User profile

Name: Eric Ferguson
Member since: 2012-12-17 13:41:03
Website URL:
About me: Former chair of the DFL of SD63, and still active within the DFL, but I speak only for myself when posting here.

User comments

  1. MN-OMB Director calls DFL “a party of rainmakers”

    I know this is spoof, but seriously, the DFL found candidates to run in all state House districts. That’s maybe a first for either party. It’s tough and praiseworthy, especially how many state legislators run unopposed in other states. The MNGOP got close. They left two districts uncontested.

  2. Abortion rights stuff nationally and in Minnesota

    Testing comments

  3. How this nightmare came to be, Part 4: Voter suppression and propaganda

    y thinking on spending is that there’s a maximum utility to it, and any spending above that level is just wasted. Just where that level is exactly is a mystery, but it seems presidential races are past that level. There’s research suggesting sending on TV ads is mostly a waste and most presidential campaign expense is TV ads, so I suspect those two things go together. On a lower level however, I suspect big spending has a more positive effect. Maybe US senate races hit the maximum utility level, but below that, probably big spending still gives an advantage. For amounts of money that are small to crank billionaires and dark money groups, they can have a huge impact on local races. I’ve heard of local races and referenda where the Koch brothers intervened, and the relatively huge amounts of spending cam mostly from them, but to the Kocks it was just walking around money.

  4. Trump voters got well and truly suckered, Part 11

    Sean Spicer says that the death of an American soldier means those who made the decisions are above criticism.

    If Democrats handles this like Republicans handled Benghazi, the five year investigation would be starting shortly.

  5. Globe University is going under

    Anyone who got a degree from these schools, even if you think it wasn’t worth much, should get a transcript NOW just in case they shut down early, and in case some future school or employer asks to see it. Unlikely once you’ve been out for a while, but I’ve had prospective employers want a transcript from a college when I had been out for a long time.

  6. MN-05: Who should replace Rep. Keith Ellison?

    To be fair to Sen. Hayden, that sign could be a supporter reusing an old sign. Nothing a candidate can do about that. I reuse old signs. I don’t have any with the wrong office, but I do have old ones that don’t mention the candidate is now an incumbent.

  7. Hillary's vice-president

    I hope you’re right about Kaine, just in case he gets picked. The Vox article referred to when he was governor, and maybe he’s moved left as he’s realized Virginia has moved left. But I’m still skeptical of the notion a running mate brings along his own state. Probably it’s a result of increasing partisanship, that voters seem less impressed the VP candidate is from their state.

    As far as the vice presidency being not worth a bucket of warm spit, that was the norm when FDR was president, and under all presidents until Carter. Walter Mondale has always claimed he negotiated a better deal, so he would actually be in on the big decisions. Recent presidents seem more interested in a VP who they actually trust to help govern, like Obama with Biden. So Hillary’s choice might come down to who she wants to work with for maybe eight years. The fact she and Warren keep meeting suggests they can get along, at least well enough, even if they aren’t buddies like Obama and Biden seem to be.

  8. MN lege: GOP FUBARed Resources Commission

    I have it from a legislator I won’t name that McNamara was angry about Dayton’s vetoes of his unvetted projects, and that is likely why he dropped out. From the sources in the post, McNamara filed, then convinced a buddy of his to file minutes before the deadline, and McNamara dropped out during the two days after filing candidates can withdraw. I assume much to the chagrin of the district’s Republicans, and maybe some DFLers who would have run for an empty seat, McNamara and Tony Jurgen clearly gamed this. The winner in all this is maybe Don Slaten, who was the only DFLer to file and didn’t play any games. Apparently he already has one campaign under his belt, so what a prime pickup opportunity in a purple district.

  9. MN-02: What's up with this GOP field?

    There’s no way to know who her opponent will be, but with Angie Craig facing no opposition for the nomination, might as well start now focusing on identifying the Democrats. It’s too soon for GOTV, but it’s never the wrong time to work on party ID. There are lots of registered voters whose party preferences are unknown, and even in a high turnout state like Minnesota, there are eligible voters who need encouraging to register. If advice from the peanut gallery is wanted, then the advice is to forget the Republicans while there’s no way to know the opponent or influence choices, and start knocking doors ASAP to find the Democrats in the district. Once the GOP endorses, that will narrow the field to the endorsee, Miller, and maybe a couple more who can likely be ignored.

  10. Presidential primary is not a done deal

    There’s a huge impediment to making it work better, namely that it’s all-volunteer. We do this when we get done with work and pickup the kids and whatever else we have going on. Having the balloting be all day would be much better for voting, but who is going to staff it? We might make it work to open voting several hours before convening time and cutting off voting when the caucus convenes, but there’s no way to do that on a weekday. The volunteers simply aren’t available. I’d rather deal with those problems than the problems we have now, but we’re still talking about a less-bad experience instead of a good one.

    I’m not worried that other states don’t understand our system, because we don’t understand theirs either. Every state does things its own way, though the experience with running binding balloting during a caucus has been universally bad. Pretty much anything that stops us trying to run a polling place while running a caucus is going to be better, whatever problems it has. But we have to think about how things work on the ground. Maybe anyone who wants to keep balloting at a caucus should be required to run a caucus in a large precinct first.

  11. Beating down the education deformers, Part 5

    I have to agree school seems harder than when we went. Maybe adults so often assume schools are failing because the kids know so much less than the adults, but we didn’t have to take these high stakes tests let alone so many standardized tests, and the assignments sure seem harder than what I did — and I got a decent education.

  12. My Problem with Huggy Democrats

    Poor Jeff is having a bad day. Come on, get Jeff in the middle and let’s have a big Democratic group hug!

  13. MN SD35: GOP "moderates" and crazies clash

    The thing about special elections is that they’re, you know, special. Few people bother to vote, so if one party can do unusually well at GOTV, it can win a district where it’s normally not favored.

  14. MN-03: To my infinite disgust, Paulsen wins one

    So is Paulsen ready to quit and move on to his lobbying career? It’s not like he has a second issue he cares about. His political career is fulfilled.

  15. Trump Accuses "Thousands and Thousands" of Treason

    This is the thing about debunking that is either fun or a source of despair, that there are multiple ways to debunk, any one of which would be enough to a rational person. This is the internal logic problem, where even absent direst evidence, the claim makes no sense. Good catch that the media has been covering only the utter absence of supporting evidence. The despair comes in knowing that Trump’s supporters won’t be moved by either lack of evidence for an outrageous claim, or the internal logic problems. I remain torn about Trump, because he would be so terribly dangerous if he actually won, but Republicans are right in their concern he would blow a winnable general election for them. Then again, I can’t point to Republican candidates who don’t hold crazy beliefs and authoritarian tendencies. They all seem dangerous. So maybe we want Republicans to pick one of their worst candidates, even with the risk he might win.

  16. TFA buys school board seats in Richfield

    I helped both candidates, and I wouldn’t have if they were going to pursue an education “reform” agenda. Neither gave any indication of wanting to replace professional teachers with alternative licensure, of opposing the right of teachers to organize, or of wanting to replace public schools with charters. I have nothing good to say about Michelle “Cheater” Rhee or the wealthy profiteers of the charter school movement, but I found nothing objectionable about these candidates. If they move to replace the real teachers or to replace the neighborhood schools, they will immediately lose my support. If anyone wants to watch how they do their jobs, good. As I said when pleading with readers to pay attention in odd-numbered years, we should pay more attention to local elections and elected officials.

  17. Keystone "suspends" pipeline permit application

    My first thought was they’re just hoping the next president approves it. My second thought is even if Obama says no, Transcanada can try with the next president anyway. I don’t know what the new prime minister thinks or if he still gets anything to say.

  18. The Hidden Cost of Low-balling Our Legislators

    The puny pay means that the only people who can run for legislature are those who have extremely understanding employers, a business they can just pick up and drop, a working spouse, independent wealth, or a pension. That sounds like a lot of categories, but that actually excludes almost everyone. How could it not affect the quality of legislating? We have the same attitude we had back when the reason for ending the legislative by a certain date was legislators had to dash down to the landing to catch the steamboat home to the farm. Going with a full-time legislature would be a recognition that the 19th century is over.

  19. Chained Dog Snarl: House Select Committee on Benghazi Proves Mostly Pathetic

    “They may as well throw open the doors and start admitting talking parrots and chimpanzees.” Only if they can be convinced to quit Congress.

  20. Center-left wins big in Canada

    The NDP is generally more progressive, but something Democrats need to pay attention to is that the Liberals ran on a promise of fiscal stimulus to counter the recession Canada is currently experiencing, including deficits for the next three years. They actually ran to the left of the NDP by going full keynesian, since the NDP promised a balanced budget which I suppose still somehow sounds more responsible to many ears, but apparently the Liberals explained it in a way Democrats failed to do. That’s actually sad that the “progressive” party was promising the same stupid policy Republicans used here to slow our recovery, and that Europeans used to inflict a depression on themselves.

  21. Kasich on that long slide down, around and around, and out

    I didn’t know Kasich was term limited. That makes him irrelevant if he doesn’t win. Can’t rule out the possibility he’ll be the VP pick because of Ohio, but I’m thinking a male nominee is going to pick a female VP, and since I don’t think Fiorina will win, I’m expecting we will see a male nominee picking a female running mate, maybe Fiorina. But she might be so toxic by then that the VP will be someone not running for president.

    Seeing how voters aren’t flocking to candidates from their states, I’m starting to wonder just how relevant the state still is. Ideological purity and outsider status seem much more important to current Republicans. I wonder if Democrats would still rally around a candidate they generally disliked but came from their own state.

  22. This guy wants to be president: Walker gone but still important

    I’m going to two-thirds agree with you Mac. Kasich and Rubio seem like they would have the best shot in the general election if they won the nomination. Cruz is like Walker in terms of having no appeal outside the conservative base. Like Walker, Cruz has a repellent personality and would actually be a motivator for Democratic turnout, so maybe a Cruz nomination would be good for Democrats. Of course, winning the nomination is a different matter. Kasich did badly in the debate polling, I presume because of the talk about working with allies, which we find so reasonable, going over badly with a unilateralist base. Taking the Medicaid expansion appeals to Democrats, but GOP primary voters hate that. I’m not liking his odds in the primaries. Rubio has a racial problem. Republicans probably aren’t ready for a non-white presidential nominee, though Rubio is a pale Hispanic and frankly, that matters. If he were darker, Republicans would not yet be ready for him. And he has a similar problem to Cruz and Walker in that he’s relied on turning out the base to win. Florida might be a swing state in presidential years, but not in midterms. Rubio’s biggest problem with Republicans might be immigration, where’s done some flip-flopping like Walker and been outright on the wrong side, which unfortunately for him plays into the base’s ethnic suspicions.

  23. Could Canadians be so damn dumb as to stick with conservative governance?

    Not sure I’d say they stuck with Conservatives before. The Conservative Party won an outright majority of seats, but left-leaning voters split their votes among the Liberal Party, New Democrat Party, and Green Party, and even the Bloc Quebecois is small “l” liberal in their policies aside from Quebec separation. So the Conservatives won just about 35% of the vote. I would have thought the disaster of losing despite a collective clear majority would spur the left to address this, but they haven’t. The Conservatives really don’t need much more than a third of the votes win a majority of seats. The left leaning members of parliament would form a coalition, but just like in our House seats, each riding (district) is plurality winner, and the Conservatives won lots of narrow pluralities.

  24. This guy wants to be president: second GOP debate live blog

    Can’t believe I forgot to mention the hashtag. #ThisGuyWantsToBePresident

  25. This guy wants to be president: second GOP debate live blog

    Interesting prediction and observation. I heard Trump often seem to break down, but maybe he was taking partial credit for every position. I was thinking Trump’s opponents were groping their way to an attack that might work. As it happens, I just don’t see the world the same way as Republican primary voters, so my way of judging a winner won’t work. I would look at who was persuasive — none of them — or who was right, as if any of them were without massive factual flaws. I figure the polls will shortly tell us who the intended audience thought won, and whose support moved. Also, impressions from the debate itself don’t include impressions from people who miss the debate but hear the news coverage and spinmasters and uninformed as they may be, their opinions count too. Think of how the press praised Fiorina’s performance in the early version of the first debate and even though few actually saw it, she got a brief polling boost. Just too bad so little of the press cares about who got their facts right compared to how well they presented themselves, so someone who’s confident and articulate and grossly wrong makes a strong impression.

    And I wonder how many people besides us political junkies really hung on for all three hours.