Jottings and Questions III

Nobody is going to go unscathed as political leaders try to figure out how to deal with the latest state economic news. We are all going to bear the brunt for the fiasco we have gotten ourselves into. But I am continually annoyed that the people with the least to give to solve the solution are the ones who feel it the most. I don’t believe we can solve the problem by taxing the rich, but the poorest people have the greatest need for safety and security. You are naive to think a person not taking their anti-psychotic drugs or a mother forced to leave her kids alone to make money won’t affect us financially in the future someway.

As a state we need to cut a lot of things. I am surprised there isn’t an outcry to cut the governor’s and legislator’s wages. Cut them in half and halve their per diem too. That is a few million dollars. You have to start somewhere.

I saw some (and listened to more) of the House Ways & Means Committee “Presentation about the November Forecast” online Thursday. SD36 was represented by both Pat Garofalo and Mary Liz Holberg at the meeting. The odd thing is that Pat Garofalo was wearing an Adrian Peterson Vikings Jersey instead of the standard legislator’s button down shirt. I figure either he wants to support the freedom to drive 109 miles an hour, or he is for a publically financed stadium for the Vikings despite the economic news he was there to discuss. I sent him an email making a little joke about it. I don’t know for sure, but I assume he was attending the Vikings Rally at the Capitol that afternoon.

Speaking of stadiums, did you see that Murray’s Steakhouse is going to have a concession stand at the Bull’s Eye, or whatever catchy name people are going to start calling Target Field. Mmmm. So long Famous Dave’s. Only 129 days until opening day at the Field.

129 days is more than twice as long until the caucus. Only 59 days until the caucus. I’m not exactly sure when the SD36 convention is, but probably within a month of the caucus. That means I have about 3 months to decide which gubernatorial candidate to support. I’m really flip-flopping on who to support. One day it is one candidate and the next it is another. To be totally honest though, I have eliminated Dayton, Marty, Gaertner and Rukavina from my consideration. That leaves six more to decide from. I’d gladly meet any of them at the ballpark for a Murray’s steak sandwich to discuss issues…

With 10 candidates for governor (12 if you want to count Ole Savior and Peter Roess) vying for support and money, a little edge on the money side could really separate a candidate. All reports are the Entenza already has an edge, but Wednesday afternoon he was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a Washington D.C. fundraiser. While the South Dakota and North Dakota Senators were among the hosts, it seems that neither Senator Klobuchar nor Senator Franken were present in the stories I found.

Speaking of fundraising, MN Moderate to Liberal Political Roundtable by Holly Cairns is doing a very interesting test. She is offering to sell ad space to the candidates. It is a very reasonable rate, and in return, she will work to promote the candidate’s messages. If you look to the right, I am promoting candidates. A look at my blog stats shows that in the last 30 days, DFL candidate links to the right have had 136 clicks. Over the last 3 months, there have been 797 candidate link clicks. There are a lot bigger blogs than mine out there, so bloggers are driving people to the sites. Maybe a little financial support for bloggers is a good thing.

Speaking of blog statistics, I like to look at the searches people use to access my blog. My two favorite searches in the last few weeks that led somebody to my website:

“Tom Emmer Crazy Governor”
“who the hell is dan powers DFL”

I think most people coming to this site know Dan Powers is running against John Kline in CD2. Down in CD1, Rep. Tim Walz is holding another town hall meeting. Walz has had two meetings in the last few months. Congressman Kline has only held two meetings in his last few terms!

4 thoughts on “Jottings and Questions III”

  1. I hear you. We’re in for tough times ahead, and many tough choices will have to be made. We will all feel it, and hopefully we remember our government is trying to help us the best way it can while aiming for fiscal repsonsibility.

    As to your idea that the most vulnerable will really feel it: When I hear Marty Seifert talking about cutting welfare, I imagine him grabbing the bottle right out of a kid’s mouth while he says “Cut, Cut, Cut. That’s someone else’s bottle, kid.”

    If only we had living wage jobs. We’d be able to truly see what is going on with welfare and why people need welfare in the first place (and we’d be able to see if there are any slackers, or something like that. I believe most welfare recipients are hard workers who just want to make it. Studies, anyone?)

    I hear the SD36 convention will be sometime near February or March? I’m keeping an ear out for that information. If you hear please let me know, thanks!

    Don’t get me started on Garafalo. Eek.

    As far as paid advertising on my blog, I’ve just now got the greatest e-mail which helped me to better express this concept: The preceding is a paid advertisement. Paid advertising has no connection to editorial, or post, content. That’s what I was going for! And I will try to support all candidates even if they don’t pay for ads on my site.

    Steve said: I’m really flip-flopping on who to support. One day it is one candidate and the next it is another.

    I think we should support all candidates until the endorsement process, and then support the endorsed candidate. And have you heard Rukavina in person? Holy smokes, he’s good! And Susan Gaertner is very clear about what she wants to do and how she’ll do it. And John Marty is very concerned about health care, and so am I. And I have noticed Mark Dayton is keenly sharp (I think so, anyway) and he has a wide backing.

    As to Kline and his meetings: How would you know, even, if he was to hold a town hall meeting? The last one seemed to be advertised by word of mouth (which mouths, Republican mouths? or what?). At least I didn’t receive notification of Kline’s town hall meeting on health care, until I stumbled on a discussion someone was having online… and that was the day before that town hall.

    1. It’s not that I don’t like Rukavina, Gaertner, Dayton or Marty. Any one of them would make a good governor. I have weighed the options, and in my opinion, hey fall to the bottom of my list. It comes down to electability – and I realize I have said I don’t want to consider electability, after the Hatch debacle, but Gaertner has little to no chance for the DFL endorsement based on her negatives within a group of loyal DFLers. Marty has a liberal record that is distinctive, but I have been put to sleep by him at recent meetings. He has a loyal following, but I think a lot of people (including me) think he is stuck in the past, and not talking enough about the future. I have no good reason for not supporting Dayton, other than I kind of want to see some new blood, and as far as Rukavina is concerned, I love his passion and authenticity, but I just feel he is going to have a hard time taking away the suburban vote from some of the top candidates. It may not seem logical, but I want to narrow it down to support somebody by the SD36 convention. I like to make decisions, and in my personal ratings they fall to the bottom of the list of a great group of candidates, any of which I would support after a DFL endorsement.

      1. Ah, very logical, indeed. What we could do is tell what we like about candidates instead of what we don’t…. so mention the names of who you like and why? That would help narrow it down, too. Yes? Okay, kick me now.

  2. Very insightful comments.

    First off, the current fiscal crisis is just a precursor for tomorrow’s fiscal crisis. The $1.2 B shortfall was not a surprise (okay, the precise dollar amount was, but everyone knew that it was going to be bad.) The next few years (at least five) will be bad … so what can be done to correct the situation ? To the MN-GOP it’s simple … do what they have been doing since the session ended … nothing … To the DFL who have been meeting in Leadership Forums with former Governors Quie and Carlson and initiating Jobs Task Forces … it’s at least planning. How soon we forget that Minnesota enacted the largest tax cut during the Ventura Administration and if we just shifted back to those levels that it would help a lot … (My recommendation for the gubernatorial candidates is to open a forum by asking people how much they pay in taxes … not the hard dollar amount but the percentage … (they probably won’t know the rates but will think it’s higher than what it is) then ask them how much they get in services (police, schools, infrastructure, etc.) and I suspect that many people would agree they get a good deal …. Then throw out the rate for a family with taxable earnings at $50K and what the state income taxes are today and what it would be if the old rates were used … the dollar amount is probably affordable for most families.)
    Long-term, we must do something besides addressing income tax rates. Property taxes will be a bigger problem as the Pawlenty practice of stripping LGA will have a bigger impact on businesses and people on fixed income.

    Second, by whittling down the candidates, two factors emerge.
    One is the perception that some candidates will not earn support either in the caucuses or in the general election is great way to evaluate the contenders. That’s a fact and something that every delegate needs to consider. In an earlier post, you made the comment about the use of Facebook/Twitter to stay in contact with voters … do you feel that all the candidates have done that ? Is your support being influenced by how they have reached out (or failed to reach out) to you ? I sense that the MN-GOP is more engaged … heck, they’ve got commercials on the radio attacking Congressman Walz and a new candidate virtually every day. Complacency (or lethargy) is showing in Minnesota and that does not bode well for the DFL.
    Second, you have stated some very valid reasons why some candidates are going off your list … looking at those criteria do any of those reasons (candidate negatives, too liberal, retread, appeal to urban voters, etc.) also apply to any of the other candidates ? Those left on the list could also have those concerns but they offer other positive aspects that make up for those shortcomings. That’s the key … find the positives … whatever negatives that you perceive most likely will be the ones that independent voters perceive … and as such by knowing the negatives, then the positives can be magnified.
    Perception is key to an election … a misleading view of a candidate’s ideology will bury a campaign.

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