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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Another Hypocritical Democratic Hypocritical Federal Marriage Amendment Supporter

Representative Harold Ford, running for Senate in Tennessee is 36, is a bachelor, and known as a "casanova". He also voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment. The same crowd that has been outing gay republican office holders - and their staff members have been silent on Harold Ford. I don't understand why this outing craze is limited to gays. Should straights that don't live up to the sanctity of marriage be outed too?

Where is Mike Rogers or John Aravosis on this one?

Ted Haggard Fired

From the New Life church:

Full text of Saturday's press release

We, the Overseer Board of New Life Church, have concluded our deliberations concerning the moral failings of Pastor Ted Haggard. Our investigation and Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct.

The language of our church bylaws state that as Overseers we must decide in cases where the Senior Pastor has "demonstrated immoral conduct" whether we must "remove the pastor from his position or to discipline him in any way they deem necessary."

In consultation with leading evangelicals and experts familiar with the type of behavior Pastor Haggard has demonstrated, we have decided that the most positive and productive direction for our church is his dismissal and removal.

In addition, the Overseers will continue to explore the depth of Pastor Haggard's offense so that a plan of healing and restoration can begin.

Pastor Haggard and his wife have been informed of this decision. They have agreed as well that he should be dismissed and that a new pastor for New Life Church should be selected according to the rules of replacement in the bylaws.

That process will begin immediately in hopes that a new pastor can be confirmed by the end of the year 2006. In the interim, Ross Parsley will function as the leader of the church with full support of the Overseers.

A letter of explanation and apology by Pastor Haggard as well as a word of encouragement from Gayle Haggard will be read in the 9:00 and 11:00 service of New Life Church.

Denver Post

Mike Jones, 49, of Denver, had come forward Wednesday and said Haggard had had a paid sexual relationship with him monthly for three years. Jones also said Haggard used crystal meth.

Jones first learned of Haggard's firing in a telephone interview with The Denver Post.

"I hadn't heard," he said. "I'm sad. I didn't want to ruin his life or his family's life."

A popular guest of television news programs the last few days, Jones had just arrived at Denver International Airport following a trip to New York City, where he had appeared on the Today show in the morning.

And though he said he didn't want to ruin Haggard's life, there was too much at stake in keeping silent. Haggard is a vocal support of Amendment 43, which would define marriage in Colorado as being strictly between a man and a woman.

"You just can't have it both ways when you have so much influence over so many people," Jones said. "He should have been a better role model."

Personally I thought the television interview of Haggard, when he was in his car with wife and kids went way too far. I don't see the point of having a reporter question Haggard about the meth and whether he had sex with the hooker in front of his kids.

Angie Paccione Smarter than Patty Wetterling on the Gay Marriage Issue

Angie Paccione has edged up in the polls to defeat Michele Bachmann clone Marilyn Musgrave in Colorado. Here is how they addressed the gay marriage question:

Musgrave, who co-sponsored a constitutional ban on gay marriage that sputtered in 2004 said she supports traditional marriage.

"I think that's the ideal environment for children to be raised," Musgrave said.

Paccione's response garnered applause from some of the 1,000 people crowded into Windsor High School auditorium.

"You want to protect marriage, you know what's a threat to marriage? Divorce is a threat to marriage," she said. "You know what else is a threat to marriage? Infidelity is a threat to marriage. Domestic violence is a threat to marriage. Losing your job is a threat to marriage. Marriage is not a threat to marriage. I support equality."

I wonder if buying meth, but never using it and getting massages from male hookers is a threat to marriage.

As I wrote earlier, Tim Walz took a similar approach when interviewed on Lambert and Jacacek:

And the best thing that ever happened to me was to get married and I don't see a reason to deny that to anyone. So I'm pretty consistent on that, of where government should not be in our lives.

Contrast this to Patty Wetterling's response stating that she thought putting the amendment in the constitution was discrimination, but she supported the current law. Patty Wetterling is now on record in opposition to civil unions as well as gay marriage. Eric Black interviews her to get her clarify this and she says that the DOMA law prohibits benefits for gay couples, and she is ok with that.

Patty Wetterling gets all of the negative direct mail on this issue run by the NRCC, but her answers to these types of questions, suggest that the only difference between she and Michele Bachmann is the marriage amendment. Her answers on these issues don't help help her because she's not going to get the voters that think this is a top priority anyway. In addition, while polling still shows people are opposed to gay marriage, they also support more benefits for gay couples than it appears Patty Wetterling supports. I've heard Patty says different things to people in private. However, I look to public statements as the more important statements.

In the case of some of these congressional campaigns, it's gay advisers who are advising candidates to take the Patty Wetterling approach. The problem with that approach is that it assumes that the gays who pay big bucks to attend HRC fundraisers, and who go to their high buck fundraisers are representative of the community. That's not the case.

Richard Dawkins v Ted Haggard on Creationism

This clip is quite revealing about Haggard's church. Haggard claimed his services were like a "Rock Concert". The video certainly does support that.

Falwell Claims: "I never knew Ted Haggard"

Jerry Falwell said on the Situation Room that he didn't know Ted Haggard, but had met him. However an email to supporters on June 3, 2003 states:

The Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the NAE and pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, said at the meeting, "Since we are in a global community, no doubt about it, we must temper our speech and we must communicate primarily through actions."

The paradox is that none of the Christian leaders I mentioned were in attendance at this organized rebuke, which was titled, Consultation on Evangelical Christian-Muslim Relations. With the exception of Franklin Graham, who is a member of the NAE, none of us were even invited. In fact, I learned of the meeting only after being contacted by reporters from the Washington Post and the New York Times who were doing stories on the event.

I later learned that Rev. Haggard, who was only recently elected to his position, was not fully aware of the serious charges that would be made. Having talked with him since the meeting, I am convinced of his sincerity when he declares the event was not intended to be a personal rebuke of anyone. In fact, Rev. Haggard advised Mark DeMoss, publicist for Franklin Graham, in writing that he personally agreed with Franklin's critical comments about Islam.

However, other NAE executives - perhaps craving a bit of the national spotlight - had scheduled the meeting before Rev. Haggard was recently elected president.

No one believes these other officials were naïve when they painstakingly invited the major media to such a meeting. Clearly, their intent was to slam everyone who has criticized Islam and pat themselves on the back for taking their own designation of the high road.

Thankfully, NAE officials also reiterated their commitment to witnessing in the Muslim world and criticized the "naïve" approach of the World Council of Churches, which has attempted to blur theological lines in its efforts of inclusion.

Jerry Falwell and Ted Haggard were also co-sponsors of Battle Cry Ministries events. Battle Cry Ministries has now erased Ted Haggard from their site. He's still listed in google's cache.

Counterpunch: "Green Stench in Minnesota: the Commissioner and the Hog Lot"

Mark Knapp (they got his first name wrong) had this well-researched article about yet another MN Green-gone-bad published in Counterpunch:

Dwayne Voegeli burst on the scene in 2002 as a Green candidate for the Winona County Commission. Voegeli had a background as a social studies teacher at the local high school. He was endorsed by the Winona County Green Party and widely praised in the two local newspapers as a man who valued both ecology and democracy.... we have seen here in Minneapolis with former Councilman Gary Dean Zimmermann, Voegli turned out to be a disapointment to environmental activists..... the end, the decision came down to the five people on the county commission. Two were quickly against the application, while two were strongly in favor of it. Only the chairman of the committee was undecided. He publicly waffled and delayed. The committee met two extra times before they finally decided.

Once again, Dwayne Voegeli, the representative of the Green Party cast the deciding vote in favor of a larger lagoon of manure.

Three months later, Voegeli supported a third feedlot. This time it was for 1300 dairy cows, with a pit holding 5.7 million gallons of manure. Despite its enormity, there was little vocal opposition to the feedlot, and the vote on the commission was unanimous. Voegeli joked, "I guess we just like cows more than pigs." Perhaps the citizens had been metaphorically beaten into submission by the futility of trying to reason with a majority of their elected representatives including the one with the "Green" label.

Writing for the antithesis of green ideology, the President of the Winona Chamber of Commerce chirped, "Good call Commissioner!"

Here in the Twin Cities, the GPM takes action:

Green Party calls news conference to criticize MPR and other media outlets

The Green Party held a news conference today to try to get more coverage for their statewide candidates. MPR is the only news outlet to cover the news conference. Several candidates bash MPR and the other news outlets for not covering them. So it appears the Green's solution to getting more media coverage is to then beat up on the only reporter who covers the news conference...

"daveZ" comments:

Now the Green Party has something in common with the major parties -- they blame their shortcomings on the media......yawn.....

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Friday, November 03, 2006

James Dobson, You are Flat-out Wrong

The NY Times quoted Dr. D. re: Rev. Ted:

James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, said in a statement, “The situation has grave implications for the cause of Christ and we ask for the Lord’s guidance and blessings in the days ahead.”

Dr. Dobson, if you believe the future of the 'cause of Christ' is dependent on one narcissistic, egomaniacal, lying pastor who got caught, you have a very small belief in Christ and the power of the Gospel.

If you reduce the 'cause of Christ' to a narrow set of social issues and election results, I'd call that blasphemy and a gross mis-use of Scripture.

Tammy Lee Gets The American Hot Sausage Treatment

Rahelio at AHS whips out this screed on Tammy Lee:

Any substantive difference Lee may have with Ellison, the DFL endorsed candidate, ends with their looks and skin color. On the issues, as pointed out by many Republicans who aren't buying her "rational Republicans are coming over" line of nonsense, she is just a DFLer attempting to win in a different party lane. No Lee supporter speaks of critical differences in her positions on mainstay issues (immigration, environment, education, the Bush tax cuts, abortion, etc.) and the positions in common currency throughout the DFL. They mention we can trust her. She isn't Ellison. She'll make us feel better about our choice. She has a business background. Did I mention that she isn't that Negro who beat Erlandson at that ridiculous city DFL convention?

...and posts this parody of Tammy Lee's campaign site.

Maybe Rev. Ted Should Consider Scientology

The Church of Scientology is well known for providing cover for closeted gay celebrities.

In the meantime, here's the latest AP story.....

Evangelist Admits Meth, Massage, No Sex

Friday November 3, 2006 7:46 PM


Associated Press Writer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Evangelist Ted Haggard admitted Friday that he bought methamphetamine and received a massage from a gay prostitute who claims he was paid for drug-fueled trysts by the outspoken gay marriage opponent.

Haggard resigned Thursday as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and stepped down as leader of his Colorado megachurch while the two groups investigate the allegations.

Talking to reporters outside his house Friday, Haggard denied the sex allegations but said that he did buy meth from the man because he was curious.

``I bought it for myself but never used it,'' he said. ``I was tempted, but I never used it.''

Haggard, a married father of five, said he never had sex with Mike Jones, a 49-year-old male prostitute who sparked the scandal when he told a radio station he had had a three-year sexual relationship with the minister. He said he did get a massage from Jones after being referred to him by a Denver hotel.

Haggard resigned as president of the 30 million-member association Thursday and stepped down as the leader of the New Life Church pending investigations into Jones' claims.

The executive committee of the National Association of Evangelicals, which claims 30 million members, planned a conference call Friday and said it would release a statement afterward.

The acting pastor of Haggard's New Life Church, Ross Parsley, told congregants in an e-mail that the church's four-member board of overseers had met with Haggard on Thursday.

``It is important for you to know that he confessed to the overseers that some of the accusations against him are true. He has willingly and humbly submitted to the authority of the board of overseers, and will remain on administrative leave during the course of the investigation,'' the e-mail stated.

The scandal hit as voters in Colorado and seven other states are getting ready to decide Tuesday on amendments banning gay marriage. Besides the proposed ban on the Colorado ballot, a separate measure would establish the legality of domestic partnerships providing same-sex couples with many of the rights of married couples.

Members of Haggard's 14,000-member megachurch were stunned.

``It's political, right before the elections,'' said Brian Boals, a New Life member for 17 years.

Church member E.J. Cox, 25, called the claims ``ridiculous.''

``People are always saying stuff about Pastor Ted,'' she said. ``You just sort of blow it off. He's just like anyone else in the public eye.''

Jones said he decided to go public because he was also upset when he discovered Haggard and the New Life Church had publicly opposed same-sex marriage.

``It made me angry that here's someone preaching about gay marriage and going behind the scenes having gay sex,'' he said.

``I just want people to step back and take a look and say, 'Look, we're all sinners, we all have faults, but if two people want to get married, just let them, and let them have a happy life,''' said Jones, who added that he isn't working for any political group.

Jones claimed that Haggard, 50, paid him to have sex nearly every month over three years. He said he advertised himself as an escort on the Internet and was contacted by a man who called himself Art, who snorted methamphetamine before their sexual encounters to heighten his experience.

Jones said he later saw the man on television identified as Haggard and that the two last had sex in August.

He said he has voice mail messages from Haggard, as well as an envelope he said Haggard used to mail him cash. He declined to make the voice mails available to the AP, but KUSA-TV reported what it said were excerpts late Thursday that referred to methamphetamine.

``Hi Mike, this is Art,'' one call began, according to the station. ``Hey, I was just calling to see if we could get any more. Either $100 or $200 supply.''

A second message, left a few hours later, began: ``Hi Mike, this is Art, I am here in Denver and sorry that I missed you. But as I said, if you want to go ahead and get the stuff, then that would be great. And I'll get it sometime next week or the week after or whenever.''

Haggard was appointed president of the evangelicals association in March 2003. He has participated in conservative Christian leaders' conference calls with White House staffers and lobbied members of Congress last year on U.S. Supreme Court appointees after Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement.

After Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2004, Haggard and others began organizing state-by-state opposition. Last year, Haggard and officials from the nearby Christian ministry Focus on the Family announced plans to push Colorado's gay marriage ban for the 2006 ballot.

At the time, Haggard said that he believed marriage is a union between a man and woman rooted in centuries of tradition, and that research shows it's the best family unit for children.


Associated Press Writer Dan Elliott contributed to this report from Denver.

Ah, nothing like ordering up a massage under an assumed name when you're out of town.....

Evangelical Job Creation Programs

If the Rev. Ted/Mike Jones story is true, we should give credit to the New Life Church's tax exempt status (and its generous donors) for making it possible for Rev. Ted to earn a salary that allows for supporting a wife and 5 children, with enough spare cash to pay for a monthly session with a middle-aged 'ho.

We live in a great country.

City Pages Parody Ad: Mike Hatch Eats Kittens!

At the blotter here.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

E 85 Flap Hurts the Hatch Campaign

KSTP has some hilarious video. Mike Hatch is clearly on edge over this one.

Hatch then claims in the Duluth News Tribune:

The Governor is so desperate. He's so far behind, he's picking on a woman.

This is another display of Mike Hatch's condescending attitudes towards women.

The Associated Press report on Reverend Ted....

Key Evangelical Quits Amid Gay Sex Claim

Published: November 2, 2006
Filed at 9:06 p.m. ET

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- The leader of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, resigned Thursday after being accused of paying for sex with a man in monthly trysts over the past three years.

The Rev. Ted Haggard, a married father of five who has been called one of the most influential evangelical Christians in the nation, denied the allegations. His accuser refused to share voice mails that he said backed up his claim.

Haggard also stepped aside as head of his 14,000-member New Life Church while a church panel investigates, saying he could ''not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations.''

''I am voluntarily stepping aside from leadership so that the overseer process can be allowed to proceed with integrity,'' Haggard said in a written statement. ''I hope to be able to discuss this matter in more detail at a later date.''

He also told KUSA-TV late Wednesday: ''Never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I'm steady with my wife, I'm faithful to my wife.''

The allegations come as voters in Colorado and seven other states get ready to decide Tuesday on amendments banning gay marriage. Besides the proposed ban on the Colorado ballot, a separate measure would establish the legality of domestic partnerships providing same-sex couples with many of the rights of married couples.

Mike Jones, 49, of Denver told The Associated Press he decided to go public with his allegations because of the political fight. Jones, who said he is gay, said he was upset when he discovered Haggard and the New Life Church had publicly opposed same-sex marriage.

''It made me angry that here's someone preaching about gay marriage and going behind the scenes having gay sex,'' said Jones, who added that he isn't working for any political group.

Jones, whose allegations were first aired on KHOW-AM radio in Denver, claimed Haggard paid him to have sex nearly every month over three years. Jones also said Haggard snorted methamphetamine before their sexual encounters to heighten his experience.

Haggard and his attorney, Martin Nussbaum, did not return calls Thursday night from the AP.

Jones said that he had advertised himself as an escort on the Internet and that a man who called himself Art contacted him. Jones said he later saw the man on television identified as Haggard.

He said that he last had sex with Haggard in August and that he did not warn him before making his allegations this week.

Jones said he has voice mail messages from Haggard, as well as an envelope he said Haggard used to mail him cash, though he declined to make any of it available to the AP.

''There's some stuff on there (the voice mails) that's pretty damning,'' he said.

Haggard, who is about 50, was appointed president of the evangelicals association in March 2003. He has participated in conservative Christian leaders' conference calls with White House staffers and lobbied members of Congress last year on U.S. Supreme Court appointees after Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement.

After Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2004, Haggard and others began organizing state-by-state opposition. Last year, Haggard and officials from the nearby Christian ministry Focus on the Family announced plans to push Colorado's gay marriage ban for the 2006 ballot.

At the time, Haggard said that he believed marriage is a union between a man and woman rooted in centuries of tradition, and that research shows it's the best family unit for children.

''Homosexual activity, like adulterous relationships, is clearly condemned in the Scriptures,'' the evangelicals association says on its Web site. The Bible says homosexuality is a sin that ''brings grave consequences in this life and excludes one from the Kingdom of God.''

Haggard's resignation from the NAE seems unlikely to do lasting damage to the organization, an umbrella group for a diverse and independent-minded membership. At his own church, Haggard's decision to step aside -- if it became permanent -- would have a more profound effect.

''One would hope and pray that this matter would be resolved expeditiously and quickly and he can be restored back to being the pastor of the church and the leader of the NAE,'' said Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative Washington think tank.

New Life Church member Brooks DeMio, 44, said he thinks Jones is a liar and can't believe Haggard would engage in sex with a man.

''He loves the Lord, homosexuality is a sin and that's not Ted,'' DeMio said. ''His desire is to serve other people and uphold the word of God. ... I don't know him well enough to give a complete character description, but I know him enough to know it's not true.''

Carolyn Haggard, spokeswoman for the New Life Church and the pastor's niece, said a four-member church panel will investigate the allegations. The board has the authority to discipline Haggard, including removing him from ministry work.

''This is really routine when any sort of situation like this arises, so we're prepared,'' Carolyn Haggard said. ''The church is going to continue to serve and be welcoming to our community. That's a priority.''


Associated Press writers Dan Elliott in Denver and Rachel Zoll in New York contributed to this report.

I'll paraphrase a little bit of Tennessee Williams (The Glass Menagerie)....

'Oh Ted, haven't you ever liked some boy?'

Reverend Ted is featured in the film 'Jesus Camp'.

A rather insightful, rational and well-put comment from a MDE discussion thread. When will people learn that Mike Hatch isn't what Minnesota needs?

Sometimes politicians demonstrate character traits that disqualify them from representing us. It happened when Jon Grunseth got caught in a swimming pool. It happened when Matt Entenza got caught in a lie.

It might have happened today when Hatch snapped and maligned women. But, I think it happened on July 30th when Mike Hatch filmed that ad outside a food plant. He stood in front of a row of trailers and told us that 20 workers lived in each trailer and how the windows were boarded up on that 100-degree day.

Hatch explained that he made the ad because he anticipated that Governor Pawlenty would bring up the immigration issue. “Ever since he made an issue out of immigration four years ago, we knew he’d do it again,” Hatch said. “And we were ready, we’ve had our ad in the can since last summer.”

Standing in front of those trailers of suffering workers Hatch said “As Governor I’ll enforce the labor laws.” Why would we believe that? As Attorney General, the state’s top law enforcer, he didn’t enforce the law. He filmed a commercial.

Some Minnesotans think the people crammed in those trailers should be arrested and deported. Others think they should get government benefits and be made citizens. But nobody wants them to suffer. Mike Hatch just let scores of them bake in the hot sun.

As Attorney General, Hatch didn’t enforce the law. But worse, as a Minnesotan he didn’t help human beings in need. He did not help the people suffering in those trailers just a hundred feet from him and his cameraman. I wonder if he would have still turned a blind eye if those trailers were full of guys named Johnson and Anderson instead of Martinez and Gonzalez. He probably would, after all he had his ad “in the can” and that’s what he cared about.

A man who uses suffering people as props to get our vote should not get our vote. Mike Hatch’s ad tried to tell us why we should elect him, but it revealed why we should not.

Binkowski's Decision: Hero or Goat?

Over at the comment section of The Big Question, Team Dump Bachmann's Bill Prendergast makes this prediction:

Binkowski, who has a very ready wit and plays the audience well. Too bad he’s IP–the IP is doomed in the 6th for the next ten years if Bachmann wins.

Loosetrife over at Mpls Upside Down agrees:

I am not a Democratic Party partisan, having voted for Nader in the last two presidential elections. This is a different game were in now boys and girls. If you are considering voting third party in this election to send a message, I ask you to reconsider on a race by race basis. That's what I am doing, and I am voting Democrat in virtually all races.

Wherever we can (and I mean "we" in the broadest possible context), let's turn out the Republicans who have allied themselves with Bush's failures and the corruption in the Republican-led Congress.

After the election, we can turn on each other like viscious dogs. So be it; that's democracy.

Imagine for a moment that tomorrow, John Binkowski, the Independence Party candidate in the 6th CD announces that he is supporting Patty Wetterling and urges his voters to follow him, stopping Michele Bachmann's attempt to further her vision of apocalyptic theocracy.

Come on John. It will make you famous, and you won't have a nut job representing you in Washington.

I also hope John Binkowski chooses to be the hero of this election.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Waiting to see if Hell freezes over....

A couple of weeks ago I got a postcard from the state GOP party, wondering when and how I would be volunteering this week to help with GOTV efforts.

After pondering some (in)appropriate written responses, I decided instead to just throw the card away.

Tonight, November 1, less than 6 days before the polls (finally) open, I get a phone call from the state Republican party, asking the same question. I advised the caller that maybe Hell would freeze over first. I hung up the phone and refocused my attention on 'The Long, Long Trailer' on TCM, starring Lucy and Desi.

2006 was the first year in a long time when I haven't gone to a precinct caucus. Last spring, as I considered the likely candidates in the general election, it seemed to be intellectually dishonest of me to go to any party's caucus and pretend to agree that any one person or party was correct about everything.

If I'm getting calls and postcards from the state GOP party, they're working the bottom of the list to try and find volunteers, because I haven't given $ or shown interest in quite a while.

Go solicit the evangelical churches, folks. Meanwhile, I'll wait to see if Hell freezes over.

Rick Mulkern, Another PRTista Candidate

From the PiPress's endorsement of Mee Moua:

Rick Mulkern, a Republican and first-time legislative candidate who chose to run against Moua not so much in disappointment over her time in office but, largely, to give her someone to come up against on the ticket. He sees a no-new-taxes commitment as a step in the right direction, wants to reduce crime on St. Paul's East Side and turn the transportation focus away from trains and toward personal rapid transit.

Rick Mulkern also promotes lawn sign deja vu.

For two years, I've asked reporters and editors in the Twin Cities to explain to voters what PRT really is (or isn't). The reply I usually got is that PRT was not going to be a campaign issue or that PRT was only supported by candidates with no chance of winning.

As it turned out, PRT is a campaign issue in several races and in at least three of those races, the Sixth Congressional District race, Senate 52 and the House 16b race, PRTistas Michele Bachmann, Ray Vandeveer and Mark Olson have a pretty good chance of winning.

Would voters be less likely to vote for a candidate like MIchele Bachmann if they read that she sponsored legislation and promoted a ridiculous boondoggle?

The irony is Senator Mee Moua and her colleagues Senator John Marty and Senator Satveer Chaudery once promoted PRT. It would have been useful to progressive DFL candidates if they came forward and explained why and how they were fooled into promoting PRT.... there is still time.

Another LTE About Hennepin County's Best Friend

The New Ulm Journal ( has been posting a lively variety of letters to the editor about all of the upcoming races.

Letters in favor of Brad Finstad seem to mostly come from those who appreciate his pro-life voting record.

Then we have this letter......

Where was Finstad?

TO THE EDITOR: This morning (Tuesday, Oct. 24), after enjoying my New Ulm Journal, I picked up the Marshall Independent. Seeing their Voter’s Guide, I turned the pages eagerly to find out how our candidates, Finstad and Skillings, had answered their questions. Mr. Skillings had very thoughtful, pertinent answers for the problems of our district. I was impressed!

But where was Brad Finstad? Where was he? I looked all over the paper. Then I saw a note that Mr. Finstad had failed to respond to their questionnaire. What could be more important than communicating with his constituents? What could take him away from our needs and concerns?

This isn’t the first time Brad Finstad has been “absent without leave.” He missed 89 votes he should have made as our representative. I’m sure they were saying “Where is Brad Finstad?” up there at the capital. He musta been off with Mr. Pohlad working on the details of the stadium bill. That Finstad Stadium Tax bill was mighty complicated. He musta had a lotta help with it.

You know, I think it’s time to elect Bob Skillings, so he can get to work for us. Then we won’t have to worry about “Where’s Brad Finstad?” He’ll be right where he wants to be — with Carl Pohlad and all his wealthy buddies, in expensive suites in the Stadium That Finstad Built.



Video of Keith Ellison Speaking Out Against Legislation Prohibiting Same Sex Marriage

Rep. Keith Ellison's eloquent defense of the rights of minorities against a bigoted majority:

I have a wife and two children and I agree with Keith Ellison.. my marriage has not been effected by the marriage of same sex couples.

I've contrasted this video with another video of that House debate featuring Mark Olson at the Dump Mark Olson Blog.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tammy Lee and the Choice Issue

Almanac on TPT last Spring.

Tammy makes a big thing about her campaign being about a "third way" on the abortion issue.

"I oppose abortion in the second and third trimester. I support a woman's right to choose in the first trimester - but I want to give women other options besides the abortion choice."

I don't know any people who are pro-choice activists who want abortion to be the only option for women at any stage in pregnancy.

Is there anything where Tammy is on the radio or quoted on this issue that is more recent? She may have changed her position on this issue since the Almanac interview. I haven't seen her questionaires that she filled out for the women's organizations. I am on the board for the Minnesota Women's Political Caucus - but we are an affiliate with the National Women's Political Caucus which did the endorsement. I did let our local board know of the Almanac interview on this topic.

Both NARAL and Planned Parenthood have endorsed Keith Ellison.

The Blogger Panel at the Humphrey Institute

Mark Gisleson wrote it up at Norwegianity. He has a snarky comment about the Drama Queen.

Then the elaborate dance around the elephant on the panel began. Eric Black introduced Michael Brodkorb and Joe Bodell as bloggers who have broken stories. Needless to say, that grated on my ears.

FWIW, I don't know if Michael Brodkorb has ever broken a story. PR flacks don't break anything but wind, and when you're paid by the Republican party and a PR firm you have a choice of being called a flack or a spokesperson — blogger shouldn't be on the list of options. Taking dictation or copying text from emails is not journalism, it's flackery.

Brodkorb broke the Entenza/Hatch story. I think calling what he does "investigative reporting" is exagerating it a bit.

I got a bit tired of Eric Black and David Carr talking about how the media are getting attacked about bias all the time. So I asked commented that my criticism of mainstream media was not bias, it was that reporters all too frequently didn't go beyond press releases and talking to campaigns. My experience is that I rarely get good information from a press release or campaign information by itself. If I want to get better information I will call some third party sources. This rarely happens.

I also said that I was disappointed the Strib didn't have reporters at DFL and Republican Senate District Conventions. Ken Avidor and I went to the one in Blaine - but there were a number of these.

UPDATE: Michael Brodkorb commented he has broken much more than the Entenza-Hatch story. That's true. He has broken other stories - many about Keith Ellison. Keith Ellison and the Parking Tickets. Keith Ellison and the 911 calls. I believe Powerline did a series on Keith Ellison and CAIR - but Brodkorb posted alot about that one too. Then there were the series of stories about various DFLers sending emails for fundraisers from work email addresses. Brodkorb is a media consultant, so he has the contacts to get the mainstream media to pick up on his stories.

He also posts lots of press releases, and full text articles from newspapers on his site. His site is the best when it's original gossip, the worst when it's just the press releases.

Joe Bodell asked if the video would be posted on youtube. There was nothing worth posting, so that tape has been taped over so that Ken can use it to cover the Andover 6th District debate tomorrow. Sorry Joe - the panel just wasn't the type of thing that makes for great youtube moments the way Michele Bachmann testimony at Living Word does.

CD5 Race in the Pioneer Press

The pioneer press had a great, and actually objective, article about the race in the 5th. You can read it here.

Meanwhile, others focus on episodes from the late 1980s and early 1990s — examples that seem to belie Ellison's "18-month" claim.

"It's kind of a 'I didn't inhale' answer,'' said Minneapolis lawyer Marc Berg, who knew Ellison in law school. "He had something of an alignment with the Nation of Islam for much more than 18 months."

When Ellison's black law students' group intended to bring Kwame Ture, the former Black Panther Stokely Carmichael, to campus, some Jewish students met with Ellison and others to try to persuade them not to invite him.

"Who we invite is none of your business," Berg recalls Ellison saying.

In the speech, Ture accused Jews of collaborating with Nazis as prelude to establishing the state of Israel — an accusation that then-university President Nils Hasselmo called "deeply offensive."

I reposet this because my computer is messing up the formatting everytime I post. -djd-

The Keith Ellison Rumor Mill Tries to Smear Tammy Lee

I have been told by friends working for Ellison the following falsehoods:

1. Tammy Lee is anti-choice.

This is simply not true. She is Pro-Choice which is a prereq for endorsements from the Minnesota Women's Campaign Fund which has endorsed Tammy.

2. Voting for Tammy will result in Alan Fine being elected.

This is a plain lie, but what should we expect from Keith Ellison? The facts are this:

In the Fifth District, Republican congressional candidates have performed in the low to mid 20% range in the last three elections: 2004-25%, 2002-26%, 2000-23% (Source: Minnesota Secretary of State voting records ). Even if Tammy Lee and Keith Ellison split the remaining 75%, they still would beat any Republican running in the district.

Furthermore, there will surely be a lower percentage for the Republican candidate as many pro-choice, pro-GLBT equality Republicans have crossed the asile to support the Liberal Tammy Lee.

It is time for Keith Ellison to tell his supporters to stop spreading lies. It is truly a sign of weakness.

**Note: I do support Tammy Lee. I will be voting for Tammy Lee. I am not paid or prompted by any candidate, committee or party to blog on these issues. I do it because I care about Minneapolis and Minnesota.**

Monday, October 30, 2006

Craig Westover and the Pioneer Press Editorial Board Eating Crow

Craig talks about it here.

Michael McIntee from Inside Minnesota Politics did a podcast about this.

There's also the issue about whether Craig Westover is sole author on some of these Pioneer Press editorials.

Mike Burbach, editorial page editor, took responsibility for the correction.


The campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives seat from the 2nd District of Minnesota has been edgy on both sides, but in our opinion page endorsement of John Kline on Friday we erroneously reported that the Coleen Rowley campaign had produced a misleading negative video tying Kline to Washington corruption.

Although it includes Rowley campaign graphics, the video we referenced was neither produced nor endorsed by the candidate or her campaign.

It was created independently. According to the filmmaker, it was shown to the campaign, which declined to use it because it was "too negative." The filmmaker contends the video is accurate, not misleading. The video remained accessible on YouTube Friday, posted by the filmmaker and not the campaign, and it was not linked or referenced on the Rowley campaign Web site.

Attributing the video to the Rowley campaign was our error.

— Mike Burbach, editorial page editor

Developing. . .

Do ya think he wanted to get a "Dump Stenglein" sticker?

Yup, this is how much Mark Stenglein cares, about the impact on taxpayers, of increasing our taxes to pay for the new stadium.


I was just listening to a replay of Sunday night's US Senate debate.

Mark Kennedy was asked whether the values of the GOP majority in Congress reflect Minnesota's values, in light of financial and sex scandals.

Of course, he said yes.

Has he heard about Republican Rep. Bob Ney, who won't resign his seat despite pleading guilty in the Abramoff scandal?

Does Kennedy believe that not allowing amendments on the House floor, and having Republican-only committees secretly craft bills in the dead of night reflect Minnesota values?

Does Kennedy believe that running up a huge deficit and out of control earmaking of bills reflects Minnesota values?

Does Kennedy believe that not even voting on most of the appropriations bills before the mid-term elections reflects Minnesota values?

Mark Kennedy has a different view of Minnesota than I have.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Cat and Kitten Video

Youtube is great for these.

And another about a fun kitten named Moos: