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Saturday, November 03, 2007

King Banaian on the Andy Barnett Firing

King Banaian is the most thoughtful of the NARNians. He's got a post here that discusses Andy Barnett's firing from KNSI. King's article also includes a link to the audio of the now infamous interview.

MOB Parrot Mitch Berg Beats the Drum for Andy Barnett Without Fact Checking

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MOB Parrot Mitch Berg is mitching about Andy Barnett's reported firing from KNSI. Berg didn't bother to do any preliminary fact checking on this story and find that the council candidate who reportedly requested that Barnett be fired denied Pusateri's account on the record on the St Cloud Times Story Chat. Avidor posted Langsjoen's response in his previous Lloydletta's Nooz post on this topic.

Karen Langsjoen from St. Cloud
Comment Posted: 11/3/2007 7:41:46 AM

For the Record:

I did NOT go to anyone at KNSI or Leighton Broadcasting after the interview. I went directly home. I did not call them to complain. I did NOT get anyone fired! And no where in the article did it say I did these things.

I have never posted here before because I believe if someone has something to say, they should be willing to sign their name. And I seldom read them, but have started to do so since I began this campaign.

I have gone door to door for two months, talking to people, asking them if they have concerns or questions. I have never been asked any of the "social issue" questions that were asked during the KNSI interview. People care about neighborhood safety, they care about taxes, they care about cars speeding past their homes, endangering their children. These are issues the city council can and should address.

The headline in the Times was misleading. The abortion question came very early in the interview. It did NOT end it. We were asked several more questions, most of which were irrelevant. The interview was not cut short, and we were given 2 minutes each to wrap up. I left immediately and had no idea what happened after that.

One last thought. This is why I dislike anonymous postings. People can make accusations and say whatever they like, regardless of the truth. I didn't bother to read all the postings, and I will not respond again. I will be busy going door to door all weekend, talking to voters about issues that REALLY matter.

Please vote on Nov. 6.

Karen Langsjoen


I've written the KNSI General Manager for comment. It's quite clear that Andy Barnett through Leo Pusateri have a different story than Karen Langjoen. The general manager can't comment on personnel issues. According to the St Cloud Times:

Repeated calls placed Friday to John Sowada, general manager of KNSI parent Leighton Broadcasting, were not returned.

Barnett declined to comment Friday afternoon on the incident or his employment status.


The question is whether Leo Pusateri verified the story that Langjoen tried to get Barnett fired with another source, or whether Barnett was the sole source on that one. Pusateri does say on the St Cloud Times story chat that Barnett told him he was fired.

UPDATE: Mitch Berg has followed up:

Speaking of dimwitted and irrational, some people think I didn’t “fact-check” my story the other day about the firing of Andy Barnett, the morning host at KNSI radio in Saint Cloud (although taking the unvarnished, spin-driven word of a city council candidate does qualify as a “fact”, apparently). They are wrong, as usual. It’s just that there are precious few “facts” to check.


Did Berg make an attempt to contact station management to confirm this? I did. I also attempted to contact other sources at the station. John Sowada the station president has now denied Barnett's claim that Langsjoen complained to management on the record.

Hillary Clintons's Anti-Gay Supporters

Chris Crain:

Hillary's Donnie McClurkins

Bushcaption One week after the gay blogosphere went ballistic over Barack Obama's ties to an "ex-gay" gospel minister,
the Washington Blade has an interesting story about two prominent anti-gay black ministers who Hillary Clinton has embraced as supporters.

[Clinton supporters] said they’re generally unconcerned that anti-gay ministers Bishop Eddie Long and Rev. Harold Mayberry are supporting the campaign.

Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta once marched against gay marriage and hosts an “ex-gay” ministry. Mayberry has preached against homosexuality to his First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Oakland, Calif.

In interviews this week, Wilson and others said they were not concerned that Clinton had accepted a $1,000 donation from Long or that she recently thanked Mayberry for “fighting for civil rights and equality,” because she has not allowed either minister to speak for the campaign.


The Clinton backers tried to draw a distinction between Clinton accepting support from Long and Mayberry and Obama "handing a microphone" to "ex-gay" singer Donnie McClurkin. Actually it was the Obama campaign that picked McClurkin and the candidate chose not to disinvite him, but whatever.


Go read the whole thing. It's notable that the Human Rights Campaign isn't making a point of putting out a press release condemning Hillary Clinton for this.

There's also more from the Blade piece about the Obama rally with the anti-gay McClurkin:

Obama’s campaign last week indicated it would do that, but declined to pull McClurkin, a Pentecostal minister, from the event. Campaign officials instead added to the event Rev. Andy Sidden, a gay United Church of Christ minister.

Sidden, who offered the campaign event’s opening prayer, said he did not cross paths with McClurkin.

“I have yet to actually meet him,” Sidden told the Blade. “We were kept apart — or at least we were apart. And I wouldn’t know him if I saw him.”

McClurkin claims to be “ex-gay.” According to HRC, McClurkin in 2003 accused gay Americans of “trying to kill our children” and in 2002 called homosexuality a “curse.”

When he took the stage Sunday, McClurkin said, “I’m going to say something that’s going to get me in trouble,” and in his ensuing comments noted that “God delivered me from homosexuality.”

The unsolicited comments were not well received. Jim Pickett, a longtime Obama supporter and advocacy director at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, said he was “annoyed” by McClurkin’s remarks.

“That sits pretty badly with me,” he said. “There was no dialogue.”


Crain discusses some important distinctions between the Clinton and Obama campaigns:

There is an even more important distinction. Obama issued a forceful statement and gave a half-dozen interviews drawing sharp disagreements with McClurkin on gay issues. Clinton, on the other hand, has made absolutely no effort to distance herself or "speak our truth" to these anti-gay leaders.

A Clinton spokesperson told the Blade the candidate “has been very clear” she supports gay rights, which is entirely different than making clear the views of Long and Mayberry on gay issues are not the same as her own.

“But in campaigns, you can never expect all your supporters to agree with you 100 percent of the time,” said Jin Chon. “Hillary Clinton is a leader who will bring together people with differing opinions and have an honest and open dialogue to find common ground.”

Where is that "honest and open dialogue"? We saw it with Obama, in a joint letter issued by anti-gay black religious leaders and gay activists. There is no hint of it from the well-oiled Clinton campaign machine.

Was "Culture Warrior" KNSI-AM Host Andy Barnett Fired for Abortion Question?

Lawrence Schumacher reports in the Saint Cloud Times:

Abortion question ends interview

A live radio interview of two St. Cloud City Council candidates brought a local talk show to a halt Friday morning and left the employment status of its host uncertain.

The KNSI-AM "Hot Talk" radio show was replaced Friday by the nationally syndicated Laura Ingraham show before its normal 9 a.m. completion time. The change came after a dispute during an interview that host Andy Barnett conducted with Ward 3 Council candidates Karen Langsjoen and John Libert.

Langsjoen declined to answer a question from Barnett about abortion. The question came during a series of "social issues" queries that included candidates' views on gay marriage and immigration, she said.

"This is not an issue that impacts the City Council," Langsjoen said Friday afternoon. "I thought the whole interview was insulting. St. Cloud has a lot of pressing issues to deal with. I have never been asked that question during the campaign."

Libert answered the question and the interview reached its completion, but a similar segment featuring at-large City Council candidates Sonja Hayden Berg and John C. Pederson scheduled to follow it was canceled and the show ended early, said Pederson, who was waiting in the lobby for his turn.

Repeated calls placed Friday to John Sowada, general manager of KNSI parent Leighton Broadcasting, were not returned.

Barnett declined to comment Friday afternoon on the incident or his employment status.
Libert said Barnett prefaced the questions by saying that City Council members could conceivably be required to act on items such as employee insurance coverage or law enforcement policy where the issues would come into play.

Libert said he did not personally believe such questions were relevant.

"You hate to get questions like that because they aren't really related to city politics, but you do get that question asked when you're out knocking on people's doors," he said.
Pederson said he also did not believe the questions were relevant.


...Schumacher notes that Barnett is still on the website and that Barnett's blog is still up as well...

On his blog, Barnett describes himself as a "culture warrior" and says he is "proud of his conservative values of faith, family and country."

Langsjoen said she would like to see talk radio interviews conducted "in a more respectful way, so listeners can make their own minds up."

"This kind of talk radio is really harming our democracy," she said.


Langsjoen responded in the comments:

Karen Langsjoen from St. Cloud

Comment Posted: 11/3/2007 7:41:46 AM

For the Record:

I did NOT go to anyone at KNSI or Leighton Broadcasting after the interview.  I went directly home.  I did not call them to complain. I did NOT get anyone fired!  And no where in the article did it say I did these things.

I have never posted here before because I believe if someone has something to say, they should be willing to sign their name.  And I seldom read them, but have started to do so since I began this campaign.

I have gone door to door for two months, talking to people, asking them if they have concerns or questions.  I have never been asked any of the "social issue" questions that were asked during the KNSI interview.   People care about neighborhood safety, they care about taxes, they care about cars speeding past their homes, endangering their children.  These are issues the city council can and should address.

The headline in the Times was misleading.  The abortion question came very early in the interview.  It did NOT end it.  We were asked several more questions, most of which were irrelevant.  The interview was not cut short, and we were given 2 minutes each to wrap up.  I left immediately and had no idea what happened after that. 

One last thought.  This is why I dislike anonymous  postings.  People can make accusations and say whatever they like, regardless of the truth.  I didn't bother to read all the postings, and I will not respond again.  I will be busy going door to door all weekend, talking to voters about issues that REALLY matter.

 Please vote on Nov. 6.
 
 Karen Langsjoen


Let's see what the opinion is in the local blogosphere...

Leo Pusateri at Psycmeister:

If you can't beat them, silence them.

Andy Barnett, of KNSI-AM 1450's morning show, Hot Talk, has been fired.

I listened this morning to Barnett's interviews of two St. Cloud City Council Ward 3 candidates, John Libert, and Karen J. Langsjoen.

Langsjoen displayed her mean spiritedness right off the bat when Barnett mispronounced her name (well, who the hell wouldn't?). Langsjoen, whom one could tell is as liberal as the year is long, took great umbrage with Barnett's quizzing both her and Libert on their stances regarding the sanctity of life.

To put it mildly, Langsjoen had a cow, saying that Barnett had no call to question city council candidates on their stance toward abortion.

Barnett countered that it was indeed relevant on a number of levels; including the notion that many of KNSI's conservative listeners (yes, KNSI is a station heavily geared toward conservatives) would assess the pro-life stance of candidates as a barometer of the candidate's character; additionally, Barnett brought up the fact that the Council may have to choose city employees' health plans, and voters may be interested as to whether Langsjoen would approve a plan that paid for abortions, and/or domestic partnerships (read: Gay civil unions).

Langsjoen would have none of it, and refused to answer the questions. Barnett continued to be respectful toward Langsjoen throughout the interview, and never raised his voice toward her; however Langsjoen continued to be very short and terse with Barnett, avoiding and evading questions in a manner that would make Hillary Clinton appear to be a "straight shooter." Immediately following the interview, Langsjoen apparently stormed into the offices and threw what could be described as a whiny hissy fit to Leighton Broadcasting 's general manager John Sawada, who, after reportedly apologizing to Langsjoen up and down, fired Barnett.


... Leo adds this:

As for you, Ms. Karen J. Langsjoen--you whiny, joyless, hateful fishwife-- as a result of your adolescent whining, I hope you don't get vote one from Ward 3 voters.


Political Muse at Liberal in the Land of Conservative:

Andy Barnett and I have had our disagreements over a wide variety of issues but I would never wish ill will upon anyone nor would I ever want to be the cause of someone being fired. I heard the interview in question on the way into work this morning and I was disappointed to hear Andy use this line of questioning but do not believe it rises to the level of a fireable offense.

Andy, if you are out there, I wish you the best of luck! You were a worthy nemesis and perhaps we can even keep in touch.


After searching and reading a few of Political Muse's posts about Barnett, it seems to me that the self-described "culture warrior" may have been too much of loose cannon for the station... who knows?

I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

From the Inbox: Creationist School Board Candidate Bill Wenmark the Slippery Character

Thanks for covering the inconsistencies of this slippery character, Bill Wenmark. Over the years he has continued to make false claims about his credentials - Respiratory Therapist (not registered in Minnesota), Nurse, Exercise Physiologist (Master's degree) and he is always preparing to complete Master's and Doctorate degrees.

And he is a creationist, eh, well he thinks he is god. He is a dynamic speaker and he has gullible followers. I knew Bill in the 70's and I've followed his escapades since then.
Alex Adams


I followed up with Adams, and he raised a good question. "Has Wenmark ever gotten a 2 year or 4 year degree? If not, how can he be working on Masters or Doctorate study as he claims on his website"?

Good question Alex. Developing....

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Creationist School Board Member Bill Wenmark's Resume Padding Catches Strib Attention

Article here:

It isn't pretty for Wenmark:

Minnetonka school board member's education murky

Questions have been raised about how a veteran Minnetonka school board member has portrayed his past affiliation with the U.S. Naval Academy.

By Patrice Relerford, Star Tribune

Last update: November 01, 2007 – 2:18 PM
Less than a week before the Nov. 6 elections, veteran Minnetonka school board member Bill Wenmark is at the center of a controversy about how he has portrayed his affiliation with the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Critics have cited material listed on his website, since clarified, and a two-year-old incident at a board meeting where Wenmark referred to the academy as "my alma mater" when he was congratulating a local midshipman for his accomplishments.

Wenmark acknowledges that he never was a student at Annapolis. He said in an interview Tuesday that "alma mater" was merely a term he used to describe his affiliation with the academy when he worked as a noncommissioned officer and senior corpsman at the Naval Academy hospital.

"I was making a compliment to a friend of mine at a board meeting," Wenmark said. "I slipped on a word."


Slipped on a word? I never heard that expression before.

Wenmark, a certified respiratory therapist, served in the U.S. Military from 1966 to 1970, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. He was first elected to the Minnetonka board in 1999 and was reelected in 2003.

Clarifications made

His website, billwenmark. net, until recently listed in his résumé, under "Education,"United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland," without further explanation. It now lists, under a heading for "Military Service and Education, 1966-70": "United States Naval Academy Hospital/Clinic, Annapolis, Md."

The questions about his affiliation with the Naval Academy first arose in a local weekly newspaper story about the upcoming elections.

Wenmark and Cal Litsey are the only school board incumbents running for reelection this fall; incumbents Judy Erdahl and Peggy Stefan didn't seek reelection. Challengers Doug Anderson, Alice Everett, Paul Luehr, Lisa Wagner and Karen Walkowski also are campaigning for the four board seats up for election.


Wenmark isn't too happy with the scrutiny:

'Board members hate me'

"All of this is a hit piece," Wenmark said in a telephone interview with the Star Tribune. "This is all about taking down Bill Wenmark.

"My current school board members hate me and they want me off the board."

Wenmark has been at odds with fellow board members on some major issues during his time on the board.

In 2005, he joined former board member Dave Eaton and some residents in criticizing the district's International Baccalaureate (IB) program and arguing for it to be cut during a round of budget reductions. IB proponents noted that Wenmark had joined in a unanimous vote to approve the program just two years earlier.


The strib fails to mention that Wenmark also joined with Dave Eaton pushing for creationism to be taught in the Minnetonka public schools under the guise of "teaching the controversy."

The Strib also noted his poor attendance record:

He also has faced criticism for his attendance record.

Judy Budreau of Excelsior is a co-founder of Tonka Focus, a school watchdog group she and other residents started about two years ago. The group's records show Wenmark attended 68 percent of the board's meetings from Jan. 1-Oct. 4, the lowest rate of any member.

Erdahl, the board chairwoman, said she had no part in criticizing Wenmark's comments about his ties with the Naval Academy. But she did note how Wenmark had missed several key votes this year as well as other board discussions.

"Bill has some wonderful talents and he does a lot of good," Erdahl said. "But his attendance has been an issue."

Wenmark said he's missed meetings for business and personal reasons but that he's committed to the school board.

"This is a lot [of] to-do about nothing," he said. "Let's talk about public education."


Tonka Focus did a community service by documenting board member attendance records. This is valuable information for voters.

Dump Bachmann Calls Out Julie Quist from Edwatch

Cross Posted at Dump Bachmann.

Dump Bachmann warmly welcomes the one and only Julie Quist of the Anti-Gay and Creationist Education non-profit arm to Michele Bachmann's campaign "Edwatch" got called out to respond on my post about Michele Bachmann's sudden lack of spine on her "Earthquake Issue":

I want to set the record straight on Michele Bachmann's comments at the 2004 EdWatch conference that you referred to here. Go back and listen to that again, and you will find that she does not say that "being gay is like being 'part of Satan.' "

I have the same tape you have, Eva. What she is discussing there is the terminology of "gay" being used to describe homosexuality. She says that the description of homosexuality as "gay" is a lie, and that lie is what comes from Satan.

Get the difference? Homosexuals are not from Satan. Satan, however, is the father of lies.

You may find both statements equally offensive. You need to be accurate, however, in your accusations, because many people do distinguish between saying a person is "from Satan" or identifying a lie as "from Satan."

I know Michele Bachmann personally, and I will testify to you that she harbors no hatred toward you or to others with whom she has deep differences. Far from it. She would not make a statement that you or any others with whom you associate are "from Satan," much as she would dispute your actions and ideas.
Julie Quist


Other Dump Bachmann contributors responded:

Interesting take on it, Julie. Here is the actual quote:

“It’s part of Satan I think to say that this is “gay.” It’s anything but gay.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, speaking at EdWatch National Education Conference, November 6, 2004.

Here are some other quotes, also from Michele on tape. I think this gives you a pretty good idea of how Michele sees gay Americans, and how she portrays them to their fellow Americans. These are all public statements by Michele on the issue of gay Americans. Readers can decide for themselves whether or not Michele sowed bigotry and hatred in pursuit of political office:

“If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, speaking at EdWatch National Education Conference, November 6, 2004.

“You have a teacher talking about his gayness. (The elementary school student) goes home then and says “Mom! What’s gayness? We had a teacher talking about this today.” The mother says “Well, that’s when a man likes other men, and they don’t like girls.” The boy’s eight. He’s thinking, “Hmm. I don’t like girls. I like boys. Maybe I’m gay.” And you think, “Oh, that’s, that’s way out there. The kid isn’t gonna think that.” Are you kidding? That happens all the time. You don’t think that this is intentional, the message that’s being given to these kids? That’s child abuse.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, speaking at EdWatch National Education Conference, November 6, 2004.

On a leader of a teacher training workshop who cites discrimination as a cause of suicide among homosexual youth: “(He) also fails to acknowledge other psychological factors that could contribute to homosexual youth committing suicide, like family problems or abuse or maybe the fact of what they’re doing.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, speaking at EdWatch National Education Conference, November 6, 2004.

On homosexuality as a mental disorder: “Don’t misunderstand. I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgender. We need to have profound compassion for people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life and sexual identity disorders.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, speaking at EdWatch National Education Conference, November 6, 2004.

On the gay community and same-sex marriage: “This is a very serious matter, because it is our children who are the prize for this community, they are specifically targeting our children.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 20, 2004.

This is not about hating homosexuals. I don’t. I love homosexuals.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 20, 2004.

Interviewer: “Answer the question, do you hate homos?” MB: “No, but ask my kids! (laughter)” — Senator Michele Bachmann, Tom Barnard Morning Show, KQRS, broadcast May 12, 2005.

If Michele had pursued political office by railing against heterosexual adulterers or thieves in the same way that she railed against gay Americans, you might have a point. But she didn't--she singled out this particular "sin" and appealed to her audience's homophobia. Singling out one kind of "sinner" as the target of public opprobrium and fearmongering, telling the gullible that they threaten America's children--that is not Christianity, that is not moral. It's just exploiting bigotry against an unpopular minority for political gain and doing so in Christ's name--which, I suppose, is just as grievous a sin as homosexuality ever could be. There is a commandment against making wrongful use of God's sacred name.

But that's a large part of who this politician is. In fact, it's the main reason she's come so far so fast. Sorry, but that's the reality and the rest of us have to deal with that reality even if you don't want to.

But thanks for writing in--Michele's supporters have always been welcomed in the comment threads.
Bill Prendergast Edit comment Delete comment | Homepage | 11.01.07 - 3:17 am | #

"Singling out one kind of "sinner" as the target of public opprobrium and fearmongering, telling the gullible that they threaten America's children--that is not Christianity, that is not moral. It's just exploiting bigotry against an unpopular minority for political gain and doing so in Christ's name--which, I suppose, is just as grievous a sin as homosexuality ever could be."

Bill, Julie Quist knows this. She's been engaging in this campaign of bigotry at least as long as Bachmann. But it's nice to know she's keeping up on everything Bachmann here at DB.

But Julie, as long as we've got your attention, do you think you could get Michele to at least stop lying habitually?
Karl


Julie, I think Bill speaks for me. Michele Bachmann's quote speaks for itself. I'd challenge Michele Bachmann to come over to the blog and defend her own words. We have them on tape.

Here is Michele Bachmann speaking in Blaine at the Senate District 51 Republican Convention. She talks about her efforts on the Bachmann amendment, and talks about being the "tip of the spear" with a "titanium spine".

Where did the titanium spine go Michele? Is hate-mongering about gays becoming a political liability?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Norm Coleman Irritates Base Again

This time it's his call to increase the cigar tax with SCHIP.

PS. Norm Coleman voted to raise the tax on my cigars to $3 after lying to me in a letter saying that those provisions had been removed. Can anyone blame me if I don't work too hard to get this asshole re-elected?

Labels: Cigars, Norm Sucks, SCHIP, socialists


I'd be interested to see the letter where Norm Coleman lied about this provision.

Tracy adds to his post in the comments:

Maxx,

Apples and Oranges.

I walk over broken glass to vote against Hillary. I'll probably pull the lever for Norm if he's the choice.

BUT! I won't send him money, I won't make phone calls for him and I won't distribute literature.

You can't expect me to lie and say that I support the asshole when I don't.

If he loses it's his fault, not mine. He drove away his base and then will come back to MN and expect us to work for a candidate we despise?

Sorry, it ain't gonna happen.

The Democrats won last time beause the Republicans pissed all over the base. Norm is doing the same thing now.
Tracy Eberly

The only thing I see Normy has going for him is his hot, long legged, large breasted wife. HCF material!
gary | 10.31.07 - 11:30 am |

Maxx...I will will walk over broken glass and hot lava to vote against Shrillary and her mis-guided push to get the USA to turn into a socialist/communist country. But, what I won't do any longer is vote for RINO's simply because they have the "R" next to their name. Their time has come and gone and we need to stop voting for them as if there is any different between the RINO and the democrats.

If we are going to have a democrat lite in office, then we might as well have a democrat in office.

The same notice goes out to TPaw and any/every other RINO that is out there.
Brent | Homepage | 10.31.07 - 11:48 am


Norm Coleman has always had one overriding principle: Norm Coleman.

Strib Covers ENDA Controversy in Minnesota Delegation

Strib:

The political sensitivity of the issues surfaced last week, when leaders in the House delayed a vote on the Employee Non-Discrimination Act.

The move came after Minnesota's Rep. Tim Walz, a leader among freshman Democrats, informed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the new members did not want to vote on the bill if it included protections for transgender people, according to a report in the Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper.

A Walz spokesman confirmed the report, but added: "As president of the freshman class, Congressman Walz is often asked to bring the concerns of any of the 45 newly elected Democrats to the leadership, regardless of whether he personally shares those concerns."

He added that Walz was a co-sponsor of an earlier version of the bill that included the transgender protections.

The bill, without the transgender language, is expected to come to the House floor for a vote this week. An amendment may be offered to restore the transgender protections.


Here's what the Hill article said:

Reps. Tim Walz (Minn.) and Ron Klein (Fla.), leaders of the class of freshman Democrats, carried a message to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday that their fellow first-term lawmakers did not want to vote on an amendment extending civil rights to transgender employees.

House Education and Labor panel Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.), whose committee passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, said he told the freshman lawmakers at their Wednesday breakfast with Pelosi that the amendment did not have the votes to pass and would not be brought to the House floor.

In addition, Miller told the freshmen he recognized that the amendment exposed the first-term lawmakers to political attacks from conservatives and liberals alike, said two sources who attended the breakfast.


A source at the Walz office told me the Hill didn't bother getting a comment from Walz. The concern brought to the committee was not voting for the bill if transgenders were included, but rather voting for a transgender specific amendment to the bill. So the Strib didn't describe Walz's and other Freshman positions properly.

It would have been nice for the Strib to get all Minnesota congress members on record about how they plan to vote on ENDA.

The Washington Blade compiled a list of where Democratic freshman stood on the trans inclusive bill.

Most freshmen House Democrats want to include transgender people in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, even though they generally hail from conservative districts.

More than 70 percent of the 43 House Democrats serving their first terms are co-sponsoring the trans-inclusive ENDA. That’s a stronger show of support than the lawmakers gave the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Act.

Repya Won't Challenge Norm Coleman

Residual Forces has the statement:

“I have decided not to pursue a challenge against Senator Coleman for his US Senate seat. I feel a challenge at this time would be financially difficult for my family and divisive to Minnesota Republican Party unity. I wish Senator Coleman success in his race in 2008.”


So does that mean Andy Aplikowski will now throw his hat into the ring?

I'll be going to this....

EVENT LISTING

What: "Life After Newspapers? Challenges and Opportunities
for New Media and Citizens" -- A FREE public forum
about local media issues and its impact on readers,
journalists, citizens and society. Keynote
presentation "Communication Revolution or
Counter-revolution? The Media Reform Movement and the
Future of Democracy" by Robert McChesney of Free Press

When: Saturday, November 3, 9am to 3pm

Where: 2/F, Minneapolis Central Library,
300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis

Cost: Free

Forum agenda & schedule is available at
http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/nov3forum

For further event information, call Twin Cities Media Alliance at
612 436 9188, or email tracy@tcdailyplanet.net.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Vitter's Creationism Earmarkmark Goes Down the Toilet

Senator Coleman replied to my email asking him to help with killing the earmark:

Dear Ms. Young :

Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding the 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill (H.R. 3043/S. 1710) and the earmark request submitted by Senator Vitter for the Louisiana Family Forum. This earmark will not be included in the final version of the bill.

As you may know, the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill provides over $600 billion in funding for over 300 programs in three different federal agencies. The House passed its version of this bill on July 19, 2007 and the Senate passed it on October 23, 2007 by a vote of 75 to 19. This bill is currently in Conference.

During the debate on this bill, Senator Vitter spoke on the floor of the United States Senate and asked that his Louisiana Family Forum earmark be withdrawn and directed to another Louisiana project. He said the following in relation to the removal of his earmark request.

"The project, which would develop a plan to promote better science-based education in Ouachita Parish by the Louisiana Family Forum, has raised concerns among some that its intention was to mandate and push creationism within the public schools. That is clearly not and never was the intent of the project, nor would it have been its effect. However, to avoid more hysterics, I would like to move the $100,000 recommended for this project by the subcommittee when the bill goes to conference committee to another Louisiana priority project funded in this bill."

- Senator David Vitter
Congressional Record: October 17th, 2007

I respect the decision that Senator Vitter made in relation to this earmark request and appreciate you taking the time to contact me. Please do not hesitate to contact me on any issue of concern to you and your family.

Sincerely,
Norm Coleman
United States Senate


I've not heard from Senator Amy Klobuchar on this.

A New Call for Reformation

In his Reformation Sunday sermon, Pastor Chris Nelson at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Minneapolis sounded the call..........

On this Reformation Sunday, I would like to join with an increasing number of Christian leaders who are calling for a new Reformation. The first reformation started because the doctrines-beliefs that had been held for 1000 years were wrong-were coming between the relationship God wanted with his people. It wasn't true that you could earn your salvation. It wasn't true that you needed a priest's prayers to mediate your relationship with God. And it wasn't that you couldn't be trusted with the Scriptures because you might not properly understand them.

Martin Luther started and led the conversation that got the Church back on track and indeed, much of what he taught is now accepted by most Christians. We certainly continue to have some differences, and we don't minimize them but we have much more in common; indeed, we-all of us-have what, or should I say who-is most important: our Crucified and Risen Savior, Jesus Christ!

This new reformation is less about beliefs and creeds-Latin for "I believe"-than it is about deeds-about what Christians DO in the world. It's high time that the Church is known for what it's FOR, and not what it is against... For too many years, the church has presumed privilege and entitlement; it has assumed the right to determine for everyone what the "moral" perspective is in public discourse.

In a new study by the Barna Organization, entitled UnChristian, it was learned that an overwhelming number of 16-29 year olds are hostile to our faith. This is the "next generation" of the faith, and whether they are inside the church or outside makes no difference! 91% of this age group see Christians as judgmental; 87% see us as "anti-gay." And whether that is an accurate perception of us at Bethlehem doesn't matter-we get tarred with the same brush.

My call to you today, my brothers and sisters, is to continue the amazing work you are doing in the world (this is nothing new for us!): sharing God's love-sharing our Lord Jesus-with concrete acts of loving service. Caring for the poor and the outcast, building relationships with these people is how he spent his time, every day of his ministry. It is what we are called to do as his Body-and it is how we show the world who Jesus really is-and it is how we show the world what the Church is.


Amen

Minnetonka Creationist School Board Candidate Bill Wenmark Pads Resume

Creationist Dave Eaton was making the Minnetonka School District known for creationism, something many voters in the district weren't happy with. His buddy on the school board, Bill Wenmark, who also has a voting record in support of creationism, is running for reelection and it turns out he is padding his resume. Lakeshore Weekly News:

When Board Member Bill Wenmark had his turn at the microphone, he congratulated a staff member and his son for running the Twin Cities Marathon, highlighting the efforts of the son who was a third year midshipman at the Naval Academy, his alma mater, Wenmark said.

And when Wenmark submitted information to be published on the school district's soon-to-be redesigned Web site, under education, he listed the U.S. Naval Academy.

To be accepted into the military academy one must be nominated by someone like a U.S. Representative or Senator. The academy requires candidates to have good moral standing and take personality tests, in addition to having rigorous academic standards. Last year it graduated a class of 980.

The U.S. Naval Academy appeared on Wenmark's own campaign Web site and when he was asked by Lakeshore Weekly News to list the highest degree he obtained, he supplied a list titled "Education" and he included, among other institutions, the U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland.

Trouble is, the U.S. Naval Academy's Registrar's Office doesn't show him attending the U.S. Naval Academy, according to a recent phone call.

After being questioned, Wenmark denied claiming the Naval Academy was his alma mater and stated he was not appointed to the Naval Academy. He stated he asked his staff "to make that important correction," Wenmark stated in an e-mail.

He did not return phone calls seeking comment. In e-mails he stated he's camping in Utah, where the phone doesn't work well.

Wenmark stated that he was assigned to the U.S. Naval Academy Hospital for training and duty station.

He went on to state that "all of my education during my service in the United States Navy and Marine Corps was through The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, as noted on my Web site."

His Web site, as of Oct. 19, no longer listed the U.S. Naval Academy, or various other academic institutions, he had submitted to the Lakeshore Weekly News.


This is good fact checking by Brett Sturza.

The election is November 6th. This will be an important election. Upper St Clair, Pennsylvania is a cautionary tale about what happens when people don't pay attention to school board races. In this case, Minnesota's Edwatch (Alan and Julie Quist) exported their poison to Pennsylvania.