Tag Archives: Andrew Brobston

A Tale of Two Cities: The Plight of Local Politics

A tale of two cities…

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was…”          -Charles Dickens

With just days until the 2014 election, Minnesota candidates were just required to submit their campaign financial data to the state to make it public record.  In my district, 58, Lakeville/Farmington and most of the rest of Southern Dakota County, the campaigns on the A and B sides are vastly different.

On the 58A side, which is most of Lakeville, Amy Willingham and Jon Koznick are competing against each other to win the open seat vacated by Rep. Mary Liz Holberg.  The two candidates are very evenly matched in donations, with Koznick edging out Willingham $41,964.77 to $41,558.29.  Together they have collected over $83,000!  That is a huge number in our area.  To put that in perspective, in 2012, Mary Liz Holberg and Colin Lee raised $26,433 collectively, and if you add in the 58th district senate race between Dave Thompson and Andrew Brobston, the total for all four candidates was $68,291.  Willingham and Koznick, have spent more than those four candidates raised in 2012.

On the other side of the district in 58B, the numbers are nowhere similar.  Incumbent Rep. Pat Garofalo has raised $13,038 this year, of course he started the year with over $52,000 in the bank, so he didn’t have to raise much, and Marla Vagts raised $7,065.  Together they raised just over $20,000, and one quarter of that was from the state public subsidy.

In summary, A side = $83,000. B side = $20,000.

It is understandable, that the A side would be higher, it is an open and contested seat, but there is another side to look at on the A side.  Both Willingham and Koznick have received over $5,000 each in individual identified donations from outside the district, and combined, have received over $10,000 from PACs and lobbyists.  In addition, together they have over $35,000 in unidentified donations, which probably increases those outside the district contributions.

Of course that is not surprising.  There are so many groups trying to influence elections, I expect it.  But that does not make it right.  Koznick and Willingham have raised more money from outside the district, than Garofalo and Vagts have raised total.  There is a fundamental problem with our election system when other people outside the district have as big of an impact on the election as the local voters – if not a bigger impact on the election.

When I hear people say government doesn’t work, well get a clue!  Where do you think it starts?  Right here, right now, on November 4th, and the 6-10 months leading up to that day.  If we want government to work, our election system needs to change to be about local voters, and local voters only!

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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.

What’s Happenin’ in DFL58

It is time for DFLers in Senate District 58, and really DFLers across the state, because what DFLer doesn’t want to get rid of Dave Thompson, Pat Garofalo and Mary Liz Holberg, to step up and support the DFL candidates in Southern Dakota County.

Andrew Brobston will be endorsed by the DFL at the next meeting on June 7. Andrew is running for Minnesota State Senate 58 against Dave Thompson. If you recall, Dave Thompson is the candidate who took $70,000 in pay in 2010 from the Republican Party while he was running for state senate as a Republican. We found out there is no law against that in Minnesota. It’s unethical, but who knew it wasn’t illegal? Thompson also is the author of the Voter ID amendment which will definitely prevent some seniors from voting. I can name two who will swear up a storm against Dave Thompson if this passes, but are in no condition from a health standpoint to make the trip to go get an ID.

Even a small donation will help Andrew: CLICK HERE TO MAKE AN ONLINE DONATION

In 58A, Colin Lee is running for state House against Mary Liz Holberg. Mary Liz Holberg is a lifelong, ultra-partisan politician who thinks it is fine to shut down our government. Besides shutting down the government, what else has Holberg done recently? If you look at Holberg’s list of accomplishments on her own campaign website, even her list of accomplishments end in 2006. Being “one of 100 people to watch in 2000” doesn’t mean anything if in 2012 you did nothing but watch. Mary Liz Holberg has become such a career politician that when her district’s borders were redrawn, splitting Lakeville, she moved to the district that had a bigger share of Lakeville. I can only assume it was so she didn’t have to work very hard on her reelection with more voters who already know her.

Colin is working very hard, please send him a donation: CLICK HERE TO MAKE AN ONLINE DONATION

Jim Arlt is running against Pat Garofalo in Minnesota House district 58B. Pat is best known for being a squeaky wheel who make inappropriate comments, and whose main purpose at the capital seems to be to gain the ire of Democrats and teachers. Garofalo who constantly uses Twitter to insult Democrats, both elected Democrats and average DFL voters, hilariously has a highlighted blurb on the front page of his campaign website that says: “WORKING WITH DEMOCRATS: Representative Garofalo has worked to bring Republicans and Democrats together.” This is coming from the man who recently called all the Democratic House members “deadbeat Democrats.” I’m pretty sure if you talk to Paul Thissen, Ryan Winkler or Tom Rukavina, they might refute his claim.

Jim is a very strong candidate, and needs your help: CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION

We are very excited in DFL58, but we need your help!

Andrew Brobston Files Today to Challenge Dave Thompson for Senate in 58

Andrew Brobston, a software engineer from Vermillion Township in rural Dakota County, filed today with the Secretary of State to run for the Minnesota Senate in District 58.  The district includes Farmington, most of Lakeville, and portions of rural Dakota and Goodhue Counties.

“I am running for Senate to represent all of us in the district,” said Brobston.  “I want to work to end the divisive politics that frustrate Minnesotans.”

“When the legislature and governor arrived at a standoff that shut down the state government last year, the people of Minnesota lost.  New business owners suffered delays in getting building permits.  Schools endured uncertainty about their finances.  We need a legislature who can work together to solve the real problems facing this state.  Contests of will and one-sided thinking have no place in our government.”

Brobston is a first-time candidate for public office.  His background extends into areas besides software.  He was a school music teacher for three years in Iowa before attending graduate school in music.  Brobston moved to Minnesota five years ago to participate in the doctoral program in saxophone performance at the University of Minnesota.

“To me, Minnesota is about quality of life,” said Brobston.  “The opportunities here are among the reasons I stayed in Minnesota after completing my coursework at the University of Minnesota.”

Andrew Brobston said that he looks forward to listening to the people he will represent if elected.

“As a software developer, I am used to listening to people’s needs and interests and finding workable solutions.  I look forward to putting my problem-solving skills to work for the people of my district.  I need your support to make that happen.”

Find more information about Andrew Brobston at www.AndrewBrobstonForSenate.com.