Friday, September 30, 2005

$250,000

That's the amount Krinkie is rumored to have after this past quarter.

Rumor quashing

Last night on KARE 11, Justice Blatz firmly denied any idea that she would run for statewide office.

She said she didn't have another job lined up and laughed off the suggestion that she could serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Blatz said she was not interested in running for statewide office, as some have prodded her to do over the years.
(Source: KARE 11, Sept. 30, 2005)

I'm sure Rep. Mark Kennedy and Amy Klobuchar are relieved.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Krinkie and the FEC

I have just received a tip from a source familiar with the Krinkie campaign has informed me that Krinkie's numbers for this quarter are "really good."

No word yet on the exact dollar amount.

Blatz for . . .

Rumors are flying in both St. Paul and in Washington that Chief Justice Blatz’s resignation is not as it seems. I have heard from several sources that Blatz, a former Republican legislator, may be preparing to run for higher office.

At this point, it looks as if it won’t happen, as Blatz wouldn’t be able to start her campaign until after January 10th. However, I wouldn’t rule it out completely.

We’ll keep you posted on any developments.

Blatz resigns

As the Senate confirmed Roberts as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Minnesota's own Chief Justice quietly submitted her resignation to Gov. Pawlenty.

Minnesota's chief justice leaving state Supreme Court

Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz will step down from Minnesota's Supreme Court in January, the court announced Thursday.

Blatz has served as the state's top judicial officer since 1998 and has been on the high court since 1996. In a news release, Blatz said she wants to return to life as a private citizen.

"I will miss working with my colleagues on the important cases that come before,'' Blatz said. "I also will miss working on improving the administration of justice so that access to justice is a tangible reality for those who depend on the courts to decide life's most important controversies.''

Blatz was the first woman to hold the title chief justice. She was appointed to the position by former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson, who first made her a Hennepin County district judge and later an associate justice on the Supreme Court.

She previously served as a state legislator, elected to the House at age 24 and representing a Bloomington district for 24 years.

Blatz submitted a resignation letter to Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who will select a replacement.

(Source: Associated Press, Sept. 29, 2005)



RM wishes Ms. Blatz the best of luck returning to a private life. We'll try to keep you posted on who Pawlenty appoints.

Do we have the right message?

As it stands now, the 2006 Republican message is going to be focused around border security. Granted border security is an issue I feel strongly about, I don’t think this is the issue to win over swing voters come November 2006.

By the 2006 elections, our party will have had control of the House, Senate, and White House for four solid years with some success. During the same time we’ve seen Bush’s approvals tank, record oil prices and the big I-word looming on the horizon. Not exactly the ideal environment for reelection.

Sadly, most Republicans treat the potential energy crisis as the elephant in the room (pun intended). The one Republican tackling energy head on is Gov. Pawlenty. He has been a strong advocate for ethanol-based fuels since being elected Governor. In fact, earlier this week, Pawlenty hosted the Governor’s Ethanol Coalition meeting here in Minnesota.

Our nation, and our state, only stands to benefit from widespread ethanol use. Besides strengthening our rural economies, it would reduce our dependency on foreign oil, which would do as much for national security as tightening our borders. Don’t forget that we’d need to find jobs to replace the one’s we’ve shipped to China and India.

But if the Republican leadership would rather gamble on border security than go with a sure thing, they’d better be prepared to lose a seat or two.

Pawlenty on Minnesota, China

From the ‘Kato Free Press:

Thirteen months before he will ask voters to give him a second term, Gov. Tim Pawlenty provided Mankato civic leaders with what felt like a preview of his re-election themes.

“We’ve got a great state, but we’ve got a changing world,” Pawlenty told the Mankato Rotary Club Wednesday.

With a trade mission to China coming up in November, the Republican from Eagan talked about a meeting he had with the Chinese ambassador to the United States. Already a worrisome competitor for American manufacturers, China is preparing in the next couple of decades to move 800 million rural Chinese working in subsistence-level agriculture into factory jobs.

“He looked at me and said, ‘You haven’t seen anything yet,’” Pawlenty said. “... We better get a handle on what our strategy is in terms of competing with China.”

For Minnesota to be competitive with China and every other nation in an increasingly global marketplace, the state can’t continue to do business as usual, the governor said. Schools will need to dramatically change how they prepare students for the changing economy. Universities have to specialize more.

And state government must help businesses by reducing the level of taxes and regulation whenever possible, he said. Pawlenty suggested he has led the state toward progress in all of those areas.

(Source: Mankato Free Press, Sept. 29, 2005)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Fineman's latest

Here's a must read from Fineman on how the Dems are doing.

UPDATE 4: The War Room this ain't

The New York Observer has a lengthy article on Inside the Bubble. It’s awfully long, and I would not do it justice by taking out selected quotes, but it’s a must read.

The gist of the article is that this documentary in no way will ever be confused for The War Room, the documentary of the 1992 Clinton/Gore campaign starring James Carville and George Stephanopoulos.

UPDATE 3: The War Room this ain't

Here's another clip from "Inside the Bubble."

Does is frighten you that this man could’ve been President?

Sheehan attacks POW McCain

Now, I know that Sen. McCain may not be everyone’s favorite Republican (read: RINO), but he did fight for our country and spend years at the “Hanoi Hilton,” and we must respect that.

That is unless you are Cindy Sheehan.

Peace mom Cindy Sheehan didn't change her opposition to the war in Iraq after meeting Tuesday with one of its supporters, Sen. John McCain, a Vietnam veteran whom she called "a warmonger."
***
"He is a warmonger, and I'm not," Sheehan said after meeting with McCain. "I believe this war is not keeping America safer."
(Source: Associated Press, Sept. 28, 2005)

Leave to Cindy to take that high road by calling a POW a "warmonger."

UPDATE: The War Room this ain't

Here’s a link to the trailer for “Inside the Bubble,” a film that chronicles the flips, the flops, the mistakes, and the missteps of the Kerry political machine. From the looks of things, this will be a great flick.

No word yet on whether or not "Inside the Bubble" is going to play in Minneapolis or if there will be a DVD version released, but we here at RM will keep you posted.

See the original post here.

Pawlenty ahead of the curve on energy independence

From the Daily Globe:

Bold initiatives to help aid the agricultural economy and ease America’s dependence on foreign oil make good political strategy in today’s climate, so we are encouraged at two items in the news today. The efforts of Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty to challenge other U.S. governors to push ethanol is a positive sign. So, too, is word out of Iowa that Republicans see increasing renewable fuels as a top 2006 legislative priority.

Republicans in Iowa want to increase the consumption of ethanol, or so they say, and there should be no reason Democrats can’t work across the aisle to develop a bipartisan consensus. Already in Iowa, more than 70 percent of gasoline includes a 10 percent ethanol blend, and proposals keep popping up to require that all gas sold in the state be blended with ethanol.

Meanwhile, Pawlenty told the nation’s governors at the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition national conference on Monday that mandating a 10 percent ethanol mix by 2010 would be a good idea. Pawlenty threw out the usual catch phrases, saying it would reduce dependence on foreign oil, improve national security and improve air quality while strengthening rural economies.

Not all the experts, and certainly not all the fuel industry leaders, are jumping on the ethanol bandwagon. But it’s good to know that the governor of Minnesota — who understands ethanol’s benefit to the farm economy — is willing to trumpet the success of Minnesota’s 10 percent mandate. Certainly, politicians from all persuasions in Iowa should also encourage this profitable market, which benefits not only farmers but all of us.
(Source: Worthington Daily Globe, Sept. 28, 2005)

UPDATE: Pawlenty gets E85 SUV.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Kennedy v. Mexican Meth

Meth has often been described as the scourge of rural America because of the dangerous effects of this highly addicted drug. There is no doubt in my mind that this will be one of the top issues discussed in Minnesota in 2006.

Minnesota, thanks to Gov. Pawlenty’s leadership, has been able to make it more difficult to obtain meth ingredients at your local supermarket. There is, however, still the problem of meth coming in from labs in Mexico.

Some in Congress say that the U.S. needs to put pressure on Mexico to put a dent in meth production. "We need to have the same energy going after shutting down the importing of meth from Mexico and other countries as we have going after the cold pills," said Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-Minn). "In fact, we have to have greater energy because it's a greater source of supply."
(Source: Join Together)

Kerry, Katrina, and calamari

From the Washington Times:

Congressional critics of George W. Bush's initial response to Hurricane Katrina were eager to turn on their TV sets during prime time on Thursday when the president, addressing the nation from Jackson Square in New Orleans, delivered arguably one of the most important speeches of his presidency.

At the same time, hundreds of miles away in Washington, 2004 Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry arrived at a crowded Cafe Milano in Georgetown, took off his suitcoat, and sat down to a shirt-sleeve dinner with three unidentified men.

"The senator arrived at Cafe Milano about 7:30," a network news executive in Washington, who was seated nearby, tells Inside the Beltway. "Senator Kerry's dinner lasted through the president's speech -- and due to his positioning at the table his back was to the bar television throughout the entire speech. He never turned around once during the address."

Mr. Bush's speech ended at approximately 9:25 p.m. local time. Lo and behold, when he was still seated at the table wiping squid from his chin, Mr. Kerry responded to the president's address with a statement of his own, issued at exactly 9:54 p.m.

"Leadership isn't a speech or a toll-free number," began the senator. "Leadership is getting the job done. No American doubts that New Orleans will rise again, they doubt the competence and commitment of this administration. Weeks after Katrina, Americans want an end to politics as usual that leaves them dangerously and unforgivably unprepared. Americans want to know that their government will be there when it counts with leadership that keeps them safe, not speeches in the aftermath to explain away the inexcusable."
(Source: Washington Times, Sept. 27, 2005)


Sen. Kerry, is leadership eating calamari at a posh restaurant while others are suffering?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Yet another reason to keep Dayton around

Wow, I am amazed that this man was ever elected Senator.

The limited information from the nominee's paper record raised troubling issues about Roberts' judicial temperament, said Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn.

"I am deeply concerned that he and President Bush's next nominee will shift the Supreme Court close to the extreme right for many years to come," Dayton said.
(Source: Associated Press, Sept. 26, 2005)

“Limited paper trail?!” This is the man that closed his Senate office because he thought he saw a report that outlined a non-specific threat.

He cracks me up.

The War Room this ain't

According to a new documentary ready to be released, Sen. John Kerry’s campaign was doomed from the get go.

I hear that John Kerry loyalists are kicking themselves for cooperating last year with filmmaker Steve Rosenbaum on "Inside the Bubble," a potentially devastating behind-the-scenes look at the Massachusetts senator's failed presidential campaign.

I'm also told that Hillary Clinton partisans are licking their chops to see the film, which "could end up being the silver bullet that kills Kerry's presidential chances for 2008," says a Lowdown spy.

Kerry spinmeister David Wade - one of the senior staffers who allowed Rosenbaum to film his private moments - tried to dismiss Rosenbaum's effort as "a childish home movie destined to be forgotten."

Wade E-mailed me: "The 20 poor souls subjected to this movie will be reaching for caffeine and begging for old Lamar Alexander tapes on C-Span 2. Michael Moore has nothing to fear. I think the working title was 'The Snore Room.'"

But people who've screened the documentary say it's compelling and revealing.

It features, among other not-ready-for-prime-time moments, Clinton scowling and rolling her eyes over an apparent Kerry gaffe during a presidential debate; Kerry pretending to interview himself and babbling in Italian while waiting for a real interview to begin; Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) cursing at reporters during a campaign stop, and Kerry message guru Robert Shrum confidently declaring a few days before the 2004 election: "Zogby [a prominent pollster] just announced who's gonna win. Us!"

Shrum told me he personally didn't cooperate with the movie, which captures him on camera only a couple of times.

Asked if he plans to see it, he answered: "Absolutely not."

As for media critic Michael Wolff - who severely slags off the Kerryites at regular intervals - "I refused to be interviewed by [Rosenbaum], even though at one point he called me from his bespoke tailor."

A press release claims the movie - which won't be shown publicly until Thursday - "turns a harsh but deeply revealing mirror on the campaign ... a disorganized, contentious, self-absorbed team that thought they could win by 'not making mistakes,' and keeping their candidate in the public eye without clarifying a position on anything."

Director Rosenbaum, meanwhile, told me: "I'm a lifelong Democrat and I supported Kerry. I think people will see the film as fair, and maybe searing."
(Source: NY Daily News)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

What's the deal MDE?

DoesMDE changing his color scheme again remind anyone else of the New Coke fiasco?

Friday, September 23, 2005

FLASHBACK: Dayton is nuts

This post is a gentle reminder of how out of touch Sen. Mark Dayton is with the rest of the world.

Dayton to vote "no"

Alert the media! Sen. Mark Dayton will not vote for John Roberts.

This should hardly surprise anyone, unless you happen to be a political neophyte like Kelly Doran.

Dayton on Roberts

As I was preparing a post on Dayton and Roberts, MDE reported that Sen. Dayton will announce how he intends to vote during the Roberts confirmation.

It’s just plain sad when this is the highlight of the day.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Good Old Boys

With Doran in the race for Governor now, what is to become of Mike Ciresi, Mike Hatch, and Matt Entenza, the DFL Good Old Boys?

Well, Ciresi would be an odds on favorite to win the DFL Senate primary. He's expected to announce soon, so stay tuned.

Will Hatch and Entenza run against Pawlenty? Will Hatch run for governor with Entenza eyeing the AG spot?

We'll try to keep you updated as events progress.

Who is Kelly Doran?

I’m sure this is a question DFLers and Republicans alike are asking themselves. To answer that question, we’ll go to Minnesota’s paper of record, the Star Tribune.

A business-friendly moderate, Doran said he is better suited to an executive role. A supporter of abortion rights, Doran said he opposes a gay marriage ban in the state constitution and favors a 10 cents-a-gallon gasoline tax…
(Source: Star Tribune, September 22, 2005)


Moderate?! That’s a riot. Since when did supporting all of the above mean you are a moderate?

MDE has a post on Doran’s Republican connections.

So, Kelly Doran is nothing but a corporate Democrat that gives money to Republicans. This sounds like a bored rich kid looking to buy power.

You can call him Al

Five years ago Al Gore lost to then-Gov. Bush. A bad beard and 100 pounds later, he’s thinking of running again.

AS SEN. Hillary Clinton ratchets up her attacks on Presi dent Bush, some Democrats think they smell an explanation: the threat of a 2008 Al Gore presidential bid that could come at her from the left on Iraq.

The former vice president is suddenly re-emerging as a vocal and visible Bush-basher — he's slated to star at a Democratic National Committee fund-raiser for big donors in Washington next Tuesday.
(Source: NY Post, September 22, 2005)


Sorry Al, Sen. Clinton’s got this one in a “lockbox.”

DFL candidate reacts to Doran

"No one has ever won in Minnesota who has not abided by the spending limits, and I think there is something about buying elections that we are not fond of." – DFL gubernatorial candidate Bud Philbrook
(Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press, September 22, 2005)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

MDE's Doran wrap-up

MDE has this scoop on Doran Come Lately.

1. Doran will seek the DFL endorsement.

2. Doran hasn't decided if he will adbide by the DFL endorsement.

3. Doran is not going to seek public financing for governor. He will spend what it takes.

4. Doran want to raise the gas-tax.


Doran proved what the GOP said earlier today when they said that Doran is on a “political shopping spree” and essentially is “an impulse buyer.”

MN GOP on Doran

Here's a statement from the Republican Party of Minnesota regarding Doran:

Kelly Doran, who failed in his bid for U.S. Senate, is now taking his lavish political shopping spree to the Governor's race. Unfortunately for Doran' Minnesotans aren't interested in giving away the Governor's office to an impulse buyer.


However, Kelly Doran clearly understands that Mike Hatch's prospective campaign isn't exciting DFL activists, and is seeking to fill that vacuum. Doran's decision is a multi-million dollar wrecking ball for Mike Hatch's lifelong gubernatorial aspirations and throws the DFL party into further disarray.


In stark contrast, the Republican Party stands unified behind Governor Tim Pawlenty and his message of holding government accountable for results.

Here's where the fun begins.

6th District forum

KvM is reporting that there will finally be a 6th District candidate forum.

It will take place at the good old Mermiad Events Center on November 12 (Staurday) from 11 am to 2 pm.

Sturdevant needs to ditch the time machine

This article may be a little old, but reading Lori Sturdevant’s columns aren’t exactly high on my list of things to do.

Minnesota can be a major player in the global economy. Education is the key. A world-class research university is essential. Add talent-attracting amenities -- parks, trails, museums, sports facilities. State government should help business provide jobs, with training and incentives to put them outstate.

Twenty years ago, the governor who hammered at those themes -- Rudy Perpich -- was called goofy. In retrospect, call him visionary.

(Source: Star Tribune, September 18, 2005)


Fifteen years ago, to paraphrase Leon Oistad and David Hoium, the people of Minnesota were presented with a choice: Perpich or a child molester. And the people were saying didn’t know. Meanwhile, Perpich was flying around the state waving copies of Grunseth’s divorce records (Source: Hoium, Dave; Oistad, Leon, There is No November). I’d hardly call that visionary.

Perpich by far wasn’t the worst governor ever; Jesse will forever own that title. But he wasn’t the popular hero Sturdevant makes him out to be. After all, in 1990, he lost to a man who campaigned for barely three weeks.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

AP: Doran to run against TPaw

Here's the first article on Doran.

Link

MDE: Doran for Governor?

That's what MDE is reporting.

This may explain why he skipped Sunday's DFL Senate candidate forum.

As Drudge would say...Developing...

Pawlenty rebounds

The latest SurveyUSA poll is out. Gov. Pawlenty is at 54%, which is where he was prior to the shutdown.

Not a done deal

If you found yourself watching the local newscasts last night, you likely heard about the deal reached for the Vikings stadium, with the state picking up their fair share. Funny, I don’t remember a special session in which the legislature passed a bill granting the Vikes their money, and I sure as hell don’t remember Gov. Pawlenty signing any such legislation.

As I stated yesterday, I don’ think the Vikes, with a 0-2 record, deserve a brand new, multi-millions dollar (subsidized heavily by you and me) stadium. Hell, right now they don’t even deserve to play in the ‘Dome. As far as I’m concerned, until they win, they can play all home games at the North High athletic field.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Now for some breaking news

Great, the team that can’t get their stuff together may get a new stadium.

BREAKING NEWS: Vikings, Anoka County reach stadium deal
Kevin Seifert
The Vikings will announce tomorrow an agreement to build a $675 million stadium and related development in Anoka County.

A press conference has been scheduled for 10 a.m. in Blaine, near the site where new owner Zygi Wilf plans to build the structure, a Vikings team official said.

Wilf and the NFL plan to combine on a $250 million contribution, while Anoka County will provide $240 million through a county-wide sales tax.

The Vikings and Anoka County will ask the state for the nearly $200 million in infrastructure costs.
(Source: Star Tribune Online, September, 19, 2005)


Why don’t the Vikes focus on winning at least one regular season game before they think about a taxpayer funded stadium.

WashPost: Confirm Roberts

In a somewhat surprising move yesterday, the Washington Post made a (half assed) case for confirming Roberts. Here are the highlights (the rest is mostly gobbledygook):

JOHN G. ROBERTS JR. should be confirmed as chief justice of the United States. He is overwhelmingly well-qualified, possesses an unusually keen legal mind and practices a collegiality of the type an effective chief justice must have. He shows every sign of commitment to restraint and impartiality. Nominees of comparable quality have, after rigorous hearings, been confirmed nearly unanimously. We hope Judge Roberts will similarly be approved by a large bipartisan vote.
(Source: Washington Post, September 18, 2005)


If a paper with a liberal bent, like the Washington Post, can see the wisdom in confirming Roberts, you’d think Sen. Mark Dayton would as well. Make sure that you contact Dayton’s office and urge him to support Roberts.

Hatch, gas & economics

Mike Hatch, our very own anti-business AG, is investigating the rise in price of E85 fuel.

Hey Hatch, E85 is 15% gasoline. So, when gas prices skyrocket, ethanol prices will go up as well, although not as much.

Leave the economics to the big boys, and stick to what you're best at: calling women names.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Kline: Put Reagan on the fifty

Rep. John Kline has proposed replacing Grant's picture with Reagan's picture on the fifty dollar bill.

Opposition is sure to be strong, but the man did win 49 states in 1984. If anything, the liberals in Minnesota can let us conservatives enjoy this moment before they name every public place after the late Sen. Wellstone.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Waffling for dollars

First we're a "national embarassment," now this.

In his latest fundraising letter, Mike Hatch claims that the HIF put the state in grave danger:


Second, the tobacco industry last week sued the State over imposition of Governor Pawlenty’s new tobacco “fee.” The industry argues that the “fee” circumvents the 1998 litigation settlement between the State and the tobacco industry where the State, in exchange for payments, released the tobacco companies from liability as it relates to the adverse health effects of tobacco. While the argument of the tobacco industry is disingenuous, it never would have filed the lawsuit if Governor Pawlenty had simply the tobacco payment what it is--a tax. The use of a gimmick to placate “No New Taxes” supporters now causes uncertainty in the state budget while this lawsuit is pending.

(Source: Hatch Volunteer Committee letter obtained exclusively by RM)



But last month, when the suit was announced, Hatch was signing a different tune:


Hatch downplayed the notion that the legal challenge could blow a hole in the state budget, saying the Legislature and the governor would find a way out of it -- possibly by raising taxes.

(Source: Star Tribune, August 27, 2005)



To my knowledge, there has been no new evidence to suggest that the State couldn’t easily win this case. Could it be that Hatch himself doubts his ability to pull off a win?

Mr. Attorney General, if you are not confident that your office can beat Big Tobacco, why don’t you step aside and let someone else handle the case.

Is the Strib scared by a 527?

The Campaign for St. Paul's Future was attacked today by the Star Tribune. The group was called a "Rovian attack squad" in an editorial this morning.

The group, headed up by GOP activist Joe Weber, must be on to something if the Star Tribune devotes column space to attacking them.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hatch: Minnesota is a “national embarrassment”

That’s what Mike Hatch told potential donors in his latest fundraising letter obtained exclusively by Republican Minnesota (take that MDE). After reading the letter, it is very clear that Hatch is running against Pawlenty.

You can view the poorly written letter here:




Hatch also talks up his “chief deputy” in the letter. It is assumed that he is referring to Lori Swanson, his choice for Attorney General in 2006. Do we need any more proof that the man is running for Governor?

Pawlenty taps Sen. Gaither for Chief of Staff

The AP is reporting that Sen. David Gaither has been asked by Pawlenty to be his new Chief of Staff.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Pawlenty wins ATV suit

Today, the Minnesota Campaign Finace Board ruled in favor of Gov. Pawlenty, soundly dismissing a complaint filed by Sen. John Marty and Hamline professor David Schultz.

Statement from Pawlenty's office:

"The Governor is pleased with the Campaign Finance Boards ruling and its complete dismissal of the complaint. The Board found that in every respect, there was no violation of the letter or spirit of state laws."

WCCO gets it wrong

Can't say I'm surprised.

Note to WCCO Radio personalities Dark Star and Erik Escola: yesterday’s St. Paul mayoral race was not a referendum on President Bush. Nor did the election have nothing to do with Hurricane Katrina.

Everyone knows that Bush’s support in St. Paul is marginal, that's just a fact of life. Primary voters are the more hardcore party loyalists, so it should come to no surprise that Coleman won due to Kelly’s endorsement of Bush last year.

Chris Coleman is a Democrat. Randy Kelly is a Democrat. In November, the election will be a referendum on the direction the city is going. Do the residents of St. Paul want a limited tax increase (Kelly) or a more expansive one (Coleman)?

Kelly’s endorsement of Bush had no bearing on St. Paul whatsoever. Had John Kerry received Kelly’s endorsement, the outcome of the elections would’ve been the same: Kerry takes Minnesota but loses the nation.

Coleman will likely win the general election, but will have done so by not tackling the issues facing St. Paul. Instead, Coleman will win by cleverly calling Mayor Kelly “Republican Randy.”

Deplorable

While thousands were stranded on rooftops and in the Superdome, Rep. William Jefferson (D-New Orleans) had the National Guard take him to his home.

Military sources tells ABC News that Jefferson, an eight-term Democratic congressman, asked the National Guard that night to take him on a tour of the flooded portions of his congressional district. A 5-ton military truck and a half dozen military police were dispatched.

Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard tells ABC News that during the tour, Jefferson asked that the truck take him to his home on Marengo Street, in the affluent uptown neighborhood in his congressional district. According to Schneider, this was not part of Jefferson's initial request.
***
The water reached to the third step of Jefferson's house, a military source familiar with the incident told ABC News, and the vehicle pulled up onto Jefferson's front lawn so he wouldn't have to walk in the water. Jefferson went into the house alone, the source says, while the soldiers waited on the porch for about an hour.

Finally, according to the source, Jefferson emerged with a laptop computer, three suitcases, and a box about the size of a small refrigerator, which the enlisted men loaded up into the truck
***
The Louisiana National Guard tells ABC News the truck became stuck as it waited for Jefferson to retrieve his belongings.

Two weeks later, the vehicle's tire tracks were still visible on the lawn.

The soldiers signaled to helicopters in the air for aid. Military sources say a Coast Guard helicopter pilot saw the signal and flew to Jefferson's home. The chopper was already carrying four rescued New Orleans residents at the time.

A rescue diver descended from the helicopter, but the congressman decided against going up in the helicopter, sources say. The pilot sent the diver down again, but Jefferson again declined to go up the helicopter.

After spending approximately 45 minutes with Jefferson, the helicopter went on to rescue three additional New Orleans residents before it ran low on fuel and was forced to end its mission.

"Forty-five minutes can be an eternity to somebody that is drowning, to somebody that is sitting in a roof, and it needs to be used its primary purpose during an emergency," said Hauer.
(Source: ABC News, September 14, 2005)

What a prick.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Sen. Johnson pleads for another special session

From the Star Tribune online edition:

The Willmar DFLer said a one- or two-day session should be centered on consideration of three major proposals for sports stadiums. But it also could include a package of laws to soften the blow of energy prices, a rescue of the Minneapolis teachers' pension fund, authorizing a new hospital for Maple Grove, and funding for highways and transit, all unfinished business from the and much-criticized 2005 regular session, Johnson said.

Johnson said the unfinished business from the regular session and optimal conditions for stadium-building provide the right opportunity. "The costs of construction will continue to increase, the economic benefits to the state are more positive than not, and this is the best overall package we're going to see from the Vikings, the Twins and the [University of Minnesota] Gophers," he said. "There are not state taxes, no property taxes, just local sales taxes and maximum contributions from the teams."
(Source: Star Tribune, September 13, 2005)


Johnson should’ve thought about the stadiums, new hospital, and transit spending before he shutdown the government.

State in surplus

Here’s some proof that cutting spending and holding the line on taxes is the most fiscally responsible way to solve a deficit.

Minnesota treasury: Near $140 million uptick

A near $140 million uptick in state revenue collections last month is "a little bit of a cushion" for the Minnesota treasury but no cause to expect a return to the robust fiscal surpluses of the late 1990s, state finance officials said Monday.

The state general fund took in $1.209 billion in tax collections in August, $139.9 million more than had been projected, Finance Commissioner Peggy Ingison announced. But, she added, most of the extra money came from a large, unidentified estate tax payment that she described as "an anomaly and a one-time event."

State economist Tom Stinson said the tax payment may have amounted to as much as 16 percent of the estate, depending on when the person died. Since January 2002, the state estate tax has been phasing downward from that rate, he said.

Although Ingison said monthly revenue figures should be viewed with caution, she noted that the August windfall followed July collections that were $6.7 million more than predicted. For the first two months of the 2006 fiscal year that began July 1, all four major tax categories -- individual and corporate income taxes, sales taxes and motor vehicle excise taxes -- showed slightly positive results.

That indicates that after several deficit-wracked years following the 2000-01 recession, state government may be returning to fiscal steadiness, Ingison said.

"Aside from the estate piece, we're pretty much right on the mark," she said. "I wouldn't be celebrating anything, but it's a little bit of a cushion."
Conrad deFiebre
(Source: Star Tribune, September 13, 2005)

Remember the 2003 session? Newly elected Gov. Pawlenty rolled the Senate DFLers into adopting his no-new-taxes way to solve the deficit. Pawlenty’s swiftness caused the DFL to overthrow Sen. John Hottinger as Majority Leader and elect former Republican Sen. Dean Johnson to lead their caucus through the next two sessions. Sure, the next sessions sucked, but our party is stronger because of it.

Who would've thought that in Minnesota, the "Land of 10,000 Taxes," we'd see a budget deficit resolved without a tax hike?

Vote today

Although it is an "off-year," there are several local primaries today. Don't forget to exercise your civic duty and vote (for Republican-endorsed candidates if applicable).

Minneapolis: Mayor, City Council, School Board, Library Board
St. Paul: Mayor, City Council, School Board
Bloomington: City Council
Maplewood: Mayor, City Council
Minnetonka: City Council
Roseville: City Council
St. Louis Park: City Council
White Bear Lake: City Council
Anoka-Hennepin: School Board
Forest Lake: School Board
Hastings: School Board
Osseo: School Board
Robbinsdale: School Board
Shakopee: School Board
St. Cloud: School Board
St. Francis: School Board
Stillwater: School Board
West. St. Paul: School Board

KvM: Add Ciresi to the list

KvM beat me to the punch on the Mike Ciresi post today (I tip my hat to you sirs).

Ciresi has apparently sent out his first fundraising letter with his 2006 letterhead to supporters, according to sources who have seen Ciresi’s call for cash. Although Ciresi’s net worth puts current Senator Mark Dayton and soon-to-be-opponent Kelly Doran to shame, the trial lawyer’s quest for contributions is nothing new given he raised more than $1 million from supporters in his 2000 campaign in addition to the $4.7 million he personally invested in his losing bid.


We all should’ve known that he was tossing his hat into the ring when PIM claimed that Ciresi was staying out.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Hillary v. Pawlenty?

That’s what the London Times is saying could happen (I know, wrong continent).

Condoleezza Rice is a nice idea for the Republicans, rather than a serious contender. After that, most Republican candidates have minimal name recognition, such as Bill Frist, the Senate Majority Leader, Senator George Allen of Virginia, or Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota.
(Source: London Times, September 11, 2005)


What I find interesting is that Pawlenty made it into the article, but Govs. Romney and Huckabee did not. I guess the Brits wouldn't take a Mormon or new-found fitness expert serisously as President of the United States.

UPDATE #3: Thune to raise cash for Kennedy

A reliable source has confirmed that Sen. John Thune will be raising money for Rep. Mark Kennedy on September 23rd, 2005.

Thune's stature as rising star of the RNC should certainly help fill Kennedy's war chest.

HIF huff all hype

Saturday's convention wrap-up from the Pioneer Press:

Pawlenty fires up state convention as 2006 campaign nears

VALUES: The governor's views on abortion, marriage and religion are crowd pleasers.

BY BILL SALISBURY

ST. PAUL - If Republican activists were mad at Gov. Tim Pawlenty earlier this summer for enacting a 75-cents-a-pack cigarette charge and presiding over the first state government shutdown in state history, they apparently have forgiven him.

The 656 delegates to the Republican Party's 2005 state convention Saturday at St. Paul's RiverCentre gave Pawlenty an enthusiastic welcome when he stepped to the podium.

And by the time he finished pushing their hot buttons with a stem-winder speech, they were on their feet cheering.

That reaction suggested the GOP is united behind the first-term governor as he prepares to launch his 2006 re-election campaign.

Pawlenty appeared to cement the support of socially conservative party activists by reminding them he stands with them in opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage and in support of faith-based initiatives and gun owners' rights.

In what probably was a preview of his 2006 campaign speech, he began making the case for his re-election by touting his administration's successes: erasing a $4.5 billion budget deficit, holding the growth in state spending to an "historic low," reducing the number of state employees and maintaining the state's high credit rating.

He reminded the conservative crowd that he helped scrap the state's controversial "Profile of Learning" graduation standards and passed a new Personal Protection Act that makes it easier for adults to get handgun permits.

What really fired up the delegates were his stands on abortion, same-sex marriage and religion.

With the help of his "pro-life" allies, he said, "We have made great progress in the last three years, more than in the previous 15 to 20 years combined." As evidence, he cited passage of a "Right to Know" law that requires doctors to tell women about the risks of and alternatives to abortion 24 hours before performing the procedure, another requirement that doctors offer abortion patients anesthesia for fetuses 20 weeks and older, and new state grants to private agencies that provide alternatives to abortion.

He received prolonged applause when he renewed his call for a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages. "One thing we know is that you can't have a strong bedrock of traditional families if you don't have marriage that is defined as between a man and a woman," he said.

He got his biggest ovation when he told the convention the First Amendment "was designed to protect people of faith from government, not to protect government from people of faith."

Contending religious organizations and government should be partners in helping Hurricane Katrina survivors, he said he would announce a "faith-based initiative" for the state in a couple of weeks.

His enthusiastic reception Saturday contrasted with the mild rebuke Pawlenty got from the party's central committee in June, when they dumped his choice for state GOP chairman, Ron Eibensteiner, and instead elected Shoreview businessman Ron Carey.

The June election was a referendum on Eibensteiner's leadership, not on Pawlenty's, Carey said Saturday.

"The party today is 100 percent committed to the governor," he said. "They may have differences on some issues, but I'd bet 99 percent of the delegates would say he's the best governor they've had during their lifetime." Several delegates echoed that sentiment. "Not everything he's done has been perfect, but the governor has done a pretty good job of getting things done with a Legislature that's evenly split" between Democrats and Republicans, said Russell Goudge, a home builder from Wyoming Township in Chisago County.
(Source: Pioneer Press, September 11, 2005)


Pawlenty’s fee didn’t piss off the base. The base is comprised of normal, hardworking Minnesotans that believe government should be small, abortions should be illegal, and that marriage is between a man and a woman. But the fee did piss off the activists, those who have put blood, sweat, and tears into getting conservative Republicans elected. They vented their frustration by ousting Eibensteiner, much like an angry child during a tantrum.

If Pawlenty can repair damage with the hardcore activists, then there’s hope that he’ll be able to lay blame for the shutdown on the DFL.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Never forget




Republican Minnesota will not publish today in order to observe the fourth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Nygaard to jump in 6th?

The crew at KvM are claiming Dan Nygaard may jump into the 6th.

Nice scoop. I had it over a week ago when Dr. Yecke dropped out of the race.

While the ramifications for this are not yet know, it is speculated that Dan Nygaard is getting ready to jump in the race. Apparently his op-ed in the Star Tribune a few weeks back was meant to test the waters, and was well received within the 6th. This could be the break that Nygaard needs, with delegates and voters alike disillusioned with the three legislator/candidates, which leaves just Esmay, who has yet to generate a great deal of buzz.


f

Friday, September 09, 2005

UPDATE: Thune to raise cash for Kennedy

I’ve been hearing a persistent rumor that NRSC post boy John Thune will be coming to Minnesota to raise money for Rep. Mark Kennedy’s Senate campaign. Details coming soon…

UPDATE: I have confirmed through a trusted DC source that Thune is indeed going to help out Kennedy.

MN Lefty Liberal up and running?!

It appears that MN Lefty Liberal is back up, now being ran by "DFL Governor."

It will be interesting to see how this blogger will fail to live up to Trillin's standards.

Thune to raise cash for Kennedy

I’ve been hearing a persistent rumor that NRSC post boy John Thune will be coming to Minnesota to raise money for Rep. Mark Kennedy’s Senate campaign.

Details coming soon…

It's about time

I was wondering when the MSM was going to pick up on it:

Loans to Franken's radio network examined
Eric Black, Star Tribune

Al Franken, the comedian, author, radio host and possible future Minnesota politician, signed a document in November that listed $875,000 in interest-free loans that a New York Boys & Girls Club made to his radio network, Air America.

Franken said Thursday that he was unaware of the loans at the time.

The loans and the Boys & Girls Club are under investigation by city and state agencies in New York. Neither Franken nor Air America are targets of the investigations.

Air America said Thursday that it had put funds into an escrow account sufficient to repay the loans if the New York Department of Investigation, which is reviewing the club's finances, completes its work and authorizes payment.

Conservative bloggers, especially Michelle Malkin, have complained that the mainstream media is ignoring the story or "Air Ameriscam" as the Twin Cities-based Powerline blog has called it. Here is some of the background of the case.

Between October 2003 and March 2004, Evan Montvel Cohen, who was simultaneously a board member for the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club and head of the firm that was trying to get Air America started, borrowed $875,000 from the club. Franken has called Cohen a "crook" on the air and said he didn't know whether Cohen put the club's money into Air America.

New Investors

Air America launched, with Franken as its star attraction, in May 2004. Cohen was soon forced out. Franken said Cohen did not have the financial resources he had promised to get the network going and had failed to pay Franken and others their full salaries.

New investors, operating as Piquant LLC, acquired the network and still own it.

In November, the Cohen group and the Piquant group finalized the takeover with a 61-page document. Franken was not an investor in either group but signed the document to relinquish his own claim for back pay that Cohen's group owed him.

Towards the end of the document is a list of Air America liabilities, including the $875,000 claimed by the Boys & Girls Club.

Franken said he had read only portions that pertained to him and that his lawyer, who had reviewed the document, recommended he sign. "The list of other assets and liabilities did not pertain to me because I was not an investor," he said.

In a statement posted on the network's website, Danny Goldberg, CEO of Air America Radio, said: "Al Franken does not and never had any responsibility for the loan."

Franken, who has talked about a possible 2008 challenge to Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., said Thursday that he hopes to be living in Minnesota by January and basing his radio show from here.

The "Al Franken Show" is broadcast in the Twin Cities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on KTNF-AM-950.
(Source: Star Tribune, September 9, 2005)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Did GOP Chair endorse Kennedy?

What about Harold Shudlick?

From KvM’s interview with Ron Carey, Chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party:

I said, even though we may not win the City of Minneapolis, we need to do better. Like we took around 26% for the President in the 5th District, in Minneapolis in the last election. I said we’re maybe not going to get a majority, whether it be for [Governor] Tim Pawlenty or [Senate candidate] Mark Kennedy in 2006. Let’s set a goal to go up from 26% to 33%.


It should be interesting to see what the activists say at this weekend’s annual state convention. Hopefully they don’t. There is no other legitimate Republican vying for the endorsement, so why not get everyone behind the right horse.

Sandy Berger gets slap on wrist

Even Clinton's associates (post Whitewater) are bulletproof:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger was sentenced Thursday to community service and probation and fined $50,000 for illegally removing highly classified documents from the National Archives and intentionally destroying some of them.

Berger must perform 100 hours of community service and pay the fine as well as $6,905 for the administrative costs of his two-year probation, a district court judge ruled.

"I deeply regret the actions that I took at the National Archives two years ago, and I accept the judgment of the court," Berger said outside the courthouse after his sentencing.

"I'm glad that the 9/11 commission has made clear that it received all the documents that it sought, all the documents that it needed, and I'm pleased to finally have this matter resolved," he added.

Berger reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors in April to avoid a jail sentence.

At that time, he said the reason he took the documents was so he could prepare himself and others to assist the 9/11 commission, which investigated the circumstances surrounding the 2001 terrorist attacks and published a report of its findings last year.

The documents taken by Berger dealt with the terror threats during the 2000 millennium celebration, according to parties in the case.

According to the charges, Berger -- between September 2 and October 2, 2003 -- "knowingly removed classified documents from the National Archives and Records Administration and stored and retained such documents at places," such as his private Washington office.

Berger's associates admit he took five copies of an after-action report detailing the 2000 millennium terror plot from the Archives. The aides say Berger returned to his office, discovered that three of the copies appeared to be duplicates and cut them up with scissors.

The revelations were a dramatic change from Berger's claim last year that he had made an "honest mistake" and either misplaced or unintentionally threw the documents away.

When Archives officials contacted him after they realized documents were missing, Berger told them about the two copies he had, and returned them, along with his handwritten notes, officials said.
(Source: CNN)

Ode to Hamm's brewery

Although the beer is no longer brewed at this location, I can’t help but feel as if I’ve lost a dear old friend from college.

So, in memory of the old Hamm’s brewery, here is the jingle we all know and love:

From the land of sky blue waters (waters),

From the land of pines, lofty balsams,

Comes the beer refreshing,

Hamm's, the beer refreshing.

Dean Johnson for Governor?

Thanks, I needed the laugh.

Sen. Dean Johnson has been the leader of each caucus in the Senate at one point in time. Not an easy task to accomplish. But is Johnson bored with the Senate and dreaming of taking on Mike Hatch and Steve Kelly for the DFL endorsement for Governor?

MDE posted an article earlier today on Sen. Johnson still being noncommittal on a bid for Pawlenty’s job.

"I don’t know," he said. "My job as majority leader is to prepare for the 2006 Legislative Session."

People have approached him, and "there have been some conversations," but he is focusing on his legislative job for now, Johnson said.
(Source: Detroit Lakes Tribune, September 8, 2005)


It is my firm belief that Johnson will not run for Governor, at least as a Democrat, because there is no way the DFL faithful would endorse him over Kelly or Hatch because of all his baggage from the last session. Here is just a sample:

Senate leaves without budget deal, making shutdown imminent
Brian Bask, Associated Press

An attempt to prevent an unprecedented Minnesota government shutdown crumbled late Thursday, forcing 9,000 state employees from their jobs and halting dozens of state services beginning first thing Friday.

Talks fell apart when the Democrat-led Senate adjourned abruptly without passing a short-term funding measure requested by Gov. Tim Pawlenty and House Republican leaders.

The Senate closed for the night about 20 minutes after the GOP governor had said he was hopeful the sides could arrive at a 10-day "lights on" measure to keep all of state government running while a final budget deal was worked out. Earlier Thursday, the Senate had passed a stopgap measure with no time limit, which the Republicans said they wouldn't accept.

No state has had a shutdown since Tennessee in 2002. Pawlenty accused Democrats of orchestrating the closure to embarrass him in the run-up to his 2006 re-election campaign.

"The Democrats turned and left tonight when Minnesota needed them most," Pawlenty said at a late-evening news conference. "It is an example of irresponsible and bizarre behavior, the likes of which I don't think I've seen before."

The effects of a partial shutdown will be limited. Several spending bills were approved and a judge ordered the state to provide core services relating to health, safety and property. Still, some 9,000 employees will be locked out.

Eliot Seide, who heads the state's biggest employee union, lashed out at state leaders for their failure to complete a budget - noting that lawmakers and the governor won't suffer from the shutdown because their budgets are already in place.

Instead, state workers will pay the price, he said.

"The services that they provide, the jobs that they do, the families that they care for, the homes that they take care of, the parents they take care of - all in jeopardy because chicken was played in the Legislature by the governor of this state and the Legislature of this state," Seide said. "It is a bipartisan, nonpartisan, fully partisan failure."

Pawlenty and leaders from the Legislature had been meeting into the evening trying to reach a deal prior to the midnight deadline. The state's new fiscal year began Friday, and agencies that didn't get new spending authorization were shut down at midnight Thursday.

Several services were suspended, including driver's license exams, and highway rest areas will be closed during the Fourth of July weekend.

Lawmakers hurried through a compromise bill that would keep state parks open and fund agricultural services, meaning one of the most visible signs of a shutdown - shuttered state parks heading into a big holiday weekend - wouldn't happen.

At a midevening break in negotiations, Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson said the sides had whittled the gap to less than $200 million in a two-year, $30 billion budget.

Johnson said the Senate did its job by passing a bill that would keep government operating at current levels and avert a shutdown.

"The Senate passed a resolution to continue government," Johnson said. "Now it will be up to the governor and the House to respond to that."

Johnson also said that when it seemed negotiations were winding down, Pawlenty presented a new list of conditions for both education and health and human services. He said senators crunched the numbers and believe it amounted to a reduction in school spending levels that had already been tentatively agreed upon.

Republican leaders, such as House Speaker Steve Sviggum, were furious.

"Dean Johnson made his choice. The Senate wanted to shut down government from the beginning," Sviggum said. He said the House had no plans to pass the Senate's continued spending bill.

The Legislature went into overtime over five weeks ago, after the regular session ended with the biggest portions of the budget unfinished. Major sticking points were over issues such as subsidized health care, state-sanctioned gambling, taxes and education funding.

Republicans and Pawlenty pushed for cuts in health care spending, a gambling expansion tied to the state's poorest Indian tribes and a wholesale cigarette charge that would raise roughly $380 million over two years.

Democrats have refused to budge on the health care cuts and held out against more casinos. They waited until Tuesday to abandon a proposal to raise income taxes on the state's highest earners. Both sides want to send more money to schools, but they disagreed on how to raise the funds.

On Thursday, Sviggum said he and Pawlenty had backed away from a demand for government reform legislation as part of a budget deal. He and Pawlenty also dropped calls for a new casino at Canterbury Park, although they didn't declare it off the table for good.

Budgets for prisons, courts, colleges and tax collectors were finished during the regular session, along with a construction projects bill left over from the 2004 impasse.
(Source: Associated Press, July 2, 2005)


Note the title of the article. Couple that with the fact that the man started the shutdown by calling the Senate into recess two hours prior to the midnight deadline and he will be lucky to be reelected to the Senate.

Is this the silver lining we have been looking for?

From David Brooks in today’s New York Times:

Katrina's Silver Lining
By DAVID BROOKS
As a colleague of mine says, every crisis is an opportunity. And sure enough, Hurricane Katrina has given us an amazing chance to do something serious about urban poverty.

That's because Katrina was a natural disaster that interrupted a social disaster. It separated tens of
thousands of poor people from the run-down, isolated neighborhoods in which they were trapped. It disrupted the patterns that have led one generation to follow another into poverty.

It has created as close to a blank slate as we get in human affairs, and given us a chance to rebuild a city that wasn't working. We need to be realistic about how much we can actually change human behavior, but it would be a double tragedy if we didn't take advantage of these unique circumstances to do something that could serve as a spur to antipoverty programs nationwide.

The first rule of the rebuilding effort should be: Nothing Like Before. Most of the ambitious and organized people abandoned the inner-city areas of New Orleans long ago, leaving neighborhoods where roughly three-quarters of the people were poor.

In those cultural zones, many people dropped out of high school, so it seemed normal to drop out of high school. Many teenage girls had babies, so it seemed normal to become a teenage mother. It was hard for men to get stable jobs, so it was not abnormal for them to commit crimes and hop from one relationship to another. Many people lacked marketable social skills, so it was hard for young people to learn these skills from parents, neighbors and peers.

If we just put up new buildings and allow the same people to move back into their old neighborhoods, then urban New Orleans will become just as rundown and dysfunctional as before.

That's why the second rule of rebuilding should be: Culturally Integrate. Culturally Integrate. Culturally Integrate. The only chance we have to break the cycle of poverty is to integrate people who lack middle-class skills into neighborhoods with people who possess these skills and who insist on certain standards of behavior.

The most famous example of cultural integration is the Gautreaux program, in which poor families from Chicago were given the chance to move into suburban middle-class areas. The adults in these families did only slightly better than the adults left behind, but the children in the relocated families did much better.

These kids suddenly found themselves surrounded by peers who expected to graduate from high school and go to college. After the shock of adapting to the more demanding suburban schools, they were more likely to go to college, too.

The Clinton administration built on Gautreaux by creating the Moving to Opportunity program, dispersing poor families to middle-class neighborhoods in five other metropolitan areas. This time the results weren't as striking, but were still generally positive. The relocated parents weren't more likely to have jobs or increase their earnings (being close to job opportunities is not enough - you need the skills and habits to get the jobs and do the work), but their children did better, especially the girls.

The lesson is that you can't expect miracles, but if you break up zones of concentrated poverty, you can see progress over time.

In the post-Katrina world, that means we ought to give people who don't want to move back to New Orleans the means to disperse into middle-class areas nationwide. (That's the kind of thing Houston is beginning to do right now.)

There may be local resistance to the new arrivals - in Baton Rouge there were three-hour lines at gun shops as locals armed themselves against the hurricane victims moving to their area - but if there has ever been a moment when people may open their hearts, this is it.

For New Orleans, the key will be luring middle-class families into the rebuilt city, making it soattractive to them that they will move in, even knowing that their blocks will include a certain number of poor people.

As people move in, the rebuilding effort could provide jobs for those able to work. Churches, the police, charter schools and social welfare agencies could be mobilized to weave the social networks vital to resurgent communities. The feds could increase earned-income tax credits so people who are working can rise out of poverty. Tax laws could encourage business development.

We can't win a grandiose war on poverty. But after the tragedy comes the opportunity. This is the post-Katrina moment. Let's not blow it.
(Source: New York Times, September 8, 2005)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Bring Don Imus to Minnesota!!!

Ok, I'll settle for the radio show.

I will admit that the KQRS Morning Show is hilarious, but sometimes I feel like I am missing out on some intellectual stimulation during my morning commute. Each morning, I tune the dial endlessly, hoping for a mir

If you don’t know who Don Imus is, I fell sorry for you. Sure, the guy may have endorsed John Kerry for President, only to change his mind over and over, but I can’t think of a better way to get through my morning commute. Another KQ Sex Suvery! How about Chris Matthews on John Roberts’ upcoming confirmation battle. Still not convinced? There’s always the fact that the I-Man doesn’t tell bad jokes with even worse timing.

Sure, I could catch it on MSNBC, but then I’d have to get up earlier than normal. Or I could get a satellite radio system, but there’s no way I’m paying for radio. So Minnesota, call, write, email, and fax you local radio stations and beg them to have mercy and put Don Imus on the radio.

Why not kill two birds with one stone and replace the dreadful Dave Ryan in the Morning Show.

Trillin, where art thou?

MN Lefty Liberal, the only decent liberal blog from Minnesota is gone. The profile of Trillin, operator of Lefty Liberal and MN Left and Right, has had his profile removed.

Where did he go? Did he leave any clues to his disappearance? Did Ken Martin, Mike Hatch’s errand boy, finally catch up with Trillin?

RM pledges to get down to the bottom of this.

If you know Trillin's whereabouts, please contact me, or post a comment.

DFL Dream Team

Being more than a year away from Election Day 2006, we Republicans really have no idea who our Republican candidates will be facing. Sure, many of us can make educated guesses, but with Mike Ciresi and Mike Hatch lurking in the shadows, unable or unwilling to formally announce any decision, everything is up for grabs. What combination of candidates will give our team the greatest chance at victory? Here’s the DFL ticket that is sure to keep the liberal base at home where they belong:

  • Mike Hatch, Governor. Reason: By constantly running against the endorsed candidate in primaries, Hatch has pissed off many of the party faithful.
  • Kelly Doran, US Senate. Reason: He’s nothing more than a corporate millionaire-Democrat. Although he will be competitive in greater Minnesota, look for Twin Cities liberals to look for a more progressive candidate in the general election. The few DFL friends I have see Doran as an “opportunistic Republican,” a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
  • Auditor and Secretary of State: Face it; these races don’t inspire the average activist to turn out.
  • Coleen Rowley, Congress CD2. Reason: Putting Rowley’s extremist positions aside, the Rowley machine seems to be running on empty a year before the election.
  • Scottie Mortenson, Congress CD6. Reason: He’s the Dennis Kucinich of the 6th District.

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to leave your comments.

Medica still haunts Hatch, part two

As I posted earlier today, Mike Hatch may be investigated by the Legislative Auditor for threatening to take state business away from Dorsey & Whitney.

Rep. Tim Wilkin, R-Eagan, vice chairman of the Legislative Audit Commission, and Rep. Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, asked Nobles to follow up on testimony during the Medica trial last month. During the trial, Hatch was asked by Medica's outside counsel whether Hatch warned the lawyer's partner at Dorsey that it could lose some of its state's bond-writing business because of its representation of Medica. Hatch denied on the witness stand making a threat.

(Source: Star Tribune, September 7, 2005)


It should be noted that Peppin and Wilkin, while both Republicans, are not known the grandstanding that other legislators (or Attorney Generals) are known for. The attempt to investigate Hatch doesn’t appear to be brought on by a partisan agenda or a chance at grabbing some media attention. While I don’t mean to belittle the importance of the two respected legislators, neither are known as rising stars in the party, with shots at higher office (statewide or federal).

That makes the charges against Hatch all the more serious. Face it, it’s not like Rep. Jeff Johnson (Attorney General candidate) or Sen. Michele Bachmann is demanding an investigation. Hatch and his cronies would be wise to tread lightly on this one. But they won’t. Hatch possesses a “don’t mess with me” attitude and believes himself deserving of the office across the hall. Hatch’s bully attitude may work in the courtroom, but will not work in the court of public opinion.

Medica still haunts Hatch

Reps. Wilkin and Peppin are asking the Legislative Auditor to look into allegations that Mike Hatch made threats during the Medica trial. See the Star Tribune story here.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

God bless Stillwater

Never before have truer words been spoken:


Advice for Sheehan

Here is an idea for Cindy Sheehan: Donate your bus to evacuate victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Judith A. Hansen, Stillwater.
(Source: Star Tribune, September 6, 2005)

Fall preview

Now that summer is essentially over, I have a few questions on what we will discover this fall:
  • Will Sen. Dave Kleis overtake John Elenbecker for a second time? (Note: their last match up had Kleis over Ellenbecker by over 2,000 votes in the 1996 state senate battle)
  • How will Eva Young blame Hurricane Katrina on Sen. Michele Bachamnn?
  • Will Nick Coleman’s little brother Chris be able to defeat St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly?
  • Is anyone paying attention to the Minneapolis mayoral race?
  • Will Trillin ever find a DFL gubernatorial candidate he likes?
  • Will Shawn Towle finally expose me as the Minnesota Democrat Exposer?

Berglin: Punishing sex offenders a "mistake"

Apparently, if you’re a left wing DFLer from Minneapolis, it’s easy to put a price on safety.

Sen. Linda Berglin, DFL-Minneapolis, says more convicted sex offenders are being committed to state hospitals because of fallout from "the Rodriguez case." She was referring to Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., a registered sex offender charged with kidnapping and murdering Dru Sjodin in late 2003, after he was released from prison.

"That's the most expensive mistake state government has made in some time," said Berglin, chairwoman of the budget committee that oversees state hospitals.
(Source: Pioneer Press, September 6, 2005)


I didn't know protecting Minnesotans from sex offenders was a "mistake." I sure hope Berglin can explain her reasoning to the many victims of the most heinous of crimes.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

An open letter to America

Dear America,

It seems that ever since the levies broke in New Orleans, the suffering of tens of thousands has been a political issue, not a humanitarian one, thanks to the left.

IT IS NOT GEORGE BUSH’S FAULT. IT IS NO ONE’S FAULT. HOWEVER, IF ANYONE IS TO BE BLAMED, LOOK TOWARDS THE MAYOR OF THE FLOODED MESS FORMERLY KNOWN AS NEW ORLEANS.

I’m sure some of you have seen this from the Drudge Report, but in case you haven’t, here it is:

Louisiana disaster plan, pg 13, para 5 , dated 01/00

'The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating'...
(Source: Drudge Report)

Now, here is a picture of school busses, still in New Orleans, that should be parked outside the Houston Astrodome.



Apparently, in the Big Easy, a “mandatory evacuation” is more or less optional. Mr. Mayor, why are these busses still sitting in New Orleans? Why didn’t you order the police to force people to leave the city? Do you not know what “mandatory” means?

President Bush has been taking a lot of heat over this, much more than he should tolerate. He’s shown a great deal of grace during this whole process, meeting with some of his harshest critics from early in the disaster, the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana.

Bush isn’t ignoring victims because they’re black, in fact, he’s not ignoring them at all. He has sent some of the most highly trained regular military units (the First Marine Expeditionary Force and the Army’s 82n Airborne) to aid in the relief efforts.

Please, stop politicizing the suffering of your countrymen. Angry words don't help.

Sincerely,

Republican Minnesota

Friday, September 02, 2005

America, it's time to unite

Today, we are not Republicans, we are not Democrats, we are all one nation. Out of respect for the lives lost and ruined in the recent tradgedy, this blog will put partisan attacks on hold.

If you have yet to give to the Red Cross, please do so.

You "Shud" read this article

Harold Shudlick, the darkest of dark horses in the race for the 2006 GOP nomination for US Senate, was at the fair yesterday, greeting potential delegates.

Preying on just that appetite, the major party candidates for the 2006 U.S. Senate race have logged hours at the fair, glad-handing, passing out brochures and position papers, signing up volunteers and prospecting for votes in an election still 14 months away."I need you to vote for me so I can vote for you" Harold Shudlick told Roger Marti of Sleepy Eye, Minn., a retired farmer who was taking a break from the dairy barn where he is showing cattle. Marti, who didn't know Shudlick existed before he visited the GOP fair booth Tuesday, left after about 15 minutes, promising to attend his caucus next year as a Shudlick backer.
(Source: Star Tribune, September 2, 2005)

You can see the whole article here. Speaking of Senate nominees, allow me to take this opportunity to officially endorse Mark Kennedy for US Senate.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Technical difficulties

Due to technical difficulties, RM will not be updating today, Thursday, September 1st.