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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Joe Repya Unloads on Ron Carey's Management of the Republican Convention in Rochester

Eagle's Nest:

I was held out hope that cooler minds would win the day and convince the inept leadership of the MN GOP that they were about to make a major public relations error and surrender the days news to the Ron Paul faction of the party. I hoped that they would do the smart thing and invite Ron Paul in to address the convention.

Alas that didn't happen. Ron Paul was forced to speak outside to some 500 on lookers. In doing so, the MN GOP made the entire story on all the television and radio stations about divisiveness in the party and the snubbing of the Paulites. So much for the old Republican "Big Tent" of political inclusiveness.

Later in the morning the battle changed to the inside of the convention when a major power grab by the MN GOP establishment led by it's Chairman Ron Carey took place. Full disclosure here: I ran last summer against Carey for the chair position. Regardless, an attempt was made to disenfranchise any Republican who was suspected of anything short of complete and total loyalty to the establishment. When I left the convention this afternoon, results of a vote to change the State GOP Constitution to give exorbitant power to the executive committee to replace any BPOU leadership within the state they felt were not following their directives was yet to be announced. From the jeers and boos from the convention goers, it may not pass. In truth, this change came about because two BPOU's announced they would not support the re-election of Senator Norm Coleman. We can't allow any independent thinkers in the new GOP.


No wonder one of the DFL blogs recently posted that this year the DFL has a secret weapon - Ron Carey!

Strib Technical Difficulties

The Star Tribune's blog server doesn't seem to work:

Gateway Timeout
The proxy server did not receive a timely response from the upstream server.
Reference #1.3eb933d1.1212268330.59b62f8

This has been going on all day. You'd think they would want the blogs up and running when they are covering the convention.

I tried to contact them using their online feedback form, and got an error when I submitted the feedback.

Does This Mean Norm Coleman Opposes the Birth Control Pill?

From Marty Andrade's summary of Norm Coleman's speech:

All life should be protected from conception to natural death, support of traditional marriage because it “all about the kids”; need a strong national defense; our best days are not behind us, the Democrats change is not for the better.

Andrade also mentions that "illegal lit" was being taken away:

-They’re taking away illegal literature? Huh? (All lit pieces need addresses as per FEC rules)

My guess is the lit piece they were removing was the lit piece attacking Norm Coleman Kevin Duchschere mentioned.

Superintendent Bill Green on Welcoming Schools

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Welcoming Schools guide that Minneapolis Public Schools is considering as a pilot program for some of our schools.

Minneapolis Public Schools is committed to creating an open, accepting and welcoming atmosphere in our schools. Only in environments free of bullying can any real learning take place, and we are committed to providing the best learning atmospheres possible for our students. No forms of bullying – whether based on race, ethnicity, culture, physical challenges, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or other beliefs – will be tolerated in our schools.

We understand that there is a wide range of viewpoints regarding the Welcoming Schools guide.

Please be aware that a decision has not yet been reached by our Curriculum and Instruction Department regarding the form this program may take or the way in which it may be used. In response to concerns raised by some of our parents, a review committee has been formed made up of parents and community members, teachers and district staff to evaluate this material.

A decision on whether or not to proceed with pilot programs using Welcoming Schools material will be made by this committee based on: issues such as age appropriateness; and whether some, all, or any of the material in this guide meets the strict academic standards our district maintains for all types of educational material.

Also, be aware that use of the Welcoming Schools material is not an “all-or-nothing” proposition. That is to say, the committee may decide to reject all of the material, or to include all of it, or to select some parts of the Welcoming Schools material and leave out other parts. Portions of this material may also be combined with other material currently used.

We expect the committee to make its final recommendation within the next several weeks. Currently, the District uses a variety of anti-bullying and social-skills materials to meet the individual needs of each site. Whatever form our future efforts take, we are committed to creating welcoming schools for every family and addressing anti-gay name calling and teasing. We will foster respect for all families.

Thank you for your time and concern regarding this program. We truly appreciate your input and value your continued active participation in the activities of our district and our schools.


Dr. Bill Green
Superintendent, Minneapolis Public Schools

OutFront Minnesota finally sends out an action alert the day of the Curriculum and Instruction Meeting which was not open to the public.

Support Welcoming Schools Curriculum
The Welcoming Schools curriculum proposed as a pilot project in three Minneapolis schools offers a positive step toward creating a welcoming environment for all students and alleviating the problem of anti-GLBT bullying.

Readmore on Welcoming Schools and the controversy surrounding it.

Read more about the curriculum from its sponsor, the Human Rights Campaign.

Tonight, May 28th, a school district committee will further discuss this curriculum and hear from both opponents and supporters (note: this is not a public meeting). The committee will make a recommendation to the Office of Academic Affairs.

Contact Chief Academic Officer Bernadeia Johnson at or call (612) 668-0640 or (612) 668-0145 to convey your support of anti-bullying and diversity curriculum.

OutFront Minnesota supports efforts in our schools to create inclusive learning environments and address bullying. We know from our years in working with students, faculty, and staff that bullying is a regular occurrence. Studies show that students who are bullied are more likely to drop out of school and suffer from depression, anxiety, and even suicide. Efforts to create inclusive environments are a positive approach to the issue.

OutFront Minnesota is a member of the Minnesota School OUTreach Coalition which works statewide to promote inclusive school environments for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students. Read more about the coalition.

Visit our School Resources page.

The Minnesota Family Council wants to totally cancel Welcoming Schools. They don't want any intervention into preventing the bullying of kids - when the bullying is gay-baiting.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Video of Norm Coleman's Acceptance Speech

When he is introduced, there are audible boos among the cheers. The Strib has the video.

Will Rod Grams Run As Independent Against Norm Coleman?


Grams, a strict conservative who failed in a 2006 bid to return to Congress, has hinted for months that he might run for Senate as an independent to show conservative displeasure with the state of the GOP. "I do like Norm, but boy, if he wants to court the middle and the moderates he is leaving a lot of us behind," Grams said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Coleman said he doesn't agree with Grams' assessment. He said conservatives should be satisfied if for no other reason than his reelection would prevent Democrats from getting closer to a 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

"I'm there and I'm voting for (Supreme Court justices) John Roberts and Sam Alito," Coleman said. "That speaks volumes and I am sure that conservatives in our party respect that and recognize the importance of that."

Coleman moves that have irked Grams and other conservatives include joining an override of President Bush's veto of the recent federal farm bill; his vote for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP); several votes against authorizing oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and moderate-sounding comments on issues like global climate change and immigration reform.

Even more irritating to some conservatives are several recent examples where Coleman and his surrogates have stressed his work with the state's popular Democratic senator, Amy Klobuchar, including a television ad sponsored by an independent group that pointed out how Coleman "teamed with Amy Klobuchar" to secure federal funding after the 35W bridge collapse.

"A lot of conservatives don't like Amy Klobuchar," said Andy Aplikowski, a conservative blogger and local GOP activist in the Twin Cities suburbs.

Still, plenty of prominent Minnesota conservatives are more supportive of Coleman. Annette Meeks, a former Minnesota GOP official and one-time aide to Newt Gingrich, called Coleman a "big city conservative" who lives up to an old Ronald Reagan maxim that you only need to agree with your political allies about 80 percent of the time.

"I disagree with him on a few things but not on the core principles of the conservative movement," Meeks said. She pointed out that Coleman has been anti-abortion since before he left the Democratic Party for the Republicans, and has consistently voted in favor of lower taxes and a strong national defense.

For a time in 2007, it appeared as if Coleman might actually have a conservative challenger for the Republican endorsement. Joe Repya, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and Vietnam, Gulf War and Iraq veteran, flirted with a run before deciding that Coleman would have the institutional support.

Repya declined this week to comment on Coleman's conservative credentials, saying only he considered Coleman to be lucky that his likely Democratic opponent is former comedian Al Franken, who's widely disliked by conservatives.

"He knew that Al Franken would be the easiest candidate to beat because he can make the whole election about Al Franken and not Norm Coleman," Repya said. "It looks like he's getting his wish."

Minnesota's Democratic Party and the Franken campaign have been attacking Coleman from the other direction, trying to tie him in voters' minds to the Bush administration and Republican policies. "(Coleman) definitely has a needle to thread," said Tom Horner, a PR executive and former Republican strategist who advised Coleman's gubernatorial campaign in 1998.

All the conservatives contacted for this story said they probably would wind up voting for Coleman. But they said the more he moves to the middle, the more it will cost him the energy of grass roots volunteers who work to get out the vote and convince their friends and neighbors to vote for Republicans.

"We'll go out and vote for him, but I don't know if anybody's terribly excited," Marianne Stebbins, a longtime state GOP activist and the chairwoman of Ron Paul's campaign in Minnesota. "I think the energy is going to go to other places."

Norm Coleman is in a lose lose situation with this. His big gift is Al Franken as an opponent.

Excellent Blog Coverage of the Republican Convention by the Strib

Check it out here.

Some interesting entries include one that discusses a flyer that attacks Norm Coleman.

As the convention comes to order this morning, an unsigned flyer is being distributed with the headline “Nay for Norm” and a picture of Coleman alongside a rhinoceros with a slash through it.

The rhino is GOP slang for RINO – Republican in Name Only, perhaps the cruelest indictment that can be issued within the ranks to a party member.

The text accuses Coleman of backing an Al Gore-like scheme to bury carbon dioxide emitted by power plants, abandoning taxpayers during last year’s congressional session, and favoring agribusinesses over family farmers by voting to override President Bush’s veto of the recent farm bill.

“Let’s tell Senator Coleman that there is another political party for big spenders and say ‘nay’ to his endorsement,” the writer of the flyer concludes.

There has been some murmuring in scattered Republican circles in recent months raising the same kinds of issues about Coleman that have dogged presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain — namely, that neither one is conservative enough to pass muster.

Ron Paul's speech.

Politics in the Toilet - (not about Larry Craig)

Calling for Republican National Convention volunteers.

Rules Fight

Delegate Slates

Post Mortem on Ron Paul Delegate Challenge

McCain Delegates win all the slots

Boos for Obama

There has been no coverage of Michele Bachmann's speech.

Strib Has More on Minnesota Congressional Delegation Being Unhappy with Al Franken's "Pornorama" Piece


A week before Minnesota DFLers endorse a U.S. Senate candidate, behind-the-scenes rumblings about a satirical Playboy magazine article written by candidate Al Franken eight years ago have broken into the open.

Among those weighing in are Democrat Jim Oberstar, dean of the Minnesota delegation in the U.S. House, and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

On Thursday, Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., called the sexually explicit article offensive and potentially damaging to Franken and other Democratic candidates in Minnesota.

The Franken campaign and backers of the candidate said the work was merely satire and faulted McCollum for dividing the party.

"As a woman, a mother, a former teacher, and an elected official, I find this material completely unacceptable," McCollum said of Franken's piece, published in 2000 under the headline "Porn-O-Rama!"

"I can tell you it's not playing comfortably in St. Paul, and I can't imagine this politically radioactive material is doing very well in suburban and rural districts," McCollum said.

Minnesota Reps. Tim Walz and Keith Ellison expressed similar concerns in interviews Thursday with the Associated Press. Ellison said the Franken article made him "uncomfortable," citing passages on oral sex and bestiality. Walz called the piece "pretty inappropriate."

McCollum supported Franken rival Mike Ciresi, who dropped out of the race in March. She said she has not talked to Ciresi about the Playboy article, nor has she encouraged him to reenter the race, although others have.

Ciresi was not available for comment Thursday.

McCollum said Franken's piece came up at a weekly meeting of Minnesota Democrats in Congress on May 21. "The overwhelming majority of us thought it was a serious political problem," she said. "Others thought it was a problem but that it would blow over."

Oberstar, one of those who attended the meeting, said that "some concerns were raised" but that he concluded the matter "is best left to the delegates to sort out at the convention."

The concerns coming out of the meeting came to the attention of Schumer, who talked to Oberstar about them.

Schumer spokesman Matthew Miller declined to discuss the conversation, other than to say, "We support Al Franken and we believe he will beat Norm Coleman in November."

Franken, a former "Saturday Night Live" star, wrote the piece for the January 2000 edition of Playboy, describing a virtual reality sex laboratory involving researchers and "sexbots" (sex robots) at the fictional Minnesota Institute of Titology, or MIT.

"I could describe the incredible sex the three of us had, but this is a piece of journalism about the future of pornography and not one of those cheesy letters from a horny reader," Franken wrote.

McCollum said the piece, in which sex acts are explicitly described, is tantamount to pornography, noting that the Star Tribune would not publish it in its entirety.

Franken campaign spokesman Andy Barr fired back at McCollum Thursday, saying "it's unfortunate that she's trying to create divisions in our party rather than working with other DFLers to take on [Coleman]."

Some Franken supporters took a similar line. "I know that Representative McCollum was a co-chair of Mike Ciresi's campaign, but at a time when Minnesotans are hurting, it's extremely disappointing that she would rather destroy party unity than focus on beating Norm Coleman," said Javier Morillo, president of Service Employees International Union Local 26.

Franken's backers have deflected similar criticism of his past writing, saying that Minnesota voters understand that he was a satirist.

"Al Franken being a satirist isn't something that just emerged," said state Sen. Mee Moua, DFL-St. Paul.

Countered McCollum: "This isn't satire. It's a serious political problem."

It's interesting that Franken's "joke" about the murder of a gay man didn't get this type of reaction.

From the comments:

As a Democrat...
...I blame the DFL. Obviously nobody bothered to get the stars out of their eyes long enough to vet Franken as a candidate. This is the heart of the problem for the DFL: it gets too wrapped up in image and doesn't pay due attention to substance. The DFL has an even bigger blind spot with celebrities. Take Patty Wetterling: a fine, accomplished woman, but she was terrible candidate. The DFL couldn't be bothered to notice. Franken has basically been campaigning since 2006 and obviously nobody bothered to ask any questions. If he runs in November, he'll get creamed. So will Nelson-Pallmeyer, but for different reasons.
BTW, nobody in the party of George W. Bush can rightfully call McCollum, Ellison or Klobuchar unaccomplished or unintelligent. As for the Democrats that would do the same, they should grow up.

posted by samwell on May 29, 08 at 11:47 pm

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jason Lewis Urges Club for Growth to Run Ads Attacking Senator Norm Coleman

Podcast here.

Jason Lewis was interviewing Pat Toomey from Club for Growth. Lewis was ecstatic that the Club for Growth was focusing on "RINO" Republicans. Club for Growth is going after Lamar Alexander (R, Tennessee), among others. Lewis asked why not go after Norm Coleman, since Coleman seems to be the epitome of what Club for Growth doesn't like, considering that Coleman voted in favor of the Farm bill, is opposed to drilling in ANWR, and is pushing various pieces of global warming legislation.

The discussion starts towards the end of the tape, after the bumper: "Take a Letter, Maria". He's setting up discussion of this ad:

JL: Their latest foray is this Lieberman Warner cap in trade bill - that ad we just heard there could have been a Club for Growth ad.

PT: I like it very much. I'm glad it's running on your show.

JL: Well you should consider running them in Minnesota because our sitting Senator Norm Coleman is in fact one of the greenies as is our Republican governor. Both so far have not supported drilling in ANWR where we could import as much oil as we get from Saudi Arabia. We have created an energy crisis, a political crisis because Republicans have basicly thrown in the towel on the tough issues and are refusing to debate.

PT: Well it's breathtaking to me that we can have oil at $130 per barrel and can still not sustain a vote to drill in the middle of nowhere in Alaska frankly and where the Alaskans want to drill and where the oil is. It's just - you know well - I'm speechless.

JL: Well you are targeting Lamar Alexander. You are targeting some democrats and you are targeting Elizabeth Dole - she should have been targeted years ago. But you are not targeting Norm Coleman in Minnesota. Any particular reason? Just....

PT: No, it's just a matter of - you know - finite resources. We are trying to a significant degree what we are trying to do is to let people know that we care about this, we are paying attention um, we are going on record. Ah... people know what the Club for Growth is all about. I think they care about our opinion on this for various reasons and...

JL: Can you think of - I hate to speed things along, we are running against the clock though. I knew the Club for Growth had not lost their bearings when they and
I were one of the first to criticize Mike Huckabee as a pro-life liberal and that's exactly what his record was in Arkinsas. Can you think of a worse vice-presidential choice?

PT: It would be a huge mistake for Senator McCain. I doubt very much that he would go down that road. He doesn't need someone with lots of baggage - Mike Huckabee's got a lot of baggage.

JL: What road is he going down?

PT: That's a good question. I'd love to see him pick Mark Sanford. He's my favorite choice.

JL: Yup, yup.... South Carolina Governor.

PT: Terrific candidate - former house member, governor two terms, solid conservative, the entire coalition will love everything they learn about Mark Sanford.

JL: And that's exactly what the party needs geographicly.

PT: Well you know, we should be ok in South Carolina. McCain will be fine in the South with the possible exception of states where Barack Obama will be able to drive a huge black turnout which could include Mississippi, Georgia, possibly even North Carolina.

JL: That's exactly right. Sadly I hate to be... I'm a lifelong Republican. I ran for congress as a Republican. But you know I think the real - the real asterisk or the real story that that nobody's talking about in this cycle is that forget about the big tent, forget about the Republicans realizing we need liberals to win. The real story is finally after quite frankly the mistakes of this administration and the Republicans in congress, conservatives have finally had it.

Lewis said he cannot vote for any Republican candidate who claims to be an environmentalist. So what is he going to do about Norm Coleman?

I assume this alert from Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP America) will send Lewis through the roof.

URGENT: Senate Considers Landmark Climate Bill

Please contact your senators today or tomorrow.

On Monday, June 2, the Senate will begin deliberations on landmark, long overdue climate legislation to cap greenhouse gas emissions using the proven, market-friendly, cap-and-trade approach. We have waited a long time for this moment.

The Climate Security Act, S. 3036, is comprehensive legislation that will use market forces to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will foster development of cleaner energy technologies that provide greater energy security, enhanced economic opportunities, and reductions in unhealthy air emissions.
The outcome of this vote will determine whether we take serious action to address climate change and reduce our overdependence on fossil fuels, or continue to waste precious time while these problems worsen.
While the Climate Security Act enjoys bipartisan support, including co-sponsorship of Republican Senators John Warner (VA), Norm Coleman (MN), Susan Collins (ME), and Elizabeth Dole (NC), there are many senators from both parties who are still on the fence. Your two senators need to hear from you!
Passage will require 60 votes because of a promised filibuster from Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), who believes, in spite of abundant evidence to the contrary, that climate change is a hoax.
Click on this link to send a message to your senators.
In addition to sending a message using the link above, please call your senators and urge them to support America's Climate Security Act. The Capitol switchboard number is: 202-224-3121. You can also find their direct office numbers in our telephone directory.
S. 3036 is up to the challenge of reducing climate risks while strengthening energy security and growing the economy. Its fate is up to us.
Thank you so much for your help with this!

Martha Marks, President

McCollum, Ellison and Walz Embarrassed by Al Franken


McCollum, who had supported Franken rival Mike Ciresi until he dropped out of the race, told The Associated Press on Thursday that she was worried that Minnesota Democratic congressional candidates will be running with a candidate "who has pornographic writings that are indefensible."

"Do they spend all of their time defending him, or do they spend their time talking about issues that are important to this election?" she asked. "The whole story was a shocking surprise."


"As a parent and an aunt, and talking to other parents, people are very concerned about the type of Internet use that's out there, and how it has a potentially harmful effect on children," McCollum said. "Sexually explicit material is one of the things that parents are very concerned about, and want to make sure that they're steering their children away from."

Added Ellison: "There were parts that made me feel a little uncomfortable," citing the sections on oral sex and bestiality.

"It presents a challenge," he said. "I have to ask myself, can I explain it to my 11-year- old daughter? I'd have considerable difficulty." Ellison said that constituents who have talked to him about it are "just sort of appalled."

But Ellison stressed that if Franken receives the DFL endorsement next week, as expected, he will support him.

McCollum was making no such promises.

"I'll have to see," she said.

McCollum said she hasn't encouraged Ciresi to get back in the race, but she noted she hasn't endorsed anyone since he left. Ciresi did not return telephone messages left Thursday.

Franken is the heavy favorite to take on Coleman, although he does face a challenge from college professor Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee remained firmly behind Franken.

"We support Al Franken, and we believe he'll beat Norm Coleman in the fall," said DSCC spokesman Matthew Miller.

McCollum said she spoke briefly with Franken Thursday morning, and that the candidate wanted to speak again.

"I told him this is a serious problem," she said. "I told him my cell phone's ringing off the hook. Union leaders call me, state House members are calling, I've had people in the coffee shop approach me, very concerned about this. They really feel this article is politically radioactive."

Democratic members of the Minnesota congressional delegation discussed the column at a regularly scheduled meeting last week.

Walz, a freshman who received help from Franken in his 2006 race, said he found Franken's piece "pretty inappropriate."

"I'm concerned that from the top of the party all the way on down, people make a simple assumption that there are commonalities if we're all in the same party," he said. "I don't want to get associations made that I can't control."

This speaks volumes. Mark Heaney on Air America was quite irritated at Betty McCollum suggesting that she should have proposed a solution to this problem, rather than just carping.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Welcoming Schools - School Board Chair, Lydia Lee

Ms. Young,

To update you what is happening with Welcoming Schools, it has been sent to our Curriculum and Instruction Department and is undergoing a formal review process to determine which parts, if any, can be successfully used for the 2008-09 school year. It has not been delivered in any classroom.

The District's mission is to do everything it can to prevent bullying and hazing in our schools. A number of anti-bullying curriculums have been approved and have been in place for several years. Bullying continues to be a growing concern in our schools and in society, and we are committed to providing instructional materials and training to District staff to create a more tolerant school environment.

Thank you for taking the time to express your support for the Welcoming School curriculum.

Lydia Lee
Chair, Minneapolis Board of Education

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Great Promotion

St Paul Saints website:

05/21/2008 10:23 AM -
ST. PAUL, MN (May 21, 2008) – Some of the most famous dance halls in the country include Radio City Music Hall in New York, the Fox Theater in Detroit and now the list includes a restroom at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport. With so much fanfare around dancing, the St. Paul Saints will honor “tappers” during National Tap Dance Day.

During the Sunday, May 25 game the first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive a bobblefoot. The design is a bathroom stall, with a foot that peaks out of the bottom and “taps” up and down. The day coincides with National Tap Dance Day.

While many people tap their foot because they are impatient, others may do it because they are nervous. It doesn’t matter if your tapping style is done with a “wide stance” or is used as some sort of code, the Saints are asking all fans to tap to their heart’s content on May 25.

Go to the Saints website to see a photo of the Bobblefoot.

Clinton Foundation Dirty Money

New York Times:

Unlike more established competitors, Mr. Giustra was a newcomer to uranium mining in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic. But what his fledgling company lacked in experience, it made up for in connections. Accompanying Mr. Giustra on his luxuriously appointed MD-87 jet that day was a former president of the United States, Bill Clinton.

Upon landing on the first stop of a three-country philanthropic tour, the two men were whisked off to share a sumptuous midnight banquet with Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, whose 19-year stranglehold on the country has all but quashed political dissent.

Mr. Nazarbayev walked away from the table with a propaganda coup, after Mr. Clinton expressed enthusiastic support for the Kazakh leader’s bid to head an international organization that monitors elections and supports democracy. Mr. Clinton’s public declaration undercut both American foreign policy and sharp criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, Mr. Clinton’s wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

Within two days, corporate records show that Mr. Giustra also came up a winner when his company signed preliminary agreements giving it the right to buy into three uranium projects controlled by Kazakhstan’s state-owned uranium agency, Kazatomprom.

The monster deal stunned the mining industry, turning an unknown shell company into one of the world’s largest uranium producers in a transaction ultimately worth tens of millions of dollars to Mr. Giustra, analysts said.

Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra’s more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million, secured Mr. Giustra a place in Mr. Clinton’s inner circle, an exclusive club of wealthy entrepreneurs in which friendship with the former president has its privileges.

It's too bad the Strib won't do similar investigative reporting on Norm Coleman's connections to DCI.

More Problems for the Minnesota Republican Party

Star Tribune:

Former controller Marina Taubenberger confirmed that she had believed she should report both state and federal money to the FEC and that she always tried to be as thorough as possible in filing reports. "We overreported," she said. "We reported every income and every expense."

Taubenberger, who left the party position in 2007, said Friday she did so because she was tired of the job. "They never asked me to leave," she said of party leaders. "I didn't do anything wrong."

Her departure came amid complaints by some party activists that the state GOP misused employee retirement money, improperly reported its finances and retaliated against staffers who reported the problems.

Schultz said it is hard to determine why the earlier reported cash balances were too large.

"It could be a simple error," he said. But he also wondered whether the party had been circumventing restrictions approved by Congress in 2002 on using state funds for federal races. "Are they improperly shifting money between their state and federal accounts?" Schultz asked.

Toner said the congressional restrictions, part of McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law, greatly complicated reporting rules for state parties by requiring them to follow state laws for some data and federal law for others.

"I haven't seen any indication thus far that there was any knowing and willful effort to distort those figures, but instead they were just bookkeeping problems," he said. After filing another 15 amended reports next week, the state GOP will "work actively and collaboratively with the FEC to address any remaining issues," he said.

David Schultz hit the nail on the head. Did the Republican Party of Minnesota improperly move funds from state races to Michele Bachmann's campaign?

Joe Repya comments further.

Did the Strib make an effort to interview Ron Carey? He is not quoted or mentioned in the story, and there's nothing indicating they made an attempt to interview him, and he refused?

Well as someone once said, "the chickens are coming home to roost!"

Last summer I ran for the MN GOP Chairman position and lost. I ran on a platform vowing to reform the Party operations and put our finances into order. I questioned how the former Party treasurer of 12 years, now Party Chairman for the last 3 years, could allow the financial situation to get so out of hand. I vowed to have immediate independent audits completed and to report to the State Central delegates the results, good or bad. I warned then, that if this reform and transparency of our finances wasn't accomplished, the MN DFL would accuse the MN GOP of corruption and would use it as a major election issue in 2008.

I'm fully aware that there will be calls attacking me as a "poor loser," but frankly, there are those of us in the MN GOP that are sick and tired of the shell games, delay tactics and lame excuses that we have been getting for the last year. It is time to stop trying to deflect the problem as an attempt by the Star Tribune to discredit Republicans. These are not imaginary problems. It appears from a leaked February 2007 internal memo (of which neither I nor my campaign had ever seen or were responsible for leaking) and numerous FEC reports that the Party has been successful in discrediting itself.

This Party stands on the verge of a political disaster equal to that of 2006, because of either the ineptitude by our leadership or worse, the dishonesty of personnel with fiduciary responsibility. It is time to determine what is wrong and who is responsible and correct the problem once and for all. It is time for complete accountability. We have had a year to correct these problems and obviously have not.

Police Charge Sexual Assault Case with Sodomy Law

Sodomy laws were found to be unconstitutional in Lawrence v Texas. That doesn't seem to have stopped police in North Carolina from charging a North Carolina gay couple with "crimes against nature".

Raleigh police are charging two adults for sodomy in private, although the U.S. Supreme Court appears to have outlawed such charges five years ago.

Police on Saturday charged two West Raleigh men with a "crime against nature" for having sex early that morning. Each faces up to two years in prison if convicted of the Class I felony.

But that charge is unconstitutional, a state lawmaker says.

And the circumstances of the encounter are murky.

Raleigh police first charged Nelson Keith Sloan, 40, of Grand Manor Court, who called them to his apartment about dawn, saying he had been attacked.

Police later filed the same charge against Ryan Christopher Flynn, 25, of Glen Currin Drive.

They also charged Flynn with simple assault for biting Sloan. And they charged him with communicating threats by telling Sloan he was going to disembowel him and show him his innards.

"This looks like a case of a consensual act that may have gotten out of hand," said Raleigh police Capt. T.D. Hardy. "The law is still on the books. Our detectives got involved in it last night and decided this was the best thing to do. What the D.A.'s office will do with it, I don't know."

Sloan, however, said he was the victim of an assault.

"I didn't allow anything," he said Saturday after being reached at home by phone. "They knew it and turned it around and arrested me. I have never been so humiliated in all my life. It's just awful."

Police did not charge Flynn with any sort of sexual assault.

Flynn, who has past misdemeanor convictions for possession of drug paraphernalia and assault by pointing a gun, could not be reached for comment.

This will mean that gay couples won't want to call police in the case of sexual assault. Years ago the reason Skip Humphrey opposed Sodomy Law repeal was because he felt sodomy laws were needed to prosecute public sex acts. That made no sense, since those actions could already be prosecuted under other laws.

The Minnesota sodomy law is still on the books:

609.293. Sodomy

Subdivsion 1. Definition. "Sodomy" means carnally knowing any person by the anus or by or with the mouth.

Subds. 2 to 4. Repealed by Laws 1977, c. 130, § 10, eff. May 20, 1977.

Subd. 5. Consensual acts. Whoever, in cases not coming within the provisions of sections 609.342 or 609.344, voluntarily engages in or submits to an act of sodomy with another may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.

This doesn't just cover gay people. When Tom Prichard from the Minnesota Family Council testified against repealing this law, he said that repealing this law would increase teen pregnancy. When I debated Prichard on Nick Coleman's radio show on KSTP AM, Prichard suggested there be an exception in the law for heterosexual married couples to engage in oral sex. I'd like to see that Prichard amendment get debated on the floor of the house.

The Minnesota Law was overturned by a local judge, and the ruling was not appealed by Attorney General Mike Hatch. The North Carolina situation argues for legislative repeal of the Minnesota Sodomy law.