work against other Democrats such as U.S. Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar and gubernatorial candidate Mike Hatch, raising fresh doubts in the minds of moderate voters, Jacobs said.

Indeed, state GOP Chairman Ron Carey was eager to tie DFL congressional candidates Patty Wetterling and Coleen Rowley to Ellison, who wants to pull U.S. troops from Iraq immediately and create a universal health care system.

But Minnesota DFL Chairman Brian Melendez said Ellison won't hurt the party's other candidates. He condemned Fine's attack, saying it was racist.

"He'll probably pick up the pigheaded fool vote but hopefully there aren't too many of them," Melendez said.

I'm sure they are. I'm sure the democrats are going to try to tie all Republicans to Bachmann. I think that's more fair to Mark Kennedy than it is with legislative leadership (Day and Sviggum) or the Governor. Mark Kennedy did put out a piece of literature when running for endorsement that suggested that passing the Federal Marriage Amendment was more important than national defense. Mark Kennedy and DFLer Collin Peterson were original co-sponsors of the Federal Marriage Amendment. Peterson told HRC lobbyists that gays did not live in his district, when he was lobbied on this issue.

It is interesting that now that he is running for the general election, Kennedy's priorities seem to have changed.

I do have issues with Senator Day, Speaker Sviggum and Governor Pawlenty of Tax Increases priorities - but those priorities were not passing the Bachmann amendment. Those priorities were sticking the Hennepin County Taxpayer with a 1.1 billion 30 year tax increase and giveaway to Carl Pohlad.

My big concern about Mike Hatch (besides his anti-gay history) is that since he has been campaigning as the suburban-rural candidate, I am concerned that under Mike Hatch, the city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County will get screwed by the state government. I hope there is an opportunity to ask both Hatch and Pawlenty whether they would support a sales tax exemption for municipalities. Minneapolis and Hennepin County would not need LGA if we could get that sales tax exemption reversed. This would also provide more transparency to the tax code. I'd think this would be the type of common sense proposal that the Taxpayers League should support.

Here is Alan Fine's campaign website.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Star Tribune Editorial Board Admits it....

Keith Ellison is an affirmative action candidate.

From their 9/14 editorial page:

Ellison's win also illustrated how eager voters in the Minneapolis-dominated district are to break the white-male mold for elected officials. Ellison, if elected in November, will be the first black Minnesotan and the first Muslim in Congress. The diversity he would bring to the U.S. House was an asset in this race, outweighing Ellison's personal foibles -- a history of unpaid parking tickets, unfiled campaign finance reports and unpaid taxes.

Strib Must Have Written This Prior to the Primary Results

Here is the Strib's spin.

All incumbent county commissioners were in the lead, but they were down significantly from where they were in the 2002 primary.

Go to this and Ask Questions

From the CCARL list:

Call to Action -- Friday -- Minneapolis

Get to know the candidates! FREE -- No registration is needed. Just show up!

A meet-and-greet for Peter McLaughlin and Farheen Hakeem! Candidates will discuss their positions on critical issues and then answer questions.

FRIDAY, September 15, 2006

6:00 to 7:30 pm

Brian Coyle Community Ctr
420 15th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55454

We encourage EVERYONE to come -- even if you do not live in the in the district represented by these candidates.

CCARL will be in attendance -- keeping up the pressure and as always:

Not giving up and not going away!

Did Mike Hatch Push the DFL to Send the Sample Ballot Late?

From MN Publius comments:

gopherstate20 Says:

Hot news!!! The Official DFL Sample Ballot, a four-color 8.5 inch by 11 inch beauty, was mailed late and only arrived today in the mail. It will be interesting to see if more arrive tomorrow.

Steve Kelley had one side of the ballot to himself with his name mentioned five times and a large color photo. An effective piece for certain if it was delivered on time.

Question: Was it mailed late on purpose to submarine Steve? What was Melendez’s role in the execution of this piece?

Ultimate question: Given the closeness of Kelley’s loss, could it have made the difference?

Can the DFL party do anything right or was Kelley intentionally dropped from the ticket?

Posted at: September 12, 2006 11:45 PM

I've called Jess McIntosh from the DFL for comment? This would have also hurt Greg Gray in District 2, and Juan Lopez running for County Sheriff.

The question is why should candidates in Minneapolis waste their resources trying to get DFL endorsement?

UPDATE: Sly Di comments -

I suspect the real culprit here is the Postal Service's lethargic and unpredictable delivery. As a Postal Service retiree, I remember the good old days when all political mail was specially tagged so it wasn't forgotten. A couple days before the election, they even had workers climb up into Postal Service trucks and every nook and cranny of the Postal facilities to make sure we hadn't missed any political mailings.

Now, the Postal Service doesn't give a rip when the mail is delivered- especially mail for democratic candidates. They're obsessed with cutting costs, and Postal customers take a back seat to the big junk mailers .
Sly Di

I also talked to Jess McIntosh today and she gave me similar reasons why this could have happened. Sample GOTV ballots need to be sent out close to the election, so there is some loss because of late delivery.

Koering/Goedker Results

Republican DFL
Koering Goedker Sluss
3956 3270 3962

For good measure: Dean Johnson:

Gimse Johnson Cruze
1731 6085 3903

Even if all Cruze's votes go to Gimse, Johnson would still win this district in a general election.

MCCL is also a loser in Johnson's district, since they endorsed and helped his primary opponent.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Strib on State Legislative Primaries

Gay legislator leads in closely watched runoff
Gay rights was but one issue among legislative candidates.
Conrad Defiebre, Star Tribune

Last update: September 12, 2006 – 10:23 PM

Minnesota's only openly gay Republican legislator, Sen. Paul Koering of Fort Ripley, faced a strong primary election challenge Tuesday from a Brainerd City Council member whose campaign received assistance from a Twin Cities-based group that advocates a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions.

In one of the most closely watched of 20 legislative primary contests in the state, Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage leafletted cars at Brainerd-area churches Sunday to publicize Koering's failure to vote three years ago on a floor amendment to prohibit the promotion or teaching of homosexuality and bisexuality in public schools.

The amendment failed overwhelmingly, with six members of the GOP Senate minority voting no.

Koering led real estate broker Kevin Goedker in early returns as this edition of the Star Tribune went to press Tuesday night.

Goedker and marriage amendment proponents also have emphasized the senator's mixed record on procedural votes concerning the proposed constitutional amendment, which has not passed the DFL-controlled Senate and thus has been kept off the general election ballot. Goedker says Koering's sexual orientation, which Koering publicly revealed last year, isn't the issue, but rather his votes on gay rights, taxes, the minimum wage and other conservative concerns.

Koering disputes that.

"This campaign has reached an all-time low," he said Tuesday during a break from last-minute door-knocking. "Whatever happens, it's really a sad day."

Koering, who unseated longtime DFL Sen. Don Samuelson on his third try in 2002, was not without support in this campaign. He won the Republican Party endorsement after seven ballots and also received backing from Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, which touted his unwavering opposition to abortion.

Goedker said voters' reaction to independent groups' involvement in the campaign was mixed.

"It'll be interesting," he said. "I think it comes down to the senator's liberal voting record."

Gay rights issues also were at the heart of a primary election challenge to Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, DFL-Willmar, who had comfortably won nine elections in his west-central Minnesota district dating to 1978 without once facing a contested primary. On Tuesday, however, he was up against retired state trooper Michael Cruze, who campaigned against Johnson's opposition to the proposed marriage amendment.

Johnson held a comfortable lead in early returns.

Only three other legislators had primary-election opponents from within their parties.

Stadium Swindlers

MIKE OPAT 6,238 55.64
MARY O'CONNOR 2,772 24.73
TOM REYNOLDS 1,497 13.35
JAMES P. WIRTH 704 6.28

MARK STENGLEIN 7,927 52.70
GREGORY GRAY 5,297 35.21
STEVE WELLENS 1,819 12.09

FARHEEN HAKEEM 6,266 32.66
JAN NYE 1,999 10.42

Here are votes in primaries from 4 years ago:

MARK STENGLEIN 5,415 59.44
BRUCE KELLY 688 7.55

ED FELIEN 1,689 18.98

The Stadium swindle is hurting Peter McLaughlin big time.

I think Steve Kelley's leading role in the Stadium Swindle hurt his campaign for Attorney General.

Hennepin County Sheriff

RICH STANEK 41,489 43.12
JUAN LOPEZ 23,321 24.24
LINDA K. LACHNER 13,451 13.98
BRUCE L. ANDERSON 8,508 8.84
TOM FITZHENRY 6,712 6.98
DANIEL RUSCH 2,732 2.84

The question is whether this is Stanek and anybody but Stanek. The DFL did very little to promote their endorsed DFL candidate (Juan Lopez).

Anti-gay Challengers Lose Against Dean Johnson and Paul Koering

I'm sure Goedker's idiotic blog didn't help him one bit.

Dean Johnson got more votes in the primary than his challenger, and the Republican combined. I think he's safe in the general.

The Twin cities groups, the Minnesota Family Council, Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage, and EdAction threw all they could into defeating Koering and they failed. This will mean their influence will be significantly less at the legislature next year.

The Republican Party of Minnesota deserves kudos for putting resources into helping Paul Koering. Things are changing in the Republican party in Minnesota, and I'd encourage gays who have left the party in disgust to come back.

Early Results: Paul Koering is ahead

You can follow them here.

Steve Wellens - Another Mark Stenglein Opponent

My name is Steve Wellens. I am a candidate for Hennepin County
Commissioner, District 2.

If you go here: you can learn
about me.

By the way, Gregory Gray's web site is here:

Here is a quote from Greg's website: "During my tenure in the
Minnesota legislature, I was the chief author of a bill that would
have provided taxpayer support for a new Twins stadium."

Mr. Gray will not try to reverse the stadium vote. I will.


Steve Wellens

I Love Voting

It's 8:25 am, and I'm proudly wearing my 'I Voted' sticker.

I felt very good about voting against Governor Tim Pawlenty and Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin.

Yes, I'm probably tilting at windmills, but when the votes are counted later tonight, I'd like these politicians to know that the votes for opponents are very sincere, and should be taken very seriously.

Get out and vote today!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Whatever ya say Kevin....

From the Brainerd Dispatch:

In an Associated Press news story Goedker was quoted as saying that he would have trouble voting for someone who was gay. Last week he said he was misinterpreted and that his problem in voting for Koering was because of the lawmaker's stance on several issues, including spending,

Koering's sexual orientation, in Goedker's view, is a lifestyle that is blatantly against the Bible.

"Homosexuality is a sin but I don't judge him based on that," Goedker said. The Brainerd real estate broker said he's not perfect but he couldn't support someone who's proud of being a sinner. Similarly, he said, he couldn't support a straight person who was proud of committing sins.

"As an elected official he (Koering) shouldn't be practicing his beliefs in public," Goedker said.

In other words, is Goedker's problem that Koering is honest about who he is?

You can read more of Kevin Goedker's twisted ramblings on his blog.

He Doth Protest too Much

Paul Koering's opponent, Kevin Goedker that is. He's got a post claiming that he is NOT homophobic.

It's EdAction, the Minnesota Family Council and the Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage that are going after Paul Koering. Clearly the gay issue is part of the issue here.

From the post:

Senator Koering promised he would not vote for the Twins Stadium several times, however, he voted for it. He cannot be trusted. Even people that are in favor of same sex unions are upset about his record

I am VERY unhappy with Paul Koering on the Stadium vote. I had called him several times about that issue, and he told me he'd vote against it when it first came up to the Senate floor (the metro tax), and he did vote with the republicans. That was an easy vote. I called him the last day of session and pleaded with him to vote against the bill at the end of the session. That vote wouldn't have cost him with his district. He was the deciding vote on the 30 year sentence on the Hennepin County Taxpayer. He was not dishonest with me about it though. He told me that last day of session he was undecided on it. My guess is that leadership pushed him to support that bill.

Goedker goes on:

Senator Koering did walk out on a vote in 2003 that would have stopped teaching homosexuality in our schools. Maybe your children are grown up and out of school and you don't care about our future generations, but I do! I have two young children and am involved in the Garfield PTA. I don't think it is OK to teach my children that homosexuality is OK. Again, Senator Koering twisted the truth on TV last night, in an attempt to gain sympathy that he is being attacked. He said he remembers missing a vote because he was with his mother who was dying of cancer. His mother would be ashamed. I do acknowledge that his mother was sick and he was by her bedside and that was understandable. However, the vote I am talking about, and he knows exactly what I am talking about, was on May 2nd: he was at the Capital, roll call was at 9AM, he was there, he voted on several issues, he was there for a vote on page 1632 of the Senate Journal, then on page 1635, he did not vote for a measure that would have stopped the teaching of homosexuality in schools. He IMMEDIATELY was there for the next vote on the same page! He accused people of lying that he walked out on that vote on Lakeland Public TV last night. What would you call this? I would call it political spin.

What all this shows is, that even though Paul Koering voted with the MFC and the Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage on the Bachmann amendment, they still went after him. EdAction (which is closely connected to Michele Bachmann) piled on. Paul's vote for the Bachmann amendment dried up contributions from gay supporters from the Twin Cities and elsewhere.

Here's more whining by Goedker:

I have been accused of splitting up the Republican Party. The party would have been divided whether it was me that ran or not. Why do you think a key Republican Executive Committee member has resigned? There may be more to come. There is an attack on the Republican Party platform by liberal minded individuals. At the endorsing convention, only about 50% of the delegates showed up. After seven ballots he received 60% of the delegates that showed up. If there was confidence in him, as an incumbent, he should have beat me the first time out. I believe that I am the most elect able [sic] conservative candidate in November.

This is going to make it very hard for the Republican to win in the general. I don't think Goedker can win in the general.

It's clear from Paul Goedker's unhinged ranting about the homosexual agenda that Paul Koering's homosexuality is very much part of his campaign.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Lloydletta's Nooz Exclusive: Minnesota Family Council Uses Non-Profit Mailing Permit to Send Primary Hit Piece on Paul Koering

MFC Hit Piece on Paul Koering

MFC Hit Piece on Paul Koering

The people who have gotten this piece are not regular subscribers of Pro-Family News. I get Pro-Family News, and I don't recall getting this special election edition.

Johnson v TBA on Lori Swanson's Endorsements by Women's PACs

Doug Bass maintains a blog about the AG's race. I saw him last night at MOB, and he asked if I was keeping up. I had not stopped over there in a while. It's not a race I'm covering, so haven't been reading other blogs on the topic.



Lori Swanson, DFL candidate for Attorney General, today announced receiving the support of two womens’ advocacy organizations in the election for Minnesota Attorney General.

Swanson announced her endorsement by the Minnesota Women's Political Caucus PAC, as well as her support from the Minnesota Women's Campaign Fund PAC.

[I find it curious that the Minnesota Women's Political Caucus PAC is not endorsing a candidate in the 6th Congressional District. The Minnesota Women's Campaign Fund PAC is endorsing Patty Wetterling. Both groups are endorsing Ember Reichgott Junge in the 5th Congressional District.]

This isn't curious. These are both state political action committees. There is also a National Women's Political Caucus PAC which would endorse in a national race such as Wetterling v Bachmann. I anticipate the endorsement will go to Patty Wetterling. Michele Bachmann gets endorsements from organizations like the Concerned Women for America which focus extensively on anti-gay activism.

"The Minnesota Women's Political Caucus is proud to endorse Lori Swanson for Attorney General. She is a demonstrated fighter and proven leader for women, children and families. We are proud to support Lori as the future first woman Attorney General of in the history of Minnesota," said Erin Moline, Executive Director of the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus.

And said Sara J. Fenlason, Executive Director of the Minnesota Women's Campaign Fund: "The Minnesota Women's Campaign Fund is pleased to have such a strongly qualified and experienced candidate to support in the 2006 Attorney General race. Lori Swanson’s first hand experience as Solicitor General in the office of the Attorney General will serve the people of Minnesota extremely well, and the life experience she brings as a woman will ensure that all of us – men and women alike – are fairly represented in all areas. Furthermore, Lori's commitment to ensuring the constitutionality of future legislation as well as her belief in upholding legal precedent – including Roe vs. Wade - make her the ideal candidate for the Minnesota Women's Campaign Fund to support; we look forward to the election of Lori Swanson as Minnesota’s first woman Attorney General."

[It is interesting that both groups emphasized "first woman Attorney General."]

That would be the case. However I think Lori's key issue against Steve Kelley is Kelley's stance on the stadium swindle.

"I'm pleased to receive these endorsements," Swanson said. "As Attorney General, I'll stand up for all Minnesotans when the deck is stacked against them by those who hold the cards. And I've got the experience and energy to hit the ground running for the people of Minnesota from day one," Swanson said.

Swanson has served as both Minnesota Solicitor General and Deputy Attorney General in the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General. Minnesota has had 28 Attorneys General in its 148 year history. Swanson would be the first female Attorney General of Minnesota.

She would. My question is whether she has the same "let's pick fights" attitude that Mike Hatch has.

Tim OBrien on Michael Brodkorb's Blog


The Blog House: Not exactly raising the tone of political discourse
Tim O'Brien, Star Tribune

Published: September 09, 2006

Back in July, I praised the work of Michael Brodkorb. His blog was instrumental in forcing the mainstream media to cover some valid issues regarding Fifth District U.S. House candidate Keith Ellison. Despite my opinion that he was a GOP party organ, in this case he had provided a public service: Voters had the right to know about the DFL-endorsed candidate's transgressions.

I take it all back. Brodkorb has gone all Drudge Report on me.

To decry the level of political discourse in general -- and both sides are guilty-- is to waste valuable oxygen. But what Brodkorb and his ilk are doing goes far beyond slinging mud. It's character assassination.

Jason Amundsen -- the since-resigned campaign manager for another Fifth District House candidate, Paul Ostrow -- was one of the instigators of the latest onslaught against Ellison. Sending anonymous e-mails that made misleading or outright false allegations to various media organizations -- all of which passed on his bait -- he found a more-than-willing accomplice in Brodkorb, who had spent much of the last six months obsessing over Ellison. In pushing the new slurs, he was sure to always acknowledge that there were two sides to the garbage he was posting -- but never volunteering that he was purposely withholding that second side.

Attacks on Ellison have come from other quarters. Drew Emmer made scurrilous allegations in a newsletter. In June, Kennedy v. the Machine's Gary M. Miller posted a picture of slain Al-Qaida terrorist Abu al-Zarqawi and wrote, "Condolences can be sent to Ellison HQ," his "logic" being that the post "clearly meant to draw parallels to the recently dispatched Al Qaeda leader and the 5th District candidate's shared history of anti-semitism" as a former member of the Nation of Islam. (Question to Miller: President Bush looked into the eyes of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and liked what he saw. Talabani is a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, two groups that don't belong to B'nai B'rith. Does that make Bush an anti-Semite?)

Should we be surprised? Probably not. Emmer is a former GOP state Senate candidate. Brodkorb works for Mark Kennedy's Senate campaign and a PR firm that does extensive work for Republicans, and is the chair of the Senate District 38 Republican Party. Miller, as you can tell by the name of his blog, is a party sycophant.

Apparently the Republican Party in Minnesota has decided to make the personal political. And turnabout, I'm sure, will be fair play. I wonder if its decision to make an issue of candidates' personal lives in '06 will be one it regrets in, say, '08.

This isn't an endorsement of Ellison. It's a condemnation of those political operatives -- both paid and unpaid -- who obfuscate and distort. The cost we voters pay is our democratic process.

Vince Foster wrote of Washington before his 1993 suicide, "Here ruining people is considered sport." That apparently applied to some of our Minnesota blogs.

The Net could be a place where important issues are discussed and candidates promoted; this gang sees it as a tool to facilitate defamation.

3rd Candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 2

Steve Wellens is a third candidate in the race. Here is his website.