So you think you have no reason to vote in the August 14 Primary because you’re a DFLer?

Are you going to skip the August 14 Primary elections? In my district, there are no legitimate DFL challenges.  Yes, Amy Klobuchar has a couple challengers, but nobody who is a serious challenger.  Mike Obermueller has no primary fight, nor do Andrew Brobston, Colin Lee or Jim Arlt.  But there are a couple of important races.

There are six names on the ballot for Minnesota Supreme Court, three for Chief Justice and three for Associate Justice.  In each race, the top two finishers will move onto the general election, and in each race there is an openly partisan candidate that in my opinion shouldn’t be allowed to compete in the general election.

The Minnesota Supreme Court is at stake here.  The first contest features Pawlenty-appointed Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea, who is being challenged by Jill Clark and Dan Griffith.  It might seem logical to a DFLer to get rid of Chief Justice Gildea, a Pawlenty appointee, but Dan Griffith is the person I worry about.  In 2010, Dan Griffen was endorsed by both the MN Republican Party and the Constitution Party, who advocates in its party platform to make homosexuality illegal.  Griffith has appeared at fundraisers for Minnesota Tea Party events, including a chartered bus to attend Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally in Washington (Griffith refutes this.)  He is an evangelical Christian who told the Minnesota Family Council that he opposes court decisions that allow for public funding of abortion, prohibit school prayer and ban the posting of the Ten Commandments on public property, and he agrees with court cases that ban adoption by same-sex couples.

In the second race, for Associate Justice, another Pawlenty-appointed incumbent, Justice David Stras, is being challenged by Tim Tingelstad and Alan Nelson.  Tingelstad advocates for inserting the “Word of God” into judicial decisions, never mind the Constitution.   He is quoted as saying “It is particularly vital that a worldview, based upon the Truth of God and His Word, is returned to our highest courts” and “It is not unconstitutional to bring the Word of God back into public education.”  In fact Alan Nelson is quoted as saying one reason he is running is “because Tim Tingelstad’s views on the separation of Church and State scare me.”

Both Dan Griffith and Tim Tinglestad can be stopped at the primary level, so we don’t have to worry about them in November.  The concern on my part is that with all of the Republican primary contests, a lot of far-right activist who believe the separation of Church and State only applies to non-Christian religions, will be out in force, and these candidates may get a boost.

I for one will be voting for the other candidates, I hope you do the same.

I’d also like to add a plug for the Dakota County Commissioner Race in District 1.  Maybe it is an anti-plug.  Christy Jo Fogarty, who is a strong partisan Republican, is running for that Commissioner seat.  Christy Jo is probably not the best candidate to represent the majority in District 1.  I don’t know any of them very well, including Christy Jo, despite the fact that our kids have played sports together, but I met Mike Slavik, he seems pretty likeable and middle of the road.  People on the right call him a “stealth Democrat,” that must mean he is pretty independent, so I will be voting for him, at least in the primary.

Every voter should be considering the impact that these heavily partisan candidates might have on our community, like Griffith and Tinglestad on the Supreme Court, and Fogerty on the Dakota County Board.  The problem in politics is not partisanship, that has always been there, it is the extreme partisans with no ability to be open-minded that we unfortunately have been electing.

Notes: Thank you to MinnesotaCentral for information.  A version of this is also posted at MN Progressive Project and a version was submitted to the Patch news network community blog.


14 thoughts on “So you think you have no reason to vote in the August 14 Primary because you’re a DFLer?”

  1. Steve,

    Dan Griffith would probably win your support and the support of DFL members if you or they speak to him about his positions. I encourage you to do just that. You may worry about him, but, while you are doing that, Dan will be working for a judiciary that follows the Constitution.  A good, constitutional judge will also help the DFL. He has never pursued endorsements but, since he sees judicial races as non-partisan and respects free speech, he won’t stop people from supporting him. The Constitution is for all irrespective of race, religion, age, gender, social class, career…etc.

    Your criticisms of party platforms are legitimate, but Dan has no control over any party platform since he is involved in a non-partisan race. These issues are important battles for the Legislature, but judges only “interpret the law and apply it, not rewrite it.” The battle for equal rights continues for the GLBT community and there are many other battles from labor to wetlands to mining to business to education…the list goes on. No one wants judges entangled in party politics, platforms, rewards, and appointments inserting themselves into the work of the Legislature.

    Dan has appeared many places. He will attend events where Minnesotans are so that he can speak to them. This includes Union meetings and Minnesota Tea Party events. It includes picnics organized and attended by people from all political perspectives. He won’t agree with everyone there, but, as a judge, he will protect their individual rights. Give him a call or email Dan to invite him to your events. There are no Minnesotans who would not benefit from electing Dan Griffith as a Supreme Court Justice who respects the Constitution.

    Thank you for your article. As an informed voter, NEA member and Education Minnesota member, I do not agree with your conclusions. I do hope you keep your research on judicial races current. I also hope this response helps DFL members actually get to know Dan Griffith as their choice for Mn Supreme Court.

    Wade Sutton
    Griffith Campaign Manager

    1. Sorry Wade, but there is no chance. There is a reason he is the darling of the TEA Party. Being true to the constitution does not jive if he thinks religion plays a key to judicial decision making. And I am not some super liberal, I am a strong Christian who believes in the Bible, a moderate, if not conservative Democrat, and I am open-minded, but I don’t believe Dan Griffith’s claims.

      1. Steve,

        That is great because Dan does not believe that “religion plays a key to judicial decision making.” I just called and asked him. He said that “the Constitution is key to judicial decisions.” that is good that you are a strong Christian, but for a judicial race religion does not matter. (From your comments, I think you might be getting Dan confused with another Judicial candidate.)

        Are you part of any groups that would like to meet with Dan and hear from him directly? He would love to answer any questions you might have.


  2. I think this writer is confusing me with someone else. I was a two session Senate Page under a DFL Senator. Multiple parties endorsed me in 2010. At various county fairs my flyers were on the tables of the DFL, Republicans, Constitutionalists and anybody else who cared about our liberty. Even the Green Party had my sign in their booth at the State Fair for a while. Also, it is news to me that I attended Glenn Beck’s conference or rode a bus to get there.

    I do believe in God and my country, but how is that bad? Take a look at our Pledge of Allegiance. I also believe in freedom of speech, the right to privacy, right to assemble to address grievances (like a union strike) and that if we are to remain free, “we the people” need to get bigger and government intrusion in our lives needs to get smaller. If you want to know the real Dan Griffith go to

    Please invite me to speak and ask me your questions directly.

  3. My husband is not a politician. He is a man running for Supreme Court Justice because he is for the people of our state. He is a man of integrity and wants to leave a legacy to our four sons and others by following the Constitution. Let the people continue to have the freedom and voice to vote for our judges as our MN Constitution states. Do any of us want partisan politics to play a role in who are judges are? Well obviously the answer is “yes” for some who want retention elections in which the governor (someone affiliated with a party) appoints the judge and then in the unlikely event the voters get rid of him, the same politician appoints the successor. What? Get to know my husband Dan Griffith. I’ve been married to him for 21 years and while he and I are both far from perfect we do our best to encourage others to believe in America, God, freedom and justice for all.

    1. I totally echo what Debbie said about Dan. He is a man interested in justice, liberty, and truth. I have know him for many years, and he is dedicated and as honest as they come. If anyone spent any time with Dan, his character would speak for itself. I fully support Dan, 100%. I suggest all those interested in a better tomorrow, stand up and do the same! Blessings!

  4. Dan Griffith and Sue Jeffers were buddy-buddy in an interview, his videos are posted on the TEA Party Youtube website by Don Mashak, he uses a lot of TEA Party buzz words. He talks about the life of the unborn and that electing the “right person in to the legislature” isn’t enough, because “if you ignore the judicial branch you can still lose.” He uses the Arizona Immigration law as an example of something wrong when it was declared unconstitutional but passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. At the same time, he thinks the Healthcare Reform law is unconstitutional even though his reasoning for the Arizona Immigration law mirrors the Healthcare Reform law. This is a partisan candidate interested in becoming a judge to accomplish a right-wing agenda. He is not somebody interested in fairness or the laws of our state. He cannot move forward come Primary day!

    1. Steve,

      If your representation of myself as a traditional TEA Party person represents your perception of reality, then you will have to do a as Mr. Gore said, “You will have to educate yourself on that”

      Anyone that knows me knows that the #MNGOP orchestrated a coup in the MN TEA Party Nothstar TEAParty Patriots. At a secret meeting, #MNGOP had myself, anyone that supported Judicial TAR and Fiscal TAR (Transparency, Accountability and Reform) kicked out of that TEAParty with no notice, no Due Process not conformance with their own Constitution, bylaws or Roberts Rules of Order.

      So tell me once again Steve, how I am a right wing political hack and not a vigorous, unrelenting advocate for rank and file Minnesotans and Americans. Please?

      And anybody who knows me knows that, while I am conservative, the Republican good ole boy establishment does not consider me a friend or ally, Anybody who reads my postings on, twitter, Facebook, Google+ or any of my 175 plus blogs know that I am a champion of rank and file Americans, not loyal any political party. I am more loyal to the 3 C’s than I am to any political party. Consitituion, Country and my fellow citizens than any political party.

      Anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t recommend based on political loyalties, I recommend based on my perception of the person and whether their positions and opinions on issues are in concert with my own.

      The problems of our country are caused by WE THE PEOPLE falling for the propaganda of the false left/right political paradigm.
      The 1 and only 1 ruling class elite pretending to be 2 separate political parties, use their fabricated and exacerbated differences of opinion between WE THE PEOPLE to divide and conquer us.
      When was the last time you got to vote for a politicians because you wanted to instead of because your political party said you had to or the other side would win? What kind of choice is that?

      Wake up America. Think critically for yourselves. Don’t believe anything you are told, read or see in the major media until research the issue and you can defend your position from those who would challenge you. Stop letting the politicians lie to you over and over and then reelecting them. If you doubt my sincerity or that these words that I have written, Google my name and read the vast number of articles that speak to the troubles of our country and which fault the 2 major political parties for the crisis we find ourselves in. I challenge any center left liberal to read everything I have posted on the internet and then tell me they don’t concur with the overwhelming majority of my positions.

      In 20 years the corrupt, incumbent ruling class elite have taken our country from the undisputed super power of the world, to the brink of collapse. Only a gullible fool would reelect any of them.

      All that having been said, I am able to offer Dan Griffith my wholehearted support and endorsement, without reservation.

      In my opinion, the Minnesota State Courts are systemically corrupt.
      Electing Dan Griffith Minnesota Supreme Court would be a tremendous step in the right direction to restoring the honor and integrity of the Minnesota State Courts.

      I am confident Mr.Griffith’s legal positions would be based on the Rule of Law properly applied to the freely admitted, non-machinated, relevant facts in evidence and not other illegitimate, dishonorable and/or unethical considerations.

      Whether Mr. Griffith’s ethical center comes from his devotion to his religion, were instilled in him by his parents, or evolved from his life’s experience, is of no consequence to me. The fact is that Mr. Griffith is a moral, ethical and honorable persons fighting the good fight against an entrenched status quo judiciary that seems to have lost sight of its duty abide by the Rule of Law and to act in the best interests of WE THE PEOPLE.

      There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root! Henry David Thoreau

      I believe Dan Griffith to be one of those persons hacking at the root of evil in the Minnesota Judiciary.

      Americans need to start voting for their own best interests instead of being blindly loyal to any one political party.

      Those were my thoughts.

      In Closing:

      Thank you, my fellow citizens, for taking your valuable time to read and reflect upon what is written here.

      Please join with me in mutually pledging to each other and our fellow citizens our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor to our mutual endeavors of restoring liberty and economic opportunity to WE THE PEOPLE as our Founding Fathers envisioned and intended. [Last Paragraph, Declaration of Independence ]

      This article is written with the same intentions as Thomas Paine I seek no leadership role. I seek only to help the American People find their own way using their own “Common Sense”

      Keep Fighting the Good Fight!

      In Liberty,

      Don Mashak
      The Cynical Patriot
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      End the Fed(eral Reserve Bank System) #ETF
      National Minneapolis

      Lawless America #LawlessAmerica

      Justice in Minnesota #JIM

      Bring Home the Politicians #BHTP

      Get out of our House #GOOOH

      Critical Thinking Notice – This author advises you as no politician would dare. Exercise Critical Thinking ( in determining the truthfulness of anything you read or hear. Do not passively accept nor believe anything anyone tells you, including this author… unless and until you verify it yourself with sources you trust and could actively defend your perspective to anyone who might debate you to the contrary of your perspective.

      1. First of all, I never called you “a right wing political hack.” Second of all, all I said was you were the one that posted Dan’s videos on a TEA Party website. This is written for DFLers, and let’s face it, you are not a fan of the DFL, and bloggers know that. Finally, I had to approve this comment, which meant I had to read the whole thing. Condense your thoughts, why is it that TEA Partiers and Rand-bots ramble so much?

      2. Steve, so what you are admitting to is you don’t want voter’s making logical decisions, you want them making emotional decisions… The DFL propaganda causes liberals to be whipped up into an irrational, unlogical ferver against the tea party, and that is what you want them to base their vote on…

        In Essence, you are using the emotional propaganda strategy of Edward Bernays, How to brainwash a Nation?

        Whereas, I preferred to treat my fellow citizens with dignity and win their minds with logical discussion, rather than bait and trick them into rash emotional, illogical courses of action.

        And the rambling you refer to, is the explanation of the use of such things as the Edward Bernay’s emotional propaganda strategy that Political operatives use to lead them astray of their own best interests.

        So, when all is said and done, is your last statement actually an admission that your use of my name and the tea party linked to Dan Griffith was an underhanded Edward Bernays Emotional Propaganda style attempt to dupe liberal voter’s into not voting for Dan Griffith?

        And for you liberal voters, how do you feel about your party representatives using such tactics to manage and manipulate you like cattle, to get you to vote for other party members who share this lack of respect for you?

        I assure all voters that myself and Dan Griffith want you to vote in what you to believe to be your best interests… We will not disrespect you by trying to trick you into voting against your own best interests.

        Those were my thoughts.

        Don Mashak
        The Cynical Patriot

  5. I just read my comment that mentioned you Don, and now I realized why you got defensive. You think my comments about Dan were about you. Sorry, life isn’t all about you. This is all about Dan, I only mentioned your name because you support him, and people know where you stand on the issues. I think that gives us a clue about Dan.

    1. No, Steve… I am not defensive… That is my position… Are you saying you are for government and judicial corruption? Are you saying you are for the collapse of the dollar because we don’t balance the budget? Are you saying you are for the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Bank continuing to get a piece of every dollar every American earns before WE THE PEOPLE even get the dollar in are pocket? Are you saying you are for the government suppressing, repressing and oppressing political dissent by “coincidnetally” rationing away healthcare from the political dissenters? Are you saying that you don’t think that judges shouldn’t have to make their decisions pursuant to the rule of law properly applied to the nonmachinated, freely admitted, relevant facts in evidence? Are you saying you are Pro Simulated Litigation? Are you saying you are against maximum liberty of every American? Are you saying you are against every American the opportunity to succeed on their own two feet?

      Please tell me which of these positions of mine you disagree with?

      Or is it that you are an Uncle Tom Political Operative and it is your assigned duty to represent the corrupt status quo and attack every patriot that would dare take on said corrupt status quo?

      Speak up now… Don’t be shy. Exactly what positions on what issues does Dan Griffith share with me, that you don’t agree with?

      Dan and I are not lackeys for any political party! We are more loyal to the 3 C’s Constitution, Country and our fellow citizens than we are to any political party… Especially Political Parties that have clandestine insider “Establishments” whose interests are not consistent with their stated platforms, nor the best interests of WE THE PEOPLE.

      Speak your piece now man… don’t wiggle out of it…

      What specific positions on issues of mine do you disagree with.
      And then state how it is you know that Dan Griffith shares my same positions on those same issues?

      Its time to walk the walk.

      Those were my thoughts.

      Don Mashak
      The Cynical Patriot

  6. Dan is supported by many Americans. He has received support from DFLers, GOPers, Independence Party people, Tea Party People and Green Party people.

    Steve, I bet if you called Dan and spoke to him personally you would realize he is for the people. He says all the time that people need to be bigger and government needs to be smaller. He served our country in the military and believes our Constitution needs to be followed. I don’t know where you get your opinions from, but why don’t you just call Dan.

  7. As a card carrying DFL’r from northern MN I have to disagree about Dan Griffith. I have known Dan personally for over 15 years and I have to say that he is not a member of the GOP. Why would a member of the GOP go up against a Pawlenty Appointee? Dan may be an evangelical Christian, but the options in International Falls are limited at best. Why does his church membership automatically make him a republican? My final bone to pick is on abortion, I am pro choice, but not on my dime. No public money for abortions is not such a bad thing.

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