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MN 08

millspartying2All three certainly have a great deal in common. A few of the basics:
- Each owes it all to vast helpings of unearned privilege.
- They are not precisely thick-witted, but certainly by no means of outstanding intelligence in any meaningful sense of that phrase. And, psychologically, each appears to be a delusional narcissist, which means they can be readily manipulated by anyone who properly strokes their egos.
- It would be, or would have been, much better if all three, and everyone like them, stayed out of politics, past, present, and future.
You know, it’s a tough, tough call, and I’m not sure that there’s any point to a drawn-out parsing of the minutiae. I do know that if Mills wins this race, he will almost certainly display future ambition far beyond being a low-seniority member of the U.S. House. That seems ridiculous, but, like I said, “delusional.” It would be best if voters firmly put an end to that, in 47 days.
That being said, my general sense is that Mills is more like George W. Bush than he is like Mitt Romney. W., more so than Mitt, always seemed genuinely flabbergasted at any indication that the whole world doesn’t worship him as much as he does himself. Stewart III comes across that way, too.


MN-08: A little cheese with that whine, Stewart?

by Dan Burns on September 15, 2014 · 1 comment

This ad was uploaded to YouTube some days before the “Steve” ad that has backfired badly. So it’s not surprising that this is the one that seemed to be blanketing the airwaves Friday night. I watch little television, but I was tired and idly flipping channels, then.

Some of you may recall the final reelection campaign, in 2000, of the late U.S. Sen. Rod Grams (R-MN). At one point, he aired an ad with his own mother waxing indignant about the attack ads aired on behalf of his opponent; “Stop picking on my boy!” or some such thing. (I couldn’t find a video.) Grams lost. To Mark Dayton, in fact.
Mills’s campaign has been a consistently ridiculous clown show. There’s no reason to believe that any time of his spent in Congress would be a damn bit different.

This great, must-read item from Developers Are Crabgrass notes that:

- Mills does indeed explicitly support additional federal tax cut welfare for himself;
- He is far, far more wealthy than is generally realized;
- He also has a gig as a vice president of something called “Crow Wing Oil Company,” which “appears to be a shell for commodity speculative trading adventure.” (It’s not a big company, but it doesn’t have to be. They quite possibly do mostly just buy, transport, and sell fuel oil. But in this day and age, when a candidate for high-profile elective office discloses any financial interest in Big Filthy Fossil Fuels, people will raise questions. As they should.)

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millspartying2In so many words. (That would be Stewart Mills, running against Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN)). To wit:

But Mills doubted 8th District voters would be swayed by the candidates’ international viewpoints.
“The people within the 8th District aren’t necessarily concerned with foreign policy first,” Mills said. “But at the end of the day if we have people abroad able to launch another Sept. 11-style attack, we need to deal with that.”
(Duluth News Tribune)

Italics mine. Yeah, my MN-08 neighbors and I go around trembling in fear of another 9-11, and, in our ignorance, just count on neocon Republicans to protect us, like the Bushleaguers did. Heck, we’d be hard-pressed to find the United States on a globe, much less the Middle East. That’s why we’re so in need of wisdom and guidance from the mighty intellect of Stewart Mills III.
Still think the title of this is an exaggeration? Dig:

Rep. Nolan does not support making private handgun ownership illegal. And it’s telling that the Mills campaign is so fixated on guns at the expense of other issues that are especially important in this district, like labor/union rights.


MN-08: A look at Stewart III’s website

by Dan Burns on September 5, 2014 · 2 comments

12376938Maybe a couple of months ago by now, Stewart Mills III, the Republican candidate vs. Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN), brought in some help for his campaign. Said help apparently recognized the biggest problem, and was able to do something about it; Mills seems to have become a lot less prone to saying really foolish things, in public. This recent puff piece shows him being as careful as can be. But we did see a bit of the “Old Stewart,” a little over a week ago.

So, I figured I’d go to his campaign website, and see what he has to say about things, right? I mean, there should be an “issues” page, talking about where he’s at on, for example, labor unions.
Negative. There is no such page on Mills’s campaign website.

So, it’s probably going to be up to Rep. Nolan to ask him, for example, during a debate, what he really does think about unions. And, more specifically, what he’d think if Mills Fleet Farm workers tried to unionize. (If, in fact, he can. “rick nolan stewart mills debate schedule” turned up nothing specific. If anyone knows otherwise, please comment.)
I’m frankly surprised that the national GOP hasn’t done even more for Mills. In their deluded minds, he can show that it is indeed “cool to be conservative.” (Yes, the righties really have been using that, for quite a while in fact, to try to appeal to the young’ns. It has not worked.)


It doesn’t take a lot of observation to get that Mills is one of those “permanent adolescent” types. (That’s not just based on his general style, but also his want of rhetorical self-discipline, and his exceptional sensitivity to criticism.) We all know some; I have personal friends among them. They can be good at many jobs, and first-rate husbands and/or fathers. But they don’t belong in elective office, making decisions that impact the lives of all of us.


Rep. Nolan opposes Enbridge Sandpiper route

by Dan Burns on August 18, 2014 · 1 comment

1098432_644541492223499_1490753966_nWith so much attention focused on the Keystone XL proposal, it can slip one’s mind that there are proposals from Big Filthy Fossil Fuels for pipelines everywhere.

Citing both environmental and economic concerns, Minnesota’s Eighth District Congressman Rick Nolan has expressed his opposition to the proposed route for the Enbridge Sandpiper pipeline.
In a letter to the Environmental Manager of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, who is evaluating the project’s application, Rep. Nolan spoke of his ongoing concerns, as well as those of local residents, regarding the proposed route’s threat to environmentally sensitive areas of Minnesota. The current route requires the pipeline to cut through vulnerable northern wetlands, porous sandy soil and water tables used for drinking water, and some of the clearest lakes in the state.
“There’s no compelling reason why the Sandpiper pipeline can’t be rerouted to avoid environmentally fragile areas,” said Nolan. “From my meetings and communication with agencies and local advocacy groups, it’s clear there are several alternative routes out there that would take the pipeline south of this region, and thereby prevent a devastating ecological disaster in the event of a pipeline spill.”
(Rep. Nolan press release)

Here’s an overview of the Sandpiper project. Opposition to the proposed route is in fact not a brand new phenomenon.

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MN-08: Mills wrong about unemployment up north

by Dan Burns on August 14, 2014 · 2 comments

millspartying2The other week I posted about how the GOP candidate for Sen. Al Franken’s (D-MN) job, Mike McFadden, had been babbling very inaccurate numbers about unemployment in northern Minnesota. At the end I typed:

The Republican congressional candidate in MN-08, Stewart Mills III, has also talked a lot about joblessness in northern Minnesota, purportedly as a result of Democratic policies – including, presumably, insufficient tax cut welfare for very wealthy people like himself. But it seems that for once he’s shown a bit of sense, if only inadvertently, and has not spouted specific figures that can be factually refuted.

Mills has in fact made at least one specific allegation about this issue. And it too was an exaggeration.

Mills is the vice president of Mills Fleet Farm Corporation, and he made a campaign stop in Duluth on (June 2). He called out Nolan on unemployment in the 8th district.
“We have an 8 percent unemployment rate currently. Contrast that with a 4.5 percent unemployment rate statewide. We know we can do better,” Mills said.

It’s not that hard to get this stuff right. A quick search, a click or two, and:

As of June, 2014, the unemployment rate in this area was 5.8%; compared to the state where the rate was 4.6%. One year earlier, the rate in the area was 6.5%; compared to the state where it was 5.2%.
(My District Data)

8% is about 38% in excess of the correct figure. The national number in June was 6.1%. In context, this is far from Stewart III’s most craptacular display of blundering idiocy, but it’s certainly part of a relentless pattern. Nobody this clueless and careless should be handed political power, at any level.


MN-08: Stewart III can dish it out, but…

by Dan Burns on July 28, 2014 · 4 comments

Oh boo-hoo. That he should get to run negative ads, but not anyone else, is exactly what you’d expect from a spoiled rotten rich kid like Stewart Mills, after a lifetime spent in the embrace of unearned privilege.

Republican Stewart Mills is calling on TV stations and cable networks to stop running a new attack ad directed at him because it contains “false information” and asserts “blatant lies” about his position on several issues. Mills is challenging DFL U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan in the 8th District.
The ad from the AFSCME labor union and House Majority PAC uses a clip of Mills appearing to say that being asked to pay more in taxes is personally offensive. The Mills camp has produced the full video from the event and says the clip was deceptively edited from longer quotes taken out of context…
“House Majority PAC stands behind the facts presented in the ad,” said Matt Thornton, the group’s communications director.

The context of his remarks has in fact been available for some time, and you can decide for yourself how much unfairness is really present.

What a whiner. The Mills campaign recently made a notable addition, which is a likely indication that internal polling isn’t showing what they’d like to see. As is Rep. Rick Nolan’s own I’ve-got-more-important-things-to-do-right-now-like-govern confidence.


MN-08: Mills fumbles the gun issue

by Dan Burns on July 10, 2014 · 2 comments

Stewart Mills III is running for Rep. Rick Nolan’s (D-MN) congressional seat. I have yet to see reliable polling numbers. Here’s Mills’s latest ad.

What Nolan has in fact primarily supported is stronger background checks, favored by around 75-80% of Americans if you average the legitimate polling that I‘ve seen. But where Mills is stepping on his tongue, yet again, is that he apparently forgot he ever said the following.

In 2013 Mills said “So what’s the solutions, we need to put armed security in every school and fund that price tag. We have to stop putting things on our credit card and mortgaging our children’s future to China. The ATF collects approximately $ 24 billion a year in excise fees. If we need to increase the 11% ATF excise fee on firearms to 15% or whatever to pay for it, we need to do that.”

Vote Mills for higher taxes on guns! That ought to work with the base.


So, these things happened on the same day. One, the state DFL released a video juxtaposing one GOP candidate who thinks his wealth is all it takes to be qualified for public office with a former and possibly future GOP candidate who thinks the same thing. They think they pay their fair share of taxes by paying the lower rich guy rate, which rich guys had lobbied hard for and thereby think they earned. Not that anyone would mistake beer bong guy with Mr. 47% by voice or appearance, but in attitude, hard to tell them apart.


The other thing that happened was given away if you followed the Daily Kos link above. A poll of potential candidates in the 2016 New Hampshire GOP primary found the leader by a long way is, really, Mitt Romney. At 24%, he’s 15 points ahead of runner up Chris Christie. Actually, the fact Gov. Traffic Jam comes in second would be all the indication we need of the state of the GOP field. Oh yeah, among the pundit class, concern that Democrats are the ones with a thin bench is a thing. A funny, funny thing.
But hey, who thought we would get to put these pictures together?

Stewart Mills beer bong Mitt Romney etch-a-sketch


Labeling Kline and Paulsen as out of touch

by Dan Burns on June 12, 2014 · 3 comments

kline 1176138_546177168752935_1735475244_n

I agree with those arguing that the main reason Eric Cantor got beat like a drum is because his district was effectively convinced to regard him as a guy lost in DC ambition, who didn’t care any more about, and in fact was just using, the homefolks.

Which got me thinking about a couple of House incumbents in Minnesota. I mean, come on, Rep. John Kline (R-MN) practically revels in maintaining an aloof distance from, and even an almost contemptuous attitude toward, his constituents. (The ones that aren’t millionaires, that is.) And while Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) perhaps is spending some time here, if that‘s so, I never see it noted in the paper or anything. Even if he is, the perception could well be that he isn’t, because the guy is basically an ambulatory no-charisma zone.
My thinking in this is undoubtedly influenced by the fact that as a voter in MN-08, I retain clear memories of how well the “out-of-touch“ charge worked for Chip Cravaack against Jim Oberstar in 2010. And the fact that the incumbent apparently didn‘t realize how much trouble he was in, until it was too late. (Note that the e-newsletter for MN-08’s current House member, Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN), constantly features images of, and articles about, him hanging out with constituents, of all ages.)
I have to mention that the potential fatal flaw in this is that my examples involve the “out-of-touch” attack working when pitched to right-wingers. Those aren’t the voters that could oust Kline and/or Paulsen in November. I don’t know that the approach has been shown to work in motivating the more issues-based center-to-left crowd.