counter statistics

Friday, October 24, 2008

Talk about guilt by association....

The Minneapolis Star Tribune's recent endorsement editorials for Minnesota House races have made for interesting reading. With all of the hoopla over the national races, the contests to determine the makeup of the January 2009 Minnesota have largely flown under the radar.

It would appear that more Democrats than Republicans are getting endorsed by the Star Tribune, but it is not a 100% sweep. For many of the Republicans who are running for the first time and not getting the endorsement, I would suggest that Minority Leader Marty Seifert has not done a stellar job at recruiting strong candidates to challenge DFL incumbents. A considerable number of Michele Bachmann clones are on the ballot this fall.

In the contest for House District 56B, (Woodbury), DFL incumbent Martha Swails got the nod. Here is what the Strib editorial offered on the race....

District 56B: Marsha Swails

When one of her students committed suicide and others tried, Rep. Marsha Swails, an advanced placement English teacher in Woodbury, became a champion of better mental health services in her area.

That led to the DFLer’s “baptism by fire” experience in her first House term. She sponsored authorization for a for-profit psychiatric hospital to be located in Woodbury. She shepherded the legislation through the House, winning overwhelming approval, only to see it fail in the Senate.

That was heavy legislative lifting, especially for a first-termer. It won the respect of her colleagues, as did her advocacy for voluntary full-day kindergarten. Swails, 56, deserves reelection to this Woodbury-Landfall seat.

Her Republican challenger is Lee Bohlsen, 57, a Stonewood Bible Church administrator. She’s an enthusiastic and personable candidate whose interest in social issues runs deeper than we think most voters’ does this fall. She wants intelligent design taught alongside evolution in public schools, maintains that global warming is still a matter of dispute and vows to “fight as hard as I can” to oppose abortion.

Both candidates say they are looking to rein in government spending. Swails voted against general-fund tax increases in both 2007 and 2008. But while Swails displays considerable knowledge of the state budget, and serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, Bohlsen offers antiwelfare anecdotes to flesh out her position. That falls short of a thoughtful or convincing case for replacing Swails.

Being curious about Lee Bohlsen (I never heard of her), I went to her website:

I noted more than a few mis-spellings and grammatical errors, and then I clicked on the photos page....