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Thursday, November 29, 2007

If Annette Meeks' Lips Are Moving, I Guess It's True

That great original thinker, Star Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten served up a breathless report on a 'new' initiative led by Annette Meeks:

By Katherine Kersten, Star Tribune

Last update: November 29, 2007 – 9:24 AM

The conservative movement in Minnesota is on life support -- or so the common wisdom goes. Lots of folks predict that the 2008 elections will pull the plug.
So why is conservative activist Annette Meeks brimming with optimism? She is launching a new organization, the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, to lead the movement's charge into the future -- and she believes that the future is bright.

Is Meeks whistling in the dark? After all, liberals dominate the Minnesota Legislature and the state's constitutional offices, while our center-right governor held on by his fingernails in the 2006 elections.

"I'll bet there are more Minnesotans who call themselves conservative, libertarian or free market today than in 1980, when Ronald Reagan was elected president," Meeks responded. "But people are dispirited because they conflate election cycles with the health of the conservative movement, and they get their news from the Chinese water torture -- the steady drip, drip -- of the liberal media. The conservative movement transcends that. It's a vision of personal responsibility, economic freedom and limited government."

The 2008 elections are not her focus. "I care more about shaping the size and scope of Minnesota government over the next decade," she said.

Meeks, my former colleague at the Center of the American Experiment, calls her new organization a "think tank with muscle," and says it will focus solely on state issues. "We won't solve the problem of Social Security privatization or ending the Iraq war here in Minnesota," she said. "We're going where the real action is -- we're going local."

The Freedom Foundation's mission is to provide intellectual ammunition for center-right ground troops in the war of ideas. It will arm legislators with information about innovative, free-market solutions to problems like crime and traffic congestion.

It will do "aggressive outreach" with the media. "We'll be a rapid response team when legislators make outrageous claims," Meeks. said. "We'll say, 'Stop, the data don't support that.'"

The foundation's website ( will soon guide citizens through the labyrinth of state and local government finances so they can learn where their tax dollars are going in order to judge the credibility of cries for ever-higher taxes.

"Most Minnesotans are happy with our quality of life, but the debate at the Legislature is always about spending more money," Meeks said. "If you listen to some legislators, you'd think we're spending down to the level of Mississippi, with services to match."

Annette Meeks was a vocal supporter of the Hennepin County Twins Stadium swindle, so she has no credibility when it comes to lecturing the rest of us about keeping government small.

Put your stone tablets away, Annette. We're not interested in your pearls of wisdom.