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MN 08

MN-08: Mills candidacy is the real clunker

by Dan Burns on January 28, 2014 · 0 comments

millspartying2Stewart Mills III is running for the U.S. House as a “small-government,” market fundamentalist type.
 

Now that he’s running for Congress everything is wrong with America for Stewart Mills III. Via Duluth, The Star Tribune’s Kevin Diaz reports at the end of “Nolan duel with GOP ‘young gun’ heats up early:”
 

But Mills’ free-market philosophy is likely to be challenged by Democrats, who note that the Mills Automotive Group sold more than $3 million in inventory under Obama’s “Cash for Clunkers” program in 2009 and 2010.
 
Mills called the job stimulus program “another failed example of Washington, D.C., trying to legislate the free market.” His family business only took part, he said, “in an effort to protect employees and our customer base.”

(Bluestem Prairie)

Mills Fleet Farm even advertised itself as “Cash for Clunkers Headquarters.”
 
Stepping on his tongue seems to be a habit, with Stewart III. Previously, he decried the sorts of government subsidies that are, in fact, the lifeblood of his family business and therefore of his own standing as a member from birth of the “coddled class.”
 
This is clearly not somebody that thinks things through, very well at all. And with this being the kind of campaign he’s running, you can well imagine what kind of a legislator he’d be. He’s just a pampered, egotistical rich kid who has no idea of what’s really going on out here. All of that being said, his candidacy should not be taken lightly, in what is by no means a “gimme” blue district.
 

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Party pictures of Stewart Mills III

by The Big E on November 22, 2013 · 2 comments

Stewart Mills III
Axl Rose Stewart Mills III

Fleet Farm heir Stewart Mills III is not just a conservative family values Republican. According to City Pages, he’s also the life of the party. It’s not enough to have earned his money the old-fashioned way (inherit it), he represents the kind of family values the Republican Party is known for: Axl Rose impersonations.
 
Mills the Third is running unopposed and will likely face Rep. Rick Nolan (DFL-MN) in the MN-08 race in 2014.
 
But Mills the Third isn’t just an Axl Rose Impersonator, he’s also a beer bong aficionado. Who knew he was so talented? Here he is on his knees practicing his version of Republican Family Values:
 

 
And it’s not like this is back from his partying Junior High, High School or College days. According to City Pages, these are from Christmas 2008.
 
Oh … one more thing: he likes to lick women.
 

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MN-08: Getting to know the real Stewart III

by Dan Burns on November 11, 2013 · 3 comments

Stew-Mills_subsidies-graphic-Draft-2Some beach-ball questioning was recently gently lobbed at Stewart Mills III, the putative Republican candidate for the MN-08 congressional seat currently held by Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN). I’m not blaming the interviewer for that; it’s early. And the candidate nonetheless left himself open to informed criticism, not to mention outright mockery. This guy’s a piece of work.
 

MP: How would you have voted on the final bill ending the government shutdown?
 
SM: I’m not in Washington and I’m not privy to their conversations. I can neither commend nor condemn the votes that they’ve made because I just don’t have access to the strategies or the back-end.
There is such a divisive culture in Washington DC that it would have not been necessary to shut down the government if people were able to come together, put their cards on the table. When you take a look at what the Republicans were asking for, some of this, in hindsight, wasn’t unreasonable.
 
MP: Would you attach any conditions to voting to raise the federal debt limit?
 
SM: First of all, the United States of America has to pay its bills. As we go forward, we have to tie the increases of the debt limit to solid spending cuts, things that are unnecessary: the Department of Energy being turned into a venture capital firm … These are all things that maybe it’s a good in some people’s minds, however, it’s not the true function of the government, the proper function of the government, nor can we afford it, it is not sustainable. So, in a nutshell, yes, anything that we do, budget-wise, has to be tied to spending cuts because our current trajectory is not sustainable.
(MinnPost)

I’ll interpret: Not only would Mills have supported the GOP hardliners on the shutdown/debt limit, he’d in all likelihood be among those that would still want the government shut down, until the losers in the last national election got their way: annihilation of what’s left of the social safety net, and a massive increase in handouts for the rich man and his corporations – like Stewart Mills III himself, and Mills Fleet Farm. And he’d love to feed his own ego, as well. There’s a dose of George W. Bush in this guy: born with diamond-encrusted platinum spoons protruding from every orifice, of course he’s meant to rule!
 
Why not pay some dues in the state legislature, and work his way up? Because “work his way up” has never applied to Stewart Mills III, that’s why. And that should be enough to sour any voter. The most important thing about Mills, though, and candidates like him, is that they represent a failed, dying ideology. Now is not the time to be looking backward, like that. Not that it ever is.
 
All of that being said, it’s critical not to make the mistake of taking this guy’s candidacy too lightly, as I know I did Chip Cravaack, pre-November 2010.
 
Image: wrongforminnesota.com
 

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Stew-Mills_subsidies-graphic-Draft-2There is a righteous, recently-launched progressive blog in Minnesota, and it has, among others, the Republican candidate for the U.S. House in Minnesota’s Eighth District, in its sights. I anticipate plenty more, along these lines, from a wide variety of sources. Even, perhaps, from corporate media, as the vast gap between Stewart Mills III’s fantastical self-promotion as some kind of grass-roots populist underdog, and the reality of his existence as a most favored son of corporate privilege, becomes impossible to ignore.
 

After all the hype about Stewart Mills’ fundraising for the last quarter, we continue to dig. Turns out contributors to Mills’ campaign for the Minnesota 8th Congressional District seat allegedly exploited out of state workers while profiting from a taxpayer funded project to build one of Mills’ own stores. Principals of WIDSETH SMITH NOLTING, a Mills’ campaign contributor and civil engineering outfit, reportedly used questionable practices.
 
From the Finance & Commerce article…The $20.5 million Mills Fleet Farm store, under construction near Highway 212 and Jonathan Carver Parkway, is being built with help from temporary laborers making as little as $7.25 an hour, according to the Local 563 laborers union in Minneapolis.
(Minnesota Politicos)

MN-08 is not a slam-dunk for the incumbent, Rep. Rick Nolan. Among other things, whatever he does on the sulfide mining issue is going to tick a lot of people off – indeed, that‘s already happening. But eventually Stewart III is going to have to start saying a lot more about his neo-libertarian Tea Party ideology, and that stuff isn’t held in high regard, these days. Neither is the party of the government shutdown: the second one that Minnesotans have had to put up with, in short order. As goes for Minnesota’s DFL elected officials in general, I don’t see Nolan as being in any real trouble, unless the economy tanks.
 
image: wrongforminnesota.com
 

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Rick Nolan’s solid spring

by Dan Burns on June 26, 2013 · 0 comments

Rick_Nolan_(D)I have to say that Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN), the U.S. House member from “my” district, has exceeded my expectations. I figured he’d be somewhat left of center, but I certainly didn’t anticipate that his priorities would dovetail with mine on most issues. Two examples:
 

“Regardless of how you feel about the conflict in Syria, we must insure that this matter is openly and thoroughly debated and voted on by the Congress before the United States becomes involved in yet another ‘war of choice’ we can ill afford,” Nolan said. “The simple truth is we have no friends in this conflict. The sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shias has been going on for more than 1,000 years. Sending arms will only escalate the violence and prolong the conflict. This matter, however tragic and sad, will not be resolved by the US’s involvement or intervention and will only invite resentment from both sides, as has been proven time and time again. We must get over the false notion that the enemy of our enemy is our friend.”
(MinnPost)

Believe it or not, that’s from a joint statement with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who is also on board with the proposed legislation.
 
…READ MORE

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MN-08: Nolan wants U.S. out of Afghanistan

by Dan Burns on January 17, 2013 · 1 comment

ASAP, that is.  Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN) is co-sponsoring appropriate legislation.

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan co-sponsored his first bill of the new Congress on Tuesday, looking to bring an end the decade-old war in Afghanistan.

Nolan sponsored the “Responsible End to the War in Afghanistan Act”, which looks to bring American troops home from Afghanistan, end funding for the war effort there and invest the savings in American infrastructure…

The bill was introduced two weeks ago and has about 20 co-sponsors, including Rep. Keith Ellison. It garnered 72 backers last session, when it stalled in committee.

This article (PDF) is some years old, but is a mostly still entirely valid list of reasons why Nolan, and so many others, are right about this.  If the neocowards disagree, they can get their own sorry behinds over there and throw down against the Taliban.  Fat chance of their really putting their efforts where their mouths are, for the first time in their wretched, miserable lives.

This is an excellent start to Nolan’s term.

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Just like Rep. Chip Cravaack’s (R-MN/NH) political career.  I have no problem with either.

Plans to swap state-owned land in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for federal land are probably dead and will need revisiting in the next Congress, U.S. Rep.-elect Rick Nolan said.

Passing the bill in the House was one of the main accomplishments of GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack, whom Nolan defeated in Tuesday’s election. It would fulfill a long-held goal of trading strictly protected state-owned land that’s locked inside the BWCA for federal land in northeastern Minnesota that could bring revenue for the state’s school trust fund.

The Sierra Club and other groups have fought the proposal because they say it would reduce environmental protections on the Superior National Forest land that the state receives, which likely would be offered up for mining and logging leases. They’d prefer to see the federal government buy out the state-owned land instead.

This is all politically tricky because the state legislature passed (with ample DFL support), and Gov. Mark Dayton signed, legislation that is arguably not dissimilar to Cravaack’s bill.  Frankly, it’s often difficult in this matter – quite possibly by design – to determine precisely what various elected officials support, as far as what they might be willing to let the mining companies get away with, in the name of sacrosanct JOBS!  Though certainly Nolan is more oriented to holding those corporations accountable, in environmental and worker protections, than Cravaack was.

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MN-08: Nolan victorious!

by Dan Burns on November 6, 2012 · 0 comments

It’s been called.  Cravaack has reportedly conceded.

I’ll start showing results at about 8:30.  If at any time after that they haven’t been updated for more than thirty minutes, it’s because there hasn’t been any significant change on the Secretary of State’s website. Which is unlikely.  Note that the north part of this district, where Nolan should be stronger, is often slow in reporting.  I recall being up at 4AM on election night in 2010, waiting for those, in an agony of suspense and dread as to whether Governor Dayton, and then-Rep. James Oberstar, would hold on.

Last update: 102AM
Nolan – 52%
Cravaack – 48%
% reporting – 56

921AM: Most recent polls have showed Rick Nolan leading one-and-hopefully-only term Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN/NH), though by only in the range of 2-4 points.  I’ll be heading out to vote for Nolan, among others, shortly. All and sundry are welcome to join me here, from time to time, later.  You can also check out the Minnesota DFL’s “Chipocrit” website, and/or send thanks, or even pizza, to the glorious folks at Take Down Cravaack.

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It seems Tea Party Congressmen Chip Cravaack and Paul Ryan have more in common than the Ryan budget and working out in the same gym: both have refused to co sponsor key pieces of legislation designed to address the epidemics of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Breast Cancer.

Autism and Breast Cancer have been declared public health crises affecting millions of American families every year.  Rates for both are quite high: an estimated 1 in 88 children will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, and 1 in 8 American women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.

Two major pieces of legislation designed to address the epidemics of breast cancer and autism were proposed during the 112th Congress. Both garnered bi partisan support:

235 Representatives co-sponsored H.R. 3067, the Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act of 2011.

100 Representatives co- sponsored H.R. 2005, the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011.

But not Chip Cravaack and Paul Ryan.

It’s particularly troublesome that Chip Cravaack did not co sponsor H.R. 2005.

As the parent of a child with an ASD, he should have been front and center promoting that important initiative as well as other legislation benefiting those battling the disorder.  Yet Cravaack remained silent about autism until it benefited him to do so. He didn’t even bother to join the Congressional Autism Caucus. Indeed, Chip Cravaack was willing enough to talk about his child’s autism to help him get re elected, but he wasn’t willing to help children with autism in Congress.

Cross posted from Iron Country Free Press

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MN-08: The Compassionate Side Of Politics

by keewatinrose on November 4, 2012 · 0 comments

Much is written about the dog-eat-dog world of northern Minnesota politics, but rarely do we get a glimpse into the more compassionate side of politics in the Fighting 8th: the close personal relationships that are forged over working for the common good. But today long time 8th Congressional District DFL Chair Don Bye shared this very personal story:

Much has been circulated establishing why Rick Nolan is most qualified to represent our 8th District. Let me relate an added personal reason.

My wife Meg died at the end of May this year. Meg was diagnosed with cancer in 2007. Determined to live as “normal” a life as possible, in 2008 she ran for legislature here in Rick’s home area. Knowing she had an uphill race, Rick offered to help. We had long known Rick and family on an enjoyable, but occasional basis.

Rick met Meg at 6:00 A.M several mornings, took her around to his coffee groups in Emily and Cross Lake, with door knocking and sign placing afterward.

When no younger candidate surfaced in 2010,Meg determined to try again. Knowing it was an uphill venture; Rick was there again with his ingratiating manner and upbeat support.

Last January we received the horrible news that Meg’s condition was hopelessly and imminently terminal. On hearing that Rick left a campaign meeting early, came to the hospital in Minneapolis and met and consoled with our whole attending family.Despite the turmoil of campaigning, Rick stayed in touch by phone and in person through Meg’s declining months.

The day after Meg died Rick interrupted campaigning to come out and sit on our porch, comforting and consoling. Days later Rick and wife canceled other campaign and family commitments to be at Meg’s funeral, and both have kept in personal touch.

That is why I’ll vote for Rick Nolan for whatever he wants to run for as long as he wants to run.

Cross posted from Iron Country Free Press

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