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Mike McFadden

 

In his latest television ad, Mike “Nutshot” McFadden attempts to heap scorn on Senator Franken for “missing the mark.” It looks to me like yet more evidence that McFadden’s campaign is Not Ready for Prime Time.

 

The ad portrays a Franken look-a-like replete in suit and tie attempting to back the family boat into the water, failing repeatedly, knocking over garbage cans, while others are waiting impatiently and shaking their heads. The subtext reads contempt: Pity the Fool. Of course, Mighty Mike gets it on the first try. ‘Cuz he’s no fool.

 

Or.Is.He? If the ad’s intended audience is boat-owners, he may be on to something. Minnesota has more boat-owners per capita than any other state in the union. But to my knowledge boat-ownership has never been identified as a persuade-able voter demographic. Maybe I’m wrong …

 

No, I think he actually missed the mark himself. It appears that the ad is appealing to those viewers who dislike Coppertone®-tan Presidents, dislike Obamacare, dislike votes on higher taxes (never mind that the House GOP majority makes those votes moot), and dislike bespectacled Jews in suits trying to back boats.

 

If that’s the demographic he’s appealing to, I’ve got a newsflash for Team McFadden. Those guys are already voting your way. You’re wasting the old man’s money. Why not give the money to me and I’ll pass it on to a worthwhile charity — it’s better spent.

 

Also, I thought McFadden was supposed to be a smart business guy. The smartest move he could make right now would be to six his ad agency and find someone who knows what the hell they’re doing.

 

Mike, you need to widen your message, starting right now, and begin appealing to moderates, or your campaign is DOA on Election Day. Time is short: early voting begins in five weeks.

 

As the ad says, “Here in Min-ne-SO-ta, there’s a right way and a wrong way.” Looks to me like you picked the wrong way. Pity the fool.

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DirtyDenier$ Day 9: Congressman John Kline

by afrank on August 15, 2014 · 2 comments

John Kline

Today’s featured Dirty Denier is Rep. John Kline from Minnesota. While his denialism is more mild-mannered than the brash, outspoken style of some of his #DirtyDenier$ compatriots, it’s no less dangerous.
 
After more than a decade in Congress, Kline has racked up an appalling 4 percent lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters. In the previous two years (2013 and 2012), Kline voted in favor of the environment just once. At every possible opportunity, he has voted against clean energy investment and against action to address climate change. He has also supported the dirty energy agenda by trying to roll back bedrock environmental laws like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.
 
Kline’s opposition to action on climate change is particularly disappointing. Kline has been pretty silent about the causes of climate change or the costs of inaction. He doesn’t talk about the way Minnesota’s anglers and lakes will be affected by climate change. He doesn’t talk about the way homeowners’ insurance premiums are already rising in the face of more extreme weather.
 
Who might be happy with Kline’s votes and his silence? Well, take a look at the list of his top campaign contributors. Two of his top five are Boich Companies and Murray Energy, both coal mining companies. They are certainly thankful that Kline voted to allow both existing and new coal fired power plants to continue emitting unlimited amounts of climate-changing carbon pollution.
 
Kline can no longer hide behind his silence on climate change. Kline’s record speaks for itself and there’s no denying that he’s a Dirty Denier.
 
Our Advice: Climate change is a serious challenge and your country needs your voice and your vote, Rep. Kline. It’s time to start speaking the truth and helping your constituents in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
 

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Johnson, Otto, and primary thoughts

by Eric Ferguson on August 15, 2014 · 2 comments

Fresh off his win in the MNGOP gubernatorial primary, Hennepin County commissioner Jeff Johnson has already released his first campaign video:
 

 
Oops, that was Eddie Murphy from “The Distinguished Gentleman”. Sorry, didn’t mean to compare Jeff Johnson to Eddie Murphy. That’s unfair. After all, Murphy is funny on purpose.
 

Here’s Johnson being funny, presumably not on purpose:
 
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McFadden Mittromneys a Highway Fund Increase

by Invenium Viam on August 14, 2014 · 1 comment

Meet the New Boss ... Same as the Old Boss

Meet the New Boss … Same as the Old Boss

Want more evidence that Mike “Nutshot” McFadden’s campaign is Not Ready For Prime Time?

 

Just ask him what his position is on raising the federal gas tax to replenish the Federal Highway Trust Fund.

 

The last time that fund saw an increase, the price of a gallon of gas was $1.10. When initially asked whether he supported an increase in the fund, which hasn’t seen a new capital injection in twenty years — he answered in the affirmative. Minutes later, he changed his mind and answered in the negative.

 

Questioned by a local reporter, McFadden at first said he would support a higher gasoline tax if revenues were cut somewhere else.

 

Per the Strib:

 

He took another question on a different topic and left with a pair of campaign staffers. Seconds later he reappeared and addressed reporters again.

 

“I just want to reiterate that I will not support raising the gas tax,” McFadden said. A reporter then said, “I’m sorry, I thought you said you would as long as there was a corresponding decrease …”

 

“No, I won’t,” McFadden interjected.

 

The reporter then said, “No support? So how would you …”

 

A McFadden staffer jumped in and said, “We gotta go.”

 

Later in the day, McFadden called reporters and said he wanted to clarify his position.

 

“What I didn’t want to do is support an increase in the gas tax because I don’t think that’s the right long-term solution,” he said.

 

Although he wasn’t specific, McFadden reiterated that overhauling the federal tax codes could free up money for transportation projects.

 

Yup, he’s looking more and more like the Mitt Romney Clone he got labeled early on.

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rebeccapointing-lgI’ve spoken to a lot of Minnesota DFLer’s (that’s what we call Democrats ’round these parts) about today’s Primary, especially in relation to the auditor’s race. Rebecca Otto, who, full disclosure, I don’t know at all but who’s husband is a friend and colleague, is the incumbent. Rebecca has really put a shine on the Auditor’s office. I understand that the previous auditor, a Republican, pretty much sucked, so that might have made looking good a bit easier for Rebecca, but it can’t be true that all of the other auditors across the country also suck, and the various professional associations that deal with this sort of thing have awarded Rebecca with top level official accolades over and over. So, she is clearly about the best Auditor in the country, and in Minnesota, the best one to come along in a while.
 
Now, it turns out, that two or three of our Governors were formerly Auditors. I don’t know why Auditor would be a stepping stone to Governor, or even, if it really is. That might just be a fluke, like every president elected in a year that ends in zero getting killed or almost killed. The point is, it has become local political folklore that Auditor is a good jumping off point for Governor.
 
So, there’s this guy named Matt Entenza who has run for Governor before. He used to be in the State Legislature. Mostly though, his political career consists of spending huge piles of family money on running races that he loses. I’m pretty sure Matt wants to be be Governor, and he wants it so badly that he is virtually delusional about the prospects. Or, perhaps, he simply has a deep and unabiding disdain for Minnesota voters. He thought he could just spend a lot of his family money on a campaign and unseat a well liked and widely respected incumbent.
 
In Minnesota, we use the Native American system of choosing our candidates by party to run in the general election. No one fully understand the process but it involves a lot of standing around in a special room that you need permission to be in. People join in groups and hold up symbols of their political beliefs and the candidates they support, then move between groups, sometimes combining groups. A Caucus Chief occasionally tells all the people in this or that group that they must disband, and those individuals then join other groups. If a group gets big enough and they are fast enough they can form two groups. The exact number of groups that are formed and their exact configuration can determine who ultimately is chosen by the Caucus. At various points the Caucus is frozen, and tough looking guys working for the Caucus Chief make sure no one crosses certain lines that are sometimes marked on the floor with Duct Tape. It might be unfrozen and refrozen a couple of times, but eventually the Caucus Chief calls an end to it and each of the clusters of people elect a certain number of representatives who are supposed to vote a certain way on the first ballot at a district convention. But no one knows who these people are because the Caucus Chief works for a secret society that maintains all the rules of the caucus system, and runs it, but does not provide any information from it, so the supporters of the various candidates have to rush to one end of the room where those elected by the Caucus groups are required to go to state their name and how they will vote to a group of very old people who can’t hear a thing. The friends of the candidates try to glean the names of the elected ones, and the elected ones often try to interfere with this process, which seems ridiculous because the first thing you get if you are elected is the candidate buys you a cup of coffee later in the week at Caribou or Starbucks.
 
Amazingly, this system works rather well, and eventually produces a set of “endorsed” candidates. Rebecca Otto, who is a successful well liked and widely respected incumbent, was endorsed by the party. Then moments before a special deadline, after the endorsement, this guy Matt Entenza, who really wants to be Governor, filed to run. So there was a primary challenge within the party.
 
Entenza lied and lied and lied. He lied about himself, he lied about Rebecca, he lied about what the Auditor’s job is, he lied about what he would do if elected (we know he lied because he’s not an idiot and he made claims that he would do things that the Auditor simply does not do).
 
So the Primary was today. They are still counting votes as I write this. And, as I said, I have spoken, especially today, to a lot of DFLer’s (Minnesota Democrats.)
 
Most of them strongly support Rebecca Otto and are annoyed at Entenza. I spoke today to one person who said he’d vote for Entenza, and I think maybe his wife was to. I spoke to an Entenza staffer — a paid employee of Matt Entenza’s campaign — who quit a couple of weeks ago “… because Entenza lied to me, he lied to us, we all told him to go to hell …” who is voting for Rebecca.
 
Last time I looked 17% of the vote was counted and Otto was ahead by over 80%. I’m calling it for Otto.

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Minnesota primary election liveblog

by Dan Burns on August 12, 2014 · 15 comments

11:10 – Hagedorn will win his race, Whelan romped in Otto-esque fashion in hers, and I’m headed for seven hours or so of the dreamless. Thank you to everyone who stopped by.
 
10:49 – Don’t mean to flip anyone out, Steve Simon will win, but something strange went down in the DFL Secretary of State primary.
 
10:43 – With 75% reporting it looks like Jeff Johnson will be the GOP gubernatorial candidate in November. He’s ahead of Kurt Zellers 30 to 24.5. But it’s a dismal showing for the party’s endorsed candidate.
 
10:10 – About 37,000 votes were cast Since I’m pretty sure one could vote for multiple candidates in the Minneapolis School Board race, I don’t know how many voters actually showed up, and Ira Jourdain beat Doug Mann for the fourth and final spot in November by 50 votes. I don’t know whether Mann can get a recount or not. Also, Applebaum did win 44B, but only by 37 votes over Tony Wagner.
 
10:00 – With almost 50% reporting the GOP governor thing is not over. Johnson 31, Zellers 24, Honour 22, Seifert 20.
 
9:50 – With almost 40% reporting in MN-01 Jim Hagedorn has about a 60-40 lead over the endorsed candidate, Aaron Miller.
 
9:41 – Matt Entenza has conceded the auditor’s race. I’m quite interested, though, to see whether that 70% spread continues to hold. If so, it will be, among a lot of other things, an indicator that the “sulfide mining uber alles!” crowd doesn’t have anything like the political heft that they (and corporate media) claim that they have.
 
9:37 – With all but one precinct reporting Rebecca Gagnon, Don Samuels, and Iris Altamirano will advance to the Minneapolis School Board general. It will be determined when that last precinct reports, whether Ira Jourdain or Doug Mann will as well.
 

9:30 – With almost 30% reporting Johnson is holding steady at about 1/3, with Zellers next at 24% and Honour in the low 20s. Also, it looks like Jon Applebaum will triumph in 44B.
 
9:15 – With all precincts in those districts reporting Phyllis Kahn and Jenifer Loon have won.
 
9:03 – 83-17, with almost 12% in. Jeff Johnson leads the GOP governor race, with almost precisely one-third of the vote.
 
8:21 – Only 1 % reporting, but it may be worth noting that Rebecca Otto is off to an 85%-15% lead.
 
Races of particular interest for me include:
 
- Otto/Entenza
- GOP governor
- Kahn/Noor (DFL60B – Minneapolis)
- An “embarrassment of riches” tripartite DFL primary in the west metro (Wagner/Tollefson/Applebaum – 44B – Minnetonka, etc.)
- Loon/Kihne (R48B – Eden Prairie)
- Minneapolis School Board at-large
- Hagedorn/Miller (R-MN01)
- And, mostly for perverse amusement, a Republican primary in the north metro featuring two real pieces of work, Abby Whelan and Justin Boals (R35A – Anoka, etc.)
 
I usually go to the SoS website for the latest. If that gets balky, as has been known to happen, CBS Minnesota has been prompt and reliable.
 

I’ll be back starting around 8:30, give or take.

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clowncarMNGOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Honour thinks he’s the most conservative candidate, and he has a case, especially if that case is about holding to conservative principles and refusing to compromise.
 

I plan to work cooperatively with the Legislature to get this done. But if legislators say no to good ideas, if they get bogged down in the usual political games, I’ll subscribe to Ronald Reagan’s adage: “If they won’t see the light, make them feel the heat.”

 

So when it comes to abolishing the right to join a union, killing MNSure and replacing it with nothing, across the board cuts in all spending regardless of the effect, and cutting taxes at the top, he’s willing to work with the DFL — on how to implement his agenda. He’s willing to use good ideas from DFLers, provided those ideas are how to better implement conservative ideology. Seek common ground, compromise, split differences, show pragmatism when it comes time to stop thinking like an ideologue and start solving problems, not so much.
 
Apparently he thinks he can conduct negotiations that consist of the other side giving him what he wants, provided he just shows “leadership”.
 

“When political insiders talk about being “realistic,” it’s code for “we just have to keep doing it the way we’ve always done it.” I completely reject that point of view. In politics as in business, it takes leadership to get results.

 
Really, “in politics as in business”? Does he get that unlike in his business, he doesn’t get to fire everyone who disagrees with him? Yet, as he’s the most conservative of the four major candidates, he must have a shot at winning. Great, another “run government like a business” Republican. That’s never worked out badly, other than every time. 
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Marit Brock Announces for St Paul City Council

by Grace Kelly on August 6, 2014 · 1 comment

Marit Brock1Marit 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.”
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Entenza violated campaign finance laws

by Eric Ferguson on August 3, 2014 · 7 comments

Rebecca_Otto_Matt_Entenza.jpgMatt Entenza had campaign finance violations in past campaigns, and if I were to explain them with the same accuracy and fairness Entenza is bringing to his attacks on Rebecca Otto, I might write something like this: Matt Entenza apparently thinks campaign finance laws don’t apply to him. Maybe he just wanted to be the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board’s pen pal, because he sure keeps having to explain himself. Illegal contributions, forgetting to report spending, having to return money, even MPR says he seems to be trying to do it all.
 
Was the preceding paragraph twisted and exaggerated? Obviously, which is really the point. Well, maybe not obvious if you don’t dig in to what actually happened, or at least read my other posts on the auditor race and notice I’m a Rebecca Otto partisan so maybe you should check before believing. It might sound reasonable if you have the misimpression that candidates are all experts on campaign finance law. They’re not. Maybe you think every campaign staffer is a 40-year-old with 50 years of experience; more likely 22-years old with three months experience. Certainly I find campaign finance laws complicated, having not studied. I mostly just hope to never accidentally run afoul because I didn’t know to ask a question or someone else screwed up and made it my problem.
 
What I do have is a greater respect for factual accuracy than Entenza has exhibited in his ambush campaign against Otto. He’s doing to her with his “voter ID” charge what I did to him in the first paragraph: make an attack by twisting isolated incidents barely on the margins of factual accuracy with a hope of finding an audience that will believe it without checking. Though frankly, I’m not exaggerating as much.
 
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Tom Emmer is Still an Angry White Guy

by Invenium Viam on August 1, 2014 · 4 comments

Mine!!

Tom Emmer is an Angry White Guy. He just doesn’t want you to know that he’s an Angry White Guy.

 

The reason he doesn’t want you to know it is because Tom Emmer wants to be the next US Congressman in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District (Rep. Michele Bachmann’s current seat). He wants to represent a district chock-full of Angry White Guys like himself, but to do that he needs more votes in the General Election than the Party of Angry White Guys can provide. To win, he’ll need the votes of some moderates.

 

To get them, he decided he needed to re-make himself into someone new.

 

Back in 2010, Emmer, then a member of the Minnesota House, wanted to be the Governor of Minnesota. Because … he did. But that campaign collapsed around him like a bad metaphor with inept and baseless declarations that restaurant workers can earn $100,000 a year in tips (which would justify minimum-wage exemptions) and that government workers make 30-40% more than their private sector counterparts (because they get expensive government giveaways like health insurance, paid time off and pensions). He lost to Mark Dayton in a close election of some 7,000 votes.

 

Now it’s 2014, and Tom Emmer wants to be a US Congressman. Because … he does. And in all likelihood, he’ll get his wish.

 

The reasons are simple.

 

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