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by on September 21, 2014

Robin Marty December 5, 2006 at 10:04 pm

(just testing my footer)


Robin Marty December 5, 2006 at 10:06 pm

I’m a spammer


Robin Marty December 5, 2006 at 10:08 pm
Robin Marty December 5, 2006 at 10:10 pm
snappy December 6, 2006 at 12:02 am

it’s a trap!


Joe Bodell December 6, 2006 at 8:29 pm

I’m working on a few layout issues with SoapBlox right now, but yeah, polls are sweet.


Ag December 7, 2006 at 1:10 am

that shows the number of comments (and if there are new ones) in the diaries.


DFL Links December 7, 2006 at 1:39 am



kfred December 7, 2006 at 3:04 am

Preview is my frien’

Now, if this is like DKos and ePM, that will be bold.  So I’m going to take my own advice and preview!


Joe Bodell December 7, 2006 at 3:30 am

Consider this a test as well – just making some posts have more than zero comments :)


kfred December 12, 2006 at 2:10 am

I un-trolled you.


Joe Bodell December 7, 2006 at 6:56 am

That’s probably why it looks familiar.


Jeff Fecke December 9, 2006 at 10:42 am

So Nyah!  :P


kfred December 11, 2006 at 6:55 pm

But you have to see what happens and how it shows up anyway.


P.S.  My typing sucks this morning, you could troll rate me back!!! 


smit2174 December 12, 2006 at 1:47 am

Max, I agree with you. No one should have an anointed position as “the front-runner” or “the nominee.”

I will be waiting to examine all the candidates before I decide who to support.

Ditto goes for the nominations for President and for the CD6 race.


Joe Bodell December 13, 2006 at 7:37 pm

The single-diary page didn’t have the header bar – I’ve added it, and made the blog title a link back to the homepage – good call.

Any other technical suggestions are more than welcome.


smit2174 December 15, 2006 at 6:42 am

When you click on a comment in the main page Comments sidebar, the page doesn’t have a banner.


Joe Bodell December 15, 2006 at 9:38 am

I’ll fix that first thing in the morning – keep the bugs coming!


Ag December 15, 2006 at 3:27 am

so, all you had to do is copy/paste and you’re done – right? ;)


Joe Bodell December 15, 2006 at 9:36 am

Dork :)


smit2174 December 19, 2006 at 6:07 pm

great work!


Ag December 19, 2006 at 11:06 pm

Best National News Aggregator


Hal Kimball December 20, 2006 at 3:55 am

Thanks for the compliment Joe…we’ll try to set the bar high!

Great work on Hammond.


DFL Links December 20, 2006 at 8:20 pm

Thanks for the front page promotion! 



Charlie Quimby December 21, 2006 at 6:15 am

Joe, Thanks for the link. We agree in general, but I have a different opinion on how a gas tax should be viewed, which I posted here.


Joe Bodell December 21, 2006 at 8:02 pm

Again, I’m the politico, not the economist – I defer to your judgment on how to define it.  But in terms of larger tax policy, I can live with some regressive taxes if the general welfare is being served – in this case, by using the proceeds to invest in rail transit and renewable energy.


Julie Risser December 21, 2006 at 10:10 pm

Raising the gas tax isn’t going to generate revenue for light-rail or for wind turbines because it is constitutionally dedicated to roads.
I am in favor of raising the gas tax because we need to repair roads and carry out strategic construction projects that will curb congestion- pot holes and congestion result in wasted time, wasted gas, more accidents and more air pollution.
MVST will give mass-transit a boost. And because like the gas tax it is dedicated funding that means we can get some matching Federal funds! Because so many elected officials view raising taxes as political suicide we have missed out on hundreds of millions of dollars in Federal funding over the years.
As for renewable energy – it is critical that dollars stop flowing so readily to coal projects – we need the economic incentive to promote wind generation and yes conservation. This week people could testify about the proposed $2.15 billion coal gasification project proposed for a undeveloped site in the woods near Taconite Minnesota. It will require road construction, railroad, natural gas lines, and a water treatment plant (costs the plant owners probably won’t carry). Because Minnesota doesn’t produce coal – coal will need to be imported – we already get approximately 70% of our electricity from coal-fired power plants…
And because Minnesota lacks the geology to sequester carbon this project is not exactly a forward looking one.


Joe Bodell December 21, 2006 at 11:06 pm

Then, if more money is coming in for roads, does that mean that more money can be taken from other revenue streams and pushed into renewable energy/rail projects?


Robin Marty December 21, 2006 at 11:36 pm

my bad…

I mean, it’s almost done, I swear….


Julie Risser December 22, 2006 at 12:36 am

One could argue if there is more money revenue generated from raising the gas tax a larger percentage of the revenue from the Motor Vehicle Sales Tax (MVST)could go to transit. Such action would be really helpful for the general population. Demand for bus service and lightrail service are up. And sadly bus service got hit to help fund lightrail – these two mass-transit services should not have to fight with each other for funding. Another way to go is with a sales tax dedicated to transit(gasp!). But think about it – we NEED transit investment.
But back to roads getting the revenue required for upkeep and development is critical. I have heard because we have neglected our roads so long half of the money spent on roads is now going to repair. Our bridges aren’t doing so well either. And to conclude on a sobering note while the MVST Amendment passed apparently estimates on the amount of revenue it would provide were high – auto sales are off…


linkert December 22, 2006 at 12:35 pm
Joe Bodell December 22, 2006 at 10:16 pm

…except that I think user diaries for Fantasy Legislature flame wars are a SUPER AWESOME idea!!


Thetruthisouthere December 22, 2006 at 11:11 pm

The numbers are meaningless.  Just like polls asking if Hillary would be at McCain or Rudy.  Right now numbers are still going to be riding the Dem Tsunami that hit.  But your real point, how will Coleman get his face in the news, no problem. The US Senate is completely different from the US House. If Coleman was a US Rep, then I would agree, but the US Senate operates completely different.  As you well know, having a 51-49 advantage means you get to pick the offices and the Committee Chairs, but little else.  With the filibuster threat and the ability for US Senates to put holds on different matters, things don’t happen with the same hammer to the stone like in the US House.  Plus, I would fully expect that Coleman will get more face time, because most people are not happy with Dole’s ability to manage the GOP Senate Campaign Committee, which Coleman had tried to become head of.  And make no doubt, Coleman will get a bump from the National GOP Convention here in the Twin Cities.  The conventions of both parties are so well-managed now that almost nothing bad happens, unless 1-ply is used versus 2-ply. 

Seriously, the DFL will not want Franken as their candidate,it would be like the Hatch Watch all over again, everyone just waiting for Franken to muff up, ie pull a Dutcher, or blow up, ie Hatch.  As a GOPer, if I could pick the DFL candidate, I would choose Franken.  I am hoping we get him as an opponent. 


Joe Bodell December 22, 2006 at 11:16 pm

Would it stand to reason that Coleman *could* get his face in the news if he works with Democrats to pass bills, giving him the bipartisan reputation that Senators crave, but potentially alienating his conservative base?  You correctly cite the Senate as different from the banana republic of the House, but if we have two years of deadlock in the Senate, how does that help Coleman make news in and of itself?


linkert December 23, 2006 at 12:22 am

to be Redressed in a bad way this season!


mike December 23, 2006 at 7:50 am

Huge Kudos to Bob Collins for getting this thing (nightmare?) started. This should be fun for everyone, except for the possibility of Bob! The Bemidji Beavers have submitted their draft list and are ready to rumble. As a side note I was visiting with my favorite State Rep this evening and mentioned the new fantasy league. I suggested to him that his campaign theme in two years should be “Vote for me, I am for everything!” I suggested to him that to begin building on that theme there should be NO bill that is not worth his co-authorship this year. Unfortunately his ethics and sense of civic responsibility are blinding his judgment. Oh well, let the games begin!


Charlie Quimby December 23, 2006 at 9:05 am

Julie is correct. According the MN/DOT between 1996 and 2005 total operations expenditures grew by only three percent:  “Most of this growth can be attributed to growth in construction operations (those activities that support highway and bridge capital construction projects). Dollars targeted for conducting maintenance operations during this same time period declined by nine percent. Contributing to this reduction was a $36 million shift in funds from operations and
administrative activities to support debt service on bonding for construction projects.”

Meanwhile, labor, steel, concrete, salt and fuel costs have all gone up. A recent story told how job cut backs meant higher paid people had been cross trained and were doing a variety of jobs that used to be done by lower paid staff.

So we’re not just losing ground with congestion by failing to spend the money now. We’re deferring maintenance that will cost us more later.


linkert December 23, 2006 at 11:27 am

A list of current teams…

Just in case you were looking to scope out the opposition.


smit2174 December 24, 2006 at 1:52 am

I saw that one league is full already, and Bob has opened up another!

I am still researching legislators and didn’t make it into League I, so perhaps I’ll be facing off against some of you in league II (or beyond…)


linkert December 23, 2006 at 11:46 pm

… to those potential future teammates (if they are really watching).

Any Legs drafted on our team are expected to follow team conduct rules, which include the following -

- No bimbos on lake cruises.  You may play a polite game of bingo however.
- Use of the word Macaca will lead to an immediate trade or release.
- Any crazy, life-endangering, personal trips to Iraq should be made after the session. (Rep. Lesch, were looking at you)

Thank you, and we look forward to to putting the hated Bemidji Beavers in their place.


Julie Risser December 24, 2006 at 1:43 am

I’m a little weak on the extent and details of State borrowing from Federal funds for roads. I have heard statements such as the asphalt we are putting down today we will still be paying for in 20 years. Do you have figures? Interest rates? An account of how this came to be? Thanks


Joe Bodell December 24, 2006 at 4:21 am

Is this like pitting the Minnesota Twins against the “hated” Milwaukee Brewers in interleague play because they’re “natural” rivals, playing three hours apart?  Or do you guys actually know one another?


linkert December 24, 2006 at 4:41 am

… if it slapped me.  Just trying to have a little fun. 

It’s Confidential who my hated opponent is… just check your Sources.  (nuyk nuyk)


smit2174 December 25, 2006 at 12:45 pm

I finally registered after hours of painstaking research. I will see you in League II! My team’s name is “Quorum of Six.”

Bob still needs a bunch more players for League II, so sign up! The deadline is Thursday noon.


MaxPage December 26, 2006 at 12:15 pm

Smith, you’re going down.  The Good Bye Mady’s are taking League II by storm.


smit2174 December 29, 2006 at 5:30 am



mike December 26, 2006 at 4:17 pm

Like Minnetonka Redress, I (Bemidji Beavers) was also fortunate to get my top two pre-draft picks. Moe and Bakk are  going to be paper pushing maniacs this session! However with 4 rounds to go, it’s way too early to evaluate the strengths of the teams. I was VERY surprised at some of the picks over the first two rounds, echoing the sentiments of “Redress”. In fact 18 of those chosen in the first 2 rounds weren’t in my top 30. With only 8 of my top 20 selected in the first two rounds the  Beavers appear to be in great shape going into the next two rounds. Bottom line, I am shocked at the large number of  effective and hardworking veteran legislators that haven’t been selected as of yet. The next two rounds should be interesting.


Nate December 26, 2006 at 9:35 pm

While I am heartened that I got the second highest ranking in your pre-season two-round evaluation, I have to wonder how it was possible.

In the past TWO sessions, Jim Abeler and Steve Murphy each lead their respective bodies in bills authored by healthy margins. There is no way that one guy should be able to draft both of them.  It’s like the guy in my Fantasy Football keeper league who has LT and LJ.  Its just not fair.  I am tempted to  beg the drafting powers that be to fill out my team with rookies so y’all can compete with me. But then I think about all the chicks and noteriety that will come with being crowned the innagural champion of the fantasy legislature contest, and I can’t help but want to turn on the gas and see if I can’t get all six of my top six picks and run away with this thing.

If you all wanted to quit now, I wouldn’t blame you.  Victory is (nearly) mine. 


Joe Bodell December 26, 2006 at 10:21 pm

I’m feeling a bit Senate-heavy at this point…..Tomassoni, Cohen, and Foley so far.  Hmm.


Joe Bodell December 26, 2006 at 11:00 pm

Apparently my draft list somehow tilted me heavily to the Senate –

Sen. Dave Tomassoni
Sen. Dick Cohen
Sen. Leo Foley
Sen. Chuck Wiger

and toward DFLers who are also men.  Apparently our female legislators also appeared high on other players’ draft lists as well.


Joe Bodell December 26, 2006 at 11:51 pm

Though at least she’s a Republican…Come on Bob, give me one State Rep to work with!


Joe Bodell December 27, 2006 at 12:18 am

Sen. Dave Tomassoni (DFL)
Sen. Dick Cohen (DFL)
Sen. Leo Foley (DFL)
Sen. Chuck Wiger (DFL)
Sen. Betsy Wergin (R)
Rep. Dean Urdahl (R)

mike December 26, 2006 at 4:46 pm

Tried to get hold of Moe and Bakk at their homes over the weekend but was told that they skipped Christmas and were busy at their offices in St. Paul drafting legislation…nothing of importance, just LOTS of it!


mike December 26, 2006 at 10:35 pm

Sine Die and Rep. Abeler may soon discover that being in the Minority puts a bit of a crimp in your ability to pass legislation, much less get it to the floor.


linkert December 26, 2006 at 11:23 pm
linkert December 26, 2006 at 11:29 pm

I have 3 of my top 4, and Linda Scheid, who was 8th on my list.  Now I have to go to the bottom of my list, where all my Republicans are, of which only 5 on my list were taken… Abler, Frederickson, Smith, Tinglestad, and Senjem.

So here’s my lineup so far…

Sen. Rest
Rep. Mahoney
Rep. Clark
Sen. Scheid


linkert December 26, 2006 at 11:35 pm

The number 3 republican on my list… excellent.

Hey!  Someone took Rep. Mark Olson!  Is that a joke?


linkert December 27, 2006 at 12:44 am

I had some Republicans on my list that are not in office anymore.  Yikes!  I thought I checked that factor, boy did I screw that one up.

So in the end I got Sen. Ortman… who I am not happy with, and will hopefully make a change ASAP.

So the Minnetonka Redress lineup…

Sen. Rest
Rep. Mahoney
Rep. Clark
Sen. Scheid
Rep. Severson
Sen. Ortman


mike December 27, 2006 at 1:22 am

With Democrats having almost a bullet-proof majority in each house, I would assume that 85%+ of the points will come from Democrats. The vast majority of Republican points will most likely come from moderates. With those assumptions in place, the Beavers look very strong with Moe, Bakk, Higgins and Lillie leading the Democratic charge. Moderate Republicans Dille and Garafalo will also get their share. Using the past couple of sessions as an historical reference, Moe, Bakk, Higgins and Lillie are bill-authoring maniacs with over 1300 pieces of legislation passing through their little liberal fingers during a typical session. As the late James Brown would say, “I feel good!”


linkert December 27, 2006 at 1:27 am

… but think you may find yourself in the Medium to Moderate range of the standings with all those Moderates.


Nate December 27, 2006 at 7:18 am

As a graduate of the Harvard of Beltami County, I was surprised to see that another fine Bemidjiite would be so short sighted in his take on my draft. 

Jim Abeler writes a lot of legislation.  It doesn’t get passed all that often, but for the past two sessions, he has been the far and away leader in bills authored. Bills = points. If you take away 100 bills from what he wrote last session, he still would have only been in second place in number of bills authored. In that scenario, Bemidji’s own Frank Moe would have the lead, but since he has no track record of bill whoresmanship, I will take the whore I know over the one-year-wonder whore who you have. 

And, while not involved in the process, what do you really think the minority members will do?  It will look a lot better if they throw out a lot of bills and accuse the democrats of obstruction than it will if they don’t try anything.  I think being in a huge minority may INCREASE bill production. 



mike December 27, 2006 at 8:52 am

Nate, first of all I went to High School with Jim Abeler and I 
consider Frank Moe a close friend. Both Jim and Frank are great guys and terrific legislators…regardless of which party they belong to. So back to my original point.

Jim Abeler has authored a large number of bills over the years, especially regarding government operations and procedures. It’s just a hard cold fact that he will have a much tougher time getting these bills through the committee process as a member of the minority. That’s how the game is played. I still expect Abeler will be one of the more effective members of the  House but his success will be somewhat limited by being a member of the minority. Frank Moe wasn’t elected to a Majority Leadership position because of his great smile. He too has proven to be a hardworking, effective leader and now that he is in the majority I would expect that he will have a greater opportunity to author bills and herd them through the process. Time will tell.


Nate December 27, 2006 at 9:26 pm

Since this is the first year, everyone has theories on how things should work.  My strategy is taken directly from my fantasy football experience, where bills = rushing yards and passage = touchdowns. 

A lot of points can be made on bills alone, and, the more times one jackets a bill, the more chances there are that they will break free for a touchdown (signed bill). 

A lot of people here seem to be specializing in third down backs, the sort of legislators who are certain to get a few carries near the goal line, but whose overall production does not make them a sustainable points leader. 


bsimon December 27, 2006 at 7:58 pm

What inquiring minds want to know is…  Who was the bonehead that drafted Mark Olson???  Oh, wait… 


Nate December 27, 2006 at 8:11 pm

Again, pleased to get good grades on my draft, but I worry about any analysis that comes from a guy who had a full sixth of his top 30 comprised of members who are no longer in the legislature. 

For the record, Sams, Kiscaden, LeClair, Cox and Davids are all either lost or left this fall. 


linkert December 27, 2006 at 9:29 pm

I screwed up, and am owning up to it.  At least I only messed up with the bottom half of my list.


mike December 27, 2006 at 8:57 pm

George, great job on your commentary to get things started. I don’t see any A’s out there. An “A” would require a solid lineup from top to bottom with little room for improvement. However, every team has some room for upgrades. Some more than others. Some  a LOT more than others. Roughly speaking it looks like half the teams will be competitive. However, trades, waivers, etc. could change that. Now for my strategy.

There is a lot of pent up demand with the House Dems to get things done after years of being in the minority. My biggest fear is that they overplay their hand with their newfound power and get into a pissing match with Pawlenty. The Republicans will do their job as the minority party to paint the Dems as “tax and spenders”. My hope is that the moderate Dems in the House will help keep things in check. BTW, I don’t mean to imply that Pawlenty shouldn’t be challenged on a number of fronts, he should be, but the Dems have to be careful.

That being said, it would not surprise me at all to see a veto-override on a couple of big issues, gas tax and transportation funding. Now as far as the PFFL, a veto-override is worth huge points and would probably come at the end of the session. An override in the House would be difficult to pull off, but if it did happen it would probably require a coalition that would include some moderate Republicans while at the same time holding the Dem Caucus together. Tough task, but could happen.

So to sum it up. Dems of all shades and stripes will have success this session. But on some of the more contentious issues the support of moderate Dems will be key to either garner the Governors signature or to override a veto. Good luck to all!


linkert December 27, 2006 at 9:26 pm

But there will be far and few of them, and not worth banking on in the PFLL.


bsimon December 27, 2006 at 9:19 pm

Well, I can’t entirely disagree with your commentary.  By the time I added Olson to my picks, I was going on name-recognition, rather than detailed analysis.  It wasn’t until I submitted the picks to the commissioner that I realized the error I had made. 


linkert December 27, 2006 at 9:32 pm

I feel your pain.  Many of us have post-draft regret in some form or another.


Nate December 27, 2006 at 10:22 pm

I would be willing to toss Sen. Gary Kubly on the trade block. 

Anyone with an interesting offer? 

(Before I could finish typing this, Kevin McHale called and offered me two first round picks in the NBA draft for Kubly). 


Joe Bodell December 27, 2006 at 10:23 pm

I’ll give you Dallas Sams and a ham sandwich for Kubly.


mike December 27, 2006 at 9:32 pm

Just had to let you know that I had Abeler at the top of my draft list of Republican legislators. I will be surprised if he isn’t the point leader among House Republicans, maybe by a wide margin.


barefootguy December 27, 2006 at 11:25 pm

This should be interesting.  I almost called my team Gardner’s Groupies but that might not have gone over so well… 



barefootguy December 27, 2006 at 11:26 pm
Thetruthisouthere December 28, 2006 at 2:52 am

I see talk about Cire$i needing to reach out to donors and such, but come on people, he got how many millions of dollars fighting for poor smokers.  Somehow, I don’t think he is worried about donors, and that is why he should be at the top of Chucky Shumer’s list of potential candidates.  He will be the candidate the National Dems want, because he can self-finance the bill with little help needed. 


linkert December 28, 2006 at 9:32 am

I like the direction of the last one (entry #4), though I wonder if the MNCR could be tweaked a bit so they are not stacked as they are.

The first one is too cold.

The second two look like army recruiting ads.

The 3rd reminds me of a MPR or Almanac title…


Demrock6 December 28, 2006 at 8:26 pm

With the golden horses.


tfcsam December 28, 2006 at 10:30 pm

Number 4 – with the capitol bld in the background is clearly the best of all the choices. The others are too dark, to somber, too Rambo, or too…ech. I believe that the banner for this uniquely lively forum should inspire one to participate in the great American non-contact sport of debating everything from politics to sports to whether or not Pepsi Clear was a good idea (not).


Joe Bodell December 28, 2006 at 10:36 pm

Thanks Dad.


Nate December 29, 2006 at 1:03 am

My simple strategy, as detailed above, is two-fold.

1) Get a lot of bills moving. Abeler and Murphy have been the leading authors in their bodies the past two sessions. Lenczewski and Tinglestad have not been slouches either. Those four combined for 1,236 bills last session. 

2) Assume that the more bills you send up, the more you will see moving up and out. 

As for my top 15, here it is (With my team marked). My final team member, Sen. Kubly, made my top 30, but I don’t want to give away his specific location, as he is currently on the trading block. 

*Rep. Abeler
*Sen. Murphy
Rep. Moe
*Rep. Lenczewski
Rep. Peterson, A.
Sen. Pappas
Sen. Higgins
*Rep. Tingelstad
Sen. Tomassoni
Rep. Smith
Rep. Greiling
*Sen. Stumpf
Sen. Vickerman
Rep. Clark
Rep. Kahn


smit2174 December 29, 2006 at 8:13 am

Looks like a great lineup, based on stats from last session. The only one I would dump would be Stumpf, unless you have a justification for keeping him that I don’t know about. I’d release him and pick up Vickerman.

Compare ’05-’06 Bills authored / Own bills signed by gov

Vickerman 244 / 17
Stumpf 171 / 7


smit2174 December 29, 2006 at 5:14 am

I believe you are calculating slightly wrongly. Under Bob’s rules, the most points–50, I believe (excepting a rare veto)– are awarded for a bill that is signed by the governor, but those points are only awarded for the authors of the bill that was actually signed, either the House or Senate version of the bill.

For instance, let’s say Senator X authors a bill and it makes it through, is approved by the House, and her version (SFXXX) is signed by the governor. She gets 50 points for the signature.

Let’s say Representative Y is the author of a similar bill in the House (HFXXX), that was ultimately not the version signed by the governor. He would still get a fair number of points, due to committee passages and whatnot, but would not get the 50 for the gov’s signature.

By my count, 19 of Scheid’s OWN bills in 2005-2006 were signed by the governor. Tomassoni only had 4. Murphy had 15. Rest had 12.

You can look at which version of a bill was the one actually signed by the governor here:

I will post my own rankings and thoughts after the Maroon draft is completed, as I am a member of that league.


linkert December 29, 2006 at 11:04 am

The way I was looking at legislation and it’s authors, it was more work picking out the separate house and senate bills than I was wanting to take.

At a quick glance at the page you shared, it appears the governor hasn’t favored one body over the other.  So my strategy stays the same, but does weaken it a bit I confess.


smit2174 December 29, 2006 at 5:19 am


I actually like numbers 2, 3, and 4.


linkert December 29, 2006 at 8:42 am
Joe Bodell December 29, 2006 at 8:47 am

You know, when you look at a word every day for a couple of years, you don’t even notice when a letter’s missing from it.  The submitter has sent me a corrected copy, but for the time being, just assume it’s fixed :)


smit2174 December 29, 2006 at 5:20 am

I take it Sviggum’s not on your fantasy team, then?



smit2174 December 29, 2006 at 8:05 am

I got my top two picks: Sen. Jim Vickerman and Sen. Linda Scheid.

From the looks of the Gold draft, Vickerman was a bit of a sleeper, so in retrospect I should have moved him down and hoped to grab him in a later round. However, he is a bill-authoring machine (244 last session)–and unlike a lot of others (*cough* Frank Moe *cough*), he actually passes a lot of legislation, and with DFL legislative control his total should only go up.

Linda Scheid does not author quite as many bills, but she is extremely effective at passing them. She should be in the forefront of passing legislation this session.

Many of my top 15 have already been taken: Abeler, Moe, Metzen, Kubly, and Tingelstad. A lot of my top picks are still available, meaning I should be happy with my team no matter what happens in the final rounds.

Here’s the Maroon league draft page:


mike December 29, 2006 at 12:06 pm

For me this is not even a close call.


mike December 29, 2006 at 12:42 pm

I don’t think for a second that the liberal wing of the DFL will by found “high and dry” this session..far from it! After years of being in the minority the DFL will have number of initiatives that will pass the House and many of those will be  successfully pushed by effective senior members who are of a liberal bent. However, it’s safe to assume that many of those bills will be co-authored  by more “moderate” Dems as they share many of the same goals and values. (BTW I really dislike the labels, i.e. “moderate”, “liberal”, whatever, as the label really applies only to a set of particular issues and most legislators are much deeper thinkers than being simply “moderate” of “liberal”.) Please indulge me for my little rant on labels.

Anyway the bottom line is that the Dems have to be careful to not overplay their newfound power. On the issues, Dems win, hands down. It’s great for the Dems to push the envelope a bit and test the waters as they move the State in a new direction but in the end the voters are wary of a sudden, dramatic change. For that reason I see the “moderate” Dems (oh god, I’m using those labels again!) pulling the party back a bit with legislation that will pass muster with the Guv., the public and with even a few Republican legislators. We shall see.


Joe Bodell December 29, 2006 at 8:25 pm

What makes a legislator liberal/moderate/conservative?  Their personal values?  Their district’s PVI?  Is there room in the analysis for legislators who are more conservative or liberal than their district, but exercise charisma and political savvy to keep the votes coming in every biennium?

These are questions I think are worth discussing.  I might push them up in a new diary around mid-day as an open thread.


bsimon December 29, 2006 at 8:16 pm

Sviggum’s move smacks of political expediency.  Aren’t all these one-time rebates and reductions a large part of the reason the state’s in this mess in the first place?  I certainly don’t like the direction my property taxes have been going, but this one-time rebate idea is nonsense.  Rep Sviggum, do us a favor & promote a holistic approach to taxes & services statewide.  Work with your peers to determine what services the state is responsible for & find a way to fund them for the long term. 


Robin Marty December 29, 2006 at 10:39 pm

“from 5-6 PM with my Minnesota Monitor Robin Marty”

I think Smartie might have something to say about that…


Joe Bodell December 29, 2006 at 10:41 pm

Sometimes one word makes all the difference.


greatermn December 30, 2006 at 12:35 am

Like Number 3 if you add a pic of Kilroy.  Needs a little humor.


linkert December 30, 2006 at 1:37 am

I thought about tenure too… but wondered about some of those people, and if they get too comfortable in their elected offices.  Perhaps a leg who has fresher eyes might work harder to press their agenda and pass it.  I’m not sure which leg would be more effective.


Hal Kimball December 30, 2006 at 2:16 am

We’ll be listening intently! 


linkert December 30, 2006 at 10:38 am

We are of alike minds in the big picture. 

I have the opinion that it matters little if you are Senate heavy or House Heavy, as long as your players produce.

You didn’t mention your prediction of the moderate players you commented before.  Did I make too big a deal of that the other day?


smit2174 December 30, 2006 at 9:31 pm

I think that was someone else. I didn’t look at legislators’ political stances at all… in fact, I couldn’t tell you if my team is liberal, moderate, or conservative. (Probably a mix.)


Roseville Dem December 30, 2006 at 12:15 pm

I like #4 the best with the state capital in the picture.


gisleson December 31, 2006 at 11:39 pm

Does Andy understand that Saddam was executed for murdering 148 Iraqis in 1982? His greatest? crime occurred early on under Reagan’s watch while Reagan-Bush were showering Saddam with weapons, intel and money.

You can’t argue with these people: they’re ahistorical idiots who’d rather drown in koolaid than examine actual facts in context.


Hal Kimball January 1, 2007 at 2:06 am

Exactly, AAA fails to embrace a true critical examination of the events around Saddam’s regime in Iraq.

I good friend of mine fled the Kurdish areas of Iraq and Turkey because of the genocide.  The US and other Western nations sold the WMD/Chemical agents to Iraq and did nothing when they were used against Iran and the Kurdish populations.

The Anfal Campaign, the Hussein and Baathist genocide against the Kurds, killed upwards of 182,000.  Chemical weapons purchased through the US were used.  We continued to sell them.  In Halabja, thousands of Kurds were killed.  For the righties like AAA, the noose from which Saddam hung is their image they recall.  I recall the Kurdish father and child, lifeless in the streets because of Saddam and US support for his genocide.

Over an 18 month period of time, the Kurdish population was sytematically attacked.  Our government knew this.  We knew chemical weapons were being used, and did nothing.

Patriotism?  I am tired of right wingers trying to possess patriotism.  I am a veteran and have seen this many times in my travels talking about veterans issues and campaigning for myself and others throughout the state.

AAA probably blogs about these issues from a Conservative POV.  That’s fine.  I blog from a Liberal view.  True patriots do not have to throw the label about as if were coming from Page 2 of the GOP Patriotism Playbook.  As a matter of fact, it is more patriotic to stand in defiance of a system that manipulates facts in order to suit their hidden agendas.

Personally, I am disappointed in the timing of the execution.  I believe they should have waited until after a conviction for the Genocide of the Kurds.  Saddam should have been tried similar to the War Trials in Nuermburg…

Great job Joe…


mike January 1, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Joe, your original comments on this post are legitimate issues that thoughtful, rational people should be discussing and should have discussed on a national level years ago. Unfortunately, folks like Triple A and some others on the far-right have made such a habit of using “patriotism” as their first point of rebuttal that a thoughtful discussion is virtually impossible.


Jeff Fecke January 1, 2007 at 12:23 pm

Seriously, I will never run out of stuff to post so long as he keeps spewing his half-baked tripe.  He makes Brodkorb look like Murrow.

As for your post–I just don’t understand how anyone but Triple A could find it controversial.  You can dislike the fact that Donald Rumsfeld was meeting with Saddam on the very day that Iraq was being cited by the UN for using mustard gas against Iran, you can argue that that was bad and wrong and whatever.

But to argue that to even bring it up is treason–well, that would be a step beyond impossible for anyone but Triple A and possibly Swiftee.  God bless ‘em for their stupidity and venom.


walter hanson January 1, 2007 at 9:12 pm

I’m sorry that you think at least one person has called you unpatroic, but the logic of your argument is to put it mildly “UnAmerican”

To take the biggest premise first which is because the United States supported Iraq at one time therefore we are responsible for what Saddam Hussein did.  To carry that out to extreme than since we helped supply Russia with food and weapons during World War Two than we were responsible for the things Stalin did while he was in power.  Or to go one better since we supplied aide to Germany in the 1920′s than we must be responsible for everything that Hitler did.  Bull!!!! 

As for the intelligence President Bush 43 was using the CIA Director that was still run by a Clinton appointee.  So part of all the talk that Bush manipulated the intelligence should be how he conned President Clinton to appoint someone who will give him faulty intelligence.  And for your premise to stand you have to believe that President Clinton and the other Democrats in the late 1990′s let alone in the 2000′s were lying about weapons.  And that the French, the Russians, and others were just lying to string us along.  Lets not forget one action by President Clinton was that a human source of intelligence was suppose to be somebody who was in good standing.  Those are hard to find and killed the precious need for human intelligence.

Furthermore on weapons of mass destruction especially after the 9-11 attacks the President had to determine if there was a credible threat if left unchecked Saddam Hussein will develope and use them let alone possibly spread them.  Richard Clarke (not a big fan of Bush 43) talked about in his book how he and his group helped uncovered that Iraq was very close to developing a nuclear bomb.  So if you’re President and there is a report that Saddam Hussein is trying to get uranium you will be alarmed.  The fact that Richard Clarke isn’t shows just how much of a political hack he is!

Okay you talked about how we didn’t go into Iraq and finish the job the first time.  That’s because President Bush to get approval for the first Gulf War volunteered we won’t go in and dethrone Saddam Hussein.  Blame Bush 41 for this part of the mess and not Bush 43!  Bush 43 learned from his dad’s mistake and did what should’ve been done in 1991.

And even if you want to say okay we’re giving Iraq support therefore President Bush shouldn’t be responsible.  The economic sancations (thanks to the invassion) have been well documented by now they were being violated.  The people violating them the most were the French, the Chinese, the Russians, and the Germans.  Now who was giving the United States the most grief about wanting to invaded Iraq.  Hint the French, the Chinese, the Russians, and the Germans.  They were more responsible for giving Saddam support than the United States.

To the best of my knowledge that kills the heart of the argument you were trying to make.

Walter Hanson
Minneapolis, MN


Joe Bodell January 1, 2007 at 9:18 pm

Look Walter, this discussion is over.  s a parting shot, however….don’t manipulate the facts.  Bush never said it was about a credible threat that Saddam WOULD EVENTUALLY DEVELOP WMD, he and his Administration made the claims that Saddam ALREADY HAD THEM an that was their rationale for going to war.


walter hanson January 1, 2007 at 11:21 pm

Andy you don’t get it.  So lets go over this more simple.

You said President Bush was lying.  The trouble is that President Clinton and the Democrats in the late 1990′s when President Clinton was in power said Sadam Husein had weapons of mass destruction.  Major Democrat Presidential contenders in 2002 voted to authorize the war saying that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.  At best President Bush was only repeating a lie already told by Democrats!

The discussion point that Bush DIDN’T LIE is moot yet people like you want to go.  You claim he manipulated the intelligence yet the CIA was run by somebody that President Clinton appointed at the time.  Human resources were scare to get intelligence because of the Clinton standard.  The President shouldn’t be fault for making a good decision based on bad intelligence! 

Okay if you want to defend Saddam Hussein why doesn’t he admit that he doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction.  When Libya went public they invited the people in and showed everything.  Part of the problem was that Saddam Hussein and Iraq were acting like they were hiding it!

And if you read your super long rant you were making other points which is what I was responding.

Furthermore if you’re going to invite comments you shouldn’t be upset because you’re doing the job of allowing a person access to comment.  Not to mention I did warn you in the email why I was trying to get access.  Frankily that is being a dicator like Saddam Hussein in trying to control the speech.  You can feel free to comment, but don’t get hurt when you lie or attack other’s people character (like me now) that you will be responded to with logic and facts that can’t be refuted!


Walter Hanson


Robin Marty January 2, 2007 at 4:39 am
Robin Marty January 2, 2007 at 4:39 am

stupid html



walter hanson January 3, 2007 at 10:34 pm

Basically the comment that I wrote to the previous person applys.  I seriously tried to factually attack the whole argument that did the job.  Instead of saying “grrr” and calling me a “Stupid html” try to tear my argument apart.

Walter Hanson
Minneapolis, MN


walter hanson January 3, 2007 at 10:32 pm

Excuse me if you’re going to accuse me of blah than I must have gotten my facts wrong.  What facts were wrong (I will admit I accidently misnamed the writer the second time).

A debate is when people try to counter.  So far I’ve gotten blah!  I’ve been told it was a fact that Bush lied when he didn’t.

So instead of blah why don’t your try to counter.  Or are you afraid to admit that I was right!

Walter Hanson
Minneapolis, MN


Ag January 2, 2007 at 10:46 am

I also like the one with the capital, if only the capital was not in it.  That type of imagery is sooooo over done, and the banner would be stronger with a more original icon.  I do feel though that the type and colors of the image are the strongest and the most fitting of the history of this blog.  The color choices and layout are the most logical evolution of this site’s brand, without a all-out change.  Reinvention in a brand identity is not a bad way to go, but it takes an all out remodification to pull it off successfully, and without full access to all the different column graphics, there is a need to keep with the basic color and feel of the rest of the page.  Only the last two fulfill this need. 

Another problem I have with the capital icon, is the conflict with the name of the site.  Campaigns may get elected officials to the capital, but a site named “MN Campaign Report” does not lend itself automatically to the idea of legislative initiatives, but rather to political maneuverings and campaigns.  It may be argued that including the capital in the header would bring a larger scope to the assumed topics of discussion, but I still don’t think the two [the name and icon] work well together.

So, I just felt like saying more on this than “I like that one, or the other one” 


bsimon January 3, 2007 at 12:05 am

I thought about this approach:

“Other factors I took into consideration were caucus leadership positions and committee chairmanships. From my limited data analysis, I would say that those legislators in leadership positions tend not to “produce” (in fantasy terms) as much as one might expect, but many committee chairmen and -women seem to be very effective at getting their bills passed.”

But then didn’t spend the time to followup with that kind of analysis. 

Where did you get the info on last year’s bill submissions and success rates?


Grace Kelly January 3, 2007 at 1:03 am

Jim Ramstad is vulnerable. Wendy Wilde had some good points on him, she just did not have the resources to capitalize. Jim is just coasting on inertia, without the skills to run a great campaign. Jim’s record is not consistent with the values and interests of Minnesota. If we would had more resources in the everywhere every race campaign strategy, then this race would have been in play. I think that this whole area has been changing and Jim Ramstad has not been changing.


linkert January 3, 2007 at 12:38 pm

… but he needs a strong challenger, backed by a well organized local DFL entity.  From an outsiders perspective (and I say this as someone who has participated minimally, and have no one to blame but myself for this) the west suburban DFL organizations have been afraid, or lacked the will to put efforts to bring up a viable candidate.  I have gotten the sense this might be changing with Bonoff’s and Rudd’s recent victorys, will they keep it progressing?


Charlie Quimby January 3, 2007 at 8:52 am

I’m all for originality, but I can think of a lot of “originals” I wouldn’t want in office, while another Tim Walz carbon copy would be just fine with me. I’d rather see authenticity with a spine.


bsimon January 3, 2007 at 8:49 pm

If I were the DFL, I would aim at the 6th more than the 2nd or 3rd.  I suppose it all depends on how the current Representative acquits herself, but this seat could be an easy pickup – with the right nominee.


Joe Bodell January 3, 2007 at 9:16 pm

Bachmann’s too insane not to draw some focus.  But that’s been sort of assumed from day one, I think, and I think we need to think long and hard about the 2nd and 3rd as well.


linkert January 3, 2007 at 9:30 pm

We’re on the way to the capitol for some sightseeing.  We’ll be the large guy pushing the double stroller.


Joe Bodell January 3, 2007 at 10:36 pm

But I’m going right to the Tavern on Grand for Frank Moe’s inaugural party/event/thingie.


Hal Kimball January 4, 2007 at 3:23 am

It was not much of a shock seeing Bachmann win the 6th.  Wetterling did not mount any sort of serious campaign in the Wright County area of CD6.  I can recall one parade visit to Cokato and one of her campaign workers came to door knock with us once in the area.

That said, fundraising and name recognition were strong for Democrats in CD 6.  Our candidate lacked originality and had zero politcal acumen. 

And honestly, I am not sure how well Ellwyn would have done out here either, but would be open to giving him a shot.

With conservative bloggers and radio hosts damning the GOP for a lack of conservative values, I see them annointing Bachmann as their so called messiah.  Especially with the GOP base coming to MN in 08, she will be the poster child of the GOP…and will be tough to beat.

Ramstad will be tough as well.  He’s a moderate in many respects…

Kline should be the target.  He, like Mark Kennedy, followed in step with Bush.  He runs strong handed attacking campaigns which people are growing weary of.  Not knowing CD 2 though, I have no idea who we can put up against Kline, perhaps Katie Sieben, Joe Atkins or Patty Fritz?


Julie Risser January 4, 2007 at 4:42 am

I would argue Waltz was successful in part because he understands the DFL platform. The interview in City Pages was fantastic – he responded to every issue with solid/progressive responses – not inflamatory rhetoric but confident and proud statements. Any viable candidate needs to be able to speak up for Democratic values in this way – name recognition will come with clarity of message..don’t muddy strategy with panic-ridden “we must run a famous name money magnet” thinking. People want someone who will serve the common good – not special interests – people deserve that. In the end it is about policy and issues. If a DFLer wins but isn’t there on progressive values he/she won’t serve well or campaign in a way that helps build the Democratic party.


Joe Bodell January 4, 2007 at 6:41 am

C-Span did it too.  But can we PLEASE spell Walz’s name right?


Julie Risser January 4, 2007 at 7:53 am

Walz deserve better..he did demonstrate that one doesn’t have to be well-financed or a name. We need more like him.


Joe Bodell January 4, 2007 at 8:15 am

Walz ended up raising quite a chunk of change throughout the campaign.  I think it would be more accurate to say that one need not have a name or money at the beginning of a campaign, but the rigors of a Congressional race require the ability to learn how to raise money at a healthy clip.

I don’t mean to diss you again – I just think it’s extremely important for us to define, early on, what a credible challenger looks like in each of the three GOP-conroled Congressional Districts in Minnesota.


Julie Risser January 4, 2007 at 8:38 am

Walz got the chance to run…without a huge bank account in the beginning…without a name. Name recognition and funding grew throughout the campaign. What needs to be recognized is that vision, a clear understanding of DFL party positions, and speaking ability count. This shouldn’t be about finding the biggest name – or wealthiest individual willing to run. It should be about finding quality candidates who can advance progressive politics because they are committed to them. It’s early enough to find another Walz.


linkert January 4, 2007 at 10:27 pm

I have only one point myself so far…


Ag January 5, 2007 at 10:01 pm

for CD 2?  This should get some conversation going :)


Chris January 5, 2007 at 11:46 pm

Tarryl Clark vs. Bachmann in the 6th.

Judi Dutcher vs. Ramstad in the 3rd.

??? vs. Kline in the 2nd.


bsimon January 5, 2007 at 11:53 pm

MNCR asks “Coleman Supports What?”

May I suggest you check the winds? 


Ag January 6, 2007 at 12:05 am

Norm Coleman will jump any ship that he thinks is sinking and claim to support whatever will keep him in office. 

No one can trust him to do anything but what is best for him.


Robin Marty January 8, 2007 at 8:54 pm

“First rule of MFL – you do not talk about MFL”

I bet Collins is really stern.



linkert January 9, 2007 at 11:41 am

I’ll just start my own league… a better one!


Hal Kimball January 9, 2007 at 12:58 am

Larry Hosch vs. Bachmann?

A pro-life Democrat who is now in his second term in the MN House, held off the Stang name to secure his seat.

With my district bordering Hosch’s, I have had the pleasure of hearing him speak and sharing some forums with him.  He is well spoken, bright, and very good on the issues.  He has a background as a mayor of a small town and now 2 terms in the House…

Other than Tarryl Clark, Hosch, and Ellyn, that’s about it.


northstarprogressive January 9, 2007 at 9:44 am

…voting for the Iraq war, which has decreased American security and cost billions?  A hawkish Republican can’t be a fiscal conservative.  It’s just a question of what’s an “acceptable” expense.  Also, did Norm vote for No Child Left Behind?  If so, he voted for an unfunded mandate.  Don’t let Republicans who are trying to paint themselves as fiscal conservatives get away with that.


linkert January 9, 2007 at 12:04 pm

Sounded like a blast though.


Joe Bodell January 9, 2007 at 5:46 pm

If you look at the actual image locations and browse to them, they’ll show up.  However, ND, is there another place you could host them?  Flickr?  PhotoBucket?


Joe Bodell January 9, 2007 at 5:47 pm

Okay, ND, you need to actually upload the pictures somewhere instead of leaving them on your desktop.  It probably works great for you, but no one else has access to your HP.


mike January 9, 2007 at 9:03 pm

While working on a number of legislative campaigns over the years it has been a constant that Republicans, for the most part, rail against raising the minimum wage. It’s like an eternal talking point. However, historically those States that have raised the minimum wage subsequently have higher rates of economic growth and vitality. We can talk economic theory until we are blue in the face, but the bottom line is that raising the minimum wage has proven to expand economies, not stifle them.


bsimon January 10, 2007 at 2:15 am

I read Tice’s post differently.  It looks to me like he’s questioning whether the minimum wage is the best way to incent people to work.  The argument in favor of raising the minimum wage is that you can’t raise a family on $5.65 an hour, or whatever the rate is.  That’s ceratinly true.  But how many people are trying to raise a family on that wage?  If the minimum is raised to $7.55 or whatever the target is, is that a living wage?  Certainly not around here.  Is the minimum wage really the best way to motivate people to get a job? 


Joe Bodell January 10, 2007 at 2:49 am

That is indeed a different reading of Tice’s argument, and the debate over incentives to work is one that we should have.  I look at that argument thusly – people want to work.  Regardless of what Reaganites tell us, Welfare Queens simply don’t exist – our welfare system isn’t that good, especially since Clinton’s early-term gutting of the system.  I look at Tice’s piece as an argument that the macroeconomic effects of a hike in the minimum wage are, in the aggregate, negative, and it’s an argument I disagree with vehemently.


Ag January 10, 2007 at 8:00 am

This is very cool, and needed for some of those fancy devices, but once I get me one of these, I’ll be able to view the real thing anywhere  :)


Joe Bodell January 10, 2007 at 5:36 pm

Some silly iPhone, or MNCR Mobile?  I think we all know the answer to that one.


Ag January 10, 2007 at 7:23 pm

“In bed with the enemy”  “Terrorist sympathizers”  what else would the GOP talking heads say about the Democrats if the shoes were on the other foot?  Kline and Bachmann may not be any of those things, but they have to be out of their heads NOT to want the 9/11 recommendations to be enacted.  What are they thinking?

This makes no sense whatsoever.


Thetruthisouthere January 11, 2007 at 4:42 am

You need to read the entire bill.  Just because the name or express purpose of the bill is To Enact 9/11 Recommendations, it doesn’t mean other language has been added or inserted.  The best thing would be to contact Bachmann’s office and ask why she voted against it.  Odds are you will get an answer, so I have called myself, and will post the answer.


Joe Bodell January 11, 2007 at 9:03 am

Admittedly, the bill is pretty comprehensive – but given the abstract, it’s pretty difficult to understand how anyone, Republican or Democrat, could be opposed to the major highlights.  For a freshman like Bachmann, it comes off as either poor form or overbearing partisanship to vote against 100% cargo scanning at our ports, etc.


Ag January 10, 2007 at 8:02 pm

I like the Star Trek shots better, or maybe the one with Kermit the Frog.


Chris January 10, 2007 at 10:15 pm

Amen, Joe. Bachmann and Kline are 2-for-2, having voted against PAYGO/earmark reform and the 9/11 Commission.

From http://www.mnpact.or

On her campaign Web site, Bachmann correctly observes that “the horrific attack on 9/11 demonstrated that terrorists can bring the battlefield to our shores” and calls for “more effective and efficient homeland security.” Nevertheless, in her first national security-related vote she decided she’s smarter than the members of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission.

Sadly, Bachmann’s vote is understandable. She’s never been one for policy, opting instead to devote most of her time in the Minnesota Legislature to social issues and grandstanding for the media and her extremist supporters.

Kline, on the other hand, has no excuse. He touts his military experience at every opportunity and should know as well as anyone on Capitol Hill that you don’t fight the next war based on the game plan used in the last one.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Congress and President George W. Bush wisely took steps to prevent passengers from bringing weapons onto airplanes and required reinforced cockpit doors to make another hijacking less likely.

To that end, the terrorists will probably try a new way to impose their murderous ideology on the U.S. Protecting ports and screening all airplane cargo is the next logical step toward securing the homeland. It’s unfortunate it required a change in congressional leadership to move forward on this common-sense solution.


DFLBunny January 10, 2007 at 10:49 pm

Our lives have been bettered by this blogging breakthrough.
We thank you.


Chris January 11, 2007 at 4:49 am

Bachmann and Kline vote against it. Ramstad for it.


Dirke January 11, 2007 at 11:11 am

From The New York Times
January 9, 2007
Democrats Split Over Iraq Approach


“I don’t think we should be pulling back any funds,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat who was elected in November. She said she would oppose a proposal to block money for a troop increase.

The Democratic Party sailed to victory in midterm elections in the fall on a promise to change course in Iraq.

My question is….is Klobuchar going to get a free pass from the Minnesota DFL on this absurd position that is aligned with a maligned Republican Party position on Iraq, or is she going to act as if the voters put her there?

Makes me sick to my stomach!!


Ag January 11, 2007 at 7:28 pm

For the Bush “Surge”  I put it at the bottom of the diary I wrote, but it is really worth a watch:


edgesmash January 11, 2007 at 8:16 pm

“Is it really that surprising that states with  high aggregate standards of living (Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, California) have minimum wages well above the federal minimum?  Just sayin’.”

Be careful when you imply causation here; many factors could be the cause of the higher minimum wage (and the aggregate standard of living). Not to mention that the cost of living is likely higher in those states as well (minimum wage in Montana might get you by, but try living in San Fransisco).

That’s all. Keep up the good work.



Ag January 12, 2007 at 12:08 am

She’s gonna need to be able to prove what she has led. 

Say’n it ain’t prov’n it.

And that quote by one of her opponent’s supporters, come on, that sort of divisive talk is exactly why she is the wrong choice.  Way to go and attack the exact same people you’ll need to get the endorsement. 

If she thinks branding the DFL as soft on crime is a good idea, she will not get very far.  It is not accurate nor honest to make those broad statements without backing it up, one individual does not make “people out there saying that I’m too tough on crime.”

Not a good start Mrs Gaertner, not a good start.


Grace Kelly January 12, 2007 at 3:01 am

The DFL stands for principles and values, how can one be moderate about that? This year’s governor’s choice was a moderate, where did that go? Who wants to volunteer and work hard for a candidate that is only lukewarm supporter of one’s principles and values? I think we can find a true hero of the DFL principles and values, to run for governor!


Gordon January 12, 2007 at 3:53 am

I think we need another strong Independence Party contender who is not beholden to special interests of either the extreme right or left.


linkert January 13, 2007 at 3:10 am

And see all those points going on the waiver wire.

I was going to be “Stick with my draft for a couple weeks, and make changes later” but feel that I’m getting left behind the top bunch, and am making a changes this weekend.

I’ve determined to stick with my top couple choices, and be flexible with the bottom half of my lineup.


Joe Bodell January 13, 2007 at 3:26 am

In favor of a DFL Rep who’s actually scored points so far.


gisleson January 13, 2007 at 9:28 pm

I’m not criticizing the use of sources, but I always marvel at how everyone applauds whenever a blogger posts a “scoop” of some sort. Those are the easiest posts because they’re given to you ready made.

I checked back with my source who told me they checked back with their source as to their motive. Turns out this outstate activist had been following Mr. Brodkorb’s adventures very closely because said outstate activist was highly offended by Brodkorb’s obsessive posts on Keith Ellison.

So all of this was simply karma getting in a few licks. Otherwise we might have had to wait a couple of extra days before someone else noticed that Mr. Brodkorb is himself a scofflaw, just like the parking ticket prone Ellison.

Ellison’s scofflaw behavior, of course, didn’t seek to undermine our election laws and democracy as we know it.


smit2174 January 14, 2007 at 11:05 pm

Bruce Anderson (R, House) has so far produced 0 points. I submitted a waiver claim, but I didn’t get the only GOP House legislator that seemed worth having. So I will stick with Mr. Anderson for at least another week.

The rest of my legislators seem to be doing at least something, perhaps not producing tons of points but at least have some bills out there with the potential to go places.

I’m not sure that the standings so far reflect an accurate picture of who will be the biggest producers, so I wouldn’t worry TOO much. You’d be justified in sticking to an original strategy for at least another week before making drastic changes.

I’d like to add more House members to my team to be more balanced, so if anyone is interested in trading with Quorum of Six in the Maroon League, I’m willing to listen to any and all proposals.


mike January 15, 2007 at 8:09 pm

We’re thinking along the same lines. George, with my lack of success over the past couple of weeks, well, that should scare the hell out of you! However I see the greatest risk in juggling lineups is that looking at your lineup, and mine for that matter, you end up putting a legislator who historically authored a bunch of bills on the waiver list exposing them to being picked up by another team the following week and possibly losing them for the balance of the session. On the other hand, Rep. Hillstrom is a strong long-term pick if you were to lose Sen. Scheid and it also appears that you could pick up 100+ points this week with your current lineup. While Minnetonka may crack the top five this week, I see the Beavers picking up just enough points to move into the top ten.


linkert January 16, 2007 at 1:26 am

And I will tread carefully when I drop her (or someone else in my lineup) if I see a free agent with some nice, quick point potential.


linkert January 15, 2007 at 10:16 pm

Yet, another reason, in an ever growing list of reasons, why people should not take MDE seriously.


mike January 15, 2007 at 11:23 pm

Serious debate of most any topic would be greatly enhanced if the MSM and other interested parties would refrain from accepting the words and labels used by others and instead use phrasing and words that more accurately reflect their own perception. “Insurgency”, “death tax”, “surge”, “socialized medicine”, etc. all serve to constrict any discussion to a predetermined framework. It would be refreshing to observe some real statesmen and political observers to emerge who don’t hold their finger to the wind before expressing their true beliefs.


Jeff Fecke January 16, 2007 at 12:51 am

If so, they’re very silly people.


Robin Marty January 16, 2007 at 4:35 am

“President Bush has said in recent days that Congressional Democrats aren’t offering an alternative to his escalation in Iraq, echoing the well-worn “they aren’t for anything, just against America” theme. “

Wouldn’t “not escalating” in fact be an alternative?


Ag January 16, 2007 at 5:58 am

and your logic.  Robin, when will you learn? :)


linkert January 16, 2007 at 6:38 am

So our votes for the banners you had earlier didn’t count?  I demand a recount.  Bring in James Baker!

Oh what the heck… it’s a good idea, though I think the flags are a little too subtle.


Joe Bodell January 16, 2007 at 7:25 am

But I wanted to go with something a bit thicker, with a little more production value.  All the earlier entries were great, including Robin’s and Matt’s.  Well, no, not including those two.  But the rest were great.


Ag January 16, 2007 at 8:50 am

this has happened too many times to be a coincidence.  This is just sick, people need to start losing their jobs over this stuff


DFLBunny January 16, 2007 at 9:21 am

Now I think there is color missing from the rest of the site. Can we jazz everything else up a little bit? The vibrant banner needs a matching layout.


Joe Bodell January 16, 2007 at 6:20 pm

Give me a bit of time, we’ll jazz up the blox.


Ag January 16, 2007 at 10:44 pm

Another thing to think about is perception.  Who do we perceive as “winning” each area.  If we assume Vilsack will will Iowa and he does not – he’s done.  It may be the same with Edwards, because people are saying he may actually be the one to win Iowa anyway, so if he does not – he may be damaged greatly.  HRC is not shooting for a big showing in Iowa, and if anything is keeping out of the “perception” game to a point (which is very smart).  If Obama wins any of these it will be big news because he has just entered the polling for these races and no one really knows where he is in the standings.

Minnesota will play a role in Iowa for another reason too.  Many activists will go down to Iowa to help their preferred candidate.  Whoever builds the largest base in MN, may impact the Iowa situation significantly.


Charlie Quimby January 17, 2007 at 7:28 am

Talk about an “Army of One.”


lloydletta January 18, 2007 at 10:05 am

He captured the audio, and put together the slideshow video to go with it. 


Ag January 17, 2007 at 8:34 pm

you’d better be a fast writer/typer 


mike January 18, 2007 at 12:23 am

EDUCATION: Most rural and inner city schools have had to eliminate or drastically cut back their foreign language departments over the past few years. The infrastructure simply isn’t there to implement the Governors new graduation standards. Special Ed. costs have skyrocketed for a number of rural school districts that have become magnets for special instruction. No mention of additional Special Ed. monies in the Governors speech. Transportation costs for large rural districts have skyrocketed. No relief mentioned here either.

An honest assessment of the current “surplus” would be have been helpful. When you plug inflation into the spending side of the budget equation, roughly a billion dollars of the surplus disappears. Projected inflationary increases in healthcare and transportation pretty much takes care of the rest. Where is the money going to come from to fund the Governors initiatives, much less the various proposals coming out of the House and Senate? As usual, the devil will be in the details.


Grace Kelly January 18, 2007 at 11:06 am

Again our Republican governor wants to give the privileged and rich more perks, while the Democrats are looking to improve everyone’s lives. Compare and contrast:

1) The governor proposes “2 percent increase for schools that post sterling math and reading test results”. Since is well known that those test results come from the schools in the richest areas, since family income is most strongly related to test results. So the governor’s policy means give more money to the rich and privileged!

The Democrats want to help every child do better. High class sizes of 45 need fixing. By the way, governor the average “classroom” spending is already 69.2%, so the 70% is already what half of our schools already do. So governor, why don’t you fund education instead of playing the name blame game with “classroom” spending. Our schools have done great, considering the Republican under fund and blame game!

The Democrats want an all day Kindergarten and more preschool, which has been proven to make a huge difference in children’s lives – all children do better, not just a privileged few!

2) The governor again gives the privileged rich more perks with “give high-achieving students two years of free college.” The governor has nothing for students who had to work through high school and college. Only the privileged few! In the Democratic way, our whole state would do better if every student could have affordable secondary education!

3) At one time, we, Minnesotans tried to ensure basic local government services through a fairer income tax. We have now gone to the grossly unfair property tax to fund local government. So what is the governor’s solution: Put a cap on it! So we are at the highest house valuations ever, with house prices finally going down. What good would a cap do now? Plus the cap just hurts poor communities trying to fund essential services like police while rich communities feel no burden. Again funding through property tax and though sales tax put more tax burden on the poor, while again the rich get a break. The Republican way!

4) Missing: Where is transportation? All investment in improving transportation is missing. We are lucky if potholes are filled. So what do Republicans expect? Personal responsibility where we all drive on own personal piece of road? Again Democrats are trying to improve transportation for everyone and all businesses.

5) The governor’s proposal for health care was to use market forces. That translates into more money goes into the pockets of CEO thieves like Minnesota-based United Health CEO William McGuire. Not only is McGuire using lying, through backdating stock options, to inflate his earnings, his very company is a rip off on all our health care. Because of companies like United Health Care we spend 31 percent on health care administrative costs where as the Canadian Health Care plan has a 1.3 percent. health care administration cost. The Democrats have single payer health care in their platform which means low administration costs so we can do more health care with the same amount of money. Every business in the state would do better if we reduced the administrative part of health care costs from 31% to 1.3%.

  Of any insurance group, it costs the least to insure children. Children are the ones who will be working to support our retirement. Don’t we want to invest in our own future?

6) Missing Renewable Energy! The governor standards for renewable energy is way too little too late in some distant future. Real muscle would be doing wind energy now! Democrats are leading the way!

So there is one important question of performance, the question of our governor’s performance. How well does the governor represent all the people instead of a privileged few? I give him an F!

(Cross posted at… )


Ag January 19, 2007 at 3:39 am



Archer Dem January 20, 2007 at 12:20 am

I’ve been thinking recently about the number of Democrats who supported Iraq in the first place and now don’t.  If we are going to allow them to change stances without being roasted, I think we owe it to Republicans like Norm as well.  It is important to examine why his opinion has changed, but I think we need to embrace every Republican who has turned against the war and not use such a change in position against them, because it is exactly like we want.

When John Kerry was labelled a flip-flopper, most Democrats I know (and myself) commonly made the case that we want our elected officials to examine new information and change position if necessary.  We need to give the same courtesy even to our opponents.

In the case of Norm, if it can be shown that he is changing position based solely on the poll numbers, nail him.


Ag January 20, 2007 at 2:56 am

Norm did not only miss the memo of the black pants thing, but he is obviously having problems walking in stride with his fellow neocons. 

You can hear him thinking “left-right-left, no no, right-left-right, no no no, right-right-left, aahh hell, I’m not even walking with the breeze – damn-it!


bsimon January 20, 2007 at 3:33 am

The problem with Senator Coleman’s position on Iraq is that he is apparently losing sight of what we’re doing there.  According to a blog entry over at the Strib’s Big Question, Senator Coleman is willing to give up on Baghdad, and give up on the Maliki government and retreat to the borders of Iraq in an effort to keep the conflict limited to Iraq.  What this would do is allow – and maybe encourage – a full scale civil war in Iraq, with our troops standing at ringside keeping the combatants in the middle & everyone else out.  Coincidentally, noted neo-con Charles Krauthammer has an opinion piece in today’s Washington Post outlining this exact strategy as a fallback plan, in the event that the ‘surge’ strategy fails. 

It would appear that Senator Coleman has hedged his bet and predicted the demise of the surge already & jumped right to ‘plan b.’  And while I admit that its a good idea to have a plan b, in the event that plan a fails, I wish we could come up with something better than the above.


lloydletta January 21, 2007 at 9:08 pm


Dear Ms. Eva,

Are you suggesting that public schools should not teach about the John T. Scopes trial? Most Social Studies teachers do, Ms. Young. It’s in all of the text books. In order to teach about that trial in the public school history classes, the Social Studies teachers may need to define terms involved in all sides of the trial, including creationism and evolution. Sounds like your one-sided perspective about history, aka “evolution – only” perspective, might be the more skewed, (or in your terms “wacky”) perspective on history.

Most mainstream parents would find it a travesty to learn that their students did not learn the DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES that created America. I have been a public school social studies high school teacher in East Bloomington for 11 years, where many Minneapolis students have taken advantage of open enrollment options to attend our public high school. Along with Minneapolis students, at least 20 % of my classes include students who grew up in East Bloomington learning about and believing in creationism. Is it the responsibility of the American Goverment to disregard their belief system any more than to disregard that belief system of an atheist or evolutionist such as yourself? How can public school teachers respect the DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES in the classroom without presenting all sides of the debate? To teach that evolution is not a debate is to choose your side of the issue.

I believe that faith in God AND believing the theory of Evolution are not mutually exclusive. Who is to say that YOUR evolution-only persepctive should prevail in the public school classroom at the expense of disrespecting 20 % or more of the students. 85% of the students, be they Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, in the public school classes have read the Book of Genesis about the creation of the world in Sunday school. Why should n’t they learn about the diverse perspectives that formed the context for the John T. Scopes court trial which changed curriculum in American public schools. Would you also suggest that we disrespect 20% of the students who are a racial minority when we teach about the Civil Rights movement….probably not. You would like to pick and choose the views to fit your agenda and not present all of the perspectives. Who deemed your perspective on the world the most correct?
The point of a free-public education in a democracy is to about all of the sides of the debate not (sic)

I’m disapointed in your false representation of Senator LeClair’s and Senator Bachman’s viewpoints. You dishonorably smear their honorable characters by claiming that Bachman is “wacky” and “bears false witness.”. Your aim to create a history that lacks diverse perspectives is dishonorable to the principles of democracy on which this country is founded. Your misguided and one sided propaganda is a danger to free, democratic, public education.


linkert January 22, 2007 at 10:26 pm

Rep. Ramstad played along with his GOP friends too long, and has got to go.  It would be interesting to see what kind of primary challenge might be mounted.

Of course, a competent DFL candidate must be found.  Who it could be, I don’t know.


bsimon January 23, 2007 at 3:22 am

Sure, its easy to rail on the Republicans who survived the purge of 2006.  But, at the same time, if they’re casting better votes now, should they not be given the benefit of the doubt?  Considering the iron fist with which the GOP Caucus was controlled during the DeLay years, there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room available for the Republican moderates.  I’m not advocating for wiping the slate clean, but I do see value in allowing for redemption.  In the end, isn’t it good government that is the goal?


Joe Bodell January 23, 2007 at 5:26 pm

Along with the other 61 Republicans, on average, who are voting with Democrats right now in the House.  My point is, they could have had an effect on Republican-majority policies during their twelve years in the majority, but they were missing in action because their party leadership turned a bit loony.  Yes, Tom Delay and his crones deserve some blame for the damage done from 1995 to 2007, but Jim Ramstad-style moderates are complicit as well, for having stood by and voted dutifully with that loony majority while they went about their business ruining the country.


Charlie Quimby January 23, 2007 at 3:53 am

Calling Richardson’s impending entry on Saturday was prescient? Um, Joe? Richardson was saying all week he was going to announce on Sunday.


Joe Bodell January 23, 2007 at 4:54 am
lloydletta January 23, 2007 at 10:51 am

There was that little altercation between Romney’s campaign and fringe anti-gay activist Brian Camenker.  Eye on 08 attributes the Romney campaign bungling to Carl Forti – a former NRCC staffer.


Ag January 23, 2007 at 11:57 pm

yeah, Al may have been a joker back then, but at least he wasn’t a joke.


waffletushie January 24, 2007 at 2:01 am

“Nattering Nabobs of Negativism”

Uttered by Spiro, written by Calvin Trillion


linkert January 25, 2007 at 8:05 am

Thank you for bringing this interview and event to my attention.  My wife works at Target, and has heard Nate Garvis speak.  I told her about this and she thinks I should go.  I think I will!


lloydletta January 25, 2007 at 11:17 am

He’s absolutely buff – he’s like you, Jason – not a drop of fat on him.


Jeff Fecke January 25, 2007 at 9:33 pm

When a Republican does something, it’s different, because they’re Republicans.  Duh.


lloydletta January 27, 2007 at 1:23 pm

She doesn’t want to listen.


waffletushie January 29, 2007 at 8:30 pm

I have heard her name more in connection with running against Bachmann for the 6th CD seat.


Ollie Ox January 29, 2007 at 9:10 pm

Tarryl Clark was also a high-profile Steve Kelley supporter.

However, like Waffletushie, I hear her name mentioned more as the possible challenger to Michele Bachmann. 

Either way, she’ll have to put her considerable political skills to work to raise money for either race.


Joe Bodell January 29, 2007 at 9:28 pm

but hey, news is news.  If I were Clark, I too would take a long, hard look at challenging Bachmann.


Robin Marty January 29, 2007 at 9:59 pm

or whatever that show is on Sunday.

she’s definitely running for something…


Joe Bodell January 29, 2007 at 11:09 pm

Here’s to hoping it’s CD6.


waffletushie January 29, 2007 at 11:09 pm

“My baby whispers in my ear
Ummm, Sweet Nothin’s
He knows the things I like to hear
Ummm, Sweet Nothin’s
Things he wouldn’t tell
Nobody else
Secret baby
I keep them to myself
Sweet Nothin’s
Ummm, Sweet Nothin’s”


Chris January 30, 2007 at 1:13 am

Norman, straighten up and fly right or Tim Pawlenty, see him back there? He’ll be standing up here with me next time. Got it? Good. Now pull yourself together.


smit2174 January 30, 2007 at 5:18 am

A perfect metaphor for the Republican Party… look at the minimum wage hike stalling in the Senate.

Where’d you find it?


NorthernDebater January 30, 2007 at 5:49 am

Mmm… you taste better than Michele


smit2174 January 30, 2007 at 7:23 am

Seems to me that Politics in Minnesota (http://www.politicsi…) seeks to do the same thing, but for $25-$100 a year… I don’t subscribe. Does anyone? Is it worth it? Do they do original reporting?


noexpert January 31, 2007 at 9:47 am

I live in Joe Atkin’s district and believe he is an excellent candidate for higher office. He wins his elections with large majorities and has established himself as a leader in the house in just a few years. He seems destined to higher office to me, although it did surprise me to see his name on this short list of possible Senate candidates at this time.


Joe Bodell January 31, 2007 at 6:53 pm

I may get in touch with you soon for more info from a local perspective :)


Ollie Ox January 31, 2007 at 8:58 pm

Maybe you should think in terms of “filtering up” in Minnesota.

Probably because of the involvement of college and high school students, the Walz campaign used Facebook, YouTube, etc.  The campaign was also able to meaningful connect to the national and state netroots. We know how that turned out.


Joe Bodell January 31, 2007 at 9:04 pm

The Walz team did use some of these tools to their advantage, but even in that campaign, there were holes in the internet strategy – their official campaign blog, for example, left plenty to be desired.  In terms of downward movement of innovations, I’m thinking more along the lines of internet-only ad spots, webcasts, aggressive use of official resources to coordinate volunteer activities through social networking sites…I’m also thinking about getting down below the Congressional level.  Especially in the Metro area, media is expensive, thus local races don’t see a lot of paid media expenditures.  But imagine if a big State Senate race had a lot of webcasts and net-only media going for it – it would be huge!


linkert February 1, 2007 at 10:06 am

Congratulations!  MNCR is a worthy site of these funds, and we owe you a big thank you for this place.

I suppose diary’s on MFL doesn’t count towards the goal though huh?


Joe Bodell February 1, 2007 at 3:30 pm

Every little thing counts :)   We have such great commentary on MFL issues, we just need to flesh out everything else.


smit2174 February 2, 2007 at 9:27 am

Was Norris on 24 or something? Or did I just not get the joke?


Joe Bodell February 2, 2007 at 10:40 pm
linkert February 3, 2007 at 6:22 pm

Quite a leap these last two weeks… I thought I would be right up there with you, but things obviously didn’t turn out the way I thought.

Will you have transactions today?


mike February 3, 2007 at 7:17 pm

So what does a manager do upon finding his team in first place? I waived half of my team! There is method to my madness …I hope…time will tell. I dumped Demmer, Dettmer and Bakk.


Ollie Ox February 5, 2007 at 8:18 pm

Of the 18 state house seats held by the GOP in the 1st in 2002, half are now in DFL hands. 

The DFL is also gaining house seats in the 7th and the lower agricultural part of the 8th.

Why challenge the conventional wisdom about the GOP owning the suburbs, while letting equally wrong judgements about outstate Minnesota pass?


Joe Bodell February 5, 2007 at 8:53 pm

The DFL has made huge gains in more rural parts of the state as well, but the CQ piece focused on the conventional wisdom about only the suburbs. 


guyermo February 6, 2007 at 5:30 am

but Rochester’s been trending increasingly Dem. for years.  Even 6 years ago, my sister went to a drag show and the mayor was there having a great time.  We don’t live in Rochester, so I don’t know if that was ever revealed in the campaigning, but they’ve been electing liberal-minded people for awhile, for such a “red” city.


kfred February 5, 2007 at 9:45 pm

I was just looking at Wellstone’s site this weekend.  It’s here for those who are interested:


What was interesting is that it isn’t just about training potential candidates, but also those interested in grassroot activism.  There are some weekend sessions that are very reasonable and they also have sessions around the country.


NorthernDebater February 5, 2007 at 11:28 pm



Hal Kimball February 6, 2007 at 12:14 am

I went to Camp Wellstone about a year ago.  It was an absolutely amazing experience.  Our class had Collen Rowley, Mary Olson, Glen Resman, Kathy Saltzman, David Bly and many others. 

I strongly urge any progressive to attend this great weekend of training!


Joe Bodell February 6, 2007 at 2:39 am

as to how you knew it was my birthday :)


greatermn February 7, 2007 at 8:12 pm

I know where you live too! 


Ag February 6, 2007 at 2:50 am

This is really worth the watch.  Take the time, you’ll enjoy it.


smit2174 February 6, 2007 at 5:54 am

This site is now on the Daily Kos blogroll! How cool is that?



mike February 6, 2007 at 10:12 am

Congrats Joe. You deserve it.


kfred February 7, 2007 at 1:30 am
ABloomquist February 7, 2007 at 4:46 am

I see that there is a Campus Camp Wellstone in April at the U.  Any idea if that will be open to someone who was a student not that long ago?


Joe Bodell February 7, 2007 at 8:53 pm

I’m sure you could work something out with them.  They have plenty of contact info available at their website – have a peek.


Charlie Quimby February 7, 2007 at 8:39 pm

This is the same crap John Kline ran at Coleen Rowley’s campaign. Bloggers on both sides of the divide should denounce it.

These people are campaign workers, not running for office, and both quit their blogs to work for the candidate. If they do the job as they should, bloggers’ personal beliefs and prior statements should not be made an issue, whether they come from the left or the right. They are speaking for the candidate after they’re hired, not before.

Interestingly, Wege, one of our least MSM-quotable bloggers, closed up his shop and went to work for Ford Bell as Mark Gislesen, where he did an outstanding job. To my knowledge, no one made an issue of it, which is as it should be.

Of course, Bell never ran against the GOP.


Ag February 7, 2007 at 8:44 pm

This is one of my biggest worries with Edwards – he’s soft.  He should tell these assholes where to stick it.  His statement on this is pathetic.


Jeff Fecke February 8, 2007 at 10:09 am

I’m not kidding.  It would explain his weird obsession with Mark Ritchie, and why he took such a broad and unfounded shot at me. 

Do I have anything more to back that up?  Well…no.  But evidently, I don’t need anything more.  I can simply toss out assertions.  After all, Mikey’s whole post is based on jabber from William “Lesbians Belong in an Asylum” “Liberal Jews Control Hollywood” Donahue.  I suppose next he’ll cite Father Coughlin for how we liberals should behave.

Incidentally, in 2004 I cast my Presidential ballot for a Catholic, Mike.  As did Amanda Marcotte.  As did Melissa McEwan.  Pretty anti-Catholic, I know.


lloydletta February 9, 2007 at 11:01 am

In fact, they deep sixed their effort to help gays in the states who had amendments on the ballot oppose them in favor of helping Democrats – even anti-gay democrats.  FRC is a fringe organization – take a look at their website. I wonder if you’d use a similar example about interracial marriage – and make a similar comparison between the NAACP and the Council of Conservative Citizens.

What many are saying when they say, let’s not discuss the issue of whether gays should be included in the institution of marriage, is that somehow people who are gay, should be ashamed of that, and stay in the closet.  In my opinion, the only reason that attitudes are changing on these issues, is that gays are coming out, and that as people know people personally, they realize that gay people are human beings.

I hope I’m proved wrong, but I don’t expect much positive action for gays out of this legislative session – or in congress.  Why would Democrats do anything for gays, when the community is such an easy ATM without doing anything except bleating about the evil republicans?


kfred February 10, 2007 at 12:20 am

Looking forward to your detailing of efforts.

We really *are* watching you.


Jeremy Kalin February 10, 2007 at 2:03 am

ominous…. !

The conference call was very fruitful. More later tonight.


JackH February 10, 2007 at 12:34 am

Look forward to reading more front page posts from you here.

I think this will be the online place to be in Minnesota over the next three years.


Jeremy Kalin February 10, 2007 at 2:05 am

Good to see you ’round here. I’ll have something more substantive to add later tonight, I hope.

The great thing about this job is my mind is constantly a-buzz with ideas and trying to connect one opportunity with another. Sometimes, these things just fall in front of us unexpectedly.  Again, more soon.


JackH February 10, 2007 at 12:40 am

Rather than introducing silly legislation like this, perhaps Rep. Atkins could work with key partners and stakeholders to find a way to make develop economically feasible call centers in Greater Minnesota?


Charlie Quimby February 10, 2007 at 1:30 am

I also attended and had a similar reaction. My post about it is here.

Getting things done starts with your ideas about what needs to be done. Work in an area you’re passionate about, rather than out of some more generalized desire to “help.” Look for and demand leadership that is thinking about the future, not just talking about the purse. And the get involved in organizations (advocacy groups or non-partisan, like the Citizens League or Growth & Justice) that are focused on achieving real changes to make things better, not just defending the status quo. Work for and vote for candidates who are aligned with the same things.


lloydletta February 12, 2007 at 12:01 am

But didn’t read the Minnesota Monitor coverage – which included the tape. 

There is another point where Redman says something different than Hammond.


lloydletta February 12, 2007 at 5:04 am

So the result may not be Tevlin but the editor. 


mike February 12, 2007 at 10:44 am

I’ve had a number of folks who attended the DFL conclave this weekend comment to me how impressed they were of your articulation of various issues at the event.

On an unrelated note, there has been a lot of talk about how well the DFL has done in the suburbs over the past 2+ years, yet during that same time period the 8th CD has unseated incumbent Republicans with Kalin, Olseen, Sailor, Moe, Olson, Faust,Ward,Doty and held open seats with the elections of Anzelc and Lourey, putting the remaining Republican legislators in the 8th CD on the endangered species list. Keep it going Jeremy!!


gisleson February 13, 2007 at 2:58 am

Ciresi’s agreement to abide by the endorsement is his first strike with me, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make it to the general without picking up another strike in my book.

The endorsement process has killed Democrats in this state, and is nothing but bad news. Caucus states cannot do endorsements as they are mutually antagonistic processes and I would challenge anyone to find me a state with both that doesn’t have a Republican governor.

California is similar to Minnesota, but Iowa puts almost no stock in endorsements unless the candidate is unopposed or their opposition is clearly a nutjob.

As it stands now, Minnesota Democrats only seem to win at the statewide level when the Republican stinks, or the candidate is bigger than the party (i.e., Wellstone).


Ag February 13, 2007 at 8:01 pm

I would say that there are many problems with the endorsement process, but I still think (and have seen by experience) that a DFL endorsement is based on people getting active through the process and working with a candidate for the endorsement.  If enough people come together to support a GOOD candidate, go through the caucuses, the SD conventions and the State convention, they will be endorsed.

The main problem that I have seen, is a lack of quality candidates.  This void allows the people who are already active in the system to choose between those standing in front of them.  The Governor’s race last year was prime example of this.

If we have candidates that can actually build a base for themselves, encourage them to caucus, keep them on board through the conventions, and convince skeptics that they would at the very least be acceptable, then we would have a strong endorsement.  I could argue that the only endorsement that was not a strong one last cycle was for the Governor race (ok, I am blocking all the AG stuff, but that situation shows more holes in the endorsement process than any other).  Not enough people could rally behind him (or obviously any of the challengers), nor find fully acceptable.  I would say that we have more of a candidate problem than an endorsement problem.  I don’t know which is worse.


Archer Dem February 14, 2007 at 8:00 am

I don’t think being attacked by the RPM is criteria for viable candidates.  What candidate has the RPM not attacked?  In 2006 every single candidate was attacked regardless of viability, short of Ole Savior.  No matter the strength of the candidate, to leave such high profile candidates undisturbed will act in a way as to bolster their viability.


Joe Bodell February 14, 2007 at 6:51 pm

Both parties do this, but I think the RPM has perfected the art of demonstrating fake outrage at every last thing the DFL or its candidates do.  If they really wanted to diss a DFL candidate, why not just ignore them?  For each Dem they actually get to doubt the candidate, they turn four more into supporters.

This knife does cut both ways, too.


Ag February 14, 2007 at 8:10 pm



Gordon February 15, 2007 at 12:33 am

Let’s give Al “Carpetbagger” Franken the boot!

A real policymaker like Rep. Joe Atkins would be a better choice. But if Franken does secure the DFL nomination, thinking people will looking toward the Independence Party for an alternative.


Joe Bodell February 15, 2007 at 12:37 am

Given who the DFL nominee will be running against.


Ag February 15, 2007 at 1:24 am

Joe Atkins?!?  Now that IS funny…


Julie Risser February 15, 2007 at 5:29 am

I realize Franken just announced – but as I read his rhetoric I wonder where the heck he stands on issues. Statements such as “we can lead the fight against global warming and dependence on foreign oil by developing new sources of renewable energy-and create good Minnesota jobs in the process.” leave me wondering if Franken is purely and ethanol/biomass kind of guy. When it comes to oil dependence we need much higher standard for fuel efficiency – is he willing to support that kind of legislation? And why all the emphasis on new sources – is he a “we can invent our way out of global warming and peak oil problems” candidate?
We need to conserve energy much better than we are now doing and we need lawmakers who can boldly promote conservation. Franken also needs a specific policy on electricity generation. What about wind and solar? How does he feel about coal gasification? What about geothermal? Can he take on coal interests? He should be able to…it’s not like Minnesota produces coal…..
Anyway a website with actual position statements would be really helpful – feel-good rhetoric is tedious.


Archer Dem February 15, 2007 at 9:29 am

Al will have 20 months to define himself on issues.  I’m not on his bandwagon by any means, yet expecting a list of specific policy initiatives at the moment he announces is asking for a little much.


lloydletta February 15, 2007 at 5:59 am

It was the wrong issue to use against Bachmann, and Wetterling constantly confused the FAIR tax (value added tax) with the flat tax (a flat rate income tax). 

The real issue is what are the budget priorities.  It was appalling to see the bipartisan push for the Twins Stadium boondoggle last session. 

Taxes can be an investment in the community when Government doesn’t waste the money.  Currently Hennepin County has already spent over 1 million on the Stadium boondoggle.  Reportedly they are collecting 76,000 per day – which could be put to much better use than subsidizing pro-sports. 

One thing that bothers me is having things switched from property taxes to assessments.  In my opinion, when streets are redone in Minneapolis, that should come out of property taxes rather than a special assessment. 


Charlie Quimby February 15, 2007 at 7:29 am

For more than a year with its Invest for Real Prosperity strategy, Growth & Justice has been working to reframe “tax-and-spend” in terms of investment, fairness, and fiscal discipline and accountability. You can go to our web site to find ways to counter anti-tax language and myths.

It’s great to have bloggers like Joe attuned to the differences, and the discussion is starting to reflect this. But the old language and the emotions it evokes are strongly engrained in the debate, so it will take time to displace.

Legislators are likely looking to the public for cues. Are we going to vote as investors or as “burdened” taxpayers?


Ag February 15, 2007 at 10:08 am

There may be a move to align the early primary with an earlier caucus too, moving Minnesota into a more influential position associated with the Presidential races. 

The DFL State Central Committee passed a resolution this past weekend in relation to the potential move of the primary date, to “support a corresponding move in the precinct caucuses’ date, such as to the third Tuesday in February.” 

I can see this type of move having bipartisan support, so the atmosphere is ripe for these changes.


Gordon February 15, 2007 at 7:24 pm

I have to say I am opposed to a June primary for these reasons:

1) The campaign season is already so long – look at how the races are already in full swing. An early primary could have the effect of pushing the start date even earlier.

2) A June primary will create a longer period where the public perceives nothing new is happening in the race. With the general election contenders chosen in June, interest in the campaign will wane over the summer months. It will become a “dead period” for campaigns and interest in the candidates.

3) A June primary will extend the season that our lawns are cluttered with campaign signs. Signs now start appearing in August. With a June primary, they will appear in May for the primary, and stay up for the general election candidates through November.

4) A June primary eliminates opportunities like the State Fair for candidates with lower budgets but innovative ideas to reach the public.

5) A June primary could depress voter turn out. The average voter is not tuned into politics yet. And people’s minds are turning to graduations, weddings, family reunions and vacations. People are very distracted in summer.

I love following politics, and I suspect everyone reading this blog does, too. But the average voter is not yearning for a longer campaign season. A June primary could mean the average Joe is more likely to be excluded from the process.


Julie Risser February 15, 2007 at 8:45 pm

When a candidate has a website up and running – a website that asks for public support in the form of volunteer time and financial contributions – I think it is only reasonable for the candidate to have clear points on key issues available. People shouldn’t have to base their decision to support someone on feel-good rhetoric. The information I would like to see is really basic. There are two schools of thought: the let’s just get someone elected and then figure out where he/she stands school and the let’s support a candidate who can articulate a clear progressive vision with specifics.


Ag February 15, 2007 at 9:09 pm

well, at least for this candidate, one with numerous books out, a few statements on record of where he stands on issues, it would be pretty hard not to have an idea of where he stands.

I agree that they should have a place on the site that goes over the issues, but I’ll give them some time to get it up there.  But claiming ignorance on his issues, while reading a political blog is, well, silly.


Julie Risser February 15, 2007 at 11:50 pm

So..which book has info on Franken’s energy views?


Ag February 16, 2007 at 1:05 am

any of them, really, give it a go.  You may even have fun while you’re at it


Dan February 16, 2007 at 3:35 am

Well, we do know some of Franken’s positions.  For example, he was an enthusiastic supporter of the Iraq war, even appearing at Clear-Channel sponsored pro-war rallies.  And as of last year he opposed the Murtha withdrawal plan and was still with Bush on staying the course in Iraq. 

No word yet on whether Franken supports the surge.


Julie Risser February 16, 2007 at 8:10 am

I suppose this could be good for book sales…


Ag February 16, 2007 at 8:37 am

Listen, I am not currently supporting Franken, and don’t really give a shit if you can’t pick up a book at a second-hand shop and bother doing some reading for yourself. 

But to try and say that this guy has not spoken to an issue like energy, or just about anything is just stupid, the guy frik’n talks on the radio every day.  If there is anyone who cannot be accused of talking around issues its him.  Agree, disagree with what he says, sure – but if you want to know something pick up an f’n book.

I sure don’t have time to hold your hand and walk you through Franken’s policy stances.  Maybe, if you’re the one so interested, you should dig it up yourself and say why you can’t stand whatever he said.


Julie Risser February 17, 2007 at 5:31 am

I’m certainly not looking for hand-holding. But to assume that the vast majority of Minnesotans have been reading his books and listening to Air America is a big mistake. No doubt he has a lot of material – no doubt there are statements in his books that don’t represent how he would serve as a senator. As a candidate he needs to be clear about where he stands on the issues. AND Coleman is weak on energy.


Joe Bodell February 17, 2007 at 6:32 pm

Right now there’s plenty of time for specificity in policy statements.  Right now the time is for candidates to introduce themselves to DFLers, get their name recognition up over the DFL statewide base vote, and start working the phones.


Dan February 16, 2007 at 9:11 am

Compare what the Democrats have been doing in Washington with what the DFL has been doing.  Pelosi set an agenda of the important bills they wanted to pass in the first 100 hours, and then went out and passed them.  Now the focus  is on the war in Iraq.  They are doing exactly what the people elected them to do.

In Minnesota, we get the nonsense you cite, call center bills, cell phone driving restrictions, and best of all, a move to increase the per diem.  Pathetic.  Pogemiller and Kelliher are providing no leadership whatsoever. 


Chris February 16, 2007 at 12:06 pm

It’s disappointing as hell, really. Obviously the legislative process moves slowly, but come on. We’re running in about 900 different directions at 2 mph.

It really is embarrassing. Essentially the majority is acting like, well, just like the MDE people said they would.


mntrueblue February 16, 2007 at 7:31 pm

I jumped right in and contributed some love to Franken’s campaign when he first announced and got the above thank you note in an email.  I love that dry wit of Franken’s.  I’m supporting Franken for a variety of reasons, but I appreciate that a significant number of MN DFLers are alarmed at the prospect of another celebrity candidate going down in flames (and anybody who loses to Norm is automatically flaming no matter how close the numbers).  My initial reaction to Franken’s possible bid, several months ago, was extremely negative, too.  Analyzing my initial dismay at Franken’s possible candidacy, I came to the conclusion that I was being patronizing toward MN voters:  worrying that voters wouldn’t be able to overcome their distaste of a comedian, worrying that voters wouldn’t be able to see beyond the AAR shows and the book (I’m thinking about the F-bombs, etc.), worrying about the carpetbagger aspect, these are concerns that belittle the average MN voter.  MN voters are, by and large, very well educated, well informed, well able to analyze a candidate’s worth.  I’ve met Franken.  He’s comes across as genuine and sincere and honest.  I believe he is, in fact, not just another actor “coming across” as genuine, sincere and honest, and I have faith that MN voters will see those same qualities and vote accordingly.


Gordon February 16, 2007 at 7:58 pm

Sorry …

But first of all Franken is not that funny. There was no creative joke in that statement above. It sounds like office, water-cooler humor that someone pulled off the internet.

The real humorist professionals – like Garrison Keillor and Bill Maher – keep you guessing and surprise you with their humor.

And as far as Franken being genuine, I think he is genuinely arrogant. He is a Lexus Liberal who has been living the good life in New York. He’s no Paul Wellstone who actually spent time with the underprivileged.

Franken fails on two counts:
1) When it comes to humor, look to the truly talented.
2) When it comes to the Senate race, just keep looking for a truly qualified candidate.


mntrueblue February 16, 2007 at 8:15 pm

Name some candidates that you think, at this point, would make a better run than Franken. I’m willing to support almost anyone, if I think they can pull off a win over Norm.  I think this is going to be a much closer race than a lot of the national bloggers seem to think.  Norm is smart, he’s moving rapidly to cover his butt on Iraq and other “mistakes” he has made in the past four years.  I think it’s going to take a Dem candidate who can really rally the DFL troops on the ground behind him.  Franken might be able to do that, especially bringing in the younger vote.

Franken has a lot of baggage, I admit that. On the other hand, he has name recognition, he has money, and most important to me, although I agree that he isn’t a Paul Wellstone, on the important issues, he and Wellstone would be in lock-step. 


Dan February 18, 2007 at 12:26 pm

Is the Iraq war an important issue?  Franken was intially a supporter of the war, even appearing at Clear-Channel sponsored pro-war rallies.  I don’t think Wellstone would have been at those. 


Chris February 17, 2007 at 3:27 am

Then there’s Michele Bachmann!


Click on “click to start” and enjoy.


Chris February 17, 2007 at 3:33 am

Then there’s Michele Bachmann!


Click on “click to start” and enjoy.


Dan February 18, 2007 at 11:11 am


The Republicans are calling this one the “freedom to poop” act.  It requires businesses to allow customers to poop in their bathrooms even if the bathroom is not open to the public.


Joe Bodell February 18, 2007 at 6:44 pm

That’s a really serious, mature approach to the job of a legislator, and it’s going to get a quick hit later today.


smit2174 February 18, 2007 at 9:55 pm

I did some research on Wikipedia, and it seems that an estimated 10-20% of the population is affected by Irritable Bowel Syndrome in some form, and, though the incidence of the other two diseases (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis)is pretty low, it could be estimated that there are further thousands of voters suffering from these diseases in the state of Minnesota.

Is it good politics to alienate a full tenth, at least, of voters in the state of Minnesota?

I would urge readers of this site to be on the lookout when this bill comes up for debate for any Republican legislators who try to repeat the juvenile Brodkorb/Soucheray humor, and call them on it. Let the voters know what the Republicans really think of them.


Dan February 19, 2007 at 1:15 am

When I saw “Enough is Enough,” I thought you were sending a message to the DFLers in the legislature to stop introducing lousy bills and to get down to the business (health care, education,etc.) for which they were elected.  There have been some lame bills, but this one takes the cake.  What is wrong with the DFL? 


Chris February 19, 2007 at 2:44 am

“Freedom to Poop” actually makes sense. I’d be surprised (in a bad way) if there was an epidemic of businesses denying bathroom access to those who simply have to go.


Dan February 19, 2007 at 6:55 am

Are the “poopers” going to carry letters from their doctors verifying their condition?  Maybe the state can issue them a “license to poop” which will give them unfettered access to the nearest bathroom.  Are we going to prosecute businesses who deny the freedom to poop?  Are we going to send some funds to the Department of Commerce or some other state agency to handle pooping complaints and to punish the poop deniers?  Will the non-public/”freedom to poop” bathrooms have to be handicap accessible?

Was this the mandate that the voters gave us last fall?  Again, the national Democrats got right down to business and attacked the most important things first.  The DFL is spending time on the most trivial crap imaginable.  This is probably the stupidest piece of legislation ever introduced in Minnesota.  This just makes the DFL look like clowns. 



Chris February 19, 2007 at 2:51 am

This bill makes sense. My only question would be how often are people refusing restroom access to those who absolutely have to go?

Seems like we’re trying to legislate decency. Will the law make a difference?

I’m not losing sleep over this, but I don’t want to see another press conference on something (i.e., immigration) until there’s real progress on education, property taxes, etc.


Chris February 19, 2007 at 4:06 am

Norm Coleman is running as a DFLer!


Ag February 19, 2007 at 6:36 am

that was yesterday, the day before he was thinking about the IP, now he may thing of joining the Joe Lieberman Party, rumor is he’s looking at starting a MN branch.

But we all know he’ll do whatever is easiest for him and go back to the GOP soon, probably tomorrow, I hear the winds my start blowing that way later tonight.


Chris February 19, 2007 at 9:22 am

Good work, Joe.

One thing: Doesn’t the guy look a bit like John Bolton?


smit2174 February 19, 2007 at 10:31 am

We need mustache power on OUR side.

Our great modern Democratic Party is sorely lacking in the mustaches that form a key part of our party’s heritage, from President Grover Cleveland…

to Arthur Sewall (William Jennings Bryan’s running mate in 1896):

While we’re on the topic, we also need to bring back some of the great Democratic hairstyles of the past:

Andrew Jackson

James K. Polk

Martin van Buren


smit2174 February 19, 2007 at 10:33 am

Sorry, here is Cleveland’s picture


mntrueblue February 19, 2007 at 6:14 pm

Tooooo embarrassing, if so.  Being serious for a moment, though:  the Wetterling defeat is one reason why I am feeling a little wary of a Franken candidacy.  No hard data, but my feeling, when campaigning for Patty via Moveon, was that a fairly significant number of people felt that Patty was running simply because of name recognition.  Minnesotans are sceptical about “name” candidates, especially after Jesse “the disaster” Ventura.  So I almost feel as though a big name candidate might, to a certain extent, lose votes because he/she is a big name.

Who do you have in 06 that is going to take down Bachmann?  I’m ready to start campaigning for anybody who will run against Barbie.  Anybody!


mntrueblue February 19, 2007 at 6:06 pm

the breakfasts and lunches that show up days later….

I’m all in favor of distinguished scientists running for office–maybe we can move beyond “the intertubes” mentality that seems to prevail in D.C. these days.  But we now have what looks like three semi-carpetbagging candidates:  Coleman (eeeewwww), Franken and now Agre.  How’s MN going to react if all their candidates seem to be coming from out of state?  MN has such a long history of producing homegrown statesmen.  The DFL should be able to come up with a high quality candidate without resorting to folks who need to establish residency. 

That being said, I really know nothing about Agre, except the mustache, so I’m in wait and see mode.  Anybody who can beat Coleman will have my support, that’s for sure.


Dan February 19, 2007 at 8:41 pm

I agree we don’t need a carpetbagging candidate, but you make a real mistake lumping Coleman in with that group.  I suffered through 8 years of Coleman as mayor of St. Paul.  He didn’t move here to run for Senate – he’s been here for decades. 


smit2174 February 19, 2007 at 8:28 pm

Do you have posting rights on MyDD’s “Breaking Blue” now?

Great interview. I am looking forward to hearing from all of the candidates, especially Mr. Agre if he is indeed running.


Joe Bodell February 19, 2007 at 9:08 pm

Bowers and Stoller have opened up Breaking Blue to several state-level bloggers to push stuff up from our level to the nationals – I’m always watching for good stuff to push, not just my own.


kfred February 19, 2007 at 8:44 pm

It is so nice to hear a politican use words of more than one syllable as Al did herein:  epicenter – or the phrase “fiscal responsibility”.  One of things I’m darn sure about Franken is that he will speak his mind, and a fine mind it is.

Joe – you know you can post this with us also:



kfred February 19, 2007 at 8:50 pm

No – not exactly, Franken, Ciresi and now Agre are not exactly lightweights in the brain department.  I’ll take a wait and see on Agre.  Depends on his speaking ability.

We need someone who can communicate clearly, is easily understood for positions, and has passion.


smit2174 February 19, 2007 at 9:08 pm

I believe Phyllis Kahn is also a sponsor of that legislation in the House.

I can see the pros and cons… what is your argument for keeping ticket scalping illegal?


MaxPage February 19, 2007 at 11:15 pm

He’s actually 58.


Joe Bodell February 19, 2007 at 11:39 pm

I used the age listed on the 2003 press release from JH.  Thanks for the catch!


Hal Kimball February 20, 2007 at 12:14 am

He has always been a staunch supporter of the troops.  He was doing USO tours long before he even discussed running for the US Senate race. 

This interview was excellent.  His talk of supporting the Vets on the heels of two great Washington Post articles outlining what our Vets go though is powerful.





kfred February 20, 2007 at 1:29 am

He’s spent so much of his personal energies on those USO tours.  That ain’t a glamorous thing to do.  I was proud of him.


Chris February 20, 2007 at 12:38 am

The top argument would be fraud. Are the tickets real? Especially in this day of scanning bar codes. The thing can look perfect and then not work at the gate.


Ag February 20, 2007 at 11:16 am

where do we sign on?


mntrueblue February 20, 2007 at 8:22 pm

Isn’t it great to hear some sincerity, some authenticity from a candidate?  Every time Norm opens his mouth, I feel as though I have to take a shower to clean off the slime.  That is one of the things I like best about Franken:  I don’t expect to hear a single lie ever come out of his mouth.  What a treat that will be after Norm.  I might not agree with Franken on every issue (although actually, I think I probably will), but at least I will always know where he stands.


kfred February 20, 2007 at 8:36 pm


Dubious distinction, Normie – you have been selected as being one of the “Worst 10 Senators” for representing Vets.  Tell me, did you put in any time into the service?

……. I decided to devote the time from now until the election of 2008 to exposing the “Worst 10″ incumbent Senators up for reelection in 2008.  As I watched the Republicans tie the US Senate in knots last week in order to avoid a debate about on the wisdom of the President’s troop surge in Irag I was struck by the sheer hypocrisy of many members of the “Worst 10″ club as they piously implored their colleagues to “Support the Troops”.  A cursory view of their sorry voting records puts their rhetoric in sharp relief of where they really stand. Namely, there is always money for tax cuts for the wealthy, tax giveaways for the corporations, and no bind contractors for insiders, but when it comes to mental health care soldiers, head trauma research, or support for military families the budget is somehow constrained.  The “Worst 10″ on issues relating to members of the Armed Forces and their families and veterans and their families are:

Alexander of Tennessee
Chambliss of Georgia
Cochran of Mississippi
Coleman of Minnesota
Cornyn of Texas
Dole of North Carolina
Graham of South Carolina
Roberts of Kansas
Sessions of Alabama
Sunnunu of New Hampshire

Empowering Veterans’s strategy for the next election cycle is very simple. 

We will track (“Bird Dog”) each target incumbent’s voting record on  issues relating to members of the Armed Forces their families and veterans and their families.
We will maintain that record on our website,
We will recruit volunteers in each targeted state to conduct Letters to the Editor campaigns to keep each incumbent’s record of deceit and hypocrisy constantly before his or her constituents.
We will encourage veterans to run against these incumbents.
We will raise money to support those veterans that do run against these incumbents.

In light of the WaPo articles/expose of the problems at Walter Reed, the attention they gathered, this issue will loom very large as a weakness for Coleman – I would even advocate that it is a wound that the knife needs to be twisted on.  Minnesotans will NOT stand for this type of disrespect for our Veterans.

Consider this a gift of oppo research and analysis from me.


mntrueblue February 20, 2007 at 8:44 pm

sent a large contingent of troops to Iraq.  This is an issue that is going to resonate with MN voters, left, right and center.


Gordon February 21, 2007 at 12:01 am

I don’t know if there is any chance of this happening, but it would be a great thing for the state to land Google. This would be a real forward thinking, progressive, economy-driving, image-enhancing development. And it proves we need to be open minded about the possibilities.

Consequently, it shows the folly of State Sen. Dick Cohen, DFL-St. Paul who supports a bill to enact a five-year moratorium halting the sale of the Ford plant and dam. I guess Cohen hopes to entice someone like Toyota to purchase it. And if Toyota would purchase and operate it as a auto manufacturing plant that would be great.

But lets not close the door to new ideas through a moritorium.


Joe Bodell February 21, 2007 at 12:21 am

Keeping jobs in the state is great, but Google is the kind of company that would bring NEW jobs to the state, and not just MORE jobs.  These jobs would be better jobs than were there before, there would likely be hundreds of them, and it would be a HUGE draw to the high-tech programs at the state’s many universities to keep Minnesotan kids in Minnesota once they graduate.  Manufacturing jobs are great, but they’re yesterday’s jobs – Google jobs are tomorrow’s jobs.


Dan February 21, 2007 at 12:29 am

This actually seems like a good idea. I did not know about the tunnels – it would almost be a shame not to use them.

If Google or anyone else does not step forward in the near future, however, the last thing we need is an empty factory sitting there for five years.  Even with the clean-up that is necessary, that land is very valuable.


Joe Bodell February 21, 2007 at 1:11 am

Here’s to hoping we have a new regular diarist at MNCR!


NorthernDebater February 21, 2007 at 1:40 am

Coleen, welcome to the blogosphere. Very nice endorsement of Al Franken. I look forward to reading some of those funny anecdotes in the coming year!


JackH February 21, 2007 at 3:33 am

This is what it’s all about. Everyone pitching in and helping out in order to get reformers and democrats elected. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, we can all take Coleen’s example to heart and sign up to knock doors, make calls, stuff envelopes.

Democracy starts with us and our commitment to competing in every district and to helping those reformers and progressives who step up to the plate and committ their time, energy and resources to changing things for the better.

Thanks again Coleen!


Chris February 21, 2007 at 11:37 am

You’re doing a great job, Joe.


tfcsam February 21, 2007 at 9:45 pm

Of the 180,000 or so deceased persons who remained on the voter registration roles in six states, how many actually voted? My guess would be….none? After all, they’re DEAD, are they not? My real guess is that this is what it seems to be at face value: an attempt by the GOP to further marginalize minorities and others who traditionally vote Democratic. The insidious thing about it is that this racist policy is couched in terms of creating trust and security in the election process. I find it to be a sad commentary that the GOP is seeking to achieve its aims by disenfranchising entire groups of individuals who are doing nothing more than attempting to have thier voices heard, and thier votes counted. Perhaps the GOP’s energy would be better spent in an effort to create ways to include rather than exclude all who seek to participate in the democratic process. 


Coleen Rowley February 22, 2007 at 12:40 am

Will share the following comment I just got from a friend’s e-mail:  Like I say to everyone that has asked me the question, “What makes you think a comedian can be our next Senator?”:  “Why not?  Our current Senator is a JOKE!”


Joe Bodell February 22, 2007 at 7:39 am

And it’s something I noticed when the diary came up – pretty sure Rod Skoe is a DFLer, no?  Is this a good segue into a conversation on political purity, especially for legislators from parts of the state that have very different takes on issues like environmental and social program legislation?


Chris February 22, 2007 at 8:21 am

Correction made — not a scrub, but an admission of error. (I was even on the look-out for a DFLer in the list and still fumbled!)

Doesn’t change anything for me. This is an issue of science and common-sense.


smit2174 February 22, 2007 at 9:19 pm

…but since the author is a state legislator, I will post the following link to a House website where you can post your input to the smoking ban bill, H.F. 305:


Chris February 23, 2007 at 9:54 am

We should all be watching Michele Bachmann closely.


Dan February 23, 2007 at 8:51 pm

Any word on whether Tinklenberg will run for this seat in 2008?  If he had been the nominee in 2006, there is a good chance we wouldn’t even be discussing Bachmann. 


bharath February 24, 2007 at 3:36 am

the article is lacking in substantive accusations/evidence. But Ms. Bachman being a Bush republican is no doubt beyond redemption :) must watch out more for what she is doing.


Joe Bodell February 24, 2007 at 3:37 am

Trust me – if you’re looking for substance, Bachmann has provided plenty.


bharath February 24, 2007 at 4:07 am

thanks! this is a great development and would like to see Minn will lead the way in the mid west.

you have a good time attending the bill signing.


Bill Prendergast February 24, 2007 at 7:10 am

Listen folks. The boy is right. There isn’t much substantive about B in this particular piece; it’s just my take on her political trajectory.

The substantive reporting of Bachmann’s lies and looniness are elsewhere on the web; this piece only addressed the subject of how high she’s likely to go, with the backing she has now.

I regret that this piece was written a few days ago, because today a story broke nationwide about one of those Bachmann “gaffes” I referred to. It’s all over the internet and news, if you look for it–the Associated Press picked it up, even Fox News, my wife tells me. And here in Minnesota, even the Strib, the PiPress and MPR had to do something about it, it was so zany.

It’s not the kind of gaffe that will bring her down, but it was the kind of statement (quickly withdrawn) that puts a big “goddamn, she IS a loony” kind of bullseye on her.

But I don’t think that claiming to have seen a secret plan to divide Iraq and then turn half of it over to Iranian-backed terrorists (and then trying to withdraw that claim) is the kind of thing that can stop her career cold.

What kind of shape is the GOP in when one of their brightest new stars is exposed as a lying nut?


bharath March 6, 2007 at 11:25 am

be antagonistic or anything :p But I also think she is not saying these things on any principled reason. perhaps the closeness to the throne makes her say these. look what George Tenet got for his loyalty “medal of freedom”.

One would thing there would be a lot of posts about Saudi Arabia given 17 of 19 were from that place. unfortunately, even the progressives have no clue on that.


smit2174 February 24, 2007 at 8:56 pm

The PiPress business section ran an article on the TechEvangelist site that mentioned the Google/Ford suggestion last weekend, so there’s an even closer source.


CRB February 24, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Franken v Ciresi v Atkins

Those are your choices ladies and gents. Vilsack dropped out because the major candidates sucked the money well dry. The same will happen with Agre, Lesch, and Remington. The only reason Atkins is around is his phenomenal fund raising ability and charming personality. I am serious about the personality. You can’t help but like him. That being said, Atkins is a Governor not a US Senator. So you have Franken v Ciresi in `08. Atkins v Ritche v Gaertner in `10.


Archer Dem February 25, 2007 at 1:57 am

Can someone point me to more information about these two possibly running?  I haven’t heard their names thrown around before.

As for Governor in 2010, we might also see Lori Swanson making a grab for it.


Ag February 25, 2007 at 5:30 am

The choices are not set yet, but I will agree that Franken and Ciresi will suck up a ton of money.

The suggestions that Ritchie and Swanson are shooting for Guv, is just silly.  We’ve got plenty of time for that one to fill up.

Atkins?  Really?  Who? Maybe he should run to get his name out there, but that is all he can expect.  There is no reason to differentiate him from Agre, Lesch or Remington, they all have as much of a shot as he does.

It would be nice to see a few more candidates step up for the Senate run, no one should limit anyone’s choices yet.

oh, and Vilsack just sucked, he was just trying to pave the way for HRC in Iowa.  Even that could not last as long as they were hoping.


Chris February 25, 2007 at 5:17 am

The Legislature gets a C for the time being.

Good job on the environment, but still waiting on education, tax relief, health care.

Does Ciresi have a Web site yet?


guyermo February 26, 2007 at 4:01 am

I don’t think that rule applies to South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, etc.


Joe Bodell February 26, 2007 at 7:03 am

Not South Dakota.  LD = Legislative District. 


lloydletta February 26, 2007 at 6:38 am
kfred February 27, 2007 at 6:13 pm

Anything that Bush wanted, Coleman gave him.  Even now, with the majority of people against the “surge”, Coleman tries to cater to both sides by saying:  “I’m against the surge in Baghdad, but for it in Anbarra”.

His nickname should be the:

Coleman Waffle Machine

— Good data, Ralph!  and thanks!


mntrueblue February 27, 2007 at 8:00 pm

I am always impressed with the registration/voting system in MN.  Every effort is made to insure that those who are eligible to vote have that opportunity, which is as it should be.  The reverse is true in many states, where draconian id requirements suppress voting rights. 

Judges in MN take their responsibilities very seriously.  I just. do. not. get the paranoia of Republicans on this issue.  I would certainly have to see some evidence (and there has been none to date) of voter fraud to convince me that there should be any changes to “tighten up” voter regs.


mntrueblue February 27, 2007 at 8:04 pm

if the Republicans in my precinct(s) would volunteer to judge, maybe they would have more confidence in the system.  In my extremely red precinct(s), we have had to actively recruit and cajole Republicans into being election judges.  Always plenty of Dem volunteers.


Hal Kimball February 27, 2007 at 10:34 pm

It’s a veritable list of who was that?


Chris February 28, 2007 at 8:51 am

I covered Bachmann as a reporter and editor at the Stillwater Gazette (2004-05). She’s perfectly charming and deadly effective when she’s on message. When she gets off into details, however, is when the wheels start coming off the cart — or the apple cart tips over, pun intended.

Keep on this story, Joe & Co. If it goes away, she’ll rebound.


Chris February 28, 2007 at 8:52 am

Joe got the e-mail, too. Good. I’m glad I’m not the only secret Pawlenty supporter on this site! :-)


Chris February 28, 2007 at 8:55 am

Funny, Hal, and true.

I think Pawlenty is hitching his sled to a dog that can’t run. Not a good way to enter the national political arena.

I think the governor would be wise to pass on a VP nod and serve out his term. By the time he leaves office in Jan. 2011 (barring a 3rd term), he’d be in good position to camp out in Iowa and New Hampshire.


lloydletta February 28, 2007 at 11:04 am

February 27th, 2007 at 11:55 pm

Jason Lewis attacks the Star Tribune and Eric Black for being a tool of Dump Michele Bachmann, and calls Eva Young and Karl Bremer from Dump Bachmann “insane”.


1st hour – transcript from here:

Callers call in to say I’m jealous of Michele because she’s cute.



Ken Avidor does slide show video with background audio of Lewis ranting about Dump Bachmann:….


rob February 28, 2007 at 11:27 am

Have there been any MN GOP polls yet?


Joe Bodell February 28, 2007 at 7:00 pm

but I could be wrong….


smit2174 March 1, 2007 at 10:22 am

Thinking more about this topic made me think of a post I did before the election on “Bachmann’s violent rhetoric.” Quotes like this:

The unfortunate thing is that it seems like Patty Wetterling is saying, ‘A bad thing happened so let’s shoot everybody.’ We can’t do that. We can’t take everyone out because a horrible occurrence happened to an individual.

make me wonder about Michele’s view of the world. At the time of the Foley scandal, no one, not even the shrillest voice, was urging anyone to “shoot” or “take out” anyone else, so Michele’s use of such violent rhetoric is kind of odd, especially as part of a pattern.

Check it out here: http://blog.lib.umn….

Let me know what you think.


Ag March 1, 2007 at 10:53 pm

Here are my results:
Economic Left/Right: -6.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.33

So I’m an Economic Left, Social Libertarian.  Lined up nicely with Gandhi.  Funny.


Archer Dem March 2, 2007 at 2:31 am

I can’t remember exactly what I had last time, but it was probably pretty close to this one:

Economic Left/Right: -9.13
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.46

I think I’ve become slightly less socially libertarian, which isn’t saying I’m anywhere near conservative though.


smit2174 March 2, 2007 at 5:33 am

Here’s the link:



Chris March 5, 2007 at 12:44 am

2,000 jobs. Clean industry. No brainer.


teagan March 5, 2007 at 6:41 am

Nice to see that people are this interested with over 18 months to go before the election.  If we want to stop being filibustered at every turn in the Senate, this is the kind of race that the Democratic party has to win.  Minnesota will be a bellweather state in 2008 and this is key race to watch for national trends.


bharath March 6, 2007 at 2:20 am

is a very fine candidate to be on the ballot. He has been debating for the progressive ideals for 3 years now. I am sure he is going to get his wits up in any debate. + he is charming too.


bharath March 6, 2007 at 2:31 am

robots. why o why?


bharath March 6, 2007 at 2:35 am

have been able to issue paperbacks (very few hard covers) at less than $30 consistently and they are some of the better books in those areas.

many professional societies have encouraged publication through them at very low costs without royalty or surrendering all copyrights.

this might change the terrain, at least for textbooks.


Robin Marty March 6, 2007 at 3:52 am

he’s doing the show at 6


smit2174 March 6, 2007 at 6:45 pm

your action. This is exactly the kind of thing that needs to happen at the state level. If the feds won’t do anything (and this might change with the Dem Congress), we have to take action ourselves–not only to help our own state, but to spur action in other states and on the national level as well.

Do you have enough support to get your bill through both chambers?


Jeremy Kalin March 7, 2007 at 10:57 am

The inaction at the federal level is with the department of Energy, not Congress. The Republican majorities set most of the 34 unmet deadlines for energy efficiency; the Department of Energy failed act, as required literally by an Act of Congress. However, maybe some oversight will do ‘em some good…?

As to the fate of HF 1221 / SF 997: The House Energy Committee will vote on the bill tomorrow, and I am cautiously optimistic. The Senate will vote on Thursday, and there is reason for optimism there as well, but I don’t serve on that side of the street, so….

It can never hurt to have your friends call the Senators on the Energy Committee.

The message? Increased Reliability. Zero Emissions. Saving a ton of $$.

Thanks for your interest. – Jeremy


Fantastic March 6, 2007 at 10:07 pm

Thank you for the work you’re doing in St. Paul, and a double mega Thanks for taking the time to share your efforts with us on the blogs.  You should encourage your colleagues to do the same.

And may I deliver a belated congratulation on you election victory. After reading your campaign updates on Daily Kos, I was rooting for you, though I don’t live in 17B.  I was so excited to see the check mark after your name when watching the returns.  I haven’t seen you over at D-Kos since, which fine because A) you’ve been busy, so it seems and B) you’re keeping us all in the loop here at MNCR.

Keep it up!


Jeremy Kalin March 7, 2007 at 10:57 am

As I told Tim Budig, and he quoted in his column – I’m having a blast.

- Jeremy


Chris March 7, 2007 at 6:18 am

I’m not afraid to carp about other issues, so I hope it means a little when I say you all have done right by the environment and hopefully there’s more to come.

1. 20-25 (done — check)
2. Sales Tax for Environment — not arts (fingers crossed)
3. Kalin’s bill (in progress)
4. Ruud’s bill (needs a push)


DFL Links March 7, 2007 at 11:02 pm

Find your local group HERE!


tfcsam March 7, 2007 at 11:21 pm

I believe you have captured the essence of the hypocrisy of the GOP and thier thugs: It would be politically inexpedient to “endorse” hate speech in this highly charged environment, but we love ya, Annie!!! (wink, wink)The real tragedy here of course, is that there are large numbers of people in this country who actually embrace this garbage. The dichotomy of enlightened thought and mob rule in the political arena in particular, and life as a whole in general in this country seems to be widening. My sense is that the “conservative” wing of the GOP, despite efforts to add window dressing to thier anemic dog & pony show, is sinking ever steadily further into the miasma of desperation and so-called “bunker mentality”. It appears that they have learned nothing from the 2006 election (in which as I recall, they took a sever thumping) and are steaming full speed ahead on a course that will ultimately lead to utter annihilation in 2008.


Charlie Quimby March 7, 2007 at 11:34 pm

Watch the CPAC video of Coulter’s performance. Her pacing and cadences are those of a stand-up comic, which I believe is her real aspiration.

Coulter may be “serious” about some of the stuff she spews, like any comic is, but some of it is purely for effect. As with Borat and many other comics who essentially play one character, her comic persona works for her audience because she never leaves it to reveal the real person.

I’m not sure she started out with this in mind, but discovered that becoming a caricature worked for her. Whether or not she is “serious,” ultimately, I agree with your central point: It matters that Republicans embrace her.


Robin Marty March 8, 2007 at 12:14 am

but he lost by one vote.  I checked twice to make sure.

Just trying to keep the blogs factual.


Ag March 8, 2007 at 12:42 am

I demand a recount!!!



lloydletta March 8, 2007 at 10:32 am
smit2174 March 8, 2007 at 1:32 pm

A columnist from Slate speculates on the thinking and the philosophy behind the “purge”:

I find these explanations most relevant to the Paulose appointment:

  1) Cronyism (Carol Lam was let go for hurting the GOP; her replacement is a card-carrying member of the Federalist Society*.)

  2) Candidate grooming (The Bush administration is grooming Republican lawyers for higher office with sweet stepping-stone jobs.

  [3]) It’s a very short hop from a U.S. attorney gig to the federal bench. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rove and Co.-who truly live to makeover the federal bench-were willing to suffer a little short-term political embarrassment in order to better situate some loyalists for future judgeships.


Avidor March 9, 2007 at 2:34 am

…. here’s more:


smit2174 March 8, 2007 at 7:47 pm

thanks for the promotion! From obscurity on the sidebar to the front page–Rachel Paulose style. :)


Fantastic March 9, 2007 at 8:29 am

McJoan just put your piece on the front page at DKos

And deservedly so.  Some of the best investigative blogging I’ve seen in a while.


smit2174 March 9, 2007 at 10:00 am

… FP DKos?!

Does this mean I’m famous?

My previous high point was a link from Pandagon on my old blog… but that was for a post about Oasis. (Yes, the band.)


Chris March 9, 2007 at 2:51 am

When did you decide you wanted the terrorists to win?

Kidding, of course.

Good post.


Fantastic March 9, 2007 at 11:27 pm

Franken is getting more familiar with the grassroots than Bill Murray in Caddyshack.  I like that.


tfcsam March 10, 2007 at 1:22 am

Perhaps the organizers of the event should have titled it “Science, Schmience! – Who needs poor people anyway?”
After all, if there is a way to squeeze a buck out of flooding areas formerly populated by huge masses of unkempt smelly types and convert it into beach-front time shares, rest assured our friends at the Cato Institute will figure it out. I feel better already!


bharath March 10, 2007 at 6:36 pm

The government can always find reasonable ways to make itself efficient and waste less resources. This is a good thing. If you allow tax increase that gives them an excuse to remain inefficient and not considering making organizational shifts. just a thought.

in the end, money has to be there of course. but let them first find out best practices to save and use resources effectively.


bharath March 10, 2007 at 8:38 pm

is to listen, at least for this president. he has an Iraq study group give him recommendations that he asked for. and he wouldn’t listen. and that was supposed to be rec from a bipartisan commission. This congress will have to force Bush to do the right thing every step of the way. Else, he won’t.


Chris March 11, 2007 at 6:09 am

Hann is one of the Toxic 13


Chris March 11, 2007 at 6:11 am

I really like the ISG report, but that’s out the window at this point.

And it requires reading — not GWB’s strong suit. Maybe if they release it on CD or make a movie….


bharath March 12, 2007 at 7:35 am

It is so far confirmed that human activity is a important factor to address global warming. The consequences of global warming are dire. BUT,

If we are going to ask people to pay a heavy price and pose restrictions on technology without providing or facilitating a transition to an ideal carbon free economy, then it is impractical and impossible. So we must understand why many states especially some whose economy and jobs are tied to coal and energy industry and its consumption elsewhere will be last to jump on to the bandwagon. There is no way an elected official is going back to the community and ask them to sacrifice the jobs or ask them to prepare massive retraining and assimilation in new industries.

case in point: look at subsidies in agro industries. There is no way any of these will go to those people and say “subsidies are over, get innovative.” Its not possible.


Chris March 12, 2007 at 11:01 pm

For presidential elections I like the idea of regional primaries, with regions rotating in order of voting from election to election.


Last Week of January — West Coast (Alaska, Hawaii)

Second Week of Feb. — Southeast

Last Week of Feb. — North East

Second Week of March — Rocky Mountains

Last Week of March — Great Lakes

Second Week of April — Great Plains (Minnesota, etc.)

Last Week of April — Southern Great Plans (Texas, etc.)

And Minnesota should move its state primary to May and do away endorsement conventions.


Chris March 12, 2007 at 11:58 pm

New Hampshire and Iowa would probably bolt from the union under any scenario that changes the playing field away from the status quo.


Chris March 13, 2007 at 4:12 am

While blogs certainly can break a story or push a story, what percent of blog content is reaction to stuff reported in the major newspapers or partisan shots at opponents?

I imagine if the blogs were confined to straight news reporting we’d have far, far less content.

I think the new media is part of the journalism process and betters the process, but it doesn’t replace the loss of long-time reporters covering the major institutions on a full-time basis.


smit2174 March 13, 2007 at 5:33 am

How much of MPR’s, Strib’s, etc.’s daily newsload is directly re-printed from other newspapers (NYT, WaPo) or news services (AP, Reuters)? How much ORIGINAL reporting, especially on national events and issues, does the Strib do (exclude the movie reviews, infotainment, etc.)?

From what I can see… not much.

The problem I see for blogs is gaining credibility. I am sure there are many of us out here who would be willing to do some journalistic legwork (interviews, etc.)– sans compensation– to get a story, if we had the credibility where public figures would take us seriously. That is the hurdle to overcome.


smit2174 March 13, 2007 at 5:49 am

It is my opinion that, if it weren’t for campaign advertising, most TV and radio stations would not make a profit. Every other year, they get a huge cash infusion from campaign ad wars that has to make up a large part of their profits for the year.

One could say that this is a disincentive to report the actual facts or spend more time covering critically political issues and candidates’ stances– the less voters know, the more they’ll have to rely on campaign commercials. And more $$$ for us.

And thus we have stories like this: http://www.broadcast

Midwest TV station evening and late newscasts averaged a minute and 43 seconds of campaign coverage vs. four and a half minutes of paid political ads in the 30 days before the midterm elections.

That is according to a study by the University of Wisconsin’s NewsLab for its Midwest News Index, and ongoing study of local TV news in Minnesota, Michigan. Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin.

That election coverage was up “considerably” from the initial study of the same set of newscast on 28 network affiliates for the previous 30 days (Sept. 7-Oct. 6), according to the study. But the study also said that most of the coverage (68%) was devoted to so-called horse race issues like polls and campaign strategies rather than policy issues (17%).

And there was even some spillover of political advertising into the news hole, with over 10% of the stories at least mentioning, and some focusing, on political ads.

Or statistics like these:

A 2006 survey by the Committee of Concerned Journalists of their own members revealed that many journalists think the news media is failing voters by not adequately covering this past year’s campaigns.

“Only 3% give the press an A grade, while another 27% give the news media a B. At the same time, 42% give the coverage a C and 27% say D or F.

The poll surveyed 499 CCJ members between October 8 and October 15th. The Committee is a national consortium of journalists and journalism educators in various media.”


Noah Kunin March 13, 2007 at 6:19 am

Good quotes but they do not support your argument on the disincentive to broadcasters as a result of campaign ad dollars.

Broadcasters (to my knowledge) don’t increase the proportion of commercials to programming during the campaign season.  If all the campaigns stopped advertising today, those slots would be taken up by other advertisers.  The cost of airing an advertisement is based on the estimated number of viewers watching that program, the length of the ad and how many times the ad will be aired.

Profit being a function of programming popularity why would profitable TV/radio stations fail to make a profit in the absence of campaigns?


smit2174 March 13, 2007 at 7:16 am

Perhaps the number of slots don’t change, but an infusion of literally billions of dollars into the market seeking ad space that is normally taken up by other advertisers will push prices up for everyone. As evidence, I submit the following article:

Political-advertising spending is predicted to surpass $2 billion this year – 17 percent more than spending in 2004.

TNS Media Intelligence’s Campaign Media Analysis Group said spending surpassed its $1.7 billion projection last week, AdAge reports.  At least $200 million to $300 million more is expected to be spent by Election Day.

And those numbers don’t include spot cable, which has attracted big money. One reason is that campaign-finance laws that allow increased contributions as well as tightened availability of broadcast time has pushed up prices.

One industry-insider heard anecdotally of one Los Angeles TV station raising its spot rates $25,000 virtually overnight.


A related article states that ad revenue in ’07 will be down 7 to 9 percent because of the lack of a campaign season and an Olympics: http://www.mediabuye

Also read this market report for 2006 from http://www.stateofth

The long-standing rule of thumb is that even-numbered years are better for the local TV business. This is known as the even-year feast, odd-year famine cycle. The rule is tied to the fact that inevitably, more spending occurs during the Olympics, political campaigns and (most lucrative of all) presidential election campaigns.7

According to the latest figures, 2004 proved the even-year adage by bringing in a bounty of revenue for local stations.8 Advertising revenues (the sum of national and local spots) increased over all by 9% to $25.6 billion. Unprecedented political advertising, particularly in the congressional races, fueled the spike. The national spot market benefited most, growing 10% to $10.9 billion in 2004. The local spot market wasn’t far behind, boosted by automotive, financial and real estate advertising. It grew 8.5% to $14.6 billion.9 Veronis Suhler Stevenson had forecast (in 2004) national spot and local spot growth of 8.5% and 6.8%, respectively

Although, reading that article, perhaps my theory that political ads are actually buoying TV stations to profitability: 

The industry is still enormously profitable. Pre-tax profit margins of 40% and even 50% are not uncommon. Revenues were down in 2005 from the year before, but that is typical following a presidential election year.

40-50% profit margins? That is obscene.


smit2174 March 13, 2007 at 7:18 am

towards the end there, it should be, “perhaps my theory… is refuted by this paragraph


Noah Kunin March 13, 2007 at 8:53 pm

…maybe they could reinvest in the news room. =)

Noah Kunin March 13, 2007 at 5:55 am

“And ultimately the public are really going to suffer because they’ll be left at the mercy of the partisan bloggers and campaign advertising, all of which is useful but ultimately has little to do with what the truth of the situation is.”

Comment: Kirtley seems to be saying here (with the disclaimer that her quote may have been taken out of context) that the public is a mute participant in the whole journalistic endeavor.  That’s always been false and new technology has simply allowed for possibilities for the public to create their own news and also communicate with the press.

Question: Kirtley posits the “usefulness” of blogs while criticizing that they have little connection to the “truth”.  What utility is there in free speech if that speech is not truthful?


Gordon March 14, 2007 at 12:18 am

If the race is Coleman vs. Franken, third party is definitely the way to go.

I hope a good Independence Party candidate emerges soon and can start building an organization.


Dan March 14, 2007 at 5:42 am

Joe Atkins?  Steve Murphy?  Becky Lourey?  Anyone? 

If we get stuck nominating Franken, we’re toast.  I’d like to have the campaign be about Norm Coleman defending his miserable record, rather than Franken explaining he was kidding about all the stupid and offensive things he has said over the years. 


Chris March 14, 2007 at 7:03 am
lloydletta March 15, 2007 at 10:26 am

And that’s not true for all in congress or the Senate.  It’s too soon to say whether Amy Klobuchar will be good at constituent service. 

Still, Coleman has a challenge in front of him.


Gordon March 15, 2007 at 9:35 pm

Tim Walz should enter the US Senate race. He would be a good and strong candidate. Franken starts the race with very high negative ratings in polls. It’s common for an incumbent to have to overcome high negatives, but the challenger in the race should not have high negatives to overcome.

Tim Walz was an effective campaigner and is a thoughtful voice in the House of Representatives. If he can serve in a higher capacity, he should give it a try.

Enough about this baloney that he has to stay committed to a single congressional district. Keeping good talent restrained is never a good policy in anything.


smit2174 March 16, 2007 at 12:33 am

Research help in confirming/denying these theories would be excellent!


Joe Bodell March 16, 2007 at 12:48 am

Give me some time, I’ll call in the experts :)


smit2174 March 16, 2007 at 3:04 am

I saw you posted at MyDD Breaking Blue, thanks.


kfred March 19, 2007 at 3:02 am
Dan March 16, 2007 at 6:57 am

I think you are on the mark with the Kiffmeyer/voting bit.  That looked to be the issue in Washington – the refusal to get involved with the close Gregoire election.  Has Paulose said or done anything with voting fraud?



Hardheaded Liberal March 16, 2007 at 9:16 am

THANK YOU for not listening to those “wellplaced folks” who told you that “there was probably nothing to” your idea that Heffelfinger’s resignation was related to his refusal to press for non-conforming (i.e., not conforming to legal requirements) voter registration forms.  Your thoughts are in no way a “crackpot conspiracy theory.”

One recent quick analysis of reports in written media (I can’t find the url right now) showed that Bush’s US Attorneys had investigated about equal numbers of Dems & Repubs for corruption in the federal sector, but had obtained indictments of local officials for fraud or corruption in a ratio of at least five (maybe 7) Democratic officials to each Republican official indicted.

There is good reason to conclude that the major “policy initiative” that DOJ insisted on, but some US Attorneys declined to make a priority, was depressing minority voter turnout in the 2004 and 2006 elections.  Preliminary reports imply that many of the indicted local Democratic officials were charged with voter fraud; I recall some examples of criminal trials of minority politicians in deep south states that I have noticed just in daily coverage.

Republican politicos like Kiffmeyer wanted their local US Attorneys to pursue ANY effort to suppress minority voter turnout.  The fact that the measures that Kiffmeyer and other Republicans wanted pursued were illegal (in the sense of not conforming to law, not necessarily criminal efforts to suppress) has not slowed down Republicans anywhere that I have heard about. 

After all, Katherine Harris’ 2000 purge of voter registration rolls in heavily Democratic areas was not authorized by law.  And I believe that the Florida Republican officials tried to do the same thing in 2004, but vigilant get-out-the-vote groups got one or more courts to issue injunctions against the purges.  The Republican Secretary of State in Ohio had better luck in 2004, unfortunately, in suppressing votes.

There may have been more reasons for Heffelfinger’s resignation, but his being luke-warm on illegal efforts to suppress the number of Democratic votes seems to fit right in to a national Karl Rove strategy to abuse the power of the office of US Attorney to obstruct Democratic constituencies from registering and/or voting.

Maybe further investigation into Heffelfinger’s record will show whether he was even-handed as to the party affiliation of the local officials against whom he obtained indictments.  There also might be some local press coverage of Republicans calling for investigations into voter fraud that Heffelfinger never turned into indictments.

Right on, smit!!


smit2174 March 16, 2007 at 9:13 pm

I don’t know any high-placed folks–that was MNCR who wrote that. If I did, maybe I wouldn’t have continued the research!

Was Heffelfinger even-handed in his investigation of political office-holders? Not according to this:


He seems to have investigated only Democrats. So, he probably was not pressured to resign for not investigating enough Dems, or investigating too many Repubs.

I’d be interested in any research you can do regarding Heffelfinger and voter fraud investigations. My own research turned up only that Kiffmeyer thing, but perhaps there are others.


The Big E March 16, 2007 at 10:06 pm

I’m commenting to shamelessly promote the Norm Coleman Weasel Meter at >  I’ll continue to track every statement, dodge, evasion, flip-flop, floppity-floop, denial, parsing or just plain lying that Norm does.

Take Care,

The Big E


Chris March 17, 2007 at 2:39 am

Severson said in an interview later that he thinks the bill raises taxes too much and his support will only go so far.
As he put it — “I won’t trump the governor’s veto.”

The gas tax will probably pass with a veto-proof majority, but how many other Republicans will get cold feet when it comes time to override?


Roseville Dem March 18, 2007 at 12:24 am

Gee what a surprise when I looked it up and came up with the name of minnesota smear artist- Michael Brodkorb


killerbutterfly March 18, 2007 at 5:02 am

hi. just found you-thanks to firedoglake. i’ll lurk for a while. have a good evening.


Joe Bodell March 18, 2007 at 8:01 am

Mike Ciresi is actually (probably) running for U.S. Senate in 2008.  The next gubernatorial election will be in 2010.

As for Mr. Ciresi running for Senate, there are certainly pros and cons.  He’s a smart guy, has pretty solid progressive credentials from his legal experience and star power (winning a huge tobacco settlement a few years back).  However, he would be running against the old Republican theme of being an out-of-touch liberal trial lawyer from the Twin Cities – Amy Klobuchar, while a fellow legal eagle, had the advantage of being a prosecutor, and thus somewhat immune from that attack line.


smit2174 March 19, 2007 at 7:01 am

Personally, I think you are just jealous that you didn’t think to put up this ingenious graphic:

Image Hosted by

< / snark >

That really does suck, though. They should have at least credited you / Minnesota Monitor. There are at least a couple of direct quotes from your piece in the FOX story.

You need to follow Matt Drudge’s lead and add something like, “MUST CREDIT DRUDGE REPORT MINNESOTA MONITOR / MNCR” to every exclusive.


Chris March 19, 2007 at 9:15 am

Nice job by the Fox guys on getting the name of the city right…

And Fox 9 is based in Eden Prairie, just in case you thought the dateline was for the city they were in when getting the story off the Internet.

Laptop Stolen in DFL Party Headquarters Break-In 

Last Edited: Sunday, 18 Mar 2007, 6:51 PM CDT
Created: Sunday, 18 Mar 2007, 6:41 PM CDT MINNEAPOLIS  –  A laptop computer was stolen from Interim Minnesota DFL Communications Director Nick Kimball’s office this weekend.

No other electronics or computers were taken in the robbery.

The intruder smashed an exterior window in gaining entrance to the office.

The laptop contains contact lists and information the DFL would prefer to maintain internally.

Police officials indicate that an investigation of the incident is underway. 


Chris March 19, 2007 at 10:25 pm

If she’s not running for the 6th CD seat, who does she think will do well against Bachmann?

Dan Dorman. I know he’s a Republican, but he was a moderate in the Legislature. What does he think about the session so far?

Mike Ciresi. How’s he doing?


Thetruthisouthere March 19, 2007 at 11:44 pm

Not sure what could possible be wrong with the idea of leaving a laptop on a desk right next to a sidewalk-window, with the shades OPEN.  The only breaking about this story, besides the window itself, was the stupidity of not thinking about security (non-partisan rant there, applies to all), or not having a security device attached which would stop the smash & grab.

Sorry you got screwed on the breaking story credit, but I can tell the new Comm Dir for DFL didn’t the promotion because of common / street sense.



Joe Bodell March 19, 2007 at 11:46 pm

Are you a homeowner?

This is like blaming the homeowner for leaving his shades open, thus giving a burglar license to break through the window and steal their TV.  Sorry, it’s really your fault your TV got stolen.

The only thing different here is that it’s a political party.  I doubt you have a good reason why that difference matters.


smit2174 March 20, 2007 at 6:52 am

Great takedown of John Kline’s refusal to meet honestly with his constituents.


smit2174 March 20, 2007 at 8:23 am

I looked through the first couple pdf packages released tonight, and nothing jumped out at me as having anything to do with Heffelfinger. The first e-mail in the new set is dated 2/28/06, which is the day that Heffelfinger resigned. If there is a paper trail, it’s not going to be in these documents, unless it is referenced later.

What we really need is an unredacted version of those letters in the first set of documents released 3/13/07.

If anyone sees anything in the new documents that might contribute to our understanding of how Heffelfinger/Paulose might fit into all of this, please let me know.


Thetruthisouthere March 20, 2007 at 9:47 pm

Actually I am a homeowner, but when the victim takes the theft and then ponders the “odd coincidence” ie political implications, the guy needs to be called to the carpet (or window in this case). 

The facts are (a) a laptop was left in plain view on a desk (b)  the desk sits at a window on a sidewalk  (c) the window curtain, easily usable, was not used thus leaving the laptop in plain view  (d) the laptop was stolen through a broken window.

Remove politics from this and what is your opinion.  Someone should have exercised better judgement and awareness of their surroundings.  Sorry, I don’t make the rules of reality, just try to live AND learn by them.  If GOP, same thing rules apply, big story about nothing, but I am willing to bet the shades will be drawn now, courtesy of a lecture from the finance people at DFL HQ>

My 2 bits….


KTatActBlue March 21, 2007 at 4:55 am

You don’t want to know how many logins one has to make for all the soapblox sites! Of course, I guess that is indicative of something else that is good- there being a lot of strong vibrant state political communities. :)


JackH March 21, 2007 at 6:33 am
Chris March 21, 2007 at 8:10 am

I’ve never given CD3 any thought. I learned a lot from reading this.

Look forward to Part II. It’s an uphill climb to be sure.

Talking Point Option: It’s great that he’s voting for progress now, but when Tom DeLay and Dennis Hastert were running the show Ramstad wasn’t exactly making waves.


JackH March 21, 2007 at 7:41 pm
Gordon March 21, 2007 at 6:49 pm

Forgive me if I misinterpreted your meaning for mentioning these communities in this piece about CD3:

“Notable exceptions are DFL strongholds in St. Louis Park, Hopkins and Golden Valley and first ring suburbs like New Hope and Richfield.” 

These communities are in Congressional District 5 – not CD3


JackH March 21, 2007 at 7:28 pm

My point is that for all intents and purposes CD3 covers the western burbs.  However, the strongest DFL cities in the western Burbs (Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Golden Valley) are all in CD5.

Perhaps I should have called that out or made it more clear.


The Big E March 21, 2007 at 7:06 pm


Yes, Ramstad will be a difficult Republican to bring down.  However, I agree with you that it is ‘do-able’.  I have heard rumors that if he can get some meaningful mental health legislation passed, he might retire.  A DFL candidate obviously stands a really good chance if this is an open seat.

I’ve urged Andy Luger to run against Ramstad: 

Run Andy Run!

Obviously, its still early for DFL candidates to jump into the ring, but whatever candidate runs against Ramstad will need to be able to raise a massive amount of money.  Luger has shown his ability to raise money, so … we’ll see.

I think that one of the biggest factors in ’08 will be Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy combined with netroots goal to have a candidate to run against every Republican.  In ’06, many ‘safe’ Republicans suddenly had competitive races.  I think that the netroots would adopt Luger pretty quickly and would probably raise a significant amount of money for him.

I look forward to reading the remainder of this series.

The Big E is home to the Norm Coleman Weasel Meter


JackH March 21, 2007 at 7:38 pm

However, there are some unique dynamics and challenges in the district and especially in a race against Ramstad that makes a pure grassroots strategy (like say Tim Walz’s successful strategy in CD1) more difficult to pull off in CD3.


The Big E March 22, 2007 at 1:59 am


As a firm believer in grassroots campaigning, the type of campaign that Tim Walz ran (learned at Camp Wellstone, BTW), works everywhere.  Its not that I’m denying that there aren’t unique characteristics to CD3, its that grassroots campaigning always trumps any unique demographics in a district.  Person to person contact is always the way and can easily be tailored to each district.  Its the kind of personal contact an incumbent like Jim Ramstad won’t do.  He’s going to rely on his record and his name recognition.

Take care …

The Big E is home to the Norm Coleman Weasel Meter


JackH March 22, 2007 at 4:34 am

Someone who is completely integrated into their community at some level.

The thing people always seem to forget about the late great Senator, and now about Tim Walz, is how incredibly connected they were/are to their state/district.

Wellstone had been organizing people and communities in greater Minnesota for almost twenty years before he broke through in 1990 and was elected US Senator.

I saw a quote or comment somewhere once that said Tim Walz trained something like more than 1/2 of the guardsmen/women from his district that deployed to Iraq.  Plus he’s a longtime well-liked High School teacher.

That’s the type of grassroots democrat who can topple an incumbent like Ramstad in a high information district like CD3.

And even then it’ll be very very difficult.

And for it to be effective, a grassroots campaign has to start now.


JackH March 22, 2007 at 4:36 am

in Minnetonka and Eden Prarie just before the election.


JackH March 21, 2007 at 9:51 pm

I may even do a little pro/con on some of your points in my next post. :)


JackH March 21, 2007 at 7:40 pm

I should have had this up a while ago.


JackH March 21, 2007 at 7:40 pm

I should have had this post up a while ago.


kfred March 23, 2007 at 2:08 am
smit2174 March 23, 2007 at 5:22 am

I’ve done some digging but haven’t been able to move past the “suspicion” stage.

You might be interested in this diary I did on Heffelfinger, laying out why I think he was originally a target of the “purge”:


I also wrote about his replacement, Rachel Paulose, here:



mswsm March 23, 2007 at 6:31 am

at Daily Kos that covers MN. I’m not sure if it’s too broad for this blog.  If you have time give it a look and let me know if you think it is worth posting all or portions of it here.  Link:

Also, I would need some tips on how to block quote here.


Joe Bodell March 23, 2007 at 7:45 am

<blockquote>blockquoted text goes here</blockquote>

a WYSIWYG editor is coming soon….I think.


smit2174 March 23, 2007 at 5:25 am

I’m ambivalent, and what you’re saying makes sense, if the expansion seems like it will actually draw more tourists. Is the Mall still economically healthy?

I heard today that Mall of America is no longer the largest mall in America… is this true?


Joe Bodell March 23, 2007 at 5:37 pm

the King of Prussia Mall, built by combining three nearby malls into one mega-complex, is bigger.  There’s also a bigger one in Canada, which sort of counts, I suppose.

In addition, there’s been a craze in the last 15 years in Asia for building huge malls.  If you Google it, it’s pretty easy to find a list of the biggest malls in the world, and all the biggest ones, existing and upcoming, are in China. 

The planned doubling of the MoA’s size would put it back in the top three, soon to be top five as two new megamalls are built in China.


Thetruthisouthere March 24, 2007 at 12:49 am

As a person whose elected area overlaps with Hortmann (yes, we get along just fine), I can tell you to try selling your tax burden messaging at the door.  Good Luck!!!!

I met exactly ONE person who lectured me about the need to raise taxes, while probably over 1000 who lectured me on the opposite (just got a call from a constituent with the same view, fixed income, taxes are killing me).  I could probably get you her phone number and you could try your theme out. 

Try selling a gas tax increase to a single mother who lives in one suburb and needs to drive to her job in another suburb, and  wonders about a gas tax of which a substantial percentage will go to other areas of the transportation network that will not help her out.

Oh by the way, corporations do encounter competitors who will sell for less, one of them is Wal-Mart (which somehow I am not thinking you love) and companies getting their products made out of the country. 

Really, try your theme out at the door, I would love to be there.  Do you want to sell the sales tax for the Hennepin County Twins, I mean Minnesota Twins, as something that really has a real positive effect on the surrounding economy.  Before you answer, since neither of us is an economist, then I suggest you see a report (I believe authored by Art Rolenick sp?, who is a member of the Federal Reserve & an economist on his opinion on stadiums, trust me, he isn’t seeing the economic benefits there). 

I guess I am commenting because I hit the same doors as Hortmann, and I am not a tax-first solution person, if you know what I mean…..


albaum March 24, 2007 at 7:08 am

I used to to be Ramstad’s constituent, back when his district dipped down into Shakopee.  I look forward with great interest to seeing your next installments.  We need a plan.


lloydletta March 24, 2007 at 9:49 pm

It’s being discussed on the Minneapolis Rumors list. 


Joe Bodell March 25, 2007 at 12:59 am

Since it’s pretty clear from Ellison’s statement on the matter that he was conflicted over what a “no” vote or “yes” vote was actually going to mean, and explained his vote pretty well.


smit2174 March 24, 2007 at 11:50 pm

I know that my diaries have been about learning the truth rather than pursuing a personal agenda.

I don’t know either Heffelfinger or Paulose, but I think a lot of questions remain to be answered about the “transition.”

Interesting note from this KSTP story: Heffelfinger was not invited to Paulose’s investiture, which Cindi Brucato called a “departure from tradition.”

(PowerLine called the above report a “hit piece,” so take it with a grain of salt.)


smit2174 March 24, 2007 at 11:52 pm

If you’re reading about Ms. Paulose for the first time, check out my other diary on the circumstances surrounding Heffelfinger’s resignation:



JackH March 25, 2007 at 2:11 am

why the leadership of the House Public Safety and Civil Justice Committee, of which you’re Vice Chair, opposes a bill that helps prevent the sexual abuse of children? 

(HF1239, which is now in the Public Safety Finance Committee as HF 2134 since the House Public Safety and Civil Justice Committee refuses to hear the bill)


Jeremy Kalin March 25, 2007 at 2:40 am

is a decision of the Chair, and one of the privileges that come with the gavel. It sounds like the bill is still alive in Rep. Paymar’s committee.


JackH March 25, 2007 at 5:22 am

For either HF1239 or HF2134?


Julie Risser March 25, 2007 at 2:32 am

Jeremy, thanks for this information and your committment to transportation/transit funding. Every day on my drive over to St. Paul I dodge pot-holes on 94. This is about public safety, economic development, and curbing emissions. Anyone ever been behind a big truck on 94 that suddenly swerves to avoid a pot-hole? Ever hit one really hard? We desperately need serious committment to transportation and transit options-we are missing out on Federal matching funds and we are allowing quality of life to slide.
In a sense road deterioration is a social equalizer – it doesn’t matter if you are driving a Mercedes or a Geo – irratic driving inspired by poor roads puts everyone at risk…


Chris March 25, 2007 at 4:03 am

Killing Minnesota jobs.

I love talking like a Republican.

Seriously, this is an important piece of legislation. Without transportation revenue we’re not going to be able to match federal funds, in which case Oberstar might as well be from Idaho.


Chris March 25, 2007 at 4:05 am

I don’t think the mall is struggling, though it hasn’t been problem free in recent years. (I.E., the bars and restaurants on the top floor)

The expansion would pump new life into it and keep it as a major draw.

I really, really hate that place, but it draws people and their cash. Gotta take what you can get.


smit2174 March 26, 2007 at 2:38 am

and the place was packed. If it’s that full every Saturday, they don’t have much of a problem.


smit2174 March 25, 2007 at 5:39 am

I was pushing that piece to a reporter and TPM, but no one took it (yet.) I don’t know how the Salt Lake newspaper picked up on it–well, probably they searched Google for “Paul Warner”– but that is very cool.

Although, to be more accurate, they should have noted “a diary at the blog Minnesota Campaign Report.” :)


Joe Bodell March 25, 2007 at 7:22 am

This is true – however, it’s difficult enough getting most people close to the political arena to figure out how the whole “community-based” thing works, let alone getting the tradmed to figure it out.


smit2174 March 25, 2007 at 8:28 pm

I’m just glad it’s getting out there– it seems important.

I watched Sen. Durbin on Meet the Press and he was talking about asking Karl Rove (and other witnesses) about cases other than the “Gonzales 8″: political pressure placed on attorneys that weren’t fired, and perhaps other mysterious resignations and appointments.


lloydletta March 25, 2007 at 9:43 am

Thanks for updating us from the floor. 

I think legislators should review, and vote to increase gas taxes.  New roads won’t fix the potholes – in my opinion, maintenance is more important than new roads – but you don’t get ribbon cutting for maintenance projects. 

Did this bill do anything to prevent cities from assessing residents for street repaving.  Last year I was assessed for repaving Lyndale Avenue.  That’s a major street – and it’s unfair that residents in the area were assessed for that. 


Jeremy Kalin March 25, 2007 at 6:26 pm

indexing the gas tax for inflation. I think it’s bad policy.

As to the Lyndale Avenue issue, I don’t know the specific situation, as it’s about 40 miles from my district.


lloydletta March 25, 2007 at 9:44 am

Bad arguments for roads: 

“The bill is also a Jobs bill. My friend, Congressman (and Chair) Jim Oberstar often cites this statistic: 1 lane mile of new road brings 55 new jobs.”

EY:  That’s the wrong reason for building a road.  Roads should only be built if needed.  We don’t need roads – or bridges to nowhere. 


Jeremy Kalin March 25, 2007 at 6:28 pm

is that we have so many urgently needed road repair, road expansion, and transit projects all across the state – and funding these projects means serious job growth.


ldlten March 25, 2007 at 7:29 pm

A copy of Rachel Paulose’s resume was part of the DOJ Document dump and is available here on page 11:


The resume reads like a pathetic application for admission to the inner circle of Bush republicanism:

“work included successful representation of Republican party in election lawsuit; defense of faith-based health care program”

“work included defense against class action suit demanding slavery reparations”

“Yale Law Christian Fellowship” Board of Directors”
“Westville Bible Chapel: Sunday School teacher”
“Federalist Society: 2001-present”

Who puts SUnday school teacher on their resume?????  Unless of course you’re a relatively inexperienced 33 y.o. lawyer hoping for a job as a USA in the Bush administration.


christomento March 26, 2007 at 8:55 pm

and if he still had a talk show, I can see Al having a field day with it.  Candidate Al may have a harder time but I think he can make this work him.


Hal Kimball March 27, 2007 at 12:36 am

Chris, you make an excellent argument for this monument to capitalism!

For the record, it’s not even as scenic as the Worlds Largest Ball of Twine out here in Darwin!


Chris March 27, 2007 at 1:02 am

….when the conversation shifts to anything other than “job-killing” tax increases!

Speaking of which, I got comments from a state representative last week on this piece:


This already appeared on Minnesota Campaign Report. The comments are at the very bottom. I think I took care of business. :-)


Gordon March 27, 2007 at 2:10 am

This illustrates how many political operatives are blinded by their partisanship.

“If we’re making fun of the opposition, it’s satire.”

“If they’re making fun of our candidate/office holder, it’s offensive.”

So goes the tired rhetoric of the Democrats and Republicans.

Both of these Photoshopped photos are childish in nature.  And the bickering back and forth shows that we need an alternative to the entrenched two political parties and their followers that don’t seem to get it that the public at large is tired of such antics.

It’s time for people to take a serious look at the Independence Party on a statewide basis here in Minnesota. And we need an alternative nationally, too.


Ag March 27, 2007 at 7:11 am

I agree that the two party system sucks, but just because that is true does not mean that the IP is yet a viable option.

Did they caucus in Saint Paul this year?  Are they building their base right now?  Are they reaching out to build their bench?  Are they more than just a “we are not them” party?

No, not yet, they’re working on it?  Thats nice, once they are a viable option, and our electoral laws have been changed then they’ll be a real option for people, and my bet is they’ll act as a party, just like the ones the currently exist.  It’s easy to talk with that is all they have.

With three viable parties, thing would be better, but by no means does that mean that the “new” party will behave any differently than any of the others.

It is interesting though that you see no difference with violent propaganda and satire, that is disturbing.  And these real points of difference are important, even if you just call it “bickering.”


Dan March 27, 2007 at 9:35 am

Yes, let’s take a serious look.  The IP ran the most dishonest and corrupt candidate in the fall election in Peter Hutchinson and probably the most divisive candidate in Tammy Lee.  The only person the IP elected was Tim Pawlenty. 

Um.  No thanks.  The photoshopped pictures have more to offer than the IP party does.


The Big E March 27, 2007 at 2:45 am


I found out that Mary Kiffmeyer did the same thing:

Mary Kiffmeyer posted affiliated groups on Secretary of State site, too

Check it out …

The Big E is home to the Norm Coleman Weasel Meter


brook March 27, 2007 at 11:23 am

So Brodkorb is offended, my my. I wonder if Patty Wetterling or Max Cleland could offer any thoughts on being compared to Bin Laden. Where was Mikey’s outrage about the “hatred” in ’02, ’04 and ’06. That outrage must be hanging out with the republican concern for Rule of Law.


Gordon March 27, 2007 at 6:31 pm

This is getting to be an old post, so maybe it’s hardly worth a comment.  But the statements about Peter Hutchinson and Tammy Lee were just outrageous and should not go without correction.

It easy to throw out words like corrupt and divisive.  But if you use them, you should back then up with examples. Or otherwise you just look silly.

Peter Hutchinson and Tammy Lee were the most qualified, innovative-thinking and thoughful candidates in their respective races. But of course they did not have the political machine backing them up, so they did not win because the electorate was content with the status quo.  Both candidates stuck to substantive issues, avoiding personal attacks on religion, race and wedge issues.  In the 5th District race, it was Alan Fine who attempted to be divisive.

Anyway, I guess it’s not useful to rerun the last election.  But please don’t use harsh words without proof.


Dan March 27, 2007 at 8:02 pm

Gordon, like most IP supporters, you are completely ignorant about your own party and candidates.

Peter Hutchinson has made two previous forays into public life.  First, he was Perpich’s budget director, in which he was best known for presenting a fraudulent budget.  Later, he (or his organization) ran the Minneapolis School district, for which they got paid a ton of money and produced nothing.  Hutchinson refused to open his company’s books or be held accountable for anything.  The most qualified?  The most qualified for screwing taxpayers, maybe. 

Tammy Lee’s main qualification was that, unlike Keith Ellison, she is white.  While Chris Stewart’s website was way over the top, his parody was based on the fact that Lee’s campaign (much more subtlely) was based on that issue.

The IP is a joke, and in 2006 it ran a set of particilarly sleazy candidates. 


Gordon March 27, 2007 at 11:12 pm


Your comments are filled with cheap shots and false accusations.

Hutchinson and his firm took a significant challenge by working with the Minneapolis school district. It’s a district filled with difficult issues and hurdles to overcome. There are no simple and easy answers when it comes to the Mpls school district. And the proof comes with the revolving door of superintendents, poor performance of students as a whole, the ever-decreasing number of students and the need to close schools. Was Hutchinson’s leadership a success or failure? Like most things it is open to shades of gray and interpretation. But he served with honor in a very difficult role. Absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

Tammy Lee was the most inspiring candidate I’ve seen in years. She had detailed position statements that dealt with issues like health care, education, environment and energy policies in detail and with sophistication. What a cheap shot it is to suggest that somehow people are racist if they didn’t support Ellison. I didn’t support Ellison because he was a lesser candidate to Lee on the issues and in intellect.

A word of advice to you Dan – tone down the outrageous adjectives


Dan March 28, 2007 at 1:50 am

I see you have no response to Hutchinson’s fraud as Perpich’s finance commissioner, which is because there is no excuse for what he did.  The guy is just dishonest.  And the most qualified candidate for governor is a guy whose last public work was “open to shades of gray and interpretation” as to whether it was a success or failure?  Sign me up! 

Hutchinson wasn’t really better or worse than other superintendents, although he was paid a lot more than the others.  And when things started going bad, he refused to open his books, and then finally just quit.  Very honorable.

I’ll stop with the outrageous (but appropriate) adjectives when you stop pimping sleazebags like Peter Hutchinson. 

And I didn’t say people who supported Lee were racist.  I said that Lee appealed to racism in her campaign.  And I was not crazy about Ellison myself, but the guy has more integrity than Tammy Lee could ever dream of having. 


Gordon March 27, 2007 at 11:20 pm

One more comment about the falsehood of this statement:

“Tammy Lee’s main qualification was that, unlike Keith Ellison, she is white.  While Chris Stewart’s website was way over the top, his parody was based on the fact that Lee’s campaign (much more subtlely) was based on that issue.”

Lee’s campaign started long before Ellison was the nominee as chosen through the primary. Had voters chosen differently, Lee would have opposed Ember Reighgott Junge or Mike Erlandson. Now where is the race card there?

The race issue was a falsehood conjured up by people like Chris Stewart.


Gordon March 28, 2007 at 2:24 am

I guess it’s about time to close the books on the 2006 election, but I just want to make one more observation.

Dan, did you ever meet Tammy Lee? I doubt you ever did. Or if you did, I doubt you had a meaningful conversation with her. I met her on the campaign and I am convinced she is a woman full of integrity and her motivations to run were based on wanting to do contribute to her community and nation. If you can point out a specific issue where you disagree, fine. Point it out and state your opinion. Then maybe it’s an agree to disagree situation. But don’t just sling mud.

To just make sleezy comments about someone without any substantive backing is just as pathetic as disgusting Photoshopped pictures of Franken.


Ag March 28, 2007 at 2:40 am

“To just make sleezy comments about someone without any substantive backing is just as pathetic as disgusting Photoshopped pictures of Franken.”

If the Photoshopped picture was him in a dress, or him in a clown suit, then maybe you’d have a point.  There is a BIG difference with name calling and violent propaganda, which is exactly what this post was originally about.

Heck, Even MDE is playing right-wing blogger King-Pin and coming down on his fellow crazy blogger buddies. (check that LML link again and look at the comments) It’s too bad that he still does not quite get it.  There is a BIG difference with saying you want someone dead and political satire.

At least we know who is the boss of the winger blogosphere now.  Whip them in shape MDE, go! go! go!


Gordon March 28, 2007 at 2:46 am

“Has the Republican Party of America fallen so far into disrepute that it is eating its own loyal children?”

Yes, I think the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican party demands total loyalty on every issue, or else they eat you alive. And it’s not something new.

In 2000, they made war-hero, patriot John McCain into a virtual scumbag when he dared challenge the annointed Bush. Now McCain has tried to cozy up with them, but they never forgive. So Mr. McCain can forget about ever being president.

Look what they did to former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill. When O’Neill provided some insights into the ineptitude of the Bush administration, they characterized him as a bumbling goon through media image manipulation. But let’s look at who Paul O’Neill is. He’s a country club, card-carrying lifelong Republican, former CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation. His mistake? O’Neill had the integrity to go public about what he witnessed. But that’s a cardinal sin in the eyes of the “you’re with us or against us” ultra-conservative Republicans.

The Republicans have a name for someone who is a shade too moderate or disagrees with the agenda on an issue. The name is RINO – Republican in Name Only.  You have to pass the 100% litmus test to be a Republican in good standing. 


Gordon March 28, 2007 at 2:50 am

I’m not here to defend the photoshopped picture of Franken.

I think it’s disgusting.

I just think we need to clean up the general atmosphere about how politics are conducted.


Dan March 28, 2007 at 6:33 am

Says Tammy Lee:

“liberals are so eager to send the first black Minnesotan, and first Muslim politician, to Congress that they’ll easily overlook Ellison’s past indiscretions.”

What integrity!  Can’t you stupid liberals see that Tammy Lee just wants to contribute to her nation and community!  What a joke.

A good place to start cleaning up the general atmosphere of politics is to dispense with the kind of garbage Tammy Lee is pushing. 


Gordon March 28, 2007 at 6:37 pm


That was a very valid obervation made by Tammy Lee.

Ellison’s problem with following the law on tickets and campaign reports was a legitimate concern. A person who is going to make laws should not be above the law. And that concern applies to everyone. The DFL political machine tried to position that as a racist or anti-Muslim issue if anyone dared mention that concern. But those of us who believe elected officials should not flaunt the law would have applied the same principles to a Norweigian Lutheran. We really would have.

In a way, you’re very similar to George W. Bush. Bush talks a lot about bringing democracy to Iraq. He just doesn’t believe in democracy in America – just look at Republican attempts to disenfranchise voters at the polls. You’re just irked because IP candidates like Tammy Lee have the nerve to participate in the electoral process and challenge the DFL’s belief they own the process. (Republicans have the same belief.) Face it. You just don’t really believe in the democratic process where anyone can participate and the voters make their choices freely. If yoiu did, you wouldn’t be so worked up by this.

I’m at peace with myself that the voters spoke, Ellison won and it time to move on. But the IP will be back to participate again – much to your dismay I suspect.

May I call you George W. Bush, Jr.?


Dan March 28, 2007 at 7:34 pm

Ellison’s parking tickets and other ethical lapses were fair game, and I had real problems with those issues myself. If Lee had simply made those an issue, there wouldn’t have been a problem.  Instead, like Katherine Kersten and others, Lee injected race into the discussion.  Her true character was revealed when she started talking about liberals being blinded by their eagerness to elect a black candidate. 

And thanks for reguritating the third-party whine about democracy.  Can you point me where I said that third-parties should not be able to be allowed to run candidates?  My point was simply that that the candidates fielded by the IP last year were terrible.  You were the one who brought up the laughable notion that the IP was the solution to what was wrong with politics.

I am sure that the IP will scrape the bottom of the barrel and find some more losers to run next time around. 


Noah Kunin March 28, 2007 at 8:31 pm

I know of some undisclosed locations…

Do indications = anonymous source or first hand observation?

Thanks for the news.


Joe Bodell March 28, 2007 at 8:34 pm

But an unimpeachable one who’s not on-the-record-able yet.


Noah Kunin March 28, 2007 at 8:46 pm
Gordon March 28, 2007 at 9:17 pm

Injecting race into the campaign is purely your (and other people like Chris Stewart’s) imagination.

I worked with the Tammy Lee campaign and there was never a hint of racial issues that existed among the candidate and/or volunteers. And much to your surprise, we has a diverse range of volunteers. So as someone who was actually at volunteer events for Tammy Lee, how can I come to such a conclusion? Either the racial overtones you imagined never existed in real life, or someone forgot to show me the secret handshake.

Talking about whining, please quit the line that IP voters stole your votes. (Believe it or not, they were not YOUR votes.) I just saw you claim the other day that the IP elected Tim Pawlenty. What’s the translation – “Peter Hutchinson’s votes belonged to Mike Hatch.” Come on – now admit that’s what you were suggesting.

The IP will be back with superior candidates in 2008. Did you see the Rasmussen Poll that said 10 percent of voters would go third party in a Coleman/Franken matchup. Let’s hope that number can grow!


Dan March 28, 2007 at 11:47 pm

Well, whether or not they were our votes, 2/3 of the Hutchinson voters would have voted for Hatch if Hutchinson was not in the race, which would have easily made the difference.  Hutchinson advertised himself as a moderate, ran on a basically DFL plaform (and to the left of Hatch on some issues) and did Pawlenty’s dirty work.  Hutchinson can tell his grandkids about his great 6 percent in the governors race, meanwhile everyone else gets to enjoy having Tim Pawlenty as governor for four more years.  If Hutchinson had really cared about any of his issues, he would not have run – it was an ego trip and nothing more.

And wow, 10 percent might vote for an IP candidate in 2008?  That and a quarter will get you 25 cents.

And Gordon (or should I call you Whitey McWhiteguy) if you couldn’t pick up the racial overtones in Lee calling out liberals for being to eager to elect a black candidate, or talking about people being “uncomfortable” with Ellison, you are pretty clueless. 


Gordon March 29, 2007 at 2:20 am

I guess I was clueless.

Geez, now I’m miffed they didn’t show me the secret handshake.


Archer Dem March 29, 2007 at 3:58 am

I’d be very leary of any rhetoric that came out of a meeting with those hosts.  I attended the AIPAC Policy Conference a few weeks back in D.C. and met the chair of Minnesotans Against Terrorism.  While he was a very nice man (and partisan Democrat), the motivating factor on all foreign policy initiatives for AIPAC and many of the organizations listed as sponsors is first and foremost the safety of Israel with an attempt to make it seem like America’s best interests as well.

Whatever Coleman said in such a setting is simply pandering, which he is undoubtedly good at.  I think you are right in saying he has learned essentially nothing in his time, or else he is flat out lying to these groups, which I don’t believe, judging by his hospitality room at the AIPAC conference.


Bruno March 29, 2007 at 7:01 am

Granted you state yourself that you are “no economist.” This wasn’t necessary to say. It was obvious reading your posting.

If we follow your suggestion, consumers will as you suggest, shift their purchases away to lower cost producers. This will shift revenue from the higher taxed Minnesota corporations towards out of state producers. Who do you think pays wages of Minnesotan citizens? That’s right, Minnesotan corporations. If their revenue declines while their taxes go up, they will have less money left over to pay and retain their Minnesota employees. And yes, the economics textbooks are correct, prices will also go up at the same time Minnesotans are losing their incomes.

Your article implicitly assumes that a regressive state taxation system is unfair or bad and incorrectly states that our state taxation system is “overly” regressive

The reality is that it is progressive on income and slightly regressive when total state taxation is considered. The terms are highly misleading… Our “regressive” taxation system results in 1% of the Minnesota population paying approximately 25% of the tax burden and the 10% paying over 50%. These 1% and 10% slices of the state population do not receive disproportionately more state services that the rest of the population, in fact they receive less. How would you feel if when walked into a Best Buy to buy a television and they asked to count the money in your wallet and asked for 10% of your paycheck and then turned around and gave some of it and a free television to your neighbor, because he chose to show up with an empty wallet? Does that sounds fair? That is the current state of how we ask our Minnesota citizens to pay for their government services. For the Minnesotans paying 25x the average citizen, “tax burden” is more than a valid economic term, it is also an efficient way to describe their situation.


Chris March 29, 2007 at 8:46 am

What about the ad run against Max Cleland in Georgia during 2002?


Gordon March 29, 2007 at 6:34 pm

The character assasination campaign run in 2002 against Max Cleland – a dedicated veteran who sacrificed much in the service of his country – was an outrage.

No one is immune from criticism. And if you disagree on specific issues, it’s fair game ot point out those issues and the differences.

But the ads against Cleland used theatric techniques to confuse the issues and to disparage his character. That was a cheap shot. A man like Cleland who has given so much to his country deserved better.


Ag March 29, 2007 at 7:18 pm

The ad against Cleland is a prime example of violent propaganda.  It is more than a cheap shot, but rather encouraged violence against people like Cleland and Franken.  There are those out there who if they actually believe this tripe would move to harm these public servants.  We don’t have to look far to find those on the right who take arms up against this country – Tim McVeigh and Eric Rudolph come to mind, and this violent propaganda plays right into that crazy mindset.


smit2174 March 29, 2007 at 6:38 pm

I have to believe the public is with us on this one, but would they still be with us in the event of an across-the-board tax increase?

The first priority should be to correct the balance so the wealthiest among us are paying their fair share.

(I forget who it was that posted that table from the MN Dept of Revenue, but that should be a centerpiece of the DFL publicity campaign explaining why the tax increase is necessary.)


Chris March 30, 2007 at 3:07 am

I agree with Pat.

I think they can sell the new tax bracket on the rich this year, but not an income tax increase for everyone.

1. The House plan raises taxes on 28,000 out of 5,100,000 Minnesotans. That’s 1/2 a percentage point. They need to say that at every press conference. This is something 99.5 percent of people won’t pay, but will benefit from it.

2. The GOP is standing with the uber-rich. Whereas the average Minnesota household making $50K a year gets left holding the bag.

3. The House plan will result in lasting tax relief and more predictable education funding.

4. Without it: More of the same.


OfftheHill March 30, 2007 at 3:20 am

He’s in Wyoming tending to his sick mother. He did not vote:



Joe Bodell March 30, 2007 at 5:51 pm

Here and at MinMon.  Thanks for the catch!


lloydletta March 30, 2007 at 9:43 am

So balancing that with an increase for the highest rate is a reasonable idea, but I do think that if something is worth taxing for, everyone should be taxed.  That means not sticking things on one set of taxpayers (single taxpayers), but rather taxing everyone.  Part of the reason I’ve always opposed gambling as a way to get money for the government, is it leads to less accountability in how it’s spent.  Taxing everyone – not just the rich, means everyone is concerned with how the money is spent. 

Personally, I think what they should do to raise more money rather than increasing rates, is getting rid of deductions and credits.  Leave the chickadee one as is, but get rid of page 2 of the M1 completely. 

It’s the taxing others to pay for something I want attitude which brought Hennepin County Taxpayers the stadium boondoggle. 


Ag March 30, 2007 at 6:18 pm

so are they washing the intertubes out with the soapblox or the other way around?

just think of the suds and bubbles!


Joe Bodell March 30, 2007 at 9:19 pm

Um…..yes?  42? 


Ag March 30, 2007 at 9:32 pm

this seems like an appropriate tip for scrubbing the intertubes with soapblox, or the other way around


KTatActBlue March 31, 2007 at 4:21 am

If anyone has some extra ideas, pile on.


Chris April 1, 2007 at 2:18 am

I’ve been looking at the Washington Post Votes Database and stumbled on the vote-misser page.

Tim Walz is the only member of the Minnesota House delegation who hasn’t missed a vote — he’s 212/212.


District/Representative/Votes Missed


Ramstad has missed 1.9 percent of total votes, leading the Minnesota delegation.

For the House as a whole:

Democrats have missed 2.8 percent of votes;
Republicans have missed 4 percent; and
The entire body has missed 3.3 percent

I really wish it would stop raining.


Chris April 1, 2007 at 2:21 am

Klobuchar hasn’t missed a vote. 126/126

Coleman has missed 2. His 1.6 percent missed-vote rate is below the 4.2 percent for Democrats, 3.9 percent for the GOP and 4 percent for the Senate as a whole.



lloydletta April 3, 2007 at 9:01 am

If Pawlenty is seen as vetoing an ominibus bill, he loses.  Personally, I think the stronger bill is the bill allowing local units of government to have dp benefits. 


lloydletta April 3, 2007 at 9:04 am

Doug Tice is a political editor – and then is parroting Brodkorb’s stuff on the blog. 


Chris April 4, 2007 at 12:39 pm

by the Minnesota Monitor.



Gordon April 5, 2007 at 2:09 am

Money is vital in politics, but it can also become a liability if a candidate gets too much, or gets too much from the wrong sources. The fact that Franken is getting so much money from out of state will build resentment and could backfire on him. Hopefully it will. Let’s just hope Franken’s fundraising machine doesn’t scare off qualified candidates from entering.

If he scares off qualified candidates in the DFL ranks, the Independence party will be the only alternative for people who reject big money, special interest candidates like Franken.


Joe Bodell April 5, 2007 at 2:21 am

You’re right that money is, for better or for worse, vital in today’s politics.  However, an important number to get out of this announcement is the number of contributors:  over 10,000.  This means Franken’s donors made an average donation of $130 — a PITTANCE compared to the $2,300 individual limit (for the primary).  At this point in the race, Franken is getting plenty of financial support, but it sounds like a considerable amount is coming from grassroots sources, not “special interests.”


Gordon April 5, 2007 at 3:21 am

The $130 average per contributor is a simple division of the total and the number of contributors. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that is how the money is coming in. There could be plenty of big money contributors donating the maximum and another set of contributors kicking in five bucks or so. Then it all averages out to appear most people are somewhere in the area of $130.

So it may not be as grassroots as it appears on the surface. Now I must admit I haven’t had a chance to review the report, so I’m not sure exactly how the money is coming in. But until we get a read on how many people contributed the maximum, it is jumping to conclusions to say the support is grassroots.

And I still don’t believe the statement that money is coming in from all 50 states is anything to boast about. I would prefer a candidate who generates more support from his/her home constituency.

I think there are many qualified candidates worthy of support from the DFL ranks. I hope one emerges.


scapacio April 5, 2007 at 7:39 pm

Thanks for this, Jeremy. It really helps to read something like this that’s way more digestable than what you’d find in a newspaper.

I’ve been reading a lot about how Pawlenty will, in all probability, veto the bill. He says that with gas prices being what they are, it wouldn’t be wise. Do you think that’s a valid concern?

I have read reports saying the bill would cost the average citizen $500 extra a year, and others saying it’d only amount to an extra $5 a month on gas. But you mentioned that property taxes have generally been raised for transportation funding… will those go down then and help balance the weight on the consumer?


scapacio April 5, 2007 at 8:41 pm

I’m also wondering if, because this bill is touted as being very “bi-partisan” if Democrats are at all willing to negotiate the terms of the tax, and maybe make it a smaller increase? Is that an option?


Chris April 6, 2007 at 1:59 am

I thought Kersten’s piece was similar to Marty Siefert’s column from last month:


Dan April 6, 2007 at 2:47 am

but it may discourage other candidates from jumping in. 


John Emerson April 6, 2007 at 6:52 pm

Ever since the US Attorney scandal broke, I’ve wondered whether the Heffelfinger / Paulose transition had anything to do with Kiffmeyer’s attempts to disenfranchise Native Americans.

Heffelfinger has a Republican bloodline going back to a Civil War hero, and later on one of the legendary early football players ca. 1900. You wonder whether he might not be uncomfortable with the semi-criminal Republican Party of today. 


John Emerson April 6, 2007 at 6:54 pm

The national pattern suggests that there might be some connection between Heffelfinger’s exit and Kiffmeyer’s attempt to disenfranchise Native Americans. I have no specific evidence, though.


Ollie Ox April 7, 2007 at 6:32 pm

The New York Times runs with the story in Deputies to a U.S. Attorney Step Down.

Did anyone look carefully at Paulose until a MNCR diarist started digging into her appointment and Heffelfinger’s resignation?


smit2174 April 8, 2007 at 1:23 am

Unfortunately, no. It appears I was the first.

The StarTrib editorial board appears to have read my pieces:


Here’s the question that many in Minnesota want answered: Former Minnesota Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer famously cried “wolf” over voter fraud that did not exist. Did Heffelfinger’s low ranking in Washington, his decision to resign and Paulose’s appointment flow from Kiffmeyer’s inability to get her claims of fraud taken seriously by the Minnesota U.S. attorney’s office?

That’s pretty much what I wrote back on March 15th. http://www.mncampaig

I’m excited to see that, according to the Pioneer Press, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin looking into the Heffelfinger/Paulose story:



smit2174 April 8, 2007 at 2:06 am


I wouldn’t put much stock in wikipedia discrepancies, but the disconnect between the resume and the official DOJ press release is interesting.

Hadn’t thought of the UnitedHealth connection… keep digging, maybe there’s something interesting there.


mswsm April 8, 2007 at 2:15 am

put in misleading dates and locations. The only public information around about Paulose was Wiki and the DoJ press release…that is until the forced document dump. Correspondence about Paulose wasn’t requested, it just happened to be included in a batch of resumes.


smit2174 April 9, 2007 at 8:51 pm

I’ve been following the coverage of these new developments pretty closely. A lot of it has focused on the things that those who read this blog probably already know, as the media and other blogs scramble to catch up to this story.

So, separating the wheat from the chaff, here are a few interesting tidbits:

This blog speculates that Ms. Paulose might be in some trouble for trying to knowingly lie to the government, which might have been the catalyst for the resignations. This angle might be worth checking out; I’ll do some digging later, if I have time.

#1 Paulose fans PowerLine belatedly chime in to defend their friend.

The comment thread on this post is pretty interesting. The post makes the point that Paulose is not a political hack per se, at least to the extent that others of the appointed USAs are (ie, Tim Griffin). Poster/commenter WLS appears to be or have been an AUSA, and so offers some unique insights.


smit2174 April 9, 2007 at 9:25 pm


PW points out that Heffelfinger was apparently without a paycheck for 3 months after resigning, calling into question the financial reasons given for resigning.


Ag April 9, 2007 at 9:57 pm
skeptic April 10, 2007 at 9:46 am

What the heck was the U.S. Attorney doing giving money to Norm Coleman just a few weeks after her confirmation? Was it a thank you gift perhaps?  She gave him $500 on November 26, 2005 when she was working… hmmm, where was she working? Anyway, just a few months later, she was appointed interim U.S. Attorney, in February 2006. Did she know that was in the offing in late ’05 and want to ingratiate herself with the Republican Senator whose blessing she would need?  She wasn’t actually nominated for the job until August of ’06.  The Senate confirmed her after the election (for shame!) on December 9, 2006, and a few weeks later, she gives Coleman another $1,000.  A bonus for a job well done I guess.


lrubinow April 10, 2007 at 4:51 pm

If you have a PACER or Westlaw account you can search dockets for the Minnesota District Court and find ample evidence that she was working for Dorsey & Whitney during 2004 and much of 2005. 


smit2174 April 11, 2007 at 3:40 am

for the interview. I’ve been waiting all day!

Don’t hold your breath on the documents: http://www.tpmmuckra


Dan April 11, 2007 at 7:09 pm

I thought the story was that Paulose was not Coleman’s pick, but that he was following White House orders.  I guess that is the kind of thing you have to live with when you sell your soul like Coleman did. 


Joe Bodell April 11, 2007 at 7:17 pm

He’s still the Senator from the nominee’s home state.  It’s still his responsibility to make sure the candidate is qualified for all aspects of the job, regardless of who’s pushing her nomination.  A little statesmanship never hurt nobodies.


Gordon April 13, 2007 at 2:26 am

Nobody … because John McCain will not be the GOP nominee.

McCain is a candidate without an enthused support base.

The evangelicals/Bush supporters have not forgiven him, and the people who believed in the Straight Talk Express were turned off when he cozied up to Bush and the evangelicals.

The GOP nominee will be Gulliani, Romney or a darkhorse to be named later.


Charlie Quimby April 13, 2007 at 10:00 am

At least, that’s what Strib reporters last week said, despite your and Nick Coleman’s reports. Now, it looks the Senator is linking, too.


Joe Bodell April 14, 2007 at 3:13 am

If only I had the chutzpah to publish the nasty email I got from one of the authors of the Strib article.  Luckily, I have more respect than that.


Ag April 13, 2007 at 7:29 pm

VP with this crowd:



Ag April 13, 2007 at 7:36 pm

Comedy Central’s direct link sucks, this one is more direct:



Karl April 13, 2007 at 11:09 pm has been reporting on the source of Bachmann’s contributions since 2005. This reliance on outside-the-district money and money from extremists like members of the Alliance for the Separation of School & State and John Birchers is nothing new from Bachmann. Sadly, the MSM pays no attention to any of this and is only concerned with total dollar amounts raised by candidates.

But keep up the good analysis, Joe–the more the merrier!


boadicea April 14, 2007 at 3:40 am

Congrats on your fundraising start, and thank you for not letting your sense of humor get sucked out your eardrums in the face of utterly predictable attacks on Al as “unserious”.

To be fair, though, RPM seems determined to supply you all with lots of material.


Gordon April 16, 2007 at 6:12 pm

Looks like a lot of non-Minnesotans, a lot of them fatcats, trying to buy the Minnesota Senate seat.

Let’s send them a message and reject Franken, a man who chose not to live in Minnesota most of his adult life.


derekbill April 16, 2007 at 8:41 pm

He’s asking Coleman to reject out-of-state contributions, too!


Gordon April 16, 2007 at 10:57 pm

Yes I would suggest Minnesotans reject Coleman for getting so many out of state donations, too.

I want Minnesota to elect a Minnesota-based U.S. Senator who receives the support of Minnesotans – without so many outsiders trying to buy OUR Senate seat!

You read my mind exactly!


Dan April 16, 2007 at 11:10 pm

Who exactly was Paulose supervising as a young associate at Dorsey?  Does that just mean she was nice to her secretary?


editor25 April 17, 2007 at 3:51 am

Sandy Keith, Republican front man.


Dan April 20, 2007 at 7:11 am

In the last two years Keith has donated to Mark Kennedy, John Kline and Norm Coleman, and endorsed Pawlenty for Governor. 


mswsm April 17, 2007 at 9:17 am

and then compare the answers to the evidence.  What a waste this article was! 

In the end the most shameful thing is that MN is stuck with such an inferior USA.  Her lack of management skills has and will continue to chase away qualified prosecutors. 


Senate 2008 Guru April 18, 2007 at 4:45 am

Here’s the link to the Minnesota Monthly article about Rolnick:


Robin Marty April 18, 2007 at 7:24 am

now that’s hi-larious!

(No offense, David)


Dan April 19, 2007 at 10:52 pm

Ralph “not a dime’s worth of difference” Nader. 


mntrueblue April 20, 2007 at 7:30 pm

Gonzales’ appearance was so pathetic that I found myself wondering whether it was staged by the WH–incompetence being far more acceptable to the American people than unethical and criminal actions.  What did we really learn from yesterday’s testimony:  almost nothing, and that is the best outcome for the WH which they could imagine.  I hope it doesn’t end here, but I’m afraid that it might.


smit2174 April 22, 2007 at 7:07 pm

You should submit this to one of the newspapers.


JackH April 24, 2007 at 4:52 am

Tjis would make a great Op-ed.

Nice job Chris.


demetri April 23, 2007 at 12:08 am

I don’t think that I would include Rolnick in any group that is ripe for a CFG  conversion. 

I even think that the quote you’ve provided from him above makees the case that he doesn’t belong with the others:

“I’m one who starts at the point of saying that where markets work, they generally work well,” he says.

Generally CFGers don’t admit to market failures anywhere.  Rolnick most certainly does believe in market failures in a way which would very likely put him at odds with Milton Friedman.  Further, he is an advisor to Growth and Justice and in that capacity has done some very interesting work on taxation, government funding, and the funding early childhood eductation with the express goal of flattening out income and quality of life differences in the U.S.

While I respect his work a great deal, I must admit to agreeing a little more often with Stiglitz or even Bob Kuttner, but Rolnick’s work is worth thinking about and his writing is worth considering.


The Big E April 24, 2007 at 6:38 pm


I’ve got a few additional details to add …

Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) just got back from a solo trip to Iraq. He visited MN National Guard troops stationed in Al Anbar province. Norm was very upbeat about how the occupation in Al Anbar was going and stated that US troops would remain “in Iraq for a long time” but also insisted, in typical Norm-speak that if progress isn’t being made by August, alternative plans might be considered. Norm has never been specific about what an alternative plan might be. Also, Norm met with and criticized Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. Furthermore, Norm acknowledges that Baghdad is in civil war.

Get the rest of the details at:

Norm Coleman: We’re going to be in Iraq for a long time

The Big E is home to the Norm Coleman Weasel Meter


smit2174 April 24, 2007 at 10:19 pm

Isn’t this another way of saying “Jews [i.e. Soros] control the media”?


Joe Bodell April 24, 2007 at 10:40 pm

We Jews love lox on onion bagels.


andrix April 25, 2007 at 4:40 am
Joe Bodell April 25, 2007 at 5:22 am



JHenry April 25, 2007 at 9:28 am
Joe Bodell April 25, 2007 at 5:48 pm



PoliticsLaw April 25, 2007 at 7:35 pm


Thanks for the shout-out!

-Aaron Street
Institute for Law and Politics


Joe Bodell April 25, 2007 at 8:45 pm

Hopefully you folks will see fit to cross-post relevant material here on MNCR as user diaries ;)


Gordon April 26, 2007 at 12:14 am

The difference between Forrest Gump and Tim Walz is that Gump was kind of a bumbling doofus with a really lucky streak and Walz is an articulate, thoughtful man with an unpretentious background.  I like to think of Walz as being more of a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington type.

I know everybody says “it’s not going to happen so don’t bring it up,” but I still wish Walz would get into the U.S. Senate race. And even if it’s not going to happen, I can still wish it. There are plenty of other things that may never happen, but you can’t stop a guy from wishing. 


Dan April 26, 2007 at 2:18 am

Walz would be an ideal Senate candidate.  The only flaw (and the likely reason he isn’t running) is that he just got elected to the house in 2006.  If he had been first elected in 2002 or 2004, he would absolutely destroy Coleman in the Senate race. 


inmytaxi April 26, 2007 at 9:03 pm

Sounds like he’s gonna Walz right into the White House.


inmytaxi April 26, 2007 at 9:06 pm


Hal Kimball April 26, 2007 at 11:10 pm

52 campuses in the MnSCU system.  If you included the Central office in a comparison of budgets, only two schools would have a larger budget than the MnSCU Central Office.

St Cloud State and Mankato.


smit2174 April 30, 2007 at 11:15 pm

if Bachmann is connected to CUFI.  I couldn’t find anything last time I checked, but we know how intimate she is with Pastor Mac, so there’s gotta be something there.


KTatActBlue May 2, 2007 at 1:49 am

If anyone has any comments, critiques, ideas, or otherwise do type up a comment or two!


mntrueblue May 3, 2007 at 8:52 pm

I’m sure I’ll like the new one, too.  Just the fact that it is there for me makes me happy. Used it just yesterday after John Kerry’s appeal for contributions to defeat Repub. candidates in ’08.  Norm is one of the targetted candidates.  I was happy to oblige.  Very happy.


Roseville Dem May 2, 2007 at 4:47 am

Even though I am not exactly sure on how many major spending bills there are coming up I would say that we will see at least 8-10 vetoes by Tim.


DJ Danielson May 2, 2007 at 5:07 am

I would say right now 7 in the next two weeks.  If the medical marijuana bill passes the house and gets passed conference, I would say 8.


mntrueblue May 2, 2007 at 5:50 pm

Boschwitz and especially Pappas.  Their presence gives legitimacy and support to a group that is hate-mongering and racist.  What were they thinking?

And I agree with the previous commenter:  let’s return Ms. Bachmann to the private sector, hopefully in another state.


Archer Dem May 3, 2007 at 1:11 am

I left after the ballot for Vice President.  Since the official merger wasn’t on the agenda until the end of the meeting, is the merger not official because quorum was not present?

During the CDM convention beforehand I was one of only two people to vote against the merger.  I’ve not been convinced that college students (of which I am one for another couple of weeks) are going to benefit from this merger.  Also important is that I feel that this has no benefit for organizations existing outside of the Twin Cities.

Northfield did well for representation with several people on the executive board from Olaf and Carleton, but I’m not convinced this is going to always be the case.  Since MYDFL has always been centered on the Twin Cities with little participation from greater Minnesota this will only diminish the voice of students at places like Gustavus, Concordia (Moorhead), and other schools not in the metro area.

The conclusion that CDM was going to merge with MYDFL had been decided long before the convention with little transparency of process.  As far as I know, a vote was not taken by a general assembly of members until this past weekend.  The entire process of merging was done without a prior indication of support from the members.  Nor was the Board of Directors of CDM ever directly consulted about the merger.

Gustavus will probably continue to operate in isolation from the state organization, as it has for the last few years, as it appears to be even less likely to benefit us than before.


lloydletta May 3, 2007 at 8:04 am

Lori Swanson made a very bad mistake hiring Hatch – and now it’s up to her to prove that she can stand on her own as AG.


smit2174 May 3, 2007 at 8:09 am

I like Shaun and I think he’ll do a great job. Sounds like he pulled off a coup, although we haven’t heard his side of the story–but that’s politics.

And ArcherDem, I share your concerns, I think the two organizations should remain at least somewhat separate, although the need for more coordination also exists.  The question is, where to draw the line?


KTatActBlue May 4, 2007 at 10:17 pm

Ned Lamont just jumped on board and has asked his list to help out with the same project!


Chris May 5, 2007 at 3:51 am

While I think it’s good that Hatch is leaving Swanson’s employ, I’m sad to see him go. Few have done as much as Hatch over the last decade for people who can’t fight big interests on their own. It’s sad that his career in government appears to have ended in such a crappy way. He deserved much, much better.


smit2174 May 5, 2007 at 6:15 am

You think Mike Hatch can give up on politics?  I doubt it.

And yeah, Swanson probably shouldn’t have hired him… with a Republican target on his back it was just one flare of temper or inconsiderate remark from disaster.  But I do appreciate the work Mike Hatch has done for this state and I think he would have made a good governor.


Chris May 5, 2007 at 6:36 am

I hope Hatch’s political career isn’t over.

Aside from the race I worked on, I had the most emotional energy invested in Wetterling-Bachmann, Hatch-Pawlenty and Jim Webb-George Allen in my native Virginia.

Hatch would’ve been a great governor just as he was a great AG.


smit2174 May 5, 2007 at 8:31 am

…but I wasn’t too impressed with Mr. Gilmore. He was rather repetitive and seemed flustered on a couple of questions.

From my perspective, Romney did the best, because he was the most polished debater and didn’t say anything stupid (nor anything original.)  Giuliani and McCain did not do themselves any favors.  Huckabee and Duncan Hunter (never thought I’d say this) impressed me most of the lower-tier candidates.  I appreciated some of what Ron Paul had to say, and I thought the moderators were unfair to him (at one point I could swear I heard Chris Matthews say, “Oh, geeeeod” when Paul had finished one answer), but he probably didn’t win too many converts–his style was off, and he didn’t strike a positive tone.  Tancredo and Thompson did pretty terribly, though Tancredo seemed to catch his wind near the end.  Brownback was so-so, but his wife looked incredibly awkward when he was being interviewed afterwards–and I actually kind of appreciated that she’s just a normal, awkward person, not a Stepford wife.


bharath May 5, 2007 at 8:47 am

before he leaves, I hope someone says “just a sec. what just happened?” Like Richard Clarke said, “when officials leave because they have caused themselves a bad name, it is not helpful for the system to just let them go”. Leaving aside what personal tribulations Hatch has to go through, he should shed light on the inner workings and how things can be and got corrupted. It gives the public a better knowledge of how the machinations work behind the scenes.


bharath May 5, 2007 at 4:53 pm

also their views on evolution and global warming should be sufficient to disqualify them. If only! sigh.

thanks! for the review.


bharath May 5, 2007 at 4:55 pm

The job of commander in chief is to appoint. appoint generals. and then they listen to the ones they appointed, as if they have no choice!

and we know how good bush is at appointing people: brownie, goodling, gonzales, wolfowitz. he has a magic touch of incompetence.


bharath May 5, 2007 at 4:59 pm

he is first of all: preaching to the choir. so it really is fund raising. he should post on other moderate voices on the web, with more republican supporters.


bharath May 5, 2007 at 5:04 pm

It is better to have rich people enlist voluntarily for a tax increase. it does not seem good to arbitrarily draw a line and say: these people are too rich. It would be productive to involve all the top rich guys in boards and have them bring out support for it and then law would then make more sense.

If govt becomes arbiter of who is too rich, then you got a problem. but you can always target certain types of consumption that would be targeting no one group in particular.


Chris May 11, 2007 at 11:10 am

Fair point.

But the government already decides who pays what based on what you have. A new tax bracket isn’t any different than setting the old brackets and making cuts or increases over the years.

Targeting consumption is risky — unless it’s really narrowly defined. We always have the chance of passing a tax increase onto someone who really can’t afford it.


bharath May 5, 2007 at 5:09 pm

some U.S companies invest in China and they do business with Sudan. this bill may still be an irrelevant move. what does it matter to the dead and starving that this law is passed?


Chris May 6, 2007 at 2:02 am

The U.S. did what it said:

1. Saddam’s gone
2. WMD gone (never there)
3. Iraqis have elected a government

It’s time for the Iraqi government to take control of its country. We can’t do it for them.


bharath May 6, 2007 at 7:03 pm

I find that answer dishonest. One : It is saying : If I declare my objective to come into your house and do 1,2, and 3, and leave because my objectives have been carried out, disregarding what happens to your house, then its your job to worry about your house.

I am asking if it was right or wrong to invade iraq. But what should be the U.S role towards those refugees and those that are being killed very day in hundreds? Your answer is : Its not U.S’s problem. I find that answer dishonorable.


Chris May 6, 2007 at 8:27 am

Pawlenty is standing with the upper 1 percent at the expense of everyone else.

If the DFL leadership lets him off the hook before the closing minutes of the session, it’s a cowardly cave-in and politics as usual.

The governor must be forced to veto the income tax proposal when everyone is watching and ending the session is on the line. People must see that he’s standing with the richest 1 percent at the expense of everyone else.

People want leadership. Legislative seats turn over like crazy because leadership is rare commodity and people don’t really see any real difference between the parties. We have to show them it matters.

While the governor runs around acting like a populist, he’s really no different than the Robber Baron-backed politicians of the late 1800s.

The DFL has put forward a plan to provide property tax relief and steer some cash into education. The governor has put forward his same old promises of something for nothing, which got us into this mess in the first place.

To steal a phrase from the president and congressional Republicans: no surrender.


smit2174 May 6, 2007 at 7:18 pm

but more and more I come to the conclusion that more troops won’t work.  The vast majority of Iraqis already want us gone, and more troops are just going to incite more rebellion against the foreign occupation.

Of course, maybe that could be the unifier that Iraq needs.

Since there is no way that this will happen (both parties–and the American people–lack the political will) we have to get out.  Though, unlike others, I do think we should leave at least some troops in the region to help out if necessary.


Chris May 7, 2007 at 7:57 am

We’re still there.

Meanwhile the Iraqi Parliament is heading off on vacation.

Dishonest? I live in the real world. Obviously hindsight is 20-20 and we wouldn’t invade Iraq again (well, maybe the president would). But we’ve done our part. Ultimately it’s up to the Iraqis to make this thing work or not. We spent 20 years handholding in Vietnam and hoping that the S. Vietnamese would take care of their problems. We know how that turned out.

This is a civil war between Shiites inspired by Iran and Sunnis sponsored to varying degrees by Al-Qaeda. Which side do we team up with?


Dan May 7, 2007 at 8:17 am

The idea that the Republicans will be able to attack other Democrats the way they will attack Franken is simply not true.  Franken has given them so much to work with that he will be on the defensive the entire campaign.

I don’t know if Ciresi or anyone else can win, but if Franken is the nominee, Coleman gets re-elected. 


Chris May 7, 2007 at 8:46 am

I don’t favor leaving tomorrow. Well, I do, but I wouldn’t.

I liked the original House deadline of next August. If we give a warning that far in advance and Iraq still can’t stand on its own, it never will.

That said, I think the Iraqi government has to begin planning for a major U.S. withdrawal sometime during the first half of 2009.


Chris May 7, 2007 at 8:46 am

Endorsing Franken is the same thing as voting for Coleman.


Joe Bodell May 7, 2007 at 6:09 pm

There’s a bit of kool-aid drinking going on here too.  Is it at least possible that the reason the Republicans have unleashed their attack dogs on Franken so early is because they’re worried about him?

Of course they’re not going to *say* so, but come on — by getting their “We read his book, and look what he said OMG!!!” excuse for opposition research out early, they’re allowing Franken plenty of time to refine a message to counter it.  It doesn’t make sense to do so now, ten months from caucuses, unless they need a way to get their ducks in a row and build successful talking points for next year.  By the time this stuff actually matters, it’s going to be old news, and whether Franken’s the nominee or not, we’re going to have a candidate for whom the smears don’t matter anymore.

Once again, not making any support statements, but I would advise you not to fall into the trap of believing that what you read on MDE is published for the sake of public service.


Dan May 7, 2007 at 8:06 pm

The Republicans are going to unleash their attack dogs on any DFL candidate – there is just a lot of early attention given to Franken because he is so much worse than any DFL candidate we have had in years. 

And the idea that Franken can counter the message that he’s an angry jerk is laughable because the message its based on Franken’s own behavior.  No one on the Republican side has to explain why Franken is a jerk – they just have to show video of Franken screaming that Republicans are “f**ing shamless.”  They just have to quote from his books and play clips from his radio show. 

Again, I don’t know if Ciresi or anyone else can pull it off, but if Franken is the nominee, Coleman will cruise and other DFL candidates up in 2008 had better stay as far away from Franken as possible. 


Gordon May 7, 2007 at 6:35 pm

Your MNCampaignReport post makes it sounds like you’ve given the nomination to Franken. Let’s not rush to judgment. The Strib’s Big Question Blog reports that Betty McCollum has endorsed Ciresi. Apparently not everyone has falled into Franken’s camp. I would still like to see other grassroots candidates enter the race. But if that does not happen, I would prefer Ciresi over Franken.


smit2174 May 7, 2007 at 7:02 pm

with the ridiculous compensation he got from the tobacco lawsuit.  And the perception is that he’s out of touch with the grassroots of the party, being more of a money-man.

I, for one, don’t think people are going to take Franken’s jokes negatively.  No matter how the Repubs try to spin it, none of his jokes really cross the line.  If anything, that kind of humor is more prevalent today than it was in the early days of SNL.  It is still an open question whether Minnesota voters will take Franken seriously, and charges of “carpet-bagging” could hurt him, but there are at least as many reasons for optimism.

However, I agree with you, Gordon: I’d like to see more candidates enter the race.  The more, the merrier!  I am not set on Franken or Ciresi.


Joe Bodell May 7, 2007 at 7:41 pm

It’s still very fair at this point to be looking for other viable candidates, and I haven’t handed anything to anyone.  Franken got out earlier, and has a head start in non-self-fundraising (is that a word?) but part of my point was the myopic focus the RPM has put on Franken.  I’m not normally willing to play counter-intelligence games with the opposition — I doubt very much they’re focusing on Franken because they don’t want Dems to think about any other candidates. 

So again, I’m not handing anything to anyone — but if the Republicans and Coleman are feeling as vulnerable as they look, of course they’re going to lash out at the candidate they perceive to be their stiffest competition.


Dan May 7, 2007 at 8:20 pm

This diary makes the presumption that the U.S. presence is Iraq is a solution.  I think its a problem – our presence there is a destablizing influence.  We have a responsibility to help fix the mess we created, but keeping our troops in Iraq is not helping.  The best thing we could do for Iraq is leave. 


Hal Kimball May 8, 2007 at 12:42 am

Thanks for the props man! 


kfred May 8, 2007 at 4:05 am

Things that make you go “hmmmmmm”.


smit2174 May 8, 2007 at 4:50 am

Sounds like a mob name, sort of.  “Tony Feathers” would be better.

Actually, doing some research, sounds like he belongs to the “Bush mob” and owes his rise in politics to their patronage:

The rise of Tony Feather from congressional intern to successful lobbyist is a story of loyalty, of good deeds rewarded — and of Republicans taking care of their own. After nearly three decades of working for GOP candidates in Missouri and surrounding Midwest states, Feather is emerging as a Washington power broker, thanks to some friends named Karl Rove, Joe M. Allbaugh, Ken Mehlman, Donald L. Evans and Jack Oliver, his colleagues from President Bush’s 2000 campaign, for which he served as political director.


He may have also been involved in some shady lobbying in Ohio:


Another partner, David M. James, was involved when Bush stole Ohio in ’04.


kfred May 8, 2007 at 4:53 am

……this guy is tainted.  You are absolutely correct – he goes W-A_A_A_A_A_Y back with the Roveman and the Bushies.


lloydletta May 8, 2007 at 9:09 am

Hilary Clinton’s campaign is also a major Top down campaign.  I think that will ultimately hurt her.


Joe Bodell May 8, 2007 at 5:16 pm

The Democratic campaigns, by and large, are giving their internet communications departments much more high profiles and a more central role in their coalition- and relationship-building efforts. 


dlw May 8, 2007 at 9:32 am

The carton is a great pic.

The ish is now how do you get passed along more in MN and what’s next?

Is Pawlenty really simply sitting pretty in his 2nd term or what leverages can be put on him?

It seems harder to put pressure on when we’re so individualised and preoccupied with “entertainment”.



smit2174 May 8, 2007 at 10:14 am

I don’t see this being a huge deal, even as a PR coup.  And while I would agree with you somewhat on the overall message that the right is not as ‘net-organized as the left, this is just an isolated incident (but perhaps revealing).


Joe Bodell May 8, 2007 at 5:18 pm

It appears that the organization has gone underground just in time to avoid being associated publicly with AttorneyGate.  Even if they’re not, however, an organization like that can’t afford to “just get new domains.”  It’s a HUGE PR flub on their part if that’s what’s going on — thousands of people know organizations by their web address and nothing more.


dlw May 9, 2007 at 6:23 am

Can a firm like that serve two masters?



lloydletta May 10, 2007 at 6:24 am

They do have a nice email list, but they didn’t use it in the way they have in the past to generate mail to legislators at crucial times. 

Outfront doesn’t have as it’s mission being a “progressive organization.”  They claim on paper to be “bi-partisan”, though in fact, they often seem to be quite lefty.  Outfront would be more effective if they would hire a Republican lobbyist to lobby the Governor and Republican legislators.  C Scott Cooper is too tied to Take Action Minnesota to be able to open doors with many Republcans.


Joe Bodell May 10, 2007 at 5:49 pm

Legislatively, the DFL caucuses are friendlier to OutFront’s single issue.  That much can’t really be disputed.  The question is whether they and organizations like them are going to do what it takes to generate grassroots pressure on those in the state government (read:  the Governor) who aren’t as friendly.  They haven’t done it, and have been content to sit back and have press conferences when they don’t just get what they want dropped in their lap.


lloydletta May 10, 2007 at 6:27 am

Outfront is a single issue group – that’s who they are. 

On sharing lists, I’d hope that Outfront doesn’t share their list.  People have reasons they might not want their names on an Outfront list shared. 


Dan May 10, 2007 at 7:48 pm

I think OutFront Minnesota should have been more partisan.  Are there any gay-friendly Republican legislators (other than the one who is gay) in Minnesota?  Pawlenty had a decent voting record in the house on gay rights, but as Governor has gone backwards along with the rest of the Republican party.  Outfront should have sucked it up and supported Mike Hatch despite his mixed record on their issues.  If Hatch was governor today, state employees would have domestic partner benefits. 


DJ Danielson May 11, 2007 at 12:28 pm

Sean Hannity today talked about how “those who met with the President and want to undermine our troops…they should be primaried.”

That wasn’t an exact quote, but I will have more at I Don’t Hate America tomorrow.


Joe Bodell May 11, 2007 at 6:01 pm

Ramstad’s district has changed drastically beneath him during his time in Congress. 

I’ll be looking forward to what you have today :-)


JackH May 14, 2007 at 7:39 pm

however, Ramstad still fits in decently.  I think he’s really only got a couple of terms left.

Once Terri Bonoff or Melissa Hortman or Maria Ruud get more seasoning under their belt, they will make very very formidable challengers.

They’re perfect fits for their own districts as well as for CD3 as a whole.  They live and breathe the issues that residents in the 3rd are facing. I think we will see a shift from moderate-republican to moderate-democratic representation in the 3rd by 2012.

Congressman Ramstad is part of that older generation of liberal-elite Republicans that can at least compromise on occasion with democrats, but for the most part are out of touch with the pocket-book issues affecting American families.  That’s where he’s really vulnerable.

The times they are a-changing in the 3rd. 


Joe Bodell May 14, 2007 at 9:01 pm

We should have an in-person rant sesson on this at some point, Jack.


JackH May 15, 2007 at 1:02 am

JackH May 14, 2007 at 7:30 pm

He’s rapidly moderating his stances and is one of a set of “moderate” republicans quoted in the Washington Post last week as challenging Bush to show progress on Iraq by the Fall.

His stance and work on mental health and substance abuse issues are among the most progressive, passionate and dedicated.

He has the ability to raise large sums of money at will, and democratic donors are very reluctant or outright unwilling to fund a challenger.

He’s an old-fashioned centrist/moderate republican and a minor part of America’s political nobility.  He’s a decent fit for CD3 though a little out of step with folk’s positions on Iraq and healthcare.

He’ll be very, very tough to dislodge in 2008.

I still owe you and the readers a Part II on Running against Ramstad.  Looks like the 2nd or 3rd week of June at this point.


Joe Bodell May 14, 2007 at 9:00 pm


The first step toward victory is doing away with words like “can’t”.  It’s not just cheerleading, it’s a vital part of building toward victory.  Who thought in May 2005 that a public schoolteacher from Mankato had a chance at knocking off a 12-year incumbent?  The demographics of CDs 1 and 3 aren’t *that* different

Yes, “moderate” Republicans went to the White House to argue with President Bush — and then voted with him anyway.

The mental health and substance abuse issues are great.  I applaud Mr. Ramstad for his stance on those issues, and respect his personal experience with them.  But there are so many issues on which he’s more than just a little out of step with his district.  Medical privacy, civil rights, the Patriot Act — these are huge issues and Ramstad is increasingly off his district’s mark on them.

I’m not saying he’ll be easy to dislodge — but it’s not impossible.  Raise a million plus, hang tough in the mainstream media war, bring the Netroots onboard and run a voracious grassroots machine, get a candidate out there who’s willing to put sixteen to eighteen months of their life into proving not just that they can win but that they can do a better job than Ramstad has at representing the needs of the 3rd district — it can be done.


Yes you do owe us that diary — I’m waiting for it :)


JackH May 15, 2007 at 12:58 am

gearing up to launch a campaign next month and I’ll agree with you about CD3.  :)


Dan May 16, 2007 at 5:48 am

The difference between 1st with Gutnecht and the 3rd with Ramstad is night and day.  If we waste a million bucks running against Ramstad, we are just asking to get beaten somewhere else (maybe Walz in the first). 


Joe Bodell May 16, 2007 at 5:56 pm

Any indication of the PVI differences?  Gender gaps?  Age?  Income rates?

I’m not saying it would be easy, I’m saying a strong challenger with a great campaign team could do it.


lloydletta May 15, 2007 at 8:48 am

Brodkorb has been doing a good job in that area.


Dan May 15, 2007 at 9:55 am

We knew that Franken has no chance whatsoever of beating Coleman, but I’m a little disappointed with Ciresi’s numbers.  I think Ciresi is a viable candidate, but I think a poll like this is an opportunity for other candidates to jump in. 


Ag May 15, 2007 at 6:25 pm

Dan, that’s the way I read this too.  I think this is an opportunity for more people to jump in.

I think Franken has a chance of beating Norm, same with Ciresi – we are still a long way out.  But no one siting in this poll can be happy with the numbers.


Ag May 15, 2007 at 7:17 pm

Okay, I had to think about writing this for a bit, but I feel it may be needed.

Kerry Greeley’s comment really bugged me and sets the exact wrong tone for this entire race.  She used her statement to go after Franken in a way that is at best disingenuous.  It does no democrat good to go after ourselves in this stale and overuses way this early (i.e. ever) in this race.

Use these heavy attacks against the one who deserves it – Norm the weasel Coleman.  Criticize Franken on the issues, but repeating garbage like Greeley is doing here is just lame.

Focus on Norm.  I for one want to support whoever is able to do that better, and will support whoever wins that game in the endorsement race.  All Greeley has done here is make me not want to support her guy much.

It’s still early, so this undecided voter is still reachable, but I will judge your candidates based on how they go after the REAL enemy, not each other.


Dan May 15, 2007 at 7:41 pm

Obviously, bloody primary fights can have a negative effect on the fall election, but candidates have the right to distinguish themselves from their competition.  That comment was really pretty tame and Franken’s electability (or complete and utter lack thereof) is an important issue.


Ag May 15, 2007 at 8:33 pm

Dan, you obviously have the right to your opinion, but I’d rather not see the candidates go down that road.  If Franken is as bad as you say, then going after him on the issues should be enough. 

Ciresi should not paint himself as a negative campaigner this far out, and if this is all he’s got, then it is way past time for someone else to come out of the woodwork to give this race a go. 

You see it as tame, I see it as lame.


Dan May 16, 2007 at 1:05 am

Franken’s problems have nothing to do with the issues (well, most of his problems – his former pro-war and anti-withdrawal stances will hurt him), but because of who Franken is and what he has said and done.  If Franken is the nominee, Coleman is an absolute lock to get re-elected.  We need to talk about the fact that one of the DFL candidates is DOA. 



Chris May 15, 2007 at 10:03 pm

Kerry G. is right. I don’t see stating basic facts as negative campaigning.

This, by the way, looks really stupid:


Dean Democrat May 16, 2007 at 12:00 am

Maybe I’m missing it in the original MPR story or maybe it’s posted somewhere else, but what actually are Franken’s “high negatives?”

The story says, “According to the poll, nearly 8 of 10 Minnesotans know who Franken is and, of them, nearly a third have an unfavorable opinion of him.”

What does “nearly a third” actually mean? A third would be 33 percent, so it’s nearly that. 32 percent? 31 percent? 30 percent?

The MPR article also says, “While Coleman is struggling with popularity, his negative ratings are well below those of Al Franken.” Yet the same story says a quarter (25 percent) have an unfavorable opinion of Coleman.

I’m not convinced that 25 percent unfavorable for Coleman is “well below” the 32 percent or 31 percent or 30 percent (or whatever it actually is) unfavorable for Franken.


Archer Dem May 16, 2007 at 12:08 am

The point is that for how bad Norm Coleman is, we’re seriously thinking about running a man who is much less popular with Minnesotans.  While I don’t think we have all the data yet, it is something that needs to be taken into account when picking our candidate.  Unfortunately issues aren’t everything as people aren’t willing to vote for someone they don’t like, especially independents.

I think Ciresi has a lot to prove before he gets my support.  I also agree that this appears to be a message to anybody thinking about getting into the race.  Here’s hoping we get some people with actual legislative experiences.


Julie Risser May 16, 2007 at 3:55 am

MNCampaignReport offers a pretty basic statement from Kerry Greeley – Ciresi’s manager. But this is a blog and it is one that incredibly dedicated “Al Franken is the Savior of the DFL” types party read. So it’s a pretty sure bet that what MNCampaign Report posted will be viewed negatively. Is it safe to assume MNCampaignReport made the contact with Greeley? What exactly was the entire exchange?
There has been a huge amount of “We Love Al” no matter what here… Before more slime gets thrown at the Ciresi campaign I would like MNCampaignReport to provide a little more info about the conversation with Greeley.


Joe Bodell May 16, 2007 at 4:44 am

I appreciate a keen eye for details, Ms. Risser, but you’re way off-base here.  I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I don’t yet have a preference in the Senate race, and even when I do, I’ll be strongly supporting the eventual DFL nominee.  I made exactly the same overtures toward Franken’s campaign as I did Ciresi’s:  a simply-worded message asking for comment or reaction to the poll numbers.  I received a prompt response from Ms. Greeley, and did not receive one from Franken’s staff.

There’s really nothing to see here.


Julie Risser May 16, 2007 at 7:33 am

For all the talk about keeping the race clean and DFL candidates needing to play exceedingly nice with each other, I do hope that “simply worded message” wasn’t pushing for a comparison between campaigns. The reply does point to that line of inquiry. What was the simply worded message?


Joe Bodell May 16, 2007 at 5:54 pm

Subject:  Mason-Dixon Poll: Coleman over Franken 54-32, over Ciresi 52-29

Test of message:  Reaction?

Which is exactly what I sent to Franken’s staff as well.



Julie Risser May 16, 2007 at 6:19 pm

I don’t believe you are trying to favor one candidate over the other. I do believe in the interest of getting material for your blog you post stuff that is not exactly helpful to your party. Look at some of the candidate interviews you posted during the 2006 election…ask yourself could my interview style contribute to this person sounding like an-in-your-face blogger? This isn’t about favoritism on your part it’s more about being sloppy….Joe. One could make the argument that seeking analysis from a poli-sci pro regarding the poll would have been way to approach this – perhaps better than dragging the actual campaigns into this…it’s kind of like the established rule that candidates should not write LTEs when it comes to defending themselves or stating how they are doing.


Joe Bodell May 16, 2007 at 6:28 pm

I think it’s a bit ridiculous that you’re saying that we, as bloggers, shouldn’t ask campaigns for their take on polls, news conferences, and events that affect them.  I also think you misunderstand the roll of the blogosphere in today’s political arena.  We don’t do commentary exclusively anymore — we interact with campaigns and organizations, get their opinions and statements, and contribute to stories that the mainstream media won’t or can’t get right.  Smart campaigns have learned to treat us like any other media outlet, ergo we should have no problem posting whatever they tell us without regard to the effect it will have on their chances or our shared political allegiances.

If you think there’s a better way, I encourage you to write some diaries on political topics of your choosing — that’s what MNCR can do for you!


Chris May 16, 2007 at 8:20 pm

Isn’t that the nature of a campaign? To compare and contrast yourself with the other person…whether a fellow DFLer or a Republican….


Julie Risser May 16, 2007 at 10:03 pm

Joe was really clear in stating his goals…kind of a let the candidate beware type approach – smart campaigns will be ok – fair enough. Once one tosses ones hat in the ring whatever happens happens. I do hope when he first initiates contact with campaigns he is clear about this. The reality is not all campaigns are up-to-speed on the blog world…but then again maybe the sentiment is they jolly well should be and too bad if they aren’t. If encouraging rival campaigns to comment on each other is what MNCampaign Report wants to do…kind of get it all out in the open type action, well there is logic to that. Whether candidates from the same party agree and continue to respond along these lines will be interesting to see. Personally I would think focusing on ones own message would be the better way to go….commenting on a rival’s position why? Let him/her reveal his/her position. And if indeed a blog is for a particular party – the blog could generate dialog about candidates without dragging in campaigns. That, however, does not appear to be the approach this blog is taking.


smit2174 May 18, 2007 at 8:10 am

I would speculate that this means that we can take Mr. Heffelfinger at his word: he was not directly asked to resign.  If he was, and he heard about the McClatchy error (still assuming that it was real), he would perhaps have admitted it or passed on a “no comment.”  This categorical denial (once again) would seem to indicate that he was never directly asked to resign.

However, it does not preclude the possibility that Mr. Heffelfinger sensed the writing on the wall.

It also does not necessarily conflict with the January 9th, 2006 memo in which Kyle Sampson expressed his desire to

“work quietly with targeted U.S. Attorneys to encourage them to leave government service voluntarily; this would allow targeted U.S. attorneys to make arrangements for work in the private sector and ‘save face’ regarding the reason for leaving office, both in the Department of Justice and in their local legal communities.”

You know, the more I think about it, the fact that Heffelfinger apparently did not have a job lined up until 3 months after his resignation could signal that he got word of Sampson’s plan, or perhaps just hints, and decided to head it off by resigning.  Obviously, he did not get much help from Sampson and the DOJ in regards to obtaining immediate employment after his resignation, as the memo quoted above suggested would happen.


Gordon May 18, 2007 at 6:26 pm

I think it is too soon for groups like this to make their endorsements. I still hope for more candidates, and ones better qualified than Franken, to enter the race.
The United Steelworkers will just have egg on their face when Franken gets rejected by either the endorsement or nomination process.

It’s strange to endorse a challenger with such high negative ratings in early polls. A risky move indeed. It’s common for incumbents to have higher negative ratings due to the reality of having to cast some hard and controversial votes. But for a challenger, and supposedly fresh face, to bring high negative ratings into a race is uncommon and not a good predictor of success.


Dan May 19, 2007 at 8:39 am


Today, a different list of removals needs another name:

Rachel Paulose.

Her staff is in rebellion. The senator who nominated her is demanding the head of the man who presided over the process that produced her. And the bottom line is clear:

Her appointment to a job for which she was unqualified, and which she has demonstrated she is incapable of performing, was the poisoned fruit of a corrupt process.


mike May 20, 2007 at 10:37 pm

MFL rankings ARE indicative of legislative effectiveness. I think this is especially true of legislators in the minority. Abeler, Senjem, Tinglestad, Dille, Rosen and Koering operate in the same arena as Emmer, Hoppe, Kohls, Buesgens and Vandeveer yet their respective rankings in the MFL are striking. How can Rep. Hoppe spend the last five months in St. Paul and find only 14 bills worth signing on to? Emmer, Kohls and Buesgens probably lead the entire legislature in time spent speaking on the House Floor yet between them they didn’t have a single piece of legislation make it to the House Floor. How is that helping the State move forward?

By skill, luck or insight, Bob Collins, MFL Commissioner,came up with a legislative tracking system for the MFL that is more than just fun and games. It is a legitimate tool that provides insight into the legislative process.


Hal Kimball May 22, 2007 at 9:46 pm

Sally Jo rocks!


Hal Kimball May 22, 2007 at 10:48 pm

They put politics before the people Chris!  The leadership in the DFL had an opportunity to hold true to our values as Democrats and fix 4 years of Governor Pawlenty sticking it to Greater Minnesota.

Instead, they felt it was more important to end on time than to actually carry out the will of the voters this past November.

What would have been better?

Flying around Minnesota telling people “we got done on time” and “Blame T-Paw”?


Flying around Minnesota today telling the voters that “Pawlenty is out of touch with Minnesota’s values.  He failed to respond to the resouding pleas from the electorate for property tax reform, K-12 funding reform in Greater Minnesota, Transporation funding, Access to affordable and quality health care.”

What people will remember is that one of the first things they did in St Paul, was vote themselves a per diem increase.


Dan May 22, 2007 at 11:58 pm

I knew we were in trouble when Larry Pogemiller became the Senate leader, and I got really mad reading about how Kelliher’s lobbyist husband was leading the charge on getting more arts funding put into the outdoors/arts amendement.  Both of these clowns need to be replaced.  Pawlenty completely took them to school.  Absolutely pathetic. 


Joe Bodell May 23, 2007 at 12:56 am

But I’ll have a somewhat contrarian take on this tomorrow morning.


JackH May 23, 2007 at 2:22 am

But I do think they overreached on the property tax increase and put the suburban DFLers in a really tough spot. If they had went for an increase to 8.9% they wouldn’t have handed the Republicans an automatic meme of “highest state tax rate” in the nation and still had room for property tax relief and schools/roads funding.

Your frame:

the wealthiest at the expense of everyone else.

is the frame that should have been floated since the veto and in last Sunday’s NYT article.  Since the begining of the session we should have been hitting these three themes over and over:

Property Tax Relief
Public Investment
Moving Minnesota Forward

But I don’t see, nor have I heard, any coherent messaging about the DFL’s overarching vision in the media.


JackH May 23, 2007 at 3:02 am

for a fabulous job as MC.


Chris May 23, 2007 at 4:02 am

Maybe it was an over-reach, but with a 72 percent rating by the MPR poll they should’ve stood tough. They would’ve got a better deal in the end. They failed at putting Pawlenty on the defensive and he did well today at making the DFL co-owner of this miserable session.


Joe Bodell May 23, 2007 at 6:40 am

Still not disagreeing, but there’s more than just a silver lining to be taken from this session.  Deadlock, even if it means DFL priorities have to wait until a special session (unlikely, by the sounds of it) or the next regular session, is not necessarily the worst outcome of all.


smit2174 May 23, 2007 at 8:44 am

what the silver lining is.  We lost the PR war.  There was no coherent message from Democrats.

I’d add another to the list of failures:  why weren’t they hammering Pawlenty for his constant tours with John McCain pursuing hopes of VP, which he promised he wasn’t after?  They also could have tied his absence from the Capitol to McCain’s missing 40+ straight votes in the Senate (5 weeks!)

I don’t know if this is a failure of leadership or simply being outmaneuvered by the GOP, but it needs to improve for next session.

Hopefully next year we can use those huge majorities to some advantage.

Also, I would add that the DWIs don’t look great, either.


Chris May 23, 2007 at 9:04 pm

I told a friend the DFL shouldn’t even use the words “legislative session” this week, they should simply change the subject to J. Ortman.


Ag May 23, 2007 at 6:34 pm

I just want to echo these sentiments, with a touch of more criticism thrown at the Senate Majority leader. It is clear to me, and MANY people I have spoken to that the senate and less so the house failed miserably on a coordinated and strategic message.  Let alone made it more difficult for the members of their caucuses for 2008.

Without going into too much detail, I fully believe that the Senate should look for new leadership.  The one electoral loss of last cycle was much more damaging than we know.  We need to find a majority leader in the mold of Dean Johnson, and move quickly away from our current unorganized and arrogant leadership.

We can do much better.


Joe Bodell May 23, 2007 at 7:01 pm

But I think patience is called for.  Structural improvements should come before calling for anyone’s head.


Chris May 23, 2007 at 8:05 pm

The DFL had the issues on their side and still botched it…

Obviously nobody was going to get everything they wanted, but you have to charge hard to force a good deal, not wimp out and then have the party send out asinine “Thank your DFL legislators” messages.

They had everything on their side and couldn’t close a deal. The governor has bent before — i.e., the cig. tax/fee. This year they could’ve pushed him harder, but instead folded like a cheap suit … pardon the cliche.

I’m not calling for anyone’s head, but if MAK and LP went away I wouldn’t call for them to come back.

And that it takes a political strategy memo to explain how this session wasn’t complete crap really proves that it was.

I’ll have more later.


JackH May 24, 2007 at 12:13 am

But from what I’ve heard Poge just totally went off on his own and made it that much harder for the DFL to present a unified front.

I’m also hearing he put a lot of pressure on State Senators to push or not push for issues he had an interest in depending on his view.

We probably should call for Poge’s head. He’s been up there forever and should know better.  Heck the Senate DFLers probably should have known better than to elect him majority leader.  And now Metzen’s DUI? Perhaps it’s time for a fresh start in the Senate.

This was Margaret’s rookie season and the opposition was fighting mad. I’d expect to see a big improvement next session.


Chris May 24, 2007 at 12:17 am

Who should replace LP if he does go?

I’d be inclined to pick a suburban senator…

After this session, I have an even greater respect for Dean Johnson…(not a suburbanite, I know)


Hal Kimball May 24, 2007 at 12:50 am

Word on the street is Tom Bakk.

Ag May 24, 2007 at 1:04 am

Her name has also been raised.  She is another urban senator, but has great greater mn relations.

I would not be against her at this point.

JackH May 23, 2007 at 7:28 pm

and the candidate needs democrats actually willing to donate money to them.

And the candidate needs democratic friends of Jim to not undermine their efforts at voter contact and GOTV in key swing SDs.

We’ll have to grab a beer and do a rant session session on this sometime.  I’ll email you about that.


Dan May 23, 2007 at 8:11 pm

I think everyone realizes that even with big majorities in both the House and Senate, as long as Pawlenty is governor, consensus and compromise are necessary.  That isn’t what happened.  Here the DFL made almost all the concessions.  Pawlenty beat them up and stole their lunch money.  This was big time underachievement by the DFL.

Instead of pretending everything is ok, we need to fix the problem.  And the problem is that the leadership sucks.  We aren’t going to accomplish anything next year either as long as Pogemiller and Kelliher are in charge. 


Joe Bodell May 23, 2007 at 9:15 pm

There is some serious soul-searching and hard work that has to be done both at the leadership and communications level.  However, my central point here is that we need to focus our frustration on finding concrete solutions to the issues we face, because an obstinate opposing force in the Governor’s office is going to be a component of political reality for the next couple of years.

All in all, I’m optimistic that we can fix a lot of the glaring issues before the next legislative session and really hammer home a lot of the issues the DFL had this time around.


Dan May 23, 2007 at 9:37 pm

Instead of focusing on “freedom to poop” and a bunch of other garbage, lets get the budget bills and the important things done first.  That way, if Pawlenty is going to veto, it will make it much harder for him to run out the clock.  Better yet, let’s talk to Pawlenty and the Republicans ahead of time and try to deliver them something that won’t result in a guaranteed veto. 

Doing these things, however, requires real leadership, which is completely absent now.  As long as clowns like Pogemiller and Kelliher are in charge, why would you think this is going to be any different next year?  All the work we did last fall to win the House and build up the Senate majority is being wasted by terrible leadership. 


DJ Danielson May 24, 2007 at 1:23 am

The problem wasn’t with things like “Freedom to Poop.” The problem was with the ridiculous amount of committees in the House this year.  With so many committees, it took forever for bills to get passed.

By the way, the restroom access bill was included in the final jobs and workforce development bill.  On it’s own, it didn’t get a hearing until March.  It was hardly a caucus priority in either chamber.


Dan May 24, 2007 at 1:55 am

Like the pet committee Kelliher set up for her husband?  Yeah, she needs to be shown the door just like Pogemiller does.

The freedom to poop bill was just one of many stupid pieces of legislation that received attention rather important things like the budget. 

Chris May 23, 2007 at 10:01 pm

2008 is a long way off.

It’s time to regroup.

The DFL did a crappy job. They didn’t force Pawlenty into a tough spot. They had strong poll numbers for the income tax hike-prop. tax relief proposal and basically chickened out.

You can’t get a good deal from the governor if you put him in a position where he can veto something once and then look statesmanlike the day after the session. They should’ve either sent PAwlenty the income tax hike earlier and had a protracted debate over it — which DFLers would’ve won — or sent it to him later and had Pawlenty call a special session because he stands with the richest 1 percent over the other 99 percent.

Getting done on time doesn’t really matter. It’s getting stuff done that does.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but one of the best experiences I had as a reporter was talking to regular people about politics. It’s really informative. We obviously know full well the difference between Republicans and Democrats — most other people don’t. It’s not their fault. Legislative seats change hands like crazy here because people don’t see how it really matters and that’s because nobody’s leading.

Minnesota isn’t an 85-49 state. I’d say it’s a fluke nowadays whenever either party gets more than 75 seats. This was a chance for the DFL to impose a good solution on the governor and they folded — as if wimping out will help the marginal seats they picked up in 2006.

This deal isn’t much better than something a Johnson and Sviggum-led Legislature could’ve produced.


JackH May 24, 2007 at 1:04 am

You know who would be awesome? (But I’ll bet ya $10 it won’t happen?)

Terri Bonoff.


Probably Tarryl Clark or Tom Bakk.


Hal Kimball May 24, 2007 at 2:10 am

Since we like the quotes today…

Paul Wellstone once said “If you don’t stand up and fight for what you believe in, at some point you must recognize that you really don’t believe in it”

I don’t think our party stood up and fought hard enough in several areas, we simply folded under the weight of the Governor’s veto pen.

If delegates would have had the courage to endorse Steve Kelley, we would not be here discussing this today!

I do have to say that you never see any of this over at the righty blogs.  It’s simply a GOP, neo-con love fest at most of those sites.

An open and honest critique of the positivies and the negatives is good discourse and good for our party.

While the sky is not falling, I am disappointed in many aspects of what happened in St Paul.

Leadership changes?  The House leadership is safe.  I recall MAK’s comments about gavelling the former Speaker.  This much we know for certain, Swiggum, Seifert, Emmer and others will not care if they gavel down a former speaker.

They will feel no remorse, no sympathy.

I was surpirsed by the selection of Pogemiller as Majority Leader.  It was viewed as a move to combat T-Paw in many regards and did not pan out that way in reality. Tarryl Clark was the face of the Senate for the majority of the session.  I could support Clark or Bakk taking the reigns in the Senate.

Joe nailed another issue several weeks ago.  Driving around the cities, you see the large Taxevaders League signage depicting Liberals as tax and spenders.

We heard commercials on numerous stations pushing the right wing talking points.

Lefty responses were mostly limited to on line commentary and a single radio station in the cities.

Where were our union billboards in support of transportation funding?

Where were Education Minnesota radio ads in Greater Minnesota?

Ready 4 K had a 1/4 page ad in the Strib, but who else “had their back”?

I strongly feel that Greater Minnesota has been neglected by our party.  If Minnesota is the proverbial “flyover state” then Greater Minnesota communities like Hutchinson, Buffalo, Paynesville, seldom get the attention of our party.

I know what a Republican on the Iron Range feels like, being a Democrat in Greater Minnesota, specifically in Wright County.

That’s why I write. 

That’s why I work for DFL candidates out here and encourage others to build the party out here.

On the communications front, we need more local programming on AM 950.  A few hours daily of liberal talk is not sufficient.  Our counterparts get considerable time on two local stations at all hours of the day.  Instead of animal programming on a Saturday afternoon, I’d rather listen to some progressives hash things out.

I know that was an incoherent hodge podge of stuff…I’m still stewing though and will have a more coherent rant after work later!


Gordon May 24, 2007 at 3:04 am

For years I?ve watched the system continually break down.  That?s why I?ve given up on both the Republicans and Democrats.  It?s time to trade in both of these two old jalopies and start fresh with a new vehicle to reform. That?s why I think we need to go third party.  In Minnesota  the Independence Party is the best alternative.

The DFL proved it can?t handle leadership with this session.  Where did it go wrong? Instead of focusing on a select group of achieveable goals, it went off a like a loose cannon in every direction. Its wild, uncontrolled policy positions were a PR nightmare.

Now I agree that some tax increases are in order to finance public programs. The gas tax to enhance roadways was sound policy, much better than more borrowing or allowing the roads to deteriorate. But for awhile, the banner headlines in the media were about another DFL proposed tax increase ? almost every day. It made it look like things were going absolutely crazy AND IT DOOMED EVERYTHING FROM PASSING.

And how naive could the Democrats be? Passing these bills at the 11th hour and giving Pawlenty a gift on a silver platter with his veto pen — with NO CHANCE OF AN OVERRIDE.

No, I don?t expect any improvement next session. We will see the same ineptitude because that is what we always see. It?s like expecting a vicious dog to become a cuddly house pet. It just aint going to happen.

Real improvement won?t come until the electorate wakes up and realizes the Republican-Democrat two party system is dysfunctional, and in serious need of replacement with a third alternative.


Dan May 24, 2007 at 3:16 am

Blah de blah blah blah third-party blah de blah blah. 



Joe Bodell May 24, 2007 at 3:33 am

Gordon, the point of this thread is not to bash the DFL, it’s for those committed to improving the DFL and its political goals to discuss how to do so.  We all understand you’re a big third-party advocate.  Congratulations.  But stay on-topic.


Julie Risser May 24, 2007 at 4:04 am

What were the big things the governor wanted? JOBZ? $ for the GOP convention? To end the session on time? Did the DFL even consider how to make the governor twitch? It doesn’t look like it.
Pawlenty managed to get what he wanted – and he managed to get the DFL to reject issues that are basic to the DFL platform. The worst example in my humble opinion? Removing comprehensive sex education…how basic – how full of common sense. What the DFL did was stop hideous things it didn’t want – example we didn’t get more nasty gun legislation – that Castle Doctrine legislation died…what did the DFL get? Somethings sure…but as in abusive relationships Pawlenty got DFLers to destroy things they should have defended. The governor doesn’t compromise – that was clearly demonstrated in 2003.


mike May 24, 2007 at 4:12 am

Much like the Federal Government, Minnesota’s State government has a constitutionally strong executive branch. It’s tough to beat the Governors bully pulpit and veto power. If one looks at the results of past special sessions, the Governor gets pretty much what he wants. Historically there has been very little gained by the legislative branch due to a special session. By most accounts even former Governor Jesse Ventura, who had no power base in the legislature and was disengaged for the most part during legislative sessions, ended up getting many of his pet initiatives enacted into law.

As disappointing as the last few hours of the House Session were, by and large MAK and Sertich along with their majority assistants held a diverse group of DFLR’S together pretty well. The House also had a number of freshmen that were elected out of swing districts that have been targeted for tough votes by the Republicans since day one. There are also very few moderate Republicans left in the House to peel off for a veto over-ride so as long as the Republicans held tight with the Governor, the Dems were in a tough position to make any sweeping changes.

The biggest problem as I see it is that there has been no concerted effort by those outside of the legislature to carry the Democratic massage on an ongoing basis. This has been a problem with the DFL for years. In Greater Minnesota the newspaper coverage is dominated by Forum Communications, a Republican owned media company out of Fargo, ND. Letters to the Editor by local DFL activists have been the primary DFL counterbalance.

In short, while our DFL legislators are incredibly busy just doing their job in St.Paul, very little “cover” or DFL messaging has been supplied by anyone on a consistent basis. I honestly don’t know on whose shoulders this duty falls…the House and Senate Media, the State DFL, DFL County Units, bloggers…I don’t know. Yet while “Garage Logic”, Forum Communications, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, (which by the way many outstate radio stations use for news coverage), the Taxpayers League, the Chamber of Commerce and others trumpet the conservative message on a daily basis with little organized resistance, the DFL will be playing defense. Our legislators need some help. We just gotta figure out how to get it done.


Dan May 24, 2007 at 4:55 am

kick MAK to the curb.


JackH May 24, 2007 at 6:51 am

Mike, I think you’re absolutely right. 


Joe Bodell May 24, 2007 at 7:10 am

Blog coverage?  Advocacy organizations?  Party units?  Everything?  Are there efficiencies to be found?


JackH May 24, 2007 at 8:23 pm
Chris May 25, 2007 at 12:37 am


mntrueblue May 24, 2007 at 5:49 pm

testimony is a little different from those I keep reading, namely that she is a Legally Blond Bubblehead.  In fact, I thought that like her mentor, Gonzo, Ms. Monica put on a masterful performance.  She had been coached extensively for this testimony and hardly ever faltered in portraying herself as “poor little me, caught in the headlights.”  What did we really learn from her?  Very little.  She threw McNulty and Sampson under the bus, even Gonzo took a small hit.  But the big guns–Rove, Meiers, Bush?  Hardly a word was spoken about them, and Monica was the White House Liason.  She stated that her role was extremely limited.  I don’t believe it.  Let me repeat that:  Monica Goodling was White House Liason.

I thought that the Dem questioners in the morning session were fairly pathetic.  They were unable to elicit anything from her except an unending stream of Valley Girl nothings, the questioning was unfocused and uncoordinated.  Things got better in the afternoon, with Artur Davis doing a very good job, but too little, too late, imho.


Joe Bodell May 24, 2007 at 5:57 pm

Without explicitly saying so, she admitted that she broke the law.  But there remain several questions to be asked of Ms. Goodling regarding who directed her to do so.


mntrueblue May 24, 2007 at 6:09 pm

a very serious crime Ms. Goodling has committed.  The Justice Department is now full of her career hirings.  This will have a profound impact on DoJ functioning for years to come.  It isn’t so easy to get rid of career people.  To grant immunity for the small amount of “meat” that Monica provided is a mistake.  She should be in jail.  Her crime was easily verifiable, easily proven.  Naturally, I, like everybody else, assumed that the proffer was substantial.  Instead, we got very little and Ms. Monica walks.  I repeat:  she should be in jail.


mike May 24, 2007 at 11:39 pm

I look forward to Hal Kimball and other Greater Minnesota DFLR’S who have been involved in campaigns to comment on the following.

One of the problems, as I see it, is that most messaging and talking points are generated out of the Metro, whether by the House and Senate Caucuses or the State DFL. The DFL gains last fall in legislative seats came primarily from the suburbs and Greater Minnesota. DFL candidates in these “swing” districts were successful by garnering support of independents and “moderate” Republicans. The successful DFL candidates in these districts also were individuals who were personally reflective of their home districts.

Progressive issues such as choice, same sex benefits, tax increases, creationism etc. tend to be much more divisive topics in the “swing” districts. Successful DFL candidates in these districts were successful by focusing on DFL bread and butter issues such as equitable funding for public education, health care access and rising costs along with a host of local issues. Having been active in both local and statewide campaigns, the difference in strategy and messaging is striking between Metro campaigns and those in Greater Minnesota.

My point is that whatever vehicle(s) the DFL adopts to advance their message their needs to be more input from Greater Minnesota and the suburbs as to what that message should be and how it is delivered.


Chris May 25, 2007 at 12:32 am

DFLers at the Capitol did a poor job selling why their policies were important.

There were better defenses on blogs like this than in the quotes they were feeding to the Star Tribune.

With corporate profits up and personal income flat — and transportation, health care, etc… — this was the year to get things done for regular people.

The governor stood for 1 percent. The DFL was standing for the other 99. But they didn’t sell it and didn’t put the governor on the defensive.

LP folded. MAK was out of her league. I think it’s time for new faces and a new strategy. We need a new Dean Johnson and Matt Entenza.


Chris May 25, 2007 at 12:36 am

On the blog front, I think some of the other sites could do a better job of talking about the mainstream issues at the Capitol. There’s plenty of stuff on social issues and lots of inside baseball, but ultimately it’s about leadership and issues.

We had the issues on our side and leadership failed. The blogs probably couldn’t change it, but we could nevertheless do a better job hammering away at what’s important and why it is…


Hal Kimball May 30, 2007 at 1:41 am

That’s why I have not blogged or posted much in the past several days!  I’m still in Wright County though and out of the Wright County DFL sanctuary of Annandale.

In my opinion, the divide between Greater Minnesota and the Metro areas is as strong as the party divide.  I think the difference is that when pushed, DFLers tend to do what’s right for their area and Republicans simply fall in ranks to push the GOP agenda, like Dean Urdahl on the Transporation Bill.

You’re right, messaging is vital, but it needs to be broad enough so that its adaptable to the Iron Range, Metro, and places like where I live. 

I know that choice and same sex marriage issues were not has pronounced out here in this campaign than in previous years.  I am pro-choice and pro-same sex marriage.  So in our messaging, we chose to put those issues in the morality issues frame, but added access to affordable and quality health care to the morality issue frame. 

We also spun some of the property tax issues in the morality frame.  Seniors in our area have had to make the choice of selling their family homes because of high property tax increases.  They simply cannot afford to live in these homes they have inhabited for 50 years, because of their fixed incomes and insane increases.

We spun access to health care (mental and physical) for our Veterans as a morality issue.

While we lost the election, I do not think it was because of how we framed the debate.  All of the Democrats in our area dominated our incumbents in the debates.

We lived in a SD that was one of a few that Amy Klobuchar lost.

Collin Peterson’s only lost 2 precincts in all of CD 7 and both were in our SD.

Sometimes you’re simply outnumbered.

And that’s why we need to party build in our area.  When we first got the VAN last Spring, the only DFLers we had ID’d were from caucuses and donations. 

Going door to door, we were able to ID significant numbers of people who lean towards a Democratic ideology.  Republicans have had a better spin machine for quite some time now.  They simply pivot on the taxes frame and it plays well.

Our party must do a better job of not being on the defense so much on these issues.  We need to get out there and make the progressive agenda heard.  In my opinion, the party has not helped us out with that in Greater Minnesota.

Leadership had an opportunity to attend several functions in Wright, Meeker and McLeod Counites only to be “pulled away” for other business.

In reading through nearly 20 years of minutes from the Wright County DFL, the frustration from candidates across litteraly decades is evident.  There are numerous instances of last minute interference from either House or Senate Caucus leadership who have either cost an individual an election (due to a poorly timed House Caucus attack ad), or because of Caucus organizers who strip volunteers from local campaigns to work the Congressional and Statewide campaigns.

Hence the frustration from many out in Greater Minnesota.  So, beyond synching the message, Coordinated Campaigns need to be a bit more coordinated, at least in our neck of the woods.


JackH May 25, 2007 at 12:37 am

One of the biggest frustrations in the burbs is that the leadership (legislative & party) seems to have no idea how to talk to people living in the burbs or a true understanding of what the core issues are.

A good example is education.  While more money for schools is a very high priority out here, many suburban DFLers also recognize that there are serious and fundamental problems with education in the core cities and are more than willing to champion state-wide educational initiatives that provide more resources and raise the bar for everybody.  Those needs and standards will vary district by district, but it’s a common platform that could be used to great affect as part of a plan to move Minnesota forward.

But the leadership’s thinking is still very core cities focused. 


Gordon May 25, 2007 at 9:46 pm

Much of  the conversation here has been about regrouping for the next legislative session, but a another interesting aspect is who would win the hearts of voters if today were November 2008. Would things trend back to the Republicans, stay even or boost DFL numbers.

If Minnesota were an island unaffected by national politics and voters were deciding on the Minnesota legislative session alone, I think they would trend back toward the Republicans. I think the DFL lost the PR battle here. The last time I posted, I got accused of simply making bash-the-DFL comments. So I hope these comments will be taken as constructive criticism and not simply bashing criticism.

The DFL needed focus and PR savvy. Raising select taxes for the public good is wise policy. But there was such as flurry of announcements of tax increase proposals that it looks like all sanity had broken loose.  You saw them day after day in the Star Tribune headlines. You need to focus on your priorities and get them done, instead of making the legislative session look like some wild tax-raising brainstorming session.

And as far as the income tax increase on the top 1% of earners goes, you need to think about the PR implications.  I say raise their taxes, but don?t raise them to the point of making the bracket the highest in the nation.  Now I don?t say this because I feel an injustice is being imposed on the top 1%. I don?t think a tax increase like this would impact their lifestyle in the least.  I say this because making the bracket the highest in the nation feeds into bad PR and dooms the chances of passage.  Now I don?t know why some people on the bottom 99% feel ill at ease at raising taxes on the top 1%.  But history has shown you can manipulate this issue in the media and scare lower income earners. Sometimes you can?t fight certain patterns.

So back to the question, who would win in Minnesota legislative races if today were November 2008.  Probably the Democrats, but not because of the Democrats actions locally. They would win due to the continued backlash against Bush and the Iraq war. So even though your State Rep and State Senator has nothing to do with International policy, the electorate seems to like to use all races right down to the city council to send its message. I know feeling can change over time, but I suspect the current discontent with Bush will be enough for local DFLers to benefit.


Joe Bodell May 25, 2007 at 11:33 pm

Gordon, you bring up some very good points.  There continues to be a difference between running for office and doing a good job once you’re sworn in, and no state is a political island.  Except Hawaii.  My expectation would be that a few marginal seats would go back to the Republicans (because of independent voters who voted straight Dem this year, but would be willing to split a ticket after keeping close track of local pols), but I don’t think it would be a surge that way, let alone a tsunami.  Minnesota, simply put, is a left-leaning state, the DFL’s failure to knock off Tim Pawlenty notwithstanding.


Chris May 26, 2007 at 1:01 am

Gordon is probably right on the level of the tax increase. But they did have a 70%+ approval rating on their actual proposal. They should’ve pushed Pawlenty harder on it. It needed to come down to Pawlenty calling a special session because he refused to raise taxes on the super rich.

I think anytime a party in Minnesota gets more than 80 seats in the House it’s a fluke. Like the post-Wellstone Memorial/Political Rally boon for the GOP in the 2002 elections or the Bush factor for the DFL last year.

Minnesota leans left, but isn’t dark blue. After 2008 it will only get harder to enact strong public policy — that is, once we get back to a more evenly divided House. That’s what makes this year so disappointing.


Joe Bodell May 26, 2007 at 1:05 am

to improve the operation now, to make sure 2008 is an excellent legislative session, and helps offset whatever losses are to be expected in the house.  I have to be honest though, I don’t see a lot of vulnerable freshmen or sophomores in the house right now.  There were a few slim victories, but just as many slim losses where the GOP’s STILL going to have to play defense.

However, that’s a long way off.  Plenty of work to do before then.


mike May 26, 2007 at 1:20 am

When all is said and done, having a large majority in the House and Senate doesn’t historically translate into huge swings in public policy UNLESS the margin is large enough to assure a veto-override. A few DFL legislators in tough districts may be protected from a few tough votes, but that’s about it. As far looking towards the 2008 election cycle, there aren’t many swing districts left for the DFL to win. Over the last couple of cycles, the DFL has pretty much ran the table. Although the DFL has a chance to pick up a couple more seats, the challenge will be to hold on to many of the seats we gained last fall. Most of them will be extremely competitive.

Chris May 26, 2007 at 12:57 am

It’s probably an election-year conversion, but either way, this is good news.


Chris May 26, 2007 at 5:34 am

That vote proved just how important the 2008 election is. Walz really didn’t have a choice. Ultimately this is the best solution and in a few months Congress may have the public behind them to take tougher action.


smit2174 May 26, 2007 at 6:43 am

He had a choice.  This vote came a full year and a half before the next election.

If they had attacked him for “not supporting the troops,” he had a lot of time to push back.  The fact that he himself is a veteran wouldn’t have hurt, either.

If we are going to combat this pernicious notion that voting against more funding with no strings attached is “hurting the troops,” we will need veterans like Tim Walz to demonstrate why those talking points are false.


Chris May 26, 2007 at 9:51 am

That was a crappy post on my part.

The 2008 elections are huge because we need a president whose goal is getting out of Iraq not getting further bogged down in a civil war.

September is important. Either way the war was going to be funded through then — with or without the deadlines. I think it’s key that Democrats sell their case — and agree on one! — to the people this summer. We’ll have a report on the surge by the fall and public opinion could shift further.

What’s interesting is that while most people oppose Bush’s handling of the Iraq war, the opinion polls show mixed results on how to proceed. A lot of folks like deadlines, other options are less popular. Not that Congress should govern by poll, but they do need to put together a plan that can lead opinion.

By this fall the president will be hard-pressed to reject a plan that calls for troop withdrawals to begin before Christmas. His surge will have either worked or failed and it’ll be time for the next phase.

Sooner would, of course, be better. But there’s still time to get the bulk of American troops out of Iraq by next summer — just like the original plan unveiled by the House a couple months ago.


DJ Danielson May 26, 2007 at 10:43 am

…a plan which Rep. Walz happened to vote for!


smit2174 May 26, 2007 at 10:50 am

I think it’s counterproductive for him to push back once against the “cutting off funds/setting deadlines is stabbing the troops in the back frame” and then use that same frame (toned down a bit, but accepting the general premise) as justification for voting FOR the funds.

Virtually all the veterans in Congress, at least the recently-elected ones, are Democrats, and it would help the cause a lot if they would become the public spokespeople explaining the reality of the situation to the American people.


DJ Danielson May 26, 2007 at 12:28 pm

Congressman Walz is in the district reaching out to constituents every weekend. A Bluestem Prairie keeps tabs on where he can be seen.

Chris May 26, 2007 at 11:41 am

…start selling a modified version of that plan right now. It has to hit the forefront of the public’s collective mind by the fall just like “Contract with America” did 13 years ago.


smit2174 May 26, 2007 at 6:48 am

How do you know that “Laddie” is Matt Dean?


Joe Bodell May 26, 2007 at 6:34 pm

used to create the account was “”, I’m going out on a limb and saying it’s a pretty safe bet.


smit2174 May 27, 2007 at 2:01 am

makes sense


Dan May 28, 2007 at 8:23 am

“Outing” someone who is not blogging under his or her real name is not cool, even if they are a Republican rep. 


Joe Bodell May 28, 2007 at 6:23 pm

There are many state legislators who watch the blogs, and a few even lurk around these parts.  But if you’re an elected official and are going to comment on something like this, I think it’s a special case.  State Reps and Senators are on the record every day, and the blogs should be no different.

To Rep. Dean:  condolences for your loss — I know first-hand how difficult the loss of a beloved pet can be.  As for the content of your earlier comment, I’m working on a story surrounding those last few hours of the session, I may want to give you a call to ask about what you heard and saw on the floor of the House.


andrix May 28, 2007 at 2:20 pm
JackH May 29, 2007 at 2:22 am

I love Finnegan’s Amber! Falls the day before my sons graduation though, so I don’t know…

Keith Ellison gave a very nice speech at Richfield’s Memorial Day event about American values and tolerance and identity.  Tough audience for him, but he definitely got some traction and there were people who seemed to support him there including a decent amount of vets.

The oldest surviving member of the Iwo Jima flag raisers was honored there too.  It was very moving and very cool.


MaxPage May 29, 2007 at 11:35 am

But I’m a little excited to hear more from Peter Agre.


Senate 2008 Guru May 29, 2007 at 9:27 pm

I’d be very interested in hearing Dr. Agre’s take on the Bush administration’s (and the neo-/theo-conservative movement’s) War on Science.

From global climate change, to evolution, to stem cells, and beyond, Bush Republicans have politicized and religious-ized concepts that should be regarded as scientific fact.

As a Nobel Laureate, would Dr. Agre agree that Bush Republicans have done this?  Has this War on Science been a motivating factor for him?  How does his scientific background shape his policy positions and general approach to politics and legislating?


Dan May 29, 2007 at 10:35 pm

Did someone really call Michael Crichton a climate change expert?  That’s awesome.  I hear he’s a dinosaur expert too.


gump May 29, 2007 at 11:50 pm

I was wondering if you could ask Dr. Agre whether or not he would consider running as an independent if he isn’t welcomed into the DFL or nominated by the DFL?



Joe Bodell May 29, 2007 at 11:57 pm

I wonder if you’d expound on that a little bit. 


The Big E May 30, 2007 at 12:33 am

If this is the bill I’ve been reading about, its the pro-coal industry bill.  Norm is a BIG fan of coal-gasification and this bill prioritizes coal-gasification as a primary means of lowering CO2 emissions which, if I understand this correctly, it won’t. 

Also, none of these Senators have ever been known for taking pro-environmental stands.

As an aside, Obama is really hurting his standing among those enviro-conscous Dems.

Check out this link at MyDD:

Frustrating on Global Warming


Joe Bodell May 30, 2007 at 12:50 am

I think that’s S.154, a different bill being co-sponsored by Jim Bunning of Kentucky and Larry Craig of Idaho.


John224 May 30, 2007 at 1:20 am

What candidate Q & A would be complete would the old “what do you think of your opponents?” question.  I’d be curious for his thoughts, especially given his hinting at running as an indie in ’08. 


Joe Bodell May 30, 2007 at 1:37 am

I wonder if either you or Gump could point me in the direction of these alleged noises Agre has made about running as an independent (or Independent).  I’ve heard nothing of the sort.


mtullius May 30, 2007 at 2:26 am

Does it go without saying that you’ll ask him about the most important issue facing our country, the war in Iraq?  Would he have voted for or against the blank check?  Does he favor immediate withdrawal?


fredmarkus May 30, 2007 at 4:25 am

The Steelworkers are surely recognizing that this campaign cycle is already in full swing. I have wondered right along why there’s been plenty of visibility for Al and his troops in the DFL voluntary party environment I’ve been frequenting while Mike has been simply “not present”.

This isn’t yet predictive of the eventual outcome of the DFL endorsement process, but at least in my eyes, Al has hit a solid base hit and Mike is still looking around which bat to use.

Fred Markus, South Minneapolis


mtullius May 30, 2007 at 9:42 pm

Good interview.  He sounds like an interesting candidate.


Gordon May 30, 2007 at 10:37 pm

This exchange kind of struck me as a slap in the face of Minnesotans:

?JB:  Why Minnesota?  Why not Maryland, where you spent a great deal of your professional life, or North Carolina, where you are now?

P. Agre:  I considered running for office in Maryland, but Maryland is a place that’s overrun with qualified people.?

So Maryland is overrun with qualified people.  Then Minnesota must be a total vacuum in Agre?s opinion.

I think we have genuine homegrown talent here in Minnesota that could represent us well in the U.S. Senate. Let?s hope they declare their candidacies.


Joe Bodell May 30, 2007 at 11:15 pm

But rather simply a statement about the positive state of affairs in Maryland for progressive politics.

Having spoken with Agre in person, I think it’s safe to say he’s not very into subtext and back-handed comments like the one Gordon sees here.


Populista May 30, 2007 at 11:40 pm

Good interview but it would have been nice if you had asked more about where he stands on the issues. Does he support a Department of Peace? Gay Marriage? Single Payer? Fair Trade? Is he a Progressive Democrat? Or a DLC DINO? Where does he stand on immigration?

He sounds good on international affairs though.

“Kofi Annan isn’t a saint, but he’s pretty close” I like that. And it’s interesting the stuff he’s done on human rights.

If he comes out better then Franken on issues such as Fair Trade, Gay Rights and the Department of Peace and all of that I’d be happy to support him. Last professor from Northfield Senator we had was pretty good.


DJ Danielson May 31, 2007 at 3:08 am

Sounded like an enjoyable experience; I just wish I could have gotten in on the fun!

I can’t wait for next year to hopefully give this a shot.


Leviathan May 31, 2007 at 8:43 am

Nice job on the interview! 

On the topic of possible candidates and when to expected any other future announcements, when does it get too late to announce a candidacy in Minnesota – end of summer/early fall?  I have pretty limited knowledge of MN politics (just what I pick up from blogs, basically), so are possible candidates that are in the State Legislature holding back until after the session is adjourned? Or are there no potential candidates in the State Senate or House (or is it no longer in session, lol?)?  A very generic summary of the state of the race, strictly from my outsider viewpoint, would seem to be a Franken/Ciresi race w/ Agre possibly playing a spoiler.  Now, it looks like Franken can raise money and Ciresi might have an appearance of being due and allowing him to have the nomination this time and also goodwill from his major cases (also, should we expect more high profile endorsements for him, a la McCollum?), but each have issues that are or could weight them down in a general.  Hence, I don’t get the sense that people are particularly ecstatic w/ these choices, so that is why I ask if there are others waiting in the wings to announce later, or if it’s getting to late?  I can get behind either of these two (possibly three?) candidates, but I am surprised by the lack of gossip making the online rounds, since this is considered to still be one of the top pick-up oppurtunities.  If I remember correctly from “dream candidate” diaries all over the place half a year ago, the names that were coming up read like Cong. McCollum, Mayor Rybak, Justice Alan Page, Mayor Coleman, and Cong. Walz.  Have all five of these candidates declined the race?  Are there any possible draft movements underway?  Is it possible that State Senator Mee Moua could be persuaded to make the race?


Joe Bodell May 31, 2007 at 4:52 pm

To my knowledge, all five of those potentials have declined.  McCollum has endorsed Ciresi, Rybak has said no, Chris Coleman has his own re-election to deal with, and Walz has said emphatically no.  Page has shown no interest.

Moua’s name has certainly been floated, but hasn’t gained a whole lot of traction.  The only name I’ve heard out of the legislature that has shown interest is Rep. Joe Atkins of…Inver Grove Heights, I think.  But you bring up a good point — in a race as expensive and important as this, there is a chronological threshold beyond which it’s just not feasible to get into this race.  The candidates already in would pound (perhaps correctly) on late entries as unable to raise the money to run a viable campaign against Norm Coleman.  In the financial system in place in today’s political game, the DFL endorsement simply is not enough to propel a candidate into immediate viability.


Leviathan May 31, 2007 at 9:28 pm

When do you think that chronological threshold is?  By summer’s end?  Also, I always read about the DFL endorsement in MN…what is that?  LOL, I know that I probably should’ve caught on to that by now, and I have seen the term numerous times, but does the State Party really endorse one of the candidates at a caucus of convention?  If so, when/how is it conducted?  I think that I’ve read that Franken and/or Ciresi have pledged to abide by the DFL endorsement, so does that mean they’d drop out if they didn’t receive it?

Too bad to hear that all five of those candidates have declined.  From what I’ve read about Senator Moua, she sounds like she’d be a formidable candidate…maybe she’s mulling it over?  In your opinion, do you see Atkins or Agre making a dent in the Franken/Ciresi showdown?

Thanks again.


Ag May 31, 2007 at 9:44 pm

The DFL State convention will occur next year and afterwards (if an endorsement is made) those who “abide” will drop out of the primary and thus, the general election.  This is standard operating procedure, for the good or bad.

The process will go:
1) Caucuses
2) Local DFL Convention (by Senate District or County Unit)
2) State Convention.

anyone can get active and be voted to continue on from convention to convention until the state (and in 08 selections will be made for the National Convention in Denver).  It is an open process, yet convoluted, and you can really make a personal impact of you dedicate the time towards a candidate or issue.


andrix May 31, 2007 at 2:37 pm
DJ Danielson June 1, 2007 at 9:52 am

I knew you wouldn’t be gone for long!


Hal Kimball June 1, 2007 at 9:22 pm

That was a short summer!


Hal Kimball June 1, 2007 at 8:42 pm

And if you add to the mix the Mark Olson “situation” and that Kiffmeyer has long been rumored as a replacement for Olson, the Heffelfinger case may be good cause for Olson’s seat to “go blue”.  Jim Huhtala is a great guy and would represent the Big Lake area well.

Keep up the good work DJ!


Chris June 2, 2007 at 3:24 am

…it’s been done before. John Warner beat Mark Warner in 1996.


Joe Bodell June 2, 2007 at 3:42 am

for a rematch!  Thanks for the catch though.


Chris June 2, 2007 at 6:38 am

Both Warners are great. I covered them as a reporter in Virginia.

I wish MW stayed in the presidential hunt. A Democrat who governed despite a massive Republican majority in the House of Delegates and the Senate…

And he left office with a 76% approval rating (despite raising taxes) and got his hand-picked successor elected.

Maybe VP material. Hell, if Pawlenty can be vice president despite doing nothing, Warner could run with Hillary.


Joe Bodell June 2, 2007 at 8:08 am

Though to be truthful, if he doesn’t make a run at that Senate seat, Mark Warner should be right at the top of several candidates’ VP lists.


Chris June 3, 2007 at 8:50 am

…but I think the office is kind of beneath him.


Chris June 2, 2007 at 6:41 am

I’m going back on break. I’m enjoying reading and watching this awesome “That 70s Show” marathon.

Special session? I wish. I think the DFL probably missed its best chance to really put it to Pawlenty. Cowards. They shouldn’t have folded. People want to see results — doesn’t matter if it takes a special session or not.


Hal Kimball June 2, 2007 at 11:30 pm

Ed Schultz had a story on about a month ago about a small dairy farmer in the ruralest of rural NoDak who got raided by ICE. 


Mike Zimmerman, who operates the Sandhills Dairy, estimated about 50 officers were on the scene Tuesday. He said they displayed weapons, kicked down doors and handcuffed his son and employees. Officers also handcuffed a longtime friend of his, held a gun to his head and asked for his birth certificate, Zimmerman said.

“It’s an unbelievable, frustrating and humiliating experience,” Zimmerman said of the raid.


govs June 3, 2007 at 12:09 am

I am surprised that this story has not been picked up by the national media or even the blogs. It ties three ongoing stories into one. Consider: (1) the warrantless ICE searches into homes have to be approved by the US attorney in Minnesota (Rachel Paulose)(2) the warrantless searches are justified by ICE (read:Paulose and unquestionably main justice) on the grounds that they are “Consent and Enter” which would make them constitutional,except that the occupants of the houses universally say that when they answer the door they see several black suburbans in front of their house, and they are confronted by ICE Agents wearing the ICE jackets who then ask the terrified residents “Where are they” and immediately proceed, without waiting for an answer to walk past the door opener and search the house (lack of objection is considered consent).  Sound familiar? A compliant US Attorney puts no check on a federal agency exercising police powers to stage well publicized, politically advantageous, raids for undocumented workers (it is not a crime for a foreign national to be in the United States without documentation; it merely subjects one to deportation).  The impact on the 12 million undocumented immigrants? Di minimis, as they say in the law, about which the Justice Department,as presently constituted, apparently knows nothing.


Gordon June 4, 2007 at 11:01 pm

Any particular reason stated for Joe Atkins? decision not to run?


Gordon June 4, 2007 at 11:03 pm

I am not sure why my apostrophes come up as question marks. They look fine before I post them.


JackH June 4, 2007 at 11:38 pm

but did not speak. 

Mark Ritchie was there as well.  As far as I could tell Mark was the only DFL constiutional officer present.


Ag June 5, 2007 at 9:11 am

and he was the only man to win a constitutional office too.  Good on’ya Mark!


MaxPage June 6, 2007 at 11:45 pm

If you search the IP address on WhoIs? it gives a Herndon, a Virginia city:



Joe Bodell June 7, 2007 at 12:25 am

But it’s always worthwhile to see what you can dig up on an IP address you find on Wikipedia.  I’ll probably post a bit more on how to do that at a later date.


Chris June 7, 2007 at 5:12 am

The Bachmann Wikipedia entry is good:

The Wikiality entry is better, though incomplete:


Avidor June 7, 2007 at 8:45 am
Charley June 8, 2007 at 10:36 am

Wednesday, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer announced the formation of an exploratory committee for a US Senate run in 2008.  His website is http://www.mostimpor

I am actually quite optimistic about this one.  Franken has massive negatives.  Ciresi just doesn’t generate much excitement.  Olson is actually interesting, especially as a businessman with a fairly good track record on sustainable energy.

But Jack is something of a phenomenon.  He puts a principled antiwar position together with the money it will cost to solve our climate and environmental problems, and it sounds more practical than any of the politicians mentioned as front-runners so far.  He has some campaigning experience with last year’s CD 5 race (which he opened up initially and shaped throughout).  His supporters are more convinced than dozens of the usual soundbite-generators.  I would absolutely LOVE to see this guy in the Senate.


Chris June 10, 2007 at 2:09 am
Charley June 11, 2007 at 8:53 am
Ag June 13, 2007 at 1:07 am

This goes to prove that even the MN GOP can’t trust this flip-flopping, can’t agree with anyone for too long, puppet-kite failure.

the winds are a-blow’n Norm, are your strings strong enough?  It must suck not to have any principles to guide yourself by.


Gordon June 13, 2007 at 1:49 am

This perfectly describes a sore point I have with Franken:

?Some important components of the DFL establishment have demonstrated that they’re not quite ready to get on Franken’s bandwagon yet, but media and activists outside the state love him almost unconditionally.?

The choice of the U.S. Senator from Minnesota should rest with Minnesotans ? not outside media and activists. Franken is a flawed candidate with high negatives in surveys among Minnesotans. This should not be the case for the challenger. Incumbents who have been casting votes often have to ride out high negatives. A challenger should come in as a fresh face who offers relief from negatives.

Let?s keep looking for a qualified candidate.


Hal Kimball June 13, 2007 at 6:48 pm

That’s one helluva 12 step program.  Imagine the fun of a Hillary, Giuliani, Bloomberg race!


Joe Bodell June 13, 2007 at 6:58 pm

Cats and dogs, living together….mass hysteria!


smit2174 June 14, 2007 at 6:41 am

That could be a powerful way to frame the race for the Dem nominee if Coleman prevails over Repya.


Gordon June 14, 2007 at 9:35 pm

It would make sense for the DFL to sit out the next election in the 6th District and let an independent take a shot at retiring Michele Bachmann. But I imagine you?re right … that is unlikely because parties are in the business of running candidates. 

But here is why it would make sense.  Democrats and thinking independents would like to see Bachmann defeated — a true common ground.  Because the Democrats have not been able to win in this district — even against an extreme candidate like Bachmann — maybe the dynamics of the district are against someone with the Democrat label from winning.

I made a similar observation when writing about the 5th District race on a Republican blog last election.  (Yes, I was badgering the Republicans just like I do the Democrats on this blog.) I was arguing for Republicans to abandon Alan Fine because someone wearing the Republican label is a non-starter in the 5th. Someone wearing the Democrat label in the 6th may be a non-starter, too. Recent elections are making it look that way.

Party labels have emotional attachments to people, and often times those emotions are practically carved in stone in the electoral mindset of a particular district. No amount of rational dialogue or logic will change such mindsets.

So to achieve the goal of ousting Michele Bachmann, it may have to come from a non-traditional path.  One main independent challenger may be the best option to achieve a common goal of defeating Bachmann.  Whether that independent is Dean Barkley or last year?s challenger John Binkowski or someone else altogether, I do not  know.  But it is an option that should be explored.


Joe Bodell June 14, 2007 at 10:07 pm

Although there certainly is a visceral reaction among voters to the letter after the candidate’s name, I don’t think we should discount the power of a cult of personality, especially at the congressional level.  Patty Wetterling was and is a great person, but she never did well enough among that middle 10% to convince them of why Democratic policies are better for them and their families than those of the Republican Party. 

So if someone like Barkley or Binkowski ran as a DFLer and was willing to say “I consider myself a {conservative, moderate} Democrat, and here’s why” it’s something I could get behind.  But you can’t expect the party base, which DOES exist in the 6th, to vote for someone who doesn’t have a (D) after their name.  That’s asking a party organization to essentially destroy itself, and I wouldn’t expect the CD5 GOP to do such a thing any more than I’d expect the CD6 DFL to do it.

And without that DFL party base, you would have to reach pretty far into Bachmann’s base to have a chance.  It just doesn’t play out logically.


JackH June 16, 2007 at 10:15 am

As a DFL SCC member I think there’s often an opportunity for the DFL to build bridges and alliances to Independents and Greens.

In fact in some cases I think it makes sense for the DFL to sit out a race or to run a low-profile campaign.

It depends on whether or not your goal is to move the country back towards democractic governance or to play partisan team sports.


Hal Kimball June 14, 2007 at 10:41 pm

Great work and an even better response!  Keep up the good work!


Gordon June 14, 2007 at 11:35 pm

Just like the people who will not vote for a candidate who does not have a D after their name, there is an opposing group that will not vote for a candidate who has a D after their name.  The real question is how many voters fall into each category? (This is not merely a Democrat thing. The same thing happens for Republicans.)

Maybe there are too many people in the 6th District who fall into the ‘will not vote for the candidate labeled Democrat’ category.  The results of the last few elections make it look that way — especially the last election.  Look at the facts: the Republican was an extremist by all accounts with a lot of quotes on the record.  The Democrat was a likeable woman with high name recognition. Maybe not the greatest communicator – but who doesn’t like and sympathize with Patty Wetterling? The electoral macro-trend throughout the state (and nation) was for a Democratic mandate.  Despite all of those favorable traits, the Democrats could not pull off a win. The D was a non-starter for too many voters in that district.

Now if Barkley or Binkowski would run with with the D, they would immediately fall into the same trap.  But if there were no Democrat on the ballot, where would the Democrats go?  They?d have to go independent, or abstain from voting — which does not make sense if you want Bachmann out.  Those voters could be joined with moderates who cannot stomach voting Democrat, but feel Bachmann is out of touch.

Lets use this as an example: I used to live in Minneapolis.  For years I would watch Republicans go down to defeat.  Why?  Because you cannot win with the Republican label in Minneapolis.  Too many voters dismiss you without a second thought with the Republican label. But then I watched Steve Minn defeat Democratic incumbent Carol Johnson for city council.  People who would rather walk over hot coals than vote for a Republican felt comfortable voting for an independent.

Sure there is a DFL party base in the 6th district, but are there enough voters to pull off a win? Recent history does not look promising.


JackH June 16, 2007 at 10:19 am

The question is do they focus their time and money on the congressional race or the state legislature. My vote (from the 3rd) is the state legislature.


Grace Kelly June 15, 2007 at 1:36 am

This definitely was a poll for Republicans, just look at all of the line language “moderate to right-leaning” and the frequent use of “too liberal”. Republicans live on the line, the DFL diversity is across a universe of ideas.


Chris June 16, 2007 at 12:53 am

Anything that helps move Coleman to his right is wonderful. I hope JR pushes him hard.


Hal Kimball June 19, 2007 at 8:50 pm

I met Bob at the Wright County function a few weeks ago.  I walked away impressed.  I think he has a great message that can resonate with the voters.  It will come down to the ability of those of us in the 6th organizing around the candidate and embracing the campaign as our campaign.  I think the money will be there…we have to be organized better and stay strong on our message.  If Patty had done what Amy did with the negative ads coming her way, it would have been a lot closer, that’s for sure.


Gordon June 19, 2007 at 11:14 pm

From the brief introduction on his website, he looks and sounds like an impressive candidate who could represent the district well.


Hal Kimball June 20, 2007 at 12:03 am

FYI, it appears as Hellier removed his resume from his blog sometime this morning.  What’s he trying to hide?



Chris June 20, 2007 at 9:57 am

Great job, Hal.

Irony: If memory serves, Bachmann went to a MnSCU school. St. Cloud? I can’t remember. A little help, someone…


Hal Kimball June 20, 2007 at 10:08 am

Is a Winona alum…thanks Chris!


DJ Danielson June 22, 2007 at 12:06 pm

…now if only Joe could fix this issue with aspostrophes and quotation marks turning into question marks when a post is pasted from Microsoft Word (unless a solution exists on the user’s end) :)


Joe Bodell June 23, 2007 at 9:12 am

If you copy and paste text into notepad before putting into the site, it’ll work fine.  Sorry about that.


Hal Kimball June 25, 2007 at 7:15 pm

Instead of working to prove Hellier’s ability to work for public college students, the right chooses to attack the progressives that started this discussion.

Good work once again DJ. 


Charley June 25, 2007 at 4:23 am

It’s short notice, but the Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer Exploratory Committee is opening its office tomorrow, Monday, June 25th.  All are invited to a potluck at 3027 Holmes Avenue, which is 1 block west of Hennepin and 1/2 block south of Lake in the Uptown Minneapolis area, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

It’s not a fundraiser…just a potluck and volunteer sign-up opportunity.  But if you can’t make it and want to support Jack’s peace and justice campaign for Paul Wellstone’s former seat (currently occupied by Norm Coleman), you can go to the website http://www.mostimpor… and find out how.


Hal Kimball June 26, 2007 at 2:12 am

Playing with words again I see.  On blogger, I get email when someone posts.  I got 4 emails today from MDE.

I also received a call from MDE as well, wanting to clarify some things.

One of King’s rants about me was my lack of courage.

From the Creed of the Non-Commssioned Officer, which I was for more than 7 years in the Army, the 10 most important words of that creed (to me).

“I will not compromise my integrity nor my moral courage.”

Say what you want.  Rant all day long about me.

My sources will remain confidential, unless they tell me I can reveal their identity.

Then, and only then, will I reveal the source(s) to a real journalist with credentials.

Not a right wing blogger.

You love the semantics behind all this…

You say on your blog “Attending a MnSCU school is not a requirement to be on the Board of Trustees, in fact, numerous members of the current MnSCU Board of Trustees have never attended a MnSCU school.”

From 136F.02

Three members must be students who are enrolled at least half time in a degree, diploma, or certificate program or have graduated from an institution governed by the board within one year of the date of appointment. The student members shall include: one member from a community college, one member from a state university, and one member from a technical college.

Reads pretty clear to me. 

So explain to me why Hellier is qualified?  More qualified than Weigold?  Kazee?


Avidor June 26, 2007 at 3:34 am

But you can hear King Banian’s rant on this Google Video.


Avidor June 26, 2007 at 4:44 pm

Loads badly and spells Councilman Robert Lilligren’s name wrong.


mtullius June 26, 2007 at 10:25 pm

1.  As specifically as possible, what are your positions on Iraq?  Do you favor immediate withdrawal?  Using the power of the purse, if necessary, to stop the war?  Do you favor withdrawing ALL US troops, or leaving some behind?

2.  What about Iran?

3.  Health care– have you seen or will you see Sicko, the new Michael Moore movie?  What health care solutions do you favor, specifically, do you favor single-payer?

4.  Campaign finance– are you in favor of optional public financing of Congressional campaigns, for example the Fair Elections Now bill?

5.  Immigration.  Discuss.


mtullius June 26, 2007 at 11:46 pm

is that under the current situation, employers do lots of lobbying, in mandatory anti-union meetings and such… Guess that’s not a problem for him….


Roseville Dem June 27, 2007 at 1:40 am

1. With the caucus moving up to February are you still going to abide by the endorsement?

2. With the growing demand for Corn for the use in Ethanol, is it really worth it when it is driving up the prices for food products that require corn?


Joe Bodell June 27, 2007 at 1:42 am

courtesy of MNSpeak comments:  http://usfoodpolicy…. contains a bit more information about where that $21/week figure comes from.  Interesting stuff, and worth thinking about.


Naniboujou June 27, 2007 at 8:38 am

Did Mike Ciresi have anything unique, interesting, or surprising to say in the interview?  Do you think he has any qualities that set him apart from the other candidates?

To be honest, I am getting rather tired of dipping into the same white, male, lawyer pool time after time after time for our politicians.  What has Ciresi done that sets him apart from the same-old-same-old crowd?  I’d really like to see some new blood! –A little off-topic I know, but….that’s how I feel about his candidacy.


Joe Bodell June 27, 2007 at 8:50 am

He actually did have some unique things to say.  I just finished translating my notes, and the full interview will be ready to go first thing tomorrow morning.  Check back!


Ag June 27, 2007 at 6:44 pm

I am pretty disappointed in his answers – especially the health care one.  He uses the right wing talking point about single payer, and makes it seem that that is the only system that gives us “huge bureaucracies.”  What the hell do we have now?  Oh yeah, it’s ok if those “huge bureaucracies” make billions of dollars gouging the sick and suffering, I guess that make what we have better than a single payer system – right?

weak answer, and unless he can really change his approach here, he’s making my choice a lot easier – something I did not want this early.


Populista June 27, 2007 at 10:55 pm

I don’t want a crazy in the senate, sorry Mike I was starting to lean towards you but you lost me with you’re health care answer. There’s a difference between it being impossible to pass single payer and using right wing frames about it. It doesn’t even sound like he is for UHC at all.

Al Franken too hard to elect, Mike Cerisi uses righty frames, Peter Arge doesn’t live in Minnesota.


Bob Olson going to be viable? JNP?

Can we get a legislator to run?


Laura Nevitt June 27, 2007 at 11:34 pm

Peter Agre does live in Minnesota, grew up in Northfield and has moved backed and established his residency.
He is currently on an international humanitarian speaking tour  and will be taking a serious look at running when he returns in the next week or so.


Jeff Fecke June 28, 2007 at 12:12 am

Democrats would jump 26% in the polls overnight.


Chris June 28, 2007 at 12:51 am

You know who else wasn’t talking about terrorism in 2000? The GOP-led Congress. While Clinton was doing pin-prick responses to terror in the late 1990s, the Republicans were more concerned with Monica Lewinsky.

The Clinton White House gets a D on its handling of terrorism.

The GOP, in general, gets an F.

The Bush team was preparing to re-fight the Cold War  (missile defense) in the summer of 2001 when Tenent was trying to impress on C. Rice that al-Qaeda was an imminent threat.


Gordon June 28, 2007 at 1:33 am

Whether it is Al Franken or Peter Agre, these guys who have no interest in living in Minnesota until they decide to run for U.S. Senate don?t inspire me.

And don?t give me the ‘they were born in Minnesota, grew up in Minnesota or once vacationed in Minnesota’ answer. That doesn?t count. What is important is if they chose to live in Minnesota as adults for a reasonable time before deciding they would like to be a Senator. 


Christopher Walker June 28, 2007 at 4:09 pm

of immigrants: “they’re overwhelmingly good family people.”

I worry about this meme whenever I encounter it. I usually see it when Republican office holders are trying to soft-soap their base. I’m not sure what it means. Does it mean ‘don’t worry, they tend to be very conservative on social issues, like you?’

Or does it mean ‘well, look, at least they’re not gay’ ?

I thought I was interested in Ciresi, but…


Joe Bodell June 28, 2007 at 5:57 pm

but I don’t think it was that sinister.  When I hear that, I consider it to be a counterpoint to the Republican meme that immigrants, especially illegal ones, cause crime and violence in suburban neighborhoods (regardless of their general geographic restriction to cities and away from suburbs).  One can be a good family person (to use Ciresi’s wording) and not be a right-wing conservative on social issues.


Charley June 28, 2007 at 11:38 pm

Maybe I have an underdeveloped sense of timing, but I am really surprised that the mud hasn?t really started flying back and forth between the Coleman campaign and the Franken campaign.  When Franken first announced, I figured that he probably had buckets full of stuff on Coleman, that he would use it, and that folks like Brodkorb would retaliate with their own cached buckets of slime about Franken.

Instead, Franken the former potty-mouthed and hard-edged critic of Republicans everywhere has been acting like the mild-mannered elder statesman.  Brodkorb trotted out a few old SNL skits, but mostly seemed bored.  So I wonder if this one is the initial volley.

My hope remains the same: that Coleman will be exposed for the hypocrite he is, that after finishing his task, Franken would go back to comedy, and that we would all end up with a good senator instead of either one of these two.  I?ll keep hoping.


flash June 29, 2007 at 6:17 pm

The Right prefers a Franken candidacy as they believe him to be the most vulnerable. They will wait this out as long as possible before pulling out their smear boaters. For now they  have MDE to test drive their oppo research for maximum effectiveness as they plan their politics of personal destruction machine.



Naniboujou June 29, 2007 at 6:49 am

The story should clearly have been about Norm Coleman’s hypocrisy.  The story should also have highlighted the excellent point the letter made that everyone went on to become stellar citizens.

I have never smoked marijuana and I never will.  But I believe the time has come for us to debate this issue like grownups.  Republicans who indulge, get a pass, but are so ready to penalize others make me angry.  Norm Coleman has made a career out of telling everyone to “Do as I say, not as I do.”

It’s this complete and utter IOIYAR attitude that pushed me from the Republican Party ten years ago. 


Joe Bodell June 29, 2007 at 6:02 pm

Mr. Spock, you have not experience Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon.



KTatActBlue June 29, 2007 at 11:17 pm

The old Star Trek heart in me showing through there.


mtullius June 30, 2007 at 9:17 am

Great job with this.


mike June 30, 2007 at 9:48 am

Thanks Joe from all of us out in the hinterlands who couldn’t attend.


Charley June 30, 2007 at 10:19 pm

This morning’s Twin Cities section of the Strib had a photo that looked like a million people (it was maybe 3,000).  I guess they like Obama.  They certainly never had pictures like that when 5,000 folks marched down Summit Avenue before the Iraq war, or when a similar number marched in downtown Minneapolis when the war began, or even of the original 2,500 marchers in Selma back in 1965.  Likewise, we never see those big (or big-seeming) crowd shots of the hundreds of thousands of antiwar protesters in D.C., London, Madrid, or Rome.  Those other pictures were usually close-up shots of 1 to 3 people, usually with their mouths wide open and their faces contorted in angry.  Not as pretty a picture.


Joe Bodell July 1, 2007 at 6:01 am

The location was geared for big, wide shots of the crowd.  Pretty well done, I’d say.


Populista June 30, 2007 at 11:23 pm

Obama was great, and RT and Keith helped fire up the crowd well. It was exiting to see that much energy for change. Thanks for liveblogging Joe. I was standing behind you watching you liveblog. The perks of getting there early.

What an event!


Ag July 2, 2007 at 8:29 pm

As someone who has leaned Obama for a while, with my second choice being Edwards, I have to say that these numbers are very impressive, and it strengthens my lean towards Obama.

Why would money do this?  It is not something that I would normally base my support on.  It’s not because he is beating Hillary at the game everyone assumed she’s easily win, but rather because Obama has raised this money from more that 1/4 million people, many of whom can continue to support his campaign with small dollars.  In contrast, it is said that Hillary’s donors are already reaching their personal donation limits.

This is more than money to me, its a sign of deep support for Obama from a large block of people.

What is better for our democracy?  Deep support from a large group of people, or limited support from those rich enough to run into campaign spending limits?

Obama has learned the lessons of the 2004 election cycle, and bested Dean in fund-raising and now has bested the old-guard mega fund-raising power houses of the Clinton’s.  He is in very good shape going into the caucus/primary season, and he has a good chance of being our nominee.  For the sake of the Democratic party, and more importantly, the USA, I sure hope he prevails.


Hal Kimball July 3, 2007 at 9:52 am

I’ll be listening tomorrow!


mmcintee July 3, 2007 at 9:10 pm

…probably around 6:30 PM.
Mike (Fill-in Producer Guy)


Ag July 8, 2007 at 9:20 am

Why haven’t there been any pundits pushing for caucuses to more up to the 5th?

Let’s go people!!

oh, and what does “Progressive” mean?  oiy, do we have all night?  :)   Basically, it’s all good stuff, without any of the bad stuff… how’s that?


JackH July 9, 2007 at 12:21 am

What are peoples thoughts on the following (assuming we lose one CD as currently forecasted):

1.) Moving Edina into the 5th?
2.) Moving Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Golden Valley into CD3?
3.)A new Bloomington based CD? Who gets reshuffled in this configuration?
  Bloomington, Richfield, Edina, Eden Prairie, Eagan, Inver Grove Heights, Burnsville, Savage? Minnetonka? Plymouth? Chanhassen & Chaska?
  Or, do you just run a Bloomington based CD south & east through Northfield & Red Wing?
  Do Minneapolis and St. Paul get combined in this  scenario?

4.) Do you break up CD3?
  Edina, EP, Minnetonka, Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park move into CD5?
  Communities west of EP & Minnetonka move into CD6 or a less rural CD7?
  Plymouth & communities straight north  (excluding BC & BP) join CD6?

5.) Do you redistrict CD6 completely out of existence?


Ag July 12, 2007 at 7:00 pm

Nice rant Joe, you should do these more often.  Plus, you speak a great deal of truth here.


Ollie Ox July 13, 2007 at 6:41 pm

. . .Bluestem Prairie started publihsing about the First CD, and those who appreciate the blog can send Ollie Ox bales of straw.

Hmmm…maybe just a campaign contribution to Walz if you like what you read about the energetic congressman. Those GOP fundraising figures may be a bit slender now, but the green should start rolling into the district as the election approaches.


Ag July 15, 2007 at 12:56 am
christomento July 19, 2007 at 10:09 pm

I hope to see alot of Dems use this.


Senate 2008 Guru July 19, 2007 at 11:44 pm

sure do look pearly white!


torridjoe July 20, 2007 at 3:16 am

I REALLY don’t like the way Franken paints Smith, Collins and Hagel as “moderate” Senators putting the country’s interests ahead of partisanship for their vote. It’s bunk, as I explained over at Loaded Orygun.

For one thing, Collins said she was only a Yea on cloture, not on the amendment. For another, the vote was well known to be a loser beforehand; thus their votes are freebies. It would not surprise me in the least if Smith, et al calculated this fairly early, and signed on as cosponsor knowing it wouldn’t count except in campaign speeches next year. They weren’t putting country ahead of party; they were saving their own asses without angering people in their party. How is that not partisan?

Like I said, otherwise a great ad. But Al–these are NOT moderates. Nail Colemn for us…just not by giving other Bush enablers a pass.

TJ, Loaded Orygun, 50StateNet


Joe Bodell July 20, 2007 at 3:20 am

..and it’s a valid one.  However, I think it’s possible both to paint those three senators as self-interested in the long, campaign-related run while rewarding good behavior by Democrats and Republicans alike on an issue-by-issue basis.  We should be encouraging any Republicans who at least style themselves “moderates” to do the right thing and stand with the Democratic majority on vitally important issues like Iraq, and the election will take care of itself — remember, a quarter of the country still thinks the war was a good idea.  At least some of those folks wouldn’t come out to vote for a Republican who’s voting with the Democrats, right?  It’s a win-win for the Dems, and a win for America too.

Just my $0.02 on the matter.


Gordon July 20, 2007 at 6:35 pm

TJ’s comments just illustrate he is a hardcore partisan ? not a person with any marketing savvy.

Calling the Republican senators who voted for the resolution moderates is a smart thing for Franken to do to appeal to independent-minded voters.  And that is what he needs to do to win.  He does not need to get people like TJ on board.  TJ is already committed to at least voting DFL, if not Franken specifically.

What Franken needs to do now is swing the undecided voters over to his side, and you don’t do that with bitter partisan  leanings and comments.


Joe Bodell July 20, 2007 at 6:41 pm

So I doubt TJ is voting DFL or for Franken.  But I think it is a valid point to consider for partisans — how do we balance the political needs of getting good policy enacted against getting elected to make that policy?


Gordon July 20, 2007 at 6:40 pm

Geez I hate how certain keyboard characters look fine on my screen until I hit post. The question mark in the above statement was suppose to be a hyphen. I?ll just update with a comma.

TJ’s comments just illustrate he is a hardcore partisan, not a person with any marketing savvy.


Joe Bodell July 20, 2007 at 6:42 pm

Sorry about that


MinnesotaMike July 22, 2007 at 3:46 am

When the newspaper accounts of the possibility of Minnesota losing a House seat came out I too had to to do a little research. Even if Minnesota keeps 8 House seats the 2012 map will look much differnt than the current one. The 6th and 2nd districts are growing much faster than the state as a whole while the 4th, 5th and 7th are growing much slower. That means some Republican leaning areas will have to be moved to Districts currently held by Democrats making the Democratic held districts more competitive.

BTW the key to wether Minnesota has 7 or 8 Seats in 2012 may be if the Bill to give the District of Columbia a voting member in the House passes and what the details of the Bill are.  Under one version of the Bill the House would be expanded to 437 seats (DC and Utah getting the extra seats) until after the 2010 Census and then it would revert back to 435 Seats. Under another version the House would increase to 437 seats permanatly. If DC gets a congressperson but the size of the House is not permantly increased the seat DC gets could very well be Minnesota’s.


Joe Bodell July 22, 2007 at 4:18 am

I interviewed State Demographer Tom Gillaspy on the topic, and found some interesting info from him.


Hal Kimball July 23, 2007 at 6:39 am

Bluewoman was AWOL for nearly 36 hours (‘cept for our CD 6 Garden Party excursion) reading that book. 


Joe Bodell July 23, 2007 at 5:27 pm

not a bit :-)


noexpert July 23, 2007 at 9:20 pm

This Orwellian tactic has often been used by them and I wish I could remember specific examples.


Ag July 24, 2007 at 1:32 am

finished @ 3am

wow, fun read.


Ollie Ox July 24, 2007 at 8:33 pm

The Red Wing Republican Eagle reported on the rumor over the weekend, as did Bluestem Prairie


rolflindy July 25, 2007 at 2:04 am

Bob Olson joins a long list of politicians and candidates jumping on the energy independence bandwagon.  The fact is that we are dependent on oil, natural, gas and coal for the great bulk of our energy needs. Ethanol and wind are, at best, supplements which will have trouble providing more than 10% of our transportation energy in the case of ethanol, and electrical energy in the case of wind.  The laws of nature are much tougher to amend than legislative acts. 
Technical knowledge is hard to find in the halls of government, either in D.C. or St Paul.


Joe Bodell July 25, 2007 at 3:44 am

An official and candidate for whom I used to work seemed to be under the impression that wind power in Minnesota alone had the potential to provide a huge percentage — much, much more than 10% — of the electrical power for much of the Upper Midwest.  I’d be curious to see where you’re getting those 10% numbers, at least as far as wind power goes.  As for ethanol, I tend to agree — it’s a stopgap at best, and really does nothing but move economic benefits inside the country instead of to the Middle East. 


rolflindy July 25, 2007 at 2:48 pm

Because of wind’s variability, turbines tend to deliver roughly 30% of their so-called name plate capacity. It’s not just when the wind isn’t blowing; often excess capacity can’t be used by the regular power grid.
Denmark’s grid  is widely reported as receiving anywhere from 20-50% of its “fuel” from wind. Recently on MPR Bill Clinton used the 22% figure for Denmark. The actual number is 6-7%.
Most of the power from Denmark’s turbines has to be dumped at below cost to Norway and Sweden because of storage limits in flat Denmark.  Countries with hydro can use excess power to pump water back up to the reservoir behind the dam.
10% is just a round number, it could be more or less.  The detailed and rather aggressive study done for the MN legislature suggested 20%, but it admitted it hadn’t dealt with the big transmission problem.  Our wind is in the west and the people, power plants, and Mississippi are in the east. 
You can retrieve my wind editorial on Google using “Blowin in the Wind”  and Rolf Westgard.


rolflindy July 25, 2007 at 2:54 pm

Correction: Title of editorial is “Throwing caution to the winds at the state capitol”  Rolf W.


Ollie Ox July 25, 2007 at 5:30 am

The Minnesota Secretary of State will be posting < href="">results here after 8 p.m. when the polls close


Julie Risser July 25, 2007 at 5:46 am

Ever notice some politicians only tout renewable energy that requires investment in fuel? For example Pawlenty will back ethanol a fuel for vehicles while failing to invest in public transit or roads so that less fuel is needed. He also is pushing coal gasification far more than than wind or solar power. Ethanol and coal gasification require lots of water. Both Big Ag and the Coal Cartel benefit from this policy stand AND honestly pursuing these technologies will do nothing to curb demand or to lower CO2. Kind of makes you wonder if there was a way to sell wind and sunshine, i.e., if their was a powerful lobby for these fuels would we be seeing more of a transition to them….


Ollie Ox July 25, 2007 at 8:52 am

In looking at state house special election primaries in 2003 and 2004, we find Moreland polled slightly worse than the typical challenger to a party’s endorsed candidate. If he was a barometer of moderate  DFL discontent in House 28B, there ain’t much of it.

Turnout seemed about in line with special election primaries as well.

Congrats to Pfeilsticker and those folks who braved the humidity to doorknock for her. Good work!


MNObserver July 25, 2007 at 10:09 pm

How ironic that the Governor’s spokesperson and Mr. Carey are now hiding behind the fact that the FEC is investigating:

“A campaign spokesman for Pawlenty, Michael Krueger, said in an e-mail: ‘This is not an issue relating to the governor, and the FEC is already independently reviewing these matters. Chairman Carey has indicated that any issues have already been addressed.’”

That would be the same Mr. Carey who called the FEC complainant a “Franken Flunkie.”  But how very convenient for him now, eh?


noexpert July 27, 2007 at 5:51 am

What about censure as the best option for the dems.  I don’t know the details of how a censure vote works, but it seems like there could be advantages.  A case for the crimes that have been committed could be presented, Republicans would face a tough vote -support their party or the constitution- maybe some would crossover. It seems like it could have less of a political downside compared to impeachment. One thing I am convinced of is the dems need to take a strong(er) stand.


Gordon July 27, 2007 at 10:27 pm

It is interesting to hear Obama call Hillary ‘Bush-Cheney’ light.

For a long time I have said Hillary is another Bush.  I don’t see her as Bush in terms of policy, but I see her as Bush in terms of how the public reacts to her.

Bush you either love or hate. Hillary you either love or hate. Now, granted, it is different people on either side of those emotions depending on the person, but the reaction is so strong to the personalities of Bush and Clinton that it clouds a rational discussion of the issues.

That’s why I believe we really need to reject Hillary.  We don’t need another Bush in the form of Hillary.  We need a fresh start with someone who does not draw an immediate hostile reaction based merely on personality.

I really like Obama.  He is that fresh, optimistic face on the scene. He seems like someone you can trust to work for the good of the country, not just the party and the special interests. I hope he succeeds in breaking through and becoming the Democratic nominee.

But if he doesn’t, and the Democratic powerbrokers force Hillary on us, here is what I hope happens.

I would like to see Obama break from the Democratic party and run with Bloomberg as an independent.

A Bloomberg Obama ticket. Has a nice ring to it!


Ag July 28, 2007 at 1:39 am

Kos link to it:


YouTube Link:


JackH August 2, 2007 at 5:24 am

but circuits are very busy.


smit2174 August 2, 2007 at 3:01 pm

but I am frantically checking in with people in MN to see if they’re OK.  So far, so good.  *crosses fingers*

What a tragedy.  It made the news in Russia.


Gordon August 3, 2007 at 7:52 pm

I think this was a very thoughtful commentary.  I’ve read comments posted on other blogs related to using this incident for political gain and the crudeness of the thoughts behind these twisted notions can make you sick.

I will make a comment related to the performance of Mpls Mayor R.T. Rybak.  A crisis gives you the opportunity to see a public figure in action without a script.  Rybak has been extraordinary thoughtful and confident throughout this crisis. On the night of the crisis, he was on the radio sounding calm and in control. He was interviewed by Anderson Cooper of CNN last night and he came across as exceptionally caring and stateman-like. He spoke of talking with the widow of one of the victims and he was genuinely moving in his comments.  When asked if he was worried about other bridges in Mpls, he replied that he was concerned about bridges throughout the country.  He sounded like a man with greater vision.  He sounded like a leader who should have a greater role in public service.


Hal Kimball August 6, 2007 at 5:55 pm

And the terrible two’s start now right?  Keep up the good work!


Ag August 6, 2007 at 9:29 pm
MNMark August 7, 2007 at 1:02 am

First was the total sell out on the Iraq funding bill.  I wrote and called her office and her staff really could not have been less interested or concerned.

I called when Phony Snow announced that we would be in Iraq forever (using Korea as a badly misplaced comparison).  They not only had not heard him say it I was told “What, do you expect us to watch ALL the news?”

Really, is her staff a bunch of RNC plants?

Now this vote.  When I called I was told not to worry this is only a 6 month long thing.  It sure is nice to know that Boy Blunder only has 6 months to think up some more excuses before we have to forfeit all of our Constitutional rights for his war.  And how do we know that Amy won’t bow before him again?

I have met her & talked to her (before the election sadly, I’d love to talk to her again) and thought she was bright and committed.  Now I feel like she is just another empty suit, a perfect bookend for ass kissing Norm.


mntrueblue August 8, 2007 at 4:01 am

the work I put in, the money I spent, supporting Amy’s campaign.  What a disappointment she has been.

Furthermore, although I write polite and, I hope, informed, letters to her, I never even get the courtesy of a reply beyond the “…volume of mail, I’ll get back to you sometime…” variety.

Lots of good MN Dems out there to challenge Amy in the primary in ’12, and I hope some of them do. 


MNMark August 7, 2007 at 1:08 am

Maybe we can finally have an honest discussion of the actual impact on actual Minnesotans of our headlong rush to become a frozen Florida.  I lived there for a few years and their goal was to always do it cheaper, no cheaper, no cheaper than that – thats better but can we do it cheaper?

Not all tax dollars are “pissed away on welfare queens in Cadillacs” or funding the “Teachers Union”.  Maybe once we see that our demands for cheaper government have real, tragic, costs we can start talking about what needs to be done, how much it will cost and who will pay how much.


rolflindy August 7, 2007 at 2:33 pm

99%+ of the voting public doesn’t call Syria, Pakistan, etc. And they don’t care if NSA discovers that you do.  IMO this is simply not a good issue for Democrats.
Lets get back to issues like fighting stupid wars while we close libraries, defer infrastructure maintenance, cut school funding, etc. and other examplles of Republican idiocy.
Rolf Westgard


Bill Prendergast August 7, 2007 at 11:10 pm

I think that if the state had a government that had been dedicating money to keeping the bridges and other infrastructure in repair, that bridge would probably not have collapsed.

I mean–that’s why we argue policy in a democracy all the time, isn’t it? Policy choices–or non-choices–have consequences.

Politicians shouldn’t be ambulance chasing on this issue, but people will ask for government accountability for the disaster. When grieving period passes by, they will want to know why the bridge wasn’t kept in repair; they will want names named. The politicians already know that; the White House responded instantly to the bridge tragedy by pointing the finger of responsibility at the Minnesota state government, less than twenty-four hours after the bridge collapsed. And the politicians are already politicizing the bridge issue; TP is already flip-flopping on the gas tax and apparently he taking heat for that decision from some conservative blogs.

So no, I don’t agree that this is a “bi-partisan” disaster; I think the condition of the state’s infrastructure is the responsibility of the party that holding power, and the party that held power for years before the past election. I think that the disaster should be dealt with in a bi-partisan fashion, and I applaud the Governor for his attempts to do that–but a GOP president and MN’s GOP Congressional delegation’s first reactions to the loss of life were partisan, and people shouldn’t ever forget that.


redstar August 8, 2007 at 1:11 am

voted for?

The bill approved by the House and Senate this week provides a temporary six month extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act…

It does no such thing. It amended FISA, it didn’t extend it. It’s not as if FISA was going to expire; the chimperor just wanted more power for himself and his lackey in the DOJ.

I want my money back; incompetence to this degree is incomprehensibe – this is not a rookie mistake, but a sign something’s not quite right in her office.

Wish we could have another shot at Wetterling or Bell.


mntrueblue August 8, 2007 at 4:06 am

so ill-informed that I was appalled.  There are grave Constitutional issues at stake here.  Apparently Senator Klobuchar is too busy to read the bills she supports, or possibly just ignorant of the Constitution she took an oath to uphold.

Strike Two, Senator Klobuchar.  Strike One was the Iraq Supplemental.


ryanstai August 8, 2007 at 7:42 am

By my count, of the 36 precincts, Pfeilsticker has won 11 that Sviggum won in 2006.  In the remaining 25, she has done better than Flatten did in 18 of them.

It might not be enough for a DFL upset, depending on the raw numbers.  I hesitate to draw too much from a special election, but it looks like win or lose, the DFL will make a very good showing.  And turnout looks to be surprisingly high.



JackH August 8, 2007 at 8:14 am
MNMark August 8, 2007 at 10:02 pm

Thanks for mentioning that, I had forgotten how pissed I was when I wrote a clear, calm letter & got back a tone deaf form.

And it isn’t just this issue she was majorly wrong on her Iraq vote too.

Then there is the whole office staff thing.  I have called here and DC and talked to several different people none of whom sounded as if they cared at all; a couple openly hostile.  I honestly wonder if they don’t support the Republicans because they make her look terrible.

What the hell is wrong with her?  Is there any way to get her to respond herself?  If she did would she be better able to justify this crap than her staff?


Ollie Ox August 9, 2007 at 4:03 am

Actually, my comments are back at MDE.

But I certainly learned to respect some of the folk wisdom of my grandma who always told me about never trying to get into a stink war with a skunk.

I had the same response to reading the headline and  article as you did Joe– surprising head, but the article reported that Walz was obeying the law, so I posted the headline and place of publication and provided the link.

So caught being wrong about the post, Brodkorb now wants to dictate how long my posts need to be about articles he deems important.

Since he has admitted in comments that he got the Google News Alert on August 2, he ought to have posted then, rather than wait a week to manufacture faux outrage.

I’d be flattered if his post were generating any traffic at BSP, but sadly, a scant handful from MDE wants to go prancing through the jungles of the Bluestem Prairie.


Joe Bodell August 9, 2007 at 6:28 am

Gotta watch out for them.


PaintBoy August 9, 2007 at 4:57 am

more of a prosecutor than a progressive I guess.

it’s too bad, I had been bragging on her to my friends from other states…  not any more  :-/


johnSwifty August 18, 2007 at 12:02 am

I gave both Tim Walz and Amy Klobuchar my compaign donations and I gave Amy my vote.

My primary reason for doing so was THIS VERY ISSUE!!!!

Fighting back against the level of power that this administration has grabbed for itself is the number one reason why I supported the candidates that I did.

Amy’s level of incomprehension and total ignorance on this subject make me feel like I w