Tag Archives: 2010 Minnesota Election

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 http://aprilknight.blogspot.com/ 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.

THREE DFL CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR
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.

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Jottings and Questions IV

I think I brought this up in the last election, but don’t you think it is odd that John Kline does not have an issues page on his website?  2010 will be his seventh run at congress, and he has nothing.

John Kline has a lot of support from people who call themselves outdoorsman.  It is too bad he is rated as the worst Minnesota Legislator when it comes to issues of clean water and land protection votes.  He and Michelle Bachmann both scored zero in 2009 on 13 votes that would impact outdoors issues.

I listened to a rant the other day by a conservative caller to a radio station talking about how it isn’t good enough to get down to being average in taxes, we need to have even lower taxes to be a prosperous state.  Doesn’t that make us below average?  Am I wrong that if we want to be an above average state we have to invest in that?  The Governor and people like that caller can’t just say we are a great state and expect it be.

When people talk about our taxes and spending do they compare Minnesota to Wisconsin, Michigan and other Midwestern states, or are we comparing Minnesota to states that don’t have to pay for plowing, and the continuous road repairs that cold weather states need?  I’m guessing even Iowa doesn’t spend what we spend on road maintenance, let alone states even further south.  Doesn’t that alone increase our taxes more than other states?

Facebook and Twitter are really bothering me.  It isn’t just all the time I spend on the sights, it’s holding my tongue about what other people write.  A local politician wrote something that could be easily twisted to be used against him.  I didn’t write anything.  I guess that means I just don’t have the killer instinct Michael Brodkorb has.

I like the new blue Dan Powers site.  It is starting to look good as he gears up for the push to challenge John Kline.  You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook too.

Shelley Madore’s site is still pretty bare, but she is active on Facebook too.

Colin Lee and Sigrid Iversen will be running for the House seats in Senate District 36.  Both Colin and Sigrid have social media presence.  And both could use a lot of volunteers and financial support as Colin takes on Mary Liz Holberg and Sigrid challenges Pat Garofalo.

Mayor Don Fraser endorsees Paul Thissen as the best candidate for governor

I lived in a house on 46th and Xerxes growing up.  Xerxes was a fairly busy street, so political signs were a regular lawn ornament on our block during election seasons.  The first political sign I remember was a red, white and blue Don Fraser for Mayor sign.  I think it might have even had the city skyline on it.  It was in our yard, and I thought it was pretty cool.

I’ve always had an affinity for Don Fraser.  He along with Hubert Humphrey comprise many of my earliest fond memories of politicians.

Yesterday, I received an email from Don Fraser sent via the Thissen campaign.

Don Fraser: Thissen Best Choice for MN

Dear DFLer,

Irresponsible leadership in the Governor’s office is costing our state dearly.  . We must reverse the ill-advised moves of the current Republican administration, including its conspicuous efforts to shift tax burdens away from the well-to-do, and onto the rest of us.

The stakes in this election are high and the challenges daunting. I believe that Paul Thissen is the candidate who gives us our best chance of restoring progressive leadership to the governor’s office.

Other candidates began this campaign with stronger name recognition, but as election day draws near, voters make their own assessments. They take the measure of the candidates and what they will bring to the office they seek.

A close look at Paul Thissen tells us what the voters will see as the campaign for governor proceeds.  Paul’s forebearers homesteaded in western Minnesota.  His parents taught in the Richfield and St. Paul public schools. He grew up in Bloomington, excelled at school, graduated from Harvard and went on to study law at the University of Chicago.  After law school, he and Karen moved back to Minnesota where they are raising their three kids who attend public schools.

Paul served as a state public defender and then built a successful legal career at a Minneapolis law firm, where he also chaired the pro bono committee that provides free legal services to nonprofits across the state, and to low-income Minnesotans.

Eight years ago, he knocked on every door in his legislative district, campaigned by listening to what people had to say, and won.  As chair of the Health Care and Human Services Policy and Oversight Committee, he has been a leader in addressing health care needs in Minnesota.

Paul Thissen is a fresh face that will breathe new life into the campaign.  He is convinced that hard work is the only way to win elections, and listening is the only way to govern effectively.

I believe that as Paul Thissen becomes known, he represents our best chance to put Minnesota back on the road as a leading state in our nation. As Democrats, we need to learn the lessons of our past losses in the governor’s race.  The old model of name recognition and politics as usual will not work.  We need a fresh face and new ideas if we want to win in November.

Paul Thissen is the candidate who can defeat the Republicans and take back the corner office at the Capitol for the DFL.   Check him out at www.paulthissen.com.

Thank you,

Don Fraser
Former 5th Congressional District Representative
Former Mayor of Minneapolis

Don Fraser served in the U.S. Congress representing Minnesota’s 5th District from 1963 until 1979.  He gave up his seat to run unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1978. He then became the longest serving mayor in Minneapolis history, serving from 1980 until 1993.

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Paul Thissen, the future of the DFL

It is official today.  I have narrowed my choice for governor down to one candidate, Paul Thissen.  It is not like this is a momentous occasion or anything; I just want to be open about it as we get down to crunch time.  The only reason I am even announcing my choice is because a couple people have speculated that I lean too much to one candidate or another.  One friend even told me I was obviously a “closet Mark Dayton” supporter.  I like most of the candidates and think most of them, if not all of them, could win the general election.  But, since I have decided to support Paul Thissen, I felt it was worthwhile to post it.   

While I will be supporting Paul personally, I still plan on maintaining a level of impartiality on MNDem.com.  I think it is important to keep working to November.  Any one of ten candidates might make it that far, and I would support that candidate.  That said, I will attend the caucus in five weeks with the intention of attending the SD36 convention as a Thissen supporter.

So why do I like Paul?  I think he is intelligent, energetic and optimistic.  He is authentic, and I think he connects with people.  He cares about people, and realizes the importance of healthcare for all.  Paul Thissen is concerned about Minnesota families as they struggle to survive in this economy.  He is looking to the future to make things better for the long run, not just from election cycle to election cycle.  I think what Paul Thissen brings to the table is what the future of the DFL party needs to be.  In that sense, Paul Thissen may be the future of the DFL.