Tag Archives: Christy Jo Fogerty

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.

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Why don’t Dave Thompson and the GOP understand the conflict of interest?

Tom Scheck and Catharine Richert of MPR published an article titled “Chairman’s spending decisions on insiders helped lead to GOP debt.”  The article features my own State Senator, and the candidate who defeated me, Stat Senator Dave Thompson of Lakeville.

Scheck and Richert document the unethical and nepotistic spending frenzy carried out by Tony Sutton and the GOP that helped lead to the Republican Party’s current $2,000,000 debt.  Yes, that is two million dollars in irresponsible debt owed by the party that claims the mantra of fiscally responsibility.  And do not get me started on what happened in 2001 when the Republicans rented out an amusement park for 500 people with a pyrotechnics show, paid $9K, and refused to pay $22K because the amount was not properly approved… Like I said do not get me started.

The entire story by Scheck and Richert is very interesting, but the section titled “PARTY INSIDERS AND CANDIDATES ON THE PAYROLL” was the most interesting to me.

First of all, my name is in that section of the article, so somebody brought it to my attention.  But my name is not what makes it interesting.  The interesting part is that the section discusses the unethical employment practice, unethical at least in the eyes of many, including the DFL which has a policy preventing it, of the Party hiring candidates running for office to fill party jobs, including candidate Dave Thompson.

State Senator Dave Thompson was paid $70,000 for “communications consulting.”  While we were running against each other, I knew he was working for Lee Byberg who was running for Congress up in the 7th district, but I knew nothing of his work for the Republican Party that he was being handsomely paid for.  No wonder he drives a Mercedes.

Obviously his work did not affect me, or my run, but how did it affect his run?  He defeated Farmington City Councilmember Christy Jo Fogerty, and Lakeville School Board Member Bob Erickson.  Did he get any extra Party help because he was being paid by the Republican Party?  Was there anything else unethical in how the voting was conducted?  Did Sutton and the Republican machine arrange his win?

Do I believe any of that?  No, but the most important thing when it comes to this sort of thing, outside of basic ethics and morals, is not to allow anything that could create a shadow of a doubt to outsiders.

Dave Thompson who was being paid by the Republican Party told the MPR reports: “I guess I never saw that as being any kind of conflict, and still don’t to this day.”  Not a conflict?  Hello… 

It is entirely a conflict.  State law forbids a candidate from paying himself for work for a reason.  Just because state law does not prohibit political parties from hiring candidates doesn’t mean it is ethical.  And it does not mean it shouldn’t be against the law.  The MPR story quoted Mike Dean of Common Cause Minnesota who said:

“…he believes the Republican Party of Minnesota is circumventing that law. ‘This practice doesn’t meet a smell test in terms of what is ethical,’ Dean said. ‘There should be a clear bright line that says candidates for office should not be paid by other candidates for office or political parties.’”

The big concern is that the party, or other candidates in conjunction with the party, could work to provide the candidate a means of livelihood while they campaign.  When I ran against Sen. Thompson, I worked until 5, drove home to Farmington in traffic, got home around 6, ate dinner with my family, then went out and door knocked for a couple hours, maybe visiting 10-20 houses before it got too late or too dark.  If I could have door knocked areas during the day because I was being paid by Lee Byberg, the Republican Party, or even another candidate with a surplus of funds for “contracted services,” maybe a few more votes could be had.

If the DFL thinks it is unethical, and if other groups think it is unethical, but the Republican Party doesn’t think it is unethical, or Dave Thompson doesn’t think it is a conflict, what is wrong with them?

The party of fiscal responsibility?  What a hypocritical group of jokers.  If anything has come out of recent elections, The Republican Party is the party of special interests and conflicts of interests.  The next thing you know they will try nominating for President a former Speaker of the House who wanted to prosecute a President for having an affair, while that Speaker of the House was having an affair…