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Preface: The writer is a true progressive and therefore anti-partisan.
House Minority Leader Paul Thissen and Senate Majority Leader Thomas Bakk support a proposed amendment regarding lawmakers’ pay which discriminates against at least 1,000,000 Minnesota voters.
The amendment would inscribe discrimination based on party affiliation into the Minnesota state constitution. From the language of the proposed amendment:

One-half of the members appointed by the governor and one-half of the members appointed by the chief justice must belong to the political party that has the most members in the legislature. One-half of the members appointed by the governor and one-half of the members appointed by the chief justice must belong to the political party that has the second-most members in the legislature.

That means only members of the Minnesota GOP or DFL may sit on the “independent, citizens-only council”. However, partisan affiliation across the country is declining rapidly according to Gallup.
At least 43% or 1.2 million Minnesota voters, who identify as Independents, Greens, Constitution Party, etc. may not sit on this council. This may violate Title VII discrimination law as well.
According to a Pioneer Press article House Minority leader Paul Thissen supports this codified discrimination.

Like a bipartisan majority in the Senate, he supported the amendment in the House three years ago, along with a majority of Democrats.

The Star Tribune reported that Senate Majority Leader Thomas Bakk supports this plan as well.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said raising one’s own pay is somewhat of a conflict of interest. He said the Legislature sets pay ranges for the governor’s commissioners and judges.

Discrimination is wrong. Partisanship is hurting Minnesota voters — see SWLTR failure, MNSure failure and Marijuana Reform failure for details. All can be laid at the feet of partisan bickering and inaction.

Vote NO on this amendment.


Minnesota-State-CapitolFirst thing today, I need to shout out nothing but love for all of our DFL candidates, especially those that are working very hard in long-shot districts.
Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Red Wing) is leaving House 21A after a sex scandal. Our candidate is Lisa Bayley. The district goes D+1.

Invest in Education: A mother of two, Lisa knows a first class education is key to making Minnesota a place of innovation. She’ll fight to increase funding for early and K-12 education and supports plans to allow students to refinance college loans and reduce debt.
Work for our Seniors: As an attorney with a family law practice, Lisa sees the lack of care our seniors are receiving and the need to increase housing and assisted living choices. In St. Paul, she’ll cut through the red tape and work to ensure seniors have secure, affordable options in retirement, right here in our community.

The Republican candidate is Barb Haley. Her website’s issues page is terse, very non-specific boilerplate. In doing these posts I’ve noticed that that’s quite a popular approach among GOPers in competitive districts, this year.

Our candidate in 36A, in the NW metro, which goes R+2, is Kevin Parker.


Monica’s TED Talk

by JeffStrate on October 25, 2016 · 0 comments

Dog Gone provides appreciated perspective on Big Dog’s record of ambling about when Hillary wasn’t looking.  Bill was a fool.  Swordsmen in any kind of marriage at every level of society and power will be detected by the wives, no matter how cunning or cuddly their mongrels.  The confessions and careless musings of opportunistic blackmailers and naive, romantic interns are not needed by wives to detect a dalliance, although they may be useful to them in the proceedings of a divorce court.
Monica Lewinski, you may know, spoke about her life after the Oval Office about a year and a half ago.   It is an engaging and informed TED Talk.


MN-08: Hooting at that KSTP poll

by Dan Burns on October 24, 2016 · 2 comments

stewartjobHey, it’s possible that it’s right. Part of scientific thinking is that technically anything is “possible.” But when you’ve been following elections and polling for quite a while now, it’s OK to apply some experience-based common sense to the proceedings. That’s what I’m looking to do, here.
The polling was actually done by Survey USA, commissioned by KSTP. KSTP’s news is the closest local approximation to what Fox “News” is nationally, and the brand is owned by the extremely conservative and also extremely wealthy Stanley Hubbard.

In a rematch of one of the closest congressional races in the country two years ago, Republican Stewart Mills leads Democratic incumbent Rick Nolan by four points in Minnesota’s 8th District, 45 percent to 41 percent, in our exclusive KSTP/SurveyUSA poll…
However, even a superior get-out-the-vote operation might be more difficult in 2016 because the top of the Democratic ticket, Hillary Clinton, appears to be very unpopular in the 8th District. Our poll shows Republican Donald Trump with a 12-point lead over Clinton, 47 percent to 35 percent.

The Lake Superior-sized red flag is immediately apparent. President Obama won this district in 2012 by 5.5%, and we’re supposed to believe that this time it’s going to go for Trump by 12, at a time when Donald could well be looking at a double-digit landslide loss, nationally. While for all I know such a four-year swing in a congressional district anywhere would not be unprecedented, it is certainly extremely rare and would require extraordinary circumstances.
A far more likely explanation is that you get a number like that by massively overpolling Trump’s base of conservative old people. Which if you look at the polling internals you will see is exactly what they did.


Minneapolis school board election 2016

by Dan Burns on October 23, 2016 · 0 comments

minneapolis_skyline__heroMinneapolis has been, and remains, far and away the biggest pro-public schools vs. deformers stage in the state. This excellent article from Southwest Journal has candidate profiles and links to websites.

Four of the nine seats on the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education are up for general election on November 8, 2016. Incumbent Kim Ellison is running for the at-large seat, leaving her District 2 seat open for a newcomer. She faces challenger Doug Mann. The race for the open District 2 seat features candidates Kimberly Caprini and Kerry Jo Felder. In District 4, incumbent Josh Reimnitz is running against challenger Bob Walser. In her bid for re-election in District 6, incumbent Tracine Asberry faces challenger Ira Jourdain. In addition to choosing which candidates to add to the board, citizens of the district will vote on an operating referendum.

If you click that Ballotpedia link and scroll down some, you will also see information on the operating referendum question.
Ellison, Felder, Walser, and Jourdain are endorsed by the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, and the DFL. According to the SW Journal article, they “see eye-to-eye on the issues and are running as a team.”
All that I can tell you for sure is that Reimnitz is a deformer. I don’t know who all may be getting deformer “dark” money in this election; I couldn’t find a convenient source for that, and I have neither the time nor the expertise to pore through individual campaign reports. Anyone who knows more is more than welcome to comment here or on our Facebook page. From their website it appears that Minnesota Comeback, the new face of the deformer movement in this state, hasn’t endorsed anybody. They just might realize that doing so could well be an electoral liability for any “favored” candidate(s).


Using the courts to screw working people

by Dan Burns on October 21, 2016 · 0 comments

greed2It’s long been a favored right-wing tactic, and it’s successful all too often. Though I’m reasonably confident that neither of these will be backed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, when they get that far.

Minneapolis small business owners are speaking out against a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce lawsuit challenging the city’s new earned sick and safe time ordinance.
“The ordinance that was passed represents a compromise that was negotiated and supported by a vast majority of our community, including small businesses like us,” said Andy Pappacosta, events coordinator at Gandhi Mahal and Main Street Alliance of Minnesota member. “This lawsuit is being led by a select number of businesses, and does not represent many small business owners who have deep roots in our community.”
On Friday, the Chamber announced it had filed suit in Hennepin County District Court to challenge the ordinance on the grounds it conflicts with state law.
In May, the Minneapolis City Council made history by passing the state’s first ordinance requiring employers to provide earned sick and safe time.
(Workday Minnesota)

A yearslong battle over unionization of personal care attendants continued Wednesday as a handful of them sued three state agencies, asserting state government has illegally withheld information they need in their drive to decertify the union that represents them.
The attendants trying to decertify the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) must produce thousands of signatures by December to force a vote on decertification. In their lawsuit, they claim that state agencies have refused to hand over the most recent and accurate lists of workers. Without it, they have been unable to find PCAs who might sign their petition to break up the union…
Myron Frans, Minnesota Management and Budget commissioner, said state officials are not allowed to turn over the data.
(Star Tribune)

Lest anyone think that second one is really just a few regular folks, without corporate backing and manipulation (from the same article):

Doug Seaton, an attorney who represents employers and has litigated against PCA unionization for several years, is representing the plaintiffs. The news conference on their behalf was organized by the Center of the American Experiment, a conservative think tank.


Hann Meets Cwod

by JeffStrate on October 20, 2016 · 1 comment

Minnesota Senate Minority Leader David Hann is seeking a fifth consecutive term in the Minnesota Senate. He represents Senate District 48, southern Minnetonka and all of Eden Prairie.


Challenger and first time canididate Steve Cwodzinski has recently been endorsed by former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson (R) and former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale (DFL).   I have met the recently retired Eden Prairie High School teacher and debut candidate several times this year, most recently for the taping of a discussion with DFL elder Tim O’Brien for Democratic Visions.


‘Cwod’ (pronounced ‘swod’ – a nickname that his students long ago attached to him), seems to be energized by the same progressive, populist currents that propelled Paul and Shiela Wellstone. Cwod, however, has a more engaging sense of humor then the Wellstones, who are among Steve’s heros. Cwodzinski is from a Superior, Wisconsin working class family and says that he will fight to get Minnesotans paid medical and family leaves and equal pay for equal work.


Steve says he will also work to close loopholes in gun laws that continue to enable criminals and domestic abusers to acquire guns. He will work to ease the severe, statewide shortage of school counselors and to get more 4-year olds into pre-school programs to fix what he calls “the opportunity gap.” Although Southwest Light Rail has found local funding to qualify for a federal matching grant and is moving forward, Cwodzinski has been aligned with local Chambers of Commerce and the elected City Councils of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka in support of the project. David Hann, the buttoned-down obstructionist, has not.


Senate District 48 is seen as a can win opportunity by the DFL and the left of center PACs. Cwod’s campaign itself, has been infused with an unusually high number of un-paid volunteers; former students who are energized and social media savvy.

Comment below fold.

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mn_capitolWes Volkenant is running in 35B, in the north metro. It’s R+9, but certainly doable this year.

If elected, Wes Volkenant will work to strengthen the public employee union process in Minnesota, fight for a stronger PERA and TRA, and vigorously oppose any Republican efforts to diminish teacher rights in the classroom and through the seniority process.

I wrote about this one late last year, when Volkenant declared. You can click to find out more about why Bachmannite Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover) doesn’t belong in political office. Click on this one, from Developers are Crabgrass, also.

Also in the north metro, Rep. Jerry Newton (DFL-Coon Rapids) is running for the open Senate seat in district 37, which goes D+1. This is not actually a “pickup opportunity,” as the race is to replace retiring Sen. Alice Johnson (DFL-Spring Lake Park), but I’m noting it anyway.

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Meanwhile in MN CD 3 …

by JeffStrate on October 17, 2016 · 3 comments

Image of Bonoff and Paulsen

Terri Bonoff and Erik Paulsen

A KSTP/SurveyUSA poll published late last week on Tom Hauser’s At Issue political analysis program, shows GOP, right wing incumbent Erik Paulsen with an eleven point lead over DFL endorsed challenger Terri Bonoff.

“After several months of withering attacks trying to tie him to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Erik Paulsen holds a commanding lead in his race with 3rd District challenger Terri Bonoff. In our exclusive KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, Paulsen leads Bonoff 49 percent to 38 percent. Another 13 percent remain undecided.”

Steven Schier, the ever available pundit from Carleton College, notes in the October 16, 2016  KSTP-TV News web article about the poll that voters are not associating Mr. Paulsen with Mr. Trump.   That is clearly the case.  Terri’s team needs to do a quick and major re-direction on what will work during the next three weeks.

The article does not mention the dump trucks of misleading, anti-Bonoff mailers that arrive at our Eden Prairie (CD 3) home or refer to the equally smelly and un-credible, anti-Bonoff spots that pop up on television and the internet.


photo of Junk Yard Democrats.

Eden Prairie’s Junk Yard Democrats

This month Democratic Visions features a fifteen minute discussion between Terri Bonoff and Ted O’Brien and a Junk Yard Democrats’ video.  With “He Talks the Line,” the boys re-purpose a Johnny Cash classic to comment on Mr. Paulsen’s record.

Here are the links –  15 Minutes with Terri Bonoff

Junk Yard Democrats – Erik Paulsen: He Talks the Line





Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Edina, Hopkins, Richfield, Comcast Channel 15 —
Sundays at 9 p.m., Mondays at 10:00 p.m., Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m.


Bloomington – BCAT 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.  Concurrent live streaming at


Champlin, Anoka, Ramsey, Andover – QCTV Community Channel 15 —  4 broadcasts a week with concurrent live streaming.  See schedule


Democratic  Visions is hand made by unpaid volunteers from Edina, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins and Bloomington.  Our program is not financially supported or endorsed by any political party, political action committee or special interest group.
Comments below fold.


(Administrator’s note: Just a reminder that individual bloggers don’t speak for everyone at MnPP. Just ourselves.)
On Nov. 8, voters should vote “no” on an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would “Remove Lawmakers’ Power to Set Their Own Pay.” This amendment is wrong for Minnesota voters for a number of reasons.
This amendment violates one of the foundations of American democracy, the Separation of Powers, by forming an “independent citizen-only council to prescribe salaries for lawmakers” appointed by the governor and by the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Spending taxpayer dollars is the task of the Legislature. If legislators want a raise, they must earn it and justify it to their constituents. This is a key part of the “checks and balances” written into our system of government.
This “council” would be unaccountable to voters, and, by constitutional law, its members must represent the Minnesota Republican Party or the Minnesota DFL Party. The amendment chisels in partisanship in a time when more and more voters consider themselves Independents. A Gallup poll shows that 43% of voters identify as Independents.
Independent voters may not sit on this council. That is discrimination and may violate Federal law prohibiting selection of employees by state and local governments based on political affiliation.
The deceptive title of the amendment sounds very enticing to voters who would love to “Remove Lawmakers’ Power to Set Their Own Pay.” But if this amendment passes, those same lawmakers are practically guaranteed a raise by an appointed, unaccountable and very partisan council.
Vote NO on this amendment.