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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Republicans Consider Rescheduling Parts of Convention Due To Hurricanes - But Media Party Goes On As Scheduled


Officials with the McCain campaign and the Republican National convention are considering changing the event's agenda as Hurricane Gustav bears down on the Gulf Coast.

The Republican National Convention is set to kick off Monday in Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota.

Sen. John McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, plans to meet with officials in charge of the party's convention planning in Minneapolis-St. Paul on Sunday to review the latest news on Hurricane Gustav and what their options might be and then consult with the presumptive presidential nominee to determine what changes may need to be made.

"I wouldn't call it a nightmare, but it is a very perplexing challenge," said a GOP official planning the event.

A senior McCain source said Saturday that officials are considering turning the convention into a service event, a massive telethon to raise money for the Red Cross and other agencies to help with the hurricane.

"He wants to do something service-oriented if and when the storm hits and it's as bad as its expected to be now," the McCain source said.

They are also hoping to get McCain himself to a storm-affected area as soon as possible.

McCain had suggested to a Fox News interviewer that the convention could be suspended if it seemed that a festive gathering was inappropriate in light of the destruction the storm may bring.

But according to the Drama Queen, they are going to party, party with the Media Party.

OSEO School District Loses Another Round in Court

Strib story here:

For the second time in two years, the U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled against Osseo Area Schools in its efforts to keep a student-run gay rights group from having the same privileges as other clubs.

Friday's ruling affirmed a September 2007 decision by U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen, who ruled that Straights and Gays for Equality (SAGE) should be on equal footing with other student groups at Maple Grove High School.

Ericksen ruled that the school violated the Equal Access Act by giving access to the public address system and school bulletin boards to groups such as the Spirit Council, synchronized swimming and Black Achievers while denying access to SAGE.

The school district had argued that the other groups were given access because they are "curricular" -- in other words, their activities are connected to the school's curriculum. SAGE, the school district said, is not.

But the appellate court rejected that argument. The other student groups are not curricular and are, essentially, the same as SAGE.

It is the second time the school district has been dealt a defeat by the federal appeals court. Ericksen issued a preliminary injunction against the school in April 2006, a ruling upheld by the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2006. Afterward, SAGE asked the court for summary judgment, and Ericksen issued a September 2007 permanent injunction, which the district again appealed.

The school district could ask the entire appeals court to hear the case. Or it could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review it.

Osseo school district officials have been grappling with persistent financial challenges. Last year, the school board voted to close two schools and lay off more than 150 teachers. This November, the district is seeking voter approval for $8 million in additional property tax revenue per year for the next 10 years.

What comes next?

District officials were asked if they intend to keep fighting -- and paying legal fees.

District officials said they haven't decided. Stephen Knutson, the school district's attorney, said that the appeals court decision raises more questions that it resolves.

"It provides little or no substantive guidance to how to classify student groups," he said of the ruling.

For example, the fact that students can earn school credit in cheerleading or synchronized swimming should make them curricular activities. But the court focused its ruling on just the Spirit Council.

Knutson said the decision puts schools in the "untenable position of either closing their forum, or running the very real risk that you'll be subjected to multiple litigation with no guidance from the courts."

Osseo Assistant Superintendent Kate Maguire said the district will continue to allow SAGE the same access rights as other groups, and "will take some time to consider its next steps."

This should be interesting. I wonder how the taxpayers in the district feel about the School District doing this.

Sarah Palin as VP - It's Breathtaking

This is an actual quote from the McCain campaign:

Four months and one birthday later, McCain's announcement of Palin made clear the paucity of her experience.

"As the head of Alaska's National Guard and as the mother of a soldier herself," the statement said, "Gov. Palin understands what it takes to lead our nation and she understands the importance of supporting our troops."

That's like saying, because I go to a grocery store every week and buy food, I'm well qualified to set agriculture and transportation/distribution policy.

Can we just stop saying that leading a state's National Guard qualifies anybody to do anything?

And as for the old stand-by 'supporting the troops'... here's a bit of news. The troops do not lead themselves, with the rest of us standing ready with our hands over our hearts and the fountain pen poised to sign the checks.

No, see, the President of the United States and his/her administration is expected to set the policy that determines when and if troops are ever engaged in the first place. This 'support the troops' phrase is over-used and mis-used as an emotional cudgel to keep us guilted into funding a few really bad ideas.

And speaking of the really bad idea of the Iraq war - Governor Palin has not given it a lot of thought, according to news I heard on Friday night. Somehow, even though her son will be serving in Iraq, the whole question of the US of A's engagement in that fracas is not a topic that has gotten her attention, or about which she has formed an opinion.

It's breathtaking - there's no other word for it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin: Creationist

Afarensis and Thoughts from Kansas wraps this up, quoting from a 2006 Governor Debate::

Next, [moderator] Carey asked about teaching alternatives to evolution - such as creationism and intelligent design - in public schools. …
PALIN: “Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information.

“Healthy debate is so important and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.

And, you know, I say this, too, as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject -- creationism and evolution.

“It’s been a healthy foundation for me. But don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.”

Let's teach both sides on whether the earth is round or flat too, eh?

Josh continues quoting Obama:

"I'm a Christian, and I believe in parents being able to provide children with religious instruction without interference from the state. But I also believe our schools are there to teach worldly knowledge and science. I believe in evolution, and I believe there's a difference between science and faith. That doesn't make faith any less important than science. It just means they're two different things. And I think it's a mistake to try to cloud the teaching of science with theories that frankly don't hold up to scientific inquiry."

Joe Biden, with typical bluntness, dismissed the notion of creationism, telling Bill Maher that it is "malarkey!"

Anyone who really thinks this election doesn't matter isn't paying attention.

I like the way Joe Biden put it the best.

Dr. Dobson Reports on a New Reason to Vote

It sounds like Dr. Dobson won't need any Viagra for a while.

From Dennis Prager's Townhall Blog

Earlier this year Dr. Jim Dobson, President of Focus on the Family made news when he announced on “The Dennis Prager Show” that he “cannot and will not vote for Senator John McCain.” Today, on The Dennis Prager Show, the conservative leader changed course and announced his enthusiastic support on the heels of the announcement by Senator McCain of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.

Dennis Prager: I have a guest here who’s extremely significant in American life, whether you call it American political, certainly American religious life, one of the best known Christians in America— Dr. James Dobson who is president and founder of Focus on the Family…. The last time you were on was a very serious conversation about your feeling at the time that you just couldn’t vote for John McCain, and where do you stand now?

Dr. James Dobson: Well, Dennis, I shared with a colleague just a few minutes ago exactly what you said about the period of time when Ronald Reagan had broken onto the scene and I was in Washington D.C. the day he was inaugurated. That was one of the most exciting days of my life, because everything that we had hoped for and been working for had come to pass. I feel very much that way today. Maybe that’s an overstatement. Maybe time won’t validate it, but this is a very exciting and encouraging day for conservatives and pro-family activists. I am just very, very pleased.

Prager: In light of that, may I infer that when you enter the voting booth—and I am putting you on the spot. I fully acknowledge, and you’re certainly free to say it’s a secret ballot you don’t want to say, but you’re too public to really get away with that, so what’s the story right now?

Dobson: Well, you know I did a radio program about a month ago with Dr. Albert Mohler, and we talked about what was at stake in this election and our concerns about the policies that Barack Obama would implement. The more I hear the more I learn, the more concerned I am, and so on that program Dr. Mohler and I talked about the fact that John McCain is not the perfect candidate. He’s certainly would not be my choice and, for over a year, I did not feel that I could vote for him. But I said in that radio program that “I can’t say it now”—which was then, because I didn’t know who his vice presidential choice would be, and he if would come up with Lieberman or Tom Ridge or somebody like that, we’d be back in a hole again. But I said for the first time “I might, I might.” And some people call that a flip-flop. If they do, so be it. Campaigns are long. You get information. You find out what the choices are. So I’ve been moving in John McCain’s direction. I don’t know if anybody cares, but for me…

Prager: Plenty, plenty of people care and that’s why I am having you on. I care, many people care and you have a lot of followers. You have earned the right to that respect. So are you prepared to say, “Folks, look, given this pick and all I have learned about what would happen with a Democratic victory we have no choice, but to enthusiastically work for the McCain-Palin ticket?”

Dobson: You know, I have only endorsed one presidential candidate in my life and that was George Bush in the second term after I had watched him for four years. I did not do that in his first term. So I’m very reluctant to do that. You marry a politician you can be a widow pretty quickly.

Prager: That’s right.

Dobson: But I can tell you that if I had to go into the studio, I mean the voting booth today, I would pull that lever.

Prager: Well this is a very big deal.

Dobson: And that’s a long way’s from where I told you a year ago.

Prager: No kidding. No kidding. I am honored that you used this show to make that statement.

Dobson: You know, Dennis, the things that concern me about John McCain are still there. I made those comments not just based on emotions, but based on his record and some of the things that took place—embryonic stem cell research, and other things, the campaign finance, and other things. Those are still there. So, there’s still concerns. But I tell you, when I look at the choices that are ahead and what the implications are for this country, and now especially with this selection, with just an outstanding V.P. candidate as a running mate, I tell you what I am relieved and very excited.

Prager: Well, if you’re very excited given your previous reservations then I have to believe, and certainly based on the handful of calls I’ve been able to take the first hour before my “Happiness Hour,” I took the calls and people were so excited, palpably excited. Jim Dobson, and I got to tell you… if your base is energized then that is the biggest nightmare that the left has.

Dobson: I was just with about 300, maybe 400 people in a large auditorium, and they put Sarah Palin’s speech on the screen and we sat there and watched. I’m telling you it was electric. These were conservatives, you know. They were mostly Christian, but not all of them were. I mean to tell you, it set that crowd on fire. If that’s any indication, I think we are going to see some things.

Prager: We sure are. Well, you made my day. I just want you to know that.

We have been there and done that with these types... personally, I think the entertainment value of this campaign just spiked... similar to Dr. Dobson's trousers.

Rove Tries And Fails to Kill Lieberman VP Pick


Republican strategist Karl Rove called Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) late last week and urged him to contact John McCain to withdraw his name from vice presidential consideration, according to three sources familiar with the conversation.

Lieberman dismissed the request, these sources agreed.

Lieberman “laughed at the suggestion and certainly did not call [McCain] on it,” said one source familiar with the details.

“Rove called Lieberman,” recounted a second source. “Lieberman told him he would not make that call.”

Rove did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rove, President Bush’s former top campaign adviser and arguably the most prominent political operative of the past generation, has no formal role in McCain’s campaign. But he knows much of the Arizona senator’s high command and has been offering informal advice, both over the phone and in his position as a Fox News analyst, since McCain wrapped up the GOP nomination.

His decision to wade into the vice presidential selection process could provide Democrats fresh ammunition to tie McCain to the polarizing Bush.

It is also chafing some Lieberman allies and others wary of the selection of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

According to Zach at MnPublius, Michael Brodkorb said on air, he would vote against Joe Lieberman if he was nominated for VP.

Michael, in response to my direct question, said he would vote against Joe Lieberman at the Republican gathering if McCain selected him to be his running mate.

Now, Michael is as big a party loyalist as they come, so if he is willing to vote against Lieberman, I bet there are scores of other delegates who are prepared to do so.

This could get interesting.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sales Tax Amendment Draws Virulent Response in Fergus Falls

Minnesota State Senator Satveer Chaudhary (DFL - Fridley) visited a Ducks Unlimited meeting in Fergus Falls, MN, to promote amending the Minnesota Constitution to increase sales taxes for outdoor/conservation projects.

If you click on the title of this post, you can see the story from the Fergus Falls Daily Journal.

The comment thread is precious....

Posted by mnthea (anonymous) on August 28, 2008 at 1:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I was under the understanding that funds from the Lottery Sales in MN went to wildlife management, as well as the arts. Where are the funds going for the sale of lottery tickets, etc? So now we are suppose to pay more taxes on top of what we are already paying. I enjoy the outdoors as much as anyone, as does my entire family, but I guess I'd like to know what the State is doing with all the funds that were suppose to be alocated from the lottery sales.

Posted by cascade (anonymous) on August 28, 2008 at 1:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Satveer Chaudhary is the guy that proposed a complete lead shot ban within the state- some sportsman's friend... whatever way they can get more tax dollars I guess.

Posted by rodentboy (anonymous) on August 28, 2008 at 1:27 p.m.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Posted by cascade (anonymous) on August 28, 2008 at 1:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Whats Christ got to do with it?

Posted by doctipster (anonymous) on August 28, 2008 at 1:49 p.m.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Posted by doctipster (anonymous) on August 28, 2008 at 1:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

we are taxed enough. if they want more money do what everyone else has to do. Submit for funding through the budget. If they don't think we need it, then do some fundraising. I don't want to pay for it... im sure others don't either... and we are taxed enough.

Posted by prowler (anonymous) on August 28, 2008 at 2 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And we are supposed to trust the DNR to wisely use these funds the same way they use the rest of their funding? How many illegal "training" conventions will this buy?

Posted by mmhh (anonymous) on August 28, 2008 at 2:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There is a reason that this amendment took so long to make it through the Legislature - it's a terrible idea.

If the Governor and Legislature want to make funding for conservation a priority, they have the tools at their disposal to make that happen. Why don't they?

It is an ill-advised misuse of the constitutional amendment process to enshrine a very specific tax policy in the constitution.

Vote no.

Posted by ajohnsonx (anonymous) on August 28, 2008 at 3:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

One good example of wasting money is the fergus falls prarie wetlands learning center......lets keep putting up buildings on an already scarce plot of land, and teach kids about grass and birds.....I know that may sound a bit ignorant, but that is about as big a waste of money as space exploration..??

Posted by cascade (anonymous) on August 28, 2008 at 3:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think ignorant sums it up.

Posted by meliflower30 (anonymous) on August 28, 2008 at 3:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This ammendment is only asking a 3/8ths of one percent increase over the next 25 years. The increase will be so minute yet it will increase the amount to fund the effort in cleaning up Minnesotas lakes, streams, and rivers which tests have recently come back showing that over 40% of all lakes, streams and rivers in Minnesota are in fact polluted. I love the wildlife/outdoors and the ability to fish on our most beautiful lakes in the country! We have a duty here and a great opportunity to ensure that our children and the future generations can continue to enjoy the land and culture here in Minnesota. I urge each of you before making uneducated choices to read up on this ammendment. This could give us the potential to not only preserve and restore our state but our region here in Fergus. Please check out the website at remember that a non vote counts as a no vote! Please read before you vote.

Posted by tajps (anonymous) on August 28, 2008 at 4:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The Prairie Wetlands Center is an AWESOME place and does so much more than teach kids about grass birds - the only thing correct about your statement is that you "sound a bit ignorant"

Posted by ajohnsonx (anonymous) on August 28, 2008 at 4:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)


Please elaborate on your statement, such as......

Monday, August 25, 2008

More on the SD 16 Impromptu Meeting With Norm Coleman

I talked with Chris Kumpula today, and he gave me some additional details about the meeting with Norm Coleman. A number of SD 16 Republican activists decided to go to a Norm Coleman public appearance in Cambridge. Coleman's campaign agreed to shorten Coleman's speech, so that Coleman would have time to meet privately with the activists.

Kumpula also said that he was in a meeting with activists talking with both Mark and Heidi Olson, and Mark Olson claimed the typewriter incident was an "urban legend." The problem with that claim, is that it was covered in the press at the time.

Kumpula said he was disappointed in the actions of the State Republican Party (passing a resolution to withhold financial support from Olson's campaign).

Is this the Best the RNC Could Do With Credentialed Bloggers?

Yes, they credentialed Tom Swift. Here's some of his bile posted as comments on the Drama Queen's site.

I thought Brodkorb and Coleman were appalled by Al Franken's use of the word "butt boy".

Swiftee Says:
August 25th, 2008 at 3:55 pm
bowhuntdude, the whiny little punks at MNPunklius gave up on free speech a long time ago.
The good news is that Mike maintains his integrity which ensures that Al's little butt boys can be mocked for the paid minions they are, and you know they'll be running over here to witness their shame.
Swiftee Says:
August 25th, 2008 at 3:58 pm
Yeah..Al wished he could ignore me yesterday…but he failed, so his pencil necked little pukes whisked him away to the safety of his hiding place!
Swiftee Says:
August 25th, 2008 at 4:07 pm
Where where you yesterday, cheeto boy, when your daddy Al needed a fat punk to hide behind?
Stuffing snack food down your geasy gullet..weren't you?
I made your daddy my beotch….You effed up big time, fat boy.

Prominent Democratic Strategist, "Mudcat" Saunders Sports a Confederate Flag Bedspread

As I recall George Allen's "macaca moment" was used against him big time. The Democratic Consultant, Mudcat Saunders who consulted for Jim Webb's campaign sports a confederate flag on his bedspread.

The sea of shining, hope-filled faces that routinely flood Barack Obama's rallies would be an alien environment for the grizzled features and tobacco-stained temperament of Dave “Mudcat” Saunders.

His preferred habitat is up a tree gunning down deer or on the mud flats — which lent him their name — catching catfish, part of an endless struggle with Appalachian wildlife.

Along with his Confederate flag bedspread, the stag heads on his walls, his preference for profanity over punctuation, he would horrify what he calls the “northeastern elitist, Metropolitan Opera wing of the Democrats”.

But, as one of the party's few (some say only) rural strategists, this might just be part of Mr Obama's problem.

“The Democrats talk of tolerance, but in reality the only tolerance they ever exhibit is for their own intellectual arrogance — and they don't have tolerance for my culture,” says Mudcat. “They think we're a bunch of hillbilly heathens who go out and burn crosses and do crazy bullshit.

“They don't give a f*** if we're with them or not, because it doesn't matter. The f***ing Republicans have stolen the individual liberties thing and that's why the gun thing is such a big deal.”

After a summer marked by soaring hyperbole about electing

Well if "Mudcat" is sporting a confederate flag bedspread, it kind of fits into that cross burning stereotype, doesn't it?

Oliver Willis comments:

Do you see, perhaps, why some of us may see folks like Saunders as knuckle-dragging dumbass hillbillies? The confederate flag is a flag flown in support of slavery. There’s not really any way around that. You can go on at length about horsepuckey “southern pride” or whatever the b.s. du jour is, but at its core that flag stands for fond memories of keeping black people subhuman and in chains.

And Dave “Mudcat” Saunders sleeps under it. That should tell you pretty much all you need to know about where his stupid heart is.

I’m not privy to the details but Saunders worked on the campaigns of Mark Warner and Jim Webb in Virginia. We continue to live in the era of the big name political consultant who reaps the lion’s share of the credit for victories, and maybe Saunders was the catalyst for those wins. But it may also be likely that demographic trends are what has been turning Virginia into a blue state — and perhaps the wins of Warner and Webb were not confederate-loving Mudcat Saunders’ doing, but the skill of the candidates and demographics. His supposed brilliance sure didn’t seem to deliver for John Edwards in Iowa.

But frankly, Dave Mudcat Saunders could be the greatest political operative since Machiavelli, no Democrat should be working with a guy who sleeps with the confederate flag on his bed.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

5th District Republican Chair, Carleton Crawford, Disputes 5th District Republican Candidate Barb Davis White's Charges of Racism

Barb Davis White went public with accusations that the State Republican Party was racist in the way it allocated resources to the 5th District campaign.

Minnesota Independent:

The campaign of Barb Davis White went after the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Minnesota on Tuesday, criticizing the RNC’s failure to invite any African-American congressional candidates to speak at the Republican National Convention and complaining that the Minnesota GOP has been lax in supporting Davis White’s campaign. Davis White is the Republican Party’s endorsed candidate for the 5th Congressional District, which encompasses Minneapolis and several inner-ring suburbs.

In an email sent to the RNC and posted to the Independent Business News Network, Davis White’s press secretary, Don Allen, said that he had tried to get answers from the RNC numerous times as to why no African Americans are scheduled to speak at the RNC.

He wrote that he was stonewalled and, at least one time, threatened. He accused the party of discriminating: “This ’slave mentality thinking’ i.e.; ‘Be good you Black Republicans while our White friends are in town’ does not fly with me or the tools I have in place to distribute this message ‘top-of-mind’ to the general public and national news affiliates.”

The complete letter reads:

RNC asked about African American Congressional Candidates that are scheduled to speak at the RNC

The following email was sent to the RNC today…

It concerns me as Barb Davis White’s Press Secretary and also as a General Manager for a News & Information Corporate Media Outlet that you have not scheduled, nor will confirm that any African American Congressional Candidates have been asked to speak at the RNC, according to the young lady that answers the phone at your office and you. After speaking with you (Ms. Webb), the answer that the information is “confidential” does not work. We already know that Barb Davis White, 5th CD Minnesota and Antoine Members 1st CD Chicago have not been contacted…who does that leave?

On Friday, August 15, 2008 I was approached by a gentleman who told me to “cool down”, don’t go after Ron Carey’s office or the RNC and we will get together later and work things out after the RNC. He went on to threaten Barb’s campaign by saying, “If you don’t, Barb is finished!” The RNC has given money to some local “point people” in the Twin Cities to have party events neglecting the most valued and important thing to attract voter’s of color to the Republican Party…”community engagement and outreach”. No one from Minnesota’s non-profit agencies have been contacted by the GOP/RNC to teach the community about the Constitution of the United States or even to register voters. Remember…Liberty does not have a color, it has soul!

This “slave mentality thinking” i.e.; “Be good you Black Republican’s while our White friends are in town” does not fly with me or the tools I have in place to distribute this message “top-of-mind” to the general public and national news affiliates.

Keith Ellison is not worried and rest assured that the Minnesota GOP will put no effort into an African American Republican candidate for Congress in Minnesota with the current leadership of the GOP.

Again, and for the last time - I will ask, what African American Congressional Candidates have been scheduled to speak at the RNC? What do we really have to loose, besides Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District?

Good day!

Carleton Crawford, CD 5 Republican Chair, who happens to be African-American strongly disagrees with the accusations of racism. He points out that the 5th CD has received more state party resources in 2008, than it did in 2006 when there was an open seat.

Minnesota Republican Executive Committee Votes to Not Spend Resources Defending the SD 16 Endorsement of Mark Olson

I got a tip that the Republican Executive Committee voted to acknowledge the endorsement of Mark Olson, but also not spend resources on the race. I confirmed this with a member of the Executive Committee.

The executive committee member told me that the motion clearly was a negative statement about the Endorsement, since normally the Party Executive Committee does not do motions about spending on specific legislative races. This is normally the perogative of the Party Chair.

I have contacted Party Chair, Ron Carey for comment.

Strib Covers Race Between Jim Abeler and Don Huizenga

In Abler's district, neither Don Huizenga or Jim Abler were able to get Republican endorsement. The race is headed for a primary. Andy Aplikowsi comments on the Strib article:

“Preventing the Democrats From Gaining A Veto Proof Majority”
Posted by Andy on August 22nd, 2008

There’s an interesting story in the Strib about some of the Legislative races that have Primary battles. Take a look.

One key portion of it is this from Rep. Jim ‘Hey Let’s Tax Their Arses Off’ Abeler.

Abeler said focusing on relatively minor exchanges misses the larger point — preventing DFLers from gaining a veto-proof majority in the House.

Hey Abeler, you voted to override a veto, you moron! With you around, they don’t need to win that seat.
It is because of YOU, Jim Abeler, that the DFL overrode a veto!
(Note: Abeler’s mention of minor exchanges has to do with him trying to get his lit into the Anoka County Republican booth. It was for ONLY endorsed Republicans, Abeler is not endorsed. He still tried to get his lit in there. The stories on what really happened varies, but Abeler DID cross a line. Because he is an ……

From the Strib article:

"Getting the correct Republican on that ballot is what's important to us," said Republican Don Huizenga, a 42-year-old insurance industry official from Anoka who is trying to unseat Abeler, believing that Abeler too often votes with DFLers. "If we're just going to put Jim Abeler back in that Republican seat ... what does it matter if there's a DFLer in the seat?"

Abeler said he is trying to run a positive campaign but acknowledged some Republicans still are upset with his transportation funding vote, which among other things ushered in Minnesota's first state gas tax increase in 20 years.

In one sign of the campaign's acrimony, Abeler and Huizenga have clashed over Abeler's attempt to feature his campaign literature at a Republican Party booth at the Anoka County Fair. Abeler said the episode was, at worst, a "misunderstanding," while Huizenga wrote on his website that Abeler "almost came to fisticuffs" with a worker at the booth.

Abeler said focusing on relatively minor exchanges misses the larger point -- preventing DFLers from gaining a veto-proof majority in the House.

"It's always a bad thing when you don't have the give-and-take" that comes with a more balanced political split, he said. "That's not good when one side can do everything."

Star Tribune, August 21, 2008

A commenter notes that Jim Abler has a record of supporting criminalizing abortion, while his opponent does not - and suggests checking MCCL's website. I did not see information on this race on the MCCL website.

Republican Convention CEO Maria Cino Inclusive, While Democratic Convention CEO Leah Doughtry Is Anti-Gay

Maria Cino, the CEO of the Republican National Convention has always been an inclusive person. She was a voice within the Bush campaign encouraging the campaign to reach out to the gay community.

Contrast this with the odious Leah Doughtry, theocrat, and the CEO of the Democratic National Convention. Leah Doughtry has been the cause of a discrimination lawsuit against the DNC. Now they are offering to settle for 100K, but the plaintiff is going to court. Doughtry sent her lawyers out to try to intimidate the Washington Blade:

AND WHAT HAPPENS when a gay person dares to criticize a Democrat for failing to keep promises and honor commitments? I got a taste of the Democratic wrath last month, after criticizing DNC Chair Howard Dean and his chief of staff, Leah Daughtry in an editorial.

In the piece, I wrote that the DNC’s response to anti-gay remarks made by Gen. Peter Pace, President Bush’s former chair of the Joint Chiefs, was insufficient and weak.

In response, Daughtry sent two lawyers to the Blade’s offices to berate me and our publisher, Lynne Brown. The meeting was beyond contentious and featured lots of red-faced cursing and threatening of lawsuits. They claimed to represent Daughtry and not the DNC. But DNC officials have gloated behind the scenes that since the confrontation in the Blade’s offices, the paper has stopped writing about a gay man’s lawsuit against the party, his former employer. Donald Hitchcock accuses the DNC of firing him after his partner, Paul Yandura, publicly urged gay donors to think twice before giving money to the Democratic Party.

Of course, to suggest that the Blade would abandon a story because a couple of angry lawyers made a scene in the lobby constitutes wishful thinking. One thing every journalist learns early on is that when people start yelling and making threats, that means you’re onto something.

One source told the Blade this week that in Dean’s deposition in the case, he denounced the Blade as “the Fox News of gay journalism.”

This is what happens to gay people who challenge Democrats to be better on our issues. Dean and others at the DNC have derided the Blade as right-wing birdcage liner. Both criticisms are absurd; no fair-minded person could reasonably consider the Blade a conservative publication and judging by the innumerable references to the Blade in the Hitchcock case depositions, DNC officials spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about what we write. They may line their birdcages with our pages, but not until they’ve read them cover to cover.

If the Blade is the Fox News of gay journalism, then Howard Dean is the Gomer Pyle of politicians — a national laughingstock whose amateurish stewardship of the party puts the prospect of a Democratic victory in November in doubt when it ought to be a slam-dunk.

From bigots in Oklahoma and cowards in Maryland to hypocrites in New York and petty hacks in D.C., this nation’s politicians prove again and again just how out of touch they are with the people they are supposed to represent.

I wish we had a publication with Washington Blade quality in the Twin Cities. Instead, we are left with Lavender Magazine.