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Minnesota-State-CapitolHouse 56B goes R+1. Our outstanding candidate is Lindsey Port.

I believe that if we work together, we can achieve common goals that strengthen our families and communities. I want to make critical investments and ensure workers have good jobs, paid family leave and sick time. That means fighting for better roads, universal pre-K and supporting new entrepreneurs.

One-term Rep. Roz Peterson (R-Lakeville) was the only Republican to flip a metro area seat in 2014, despite how that election went overall. That’s a fact that threw plenty of establishment pundits in the state for a loop, but as far as what’s important here and now – that is, what kind of representative she’s been, and would continue to be – here’s a little summary. (Peterson’s name came up as a possible replacement for Rep. John Kline in MN-02, is the context here.)

It is hard to imagine Peterson in Congress. Especially when she runs from any controversial vote that comes up. For instance, during the legislative debate on gun silencers that passed during the last session, an amendment came up that wanted to add background checks to private gun sales. Democrats wanted to make sure everyone was on the record with a vote on this. However when the call went out to retrieve the absent members to the floor, Rep. Roz Peterson had been excused for the day.
I doubt that anyone believed that Peterson was actually going to vote in the affirmative on the amendment, but this way she is not on the record and can keep her NRA rating intact, while telling her district that she has “never” voted against background checks.
Sure. That’s the type of person we want representing us in Congress.

In 50B, Andrew Carlson lost a very low turnout special election for this D+7 Bloomington seat. It’s time to set things right.


PBS Newshour did an excellent job of covering some of this.

I have been particularly impressed by Kelly Oxford’s social media discussion where women share their experiences with unwanted sexual aggression from men.

And three cheers to the venerable NY Times for their response to Trump and his attorneys when women complained about his ACTIONS, the ones he apparently lied about in the 2nd presidential debate. Trump, via his lawyers, tried to stop the proverbial ‘gray lady’ from telling the corroborated stories of (alleged) Trump victims. The response to a libel suit threat is purely brilliant. Wherever you are when you read this, stand up and cheer for the New York Times and then again for their representative, David E. McCraw.

Dear Mr. Kasowitz:

I write in response to your letter of October 12, 2016 to Dean Baquet concerning your client Donald Trump, the Republican Party nominee for President of the United States. You write concerning our article “Two Women Say Donald Trump Touched Them Inappropriately” and label the article as “libel per se.” You ask that we “remove it from [our] website and issue a full and immediate retraction and apology.” We decline to do so.

The essence of a libel claim, of course, is the protection of one’s reputation. Mr. Trump has bragged about his non-consensual sexual touching of women. He has bragged about intruding on beauty pageant contestants in their dressing rooms. He acquiesced to a radio host’s request to discuss Mr. Trump’s own daughter as a “piece of ass.” Multiple women not mentioned in our article have publicly come forward to report on Mr. Trump’s unwanted advances. Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself.

But there is a larger and much more important point here. The women quoted in our story spoke out on an issue of national importance — indeed, an issue that Mr. Trump himself discussed with the whole nation watching during Sunday night’s presidential debate. Our reporters diligently worked to confirm the women’s accounts. They provided readers with Mr. Trump’s response, including his forceful denial of the women’s reports. It would have been a disservice not just to our readers but to democracy itself to silence their voices. We did what the law allows: We published newsworthy information about a subject of deep public concern. If Mr. Trump disagrees, if he believes that American citizens had no right to hear what these women had to say and that the law of this country forces us and those who would dare to criticize him to stand silent or be punished, we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight.

David E. McCraw


(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.


Trump is clearly changing what he says, to lie to his potential voters. We saw it when for convenience he changed his position on birthers, itself a lie of expediency. We see it again with the accusations against Bill Clinton that he makes to distract voters from his own DEPLORABLE record of (alleged) sexual harassment and assault of women.


This matters when he is caught on a hot mic in 2005, and it matters when he is suddenly accusing Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct that he called lies, and abused the alleged victims as losers back in 1998.


The word for this is expediency. The other word for this is LYING.


NOTHING has changed since 1998; there is no new evidence to support an accusation.


The ONLY thing that has changed is it is now expedient for Trump to lie, to lie lie lie lie.


And courtesy of the way-back machine known as the internet, he is busted busted busted busted busted.


Liars are losers. Trump is a lying loser. And his base of deplorables who are making excuses for him deserve to lose; the party which embraced the deplorables deserves to disappear into the dustbin of history.


This is THEIR fault.




MN lege: DFL pickup opportunities in St. Cloud

by Dan Burns on October 12, 2016 · 0 comments

mn_capitolTo be precise, St. Cloud and its environs. In SD14, Sen. John Pederson is leaving, and Dan Wolgamott is our candidate for the open seat.

Since announcing he planned to run for state Senate more than a year ago, Dan Wolgamott has knocked on a lot of doors and had conversations with a lot of voters — about 3,000, at his last count.
The St. Cloud real estate agent known for his outgoing personality and booming voice believes his hard work will pay off in his quest to be the next District 14 senator, despite the district’s Republican leanings.
“People are just tired and cynical of the good ol’ boys’ club,” the DFL candidate said. “They want somebody that’s going to bring a fresh perspective, bring some energy, bring some accountability and work together to get things done for us.”

This seat goes D+1. The right-wing Republican candidate is Jerry Relph. Some sources also reference a libertarian candidate named Steven Zilberg, but I don’t know whether he’s really on the ballot or not.
In 14A we have Zach Dorholt. He’s served in the House before. At D+4 this seat is begging – begging, I tell you – to be flipped.



Big questions about PolyMet and climate change

by Dan Burns on October 11, 2016 · 0 comments

sulfideFrom last week:

Environmental groups have asked the federal government to do a more thorough analysis of potential climate change impacts from the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine.
While most of the debate has centered on potential water pollution from the mine, new federal guidelines finalized in August instruct agencies to fully account for a project’s greenhouse gas emissions and societal costs associated with those emissions.
“We’re talking about the equivalent of putting over 150,000 new vehicles on Minnesota roads,” Aaron Klemz, advocacy director for Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, said of PolyMet’s potential impact.

It’s not very likely that PolyMet’s permits will be denied. But that is only the least of the righteous obstacles yet to be overcome. Court challenges, public pressure, and continued soft markets for copper and nickel will all be more daunting.


MCP’s: it’s who they are

by Dog Gone on October 10, 2016 · 0 comments

Image result for male chauvinist pig
There was a phrase which entered a broader national awareness back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Male Chauvinist Pig. It was a slang term for misogynists, men who – Sincerely! – viewed women as inferior and inherently unequal to men.  While it has never completely disappeared from use, it is time to revive it again more broadly to apply to the 2016 election cycle. (The right insists sincere beliefs have a priority over everything else, because they are “sincere”, and therefore somehow special and exempt from law or public opinion.)


It is a fair accusation that in the 2nd Presidential Debate, Donald Trump hoped to distract those who were fleeing his sinking rat-infested ship of a campaign with his claim that he would appoint a special prosecutor to go after Hillary Clinton for her emails.  I suggest the ‘special prosecutor’ be issued the badge pictured here, since he (or she) would not be operating on behalf of all Americans, but only on behalf of the MCPs.


This relies on the classic civics and other ignorance of his generally poorly educated base of support. The President CANNOT appoint a special prosecutor; that is the purview of the Attorney General and the Congress. While Trump may assume he will get whatever AG he wants, no matter how incompetent, AGs, like Supreme Court picks, are only in office by confirmation of the Senate.


If Obama’s SCOTUS pick isn’t going through, you can bet that such an AG pick won’t be confirmed either.


But HEY! It makes a great DISTRACTION for toddlers and ignorant adults from that embarrassing scandal.  And there is much more scandal to come, beginning with Trump discussing his daughter’s breasts with Howard Stern, and then proceeding to give his blessing to Stern calling Ivanka Trump a “piece of ass”.  Because apparently women, even one’s own daughters, are just pieces of meat for male gratification, not real and equal human beings.



mnsenateThis first one is getting plenty of attention. Defeating Senate Minority Leader David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) would be a most worthy accomplishment. The district is a toss-up. Our candidate is Steve Cwodzinski.

Steve has spent over 30 years as an educator. He knows education is the foundation that innovation and success are built upon. Steve is committed to investing in students of all ages, from early childhood through post-secondary, so all of Minnesota’s students are prepared to succeed in the modern economy.

Hann has been flagged for conflict of interest and campaign finance issues. He’s managed to keep his seat despite those, but this year, with demographics and all, could well be the one.

Phil Sterner is our candidate in SD48, which goes R+2.


millspartying2Minnesota’s 8th district isn’t just the Iron Range. But one can make a case that politically blue Duluth is balanced out by the red areas further south along 35, into the north metro, and it’s the Range that makes the call.

Two days ago, Newsweek published an investigation showing that Trump has always favored Chinese steel for his casinos and hotels.
John Rebrovich, United Steelworkers representative from Hibbing, says it was only a matter of time before Trump was exposed as a charlatan.
While Rebrovich’s friends and neighbors may have once found hope in the candidate, Trump has been quietly subverting them all along. News spreads fast in small towns, Rebrovich says. Everywhere he goes now, people are talking about how they feel lied to.
(City Pages)

Stewart Mills III has explicitly backed Donald Trump for president.

And why not? Both were born to tremendous wealth and privilege, and have hardly impressed accordingly. Neither has paid any sort of officeholding dues that would remotely qualify them for the positions they’re seeking. Both have histories of repulsive public pronouncements about women. Both are really just looking out for #1.

And hopefully both will have their fantasies of political power and widespread admiration utterly and deservedly crushed, in about four and a half weeks.
Comment below fold.


prairieBoth of these districts are R+1. In 17A, Andrew Falk is the DFL candidate. He’s been in the House before. Here’s his Facebook page.

I’m running on my strong record of standing up for the middle class, supporting our schools, fighting for affordable and accessible health care, helping family farmers, protecting our environment and investing in renewable energy, and making sure the wealthiest pay their fair share of taxes.
(Andrew Falk/ActBlue)

Bluestem Prairie has provided a good deal of trenchant commentary on the topic of Rep. Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg). For example, this discusses his confused grandstanding over the Appleton prison. And this notes his really enlightened – indeed, Draz-like – views on state spending.
Our candidate in 12A is Jay McNamar. He’s looking to get back a seat he held before, as well.