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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Additional Editing on Minnesota Majority's Comments on the Racial Purity Health Care Paper - and Will This Affect Mary Kiffmeyer's Campaign?

Will Mary Kiffmeyer's statements defending this hurt her in her legislative race? If this was perfectly ok, then why has Minnesota Majority made so many website scrubbing attempts?

Kiffmeyer said the page dealing with health care and its mention of racial purity must be understood in context. That phrase, she said, is simply descriptive.

"That's a genetic term," said Kiffmeyer, who is a nurse by training. "It does matter when you are doing medical studies."

Drew Emmer, the communications director for the organization, said Kiffmeyer is the organization's executive director and Jeff Davis, who has been active in pushing for a Minnesota anti-gay marriage amendment, is the president. [Source: RADIO AD ON HEALTH CARE FEATURES KIFFMEYER - EX-SECRETARY OF STATE IS NONPROFIT'S DIRECTOR
St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN) - December 15, 2007 by RACHEL E. STASSEN-BERGER]

From Jeff Davis's post reacting to the St Paul Pioneer Press article:

There was absolutely no tinge of racism in the health care issue paper. Nor did it imply any negative judgment about single-parent households. It simply stated a demographic fact that helps explain differences in medical statistics between countries.

Now this caveat has been added:

The author of the issue paper contacted Stassen-Berger directly offering to help resolve her confusion. But the "reporter" didn't bother to return his telephone call, apparently more interested in pursuing her agenda to try to discredit our organization. Because people like Stassen-Berger had trouble understanding the author's original intent, the issue paper has been updated so as to make the author's point perfectly clear, such that even Stassen-Berger should now understand it.

More on this story here.

Kiffmeyer Gets Endorsed

Mary Kiffmeyer got endorsed by the Republican Party at Big Lake High School. AP:

BIG LAKE, Minn. (Map, News) - Former Minnesota Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer has won the Republican endorsement over current Rep. Mark Olson to run in state House District 16B.

Olson, of Big Lake, was convicted last summer of a domestic assault charge against his wife, and has been expelled from the House Republican caucus by his fellow Republicans. Kiffmeyer secured the endorsement on the second ballot during Saturday's district convention at Big Lake High School.

Kiffmeyer fell just one vote short of winning the endorsement on the first ballot. Two other candidates dropped out, after which she easily beat Olson on the second ballot.

Kiffmeyer was was elected secretary of state in 1998, and was defeated by DFLer Mark Ritchie in 2006 in her bid for a third term. She said her past experience as a statewide elected official would be valuable in the Legislature.

"To be able to contribute from that perspective, I'm looking forward to doing that," Kiffmeyer, of Big Lake, said in a phone interview.

Olson's not returning phone calls. The convention chair wasn't going to allow audio or video of the convention (same rules as the 6th CD convention). It was interesting that Heidi Olson seconded Mark Olson's nomination.

Olson, first elected to the House in 1992, had previously mentioned that he might run as an independent if he were denied the endorsement. He did not return a telephone message seeking comment.

Kiffmeyer said Olson's legal troubles were "certainly a factor, probably the predominating factor" in her decision to run. She said before she entered the race that she was often approached in public by people wanting her to get into the race.

Olson's wife, Heidi, whom he was convicted of assaulting, delivering a nominating speech on his behalf at the convention on Saturday, according to Paul Vollkommer, the district Republican chairman.

Derbyshire at National Review Goes After Ben Stein

The corner:

In an interview with the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Ben Stein said the following amazing thing in an interview with Paul Crouch, Jr.

Stein: When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. Myers [i.e. biologist P.Z. Myers], talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed … that was horrifying beyond words, and that’s where science — in my opinion, this is just an opinion — that’s where science leads you.

Crouch: That’s right.

Stein: …Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people.

Crouch: Good word, good word.

You can see the whole shameful thing here. It's a pity Crouch didn't invite the Rev. Jeremiah Wright into the studio for a three-way conversation. It would have elevated the tone.

Fun fact: Ben Stein contributed to Al Franken's campaign.

Friday, May 02, 2008

No Audio or Video Allowed at Upcoming 16B Republican Convention

Larry Schumacher reports that no video cameras or audio recording devices will be allowed at the upcoming endorsing convention with the contest between Michele Bachmann Pod Pal and Wife Beater Rep. Mark Olson, and former Secretary of State Mary "racial purity" Kiffmeyer.

Rep. Mark Olson, IR-Big Lake, will face off against former Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer for the Republican Party's endorsement for his House District 16B seat on Saturday.

Olson, Kiffmeyer, Mark Lumley of Becker and Gary Snyder of Big Lake are the four candidates vying for the endorsement, which will be decided at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Big Lake High School auditorium, 6th Congressional District Chairman Mark Swanson said.

Grab your popcorn. The only way to watch this freak show is to see it live.

Will Norm Coleman stop by this one?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Lugnut's Trial: A Courtroom Drama

The Cucking Stool:

He's your witness, Mr. Aplikowski
When we last left Andy Aplikowski, he was bemoaning the fact that he had received a citation for failing to control his dog, a hairy brute of doubtful provenance named "Lugnut."

I happen to have a little to say about this [dog legislation being considered] as Lugnut was a bad boy Sunday night. He got out and got into it with a dog which apparently lives behind me. The people called the City, saying my dog was dangerous, and I was issued a citation for a loose dog. No one was harmed, I’m not so sure what really happened but I’m just going to deal with it.

Andy decides to contest this manifestly unfair action by the jackbooted thugs at Animal Control. He pleads not guilty and represents himself at trial. Your faithful correspondent Spot is called by the prosecution as an expert witness on dog and owner relations. After his direct testimony damning Andy for his neglect, it is Andy's turn to cross examine Spot. We pick up the action there.

Go read the whole thing at Spot's blog. Spot now has a followup of Andy cross examining Lugnut:

Andy's dog, Lugnut, was then called as a witness by the prosecution; Lugnut testified that he has escaped from the yard a number of times before. Now it is time for Andy's cross.

Andy approaches the witness stand where Lugnut is seated. Lugnut is a large medium-haired rough-coated dog; he is black and white, and brown, and when you get a good look at him, some tan, too. Lugnut is what they call at the pound, charitably, a "mix."

AA: [somewhat menacingly] Hello, Lugnut.

L: [whining] Hellp, Boss. Aren't you supposed to call me "Mr. Lugnut?"

AA: Just wait 'til we get home and see what I call--

J: [banging his gavel] That's enough Mr. Aplikowski! I won't have you badgering witnesses in my courtroom. And your dog is right: it is "Mr. Lugnut" in here.

AA: [rolling his eyes] Okay, okay. Mr. Lugnut, you say that you have escaped the yard several times. But it's a chain link fence; how is that possible?

L: As you know, Boss, the fence is what? A four footer? I can practically see over the fence! It's an easy jump; you know that.

AA: What I know or don't know is hardly an issue here.

P: Objection. Mr. Aplikowski is trying to testify, I think, and he's not under oath. And what he knows or doesn't know is obviously the issue here.

Again go read the whole thing.

Aplikowski's now built a fence.

Erik Paulsen Flipflops on Creationism

In 2005, Erik Paulsen voted in favor of teaching creationism in public schools (Source: Minnesota Family Council Voter's Guide 2005 here and here).

Now a similar amendment was brought up in the education bill and Paulsen votes no. So do a number of other socially conservative Republicans such as Laura Brod and Joyce Peppin. DFLer Mary Ellen Otremba voted against this amendment. DFL Denise Dittrich voted yes to creationism in the public schools. In the past, Dittrich voted for the Bachmann amendment. The other yes votes were the usual suspects: Mark Olson, Tom Emmer, Marty Seifert, plus most of the "override 6." The creationism language is more stealth this time. There's no reference to evolution, as there has been in the past.

p. 10813

Olson, Heidgerken, Erickson and Anderson, B., moved to amend S. F. No. 3001, the fourth engrossment, as amended, as follows:

Page 13, after line 26, insert:
"Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 120B.20, is amended to read:

(a) Each school district shall have a procedure for a parent, guardian, or an adult student, 18 years of age or older, to review the content of the instructional materials to be provided to a minor child or to an adult student and, if the parent, guardian, or adult student objects to the content, to make reasonable arrangements with school personnel for alternative instruction. Alternative instruction may be provided by the parent, guardian, or adult student if the alternative instruction, if any, offered by the school board does not meet the concerns of the parent, guardian, or adult student. The school board is not required to pay for the costs of alternative instruction provided by a parent, guardian, or adult student. School personnel may not impose an academic or other penalty upon a student merely for arranging alternative instruction under this section. School personnel may evaluate and assess the quality of the student's work.

(b) Each school district must allow instruction in competing scientific theories as part of the school curriculum. A local school board must establish an equitable and thorough process to allow a parent of a student enrolled in a school in the district to petition the local school board to hold a hearing on the absence of instruction in competing scientific theories."

Renumber the sections in sequence and correct the internal references

Amend the title accordingly

A roll call was requested and properly seconded.

The question was taken on the Olson et al amendment and the roll was called. There were 29 yeas and 102 nays as follows:

Those who voted in the affirmative were:

Anderson, B.

Those who voted in the negative were:
Anderson, S.

Journal of the House - 108th Day - Monday, April 28, 2008 - Top of Page 10814
Murphy, E.
Murphy, M.
Peterson, A.
Peterson, N.
Peterson, S.
Spk. Kelliher

The motion did not prevail and the amendment was not adopted.

Will the DFL Leadership Call the Governor's Bluff on Sex Ed?

Governor Pawlenty signalled his unhappiness with the sex ed provision getting included in the education bill. I sent DFL leadership: Margaret Anderson Kelliher (house speaker) and Larry Pogemiller (Senate Majority Leader) the following:

I just heard on MPR that Pawlenty says the sex ed language in the
education bill is unacceptable.

Force Pawlenty to veto the whole thing for that reason. Call his bluff.

If DFL leadership doesn't show leadership on this, it will show the only purpose in passing this in the house was election year posturing to get a good vote.

I also asked OutFront Minnesota if they plan to send out an alert urging people to contact Kelliher. This is what I got back:

Regarding your question - right now, OutFront Minnesota is doing what
all the coalition partners are doing on comp sex ed: letting our folks know what happened this week - laying out who voted which way - and asking people to contact their reps to say either 'thank you' for the 'yes' votes or 'I disagree with your vote' for the 'no' votes.

OutFront Minnesota meets regularly with lawmakers and leadership on our issues and so lots of work is being done to move the comp sex ed legislation along.

I followed up:

Just to reiterate: so there will be no alert urging calls to Kelliher
or the Governor? This thing will get dumped from the bill unless Kelliher gets calls otherwise.

You can bet the MFC has their phone network going, so the only calls Kelliher will be getting is from the MFC.

If there's no legislative alert from OFM targetting Kelliher, it suggests that OFM is partisan in targetting - that is, only criticizing the Gov, while not criticizing, challenging democrats.

They clarified:

Correct, no alert. But other work is constantly being done. So please
don't incorrectly frame this as "we're not doing anything" when nothing
could be further from the truth.

The conference committee was working on this bill yesterday and today:

Senate conferees: Wiger; Saltzman; Olson. G.; Dahle; Rummel
House conferees: Mariani, Brynaert, Ward, Slocum, Urdahl

You can contact DFL house leadership to urge them to stand firm on this:

All numbers with 651 prefix:
Speaker of the House
Margaret Anderson Kelliher from district 60A

Majority Leader
Anthony "Tony" Sertich from district 05B

Assistant Majority Leader
Melissa Hortman from district 47B

Assistant Majority Leader
Tina Liebling from district 30A

Assistant Majority Leader
Frank Moe from district 04A

Assistant Majority Leader
Michael V. Nelson from district 46A

Assistant Majority Leader
Aaron Peterson from district 20A

Assistant Majority Leader
Steve Simon from district 44A

Minority Leader
Marty Seifert from district 21A

Deputy Minority Leader
Tom Emmer from district 19B

Assistant Minority Leader
Laura Brod from district 25A

Assistant Minority Leader
Brad Finstad from district 21B

Assistant Minority Leader
Dean Simpson from district 10B

Assistant Minority Leader
Kurt Zellers from district 32B

Minority Whip
Denny McNamara from district 57B

Assistant Minority Whip
Michael Beard from district 35A

Assistant Minority Whip
Tony Cornish from district 24B

Assistant Minority Whip
Matt Dean from district 52B

Assistant Minority Whip
Pat Garofalo from district 36B

Assistant Minority Whip
Joyce Peppin from district 32A

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bloggers Desperately Do Damage Control for Franken

This is reminiscent of the way Heidi Frederickson of the Kennedy Campaign relied upon Kennedy v the Machine to promote Mark Kennedy's message. It didn't work out so well, because KvM was never able to get around the mainstream media in the way Daschle v Thune did.

Now both MN Publius, and MN Campaign Report tell us about the Franken campaign's desparate attempt to stop this story from hurting him with the delegates to the State convention.

MN Publius:

I’m not going to sugar-coat this, all these issues have made for some rough times for the Franken campaign over the last month, but I can honestly say that this step by the campaign is encouraging. The campaign seems to be at the front of this now and has decided to take the path of full, willful disclosure–a choice that will hopefully get this all out there. I just got a tip from inside Franken campaign HQ that 100 phone bankers are calling every delegate in the state to tell them the story before they read it in the paper and, if the emails I’m getting are any indication, the delegates are on board with the rapid response.

MN Campaign Report:
Got off the phone with Franken campaign staffer Andy Barr a little while ago. The campaign office is busy, obviously, but not doing what one might think they'd be doing at a time like this. According to Barr, their goal was to call every single DFL State Convention delegate so the delegates "could hear what really happened from us tonight before they got it wrong from someone else tomorrow."
It's damage control mode, no doubt about it, but there's a good way to do that and there's a bad way, and Franken's team appears to be doing it the good way.

Mary LaHammer speculates that other democrats might get into the race. She mentions Ciresi and Tim Walz, then adds:

Time is a factor. The DFL State Convention is just a month away and delegates would like to leave squarely behind one candidate. Dems I've talked to are also privately outraged that Franken's campaign didn't scrub the record before launching such a major campaign. He certainly has the money. Word around the Capitol is that Franken's troubles are not over either. It it good that he's talking rather than getting in a bunker mode which campaigns can do under fire. I think Minnesotans like to see someone come clean, admit a mistake. But a week or two should reveal if Franken will survive or if other Democrats try to challenge him.

Other names that are being talked about include: R.T. Rybak, Tom Bakk, Tarryl Clark. Let us know what you're hearing.

Governor Pawlenty Wants Mall Swindle Refined


Gov. Tim Pawlenty is withholding outright endorsement of state-authorized public subsidies for a Mall of America expansion, saying he wants to see the plan refined.

The megamall proposal is gaining steam at the Capitol after all four leaders of the Legislature said Tuesday they will work to get a package passed.

The $2.1 billion project carries an expectation of $371 million in public financial help.

Well yes of course it does...

The mall's owner is seeking to divert property tax dollars generated
from the expansion to pay for a parking ramp. Lawmakers are also being asked to allow Bloomington to raise sales, food and lodging taxes for the project.

But Pawlenty isn't sold on the property tax diversion and says it needs to be examined more closely.

He says it could lead to a parade of real-estate developers seeking similar treatment for their projects, such as a new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

Well duh.... Here's my question - will the Taxpayer's League put out a hit piece on Marty Seifert, the way they did on the "Override 6"?

If I want to get my roof redone, that's a small scale jobs program - can I get the same deal - that my property taxes could get diverted to pay for the roof?

Call Governor Pawlenty at 651-291-3391, and thank him, and tell him to stand firm on this nonsense.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Blo N Go Stories Seem to Have Gotten On Brodkorb's Nerves

He responds here.

First, Senate Ethics requirements are very clear about income disclosure for spouses. If Two-Putt Tommy or the other bloggers had bothered – once again – checking the facts, they would have seen that the spouse of a Senator or a candidate for U.S. Senate is required to list the source of income in excess of $1,000.

If the spouse of the candidate did not earn income in excess of $1,000, there is no requirement to file it.

Both Al Franken’s wife, and Senator Norm Coleman’s wife, have duly reported the source of income they received for the reporting period covered by the United States Senate Financial Disclosure Report.

Second, the FEC does not require any reporting of income or jobs of any candidate’s spouse.

Facts are important things. Two-Putt Tommy and other bloggers who launch personal attacks against someone’s wife should be ashamed of their conduct, but most importantly, they should get their facts straight.

This means Laurie Coleman makes less than a $1000.00 per disclosure period on the Blo N Go.

There are some mainstream media outlets who are interested in the Blo N Go story.

The Washington Post item about this story came up in the top google results when I searched Norm Coleman blo n go earlier today. Now it does not appear in google results. Has there been a concerted effort to scrub the Washington Post story from appearing on google search results? The story is reprinted here.

Laurie Coleman, wife of Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, has invented a tool for hands-free hair drying called the "Blo & Go."

Anyone who has ever tried to style his or her hair by wielding a blow-dryer in one hand and a brush in the other knows that it can be an exasperating juggling act. The challenge of an at-home blowoutis what inspired Coleman to invent the Blo & Go, a hair-dryer holster.

For years, Coleman had been jury-rigging wire coat hangers into holders for her blow-dryer so she could use both hands to style her hair. "You go on a trip with senators and you have 45 minutes and you have to be ready to go," says Coleman, who doesn't have the luxury of traveling with a hairstylist. "Norm's not going to blow-dry my hair."


Coleman is a former model, mother of two and a onetime actress — "Homeland Security," "Three Days of Rain." She gave her age as 50, but public records say she's 51. Are you sure you're 50, Mrs. Coleman? Is that your final answer? She clarifies: Just had a birthday. Make that 51.

In 2004, Coleman was pictured in The Washington Post wearing a corset and garter — and posing in front of a four-poster bed — all in the name of promoting her acting career. Coleman no longer is acting, she says, but "if something fun would come up, I'd pursue it."

Against the backdrop of this kind of marketing savvy, it is hard to believe that the name Blo & Go was not chosen to, at the very least, amuse. This, after all, is a world in which the words "wide stance" churns up easy chuckles.

Coleman's voice registers shock — and dismay — that anyone would make such a connection. "I didn't think of that," she says. Then she points out that the name wasn't even her idea. It came out of a committee. It was all in the brainstorming, during which "Freedom Styler" was rejected. And so it went: You get your hair blown out. You need a blowout. You get blown ... out. And then you go. Bingo: "Blo & Go!"

Coleman's portable little device doesn't grip the nozzle of the blow-dryer; instead, it cradles the handle. It holds by suction to any flat surface such as a mirror. "I needed something of great quality that was really going to stay up," she says. "The whole key to this is the suction."


Coleman's Web site,, went live this weekand her infomercials have started running as well. She doesn't know how many Blo & Go's she's sold so far but "all my friends and family have bought them."

Including her husband, she says. "He's proud of me. He's happy as can be — in fact, he's used it. Every once in a while, he gets out of the shower and uses it.

"Anything that helps the family and pays the bills is good."

Press secretary LeRoy Coleman (no relation) confirms that the senator is "indeed proud of his wife and proud of the product."

But after a little thought, he changed his mind about rounding up a quote from his boss — thus depriving us of a public record of Sen. Norman Coleman, R-Minn., up for reelection this year, commenting on a Blo & Go.

The website uses Senator Norm Coleman to promote the cheezy Blo N Go product.

Kelliher, Pogemiller and Seifert Conspire to Swindle the Taxpayers with the Mall Parking Lot Boondoggle

Oink, Oink..... Pork!

Both House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, and House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, were greeted with applause as they spoke in a State Capitol rotunda crowded with sign-waving construction workers wearing hard hats. Kelliher said afterward that she expects the mall's $2.1 billion proposal -- which includes public subsidies -- to be part of a conference committee tax bill that will be presented to Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Today's events made it likely that the House Taxes Committee -- whose chairwoman, Rep., Ann Lenczewski, opposes the public subsidy component -- would be bypassed as the mall's supporters seek to move the proposal through the Legislature.

So this conference committee will get stacked with pro-boondoggle legislators. This is disgusting. Why have committees, when bills such as this don't go through the committee process?

Where is the Taxpayer's League? They should run an ad on the Governor's radio show urging him to veto this nonsense.

Any Minneapolis legislator who votes for this should be thrown out of office

This subsidizes the Mall at the expense of downtown businesses. There is no reason this can't be done using private funding - and could be done privately if the Mall would be willing to charge for parking. Shame on Marty Seifert, who is supposedly a No New Taxes type of guy, and shame on Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Larry Pogemiller who are selling out the Minneapolis property taxpayers on this one. If this passes, Minneapolis property taxes go up to make up for the revenue shortfall created by this boondoggle. The city of Minneapolis took an official position in opposition to this nonsense. Unfortunately, Minneapolis legislators don't feel they have to listen to their constituents.

Most Commenters Are Irate at the Strib About Mall Boondoggle.

Strib comments here:

Why am I not surprised

Both sides are whacked out of their minds for backing this. I'm opposed to the pubic financing of any company. These companies make millions, if not billions, yet the people who pay for it, the taxpayer, see nothing. And where do these idiot legislators on both sides of the aisle think we are going to get the extra money? Most likely they will raise our taxes yet again.
posted by Riff_Raff on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:00 PM |


Have to disagree with Riff-Raff. In the case of the Mall, which generates a great deal of money for the local economy. An expansion in this case would continue to generate more money. In this case it is a plus for the local tax payers. Normally I would not agree, but for whatever reason the MOA generates money.
posted by Shamby on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:08 PM |

RE:Both sides are whacked out of their minds for backing this. I'm opposed to the pubic financing of any company.

Couldn't agree more. I can't see ANY public benefit in this. This is a private business, let them finance it.
posted by srusher on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:08 PM |

Re:In the case of the Mall, which generates a great deal of money for the local economy. An expansion in this case would continue to generate more money.

If there is so much money pumped into the local economy, then there should be people standing in line to help finance it.
posted by srusher on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:12 PM |


The mall generates millions of dollars per year in sales taxes, and payroll taxes. With the construction alone, it will generate 100's of much needed, good paying jobs. So tell me again that this won't provide any public benefit?
posted by olsonman on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:16 PM |

Seriously. . .

What's MOA gonna do if they don't get a subsidy, move? If it's a sound business investment, it'll pay for itself, right? I'm all for public money going to public uses, but if you want to put those contractors to work with public money let's do it for public projects. MOA might generate peripheral income for local businesses and such, but the owner's of that joint can surely leverage the financing to pay for the expansion. Heck, then we'll get the local benefits without having paid for them in advance. There's a time value to money--should the public get the value of hanging onto that cheese or should the owners of MOA? I'm disappointed in Margaret--she tends to know better than this!
posted by cjlundy on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:22 PM |

We need to support the MOA

With the Ford Plant gone, Northwest gone, 3M gone, and more; what else will there be?
posted by fleetingdays on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:24 PM |


You're not wrong. However, the issue is whether this is the best use of public dollars. If the investment makes sense, and the MOA leaders say that it will be beneficial, then they will make the same improvements to the MOA without public money. That still creates jobs and continues to increase sales and payroll taxes without sacrificing scare public dollars that could do the same thing for public projects. We're talking double benefits to the economy. So while this might do something to help us out, we can do more by spending that money where it won't be spent by private interests anyway.
posted by cjlundy on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:27 PM |

Too much of a mediocre thing

When so much of the Mallo's existing space is vacant, can someone explain to me why we need Son of Mallo? Other than to create temporary construction jobs building more storefronts that will stand empty or provide part-time, no-benefits, minimum-wage work that will have no lasting impact on the local economy?
posted by Mairin on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:30 PM |

Mall isn't going anywhere

And you are using a pot of money generated by other businesses to fund this parking lot. So basically the State is using scarce resources to fund a parking lot for a VERY profitable retail establishment - money which was generated by other commercial properties - some of which compete with the MOA. And where exactly is the MOA going to go? What a bunch of rubes. If the money is burning a hole in the State's pocket, they should repave more pot-hole filled roads so people can get to their work and home faster and not have to pay to get reallignments every month.
posted by jcarlen on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:42 PM |

Customer parking

Perhaps MOA customers should pay for the parking spaces they use instead of MN Taxpayers.
posted by jimhenricksen on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:42 PM |


I'm not surprised Mike Nelson is pushing this. He's a union enforcer for the local carpenters union. This is big business for his union bosses.

Small Businesses

So instead of giving small businesses any help (where the money spent might actually stay local), let's help out big business again and again. Why don't we also use public money to increase our dependence on foreign oil and autos, and increase congestion on 4-ninety-parkinglot.
posted by digitalsnow on Apr. 29, 08 at 2:49 PM |

Now I will have somewhere to spend my tax rebate check.
posted by greatx on Apr. 29, 08 at 3:24 PM |

The economy in this state is pretty much stalled. I'm for anything that will help stimulate the local/state economy. This money will come back to the state coffers as tax revenue.
posted by cheiron55401 on Apr. 29, 08 at 3:29 PM |

I just don't get why we would spend money on a private enterprise which is already doing quite well. If we are going to spend the same amount of public money, aren't there things to spend it on that would create greater public benefit? I agree with some sort of public spending to help counteract the economic slowdown, but getting bang for the buck should be first priority.
posted by theoko on Apr. 29, 08 at 3:38 PM |
Ok It's no surprise

Ok let me get this right. 2 Years ago, there was a tax bond referwhatever that passed for the roads. The bridge collapses. The state says they need more money to keep the bridges from falling. 6.6 billion tax increase. Report comes out, saying that some certain private org, has been lobbying all of our ELECTED officals in Saint Paul, for somewhere around $700,000, yes I did include all the right zeros. And now they get a $2.4 mill parking lot!! Oh by the way, I was at the Mall 3 years ago, won't go back On another note, Fix the center lane on 35W north of 694!!!
posted by hooptiempls on Apr. 29, 08 at 3:49 PM |
The mall generates millions of dollars per year in sales taxes, and payroll taxes.

And they won't generate these unless we provide them public subsidies? Government should not be in the business of making investment decisions. There are people that do this for a living and the only reason the state's participation is required is the pros have decided its not economically feasible or want to factor risk into the equation.
posted by srusher on Apr. 29, 08 at 3:55 PM |
8 of 14 people liked this comment. Do you?
This is a no-brainer!!

Do you want to attract people to MN or what?? Things like this are no-brainers. Some type of public subsidy is how certain things do and should get done. Do we want to keep the Vikings in MN?? Some type of public subsidy will need to be used there also, and I have no problem with that. If we want certain "qualities of life", we have to pay for them. Having the mall expand and double in size will be great for MN.
posted by herman3 on Apr. 29, 08 at 4:47 PM |

Money for Construction

If spending state money on construction is a positive thing for the economy, why not spend state money on private houses. My house is kind of old and I would like a new house paid for by the state. I'll pay more taxes and it will create construction jobs. Let's give away free houses in MN (paid for by every Minnesotan)!
posted by markstueven on Apr. 29, 08 at 4:52 PM |

Business is business

So you want to taxpayers to give you some money for a mall. How bout we give you the money you want and we become a partner, say 40%. You get your mall that we'll shop in and we get some of that money back from our investment. Hey, business is business. Now if those dumb***'s in Hennipen county were smart they would be owning at least 30% of the TWINS. Business is business
posted by catguy on Apr. 29, 08 at 4:54 PM |
6 of 8 people liked this comment. Do you?
A Vikings season ticket holder...

Now get me a shiny new Vikings stadium and step on it!
posted by dalyfan on Apr. 29, 08 at 5:00 PM |
7 of 12 people liked this comment. Do you?

Unbelievable!!! Yeah, a bunch more stores we don't need---do we all remember the dead butterfly store at the mall?---and most of the jobs I can guarantee you will be minimum wage, or slightly higher. This expansion will do nothing to stimulate the economy. The only thing that's going to happen, is that the expansion will happen, a bunch of stores will open, and then a bunch will become vacant due to poor sales/management, and then everyone will stand around ringing their hands, not understanding how this could happen. Complete waste of time and effort.
posted by magicmanrex on Apr. 29, 08 at 5:02 PM |

If its so

great, why don't they finance there own expansion? Spend the money on a new bridge. This another example of business feeding at the expense of others. Pollard was joking the other day that the value of his team increased 1.3 Billion dollars because of the new stadium that is mostly financed at taxpayers expense, who by the way get ZERO in return. Yep, sounds like another stupid idea.
posted by the_vfox on Apr. 29, 08 at 5:16 PM |

Why are tax payers being asked to pay for this mall expansion?

How would this be any different than paying for a Viking's stadium? This is bull.
posted by bobberama on Apr. 29, 08 at 5:18 PM |

Which is more crucial to economic development of the metro: a new parking ramp, or a new 35W bridge? I pray our governor has the balls to veto this handout. Unfortunately, he won't. Republicans are just as much in the public trough as democrats.
posted by rodgunther on Apr. 29, 08 at 6:49 PM |
4 of 9 people liked this comment. Do you?

If the mall expansion makes financial sense to do, then it shouldn't need a public subsidy. If it won't support itself, it shouldn't be done - period.
posted by fu666 on Apr. 29, 08 at 6:58 PM |

Stamp It JobZ

Pawlenty will sign off on it in a heartbeat if he thinks the money comes from his pet program.
posted by joeeeeee on Apr. 29, 08 at 7:10 PM |

Spend Money to Make Money

Will the Minnesota Family Council Talk Dirty Again?

The comprehensive sexuality education bill passed the house. MPR reports on this here.

Will the Minnesota Family Council talk anal sex on robocalls to their supporters as they did the last time?

Hagee Now Backs Off His Statements that Katrina Was Causes By Gay Pride

La Times blog:

Hagee's history of anti-Catholic statements already has made his high-profile endorsement of McCain a mixed blessing. And much to the McCain camp's chagrin, Hagee earlier this week reiterated his opinion that God targeted New Orleans -- remarks coming as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee geared up for a campaign stop in the still-recovering city.

A McCain spokesman quickly stressed that the candidate rejected such statements. And then Hagee, in the e-mail billed as an "official statement" from the influential televangelist, did so, as well. He wrote:

"As a believing Christian, I see the hand of God in everything that happens here on earth, both the blessings and the curses. But ultimately neither I nor any other person can know the mind of God concerning Hurricane Katrina. I should not have suggested otherwise. No matter what the cause of the storm, my heart goes out to all who suffered in this terrible tragedy. There but for the grace of God go any one of us."

That's quite a different opinion ...

than he publicly expressed in September, 2006. During an interview with NPR, he said the devastating storm "was, in fact, the judgment of God against ... New Orleans.”

The city, he continued, "had a level of sin that was offensive to God” because “there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came.”

On Tuesday, Hagee refused to disavow those comments. He told talk radio show host Dennis Prager, "What happened in New Orleans looked like the curse of God... . It was a city that was planning a sinful conduct.''

The McCain people must have been begging him for this statement. It's interesting that this was a written statement and not an interview.

After 6th Months, Klobuchar Responds - and Takes No Position on Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Dear Ms. Young:

Thank you for contacting me about H.R. 1246, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2007. I appreciate hearing from you on this particular piece of legislation.

As you may know, H.R. 1246 would repeal current Department of Defense (DOD) policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces. It was introduced in the House on February 28, 2007, and referred to the House Committee on Armed Services. I will keep your comments in mind should this or related legislation come before the full Senate for a vote.

To keep track of what I am doing both in Washington and in Minnesota, please visit my website at You may also like to track legislation through the Library of Congress legislative information website at

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. Please do not hesitate to contact me again about this or other matters of importance to you.


Amy Klobuchar
United States Senator

This should be an easy one for Amy Klobuchar.

Klobuchar did send me a fundraising email about Earth Day 5 days ago. I sent her campaign an irritated response:

Why should I contribute to a Senator who never writes back when I write about legislative issues?

It's amazing that Klobuchar's campaign has the nerve to ask me for money.

Eva Young

Monday, April 28, 2008

Laurie Coleman's Blo N Go Business Doesn't Appear on Norm Coleman's Financial Disclosure Forms

Two Putt Tommy has the scoop and has sent a letter of inquiry to the State of California:

A couple of months ago, it was widely reported that Laurie Coleman, wife of Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman, was actively engaged in selling Blo ‘n Go’s in the State of California.

Laurie Coleman uses Norm Coleman's Senator title to sell the product:

Anyone who has ever tried to style his or her hair by wielding a blow-dryer in one hand and a brush in the other knows that it can be an exasperating juggling act. The challenge of an at-home blowout is what inspired, former runway model and wife of U.S. Senator Norm Coleman, Laurie Coleman to invent the Blo & Go, a hair-dryer holster. For years, Coleman had been jury-rigging wire coat hangers into holders for her blow-dryer so she could use both hands to style her hair. "You go on a trip with senators and you have 45 minutes and you have to be ready to go," says Coleman, who doesn't have the luxury of traveling with a hairstylist. "Norm's not going to blow-dry my hair." Her makeshift holsters were awkward, but they worked. That led a friend, Anthony Turk, who is now her business partner, to encourage her to develop and manufacture the device. It took four years of working with a product designer, but you can now get a Blo & Go for $29.99. Coleman is a former model, mother of two and a onetime actress -- "Homeland Security," "Three Days of Rain." The Blo & Go device doesn't grip the nozzle of the blow-dryer; instead, it cradles the handle. It holds by suction to any flat surface such as a mirror.

Laurie Coleman's credits also include the "Vagina Monologues."

A commenter notes:

And this article says Laurie started this business venture four years ago, so it certainly should have appeared in Norm's financial disclosure statement by now, even as a loss.

If you were Brodkorb, you'd have a half-dozen posts up about this by now, and the DFL would have a press conference scheduled.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Franken Campaign's Missed Opportunity for Damage Control

The Cucking Stool:

Seems to us here at the Cucking Stool that if a political organization has the wherewithal and resources to take on board any number off auditor/accountant sleuths to comb through the financial dealings of its opponents and scream bloody murder at what it finds, it might want to consider turning those same inquisitive minds on its own financial dealings.

But this is the Minnesota Republican Party we're talking about. You know, the one that is under investigation by the FEC for years of financial mismanagement. The same organization who retaliated against their own Finance Director who wrote a letter to the party's Executive Committee complaining about the party's accounting practices, including questions about whether employee retirement money was misappropriated and whether the party was - gasp! - guilty of tax evasion. The same organization that continues to file - over and over and over again - statements that it hasn't been able to sort through their own finances enough to figure out where all the money went. The same organization that has racked up legal fees as high as $17,000 in a single month trying to stay out of trouble. The same organization that has been the recipient of a whole series of FEC letters asking about why they can't keep track of their money. The same organization that has some pretty suspicious looking connections with the National Republican Party's favorite accused thief, Christopher Ward.

But once again, we're talking about the Republican Party of Minnesota.

Why does the Franken campaign miss this obvious riposte? Instead, the Franken campaign is keeping Franken from talking to the media, and making it worse. If they don't have all the answers, Franken can say, he's looking into it and get back on specific questions, and add that it's a bit rich for Ron Carey to be throwing stones from his glass house.

As Vince Lombardi said - the best defense is a good offense.