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TwoPuttTommy

“I love to sue insurance companies…”

by TwoPuttTommy on October 28, 2014 · 1 comment

That line, Ladies and Gentlemen, was from the opening remarks of candidate Amy Dawson at a judicial candidate forum last Friday (October 24th) in south Minneapolis. And it was followed up with, as best I can recollect, “…and I’ll probably have to recuse myself from some cases if I’m elected.”
 

Now, I’m not an attorney, but even the ol’ TwoPutter knows a no-no when he hears one. The election of judges, and Amy Dawson is a candidate for the Hennepin County Bench Seat 61, is supposed to be about judicial philosophy, NOT political ideology. That comment, “I love to sue insurance companies” goes straight to judicial philosophy: it’s ok to have blatant biases and sit on a seat where citizens should be able to expect judgess with open minds and impartial attitudes.
 

After the forum was over, I went to the nearest attorney I could find and said: “I cannot believe I just heard a candidate just say she loved to sue insurance companies and would probably have to recuse cases if elected.” “Yeah, it’s like 70 percent of the civil cases filed that involve insurance companies.” I asked Ms. Dawson’s staffer/volunteer about the comment; the reply was “So? She’s said it before.”
 

Apparently, Ms. Dawson doesn’t see a problem with being blatant about a bias towards an industry that makes up a big percentage of cases she’s likely to hear, should she be elected. I wondered if others did.
 

First call? My insurance agent. “Say, what would you think about a new judge being elected that says she loves to sue you?” After relaying the particulars, it’s pretty safe that conversation was passed up and on.
 

I made many calls to mostly attorneys; attorneys on both sides of the political aisle. Only one explained that he wished candidates for the bench were more forthcoming on what their biases are. The rest? Responses ran from “problematic” “unfortunate” “troublesome” to “You’ve got to be (bad word, deleted)in’ (bad word, deleted)in’ me!!!”
 

No, gentle readers, I am not. One follow up email read: “No credible judicial candidate would ever boast about loving to sue insurance companies and that they would need to recuse themselves from cases. Any candidate making such a statement would face serious questions about whether they had the judicial temperament to serve on the bench.” Another sent this: “Look at Rule 4.1 (11). Her comments may not have been “pledges, promises, or commitments” but they’re close. Admitting she would have to recuse herself over them is an admission of that. Her website is a wink and a nod about judicial independence.”
 

Almost universal was agreement that if elected, Ms. Dawson would indeed be recusing herself from cases involving insurance companies; one speculated that were Ms. Dawson not to, any insurance company would surely file a motion to recuse immediately upon finding their case had been assigned to Ms. Dawson.
 

I can assure you, Ladies and Gents, that if I were to find myself in Hennepin County Court, should she win her election Ms Dawson would not be hearing my case – a motion to recuse would be filed. You see, I prefer my judges fair and impartial. Hennepin County deserves a judge ready and able to sit on 100% of the civil cases brought before the bench. Ms. Dawson cannot be that judge with her “I love to sue insurance companies” comment.
 

(Photo, above, by TPT at Turtle Bread in south Minneapolis, 24 October 2014)
 
Comments below fold.
 
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Why Sheila Kihne Lost, In A Nutshell

by TwoPuttTommy on August 13, 2014 · 6 comments

Last night was Primary Night in Minnesota, and far-right extremist Sheila Kihne lost her challenge to unseat an incumbent Republican State Representative. Ms. Kihne more than just derailed her Tea Party Express candidacy; she got trounced by 20 points. Yes, TWENTY POINTS.
 
In a last minute surprise for the B side of the Mn Senate District 48 Republican Convention, Kihne announced her challenge to incumbent State Rep Jenifer Loon on convention day last March. Kihne led in each and every round of endorsement balloting. After the fifth and final round, Kihne led 54% to 40% but did not reach the 60% threshold for endorsement.
 
That such a deeply flawed candidate could not only deny endorsement but almost win it herself at that Convention only shows how far right the Republican activists in Eden Prairie are. Much has been written on Kihne’s flaws. There’s no point in rehashing them here, or going into new ones that would have been brought up had won Kihne won. Sheila, as they say in the political world, is an opposition researcher’s dream come true.
 
However, one that didn’t come up is worth noting. It’s a YouTube posted under the “Sheila Kihne For State Rep” account and perhaps most clearly demonstrates her greatest flaw. You can watch the whole thing if you want to but what’s important is right there in her opening words.
 

 
(direct link to YouTube here)
 

“Madam Mayor, you said we were to stick to design, but the fact is this is a municipal consent hearing.”

 
Yep – Sheila starts out by stating she knows she’s out of order. Does knowing she’s out of order stop Kihne from tilting at her windmill du jour? Of course not. At a hearing to discuss design, Sheila wants to fight battles already lost. She knew the battle was lost; she even predicted the count on the soon to be held vote: 4 aye and 1 nay. She said her piece anyway and she’s so proud of being out of order that she posts it on YouTube.
 
That’s the Sheila that Eden Prairie has come to know and voted against in the Primary held last night. I’d venture to guess the only reason Sheila wasn’t ruled out of order when she started out by saying she was out of order is no one really wanted to hear the tantrum she’d surely throw if she was ruled out of order even though she already knew she was. Better to listen to a minor rant now than give her a cause for a bigger rant later (“they tried to SHUT ME UP – BUT I WON’T BE!”) is my best guess on why Sheila was allowed to continue.
 
When it comes to Sheila it’s all about Sheila and the windmills she wants to tilt – order be damned. That’s the way Sheila is, the way Sheila is came out during the campaign, the way Sheila is is the reason Sheila lost.
 
(Screenshot, above: Kihne’s Youtube, captured 13 August 2014)

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(Updated – 07 August 2014; see below)
 
Former U.S. Representative Steve LaTourette served 18 years (1995-2013) in Congress as a center-right Republican from Ohio. Yesterday, he had an op/ed in Politico, entitled “The Grifting Wing vs. The Governing Wing”. In it, LaTourette describes the internal civil war facing the GOP, as a party today. Consider two grafs from it:
 

“The grifting wing of the party promises that you can have ideological purity—that you don’t have to compromise—and, of course, all you have to do is send them money to make it happen. The governing wing of the Republican Party knows that’s a damn lie. Our Founding Fathers set up a system of government that by its very nature excludes the possibility of one party or one ideological wing of one party getting everything it wants. Ted Cruz, who quotes the founders almost every chance he gets, ought to know this.
 
Even Ronald Reagan—who won in two of the biggest landslides in American history—was forced to compromise. It was President Reagan who cut deals with Democrats to extend the solvency of Social Security and put the federal budget on a sounder footing. It was Reagan who famously said that someone who votes with him 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally. Reagan’s record and rhetoric stands in marked contrast to the grifting win of the party today, even as the grifters invoke his memory in their disingenuous appeals.

 
That op/ed by LaTourette is exactly what’s happening in next Tuesday’s (12 Aug 14) GOP Primary for State House District 48B. Let’s take a closer look at that graphic, above, which is a screenshot from of Sheila Kihne’s blog (with “Reagan” entered into the search field):
 
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Sneak Preview – Two Putt Talking Veterans!

by TwoPuttTommy on July 28, 2014 · 1 comment

Last Thursday, July 27th, I appeared as a guest on Democratic Visions, a cable access show available in Eden Prairie, Edina, Bloomington, Richfield, Minneapolis, Minnetonka and Hopkins.
 
We talked about Veterans issues from the national level down to a special dishonorable mention of GOP Candidate for State Representative Sheila Kihne, for what she put on her blog — a post entitled “IAVA, VFW PAC, Liberal, Soros, Shadow Organizations, Left-Wings Lunatics, Infiltrate the Military”.
 
The entire show will be broadcast on the following schedule:
 

Hopkins, Minnetonka, Edina, Richfield and Eden Prairie – Comcast Channel 15 – Sundays at 9 p.m., Mondays at 10:00 p.m. and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.
 
Bloomington – BCAT Cable Channel 16 – Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.; Fridays at 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.
 
Minneapolis – MTN Channel 16 – Sundays at 8:30 p.m., Mondays 3:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m.

 
Here’s the sneak preview of the segment I’m in – enjoy!
 
 

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UPDATE — This morning I noticed Lieutenant General Robert Gard, whom Sheila trashed on her blog, was published in Defense One; The Good General’s article is entitled “The One Thing The U.S. Can’t Train The Iraqi Army To Do”. It’s a good read – much better than the divisive tripe Sheila wrote, and it’s an excellent example of why reasonable people don’t need unreasonable people like Sheila Kihne in government. — TPT
 
 

Sheila Kihne, Republican Candidate for State Representative (HD48B), had a blog. Two of them, actually. One is still up, it’s called “The Activist Next Door”. The other, picking up where the first left off, is not. Which makes sense; Sheila is mounting a primary challenge on August 12th on the basis of her incumbent’s “record” – and it’s always convenient for a challenger when the incumbent has a record but the challenger does not. A record, like, say, that cute little picture, to the right that adorned Sheila’s blog – “No Liberals Allowed” – which pretty much sums up Sheila.
 

Except, Sheila DOES have a record – it’s her record of her thoughts that she put into words on her blogs. And through the wonderful technology of The WayBack Machine, all those posts never really went away.
 

Some of Kihne’s writings are simply bizarre; such as the one where she seems to advocate a voting Poll Tax on poor people, or her “welfare to work” treatise, “My Redistribution Plan”. My personal favorite, from Sheila’s “plan”? Number 5:
 

5. you will not own any of the following items (if you do, you’ll immediately sell them) an iPod, a flat screen television, video games, a computer or any designer clothing

 

After all, everyone knows it’s super easy to prepare resumes and find a new and/or better job without a computer, yes?
 

As bizarre as those ones are, this blogpost jumped out:
 
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Left behind, once again

by TwoPuttTommy on June 2, 2014 · 3 comments

Check out the title o’ that story, to the right: “Minnesota enacts restrictive medical pot program”

So, how “restrictive” is “restrictive”? Well, say you were serving your country in Iraq and got PTSD after watching your buddies get blown up and years later, you see it play over and Over and OVER and are wondering why it’s you that survived and your buddies didn’t — you were left out of this “restrictive” new law. Or, say you were running around in the wilds of Afghanistan and a roadside bomb blew up your Humvee and you ended up with Traumatic Brain Injury — you, too, were left out of this “restrictive” new law. So while I’m happy this “restrictive” new law was enacted, I’m really not surprised that, once again, Veterans got left behind.

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A Conversation With Spurticus

by TwoPuttTommy on November 23, 2013 · 1 comment

OK, I didn’t write this. As a matter of fact, it’s not even new. Came in a chain-mail back in ought-four; back when Zooker was stinkin’ up the Swamp, and Steve Spurrier was tearin’ up the links. But, after becoming GatorBait to Georgia Southern (and, paying them a half a million smackers to do become that), I thought I’d dig it up and post it again – ’cause if Foley knew what the (bad word, deleted) he was doin’ he’d get Spurticus (or, someone like him) on the sidelines at The Swamp and pronto and make sure a Muschamp 2014 “Oh, ten and one (think=1979)” season isn’t just around the corner.
 
Spurticus was the victorious ol’ ball coach; Jeremy Foley the Gator Athletic Director who, legend has it, P’d Spurrier O to the point Spurrier left for greener golf courses. And again, this was way back from 2004; kudos to the dude that wrote it:

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The Education Of A Veteran

by TwoPuttTommy on November 10, 2013 · 0 comments

Back in the day, for a different war in a different part of the world, when veterans came back they were dissed and spit on and worse. It wasn’t like it is today – and that’s the way it should be. That said, there’s still problems for today’s veterans, what with the “for profit” vipers preying on our veterans’ educational benefits as just one “for instance.”

 

Here’s a little tune about that different war, in a different part of the world. Let’s hope there’s not an updated version of this song put out, reflecting a new reality of veterans tossed to the side when the bullets stopped flying….

 

(Direct link to YouTube)

 

Also from back in the day in the times of that different war, Stephen Stills wrote another song, about where some veterans live. This one isn’t over, as we’re still fighting here in Minnesota to ensure promises made for the Minneapolis Veterans Home are promises kept.

 

(Direct link to YouTube)

 

On this year’s Veterans Day, remember that thanking a veteran for their service is nice. Making sure promises made are promises kept is better.

 

Soldier, soldier, soldier
Stuck in a hospital ward
Living in a wheelchair
Do you remember the war
It’s not over
It’ll never be over for you
It’s not over
Till they stop playing war with you,
Soldier, Soldier

Do you remember who found you
The helicopter crew
Out of the Au Shan Valley
What could they do
It’s not over
It’ll never be over for you
It’s not over
Till they stop playing war with you,
Soldier, Soldier

Was anybody with you
When you felt your body die
Knowing that you live on
The shell of a man to hide
It’s not over
It’ll never be over for you
It’s not over
Till they stop playing God with you,
Soldier, Soldier
Soldier, Soldier
(Composed by Donnie Dacus / Stephen Stills, 1976)

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Minneapolis Veterans Home construction project is in serious jeopardy for the second year in a row. The Minneapolis Veterans Home was founded in 1887 and is the oldest of the State’s five Veterans Homes.
 
Last year in August a state of the art 100-room skilled nursing facility opened and replaced a condemned Depression-era building. That was Phase 1 of a 2009 Master Plan. Phase 2 called for the demolition and rebuilding of Building 17’s north wing. This was funded in 2010 but the Phase 2 is contingent upon funding Phase 3, the demolition and rebuilding of that building’s South Wing.

 
On April 23rd, Dayton spokesperson Katharine Tinucci reiterated support for the project, stating, “Governor Dayton has committed to funding the next phase of the Minneapolis Veterans Home in his last two bonding proposals.”
 
Although the House bonding bill does not contain funding for the Home, on the same day House Speaker Paul Thissen said, “The Minneapolis Veterans Home project will be part of the discussion this session as we work to pass a bonding bill that can be signed into law.”
 
A request for comment to the DFL Senate Caucus was not returned. The 2010 DFL Ongoing Platform (amended 2012) states the party supports “Providing timely and sufficient funding to appropriate government agencies to honor all our obligations to active duty military and military veterans.” A request for comment on the DFL’s position on funding for Phase 3 of the Master Plan for the Minneapolis Veterans Home possibly being delayed for the 2nd session in a row was not returned.
 
Reached for comment on May 6, Lee Ulferts, chair of a group of veterans organizations called The Commander’s Task Force, said, “The unfortunate thing is if we go ahead with Phase 2 without the assurance that Phase 3 will be completed the whole design of Phase 2 will have to be revisited, as it will mean dead ending electrical, sewer, gas and water. The cost to do this is not insignificant. To the Task Force, it just seems incomprehensible that proper funding for this home is not provided. And now it seems that we can dig into tax dollars to restore the State Capitol for $100 million plus but we still can’t find the money to provide beds for 100 veterans. When did our priorities get so screwed up?”

 

(cross posted from TwinCitiesDailyPlanet.net)
 

FULL DISCLOSURE: Tommy Johnson is a veteran and advocates for veterans’ rights.

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Preview – TwoPutt, On Your (Cable) TV!

by TwoPuttTommy on May 4, 2013 · 3 comments

Just the other day, Ahmed Tharwat asked me to be on his cable TV show to discuss the disclosure statement on the bottom of my emails – which is below. without any further ado, here it is!

(direct link to YouTube, here)

And, here’s that disclosure statement, that got the conversation started…..

EmailDisclosure photo EmailDisclosureStatement_zps829cbb21.jpg

Please feel free to use it yourself!

I’ll update when the Cable TV schedule is announced.

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