I contacted Republican State Senate Candidate Pam Wolf, who lives in Andy's district. She said that while "I understand Andy's frustration with the DFL", this was not the way "I would have chosen to express myself." Wolf mentioned that the DFL ran a particularly dirty and viscious campaign against her.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
After trumpeting his part in authoring the "punked" racist interview Andy Aplikowski gave to Minnesota Monitor, Mitch Berg just posted two follow up items on the matter.
Over at Shot in the Dark comments:
# swiftee Says:
May 9th, 2007 at 11:14 pm
“To be clear and fair - I don’t believe Fecke to be a bad person in any way. I’m not getting into any personal attacks here.”
As well you shouldn’t..leave it to the professionals. Allow me to expound eloquent:
I got the “what should I do with this” e-mail from Andy on this too.
My response was that Andy should only do the interview if Feckless agreed to a counter interview. My sample questions included:
1. Do your testicles ever write home?
2. Does robin marty insist that you wear panties under your sundress during sock puppet meetings?
The point being this; forget bothering to explain things after the fact..from now on, leave the moonbat shredding to trained professionals (like yours truly) who have long ago given up trying to maintain a patina of civility when dealing with lefty morons.
Send all of your pinhead piñata’s to me.
Others add more:
# Doug Says:
May 10th, 2007 at 7:12 am
“leave the moonbat shredding to trained professionals (like yours truly)”
Hey not-so-swift, yelling the loudest, threathening to rip off peoples heads and resorting to editing their posts is not shredding anything.
I will say though that watching you simmering in your own delusional self-aggrandizing gravy has been invaluable to me as a human being.
# J. Ewing Says:
May 10th, 2007 at 8:12 am
Wow. A whole swarm of rabid moonbats. I guess that’s what happens when you provoke them by behaving like they already believe you are, and then saying that their belief is based on their own self-deception. That, to them, makes YOU the liar, for failing to live down to their phantasmagorical image of you. Whew! Anyone else having trouble following the logic, here?
Aplikowski still seems to think his "joke" is just a great idea.
I wonder what other NARNians such as Michael Brodkorb, King Banaian and Captain Ed think of Mitch Berg's participation in this one.
The silence is deafening. Last Friday, I sent Representative Kahn and Senator Pogemiller an email posing questions as to why the DFL decided to sacrifice GLBT issues in favor of spending and tax increases. I still haven't heard back from either of them. Below is my second email.
Hello Representative Kahn-
I am writing to follow up on my email from Friday 04May2007 regarding the choice to throw the GLBT citizens of our state, under the bus in fear of the Governor's veto. In addition to that, I am curious if the DFL will be bringing the measures up for a vote to override a veto? I look forward to a prompt response to this and the other questions posed to you.
David Joseph De Grio
I am writing you and Senator Pogemiller today to express my sheer
disappointment in you and your cauccus. You, and the DFL have claim
to be on the side of Gay Rights. You have collected money from us and
you have asked us to help get you elected. In fact, earlier this
session you and I spoke over the phone regarding this bill and the
hospital visitation and I was encouraged by your alleged commitment to
GLBT rights. Now I read in today's paper that you and the DFL have
capituated to the Governor's veto threat and removed domestic partner
benefits from a spending bill.
Why in the hell would you do that? You and your cauccus need to get a
backbone and stand up for what is RIGHT, not what is politically
convenient. Why would to stand up to9 the Governor's veto threat over
raising taxes but bend over when it comes to our rights? Is getting
money and power more important than protecting a large portion of your
constituency? I voted for you in 2006 because I thought that you
would stand up for principle, not politics. You have disappointed me,
but more than that you have lost my vote in the next election. In
fact, should I continue to reside in your district you may even face a
challenge by me, for your seat in the Minnesota House of
Representatives. I understand that you don't set the legislative
agend for the cauccus, but that doesn't exempt you from the
responsibilty to stand up and speak out against your party leaders.
What is more important, the party or the people? The deafening
silence by many DFLers shows that party is more important.
Why should we continue to support you and your party? I see no
reason. The questions posed in this email are not rhetorical, I do
look forward to hearing your response.
David Joseph De Grio
Posted by DavidD at 10:30 AM
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Drew Emmer left the following comment on Minnesota Monitor:
Andy Aplikowski does not speak for the GOP
After reading the interview my first thought was that you took Andy out and got him completely wasted and then began the interogation. When I realized that Andy was lucid I immediately felt a sense of sadness come over me.
Don't get me wrong, Andy has every right to make a complete ass out of himself anywhere he chooses to do so. But when he impunes (intentionally or not) anyone wearing a GOP jersey there's a lot more than just Andy's dignity at stake.
Whatever lapse in judgement that has caused Andy to think he has punked (punkt, whatever) Minnesota Monitor has more likely actually made fools out of those of us whose views he purports to represent.
Andy represents Andy. He doesn't represent me. He doesn't represent the opinion or character of the GOP. To suggest otherwise is almost as irresponsible as Andy's decision to partciapate in your interview.
by: Drew Emmer @ May 09, 2007 -- 10:28 AM CDT
The problem is that Andy Aplikowski isn't just a party member. He is a party leader - a Senate District Chair. Would Drew Emmer be willing to publicly call on Aplikowski to resign?
It's rather long winded, but the MOB Parrot finally gets to the point:
Last week, Fecke - in his capacity as a “journalist” for the Minnesota Monitor - sent Andy Aplikowski an “interview” - an email with a bunch of questions.
Andy is an outspoken Republican, a firebrand within the party, someone who has a vision and works for it with a tirelessness that the party needs a lot more of. Like anyone with a vision and the cojones to state it, he’s developed some detractors and enemies within the party. It’s the detractors’ loss; the perception that political parties are full of people who fret more about internal politics than about winning elections is one of the things that kills the desire of anyone who doesn’t live for that kind of thing to get and stay involved.
Andy’s first reflex was to delete the “request”; Fecke is a writer with a five year history (on his personal blog as well as the MNMOn) of antipathy toward Republicans, working for an outlet whose mission is to serve as a propaganda organ for the regional left. In retrospect, it may have been the right reflex.
But Andy forwarded the email to a group of other local center-right bloggers, including me. And in a brief burst of creativity, we concocted a number of flagrancies; a fictional groundswell for John Hinderaker to lead the MN GOP, a bunch of things that’d jump right out at a typical leftyblogger as stereotypes for the snarking, to justify much gamboling about and poo-flinging.
Learned Foot - a party to the party - sums things up fairly well:
What it was, however, was an amusing diversion; an exercise in disinformation with a rather obvious play to the preconceived prejudices of you and your audience. I mean, didn’t those references to Obama and the Imus comment seem just a little extraneous and out of context?
It was like waving our arms yelling “Yoohoo! You can play the race card here!”
Not to you people. Critical thinking jumps right out the window when you hacks see the chance to slime somebody. Hell, it never even occurred to any of you that perhaps Andy didn’t write any of those answers at all (aside from inserting typos and torturing some of the syntax to make it look more authentic).
It was a half-baked hoax - because, frankly, what’s the point of fully-baking a hoax with these people?
Fecke responded in the comments:
# Jeff Fecke Says:
May 9th, 2007 at 4:27 pm
Say what you will, Mitch. I haven’t lied to anyone in an interview. I’ve been approached by Brodkorb–less a reporter than even lil’ ol’ me, even you will agree. I declined the opportunity. Oh, I could’ve “punked” him–but that would have required me to lie.
And I don’t lie in print.
Am I a perfect journalist? No. I’m learning my craft. And given that I was running a straight interview piece, then there was nobody to check against. I wanted Andy’s opinions, and I ran them as he gave them to me. I even bent over backward to be fair, going so far as to send him a rough draft of where things were.
Why? Not because I fear being outed as liberal. I am liberal. MinMon is a liberal newsmagazine. We don’t hide that, or pretend otherwise. And if the GOP and right blogistan is not interested in being covered in a center-left newsmagazine, well, that’s fine.
But you can’t argue that I was unfair to Andy–because I wasn’t. And you can’t argue that I published a hatchet job–because in my original piece, I went out of my way not to print some of the over-the-top language that I felt Andy had inserted for shock value.
No, for all your griping, my failure as a reporter was trusting a liar, and those who helped him lie. And that is indeed my failure, and one I will learn from. And I will know next time I talk to you, or Andy, or indeed anyone on the right side of the aisle, that the odds you are telling the truth are negligible. Indeed, were I a reader of your blog anymore, that’s the lesson I’d take as well.
I don’t like being lied to, Mitch, but readers like being lied to even less. My apology will be going up on MinMon tomorrow, for passing through your lies as fact. I’ll await your apology, but I won’t expect it.
Others who helped with this appear to include Kevin Eckernet.
Aplikowski is now changing his story here and there:
I did alert the proper GOP leaders about the ordeal, and only one person was remotely concerned. A person who gives these hacks too much credit in my opinion.
No one gave me permission to do this. I simply said to a few random people that I had just done a bogus interview with the Fecker, as a heads up. Period. I acted alone in that aspect, so you lefties can put the plans for a grand jury on hold, and the righties can drop the legal defense fund.
He admonishes people to take a chill pill:
Have we got the idea yet, that this was all to out Fecker for the tool he is? that this Mini Money is a shill for Soros and the radical left that will print anything, no matter the ridiculousness of it, to harm Republicans? They make Mary Mapes look good at journalism.
Have we figured out that they are now trying to lash out at me for simply proving they are the hacks that they are? Give me a break. Fecker didn’t even use the stupid stuff until he got punk’d. Then his band of fellow Sorospherers have teamed up to make this into the scandal of all scandals, thus further making this thing seem even better than we could have hoped.
So please, take a chill pill. Realize I/we were joking around and simply using the left’s stereotypes of the right against them.
Uh oh, what’s that? The Strib is emailing? What do they want?
Hmm, what would the strib want? My question is what do others in Andy's district think about this?
Fecker emailed me last week asking me to answer questions. I thought it was a joke and shared with some fellow conservative bloggers so we could all have a good giggle. We thought it would be fun to needle this tool. So we came up with a bunch of ridiculous statements even a Strib Editorial boarder would realize was a complete joke and discard. We even threw in a few fabricated rumors to get the ho ho addicted liberal hatchet grinder paid by Soros to make a few calls to confirm and realize he’d wasted his time.
I did alert the proper GOP leaders about the ordeal, and only one person was remotely concerned. A person who gives these hacks too much credit in my opinion. After Fecker didn’t reply with a profane, ha ha you jerk kinda response, to my humorous answers, I had a good laugh, and realized he thinks I am serious. So I requested to see a draft before publishing so I could make sure he caught the snark and correct the anti-Republican Soros funded spin.
Excuse me, Andy gave an email interview with Jeff Fecke. The complete transcript is available of the interview. What did he say that was positive about the Republican party in that interview?
Lighten up everyone on the right. Mini Money is a joke, and the fact that you’re scared of them scares the crap out of me. I certainly hope Republicans aren’t too busy piddling in the corner in fear of the hack liberals to worry about propelling conservative ideas. Its time to expose the fraud known as Mini Money, and well, here, we got the ball rolling. The Soros conglomerate created this for one reason and one reason alone, to meddle with our 2008 RNC convention.
As one of my co-cospirators reassured me early on, had the party dealt with these tards early on, we wouldn’t have to do it now.
There’s more fun to be had at Fecker’s expense, so I won’t blow the whole deal. But I think some people on the right need to seriously lighten up. You give these hacks far too much credit to be scared of this crap. And you’d be far better served joining in exposing liberals for the hacks they are, no matter if they hide behind a phony code of ethics.
Fecker left out a lot of very pro-Republican content, because it did not suit his needs and fit his agenda. A paid political operative is an operative all the same. What they say is tainted by the money that pays for their words and where it appears, and it can no longer be trusted as objective. I don’t care who pays who, when a blogger takes money to blog, they obviously have sold their objectivity and credibility as well.
I don’t think Ron Carey was a good MNGOP Chair, and I don’t think he should be reelected. That should be no surprise to anyone. The entire point of this was to expose that these lefty bloggers and operatives far too often get away with calling themselves moderates and impartial when they are fringe leftists hell bent on pushing their agenda.
Unless we on the right can deal with that, we’re screwed, because MoveOn is actually taken seriously now by far too many. If someone doesn’t expose the Mini Money hacks for what they are, so they won’t be taken seriously by voters, um, well, we’re screwed come November 2008, who ever is Chair. They are trying to create a new media outlet that fools people to trust what they say.
Andy added at the end:
Closed circuit to Eva Young: Stop calling me. Don’t ever call me again. I do not want to talk to you. I won’t talk to you. You’re an even bigger hack and clueless partisan hachet grinder than the Mini Money folks.
I was calling Andy for comment and to verify he really said these things. I hope other reporters will follow up and call Andy Aplikowski.
Posted by lloydletta at 12:45 AM
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Minnesota Monitor has the full transcript:
I am a bit worried about your boy Obama though. He used to worship that Allah, and his middle-name is Hussein. Coincidence????
Those kind of people are nuts, and the last thing we need is another Muslim in DC, let alone the White house. Ellison is enough. It scares me to even think about what he is sending thru CAIR to bin Laden and Iran. I bet Obama would sign a new NATO-esque agreement with Syria and Iran and attack Europe and Israel.
Anyone but a Democrat I suppose would be just dandy. Unless Shrillary could shed about 50 pounds and drop the sourthern twang. Then, well, maybe. I would just love to see how Slick Willy sneaks ‘nappy headed hos’ into the Oval Office behind her back now.
Go read the full transcript. There's more there about a Pawlent [sic] dunk tank, and some bizarre statements that MOB bloggers would be able to take out Coleman if he doesn't be sufficiently pro-Iraq war in votes in the early fall.
So what was funny about this "joke" cooked up by Andy Aplikowski, mayor of the MOB, and other MOB bloggers like Mitch Berg?
Many Republicans have made a huge deal about Al Franken's jokes.
UPDATE: MN Publius has weighed in on this.
Punk’d - Tee Hee
Posted by Andy on May 8th, 2007
I love it when lefty rent-a-bloggers take the bait hook line and sinker.
More later, but let’s all just relax and realize I was toying with the George Soros DFL hack.
Aplikowski's link to KAR and Eckernet didn't lead to anything interesting. His link to Mitch Berg went to a post that suggested Berg is supports Joe Repya in the party chair race, though he puts careful caveats about staying neutral.
Ron Carey is, of course, running for re-election. He was dealt a bad hand in the last election; it was a bad cycle to be a Republican. A lot of my good friends support Ron; I think the party could do worse.
Colonel Joe Repya is also running. He’s an intrigueing possibility; a natural PR whiz, of course, but most of all a leader in both the military and Reaganesque senses of the term, a guy with a vision and the ability to convey it. If elected, he just might help counteraction some of the “passion fatigue” that’s been afflicting the hordes of volunteers that the GOP depends on. This is nothing to sneeze at; while the DFL rents people to do the door to door work (like they rent their bloggers), the GOP uses volunteers - people in it for the love of the cause - for both. And volunteers stepped up in ‘98, ‘00, ‘02 and ‘04 - all of them “Must-Win” elections in which we did, indeed, kick donkey. But all of that volunteering has a cost - in energy, job time, family quality time, the works. In ‘06, the usual suspects among the volunteers, the people that run things, seemed tired; after the election, they seemed dejected, like they needed the break that this accelerated season can’t give ‘em. Repya might be, figuratively, the tonic for the metaphorical troops.
Now, I don’t ever take sides on things like State Party Chair races. Besides being of not that much interest to me, the last thing I want is for my blog and the Northern Alliance show to be seen as having a dog in an intra-party fight, when my/our real mission is supporting conservatism as a whole. That’s job number one. It makes it difficult, of course, that I know, and have had extensive interactions with, both candidates - which makes staying neutral all the more imperative (not that I think I actually have any influence in the party, don’t get me wrong).
But this is going to be the first interesting State Party race I’ve ever heard about.
My question is, what does Aplikowski mean when he states that Minnesota Monitor was "punked"? If he was quoted accurately in the interview, then Minnesota Monitor did nothing wrong by printing the interview. What next? Will Aplikowski give similar interviews to the Strib or to the local papers in his Senate District?
If Aplikowski calls back, Lloydletta's Nooz will pursue these questions.
Posted by lloydletta at 8:59 PM
Jeff Fecke has the story.
"Debate is good for politics," said Aplikowski in an interview with Minnesota Monitor. "Cowards who hide behind the 11th commandment, spew dime-a-dozen lazy compliments and stab you in the back anonymously need to be held accountable."
Aplikowski was clear on whom he blamed for the party's failures in 2006.
"Ron Carey. Pure and simple," he said, when asked the main factor in the GOP's defeat last year. "No two ways about it. I would challenge him to a duel if I could," he added, jokingly.
Aplikowski was withering in his criticism of Carey and his regime and said that his side has support.
"The grass roots and the people on the [Republican] Central Committee who aren't total zombies -- and it's a thin majority -- finally see not only what a tool Carey is but what kind of snakes support him, and what a dismal mistake it was to support him in 2006," he said.
Aplikowski doesn't directly blame Carey and his supporters for a last-minute anonymous hit piece against him that may have derailed his vice chair bid, one that would have put him on the GOP's Central Committee. But he did say, "I'm not going to name names, but let's just say they think they get the 'final word' on everything."
Aplikowski indicated that he was open to the candidacy of Lt. Col. Joe Repya for chair of the GOP, saying, "I admire the colonel and think he'd be a good chairman." While he thought Repya's recent absence from the state might be used against him, he said, "If it is a Repya vs. Carey choice, on their leadership plans and record, Repya it is." However, he hinted that another candidate for GOP chair might be in the wings.
"There's a dark horse that some of us insiders are talking about now -- an insider with big national money connections plus a huge national and local media presence and a reputation as a get-it-done guy and a giant-killer. The kind of guy we need to take on that slimy trial lawyer you guys have." Aplikowski added cryptically, "Some people I know in both the grass roots and the central committee are feeling a powerful pull."
Aplikowski said that the GOP needs to find its voice, and look to business for ideas on how to craft its message.
"Politics is a business, and the parties have to run that way. McDonald’s doesn’t kick Burger King’s ass by saying Castro eats Whoppers, so Burger King sucks. They sell their juicy, beefy goodness and freedom fries with positive messages and images. Smiles served daily works!"
I called Andy Aplikowski and asked him whether he was being quoted accurately. I read him one of his quotes and he said "I don't have time right now, but I'll look at it, and I'll get back to you."
I also contacted Chair candidate Joe Repya. I said that I understood that Andy Aplikowski is one of his most vocal advocates in the blogosphere. I told him that Minnesota Monitor had just published an eye opening interview with Andy Aplikowski and wanted to get his comment about this quote:
The grass roots and the people on the [Republican] Central Committee who aren't total zombies -- and it's a thin majority -- finally see not only what a tool Carey is but what kind of snakes support him, and what a dismal mistake it was to support him in 2006
Joe Repya stated he "respectfully declines comment" on this. Repya was very much the gentleman during the conversation.
King Banaian quotes from the St Cloud Times:
And it's noted that the inability to compromise has given Governor Pawlenty the whip hand currently, according to the StarTribune. The domestic partners benefit got kicked to the curb by the Legislature without much of a fight. That's a real kick in the pants to the faculty union which made it a centerpiece of its legislative agenda for this year.
As noted here before, when the DFL choses which base voters to kick to the curb, gays are always the first to go.
Now the quote is gone. I wonder why they deleted it.
Dear Ms. Young:
Given your interest in embryonic stem cell research, I wanted to update you on recent activity in the Senate to this end.
As you may know, I support both adult and embryonic stem cell research, but am opposed to the use of taxpayer dollars for the destruction of embryos. Fortunately, scientific advances now offer ways to conduct embryonic stem cell research without harming embryos.
Both last year and this year I voted against legislation (S. 5) to allow federal funding on all kinds of embryonic stem cell research. The President has promised to veto these bills, and there are not enough votes to override this veto. However, this year I am pleased that my legislation, the HOPE Act (S. 30), which supports stem cell research that does not involve the destruction of embryos but can still yield pluripotent stem cells, passed the Senate. This is an important bill and offers a meaningful way forward on this research.
The Hope Act will expand federal policy on stem cell research by allowing federal dollars for a continuous supply of new embryonic and pluripotent stem cell lines not currently funded. If we can create pluripotent stem cell lines without destroying embryos, then why not pursue these methods?
In fact, several of these methods are already proven successful and some even have benefits that traditional embryonic stem research does not have, yet they are not receiving federal funding. Two approaches, altered nuclear transfer and direct reprogramming of ordinary body cells, do not harm embryos and offer the added scientific advantage of providing tailor-made pluripotent stem cell lines of specific genetic types. Scientific proof of principle for altered nuclear transfer has been established in mouse studies by Rudolf Jaenisch of MIT, and ongoing progress in direct reprogramming is being reported by scientists at Harvard University and other leading research centers in the United States and abroad.
Another approach involves obtaining stem cells from IVF embryos that have already died a natural death. This has already been accomplished by Miodrag Stojkovic and associates in Valencia , Spain who have created the first well-documented human embryonic stem cell line derived from a live cell harvested from a dead embryo. This cell line behaves identically to those derived by destroying healthy embryos--think of this as organ donation for embryos. Each of these approaches would avoid the current ethical and political controversy while opening federal research dollars for additional stem cell lines.
Some believe that S. 5 will open the doors to research on a large store of embryos already being discarded by in vitro fertilization clinics. However, a recent RAND study shows that only 2.8% of embryos from fertility clinics are slated for research, and an even smaller percent of these can actually be converted into stem cell lines. The vast majority of embryos from IVF clinics, nearly 90%, are specifically designated for future family-building, not stem cell research.
Beyond ethical implications, the political reality is that S.5 will be vetoed by the President and it is highly unlikely the veto will be overturned. Thus no new stem cell lines will qualify for federal funding unless another approach is offered. That's why I have been urging the House to take up a counterpart to the HOPE Act. My hope is that both the supporters and opponents of S.5 will see the HOPE Act as a way to actually move forward because it will immediately allow federal funding for new embryonic and pluripotent stem cell research.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. Please know that, while we may agree at times and disagree at other times, I always appreciate hearing from you and I value your advice.
United States Senate
I have no problems with pursuing all methods - but believe that if embryonic stem cell research is morally troublesome, so is in vitro fertilization which produces way more embryos than are used. Most of those embryos are destroyed. I would doubt Coleman's figure that "90% of the embryos are designated for future family building and not research."
Posted by lloydletta at 6:54 PM
Hugh Hewitt has been exhorting his listeners to call the Strib and try to pressure them to bring back Lilek's column. All of Hugh's callers were saying they weren't subscribed anyway. So why should the strib listen to people who aren't subscribing? If these people want Lileks, then they should be willing to pay for him.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Outfront put out a press release:
May 7th, 2007
(St. Paul) Today Governor Pawlenty vetoed a bill that would have allowed local units of government the authority to provide health benefits to their employees at their discretion, including offering domestic partner benefits to GLBT employees.
“This is an outrage,” said OutFront Minnesota Executive Director Ann DeGroot.
“The governor doesn’t want to allow local units of government to be able to make these decisions for themselves. For him to oppose local control over local affairs is indefensible. This is a political move but unfortunately has a real effect on real families in Minnesota.”
Nope, the Governor is just kowtowing to the anti-gay activist organizations such as the Minnesota Family Council and Edwatch.
Governor Pawlenty is out of step with such organizations as The League of Minnesota Cities and the Minnesota Association of Small Cities who were among the many supporters of this legislation. He is also out of step with more than 250 companies in the state who offer domestic partner benefits including General Mills, Medtronic, and Best Buy.
The bill would have remedied a 1995 Court of Appeals ruling which determined that local governments lack the authority to expand their employee benefits beyond the bounds of explicit state law. The legislation considered during the 2007 session would have established full local authority over employee benefits.
“This veto is not good government,” said DeGroot. “It’s the state telling local governments what they can and cannot do. We thought the governor supported local control. The governor has chosen to make a political point over good public policy.”
OutFront Minnesota is an advocacy, public policy, and direct services organization for the GLBT and allied community.
Leading Minnesota Toward GLBT Equality. Celebrating Our 20th Year.