counter statistics

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Minnetonka School Board Elections

Tonka Focus:

MINNETONKA SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS: Filing for the office opens on July 3, 2007 and closes on July 17 at the District Service Center. Election day is November 6 (same as general election). Four of seven seats are open, those now held by Judy Erdahl, Cal Litsey, Peggy Stefan, and William Wenmark. A primary election is required on September 11 if 9 or more candidates file. The June 27 Star Tribune West Metro section has general information here, though specifics about Minnetonka aren't included. For more information, call the District Service Center at 952-401-5000. Traditionally, sitting school board members and Superintendent Dr. Dennis Peterson are happy to talk with potential candidates; their contact information is here. Upcoming school board meetings: Thursday, July 12, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. Two meetings in August, on the 2nd and 16th at 7:00 p.m.; study session on August 16 at 5:00 p.m. The Minnetonka School Board meeting agendas and minutes are available on the district's web site.

William Wenmark gave $500.00 to Minnesotans for Marriage in 2006. Minnesotans for Marriage is an offshoot of the Minnesota Family Council - and were started to promote the Bachmann amendment.

Wenmark was also the most outspoken supporter of creationist school board member, Dave Eaton, who resigned shortly after the 2005 elections.

From a Teacher Magazine Discussion.

Response From: William Henry Wenmark
02/19/2007 1:58PM
As a member of a Public School Board and a life spent in health care I have often shared my thoughts of the connections of the two professions...Physician and cares for the human function and strives to serve to treat any transgression of a human disease or injury...the other cares for the mind and its development so the two if they are healthy allow the human to thrive and prosper. I have said part of a simple oath we have in medicine is "I am the advocate of the patient and above all else will do no harm." A teacher...I will be the advocate of the student and above all else do no harm. The Principal...I will be the advocate of the teacher and student and above all else do no harm. The Superintendent/Board...I will be the advocate of American Public Education and above all else do not harm.
I also suggest there is an ethical boundary in Public Education that should not be crossed. Teach the student how to think...not what to think...the Public School Classroom should not be places of confined indoctrination… no harm. There will be ample room for that to happen in colleges and universities where the student freely chooses to attend.
Response From: William Henry Wenmark
02/20/2007 12:18PM
The Medical phrase is: I will forever and always be the advocate of the Patient and above all else do no harm.
The Educator phrase is: I will forever and always be the advocate of the student and above all else do no harm.
The Principal phrase is: I will forever and always be the advocated of the teacher and the student and above all else do no harm.
The Administrator/Board phrase is: I will forever and always be the advocate of the School District and above all else do no harm.
Would it not be great to have our politicians take an oath to Public Education?
The Politicians Oath: I will forever and always be the advocate of Public Education in America and above all else do no harm.
Enjoy...thanks for letting me share.
Response From: Anthony Cody, NBCT
02/20/2007 12:41PM
Thank you for your cogent contributions.
One idea you suggest really has me wondering. You wrote "Teach the student how to think...not what to think." Boy, that is a head scratcher. How about the controversy over evolution? Do we follow dominant community beliefs? Or the consensus of scientists? And how about moral values? Do we teach respect for authority?
Response From: Shannon Childcare Director
02/21/2007 11:40PM
I do agree with the oath, very much! I would just like to seemore mention of enhancing indivudality of students and creating spontanious teachable moments to farther influnce their learning
Response From: William H. Wenmark
04/08/2007 8:08PM
Anthony, Shannon,
It has been some time since my last visit. Thank you both for your remarks. The concept of educating the student to think is framed by the knowledge of the adolescent prefrontal cortex, which we must remember is a blank slate as to basic data sets. So there are considerable amounts of information that will be considered developmental. During this process various elements of society that contain controversy, the open mind orientation to education is important. I believe we need to create critical thinkers (liberal arts). During the pre-frontal cortex development it is a critical to understand, if planned, one could seriously indoctrinate and not educate. Yet, when the student is prepared well the young adolescent will be more likely be open minded...but not necessarily mindless. The consensus of scientists is not necessarily scientific fact. It is more likely just a group that agrees to some common dimension. That dimension may have variables that would have others who would look at this same material and conclude another way. Authority is more likely respected in the educated mine then to the contrary. Moral values as well are more likely adopted by the educated mind. But I understand this is not 100%, after all we are still human.
Shannon your comments are very valuable and much of what would occur when you expand the discussion of this theory. Differentiated learning communities are essential to accomplishing the spontaneous teachable moments. Blind un-yielding standard drive education, while important, can have problems addressing these moments and frames of time when the pre-frontal cortex has a brain burst of development. BTW...this occurs at random times between the ages of 10-27 (Dr. David Walsh).
Once again...thanks so much...I think I would enjoy a fine dinner of discussion with both of you.

Teaching the "controversy" about evolution, is code for giving equal time to Intelligent Design Creationism.

Hugh Hewitt Gets Norm Coleman Back on the Reservation

Hugh Hewitt on a post this Thursday:

Spend some time today contacting the nine senators from who could come the key votes to turn back the timetable language which Harry Reid is urging. language which, if adopted, will signal to al Qaeda and the radical Shia militias exactly how long they must hang on in Iraq.

Here are the six Republicans up for re-election in 2008 who will be most responsive to calls from their supporters and Republican voters.

Will Norm Coleman kowtow to pompous windbags like Hugh Hewitt and the possible opposition candidacy of Joe Repya? It seems like he has (MPR, Friday).

Mike Huckabee Responding to David Vitter's Troubles

GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee: “Many of us became a part of the Republican Party so that we could find a home for traditional beliefs regarding marriage and family and the sanctity of human life. If those things really don’t exist in the party, then we have to ask, ‘Why are we here?’ ”

Source: Kansas City Star.

Peter LaBarbara Withdraws Support for Holsinger Nomination

The nation’s top doctor must tell the truth about the immense health risks associated with homosexual/bisexual/transgendered behaviors – not contribute to the liberal state of denial that precludes such a discussion. True compassion requires telling the hard truths, and lives are literally in the balance. We never said that Dr. Holsinger’s 1991 church paper was perfect or that it was the final word on homosexual health risks, but it is the start of a national discussion that is long overdue. So is the simple fact that homosexuals — “gays and lesbians” — can leave that lifestyle behind – another truth that Holsinger (once?) embraced and that earned him the fury of “fundamentalist” homosexual militants like Wayne Besen.

We expected more courage from Dr. Holsinger, a Christian man, than to play the tired, old Washington game of avoiding controversial moral (and health) issues using Clinton-esque evasions. How refreshing it would have been had he instead used his bully pulpit to answer Sen. Kennedy forthrightly about the very real risks linked to “gay” behaviors like anal sodomy — citing new data from 1991 to the present.

Christians and moral traditionalists are rightly concerned about being boxed out of the public square by secular-minded liberals – but the price to be “allowed in” must never be to deny our Biblically-informed conscience.

And so we reverse ourselves and urge the Senate to deny confirmation to Dr. James Holsinger for U.S. Surgeon General, with the proviso that we will return to his side should he discover the internal fortitude to put truth above politics and speak out on the special health hazards of homosexuality.

Now what will HRC do?

Use Me, Use Me Because You Aint That Average Groupie

Starring: Senator David Vitter as himself....

Source: Hillbilly Report.

HRC Has a Blog Called Back Story - Which Doesn't Take Comments

The blog reports on the Holsinger confirmation hearing. They say:

What we still don't know - and what none of the senators brought up - is where Holsinger currently stands on ex-gay ministries (like those that the church he helped found maintains) and their support for "reparative therapy" to covert people from gay to straight.

The Democrats were on the majority on this committee, and HRC is supposedly lobbying them on this issue. Two of the Democrats on the Committee, Hillary Clinton, and Barak Obama are running for President. This says something about HRC's lack of influence with the democrats.

It would be nice if HRC's blog would allow comments. It says something that the blog does not allow comments or conversation.

Dallas Morning News About So-Called "Values Voters"

LUFKIN, Texas – Eugene Brookshire is a Christian conservative who intends to vote in next year's presidential election, even though none of the candidates have touched his soul.

"It's a shame we're going to be voting for the lesser of the two evils – or the 10 evils," he said.
Wayne Slater

And for evangelicals who gathered recently for the first in a series of national rallies on faith and politics, the message was clear: Republican losses in 2006 could be a harbinger of things to come unless the party re-energizes its most loyal bloc of voters.

Long the driving force behind Republican success, many Christian conservatives are disappointed over the GOP's failure to deliver on issues they care about and divided over the candidates and moral agenda that will animate them.

For that and other reasons, the conservative Christian movement faces a moment of political decision. Its ultimate champion, George W. Bush, is in the final stage of his presidency. The candidates to replace him have received a lackluster reaction from voters such as Mr. Brookshire. Democrats are starting to claim the mantle of faith in a different way. And many conservative evangelicals are beginning to question the movement's political priorities and focus instead on issues from the environment to terrorism.

"You certainly wouldn't want to write them off," said John Green, a scholar who studies the role of faith in politics. "However, there is a great deal of flux within these religious communities, a big debate over the agenda and some real unhappiness with the Republican Party."
Also Online

Archive: Democrats embrace faith, stress moral agenda

Faith talk is derided

Some even warn that if the party doesn't maintain its emphasis on social issues such as opposition to abortion and gay marriage, many traditional-value voters will stay home – or support a third-party challenger in 2008.

"We are looking at a referendum on whether religious conservatives will remain loyal to the GOP or whether they will break into pieces," said Deal Hudson, a conservative Catholic and head of the Washington-based Morley Institute for Church and Culture.

Yes, this Deal Hudson, a defender of "traditional marriage" who sexually harrasses his students.

Unhappy base

Without Christian conservatives, Ronald Reagan would not have been elected in 1980. They were instrumental in electing the Republican Congress in 1994 and twice helped provide the margin of victory for George W. Bush.

In 2004, white evangelicals made up 40 percent of President Bush's re-election vote. Driven by a conservative-values agenda and fears of terrorism, they turned out in big numbers in 2004 and broke 3-to-1 for Mr. Bush over Democratic Sen. John Kerry.

But the 2006 midterm elections served as a setback for the GOP, in part because these core voters were turned off by sex-and-ethics scandals.

Their unhappiness continues, bursting forth in polls and interviews about the GOP front-runners seeking the White House.

While former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani gets leeway from some evangelicals because of his focus on terrorism, his support of abortion rights troubles others.

"I would have real problems with Giuliani," said Teresa Kezan, a Christian conservative who attended the recent Lufkin rally with her husband, Mark.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, whose campaign has foundered in recent weeks, is not a favorite of evangelicals, either.

As for the third front-runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Mrs. Kezan said she is not sure whether his recent conversion to socially conservative stances on abortion and other issues represents a change of heart or political convenience.

Some hold out hope that former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, who hasn't formally entered the race yet, will be the candidate to unite the field. But he's not well-known, and questions have been raised about his history on the abortion issue.

Asked whether she supports anybody in the presidential field, Mrs. Kezan laughed and said, "Not yet."

This is an excellent article. The only quibble I have, is the reporter contacted the discredited Deal Hudson for comment.

Minnesota Women's Political Caucus Announces Phase 2 of the Diversity Outreach Project

I used to be on the board of MWPC, but am no longer. Here is their press release on this:

***News Release***
Contact: For Immediate Release

Keesha Gaskins July 13, 2007


Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus

Announces Phase 2 of Diversity Outreach Project

Women from State’s Four Primary Racial/Ethnic Groups Needed for Focus Groups;

Goal Is to Identify Issues of Concern, Influences on Political Activity

Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus Education Council (MWPC-EC), the multi-partisan organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in elected and appointed office, is kicking off Phase 2 of its Diversity Outreach Project (DOP), funded by the Bremer Foundation and the Women’s Foundation.

The DOP was initiated in 2006 to increase the number of women of color running for office at all levels. Its long-term objective is to increase the number of women of color in public office.

Phase 2 will comprise a series of focus groups, to be held in July, with women from Minnesota ’s four primary racial/ethnic communities: Hmong, Latino, African-American, and Native-American. Groups will be held in the Twin Cities, Rochester, Willmar, and Austin to ascertain the various levels of political participation that exist in each community, reasons for varying levels of participation, potential strategies for enhancing participation, subjects of concern to each community and potential ways these subjects can be addressed. (A complete list of these focus groups, with their dates and locations, is attached.) MWPC will issue a report on its findings in September 2007.

“Clearly there is a range of political participation among women from all racial and ethnic communities in Minnesota ,” said Keesha Gaskins, MWPC executive director. “The difference is that no woman of color has ever served in Minnesota ’s Congressional delegation. No woman of color has been elected to statewide office. Only three have served in the Minnesota State Legislature. We want to better understand what influences a woman of color to become a voter if she’s currently a non-voter, to become an activist if she’s currently a voter and, potentially, to eventually become a candidate for office.”

As part of Phase 2, MWPC hired Rebecca McDonald as the new Project Manager. Rebecca is a 2007 summa cum laude graduate of the College of St. Catherine and a winner of the 2007 Student Leadership Award, 2007 Research and Creative Work Award from the Abigail Q. McCarthy Center for Women, 2007 Isabel Donaldson Public Speaking Award, and 2007 Sister Alberta Huber Intercultural Award from the College of St. Catherine . Women interested in participating in a focus group can contact Rebecca at 651.228.0995 or

During Phase 1 of the DOP, MWPC has been building a Diversity Outreach Committee of both recognized and emerging women leaders from each of the four primary racial/ethnic communities and working with them on an outreach plan for the program. During Phase 2, the Committee will contribute to an action plan informed by focus group findings.

For 36 years, MWPC has been working to increase the number of women in elected and appointed office. It is a grassroots, multi-partisan organization that works to identify, recruit, train and support pro-choice women candidates. MWPC seeks to be an expert resource for women in Minnesota and women candidates supporting women's issues. Its goal is equality and equal representation for women at all levels of government.

Visit MWPC online:


African American Women
Saturday, July 14
11:00am - 12:30pm

St. Paul
Martin Luther King Center
271 Mackubin St.

African American Women
Tuesday, July 17
6:00pm – 7:30pm

Sabathani Community Center
310 E 38th St

Hmong Women
Wednesday, July 18
11:00am - 12:30pm
St. Paul
Hmong American Partnership
1075 Arcade St

Native American Women
Thursday, July 19
11:00am - 12:30pm

American Indian Center
1530 E Franklin Ave

Hmong Women
Saturday, July 21
11:00am - 12:00pm

St. Paul
Hmong American Partnership
1075 Arcade St

African Immigrant Women
Monday, July 23
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Brian Coyle Center
420 15th Ave S

African Immigrant Women
Wednesday, July 25
11:00am - 12:00pm

United Way Building
903 W Center St.

Latina Women
Thursday, July 26
11:00am - 12:30pm

St. Paul
Neighborhood House
179 Robie St E

African Immigrant Women
Saturday July, 28

3:30pm – 5:00pm
Brian Coyle Center
420 15th Ave S

Latina Women
Monday, July 30
6:00pm – 7:30pm

Austin Welcome Center
308 4th Ave NW

Native American Women
Wednesday, August 1
6:00pm – 7:30pm

Indian Women’s Resource Center
2300 - 15th Avenue South

Latina Women
Thursday, August 2
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Willmar Public Library
410 5th St SW

Friday, July 13, 2007

Jury Splits on Olson Virdict


ELK RIVER -- State Rep. Mark Olson was acquitted of the more serious charge, but convicted on the lesser charge, Friday in his domestic assault trial.

The six-member jury found Olson not guilty of causing or intending to cause bodily harm. The jurors found him guilty, however, of causing or intending to cause fear of bodily harm. Both charges are misdemeanors.

Serving his eighth term, Olson was suspended from the Republican caucus after his arrest last fall. There have been no attempts to remove him from the Legislature, but House Republican leadership has suggested he resign if convicted.

Olson, asked about his political future, said he has no intention of resigning, "even if [fellow legislators] asked me to."

As for his wife, Heidi, who has filed for divorce, he said he wants to keep the marriage together.

Olson's wife released a statement through her family following the verdict: "I would like to say publicly that I forgive Mark for what he has done to my family and me. He does need to be held accountable for his actions, though.

"The false allegations that he has made against me is devastating to us, but we are choosing not to live in bitterness towards him. I hope that Mark gets the help he needs for his personal problems."

Michael Brodkorb has reiterates his call for Mark Olson to resign. This time he does so publicly on his blog.

Minnesota Democrats Exposed is a blog dedicated to a truthful discussion on the activities, statements, and tactics of Minnesota Democrats. But today, I ask my fellow Republicans to join me in calling on Representative Olson to resign.

I contacted Michael Brodkorb for further comment. Mark Olson has no intention of resigning. I asked Brodkorb if he also called for the legislature to expel him. He said:

He's a law maker who is now a convicted law breaker. He should be expelled from the legislature.

It's not a good day for Sherburne County Republicans when Mary Kiffmeyer - their best candidate to replace Olson - was found to be incorrectly billing the state for travel. In 17 cases this was when the public purpose of the trips was unclear, and in others, she claimed mileage from her home to an event, when she was supposed to claim the lesser of the distance between office to event or distance from home to event.

Kiffmeyer finally commented on the record (AP):

It's not clear when the hires or the promotions in question were made. The audit didn't specify that information or give the names of the employees.

Kiffmeyer said she acted upon advice from the office's human resources director, whom she held over from the administration that preceded hers.

"We relied upon it, we acted upon it not knowing it was wrong information," Kiffmeyer said. "If we had known we needed to do something differently, we would have done so."

A separate audit released earlier this year said the Employee Relations department should develop clearer standards for people doing payroll or personnel services within agencies.

In December, the Department of Employee Relations halted a handful of personnel moves by the outgoing secretary of state's administration designed to provide more job protection to certain workers.

"As your office is in a state of transition and it is only a few short weeks before a new administration takes over, making HR decisions that have the impact of a long-term employment commitment is not permissible," read a memo from the department to Kiffmeyer and a top aide.

The memo about the job classifications was not part of Friday's audit.

The audit also said Kiffmeyer was overpaid for mileage reimbursements, including some where the public purpose of the travel wasn't clear. The report doesn't say how much was improperly paid out.

Kiffmeyer said a staff member who filled out that form made calculation errors by counting miles driven from home to various events instead of from the secretary's St. Paul office. She said she will repay any overages and clarify the travel which auditors deemed unclear.

Typical Kiffmeyer - blaming the staff member. I'm curious what the form the state uses for travel reimbursement. Remember, the problem was that Mary Kiffmeyer over-claimed miles. How did the staff member get the 52 mile number for the one way trips to the airport and 47 miles to the state fair.

Will this hurt Kiffmeyer's chances to carry the Republican banner should Olson get expelled?


Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

Why can't you follow the rules like everybody else?

The Star Tribune has a story about a recently completed audit of the Secretary of State's office. The audit covered the last two years of Flag-wearing Patriot Mary Kiffmeyer's reign over Minnesota elections.

Here's the actual report and response from the Officer of the Legislative Auditor website.

From the Star Tribune story:

The Minnesota legislative auditor alleged Friday that former Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer's administration overpaid 17 employees a total of $190,000 by giving them wages above allowable salary ranges.

In a report covering the final two years of Kiffmeyer's second term, auditors said her staff didn't get proper approval for various personnel transactions. Sixteen new hires were paid up to $11 more per hour than they were entitled. Another was promoted without prior authorization from the Department of Employee Relations and ended up making $11,000 more than his position's rate.

Kiffmeyer, a Republican, lost her re-election bid to Democrat Mark Ritchie, who took over the officer responsible for overseeing elections and business registrations in January.

In a letter responding to the audit, Ritchie said the prior administration believed it retained power over its pay rates. He said he has asked for the Department of Employee Relations to review rate decisions before he takes "appropriate actions.''

Employee Relations Commissioner Patricia Anderson said Friday that her department is trying to determine how to recover the money, a process made harder by the fact that some of the workers are no longer on the state payroll. Only six are still employed by the Secretary of State's office.

"It's significant dollars,'' Anderson said. She added that some of the workers probably would have received authorization for the extra pay had the requests been put through the right channels. "For some it was justified and for some it was not.''

Kiffmeyer didn't immediately return a phone message.

The audit also said Kiffmeyer was overpaid for mileage reimbursements, including some where the public purpose of the travel wasn't clear. The report doesn't say how much was improperly paid out, but said Kiffmeyer should be asked to repay any overages.

Anderson said Ritchie has followed proper procedures of submitting pay rate assignments to her department.

It's not clear when the hires or the promotions in questions were made. The audit didn't specify that information or the names of the employees.

In December, the Department of Employee Relations halted a handful of personnel moves by the outgoing secretary of state's administration designed to provide more job protection to certain workers.

"As your office is in a state of transition and it is only a few short weeks before a new administration takes over, making HR decisions that have the impact of a long-term employment commitment is not permissible,'' read a memo from the department to Kiffmeyer and a top aide.

The memo about the job classifications was not part of Friday's audit.

If you read the entire PDF file, you get more of the details on the mileage reimbursement issue. There are hilarious comments about Little Mary getting reimbursed for mileage betweeen her home (in Big Lake) and various metro area destinations, vs. counting the mileage between the actual office and the state fairgrounds, to use just one example.


Sen David Vitter, Champion of "Traditional Marriage" Visits Brothels

Vitter was in the phone records of the DC madam. Following that, the Madam for a New Orleans brothel came forward saying Vitter was a client there. Now a New Orleans blog reports that Vitter was into diapers (and notes the sourcing).

This David Vitter campaign ad shows him getting asked to change his son's diapers.

Tonight I got confirmation from a solid inside source who has no ideological ax to grind. The source said Vitter was a client at Canal Street, and provided some additional details that shed light on Maier's comment that there was "more to the business than sex". [Update: Based on her comments about Vitter not having "unusual predilections", I would interpret this comment to mean something like companionship and social interaction rather than fetishes... etc.] These details are not for the faint of heart, either.

We're talking about, among other things, Diaper Fetishism. That's right folks, according to a trusted inside source, Vitter was well known among other Canal Street Brothel patrons to like diapers as well as other bizarre "fetishes". I don't have much more info than that from my source, except that some of the other patrons at the brothel included a well known business-minded New Orleans Republican and a well known Democratic ex-governor. There are many other well known patrons who never held public office, too. You've probably heard various names floated about.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love that New Orleans has more than its share of sex fetishists and preeverts who can't come missionary. This ain't a vanilla town, kids.

But the thought of Vitter prancing around in a dipey is a bit jarring, especially since I'm changing those nasty things every day. I can't help picturing the scene and wondering about the details. I assume they were adult sized. But were they cloth or disposable? Did they get dirty? Was there a diaper genie available? What about a tube of Boudreaux's? Were they customized in Vitter Blue? How old were Vitter's children when this was going on? Did he change diapers in the morning and then wear them at night?

It's good that the press is calling on Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council for comment.

Vitter in Diapers

Thursday, July 12, 2007

This Guy Gives a Bad Name to Conservatives

Check out this bigoted column about Democratic Candidates appearing in a joint appearance (not a debate) on LOGO, a gay cable channel.

See here is the unrelenting truth, put as plainly as humanly possible:

Homosexual behavior and Christianity do not mix. From the standpoint of theory, theology, doctrine, and practice the two are totally and completely incompatible; as are adultery, pornography, bestiality, pedophilia, pre-marital sex, incest, cross dressing, multiple partner orgies and the list goes on. So the candidates can not have it both ways.

The truth is Democrats are not now nor have they ever been interested in seriously committed faith based voters. They have no use for true believers be they Jewish, Catholic, or Evangelical.

But they have an insatiable lust for the sexually depraved among us. Former President Clinton's Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders even gave her name and endorsement to a book that actually advocated pedophilia.

The willingness of the leading candidates of the Democratic Party to even acknowledge the invite of the LOGO network is embarrassing enough. To go so far as to give their consent to be queried over the softball questions that they will be thrown is a travesty to the American political process.

This move will ultimately come back to hurt them bad.

I personally will see to it that all 8000 churches in New York City are aware of their willingness to pander to perverts. And mark my words, large numbers of previously assumed "safe" African American votes will be looking for a candidate other than these when push comes to shove.

That's not a threat.

It's a promise!

Dumb moves begat stupid results. Turning down Brit Hume in the election cycle is dumb on steroids. Turning down Brit Hume and saying yes to the rabid homosexual activists in America is closing in on the point of no return.

But what do I know? I watch Fox News Channel.

I happen to think HRC's format for this joint appearance is unfortunate, in that they didn't ask journalists - rather than Melissa Etheridge and Joe Salmonese - to moderate. None the less, this is just nonsense from this guy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Special Election Worth Watching

Steve Sviggum has stepped down from the legislature. There will be a special election on August 7 to fill his seat. Currently there are three names in the race.

Officially, there are three candidates who have filed for longtime state Rep. Steve Sviggum's House seat in southeastern Minnesota, but it's unknown as to whether one of them is really going to run.

There were three candidates when filing for the special election in House District 28B closed on Tuesday -- one Republican and two Democrats. If neither Democrat withdraws by 5 p.m. Wednesday, a primary election will be held July 24.

Democrats in the district on Monday night endorsed Linda Pfeilsticker of Wabasha. The other Democratic candidate who has filed for the House 28B seat is Wes Moreland of Pine Island. He was one of five candidates on the ballot at the endorsement convention, but he wasn't present and didn't get any votes.

Moreland, a retired teacher and longtime Democrat, couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday. His wife, Carol Moreland, said he was overseas and might drop out of the race because of Pfeilsticker's endorsement. At the endorsement convention, the DFL chairwoman said that Moreland doesn't plan to return home until days before the date the primary would be held, which is July 24.

The special election for Sviggum's seat is set for Aug. 7.

Sviggum, a Republican who presided over the House as speaker for eight years, is leaving the Legislature to become commissioner of labor and industry.

The Republican running is Steve Drazkowski of Wabasha, who beat four other contenders for the GOP endorsement at a party convention Monday. Drazkowski ran for state Senate last year and lost to incumbent DFL Sen. Steve Murphy of Red Wing.

Pfeilsticker, 35, has made greater state support for K-12 education a major plank in her campaign. She argues that the state needs to do more to make health care affordable because the federal government "is not doing anything."

Drazkowski, 42, has vowed to be a voice for conservative values. He has stressed that state government needs to live within its means and has promised to vote in favor of upholding GOP. Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto power.