Category Archives: 2010 Governor Race

Thank You For The Great First 100 Days Governor Dayton

Today is the 100th day of Governor Mark Dayton’s administration.  To tell you the truth, I really don’t care at all about what happened in the first 100 days, I care about what the future is going to look like.  And under Mark Dayton’s leadership, I am very optimistic.

But give him credit, he has proposed a great jobs bill that would put thousands of people to work and generate economic growth and more jobs for the future.  His budget won’t raise property taxes and it won’t raise income tax on 95% of Minnesotans.  He has reduced the size of government and government staffs.  He streamlined business permits to get more people working.  He is doing the things that get the economy moving.

Governor Dayton has done a lot more, and I want to thank him for the job he has done so far.  The budget crisis isn’t solved yet, and the state’s problems are not gone, but Mark Dayton has done one thing above everything else that I really admire.  The governor has kept his foot on the peddle driving us towards balancing the budget and creating jobs.  That is what we need.  Republicans say that is what we need, but they continue to distract people with small partisan issues.  At the same time, Governor Dayton keeps plugging away continuing to look forward toward a budget and an economy that won’t break the backs of the middle class, and won’t devastate the poor.

I am beginning more and more to think that recent bills being offered by Republicans like the bill to cut all funding to any nonprofit, the one to cut funding for Meals on Wheels, reducing pay for teachers and slashing healthcare services for physically disabled people, are just being offered to distract activists and advocates from being able to cohesively counter the terrible cuts they are making in other parts of the budget.  I’m actually afraid of what sort of bills the Republicans are going to offer to distract Minnesotans during the budget compromise work that will start being done soon.

My big fear is that the activists and advocates take the bait and start fighting the Republicans on issues that are really going to go nowhere anyway.  We need to keep pressing on the budget and jobs.  We need to keep pressing for the well-being of the future of this state.  And we need to keep pressing to ensure Governor Dayton realizes that the budget, the economy and jobs are the most important thing we need to deal with right now.

Today I sent Mark Dayton a note saying thank you for the job he is doing, and I called his office to thank him.  I told him to keep up the good work and to keep jobs and the budget as his number one priority.  Take a moment and send a note or call his office and let him know too.  You know how politics work.  Politicians hear a lot more from their opponents than they hear from their supporters.  Right now he needs to hear from supporters.  Do it now, it will only take a second, 651-201-3400.

Tim Pawlenty’s Message: Minnesota Made-Not Good Enough

I’ve been harping on buying local and buying American for years.  I don’t have hard numbers for proof, but I know it makes our economy stronger when we buy locally.  The dollars kept in Minnesota continue to turn in Minnesota.

As a family, we don’t just talk about it, we live that way because it is good for us.  This Christmas we gave gift bags that included honey from a farmer here in Farmington, maple syrup from Three Rivers Farm in Elko, pancake mix from Red Wing, jams made with Minnesota grown fruit, Woodbury’s Snappy Dog Salsa and St. Paul’s El Burrito Mercado tortilla chips.

Last year we gave goat milk soap from McCann Farm in Milaca, chocolates from Chocolat Celeste and Minnesota blue cheeses from Shepherd’s Way Farms down by Northfield. 

It isn’t just the holidays, we always lean toward local products in our daily lives like Holy Land hummus and pitas, Old Home products, a lot of Kowalski’s products, Bongard’s cheese and Schell’s beers to name a few that came quickly to mind.

It isn’t that I have extra money to forgo store brands to buy more expensive local products, (by the way they are not necessarily more expensive) I buy local and I buy quality, something the companies listed above are both.  I also recognize that a few cents extra for a local product, as opposed to a cheaper national conglomerate produced product is better for me and my community.

Good for my community.  Good for my state.  Good for my local economy.  Good for me.  The point is it is good for us.  That is why I get annoyed when people like Tim Pawlenty whose job it is to promote the good things in our state and its great resources chooses not to.

I recall him recently buying his hunting necessities from Nebraska based Cabella’s instead of a locally owned shop like Joe’s Sporting Goods.  Recently Tim Pawlenty chose an out of state artist named Rossin to paint his portrait at the Capital.  In my opinion, it is further proof that Tim Pawlenty is a politician more for his ego and the attention than for his accomplishment here in Minnesota or for the promotion of our state.  I know that is a giant step with a single choice he made, but there are hundreds of great artists in Minnesota who would have taken that $25,000 payment and spent it here in the state.  Rossin is a highly acclaimed portrait artist known mainly for his expensive portraits of CEOs, but has well known works of Lincoln both Bush presidents and other politicians.

To me it seems like an ego thing to be included with those paintings.  Oh well, Good riddance T-Paw.  It is too bad the state elected another group of self-serving attention seekers to the legislature to replace you.  My hope is that in the near future we elect a group of politicians who look at this state as a place that needs a higher quality of life and superior education to attract people to our area like the politicians a couple of generations ago did.  Mark Dayton might be one, but we need more Don Fraziers and even Arne Carlsons who place a higher emphasis on our community and future than on shortsighted ego-driven bucket lists.

Jottings and Questions V – Tax Cuts, Frivolous Challenges and the Middle Class

Why is there such a push by Republicans to save the tax cuts that obviously didn’t help the economy?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for middle-class tax cuts, and it isn’t because it helps me, I don’t make enough to really benefit from them.  But the only thing a tax-giveaway for the rich (let’s call it what it is) helps the economy is to allow them to invest more in crooked politicians who support corporations, not individuals.  The goal for them seems to be an oligarchy where the rich can either buy or steal elections, to the detriment of the other 90% of the population.

Steal election?  What a perfect segue.  I read the first reports from the Governor’s recount.  A challenge by the Emmer camp to a ballot that had an oval mostly filled in for Dayton, but not completely, and a challenge to a ballot that had no mark for governor that the Emmer camp said should be counted for Emmer.  The judges called both those frivolous, but I think there needs to penalties for “frivolous” challenges in the recount.  Kind of like in NFL football when a coach throws the red flag.  In the NFL the coach loses a timeout if the challenge is “frivolous.”  I think for every “frivolous challenge” in this recount, the team making the “frivolous challenge” should lose a vote.  It seems fair to me.  It seems that way only real questionable ballots get challenged and the recount finishes much sooner. 

Speaking of that blank ballot that Emmer “challenged” as an Emmer vote, it is interesting to me that Republicans are so keen to get voter ID verification to prevent election “cheating.”  Counting a blank vote for your own team sounds a little like cheating to me.  I’m convinced that any voter ID programs would just reduce the number of Republicans cheating.  The problem is that it will disenfranchise plenty of poor, elderly and handicapped people from voting too, so I am willing to let a few Republicans cheat to ensure the others can vote.

Is there any excitement that the Twins won the bidding war to attempt to sign Tsuyoshi Nishioka.  I have not heard much, but I have heard he seems to be hurt every year.  Great, he’ll fit in with the Twins’ other stars…

Finally, I just want to add that half of the families in Minnesota (not individuals, families!) make under $57,000 per year.   The Chamber of Commerce and their political arm, the Republican Party, keep pushing for tax cuts.  What will a tax cut provide to much more than half the state’s population?  Very little, but the cut in education, good roads and public safety have the potential to hurt those families in ways many of us cannot comprehend.  Tax cuts for the rich do nothing but line their pockets with money, and they in turn will line the pockets of the politicians supporting that greed.  Let’s work on turning this back around in 2012 and electing people who are more concerned about individuals than corporations.

Colleen Morse and the Three DFL Candidates For Governor

On Monday, June 28th, just two weeks ago, blogger Colleen Morse at posted on the three DFL candidates for governor.  Yesterday afternoon, she passed away. 

Just two months ago, Colleen was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a tumor in the brain.  On May 15th, she wrote “I have a feeling that I don’t have long to live.”  But it was a shock to get the news, and to realize her July 2nd post was her last entry.

I’d been a faithful reader of her blog for months when I met her at the CD2 DFL convention.  I was helping with registration.  She wanted a visitor pass, but when she said her name, I thought she deserved a media pass.  We struck up a long conversation on the importance of blogging and social media.  Then, just two weeks later my wife and I met her in a Duluth skyway.  We talked for a while then went our separate ways for the evening.  As we sat down for dinner, I told my wife I wished we had invited her with us to dinner.  But the next morning, I got to spend about an hour with her as we waited at the DFL State Convention for things to start.  It was one of the highlights of my convention weekend.

I wish I could have known Colleen longer, and continued to see her at political events.  As many of you know, she spent a lot of time working to get Mark Dayton elected.  But all the time she supported Mark Dayton, she still supported the other great candidates with positive words and energy.  That example of friendliness and helpfulness, regardless of the side is an example she set of how to maintain a strong DFL core.  It is something as a blogging community we need to concentrate on.  Blogger Holly Cairns has been stressing that fact since I first got to know her. 

Blogging can be used for serious and organized promotion, and Colleen did that, although to her it was just a fun thing for her to do.  Below is her last real blog post.  Colleen will not only be missed by her family and close friends, but will be greatly missed by the entire progressive blogging community and the political campaigns she came in contact with.

Thank you Colleen.

June 28, 2010, 7:02 AM

All DFLers will have to decide very soon who they are going to vote for to be our next governor. How will each Primary voter decide? Here are the usual ways, not in any particular order.

1.  Issues
2.  Name recognition
3.  Endorsed candidate
4.  Voter contact on the campaign trail
5.  Videos and websites
6.  Personal charisma (which includes how much the voter “loves” the candidate; you hear a lot of that on Facebook and on the campaign trail
7.  Past success in political experience
8.  Whether the voter even wants to vote in the Primary, or whether the voter is too fed up with politics to do so. What the percentage is of voters who actually show up at the Primary makes a big difference in who gets elected.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher – Kelliher obviously knows all the issues inside and out. She has no problems whatsoever there. She is gaining some name recognition but doesn’t have nearly as much as Dayton. Will her DFL cohorts and supporters donate enough money for her to win this campaign? If so, they’d better get hopping.

I’ll just meander down the list for each candidate. This is better than trying to walk slowly down the hallway while holding on to the wall.

Kelliher is obviously the endorsed candidate, which does give her an edge. Will it be enough? Keep tuned…

Kelliher’s voter contact on the campaign trail does not seem to be as good as Dayton’s. Dayton is all over the place. Not only that, but everyone already knows who he is.

Videos are excellent from the Dayton Campaign…websites not so good at all.

Personal charisma is something you never heard many people talk about with regard to Mark Dayton. He’s doing something right now, though, because everywhere I go I hear people (mostly women) say “I love him!” While Kelliher’s momentum is growing, she just doesn’t have that personal charisma that people look for. Like R. T. Rybak has, for example.

Past success in political experience was exceptionally good with Margaret Anderson Kelliher. She knows an incredible amount about Minnesota politics. As far as knowledge and experience, she can definitely get the job done.

It sure seems that there are a lot of people who are disillusioned with the world of politics. The best thing to do is to get out there and get your people to vote!

Matt Entenza – Matt is very good on clean, green energy. He has some great ideas in that area. He’s also excellent on GLBT and equality issues. He’s good on creating new jobs.

As far as name recognition, I don’t see Matt as having much of that. It just isn’t there. Oh, I’m sure it is in many circles, but a lot of people still don’t know who Matt Entenza is. I don’t know how he’s going to change that.

As we all know, Matt is not the endorsed candidate. That distinction belongs to Margaret Anderson Kelliher.

I’m pretty sure that Entenza has a lot of voter contact on the campaign trail. But where are his particular campaign trails? I don’t hear much about him at all from my non-political circle of acquaintances (yes, folks, I do have a lot of friends who are not political!) When I ask if they were going to vote for him, they didn’t even know who he was.

Matt Entenza probably has the best collection of campaign videos. I would rate his website as the best of all three of the candidates.

Personal charisma is not one of Entenza’s strong points. He’s very soft spoken, which means he’s a nice guy, but not exactly your top charismatic person. Of Minnesoa politicians, that honor would definitely have to go to R. T. Rybak.

Entenza has a lot of political experience. Unfortunately, some of it is considered distasteful by many people. I wish these people would learn the truth of the matter. I stuck up for Matt when someone was saying rotten things about him. The guy called me a liar. Go figure. Some people just don’t want to listen to truth.

Mark Dayton – Mark is very good on almost all the issues. After all, he was a U. S. Senator and had to know a lot about a lot of different things. He’s big on Senior issues, of course. Remember how he took busloads of seniors to Canada so they could get the prescription drugs at lower cost? He’s always been an advocate for seniors. He’s always been a friend of GLBT, as well. He stood up on the Senate floor in favor of the right of two people who love each other to get married, no matter what their gender. Another issue that he is very interested in is education.

Name recognition? Mark Dayton? That’s almost funny. There’s probably only a handful of people in Minnesota who don’t know who Mark Dayton is, and those are no doubt under the age of twelve. They’re just too young to know.

We all know that Mark is not the endorsed candidate. Margaret Anderson Kelliher is. Still, there are plenty of examples over the years where the endorsed candidate did not win.

Mark has been all over Minnesota on the campaign trail. He drove 9,000 miles across Minnesota. He stopped in towns all over and met people in coffee shops and other interesting places. He has successfully reintroduced himself to Minnesotans.

Mark is starting to get some pretty good videos. There’s one called “9,000” miles, which you can find on his website.

Personal charisma is not an area that Mark excels at. He’s an introvert; standing up in front of a lot of people is difficult for him, especially during the question/answer portion of a forum. I give him a lot of credit, though, for doing something that doesn’t come naturally to him. I’ve also noticed that he’s made many, many improvements as a public speaker. I was surprised, proud and happy to see that he made a huge effort to improve in this area.

Obviously Mark Dayton has the most political experience of any of the candidates. He ran three Minnesota State Commissioner offices. He was U. S. Senator. The list goes on.

So now it’s up to you, dear voters. The best thing you can do to ensure we get a DFL governor is to pick a candidate and then campaign for that candidate. You can door knock, do mailings and other clerical work, attend Meet and Greets, have a house party for your candidate, or have a fund raiser for the candidate. There’s a ton of ways to help out. Call your candidate’s office to volunteer. You can also volunteer on their websites. So let’s all rally round one of these three candidates and make sure out next governor is DFL.


Join Paul Thissen in Farmington on the Road to Duluth

Paul Thissen will be making a stop in Farmington on Sunday April 11 at the Ugly Mug from noon until 1:00 p.m.

With less than two weeks until the DFL endorsement, it is a great time for delegates to meet Representative Thissen and learn why he is the best candidate to take on either Tom Emmer or Marty Seifert this November.

Paul continues to gain momentum. Stop by to meet him and see why.

The Ugly Mug is an independent, locally owned restaurant featuring coffee and espresso drinks, as well as sandwiches, soups, beer and wine. A lot of people in the neighborhood like to meet, eat and hang out there.

The Ugly Mug is in the Farmington Market Place mall on Pilot Knob Road and 184th Street. Turn east on Elk River Trail on the corner with the Super America. Take the first left onto English Avenue, then turn left into the Farmington Marketplace parking lot. The Ugly Mug in on the right.

See you there.