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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Talk Show Host Ed Schultz Calls Norm Coleman A "Skirt Chaser"

Hal Kimball has the story.

From the 3rd Hour of the June 6, 2008 show.

On the Al Franken scandals:

"This is all to just lather up the right, to shake down the Democrats, to make Norm Coleman look like he's an altar boy, which he is not. And that is a story that the right wing media in Minnesota will never do. You know, Norm likes to chase the skirt, you know, there's no doubt about that. Anybody wanna counter me on that? Anybody in the media want to write an editorial about what an altar boy Norm Coleman is? Any right wing talkers in Minnesota want to tell us what an upstanding, wonderful, highly moral guy Norm Coleman is? Come on! Let's get it on!"

Schultz spent significant time in the 3rd hour of his show on Friday coming to the defense of Al Franken.

Aaron from Minnesota Brown comments:

Second, Franken's well-publicized "baggage" regarding his prior work in comedy is going to be a problem, but like Obama's Wright connections it can be handled if dealt with honestly and clearly. What is most important is to make sure Minnesotans are focusing on issues this election, instead of parsing every word of Al's greatest and least greatest hits. The fact that MPR commentators would suggest that Norm Coleman would do best if this ended up as a "character" debate is unbelievable. Everybody knows why it's unbelievable. The only difference is that Al's jokes, made up jokes that weren't designed to reflect his political vision, are public information.

Years back when Coleman was first elected, Jason Lewis discussed the Garrison Keilor column that went after Coleman. The column aluded to rumors that Norm Coleman had some similarities to Bill Clinton. Lewis kept on saying "I'm not saying the rumors aren't true", but he condemned the column.

Barack Obama Takes No Position on the California Constitutional Amendment to Ban Gay Marriage

San Francisco Chronicle. Years back Jimmy Carter publicly opposed proposition 6.

Art Torres, the state Democratic Party leader, said in an interview that he doesn't want to see the marriage initiative become a partisan football - but he has left no doubt as to where he and his party stand.

The court's decision "marks a giant step forward in our march toward true equality," Torres said in a May 15 statement. "Now we must refocus our efforts on fighting the divisive and discriminatory ... amendment that would take away marriage equality for same-sex couples."

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, supports civil unions and equal rights for same-sex couples, but he has said repeatedly that marriage itself should be reserved for a man and a woman.

With an amendment outlawing same-sex marriage on the California ballot in November, Obama will probably be called to defend his carefully nuanced position when he campaigns in the state. That won't be a problem for him or for his remaining rival, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who also opposes same-sex marriage, said Torres.

Same-sex marriage "is an issue that is based strictly on the California Constitution," the Democratic Party chief said. "National candidates running for president normally don't take positions on local issues, so they've likely said as much as they're going to say."

California Republicans aren't likely to give Obama, or any other Democrat, a free pass on the marriage amendment. All but one of the 15 Republican state Senate members and 17 of the 32 GOP Assembly members have endorsed the initiative, along with their party's leadership.

Support for same-sex marriage "puts the leadership of the Democratic Party at odds with the mainstream voters of the state," said Ron Nehring, chair of the state Republican Party. "High-profile Democratic candidates are going to be asked if they support a radical redefinition of marriage."

The most high profile Repubican in the state of California, Governor Schwarzenegger opposes the amendment.

Al Franken's Endorsement

I observed the DFL convention in Rochester. I also talked with a number of people about the Franken endorsement and the effect of the Playboy article and his history of joking about rape had on the endorsement. Rebecca Otto told me that sort of humor was not her "cup of tea", but stated it was satire, and that the joke about Leslie Stahl getting drugged and raped was written by another writer, not Franken, and they discussed this and decided not to go with it. She also mentioned Alice Walker's Color Purple which described incest and rape, and that was concidered a feminist work. Otto continues to enthusiasticly support Al Franken.

Al Franken's speech did directly address the elephant in the room:

It kills me that things I said and wrote sent a message to some of my friends in this room and people in this state that they can't count on me to be a champion for women, a champion for ALL Minnesotans, in this campaign and in the Senate.
And for 35 years I was a writer. I wrote a lot of jokes. Some of them weren't funny. Some of them were inappropriate. Some of them were downright offensive.
I understand that.

And I understand that the people of Minnesota deserve a Senator who won't say things that make them uncomfortable.

But I'm in this race because there are some people in Washinton who could afford to feel a little less comfortable.

He went on to go after Norm Coleman's record.

I talked to another friend of mine, who has many inside connections in the DFL, who mentioned a number of legislative candidates will be distancing themselves from Al Franken during their campaigns. It will be interesting to see who will have joint lit drops with Al Franken.

During the 2006 campaign, many volunteers for the DFL would quietly remove Hatch literature from their lit drops. I think this was partially responsible for Hatch's poor performance.

I talked to both Susan Gaertner and Tom Bakk. Bakk is thinking of running for governor, and Gaertner is definitely running.

It appears the Drama Queen Needs Smelling Salts

Check it out...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Petty Disputes Among Minnesota Republicans

MN Publius publishes an email from Joe Repya to a party activist in SD 38. According to MN Publius, the district committee formally rebuked Repya for this email. Joe Repya defends himself on his blog, the Eagle's Nest.

The Minnesota GOP attack machine has me zeroed in their sights. Having lost the chairman's race last year I have been a vocal critic of the current leadership, or lack there of, of MN GOP Chair Ron Carey. As a result, I have over the course of the last year been the target of retribution from the party.

The latest came today when (here) posted a leaked story that I had been condemned by my BPOU SD 38 for "threatening, coercive and abusive behavior." After speaking with one of the SD 38 executive board members I was informed that this action took place at a hostility [sic] called meeting May 22 and was the work of Justin Countryman and Michael Brodkorb (Ron Carey's former campaign manager and who is believed to have leaked the story). I was also told that the SD 38 executive board agreed to keep the condemnation private until the release could be made at a "more optimum time."

The bottom line is that this was a personal attack to discredit my party standing as a RNC National Delegate and as a possible future candidate for party chair in 2009. Unfortunately, they left out many important details.

Go read the linked posts for the full drama.

Mack the Knife

Does the AP Have the Story Correct?

Hillary Clinton will be suspending her campaign, and endorsing Obama Friday. AP:

An adviser said Clinton and her lieutenants had discussed various ways a presidential candidacy can end, including suspending the campaign to retain control of her convention delegates and sustain her visibility in an effort to promote her signature issue of health care.

The other options include freeing her delegates to back Obama and ending her candidacy unconditionally. The official stressed that neither Clinton nor her inner circle had decided specifically what course to take other than to recognize that the active state of her bid to become the nation's first female president had ended.

On the telephone call with impatient congressional supporters, Clinton was urged to draw a close to the contentious campaign, or at least express support for Obama. Her decision to acquiesce caught many in the campaign by surprise and left the campaign scrambling to finalize the logistics and specifics behind her campaign departure.

DFL Feminist Caucus Distances Themselves from Hillary Clinton write-in effort.

Press Release
For immediate release Contact: Mari Pokornowski
June 4, 2008 320.260.4074

Statement of DFL Feminist Caucus President Mari Pokornowski

“I want to make it absolutely clear that assertions that the DFL Feminist Caucus is encouraging a “protest” write-in effort for Hillary Clinton in the general election for President of the United States, are absolutely false.

In addition, please be advised that neither me, or any official of the Caucus, had any involvement in promoting the Star Tribune article quoting a well known Minnesota feminist saying she personally would write-in Hillary Clinton for president as a “protest” and would encourage others to do the same. (“Feminist leader says no to Obama,” Star Tribune, May 30, 2008)

The DFL Feminist Caucus has never discussed this "protest" inside or outside our meetings nor has anyone ever address it with us. As president, I would have aggressively discouraged such an effort. Indeed, to promote such an effort would violate the very tenets of our political party.
Star Tribune article is available here.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Response to My Post about Anti-Gay Senator Sam Nunn Being a Top VP Option for Barack Obama

Queers United said...
As an Obama supporter I will be very sad if he picks someone who is anti-LGBT

11:38 PM
Todd said...
He might as well chose Joe Leiberman or that other nutcase Senator from Georgia.

If it is Nunn, I will not vote for Obama.

1:39 PM
ourprez said...
I'm gay, and I think Nunn would be Obama's strongest choice for v.p. I also think he's the most likely choice.

It's fine to say Nunn was wrong on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He was, and he was over-the-top about it. But who was right? Barbara Boxer, Barney Frank and Barry Goldwater. Everybody else was on the same page as Nunn--the Joint Chiefs, Colin Powell, even eventually President Clinton. If Clinton wanted his policy to be smoothly enacted, perhaps he could have held consultations privately and figured out how to work that. Blame Nunn all you want, but he was not the only or the major impetus behind the new, awful policy. Nearly everybody ended up unanimously for it, and it's never been repealed.

And that was fifteen years ago. If Nunn can endorse Obama, which he has, and salute and support his progressive stands on civil unions and ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell, that would have a pretty significant impact in terms of delegitimizing that policy and ending it.

I have no interest in piling on Nunn over a long-ago debate he seems willing to move forward on. If he's not willing, of course, Obama probably won't pick him. So why the grandstanding? What is to be gained by it? Will you openly oppose and campaign against every senator who voted for the compromise, or who hasn't taken an active role in repealing it? I think the visceral reaction is overriding the intellectual one in this case.

Of course, I also like Fmr. Sen. John Edwards (NC) and Gov. Tim Kaine (VA) a lot. But Nunn's my top choice, recommendation and prediction.


Interesting points, Alex. Sam Nunn wasn't just a Senator who voted for the compromise - he led the effort to torpedo the effort to allow Gays to serve openly in the military, and made a point of playing into fears and bigotry about gays in order to do so. The policy should be repealed, and it shows how little that gays get from the Democrats, that legislation supporting repeal hasn't been introduced in the Senate.

Sam Nunn is now saying it's time to rethink Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Nunn was instrumental in deep sixing President Clinton's initiative to open the military service to gays. When he held hearings about it, he stacked the hearings with anti-gay witnesses.

Pam Spaulding writes:

A spot on the ticket is never going to happen, Sam.

I'm not so sure. Obama and the Democrats believe that gays are in their pockets, so they have no need to be concerned about putting an anti-gay candidate on the ticket as VP.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Norm Coleman and his Campaign Won't Comment on Al Franken's Playboy Article

This is very interesting. Why would Norm Coleman be shy about commenting on the Playboy article? Remember that Coleman and his campaign have NOT been shy about attacking Al Franken for other tacky things he's written or said. This time, Republican women, the Republican party, and Michael Brodkorb have been pushing this story.

It reminds me of how Norm Coleman could publicly condemn Larry Craig, but hasn't said a peep about David Vitter.

Perhaps commenters at the Strib have hit on the reason for the curious reticence of the Norm Coleman campaign.