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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Drazkowski Radio Ad

This ad is rather creepy.

Here's his position on Transportation. He seems very much the "we don't want no choo choo trains" type of person.

Unpleasantness on the HD 28 Race

Interesting comments:

Baggage is baggage. This is simply a poor candidate, not one that the party can point to with pride in the character of the individual. A better candidate was available but lost on the second ballot.

Given that, if he does not win by 3 to 1 over a geewhiz neophyte in a far far right district held for years by the former speaker he should join Algore in the great-collapse hall of fame.

“(Drazkowski) is a guy who’s just disgruntled. He makes me nervous, but what do you do?”
–Sen. Dick Day (R-Owatonna).

Steve Drazkowski is using his daughter in his campaign ads.

On issues, Drazkowski says:

Marriage: Marriage is a time-tested and sacred institution between one man and one woman. Steve firmly believes that Minnesotans should be given the opportunity to vote upon the constitutional definition of marriage for our state.

It would be interesting to find out his position on divorce.

Pfeilsticker's site doesn't address this.

Linda Pfeilsticker's website doesn't have much. Will her campaign run radio ads?

Results from the primary:

Drazkowski 287 100% of GOP votes
Pfeilsticker 1050 87.72% of DFL votes
Moreland 147 12.28% of DFL votes

Voter ID and turnout are critical in races like this. Drazkowski won this part of the district when he ran against DFL incumbent Senator Steve Murphy.

It's interesting that Steve Sviggum has given Drazkowski an endorsement, but isn't doing an ad where he is asking people to vote for the guy. How strong is the endorsement?

Friday, July 27, 2007

House District 28B Campaign Gets Nasty

The Drama Queen has a copy of the mailing sent by the DFL.

There was an interesting comment:

# Chris Says:
July 27th, 2007 at 10:17 pm

Does this mean that Linda Pfielsticker’s lifestyle is now fair game?

Pfielsticker is in her mid thirties and single. It would be fairly stupid - and would backfire - for the State Republican Party to run such a campaign.

I find no comparison to someone being gay, and someone being a deadbeat dad (which was the claim in the DFL mailing).

That being said, I find the mailing reprehensible, as I did the mailing the DFL did against GOP candidate Pam Wolf.

UPDATE: I was assuming Chris's reference to "lifestyle" meant gay. "Lifestyle" is often as an anti-gay code word. I have no idea - and don't care - whether Pfeilsticker is straight or gay. Gay baiting campaigns can be run whether someone is gay or not. I personally think these types of campaigns at this point in time will backfire.

From Drazkowski's website:

Marriage: Marriage is a time-tested and sacred institution between one man and one woman. Steve firmly believes that Minnesotans should be given the opportunity to vote upon the constitutional definition of marriage for our state.

What I don't get is why the DFL didn't just re-use the hit piece that went out against Draz - that was sent to Republican delegates prior to the district convention.

David Vitter Video

There's lots more.

Will the Republican Presidential Candidates Bail on the Youtube Debate?


Four days after the Democratic debate in Charleston, S.C,. more than 400 questions directed to the GOP presidential field have been uploaded on YouTube -- targeted at Republicans scheduled to get their turn at videopopulism on Sept. 17.

But so far, only Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) have agreed to participate in the debate, co-hosted by Republican Party of Florida in St. Petersburg.

"Aside from those two candidates, we haven't heard from anyone else," said Sam Feist of CNN, who's co-sponsoring the debate with the popular videosharing site.

Rudolph Giuliani and Mitt Romney, both with dozens of videos on their YouTube channels, have not signed up. Neither have the rest of the Republican candidates, including Rep. Tom Tancredo (Colo.), whose "Tancredo Takes" on his YouTube channel draw hundreds of views. Sources familiar with the Guiliani campaign said he's unlikely to participate. Kevin Madden, Romney's spokesman, said the former Massachusetts governor has seven debate invitations covering a span of 11 days in September.

"We haven't committed to any of them yet," Madden said.

In an interview Wednesday with the Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader, Romney said he's not a fan of the CNN/YouTube format. Referring to the video of a snowman asking the Democratic candidates about global warming, Romney quipped, "I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman."

Patrick Ruffini and David All have now put up a site petitioning candidates to participate in the Youtube debate. Hat tip: NY Times - the Caucus.

Online Republican Strategist, Patrick Ruffini thinks this is a bad idea.

This is a big mistake. The Democrats are afraid to answer questions from Big Bad Fox News Anchors, and the Republicans are afraid to answer questions from regular people. Which is worse?

It's stuff like this that will set the GOP back an election cycle or more on the Internet. No matter the snazzy Web features and YouTube videos they may put up, if they're fundamentally uncomfortable with the idea of interacting with real people online, what's the point?

Having spent the better part of a decade working at the intersection of politics and the Web, I can't help but feel of a deep, deep sense of dismay that we're missing something so basic. This is EXACTLY why I am afraid that we will be outraised by $100 million or more in 2008.

Yes, some of the questions on Monday were trivial. Yes, they were partisan. (I expect many of the 9/17 questioners to be partisan Republicans.) Yes, they were messy. But so is democracy. And the fact that some place so much faith in the broken mainstream media over a benign format like this one says a lot about the difficult straits the Republicans are in right now.

Perhaps the rest of the field will prove me wrong.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ron Carey's Response to Joe Repya's Charges

Wright County Republican:

GOP Responds To Repya Attack

To: State Central Committee Members
From: Chairman Ron Carey
Date: July 25, 2007

Over the last month, we've been hard at work with the Leadership Institute, RNC Summer Meeting, a special election, and the Minnesota State Fair coming up. As we prepare our team for victory in 2008, we must remain united against the liberal DFL and its allies.

That's why I was disappointed to hear that a letter was sent both to Governor Pawlenty and State Central Committee members in response to a left-wing front group's complaint against the Party. This group has extensive liberal ties - including to Al Franken - and is filing a complaint based on recycled charges of mismanagement that appeared in the Star Tribune.

When we ought to be working to unite our Party and win Minnesota in 2008, Joe Repya has apparently decided to further attempt to divide us by sending a letter with inaccurate information and over-the-top attacks.

The letters that Joe Repya sent demand that Governor Pawlenty have DFL leaders and members of the media audit our internal records! Repya also calls on me to step aside as Chairman while this "audit" is being conducted. Sadly, the Star Tribune is using this new attack as an excuse to fan the flame of contempt towards the Republican brand and will be publishing a story rehashing old issues with Repya's new twist.

Absolutely no new facts have surfaced regarding the allegations that were presented prior to the State Central Committee meeting last month. State Central members re-elected me Chairman with the knowledge of the issues we were dealing with. State Central members demonstrated that they have confidence in me and our Executive Committee to act honorably and honestly. I am saddened and troubled that Repya would feed the liberal hatred of Republicans at a time we should be coming together to prepare for the important 2008 elections.

Here is a brief update on the audit, which we discussed at our last several State Executive Committee meetings:

After discussions with several audit firms this spring, in June we hired Keith Davis, of Huckaby Davis Lisker, to oversee our internal audit and advise us on future FEC reports. Huckaby Davis Lisker is an Alexandria, Virginia-based political accounting firm for Republican Party candidates and entities. Davis recommended we hire another agency to do the physical work of the audit at a lower rate. After looking at two recommended firms, we hired Campaign Financial Services, a division of Talent PayMaster, Inc. Campaign Financial Services provides financial services for federal candidate committees, state party committees, and political action committees. Their team is engaging in a thorough review of our financial activities beginning with 2002.

We also brought in Michael Vekich, a CPA with Vekich Associates. Vekich Associates provides independent accountants and management advisors. He looked through our accounting practices and procedures and recommended some changes. Vekich recommended having R. Robert Wyant make his recommended changes. These changes include installing a new accounting software program, changing to Paychex as our payroll provider and a review of our current insurance policy.

I hope you will find this information useful in addressing any concerns from Party leaders who may approach you for further clarification. Please don't hesitate to contact me directly if you have further questions or suggestions. Let's work as a leadership team to put an end to Republican on Republican attacks that only benefit our DFL opponents.

And so the soap opera continues.....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Republican Party of Minnesota Having Difficulty Fundraising

Residual Forces:

This one came in as part of an email from a friend.

On another note, [ed.] said he got a call from GOP fundraisers for the special election and he refused to give any money because he did not trust the financial stewardship of the state party. And also because the caller was an asshole, he said.

That person does audit, accounting, and financial work for a rather large corporation here in Minnesota.

For those of you out there who share this same sentiment, I suggest you donate directly to Steve Drazkowski.

Commenters chime in:

# Nordeaster Says:
July 25th, 2007 at 12:31 pm

I always prefer to give directly to the candidate’s campaign fund with the exception of supporting my local BPOU. This year, I’m also making an exception for the MN GOP House Caucus, which really earned it in the last session.
# the Lady Logician Says:
July 25th, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Agreed - give directly to the candidates….

I have had the same experience your friend had. The last couple of calls I have gotten from the state and national parties have been increasingly hysterical every time we say no. They all throw out the “well you don’t want Franken” line and I responded back (every time) that they need to pull their heads out of their collective behinds and start listening to their constituencies if they want us to give them money.

They just don’t seem to get it.


They need to get a message beyond you don't want Franken if they want to raise money.

Norm Coleman Constituent Letter on Immigration

Kevin Ecker posts the letter on his blog, Eckernet:

Dear Mr. Ecker :

Thank you for taking the time to contact me concerning agricultural workers and immigration policy. I am supportive of allowing workers from other countries to fill jobs that remain open in the agricultural industry.

While not a perfect bill, the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1348) addresses the agricultural worker shortage by streamlining the agricultural guest worker program and making it more affordable and flexible. These reforms are largely based on the Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security ( AgJOBS ) Act of 2007. S. 1348 permits visas to be issued to assuage the year-round agricultural employment needs and has a specific class of visas for current undocumented agricultural workers that are willing to continue working for the next three to five years. Due to the serious labor shortages and the national interest aspects of our domestic food production and supply, these provisions would be implemented immediately upon enactment of the bill.

I believe that these provisions, if implemented correctly, could be a practical solution to fill agricultural worker shortages. Last year alone, over one third of Florida ’s orange crop was left unpicked due to labor shortages, and growers in California , Washington , and New York all lost substantial portions of their crops due to an insufficient workforce. The reality is that most Americans are simply not interested in these positions.

I could not, however, support S. 1348 in its current form. S. 1348 was never considered by a Senate Committee and was brought directly to the floor before most of us had a chance to fully review it. Senate leadership blocked many amendments, including my own, that would have improved the bill. The repercussions of this bill are too great, and I could not in good conscience support moving forward with legislation that is incomplete and unfinished. For this reason, I voted against a procedural motion on June 7, 2007 that would have pushed the bill forward without further debate. However, I am optimistic that the Senate will resume debate of immigration reform legislation in the near future.

I strongly oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants. Any legalized status for people already here must not be a blank check that will encourage more people to enter this country illegally. In order to be here, I believe that immigrants must undergo background checks, demonstrate proof of employment, possess English proficiency and an understanding of civics, and pay a monetary penalty if they entered illegally. S. 1348 would do much of this, but I would have preferred more stringent policies in some of these areas. I would have supported more rigorous background checks than currently in the bill and stricter workplace enforcement if given the opportunity to amend the bill. I am pleased that under S. 1348 illegal immigrants would not be eligible for Social Security benefits accrued using a false number.

I believe that improving our border enforcement capabilities must be central to any immigration reform legislation. Our unprotected borders are unacceptable and represent a crisis which must be dealt with decisively and without delay. I am pleased that S. 1348 would require hiring more Border Patrol officers, constructing vehicle barriers and fences on the Southern border, monitoring the entire border electronically and ending the catch-and-release system that leads to many illegal aliens remaining in the United States, and that such improvements would have to be enacted before any permanent benefits would be given to the current illegal population and before any new guest worker program would start. This bill would also increase the penalties for many immigration violations.

Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me. I appreciate hearing from you and I value your advice.

Norm Coleman
United States Senate

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

GOP Joe Repya's Letter to GOP Activists Requesting Carey to Step Down With Pay During Audit Covered by Strib

Joe Repya's Letter is here.

Strong words. From the strib:

Repya warned that the party's image was suffering because of the allegations.

"We can not survive the 2008 election season if this party's Chair continues to be accused of wrongdoing," Repya wrote Pawlenty.

Repya said new members of the executive committee have reported that "any discussion to have an external audit conducted has been stonewalled."

He also called on the governor to appoint a bipartisan committee to conduct a full investigation and ask Carey to step aside temporarily until it's complete.

Party leaders respond

Drake and others close to the GOP said such an idea is unrealistic. Drake said "the outrageous suggestion that we allow partisan opponents examine our internal books makes clear that this is not about the good of the party."

Michael Brodkorb, Carey's campaign manager during the race for chairman, dismissed the proposal for a bipartisan investigation as "laughable."

One new member of the executive committee, Mike Barrett, said Tuesday that an external audit of the party is underway, but he provided no details on who was doing the audit or when it began.

Repya's letters to Pawlenty and Party Activists are posted on the Strib website.

Andy Aplikowski has more:

Here’s my skinny on this whole thing.

Repya went too far. Carey is handling this whole thing poorly. The new party staff and Executive Committee members are finally demanding results I hear, and it shows. Heads are rolling, er things are changing down at HQ.

No one person can be blamed for dividing this party. There’s plenty of disagreements to go around both between these two, and on down the ranks. Whether it be activists upset with GOp elected officials for issue-slapping them in the face, or admin side folks like Carey and Repya taking shots at each other. Carey can’t sweep this under the rug by saying “unite” and “Strib attacks”. And Repya should take some time and see what happens, and if Carey learned anything from the election.

Now the Strib may be getting ready to unveil another expose on his issue tonight or in the morning. Some are saying this is to attack Republicans on the eve of an election. They say it is to drag down Draz in HD28. Sorry, I just can’t buy that one. Plausible? sure, it is the Strib. But let’s not forget that the charges/claims are for real. They aren’t manufactured. The party did do wrong!

The MNGOP has some problems…. well lots of problems, but I am glad to hear that these have been looked at and reforms are underway.

I trust that there will no longer be any shred of doubt that the party of fiscal responsibility is acting in an ethical manner and a good steward of financial practices.

I think that we need a cooling off period. Let’s have the party prepare a detailed accounting of the audit, reports, reforms, and or corrections for our December meeting. In the mean time, we concentrate more on why people should trust and vote for the Republicans, instead of why so and so sucks, whatever party they belong to, organization they work for, or paper they write for.

A lot of stupid things are being said. trust me, you should see my emails.

Circular firing squads usually don’t work out too well.

Let’s all take a deep breath. Have a smoke, drink, walk, yoga, heck do whatever you do to relax and calm down.

(I think that was pretty fair)

My take? I think Joe Repya just shot himself in the foot if he was thinking of running against Norm Coleman for Senate.

Monday, July 23, 2007

6th District DFL Candidate Bob Hill Interviewed by Larry Schumacher of the St Cloud Times

Cross posted at Dump Michele Bachmann.

Check out the interview here.

I interviewed Hill tonight. I'll write up my notes later this week.

Bob Hill is one of the two Bobs running against Michele Bachmann for congress.

I love this line about Michele Bachmann "she has not only kissed him, she likes to sit in his lap."

Eric Black's New Blog is Up

Eric Black Ink.

It's got a good design.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Some Photos from my trip to England

Check out my photos of visiting the Glendurgan Garden in Mawnan Smith, Cornwall in the UK. This was one of several gardens from the Fox estates. Sir Charles Fox was a prominent role in Amazing Grace - the biopic about William Wilberforce - who pushed for the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. I saw this film on the way home from England. I highly recommend it.

I'll post other photo sets later.

Cornwall - Glendurgan Garden - June 23, 07 - 10.jpg

This is my niece Celia and nephew Anthony.

Dump Bachmann Updates

There is lots of material on the Dump Michele Bachmann blog. Ken Avidor reacts to Kim Ode's profile of Michele Bachmann in the strib. Bill Prendergast reports that Bachmann flip flops on Eminent Domain were exposed in the Stillwater Gazette. During the campaign she claimed to oppose the use of Eminent Domain, but now she seems to support it. Tsnunami Blue reports a first: Michele Bachmann responds to a constituent letter. The Forest Lake Times published Karl Bremer's oped on Michele Bachmann's votes against NEA funded arts programs in her congressional district. I report on the brief interview I did with Michele Bachmann's opponent, Bob Olson.