More people voted for Dayton in yesterday’s primary than for all of the Republican candidates for governor. There should have been Republican excitement in a primary with four strong Republican candidates. There was not. To win with 30% of the vote is sad. It meant that 70% of the Republican primary voters rejected Johnson. Perennial candidate Sharon Anderson received more Republican votes and a higher percentage of Republican votes for Attorney General, and she is not even a lawyer. Maybe Republicans just like those plain vanilla names like Johnson or Anderson. Maybe Sharon Anderson should have run for governor on the Republican ticket instead of Attorney General.
In the debates, it was clear that Republicans have little enthusiasm. They ask questions about how the Republican candidate would deal with a Democratic legislature. Even Jeff Johnson says, “We kinda start out in hole”. When pressed for what he could do, Johnson says “We can’t promise the world”. The most exciting promise is that he is going to fire all of the Met Council. Most of Johnson’s answers were long meandering diatribes on how we can’t really make promises. I noticed the debates did not display the audiences, which was curious until I found out there was a pattern as the picture to the right shows. Since yawning and sleeping are contagious, it was definitely in the best interest of the Republican party to not show the audiences. There were even worst days where debates had many empty chairs in the audience. Maybe the poor and homeless that Republicans so despise were finding a place to safely rest. Republicans don’t get kicked out even when they fall asleep in Congress.
Even though Matt Entenza never talked about the sulfide mining issue, there was a suggestion of sulfide mining advocates voting against Otto. Otto had recommended that sulfide mining companies put up the equivalent of rental deposit on the risk of harm to health and environment. The sulfide mining effect would show up in Congressional District 8. Dayton’s percentage between state wide and CD 8 drops by 3%. Simon’s percentage between state wide and CD 8 drops by 10%. So Otto’s drop of 6% is between those two numbers. I conclude that there was no effect based on sulfide mining.
Steve Simon was having a name recognition problem against two perennial candidates, so he has lower numbers and more variation. Simon was considered safe although I must admit those numbers were closer than I felt comfortable with.
This table was generated with a 93% of the precincts counted.
Both Rebecca Otto and Shawn Otto exemplify grace under pressure. Still under shock of an unexpected opponent, they rallied and organized an outpouring of support. Shawn personally ensured that every request of mine was fulfilled. Every one I know said the same. So every DFL event and parade became focused on persuading for Rebecca Otto. It also helped that Rebecca Otto had done great work, that was easily documented with awards and online-published papers.
DFLers responded strongly because Entenza threatened the whole DFL endorsement value.
I think Entenza thought he could run in the primary because of Mark Dayton. Entenza’s challenge was vastly different than Dayton’s challenge. Mark Dayton’s primary run had been clear when he entered the governor’s race because Mark Dayton had never been a person who flourished in endorsement politics. Yet Dayton was still a good election candidate. At every point, Dayton was clear and honest about his intentions, running against DFL opponents in a fair way. Entenza is great at insider politics, yet he snubbed insider politics. Entenza did not give notice. The way that Entenza made his case was not considered fair by DFL standards. Quite frankly, DFLers talk about the Entenza challenge in way one talks of a friend who unexpectedly changes on you.
So this race became about the people power of the DFL vs the money power of Entenza. In the dead of summer, in a race that normal media would not cover well, the DFL had to rally its votes. And they did. DFL endorsements are valuable and important. …READ MORE
Sheriff Stanek’s projected 2014 budget is $92 million, which is $43 million larger than Ramsey County’s projected 2014 budget of $49 million. Hennepin is way above every other urban county.
At the same time, Stanek has the smallest population of any urban Sheriff in Minnesota to directly police. Hennepin County is unique in that it is comprised of cities that all have their own police forces. Less than 1% of the population is directly policed by the Hennepin Sheriff Rich Stanek. The other urban counties have more population being directly policed by the Sheriff.
This graph shows the glaring the differences between Hennepin and other urban counties in 2012 numbers. In comparing urban county Sheriff Budgets, one would expect that the budget is high when the amount of direct policing and reported crimes is high. Hennepin county is the opposite. Given the numbers on direct policing, one could easily make a case that Hennepin’s budget should below Ramsey County’s budget.
The disparity has been increasing since 2012. Next year the Stanek budget is projected to go up to $92 million. Stanek’s budget has been going up at the same time that other government budgets were being cut.
The one time that people really count on government is during an emergency. Our emergencies include tornadoes, droughts, floods, heavy storms, mega fires, oil train spills and toxic accidents. We are more exposed to all emergencies more than before. To be able to respond, government needs a reserve of money. Republican candidate for governor, Marty Seifert wants to spend money on transportation. Since a Republican can not ever raise taxes, he has to steal or borrow the money. So he is stealing money from the reserve. Republican thinking is that a nice shiny road is preferable to saving lives in an emergency. Scumbag is the safest language I can use, but it does not adequately state the despicability of this move.
Despite new laws making absentee votes easier, this huge Republican primary fight lags in the number of ballots cast at the same time four years ago, in the huge Democratic primary fight. The Minnesota Secretary of State’s news release said that 15,883 absentee ballots have been returned and accepted compared to 20,919 in 2010.
Maybe McFadden ads of pulling out stitches and letting your own kids punch you are just not inspiring folks. Maybe the Zellers claim that shutting down government is a good way to negotiate is not playing well among business Republicans. Johnson and Seifert are stuck on the old theme of no taxes and no government. Seifert wants private citizens to light more private fireworks on July 4th.
Listening to Republicans is probably the best way to understand how poor the showing is. For example, Honor confuses unemployment and underemployment using “more jobs” to fix underemployment. Seifert can’t even use correct terms like a “Democratic” governor, saying a “Democrat” governor instead. In fact, the Republicans have been stealing Democratic arguments like education, sounding like a Democratic Lite type of brew. Then the Republicans digress into who can cut spending more. The net result is that Republicans are again promising that magically we can great education without paying for it.
The Uptake does a great job of covering the Republican debates.
Marit Brock announced on Sunday that she will run for city council. Ward 2 is the area around West Seventh Street, best known for the Schmidt Brewery. Her theme is community and neighborhood. Brock has already been actively dealing with local neighborhood issues like bad landlords, creating local small park spaces and attracting local businesses.
In Brock’s announcement speech, I found the impressive detail in her plan about how to improve the neighborhood. She cites specific programs and projects. She knows all of the recent developments. In person, she is a quieter laid-back personality. It is in her speeches and actions that her activism really shows.
Marit Brock has been very active in the community. serving as President of the Fort Road Federation, Secretary for Senate District 65, founder and co-chair of the Little Bohemia Neighborhood Association, and activist for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Professionally, she leads a human resources department the private sector. She lives in Ward 2 in St. Paul with her husband, Tom, and their two children.
Brock says in her press release. “Our urban neighborhoods are an ideal place to live, work, and raise a family. But they require ongoing investment. Our communities are at their best when we come together to support the entrepreneurial spirit of our businesses, protect the places where we gather with our friends and family to build memories, and honor the diversity of one another.” …READ MORE
Archbishop John Nienstedt did interviews with local TV stations, apparently a public relations fix to the priest scandal problems. Channel 5 news has “Extended: Archbishop John Neinstedt Interview”. Long TV interviews are great because we are the jury listening to testimony. With video, one can look closely and even double-check.
Archbishop Nienstedt says the expected statements, but the real question is HOW he says those statements. When Nienstadt talks of future plans, he is calm and straight forward – no twitches. But the most interesting things happen when he is questioned whether all evidence has been turned over. Nienstadt says “We gave turned over everything that has been asked of us.” Note especially the the modification of “that has been asked”. That implies there is stuff out there that no one knows enough to ask about. In fact, Niestadt’s next expression, compressed lips, tells us that he is holding back. The picture below is captured from the video.
State Auditor is an executive services office that traditionally is seen as better if all the advice, rules and treatment are applied the same for every party and every person. Good management of money is a very high Democratic value. Our current state auditor, Rebecca Otto, has even asked for better financial practices on big current political projects.
Minnesota’s own League of Cities thinks Rebecca Otto’s work is excellent, giving her the President’s Award. Minnesota State Fire Chiefs gave her a “Golden Axe” Award for distinguished public service to the Minnesota firefighting community. Nationally, she was named one of the 15 most influential professionals in government auditing at any level by the Institute of Internal Auditors, the 180,000-member worldwide association of the auditing profession. Even I have used several of her reports in my articles. Otto is that good.
Here is the real craziness. Everything that Matt Entenza would want to stand for, he can do better outside of the state auditor’s office. In fact, it would be better for Entenza to be full time and not be a state auditor. Matt Entenza could even buy the Pioneer Press and have the ultimate speaking platform. Or buy a TV station. We do need a champion for all those great issues and I do wish Matt Entenza would do it.
In a total misfire of direction, Matt Entenza instead targets a excellent state auditor when he does not want to do auditing. Here is what the Otto campaign believes that Entenza has spent of his own money:
$227,000 on July 29
$15,000 on July 31
$125,000 on August 1
$622,000 as of August 1
Since all of our major media is now Republican owned, I truly want Entenza to buy a major media outlet instead.
Wow, deputies endorse the new candidate for Hennepin Sheriff, Eddie Frizell, not the incumbent Rich Stanek, by a vote of 170 to 14 votes. There must be some serious reasons because I am sure that endorsing against one’s current boss is a risk. An announcement is expected out soon.
Today, Eddie did his kick off announcement for Hennepin’s County Sheriff. Eddie Frizell is currently Deputy Chief of the Patrol Bureau in Minneapolis, with 25 years experience. He is also a Colonel in the Minnesota Army National Guard for 25 years. He commanded the Red Bull Cavalry Squadron in Iraq. His medals and citations include the Medal of Valor for his heroic efforts during the I-35W bridge collapse. He has a long list of accomplishments.
Frizell suggested three ways that he would be a better sheriff. In contrast to Sheriff Stanek’s “70% increase in administrative costs”, Frizell would shift those expenditures to “boots on the ground” meaning deputies, training, and equipment. Frizell said that he would recruit more diversity in candidates (including veterans) so that Hennepin county staffing reflects the community that it serves. Frizell said that he would be a better leader because he is a “straight shooter” not a “career politician”.
In contrast, based on google searches, Stanek has a history of racism issues, budget issues, and privilege issues. Stanek is better known for being more politician than professional. Having not had a challenger for awhile, now Stanek will now have to defend how he runs the Sheriff’s office. …READ MORE
The State House has passed a bill that would raise the state minimum wage to $9.50/hour and index it to inflation so $9.50 in today's dollars is worth an equivalent amount in next year's. The State Senate is dragging its feet, insisting on legislator pay raises *first*. Tell them to get off the sidelines, stop dragging their feet, and help raise up the working poor!