Tag Archives: Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea

Vote for the Minnesota Supreme Court incumbents, NOT Dan Griffith, Tim Tinglestad or Dean Barkley.

What is the hottest political topic in Minnesota right now? You’d think maybe the Nolan-Cravaack race, or the amendments, maybe even the narrowing race between Obama and Romney in the state, right? Well you would be wrong. Based on the elevated number of searches and hits on my site, it is the Minnesota Supreme Court elections in less than two weeks.

I wrote a couple of stories on the problems I see with Dan Griffith before the primary, and both those posts are now number one and number two all-time of my most read posts, each garnering thousands of hits. I hope they are making an impact, because I think the state would be damaged by electing Dan Griffith or Tim Tinglestad. There is another judicial race though that I have not written about, Dean Barkley is challenging Barry Anderson.

Does Dean Barkley intrigue you? He’s the Independent candidate who keeps running and keeps causing problems for Democrats. Barry Anderson may be a former Republican lawyer and appointed by Pawlenty, but don’t forget he ruled for Al Franken against Norm Coleman.

When it comes to judicial races, not just the Supreme Court races, but the 1st District judge races in my area too, I urge voters to just vote for the incumbent judge. I know voting for incumbents goes against many people’s modus operandi, but this year, there are no good challengers for Judge. Dan Griffith and Tim Tinglestad are right-wing hacks who want to use the judicial system to change Minnesota. Dean Barkley doesn’t have the resume. And the local judges in the 1st District are just fine.

If you want more details on each race, check out these stories on:

Dan Griffith: “How Dumb is ‘Shifty Dan’ Griffith

Dean Barkely: “IMHO: Vote for G. Barry Anderson, not Dean Barkley

Tim Tingelstad: “WARNING: Tim Tingelstad is dangerous to Minnesota

Vote for incumbents when it comes to voting for judges on November 6.  Even Republican bloggers are urging that.  See, we can actually agree on something political.


The Dan Griffith campaign for Minnesota Supreme Court should scare independents and Democrats.

It is interesting how many views I’ve had of the post I wrote on the Minnesota Supreme Court primary.  I feel like most of the people reading it must be Dan Griffith supporters since his supporters keep commenting.  Regardless of their comments, my view has not changed.

This is Dan Griffith’s third attempt at election for judge.  This year he is challenging Justice Gildea for Supreme Court.  In 2008 and in 2010 Griffith ran for the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  He is becoming a perennial candidate, and a candidate common-sense voters need to avoid.

Despite what he claims, there are two important facts for indpendents and Democrats to consider.  First, he was endorsed by the Republican Party and the Constitution Party, not the DFL Party.  Second, according to an outspoken TEA Partier and a claimed “Patriot and true American” Dan Griffith has “affirmed his commitment to the positions, Values and Principles consistent with those of WE THE PEOPLE of the American TEA Party Movement!”

That should immediately scare away people who believe in Democratic Party principles or people who believe everybody should be treated equally and with respect – liberty and justice FOR ALL.

Dan is defending himself with empty explanations.  He is trying to play both sides.  He is far enough to the right that Republicans endorsed him, but he and his staff and volunteers are claiming the Democrats should support him.  I disagree.

I know a good Democrat who won in a conservative district by using typical Republican buzz phrases.  The buzz phrases were basically the same for both parties, but the definitions were different.  When both talked of lower taxes, the candidate on the right talked in general terms of lower taxes without accounting for how to deal with the lost revenue.  The candidate on the right talked about lower taxes with a plan to expand the tax base, spread the responsibility more fairly, and make more responsible decisions about spending.  The candidate on the left won in the conservative district, and did exactly what he said he would do.  Republicans called him a liar and claimed he pretended to believe in Republican values as a candidate, when in reality, they only listened to the superficial arguments, without going into detail of what he meant.

I believe Dan Griffith is stealthily courting the religious right, hardcore Republicans and TEA Partiers, while using arguments and buzz phrases that might appeal to independents and even Democrats.  But I believe all indications are that he ultimate goal is got elected and be an activist judge for the far-right.

The only proof I need is his conversation with an extremist right-wing media host when he said regarding abortion or immigration that you can have the “right person” in the legislature, but a judge can overturn the laws the legislature makes.

Our Supreme Court Judges have the ultimate responsibility to uphold our constitution, not to rewrite it based on their religious or political beliefs.  I will gladly vote for a Tim Pawlenty appointed judge over a candidate like Dan Griffith who seems to be running on some sort of mission to make Minnesota, and probably the United States a country where people with certain beliefs are not welcome.

(And before Dan Griffith or any Dan Griffith supporters comment on this post, Dan Griffith should answer why he received Republican endorsement, what his beliefs are on a woman’s freedom to make choices about her own body, whether he thinks everybody deserves the same rights regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, and if Dan thinks my grandmother needs an ID to vote.)

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.