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Saturday, October 06, 2007

MN NOW PAC Demands Rep. Mark Olson Resign

(Cross-posted from the Dump Mark Olson Blog)

From a recent Minnesota NOW Political Action Committee mailing:


Representative Mark Olson, District 16B, was convicted of domestic assault in July 2007. The assault against his wife occurred in November 2006, yet Representative Olson maintained he was the battered spouse and he refused to step down from the Legislature. With the conviction, it is hoped that the House Ethics Committee will review Representative Olson’s actions and ask him to resign from the Legislature.

The personal IS political! How can a representative who assaults his wife have any credibility on domestic violence issues? At least 13 women and 11 children were murdered in Minnesota as a result of domestic violence in 2004. In Minnesota, domestic violence crime victims account for over 25% of all crime victims. Minnesotans deserve better representation on this issue than can be given by Mark Olson! The MN NOW PAC demands that Mark Olson resign from the Legislature.

Sweep Out the Convicts!

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Huge Internal Squabble in Gay Community

There's quite the squabble over whether to whether to move on in the Democratic congress with a version of ENDA with Trans removed. Outfront Minnesota sent out an alert asking their members to ask congress members to oppose any versions of ENDA without Transgenders included.

Barney Frank explains himself here.

The rhetoric is quite heated. Here's a sample over at Americablog.

Republican Convention Logo


Andy from Residual Forces reports much unhappiness in his inbox.

Yeah, for a $150 million plus event that will be for endorsing the next (potential) President of the United States, one would think they could have come up with some thing a bit more powerful and meaningful.

Honest to pete, is this for real? Have we just been punked?

Whose 3rd grader came up with this one?

Oh I think we need to figure out who the heck approved this crap.

A commenter added:

# montanaliberal Says:
October 5th, 2007 at 10:17 am

Wide stance? Check.
In Minneapolis? Check.
Prison stripe? Check.
Starry eyed? Check.
Blue elephant screwing 2008? Check.

they made it far too easy.

Andy's come up with an alternative logo.

Stanek Out

Mitch Berg at Whine in the Dark:

Stanek Out

MDE reports that Rich Stanek isn’t going to run for Jim Ramstad’s 3rd CD seat.

Stanek, the Henco sheriff, would have made a great congressional representative - but would have had to spend a lot of time and effort fighting off recycled palaver over his past racist remarks and actions (for which he’s worked harder than anyone I know if in the public eye to atone, and for which even the crypto-maoist City Pages has (grudgingly) declared him rehabilitated - not that any of that matters to the local media).

He leaves behind a decent field of solid conservatives.

More - much, much more - on this race over the next 11 months.

Don't expect to read new, or insider information on Mitch Berg's site. You'd want to go to Michael Brodkorb or Gary Miller for more of that.

Berg doesn't acknowledge what the "racist remarks and actions" were. He was sued 3 times for police brutality. Beating up black motorists while in uniform is much worse than "racist remarks." Maybe this record doesn't trouble him, but it troubles me.

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.

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

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Strib Fixes the Kline Bad Link

I wrote them about the bad link prior to posting it on Lloydletta. I'm glad they've fixed it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Dean Zimmermann Case Goes Before U.S. 8th Circuit Appeals Court

(Cross-posted from Minneapolis Confidential)

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To hear both arguments go HERE

Click on "Oral Arguments" on the sidebar.

Click on "Case Number"

Type in 07-1062

Direct link:

Here is about 9 minutes of the Government's argument:

Star Tribune's Politics Section

It's becoming a very nice one stop resource for electoral politics. However there are some amusing bugs to work out. The link to John Kline's page from this page takes you to a page about Keith Ellison.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Editorial Calls on Minnesota Women to "Clean House" of Rep. Mark Olson

(Cross-posted at the Dump Mark Olson Blog)

by Shannon Drury in the Minnesota Women's Press

Women of Minnesota, it's time to clean House.

Last July, Rep. Mark Olson (R-Big Lake) was convicted of one count of misdemeanor domestic assault with the intent to cause fear. Sherburne County District Judge Alan Pendleton sentenced him to two years' probation and required Olson pay $400 in fines as well as court costs for repeatedly pushing down his wife Heidi during an argument.

That seems like a pretty light sentence, you say. A person convicted of a domestic assault charge ought to draw a stricter punishment, you think to yourself, and you're not alone. In December 2006, not long after the charges against Olson were filed, Gov. Tim Pawlenty was quoted by Minnesota Public Radio: "If it turns out that he's found guilty or pleads guilty to the conduct alleged, then it's just not appropriate for him to be serving in the Legislature." (Fun tip: At MPR's website you can hear this tough talk for yourself.)

So what happened? Nothing. Olson won't quit. Last fall his Republican caucus dumped him, but no one in the party has made another peep about wanting him to resign.

You don't need to be a state officer of a national feminist organization (as I am) to hear this news and want to puke. You don't need to be a victim of domestic assault and/or know someone who is (as most of us do) to feel repulsed. You just need to give a damn about the people of Minnesota to know instinctively that Mark Olson has got to go.

Would a representative convicted of real estate fraud be allowed to serve in a body that determined the laws governing such transactions? If dear Gov. Pawlenty, heaven forbid, had a file full of speeding tickets, would we want him wielding his veto power over a bill that would put such repeat offenders in prison?

The budgets of women's shelters and domestic abuse education programs are determined by the Legislature. Should Mark Olson be allowed to have a vote when such a bill comes before him? Would you trust him with that kind of power?

It wasn't that long ago that a friend admitted to me that the breakup of her long-term relationship was caused by her partner's abuse. "Some feminist I am," she said, laughing bitterly. My response then was that it's not anti-feminist to be abused; abuse can and does happen to anyone. Victims aren't defined by their class, race, gender, sexual orientation, or even political orientation. "It's feminist to leave," I said, and I still believe that now.

For all the endless hand-wringing over what is and isn't feminist (lipstick? "Sex and the City?" hot pink iPods? heterosexuality?), let's all agree on one thing: It's feminist to speak up and speak out. Even a hater like Ann Coulter enjoys the right to press charges against a partner who beats her up, and she has a hundred years of feminists to thank for the privilege.

The home can be a dangerous place. In my last column, I wrote about the little hairline fractures that develop in one housewife, and the devastating consequences of going too long without help. Reactions among my readers ranged from support ("you nailed it") to admiration ("that was so brave") to embarrassment (one woman told me she was "shocked by the nakedness of your despair"). It shouldn't be surprising news that hurt exists, but that's America. It takes disaster to elicit change.

Yet for every single woman who speaks up, hundreds of her sisters remain silent. And why not? Put yourself in the Crocs of a housewife, radical or no, sitting in her living room one evening last summer as she watches Don Shelby deliver the news of Mark Olson's conviction. As part of the story she sees Olson report that he'll remain in the Minnesota Legislature, and the Republican leadership will let him. She has to move the ice pack from the bruise on her cheek; it's getting soaked with her tears. If a public person like Mark Olson won't have to pay for his crime, how will her partner? She might just change her mind and not file that police complaint after all.

Each of us must call our legislators to demand Olson be brought before the Ethics Committee at the start of the 2008 session. (The House switchboard, at 1-800-657-3550 can assist you. Another suggestion: If you're reading this and you live in Big Lake, Becker or elsewhere in District 16B, do not hesitate for a moment. Run against him.

Men need to join women in booting Olson from the legislature. There's a history of good ol' boys at the Capitol like Steve Sviggum allowing Rep. Mark Olson to avoid responsibility for abusing his staff:

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Strib's Doug Tice Misrepresents Former Colleague Eric Black in Post about Limbaugh/Coleman/Media Matters Flap

Eric Black's original article is available here.

Doug Tice's claimed he "came away with this summary".

Limbaugh insists that he was misunderstood and misrepresented and was actually referring to a specific, and authentically “phony” soldier — not to dissenting soldiers in general. His explanation is not impossible to accept.

It’s also possible to believe that a reasonable person might have honestly interpreted Limbaugh to be calling all anti-war soliders “phony.”

Tice then added:

[Norm] Coleman, at all events, was asked, not to judge what Limbaugh did or did not say, but to respond to the sentiment that there’s something phony about a soldier who publicly opposes the war. He did so, saying any such claim is “wrong.”

He was probably trying to do damage control for Norm Coleman who probably heard criticism about his statement criticizing Limbaugh from angry base voters.

Here was Coleman's statement as reported by Doug Tice:

“Limbaugh’s suggestion that those who have served their country and express their opinions are ‘phony soldiers’ is wrong. There needs to be a level of civility and honest debate in this country about issues as important as this. Labeling an active duty General a traitor, or calling a soldier a phony for having a different opinion does not rise to the level of discourse we hold ourselves to in this country.”

The statement was clearly about Rush Limbaugh.

UPDATE: Eric Black comments -

Eric Black here. I apologize for not replying more promptly when you emailed me yesterday to ask whether I felt Tice had misrepresented what I wrote. Actually, I don't feel my esteemed former colleague Doug Tice misrepresented my post. He surely didn't recite all elements of my analysis, many of which were rough on Rush. But I did say that given the whole of the now infamous few minutes of Limbaugh's program during which he uttered the prhase "phony soldiers," it was possible for fairminded people to conclude that he was talking about all soldiers who oppose the war (as Media Matters concluded), and it was possible to believe that Limbaugh was making a reference to Jesse MacBeth (as Limbaugh claimed the next day). Cheers.

Blog Odds and Ends

I'm going to be helping with an E-Democracy sponsored workshop on Blogging at the Rondo Library in St Paul.


Common Image/Photo/Video

  • Flickr:
  • Photobucket:
  • Youtube Video:


Blogger Issues:

  • Adding new widgets using Firefox. This will work using IE.

Marketing your blog:

  • Comment on other blogs
  • Post on Elists related to your blog topic
  • Put your blog address on your email signature
  • Put your blog address on a business card
  • Get your blog added to blog portal sites
  • Send tips to higher traffic blogs when you have a post that's in their area of interest

Local Blogger gatherings:

  • Minnesota Organization of Blogs (Righty blogs) - Keegans Pub, Minneapolis, Thursday Nights
  • Drinking Liberally - Liberal Blogs, and liberals - 331 Club, Minneapolis, Thursdays


  • Don't count on not being found out
  • Local Examples: Minnesota Democrats Exposed --> Michael Brodkorb outed when there was a lawsuit, Stillwater Infidel --> Tom Nacey outed by KSTP after he posted personal information about School Bond referendum opponents.
  • National Examples - Stop Sex Predators - blogging about Mark Foley's IMs to pages. After blogger was exposed as Lane Hudson - an employee of the Human Rights Campaign, Hudson lost his job. GayPatriot - was exposed in Washington Blade after posting what appeared to be a terroristic threat.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Minnesota 6th Congressional District Nooz from Dump Michele Bachmann

Bob Olson Campaign Announces Key Endorsements.

Hal Kimball reports that Janet Roberts and Bill Luther were surrounding 6th District candidate Elwyn Tinklenberg at the DFL Founder's Day Dinner.

Dump Bachmann also reports on an Elwyn Tinklenberg Thread on the Swing State Project - a national blog that promotes Democrats in swing districts.

Dump Bachmann commenters weigh in on Michele Bachmann's absence from Mark Olson's annual fundraiser.

Strib's Vaunted New "Onestop Shop" for Politics Has a Number of 404 Errors

The Strib should run a link check before promoting the site. The pigseye podcast link for the story about the impact of Ramstad retiring from congress didn't work. Once more of the site links work, it does look like it will be a nice resource for political junkies.

The links to the Prez blog and the Big Question did work. Conservative Reporter/Editor Doug Tice was able to get a statement from the Coleman campaign regarding Rush Limbaugh's remarks calling soldiers who oppose the Iraq war "phony soldiers":

“Limbaugh’s suggestion that those who have served their country and express their opinions are ‘phony soldiers’ is wrong. There needs to be a level of civility and honest debate in this country about issues as important as this. Labeling an active duty General a traitor, or calling a soldier a phony for having a different opinion does not rise to the level of discourse we hold ourselves to in this country.”

Minnesota Monitor's Jeff Fecke reports that President Bush, through his spokesperson, condemned Limbaugh's remarks:

The statement by Limbaugh came on the heels of a controversy surrounding an advertisement taken out by assailing Gen. David Petraeus, which featured the headline, "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" The ad was roundly denounced by Republicans, including Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, who took out an ad condemning Al Franken, one of Coleman's Democratic challengers, for previously raising money for MoveOn.

The Franken campaign declined to attack Limbaugh directly. In a statement given to Minnesota Monitor, press secretary Jess McIntosh said simply, "Al's thought enough about Rush Limbaugh for one lifetime."

Coleman's office did not respond to a request for comment.

At a press briefing, White House spokesperson Dana Perino did fault Limbaugh for the statement, saying, "The president believes that if you are serving in the military that you have the rights that every American has which is you're free to express yourself in any way that you want to. And there are some that oppose the war, and that's OK."

Coleman's campaign appears to on principle avoid giving comment to Minnesota Monitor reporters.

Progressive Caucus Senate Debate

I went to the DFL Progressive Caucus Senate Debate to see the Democratic candidates in action. Michael Brodkorb live blogged the break and points out some of the highlights.

After the debate, I talked with a friend who has been active in GLBT DFL circles. She is not happy with Al Franken - and said many gays she's talked to have been concerned about some of the statements he has made - and that he's made no effort to apologize for these statements.

Krinkie, Drazkowski and Sue Jeffers at Rep. Mark Olson Fundraiser?

(Cross-posted from the Dump Mark Olson Blog)

Rep. Mark Olson's campaign web site has no mention of this fundraiser, but it showed up today as a scan from a local newspaper on the Grizzly Groundswell blog:

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It claims that the following will be in attendance:

Senator Betsy Wergin

State Rep. Sondra Erickson

Rep. Bruce Anderson

Rep. Steve Drazkowski

Phil Krinkie, President of the Taxpayers League

Sue Jeffers "Republican Party Activist"

It is interesting to compare this list of Olson-supporting politicians to the list of elected officials in a similar fundraising advertisement back in 2006... are Rep. Michele Bachmann, Senator Norm Coleman and Lt. Governor Carol Molnau no longer supporting the Bible-hurling, PRT-promoting, jailbird from Big Lake?

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