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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Drama Queen is Unusually Silent

I wonder why...

Tammy Lee for Congress

As her two opponents continue to devolve.

Alan Fine is another great example of high moral character in a Republican. His respect for women, the sanctity of marriage, and family values are all commendable.

His hysterical, embarassing reaction to Keith Ellison's win in the September 12th primary now makes more sense. It seems the guy has a nasty temper, and can't control his emotions.

Vote for Tammy Lee on November 7th.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Hearing Today

Laura Lehmann and I filed a campaign finance complaint against Mark Stenglein. We had the hearing before the 3 judge panel today.

They will make a decision in the next 3 days. I will give some more perspective on this after I receive a copy of the decision.

I will say I was impressed by the way the hearing was conducted, and appreciated the patience of the judges with Laura and I being unfamiliar with procedure.

5 Males Arrested in SE Como Neighborhood

I just witnessed the arrest of 5 men, approximante ages 16-18, by the Minneapolis, UofM, Lauderdale and Falcon Heights Police Departments. The situation began when the car carrying the men traveling south on 18th Ave SE pulled into a driveway of the 1000 block of 18th Ave SE, in an attempt to evade the police who were right on their tail. A total of 9 police cars pulled up and the officers exited their vehicles with guns drawn. Each of the males was instructed one-by-one to exit their vehilce and lay on the ground. They were subsequently restrained and detained without incident. It appeared that the officers confiscated a weapon (appeared to be a gun) from the vehicle, however; this is an unsubstantiated statement. All officers conducted themselves in a professional manner.

Updates to come as more information becomes available.

Loosetrife: "We need to vote Democratic in this election."

From Mpls Upside Down:

I have no illusions about the limits of the Democratic Party, but as Norm Ornstein says in the discussion following the Moyers documentary, this level of sleaze in government as invented by the modern Republican party is something quite different. Ornstein didn't say it, but I will. To vote Republican, or regrettably, to vote Green or another third party, in this election is to tacitly approve the final preparations for an uniquely oily Bushoid fascism. With Democrats in, the work will just have begun, but with a Republican victory, the tools we need to change things will be taken from us.

As a former member of the Green Party, I couldn't agree more. I'm voting for every Democrat on the ticket in November.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Welcome Pharyngula Readers!

There's nothing like getting linked from PZ Myers.

It's just like being there

Category: Kooks
Posted on: October 5, 2006 12:30 PM, by PZ Myers

The Twin Cities were infested with a rather noxious parasite this week: Dobson and his crew of holy bible-thumpers. I know the Minnesota Atheists were out protesting, but Eva and Avidor actually attended the event, and came back with videos. So, if you really want to see Gary Bauer again, or watch the crowds swoon over James Dobson, Lloydletta has the YouTube links.

Thanks PZ.

More on the List

It sounds like Capitol Hill Gay Republicans are terrified. David Corn has updates here:

I've received several requests for The List (see below), but I haven't passed it on. And a few emails have come in with the same sort of query: is So-and-So who works for Senator So-and-So on the list? I haven't answered such questions. But a reporter told me that The List is in other hands. He was told by an official at the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights lobby, that it had a copy. The HRC official refused to talk about it, though. What's intriguing is that there is a Republican strategy to find scapegoats--other than House Speaker Denny Hastert, of course--and the two leading candidates seem to be Democrats (for somehow making this scandal a scandal) and gay Republicans (for presumably protecting the page-pursuing Mark Foley). From what I can tell, some of these gay GOPers are fighting back. I cannot say too much about this without disclosing more than I should about certain individuals. But there does seem to be a conflict brewing within Republican circles between straight cons and gay GOPers. I'm wondering how nasty this will become and if it will become public. Should that occur, things could get rather ugly.

It gets more stirred up:

The List Stirs Things Up?

A source sent me the following note:

Your blog [about The List] caused quite a stir, David -- a lobbyist...had a couple of terrified calls from gay GOP Hill staffers wondering if they were on the list you mentioned...and whether there was going to be a right-wing lynch mob coming for them.

Well, I've been sent an updated version of The List. I'm not leading any lynch mob (obviously). But I, too, am waiting to see what's going to happen within the Republican caucus. (See the item below this one.) As I said, things may get ugly.

Posted by David Corn at October 5, 2006 11:10 AM

And still more:

It contains the names of members of Congress, Bush aides, celebrities and others in addition to Capitol Hill staffers. It claims that Kirk Fordham, Mark Foley's previous chief of staff, is gay. I certainly don't know whether that's true or not. But assume for a moment it is. Fordham yesterday told various reporters that he had warned Speaker Denny Hastert's office about his boss sometime in the 2002 to 2004 period. What's intriguing about this is that after House Republicans had started suggesting that the gay GOP staffers--sometimes called by Washington wags the Velvet Mafia or the Lavender Bund--were somehow to blame for the party's Foley-oriented woes, a staffer who might be a member of this under-fire group fired back, essentially saying, Hey, we warned Hastert about Foley years ago, and he did nothing. So there!

I'm just speculating here--and know nothing about Fordham's particulars. In any event--for whatever the reason--Fordham has made life rougher for Hastert and the leaders. Meanwhile, a source writes:

The fact that some of the GOP gay guys are worried about a right-wing backlash against them is very telling. Their existence in all of these Hill offices would certainly explain (to the right-wingers) the total lack of legislative progress on most of the Christian/social conservative issues. I'd be pissed if I had a social conservative agenda that hadn't been addressed and suddenly it became clear, like now, who might have been subtly blocking it.

That's another dimension that had not occurred to me--and another reason to wonder how messy this might get.

Gay Patriot is outraged:

You most certainly are, David. You are stoking the fires of this witchhunt. How dare you claim innocence?

But the big story here folks is that the Gay McCarthyism is being stoked by none other than the largest GAY RIGHTS organization in America — the Human Rights Campaign.

Somebody has some explaining to do. I thought the HRC was supposed to PROTECT our rights?

**UPDATE** - The Hypocrite Rights Campaign sheds crocodile tears over gays being demonized while at the same time holding in their cold hands the infamous "List" being used to rout out gay staffers that don’t tout the liberal party line. Outrageous. I'm not sure how Joe Solmonese sleeps at night.

This is really nasty.

Tammy Lee Continues to Gain Support from DLFers

Check out Tammy Lee's Blog where she talks more about the support she is gaining from other DFL supporters. With the support coming in from both the Left and the Right, Tammy is truly showing herself to be a uniter, not a divider. She is a candidate who will represent ALL residents of the 5th Congressional District as she is not bound to party elitists and special interest groups.

Check out Tammy Lee For Congress to get more information.

Why is Congress so Dysfunctional?

I learned a lot last night when I watched the 2 hour documentary called 'Capitol Crimes' on Channel 2. It will be re-run tonight (Thursday) at 7pm on Channel 13. Bill Moyers is the host.

It's a detailed recap of the Tom DeLay/Jack Abramoff/Ralph Reed/Grover Norquist story. At the end of the documentary report, Moyers does a round table with Norm Ornstein and Thomas Frank (author of 'What's the Matter with Kansas'?)

The depth of cynicism in the DeLay circle is beyond what even I could imagine. They took everybody for a ride, including evangelical Christians. Ralph Reed is all about situational ethics. If it was advantageous for him to fire up the base with righteous anger over the evils of gambling, he was there. On the other hand, he profited greatly from funds generated by Native American casinos. Praise the Lord.

One of the observations from the roundtable discussion is that the cynicism is allowed to run rampant because we have a Republican-run government made up of people who run on the fact that they don't like government. No wonder they won't hammer out appropriation bills. They're not interested in governing, they just want to win the next election. Michele Bachmann will fit in perfectly with this crowd.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Purge the Gays Effort in Reaction to Foley?

David Corn here:

There's a list going around. Those disseminating it call it "The List." It's a roster of top-level Republican congressional aides who are gay.

On CBS News on Tuesday, correspondent Gloria Borger reported that there's anger among House Republicans at what an unidentified House GOPer called a "network of gay staffers and gay members who protect each other and did the Speaker a disservice." The implication is that these gay Republicans somehow helped page-pursuing Mark Foley before his ugly (and possibly illegal) conduct was exposed. The List--drawn up by gay politicos--is a partial accounting of who on Capitol Hill might be in that network.

Gay Patriot has a call to action:

Please call the Capitol Hill offices of House Speaker Hastert, Senate Majority Leader Frist as well as House Minority Leader Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

Demand that they issue a statement calling on all House and Senate Members and their staff to stop this outing campaign immediately.

This type of behavior is un-American. If the Human Rights Campaign, Log Cabin Republicans or the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force won’t stand up to this witchhunt atmosphere, then we sure will here.

HASTERT: 202-225-2976 PELOSI: 202-225-4965
FRIST: 202-224-3344 REID: 202-224-3524

Gay Patriot has more here, and he points out that Kirk Fordham is the first victim of this. Now Fordham is no longer taking the fall without giving his side of the story. Here's his press release.

I've learned within the last few hours that unnamed sources have purported that I intervened on behalf of Congressman Foley to prevent a page board investigation. This is categorically false. At no point—ever--did I ask anyone to block any inquiries into Foley's actions or behavior.

These sources know this allegation is false.

Having stepped down as Mr. Reynolds chief of staff, I have no reason to state anything other than the facts. I have no Congressman and no office to protect.

I intend to fully cooperate with any and every investigation of Mr. Foley's conduct. At the same time, I will fully disclose to the FBI and the House Ethics Committee any and all meetings and phone calls I had with senior staffers in the House Leadership about any of Foley's inappropriate activities.

The fact is, even prior to the existence of the Foley email exchanges I had more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest levels of the House of Representatives asking them to intervene when I was informed of Mr. Foley's inappropriate behavior.

One of these staffers is still employed by a Senior House Republican Leader.

Rather than trying to shift the blame on me, those who are employed by these House Leaders should acknowledge what they know about their action or inaction in response to the information they knew about Mr. Foley prior to 2005.

I've just received another press release from the Wetterling campaign on this topic.

Ember Reichgott Junge's Campaing Manager Endorses Tammy Lee in the 5th District

Breaking news and you heard it first on Lloydletta's Nooz.


As the campaign manager for Ember Reichgott Junge I’m proud of the campaign we ran for U.S. Congress. Thank you to many of you for your support.

Today, I’m pleased to announce that I am now supporting Tammy Lee for the Fifth District congressional seat. I believe she has the passion and qualifications to represent us in Washington, D.C.

Tammy Lee is the Independence Party candidate in the General Election. She’s THE choice for those of us who want a responsible, accountable voice in Congress. Tammy is a savvy business woman; she’s intelligent and she’s a woman of her word.

Tammy has set an ambitious fundraising goal to raise $100,000 in the next few weeks to capitalize on the momentum of her campaign and needs YOUR help. With just four weeks until the general election, Tammy needs your financial support TODAY. []

Many of Ember’s supporters have called to ask me who to support now that the primary is over. I believe that Tammy Lee is the right candidate for the Fifth District.

Like Ember, Tammy believes in affordable, accessible healthcare. As the mother of a three-year-old daughter, she personally understands and is committed to the needs our children. Tammy wants to spend tax dollars responsibly by ending the war in Iraq, strengthening our public schools, returning to rational foreign policies, and investing in clean and renewable energy sources.

Join me in helping Tammy Lee make history in becoming the first Independent woman ever elected to Congress on November 7! Please contribute to Tammy’s success today!


Lori L. Jacobwith

Campaign Manger

Ember for Congress

Well, I Agree with Dobson on One Point

I only heard part of the MPR coverage of last night's rally.

Dobson did a very good job of reminding the audience that this Congress has been a huge disappointment. Okay, his reasons for declaring it a disappointment are different than mine, but he cited the majority the Republicans have held in both chambers of Congress, and in his words, they 'sat on it'. The evangelicals have good reason to be angry (even without the Foley Fracas), because many of them worked hard to put this Congress in office, and they've gotten almost nothing in return.

Hmmmm, its sort of like all the gay money that regularly flows to the Democrats....

Bauer on Foley, Dobson's Mathematics of Fear

More Lloydletta video of the Dobson, Bauer and Perkins get out the vote event in Saint Paul last night.

Watch Gary Bauer go all weird over the Foley scandal HERE

Watch Dobson uses fuzzy math to frighten his flock HERE.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Hear Dobson Speak about His "Disappointment" over Foleygate.

Eva and I went to the Saint Paul last night to video Dobson and his theocratic wrecking crew.

See Dobson Video HERE.

Video of rally against Dobson HERE..

More videos tomorrow.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Personal Disclaimer

I would never suggest that all heterosexuals are just like Bill Clinton or Anna Nicole Smith. I know better.

In case people assume that homosexuals are all like Mark Foley, or James McGreevey, I'll share a few personal facts.

Nobody 'taught me' or 'recruited me' to be gay. I just am.

I have never married a woman and cruised highway rest stops on the side.

Nobody abused me or otherwise traumatized me as a child. My worst trauma might have been when 'Medical Center' went off the air.

I don't chase after teenagers, on-line or in person.

Continued Meltdown in the US House Republican Caucus

Oh My

Mark Kennedy, Explain Yourself

I am usually not inclined to agree with lead editorials in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, but their 10/3/06 submission raises some very good questions about the pathetic performance of our current Congress.

Editorial: A sorry year on Capitol Hill
Budget breakdown is symptomatic of Congress' dysfunction.

Most Americans won't have noticed, or cared much, that Congress adjourned last week and left the federal budget in a shambles. Ten of the 12 spending bills that fund annual government operations remain unfinished -- even though the new fiscal year started on Saturday -- and the required budget blueprint for fiscal 2007 never got past the negotiation stage.

But now that incumbents are home and campaigning for reelection, voters should ask about this sorry performance, for these are the symptoms of a dysfunctional and irresponsible Congress.

True, federal agencies will keep functioning even without the appropriations bills, thanks to a "continuing resolution" that lawmakers passed on Friday. But that's no solution. More than a dozen governors, for example, are preparing to cut off health insurance to thousands of children under the State Children's Health Insurance Program because they lack a commitment from Congress for next year's funding. Farmers will finish the fall harvest without knowing the fate of crucial conservation programs next spring.

Worse, Americans will go to the polls without knowing how their representatives would have voted on some of Washington's toughest funding choices on health, education and transportation. Those matters are now left for a "lame duck" November session, where they will be decided, in part, by lawmakers who are no longer accountable to voters.

You can't blame partisan gridlock for this budgetary breakdown. Republicans control both chambers of Congress by solid majorities, and they were working off a budget draft submitted by a Republican president. Nor can you blame a heavy workload. This Congress passed less legislation and held fewer hearings than any in the memory of Washington experts and worked, on average, just two days per week in 2006.

Rather, it reflects ideological rigidity taken to new extremes. As a financial matter, this meant that a GOP majority kept passing tax cuts while waging an expensive war in Iraq -- $2 billion a week -- thus leaving itself with a huge federal deficit and impossible fiscal choices.

As a governance matter, it meant that it spent so much time casting symbolic votes on symbolic issues -- gay marriage, flag-burning, gay marriage again -- that it ran out of time to resolve the issues of the day: immigration policy, entitlement spending, global warming, military modernization, lobbying reform.

Voters should not assume that this is par for the course. A Democratic Congress in the 1980s passed difficult and important changes to Social Security and immigration law. A GOP Congress in the 1990s helped balance the federal budget. Norman Ornstein, a conservative congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, calls this Congress the "broken branch." In the next five weeks voters should be asking how candidates will mend it.

Rep. Kennedy offers scant explanation for his 6 years of Congressional service. He has always been part of a majority caucus that for some reason won't act like a majority. What does he have to say about the low productivity?

Hammering out the details of appropriation bills is one of the basic functions of Congress, and they don't get it done. Why would we want to give one of the culprits a promotion?

Adding Michele Bachmann to this mix will not improve productivity. Look at her almost non-existent record of bills passed in the Minnesota Senate. Give her 24/7 access to C-SPAN cameras, and she'll do her best to totally shut down the US House of Representatives. She made a shambles of the 2004 Legislative session.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Are we fools or what?


According to Minnesota Monitor's website (“All contributors listed here are Fellows with the Center for Independent Media"), the following 10 bloggers are contributors (called fellows):

Abdi Aynte: Hiiraan Online,

Andy Birkey: Eleventh Avenue South, Metroblogging Minneapolis.

Joe Bodell: Minnesota Campaign Report

Craig Cox: The MInneapolis Observer, Twin Cities Daily Planet

Jeff Fecke: Blog of the Moderate Left, Minvolved, DFLSenate

Matt Martin: MN Publius

Robin Marty: The Power Liberal, Drinking Liberally, DFLSenate

Leigh Pomeroy: Vox Verax

Sara Reller: Broken Nails

Paul Schmelzer: Walker Art Center blogs

According to the New Journalist Fellowship Application, "fellows" are paid a stipend of $4500 over 3 months to blog.

That's $1500.00 per month.

The Drama Queen did a good job connecting the dots from the Center for Independent Media and Media Matters. He implies, but doesn't demonstrate that George Soros is funding the Center for Independent Media. Then he changes the subject from the issue that was raised by some of the liberal bloggers.

What my friends in the liberal blogosphere fail to recognize is that since I have chosen to work in politics I can't hide how I make a living. My life is one big disclosure. I know that I was an anonymous blogger and that I chose to reveal my identity because of lawsuit filed against me by a prominent Democrat consultant. But I decided to keep on blogging.

You are able to attack my work for Mark Kennedy, because FEC rules require expenditures to be publicly reported. You are able to see that I was paid a one-time fee from Bachmann's campaign, because it was publicly reported. You are able to attack me for my work with the Campaign for St. Paul's Future, because it was publicly disclosed. You can attack my previous employment with the Republican Party of Minnesota because it was properly disclosed.

Jeff Fecke says it well:

The problem is that Brodkorb wants to have it both ways. He wants to be an independent blogger and a highly-paid political consultant.

But consider Brodkorb's job. He's a press flak. His job is to get media play for the Kennedy campaign.

Now consider MDE's job. He's a media outlet.

So what does Brodkorb do? In order to get media play for the Kennedy campaign, he walks to the computer and publishes a story on his own media outlet.

I don't know of a firewall that could possibly exist that would make that kosher. There is no way Brodkorb can be seen as an independent blogger.

That's the problem–Brodkorb's voice is not independent. It's bought and paid for. And the simple fact that he won't–and can't–address that is telling.

Mike Brodkorb needs to choose whether he values his job or his blog more. Unfortunately for him, the two are inextricably linked. He's less valuable if he shuts off his megaphone. Surely Brodkorb knows that. It's time the rest of us acknowledged it, too.

This issue is even tough when you are both involved in a campaign as a volunteer and try to blog on it.

With 3000 hits per day on his blog, Michael Brodkorb is a press outlet - and Fecke is correct on that point.

I also have to say that while Robin Marty is getting paid to blog, she's getting a part-time salary for more than full time work - and her job is more than blogging, there's an administrative and organizing component to it. I think she low-balled it when she negotiated for the job.

He is changing the subject from the issue of getting paid to blog (which is fine - Eric Black at the Strib also gets paid to blog), or having a conflict of interest with his blogging.

The real kicker is, Michael Brodkorb loves this stuff - because he is the center of attention yet again. Once a Drama Queen, always a Drama Queen.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Minnesota US Senate Debate on 'Meet the Press'

This is from the Fitzgerald campaign. You can send a message to request that Mr. Fitzgerald be included in the debate.


This campaign is involved in every U.S. Senate debate in Minnesota. Meet the Press is conducting a debate with the U.S. Senate candidates on October 15th, but with one glaring omission. I have yet to receive an invite to the debate. The campaign and the party have been pressing hard, but now is the time for you to email the producers of Meet the Press and insist that all three major party candidates participate in the debate. Let Meet the Press know how important it is to hear from the three major parties here in Minnesota.

Direct emails to: or use the form here:

This is really up to you now. Make your voice heard! Fill the MTP inbox insisting Meet the Press present a debate similar to every major debate in Minnesota, a debate featuring every major party candidate!

Mark your calendar for October 15th!

Wendy Wilde Beats Patty Wetterling to the Punch

Patty Wetterling is having a press conference tomorrow to discuss the Mark Foley situation. Wendy Wilde beats her to the punch with a press release.

Wendy Wilde For Congress

Wendy Wilde DFL Candidate, MN-03: Calls for Resignation of House Speaker Dennis Hastert for covering up for sexual predators.

Wilde calls on Congressman Jim Ramstad MN-03 to join her in condemning this cover-up and in asking for an independent investigation.

For Further Information contact: Betsy O'Berry, 612-867-6441,,

Edina, Minnesota. October 1st, 2006

Wendy Wilde, DFL candidate for Congress in Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District, called on Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert to resign for his role in covering up the activities of the sexual predator Congressman Mark Foley of Florida.

"It is inconceivable to me that Speaker Hastert and other key member of the Republican leadership knew about Congressman Foley's inappropriate contact with teenage pages and yet continued to allow Congressman Foley to serve as Co-Chair of the House Committee on Missing and Exploited Children. As a High School teacher and coach, Speaker Hastert is a mandated reporter. It is inconceivable to me as a mother, and as the founder of a non-profit teen center, that Speaker Hastert would put kids at risk in the interest of political power". This is another example of the kinds of incompetence and secrecy which have no place in our democracy."

"It has become increasingly clear over the last several days that congressional republican leaders have engaged in a pattern of denial, deceit and cover-ups to protect a sexual predator serving in the U.S. House of Representatives." The pattern of denial and secrecy rivals that of the Catholic Bishops who continued to cover-up for predator priests in the face of overwhelming evidence of criminal behavior" she continued. "As a mother, youth volunteer leader, and citizen I am outraged and demand the immediate resignation of Speaker Hastert and all other House leaders who knew about this issue for the last eleven months. They failed to report it to the proper authorities and to take steps to protect the young men serving as congressional pages from this predator".

"I am also calling for my opponent Congressman Jim Ramstad to call for Speaker Hastert's resignation and for an independent investigation into Congressman Foley, the House Leadership, and the congressional page program. As a member of Congress for sixteen years, and having voted to weaken house ethics rules on January 4th 2005, Congressman Ramstad must accept the responsibility his position requires and demand true moral leadership within his party" finished Ms. Wilde.

Wendy Wilde is running for congress in Minnesota's 3rd congressional district and has almost thirty years experience as a radio broadcaster, including several years at Minnesota powerhouse WCCO and the local Air America station. Wilde is a mom and a community leader who founded and runs a non-profit teen center to keep local teens safe.

Mark Olson in Trouble Over Wacky Transportation Policies

Here's the election results.

Republican Candidate Totals Pct
MARK OLSON 933 100.00
Democratic-Farmer-Labor Candidate Totals Pct
BRUNO S GAD 199 17.18
JIM HUHTALA 959 82.82

Mark Olson should be worried.

MPD Will Issue RFP for a vendor to provide pre-employment screening

Remember the reparative-therapy supporting "Psychologist" the Minneapolis Police Department hired to do employment screenings? Remember the screeching by "Porno Pete" LaBarbera about "anti-christian bias" from the IFI and the MFC when Michael Campion was suspended?

The IFI is now claiming Campion has been "re-suspended".

They have an action alert:

To call the City of Minneapolis and politely urge the city and its prospective Police Chief, Tim Dolan, to NOT discriminate against Dr. Campion based on his religious and moral convictions, call (612)673-2735.

Here is the actual story from Greg Reinardt, who I believe works for the police department. This was posted on the Minneapolis Issues list.

Dr. Michael Campion has not been re-suspended. That is spin from the IFI. It was made very clear to them and others that there was no re-suspension. The
following information was provided to them:

MPD currently does not have a contract with any vendor providing pre-employment
screening or fitness for duty services. Chief Dolan has started an immediate
process to develop an RFP (Request for Proposal) to contract all further such

Once issued, Dr. Campion and et al are welcome to apply.

Commissioner Michael Campion, worked with the BCA for 32 years with some distinction, before being appointed to head the MN Department of Public Safety. The Commissioner and the Doctor are not the same person. Pictures of either one are on the web.

Greg Reinhardt, Excelsior

Will Campion's firm apply, then try use the ambulance chasing AFA lawyers to try to sue the city if they fail to get the contract?

Will Bachmann and Associates also bid for this, and squeal about "anti-christian bigotry" if they don't get it?


Update: I signed in and commented on the FrontPage story that parroted LaBarbera's hysterical screeching about this nonsense. My comment is here.

Campion, Barrow and Associates can be contacted at these numbers:

Campion, Barrow and Associates
2110 Clearlake Blvd. STE 202
Champaign, IL 61822
Toll Free: (800) 292-3399 | Vox: (217) 356-9922 | Fax: (217) 356-9875

Call them up and tell them to quit lying about what is going on with the Minneapolis Police Department - and to quit wasting Minneapolis Police Department resources on this non-story. Ask them if they are really itching for a lawsuit. I just did, and someone answered the phone (on a Sunday). I was hoping to leave a message, but I talked to a real person.

Update 2: Mike Mosedale at City Pages covers this in detail. Campion is avoiding the press - except for the leviticus crowd press.

The Campion firm is under contract for the Minnesota State Patrol and for the DNR. This is a problem.

MPR Report on MVST Issue for Rural Areas

The concerns raised is about how passing MVST will put a hole in the general fund, and then cause a loss in Local Government Aid.

"Location, location, location means a lot of things," Kuntz says. "And we feel there is a strong benefit to have that highway completed all the way from New Ulm, all the way to Rochester."
Larger view
Tony Knauer

Kuntz says if Minnesotans vote yes on the motor vehicle sales tax constitutional amendment highway 14 will inch closer to becoming a four-lane highway. That would mean economic growth for Owatonna.

However, dedicating all of MVST's dollars to transportation would cut $300 million from the state's general fund over the next five years. The general fund pays for local government aid, or LGA. The legislature made cuts to LGA in 2005 and 2007. Kuntz says LGA remains an easy target to balance the budget. The legislature has no proposal to make up the money the general fund would lose in MVST money.

"We, for 2007 budget, took a $690,000 cut for LGA for city of Owatonna. I think that's the largest cut that any of the cities in the state of Minnesota received. That is a concern that if they have to make the $300 million up in some other places, one of the first things that get looked at is LGA, and we can't afford any more cuts on LGA," Kuntz says.

Still, dancing thoughts of a four-lane highway 14 led Kuntz and Owatonna's city council to take a neutral stance on the amendment. Even if state aid isn't cut, Owatonna still won't have access to all of the MVST dollars. The city doesn't have any mass transit. The amendment's language says at least 40 percent of the additional dollars would go to mass transit. No more than 60 percent would go to roads.

Rochester is also concerned:

Beyond the Twin Cities, mass transit mostly serves seniors and disabled people. But in Rochester transit administrator Tony Knauer says buses move 1.4 million people every year. Thirty years ago it was only a quarter million. Knauer says he hopes to expand bus service by 30 percent.

"We've got a lot of neighborhoods that don't have any transit service at all. And we're pretty conservative in our expansion. What we look at is that we're not going to start running 24 hour bus service out there," Knauer says.

He says additional MVST dollars would help pay for expansion. But Rochester has taken no position on the MVST amendment. And it is a member of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, which opposes the amendment.

Transportation lobbyist Holly Biron says the amendment's language doesn't guarantee any money will go toward roads.

"Essentially, the 'at least-not more than' language could put all of this motor vehicle sales tax revenue into transit, and that's a major concern for Greater Minnesota mayors, council members," Biron says. "Because while they're supportive of transit they're really concerned about their roads for economic development and safety issues."

MPR reports that Education Minnesota and the Farmer's Bureau also oppose the amendment.

I oppose MVST because this is something that should be done in statute, and not in the constitution. I'd oppose the Hunting/Fishing/Public TV/Arts constitutional amendment with dedicated state sales tax for the same reason.

The legislators and Governor who ducked this issue and sent it to the voters with MVST should be ashamed of themselves.