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Friday, August 22, 2008

The Mark Olson Soap Opera Continues

Heidi Olson's son commented again on Dump Mark Olson.

I would like to add that in this special District 16 Senate election, Alison Krueger was a weak candidate from the beginning. She has just been a puppet for a powerful group in District 16 that has future aspirations of a top position in MN. She has not once made up her own mind for herself and needs to be walked through everything by this group. Having to be advised to sign a non-compete and then waffling on it because she didn't realize what she was signing is not good character of a Senate Candidate. She comes across as a very whiny individual and does not know how to handle a loss. She complained about Mark's people showing up to the nominating convention and not her's. Work harder then next time. Where were your advisors on that one Alison??? We do not need a Candidate who is running only to help out someone else's future aspirations. Dinner at the Governor's Mansion would have been nice, right Alison?

That's a problem.

I saw my state senator, Linda Higgins at a Minneapolis Issues list party today. I asked her how she felt about the possibility of having Mark Olson join the Senate. She anticipates he will double the wasted time in the Senate.

Avidor also points to an interesting comment from Drew Emmer on MN Publius:

If said “elitists” truly wanted to control the outcome in SD16 they would have made their displeasure with Mark Olson’s candidacy known BEFORE the endorsing convention. To suggest that anyone should be precluded from having an opinion about the decision of the SD16 delegates runs counter to the Constitution.

The idea that Alison Krueger was chosen by a group of aggressive party elites is patently false. The only insider that influenced Alison was Senator Betsy Wergin when she asked Alison to run. I believe much of the SD16 displeasure with Betsy’s suggestion to run Alison was that Betsy didn’t clear it with the SD16 folks first. Considering Mark Olson supporters chilly regard for Senator Wergin it’s not hard to understand why she would make her suggestion independently.

The MNGOP had nothing to do with Alison Krueger’s candidacy. Ron Carey did show up and address the endorsing convention. But the state party organization did not recruit Alison nor did they promote her candidacy.

The best possible outcome for all of us would be if Mark Olson could clear his name legally and have the whole domestic flap removed from his record. Short of that, the left will use it against him evermore.

And everyone is welcome to their opinion.

It's not just the left. Michael Brodkorb, Norm Coleman and David Senjem spoke out more forcefully against Mark Olson than what I've seen from "the left." As I've said before, I believe Norm Coleman's statements have been motivated by self-interest.

Dump Mark Olson has had some great reporting on this topic. I encourage people to check the blog regularly.

Republican Convention Becoming a Political Liability for Norm Coleman

CQ Politics:

Coleman — who in 2002 narrowly defeated Mondale, the Democrats’ last-minute replacement candidate for Wellstone — has his own problems. He is running as a former Bush ally in a state where the president is out of favor, and his party’s national convention in the Twin Cities, once seen as a possible publicity boon to him, will be “more risk than reward” for Coleman, Jacobs said. Coleman has labored to distance himself from Bush and position himself as a pragmatic and independent-minded legislator.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Heidi Olson's Son Dispute's Kumpula's Account

Chris Ewing (Heidi Olson's son), comments on the Dump Mark Olson blog.

Final Word Discusses Mark Olson's Win

You can listen to the show (broadcast last Saturday) here. Hosted by King Banaian and Michael Brodkorb.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why Does OutFront Minnesota Participate in Ripple Effect?

I got OutFront Minnesota's weekly newsletter which mentioned their participation in Ripple Effect. I sent them the following:

What does Ripple Effect have to do with OutFront's Mission on GLBT? This suggests that not only is OutFront Minnesota a partisan organization - but a far left one at that. The Ripple Effect event promo you have on your site doesn't even mention GLBT - are you happy with being closeted among the "progressive" left?

When has OutFront Minnesota participated in an event with other "non-partisan" organizations such as the Taxpayer's League?

This type of thing gives the Governor a reasonable excuse to avoid talking to OutFront Minnesota - and he should not have such an excuse. You have a responsibility to be working with republicans - especially with your funding level. Log Cabin Republicans in MN does not have the resources to carry that ball.

I'm interested in your response for Lloydletta's Nooz.

OutFront responded with this statement:

Hi Eva – here’s our statement in response to your earlier questions:

OutFront Minnesota is participating in Ripple Effect as a way to engage people in the upcoming election, particularly to do voter registration among young people who will be a significant part of the audience at this event. Voter registration is a 501 c (3) activity which we engage in year round, including in non-election years.

This voter outreach work is unrelated to party affiliation. OutFront Minnesota works to encourage Minnesotans at workplaces, places of worship, concerts, farmers markets and other venues to vote and become politically engaged in the movement for GLBT equality year-round. If the Democratic National Convention were being held here, we would be doing the same work.

We reach out to people in all parties; as evidenced by the fact that we had bipartisan support for our legislative initiatives in 2007 and 2008. We work to educate all lawmakers on GLBT equality and we meet with lawmakers who are willing to meet with us.

OutFront Minnesota does outreach everywhere we can, at venues where we’re welcome. We’ve been invited and are participating in a Log Cabin Republican event during convention week to continue further our mission of encouraging elected officials and constituents to advocate boldly for GLBT equality.

We encourage your readers to view OutFront Minnesota’s statement on the RNC which states, in part, It is critical to engage fair-minded people of all political parties in the work of dismantling homophobia and heterosexism. We applaud those who work within the political party of their choice to advance policies favoring GLBT equality. No one political party has all the answers, and no one political party contributes alone to the problems.

Finally, OutFront Minnesota works with numerous nonpartisan organizations who, in turn, support GLBT equality as part of their own work.

GLBT is totally invisible in the description of the Ripple Event. It appears that the left treats gays like the crazy aunt in the attic. OutFront appears to have no objection to this.

Larry Schumacher: Will Mark Olson Hurt Other GOP Candidates

Political Quarry:

6th Congressional District Republican Party Chairman Mark Swanson went on the Jason Lewis radio show over the weekend to say he supports Olson's bid. Lewis condemned unnamed "elitist party hacks including some bloggers" who he said were trying to undo the will of the local party delegates.

New Big Lake Republican blogger and Olson supporter Chris Kumpula posted scans of Krueger's signature on a pledge to "abide by the decision of the Republican Party Senate District 16 2008 Endorsing Convention" and to not run against the endorsed candidate if not chosen.

Meanwhile, DFL blogs are rejoicing at the discord and hoping Olson survives his Sept. 9 primary, imagining the campaign literature and ads that will go out tying Olson to other Republican candidates and officeholders.

Michele Bachmann needs to answer the question: Does she support the endorsed candidate in senate district 16: Mark Olson? She worked closely with Olson on a number of pieces of legislation. What about house candidates Mary Kiffmeyer and Sondra Erickson who will be on the ballot with Rep Mark Olson?

Moving on Up

Michael Brodkorb is temporarily serving as Erik Paulsen's spokesperson.

Lloydletta's Nooz Exclusive: Interview with Mark Olson Supporter, Chris Kumpula

Chris Kumpula graciously agreed to talk to me about the race in SD 16. Chris sees this as a larger pattern within the Republican Party between the grassroots districts, and the state party. He cited a state party effort to remove a party officer in Northern Minnesota because the officer was publicly critical of John McCain.

Chris has written at length that he believes the claim that Mark Olson is a wife beater is false, and that Olson was treated badly by the judicial system. He says that the media have been unfair in their coverage of Olson. I asked Chris about Olson's history - including the story that Olson had once thrown a typewriter at a staffer. Chris said the typewriter in question was not thrown at a staffer, but rather was banged on a table. Chris felt the successful charge in Olson's conviction (causing fear of harm) was a threat to freedom of speech.

Chris noted that Senator Norm Coleman had met with Senate District 16 leadership, and was considering backing down on his position, after hearing the full story. Chris said that Coleman told Senate District 16 Leadership that he was unaware of the full story about Mark Olson when he took the public position he did.

I have contacted the Coleman for Senate campaign for comment.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rachel Maddow Gets Her Own Show

The New York Times has the scoop.

Arne Carlson and Triple A Agree

Strib Editorial:

Carlson, who served from 1991 to 1999, on Saturday sent copies of the letter, which was addressed to McCain, to both the Washington Post and the Star Tribune. He doesn't pull any punches in it, particularly in regard to Mitt Romney, the former presidential candidate who belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

"It has now become increasingly apparent that some are insistent that there be a religious test for the position of the Vice Presidency. The simple fact that religious beliefs are being considered is both offensive and harmful to our American Constitution...,'' Carlson wrote. "If a Mormon cannot be considered today for high office who will be eliminated from the same consideration tomorrow?" Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, an evangelical church member, is widely rumored to be on McCain's short list of vice presidential picks. Via e-mail, his spokesman said it would be inappropriate to comment.

Carlson's harshest criticism goes far beyond the vice presidential pick. He bluntly raises concerns about the influence religious "segments" have on a presidential candidate and the party itself. The word "theocracy" never comes up, but Carlson clearly feels that chill in the air.

How much impact a letter from an out-of-the-spotlight former governor can have is unclear. The GOP should take notice, though. In Minnesota and elsewhere, there's a growing sense that the party's vaunted big tent has shrunk too much, leaving old-line social moderates out in the cold. Competency, a quality satisfying a range of party faithful, should be at the top of McCain's veep checklist -- not the concerns of the party's hypervocal, ultrareligious faction.

How much impact a letter from an out-of-the-spotlight former governor can have is unclear. The GOP should take notice, though. In Minnesota and elsewhere, there's a growing sense that the party's vaunted big tent has shrunk too much, leaving old-line social moderates out in the cold. Competency, a quality satisfying a range of party faithful, should be at the top of McCain's veep checklist -- not the concerns of the party's hypervocal, ultrareligious faction.

Andy Aplikowski is a bit more direct:

Greeeeeaaaaaat!!! The Religious Bigots Are Weighing In On The VPstakes
Posted by Andy on August 16th, 2008

Tolerance is not a river in China. Religious tolerance should be the goldstandard in the Republican party. Unfortunately, it is not.

“I think Romney would be very acceptable to the foreign policy conservatives and the economic conservatives,” said Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy arm. “But I think it’s fair to say that about 15 to 20 percent of evangelicals would have a difficult time voting for a Mormon on either side of the ticket.“

It is a sad day for the Republic, more so for the Republican party.

From comments:

LibertyFirst Says:
August 16th, 2008 at 2:40 pm
Would you be tolerant if the VP choice was Muslim???
Just checking to see if you are consistent

Andy Says:
August 18th, 2008 at 7:23 am
Liberty First,
Sure, if they were a conservative, loved America, and was not abusing a religion for the purpose of terrorizing the world. There are good Muslims. There are bad muslims. No religious test, it is in the Constitution and I believe it needs to be followed when vetting candidates.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sen. David Senjem Disputes Kumpula's Account

I forwarded a copy of Chris Kumpula's post to Sen David Senjem and asked whether it was true. Here was his response:

Eva....obviously no. It would be totally inappropriate for a leader to stand up in front of this converntion or any other convention and take sides pror to a vote. I remember thanking delegates for coming out. I emphasized how important this seat was. I noted my great affection for Sen. Betsy Wergin and conveyed my appreciation for her as Assistant Minority Leader as well as her service as an outstanding Senator. I remember shaking hands with Mark on entering the convention area and have not recollection of saying anything except a simple greeting. I clearly would not have offered any comments on the Olson verses Krueger contest that the delegates were there to vote on that evening. I came to observe and not to promote any candidacy.

This is what he was responding to:

David Senjem, after speaking at the SD16 Endorsing Convention complementing Olson’s hard work and excellent track record in the Minnesota House of Representatives, has made a complete about face. He has gone from saying that he and the Senate Caucus will support Mark Olson if he wins the endorsement to saying that both he and the Senate Caucus will not support Mark Olson even though he has won the endorsement. We see this here in Tom Scheck’s blog, but we know it was also articulated to Olson in a telephone conversation. Senjem encouraged Olson to run for the SD16 seat prior to the convention, adding that the Senate Republican Caucus would support him.

Why the sudden change? Why did Senator Senjem seem warm and welcoming to Mark Olson at the SD16 convention only to turn and abandon him? I do not buy that he changed his mind after “looking back at the court records and thinking through the implications.” He discussed all aspects of Olson’s case and any political "implications" at length. Besides, Mark Olson’s case has been in the news for a year now, and Senator Senjem certainly had all the facts about what really happened to the bungled case. He has had plenty of time to think it through, especially this summer.

It's unclear what part of what's described here ocurred at the convention, and what part ocurred in a conversation between Representative Olson and Senator Sejem.

MN Publius Calls Michael Brodkorb Out

Aaron from MN Publius posts about Jason Lewis's show which criticizes "partisan hack bloggers" among others who condemned the local Republican Party unit which endorsed Mark Olson. The title of the post is inaccurate, because Lewis didn't mention Brodkorb by name. It was clear in the context of the show, that "the blogger" Lewis was talking about, was Michael Brodkorb.

Brodkorb wasn't happy:

9 Michael B. Brodkorb
August 17, 2008 at 8:01 pm
Aaron Landry = Liar. Contrary to Landry The Liar’s (aka Team Franken’s embedded blogger) headline, I don’t believe Jason Lewis ever said my name on his radio show. Numerous bloggers spoke out against Olson endorsement. Lewis frequently referred to the “bloggers” on his radio program. Aaron Landry has a serious problem with the truth.

Political Muse responded:

11 Political Muse
August 17, 2008 at 9:28 pm
Well, Michael, at 6:09 in the audio Mark Swanson states that “Mr. Brodkorb can write what he wants”. Moments later, Lewis talks about a campaign led by THE blogger. Now he may not have said your name explicitly but you cannot deny that you are THE blogger in question. So, you might not want to go throwing the term liar around so flippantly.

Brodkorb has none of it:

13 Michael B. Brodkorb
August 17, 2008 at 10:01 pm
Political Muse: I wasn’t the first Republican blogger to speak out against Representative Olson’s endorsement - that honor goes to one of my favorite bloggers, Gary Gross at Let Freedom Ring Blog. But I’m still very proud of my post about Representative Olson. Lewis frequently referred to the “bloggers” who spoke out against Olson endorsement. Numerous conservative bloggers spoke out against Olson endorsement and Lewis never mentioned me by name, nor did he discuss the name of my blog. I could be one of the “bloggers” Lewis was referring to, but I wasn’t singled-out by Lewis as was Senator Coleman and the Senate Republican Caucus. Lamdry is claiming I was singled out by Lewis. I’m not afraid of getting called out on Jason Lewis’ program - but Landry’s post is dishonest. I don’t enjoy writing this, but Aaron Landry is a liar. I believe Landry knows the truth, but chooses to lie. It’s really sad.

I would disagree. I believe Lewis was referencing Brodkorb, though not by name. He only talked about this story after it hit the Star Tribune. The blog post that was referenced in Bloghouse, was Brodkorb's.

Gary Gross also comments:

17 Gary Gross
August 17, 2008 at 10:25 pm
As a GOP activist, I recognize the endorsing convention’s right to endorse the candidate of their choice. What Michael & I did, however, was voice an opinion that this endorsing convention made a poor decision, one which we vehemently disagree with.

As for Jason Lewis, he doesn’t speak for my type of conservatism. He’s a neanderthal.

As for Michael, I’ll trust him because I’ve dealt with him over the past several years. He’s hard-hitting but he’s accurate. When he writes something, it’s accurate.

My thoughts on Mr. Landry? Methinx he’d better do better research before jumping in the ring with Michael.

Finally, Lewis talks about the elitists having it in for Rep. Olson. What’s interesting is that I’ve heard from lots of low-profile activists from across the state. They agree with Michael & I. They think that the endorsing convention got it wrong.

Are these low-profile activists elitists too? They are by Mr. Lewis’ standards. Forgive me if I’m not presuaded.

Jason Lewis didn't say the endorsing convention got it right. He said that the state party ought to respect the results of the local endorsing convention.

Chris comments:

3 Chris
August 17, 2008 at 5:32 pm
First, let me say that I personally don’t know ten people who give a damn about what Jason Lewis says. To me, Jason Lewis is the ultimate elitist. He’s a guy who ran for Congress in Colorado as a pro-choice moderate. He only supports Michele Bachmann and maybe John Kline. He hates every other Republican in the state — especially Tim Pawlenty and Norm Coleman. If you don’t do what Jason says, then you’re a RINO, etc.

Second, I’ve thought that for years the real elitists are the delegates. There are 80,000 people in a State Senate District. Out of the 80,000, 97 said they wanted Mark Olson. But what’s really elite about them is they want to tell their neighbors that they can only support Mark Olson and don’t want them to have another choice. They think they know more than their neighbors which is why they only want a handfull of people picking who runs and who doesn’t. The same is probably true on the DFL side, but I can’t say for sure because I’m not as familiar with their endorsing system. I only know that the DFL has a long history of having the endorsed candidate for major offices go down the tubes.

It’s time to end the caucus system as we know it today and go to a primary system. Let the candidates pay their $100 filing fee, buy a new pair of shoes and knock on doors to get their name out.

Jason Lewis Condemns Party Hacks and Bloggers Who Condemn SD 16 Endorsement of Mark Olson

Avidor put together snippets of the audio from the callers to Jason Lewis's show who discussed the Mark Olson situation. Lewis avoided mentioning Michael Brodkorb by name, but repeatedly referenced "elitist party hacks including some bloggers", a clear reference to Michael Brodkorb. 6th District Chair Mark Swanson called in stating the state party had gotten behind the endorsed candidate. Callers were quite critical of Norm Coleman as was Jason Lewis.

Hat Tip: Dump Mark Olson.