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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Why Does Mike Hatch Get Included In Likely Coleman Opponents?

From the Fix:

Minnesota -- Norm Coleman (R): Coleman is the Republican that Democrats love to hate. Maybe it's because he was a former Democrat, maybe because he pulled off an unlikely victory over Walter Mondale in 2002 following the death of Sen. Paul Wellstone (D). Whatever the reason, beating Coleman will be a high priority for Democrats in 2008. Comedian Al Franken (D) has long insisted he will challenge Coleman, but it remains to be seen whether the entertainer will follow through on his boast. National Democrats may be hoping that he stays out, as a figure as divisive as Franken could well ensure Coleman a second term. A number of other Democrats have been mentioned: Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Rep. Betty McCollum, wealthy attorney Mike Ciresi and 2006 gubernatorial nominee Mike Hatch. Coleman is bracing for a fight; he had $1.8 million on hand at the end of September.

2 years is a long time away.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Rae Hart Anderson's Wacko Email to Chaudhary

Mark wrote about this a few days ago. The WCCO Story is on the web.

This I found interesting:

WCCO-TV tried to contact Anderson Thursday, even coming out to her Shoreview, Minn. home, but she never returned our calls. Later in the afternoon, Anderson's former campaign manager, Barbara Black, told us Anderson wrote the e-mail because "Chaudhary is not Christian, and he needs to find his soul."

The campaign manager sounds worse than the candidate.

Nooz of the Weird


Brazilian student Cassia Aparecida de Souza, 18, holds her cat Mimi together with what Cassia claims are Mimi's own offspring born with dog traits last Friday, three months after mating with a neighbour's dog, in the southern Brazilian city of Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul state, November 15, 2006.

You can see a photo of the happy mother here.

PASSO FUNDO, Brazil (Reuters) - Geneticist Adil Pacheco took blood samples on Friday from three puppies in a poor neighbourhood in Passo Fundo in southern Brazil to settle a dispute over a claim they were born from a cat.

"It's rather simple really. If the puppies prove to have 78 chromosomes, they are dogs. If they have 38, they are cats," said Pacheco, director of the Institute of Biological Sciences of the University of Passo Fundo.

"But I seriously doubt they are feline. Every characteristic about them is canine."

Cassia Aparecida de Souza, 18, said her cat Mimi had given birth to the three puppies as well as three kittens, which did not survive. And she, her husband Rogerio Jorge da Silva, 26, and several others in the town believe a neighbourhood mut named Dog is the father of Mimi's pups.

Hat Tip Pharyngula.

House Minority Election Tomorrow

It should be interesting over at the capitol.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Local Bloggers Featured on Blog House

Thanks to Tim OBrien for asking me to write election analysis for last week's blog house.

Flash from Centrisity had the best analysis:

Flash at Centrisity (1): Mike Hatch was the best hope for the DFL. However, I couldn't come up with a single scenario where Tim Pawlenty would lose. To Joe Average Voter the governor is simply "too nice of a guy" who was doing a "good job." Add to that a flank from the left by Peter Hutchinson, and the numbers were tough to find for our attorney general.

So both our state and nation will have Republicans in the executive chair. Two-term President Bush and two-term Gov. Pawlenty now have to deal with Democratic majorities in both chambers for the first time. The president has talked about being a "uniter, not a divider." The governor shared his desire to "work together" for a better Minnesota. It's time to put the rhetoric away and acknowledge the mandate. People didn't merely want change, they demanded it. A true leader will acknowledge that reality.

My colleagues on the right love to tout the strong leadership and strength of the governor and president. I now expect to see that from them. But, just as important, the Dems have a responsibility as well. They now have two years to show the state and the country they were right all along. They need to make wise choices within a limited time frame. See, two years isn't very long, and much more will be at stake then.

Michael Brodkorb also had an insightful contribution:

Bloggers, armed with wireless-enabled laptops and digital cameras, have cemented their role in the political landscape. They have transformed the political news cycle to a minute-by-minute flurry of posts and counter-posts. Candidates running for office in '08 will need to have a specific strategy for working with bloggers and communicating with the blogosphere.

Candidates and campaigns who think that bloggers are living in their parents' basement watching "Xena" reruns while eating Hot Pockets will find themselves sitting at home on election night -- just like Matt Entenza.

I think what has happened with the internet, is there are alternative ways to get messages out there. Mainstream media is no longer such a gate keeper for messages as it has been in the past. I think editors are threatened by this.

I am one of those bloggers who does not own a laptop. I have never been able to get the live blogging thing down. I do better just going to an event and coming home and writing my impressions of it. I also will read a newspaper article or blog entry and responding to it. That is what I did participating in the verious E Democracy political lists, and is what I do when I blog.

Gee, I wonder why she lost?

In last week's race for the Minnesota Senate District 50 seat, DFL incumbent Satveer Chaudhary soundly defeated a Republican challenger, Rae Hart Anderson. WCCO reported that Ms. Anderson never made the courtesy call to concede the race, but rather sent Senator Chaudhary, a Hindu, this e-mail:

Concession E-Mail From Rae Hart Anderson
Sen. Satveer Chaudary, a practicing Hindu, was re-elected in District 50 last week. Rather than call, his Christian opponent Rae Hart Anderson offered him an e-mail concession that he said read more like a sermon. The following is the text of that e-mail message.


Congratulations on winning the District 50 senate race. Your phone is "busy" doubt with good wishes!

I've enjoyed much of this race, especially the people I've met...even you! I see your deficits--not all of them, and your potential--but not all of it. Only your Creator knows the real potential He's put in you. Get to know Him and know'll be more interesting even to you!

The race of your life is more important than this one--and it is my sincere wish that you'll get to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He died for the sins of the world, yours and mine--and especially for those who accept His forgiveness. His kingdom will come and His will be done--on earth as it is in heaven. There's more....I love belonging to the family of God. Jesus is the way, the truth and offers His life to you and each human being. Pay attention...this is very important, Satveer. Have you noticed Jesus for some moment in time, yet???

God commends His love to us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

Death came upon all and was defeated by the superiority of Jesus' life and His tomb is empty. God in Christ is reconciling the world back to Himself, with offered forgiveness--this is one choice we get to make nose to nose with the living God--fear Him and you need fear no other. Become His family and know the love of God that passes knowledge. See Isaiah and the Gospel of John...good reading while waiting for fishes to bite.

God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 3:17

Jesus Christ lives in His earth family by His Spirit. He said He'd be back, and He said it first. You could invite Him to make the race of your life 'eternal'. God waits to be gracious to each person that knows they need to be forgiven. Do you? I think you do. Just ask. Christ won eternal life for you and said so. Take Him at His Word. Take some time to get acquainted with this power-filled Jesus...God with us. You could be a temple of the living God, by invitation---yours, TO GOD. :) There's nothing like belonging to Christ...not winning, not money, not's the best.

Good wishes and better wishes...until you wish for the best!

Rae Hart Anderson

Switch the scenario around, and think about the reaction if a Hindu had written a comparable message to a Christian.

Oh my.

Tacky Move by Keith Ellison


While his fellow incoming freshman were attending a private White House reception with President Bush Monday night, Rep.-elect Keith Ellison had what he considered a more important appointment to keep.

"I went to the AFL-CIO reception, because I wanted to meet and greet leaders of labor, and get to know them," Ellison, D-Minn., said in an interview during a break from freshman orientation Tuesday. "Those are the people who I came here to support."

"It wasn't even a close call," added Ellison, who is replacing the retiring Rep. Martin Sabo, a Democrat. "Maybe one day I'll get to meet the president. He's the president, and I respect him in his role as the president, but I have exceedingly sharp differences with him on a policy level."

Ellison is one of four new lawmakers who will represent Minnesota next year. He'll be the first black lawmaker from Minnesota, and the first Muslim to ever serve in Congress.

I'll be writing Keith Ellison about this one.

Even on the leftist Democratic Underground, not all were happy with Ellison over this one:

It isn't about picking Bush over the Unions - it is about diplomacy and having to still work with the White House to get things done.

Keith Ellison is a newly-elected freshman congressman and this reception is a traditional event that the White House hosts for the incoming electeds.

What I am concerned about is that he was the only one to not attend and I think that makes him look bad - he is the new kid on the block with no political capital to be spending and his first act is to reject a friendly gesture just because he doesn't agree with them - especially in this new era of cooperation and bipartisanship. I am all for taking a stand - but pick your battles man - it is a long fight and he will long outlast Bush and this administration.

So I my gut is that it was easier to go hang out with the AFL-CIO folks than the White House and is this how he will spend his tenure?

One person who hasn't been 'Hannitized'......

.... would be Nancy Pelosi.

The November 20th issue of Time magazine has a great one-page essay called 'My Mother, My President' by Alexandra Pelosi. The writer knows President Bush, as she followed his campaign in 2000 while working on a student documentary film.

This sentence is the essence of the piece:

When reporters like to stir the pot and focus on the catfights, they don't seem to grasp that these are two seasoned professionals working at the highest level of American government with skin so much thicker than the rest of us.

And here's my favorite parapgraph in the essay:

George W. Bush and Nancy Pelosi both know that if you want to breathe the rarefied air at the highest echelons of the US Government, you have to ignore the media buzzards. When I was watching Fox News recently, and she (Nancy Pelosi)walked into the room, I had to explain that Sean Hannity was spending the month leading up to the election warning America that Speaker Pelosi would destroy this nation. She asked, 'Which one is Hannity?'

That's the best 'who are you?' quote since the 2004 Vice Presidential debate, when Dick Cheney looked at John Edwards and wondered aloud if they'd ever met in the US Senate chambers.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mark Olson Should Resign

Former Speaker Sviggum says that if he's convicted, he should resign. I think he should resign.

Hennepin County Taxpayers Targeted

After the Stadium boondoggle, Target is approaching the county with their hands out to feed at the public trough - er for a "tax abatement." The practical effect of this is to increase Hennepin County property taxes for others. Outraged taxpayers can call Target's media department for comment.

CONTACT: Target Corporation
Susan Kahn (investor)
Cathy Wright (financial media)

From the strib:

The county reaction

County officials have reacted cautiously to the request, though Commissioner Linda Koblick has questioned whether a decision on Target's proposal had been purposely delayed until after Tuesday's county elections.

That was my thought. It's mighty convenient for Mark Stenglein to have this come up AFTER the election.

"I think there are political implications to tax abatement," she said. "There's a huge precedent ... to proceeding with this."

County Board Chairman Randy Johnson and other county officials said there was no attempt to push the issue back until after the elections -- four of the seven commissioners faced reelection, and all won handily -- but Johnson added that the proposal is challenging.

"It's an exciting concept and project, but they're asking for a lot," he said. While Johnson said that Target had not directly told him the project's fate or size might hinge on a county property tax abatement, he added that "they've suggested it [and] they've hinted at it."

Commissioner Mike Opat, whose district includes the project site, said that while it is unclear how much property tax abatement Target is seeking, the company had not told him that the project hung in the balance. "It's a new world order for us," Opat said of tax abatements. "[But] I'm very receptive to it. I want to help them, but make it reasonable."

Target officials did not elaborate Friday on their reasons for requesting the county tax abatement, but in earlier correspondence with the county, a company representative said Target was "only seeking a relatively modest participation by Hennepin County." Peter Kitchak, a real estate adviser for Target, added that "the long-term return for Hennepin County from a proportionately small investment is very significant, particularly when measured against other 'suburban style' development."

According to county records, Target approached Hennepin County last spring, about five months after the company's plans in Brooklyn Park were disclosed. In an Aug. 24 letter, Jill Alverson, the county's director of taxpayer services, said that Target had originally requested "a decision from Hennepin as soon as possible." But Alverson, in the letter, said the company had changed course and "was not seeking a decision from Hennepin County until early 2007."


Taxpayers pay the bill

Shame on Target Corp. for waiting until now to ask for a tax abatement for its Brooklyn Park project. Hennepin County is now being held hostage by a major corporation wanting more help from the taxpayer.

Where does Target think the county will make up those missing dollars? Is it providing that many high-paying jobs to people to make up the difference?

No, the taxes will come from the great swath of middle class in Hennepin County who are already being strangled by high property taxes.


Nick Coleman has a good column about this.

Once upon a time, companies like Target were ashamed to ask for handouts from a government that had kids to feed and libraries to run and cops to hire. Thankfully, we no longer live in hard times. The welfare queens and their babies -- it's always, "Feed me, wah, wah, feed me!" with these kids -- have been kicked off the welfare rolls to make room for worthier recipients.

Still, I think Brooklyn Park and Hennepin County should go a lot farther for Target than they have offered so far. For example, that whole "Brooklyn Park" name is way stupid and outmoded. It's not Brooklyn, and it's not a park. How about showing a willingness to please? How about calling your town Target, Minnesota?

And when will Hennepin County stop being stingy to corporations with their hands out? Forget about forgiving taxes for Target. Let's start GIVING taxes to Target!

The way this cumbersome abatement thing is proposed now, Target would be freed from property taxes while homeowners and other businesses would pick up the slack. That's too complicated. Let's be bold! Let's put a "Target Tax," a big one, on everyone. That way, we can take pride in being "Targeted" and be happy our money is shipped straight to Target! That's the kind of people we are: Happy to Pay For Target.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Upcoming Circus

should be like the narcicistic "where did we go wrong" hearings held by the DFL after they lost big in 1998. When did Mike Erlandson start as DFL party chair?

Someone just commented that there is already a meeting in December to approve the budget for 2007. Now that would mean that this will be a great chance to see just where our party spent all that it raised.

Now we know we're going to see a line item for ads. Chances are it will show that millions were spent on them. I want to know how much was spent on what. So, just plan on bringing that with to this meeting, the "I'll check that and get back to you on it" line will not work this year. If anyone tries that, they will probably be ripped limb from limb by the delegates. We're kinda fed up with the secrecy and condescension of what we should and should not know.

I also want to see a complete breakdown of the salaries for Party officials. There was a lot of moving and shaking up of staff this last year. Who gets paid, and how much. You may remember a while back some problems with having 2 positions for doing the exact same duties. Carey created a position for Secretary/Treasurer Tony Sutton, when Ben Golnik was doing the same basic thing. That was corrected, but what else has been happening?

We deserve to know who is getting paid, and what for. The people who made those decisions had better be ready to stand by them. This is our party, not a personal playground for someone.

With that in mind, I'd like to point out this from our Constitution and By Laws.

State Party Administration;
Section 3: State Party Officers; item B. Elections, Terms and Removals

1. The party officers shall be elected at large by the State Central Committee in accordance with the bylaws or upon the occurrence of a vacancy, as provided in clause 4 below.

2. State party officers shall not serve more than four (4) consecutive full terms in the same office. Unless otherwise provided, each party officer shall serve a two year term in accordance with the procedures established in the bylaws.

3. Any state party officer may be removed by a two-thirds vote of those present at any meeting of the State Central Committee.

4. In the event of a vacancy in the office of state chair, the deputy chair shall carry out the duties of the chair until a new state chair is elected and the State Central Committee shall meet within thirty (30) days thereafter to elect a new state chair. In the event of a vacancy in the office of deputy chair or secretary-treasurer, the state chair may appoint an acting deputy chair or secretary-treasurer subject to ratification by the State Executive Committee within thirty days after the appointment, to carry out the duties of the vacant office until a new officer is elected. The State Central Committee shall elect a new deputy chair or secretary-treasurer at its next regularly scheduled meeting or, if such meeting is scheduled within thirty days after the vacancy occurs, at the second regularly scheduled meeting after the vacancy occurs.

So, we need to confirm if there really is a meeting scheduled for December. Then we need to see where we, the party, stand with Carey. Will enough people come forward to face the wrath that I am, or will everyone be too afraid to demand accountability from our party’s leaders? I am standing up and putting it all on the line to call for a change in leadership. I believe we were lead poorly in this election, and if we were to blame the 04 elections on Eibensteiner, why the heck wouldn't Carey be to blame for the complete and total breakdown of our party over the 2 years?

Look where we were, the number of seats. The issues we pushed and that we stood for. Now look at where we are. We're now on the outside looking in, and trying to get back to standing for what the base has always wanted. In my mind, the party chair is responsible for our decimation. He stood by and did nothing as our elected officials broke ranks with us. He defended many of them. He also played to favorites at the expense of some of the finest conservatives every to don the ballots. Ron Carey asked to lead us in this election. These were all decisions he did make. We were decimated. I do not think he deserves another chance, nor any more time to screw things up.

We also need to demand hard facts on just where all the money went. Ron Carey did send out another last minute fundraising bleg on the final weekend, so chances are they spent everything they had. We just want to know where it all went, so we can have a discussion of what worked, didn't, and make requests for where it should go, next time around. We that party should have some sort of input into where the money goes, shouldn't we? Or is that all a behind-closed-doors kinda of decision?

I also certainly hope that we are not paying for a large and expensive staff at the expense of of resources for candidates. Especially if it was at one time a position or positions that were volunteer.

So here I am, risking what little of a future I had in politics, to fix what I think is wrong with my party. Will you join me? Yes, I do realize that if I fail, I will never work volunteer in politics again. Heck, I'll be lucky to not have ads taken out attacking me before this is over. There is already a steady flow of people leaving comments here attacking me, some with common knowledge, others with things only CERTAIN people would know. That's fine, bring it.

I'm not the one responsible for the decimation of the Minnesota Republican party. I wasn't the one who threw it all away to hold onto a tiny handful of seats. The party targeted people out of vengeance and not in a tactical way. We spent TONS of money to beat Dean Johnson, but let champions of smaller government go down because the odds were too tough.

Well you let the odds get tough. Education Minnesota is the DFL. Wake up. Fight them. Don’t just sit there and try to figure out another way to say it was just a bad year for Republicans. You had a whole year before this election to explain why our ideas are better. You didn't do it. You did a fantastic job of turning quotes from DFLers into ads, but obviously that didn’t mobilize swing voters to us. People didn't know what the Republican party stood for.

OK, end rant.

Mark H and I are planning to go to this to cover this for Lloydletta readers. I'm not sure whether this is the first or second Saturday in December.

Oh Woe is Me

Triple A is having a pitty party after venting about Ron Carey and the Republican losses. He's also all alone in calling out Carey.

I think this entire thing would gain some serious attention if there was someone willing to stand up to Carey, besides me. Here's a bit of a tidbit for you. They (MNGOP & all) still haven't even called me or sent me an email asking to talk. Rumor has it when I post something, they start scurrying around trying to find something out. Just who am I talking to? They really want this to go away, and go away fast. But they still have yet to talk to me. If I am so wrong, why no phone call? You do have my number.

I want to make them go away, and go away fast too, but with their tails between their legs. You know, we're a week past one of the worst elections for Republicans in a long time, and we still have yet to see out Chairman accept even the slightest blame for his leadership, or lack there of. There's been a lot of finger pointing, but that isn't what leaders do.

Actually, I think I will coin a new term, "Followship" its the opposite of leadership.

He's not happy with Mel Martinez as RNC Chair.

Anti-immigration activist blogger Michelle Malkin isn't happy with this either.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Mark Olson and the Typewriter Incident


In 1997, Olson agreed to undergo counseling to better communicate with House staff after an incident in which he slammed a typewriter on a desk. He attended two sessions and there has been no indication of subsequent incidents, a House Republican spokeswoman said.

St Cloud Times comment thread:

Franklin from Rural Minnesota
Posted: Nov. 13, at 5:48 PM

Olson has a long history of mental illness and rage problems.

About 12 years ago he was accused of throwing a typewriter at his legislative secretary. Sviggum at that time offered to go to anger management classes with him. He refused and the secretary was taken from his office.

But, the good folks of Big Lake just keep sending him back over and over again.

Smooth move people.....smooth move.

There's a difference between heaving a typewriter at a desk, and heaving a typewriter at a secretary.

KARE 11 on Mark Olson

John Croman is reporting live from the Elk River jail.

Croman also reminds us of some of the Mark Olson highlights at the legislature.

If he is convicted he could be censured or thrown out.

From the St Cloud Times comments thread:

Franklin from Rural Minnesota
Posted: Nov. 13, at 5:48 PM

Olson has a long history of mental illness and rage problems.

About 12 years ago he was accused of throwing a typewriter at his legislative secretary. Sviggum at that time offered to go to anger management classes with him. He refused and the secretary was taken from his office.

But, the good folks of Big Lake just keep sending him back over and over again.

Smooth move people.....smooth move.

Anonymous from
Posted: Nov. 13, at 6:55 PM

If he is guilty as charged, this should end his tenure in the legislature. Bullying and beating your wife (or any other woman)is not the character of a "man" in any sense of the word. Oddly enough, the citizens should be aware of the criminals (and the crimes committed) by members of congress. They should be treated for what they are: criminals.

MrAustin from St. Cloud
Posted: Nov. 13, at 8:46 PM

Poor Mark Olson,

A good Christian man like him should not have to take this from a liberal commie rag like the St. Cloud Times. He reminds me of Jesus in a lot of ways. You see, beating his wife was his way of "cementing" their strong heterosexual marriage. Keep Fighting Mark! Oh, and good luck on the PRT thing this session because I will be rooting for you (I can't wait for my own personal rapid transit vehicle).

MrAustin from St. Cloud
Posted: Nov. 13, at 9:01 PM


I agree that we need to lay off Mark Olson until we learn all the facts. We certainly wouldn't want to point out his authoring of a "Character Education" bill that among other things advocates:

The legislature encourages districts to integrate or offer instruction on character education including, but not limited to, character qualities such as attentiveness, truthfulness, respect for authority, diligence, gratefulness, self-discipline, patience, forgiveness, respect for others, peacemaking, and resourcefulness.

First we need to find the truth before we point out that Olson authored a bill to provide Violence Prevention Grants. Keep a stiff upper lip Mr. Olson and keep fighting (oops!) for CHARACTER EDUCATION.

Developing. . .

Mike Hatch Loses Votes in the Urban Core

St Paul Pioneer Press

If you want to know where Mike Hatch lost the gubernatorial election, go to the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood in St. Paul. While a Democratic wave was rising across the nation and Minnesota, it left the DFL standard-bearer high and dry here.

A Pioneer Press analysis of election returns found a telling combination along Summit and Randolph avenues: Hatch won handily, but got less voter support there than any other statewide Democratic contender in the last two elections ? even relative unknowns such as state auditor victor Rebecca Otto.

At the same time, Independence Party contender Peter Hutchinson had a remarkable finish in the neighborhood, taking as much as 15 percent of the vote in some precincts. It wasn't much in the grand scheme of a 2 million-vote election, but the shift struck the geographic heart of the DFL.

Think of it this way: To win statewide office, Democrats need a combined margin of victory of at least 150,000 votes in Hennepin and Ramsey counties. John Kerry did it in 2004. U.S. Senate winner Amy Klobuchar and most of the DFL ticket did it this year.

But for Hatch, who performed comparably with other DFLers in much of the rest of state, the Twin Cities landslide didn't go all the way down the mountain. It stopped more than 60,000 votes short. And it looks like it stopped at Hutchinson.

Shawn Towle isn't too happy, and blames state DFL chair Brian Melendez:

In 1990, many DFLers felt Hatch helped to undermine the reelection of Governor Rudy Perpich (DFL) by softening his messages in the DFL Primary and ultimately making him vulnerable to the eventual victor Arne Carlson (R). In 1994, DFL party activists felt Hatch "got in bed with the MCCL (the anti-abortion group Minnesota Citizen's Concerned for Life)" to deny then Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman (DFL) the endorsement over state Senator John Marty (DFL-54, Roseville). Further, in the DFL Primary Hatch came ever-so close to defeating Marty the far more liberal candidate in the race. Therefore, Hatch’s sixteen year history of alienating the DFL base may have been the ultimate reason for the downfall this time through.

We concur with the Nelson and Sylvester logic in their article and will also discuss the unintended consequences that may have led to this outcome. Placing emphasis on the St. Paul communities of Highland and Merriam Park or making an individual possibly responsible is a simple factor. Those communities were either represented by or adjoin the district represented by House Minority Leader Matt Entenza (DFL-64A, St. Paul). The well documented conflict between Hatch and Entenza may have had some residual effect. As did we believe in St. Louis Park where Hatch's DFL endorsement opponent and DFL endorsed candidate for Attorney General Steve Kelley (D) resides.

We checked the results in Entenza's (64A) and Kelley’s (44) legislative districts and found our assumptions to hold true. We created a spreadsheet to show the specifics. There was quite a distance between Hatch and Klobuchar votes with the average margin around 25%. As we looked deeper into the numbers we tried to access what the Democratic base vote was and since Lori Swanson (D) was closely affiliated with Hatch we singled out the other two Constitutional races. This shows Hatch underperforming the average of the Ritchie and Otto vote by between 1 and 3 percent in nearly every precinct. To view the spreadsheet click here:

Hatch's inability to cultivate support from the base of the DFL Party put him at odds throughout the election and we feel quite comfortable in placing blame at the feet of the DFL Party. In our minds the purpose of a political party is not to become a platform or a soap box for issue discussion it is to get people elected to office. The heavy emphasis on issues helps to engage people in an ideological dialogue and generate enthusiasm – which then provides the manpower for a campaign.

Because nearly every electoral position was up this election there were demands for human capital from the various campaigns and people were are picking and choosing which candidate they would like and want to work for. Hatch’s demeanor, especially as seen by DFL Party activists was not all that warm and embracing. Basically, the reason why people voted for Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) is because he is someone you would like to have a beer with and Hatch is the kind of person you want to have your back in a bar fight. There was also an organizational obstruction that even people who wanted to volunteer for the Hatch campaign were unable to get through to the campaign office or receive any direction due to of the barebones operation that Hatch had in place.

This is where the DFL Party and the combined campaign needed to step in. Now we are not trying to imply that DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez (D) is culpable in forgetting about the Governor’s race – some of the best commercials against Pawlenty this election were the paid for by the DFL with Melendez's name boldly displayed. But the day-to-day ground operations were in the hands of another individual and all together that is the DFL Party Executive Director and United Democratic Fund Director.

DFL Party Executive Director Andy O’Leary is a recent transplant to Minnesota. He hailed most recently from a stint in New York with the 21st Century Democrats, but prior to that he was in Indiana where he worked closely with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). As the United Democratic Fund Director his close ties to the DSCC were a significant benefit to the Klobuchar effort and hence the overbalanced focus on the U.S. Senate race.

Mike Hatch didn't do the retail campaigning necessary to win this thing, and didn't make the effort to mend fences with those he alienated in the past. Brian Melendez and the DFL were promoting Hatch's campaign. DFL base volunteers were not buying.

It's not the DFL's fault that the Hatch campaign chose to invest nothing in ground operations. A campaign for governor needs to have an office that is a hub for volunteers as well as a press shop. Hatch chose the TV ad only route and avoid retail politics. Pawlenty did both.

Mike Hatch defeated Mike Hatch. The real story here is that Tim Pawlenty was barely able to defeat a very weak candidate.

Both governor candidates did nothing to excite base voters.

Star Tribune Editorial Calls for Chris Stewart's Resignation

Editorial: Stewart should not sit on Mpls. school board
With website, he crossed an important line.

A relative unknown in school or other political spheres, 38-year-old Chris Stewart made believers out of many during his campaign for Minneapolis school board. A bright, articulate, self-described conservative Democrat, he earned DFL endorsement over other strong contenders and became part of a promising team of four DFL candidates.

Yet after he was elected last week, the public learned that while campaigning hard for himself and other DFL candidates, the African-American candidate also helped concoct one of the most racially charged political attacks since Willie Horton. Stewart and some friends designed a website that mimicked Fifth District Independence Party House candidate Tammy Lee's real website. The quotes and links to the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke made it appear as though Lee was running on a "white power" platform.

The site is so offensive that Stewart should not take his seat on the school board in January. This is not a call we make lightly; we had high hopes and expectations for the board member-elect. We believed he had the potential to bring a fresh, independent-minded approach to school governance. That's why the Star Tribune endorsed his candidacy in mid-October.

Now that he has admitted responsibility for the website, it is difficult to see how he can effectively lead in a district that already has serious problems with race issues. The departure of two superintendents in recent years had racial overtones. Academic disparities between white students and children of color are an ongoing challenge. And both white and black parents have questioned whether race has driven decisions about resource allocations and school closings. That laundry list of concerns means the new board and permanent superintendent must do a lot of listening and healing to move the district forward. A board member who thinks it's funny to make another candidate look like a racist can't help.

A number of politicians have been caught uttering an inappropriate word or remark when they thought the microphones were turned off. Many have made the mistake of making a racist, sexist, xenophobic or homophobic comment.

But this was not a teenage prank done 20 years ago or a single, offhanded made-strictly-in-private remark. This was an entire website with multiple links and photos that required a considerable amount of work to create. And even the most novice computer user knows that putting something on the Internet is the same as announcing it to the world; far from a private joke among friends, a website is there for all to see -- and that's usually the point.

The whole episode raises serious questions about Stewart's judgment. Doing such a thing sets a terrible example for students, and offends adults. In addition, it could have been horribly damaging for the candidate he wanted to support as early reports about the site tied it, mistakenly, to Rep.-elect Keith Ellison.

After his connection to the offensive website was discovered, a "political satire" label was slapped on it, and Stewart issued an apology. But both actions were too little, too late. Voters are sick to death of negative campaigning and dirty tricks, and this website was a big offender.

The ball is in Stewart's court as to whether he takes his seat or declines to do so; he cannot be removed by his fellow board members. He says his apology should be enough and that he intends to serve.

But the Minneapolis school system already has enough challenges without a problem of this nature hanging over its head. Stewart should step down

Michele Bachmann Not the Only Only Candidate to Benefit From Mac Hammond Endorsement

Joe Bodell and Robin Marty report over on Minnesota Monitor.

When asked for his opinion on Hammond's fundraising letter for Butler, Tim Mooney, who drafted the CREW complaint against Hammond, said "if the church just handed over the list, it would be illegal. There are, however, ways for the church to sell its list (and for the campaign to purchase the list) legally. It is not possible to determine whether the Butler campaign followed these procedures based on the letter."

In the letter about the Michigan race, Hammond tells the recipient:

...Yet, to ultimately succeed, Bishop Butler needs not only our prayer, but also our financial support.

Senate campaigns are expensive, and usually, you need the financial support of various special interest groups to raise enough funds. Keith's desire is to go to Washington with no strings attached so he is positioned to aggressively speak "truth to power." Thus, he is seeking to raise enough financial support from value voters throughout the country to wage a successful exploratory campaign.

If just those of us in the body of Christ who are familiar with Keith would actively support him financially, then his would be a voice in Washington able to speak clearly for the purposes of God. The details on how to contribute financially and the rules involved are included with this letter.

If you want to see faith-filled people who will reflect your values in government, I ask you to join me in actively and aggressively supporting Keith Butler as he pursues a seat in the United States Senate.

Butler's latest FEC report indicates more than $32,000 in donations from 40 individuals in Minnesota. This made Minnesota one of the top five out of state contributors to Butler's campaign, along with California, Flordia, Georgia and Texas, all of whom also boast large contributions from various ministries. Of the forty Minnesota donors, at least twelve can be linked directly to Living Word Christian Center.

Attempts to contact representatives of LWCC for comment on this story were unsuccessful.

Mac Hammond has a habit of doing this sort of thing. Keith Butler was a shrill candidate obscessed with - you guessed it - homos.

Sometimes, Bi-Partisanship is Bad

From a New Ulm Journal story about DFL Legislative Leadership

Rep. Brad Finstad, R-Comfrey, isn’t worried about Kelliher, who is a native of Mankato and a former Blue Earth County dairy princess.

Finstad said he’s had a great relationship with her and that he and Kelliher have helped each other out on pieces of legislation in the past. But Finstad is concerned that the new leaders might not understand rural issues. He said he wished “for more of a regional balance.”

Finstad said he thinks the session is “going to be focused on results and issues important to all parts of the state. This is the first time we have a budget surplus, so it’s going to focus more on policy and less on politics.”

Margaret Anderson Kelliher was one of the Hennepin County legislators who threw her constituents and everybody else who spends money in Hennepin County under the bus for the next 30 years, thanks to her helping out Brad Finstad on the Twins stadium swindle.

No wonder Rep. Finstad said kind things about her.


Legislator held in alleged domestic assault

Authorities were considering whether to charge Rep. Mark Olson, R-Big Lake, in an alleged incident reported by his wife Sunday.

State Rep. Mark Olson was being held in the Sherburne County jail today after being arrested in connection with an alleged domestic assault on his wife at their Big Lake, Minn. home Sunday afternoon.

Olson, 51, a Republican who was just elected to his eighth term in the House, was taken into custody without incident at the Calvin Christian School in Blaine. Blaine police had been advised they might find Olson at the location.

Olson was booked for fifth degree domestic assault, a gross misdemeanor.

Sherburne County sheriff's deputies were called to Olson's home at 5:17 p.m. by his wife, Heidi, 50, on a report of a domestic assault, according to reports. The sherriff's department would not provide additional information about any injuries or their extent. There were no other people in the home at the time, the sheriff's department said.

Olson was being held in the Sherburne County jail in Elk River and is expected to make an initial court appearance on Tuesday. The Sherburne County Attorney is reviewing the investigation for possible charges. Sheriff's officials said there was no history of police calls to the residence prior to Sunday's incident.

Ahhh, the sanctity of marriage......

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Bengal Cats on Exercise Wheel