Tag Archives: Redistricting

Minnesota needs to eliminate gerrymandering now to prevent what happened in Wisconsin

A majority of state governments right now are totally controlled by one party.  I think I heard 24 states are controlled by Republican Legislatures and Governors and 16 states are controlled by Democratic Governors and Legislatures, Minnesota is now one of those states.  Our country is so politically divided, that it seems the only way government works is if one party controls everything.

While Minnesota is controlled by DFLers, across the border in Wisconsin, Republicans recaptured total control.  With two states that are so similar, what is the difference? One word, gerrymandering.

In 2010, Republicans controlled everything, and drew new lines to help them win seats.  Minnesota’s lines were drawn by nonpartisan judges.  A couple weeks ago, Wisconsin voted for Barack Obama, even though a native son was on the ballot for the Republicans.  Wisconsin also elected a Democrat to the senate in Tammy Baldwin, over a former popular Republican governor.  Yet, the State House is controlled by Republicans with a 20 vote margin, and the State Senate is controlled, narrowly, but controlled by Republicans.

Gerrymandering has always been a tool to maintain power, and Wisconsin in 2012 is a prime example.  That’s why Minnesota needs to eliminate one party’s ability to gerrymander, and instead establish a fair and nonpartisan board to redraw district lines after the census every ten years.

Establishing a nonpartisan board would eliminate a lot of useless chatter, eliminate a lot of wasted time legislators should be working to make Minnesota better, and ultimately save taxpayers money.  So many Republicans used the phrase” it is just common-sense” to pass voter ID amendment.  That wasn’t common-sense, it was completely political and partisan.  If we change this procedure, neither side benefits from this, and neither side loses from this.  That is exactly what common-sense is.

Let your Minnesota legislators know that you want to take redistricting duties away from a political body and make it a nonpartisan practice.


Frustration Is My Middle Name

Frustration is my middle name right now. 

I know people who hate the world.  In some cases things have not worked out the way they expected in life, circumstances threw then a curve, decisions were made by somebody else that impacted their lives.  And I sit and watch them and think just a little change in attitude would make life so much happier.

The problem is I think my frustrations are leading me in that “I hate the world” direction.

So I am going to vent for a little bit hoping to make myself feel better:

  • If Lindsey Graham thinks it is so important that US citizen who are accused of being terrorists lose their rights as citizens, lose their right to a lawyer, and lose their right to their freedom, why doesn’t he propose doing away with the Bill of Rights all together?
  • A new Vikings stadium is a good thing, especially if it is part of a larger development concept.  Income tax alone amounts to about $20 million dollars per year, and that doesn’t count everything else associated with the NFL that brings in state revenue, private business revenue and individual income.
  • I’m frustrated that it seems like one generation to the next generation is becoming less respectful, including my own kids much to my dismay.
  • The fact that many of the same people who want to amend our State Constitution with a Marriage Amendment telling us who we can’t marry, say it is absurd when somebody says “well then what’s next, are we going to say blacks and whites can’t marry, or people with IQs under 85 can’t marry” use that same type of logic when somebody says we should ban assault weapons and armor piercing (cop killing) bullets.  Then they say “well what’s next, are they going to ban my Remington semi-automatic deer rifle?” 

Here is a short 3 minute video that is from the son of a lesbian couple in Iowa that I think is great:

  • Hypocrisy always frustrates me…
  • If a Catholic Organization doesn’t want to provide prescription birth control as a part of medical benefits to its employees, why should they be forced to?  It is a religious belief they have, right?
  • It frustrates me that so many people in our outer suburban area want changes but don’t want to participate in the process.  Yes, that can mean politics, but I also see it at church, in the schools and in sports associations.  Sometimes I feel like people subconsciously move to these outer suburbs to get away from needing to worry about being a part of something, and can use things like time constraints to convince themselves that it is OK not to participate. 
  • Why is it that it is so hard for somebody to give $5 to a good cause?  Why is it that people refuse to give money to a good cause because they don’t want to be on an email list, a calling list or a mailing list.  Is it is more important to you to not be bothered than to help a family eat a meal, to help a village recover from a flood, or even to a help a politician who you think can make a difference in the world?  Would you ignore an injured person because you don’t want to be inconvenienced… Oh wait, that happens all the time doesn’t it.  Frustrating…

This video is a 16 minute video about a generosity experiment.  So worth watching:


  • Pat Garafalo.  It isn’t what he says, or what his politically ideology is.  It is that stupid, smug half smile and the tone of his voice when he speaks that make me wonder how people can trust him.
  • I am frustrated by people at 4 way stop signs.  From the most current version of the Minnesota Driver’s Manual:

Right of Way and Yielding

  1. Right-of-way and yielding laws help traffic flow smoothly and safely. They are based on courtesy and common sense. Violation of these laws is a leading cause of traffic crashes.
  2. When two vehicles reach an intersection at the same time, and there is no traffic light or signal, the driver of the vehicle on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right. 
  3. When two vehicles reach an intersection at the same time, and all-way stop signs or flashing red traffic lights control the intersection, the driver on the left must yield right of way to the driver on the right.
  4. A driver who wishes to make a left turn must yield to vehicles approaching from the opposite direction when these vehicles are in the intersection or are near enough to pose the risk of a crash.
  • Key phrases: “reach the intersection at the same time” – if we both are at an intersection, and you are on the left, but stopped there first, GO!!!
  • “A driver who wishes to make a left turn must yield to vehicles approaching from the opposite direction” – if we are at a stop sign and you are turning in front of me, it does not mean just because there are traffic light turn signals that allow you to go first at controlled intersections, that you go in front of me at a 4 way stop sign.
  • No, I am not related to Allen Quist, but if I were, big deal.  It isn’t like my father couldn’t give him a run when it comes to Republican values.
  • It frustrates me that we allow redistricting to be done by politicians.
  • And finally, waffles are not better than breakfast burritos!