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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Elwyn Tinklenberg To Formally Announce His Candidacy to Run Against Michele Bachmann

The DFL flacks at MN Publius are thrilled. They linked to an interview they did with Tinklenberg when he ran for DFL endorsement for the seat 2 years ago.

Here's what he said about the Federal Marriage Amendment in this interview:

MNP: Some bloggers have criticized you for your positions on abortion and gay marriage, they claim that you are either too vague or too conservative. What is your position on the Federal Marriage Amendment?

ET: Like I mentioned on the Almanac program a few weeks back- I believe marriage is between one man and one woman. But a lot of what's going on right now with the Federal Marriage Amendment is a clever ruse to distract voters, overrule our nation's tradition of Federalism and attack gay people. I won't stand for that. That's part of the reason that I support civil unions and stronger laws protecting gays and lesbians from workplace discrimination.

He doesn't directly say so, but it appears that he reversed his position from his original statement during his 2006 opening press conference that he would support a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Tinklenberg joins Bob Olson and Bob Hill in running against Michele Bachmann.

Friday, September 28, 2007

PR From Blois Olson Won't Put Lipstick on this Pig

That is the Stadium Boondoggle Pig:

Frustrated that it may be losing a public-relations battle, Hennepin County has hired a consulting firm to help convey its side of the story in the land dispute involving the new Minnesota Twins stadium.

The move comes as the county and the owners of the 8-acre site in downtown Minneapolis are scheduled to appear Friday before a special mediator to try to agree on a sale price before the nearly yearlong condemnation case goes to trial in November. It also comes as the landowners said they would today file a formal appeal of a $23.8 million award announced by a condemnation panel last month.

As the complicated and drawn-out legal dispute has continued, both sides have complained about unfair news coverage. Though the county's contract with New School Communications amounts to just $25,000, county officials acknowledged it was a sign of their concern with what they say are opportunistic and inaccurate statements being made by the landowners in an attempt to sway public opinion on the controversial project and land dispute.

The consulting firm is headed by Blois Olson, a former press secretary to the late Minnesota Congressman Bruce Vento.

"We recognize the landowners have been far, far, far more aggressive than the county in dealing with the media in putting out partial information," said Board Chairman Randy Johnson. "We just want the whole story to be told."

County officials defended the county's decision to hire the company even though the county has a public affairs office with 16 employees and a $2 million annual budget. "It would take away from our core work," said Carolyn Marinan, the county's public affairs director. "This is not the type of work this office does.

"I think there's a need to have a very focused and concentrated effort to counter the attacks that we think are utterly untrue coming from the other side," she said.

County officials said the consulting firm will focus on getting the county's story to local business and community leaders -- and others whom Johnson said "should be natural allies." Olson declined to comment on the contract, which runs through the end of 2008.

But Aron Kahn, a former St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter who is the primary spokesman for the landowners, said the reasons for hiring Olson's firm are clear. The "county commissioners had been pounding [on the landowners] for months, vilifying them with false claims," he said. "I guess the commissioners don't like it when someone pushes back."

Kahn, who began working for the landowners in February, declined to disclose his salary. The primary landowner is Land Partners II, a limited liability partnership that has signed a development agreement with Hines Interests, a large Texas-based developer that has played a major role in the condemnation.

I have no sympathy for the County. They should have gotten the price worked out prior to voting on this. They wanted to hurry this through prior to the election - without full disclosure on the problems.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

OutFront Minnesota Praises Passage of Hate Crimes Bill

From OutFront Minnesota:


OutFront Minnesota Praises Passage of Hate Crimes Bill Minnesota Senators voted in Favor
Contact: Monica Meyer, Public Policy Director 612-822-0127 ext. 115

Jo Marsicano, Communications Director, 612-822-0127 ext. 106
September 27th, 2007

(Minneapolis) OutFront Minnesota lauds the passage of the Mathew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Act today in the United States Senate. Both U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Norm Coleman voted in favor of the bill, with Senator Klobuchar being a cosponsor. It is heartening that both senators are in consensus about the belief in protecting all Americans from hate and bias motivated crime.

The hate crimes bill would authorize federal investigations and prosecutions of crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender, disability and gender identity. Gender identity is a particularly important inclusion in this bill because it protects our transgender citizens. The bill also emboldens state and local law enforcement authorities to investigate and prosecute crimes based on the above criteria.

The legislation is supported by twenty-six state attorneys general including Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, as well as 230 law enforcement, civil rights, civic and religious organizations. While Minnesota has hate crimes statutes that include sexual orientation, this federal legislation would enhance existing protections for GLBT Minnesotans.

The legislation is named after Mathew Shepard, a young gay man who was murdered in 1998. The bill was added as an amendment to a defense appropriations bill, which has yet to be voted on.

OutFront Minnesota is an advocacy, public policy, and direct service organization for the GLBT and allied community.

Leading Minnesota Toward GLBT Equality. Celebrating Our 20th Year.

I have written the Human Rights Campaign or HRC to get a comment from them about Norm Coleman's vote. So far, I have not heard back.

Log Cabin Praises Bi-Partisan Senate Vote on Hate Crimes Bill

News Release
For Immediate Release
September 27, 2007

Contact: Scott Tucker
Log Cabin Republicans-Washington, DC Office
(202) 347-5306
Log Cabin Praises Bi-Partisan Senate Vote on Hate Crimes Bill
Measure Provides Assistance for Local Law Enforcement Agencies

(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans praise the U.S. Senate’s bi-partisan vote to approve the Matthew Shepard Act (formerly the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act). The measure passed on a voice vote after clearing a cloture vote by a margin of 60-39. The Senate vote adds the hate crimes measure to the Department of Defense Authorization Bill.

Nine Republicans voted to move the bill forward. Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR), co-sponsor of the bill, was joined by Senators Norm Coleman (R-MN), Judd Gregg (R-NH), John Warner (R-VA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Richard Lugar (R-IN), George Voinovich (R-OH), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Arlen Specter (R-PA).

“Log Cabin praises these Republicans for joining Democrats in voting to move this important legislation forward,” said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. “This is a common sense bill supported by the vast majority of Americans and the law enforcement community.”

“Current law allows local law enforcement agencies to receive federal assistance in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes based on race, religion, and national origin—but not sexual orientation. Modernizing existing law is critical to ensure that our local law enforcement agencies are given every tool available to prosecute violent crime,” said Sammon.

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Log Cabin has state and local chapters nationwide, full-time offices in Washington, DC and Sacramento, CA, a federal political action committee and state political action committees.

General Peter Pace Clarifies Remarks About Gays in the Military

From SLDN Times:

General Peter Pace Clarifies Remarks About Gays in the Military

In an appearence yesterday before the Senate Appropriations Committee, outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace clarified remarks he made earlier this year about gay service personnel and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on open service. In response to questions from Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) about Pace’s earlier comments, referring to homosexuality as “immoral,” the General indicated a willingness to change the law.

“Are there wonderful Americans who happen to be homosexual serving in the military? Yes,” Pace said. “[W]e should respect those who want to serve the nation but not through the law of the land, condone activity that, in my upbringing, is counter to God's law.” Pace then went on to say that, “"I would be very willing and able and supportive” to changes to the policy “to continue to allow the homosexual community to contribute to the nation without condoning what I believe to be activity — whether it to be heterosexual or homosexual — that in my upbringing is not right,” indicating support for policies that would treat behavior by all service personnel, regardless of sexual orientation, the same.

“General Pace is right in his assertion that lesbian and gay personnel should be treated equally alongside their heterosexual colleagues,” said Aubrey Sarvis, SLDN's executive director. “’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ however, creates a separate set of standards for gay personnel. The law is about status, and not conduct. Policies regulating conduct are already on the books and should be applied without regard to sexual orientation, but simply being lesbian or gay should not be grounds for dismissal from the armed forces.”

To read more about General Pace's comments or to learn more about 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell," visit SLDN online .

Meanwhile HRC is just condemning Pace's comments. Is HRC interested in doing something about repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell - or are they more interested in scoring points against republicans?

HRC's backstory's blog doesn't allow comments. At least they do show the video so you can view and decide for yourself.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

MN Publius Bloggers Call Out Michael Brodkorb on Norm Coleman's Scorched Earth Adman


Failed School Board candidate and Embarrassment to the Republican Party, Tom Swift is helping out.

# Demrock6 Sep 25th, 2007 at 8:43 am

Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t this also the guy who the Mark Kennedy for Congress campaign used in 2004 showing Saddam with Patty Wetterling? What about the white girl gushing “I met Harold at the playboy party” about Black senate candidate Harold Ford in Tennessee?

Scott Howell is a scorched Earth ad man. I am glad Norm Coleman is showing his true colors once again.
# 11 Sean Sep 25th, 2007 at 8:50 am

There is a lot more on Scott Howell– Norm Coleman should be ashamed for himself for hiring such a negative and hateful person as his advertising consultant.

# 12 Michael B. Brodkorb Sep 25th, 2007 at 9:26 am


Please post the image from the ad of former Senator Cleland next to Bin Laden and Hussein.

If it’s true that Cleland’s image appears next to Bin Laden and Hussein in the ad, it shouldn’t be any trouble for you.

That’s what I thought - you can’t do it.
# 13 Zack Sep 25th, 2007 at 9:33 am

Michael, your nitpicking is not a defense, it just makes you look desperate. John McCain denounced the ad. Its a dispicable ad. You yourself will not defend the ad. You are making a distinction without a difference. Even if what you say is true, its still a dispicable ad.
# 14 Nitro Sep 25th, 2007 at 10:11 am


You’re desparately splitting hairs here. You should be embarassed.
# 15 Sean Sep 25th, 2007 at 10:36 am


It’s not rocket science. When you view the video it shows pictures of Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and then pictures of Max Cleland, a decorated veteran of Vietnam. This inspired John McCain, noted liberal (ahem) to describe it as

“Putting pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden next to a picture of a man who lost three limbs on the battlefield— it’s worse than disgraceful, it’s reprehensible.”

I asked a simple question Michael– is this what Norm Coleman considers supporting Americas veterans? By putting thousands of dollars in the coffers of a man who attacked the courage, patriotism and integrity of our veterans?

And I’m still waiting for you to express your shock at your paymaster for hiring such a hateful and negative consultant.

# 16 Kerosene Hat Sep 25th, 2007 at 11:01 am


The images appear next to each other in the time sequence not on the screen. Both are correct uses of the term “next to”. If I were to say out loud the words “Bush is” and then say the words “the worst president ever” would you infer a certain message from that?

Either you aren’t very bright or are choosing to be deceptive, take your pick.
# 17 Michael B. Brodkorb Sep 25th, 2007 at 11:26 am

BTW Sean, the ad does not compare former Senator Cleland to Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

I’m not defending the ad, but at least be accurate in your attacks about it.
# 18 Nitro Sep 25th, 2007 at 11:41 am


Clearly, the image of Osama Bin Laden served a purpose, or it wouldn’t be in the ad.

Can you explain to me what Bin Laden’s image was doing there?

What purpose did Bin Laden’s image serve?

Richard Land Fires Back at Dobson on His Criticism of Thompson

Brody File:

Fred Thompson just got some encouraging news. Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission tells The Brody File the following:

"My assessment is that at this moment in time it is Fred Thompson's race to lose. It may be a convergence of the right man, in the right place and at the right time. I have never seen anything like this grassroots swell for Thompson. I'm not speaking for Southern Baptists but I do believe I have my hand on the pulse of Southern Baptists and I think I know where the consensus is."

Strong words. Dr. Land doesn't endorse candidates but he is a powerful figure in Evangelical circles. His words matter. So why the fascination with Thompson? Land told me there are a lot of factors. He believes electability is extremely important and thinks that Thompson may be the best social conservative candidate right now to beat Hillary Clinton. He says just look at the head to head polling between the two of them. But there's more. You know, it was Land that came up with the term, "Southern-Fried Reagan" when describing Thompson. So now he tells me the following:

"He has an ability to connect with people. He comes from small town America where he can appeal to NASCAR dads, Security moms, and Reagan Democrats."

Brody notes that this hurts Mitt Romney's campaign.

The Brody File is always trying to give it to you straight so let me do so here. Dr. Land is not the only Evangelical leader to feel this way. Others that I have talked to haven't gone on record but they like what they see from Thompson. This has got to be a major concern for Mitt Romney…not to mention frustrating. Here is Romney working hard on the campaign trail for months and securing key conservatives along the way. He's put out policy initiatives, talked about the culture war, etc. Thompson skips along singing a happy tune because he's not officially in yet. Romney needs some of those Evangelical heavyweights. Having them in his hip pocket is crucial. It would give him cover on the Mormon issue. It's a long race but I'm hearing that you can expect some of these national leaders to come out by the fall with who they like. Time is of the essence.

Apparently James Dobson's group is losing money. They are laying off staff. Muskrat Hunt:

FOF (Focus on de Fambly) is laying off 30 and reassigning 15... Big Daddy Dobson says donations have fallen... the right-wing churches are seeing decreasing income...

Angie Paccione Drops Out of Race Against Marilyn Musgrave


Angie Paccione Announces She is No Longer a Candidate for Congress

New Leadership Post Leads to International Opportunity
Statement by Angie Paccione - September 26, 2007 11:00 AM MDT

Good Morning.

There are no words adequate enough to describe the privilege I’ve had representing the people of Fort Collins as their State Representative and as the Democratic candidate for the people of the 4th Congressional District. In 2000, when there was no democratic candidate on the ballot for the 4th CD, I was motivated to enter politics to fill the void in leadership. At that time I offered my service as the voice of the people in representative government. I am forever changed, forever grateful, and forever indebted to the people for the opportunity they gave me to serve them.

I have a passion to serve people by doing whatever I can to unleash their greatness. This is what has always compelled me. I used my skills as an athlete to serve our country in international competition, I used my academic talent to serve our youth as an educator, and I used my political position to serve the people I represented by giving them hope, making the system work for them, and empowering them to participate in politics as well.

Since September of 2005 I have been on a mission to win the 4th Congressional district because I believe and many others do as well, that I would be a better, more effective representative for the people of this district. As an elected official I have always focused on what’s right, not on who’s right. That has allowed me to reach across political divides and partisan politics to get things done for the people of our great state. I am proud of the work I was able to do…as a lead sponsor of legislation and as a co-sponsor. I have always been accessible to my constituents, I have always been responsive to their concerns, and I have always worked with members of both political parties.

Last night I had the privilege of speaking to hundreds of high school students and their parents. I told them what I have been telling young people for nearly three decades… to have the courage to say "yes" to opportunity. Today I am here to do the very thing I encourage others to do…to say yes to an amazing opportunity that has presented itself to me. Since January, I have been working with Pathways to Leadership Inc., a company that gives businesses a competitive advantage over others by helping them unleash the greatness in their employees, teams, and organization. This is a company that changes the results people and organizations deliver - because it changes the lives of the people in the organization.

I thought that I might be able to work with Pathways to Leadership and campaign for Congress at the same time. However, the opportunities with Pathways have grown and I must say "yes" to those opportunities. In addition to locations in the US, my work with Pathways will be taking me to Australia, Switzerland, Mexico, and Italy in the very near future. In those travels, I will be working with businessmen and women who are motivated to improve their leadership skills and the wellness culture in their workplace.

This is a tremendous opportunity for me and I have wrestled with my decision for a number of weeks now. The campaign is very strong, the support is broad-based, and I still believe I am the best candidate to win the seat. However, I am motivated by a passion to serve and my opportunity with Pathways gives me the ability to serve immediately. I could spend the next 14 months campaigning for the opportunity to make a difference or I could spend the next 14 months actually making a difference in the lives of others.

So, today I am announcing that I am ending my campaign for congress in the 4th district.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank my staff, my volunteers, and all those who invested time, energy, and hope in our campaign. I am thrilled that I have been a vehicle for their involvement in the political process. Those that have been empowered by my campaign will continue to use their voice to impact the politics of their communities… I am certain of it. And although I won’t be their candidate I will continue to be their friend and will fight side by side with them to change our country and the world.

Drew Emmer Takes Aim at a Dump Bachmann Contributor... and Misses

Drew Emmer of the Wright County Republican blog thought he had uncovered a nefarious plot perpetrated by Dump Bachmann contributor Bill Prendergast.

Bill Prendergast denied Drew Emmer's tin foil hat assertions.

Emmer also believes the bible-hurling, jailbird Rep. Mark Olson is an "honorable man"

A while back, I wrote on Dump Mark Olson about Emmer's hilarious account of being arrested and thrown in jail.

The following is from the April 23rd post on DMO:

...Drew Emmer has a post on his Wright County Republican blog about his recent arrest for a fowl crime:

The era of "never been arrested" ended for me last Monday. 

It was a gorgeous evening. I was preoccupied with the news of Virginia Tech. I headed west from my office toward Delano to take in a nephew's baseball game. As I passed through Maple Plain two West Hennepin Public Safety squads converged on me and pulled me over. No traffic violation. They were just randomly running plates and when they ran mine the alarm went off. I was surprised to learn that there was a warrant out for my arrest.

Last fall I went on a guided goose hunt in Rochester. Two DNR officers checked our guns and licenses. I did not have a federal migratory waterfowl stamp on my Minnesota license and I got a ticket. (My federal stamp was on my Missouri license, which I neglected to bring with me that day). I was told to call Olmstead County to find out about the fine. I called the next week and was informed that I would have to call back since the DNR had not yet submitted my ticket to Olmstead County. I failed to follow up. Hence the warrant. Drew Emmer ends up in the hoosegow for his wild goose chase. But, Emmer's not too upset because he feels he's being taken care of by like-minded folks:

"The staff at Hennepin County Jail are all Sheriff Stanek's folks and they do a remarkable job considering the slice of society they interact with each day. "

...hmmm... what "slice of society" is that, Drew?

Then when I thought I was finally getting out they put me in general population until almost 2am. My cellmates nicknamed me Crocodile M-f-ing Dun-f-ing-Dee when they found out what I was in for. As I finally walked out of the pod a lone voice said "keep it real birdman".

Emmer then shoots his mouth off about how the cops should have done it different... what a birdbrain!

Emmer and Olson... jailbirds of feather:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Are Citizen Journalists Just Serfs on the Web?

With mainstream journalism in the throes of downsizing and consolidation, many people, including myself are turning to blogs and other web sites for news.

A few years back, some "new media" entrepreneurs have attempted to harness the volunteer enthusiasm of bloggers to an electronic version of the "old media" newspaper. The result was something they call "citizen journalism".

One example of citizen journalism is Korea's Ohmy News.

One problem overlooked in all the hoopla about citizen journalism... what rights do citizen journalists have? How is working for free, not having your article fact-checked and edited, not being protected from angry readers, not being represented by a union and having no control over your work more desirable than being a paid, professional journalist?

Is the "new media" boss any better than the "old media" boss?

The Twin Cities Daily Planet is a local experiment in citizen journalism. In 2006, I was asked to be the Transportation Editor for the TCDP by former TCDP editor Craig Cox. I didn't actually edit anything because the TCDP is mostly a web portal through which articles from other publications, written mostly by paid, professional reporters were recycled.

I was asked to contribute articles (for free) that would appear in the mix of article produced by paid journalists. For that reason and others, I eventually ceased writing for the TCDP after writing many articles.

I was also asked by Craig Cox to "recruit" other citizen journalists to contribute content to the TCDP. I was reluctant to ask other people to volunteer their time and effort under conditions that I was uncomfortable with. I recruited only one person to contribute content for the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

I was shocked to learn many months later that the one person I recruited was being cited by Craig Cox... by name in a journalism review as an example of what had gone wrong with the TCDP's experiment in citizen journalism.

You can read Craig Cox's article in Harvard's Nieman Reports.

It starts off this way:

Late in July, when a former member of the Minneapolis City Council went on trial in a high-profile bribery case, I received an e-mail from a local community activist alerting me to a woman who was determined to sit through the entire proceedings and describe the finer points of a trial that was headline news in the Twin Cities media.

The former member of the Mpls City Council was Dean Zimmermann. The "activist' is me and Cox fails to mention that I was an "editor" at the TCDP. Failing to mention Zimmermann and myself by name, Cox goes on to name Liz McLemore:

I dashed off an e-mail to the blogger, a south Minneapolis political activist named Liz McLemore, and asked her if she would allow me to publish her courtroom chronicles for our Daily Planet readers.

...what follows is a bizarre, vicious attack on Liz McLemore that reads like a stereotypical 19th Century factory boss complaining about his workers:

The McLemore "scoop" is an object lesson in the way citizen journalists can captivate and confound editors trying to build and maintain the credibility of their publications while encouraging ordinary citizens to tell their story. Captive to the vagaries of personal schedules, political biases, and reportorial limitations, these amateur reporters can require delicate handling even as they bring greater passion than many veterans.

... Cox didn't contact either me or Liz McLemore before he wrote his screed. Liz McLemore and I contacted the editor of the Nieman Reports and she apologized for allowing Cox to slime Liz McLemore and posted McLemore's response on the Nieman Report site. McLemore sets the record straight and concludes with this:

But what of Cox's own lapses in the very article in which he reports mine? Cox explains that for many people, "the media remains a monolithic, authoritarian machine that holds little interest or importance in their daily lives." Perhaps this is one reason that so many have turned to bloggers. To regain a position of importance in our lives, the media must earn it. At the very least, the public has a right to demand that professional journalists adhere to the standards of truth, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, and fairness. I expect nothing less from Craig Cox. Too bad he has failed to deliver it.

Craig Cox is no longer the editor at the TCDP. Cox cross-posts political gossip from his Minneapolis Observer Ballot Box blog to his TCDP blog.

The new editor Mary Turck has taken over Cox's job of recruiting citizen journalists for TCDP. Turck recently yanked and re-wrote an article (after it was criticized by Mayor Rybak's flak-catcher).

My advice to anyone contemplating a career in citizen journalism is to stick to blogging where you are your own boss.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Will Norm Coleman Give the Conservative Activists That Dominate Party Caucuses a Reason to Work for Him?

He goes on the Northern Alliance Radio Network and says one thing to Mitch Berg and Ed Morrisey.

Then he says something totally different when constituents from the anti-war rally confronted him at his home recently - that the US
should not be in the middle of a civil war.

I wonder what Hugh Hewitt will say to this?

Andy from Residual Forces is saying that Coleman's campaign has got to give people a reason (beyond Al Franken is a jerk) for voting for him.

Update: Jeff Kouba from Truth v the Machine isn't happy with him about the Webb amendment vote.

Back door surrender
September 20th, 2007 by Jeff Kouba

Yesterday, the Senate defeated the Webb amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 on a vote of 56-44. which would’ve put a floor on the time troops must spend at home between deployments. Here’s the essence of the amendment:

(6) It is the goal of the Armed Forces of the United States to achieve an optimal minimum period between the previous deployment of a unit or member of a regular component of the Armed Forces and a subsequent deployment of such a unit or member that is equal to or longer than twice the period of such previous deployment, commonly described as a 1:2 deployment-to-dwell ratio.

For reserve troops, that ratio would have been 1:5.

In his second big disappointment of the week, Senator Coleman voted for the amendment.

Noted foreign policy expert and military strategist Senator Klobuchar not only voted for it, she was a co-sponsor.

Norm Coleman is damned no matter how he votes.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Vitter's Constituents Don't Seem Too Happy

From the Times Picayune Comments:

Posted by dderoche on 09/22/07 at 10:12PM

My God! (no pun intended) Creationism is not science, it's faith based like any religious belief. Mr. Vitter should check his own moral character before investing our money into his religious belief system to which he is a hypocrite.

Posted by lroussarie on 09/22/07 at 10:19PM

What's next: Will Vitter spend tax payer dollars for research to find out if the Holocaust was real?

Evolution is a fact deal with it. And yes just in case you missed it in the papers the Holocaust was real - no need to amend the history books.

Posted by qtempire on 09/22/07 at 10:37PM

Seems to me that spending government money on creationism is government trying to establish a religion. Seems to me that Vitter would understand that. Unless he's just dense. But that might the case.

Posted by Sandy5555 on 09/22/07 at 10:49PM

It is not out of character with the mechanics of the coalition that put him in the Senate that he would support this. His personal problems aside, there is a genuine question as to whether or not a senator should represent the views of his political constituency. Throwing $100,000 toward this particular constituency which did, in fact, work hard for his election, is not abnormal in the ways of federal politics. Vitter has made some exceptionally stupid personal errors, but he is a very savvy politician, and if he is to stand any chance at all in 2010 he will need the full support of the religious right.

23TigerTeeth on 09/22/07 at 11:41PM

Someone asked what's next?

Well, maybe Vitter will try to earmark some federal money to Wendy Cortez so she'll stop doing interviews with the media about her adulterous relationship with our 'family values' senator.

Despite his sponsorship of creationism non-science, we do know that there's one area of science he does believe in: DNA science.

Because according to Wendy Cortez in her WDSU interview Wednesday night, married Senator Vitter used a condom during their sex sessions--and took the used condom with him so as not to leave his DNA material behind in the French Quarter apartment they used.

Now we know why that clerical fraud Gene Mills made all those excuses for Vitter immediately we learned he broke the law with the 'D.C. Madam.' Vitter was making arrangements to send $100,000 to the Rev. Gene Mills' religious-political organization.

Maybe Vitter wants to pay off the creationists so they can 'create' more lies and excuses about our 'family values' whoremonger senator.

Diaperboy David Vitter Earmarks $100,000 for Creationist Group

New Orleans Times Picayune:

WASHINGTON -- Sen. David Vitter, R-La., earmarked $100,000 in a spending bill for a Louisiana Christian group that has challenged the teaching of Darwinian evolution in the public school system and to which he has political ties.

The money is included in the labor, health and education financing bill for fiscal 2008 and specifies payment to the Louisiana Family Forum "to develop a plan to promote better science education."

The earmark appears to be the latest salvo in a decades-long battle over science education in Louisiana, in which some Christian groups have opposed the teaching of evolution and, more recently, have pushed to have it prominently labeled as a theory with other alternatives presented. Educators and others have decried the movement as a backdoor effort to inject religious teachings into the classroom.

The nonprofit Louisiana Family Forum, launched in Baton Rouge in 1999 by former state Rep. Tony Perkins, has in recent years taken the lead in promoting "origins science," which includes the possibility of divine intervention in the creation of the universe.

The group's stated mission is to "persuasively present biblical principles in the centers of influence on issues affecting the family through research, communication and networking." Until recently, its Web site contained a "battle plan to combat evolution," which called the theory a "dangerous" concept that "has no place in the classroom." The document was removed after a reporter's inquiry.

Vitter, Forum have ties

The group's tax-exempt status prohibits the Louisiana Family Forum from political activity, but Vitter has close ties to the group. Dan Richey, the group's grass-roots coordinator, was paid $17,250 as a consultant in Vitter's 2004 Senate race. Records also show that Vitter's campaign employed Beryl Amedee, the education resource council chairwoman for the Louisiana Family Forum.

The group has been an advocate for the senator, who was elected as a strong supporter of conservative social issues. When Vitter's use of a Washington, D.C., call-girl service drew comparisons last month to the arrest of Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, in what an undercover officer said was a solicitation for sex in an airport men's room, Family Forum Executive Director Gene Mills came to Vitter's defense.

In a video clip the group posted on the Internet site YouTube, Mills said the two senators' situations are far different. "Craig is denying the allegations," he said. "Vitter has repented of the allegations. He sought forgiveness, reconciliation and counseling."


Mills said his group is not attempting to push the teaching of evolution out of the schools, but wants to supplement it. Yet, some of the material posted on the Louisiana Family Forum's Web site suggests a more radical view.

Among other things, a "Louisiana Family Forum Fact Sheet" at one point included "A Battle Plan -- Practical Steps to Combat Evolution" by Kent Hovind, a controversial evangelist who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for tax offenses and obstruction of justice.

Hovind's paper stated, "Evolution is not a harmless theory but a dangerous religious belief" that underpinned the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

Looking deeper urged

"I've got so much stuff on the Web site I don't know what's there," Mills said. "We think that in order to teach controversial topics successfully, you have to teach both sides."

The group's "Evolution Addendum for Public Schools," also posted on the Web site, offers a flavor of its concerns. The document rejects the evolutionary connection between apes and humans, questions the standard explanation of fossil formation and seeks to undercut the prevailing scientific view that life emerged from a series of chemical reactions.

"Under ideal conditions, the odds of that many amino acids coming together in the right order are approximately the same as winning the Power Ball Lotto every week for the next 640 years," it states. "How could this have happened accidentally?"

Kincade, the Monroe lawyer, said Vitter's and Louisiana Family Forum's motives are not benign.

"What you have to do is look below the surface," said Kincade, who holds an undergraduate degree in physics and has been active in legal cases in which religious groups challenge science instruction. "It frames the issue in a way that appeals to America's sense of fair play. The problem is, except for fringe people, evolution is an accepted fact of science. It is not a hotly contested issue. The general concept of natural selection and evolution is settled and beyond dispute. To suggest otherwise is misleading. They are trying to backdoor creationism."

This nonsense doesn't belong in science classes. Write Coleman and Klobuchar and demand this earmark be removed.

Rich Stanek Seems to Be Running for Congress

Will the DFL let him get by with this? They did when he ran for Sheriff.

I think this is a bad idea. This is the text of an article published in the Spokesman Recorder on March 3, 2003. The article is no longer available on the Spokesman website.

Star Minneapolis cop to lead state Public Safety
Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Originally posted 3/5/2003

But should communities of color feel safer with this man at the helm?

By Abdel Shakur
Staff Writer

Incoming Public Safety Commissioner Richard Stanek has quite the personnel record after 17 years with the Minneapolis Police Department. His two-inch-thick file is filled with over 40 letters of commendation, awards, and specialized training.

Judging from his file, you would think that Captain Stanek has never done anything wrong. However, anyone familiar with police brutality in the Minneapolis police department will tell you different. Records detailing Stanek's history of brutal and racist behavior may have been erased from Minneapolis City Hall, but fortunately the courts and the Black community have a long memory.

In 1992, Black motorist Anthony Freeman was involved in a traffic accident with Stanek after allegedly running a red light. Freeman said that after the accident Stanek broke his window, dragged him out of his car, yelled racial epithets and beat him in the middle of the street.

Under oath, Stanek admitted to using the word "nigger" in the presence of his fellow officers on other occasions and to telling racist jokes. In denying Freeman's account, Stanek claimed that he wasn't even conscious that Freeman was a Black man until hours after the incident, when he had to fill out insurance forms. The City settled the case out of court.

A year after the incident with Freeman, Stanek was one of four officers named in another police brutality suit filed by Ronald Kennerly. In that case, Kennerly said that officers beat him, threatened him, and placed him under arrest without probable cause. A female neighbor who tried to intervene was beaten with a flashlight and also placed under arrest, according to the complaint.

Again, the City settled.

In 1996, Jerold Wahlin filed a suit against the City and a local club, claiming that Stanek, who was moonlighting as security, struck him twice in the head with a flashlight and smashed his head into the club floor a number of times. Stanek admitted to using the flashlight, but said he only did so to stop Wahlin from attacking an off-duty Drug Enforcement agent who was also working security. The City decided to settle this case as well. All tolled, allegations of brutality against Stanek have cost the City over $50,000.

These cases have done nothing to diminish Stanek's career prospects in the department, however. Stanek has the distinction of being the youngest person to hold the ranks of lieutenant, captain, and inspector in department history.

Stanek's rise on the force has only been surpassed by his meteoric political rise in the state legislature, to which he was elected in 1995. Stanek has kept his day job in Minneapolis while moonlighting as a highly influential representative for Maple Grove.

In 1999, against the objections of both Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton and Police Chief Robert Olson, Stanek passed legislation eliminating Minneapolis' residency requirement for police officers. Stanek was also instrumental in defeating a statewide racial profiling initiative sponsored by former DFL legislator Gregory Gray.

"Rich Stanek doesn't give a good rip about the civil rights of Black people and people of color," said Gray. "It's not so much racism as it is just not giving a damn."

Gray's bill, which called for mandatory data collection in police departments statewide, was undermined by a proposal from Stanek that departments instead receive state funding for camera equipment on patrol cars.

"I put a premium on honesty," said Gray. "Rich told me what he was going to do and he went ahead and did it. At least he stands by what he says."

Gray said he didn't expect Stanek's appointment to have a more negative impact than former commissioner Charlie Weaver, who Gray said was "not a man of his word."

However, Gray does not think Stanek's connection to the Minneapolis Police Department will help the city's crisis in police-community relations. "It would have been nice to have someone in the Department of Public Safety that could help to bridge some of those gaps between police and the community," he said.

Before leaving his legislative post to take his new job, Stanek passed a bill earlier this year that required driver's licenses to openly reflect the visa status of foreigners. Representative Keith Ellison, who sat on Stanek's Judiciary Policy/Financing Committee, said he supported a less conspicuous, encoded license proposal that would have allowed law enforcement access to some visa information, but not the general public.

Ellison called Stanek's proposal "ugly" and said it was an example of Minnesota putting its "weakest and most selfish foot forward."

With major cuts underway for schools, libraries and social services, Ellison said Stanek, and the police interests he represents, will become even more important to maintaining order in the state. "Stanek is their muscle, and he's the one willing to direct police to control the more vulnerable members of our society," he said. "He's even more dangerous than what they have had in the past because he is articulate and he can be smooth."

Ellison said he was concerned that Stanek's rise represents a shift in government into a literal "police state," where police both write and enforce laws.

"I wonder what his leadership will do to this state," said Ellison. "People have to realize that, in a democracy, civilian power is always supposed to trump police power."

Abdel Shakur welcomes reader responses to

What is troubling to me here is that there were multiple cases of police brutality against Rich Stanek that were settled by the City of Minneapolis.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Theocratic Infighting Over the Presidential Race

AP recently obtained a "private" email written by Focus on the Family's James Dobson that was highly critical of Republican Presidential candidate Fred Thompson:

In a private e-mail obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, Dobson accuses the former Tennessee senator and actor of being weak on the campaign trail and wrong on issues dear to social conservatives.

"Isn't Thompson the candidate who is opposed to a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage, believes there should be 50 different definitions of marriage in the U.S., favors McCain-Feingold, won't talk at all about what he believes, and can't speak his way out of a paper bag on the campaign trail?" Dobson wrote.

"He has no passion, no zeal, and no apparent 'want to.' And yet he is apparently the Great Hope that burns in the breasts of many conservative Christians? Well, not for me, my brothers. Not for me!"

Now Gary Bauer has responded:

erican Values president Gary Bauer says Dobson's email is unhelpful because Thompson is a candidate conservative Christians should seriously consider if they hope to avoid what he calls the "nightmare scenario" of having to choose in the general election from two pro-abortion, pro-gay rights politicians from New York -- Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.

"He's obviously against same-sex marriage. He doesn't support quite the same constitutional amendment that some of the other's of us do, but he's been talking with us about it, and has been moving closer and closer on the amendment," says Bauer. "So I hope that we can, as a movement, be very wise about this, and not savage candidates that we may very well have to support in 2008 if they're running against Hillary Clinton."

The comments are amusing.

Dr. Dobson did nothing wrong in stating his concerns about Fred Thompson. Just because he is the closest top tier republican nominee to conservative values, does not mean we need to support him. We need to focus our efforts in trying to get a truly Godly man like Alan Keyes or Mike Huckabee in the running for the republican candidate. Compromising our standards just because the media is pushing for candidates that don't meet them is not mandatory.

Posted by teresa | September 21, 2007 9:08 AM

Posted on September 21, 2007 09:08
Stephanie :

Thank you, Mr. Bauer, for coming out in support of Fred Thompson! In most polls, he is already ahead of Rudy and I think this trend will continue as he is out on the campaign trail. As a conservative Christian, I fully support Thompson's candidacy and believe he is the only one who can beat back Communism, i.e. Hillary Clinton.

Posted by Stephanie | September 21, 2007 9:33 AM

Posted on September 21, 2007 09:33
Magnum Serpentine:

There are more Christian Democrats than conservatives. I suspect a Democrat will win in 2008 and because the republicans continue to be obstructionist and dis-obey the will of the American Citizens they will loose even more seats in both houses in 2008. If the Republicans want to win, they need to completely break with bush and vote for an instant removal of all troops from the Civil War in Iraq.

Posted by Magnum Serpentine | September 21, 2007 9:45 AM

Posted on September 21, 2007 09:45
Chuck Anziulewicz:

My, what a circus the Republican primary race has becoming. Fred Thompson isn't anti-Gay enough for evangelicals. Those same evagelicals MIGHT go for Mitt Romney, if it wasn't for that pesky Mormon issue. Rudy Giuliani COULD get a lot of the swing voters that help the Republican party win elections, but the social conservatives think he's too weak on abortion and Gay rights. Brownback and Huckabee are attractive to the hardcore Christian conservatives, but they'll never appeal to the swing voters. With the G.O.P. this fragmented, it would seem that the Democrats are going to win BIG next year.

Posted by Chuck Anziulewicz | September 21, 2007 10:03 AM

Posted on September 21, 2007 10:03

Fred Thompson could have taken over the lead and stayed there if he had taken the opportunity to attend the "values voter" debate when the other top tier Republicans disdained attendance. He did not. In fact, he likened attendance to being a "trained seal waiting for the next fish to be thrown at him".
If that's his attitude toward being questioned on his values directly, then we have something to be suspicious of.

Posted by Bill | September 21, 2007 10:11 AM

Posted on September 21, 2007 10:11
Bob Cook:

I agree with Dr. Dobson, you do not compromize God!s word.

Posted by Bob Cook | September 21, 2007 10:31 AM

Posted on September 21, 2007 10:31
Pamela Tolson:

I am so disappointed in Doubson for not backing Fred
Mr. Doubson

should realize from his own experience that ever word you use can be turned inside out

Thompsons is running for President not Pasteur of a particular church

Let's put things in there proper prospective. Tompsons professes to be a Christian he believes in Jesus Christ as the son of God

That looks real good compared to the Democratic believes

God bless
Pam Tolson

Posted by Pamela Tolson | September 21, 2007 10:46 AM

Posted on September 21, 2007 10:46
John Penrose:

I agree with Gary Bauer - and I don't understand how Dr. Dobson can in any way support McCain with his immigration stance, and waffling on other issues.

Fred Thompson definitely has stated very conservative ideas, and made some bold statements that I have not heard from other candidates.

Posted by John Penrose | September 21, 2007 11:02 AM

Posted on September 21, 2007 11:02
Lupe V.Resendez:

I have to agree with Mr. Bauer on this. It certainly takes a person of political savvy to understand the outcome of having a Clinton in the white house that is ready to sell this country to the biggest bidder and forsake what this country stands for-life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and one, Fred Thompson-fighter for freedom and justice and the right to be free. This is something that liberals cannot understand. If liberals win this election, they will no longer have the freedom to do the things they do or believe what they believe. All the freedoms will be taken away by the muslims. God help us if he isn't already too mad at us.

Posted by Lupe V.Resendez | September 21, 2007 11:06 AM

Posted on September 21, 2007 11:06
Cindy Hill:

If we do not stand together and unite behind one candidate the communists will have it. I voted in the poll, but I had the same reservations. In the primary I would go for the Godliest pro-lifer anti-gay candidate. But in the big election, I would vote for the lesser of the two evils. Either way, the Democrats are going communist 100 miles an hour, and the republicans are going communist 90 miles an hour right behind them.

Jesus is coming! You better get ready!

Posted by Cindy Hill | September 21, 2007 11:32 AM

Posted on September 21, 2007 11:32
Jacob Burke Jr.:

I think we've learned the following lesson the hard way with the present administration...namely, talk is cheap!

Posted by Jacob Burke Jr. | September 21, 2007 12:00 PM

Posted on September 21, 2007 12:00
Gina :

I disagree with Dr. Dobson. His comments were very rude! I will be voting for Fred Thompson!

Posted by Gina | September 21, 2007 12:18 PM

Posted on September 21, 2007 12:18

There is alos one other late comer to the run for the White House. Alan Keyes. He, to me, has the best credentials of them all.

We just have to keep praying that our God brings us together on the RIGHT man for the job.

Posted by IM4ULORD | September 21, 2007 12:19 PM

Posted on September 21, 2007 12:19
Will Becker:

Talk is cheap, but actions and voting records mean something.I would think Dr Dobson would be smart enough to know that Mr Thompson has all that.Sometimes it's better to remain silent than to openly criticise and divide good conservatives.

Posted by Will Becker | September 21, 2007 12:46 PM

Posted on September 21, 2007 12:46
Stevie Mac:

First of all, this was a private memo, not a Ministry Email. Second, this is an election and many people everyday share their opinions. Check out this blog.

I for one am very conservative and have a check in my spirit concerning Fred Thompson.

What do we know so far abuut Mr. Thompson? Very little. Is that by his choice, his lack of communication skills, or something he is hiding from the voters? Only he can speak up and change many people's mind, including Dr. Dobson's. Fred it's up to you to share with all of us your views an plans sooner than later.

P.s. Big mistake missing the Value Voters Debate.

Posted by Stevie Mac | September 21, 2007 1:05 PM