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Saturday, November 11, 2006

More Bloodletting

Andy at Residual Forces:

And there you have it folks, all the party's resources, in the form of negative ads and media blitzes, and it was Hatch himself who beat himself. That is what my entire point has been. The way the party handled this entire election season was embarrassing. From trying to redefine Republican conservatism to handpicking which candidates will win, yes, dare I say king or queenmaking, Ron Carey blew it. The buck has to stop somewhere.

He was elected as the activist's guy. We were led to believe this guy would be accountable to us, but here we are, all bitter and feeling deceived, and this guy just comes out and says he did everything he could. With which I would beg to disagree.

Our party didn't stand up for what it means to be Republican. Our party did not hold elected Republicans accountable when they strayed from our platform. In the end, in fact it was those who strayed in order to win who were rewarded with the full resources of our party. And left in the ruins were people who never once batted an eye at being a good fiscal Republican who supported the war on terror or the idea of limited government.

Oh, and let's not forget the fact that we now have a Minnesota legislature who has promised to increase spending, raise taxes, and make government even bigger. It is really too bad the Republican party of Minnesota has just finally figured out that that is exactly what it should have been standing for, for the last 18 months. Or at least standing against.

But then again, I never wanted Ron Carey to be chair. I don't right now, and I would encourage a vote of no confidence at December’s state central meeting. He only chose to run for chair once someone else had cleared the way for his victory. Remember, that was Pulkrabek's revolution. I think it may be time for a new one here. This excuse making from Carey is laughable at best. Hypocritical if you will. Preposterous.

It is time for new leadership in this party. The time is now for someone willing to look the gathering storm in the eye and stand firm, not run for the safest place, or person, to get behind.

I understand there will be a December Republican State Central Committee meeting. It looks like it will be excellent political theater.

Chris Stewart Should Resign

I've tried to not pay attention to this issue, as I found everything about it to be skeevy. Also, I contribute to a blog about another politician, and while I hope none of my posts on that blog sank to the level of the worst of the worst on the fake Tammy Lee website, I know that perception is reality for all of us, and I'm fully conscious of what it means to throw rocks in a glass house.

That said, I wasn't running for any office on November 7th, nor do I ever foresee myself ever putting my name on a ballot (I'm not that ambitious....). I do not post on blogs using an alias.

I voted for Tammy Lee and Peter Hutchinson on Tuesday, and was happy to do it. I listened carefully to all of the candidates, and found those two most closely matched my perspective at this point in time, for their respective contests. I'm not aware of any perfect candidates who ran last Tuesday, and I'm grateful for the privilege of voting so that we can sort this stuff out. I understood the risk of a 'wasted vote', but I stand by my choices.

The race, gender, and religion of a candidate do not matter to me. I get suspect of any candidate who uses those attributes to promote themselves, or to slam an opponent.

The Minneapolis School Board, unfortunately, continues to devolve. It was interesting this year that we didn't need a primary to sort out the candidates. Not that many people stepped up to the plate. In 2004, there were twice as many candidates running in a primary.

In a public school culture where hysterical arguments can break out over Halloween, Christmas, the sexual orientation of a teacher, the book of Genesis as a science text, etc. etc, I find it particularly ironic that the underlying attitudes demonstrated by Mr. Stewart's internet activity can be tolerated in a leadership position. If somebody took a marking pen and wrote what he wrote on a bathroom wall at Washburn High School, all hell would break loose.

Resign, Mr. Stewart. If you do not, you contribute one more example to support a growing belief that the Minneapolis School Board is a dead letter office.

Do it for the kids.

Stadium Issue Hurts Legislative Campaigns

Mitch Berg has more. Terri Bonoff won her race against Judy Johnson - but the stadium vote was a constant challenge to her campaign.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Knives out for Ron Carey

Andy Aplikowski has been venting here, here and here.

Lots and lots of people from around the state are happy about my postings. I have received numerous emails thanking me for posting this information plus they have been offering many many more details on the other things that have been happening in our Republican party.

I am working to confirm some more information, but let me just say if what I have heard is true, I’d fully support calling for an emergency state central meeting to consider, as one emailer put it, “flushing the rubbish” from our party.

Stay tuned to RF for more details.

Closed Circuit to Mr. Carey: A resignation may be in order.

On another note, who should we try to encourage to be the next Chair and Deputy Chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota? Lord knows we have a lot of former elected officials now that will have a ton of free time come January.

My gut reactions are Mark Kennedy or Brian Sullivan. I can think of no finer men than those two to represent Republican values.

Oh yeah, as I said, I am working to confirm the story.

I've heard Brian Sullivan's name alot.

Here's where Andy makes sense:

I know a bunch of people out there are saying that people like me have to calm down and shut up, but I am very worried. I am actually terrified that we are going to just chalk this up as an anti-incumbant wave, and not fix our party. It is broken, and if we don’t completely change the way it works and who is running it, we’re never going to win another election in this state let alone the country. We need systematic top down change.

We need a leader to step forward and take the lead in the change. The current state of this party is fractured and dysfunctional at best. Hell, I was a failure in my BPOU, I don’t deserve to keep my position there either. I couldn’t pull my candidates together and make us all work as a team. I tried, but I failed and let the people down. My last goal is to restructure the BPOU before they run me out. Will it work, who knows, but I feel I have to try. I’m willing to accept the blame, as the Chair here, I deserve it. We lost all our races.

“A leader with out followers is just a guy taking a walk.”

The state party leadership needs to be honest too. They did fail us. There was no coordination. This wasn’t a state party acting on behalf of ALL the candidates. This party is being led by a follower. All the crap that people bitched about Eibensteiner for has just happened again, but this time we got our clocks cleaned. There were favorites played. There were candidates who were ignored and held back, and others who had the way cleared for them.

I am calling for some honesty from the party. I want them to stop, listen, and realize all the things they did wrong. The should call a summit of the BPOUs, local candidates, and major campaigns that lost and bar the doors. They should be forced to sit down and listen to all the complaints. They put all of their energy into one race, and barely won it. Meanwhile, they let everything else go and it was up to the individual candidates. Sure we have the Governor, but what good will that be? He’s all alone now. There is no one left to even try to push him to the right. Because of the tunnel vision of putting all of the eggs in that one basket, they let them steal our entire henhouse.

I called Michael Brodkorb, chair of SD 38 to get a response to all this. He said "the party should be applauded for electing a governor in a difficult climate."

Andy goes on about how "we got our asses handed to us".

Memo to Hugh, We Got Our Asses Handed to Us

I really should abide by my 24 hour blogging embargo, but…

Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty got the w. So did new Congresswoman Michele Bachman. As Democrats turn their electoral college hopes to Ohio, Colorado, and Virginia in 2008, the GOP needs to focus on Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Keeping Pawlenty in the statehouse was a very big deal.

Hugh, we got our asses handed to us here. The entire Republican Party was working on that one race, and they barely won it over the most unlikeable man ever to run for office, and I am including John Kerry. In the mean time, we lost every other statewide race and a congressional seat, the state House big time, as well as a bigger loss in our state senate.

We now have a goll darn commie counting ballots as Secretary of State. We have the mini Mike Hatch going to continue his legacy of abusing the Attorney Generals office for personal and political gain. We have a bleeding heart liberal spending freak who has never seen a spending increase she didn’t like as our state Auditor. And a dishonest and unethical Senator headed to Washington who couldn't answer a straight question with anything more than a pre-scripted poll tested talking point if her life depended on it. And what did the state party do to stop that? Nothing.

Mark Kennedy got beat because he had to go it alone, just like the others. They had no help from the state party in getting their message out. What is the message of the Republican party in Minnesota as a whole? We had a few guys running around talking about Republican issues, but not the state party. What the hell do we stand for? The people that I agreed with on the issues that mattered for their races lost last night. Yes I wanted Pawlenty to win, but at the sacrifice of the rest of the offices? I'm thrilled Bachmann won, she's awesome. But again, what about the rest of the ticket? Was it all worth it? We beat a nasty excuse for a human in Hatch that even creeps out trial lawyers, and a woman who destroyed her great career as a child safety advocate by running the most dishonest and deceitful campaign in Minnesota. Why was it so hard?

I have a terrible feeling that the RNC might have made a huge mistake in coming here for 2008. Granted no where did well last night, but having seen the carnage first hand from the inside, and watching good men thrown under the bus or ignored from day one, I have a pretty big fricking bone to pick with my party's leadership right now. A weak man keeps those who make him look weak out of sight.

There is no team here in Minnesota. They’ve shunned and silenced anyone who dares to dissent from what the leadership wants, myself included. They've even gone so far as to try to get some bloggers to quit. Well, I got some news for ya, look out. I fully understand my posts on this subject will end what little relationship I have left with the party staff and leadership and it will dry up any connections that might be left, but let's just be honest shall we? People need to know who is to blame for our complete and total devastation last night. It wasn't that each and every good Republican on the ballot was disliked, it was that each one of them was fighting it all alone and there was absolutely no coordination being set up by the party.

This will be interesting.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What HRC Did in Minnesota

They helped Democrats:

* HRC raised more than $125,000 for U.S. Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar and $20,000 for U.S. House candidate Patty Wetterling.
* HRC's Minnesota state political action committee spent $40,000 for key state legislative efforts, including the hiring of a GLBT organizer for America Votes.
* HRC contributed $60,000 — 20 percent of total cost — toward a summer door-to-door issue advocacy program of progressive coalition in key state legislative districts. One-third of the canvassers were GLBT. Through the canvassing, more than 6,000 fair-minded voters were identified.
* An HRC Youth College staff member was placed in the Patty Wetterling for U.S. House campaign for 11 weeks.
* In final week of the campaign, two HRC staff members mobilized the organization's members in support of U.S. Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar and U.S. House candidates Tim Walz and Patty Wetterling, as well as fair-minded state legislative candidates.
* The GLBT get-out-the-vote location on Election Day weekend had the most recruited volunteers of any location under America Votes.
* HRC's political action committee funded an independent expenditure campaign to contact voters by phone and mail in Congressional Districts 1 (the race between Tim Walz and Gil Gutknecht) and 6 (the race between Patty Wetterling and Michele Bachmann).

I doubt HRC's little help the fair minded candidates effort did anything to help Ray Cox, who voted against the Bachmann amendment in the house twice. Ray Cox was one of the house members who was defeated.

Joe Salmonese is making HRC into quite the partisan organization.

What HRC Will Get From Bob Casey in Pennsylvania?

From the HRC Update:

And Congress promises to be much friendlier now that bigots like Rick Santorum are gone. With your help, we raised more than $375,000 for Santorum's opponent, Bob Casey, and spent an additional $200,000 to mobilize hundreds of volunteers to guarantee Santorum's defeat. It paid off.

Here is what Senator-Elect Casey had to say about us: "HRC got behind my campaign early and has been a tremendous help. The energy and commitment they put behind our campaign was extraordinary. I look forward to working with HRC's incredible staff and membership, especially to advance hate crimes legislation in the Senate."

HRC is getting back into the issues of hate crimes legislation - an issue that many gay libertarians oppose. Will Casey sign on to overturning Don't Ask, Don't Tell which is Government Sponsored discrimination in the military?

The Santorum defeat was all about defeating Santorum rather than electing Bob Casey. Casey dissed Stonewall Democrats when they had their convention in his state.

I wouldn't expect too much from Bob Casey except that he will show up to the glitzy HRC dinners.

Minneapolis Legislators to Lead Both Houses

We will need to watch our wallets on Stadium Boondoggles.

It's Larry Pogemiller in the Senate and Margaret Kelliher in the house.

Kelliher is known for delivering a stadium tax increase without the referendum.

I talked to Bob Skillings who ran against Brad Finstad, and he said he is thinking of running again. He did very well, even though he did not defeat Finstad. Skillings also used the Stadium issue against Brad Finstad in his race. The New Ulm voters would have been better off voting Bob Skillings in, because he could have delivered projects for the district being part of the majority, rather than Finstad being part of the minority. Skillings is the type of rural legislator we need more of. Rather than looking at ways to stick it to other taxpayers for the twins stadium bill, he felt that if there was public funding for this, the whole state should support rather screwing over the Hennepin County Taxpayer.

I am personally happy with the results of the election. Governor Pawlenty can be a good check on excesses of the Democrats. It will be interesting to see if he continues with his screw Minneapolis practices.

Is the State GOP Office Even Open?

Their website has barely been updated since November 7th. There's a link to Timmy P's acceptance speech, but you still see ghoulish reminders of the rest of the losing ticket.

Maybe everybody has been at home, polishing up the resume.

We hope.

Let's Pray Ron Carey Follows Mehlman's Example

From the Associated Press:

November 9, 2006
Mehlman to Step Down From RNC Post
Filed at 9:54 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, whose party lost both chambers of Congress in the midterm elections, will step down from his post when his two-year term ends in January, GOP officials said Thursday.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because Mehlman had not yet made his intentions public.

Brian Jones, an RNC spokesman, declined to comment beyond saying that an announcement about Mehlman's future with the party would be made in the days ahead.

Democrats won control of the House and Senate on Tuesday by capitalizing on voter frustration with President Bush, the war in Iraq and the scandal-scarred Congress. Democrats also took a majority of governors' posts and gained a decisive edge in state legislatures.

During his tenure, Mehlman, 40, traveled extensively to promote the Republican agenda. When he became chairman in January 2005, he said he hoped to tighten the GOP's grip on power in Washington.

''Nothing is permanent in politics,'' he said then. ''The goal is how do you -- both in the short term and the long term -- do things to make it sustainable?''

Mehlman also said then that he hoped to expand the GOP base and help Bush enact his agenda.

Last year, Mehlman told NAACP members that the Republican Party was wrong for ignoring the black vote for decades and said he hoped the groups could restore their historic bond.

''Some Republicans gave up on winning the African-American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization,'' Mehlman said at the NAACP convention. ''I come here as Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong.''

A protege of Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, Mehlman became RNC chairman after managing Bush's re-election campaign in 2004, when the president won re-election and Republicans expanded their majorities in the House and the Senate.

Before that campaign, he served as White House political director under Rove. In 2000, he served as national field director for Bush's first presidential campaign, charged with coordinating the efforts of GOP leaders in every state.

Previous to that, he worked on Capitol Hill and practiced environmental law in Washington. Mehlman, a Baltimore native, is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.

Chris Stewart Fesses Up

The Star Tribune reports that Chris Stewart, newly elected Minneapolis School Board Member was the author behind the hate site which smeared Tammy Lee. I reported on Monday that Tammy Lee held a press conference reporting everything known and that it had been independently verified. (note the strib link has been changes twice on their site, if you get a 404 error just search "Chris Stewart" on the strib site.)

Here's how it all went down.

Avidor posted about the smear-site on Friday 03Nov2006.

The site was brought to the attention of candidate Tammy Lee and this response was issued on Sunday 05Nov2006.

Within an hour of that post, Lloydletta contributor DavidD (the author of this post) was given a tip that Chris Stewart was behind this website. With the help of some associates, I was able to make the connections between the AHS website and a phone number for Stewart Dynamics as well as a postal address linked to Chris Stewart. The next piece found was the images from google which showed the resemblence between Rahelio Soleil and Chris Stewart. After turning over all this information to the Lee campaign an independent investigator was contacted and the information was confirmed and more discovered.

After releasing the connections between Soleil/Stewart, Mr. Stewart refused comment for several days. He would not talk to the Star Tribune, the blogs, MPR or The Rake.

Since Lloydletta broke this story more information has poured in via email giving me more tips linking Chris Stewart/Rahelo Soleil. Jim at Anti-Strib found more. Additional tips have come in with evidence showing that Chris Stewart was engaged in this smear campaign using his computer at work. His employer is the State of Minnesota.

Progressives in Minneapolis are coming together to denounce Mr Stewart's actions. This is not the kind of person we want running our government. MR STEWART SHOULD IMMEDIATELY RESIGN FROM HIS NEW POST ON THE SCHOOL BOARD. What kind of example are we setting for our children?

Eva adds: Avidor followed up with two contributors to American Hot Sausage - Here's what he said in the comments:

I talked a while ago with Chris Stewart and I just got off the phone with Mike Nagle.

They both say that Rahelio Soleil is a screen name shared by several people who may not know each other.

I can't think of anything more foolish than sharing an identity with strangers.

Mike Nagle wouldn't give me an explanation why AHS did that post on PRT and me and he had no explanation why "Rahelio Soleil" endorsed Alan Fine.

Also, posts on this blog are the opinions of the individual poster, and not the opinion of everyone on the blog.

Peg Kerr also interviewed Chris Stewart and reports on her conversation.

Avidor also asked me to let people know that he is not calling on anyone to resign.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More pics from MPR Election Night Live Web Logging 11-7-06. Photos by Michele M

Claims that People Appreciated Leadership on the Hennepin County Stadium Tax

From the Strib:

In Hennepin County, three candidates who supported a sales tax to support a new Twins stadium won by large margins.

Tuesday's voting in the state's most populous county was the final chance for opponents of the new stadium for the Minnesota Twins to vent their anger, but three of the four county commissioners who voted for the proposal -- Mike Opat, Mark Stenglein and Peter McLaughlin -- won by large margins.

"It's good to see that the voters didn't hold that against us," Stenglein said. "People talked about having a referendum, and we just had it today."

The election came two months after the Hennepin County Board, after more than a year of controversy, voted 4-3 to levy a 0.15 percent countywide sales tax. The tax, which begins in January, will fund most of the $522 million Twins stadium that will be built in downtown Minneapolis' Warehouse District and opens in 2010.

"People appreciated the leadership and let it be known at the polls," said Commissioner Mike Opat, the board's main architect for the stadium.

The DFL abandoned Greg Gray, and the Labor unions endorsed Stenglein because of the stadium issue.

How bad was Mark Kennedy's defeat?

In the Florida US Senate race, Katherine Harris, the reviled Republican candidate, pulled 38%, the same as our own Mark Kennedy.

Katherine Harris was considered such a gadfly, she didn't even have the official support of her own state party.

Mark Kennedy, on the other hand, had the ardent support of Ron Carey, Minnesota Democrats Exposed, and lots of outside money.

And his result was the same as Katherine Harris.

What's next for Ron Carey?

Net loss of one seat in US House representation
Two GOP incumbents won easily over not-so-great opponents
Bachmann kept a seat in the GOP column, beating somebody who is not a politician
The Governor barely won against a marginal DFL candidate

Mark Kennedy had his ass handed to him.

State constitutional offices - all DFL
Minnesota Senate - the DFL grew their majority
Minnesota House - the DFL took back the majority, and in a big way

The size of the Republican disaster in the Minnesota Legislature is the biggest surprise for me. The national and foreign policy issues really dominated this election season, so state races didn't get so much attention.

They can blame it all on anti-Bush, anti-war fervor, and that is certainly true to some extent. On the other hand, people like Ron Carey present unshakeable loyalty to the White House, so there you go.

My own theory is that in the past 12 years, Republicans at all levels have shown a lot of skill at winning elections, but they haven't done a good job at governing once they're in office. Maybe the general public finally put it together yesterday.

Musgrave/Paccione Race to the Wire

Denver Post:

4th: Close race in GOP country
By Kieran Nicholson
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated:11/07/2006 09:55:10 PM MST

The hotly contested race for the 4th Congressional District appeared to remain tight going into Tuesday's voting, as neither major candidate has been able to build a significant lead over the other, according to recent polls.

Incumbent Marilyn Musgrave, a Republican from Fort Morgan, and challenger Angie Paccione, a Democrat and state representative, have pounded each other with a succession of negative television ads, as the race has tilted from leaning Musgrave to virtual toss-up.

"It looks like it's up in the air," said John Straayer, a political science professor at Colorado State University.

Eric Eidsness, a former Republican who ran on the Reform Party ticket, is a third-party candidate in the race.

Going into the final weekend of campaigning, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee pumped $500,000 into television advertising behind Paccione, while President Bush stumped for Musgrave in Greeley in an attempt to rally votes for the two-term congresswoman.

The district has about 421,000 registered voters, according to state records, with 168,738 registered Republicans, 106,681 Democrats and 141,109 unaffiliated voters.

Marilyn Stephens of Loveland, a Republican, crossed party lines and voted for Paccione, she said, and her husband did the same.

"We're trying to balance the power that is in right now," Stephens said.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Minneapolis Issues on Tammy Lee's Allegations About Rahelio/Chris Stewart


Too Stupid to Win

From Minneapolis Rumors:

Posted 07 Nov 2006 00:44 by Peter Vevang

I sign up for GOP emails on my spam account just to see what they are saying sometimes (I would never give those jokers my good email). Anyway they conveniently decided to send me directions to my polling place, twice, with a nice map outlining my most direct route. Their information was wrong. I live on the border of my precinct, and somehow the program they used is spitting out the wrong information, perhaps because the other side of the street is the next precinct. I live in Ward 1 - Precinct 5, they seem to believe that I live in W1-P4. Some Republicans may get to the polls tommorrow only to find they are at the wrong polling station. They later sent an email saying their info might be wrong, but still, who will check through that many emails to read that.

The GOP is doing voter suppresion on itself. This really cracks me up.

Kiffmeyer is over the top

From the DFL:


(ST. PAUL) 11/7/06 – A Hennepin County District Court Judge ruled today that Republican Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer was wrong in disenfranchising students at the University of Minnesota. The judge ruled that university students can use their university ID cards in conjunction with their bill for utilities provided by their landlords to register to vote.

"Once again, on the day of a major election, a district-court judge has been called in and forced Mary Kiffmeyer to stop disenfranchising voters and do her job," Minnesota DFL Chair Brian Melendez said. “For eight years, we have seen a disturbing pattern of behavior from Kiffmeyer that shows she is not fit to serve as Secretary of State. Thankfully, we have an eminently qualified candidate in Mark Ritchie, who can step in and start running the office effectively, and within the law."


Policy and a Pint

I'm on my way down to MPR/Citizen's League Policy and a Pint forum. I'm one of the guest bloggers there.

Races I'm watching:

Wisconsin Bachmann Amendment

Hennepin County Commissioners and Sheriff. I'll post more direct links to the Hennepin County Races when the results become available. I'd especially like to see my county commissioner Mark Stenglein go down.

You can also view results of state races I'm watching on the sidebar.

"Rahelio Soleil' Post on Me and PRT

A few posts before he did his number on Tammy Lee, "Raheleio Soleil" wrote this about me:

"As you might guess, Mr. Avidor is against JPods too. He has plenty bad to say about them. However, this only masks his anti-Americanism. AHS is pretty sharp and we can spot a phony a mile away. Sure, he tries to make it about creating rational public policy, but his sinister intentions are made clear by inspecting the picture of the JPod. Look closely and you'll see what really has Mr. Avidor and his liberal band of kook-aid drinkers hot.

That's right, look to the right door panel, just below the tinted window, and you'll see what really has PRT critics up in arms. It's the support our troops sticker with American colors. Yes, we're on to you liberal wackos and your hatred for the innovation of this country. Left up to you Saddam would still lead Iraq and we'd all be riding bicycles to the unemployment office. No, way buddy. We're Americans. We're right and your not."

At the time, I thought that this post was an attempt at satire, so I didn't take it too seriously... but after finding Raheleio Soleil's endorsement on Allan Fine's campaign site, I'm starting to think that this PRT post by Raheleio Soleil was instead, an attempt by Rahelio Soleil to defend Allan Fine who promotes PRT on his campaign website.

Rahelio Soleil's PRT post came after I pointed out on this blog Fine's support for PRT in this post.

I would also add that none of this PRT nonsense would be a campaign issue today if publications like the Rake had long ago done some fact-checking instead of running a silly PRT puff-piece (no longer available on the web). Tom Bartel, publisher of the Rake has been leaving comments here, so I think it's fair to ask Mr. Bartel again as I did a few weeks ago to assign a reporter to investigate the claims of PRT promoting candidates like Michele Bachmann and Allan Fine and as it now appears... Rahelio Soleil (who it now appears may also be a candidate).

Here's a letter I wrote when that ridiculous Rake article about PRT came out.

Until a major publication does an investigation of the PRT hoax, PRT will continue to be used to confuse citizens and public officials as it has for over 30 years.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


I'm a champ at getting cranky and cynical about elections and campaigns, but I have to admit that all stops when I'm handed a ballot and invited to vote.

It happened again this morning. I get a little bit verklempt when I think of the many people who have died so that we could have that privilege.

No matter your political orientation, take the 10-15 minutes out of your day to exercise your franchise. You owe it to yourself and your community.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Why is Hennepin County DFL Doing Nothing to Defeat Bush 2004 Chair and County Commissioner Mark Stenglein?

Check out this thread on the Minneapolis Issues List:
It's a legitimate question as to why the county DFL - and Nikki Carlson as Co-Chair of that, hasn't done more to take down Mark Stenglein - and also Rich Stanek - and to help the DFL endorsed candidates, Greg Gray and Juan Lopez. After all, that's the DFL unit that focuses on these races. Part of what the DFL should be doing is the opposition research, and scrutiny of the Stenglein and Stanek records. Both candidates have extremely troublesome records. Mark Stenglein has numerous questionable expenditures in his campaign finance reports, and leads one to ask whether he is converting campaign funds to personal use, and Rich Stanek's record in the police department is troubling.

One would think the DFL would be pointing out that Mark Stenglein was a Chair of Bush 2004 - something that is unpopular in his district - and an issue that hurt Randy Kelly in St Paul big time when he ran in 2005. They could be pointing out Mark Stenglein's anti-gay record.

Here's my question - what is the point of seeking DFL endorsement for a county commissioner race if the DFL doesn't do anything for their endorsed candidate? I see that Brian Melendez is having Juan Lopez materials delivered out of his house the last week before the election - but where has the county DFL been? The county DFL that is lead by Nikki Carlson.

I'm not going to speculate as to why that is.

Contact with Chris Stewart

I got through to Chris Stewart, who is running for Minneapolis School Board. He said a statement is coming out from his campaign, but he's not going to answer questions. I asked him several times to confirm or deny whether he was the blogger posting as Rahelio on American Hot Sausage.

Here's his endorsement list. The hotlink to the list is removed from his website.

Here is how the Star Tribune describes Stewart in their endorsement:

Stewart, a self-described conservative, offers a different and possibly independent voice to the board. As a state social services, job and business specialist, he has worked with low-income families and disabled citizens. That experience taught him that many social service delivery problems and homelife issues detract from educating poor kids. He could use that experience to help better coordinate all the services that support students in school.

Stewart wants to tone down the "oppositional and identity" racial politics that has plagued the district. Instead, he would focus on building orderly, well-staffed and well-run schools.

If Stewart is Rahelio from American Hot Sausage, he has quite the split personality.

His campaign blog is quite bland.

Alan Fine's Website Contains Rahelio/AHS Testimonial

Avidor points out that Fine for Congress has this on the front page:

"I trust he is smart and that his motives are pure"
Reverend Rahelio Soleil, main contributor to American Hot Sausage: A Progressive Democrat - leaning Blog. Posted July 14, 2006. Rahelio Soleil is a extremely liberal commentator and a regular contributor to City Pages, the Rake, The New Black Magazine.

Britt Robson from City Pages quickly corrects the record:

For the record, whether he is known as Reverend Soleil or American Hot Sausage, he is far from a "regular contributor" to City Pages, as apparently stated by Mr. Fine. He happens to post frequently in the comments section of Blotter, the main weblog of That's not said in support or opposition to anything AHS says or does; merely to make it clear that, despite the implication, he has never had a byline or otherwise written for City Pages.
Britt Robson

Traffic is up (almost 800 hits today) with this story.

Here's the Ellison campaign statement sent to the Pulse:

Sent to Pulse from Ellison Campaign Communications Director Bridget Cusick concerning the satiric campaign piece published on

We have absolutely nothing to do with the website in question -- we don't know the author; we don't even know his real identity. The site is tasteless and clearly goes way over the line.

As most people have witnessed over the past six months, we at the Ellison campaign know a little something about being the subject of slanderous attacks. They're hurtful, they detract from meaningful dialogue on the issues; they're bad for the District. That's why we never have engaged and will not engage in negative campaigning.

I just checked the Strib website, and there's nothing on that website.

AHS is going on and offline.


Policy and a Pint

Lloydletta's Nooz photographer, Michele M and I will be at MPR's Policy and a Pint tomorrow evening.

American Hot Sausage and DFL Candidates Shown to be Linked

The website which had published a "parody" of Tammy Lee's campaign website is linked to Chris Stewart, DFL candidate for Minneapolis School Board. Mr. Stewart is also a supporter of Mr. Ellison and has the expressed endorsement of Mr. Ellison. Since this story broke has become password protected and the Endorsements page of Mr Stewart's website has had the hotlink removed and Mr Ellison's name no longer appears on his endorsements web site. (Update: Endorsement is still mentioned in the blog I have printed a screenshot for when this disappears.) Earlier in the day a disclaimer was added to the website stating "Warning: Political satire, not associated with Tammy Lee For Congress" and now the web site is down, however, you can view the racist, hate filled site here.

At a press conference today, a former computer crimes prosecutor and investigator walked the media thru the evidence linking Mr Stewart to AHS. A series of searched revealed that photos on the bio of "Rahelio Soleil" can be linked to files titled "ahschris12.jpg" from the web page source code. AHS= American Hot Sausage, Chris = name of the person in the photo. This photo can be then linked to another which has the name Rahelio Soleil is embedded across the photo. This can then be compared to the photo of Mr Stewart and the link is shown. There are also links relating to the postal address at which was registered, phone numbers and the company Stewart Dynamics.

At the press conference, Miss Lee called for Keith Ellison to denounce this type of political smear and denounce Mr Stewart's actions. "This is the most deplorable type of smear I have ever seen in any campaign before," said Miss Lee. "It is racist and hate-filled. Not only do they attack me based upon my race, but they also attack based upon gender." Miss Lee pointed out several lines from the AHS smear site that support these claims.

George Soule, legal representative of Tammy Lee, covered the libelous and slanderous statements contained in the website and also pointed out that the links redirect the reader to racist sites such as the KKK and the Nazi Party.

Comment has come from neither the Ellison and Stewart campaigns nor the DFL.

Update: Eva adds: The Ellison campaign did comment when contacted by Pulse. I've got the Statement posted here. Also, I contacted Chris Stewart. I've got more here.

Final US Senate/Gubernatorial Debates on MPR

91.1 FM will re-broadcast the Sunday night debates held at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul. Eva and I were in the audience.

At 11:00, its Kerri Miller moderating the US Senate debate. At noon, Gary Eichten holds court with the candidates for governor.

The US Senate debate had some entertaining moments. The second one is not so interesting.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Tammy Lee's Website

A google search retrieves Rahelio's website that pretends to be a Tammy Lee website before Tammy Lee's legitimate site.

I have an attack blog that goes after Michele Bachmann. I've never tried to make the blog look like Michele Bachmann's campaign site. It's clear that the blog is intended to defeat Michele Bachmann.

While it should be clear to people that the Tammy Lee spoof page is parody, it looks enough like Tammy Lee's site (in fact the design was copied from the site), that it is confusing.

Rahelio has his free speech to say what he wants. In my opinion, this fake Tammy Lee wasn't even funny.

Hennepin County Pickpockets

This song is about the Four Horsemen of Larceny on the Hennepin County Board.

music and lyrics by Eskit

Batter UP!

Three of the Hennepin County Commissioners --
They grovel and suck up whenever they can.
Yes, three of the Hennepin County Commissioners
came up with a devious stadium plan.

Their ... plan ... was ...

Grab your wallet
Pick your pocket
Take your money and run.
"That's Okay" (That's what they say)
"As long as it's for fun."

Fun for the jet set, and you bet that Pohlad family:
They think it's great -- they celebrate -- they stick it to you and me.

Now that Pickpocket Opat -- he's no dope -- that Opat knows his friends.
A favor here, a favor there, and wow! it never ends.
Just bow down to the money downtown and then one sunny day
The Star Tribune will sing a tune that "Opat -- he's OK"

'Cause ... he ... will ...

Grab your wallet
Pick your pocket
Take your money and run.
"That's Okay" (That's what they say)
"As long as it's for fun."

Fun for the jet set, and you bet that Pohlad family:
They think it's great -- they celebrate -- they stick it to you and me.

Now that Pickpocket Stenglein thinks he's in line for some gratitude.
They were lookin' for a cash cow, and then he mooed.
"The Money" said "Honey, this just ain't funny" and so a plan was hatched:
He got our stash -- he gave 'em cash -- no strings attached.

He ... learned ... to ....

Grab your wallet
Pick your pocket
Take your money and run.
"That's Okay" (That's what they say)
"As long as it's for fun."

Fun for the jet set, and you bet that Pohlad family:
They think it's great -- they celebrate -- they stick it to you and me.

Now that Pickpocket Peter -- he's a big moskeeter -- he'll bite you in the butt.
(That Peter McLaughlin ever so often acts like a nut)
Democracy, I guarantee, puts him in a mood:
He stole our vote (that's all she wrote)
and then we all got screwed.

Watch out ... all you taxpayers in Hennepin County ... he'll

Grab your wallet
Pick your pocket
Take your money and run.
"That's OK" (That's what they say)
"As long as it's for fun."

Fun for the jet set, and you bet that Pohlad family:
They think it's great -- they celebrate -- they stick it to you and me.


Yer OUT!!

As readers may have noticed a recent post on this blog, by another contributor, linked to a "parody" website of Tammy Lee. This website has been carefully scrutinized and the Tammy Lee for Congress campaign has issued the following statement.

For Immediate Release

Ellison Supporter Blasts Lee with Hateful, Slanderous Website

(Minneapolis, MN) – Just days from the election, the Tammy Lee campaign is attacked by a supporter of Keith Ellison. In what is labeled a ‘spoof’ website, a supporter of Keith Ellison created a website that is slanderous and goes beyond the bounds of negative campaigning into hateful, race-baiting comments falsely attributed to Lee and her supporters.

The website, which is an alias of the blog ‘American Hot Sausage’, is registered to Rahelio Soleil of Burnsville. Soleil has written extensively in support of Keith Ellison’s campaign. Sources include articles on ‘The New Black Magazine’ and various other political blogs. (

The spoof website is a replica of It was first mentioned on the American Hot Sausage blog, which also included an article where Ms. Lee is falsely quoted.

“This goes beyond negative campaigning. These are slanderous, outrageous lies that constitute an unprecedented new low in negative campaigning: race-baiting, hateful comments intended to influence the outcome of this election and suppress voter turnout,” Lee said.

“The creator of the vitriolic hate piece not only slanders me and my character, but that of well-respected political leaders: Hennepin County Commissioner Linda Koblick, Former US Congressman Tim Penny, and Congressman Sabo’s District Director, Kathleen Anderson.” said Lee. “This is the absolute worst and dirtiest form of campaign attack and the people behind this piece should be held accountable and condemned by all people, including Keith Ellison, for this reprehensible act.”

The site, which is intentionally created to look just like Lee’s actual campaign web site and shows up prominently in a Google search of “Tammy Lee Congress” links to known white supremacist David Duke, the Ku Klux Klan, and other hate groups.

Links on Tammy Lee’s official site, including the volunteer sign-up, were changed on the racist site to read “Be part of our high-tech lynching! Sign up to volunteer and join our cross burning movement that starts in the 5th CD, but can sweep the nation.”

“Intentionally attributing false, inflammatory and racist quotes to someone goes beyond negative campaigning. This is not free speech – it’s slander and it’s a legal offense. ” said George Soule, legal counsel for the Tammy Lee campaign. Soule noted that Soleil and the administrator of the site, Mike Nagle, also of Burnsville, may face legal action.

“I’m outraged that anyone would choose to engage in this type of act. It’s obvious that this bomb was dropped in the final hours of this campaign in order to influence the outcome of this election. It’s wrong. It’s hurtful. And it’s damaging, not only to me personally but to all of those who are supporting my campaign, including those who are being falsely quoted with this kind of hate speech. Just today at a debate, Keith said negative campaigning hurts everyone and it alienates people from voting. It’s unfortunate that a staunch supporter of Ellison would engage in the exact thing Keith was speaking against,” said Lee.

Sources: (


Prepared and paid for by Tammy Lee for Congress.


Dear Mr. Soleil:

I represent Tammy Lee for Congress. We learned today about your post "AHS: Two-faced Tammy Turns Totally Truculant" and the false Tammy Lee for Congress website ( You are entitled to your commentary about Ms. Lee's campaign, but these materials cross way over the line.

The post's reference to Ms. Lee's "pitch is this: 'Keith Ellison is a wanton nigger, I am what you're used to'" is FALSE, MALISCIOUS, DEFAMATORY and constitutes a FALSE CAMPAIGN STATEMENT.

The false website you have created, which is linked to the your post on, is FALSE, MALISCIOUS and DEFAMATORY and constitutes a FALSE CAMPAIGN STATEMENT. The false website constitutes a FALSE statement that Ms. Lee, among other things, has urged voters to vote for her because she is white or her opponent is black, that she has referred to people of color as "spooks or coons," and that she is endorsed by the "United Association of House Negroes" and the "American Blackface Society." The false website's links also constitute a FALSE statement that Ms. Lee is connected to the Ku Klux Klan, White Power, Single Ma's Fabulous Financials, David Duke and the National Socialist White People's Party. The false website also uses design elements from Ms. Lee's website to confuse voters into initially believing that it is her own website. The fine print - "An obvious spoof" - does not remedy the harm you have created by this false website.

We demand that you take down this false website and delete the false statements in the post. If you do not, we will exercise all legal remedies available for these egregious violations.

George Soule
Attorney for Tammy Lee for Congress

Brad Finstad's Out of District Contributors

If you take a look at Brad Finstad's campaign finance report, 75% of his individual contributions come from outside his district, and 25% come from out of state. He's got a few rural PAC contributions, but most of those are concentrated in the metro also.

Brad spent a total of 1,809.15 during his pre-primary report. Of this, more than a third was unitemized expenditures. ($678.66).

Is Mark Stenglein Converting Some of His Campaign Funds to Personal Use?

Keith Ellison has gotten much scrutiny over his parking tickets, campaign finance reports and taxes. County Commissioner Mark Stenglein has gotten a free ride on these issues.

If you look through Mark Stenglein's campaign finance reports, it's hard to avoid asking whether Mark Stenglein is using his campaign money as a personal piggy bank rather than legitimate campaign expenses. Mark Stenglein's wife, Lynette Witsack, is also his campaign treasurer.

Here are some of his strange campaign expenses that make me ask these questions:

6/14/2004 $103.00 for Golf

He puts lots of gas and lots of dinner expenditures on his campaign reports.

4/2/2003 $197.60 for "gas" At Holiday Station Store
6/29/2004 $167.19 for "gas" at Twins Stop and Go
7/6/04 $119.02 for "gas" at Holiday Station Store
12/8/04 $200.56 for "gas" at Exxon Mobil Columbia Heights
6/5/2004 $600.00 for a symphony charity ball
2/3/2003 $132.66 for dinner at Erte 329 13th Av NE
3/20/2003 $108.67 for dinner at the Monte Carlo
12/24/04 Tickets for $750 with F Tyler
1/1/06-8/29/06 $110.00 to Ramsey District Court for Parking Tickets
1/1/2006-8/29/2006 $435 for Dues for the NE Lions

F Clayton Tyler is former City Council Member Jackie Cherryhomes' husband.

Here's my question. Is it ok for campaigns to report expenditures in this manner? Shouldn't they be required to justify their expenses more?

Commissioner Stenglein could clear this all up if he would produce his mileage records. As I understand it, gas and oil change expenditures would be appropriate for a campaign vehicle. If you are reimbursing yourself for campaign related driving, you should be keeping mileage records and reimbursing that way, rather than the gas.

Does Governor Pawlenty Want Creationism to be Taught in Science Classrooms?

This letter in the St Cloud Times makes this case:

Republican candidates will protect values
Alan Tims, St. Cloud

Published: November 05. 2006 12:30AM

The regional Democratic candidates have wrapped themselves in the tunic of "traditional Minnesota values." But they want us to believe that abortion is good, traditional marriage between one man and woman is obsolete and that evolution explains everything.

And what is the result of this political nonsense? We have accommodated the murder of 35 million unborn children. Hundreds of studies confirm that as traditional marriage crumbles child abuse, divorce, and poverty escalate.

And while more and more tenured professors are finding evolution lacking, our children are threatened with academic ruin if they don't buy into the party line.

Candidates Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Mark Kennedy, state Sen. Michele Bachmann, Jeff Johnson, Steve Gottwalt and Tara Westby are committed to pursuing a pro-life and pro-marriage environment, where intellectual honesty is also allowed in the classroom.

I would encourage voters to look closely at the candidates. Will they represent and protect your values or will they undermine them?

Evolution is a well established foundation of biology, in the same way that atomic theory is for chemistry. Can anyone imagine a chemistry class without the periodic table?

I agree that the high divorce rate among straight couples is a societal concern. I don't see how passing an amendment preventing gay people from marrying will help reduce child abuse, divorce and poverty.