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Sarah Anderson

Sandy_Hook_Gun_Tragedy_Tim_Walz_NRA_CandidateWhat is the difference between a dozen dead second graders and a dozen dead high school students?
The high school students’ best friends will be able to vote next year.
And no, I will not apologize for the strong words and horrifying imagery. It is time for strong words and horrifying imagery.
I am facing a number of different poltical choices this year. Some of them come in two weeks at the Minnesota DFL (Democratic Party) Convention in Rochester. I’m a delegate, and I will be casting my vote to endorse two US Senate candidates, the State Auditor, the State Attorney General, the Secretary of State, and the Governor. Recently, I was engaged in the endorsement decision for my US House District, and my local state House Representative is up for election.
Filtering out races that are fait accompli, there are three people running that I am firmly committed to NOT vote for, and to work against in any way possible, because of their contribution to America’s gun-hungry, gun-happy, gun-crazy culture.
They are, in order of geographical zone covered by their potential purview as an elected official:
Tim Walz, currently in the US House representing Minnesota’s first district, now running for the endorsement for Governor of Minnesota; Erik Paulsen, running for re-election to the US House, and Sarah Anderson, running for re-election to the Minnesota House.
I can not vote in early June for Tim Walz’s endorsement because for the last 12 years he maintained an A rating form the NRA, took their money, voted mostly as they told him to vote, and made numerous public statements in support of this gun culture.


EricF put up a post yesterday (with video!) where Plymouth Republican Sarah Anderson mistakes Rochester New York with Rochester Minnesota – while in session, at the capitol.

It’s the kind of stuff that can’t be made up.  But hey – it’s not as if Sarah Anderson hasn’t had video-worthy activities in St. Paul before – let’s look!

campaign report, Sarah Anderson, Plymouth, GOP, Representative, legislature, SD 43A, extremist, extremism, Rochester, convention, civic center


At least a Republican TRIED fact checking

by Eric Ferguson on February 19, 2012 · 1 comment

That’s good that a Republican legislator tried some fact-checking. As often as we chide them for repeating talking points without looking into them, or even for being clueless about their own bills, we must give credit where it’s due. If it’s done badly, well, that’s just lack of practice I’m sure. So credit to Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth) for trying to support her effort to end Minneapolis’ sales tax to pay for its convention center on the grounds that it competes with Rochester for national events by citing the large events Rochester’s convention center hosts.

If only, well, wasn’t including the New York DECA 2012 state career conference in the list a sign that maybe something else needs to be checked? Guess not. Rep. Jim Davnie (D-Minneapolis) had the awkward task of pointing out that Anderson had the wrong Rochester.

Oops. So I guess we need more than one tank of gas on our trip to see the Twins’ Triple A team.

On the substance, is there a case for revoking the convention center sales tax? Or was that it? If there’s a case, I guess then make it, and we can respond on the points. If the premise is just that it’s unfair to Rochester, then it’s just factually wrong. Rochester isn’t able to host those sorts of events, but on the other hand, Rochester has been asking for funding to expand its civic center. The governor included it in his bonding proposals, so if Anderson or other GOP legislators want to address a real problem, there’s their chance.

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The lady doth protest too much, methinks

by TonyAngelo on May 18, 2011 · 0 comments

The following video features Rep. Sarah Anderson getting a tad bit upset when someone (Pat Hentges, the Mankato City Manager) dares to call her redistricting plan a gerrymander. She then gets upset at those in attendance for cheering on one of her DFL colleagues (Melissa Hortman) and then gets upset with said colleague.

Sarah Anderson want’s to make sure everyone knows that the redistricting plan she authored is super fair and not a gerrymander at all. Really. For super serious. Definitely not a gerrymander. Why would you even suggest that? Don’t you know how awful it makes Sarah feel when you call her redistricting plan a big fat gerrymander?

Cause it’s totally not a gerrymander:

Let’s take a quick look at one aspect of the plan, the incumbents who would get drawn together. If this was truly a “fair” plan we would expect the instances of incumbents getting drawn together to breakdown roughly evenly between the types of match-ups. Is this what happens?

Incumbent match-ups in house GOP plan
GOP vs GOP: 1
DFL vs DFL: 7
DFL vs GOP: 5

All but one of the incumbent pairings includes a DFLer and the majority are DFL on DFL. Essentially what was done with the map was to draw first ring suburban DFLers into seats with outer ring suburban DFLers and GOPers while at the same time creating a bunch of suburban open seats ripe for GOP pickups.

Some further context; there are a total of 109 Republicans in the Minnesota legislature and 92 Democrats. That means 21% of the DFL caucus would get drawn into a district with another incumbent while a whooping 6% of GOPers would suffer the same fate.

But that totally happened by chance and was not at all part of an effort to draw DFLers into districts with each other. Seriously. Why doesn’t anyone believe Sarah Anderson when she insists that her plan is most certainly not a gerrymander.


The Tea Party Protection Plan

by TonyAngelo on May 10, 2011 · 1 comment

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe Minnesota House GOP’s recently released congressional redistricting map, authored by Rep. Sarah Anderson, is a rather devious little gerrymander. It solves the “Peterson problem” for the GOP in a creative way, handing him a more liberal district than even Jim Oberstar had while at the same time drawing Chip Cravaack a considerably more conservative district than the one he is currently Representing.

Additionally Michele Bachmann’s CD6 remains largely intact and Eric Paulson’s CD3 gets slightly more red. The surprise is that the House Education Committee Chairman, Rep. John Kline, doesn’t get any help, in fact his CD2 gets slightly more blue. On the DFL side CDs 1, 4 and 5 don’t change much at all in terms of partisans.

Here’s what the Obama percentages in the districts would look like under the Anderson plan (current Obama percentages in parenthesis) [this information was obtained by plotting the Anderson map in Dave’s Redistricting App which does not go down to the block level, so these numbers are not exact, they are however close enough for this analysis]:

CD1: 51% (51%)
CD2: 49% (48%)
CD3: 50% (52%)
CD4: 64% (64%)
CD5: 74% (74%)
CD6: 45% (45%)
CD7: 45% (47%)
CD8: 56% (53%)

As I alluded to in the first paragraph, the main thrust of this plan is to solve the “Peterson problem” for the GOP. What is the “Peterson problem” you ask? Let me explain.
As it is currently drawn, CD7 is a natural GOP district with an R+5 tilt that is held by a DFLer, albeit a very conservative DFLer, but a DFLer nonetheless. Collin Peterson fits his district rather well ideologically, so from the DFLs perspective it doesn’t really matter that he’s on the conservative end of the spectrum because the district he represents is conservative.

This is seen in the SILVER scores for the Minnesota delegation. For those who aren’t familiar with them, SILVER scores are a measure of how partisan a legislator is in the context of the district they represent. The purpose is to measure the amount of partisan value a legislator provides to a party over or under what would be expected.

Collin Peterson’s SILVER score is -.04, about even. He’s really conservative for a Democrat, but he represents a conservative district and it all comes out in the wash. But if you move Collin Peterson from his R+5 district to what would be a more liberal district than the current CD8, all of a sudden he becomes an asset for the GOP; a conservative Democrat in a liberal district.

Since the GOP can’t beat Peterson in the 7th, they simply move him to a different, more liberal,  district and let the DFL deal with it. It’s a truly devious little maneuver by the GOP, but unfortunately for them Tom Emmer did not win the Governor’s race and I don’t see Mark Dayton coming anywhere close to signing onto this plan.

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The Sarahmander

by TonyAngelo on May 5, 2011 · 1 comment

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe GOP House redistricting plan authored by Rep. Sarah Anderson passed out of committee Tuesday on a party line vote. Despite this, the plan is fair, or so say’s it’s author:

[Rep.] Anderson characterized her propsal as a “fair plan” that is based on the population growth derived from the 2010 census.

Of course those responsible for drawing the map consider it to be “fair,” but is it?

Let’s take a quick look at one aspect of the plan, the incumbents who would get drawn together. If this was truly a “fair” plan we would expect the instances of incumbents getting drawn together to breakdown roughly evenly between the types of match-ups. Is this what happens?

Incumbent match-ups in house GOP plan
GOP vs GOP: 1
DFL vs DFL: 7
DFL vs GOP: 5

All but one of the incumbent pairings includes a DFLer and the majority are DFL on DFL. Essentially what was done with the map was to draw first ring suburban DFLers into seats with outer ring suburban DFLers and GOPers while at the same time creating a bunch of suburban open seats ripe for GOP pickups.
The fact that the GOP map is so favorable to the GOP is hardly surprising but it’s encouraging that unlike Virginia, where the state Dems basically got rolled, Minnesota Democrats rejected this blatant gerrymander in committee, where it passed on a party line vote.

So what does the maps author, Rep. Anderson have to say about this DFL heavy incumbent packing?

Pairing incumbents wasn’t our focus in putting together this plan. We tried to protect communities by avoiding carving up cities and counties.

To which I respond; (cough)Bullshit(cough).

I mean, even Larry Jacobs doesn’t like it:

But the map is pretty clearly drawn to protect Republicans, said Larry Jacobs, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. It pairs far more Democratic than Republican incumbents, and many lines seem to be drawn to provide safe districts for members of the large GOP freshman class. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton would likely veto it.

“My concern is this map is going to be dead on arrival because it appears to favor Republicans, and I’m not sure what’s gained by that,” Jacobs said.

The GOP basically had two options for drawing their maps; the mutual option or the go it alone option. The mutual option, which appears to be completely off the table at this point in time, would have been something worked out between the two parties that they could both agree on.

Once the GOP knows that they aren’t going to be able to work out a deal, or they decide they don’t want to work out a deal, there isn’t much point in drawing a subtle gerrymander, they’re probably better off drawing the “traditional” map that favors them the most (traditional meaning they follow all the standard rules; compactness, not splitting towns and counties, etc).

This is because if the courts end up drawing the final maps, the maps created by the two parties will be considered as part of that effort and the GOP will want to make sure the judges see some of their “ideas.”

I’m not going to spend too much time breaking this map down because the chances of it actually becoming law are exceedingly unlikely, but it does provide an example of what a good partisan gerrymander looks like; make incumbents of the other party fight it out and create open seats in territory favorable to your side.

Nice gerrymander Sarah Anderson!


I want to take this opportunity to get back onto a favorite hobby horse of mine, the much talked about, Minnesota Redistricting Commission. If you’re unaware of what I’m talking about it’s the brainchild of Walter Mondale, Arne Carlson, Al Quie and Roger Moe, so it must be super good and extra bipartisan.

A quick explanation:

The Mondale-Carlson plan establishes a five-person commission of retired appellate judges – four appointed by legislative leaders of the two parties and one selected by the four appointees. Their commission’s redistricting plan would go back to the Legislature and governor for an up-or-down vote. Mondale and Carlson believe there would be strong political pressure to support the commission plan.

Larry Jacobs, whom I mentioned earlier, also favors the “retired judges” method of redistricting.

[Jacobs] prefers an alternative previously supported by the state’s three major parties that would have “unelected, nonpartisan retired judges” draw the maps and submit them to the Legislature and governor for up or down votes.

Basically the entire Minnesota political class supports this commission idea and they all keep going back to it as a sure cure for all of our redistricting woes. The Mondale-Carlson redistricting plan is a virulent idea and likes to plant itself into the brains of supposedly reasonable people. It’s a solution that doesn’t really solve the problem it seeks to solve, it simply paints that problem with a nice bi-partisan brush and calls it a day, while not actually addressing any of the root issues.

Why is it better to have a panel of “unelected, nonpartisan retired judges” draw maps that the legislature and governor still have to approve? Why are unelected judges the right people to draw the lines? Is there such a thing as a non-partisan judge? How do you know a judge is non-partisan? Shouldn’t there be a few citizen’s on such a panel, like in Minneapolis?

If the idea is to take politics out of redistricting, than why do politicians select the “non-partisan” judges? And if we’re just going to let judges draw the lines, why not keep the system we have, since that’s who almost always ends up drawing the lines anyway. I could go on, but you get the idea.

I’m not against the idea of a non-partisan redistricting commission, I’m against this particular non-partisan redistricting commission.

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